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Since time immemorial, the Empire has reigned over the solar system known as Tekhum. Adjectives are unnecessary; there is only one Emperor, and all the worlds that orbit the sun Ophon lie within the Empire. So it has been for more than two hundred million years, if the Imperial Calendar is to be believed; the Empire’s roots run deep, and there is no polity which does not at least acknowledge its overlordship.

The announcement now being transmitted to every subject and vassal is all the weightier for the Empire’s deep history: the Emperor has re-established the Elect, a group of states provided with advanced spacecraft engines, and in effect declared the end of millenia of insularity and isolation. There have been no Elect for over two thousand years, since the chaos of the War of Eternal Bombardments nearly depopulated the Empire, but hundreds of ships now venture into the abyss between the planets, and more join their number every day.

For these elevated powers, the future holds nothing but opportunity for those who seek to grasp it. It is a time of resurgent trade, religious revival, and political consolidation on a scale unparalleled in recorded history. And although it may be dangerous to speak it, some nonetheless whisper that perhaps this era will even see the founding of a new…


EMPIRE!
A Community World-Building Game originally by Morph Bark
Previously run by Morph Bark, QuintonBeck, Zayuz, Aedilred, RolePGeek, Gengy, TheDarkDM, LapisCattis, Aerin


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Getting started:
Welcome to the eighth and latest iteration of the Empire! play-by-post game!

Empire! is a collaborative world-building game where you take on the role of the ruler of a region and their heirs and successors, perhaps turning your small starting realm into a Stellar Power or even an Empire, forming alliances, fighting wars and establishing colonies along the way. While the GM has some oversight and final approval, the setting’s content is controlled by the players. We are always accepting new players, on a first come, first serve basis, although if the game reaches 40 players, the GM will establish a waitlist to replace players who drop from the game.

The game is played in rounds, each lasting two real-life weeks and representing three in-game years. Every round you may take a number of actions that represent the significant activities of your country over that period. Someone will usually host an event every round, a physical or virtual gathering of important people from nearby realms, so that you can interact with each other, form alliances, pursue romances and feuds, and just generally get to walk around in your characters’ shoes. Eventually, your ruler will die or step down to be replaced by their heir or chosen successor, and the cycle begins anew.

Over the many rounds of the game, you will engage with the kingdoms and characters controlled by the game’s other players, and working together or at cross purposes write the history of our shared world. Of course, this is a substantial creative undertaking, so respect for each others’ creations is paramount. However, at the same time you must be willing to expose your creations to the vicissitudes of other players’ attentions, and be prepared to roll with potentially unexpected punches.

Below follows a basic summary of the setting, the solar system of Tekhum, including maps of the planets within it and summaries of the active non-player organizations. Review this information, then post in this thread that you wish to submit a region and note either which of the available regions you would like to claim or that you do not have a starting region preference. Once you have posted interest, write up your region for review and approval and post it in this thread. Note that you must message the GM to be added to the game before you are able to post.

Check out the rules here for the details of how Empire! is played. As a game attempting a moderate level of simulation, the rules are fairly extensive, and may appear daunting to new players; they include details of special abilities you can acquire later in the game, rules for resolving niche situations, and many other things that aren’t immediately relevant to new players. New players are advised to choose one or two attributes that most interest them and focus on those attributes’ flow of play. After a few rounds, the general rhythm of the game will become more familiar. Additionally, we have a friendly group of veteran players who are always happy to welcome new players to the game and help them get settled in!

We also have a community Discord server here. Membership is optional, but players often find that it helps them better keep track of the game and communicate with other players. As much as possible, questions about rules, balance, and other things addressed to the GM team should be kept to this thread or the game’s OOC thread once it is created, for ease of referencing questions and answers in the future.
 

Setting Tone, Technology, Magic, and Society

Tekhum is a science fantasy setting: magic and aliens exist, but the laws of physics as we understand them today still generally apply. Many concepts can coexist in this space, but a few guidelines are provided below to ensure your submission harmonizes with other players’ submissions and with existing setting elements. Thinking about these elements is also often a useful source of inspiration for writing up your region.

The level of technology available to players at the start of the game is best described as “plausible near-future,” with a healthy dose of magic. Mass drivers and laser launch systems are known technologies, though they have only recently been built; the efficiency of chemical rockets is generally on par with modern-day technology (which is to say, fairly low). As members of the Elect, player countries have access to powerful and efficient Imperial spacecraft engines: the time taken to travel from one planet to the next nearest with these is generally about 30 standard days. In other fields, the available starting technologies listed in the rules thread serve as a representation of the cutting edge of scientific advancement. Faster-than-light travel does not exist at the start of the game, and if it is developed during play will require substantial investment of time and resources.

The existence of magic is an indisputable fact, and “magic” and “science” are not necessarily opposed forces. Magic may produce a variety of effects and even perform feats that violate known natural laws, such as shooting fire from one’s fingers or manifesting psychic powers. If your people use magic, they might have a high talent for a particular variety of magic with its own unique rules and effects, or they might be generalists capable of invoking a broad range of spells. Possessing magic does not grant your country any advantage over others in the game mechanics to start, though miracles or technological advancement may increase the power level of your magic during play.

The Empire is simultaneously a distant and an omnipresent force in Tekhum. The Emperor is something of an enigma; they never show their face, and even their name is not known, leading some imperial cults to claim that there is only one immortal and eternal Emperor. However, the Emperor’s heirs are known, and it is generally accepted by others that succession simply involves an heir's disappearance from public view. Despite this obscurity at the highest level, the influence of the Empire can be felt everywhere, with laws and decrees issued and enforced through the Imperial Court and its embassies on the inhabited worlds, and a ruler who gains the favor of the Emperor might even be elevated to the Senate, granting them a voice in the Empire’s system-wide governance. Other major pillars of the Empire include the InterPlaNet, which is the main method of information dissemination, and the Imperial College of Astronavigators, who provide astronomical data, standardize interplanetary communications, and assist spaceship captains.

Despite the widespread presence of modern and futuristic technology, the typical government and social structure of most regions is more similar to that of Renaissance or Early Modern Europe. In large part (though by no means exclusively) owing to the influence of the Empire, feudal-esque hierarchies ruled by land-owning nobles and placing emphasis on honor, personal respectability, and familial and marriage ties are the most common form of government; these monarchies are generally much more centralized than those of centuries past, and some are beginning to approach absolutism. Other forms of government such as republics, democracies, theocracies, and even stranger systems like magocracies or cyberocracies exist, but are less common. Similarly, although humans are not necessarily the majority species of Tekhum, most other intelligent species are at least human-like, and some may be able to reproduce with humans and with each other. Your region’s society may of course be structured however you wish (subject, as always, to GM approval), but the further it departs from these norms, the more difficult diplomacy with other players and non-player characters is likely to be.


Creating a Region

When you join the game, the GM will assign you a region on the map. Requests as to in which region(s) you would prefer to start are taken into consideration, but not all requests are guaranteed owing to the number of players.

You must write a description of your starting region. Once this is approved by the GM, you may create your ruler and start play. A region description can be as detailed as you like but should include at minimum the following:
 

  • Geography: Describe the geography of your region, including descriptions of the terrain, ecosystems, flora, fauna, landmarks, infrastructure, towns, and cities. Sansar is similar to Earth in many ways, and our own world is useful inspiration, while Veehra is a more hostile world, swept by fierce dust storms and possessing a thinner atmosphere and alien plants and animals. Artificial regions, such as space habitats, the aerostats of Badal, and the inhabited asteroids of Mekhala, should describe the design, systems, and major public spaces of the region. Consider for what purpose the location was originally built millennia ago, where the inhabitants sleep, live, and work, and what sorts of other creatures have adapted to the environment. Food, construction materials, and other such resources the region relies upon might be captured from space, produced by organisms living in the region, salvaged from abandoned areas, or, for Badalian aerostats, produced by ancient automated equipment suspended below the region, plunging through the Cloud Sea to extract raw materials from the atmosphere or the surface far below.

    The visual features of the map are often a good resource to inspire your imagination as to the locations of settlements and what sorts of natural features and wildlife might exist in your region.
    .
  • People: Describe what the people in the region generally look like. What species are they? What do they wear? What is their culture like? What do they do in their daily lives? How are they governed? It may be helpful to see what your neighbors’ people are like, as cultural similarities may extend beyond the bounds of a single region.

    Also describe the history of the region. The apocalyptic War of Eternal Bombardments two millennia ago effectively “reset” most of the solar system, and the history of most regions is one of centuries of recovery and rebuilding; the Empire interfered little with the recovering civilizations of Tekhum, but it is omnipresent in the background. Whether it swayed the region to adopt new cultural elements, left little impact on your people, or alienated the population entirely is up to you. Similarly, whether your region’s relationship to the Empire is one of eager association, aloof pragmatism, or restless subjugation is your choice.
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  • Resource: Describe one valuable resource that can be found in the region, which your people make available for trade. This resource is abundant in your capital region, and as such the region contains three trading posts of this resource, one of which your country controls at the game’s outset. You can have scientifically improbable things as a resource, such as time crystals, magic potions, or dragons, but gaining bonuses to rolls from any resource will require technological advances to be made in the course of the game. You should also choose one or two general categories into which this resource falls from the list of categories under the Resources and Trade section below.

    Also describe your region’s Desired Import, one resource that your region does not have in adequate abundance to meet local demand and which must be imported from another region. This might be something essential, like food, or perhaps a luxury item of which your people are especially fond. During the game, you will need to find a way to obtain this resource through trade, otherwise your people may become dissatisfied with your rule and rebel.
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  • Faith: The world of EMPIRE! contains many mysteries and its people follow various religions, ideologies, and faiths. Provide an outline of your people’s beliefs at the start of the game. This may include one plurality or majority faith, and any number of minority faiths, within reason. Also describe at least one significant holy site in the region, which might be a grand cathedral, temple complex, university or priestly school, major library, sacred grove, ancient grave site, or any other type of religious hub.

    Your starting faith is not organized at the start of the game. In the course of play, you will have the opportunity to organize your faith or choose to adopt an organized religion created by another player. Organized religions provide benefits to their followers, which become more powerful as the religion grows in size and influence. Details of how to organize a faith and the benefits of doing so can be found under the rules for Faith.

Each populated region also contains three factions, the Government, Mercantile, and Media factions, whose support is vital to the control of that region. Your starting region’s factions will support you by default, but if you wish you may choose to have them support another player’s country at the start of the game or no country at all. Further details regarding support and factions can be found in the section titled Regional Factions, Support, and Rebellions.

Once your region is approved, you should copy your submission to a post in the Lands of Tekhum thread. As you write up more regions over the course of play, please edit this post to add them once they are approved. If you run into the forum character limit, you may always add more posts.

Starting Technologies
After writing up your first region, you may choose one technology that your people have mastered from the following list. If you do so, the manner in which that technology has been incorporated into and influenced their society should be evident in your starting region's description. These starting technologies serve to describe the baseline technology level of the setting and therefore have no mechanical effects, but they may be used as prerequisites for technologies invented during play (see the rules for Military and Economy and the section titled Technologies for further details). You may also choose not to start with any of these technologies; please note this explicitly in your submission if so.

The available starting technologies are:
  • Aclaustrophobic Psychiatry: The greatest contradiction of space is that the vast emptiness of the void does nothing to alleviate the effects of being stuck in a sardine can with the same ten other people. Advances in small-group psychology and clinical therapy have enabled the endurance of longer periods of space travel without the mission ending in a nervous breakdown.
  • Algorithmic Imagination: Though the technology remains experimental and limited, science has proven that creativity and intuition are not phenomena limited to organic beings. True self-awareness within electronic circuits promises great strides in research, industry, and government.
  • Arcane Amplification: Time marches on, and where the sorcerers of centuries past had to make do with nonrenewable ley lines, overly precise chalk circles, or unpredictable sacrifices, the modern wizard has reliable sources of magical power at the tips of their manipulator limbs.
  • In Vivo Modification: Genetic engineering is much easier without multi-year wait times between each experiment. An interlocking combination of tailored retroviruses, metal complex nucleases, and modified microbe immune systems enables simple DNA modifications to be performed in adult multicellular organisms, not just laboratory cell cultures.
  • Nuclear Fusion: Simple fission reactors are as irrelevant as coal compared to nuclear fusion. Every time a spaceship’s launch thrusters ignite for takeoff, a city block turns on the lights, or a meal is placed in the oven, a tiny star is born.
  • Pseudogravity Engineering: In the absence of a planet’s gravitational field, a rotating habitat module is the next best thing to stave off the medical crisis that is microgravity. Overcoming the material stresses inherent in rotating an enormous cylinder or torus fast enough to provide spin gravity without it shaking itself apart while under high thrust is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.
  • Xenolinguistic Cataloguing: Though the planets of Tekhum may be neither strange nor new, the myriad of lifeforms inhabiting them certainly are. Ensuring that the high-pitched clicking noises coming over the radio are translated with all nuances intact is more of an art than a science - one that may be the difference between life or death.

In addition to a technology from the above list, you may start with a second technology depending on your planet of origin. These are described in the Atlas section below.

 


Atlas and table of claimed regions

Tekhum
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Sprites by peony.

The Imperial domain extends throughout the entire solar system of Tekhum, though in truth it is limited to the inner system, as space travel beyond Mekhala is much more difficult and dangerous. Advances during play may allow states to reach the outer planets, but at the start of the game, only the inner solar system is available. The various known and accessible worlds are listed below.

The names of the planets are at least as varied as the languages spoken by their inhabitants, and your people likely have their own names for them. To avoid confusion in communication between Imperial states, the Imperial College of Astronavigators maintains a catalogue of standardized names and measurements for the major celestial bodies, which will be used throughout these rules.

You may claim a starting region on Badal, Sansar, or Veehra, or in Mekhala. Regions 1, 26, 39, 51, 60, and 100-110 may not be chosen as your starting region, though they may be surveyed and acquired normally during the game. If necessitated by the number of players, regions currently unavailable for claiming may be opened up, or new regions may be added to the maps.

Region numbers marked on the overall solar system map above indicate single-region natural and artificial satellites. New space stations and similar regions created during the game will be added to this map.

Ophon
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G-class main sequence star

The sun of Tekhum is not only the center of the solar system in a gravitational sense but also in a political one. The name Ophon is used equally of the sun itself and of the megastructure which surrounds it: the Imperial Crown, a set of nesting rings surrounding the star, plated with enough solar panels to cover the entire surface of Sansar and then some and containing within itself a vast city of courtiers, bureaucrats, scientists, and artists. The Imperial Palace, home to the Emperor and the Imperial Court, is located above the sun’s north pole on the outermost ring, and all Imperial agencies likewise have offices across the Crown.

Badal
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Airship sprite by DualR. Commissioned by OpenGameArt.org.

Terrestrial Planet
Average orbital distance: 0.72 AU
Diameter: 12,100 klicks
Day: 243 standard days
Year: 225 standard days
Surface gravity: 0.9 gees
Atmosphere: Carbon dioxide-nitrogen; traces of sulfur dioxide, water vapor, and noble gases


Badal is the first planet in Tekhum, and a brief glance at it suggests an utterly uninhabitable world. The corrosive clouds of sulfuric acid that make up its atmosphere are bad enough, but exploratory probes dropped beneath the toxic sea of clouds that makes up the “surface” of the planet have also reported temperatures in excess of four times the boiling point of water shortly before ceasing to transmit. No probe in modern times has ever reached solid ground, and radar suggests it may lie 50 klicks or more below the Cloud Sea. But life is not absent from this inhospitable world, and the enormous floating aerostat cities that ply the more temperate altitudes are home to thriving civilizations. Despite the extremely slow rotation of the planet, the wind speeds of Badal’s upper atmosphere are fast enough that an aerostat makes a full circuit in approximately one standard day, and resources are funneled up from ancient automated equipment hidden beneath the acid clouds, occasionally emerging to provide valuable minerals and chemicals.

The rushing winds and corrosive clouds of the Cloud Sea are unique to Badal, and constitute a severe barrier to travel. Ground units may not be transported across the Cloud Sea. Players who start on Badal may select Badalian Megadirigibles as an additional starting technology, which lifts this restriction.

Sansar
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Space Needle sprite from https://game-icons.net/.

Terrestrial Planet
Average orbital distance: 1 AU
Diameter: 12,700 klicks
Day: 1 standard day
Year: 365 standard days
Surface gravity: 1.0 gees
Atmosphere: Nitrogen-oxygen; traces of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and noble gases


Sansar, the second planet in Tekhum, is believed by many historians and archeologists to be the origin of life in the solar system. Its comfortable temperature, vast aquatic oceans, and thick, breathable atmosphere mean that the surface contains many different biomes and myriad different species. Others note the existence of Firmament where no other planets possess rings, and that many of the standard Imperial units appear to derive from Sansar’s characteristics, notably the standard day, the astronomical unit of distance, and the gee. This theory is not without its opponents, though, and many have observed that the extremes of volcanism, weather, and climate present in some areas would surely have wiped out primitive life soon after it emerged.

Sansar alone among the planets possesses liquid water oceans of significant scale, and their fathomless depths cannot be crossed by those unfamiliar with their nature. Ground units may not be transported across oceans. Players who start on Sansar may select Wet Navy Ships as an additional starting technology, which lifts this restriction.

Firmament
2-SZ-Firmament.png
Not to scale.

Artificial Habitat Structure (Orbital Ring)
Material Composition:
Liveable Surface Area: 12 million klicks square
Gravity: 0.92 gees
Atmosphere: Nitrogen-oxygen


A constant fixture in the equatorial skies of Sansar, Firmament is an orbital ring belted in low orbit around the planet, supported by a thin station-keeping ring in a higher synchronous orbit and three derelict space elevators at intervals along the surface. These elevators have been in ruins for the entirety of recorded planetary history, and the original builders or purpose of Firmament are long since lost to the ravages of time. Though imaging and visual observation suggest the ring may be inhabited, no one has yet accomplished an expedition to the interior, and the Empire has largely left it alone.

Players may not start on Firmament. At the start of the game the interior of Firmament is unknown and unsurveyed, though it may be reached by space travel or by repairing the ruined space elevators on Sansar’s surface. To do so, you must possess the Pseudogravity Engineering technology and take a TN 12 Economy or Intrigue action. On a successful roll, the region on Sansar containing the space elevator and its counterpart Firmament region will thereafter be considered to have an adjacent land connection.

Aridyin
2-SZ-Aridyin.png

Planetary Satellite
Diameter: 3,500 klicks
Tidally locked: yes
Orbital period: 27 standard days
Surface gravity: 0.17 gees
Atmosphere: None


Aridyin is unique among the moons of the inhabited planets for its great size. Though it is still much smaller than the planets, it is far larger than most moons, comparable only to some of the moons of the distant outer system. It is entirely lacking in atmosphere, and no signs of life have yet been observed on its surface. However, some astronomers claim that it possesses vast polar reserves of water ice, and blurry images of supposed artificial structures on its surface invite explorers to brave Aridyin’s mysteries.

Players may not start on Aridyin; at the start of the game the surface of Aridyin is unknown and unsurveyed.

Veehra
3-Veehra.png

Terrestrial Planet
Average orbital distance: 1.54 AU
Diameter: 6,800 klicks
Day: 1.03 standard days
Year: 686 standard days
Surface gravity: 0.38 gees
Atmosphere: Nitrogen-oxygen


The third planet, Veehra, is a world of extremes. Twin oases of life, sheltered in basins that sink below the average elevation, stand out against the cold and barren deserts that stretch across much of the surface. The atmosphere thins rapidly as the elevation increases, and the peaks of the great mountains are more similar to the vacuum of space than to the atmosphere below. The plains of the northern hemisphere host the largest nexus of life, followed by the great lake of the south, and the deserts themselves are not totally unpopulated. With subterranean cities and defenses against dust, the inhabitants of Veehra have learned to overcome the blasting dust storms raging across the deserts that separate them.

Much of Veehra is battered by unceasing storms of sand, dust, and lightning, eroding or destroying machinery and threatening any who seek to pass through. Actions taken in Dust Desert regions marked by orange borders suffer a -1 penalty, and armies have a 50% chance to lose one ground unit for each Dust Desert region they pass through (including the site of the battle). Players who start on Veehra may select Dust Hardening as an additional starting technology, which negates the negative effects of Dust Desert regions on actions and armies. Alternatively, players who start in a region adjacent to a body of water may start with Wet Navy Ships as an additional starting technology, which is required to cross directly over the oases.

Mekhala
4-Mekhala.png
Distances not to scale.

Circumstellar Disk
Main inner boundary: 1.96 AU
Main outer boundary: 2.73 AU
Known celestial bodies with diameter greater than 500 klicks: 4
Known celestial bodies with diameter greater than 1 klick: 1,463,527


Mekhala is not a planet - it is the grave of a failed planet. Millions of asteroids drift around Ophon, none bearing an atmosphere and few having meaningful gravity to speak of. Yet life exists even here; many asteroids have been hollowed out and made into comfortable habitats, while others are inhabited by creatures who have even adapted to the harsh conditions of the vacuum of space itself. The raw materials of spacefaring are plentiful here, and Mekhala’s inhabitants have generations of experience with the void.

Transporting ground units between regions in Mekhala, even adjacent ones, requires space units. Players who start in Mekhala may select Vacuum Adaptation as an additional starting technology, which allows you to transport ground units through the vacuum of space without using space units, as long as both the source and destination region are zero-g regions (marked by blue region numbers) in the same orbit.

The Outer System
Beyond the asteroid belt lies the Great Gulf, a region of empty space equally as vast as the entire distance from Ophon to Mekhala, which separates the Inner and Outer Systems. The Outer System is known to contain several giant planets, composed mostly of gas, with many moons, though they have never been explored. Even the Imperial Astronavigators seem to have little information on them, except their names: in order Wakinyan, Kaua, Oreb, and Huma. Beyond the farthest giant planet, a few minor planetoids and many tiny asteroid-like rocks are known to exist, seemingly arranged in a cloud surrounding Tekhum at a great distance.

The Great Gulf is uncrossable at the start of the game; even with the most advanced spaceships available, the duration of a mission to the giant planets poses so many problems of organization, maintenance, life support, and health preservation, that it is simply impractical to attempt. Technologies developed during the course of the game may alleviate these problems, enabling rulers with a taste for the unknown to send explorers into the Outer System.


The Organizations

The organizations operating in Tekhum can be quickly summarized as follows:

The Imperial Court consists of those attendants, retainers, and advisors surrounding the Emperor who, in addition to their responsibilities in the Imperial Crown, act as the Emperor’s representatives in planetary affairs. The Courtiers are exclusively human, a state of affairs which likely reflects the population of the Imperial Crown itself. From the Imperial Embassies on each planet they enforce the Emperor’s decrees, ensure the loyalty of Imperial states, and tend to the dream that is Empire. Prestigious and powerful rulers will find that the Imperial Court takes a greater interest in them, and those who gain their respect may even find themselves promoted to a seat on the Imperial Senate - a position which grants them both a decisive voice in Tekhum-wide policy and the chance to secure the Emperor’s personal attention.

The Basu-Rahman Group is a Tekhum-wide megacorporation centered on news and entertainment media. Headquartered on their massive city-ship The Maharaj's Dream, their journalism and investigation is renowned across the whole system. Their ruthlessness and cutthroat business practices are also widely known in certain circles, and many a competitor has met a sorry end at the end of a vibroblade paid for by the Basu-Rahman. At least, allegedly; despite numerous lawsuits and criminal charges, crack lawyers ensure that legally, Basu-Rahman is spotless, despite their deep connections to the seedy underbelly of the system.

The Pan-Tekhum Worker's and Trader's Union - usually called the Pan-Tekhum Union or simply the Union - found its start as a loose interplanetary coalition of smaller collectives, guilds, and worker's interest groups who found it expedient to work together to protect their interests. The re-introduction of the Elect catapulted them into prominence, as leadership rapidly centralized to ensure the continued protection of interests for workers and small businesses everywhere. They are now a major player in finance and business throughout the system. Despite their name, the Union actually has more in common with the structure of a medieval guild than the definition of a union proposed by more revolutionary groups in Tekhum, though their ownership structure is more horizontal and they have little interest in maintaining monopolies.



Rules
Regional Tables
Organization Tables
Community Discord Server

The GM Team
Head GM: Minescratcher
Organization GM: Silent_Interim
Tech Czar: Rolepgeek
Faction Tracker: Aerin

Battle Collator: TheDarkDM
Round Opener Helpers: BladeofObliviom, Aerin - this could also be you!
Table Helpers: Aerin, Gengy, Volthawk - this could also be you!

 

Edited by Minescratcher452 (see edit history)
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Old Tavisham

spacer.png

Capital Region: Ebon Cove (49)
Leader: Headmistress Elsith Relg

Geography

The Ol' Tavisham Academy is one of Sansar's oldest magical institutions, by their own reckoning. Built on a tiny island off the coast of the Ebon Cove, the Academy is a squat limestone fort, stolidly staring out over the surrounding sea. Dotted with towers and pitted with arenas and ampitheatres, the Academy is served by myriad small fishing villages and craft towns along the coast, and by three mines high in the Gilded Mountains. The plains around the coast are covered by grass the would tower over an ordinary person, grass that sways and waves like an ocean all its own. The boats that ply the Ebon Cove are mirrored by wheeled sail-craft that tack across the Hollow Vale. Lying dormant and derelict to devour the unwary are the entrances to sprawling catacombs and tunnel systems, remnants of the times before the War Eternal. Recent arrivals to the Hollow Vale are the Rathakaz, whose rickety contraptions have set the placid grass sea a-roaring.

People

The denizens of Old Tavisham are primarily ratfolk, furred creatures standing three to four feet tall, the descendants of the survivors of the War Eternal upon Tavish Isle. The mages of the Academy garb themselves in leather and woad, dying both their hide clothing and their fur in line with their rank within the strictly hierarchical institution. The fisherfolk of the Cove itself are legally restricted to simple garb, to coarse linen and woven grass, for the mages of the Academy work tirelessly to ensure their authority is self evident and complete before magic is even necessary, and use these clear gulfs in appearance to reinforce their inherent superiority. The navigators and sailors that ply the Hollow Vale and the Ebon Cove are permitted to wear green or blue facepaint respectively, as acknowledgements of their station. The mines of the Mountains are operated almost entirely by magic, supervised by a small cadre of higher mages.

When the War Eternal ended and the vast forests that covered the Hollow Vale were pulp-verised, few upon the mainland survived. Those that did descended into petty feuding and chaos. Tavish Isle, in a quirk of administrative and bureaucratic confusion, had been incorrectly marked as seventeen miles further east on survey maps, and so survived the conflict mostly unscathed. Unfortunately there was very little upon the isle but a small limestone lighthouse, the haven for a reclusive band of mystic mages obsessed with the manipulation of air currents. These they used to steer oncoming vessels away from the isle, keeping it an enigma to the mainlanders for decades as they slowly came to realise the apocalyptic extent of Sansar's destruction. From this isle they came, always but a few, in small boats that always had the run of the winds, to assert their dominion over the fishing villages that had sprung up along the Cove's shores. In time, they probed further, crafting wheeled cradles to allow their boats to transit the Hollow Vale too, and eventually making inroads into the Mountains, founding the mines to bring stone back to the isle, beginning a millennia long process of expanding their burgeoning academy high and low, until today, it covers almost half of the small isle. A people tolerated warmly by the Empire for their open reporting and excellent record-keeping, the mages of Old Tavisham are still wild about air magic, and dream of crafting space-going ships slung along at speeds unseeable by solar winds.

Only a decade ago, the greatest upheaval for the Academy since the War Eternal occured; the Rathakaz emerged from the catacombs. A race of tinkerers, mechanics and pilots, the Rathakaz are six limbed, exceedingly thin beings, whose bodies seem almost designed to handle high-g manouevres. Piloting their thrusters-bolted-to-frames, they have thrown the order of Old Tavisham into chaos, and summits with the Headmistress are ongoing over their place in the region.

Resource

The Gilt Limestone of the eponymous Gilded Mountains is a soft white-green rock pierced with interminable intricate patterns of green, gold and deep purple crystal. Found in large deposits high amongst the peaks, the stone is visually dazzling, as the patterning along each cut block can be seen to the horizon in the sun, and even in the moonlight is illuminated and visible for miles around. The Academy is caked in the stuff, and is a beacon day and night for all around. This falls under the Construction Materials category.

The mages can never get enough lumber. The destruction of the forests of the Vale has never been recovered fully from, and the boats both land and seagoing are entirely dependent on trade, trade that the mages are not renowned for their adeptness at. As such, many of their craft are in dangerous states of disrepair or aging. Without their sailcraft, what would air mages do to get around?

Faith

The mages have made themselves and their Academy the objects of veneration and worship within Old Tavisham, likening themself to the populace of the villages and craft towns as demi-gods to the faithful, manipulating the divine forces as only those part-divine can. Each village has their own version of this cult, devoted to both the winds and those that wield them. The mages for their part view the wind as semi-divine, and the vastness of space as the abode of the gods, their residence on this earth as a purgatory of sorts, a punishment for being too blind and powerless to roam those skies themselves - for now. This faith is loosely termed Auroraisia, and is followed by a majority of the region's inhabitants.

Factions

The government at present is the secret council of the Academy, a conclave of the most powerful members of the academy's broader teaching staff. Its members are unknown to all but the Academy's headmistress, Elsith Relg. Mercantile control is exercised by the Intrepid Archons of Land and Sea, the mages responsible for manipulating the trade winds that move ships across Vale and Cove. Banned from being members of the secret council, these Archons guard jealousy the routes of least resistance they use to bring boats to and fro. The branch of the academy responsible for media control, in their context and parlance the relations with and and continuing control over the commonfolk of the region, and interfaculty cooperation, is the Lighthouse Initiative, based out of the edifice that survived the War Eternal. The politics inherent to such a group permeate the Academy, and their charter gives them great sway over happenings within Old Tavisham.

Starting Technology: Wet Navy Ships, Arcane Amplification.

Edited by Ausar (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/14/2024 at 4:39 AM, Ausar said:

Old Tavisham

spacer.png

Capital Region: Ebon Cove (38)
Leader: Headmistress Elsith Relg

Geography

The Ol' Tavisham Academy is one of Sansar's oldest magical institutions, by their own reckoning. Built on a tiny island off the coast of the Ebon Cove, the Academy is a squat limestone fort, stolidly staring out over the surrounding sea. Dotted with towers and pitted with arenas and ampitheatres, the Academy is served by myriad small fishing villages and craft towns along the coast, and by three mines high in the Gilded Mountains. The plains around the coast are covered by grass the would tower over an ordinary person, grass that sways and waves like an ocean all its own. The boats that ply the Ebon Cove are mirrored by wheeled sail-craft that tack across the Hollow Vale. Lying dormant and derelict to devour the unwary are the entrances to sprawling catacombs and tunnel systems, remnants of the times before the War Eternal. Recent arrivals to the Hollow Vale are the Rathakaz, whose rickety contraptions have set the placid grass sea a-roaring.

People

The denizens of Old Tavisham are primarily ratfolk, furred creatures standing three to four feet tall, the descendants of the survivors of the War Eternal upon Tavish Isle. The mages of the Academy garb themselves in leather and woad, dying both their hide clothing and their fur in line with their rank within the strictly hierarchical institution. The fisherfolk of the Cove itself are legally restricted to simple garb, to coarse linen and woven grass, for the mages of the Academy work tirelessly to ensure their authority is self evident and complete before magic is even necessary, and use these clear gulfs in appearance to reinforce their inherent superiority. The navigators and sailors that ply the Hollow Vale and the Ebon Cove are permitted to wear green or blue facepaint respectively, as acknowledgements of their station. The mines of the Mountains are operated almost entirely by magic, supervised by a small cadre of higher mages.

When the War Eternal ended and the vast forests that covered the Hollow Vale were pulp-verised, few upon the mainland survived. Those that did descended into petty feuding and chaos. Tavish Isle, in a quirk of administrative and bureaucratic confusion, had been incorrectly marked as seventeen miles further east on survey maps, and so survived the conflict mostly unscathed. Unfortunately there was very little upon the isle but a small limestone lighthouse, the haven for a reclusive band of mystic mages obsessed with the manipulation of air currents. These they used to steer oncoming vessels away from the isle, keeping it an enigma to the mainlanders for decades as they slowly came to realise the apocalyptic extent of Sansar's destruction. From this isle they came, always but a few, in small boats that always had the run of the winds, to assert their dominion over the fishing villages that had sprung up along the Cove's shores. In time, they probed further, crafting wheeled cradles to allow their boats to transit the Hollow Vale too, and eventually making inroads into the Mountains, founding the mines to bring stone back to the isle, beginning a millennia long process of expanding their burgeoning academy high and low, until today, it covers almost half of the small isle. A people tolerated warmly by the Empire for their open reporting and excellent record-keeping, the mages of Old Tavisham are still wild about air magic, and dream of crafting space-going ships slung along at speeds unseeable by solar winds.

Only a decade ago, the greatest upheaval for the Academy since the War Eternal occured; the Rathakaz emerged from the catacombs. A race of tinkerers, mechanics and pilots, the Rathakaz are six limbed, exceedingly thin beings, whose bodies seem almost designed to handle high-g manouevres. Piloting their thrusters-bolted-to-frames, they have thrown the order of Old Tavisham into chaos, and summits with the Headmistress are ongoing over their place in the region.

Resource

The Gilt Limestone of the eponymous Gilded Mountains is a soft white-green rock pierced with interminable intricate patterns of green, gold and deep purple crystal. Found in large deposits high amongst the peaks, the stone is visually dazzling, as the patterning along each cut block can be seen to the horizon in the sun, and even in the moonlight is illuminated and visible for miles around. The Academy is caked in the stuff, and is a beacon day and night for all around.

The mages can never get enough lumber. The destruction of the forests of the Vale has never been recovered fully from, and the boats both land and seagoing are entirely dependent on trade, trade that the mages are not renowned for their adeptness at. As such, many of their craft are in dangerous states of disrepair or aging. Without their sailcraft, what would air mages do to get around?

Faith

The mages have made themselves and their Academy the objects of veneration and worship within Old Tavisham, likening themself to the populace of the villages and craft towns as demi-gods to the faithful, manipulating the divine forces as only those part-divine can. Each village has their own version of this cult, devoted to both the winds and those that wield them. The mages for their part view the wind as semi-divine, and the vastness of space as the abode of the gods, their residence on this earth as a purgatory of sorts, a punishment for being too blind and powerless to roam those skies themselves - for now.

Factions

The government at present is the secret council of the Academy, a conclave of the most powerful members of the academy's broader teaching staff. Its members are unknown to all but the Academy's headmistress, Elsith Relg. Mercantile control is exercised by the Intrepid Archons of Land and Sea, the mages responsible for manipulating the trade winds that move ships across Vale and Cove. Banned from being members of the secret council, these Archons guard jealousy the routes of least resistance they use to bring boats to and fro. The branch of the academy responsible for media control, in their context and parlance the relations with and and continuing control over the commonfolk of the region, and interfaculty cooperation, is the Lighthouse Initiative, based out of the edifice that survived the War Eternal. The politics inherent to such a group permeate the Academy, and their charter gives them great sway over happenings within Old Tavisham.

Starting Technology: Wet Navy Ships, Arcane Amplification.

 

Give me mechanical details on the faith (a name and minority/plurality/majority size) and you're approved. However, region 38 is being invaded this round and is probably not an ideal starting position. I would suggest 22, 47, or 49, or a good discussion with Moossabi.

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The Shattered Coven - Hopefully Mekhala

People: There are two main peoples that populate Mek-01, humanoids who call themselves witches and sentient stone elementals or golems. The Witches came to Mek-01 in the far distant past looking for a new magic source.  They are tall and waifish descendants of human sorcerers. However, over centuries of experimenting on themselves with cinnakite, most have started to show signs of the magical material on their bodies. Some have sprouted stones along their hairlines and/or collarbones, others have developed amber colored stripe-like markings on various parts of their bodies, etc. Those with more noticeable cinnakite markings tend to have stronger affinity for magic and are treated as a sort of nobility.

Golems are short and stocky people whose bodies are made up of rough igneous type rocks laced with veins of smooth cinnakite stones, like the insides of mines. They are bipedal and tend to have 2-4 strong arms. The Golems subsist on cinnakite and must remain near it in order to stay formed. As a result of this, they began to consume cinnakite and make it part of their body, allowing them to travel. If they are damaged in some form of way, they could reattach appendages using a cement made with crushed cinnakite. Within a few days, the cement dries and all that remains is a dull stripe of amber where the break had been. The Golems were the first lifeforms to have called the asteroid, Mek, home. They are believed to have been created by the asteroid’s inherent magic and as a result, have always worshipped the stone. When the Witches came, a sense of camaraderie between the two formed and many of the Golems took up Mekhalan Unitarianism. Upon the realization that the other asteroids also held this source of magic, both groups re-named the asteroid Mek-01, with the hope that many more would join their Coven.

The two peoples coexist fairly comfortably as Golems can survive outside of the biodomes. Together, the golems and witches mine the asteroids for ore. The golems subsist on the same stones that power the witches’ magic and technology. Both communities work together to procure this most precious resource and sell the leftover ore. Both Witch and Golem regard knowledge and magic highly and quite a few of the Golems are in positions of power within the Cult of Mekhalan Unitarianism.

Geography: Mek-01 is one of the many asteroids in Mekhala. The majority of the landscape is a desolate place of rocks and glass biodomes speckle the surface like pox. Inside the biodomes exist little pockets of life; some house fields of food and pastures of animals to sustain the other biodomes, others include cities with various societal districts. The grandest biodome serves as the capital of the Shattered Coven and is crowned by a large structure that serves as the centre of the government and the holiest site. The building, the Amber Library, houses the largest piece of the asteroid’s magical core, a particularly large stone mined from deep within Mek-01.

The rest of the asteroid is riddled with holes and craters where mining efforts are either ongoing or abandoned. The mining tunnels go quite deep and there is talk of expanding mining efforts to other nearby asteroids and focus on developing Mek-01 as a livable hub.

Government: The Shattered Coven is a fervent theocracy based around Mekhalan Unitarianism. The absolute ruler is considered High Witch, and High Witch is chosen from a convocation of high-status members of the cult who have proven their faith and/or made significant contributions to the study and understanding of Mekhala.

Faith: Mekhalan Unitarianism - Cult dedicated to the worship and study of the late planet (now asteroid belt) known as Mekhala. While Sansar is thought to be the origin of life, here it is believed that the core of the former planet was the origin of all magic in Tekhum. Higher status members of the cult are powerful witches that are said to have woven a strong connection to the planet’s magical core. The Amber Library holds the largest single piece of cinnakite that has been found so far. Furthermore, the central efforts of the cult are not only to expand their ideology but also to connect with the other asteroids and communities in Mekhala.

Resource: The Coven’s major resource is Cinnakite, a magically active mineral, that can be stimulated in various ways to produce controlled gravitic anomalies.

Required Resource: As much as the witches attempt to create a self-sustaining environment, clean potable water remains a precious rarity.

Starting Tech: Vacuum Adaptation and Pseudogravity Engineering

 
Edited by Bellossom (see edit history)
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On 2/22/2024 at 5:38 PM, Bellossom said:

The Shattered Coven - Hopefully Mekhala

People: There are two main peoples that populate Mek, humanoids who call themselves witches and sentient stone elementals or Golems. The two coexist fairly comfortably as Golems can survive outside of the biodomes. Together, the golems and witches mine the asteroids for ore. The golems subsist on the same stones that power the witches’ magic and technology. Both communities work together to procure this most precious resource and sell the leftover ore. Both Witch and Golem regard knowledge and magic highly and quite a few of the Golems are in positions of power within the Cult of Mekhalan Unitarianism.

Geography: Mek is one of the many asteroids in Mekhala. The majority is a desolate place of rocks and dust with glass biodomes speckling the surface like pox. Inside the biodomes exist little pockets of life, some house fields of food and pastures of animals to sustain the other biodomes, others include cities with various societal districts. The grandest biodome serves as the capital of the Shattered Coven and is crowned by a large structure that serves as the center of the government and the holiest site. The building houses the largest piece of Mek’s magical core, a particularly large stone mined from  deep within Mek.

Government: The Shattered Coven is a fervent theocracy based around Mekhalan Unitarianism. The absolute ruler is considered High Witch, and High Witch is chosen from high status members of the cult who have proven their faith and/or made significant contributions to the study and understanding of Mekhala.

Faith: Mekhalan Unitarianism - Cult dedicated to the worship and study of the late planet (now asteroid belt) known as Mekhala. While Sansar is thought to be the origin of life, here it is believed that the core of the former planet was the origin of all magic in Tekhum. Higher status members of the cult are powerful witches that are said to have woven a strong connection to the planet’s magical core.

Resource: The Mekhalan asteroids are rich in valuable ore. Witches and Golems mine for resources and use them as the main source of trade and revenue.

Required Resource: As much as the witches attempt to create a self-sustaining environment, clean potable water remains a precious rarity.

Starting Tech: Vacuum Adaptation and Arcane Amplification

I don't have problems with any of this, but I would really like to see a couple more sentences everywhere, in your People section especially.

 

With your edits, you're approved. You'll be starting in Region 77 and can start posting this round (you'll get 1 new player bonus action).

Edited by Minescratcher452 (see edit history)
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