The Wyrlde Book

Lore of the Seven Cities

A. E. D’orsay

The Wyrlde Book

Lore of the Seven Cities

A. E. D’orsay

©2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 by Antonia Elle D’orsay.

All Rights Reserved except as prohibited by law.

Not approved/endorsed by Wizards of the Coast. This work includes material taken from the System Reference Document 5.1 (“SRD 5.1”) by Wizards of the Coast LLC and available at https://dnd.wizards.com/resources/systems-reference-document.

The SRD 5.1 is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.


To Jerry, Eric, Kat, Anita, Don, Bryn, and the rest

Who put up with all the prior versions and made this what it is today.

Thank you.


Table of Contents

Journey To Wyrlde 1

Introduction 2

Your Impact 2

Rules & Rulebooks 3

Starting Up 4

Core Assumptions 4

Play Style 4

The Powers That Be 5

The World is Untamed 6

The World is Old 6

Conflict Shaped History 7

The World is Magical 7

Humanity 7

Arabesque 9

Cosmology 11

The Veil 11

The Pale 11

The Voes 12

The Vault 13

The Void 14

The Source 14

Planar Travel 14

Planar Travel Effects 15

Veil Gates 16

Planar Summoning 16

Planar Phenomena 17

Demiplanes 17

The Seven Mortal Realms 18

The Seven Planes 20

The Mortality 22

Celestial Domain 27

Infernal Domain 29

Necrotic Realm 33

The Nether Realm 35

Radiant Realm 37

The Shadow Lands 38

Denizens Relations 39

A Brief History 40

The Timeless Before 40

Lost Age 40

Age of Time 41

Age of Dreams 41

The Age of Dread 42

The God’s War 44

Age of Fable 51

Age of Myth 54

Age of Legends 58

Age of Heroes 61

Age of Icons 63

The Powers of Wyrlde 64

Places of Worship 64

Temples 64

Shrines 65

Manses 66

Clerics 66

Priests 67

Shrinewardens 68

Paladins 70

Clerical Duties 71

Ceremonies 72

Ordeals 73

Tithes 73

Prayers 73

Gifts 74

The Hosts 74

The Seven 74

The Five 82

The Three 88

The Old Ones 94

The Triplets 94

Gods 94

DemiGods & Saints 95

The Spirits of the World 96

Druids 96

Imprecations 96

Ikons 97

Saints 97

Chicory 97

Magic In Wyrlde 100

Commonality of Magic 100

Magic’s Basis 101

Orgone 105

Aspects 107

Spells 113

Mage Duels 121

Ritual Magic 122

Runes 126

Words of Power 127

Mentalism 127

The Wilde 128

The Planet 128

The Sun 128

The Moons 129

Avilon 129

Wider World 130

The Wild 131

Travel and Encounters 131

Biomes 131

Frigid Biomes 131

Wooded Biomes 132

Grassland 132

Shrubland/Scrubland 133

Desert 134

Riparian 134

Wetlands 135

Underground 135

Oceanic 136

Mortal Croft 136

Features of Note 137

The Seven Seas 137

The Wastes 137

The Ancient Land 138

The Five Healing springs 139

Bestiary Briefs 140

(Un)Common Creatures 140

The Civilized World 158

Daily Life 158

Worthiness 158

Indentured 160

Impoverished 160

Freemen 161

Guilders 162

Merchantry 162

Patrons 162

Nobility 163

Common Architecture 163

Official Buildings 163

Housing 163

Settlements 167

Cities 167

Towns 167

Villages 168

Hamlets 169

Steadings 169

Banditry & Piracy 170

Customs 171

Common Law 171

Languages 176

Time & Measurements 181

Symbolism 185

Land & Taxes 193

Nobility Titles and Roles 194

Diplomacy & Warfare 195

Heritage 195

Lineage & Kinship 196

Inheritance 198

Childhood 198

Trade 200

Coinage 200

Common Resources 202

Minerals 206

Trade Goods 211

Communications 213

Factions 214

The Guilds 215

The Guilds, Circles, & Orders 216

Travel & Transport 225

Passes & Marks. 225

Containers 225

The Waters of Wyrlde 226

The Skyships 228

Land Based Vehicles 229

Military Organization 233

Recreation 234

Card Games 234

Tile Games 237

Dice Games 238

Grand Games 239

Dance 247

The Bright Lands 252

Zefir {Zephyr} 252

Akadia 254

Aztlan 260

Dorado 264

Durango 269

Lyonese 274

Qivira 279

Sibola 285

The Shadow Lands 290

Islandia & Keris 291

Hyboria 296

Kahokia 300

Antilia 303

Exilian 307

The Dread Lands 310

The Empire of Lemuria 311

Thule 319

Duat 324

Bermuda 326

The Peoples 330

The Whole of Humanity 331

On Gender 331

Cambions 332

Legacy 332

Appearance 332

Tradition 333

Dwarf 335

Legacy 335

Appearance 336

Tradition 337

Elfin 339

Legacy 339

Appearance 340

Tradition 341

Faery 343

Legacy 343

Appearance 343

Tradition 343

Fay 345

Legacy 345

Appearance 345

Tradition 346

Gnomes 347

Legacy 347

Appearance 347

Tradition 348

Human 349

Imperials 350

Dakoans 353

Exilian 355

Myrmian 358

Thalasian 360

Iaran 362

Legacy 363

Appearance 363

Tradition 363

Meka 365

Legacy 365

Appearance 366

Tradition 367

Ogres 368

Legacy 369

Appearance 370

Tradition 371

Sprights 372

Legacy 372

Appearance 372

Tradition 372

Seraphim 373

Legacy 373

Appearance 373

Tradition 374

Therians 376

Legacy 376

Appearance 377

Tradition 377

Harrier 378

Panther 379

Serpent 379

Swift 380

Vulcan 380

Whiskers 381

Tritons 382

Legacy 382

Appearance 382

Tradition 383

Today 384

Conclusion 385

Sources & Influences 386

Sociology & Psychology 386

Authors 387

Films 388

Anime 389

TV Shows 390

Games 390

Art & Artists 390

Personal Experience 390

“A Nomad I Will Remain For Life, In Love With Distant And Uncharted Places.”

-Isabelle Eberhardt

Journey To Wyrlde

Tis quite the storm outside, no? Come, be at peace within.

Let no raindrops fall upon you.

We are gathered here today to get through this thing called “life”.

A lightning word, life — it means forever,

and that’s a mighty long time.

We are here to tell you there’s something else:

The After This world!

Nay, our good friends, this is no fantasy,

no careless product of wild imagination.

Let our voice call to you, to this darkness unknown, deep within,

Let your heart in silence burn, through solemness and bone,

Be like raindrops in the flood, in the emptiness, in the storm,

For what is an ocean but a multitude of drops?

Take our hand, and close your eyes,

and let it go, let it go, let it snow.

Break through the bonds of your earthly confinement,

Let your spirit shine and light your way,

along a whispery whiskery path.

Like raindrops in the sun, like diamonds on the rough.

Let us travel together, to the edge beyond the shore,

Through time and space to the borders of your waking mind,

Where darkness and light are one.

Yes, there! Breathe deep the gathering gloam.

Ah, yes, we are quite the sight are we not?

We are the They and Them,

And we have come to take you on a Journey. Nay!

We will be the ones to set you free,

we will show you all you can see!

Put our hearts out front that everyone can see.

So, instead of asking how much of your mind is left,

Ask how much of your time, for we have so little.

Be like Flowers in the sun, like Snowflakes in the night,

For within you lies such an ocean, which we must reach.

Light no witchery towers on this penumbral path.

See how we move through a desert of Fluff and Substance

Of things and ideas; a place not only of sight and sound,

But of mind and dreams – the middle ground it is, you see,

Twixt Smoke and Mirror, Light and Shadow, Mirth and Madness.

We have come to a precipice that overlooks this magnificence.

There lies The Pit of Fear and

There lies the Summit of Knowledge,

Entangling Science and Superstition,

Indulging Feeling and Emotion

Ah! There! Look yonder!

Beyond lies a brave new world.

Listen close, listen tight:

see that door floating in the night?

You unlock this world with the key of imagination.

A key of Self and Yearning, a Door of Passing within the Veil.

Ask yourself now:

Will you go beyond the Pale, and turn the key in your heart?

Will it be a realm as vast as space and as timeless as infinity?

With such wonders in it? Does Alph, the sacred river, run on,

Through caverns measureless to man?

Yes, look around and know!

For this will only have what you bring to it, what you put into it.

Will it be of never-ending happiness,

where you can always see the sun,

Day or night?

Or a bitter and sallow world, where you long to see the sun,

In darkness and screams?

Know now, there is no turning back.

For in this place, things are much harder:

Here in the After That world.

‘Cause in this life, you’re on your own.

Like raindrops in the storm.


This is The Wyrlde Book. This book is meant for everyone, laying out the idea of the place that adventures take place in. It is the backdrop, the world around you, the politics and struggles and life of the world – or at least what your Pedant for it knows. Wyrlde is a 16+ setting.

The core purpose of this book is to contain a great deal of information about the world itself and should help you to fill in places where the other books are useless. This volume will show you the setting, giving you a slightly greater than average knowledge of the world, and explains things that might seem strange or peculiar to you. In here you will find a wealth of information on the people, places, peculiarities, and perhaps stumble across the liberally sprinkled trivia and hints, hooks and baits that are put throughout it. It does not outline every little thing of the world – it gives the framework for those things. The book has a lot of information hidden in nooks and crannies, asides, and seemingly minor details, and there are things snuck into the whole that will help give you a better picture of the world, of your character’s place in it, and of the bias inherent in the voices that speak to you from it.

What the Wyrlde Book does is explain the world to you; opens your eyes and shows you things you are not aware of yet. It also gives you hidden little hints and tips and tricks and tales and a sense of the history of the world. Think of it as “what you learned in school”.

Wyrlde is intentionally designed to move away from the original inspirations for the foundations of what many think of as traditional fantasy TTRPG. It intentionally adopts a set of influences that start in the 1980’s and move on from there, so it takes much of what we think we know, and then starts from scratch. Instead of shoehorning them to fit the rules, I went the other way and chose to shoehorn the rules to fit the place. This is fantasy based on, inspired by, and aimed for folks like me. It combines a half a hundred other inspirations and ideas and goals. There are in-jokes and pop culture references and tiny little call backs to the sources, inspirations, and sometimes just something liked.

It is a labor of love, of devotion, and a paean to the promise of a game shown to a girl on a kitchen table in 1979.

Your Impact

As you go through this work, you will note some odds and ends that could be of use if you are a DM or someone looking for a world to turn into your own. Dates and Names are rather fluid and purposely left open. This is to enable you to add in your own moments of history, your own legends of past adventures, your own bits and pieces so that you can feel as if there is more to this than just the basics.

There are very few villages or hamlets named. Most of the population lives in or comes from villages, and the absence of them is intentional – a village can be much more flexible a place to deal with than an established City or town, and allows you to place adventures, modify published materials, and more.

There are many places where you might see a good location for a nice new kingdom or a fief for you to add in your own flavor, and perhaps even copy elements from others. Your place can fit right in there somewhere. The map of Avilon is a huge area.

Many of the tables will have extra spaces in them, and these are for you to add in your own Houses, your own derogatory terms for the different people – or to leave empty and unused – it is wholly up to you. This is the infrastructure for you to create a world of your own, a foundation on which you can build.

There are many, many small little asides in the body of the text here. You can create entire adventures just from them or wait until the campaign book is released and use it. You have enormous flexibility as this is a world that will give you a start, a place to begin, while also giving you a place where you don’t have to do it all.

Because while I created this for myself and my group, I wrote it for all of you, remembering what I have had to do over and over for years. Please, partake of it!

Rules & Rulebooks

The Whole of Wyrlde is titled Wyrlde: Adventures in the Seven Cities.

This is The setting itself: The Wyrlde Book.

Next is The Encyclopedia Wyrldica, which details the House Rules for play, for creating a Player Character, including the unique classes and different PC races; the variant Magic System, a spell point basis; a Ritual system very different from 5e; Words of Power; as well as many of the operant rules for play.

Later is The Critteralia Wyrldica, where there are two hundred twenty-five creatures, the flora and fauna and fantastic life of Wyrlde, is described in more detail.

Lastly, the Campaign proper, running 21 adventures along with side quests, trivia, errands, and more is all within The Codex of Wyrlde.

Additions, updates, and assorted notes can be found at www.wyrlde.com.

This book does not contain a lot of rules and concepts and ideas for role playing games. Wyrlde is designed to work with D&D or the House Rules — but those won’t fit the preconceptions you may have about races, classes, or professions, and uses several additions. They were described as a blend of 1st Edition AD&D and 5th Edition D&D. This book is just part of the whole and the part that says this is the world we created, and now we will see what we make of it.

Some will want just the setting, which is herein, and use different rules. You will need to make adjustments and allowances. Not to the setting – to the rules. For 5e, at the bare minimum, the Srd should be relied on. The Phb, Xge, Tce, and Dmg are all recommended if one is going to play according to normal rules, and D&D Beyond can be used in such a case.

I have taken enough of your time, and so I bid you…

Welcome to Wyrlde!

Starting Up

This book will assume that you are going to use the Campaign that comes with it, found in The Codex. The adventures have been created specifically for this world, and one of the goals of them is to have the players change the world as it is at the start.

Sometime around your initial session when you all make your characters, you should take the time to become familiar with the parts of this book that are of interest to you. You don’t need to know it all, you don’t need to read it cover to cover. But if you and your character have some ideas – some of the trivia from in here or in the Bestiary that can help save you or ease a thing or let you know who to see – it will help you out.

One thing impacts everyone still, for it reshaped the way the world is, and that is The Bleak Journey, also called The Bitter Road. Other significant events are The Skyfalls, which changed the ways that things worked, and of course the whim and whimsy of the Spirits of the World leave impacts across the world.

This volume is not able to touch on every little thing. It is the start, and it is for joy, and it is now for you.

Core Assumptions

This book is formulated a kind of Primer, an education in the world that only a few are privy to and fewer grasp the importance. Years of history and culture and growth and destruction as seen through the Pedants – people whom the Powers That Be have chosen to guide you — who have been here and there, poking and prodding the spaces and crevices of the world and brought it all back to you. In this tome you will find the particulars and useful bits of the Wyrlde laid out before you in a way that few others will ever have it given to them.

The Core Assumptions for Wyrlde are as follows.

Play Style

Wyrlde is a place where the Characters – you – are heroes. They may be epic, they may be anti-, they may be reluctant, they may be all in, but they are heroes. They chose to become something more than ordinary, something more than average and typical, someone who seeks glory, fortune, honor, and whatever else in the world that they live in.

Wyrlde’s underlying premise is “Horrific (Science) Fantasy”, with the parenthesis around the part that can mean magic, can mean physics, can mean all manner of things, including the history of the world. It is a place where the apocalypses are over, but there were several of them, and they have scarred the people.

It is a world that is filled with humor, references to pop culture and cult genre films, and emphasizes improvisation over formal planning. It can be an intense game, and there is a strong goal of having you try things that are heroic, that are all in or bust, and be aware and ready for the consequences of it. There are mature themes, a high degree of moral and ethical ambiguity, and even elements of racism and classism built into the game – but they are not Earth’s version of those things. Above all else, Wyrlde is a separate world, that does not share the history of Earth, and does not represent or speak to issues of Earth. Even the archetypes used in creating it are archetypes grounded in Wyrlde itself.

To say that the game uses “modern thinking” or “medieval thinking” ignores the nature of the world – Wyrlde is set in a place that is over a thousand years from now, in a place so far removed from earth that nothing compares – so it is a world where people may understand things like advanced agricultural practices or have regular crops that are genetically modified versions of present-day ones. They will sound a lot like us but be people of their place and time.

Lastly, Wyrlde as a campaign will involve hack and slash, comedy and humor, horror and action, mystery and procedural, and cross all the boundaries of genre – yet still be grounded in a world that is actively being kept at a certain state of growth and development by capricious and intent Powers…

The Powers That Be

There are many different beings whose mere whimsy or furious rage can have an unforeseen impact on the world. They come in many sorts and types: The Powers That Be, The Old Ones, The Powers of the World, and the Spirits of the World.

The Powers That Be will tell you that they oversee the world. They are many, but most are not personifications of something, or manifestations of some idea or concept. They each have chosen a realm of the world instead. They are just as likely to strike down an unbeliever with a lightning bolt as they are to grant them some grand and terrible power.

When they send a message, it could in person, it could involve a messenger, it might be in the form of a sequence of events, it could be dreams, omens, portents, and signs. It is always through the presence of magic granted to Clerics of various sorts. They created the Planes, and their progeny dwell within them. The Powers did not create Humans.

The Powers betrayed the people once, and this betrayal has them struggling to win back the people who have turned from them. Despite all their power, they did not make Humans. The Powers That Be are not omnipotent, omniscient, nor ineffable. They do walk among us, every day, in a thousand shapes and forms, and they are not gods of something, nor are they manifestations or personifications of anything They are simply people of a sort, like us, though they are immortal, cannot die, and they have the power to reshape everything within their hands.

The Old Ones are exceptionally Ancient Gods who were long forgotten, their names and powers and ways blended and shifted until they were erased by other, newer stories, but here on Wyrlde they found a conduit, even though their names are long forgotten. It remains a question as to if they were the ones that Created Humans, but no longer has any real meaning. They are served by some Druids, who honor and recognize them as a part of the very fabric of the word, even within their many variations. The Old Ones were once the very personifications and manifestations people expect but are so ancient and old and long forgotten that even their names are lost, and only three of them are still with any kind of real, true power – power they wield most carefully lest they become victims of the ire of others.

The Powers of the World are seven very strange people who represent some aspect of the World’s Soul, and who were inadvertently made far more powerful by the actions of the Powers That Be. The foremost among them is a woman called Chicory.

Lastly but of great everyday importance, there are the Spirits of the World. These are manifestations of the will and presence of the World itself, a particular place, a kind of space. They range from the Numen to the Dryads and Naiads, and on to the rest. Some are said to be the spirits of ancestors, others are said to be more akin to elementals or perhaps the Fae.

In terms of the System, The Powers that Be are all Greater Deities, The Old Ones are Vestiges, there are Quasi-deities who have power even over the Powers upon and within The Mortal Planes, and the Planes themselves are filled with Demigods and Denizens and their descendants and creations. Most significantly is that every plane has a duplicate dimension seven times over, with the People there subject to those being as if they were Powers themselves.

The World is Untamed

Immense City States hold most of the population in each realm. Dependent Towns supply and assist them. Villages, Hamlets, Steadings, and camps dot the countryside, the people their doing their best to carve out livings in a place where horror, raids, and more mundane terrors can happen. World does not have huge populations. Perhaps a million are allied in some way against the Foe, who number at least three million.

Between these places travel Merchants, always in armed and guarded caravan of wagons, or using the Skyships or the Train, or the Riverboats or Ships. Lone travelers fear bandits, often derived from destroyed steadings or hamlets, and the worst that could happen is being waylaid by a Dragon or a Beholder.

Something of note is that this should be titled “The World is once again untamed.” This is not the first time Wyrlde has been in this state, and at one time in the distant past, this was a world of wonders, of Teknogy, of Mekanix, and much of it was lost and destroyed by the shattering of the world and the losses of the God’s War.

The Wilde is not a safe place, and to help make it safer there are those who seek to protect and defend the world, as well as those who seek to end the threats and promote trade. And beyond them are the folks who have a desire to make a living, get rich, build skill, and experience the world. They are called Adventurers. They are Clerics and Druids, Envoys and Corsairs, Paladins and Rangers, Gunslingers and Swordmages, Witches and Warlocks, Runewrights and Vanguards, Nomads and Monks, Rogues and Bards, Luminars and Sorcerers, Warriors and Wizards. And, lest we forget them, there are also Merchants, Physics, Sages, and others who support them in their ongoing effort to make the world a better place and get something out of it for themselves.

The World is Old

The world we are most familiar with now is about 1000 years old. There is around 1500 years of stuff before that, with a third of that time spent in a war that was waged among the Powers That Be with people as the fodder for it. That time, called The God’s War, is when and where the Elfin were created, the Dwarfs came to be. It filled the world with monsters and brought Magic to the world. The remainders of the world that was lie in ruins, and there are many of them. Despite being old and despite sharing some things in common with many other worlds, it is not them. The things you know from different worlds are not true here, and if they are it is mentioned in the following. There were no Druids in groves here, there were no ancient Tibetan masters, and the armorers of this world are different from those of yours. There is a wealth of history, but it Wyrlde’s history, not that of someplace else. This is a world that has seen disasters of a magnitude unimaginable, and still persevered. It is a world where it has ended several times. It is a world where that which was is as unknown and unfathomable as what is would have been to those who walked it as the Ancients of yore.

Beyond those 2500 years lies even more – so much more that it has been forgotten and lost and buried, even the roll of years, but one thing is known: we are not the first peoples of this world.

Conflict Shaped History

The God’s War is not the only conflict that shaped history The hundred years after it were filled with surviving disasters and raids on the rag tag survivors, with some breaking away and others never even knowing there had been an end. Conflict among people led to the creation of new cities, and the developing idea that it was a great and grand Empire, but even that idea is fraught – and the God’s meddle in everything. The sky itself fell, not once, but twice, and brought with it destruction and change on a grand scale.

There are entire peoples who sole purpose is to restore the order from before the God’s War, to return the vanquished and to conquer the world. Others seek to only build their own realms, and force others into service to them. There is always conflict here, and the forces that shape it are both similar and yet not like what you may know as a player. Here there are no savage and uncivilized people, no mindless hordes. There is no Elven homeland, no dwarven stronghold, and yet there are still ills that followed the people here, and linger, fester, and hopefully will be overcome. Here there is a reason for everything, but that reason is not one mortals usually know.

This is also a world shaped by vast cataclysmic disasters, including the Skyfalls, when stones that defy every rule we know comes smashing into the world, making changes, rendering alterations, altering fundamentals, and forcing rebuilding and recovering.

The World is Magical

History says that a thousand years ago, at the Cataclysm that ended the God’s War, magic entered the world and suffused everything – but not everyone can use it. Indeed, most people are outright terrified of it. Magic is an uncontrolled thing, and no one knows who may have the ability and who may not. Magic altered the world in ways which no one fully understands, not even those who have had it the longest: The Powers That Be.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the workings of Imps and Wizards, in the ruins of the ancients warped and changed by the release of magic, in the cunning cruelty of Thyrs and Clerics dedicated to the service of old Bill Lyle.

This is not a world where one can find vast hoards of magical artifacts, for those are rare and precious and mostly lost; nor is it a place where you can find vast emporiums filled with he wonders of the magical arts. It is a place where you can see a vendor in Lyonese selling the wands his family has worked on to light hearths and boil water, to dispel the old poisons and to ward against the diseases.


Wyrlde is inhabited by People. People is a broader term for the different kinds of beings that live in the world. Here, things are very different from other worlds you may have heard of. The Powers may not have created Humanity, but they have absolutely changed it.

Collectively, all these beings are called The People, even though many humanoids would never acknowledge that, and many humans and demihumans would agree. Perhaps the one place they can all get along.

Humanoid is not based on what they look like, but on what they come from. So, Fairy beings and the creatures of the planes and dimensions are not Humanoid or Demihuman – though they are still People.

In the ages since the God’s War, there has been a change in the peoples. Following the last Skyfall, among all of the Human and Humanoid sorts, there are new and strange hair colors, and eye colors, and even complexions that have emerged. No one knows of the humanoids having similar issues.

  • Humans are the most populous, most in power, most common and typical and present of the People. They have mostly shades of brown for eyes, hair, and complexion in coloring, and are typically noted for a lower variance of height and weight than we are, five and a half to six and a half feet tall (66 to 78 inches tall). It is from Humans that all the others are descended, hence the terms for them.
  • Demihumans are descended from a small set of Tribes during the God’s War, each changed by the Powers they served.
  • Humanoids are descended from a small set of Tribes during the God’s War, each changed by the Powers they served.
  • Semihumans come from a union within two generations with a Planar being.

To help you come to know the world better, you are going to be given a Pedant, or a teacher, who will help to guide you through the assorted parts of the world. Different Pedants will guide you in different works, and then I will return for The Codex and likely parts of the others. Note that she does not know everything, and that she, too, has biases and prejudices; that she is a part of the World and is ultimately in service to one of the Powers (even if she did not choose it). She has her own ways. But she will help you going forward.

Her name is…



I am Arabesque. I am the current Ikon for Antelle.

I will be one of your Pedants for your journey, sharing with you what I know and have learned of this cruel, crazy, wonderful world. The notes, comments, and content that comes from me about the world is meant to be listened to. Get comfy, cozy, snuggle into those warm blankets, and ensure your warm drink is by your side; it will be a long night for you…

P493#y1 I am a Witch. As an Ikon of Antelle, it is my duty to bring Her Word and Blessings to the world, and to ensure that she is represented among the people. I am her Chosen vehicle for Her will. Of all the many Powers That Be, she is closest to the annoying, bossy one called Chicory, and so I must deal with her a lot as well.

Welcome to the Wyrlde. Here the Powers That Be walk among us and they have a sense of humor, and the world is as deadly as it can get. Here, we are the interlopers. But we are not going anywhere and so we need to make the best of what we can.

I did not plan this. I am an Incarnate — I was reincarnated here, on Wyrlde, after an accident when and where I was from, and I retained all my old memories even as I grew up again in the outskirts of Sibola. My parents were simple folk, and my father passed away when I was only six. My mother and I went outside the city to live with relatives, but we were victims of a raid by Goblins, and I soon found myself apprenticed to a hedge witch who traded with both Sibola and Aztlan. It was quite a heady experience, let me tell you. The majesty of Sibola, the glorious flower that is Aztlan; it was a wonderful youth. I must stress something from my experience: Wyrlde is not my beloved home, not this strange place called Earth, not Caerlion, not Whorled – not any of them, nor any I haven’t met people from. The things you know from there, the reality you are familiar with; it means nothing here.

Our ship was capsized one fateful night, and Antelle came to me and made me an offer that would enable me to continue to practice the Craft, but I would be hers, body and soul, and her Tool on this plane. I accepted, and since have roamed the width and breadth of the world to gain much knowledge and insight.

One thing you should know immediately is that The Powers That Be of Wyrlde are not beloved by all and sundry. They are deeply resented, and faith is a precious commodity here. The Powers That Be are many, even after so many of them died.

Long ago there was an immense war, lasting for 500 years, between the Powers That Be, for who would have domain over the world. Their soldiers were us, the people, the ones who live in the muck and the dirt and who struggle to gain even the merest amount of power or material gain or knowledge. It was a cataclysmic time, and when it ended suddenly, the Powers That Be vanished and left the few survivors, so few, to fend for themselves. There were no clerical healers because the Powers That Be were gone. There was no blessing or guidance or divination – and for a hundred years the people of the world wandered and starved and died of thirst and deprivation in the event called The Bleak Journey, until finally they came to the place we call Sibola and began anew.

It was many years after that we saw miracles again, healing, and, of course, Ikons, like me, were chosen as the Powers That Be recovered from their labors. That is why I am here to speak on Her behalf – those who have faith must work to earn it among others. And they must do so even as others do the same. Including the Old Ones. This is the world in which you live now – you should embrace it and hope that you survive it. And if you do not, well, there are the seven levels in the Infernal dimension. Pray you do not end up among the Demons.

All things considered that seems like a great place to start: the Planes.


Wyrlde is in a space called the Material Plane by some, but normally referred to as the Plane of Mortality.

Mortality rests at the nexus of several other planes, created by the overlapping, competing, and commingling of those forces that the planes represent. All the Planes occupy the same space, the same moment, the same whole, and the same world, but are different realities.

Each plane is a stack of four distinct Dimensions, or realities, each coexisting with other Dimensions, and the whole creates a complete multiverse – and within the greater Cosmology they are merely a part of a larger one. Should you pass into to one of the Dimensions of the Mortal Plane, or cross the Veil and go beyond the Pale, you will still be on Wyrlde, in the same place, but the place will be different. There will be other people – possibly even another you, in every Dimension in every Plane and that’s 28 Dimensions that exist in total. In some Dimensions, there is no magic at all.

I have watched a person die and seen a Power snatch that same person from a different Dimension and put them back exactly where the previous them was. This is because all the Dimensions are reflections, echoes, shadows of our own; sometimes off a little, sometimes off a lot.

Throughout all these many realities is The Pale, acting as a kind of permeable borderland in which dwell the Elementals and the Veil Gates that both brings them together and keeps them separate. Crossing this is going Beyond the Pale.

To move among the Planes requires one to deeply understand The Veil and The Pale.

The Veil

The Veil is the edge of a reality or a plane, yet is not fixed, for it is everywhere and nowhere all at once. Doors, windows, arches all have some aspect of the Veil within them, and the veil is formed by the warp and weft of the plane it surrounds, protects, and preserves. The Veil is always associated with passages. The Veil is a Liminal Space,

The Veil is the Fabric of Reality, always able to be touched by those who know how, yet never seen until it is too late. To Cross The Veil is to step beyond what we can see and hear and feel and touch, and ever so few have that ability. The Veil is the fabric of the Planes, spun and shaped and woven (some say by the Triplets) – it is both what contains and protects the Planes from each other, and from themselves.

The Veil sits between and around all the Planes, keeping them distinct. Each of the seven planes is separated from the other by the Veils, and each of the layers within each of those planes is separated from the others by the Veils.

The Pale

The Pale is part and parcel of everything that Is, that Was, and that Will Be; it suffuses everything, invisibly for the most part, and it is what makes each of the Seven Planes unique, while also acting as a kind of buffer, occupying the limitless space between the Veils, the veils themselves, and is often confused with Magic among those who have not studied cosmology. It was released from wherever it came from into the planes and filled them all at the end of the God’s War.

Imagine a vast globe within which floats seven spheres all occupying the same place at the same time but vibrating just a bit off from each other, like different frequencies, and within each of those spheres there are dimensions that do that same, all of these things bumping and jostling and shifting and moving around within the larger sphere.

Now fill that larger sphere with a liquid that also flows around and through the different ones inside, acting like a lubricant, and that after one passes through any Veil, you must now cross the Pale itself to reach another Veil, before crossing it. That fluid, liquid, intangible stuff that lies between all the Veils, is the Pale; an energy field, present within all things, living or not, everywhere, in everything. It surrounds us, and penetrates us, it binds us, and flows between us. To go beyond the Pale is to cross outside of Mortal Realms, something few can grasp, what they can know, to translate into the ineffable, to move beyond the ken of mortal kinds. Magic comes from the interaction of the Pale with each of the Planes, and how they differ, and so magic is different, yet still the same.

It is a swirling, nebulous, cloudy expanse from which one travels to the other planes, or if The Pale so wills, finds things lost. Mortals are not meant to go Beyond the Pale, and The Pale will work at it, for The Pale is sentient. The Pale is the source of all magic, and all that it is contains and shapes The Pale – it is in, of, and about everything.

That magic, in turn, comes in five “flavors”, or natures, or kinds: Arcane, Eldritch, Mystical, Divine, and Primal. Each of these five kinds of magic influences the world in a slightly different way – they vibrate at different speeds, give off different frequencies, function somehow beyond our ken in different ways.

The Pale is a division boundary between the Veils of all the Planes and Dimensions. It flows and exists as a barrier between all of them and must be crossed to travel among the planes. It is a space in between, that must be crossed to find the places to pass through the Veils that separate the assorted planes.

The Pale is also among the places the Elementals reside in fabricated spaces that some powerful and potent Elemental Lord has created for themselves and their minions and servants and subjects.

The Pale is not a static, simple place. There are vast rivers and streams, there are pocket dimensions and Demiplanes, there are people of many sorts, and Denizens moving throughout, and it can be quite a busy place – though most of us will rarely see much beyond the consistent swirling effervescence.

The Voes

the Voes resembles a stream of bright, sparkling, prismatic sand made of tiny gemstones in a glowing cold plasma. The Voes is The Eternal River, and crosses through every plane and dimension, and is itself a conduit among them, protecting those who travel along its lengths. The Voes is not always visible, nor is it always easy to find – it appears and seemingly moves around according to some greater purpose or reason than mortals can comprehend, and no force can alter it beyond itself. Like the Pale, the Voes is sentient.

When following along it, one must walk either along the banks, which does not ensure safety, or travel within it; quite a dangerous thing as it has peculiar currents and eddies that can trap and drown the unwary. It always appears to be about eight feet deep, may pass through anything, about eight feet wide, and the banks are about four feet wide on either side – it can also flow through the air itself, suspended between one and four feet off the ground, rushing and tumbling along as if disturbed by invisible, unseen rocks beneath its sparking surface. The Voes appears randomly everywhere and anywhere, at any time, according to rules that only make sense to the Source. It is attracted to people who have a strong chance of surviving it, for not everyone does. Within the Voes, one hears whispering in voices from the past, the future, and the present speaking to you, cursing, lying, telling truths, blessing, thanking, condemning, and similar contradictory sentiments.

The Voes always flows through a series of caverns or rooms. They each have the functions of essentially tearing apart anything crossing through them, but how they do it varies. Passing through them is like trying to walk through a foot-thick wall of tree sap. It is sticky, and tough, and the more you push the harder it gets — they have their own speed. One must move with the current or go with the flow. The Voes is a physical path to the other planes, but it does not always flow cleanly, and may pass through several layers of a given plane.

The Planar Rivers

The planes are all linked by tributaries of the Voes, each with a peculiar quality to it. All the rivers flow through all the planes, so a ride down one of them will take you to all the planes in the end. These Tributaries are: The River Styx

The River Lethe, where memory flows.

The River Vaitarna, which purifies all vices.

The River Ifing, the swift barrier.

The River Sambation, the river of Exile.

The River Prisma, the river of color and light.

All of them ultimately flow into the Voes, and it is key to note that the way that each river is perceived is according to the nature of the person who sees it.

It seems as if only Erebus and Charon can use a craft upon these rivers. Eshu might be able to. Depends.

The Vault

The Vault is a space that is distinct and on its own, reached by passing through a many-colored Veil Gate found only in the Pale or by going along with the call of The Voes, which always ends at the Vault. Beyond the Pale, and through the Veil, one will find the Vault, which is a vast emptiness without feature or form, and this is called The Void.

To enter the Vault, one must pass three Trials, and each Trial conducts a test, puts the subject through an Ordeal: the Trial Of Flesh, the Trial Of The Heart, and the Trial Of The Spirit. These tests are for worthiness, for the Vault contains The Void and in the heart of The Void lies The Source.

The Trial Of The Flesh is filled with pain and suffering, a physical force that can destroy or rebuild the traveler many times in the instant of crossing the Veil. It tears apart the physicality of the person. Every single moment of pain or pleasure that a person has felt physically is revisited in the crossing. It turns you inside out and reassembles you, so long as you are not still hung up on your passage through the Veil.

The Trial Of The Heart, measures and judges the Heart – the personality, history, emotions, and values of the traveler, a mind wrenching horror as all that one has done and has been given back in the form of a test. It tears apart the personality, memories, emotions, and heart of the person, forcing them to look at themselves and their history and their actions towards others. It reveals every lie, no matter how inconsequential, every regret, every moment of doubt, every glimpse of forgotten faith, and allows one to remember everything they have ever experienced in gruesome detail and ongoing consequence.

The Trial Of The Spirit measures and judges the Soul and the Spirit of the person, weighing them against a measure that only the Veil or the Void knows. It weighs and judges you on the terms you have set for yourself– every value and every sin you have ever held, discarded, admired, disavowed, all of them are tested against you, and the failure is unimaginably painful.

Many will turn back, if they are allowed, when facing the Triple Veil of the Vault, for failure will result in complete destruction in some way of the person or result in being trapped in The Void for eternity in whatever damaged form The Void chooses.

And The Void does not choose well.

The Void

Within the Vault is The Void itself, and here there is nothing. Time is all that one brings with oneself as you enter it, and it is a vast empty space, save for something that may or may not appear on entry, for the Void is the location of The Source. It should be noted there is no air in the Void, but there is also no life, no death, no real, no unreal. It is the Void, and it is a contradiction, and it is inhabited by those who failed the tests.

The Source

Now and again, you will hear about The Source, or The Well, and people will say things like Souls, and Magic, and Power. The Source is all those things. It wanders the Void, and it is known that all the Powers That Be have been to the Source at least once. The Source does not always appear to everyone who reaches the Void.

The Source sometimes appears to a person who survives the tests, and the form of it varies according to judgment of the Void. Typically, it has been seen as a small old turn crank well with a rickety bucket and a frayed rope, a fire that burns but consumes nothing, a brilliant light, or a bottomless darkness.

It is said that those who see The Well of Souls become tied to the world, those who see the Eternal Flame become tied to the planes, those who see the Light at The End, are given to the Celestial, and those who see The Deep Dark are given to the Infernal. How this happens remains a mystery, for those who have reached the Source and been changed do not speak of it, while those who have reached The Source and not been changed cannot say.

Planar Travel

Across all the Seven Planes it should be noted that they are not meant for us, and so the longer we remain the more exhausted and drained we begin to feel, with the ultimate risk, of course, being death, unless there is some way to protect oneself. This is not helped by the fact that it is almost impossible to eat on those planes from anything that is upon them – the exception to this being the Seven Mortal Realms. Because of the nature of the structure, Planes tend to have stronger veils, especially around the Mortal Realms, but other dimensions can often be reached directly, much like with Fairywilde, though not entirely as easily. This has led to the perception among layfolk that they are all merely one step away, and caused the less well informed to suppose that there are “wheels” and a multitude of dimensions, and to confuse Dimension and Plane as terms.

Travel to the other planes or dimensions is accomplished in two ways: a gate, or a summoning. For a summoning, the name of the being must be known, which helps greatly to avoid having people randomly snagged. Although it is not perfect, it is said that Ululani setup a shield to prevent Demons from summoning mortals after a particularly nasty incident involving one of her Grand Master Clerics.

Gateways require effort to open to most locales – the Astral, the Ethereal, and the Fairywilde are all very close and don’t need complex gates. The Astral plane is said to have natural gates within it, but most permanent gates are in The Pale in the form of Veil Gates.

There are ways to craft Gates to many other dimensions, bypassing the Planar Veils in some cases, such as weaving a rug that can take one to a dimension, or traveling in a vehicle designed to rupture the Veil in a precise way to reach a given dimension such as the Eighth. Reach Dimensions is a trick few know, and many try, seeking power, prestige, secret knowledge, or just even a meal. The motivations of those who do so are so varied that trying to explain it is beyond me.

Planar Travel Effects

The Pale is filled with swirling maelstroms that are different colors, and within it are storms of many colors, whirlwinds that glitter in a thousand hues. There are peculiar storms that can range from no larger than the palm of your hand to massive content sized things. These storms appear only to those who do not belong there and seem to dim the brightness of the world around them, reduce contrast, as a sort of suggestion of what is coming, the edges of things becoming blurry and indistinct, and then it hit, a massive cacophonous storm of thought that is not a physical thing, but a thing of psyche, a smashing against the walls of our thoughts and feelings and dreams and fears.

These storms were created by travelers from all the planes as they crossed through, and are formed of lost memories, forgotten thoughts, minor yearnings and deep anxieties, subconscious fears, and spasms of despair. Of note is that the denizens of that plane will not see the storm or experience it. And that does mean that here on Wyrlde those from elsewhere do.

These storms can strike one anywhere except the plane to which one is tied, or bound, in that Cycle of their existence.

One cannot eat and survive on food from Planes other than one’s home in the Cycle. Nor can one drink anything from those planes, and as water is a planar conductor, even if one were to carry it with you, it cannot be drunk. Other beverages brought with can be consumed, just as with food, but this places a practical limitation on travel that is often forgotten.

Another well-known effect is the sheer exhaustion that begins to weigh on people when they are off the Seven Mortal Realms. In a strange quirk, those seven places are the only ones where a traveler from one of them does not over time become exhausted simply from the ever-present pressure and dissonance of existing in that place when one does not belong.

This also only appears to effect Mortals when they leave the Mortal Realms, and not any of the other planar denizens. Yet, it is obvious that The Mortal Realms have much in common, for they are truly like places of respite from the other dimensions.

Veil Gates

A Veil Gate is a dangerous thing indeed, for they are the paths through the Veil that one finds within the greatness that is the Pale. Each gate manifests as a storm, a swirling column of prismatic clouds lit by colored lightning that used to mark and guide one to where that Veil Gate leads.

It is important to note that while Veil Storms only very rarely appear on the Mortal Plane Material Plane, they can appear on the other planes much more readily – the other planes are ultimately just reflections, or shadows, of the Mortal Plane, and so these storms can appear and sweep up much. There are more than a few myths about Veil Storms appearing elsewhere and transferring entire cities to Wyrlde – but such an event has not happened in centuries.

Magic can be used to open a gate on the material plane, in the form of complex spells. These allows for limited passages to and from.

Some ancient ruins have constructed gates, and legend says that at one time they were used to move between the many cities, but these days they are mostly broken, and some do lead to other planes. The Gates are often seen with peculiar symbols and are a form of highly complex sigil themselves, and experienced people have learned to decipher them, though this takes dozens of trips and intense, close study to be able to do. The very slight shade differences mean that most inexperienced travelers will find themselves in the wrong layer of a given plane.

Veil Gates have a specific color to them. Even though one can open a gate to a particular layer of it, the color of that gate is merely a shade of the Plane itself.

All combined, it means that only people who have undertaken many dozens of trips and spent the time to learn and understand the planes and the nature of the veil gates, are able to determine where one leads with any precision. Because of time differentials, planar compositions, assorted risks and dangers, and the limitations of a body that cannot eat, these people are very few, and rarely of whole or rational mind.

Prime: Green, with shades of Blue
Shadow: Violet, with shades of Purple Nether: Blue, with shades of Yellow
Celestial: Golden, with shades of Silver Infernal: Red, with shades of Black
Radiant: Orange, with shades of Green Necrotic: White, with shades of Gray.

Planar Summoning

Each plane is inhabited, and the nature of the planes and the being there has combined to impact them in different ways. Some are exceedingly powerful, potent, and dangerous. Others are considered weak and subject to the powers of those above them according to the nature of the world there.

There is little back and forth travel between the Planes and the Prime, except among the inner planes of the Mortal Plane. Each plane has its own set of peoples and its own inner planes, and those in turn are also thought to be easier to pass through. To cross between the greater planes, the Seven of them, one must put forth enormous energy and effort, and there is always risk. While you could get lucky on a general summoning and bring across some nameless beast from a different plane, should you bring across a sentient being you should always be extra careful. Even more so if you seek to bargain or command them.

Most summoning is done through rituals, with engraved spaces, though on occasion some coven will try to do it without a fixed or precise basis, and the tales that accompany that are horrific.

These are sentient beings, and they are not people, and they are dangerous and dislike being subject to the will of others. A small error in crafting a summoning can result in them being called, but then them taking the summoner back to serve them as a slave.

Worse: once they have been summoned by you, they can then in turn summon you to them once released. Many a great and mighty wizard has fallen, and we shall not speak to the effects this can have on Sorcerers. Summoning is covered in more depth in the Grimoire.

Planar Phenomena

Spatial Distortions

It is not wholly uncommon for those who use magic to carve out distinct, separate Demiplanes themselves, and perhaps even affix those spaces to objects. These spatial distortions are themselves Demiplanes – and often do not have constraints such as time or vacuum in them; they may also not have air and space.

Dimensional Rifts

On occasion, a Dimensional Rifts will open. Druids are very handy to have around because some of them have learned the skill of weaving the Fabric of the Veil back together, often using a bit of themselves in the process.

Dimensional rifts allow people to cross willy-nilly, and while this sounds charming and all, it also means that those from the other dimensions can cross over to here, and they are not often friendly. Indeed, they are three times more likely to be unfriendly or upset at encountering a rift – especially if they get trapped on this side of it.


Demiplanes can and do exist within the cosmology, forged by powerful magics that unite various aspects to create them. This is due to the presence and will of The Pale, which is ultimately the source of all magic.

Very powerful beings will often create a Demiplane and tie it to a place where the fabric of the Veil is thin or threadbare, worn, and weak.


The Mourae are described as traveling to the demiplane of Mourama within the Pale while sitting on a stone that can float in the air or water. Inside caves, under rocks and under the earth many legends say there exist palaces with treasures. A Moura is a likely a Fell Fae, a Stone Woman, capable of changing shape.

Children’s Cycle Teaching

Air births the water, as rain falls into the night.

Water births the earth, as the clay to make our cups

Earth births the fire, feeding on the land

Fire births the stone, clay within a hearth

Stone births the smoke, rising when it burns

Smoke births the lightning, darkening the sky

Lightning births the thunder, shattering our time

Thunder births Spirit, quickening a life

Spirit births the Frost, cooling down a heart

Frost births the Sun, just because it can

Sun births the sand, dust and grains alight

Sand births the air, screaming winds a-sup

The Elemental Planes

The Elemental Planes are all Demiplanes, and there are a lot of them. The Elemental Planes are exceptionally hazardous for People to enter, for they are realms comprised mostly of that element; crossing into the plane of Stone can prove instantly fatal to anything not able to breathe rock.

The Elemental Planes are Air, Earth, Fire, Frost, Lightning, Stone, Sand, Smoke, Spirit, Sun, Thunder, and Water. Void is a direct conduit to The Void, and often counted as an element, but is not a safe one. Don’t open a passage there elementally. It never ends well. This may be why no spells truly use it – no one has survived the experience, since the caster is always subject to the Void themselves.

Elementals live within the wholeness of their element, and there are birds, beasts, fish, and people that live and exist within them.

Elementals are the total masters of these regions. The Pale is also filled with innumerable pocket dimensions, some lived in, others untouched or unclaimed, but very few ever stumble on one for the Veil hides them as it surrounds them. Gob, Peralda, Djin, and Necksa all make their homes in Demiplanes within the Pale, from whence come the many incredible elemental beings.

The Seven Mortal Realms

One of the Dimensions for each Plane is always a Mortal Realm, and Mortal realms are echoes, reflections, shadows, or some form of variant of each other. It is a difficult explanation to give more accurately, since the planet could be completely different, with different names for everything and may not even have magic (as it is said is true of Shades). And yet, they are all part of the same cycle and ultimately are the afterlives we often speak of.

Sometimes people from them travel to us, while people from here have sometimes gone to those places, excepting Shades, from which no one has ever returned. In some of them, the Gods live and exist under different names, perhaps with the Old Ones being more powerful or the Powers behaving completely differently.

Each Mortal Realm has an additional challenge in that just as there is the Fairywilde and the Astral and the Ethereal here, they have their own reflections and interact in similar ways with that realm.

So, the equivalents of the Fairywilde are Heaven, Hell, Euthania, Limbo, Eighth, and Pandemonium. The equivalents of the Astral are: Elysium, The Abyss, Quietus, The Dreamscape, Ex, and Nightmare. Finally, the Ethereal Plane equivalents are Whispers, Karma, Purgatory, Silence, The Dread Domain, and Valhalla.

We have some idea of what three of the Mortal Realms look like for their version of Avilon, gained at great risk and cost.

Yrthe, The Bleak, Shades, Perition, Kismet, The Unknown

The Bleak
The Unknown


When one dies, their Quintelan is divided into the Spirit, the Soul, the Heart, and the Mind. The Body has passed, the Spirit and the Soul are immortal, though the Mind and the Heart can fade without something to anchor them.

These aspects of each person are sometimes broken up a bit and then given new form – in one person or in several – on a new Plane of reality, where they now live an entirely new life. Sometimes the Heart and the Soul will be together while the Mind and the Spirit are elsewhere, but other times the order will be different and in some cases the whole will travel – but there is always the Spirit and the Soul, for those are the core of a person.

Those who pass are born again on the other planes, in a constant cycle of rebirth that moves one throughout the many reflections until the ideal place is found for them. It is said that the order is based on the actions and behaviors of the person in the immediately previous life, but the Planes remain the same and a person will be born again and again on the Seven Mortal Realms – Wyrlde, Yrthe, The Bleak, The Unknown, Perdition, Kismet, and Shades. The denizens of those realms do not normally see folks from other Worlds – and each of those seven worlds is still a reflection, or a shadow, of Wyrlde.

Resurrection gathers the Quintelan and binds it back into a body, so long as that body has the time allotted for it. Each person is allotted five Spans, and resurrection has the price of one span. Reincarnation binds it to an existing body different from the original, not a new one. As animals do not have a Mind, or a Heart, they are often used as vessels since a vessel cannot have an existing heart or mind.

Every seven lives, a person will be reborn on Wyrlde. Where the Fairywilde is a close reflection of Wyrlde with many openings and passages, so too do these other Planes have their own version of it – and so too do they have their own version of the Astral and the Ethereal, though not always in a manner that is a direct link. That is, the Planes are not, themselves, inherently tied to the afterlife of someone. That cycle will ultimately bring them through The Mortal Plane once again.

The Seven Planes

The many different planes are all inhabited by other beings. If the current theory holds, then every person on Wyrlde has a match in a different dimension, but those beings aren’t always people, like us, even if they are, in fact, people who have once existed and passed on.

All the principal residents of the assorted planes are ultimately descended from the events before the God’s War. We call them Denizens. They are the literal children and grandchildren of Gods. They were often cast out by Belial when he ruled all, and more than a few are his issue. Later, some of them were turned to for help during the God’s War (notably the Fairywilde).

The Seven Planes each have their own structure, their own way of being. We call each of the Dimensions within each plane a particular thing, often from concepts handed down through the eons by the Ancient Ones. Each of them can be startlingly different in and of themselves. The Dimensions are all separated from each other by a Veil, and the veils are separated by the Pale, and so they connect and sit beside each other, each occupying the exact same space but still set apart by the Veils. This is readily shown by the status of the Dimensions of the Mortality: Ephemeral, Fairywilde, Astral, and Ethereal. Each plane reflects these same four things back throughout, and so some correlation can be made among (such as the Heaven, Fairywilde, Hell, Euthania, Limbo, Luck, and Pandemonium correlation).

It is key to note that each Plane has people who are beholden to it, and that at least one of the Inner Planes in each of the Outer Planes is essentially a complete mirror of Wyrlde. These complete mirrors are called The Seven Mortal Realms, for they are the central aspect of each of the planes in the same way that Mortality is the center of the Mortal Plane.

The Mortality

The dimensions of the Mortal Plane consist of four dimensions that all interact and connect in some way: The Astral, The Ethereal, Fairywilde, and the Ephemeral.

The Ephemeral (The Wyrlde)

This is the dimension we all exist in. For those crossing into the Mortal Plane and any of its dimensions, the greatest potential threats are Mortality, and Enfleshment, for just as the other planes contain risks for visitors from here, those from there face risks coming here. In this case, those beings will find themselves given a fleshy form (save for Demons, who seem to be gifted to be more malleable) and are afflicted with mortality (they can have those fleshy forms slain).

Also, the immediate attention of Chicory, which is why the threats are a risk. The Ephemeral is the central part of the Mortality Plane. While for us it is nothing, for those traveling here, it could mean that they are bound to flesh, and so locked into the Cycle, and that that fleshy form will itself become mortal, and so subject to the same mortal risks we have.

The Astral

This is the Astral Dimension, which sits just beyond the Veil.

When one astral projects one gains the ability to cross the Veil to this dimension, which is dangerous and risky even at the best of times. An astral form is a Spiritual form, always tied to a body by a thin, endless Silver Cord that if severed, will sever Body and Heart from Spirit, Soul, and Mind.

All manner of creatures make their homes here, but the most common are Phantasms, who in the Astral are the manifestations of the Ego of people of the Mortal Realms. Phantasms sometimes cross to Wyrlde, and are exceptionally dangerous beings, for they can sever that connection – or potentially rip a person into the discrete parts. They seek to sever the astral cords and use them to take over the body.

The Astral is difficult to remain in, it has a sense of magic and mayhem that do not match our own and is often thought of as a place of sheer chaos, filled with massive shapes and forms that seem as if they are planets connected by long rods, or floating globules. Vast beings and miniscule ones occupy this dimension, with castles that might fit in the palm of your hand or that might contain entire cities.

The Ethereal

The Ethereal is like a vast space of thick pea soup. It is to this dimension that many beings shunt physical mass when they become Ethereal, crossing the Veil back and forth, and using it to move around without physical limits in Fairywilde or Mortal Plane. Of all the local dimensions, this one is the strangest, for it seems to be empty, and yet you can see everything there if you look at it out of the corner of your eye. You can pass through buildings and walls, and the denizens can scream and flee if they perceive you. The Ethereal is Immaterial, a way of wholly existing in between the spaces of things which are perceived as solid, and a counterpart to Spiritual.

The Ethereal is filled with wild and peculiar tornadoes, whirlwinds and changestorms. These are serpentine columns that spin through the dimension. They appear abruptly, distorting and uprooting ethereal forms in its path and carrying the debris for leagues. Being trapped in a change storm can change a person, and yet if they are using the power of the dimension, such as if they are passing ethereally, then those changes won’t be visible on the body. If they travel in the flesh, however, they can be, and it can be both painful and startling.

Many beings seem to have deep links to this dimension, and can see into it or walk through it, or somehow dwell across the threshold as liminal beings.


This dimension is a land of pastoral wonder, beautiful and magnificent, primal, and untamed. It is lit throughout with a soft light that is strong and joyful, with a light breeze throughout – always warm, never day nor night.

It mirrors and reflects the contours of the Wyrlde, but as if it were long before the God’s War, and with every step a new delight and wonder to behold. A sense of Awe permeates the entirety of the Fairywilde.

Let not this sylvan and bucolic land fool you, however. Time is not stable here, warping differently for each person, and memory is variable. This is not a realm that is safe or right and is dangerous for us.

The Fairywilde is populated by the Fae – dryads, satyrs, pixies, sprites, as well as things such as faerie dragons, blink dogs, displacer beasts, unicorns, and treants. They refer to the Fairywilde as “Faerie,” meaning the plane they come from.

The Fae are not malevolent, even the Fell Fae; they are instead quite alien to our ways of thinking, our value systems, and our brief lifespans. The Fae do not like people. Especially humans. Except, perhaps, as pets and curios, diversions, and delights, as zoo occupants and sideshow freaks – often with some aspect of them twisted.

The Fae do not seem quite right to humans of any sort – they are the obverse of us, the unreal made present, and are unnerving and peculiar. They shun the use of smithed and wrought materials, and seek simplicity and harmony, unless it is of exquisite make, and exceptionally beautiful.

The Fae live in different groups and gatherings called Courts among themselves. There are two broad categories of Fae: Fey and Fell. This is different from their Courts.

The Fey are aesthetically pleasing to look on and gifted with wondrous powers that allow them to carry a piece of the Fairywilde wherever they go. The Fell are not. Fells exist in many planes (especially the Shadow and the Nether), and some argue that Fells are not actually of the Fairywilde.


The Fae are governed by a series of Kings and Queens, who are known to all be related, who oversee the several Courts.

There are many different courts in the Fairywilde, and no two of them are alike.

It is not a place of cities so much as a place of individual whim, the persistent manifestation of whimsy and peculiarity.

Courts are fluid and flexible in their space and time – each is seemingly unending, and yet they all can be crossed and traveled among by those with the knowledge of how.

Mag Mell

The Pleasant Plain. A vast Plain that stretches for miles, often confused with the Summerlands by those from elsewhere, it is a realm of rolling hills and pleasant steppe. Mag Mell is always a lonely place in feeling and is the home of The Solitary Court. It is ruled by Puck, composed of those who owe fealty to none but themselves, and who grudgingly allow Puck to haphazardly rule them.

Solitary Fae are dangerous and potent and should be avoided more than others.


The Orchard of Golden Apples. It is ruled by Titania, the magnificent Fae whose brilliance and beauty is only marred by their alienness and is the heart of The Seelie Court.


The Land of Youth, and possibly the only true city in all of the Fairywilde as we understand them. It is ruled by Oberon, chief of The Sleeping Court. He is often called the Good Fairy, whose lusts and whims have ever been a challenge for those of us on the Mortal Plane.


The Wild Forest. It is said the trees here are so tall and that their tops are so broad, that one can enter the Wild Forest, and never see the stars or the sun – but you can always see the moonlight. It Is The Court Of Whispers, ruled by The Morrigans.


The Court between all other Courts and The Heart of Faerie. It is the heart of The Unseelie Court, ruled by of Arawn, whose stag horns wax and wane with the seasons, and whose court is filled with things around death and fate.


The realm of lakes and rivers, meadows, and flowers. It is ruled by the Court Of Trooping, beneath sweet Rhiannon, always moving with each season, forever following the path of Spring. It is said that a mortal who gazes upon Rhiannon cannot help but falling in love with her.


The Sinister Bog. It is ruled by Kernabog, whose rule is fierce, harsh, and bloody. It is almost exclusively filled with Fell, and they can surprise, for The Night Court is never as scary as it can appear.

Key Fondness’

Fae have strong attachments and fondness for Rowan Trees, Ashoka Trees, Hawthorn Trees, and Sal Trees, which they cannot find in Fairywilde.

They consider these things sacred and holy, and as most Fae are animists and animistic beings, this can have a lot of effect.

Fae also have a fondness for Mistletoe, St John’s Wort, selfless kindness, small harness bells called “sweet bells”, cream, fresh bread, sugar, honey, and falling in love.

Fae do not like and will avoid people who are wearing clothes inside out, Timing Bells (and clocks in general), four leaf clovers, marjoram, thyme, and burnt sage.


The Fairywilde is awfully close to Wyrlde, and the folk there like to keep it close and firmly attached, and so create a host of ways to pass in and out with strange rituals around the points of entry. The Fairywilde can be reached through these crossings fashioned by the Fae themselves, often as traps to lure new toys to play with. They cross mostly during Dusk and Dawn, avoiding other times of day to cross over. It is known to be the most easily reached of all the different planes, and the riskiest, for there is little they cherish more than new pets and fresh diversions – fey are immortal.

They like Mortality and very often desire it for themselves – Though the motivations for that are as varied and changeable as the uncounted number of Fae themselves.

Should you ever have cause to investigate a Fae place, when you approach do so from either the South or the East, and with North your guide, circle the site a time of three, either widdershins or sunward, occasionally moonward, before trying to enter, to avoid any Glamours or enchantments, or being sucked into the Fairywilde.

Fairy Mounds

Also known as Fairy Hills or Fairy Forts, these are the stone circles, ringforts, hillforts, or other circular dwellings.

These remains are said to be either homes for fairies and other supernatural creatures, or portals to the Fairywilde.

Fairy Rings

Fairy Rings are rings of mushrooms caused by fairies and elves dancing around in a circle at night that are said to be locations where fairies congregate.

If any person who stumbles upon these festivities enters the fairy ring, they are forced to dance until they are driven insane, die, or pass out from exhaustion.

Some fairy rings will draw you into the Fairywilde, and there you will be lost and subject to strange experiences.

Fae Tricks

The Fae employ several tricks and tweaks that sometimes act to lure Mortals into their realm, or to give them a chance to abduct them, or sometimes just to avoid being seen. Perhaps the most obvious trick is how when spoken the names of much of this sound alike, and it is possible that ultimately all of them share the same name, and it is us who are confused.


Sickly or malformed Fae babies undesired by the Fae that are left in place after secretly kidnapping their actual baby.


A gift of the Fae that allows them to appear as if they are Human (specifically). It is a form of illusion that all Fae can perform.

Fairy Gold

A bespelled object often used by the Fae when dealing with people, a form of payment often far more than what is owed in order to encourage the taker.

Fairy gold is often leaves, stones, and similar otherwise worthless stuff that is bespelled or glamoured to appear to be actual coin.

Truth Tellers

It is often said that Fae cannot lie – this is not true – they do, and often, if it benefits them, but they often do not benefit from spoken lies, and they are crafty to avoid acknowledged debt.

Debt Counters

It is Debt that has significant weight within Fae cultures, and just about the only seemingly universal trait they have.

Fairy Ointment

Allows one to see through the Glamours that Fae use, which is a form of Fairywilde magic akin to our own. It is exceedingly difficult to make here, as we lack some of the ingredients.

It is often used by Fae to enable those they kidnap for slaves to be able to see.

Celestial Domain

The plane of celestial form, sometimes called Divinity, is almost an amalgam of the others, resembling a ghostly version of the Mortal Plane but lifeless save where the Powers and Denizens and such tread — they cause life to bloom there. It is said that Yrthe comes from them having walked every inch of it. Here the colors are muted, duller, as if in shadow. Even the sky seems to be dimmed somehow. It is warm, and there is a gentle breeze, and there is peace and fun to be had, and the occupants range from those who fashion delightful playgrounds for themselves to the Giants who fashion cities of fancy. It is not a glum place, but rather it is infused with a soft mirth that has an edge to it, like a cutting joke that has lost its bite.

The risk here is losing one’s spirit — not their soul, but the very force that animates and gives them life, free of the burden of experience and memory.


Yrthe is a reflection of Wyrlde, and of all of the Mortal Realms, it is the one we have seen people come from the most. Yrthe appears to be very much the same, and yet there are an incredible number of subtle differences. Among a certain group of scholars, there is a thought experiment that suggests that if the universe had rules, like a game, that Yrthe would the rules for one version, and Wyrlde would be the rules for another, although it is always the same game being played. Naturally, most scholars scoff at this notion as even having a glimmer of possibility, but even they will rely on the thought experiment.


Celestials are denizens whose exact nature is often best described as merely ineffable and beyond the mortal ken. They are roughly akin to the Fey, Fell, Specters, and Phantasms of the Inner Planes around the Material. While not universal, most of the Powers That Be have some sort of demesne within this Plane. The Denizens of this plane are most notable for their use of an empowering by Celestial Energy, which is cool, comforting, and more than a little numbing.


Heaven is the equivalent reflection, or shadow, or echo of The Fairywilde for the Celestial Plane. In relation to Yrthe, it often has breakthroughs and touches consistently, and it is Angels who interact the most there with the people that dwell upon it.


Angels are winged humanoids that stand about 8 feet tall in their normal forms. Angels are servants of the Powers That Be, and they can serve any of them. are the children of the Powers That Be, acting as servants, messengers, and general support staff for the Powers. Sometimes they are given tasks to handle within the Phemeral such as guarding a potential Ikon or supporting someone of interest to a particular Power.

Angels are exceptionally hostile towards Devils, and it is always warned not to get caught up in between the two. They tend to be neutral towards and even confused by the Fae, and they get along well with the Kauns of the Radiant Plane. They and the Reanimated of the Necrotic planes are an interesting thing – the presence of an Angel causes the Reanimates to collapse and stop moving. Meanwhile, the Wights of the Netherealm are capable of causing them intense damage that seems to ignore whatever it is that have to defend against Devils (with whom Angels are more evenly matched). Finally, they will generally attack a Yuma that is rampaging, but won’t normally act to save someone who has been infected.As with the broader denizens of the Outer Planes, they are there after having been sent there initially through the efforts of Belial, and like the Fey are not bound to the ways of thinking and custom that we are familiar with.


A realm of the Malakim, it is a place of mutual interdependence, and shared commonality.


Malakim are the children of the Powers That Be, acting as servants, messengers, and general support staff for the Powers. Sometimes they are given particular tasks to handle within the Material such as guarding a potential Ikon or supporting someone of interest to a particular Power. Malakim are not winged, but always have an aura around them, and stand around 8 feet tall in their natural forms.

As with the broader denizens of the Outer Planes, they are there after having been sent there initially through the efforts of Belial, and like the Fey are not bound to the ways of thinking and custom that we are familiar with.

Malakim appear to all be men, but even they speak about the women they have, so it is likely that this is just our way of seeing them. Malakim have deep and intense dislike for demons


Home to Valkyries, this is a realm of gustatorial happiness and joy. Valhalla is a bizarre plane of massive floating islands, trailing vines and roots off into the misty spaces, and upon each island lies a Steading that inevitably features some sort of house or other building. The floating islands move about, and travel between them is often by winged steed or flying carriages.


Valkyries are the children of the Powers That Be, acting as servants, messengers, and general support staff for the Powers. Sometimes they are given tasks to handle within the Material such as guarding a potential Ikon or supporting someone of interest to a particular Power. Valkyries are always women, or at the very least they all appear to be women, but we have no way of proving that, and even Valkyries talk about their men.

As with the broader denizens of the Outer Planes, they are there after having been sent there initially through the efforts of Belial, and like the Fey are not bound to the ways of thinking and custom that we are familiar with.

Valkyries ride winged horse like beasts and are drawn to bravery and battle. When seen, they typically have a sword, a shield, and a spear. Valkyries stand about 8 feet tall, and seem to shimmer, and their shadows are always strange.

Infernal Domain

This plane is suffused with despair, anger, and madness. It is a place that makes one feel paranoid, because the Denizens of this realm make The Bleak into a place of sadness, terror, and suffering. It is the home to much darkness and evil, as well as rumored to be the place to which the Dread Powers That Be are tied, though their prison itself crosses other planes to seal them.

The Bleak

Half dead, ruined, blasted, The Bleak is a world that would likely be our lot should the Fairywilde ever gain the ability to conquer that the Hell has. The air is tinged with red, is gritty, rough, abrasive, and there is always a hot wind blowing. The world of The Bleak has no winter, and no rain, and water is a precious commodity. Centuries ago, some great effort breached the Veil, and since then the Devils of Hell have had near free reign. There are a thousand tiny kingdoms here, always at war with one another, the nobility always being a devil.

This arrangement does not please either the Hags or the Demons, who are forever causing havoc in an attempt to create their own breach – attempts which often have led them here to Wyrlde.


The layer of Hell is the home of Devils, who seek flesh and corruption. Hell is sulfurous in smell, the skies are thick and black clouds with red and yellow flashes, the landscape is barren. Hell’s main landscape rises in a ziggurat like vast mountain that has a flat, broad top, the size of which is like unto a vast empire of its own. Beneath this immense mesa, arranged in broad rings, lie the seven hells themselves, each having many smaller sections, often dedicated to specific forms of torture and corruption, of subjugation and experimentation. Between each ring and the inner one is a deep and wide crevasse, pitch black even when light it thrown in, that leads to a bottomless pit. Above, the Hell above it stretches a thousand feet, and even the lowest level stretches a thousand feet above a vast field of always boiling lava and worse, the sea of doom and horror stretching to the horizon around this immense and hard to believe mountain of despair.

Each ring is of equal size even as they expand out, and from atop the great mesa, one can look down and see all the horrors. Within each Ring there is a Duke, and above them all sits a Prince, and beneath them are assorted nobility of Earls, Counts, Barons, and more, thought these names for such are the ones they use.

Each Duke has several nobles attending them, sworn by complex bonds of magical and other bonds that are meant to ensure loyalty among a people whose entire world is built on the idea of corrupting a soul so that it is sweeter when it is consumed. Backstabbing, betrayal, and distrust are the normal order of things in Hell. Hell thrives on those captured and taken from other planes, with the people struggling to live under the brutal and cruel leadership of the Legions. Since the conquest of The Bleak, they have been slowly stripping it of all things and this is likely why the Bleak is seen as the afterlife of those who were cruel and evil and unjust.

The three most powerful of the Dukes are Asmodeus, Astaroth, and Samael, occupying the second, third, and fourth rings. Accounts are confused about who the Prince of Hell is. The lower hells are forever squabbling and shifting and changing in leadership, but it is believed that one particular Devil is beginning to become a very strong force – strong enough to possibly challenge even Asmodeus if she can keep her wits about her.


Even Angels have not the breadth of lore and tale that Devils do, for only Demons are more feared.

Devils feed on souls, and the more wicked a person is, the sweeter the soul is. Evil is in actions, not in what the person thinks – intent is not magical, so Devils are extremely gifted at goading and encouraging and helping to set the stage so that thought turns to action and then to keep encouraging it They will use pleasure as a tool, but more often they use suffering and pain and trauma.

Devils have a fixed, horrifying shape that they obscure through Glamour, and they delight in pain, suffering, and trauma. This form is usually bipedal in some way, four limbed, often tailed, frequently with horns, sometimes with wings. Devils need only to touch to drain one, and their weapons and bodies are meant to draw blood and cause harm — they have a violent and cruel structure so oppositional to our own that even the Dread Powers That Be and their followers avoid Devils. They have a goal, and that goal is the subjugation and destruction of the Mortal Realms. It is said they take every shape and form that is possible, but that they settle most often a few that are well known.

A Devil is generally considered to be one of the most potent powers there is, and their hunger for the souls of humans is legendary and unyielding — there is no deal one can make that will not result in giving them a feast. It is said that Devils were the ones who made the bargains to create Vampires, and that they laugh about it. Devils are readily as powerful as Angels, and while Demons are older, they are the more dominant.

Devils have set rules that they follow upon their own Plane, and set structure, and are rigid and unyielding, which is part of why folks who conjure them often think in terms of dealing. Devils do not have the power to cross to the Mortality Plane on their own — they must be summoned, and they cannot remain here for long, never more than a single day. The amount of harm that a single devil can cause in that day, however, is incalculable.

Devils are eternally foes of Angels, will often take command of reanimated dead, consider wights beneath them but are not so foolish as to ignore them, are terrified of Yuma, and dislike Fae because they are too mutable. Devils like that which does not change, can be counted on, and no one has ever said such about the Fae. Kauns and Devils do their best to avoid each other.

The Abyss

The Abyss is a vast world without sun or moon, stars or comets, a vast and unending eternity of simple absence that stretches forever away from an immense world size cylindrical pit that stretches off eternally. From any place on the surface of the vast world of the Abyss, when you look directly up above you, all you can see is the rest of the Abyss and if you had the time, you could walk around to it. To see the black void, you must look past only the two edge horizons, for the inside of the cylinder is the abyss, and the outside cannot, and many say will not support life.

Like the Feywild, the Abyss as a place is alive, and thinks and plots and punishes.

When standing on the surface, the curve is only visible at the furthest edge of the horizon, and it is only the strange massive spires, broad at their base and narrowing into needlelike towers, that provide light, each equidistant from the rest in a pattern that can be seen to be staggered when you look up, so that there is always light somewhere in sight – even if your great Spire is currently dark as the furnaces that power them are cleaned. The furnaces are fueled by the corpses of those who fall into the hands of a powerful demon and are always those that are of no longer any use.

The abyss is cold, and when a wind blows it is bitterly cold, though there is never snow and rarely ice, and little is going to be allowed to stop the ongoing farming that all the lesser beings are responsible for. In the Abyss, the farms are filled with strange, worm-like things, always wriggling in their upright position, always rooted in the soil, and all of them suffering and broadcasting the emotions they feel to the demons that work, rule, and thrive on the consumption of emotions and dreams, on the possibility and potential, f each of those tiny, sapient, living things grown like wheat in a field. Each of them is a living being from somewhere else, reduced to a lemure in torment, and held for as long as possible until they have finally passed – at which point they go to serve in the great furnace spires.

The Abyss has no rulers, no government, and is very much an everyone for themselves realm.


Demons feed on human suffering, grief, fear, and terror, and like to chase it with a bit of flesh when they can – the younger, the better. Demons are more flexible in their shape and appearance than Devils, for their shape and form is affected by the being they are facing – and only the sharing of what one sees with others can fix the form of a Demon among any given group – otherwise they will see their own manifestation. They can seem to be almost anything since demons take their shape and forms from the minds of those they torment.

Demons are amorphous, shape changing, and often immaterial. They are distinctly different from Devils, in that they care nothing for souls, but everything for suffering and misery. Demons can only arrive on the Mortality Plane by being summoned — but they can persist and remain indefinitely. Demons can be forced back to their Plane, but the risk is often immense — Demons are chaos and uncertainty made manifest, filled with nothing resembling rational and logical thought.

Demons do not abide by rules, codes, or contracts. As many of them have names similar to those of Devils, to whom they are very distantly related, they are often summoned by accident, and as they cannot be bound in ritual summoning as devils can be, those failures are rarely recalled or recognized for there is never anyone left to tale the tale.

Demons seek to dominate and control people, but do not cooperate or partner only dominate and force. They care nothing for rulers or leaders, heroes or cowards, they thrive on emotions and the darker the better. Some demons prefer the brighter emotions as an appetizer – the sark of love, the first flush, the contented happiness, the amuse bouche of nostalgic amusement – and they are often considered the worst, for they will encourage and feed and toy with those emotions, slowly draining everything through it, and then they will turn and destroy what is joyful to feast upon the darkness and horror and grief.

The most powerful Demons known include Vinirial, Pathos, and Penitwis.

Dread Domain

Here, Power and Fear sustain all. It is the planar home of the Dread Powers of the Host. This is the realm to which the Hags were banished.


This is the home of Hags, horribly vile beings whose eternal struggle against Valkyries are documented in many myths across all the Mortal Realms.

Hags seem to be uniformly women, as no one has ever reported encountering a masculine or neutral Hag. They are gifted with the ability to produce Glamours, and perhaps the most notable thing about them is that they make bargains that are incredibly dangerous.

Hags are extremely territorial and will only bow down before the greatest of their kind, whose threat is ever ominous: Baba Yaga. Hags loathe witches and claim to be offended by the mere sight of them. There is a long history of Witches interfering with he plans and schemes of hags, which are always tied to some bargain, and always have the same end results: servitude and consumption.

Hags will eat anything but prefer things that complain about it while they are being eaten.

Necrotic Realm

Source of Necrotic energy. The Necrotic realm is the land of Death, or unLife, of the cruel vagaries of the daily life. It is a land of extremism and undaunted will. It is the realm of the power that drives the undead and that brings harm. It is where is where Liches and Vampires draw from for their horrific powers, even though they, themselves, are not undead.

The Unknown

The Unknown is one of the Seven Mortal Realms, known for constantly dealing with the battles between the living and the dead. It is said that among the many smaller realms of this Plane are those of history and myth, legend and superstition. It is also said that the rulers of the World are indeed, Vampires.

The Unknown is a blasted and twisted world, filled with the walking dead, haunted by angry and vengeful spirits. Here, the phrase “into the unknown” means to walk out one’s door, to try and live a life that has meaning, for while the Unknown is one of the closest of all the reflections there are, it is a world where the dead walk, where death is not an end, merely a fresh horror, and where grave means risk, but not a place.

There is an uneasy truce between The Unknown and both Quietus and The Silence, for the walking and living dead have a predator or two, and those are the Ghasts and the Ghouls, though both also like a bit of the ole freshy fresh.

Some have argued that things cannot possibly as bad as they seem to be – only to be reminded that the dead far outnumber the living, and so the entire world is an ever-ongoing challenge of both survival and trying to live a normal life.


This is where the power to animate zombies, skeletons, mummies, and other undead springs forth. As a space, it occupies much the same kind of strangeness that the Fairywilde does, but instead of being a tangible, physical place, it is entirely and wholly spiritual, immaterial, intangible. Euthania is filled with what is called Night Air. This is the swirling mists and clouds that make up the whole of this plane.

Within the night air, the strange spirits known as Vapours, Miasmas, Pneumas, Zyma, and Humours exist. They are spiritual things, wholly without flesh, and they survive outside the Night Air only for minutes unless they do the simplest thing in the world for them – possess and inhabit the dead. If it can move, they can inhabit it and give it motion, and while they cannot slow down the decomposition of it, they can keep it moving so long as enough of it can be articulated they the ever-shifting mists that they are composed of.

Should their host fail, they can seek a new one, but it must be quick, and it cannot be something still alive. It is for this reason that these same beings are used to manipulate and move golems and similar contraptions, and it is said that Dreadnaughts are empowered by them.


Reanimates are the Undead: Zombies, Mummies, Skeletons, Severed Limbs, and so forth that are powered by the spirits of this plane. Strictly speaking, it is Miasmas that animate the dead, Pneumas that animate golems, Zyma that animate certain constructs such as the Dreadnaughts, Humors that can affect the living, and Vapours that can interact with the world more physically.


A quiet and solemn plane. Home of Ghouls. Everything in the vast plains of Quietus is seemingly muted, dampened, slowed. It is otherwise a beautiful realm, filled with all manner of wildlife and an incredible diversity of plants, but nothing larger than a horse, and ghouls cannot eat living things – only the dead.


Ghouls come from Quietus, and it is believed that the poor fools who originally summoned them are themselves now ghouls. Ghouls are discussed in the Bestiary.


Lycanthropic curses appear to draw from this plane, and it is where Ghasts come from. The Silence is exactly that – silent. No sound exists here, though it is an otherwise pastoral place. There is no wind, and there are trees said to be as old as the Powers here. There are, however, only two things that live within this realm of absolute silence: Ghasts and their primary prey, the Gormen. Gormen are swift, four limbed, broadly built and stout beings occasionally finding themselves within Wyrlde and there they are called Minotaurs. They are the prey and predators of Ghasts, and the same is true for them. Fire does not burn here, and it is said that the air is so poisonous that only those two beings have survived.


Ghasts are almost like personifications of their home – silent, swift, and feral. They appear to be emaciated humanoids, bald, with long pointed ears that stick up above their heads and make it appear at a distance as if they have small horns. They are carnivorous and have a double row of sharp teeth. They live in small villages led by a combination of shaman and chieftain, and they are quite industrious in their underground lairs.

The upper world is occupied by the Gormen, immense Minotaur like beings who are almost exactly like the Ghasts, except they are omnivores and while they will eat Ghast meat, they prefer their farms and grains and vegetables.

The Nether Realm

This plane is featureless save for what has been built upon it. It is surrounded by a pale blue sky, but there is no warmth to it, though one can see. There is no wind, no waves, no motion here save what the denizens and occupants bring with them.

The Dreamscape is a dimension within the Nether Realm, just as Nightmare is one in the Shadowlands.


Those in Perdition are always struggling to move, to travel, to explore, to venture. The great cities of Purgatory are overseen by a Power called the Lady Of Pain.

Perdition is said to be unpleasant, and the people there tend towards action over the apathy of Limbo.


It is said that Limbo is one of the seven great afterlives, and if so, it is a mighty boring one.


Netherfells are spirits that have fallen to a curse, denied the peace or horror of the afterlife deserved, and bound to a space. Netherfells are often said to be the spirits of people – and they may well be so. However, it is likely that they are Spirits of the World. It should be noted that Netherfells are not undead, though they are often confused with such.


The Dreamscape is a place where the thoughts of people are made real. It is often used by Demons as a place of hunting. The dreamscape is where all dreams come from. The realm oof Dreamscape is in a War with Nightmare


It is often said that those whose horrors in life were filled with cruelty and loathing are tossed to Perdition in the hopes they will be taken to Purgatory. One does not seek to visit Purgatory. It is said that once there, the magic is so different from our own that you can become trapped there forever.


Shiki are tiny sized, hybrid animal (such as cat/fox) creatures that are magical and denizens of the Netherealm who are summoned to Wyrlde. They are also known to escape and venture into the world at large, where they flit about and observe things. It is believed they are spies for the Netherealm, who likely have designs on Wyrlde for themselves. There are many different varieties of them, and according to legend they were once actively sought out for arena fighting purposes, since they do reproduce. That was before the God’s War, however, and the manner of capturing them has been lost, except perhaps to Theurges. They do not like Beholders.

Wraiths come from Limbo, and delight in their psychic tortures. Like the Fey, they are powerful and dangerous.


Wights are essentially the Demons of Purgatory and appear to be proud of it.

Radiant Realm

The source of Radiant energy. At least a couple of The Powers That Be make their homes here. Radiant energy sems to be linked in the mind of many to something noble and pure and good to things like the sun. The Radiant realm is indeed bright, and it is said that there are no shadows in any of its parts, but when the darkness is not visible, it merely hides.

Radiant beings are amazingly lucky or unlucky, and they often will toss it at others.


The reflection of Wyrlde. It is said to be one of the most wonderful places – or one of the worst. Depends on how fortunate you are.


It is said that all luck comes from this dimension, but that seems a bit farfetched to me.


Kauns are a short, green loving people who love joyously, but lack a certain generosity of spirit. One tells a long and torturous story of centuries spent struggling to live in a hostile world after getting trapped there one time. Name of Lepra, he takes a lot of flak from others. As a result, we call these Denizens “Leprechauns”.


For good or for ill, one can always find what one seeks here – so a lot of people do not look for anything.


Khrysos appear to be golden hued people, said to be eternally happy, optimistic, outgoing, and joyful. They are all of those things even while doing incredibly cruel and malicious actions.

They always have incredibly complicated names, like “Rumplestiltskin.”


The home of Lunos. It is said this is where the spirits of cats pass on to.


All of them are named Bud. Except for when they are not. Lunos appear as house cats of larger than normal size, usually very white, and fond of using their right forepaws to interact with things. It is said that if you shake that paw, you will be either lucky or unlucky. Black is not an uncommon color, but then so is any other coloration – white just seems to predominate.

The Shadow Lands

The land of shadows, of smoke without substance, of reflections of that which is imagined, or half seen, is one of the most powerful of the planes. It is said the sun never rises here. And that it has never set.

The Shadow Lands are home to some of the Powers that Be, especially among the Five of the Host. They are one of the most well-known among mages, who will turn to the power of Shadow for all manner of spells (or did you think invisibility came from nowhere?). Many magical items draw on the power of Shadow, which has peculiar properties in the Material.

Fairywilde is deeply attached in some way to the Shadowlands, which have a reputation for being eviler than they really are.


This is the mirror of Wyrlde. Shades is best known for a horrifying truth that no one dares mention often: there is no magic on Shades, and thus those who go there and not through Pandemonium, Nightmare, or Whispers, are forever trapped.


An almost perfect manifestation of chaos, this is a protean dimension of constant change and unending variability.


The horrifying disease and scrouge has its home here.


Shadowfells are very much like the Fae, a reflection of them, but as a shadow is a reflection.


Nightmare is as one expects – the place where nightmares are real, given flesh and blood and shape and form. All Nightmares comes from this Dimension. The denizens of Nightmare are in a war with those of the Dreamscape. Nightmare, after all, has every nightmarish being ever dreamed.

Nightmare, and the Shadows that inhabit it, are also engaged in a series of ongoing and fascinating battles with the assorted Mortal Reals, seeking a way to invade them. It began when they approached different people and made a bargain: Defend your dimension using your best warriors in single combat with the chosen of Nightmare. Now this ongoing series of mortal combats is held throughout different Mortal Realms.


Beings of nightmare, like the hellish versions of Shiki.


This is a realm where all thoughts are heard, all utterances are echoes, and all hopes are made manifest. It is a place of, well, whispers.


Appearing as glowing orbs of intangible light to most, these beings are mischievous, and may help or may hurt, but always are of their own mind and hate to be alone.

Denizens Relations

The assorted Denizens of the Planes have a somewhat complex relationship to the others. In most cases, this relationship can be described in a single term, the ambiguity of each fully embracing the possible ways in which these beings engage with one another. It should be noted that all the major beings are ultimately the children and grandchildren of the Powers That Be, and that their relationships with those Powers are distinct and separate from how they relate to each other.

In all cases, the Denizens of the Planes can be counted on or found serving assorted Powers in varying capacities, most often acting as servants, messengers, and general support staff for the Powers. Sometimes they are given tasks to handle within the Material such as guarding a potential Ikon or supporting someone of interest to a particular Power.

A single Power may have a Devil, Demon, Wraith, Angel, Valkyrie, Ghast, Ghoul, and so forth all serving them at the same time in the same place. This does not mean they get along, however. The following charts show the most common general reactions of the assorted Denizens to one another.

Mortality Celestial Infernal Radiant Necrotic Nether Shadow
Planes Mortality Confused Desired Concerned Fear Avoid Fear
Celestial Benefice Opposed Allied Avoid Confused Avoid
Infernal Malefice Opposed Avoid Allied Concerned Confused
Radiant Chaos Allied Concerned Opposed Avoid Concerned
Necrotic Pattern Fear Allied Opposed Confused Avoid
Nether Balance Avoid Confused Confused Confused Opposed
Shadow Imbalance Concerned Avoid Fear Concerned Opposed

In the Canticle Of Chicory, it is said that the seven Powers of the World were the first to come to The Source, and that they found the Well of Souls, and not the Everlasting Flame, and so had their thirst quenched and became a part of the world itself, whereas the Powers aside from them came to find only the flame and so were burned by it.

A Brief History

The following is a simple and yet broad history of the world – or at least, what we know of it. It is as brief as one can make 2000 years of history for an entire continent and the many peoples on it. The history of Wyrlde stretches back into the mists and begins long before any Man or Woman stepped foot upon its shores.

To understand Wyrlde, you must understand the history of the world, and how it aligns with the rest of the many universes. Or does not. You should know something about the world, as people who were born and raised here. There are several Ages of Wyrlde. Ages are loosely defined periods of time, typically with a few major events, but are roughly grouped into periods. In the end, they are simply Ages of the world, like the growing a person from infancy into decrepitude. So, let us have a history lesson.

There are many mysteries, many stories, even for a life as brief as yours, Mistral Urton, and I have not the time for your nonsense now! Ah, I see my new Pupils have arrived. Come, come! Gather now, gather! Very well, Urton, you can join.

Listen close and listen well, sense the air, and feel the Passage, for we seek to part the Veil of Time, and peer into the memories of the world. My once pupil tells me you are still lost, still wandering, and as I am long dead upon this mortal Realm, I shall seek to give you what guidance I can, what lessons I can, though only thee can choose to learn from it…

I have asked Sera Domina Caul, the Grand Master of the great Library to do me a favor and speak to you of the history of Wyrlde, and the world’s history. She taught me in the Tanjin of Aztlan.

The Timeless Before

Before time, there was what the Ancients called The Universe. It was vast and infinite, and all that is of the Mortal realm here was once a part of it. Within a thing so vast it boggles the mind and is too great to comprehend, there was a place, and upon that place there were people much like us, and we call them the Ancients.

This then, is not only our story – it is also theirs.

Lost Age

There was, once, the skies above and the earth below and the Dragons flew and the Salathens roamed, and the world was quiet. No birds gave their song, no beetles built their nests, no squirrels stored nuts, and no ants delved their labyrinths. The world was a quiet and alien place, unrecognizable as the oceans were different and the lands were different. To all of this, the Ancients came, and upon it they spread ten thousand blessings in a rain of steel and fire that lasted three hundred and sixty days. This is known, this is true, and this is what once was. They gave those blessings the ability to take root and take hold and take space and take on the world that lay around each. And so it was that those blessings grew, and upon them no man walked, no woman sighed, no themon waited to be seen.

And then, for a thousand years, it was quiet once more.

The Fae like to speak as if the world was once theirs, and that they used it much as we do, and that the Lost Age was when they retreated to the Fairywilde. This does not fit with the knowledge that the Powers created the Planes, but there are things that are very strange, that no one has explanations for, that are sometimes found in ruins and other remainders of this Age, and it hints that there was a time before the Powers created the Planes. Before they created the Fae. Before they came to this small bauble in the woven felt of the night sky. The Powers and even Chicory speak of surveys and expeditions and plans. They do it with puzzled expressions, as if it is barely known to them. But they say it was done, and that at last, in the fievazwon, The Ancients began The First Journey.

Age of Time

From the great heavens beyond the firmament, they came. The first and the ancient, from whom all of us have come. They came from beyond the stars in smoke and cloud, in fire and fury, for as now it was then, and all peoples were born of the stars and are filled with the stuff of stars, and we are bound to them in a thousand little ways, ways so small your eyes cannot see, ways so large only time can hold them. From them come the First People. Us. You and you and you and you and I and She, all of us are descended from them and their mortal flesh in the Mortal Realm, and here we remain until we are turned once again to the cycle, destined by our choices and our actions to return here or not, as we let ourselves be. We call them The Ancients, because there is none alive today who is truly akin to them, who are of them. Only us, in all our forms, and we are their descendants.

Among the Exilian there is a day that is holy, a day that is sacred, and none of them will work nor travel nor barter nor sell, and that day is the 17th of Frosty. Scholars today believe that was the date on which this fire and smoke, ash and dust marked their stepping, and that their custom of saying homagan comes from the earliest words spoken by the Ancients. For recall, pupils, that the Exilian are those who remember Laningday, and they honor it.

They came and they settled in what now we call The Ancient Land, in the vale Ackyu. They brought to us birds and spiders and squirrels and cats and cattle and the many things of our world that are blessed. Trees and wheat and fruits and berries. They fashioned from their labors a paradise aplenty, and they filled the world with their splendor and grand design, their diversity and even all that we marvel at today. For years and lives they gave to the world, and the world was happy, and they lived in peace and joy.

There are some very ancient legends, fragments, and bits, that do not paint quite so rosy a past. These come from Ancients who lived and breathed and died in that era, found in deep delvings in the oldest of ruins, and these tell tales of struggle and woe, loss and grief, for there were some mistakes made, and among them was an unexpected issue with creatures here before, with the river Salathen, and that a war was fought against them, and that they were driven out and driven to extinction or so close to it that no one ever saw them again, but that these early days were preserved among the people in honor and memory until the God’s War erased them from our knowledge to be found again.

They were akin to the birds and the bees, the fish and the ants – they multiplied, and they spread, and they built great homes and splendid cities and they fought to tame this world they had, and so throughout the lands, spiraling out from Lost Aechkyoo, called Ackyu by us today, they took this world and made it their home, and it was good. Throughout the lands of the world, you can come across their ruins, their monuments, their creations. Above and below, they spread out over the lands, and it was good, and it was ours.

We call this spreading out the Diaspore, and we have seen that it is just as much a cycle, but in those days there were so many people that our grand and great city would have been as a village to them.

Age of Dreams

The Powers teach us that Paradise is an illusion, and that anything of such great beauty must have a hidden ugliness, and in our case, we brought it with us, though it would many years before we learned it. This is why we say that all that is gold does not glisten, nor all that glisters is gold. What appears noble and proper on the surface may be corrupted and vile beneath, much as the Imps have taken our fair lands and carved into them their warrens and homes, their shelters and tunnels.

So it was that upon a day unremarked, a young girl tossed through time and strife and her friends came upon a strange and peculiar crevice in the world, and they ventured into it, and when they emerged, they were changed, they were different, and though for long they strove to hide and disguise this they were nevertheless still found out, for children can rarely keep such things hidden from their parents. A lesson you would do well to remember, pupils.

Before the great council that ruled Ackyu in those days they were brought, and their discovery was laid bare, but they were not believed, and so it was that they were set to show the twenty-five members of the council what it was they had found and guide them into it. The day came, and the entire council, led by the chief among them, chosen for his nobility and his honor, his dignity and his generosity, the Commander Bill Lyle, and they descended into the earth and were gone for three days and three nights.

No one knows what happened within that time, but thought twenty-five went in, as holy and sacred a number as there can be, it was not twenty-five who came out, and none came out as they went in. It is said that afterwards some went mad, and others withdrew, that it caused rifts and divisions much like we still see today, but in the end, the survivors came together, and they argued, and they fought as we are all wont to do, and there were three factions.

The largest was composed of nine members, the second largest of seven, and the last of five, but the bonds and the deals and the contracts and agreements – as binding then as they are today, for what is honor without dignity, what is dignity without integrity, and what is integrity without commitment – set the five in power over the others, and chief among them was the one called Bill Lyle.

Forgive me, pupils, it sometimes becomes difficult to recall my old lessons, or whom I speak with, as I live now on Yrthe, and while much is the same, much is different, and like our mutual acquaintance Arabesque, I must struggle to recall against two histories.

It was then that the corruption began to be learned.

It is whispered that the change was not immediate, that it was not sudden, that many clamored for it and many tried to fight against it, but in the end the grand council became permanent, not chosen, and those in power began to tighten their grip or become unattached.

As Paramalus, Lyle became the Overlord, and he held firm to his grasp on not only the world, but on those others on the council. Only the children remained forever beyond his reach, and to this day, that is known is to still anger him, enrage him, though at the time he dismissed them as unimportant, and so gave to The Triplets the thread of his own unraveling, and the spur of his own downfall.

And so, the time of Age of the Gods ended, with Paramalus the greatest among equals, the Overlord of all Wyrlde.

The Age of Dread

Now, in those days the Powers That Be moved among the people, and were seen, and were known and were treated as if they were just one of us, merely mortal, and at first none knew otherwise for it was different, but as the years stretched and the council did not change, did not age, did not pass into the great cycle, people began to suspect and worry and fear.

Paramalus declared himself to be the One God Above All, and demanded the Ancients heed him, serve him and his will and his lieutenants, and they were the Five.

They began to enslave others, often with pretext and simply desire, and gave to them shackles and chains and made them lesser, and we know their names. We know Parabellum the Warrior, Paragon the Leader, Paramour the Beauty, Parafel the Beneficent, Parascient the Sage, Shavan the Rogue, Paranoir the Hunter, Parastrea of the Storms, and Paragnis of the Forge. We know them because they are the Nine, and they were enthralled to the Five, to Belial and Pallor and Dusit and Timur and Trundle.

They had children in these many years, and those children were never like what they had expected. Like their parents they came into the world with great powers, and they were often headstrong and capricious, cruel and malicious. These children were many, and often the product of things best left unspoken, for Paramalus has desires and tastes that even Pallor could not sate. They tortured those who would become the Bright Host. They gave them children and stole those children away to become the Devils and the Angels. They twisted these children, and they went back for more, until all was despair and grief and trauma.

We know as well that in secret, and over many lives, the first to whom the Ancients turned to Worship was Paramour, Mother of Peoples, called today Kybele, and so she gained greater beauty and more splendor, and she was bounteous, and peace reigned.

Seeing this, Paramalus grew jealous of her, and desired her even though she was Mansa’s, and would compare her to his Pallor, and find Pallor wanting, which in turn sparked Pallor to twist him, and cajole him, until finally he planned, and he schemed, and he devised, and at last, he acted. For patience has ever been one of his greatest gifts.

This was the era of Belial’s Reign, and this is how the time of Mansa’s Labors began. We do not forget the old names of the Powers, from when they were Gods. We do not always use them, for we will not forget the betrayals that would one day come, though we knew it not then. But this, Pupils, is why we always use them.

Paramalus sent Mansa away on a series of mighty labors. The lifting of mountains, the caring of seas, the arranging of stars, the shifting of winds, the building of lands. And as he was away enjoining them, Paramalus snuck upon Kybele whilst she slept and took her to his dungeons. There, he ravaged her, he beat her, he punished her and forced her to reveal the secrets of her power, so defiling and obscene were his actions. It was not an easy task, for mighty as the Powers are, it is known that they require worship to become ever more powerful, and among the secrets he learned for the Fairest, was that they were neither alone nor the only Powers, for she had met and as was her nature, befriended the Old Ones, and learned the blackest truth: without worship, they would begin to fade and become twisted and revealed, their forms becoming as obscene as those of the Old Ones, whose time was so long past that they were barely memories.

And he feared, and so it was that Paramalus became Belial, and so it was that the shadow passed over Kybele, who was, as then, the most beloved of the people. And he demanded that the People worship him, and commanded temples be built, and sacrifices made, for he, too, spoke to the Old Ones, and even today he has secrets and knowledge that few others have, stretching back through time and space and moments unknown to long before this world was.

At long last Paragon, to become Mansa, the Bright One, the Sun incarnate, returned to Ackyu and there he found Kybele, The Wonder, The Star of Heavens, hurt and battered, and he vowed retribution, and rebellion and recompense. He confronted Belial, Lord of the Heights, and I tell you my pupils that the land shook and great monuments fell from merely the words that were traded, and that Belial unmoved and enraged by all of this, and so he stuck Mansa with the back of his hand, empowered by the forced worship, and denied Mansa all that he sought.

Some say the silence that followed that lasted three days. That so shocked was Paragon that his friend had betrayed him so deeply that he could not at first believe all of this, though not once did Belial deny it. Yet he did come to it, and as he did His fury rose, and with it the power that was his by right, and he returned the blow, stronger and more vitally. It was this moment that began the God’s War.

Now, know this, pupils, for it is important. In those days, there was no magic. In those days, only these great powers had anything akin to it. The mind powers some show did not exist. There were no rituals, no spells, no Words of Power, no Runes. There were, to our knowledge, no planes or dimensions. Mortals had the thing some still seek to restore, the fabulous and fabled Teknogy. Tamasin says that we lack certain things to ever make it rise again, and that such a lack is intentional, for it was that which led, in part, to the events that came before.

Devils and wraiths, hags and Valkyries, fae and Shadowfell were all part of this world. Yet there were only the Ancients. No Elfin, no Tritons. No Goblins and no dwarfs. Just the Ancients and the Powers. They had vehicles that flew in the sky of their own power, they had vast ships we can only imagine and then poorly at that. They could move across the world in the shortest of time and despite all these wonders, they still did not have magic. They had almost no weapons, and they had much metal and other things that were far more useful. They were not only on Avilon, our beloved home, they were throughout the world, in so many numbers that we do not even have true words for the number of them.

And know this, as well: the world then was not the world today. The shape of the lands, the rise of the mountains, the falls of the seas, the winds of the storms – all of it was different then than it is today.

And as Mansa destroyed the great Temple to Belial, Belial and his closest, alongside some of who would later become the Bright and Shadow Hosts, they pulled their might and they tore all of Wyrlde from the firmament in which it had begun, and they fashioned a new way for the world to be, and all that is said is that for a hundred years there were no stars in the sky save seven, and the tides and the moons and very days themselves were changed.

And in that time, it became known for true and certain, that those who had long ago been merely the council of chosen were now Gods, and that they would have their due. And with that, I must rest. Return tomorrow and we shall continue.

The God’s War

Come, come, be welcome and unweary! Sit, sit! I have fashioned tea and brought water, and you see there the fruit and the bakings, so help yourself and become comfortable, for we will tell the tale of the End of the World and the Birth of the World, and should I do well you might learn how they are both the same and yet different.

I have spoken before of The First Era; of the thousand years and thousand things that came before and fashioned a world we have ever since lost the sight of, save for that in musings and musty records, scribed and scrawled across scrolls and cenotaphs. I spoke of the Retort of Mansa, and the Grand Redress which was the final time that the Hosts were as one. It was two generations following the declaration of Rebellion that it actually began, though we mark it as having started with the blow that felled Belial and shamed Pallor.

During those years, the people began to be divided as well, as the then Gods allayed themselves into hosts and drew to them those who accepted their promises and assurances, their claims and their accusations, their assertions of justice and injustice, each according to the hosts that arose.

Though we call them today the Dread Host, they were first known as The Righteous, and they were composed of the Five who were closest to Belial, and who were secretly as corrupt as he was previously, though now it had been laid bare for all those who chose to see. Not all did, however, and I must stress that the size of all his Host was greater than that of the all the peoples who live and breathe today. It was, in fact nearly four times the size of the Host that arose in opposition to him.

That Host rallied around Mansa, his lieutenant Qetza, and the redoubtable Vulcana. They are whom we call the Bright Host today, but once in an age long ago they were called The Rebellion. Their Host was itself still greater in size than all the people who live today, for the Ancients were a mighty people, and gifted with much, and they were not under such great attack as we are now.

The Third Host was those who sought to not become involved in the conflict at first, who were less concerned about the vagaries of who was right and who was wrong, but many of them had also suffered at the hands of Belial and the others, and so were sometimes willing to aid, but not so much as to place themselves at risk. My former student’s matron, Antelle, is of this Host, whom we call the Shadow Host, sometimes the Penumbrae, for they dwell at the place where light can become darkness, where the Bright can become the Dread.

The Shadow Host’s greatest concern was then and remains still the peoples of the world, though often we do not understand that, and forget that, and become easily lost within the larger war of what we see as Good and Evil, though such simplicities do no justice to the truths of that time. They were the smallest Host, smaller even than the four thousand three hundred twenty-one houses that walked the Bleak Journey. Among their number were the ancestors of the Exilian peoples, who persevered and preserved much and to whom much of this history was known long before it was rediscovered. I spent many a year among them when I was young and alive in that dimension.

And so it was that there were three Hosts aligned against each other. Those who sought to rule absolutely, those who sought to end them, and those who sought to preserve life over sacrificing it. The whole of the world is said to have been gripped by a deep and abiding tension, and each Host made plans and prepared for the petulant violence to come.

However, to engage in the war, it still took a spark greater than that which started it, and that was the outcome of the Grand Redress, which we know today as the Skyshattering. To assuage the terrors and worries and concerns, the God’s had built a great shell about the world, and one day it was shattered, and what rained down caused entire continents to be abandoned and triggered blame and causation and thus the revelation of the secrets that the Dread Host had kept, in the form of the first peoples shaped by the powers of the Gods. For in secret and deep places, hidden and protected, volunteers were organized into 125 Houses who volunteered for to become the secret weapons of the Dread Host, to aid in subterfuge and espionage, to build transports and keep secrets, to protect what must be protected, and thus into the world came the Imps.

Now, I know that we are taught in our Tanjins that Dwarfs were first, but those are the teachings of the Empire, and they have reasons to exclude the Foes from their ways, though I do not agree with them. It is a truth: the Imps were the first among all the many things fashioned, before the Beholders and Dreadnaughts, before the Planes and Dimensions themselves were even settled.

And they were unleashed upon the world as the Dread Host removed themselves to a place that remained secret until the War’s end.

Now harken up, and recall the lesson prior, and you will recall that I mentioned a young girl and her friends who were the first to find the strange chasm that lies at the start of all this woe and weal. She and her friends were still around – she had fallen in love and raised a family and watched over them, helping others if they came but often removed from the world that she might have a happiness and come to terms with what had happened to her. For her story is unlike that of any other on this world, and it crosses through time and space and for in a fluid way that is beyond our ken and our sense.

Her name is Chicory, and she was, is, and will be the Anima mundi, the Spirit of the World itself, absolute within her domain, and when the Gods stripped Wyrlde from The Universe, they granted her power she would not have otherwise had. As the Sky shattered, she lost her family to accident and rage, disaster and Pallor’s wicked cruelties, and so she sought out the others who had been with her on that first day, all of whom were akin to her, and all of them together is a force that only the Triplets need worry about.

As the world dealt with the disaster, they crafted the Planes and the dimensions, and they exiled the Denizens to their assorted homes, and it is important to note that when all was begun, when that moment of first creation happened, every dimension was an exact copy of this one, and every Plane was an exact copy oof this one, and all the changes since are those the Denizens and the powers made manifest.

And from that great and grand effort, the Pale came into being, and yet, they did know of it, nor of the Veils, for sometimes when you create or build something, there are things that are also built – unintended consequences, and though they sought benefice, they laid the foundation for something that changed the world in a way they could not have foreseen.

The sky shattering revealed again the black void of the sky beyond, save for the seven stars and the three moons that were there, and so into that sky in honor of her family, Chicory placed the first star of the night sky, and to this day it is the brightest and most beautiful, and it is called Chicory’s Heart.

Some will tell you it is a story, a tale, a myth. She will take you there to see that it is not and be unconcerned about if you survive the trip. Yes, Ara, it is true. Why do you think the Powers all avoid her? She is why they have flesh when they manifest here. She is why that flesh can be harmed. Do not discount her, nor her ways, for she is a Power among Powers.

Very well then, let us return. The unleashing of the Imps was expected to join the Demons and Devils and Hags in their efforts to aid the Dread Host, and so the war began in earnest, and can all of you imagine the surprise of the Hosts when all their children and grandchildren vanished?

The first battles were not fought near Ackyu, but initially on a different continent. Aracal, the greatest landmass, still today bears scars from that, including a massive chunk of it sunk – and all despite the changes that came later. In the first decade of war, ten million lost their lives in fighting, and nearly thirty million passed from the ravages of it. Children were kidnapped, families were torn asunder, oaths were taken.

Bereft of their expected compatriots, the Dread Powers sought more volunteers, and once again in secret refashioned them, and from those efforts came the greatest of the Foe: Goblins. It took them nearly thirty years, but when goblins joined the fray, the tide war turned in the favor of the Dread Host, and then, in a moment of utter terror that echoed throughout the 500 years of the war, Parafel was killed in battle by Timur, who took his golden armor and claimed it for himself.

Desperate, in retreat, unable to supply front lines and care for the wounded and recover from the devastation, the Bright host turned to the bloody arts themselves, and some of the host stepped up and volunteered to be refashioned into those who could withstand the assaults, who could build bridges, who could heal the harmed and help with Hope; The Dwarfs walked the world for the first time.

Half the world’s population had been lost, the God’s say, by that fateful day, the anniversary of the sky itself shattering and plunging to earth a hundred years earlier. It was a stalemate then, and so the Dread Host tried something new, having learned about the dimensions from the search for a way to provide the immortality they now craved, and their followers sought.

For that which can die is not truly immortal.

They sought out the Devils and the Demons, only to find they were blocked. They sought out the Angels and the Valkyries, and they, too, were lost. So, as they searched, they turned to the Teknogy they had once used, and the dimensions they had found, and from all of that arose the Dreadnaughts, the Beholders, released in massive swarms that drained the whole of Euthania and changed that dimension first among all of them. Monsters came into the world as more and more people turned to the Bright Host and fought beside it.

Meanwhile, the Shadow host was not placid, and of all the Hosts, they had the most who were friendly with Chicory, upon who’s very being this war was fought and who flesh was scarred and whose pain was an echo through everything living thing when Parafel went down. For that is her curse, her price, her life.

And so, it was Charon who taught them the black arts used, the bloody arts, and it was Oremus who showed them how to draw on the Faje and so instill the needed spark and give to them the qualities needed from the other Planes, and the Shadow Host hid and began to spy and to sabotage and, also, to create.

It was Eshu who brought that secret to the Bright Host, though, who worked with Paria and Alfey, and who helped them to bring forth the mightiest warriors to ever tread the world: The Elfin.

By the later part of the second century of war, the battlefields were all over the place, and despite sabotage, the Dread Host brought he Merow to the seas, and the Bright Host countered with the Tritons.

And as the third century began, in a corner out of the way, the Shadow host ensured a way for life to persevere, even as a new nation was forming of those who sought to avoid the War at all costs, exiling themselves from all other people and beginning to wander, which they still do to this day.

Back and forth the fields went, and slowly the whole of the battles began to compress, to cover less earth for there were ever and ever fewer people. And yet, slowly, so slowly, but surely, ever certainly, the Bright host began to win, and the Dread Host found this unwelcome. They struggled to find out why, to learn what it was that gave the Host its unflinching ability to move forward, and they did not learn it then. But they would eventually: it was the Clerics. By granting their most faithful their boons and attention and the merest amount of their power, they could empower the first Mages on Wyrlde to heal the wounded, to rescue the dying, to cure the ill, to feed the hungry. This was the secret the Dread Host did not learn, and the impact of it had them turn their gazes inward.

To overcome the efforts at espionage and sabotage, they took the ever-increasing number of volunteers and shuttled them into a half a hundred different effort; trying to come up with something. Many of them were destroyed. Some were merely interrupted; others were abandoned too soon. And from those efforts came the Thyrs, for they had seen what the Shadow had wrought, and the Grendels, for they were the madness of made manifest. As the war creeped closer to the fourth century of blood and death and destruction, the Dread Host outpowered the Bright, and at long last the Shadow Host abandoned their efforts to avoid overt conflict.

During the Battle of Keratin, the Bright Host fell in droves and in sorrow before the abominations and the constructs, the goblins and the imps, the Thyrs and the Grendels. They lost their general then, slain by a Shadow Host spy who would, soon thereafter, be slain himself. And in the middle of this massive battle, between millions of warriors, a stone the size of a house fell to earth and decimated both sides as it scarred the planet itself.

This was the first Skyfall. For three hundred and sixty days, the skies spit forth stones great and small, strange and familiar, and at first no one knew what had happened, or why and there was much recrimination, until it became apparent that the problem was something older than they had realized: when they had removed the World, they had shattered many things, and those things came back now to haunt them.

It was only on the Equinoxes and the Solstices that they did not fall. They did not burn like stars that fall from the sky. They did not scream as they plummeted. They were silent. Their craters were not immense. They simply fell. Everywhere. Through roof and wall, steel and bone, blood and flesh, they fell on everything, and it was then that we learned for the first time what it was the Imps had truly done.

For the only place that was safe was beneath the ground, and the Dwarfs built shelters, and the Imps would mine their way into them and so many quiet, hidden battles were fought.

Even the Dread Host was devastated, and it is said that it was the Skyfall that revealed to the Animus Mundi where they had hidden, and so she began to plan. But from the Bright Host, and the Shadow, they remained hidden.

Ah, Pupils, how can I make you understand the loss? The Skyfall obliterated all the wonders of the ancients in a way that not even the God’s War itself had. We lost all those wonders, all those marvels, and there was no chance to recover them, to rebuild, to restore what was lost. Even the simplest of knowledge about Teknogy was lost, and our clockworks are but a pale, shadowed imitation.

After four hundred years of war, the might armies were returned to the old ways, the way of bow and spear, of blade and axe. And these were skills that the Ancients had forgotten. Yet the Skyfall did something else, something few will talk about or tell you.

It was that Skyfall that ended the Ancients, and gave rise to Us, their heirs. It was then that the world had Humans and Elfin and Dwarfs.

And so, the war did not end. It merely became what we know today, and were it not for the Clerics, there might not be any of us alive today to know it.

Dissension began to erupt within the Dread Host. Thyrs would battle Goblins, Grendels would encourage it, Imps would harass all. Morale began to plummet, and cohesion was lost, and yet still they fought on, those unwilling to fight further walking away in the midst of battle or refusing. Some were caught. Their horrific deaths and punishments did not stop it, it made more of it happen, just more silently, more secretly. Entire groups of Human vanished overnight, thinning the already sparse numbers ever further, to a point where it could almost be said that it was a war between Humans and Monsters. Almost, and many did, but the truth is it was never that simple, never that easy.

Four hundred years of war, never more than five days between a fight, God’s being slain, homes gone, and so horrible things were that only one place remained nearly utterly untouched by everything: Ackyu, the Ancient Land, the place where People First Came. It was asked for many years afterwards how it had managed to avoid the ravages, and nary an answer was given until one night Melane told the man who would be a King that it was the Anima that saved it.

It was 25 years after Skyfall that The Cascade happened, and it changed everything. I have told you, my Pupils, of how they had no magic in this war, how the first to walk with it were the Clerics, the most devoted to the Powers themselves. Those Clerics drew upon the Pale, which no one had realized was aware, or indeed that it even existed, and that it depended on the existence of the world itself, of the dimensions and the Planes. The Cascade was what no Power foresaw, and what changed the war in ways that no one could have been ready for.

All around the world, hundreds, no, thousands of hundred-mile-wide geysers erupted, shaking the crust of the planet, shaking the core, a global quake like nothing ever felt before or since. And from everyone came pouring the unintended consequences that had not been realized: Mana. For the Cascade was the rage of the Pale, and the coming of Magic, and the fury of Chicory, and the pleasure of Melane.

And in hideaways now long forgotten and left alone, great beasts awoke, and found that for the first time in over a thousand years, they could begin to plan to strike back at those who had stolen from them.

Oh my, these old bones still ache no matter there’s a rift or not. Time to tell the tale of the closing of the war, though you may have heard the Canticle of Chicory and know it, it never hurts to hear it again.

The Cascade was an immense change that filled the world, but even as it happened, the war went on, only now with people discovering that some could do magic and others could do strange things with just the power of their desire and will. Where once only the God’s had power, now all did, but there was still only the Clerics to turn to for healing, and now they were burdened even more, for far too often did newborn Mages burn themselves or lose a limb or kill a friend who startled them.

It was Chaos, and even still the Bright Host and those who now allied with them of the Shadow Host ever pressed forward, but the cost and the price was great, and the losses uncounted and uncountable. And then the tide turned yet again, and the Dread Host felt as if they were finally going to have their victory, for they released the Kobolds and they encircled the Ancient Land, and therein they trapped the final remaining forces of the Bright host.

But the Kobolds walked away. Nearly every single one decided they wanted nothing to do with this war and this death and this horror. Aye, Pupils: this is why the Kobolds are creatures of the Dread who dwell in the Shadow, for they had not been volunteers, they had been shaped and remade against their wills, and they refused when their bonds were finally released.

Remember that all the Peoples of the world are still, somewhere, in their very essence, the descendants of the Ancients. Even if they lay eggs now, as the Goblins do. No God can touch the Will of a Mortal. This is the decree of the Triplets, who craft the tapestry of the worlds. All People have free will, for without it they cannot choose or deny their destiny, they cannot find or fight their fate, they cannot cast a thread into the Aether to be woven into the grand tapestry.

This is the work of Belial, another unintended consequence, for Chicory was not the only power that he dismissed unwisely.in closing off the World he gave them absolute domain over the Tales. And they like Chicory, and she likes them.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes, The Siege of the Ancient Land.

Despite the defection of the Kobolds and the internal deceptions and strife among the Imps, Goblins, Thyrs, Grendels, and Humans, the Dread Hosts much reduced armies encircled those of the Allied Powers, and there they besieged them. Know this: The armies that were arrayed that day were almost insignificant in size compared to the armies that arrayed before each other in the first battles. This was all the peoples of all the world that any of them knew at the time, and they were then no bigger than half all the peoples of the world are today.

The Dread had abominations and Dreadnaughts, the Bright had sharper weapons and greater heart. The Dread were greater, three for every Bright, but they had never turned to magic among their troops for that would have given them too much independence it was thought. It was a siege the like of which even the worst of the Goblin Wars never saw. For twenty-three years it went on, and then the world was broken and remade in an instant.

It is called The Cataclysm, and while no one can say for sure what caused it, it was in the moments of that event that the Dread Power were trapped, were sundered in Spirit and Soul, Mind and Body, and their hearts taken, and it was in those moments that they were cast into the greater All and chained and sealed from the world until someone could find a way to release them. It was such a massive shock that all the Gods vanished afterwards, unable to be whole, to stay enfleshed and beside their followers. It was in that moment that the Clerics lost all contact, and with that all their great magic to heal and to cure and to save.

No one knows what happened save for those who chained the Dread Host and the Host themselves. The Dread Host do not speak to us who are descended from those who warred against them, and those who chained them have never spoken up. This we do not know what truly ended the War of the Gods.

We know only that the Dread Hosts armies were scattered, and that the Tritons were unable to come to the aid of their Bright host brethren who remained stuck in the Ancient Lands. We know that the Ancient lands turned fey and deadly, poisonous and inhospitable, and that earthquakes were frequent and that those who survived still had more death and despair as they scrambled to escape across lands that were being swallowed by the sea and trying to devour them, a ragtag mass of people who ended up being four thousand three hundred twenty one families standing on the shore of a land they did not recognize as the home they had known for years, that had stood for over a thousand years, vanished from the face of the earth.

That, my dears, is the history of The God’s War. Five hundred years of pain and slaughter and change and sorrow, capped by a betrayal the remains to this day. It is late now and so I will send you all on your merry way. We will meet again, though. We have the Ages past still to come. I certainly hope that you, Mistral Urton, have at least learned a thing or two about hells from such.

But for now, we must retire to our homes and our families, break this day long fast with good food, good people, and good hope, and then rest that we may have the strength to learn even more on the morrow…

That no time had been given to them to gather their belongings or to arrange for needed things, to know that the children needed food, or the men needed water. They were, in The Aftermath, suddenly upon a shore with wounded and dying, no gods to provide succor, no supplies to survive on, no promises kept, and no way to know what had just happened.

Age of Fable

Ah, isn’t a good breakfast worth the wait? I may dislike mornings, but I do adore a breakfast. Alright then, let’s see, where were we?

Four thousand three hundred twenty-one families stood upon the green shore of a furious unknown sea, wracked by storms, great hailstones hurling, and they had neither shelter nor safety, and through the whole ordeal, no help, no aid, no promises fulfilled.

Drawing inland, the took shelter in a great forest, and as the weather settled, they began to take stock of what they had. Nearly 28,000 people, they were all that had survived of the Bright Host. In a hundred years, less than 1% of the population was left. They were only Elfin and Dwarfs and Humans, though, with a few halflings – the Tritons had been left to fend for themselves alongside only around 5,000 Islanders. Those who had gone into Exile before ethe war suffered horribly during the cataclysm, reduced to only around 49 small families.

Among the Foe, things were only marginally better, but they were dropped away from the battlefield unprepared, unaware, and scattered on islands and the regions that would become Lemuria, and Duat, and Thule almost overnight. Across the tossed sea, the survivors and peoples faced their own insignificance before the true power of whatever it was that had done so much.

The Foe isolated, licked wounds, and their small numbers allowed them to begin to forge the cultures and peoples that they became, even as the people would become Thalasians and the Tritons and their halfling children regrouped in the sunken halls of Keris and the long, rounded homes of Islandia. On the fields of Hyboria, a people looked to the sky as the storm’s clouds began to recede and began the first stirrings of moving into the seven sects that would define them.

This was the state of the world in the days following the end of the God’s War.

Bereft of resources, of belongings, of shelter, left to their own devices with wounded and the elderly and children.

Six Gods had died, and the face of the world was shattered and crushed, as was the hope of all the peoples.

Know this: in those moments, those few initial days, the former Bright Host turned its back on their Gods, though even they had to acknowledge that they were indeed, Power in the World, and that their wills could change everything, and so that was when they stopped being Gods, and became the Powers That Be.

Those who survived the Siege notices that they had the sea before them, and cliffs with a narrow, rubble strewn path behind, and between were the things they needed to begin to build a home. Yet, before they completed the first home and planted the first fields from the seeds and other things, they were attacked by a beast the like none had ever seen before in all the history of the world. Immense it was, a mountain with wings that blotted the sky around them. Claws as long as the arms of a full-grown man, teeth larger than the tallest man, a massive maw the exhaled flames that burned even if they were only close.

This was a Dragon, and it was not the last that would harass and hound them in the many years ahead, but after the first one left, two came the next day, and three the day after that, and the people decided they would use the plants for seeds and the trees for wagons and carts and weapons and then they climbed the cliff, all of them, and so six months after the Siege, they began the Bitter Road, The Bleak Journey, that was to define them for a thousand years.

Travelling with hand drawn carts and wagons, the elderly and children, the need to rest, the need to find ways of surviving like the creation of wagons that could hold crops, and wagons filled with barrels for water; the valley they moved through, ringed by mountains and sheer slopes, was a scrub land, a near desert, fiery hot in the summer and bitterly cold in winter, sometimes snowing a dozen feet in a storm. Rain fell sporadically, often just in the smallest amounts. It was slow, and it was grueling, and after five years of this slow, grueling slog, they became a more solid, a more unified people, but not yet the indomitable sorts. A decade in, and strong leaders had formed, able to guide and look out for those that fell into their charge, and the needs of the many were divided and so it was that slowly but surely what would become the Five Hundred Families came to be, and for the next century they would define the way the people responded to threats and chose leaders and survived. They told themselves and their children, their grandchildren and great grandchildren, that one day this Journey would end, and they would come to a sea, and there they would build their own paradise.

At one point in the long journey, though, division did set in, for the wide valley was inhospitable and the leaders bickered and differed and finally, one night, an entire cadre left and sought their own path, their own way, one that wasn’t slow and plodding one that was filled with strength and adaptability, and they found a pass, a small side vale, and they overcame a dragon to enter it, the corpse of the monster left in their wake, and they vanished.

As they struggled onwards, they were fell upon by swift, animalistic raiders, dragon attacks, horrible storms, and through all of it they persevered, though soon all they had were rotting carts and staggering people and death was a constant companion. It is said that no mile of the Bleak Journey was not marked by the deaths of many, through all the long years.

And then, about halfway through their bitter road, the world shook and cracked and shuddered and sighed once again. The skies turned stormy, and lightning and thunder would flash and strike and yet the air would be as still as the people themselves.

For eighteen moons this went on, and they knew not what was happening, what was going on. And they would not learn then, for soon all things calmed and the skies cleared, and they began to march once more. It was then that the Powers That Be remade the world, and fixed the Dimensions, and set the planes, all part of work they would do for decades to come.

And though many guessed, all knew that such things meant that they had been forgotten, and abandoned, and betrayed.

The land within the valley would let no crops grow, the sky would let little rain fall, the mountains would let no one pass. It was forward, ever forward, a trudging, monotonous movement that cared not for the ill nor the infirm, that ravaged them with disease and allowed the Dragons and the Salathen to attack and slay and maim and scar the very hearts of the peoples.

Barbarian hordes of half-human, half-animal people would raid and steal away children, leaving sticks and woven grasses in their place, steal rations and water, steal weapons and fabric.

Snakes and desert wolves, the hot sun, it was so horrible a time that what finally stumbled out of the Fiery Desert at the Pass of Despair was barely alive, malnourished to an extreme never seen since.

It should be said that the skies changed almost daily during the long march. That the earth shook. That the stars themselves changed – legend says that at one point they were not even there in the sky. The Mountains that defied them and left them stuck among the treachery of the ever-changing path they took trembled and on some days were taller, on others shorter. But above all else, it should be noted that the world that had been was gone, erased, the remains and the leavings were erased, and over the three generations, the knowledge of the Ancient Land, Ackyu, was lost.

The Bleak Journey was generations long, miles of the barest food, merest water, slimmest chances, most meager survival as those few, said to be less than one percent of all who had lived before the God’s War took knowledge and life and history with it, sought a refuge to begin again.

No Powers That Be came to help. No children were spared. No hearts were soothed, no balms were given. Abandoned to a world that did not want them there any longer, the people struggled and to this day we have learned the lessons of that era of Dread. Those fashioned in the war were left to their own devices, second thoughts. They were never able to form their own communities, their own “homelands, so they do not have some of the things most people might think they have. Elfin and Dwarfs became part of the mass of people who struggled in the aftermath. Who suffered alongside everyone else, who were relegated to the back of the vast chain of humanity as it snaked along.

But they were not forgotten. Around the 118th year, generations which had only ever known the Bitter Road, entire lives spent on a march that had to be done because there was no place else to go, stumbled around a bend in the valley, and spread out before them was The Garden. Within it were fresh wagons, fresh water, fresh food, meat, which many had never known, fish, farm animals, and more than enough for each family to have the needed stock. Some tales speak about how there was even lumber. But there was also a warning: The Garden could only be stayed in for three years. Thus warned, those who led the Five Hundreds, as they called themselves in those days, trained by the rigors to use sparingly and treat with care, remained for only the three years, before continuing the bitter road beyond the Great Respite.

Now, many will say that the Bitter Road could not have taken so long, they will point to maps, and they will say that it was not that long, that the valleys are far wider than the ancient tales say, that the mountains are not nearly so tall. They will be the young that do this, the newly learned, and they will have forgotten that the path one can suspect may not have been the path that was taken, though most believe that it is merely what is left of the path, for did not the whole of the world change? Were not the lands sculpted and changed beyond recognition? What they see, and some still dare to traverse, is what was left of the great Journey, after the End of the World.

Births and deaths, life and loss, fathers to sons, mothers to daughters. Four thousand three hundred twenty-one families went in, 28,000 strong. Five Hundred Families came out, 17,000 strong, generations away from those who had walked in. They were a hard people, a tough and strong and determined people. They were a people that had never fought nor seen a Goblin, heard of Kobolds as myths, thought Thyrs were a boogeyman meant to scare children, and mocked at the idea of Ips. They had fought dragons the size of Villages and defeated waves of raiders from the sure foot mountain beast folk, whom we today call the Lost Sect. They were the Bright Peoples.

They emerged into the woods of Sibola and began to face the wild beasts and strange remnants, always moving forward because they knew not how to do anything else by that time, until, at long last, they came to a sea, where, to a person, they wept.

There they made a camp of scant thousands. So was Sibola founded, among tents and wagons along the shore of a vast sea and beside the waters of a river. A monthlong celebration was held, and fresh fish were caught, and fowl downed and roasted, and woven reed and wood strip tents were laid out, and at the end of it, the one who led them from the Garden was chosen to be King, and he named the city they began to build after his daughter, and that is how the House of Usher rose from the Fall and became the Kings of Sibola.

In Sibola they teach to use the Glaive and bear the Shield, they pass their knowledge and skills, they defend what they have and protect what could come. They learned that they do not need the Powers That Be, and so from that Bleak Journey, the Humans became the Imperials of this world, and knew they needed no Powers That Be who would murder them all, knew they had a power that rivalled all, knew they could reshape all the things needed.

Lunch time already! I will go and get the breads, so why don’t you start with those vegetables over there. A heavy breakfast is always best served by a light lunch, so we will just do some light little finger foods and such; we have many a year to go as yet!

Age of Myth

The Age of Myth is said to begin with the Crowing of King Usher.

Haldane Ushe’Sher, more properly, but such is hardly known these days. Like much of this era, it has faded into myth.

Twenty-five years after the founding of Sibola, a Cleric of Kybele was visited in a young mother whose husband died tragically, and it was in that time that the people knew, the Power That Be had returned. Over the next dozen years, Clerics were chosen, and though leery, those in the greatest need offered to worship, and gained small boons for it, though it was not how they had heard it had been in the old days of the War.

It was not much, and not enough, and yet, it was a start. Across the way, the sprawling camp of Kahokia was laid down and planned for years to come, the spiral a way of knowing one another. Islandia began to build boats again, and to explore the islands they had been left. In Lemuria, they began the building of a vast Black Tower, while in Duat they began to build the interconnected homes that would one day be covered by earth, and all but invisible.

The Exilian came upon the builders of Sibola, and gave maps and seeds and many useful things, but dared not step into the city, for it was not the fabled Atalanta they seek. The now many hundred-year-old meeting place called Hyboria found that one of the seven Sects was gone, and to this day they mourn that loss, for they were the far travelers, and surefooted, and powerful raiders.

Thule began to explore. It was a task that would serve them well in the years to come, for it is said no one knows the seas better than them among the Foes, and they learned early how to avoid and defend against the Tritons and how to summon the then-feral Merow. They would learn the rivers and the seas, and they would strike when they could, but it would be long yet before they found the Shining City.

Sibola grew. Fields were full of bounty, the sea gave its all, the wilds were full of game, and they found the many kinds of cattle that had survived and re-tamed them and so they began to recover. As they grew, they expanded, and they were not shy about using magic, and in particular they founded a college for it there. It was, at first, a wonder, but it was also fearsome, and it had been built far outside the original walls of the city, built then to protect from wild animals and the occasional monstrosity.

The plans were made and drawn to use an island, to bridge to it, and to carve it, and that island is what became the Sibola we now today, shaped by magic, and the walls that ring it were raised from the earth, such that they could not be undermined, such that they would not fall, and in all the many years since, they never have.

When this was finished, it is said the Lord Collegiate, the grandmaster of the College, the greatest Wizard of the age, was a young man, and ambitious, and though he was well rewarded by the King, by then the elderly son of King Usher, he was insulted and jealous and greedy. And as the people filled the city, he schemed, and he drew to him many other wizards and warlocks, witches and sorcerers, and they determined that as they had done so much for the city, it should be their city, and the people therein should serve them, for were they not the most powerful people there?

Who could stop them?

And the Grand Master Akade smiled, and so the Akadian Coup began.

The Prince of Sibola, young Lord Mikel, was forewarned by his squire, a young girl who had trained in secret, dressed as a man, of the secret plot to steal his kingdom, and together with a Rogue from the streets they turned back and revealed the first two attempts, but the third was nearly a master stroke, for it involved capturing all three of them.

The old King, however, was not a fool, and knew whom he could trust and whom he could keep close, and among his many friends was the ikon of Kybele. She taught he and his court, his advisors and even some common folks, the secret that saved Sibola, and set forth the one thing that all such Mages fear to be used against them: Ritual Magic.

And among the many rituals they prepared, among the many magical items they crafted, was a summoning, the circle for it still exists in the depths of the Castle, alongside many others, and they summoned Akade.

Now, you may not be familiar with how a summoning works, so I should tell you that if done properly, a summoner can compel those who are summoned. That is correct, this was not a letter delivered and demanding a visit, this was a forcible taking of another sentient being, and while no records exist of what was done to this traitor, we can imagine much.

The remaining members of the secret group were rounded up and forced to watch their college be torn down. They were tried and sentenced to a one, and for ten years the use of all magic was banished from Sibola, and the many Mages were put under the aegis of the King’s chosen champion and exiled across the sea.

There they were forced to establish a realm for themselves, subject only to oversight by the King, but left very much alone, for the King knew something that they did not yet again.

The Powers That Be had taken a dim view of the Co, and the powers of mages. They could do nothing about the powers, or not much, we surmise, but they could do the one thing that has since limited much of Akadian efforts: they made it so that magic does not always pass to one’s own issue. The children of the Mages would never have magic of their own, and to this day, that still stands within those families, the power skipping two generations among all of them, such that no living heir to the secrets of a Grand Master will be of their own line.

And so it was that Akade got his wish, of a sort, and of a way, and Akadia was founded, and it truly is the Magiocracy he had dreamed of. He just never expected to have to run the place. If nothing else is true, the point we should always remember from his miserable victory is that one can escape many things, but one can never escape consequences.

Those mages Loyal to the king remained, and they used ritual magic over the years, despite its slowness, under his allowance until the horror hit again. In doing so, it let Astrologers know that this was something to expect, to plan for, to be aware of, and so immense was the disaster that the ban on magic was later removed, and new laws passed.

But even today no one can predict them, and we must expect that includes the Gods, as if they were the product of some mad mind’s whim and vengeance. I speak, of course, about the Skyfall that killed the King, that fixed what the Powers had done, that toppled the mighty Lemurian tower and that shattered and erased many of the islands of much of Islandia, creating the Sea of Silence.

That loosed the Dreadnaughts once again.

It was just as bad as the first one, destroying much, but worse than it was that despite a grandmother who had been not only a Queen but a Grand Master Champion, the young king that rose to power following it, having grown during the rebuilding and watched the untimely collapse that killed his parents in his apprentice year, began to pass laws and rules that limited women, that took from them things that had been theirs, and this in turn led his sister into her own rebellion – The Women’s War.

And War it was, brutal and bloody, and the victors of that War, having taught lessons that few would ever forget but many would try to ignore in the years after, took the entire navy of Sibola – every single ship, from small to large – and sailed off in the Sea of Tears. They chose a horrible time, and they underwent many difficult perils, facing sirens and single eyed giants and tossed hither and yon by storms and winds and waves, until at last they saw a great and broad river, and seeking to be as far from Sibola as they could get, they sailed down it to find a land that was as pastoral and warm as they could have hoped for.

And so it was that Aztlan was founded. They sailed down the River of Dreams, the linkage between the Sea of Tears and the great oceans beyond and found a place they could be themselves.

Now, as I said, it was the Victors who left. That is, the Women won the Women’s War, and few are foolish enough to forget that. But this split the great House of Usher, and split many other Houses as well, and that has led to why it is that every realm keeps a great record, that we may always be able to know whence we came, and to whom we are bound by duty and obligation older that the world as we know it.

Years later, a small village outside of Aztlan proper was struck by terrifying raiders, like massive bears, wearing armor and wielding great curved blades and coming in ships with triangular sails dyed blood red and a black flag with a skull upon it. Runners nearly died delivering the news, and the Queen herself and her great Army feared it was the Sibolans, come to fight for what her family had fought to build (for ever has it been that Aztlan Matrons will speak of Sibolan Patrons seeking to take their wealth).

It was not, and never in living memory had anyone fought such horrific beings. Seven feet tall, covered in fur, raring and swinging their great swords in complex arcs and cutting down warriors and families with equal aplomb and when the two groups clashed it was then that both sides learned a critical lesson.

Aztlan is not the only Matriarchy on Wyrlde; Thule is as well. For these were indeed the Thyrs, raiding for supplies while they made their way into the Sea of Tears, aiming for what they had scouted already: Sibola itself. For the people and warriors of Aztlan, it was as if a childhood nightmare had come to life, things which were myths had stepped out of the past, the ancient Foe that their grandparents had told only faint memories of stories that were old when they had been young. For the Thulians it was just as nightmarish, for the most implacable of their foes were well represented among Aztic Warriors: Elfin Maids in gleaming armor with shining swords passed down through generations, meant to bite and drink deeply of Thyrsian blood, artifacts from the times that perhaps only the Elfin remembered as well, passed as teachings among their communes.

Aye, pupils, it was indeed the first time that the Dread Host and the Bright Host had met in battle in hundreds of years. You can be assured that it was quite a shock to all sides, for none alive then had seen the others since the Day the God’s War ended. Facing an army of warriors equal to their own and of a greater size, the Thulian Matrons pulled back and fled to their ships, and there they encountered another thing they had not been prepared for – and something no Aztic craftswoman would have expected in those days either. It was, unplanned, a brilliant trap among three groups who had not seen each other in centuries, for when they set foot on their ships, they found themselves in a battle with Islandian warriors, who had followed them, and this battle is what that unreadable stele at the docks of the village of Emberton commemorates. So long ago that the winds and salt and sea have all but erased he etchings upon it.

A tentative peace was set between Aztlan and Islandia. Trade began, for Islandians had no metals then, and over the years that followed the Tritons came as well, linking Keris, Islandia, and Aztlan together and setting the basis for the defense of the Sea of Tears that holds to this day.

Do not underestimate the importance of Aztlan. They found it by chance, but it lies on the most critical route for trade and attack in all the world. They are the gate between the Empire we know today and the Seaward Kingdoms, the only waterway from Duat, Lemuria, and Thule into the Bright Lands. While Qivira now controls the north of it, they maintain forts and holds the length of it, including islands within the Hearth Sea.

This is why Aztlan is so powerful, despite being so far away from Sibola. Why the Skyships have a gantry and the Train is a-comin. Oh yes, yes, I keep up with the news. How do you think my old pupil could find me so easily and get this to happen? I have great grandchildren, after all.

When word of this battle reached the ears of the then King of Sibola, he was not impressed. And when the first Kerisian merchants came to Sibola, in his later years, he allowed his spoiled Prince to handle them. This would prove to be his downfall, for that same child murdered him and took the crown and became the first of the worst, the Despot King, and he declared war on the Seaward Kingdoms and Aztlan and did what had long been feared.

They took Fort Tearside and razed it to the ground – you can see the ruins on the sea cliffs still, their inner chambers hidden. The massive Sibolan Navy, large then than even Aztlan’s, poured through and turned the Hearth Sea and the Sea of Serpents and the Sea of Amity into battle fields among the waves, and it was then that the first Corsairs came to be, which is why even those of the land tend to adopt seaworthy habits.

The Sea War drained the kingdom as the Despot King raised taxes and conscripted troops, to this day, the notion of a press gang is still called a Sibolan Invitation, as many unlucky men and youths were kidnapped from villages and towns and forced into service in the war. Akadian Mages bolstered the Navy, and trade stopped; it is said that Aztic coffee once sold for the equivalent of a crown a cup, unless you had the right contacts with the right Corsairs.

This unreasoning desire to assert his will over the world far beyond his reach was too much for his cousin, who at the time was the Baron of Morovia. He received a visitor one afternoon during his regular audience, an unremarkable woman who delivered to him a series of laws. With her was a very much remarkable man: Mansa. The patron of Sibola. They told him to depose the Despot King and set forth the following laws, which would be inviolable on pain of the wrath of the Powers That Be.

He was unimpressed by Mansa, but he was terrified of the woman.

Six months later, the First Interregnum happened, following the death of the Despot King at the hands of his closest advisors, all of whom he had been secretly planning to execute the following day. It was 20 years before an heir was chosen, and it was the Princessa, not her older cousins or brothers, that they chose. The first Lady King of Sibola, ending the Interregnum.

The Sea War continued. As shall we, but on the morrow. It is dinner time and a light lunch always makes you want to have a good dinner, does not? Until the next time, my pupils.

Age of Legends

Well, isn’t this a treat! Back for more, are ye? I hope your break was wort it. I hope even more you are ready to learn the next chapter in the Story of Us. Shall we begin? Now, where was I? Ah, yes, King Eleantra!

It turns out that Lady Kings were not particularly popular in Sibola five hundred years ago. Nor was she, in turn, particularly fond of the Court and the nobility, all still adjusting to the new laws, often bitterly and with much conflict. It was not a happy time for Sibola, and this may be why it was that the Sea War continued, as she tried to force order and uproot corruption.

Elantrea’s Prophecy

See me before you

In garments of war

Know now I speak true

My lands are scarred

You dare to defy me

To strip away my crown

A woman, you say, shall not be King

And I say to you, release the Hounds

Should blood be shed upon this floor

Know that one day again

Men shall rule here no more

For the House of Usher has fallen.

In the end, it was her throne or her life, and she chose her life. She laid down a mighty prophecy in a full Court, before all the nobility:

The royal Hounds at that time included several small people, secretly in the King’s confidence, and ‘twas true enough that blood was shed, and that night the King abandoned her people and fled to seek out her cousins to the far south. That was how, ultimately, they landed in a quiet spot during the calm of a storm, and there founded the most secretive of all the Realms: Qivira.

I see by our faces that you thought as you were taught, that Durango was first. No, I am afraid that that was not the case, for you see Durango was born of the Succession wars, as the many greedy and grasping Nobles, chief among the Karovian line, raised their own armies and fought a war for a dozen years to see who would claim that throne, and then fought again and again.

A relatively minor noble from the House of Wikof, an Usher on his father’s side, from a line that traced to the Despot King himself, a bastard Usher, as it were, managed to rise to the top and claim the throne for himself. This led to many of the Nobles and their followers fleeing and declaring themselves a new Kingdom, Durango, named for the former Duke that had been their figurehead.

The new King recalled his navies, raised fresh troops, levied harsh penalties and taxes, and set out to make them bend the knee. First, he reclaimed Akadia, putting it more firmly under his thumb. Then he quelled Durango in a conflict so bloody it was the Syndics who surrendered, not the nobility, setting the nature of that city ever after. Then he besieged Qivira until it capitulated, and now, with four kingdoms under his belt, he turned to Aztlan, only to be repelled for he had not made peace yet.

He was in his middle years by this time, and he did something that changed the world in a moment of Spite, and declared himself to be the King of Kings, The Emperor of Sibola, and so the First Empire was born. The Sea war continued, and as he lay dying, he turned to his heir and commanded him to win that war and free his spirit from regret lest he be trapped in Quietus.

The second Emperor died on his feet, on a ship in the Silent Sea, learning why in a very personal way why it was called such. Few can withstand the grasping reach of the sea’s dead, after all.

The third Emperor outlast his forbear by a day. He was murdered in his sleep by an Envoy from Duat, with whom he had sought an alliance after a bloody encounter between his sailors and the Grendels. Ah, you had forgotten about them, hadn’t you? They may not have had the seamanship of the Thyrs, and I have questions about their being on ships at all given how much they enjoy what they call play, but aye, they had not been idle as they saw the Thyrsian fleets sailing and the Merow struggle against the Tritons for the ocean floors. So, they reached a bargain, and this is when the Merow ceased to be quite as feral as they had been once. If you have fought them, you know them to be just as vicious and stalwart as their Goblin kin, but they are a seafolk, and beneath the waves they have massive cities of coral scattered about, as the Imps have done with their world of Agartha. And so Duat made a treaty with the Merow and became yet another sea power. However, instead of joining in the sea war, they raided corsairs and sent fleets to raid the Goblins and seek out their mythical lost brethren, the Kobolds.

They succeeded in all of that, though they never heard that they did from those who found the Kobolds. Bermuda had been slowly built up over the centuries, but to describe it as up ignores the nature of the Kobolds, who do not want visitors, do not want trade, do not want the outside to bother them, and are rather pointed about it. Ask Ara – she’s been along on more than one attempt.

They await a chosen one, a giant Kobold, who will lead them into the world at large. That is why. And they follow the Old Ones, not any of the Hosts. Indeed, they are more likely to be harsh with those who follow a host, including the Goblins, for they are even more bitter about the end of the war and the aftermath than we are. It is said among them that the very land they live on was moved like a Kress tile on a board.

The Fourth Emperor was a fool who insulted a Therian Chieftain. That led to wars with them. He, too, found out that Envoys are a very dedicated to their profession sort of group, if your profession is diplomacy or death. The fifth Emperor was a bit smarter, as he banished all Envoys from the realms. He also tried to make peace with Aztlan but found is reception bitterly cool as his Embassy was met by most of the Envoys he had exiled.

He feared invasion by land, feared assassins in the night, feared the Mages in Akadia, the secrets in Qivira. He spurned the Clerics and swore to Pallor. He died of an infection from a cat scratch one of his pets gave him when he squeezed it too hard during an audience. The poor white cat reached up and clawed hm across his left eye. He ruled for 6 years.

The sixth Emperor of the Old Empire was six years old when he was crowned. He was six years and six months older when he died of dysentery from poorly maintained castle facilities. Since that day, six has been the unluckiest number in all the lands, because of all of the emperors of the First Empire he was the only one who tried to do right.

But his forebears had been cursed by the Powers That Be, and so once again the nobles fell to internecine squabbling while fighting two wars and trying to keep an empire together.

This was the Second Interregnum. During it, the realm of Lyonese was founded by a group of Dwarfin Nobles and their kin, all pushed out of the other places for being a little too keen to explore and experiment with things. To this day that continues, with the clockworking of Lyonese being the most remarkable. And it was in Lyonese that the first Meka appeared, after all. It was rather violent there at one point, but the Meka did apologize and explain themselves. I forget the name – you told it to me, as it was after my time Ara, dear. Of no matter, though.

Now, you may be wondering why this time period is the Age of Legends. If not, you should be. For you see, it truly was an age of Legends. The Paladin Jonathan, the warrioress Panthesilea, the Dread Pirate Roberts, the anti-magic Fellowship that tossed the Imperial Signet into a volcano, this was a time of Legends, and the period when the less famous of them banded together and created the Adventurer’s Guild. Bet you didn’t know that. There are ten thousand legends of this Age, and for a good reason.

While the War between Hyboria and Sibola, between the Seaward Kingdoms and Hyboria, between Duat and everyone, between Thule and Aztlan, there were some people who had been forgotten by almost everyone, and they had long planned and prepared and massed. It is likely that Duat knew, for they did begin to turn much of their efforts to destabilizing everyone else. Stealing ships and using them to attack those who thought they were allies, making raids on small coastal villages that only took the young and only killed the very old, and the like.

On Snowy 14th, in the heart of winter, during the giving festival, at the very walls of Qivira, Durango, and Sibola, an Army of a million Goblins burst forth from secreted warrens carved over the decades deep beneath the earth by the Imps creating Agartha, and the First Goblin War began.

What we are today is shaped by what we were in the past, and history many hundred years ago to you may not be exciting but I trust you realize that those who lived and died in it found it too stimulating. They would gladly trade for this warm fire and pleasant company. The first Goblin War is why so many hate goblins. They came in numbers that no one had seen since the War of the God’s, and all of those were so long dead that their bones were dust.

If you want to know why Imps are found in cities or why Goblins raid from bases that weren’t there a month ago, this is why. Agartha, The Underdark, the unending city carved through the bones of the earth. Though Aztlan and Sibola both reside on islands, proper, both are reached by bridges, and where there is land, there is Agartha. The center of it is their actual capital, believed to be in the wilds north of Lemuria, but they are everywhere, and it is important you understand this is not an exaggeration. For nearly five hundred years we have fighting to close off those labyrinths and mazes so far beneath us that even Lyonese engineers have been unable to do more than find a few entrances. They fill the in, you see, they camouflage them, and no one ever locates a base immediately adjacent to one. Imps and Goblins may be strong allies, but if Imps had the appetites that goblins do, we would not be having this conversation.

Of those many legends, more than half are about the Goblin Wars, which last thirty years. It is difficult to truthfully say that the Bright lands won, but it would be just as truthful to say that they lost It was, in the end, more of a draw, but also a proof that the Goblins still existed, that they still ate the dead on the battlefield, that they still took slaves and committed atrocities. And that walls were still needed to keep them out.

But if nothing else, the Goblin War did bring about the most positive change, and one we should all be grateful for. Among the many Legends and the stories and the lines was the importance of the Realm Codex, for within both Sibola and Durango’s Codexes was a name of an heir that all could agree on, and all could put faith in, and the name belonged to a man about who the same was said, even if he himself did not know his origins. He was hidden away at birth, raised by a foster family, taught by a strange woman who wandered the world, gifted with one of the might Foeblades of the God’s War, the potent Caliburn, and his name was Arturia Usher.

He went by Artur, lest anyone discover a secret that was kept until he passed. He bore three children during his long reign. He defended the great cities, he made peace with the Seaward Kingdoms, he turned his navy on the Thulian raiders and the Duatian instigators, he pushed Hyboria back beyond the Tangled Pass, and he followed the laws the entire time. He meted justice, and he had a group of thirteen great Warriors who stood by him and commanded his troops and kept his secret despite many trials and tribulations.

He is said to have created the Rite of Variance, and he lived for his full spans, dying peacefully in his sleep at the age of 107 on Rest 28th by the Calendar that he instituted, restoring the seasons to how they had been before the God’s War.

His passing ended the Age of Legends. His children became the Kings and Queen of Sibola, Durango, and Lyonese, and with that, the Fall of the House of Usher ended, and the Line was restored.

Some have said that Arturia was the one that closed the Prophecy, but harken well, for the portents speak true: Arturia was not the Prophesied one.

I must attend my garden, and the weeds within it that wriggle, and so tomorrow we will close out the lessons, and I will hope you are ready for it, as the Age of Heroes is a doozy. As you know since you live in it.

Age of Heroes

At last, we come to the era that is closing, the time of our lives, the history we know the best. It begins on the first day of the fiftieth year of the New Empire. The day after the passing of the First Emperor of the new Empire, Arturia.

We have journeyed through much history thus far. The thousand years before the God’s War, the War itself, the seven hundred fifty years that include the Bleak Journey and the Ages of Fable, Myth, and Legends.

This is the Age of Heroes, and it draws to a close soon, but all of you will be known in the Age of Icons. I ask you if you will go forth and face that future with a weapon, or with hope? Ah, yes; yes, I suppose that both is a good answer.

Very well, let us begin again…

Emperor Kalderan was Crowned as the Second Emperor of the new Empire, and his reign was marked by a few items of note and interest. First, he received, one day, a delegation from a land none had ever heard of, a people none had ever known. No records of them could be found, and they spoke a strange native language that was difficult on their ears of the Sibolan Court. But they had watched for many years, and they had learned the language, and so they came. They were the Many who are One, the children of the Spora, the Kahokian Tribes. They wore strange clothes fashioned of hides, and carried bows and axes, but not swords, though their knives where large, with heavy blades that had jagged back edges. They came to trade, and to make either war or peace, they did not care which, so it was up to him to decide. To celebrate new friends and to reunite those who had taken the road less traveled, they held competitions and feasts for three days.

This is why Kahokian Bows are used by all the Imperial Guards in Sibola.

Second, his most faithful Duke, who had served his parent with honor, dignity and renown, came and begged leave to found a new Kingdom in a desert where they had been discovered some needed materials. His name was Leto Eld. He had a thousand people who would travel with him, and then later brig their families, and he would tithe to the crown, but begged leave that it be his, for he had come to see a different way of leading and being a noble from the study of laws and letters.

And thus was Dorado born. Nor did that come too soon, for it was very soon after that it was discovered by his son the secret that makes the Guns of Dorado roar, and far too soon they were needed in battle.

The Emperor passed away naturally after a good life, and his reign was peaceful and healing. Some say that even Kybele wept at his funeral.

Emperor Comorant was his second son, and his reign began because his older brother was slain by Goblins before his crowning, and that marked the start of the second Goblin War. Now, some will argue that it is still going on, but I do not think of small bands poking and prodding, testing and tying as a continuation of war, but the Second goblin War lasted for fifty years, nearly every month featuring a battle among one or more of the many realms, and even as it went on there were overland attacks on Akadia by Thyrs and sea raids by Duat and Merow allies.

The Goblins learned much from the earlier wars, and they learned ever more again during this seemingly endless series of assaults, feints, and battle. And yet, as it went on, so too did life in the Bright Realms.

It was like a ramped of version of the way things are today, far more raids, focused efforts, diversions, and traps – it was like a game of Kress on a massive scale, with living people as the pieces.

It likely would have continued if it were not for what followed it: the last Skyfall.

Once again, the whole of the lands were crushed beneath the onslaught of the stones from the sky, and once again those thing changed many things – it was then that there came to be the many strange colors of hair and eyes, and it was then that we saw far more of the Fae, and the dimensional spaces were thinned somehow, making it slightly easier to move among them.

Unlike his predecessors, Cormorant immediately stopped fighting and began to aid his people during h year of the Skyfall, and it was his way of doing that which became held against him, for he tended to Sibola and left the others to fend for themselves. The effort of reconstruction, though, crippled and ultimately killed him from sewer rot.

From the third (sometimes called the second, because the first is buried beyond Myth) Skyfall, there arose a lot of discord as the new Emperor was crowned, and though the ruble and disaster had halted the Goblin attack, it sparked a long series of cruel and wicked wars among the different Cities, spanning the reign of two emperors. Heroes arose like the legends of old, from the Goblin Wars to the rebuilding to the internecine fighting that had an unintended side effect.

It took from the gods some of their worshippers. They did not react poorly, however. They did react, and it was something else.

The fourth Emperor, the father of today’s, tried to negotiate peace with all the other cities, to set forth a standard and way, and the fighting was intense. This was called the Great discord, and he had watched it tear down two prior Emperors who tried desperately to hold tight to an Empire of diverse people.

And then, he heard reports from sailors of an island raising in the seas south of Sibola. Crafted by the Gods. The other lords and nobles also heard of it. For six months it rose, and it built itself, and the fighting drew to a pause, and the schemes and plots were stopped, and then one day the entire retinues of all the rulers and the rulers themselves vanished.

They had been transported to Zefir. Many of the courtiers and staff spoke of the wonders of it, but also that within the great hall all the nobles faced fifteen of the Powers that Be who gave them quite exacting instructions.

That was the beginning of the Convocations. Held every year now, they are where those struggles and rivalries, petty feuds and the business of kingdoms are hammered out, and at that first one, no one was allowed to leave until they did. This increased resentment against the Powers That Be, especially as they hadn’t backed anyone in any of their particular righteous efforts, but thus it was, and so it still is: peace.

And, because of that, there as a sudden upstart that arose. You will surely hear about it – a city found by exiles, by wanderers, by criminals and explorers, and it was called Antilia, and it is not a part of the Empire. It became a rumor, and we still await the envoys in many of the great cities, thought they are a strange people with strange ways.

As he settled in, the last Emperor set the tithes and signed the Accords that ultimately united Kahokia and Hyboria, Islandia and Keris into the Bright League, and so doing set the world of the Seven Cities for the era we now are in and that draws to a close.

Well then, I do suppose that this concludes our little adventure in the wilds of time. Here, take a cookie. I baked them special for you. And don’t worry about the vase.

Ah, see, I said don’t worry about it. History is filled with much that we can wonder upon, and much of our world’s history is ever so dark, and ever so dreary, but worry not. By the time you finish that cookie you’ll feel right as rain.

Yes, Mistral Urton, even you. Be off with you all now, I am an old lady and haven’t the strength to keep up with such energetic sorts as yourselves.

Age of Icons

I want to thank my old teacher for her time and her devotion and her memory. As you have now learned, there is a great deal of history to the world, and that it has left us where we are today, in a strange place where the is an Empire but no one gives it much thought, where there are many things in common and even more that are not.

For the last seven years, Sage, Oracles, Seers, Astrologers, and more have warned us that we have come to the end of an Age. It is the 299th year of the New Empire. As we converse, it is the 26th day of Rest, and soon the new Year will be upon us, ushering in the Age of Icons.

Much of this history has spoken of the many powers, including that horrible supposedly all powerful lady. As you may have gathered, there are many Powers in the World, and they have an immense impact. I am the servant of one, and I say to you that they tried their best, and they do care, and they want you to know they will be there for you if you but give them a whispered prayer and accept their baptism.

But there are many reasons to not trust them, and so we must earn it back.

The Powers of Wyrlde

This world has a host of Powers That Be, but they are neither ineffable nor are they omniscient. They are petty, cruel, kind, benevolent, capricious, and as varied in their temperaments as any person is from another. They can have understandable motivations and they do not always react like we tend to think Gods will react.

Moreso, there are two different structures: the Old Ones, ancient deities that are said to have traveled to Wyrlde with us, that we brought them. And then there is The Host, who arose from us, and became the Powers That Be we know.

Only the Old Ones are called Gods. This because people don’t like Gods. Gods led them into a war that destroyed everything, and then abandoned the people when they were needed the most, having made great and grand promises.

Gods are cruel, scheming, traitorous. Powers are just folks who can do a lot more than the average person. If nothing else, Clerics are good at marketing. Clerics and related sorts within the Empire are looked at askance; as weird, somewhat dangerous, and yet useful.

The habit of the population, by and large, is to avoid attracting the attention of one of these powers. People on Wyrlde do not pray so that a Power will help them or give them something, they pray so that they will not be seen, lest they decide to help overmuch. Lay Prayer here is averring, negative, distracting, except for the rites, when folks have found the blessings and benefits to be useful – but not all, and not always on terms the Powers like. This is part of why people can be consecrated to three different Powers.

Clerical prayer is always affirmative, beseeching, requesting, and hopeful. This is supposed to cut down on distractions in a lot of ways, enabling Clerics and Druids to have more rapid contact and receive greater boons, above and beyond their existing mandate to convert others.

It seems to work for me.

Places of Worship

A generic term for places of worship is a Cloister. This applies to Temples, Shrines, Manses, the assorted schools and residences for the religious, and similar such places.


P1241#y1 The Bright Host are worshipped in Temples. A Temple is a space designed specifically to perform very specific rituals in, and Temples are overseen by Clerics. Three things mark a Temple: The Figure, the Ritual Space, and the principle income producing means – typically mead and beekeeping, but also growing of herbs and useful plants, and this is then sold in stalls that sit to either side of the temple gates.

Temples have been raised by a Power before – the Tempe in Dorado is an example of such, and often Temples will be pulled into the minor clashes between the powers – for all of them are competing within each Host.

Temples exist in walled compounds, and not every city or town will have a Temple to all the assorted powers – usually there is only one, sometimes two. They will be dedicated and consecrated ground, and only those who are baptized to that Power will be able to enter upon and receive the boons of that Power, or make offerings and worship.

A standard temple is surrounded by a 15-foot-high wall, five feet thick, and marked by a single gate. The gate is surrounded by ornate carved relief sculptures depicting assorted Saints who served the God whose temple it is.

Temples themselves are large, rectangular structures that are raised by a high ranking Cleric and that follow a set floorplan that is functionally part of the spell used to create them.

Beyond the gate is a fifteen-foot-high set of stairs that leads down to a large open space that is divided into assorted functions on the sides and at the back and given over to gardens around several areas that are set up for different functions and each will contain a square, raised altar surrounded by a wide space reached by five steps that is called a Dais. A Dais is about twenty-five feet to a side, with a square altar about 5 feet to a side and is fully sacred and Consecrated ground.

A path will lead through them, never directly, to the center of the complex, where the tall, column-fronted, doorless entrance to the Sanctum lies.

Within the Sanctum lies a shallow, columned, hallowed area that is given over to a narrow, long altar set before a tall plinth on which rests a stature or other representation of the Power That Is. The statue is typically twenty-five feet tall, carved (some say from bone), gilded and inlaid to match an appearance known to have been used by that Power.

The Approach to the Sanctum always consists of three buildings connected by a walkway – the first is a square, columned purifying area, the second is a square, plain baptismal preparation area, and the last is a circular and domed building that holds the penitent area, where people wait after purification to offer their worship at the feet of the statue.

Temples often have bees all around them, and beekeeping is a traditional role for Clerics, as they are the source of Mead, the making of which is a well-guarded secret and rumored to be ruthlessly enforced with great cruelty. Mead brings in a rather essential amount of money and is often spoken of as the only worthy drink, with some locations having a Cleric who rails against the evils of other alcohols. It can often be quite comical. They get a tad bit angry about that.


Shrines are usually smaller than Temples, never as ostentatious, and rarely located within sight of a temple. Unlike Temples, where treading Holy Ground is not possible, Shrines cannot be disturbed – the parts and pieces of a Shrine cannot be touched or moved –except by the followers of the Power That Is to whom the shrine is dedicated.

Shrines have similar stalls out front and often have many things for sale that go to support the living and work of the Shrinewardens. This can and does include mead, and beekeeping is still an ongoing effort among many of them – though they may have some other broad service.

Shrines are not only raised to the Host – there are other Powers that exist, and A Shrine may be raised to them – or to a local and smaller Power of the World. For example, it is said that Acacia has some small Shrines in assorted cities. One thing always holds true: there will be no Shrine within a walled city if there is a Temple to the Power already. Temples are often seen as “superior” to Shrines, though the Powers themselves don’t seem to agree with hat, and so it is purely a function of the people who run them – but one cannot consecrate a shrine to a power who already has a Temple built within 100 miles of that Temple. According to Antelle, this has to do with something called “the franchise”.

A Shrine is often located outside of a smaller settlement, usually in a place of great beauty or special feeling. The area around it is consecrated, and a small wooden barrier is erected around it. This area is far less formalized, often more rustic, and will be composed of the Shrine, proper, a penitent area, a purification area, and a ritual space, as well as a small area for ritualized education and other features that can often seat around two dozen people – though larger Shrines may seat up to sixty in their areas.

The Shrine proper is always raised at least 3, 5, or 7 steps, is typically covered by an ornately carved wooden cover or shelter and is open on one side. Within the shallow shelter there is a small figure (3 to 5 feet tall) to the deity in some form or aspect of them that sits behind a low Altar, usually three feet by five feet, before which supplicants can leave offerings. Only a few folks may kneel and worship at the Shrine at a time.

Shrines typically filled with the things that please the spirit or Power as offerings, and are located in markedly special places. They may have great beauty, or immense peace, or offer some benefit (such as hot springs), but are always places that people feel are special, and they are preserved by the blessings and consecration Shrines do not have a structured and codified layout or space – they are, however, defined by the consecrated grounds, and often cities will have several shrines scattered around them, where they will be seen as a kind of park like area, protected and preserved by those who oversee them.

Fortune telling, ritual dances, and storytelling of the Heroes that have served the Powers That Be are all performed in a nearby Pavilion that can usually seat around sixty people nearby. Rituals are held in a very sacred space off to the side of the Shrine proper, and are very much the same as those done in Temples.


A Manse is a place where the Dread Powers are worshipped, a space sacred to the Dread Host. The Dread Host does not generally have any kind of clerical service – but they may give certain people powers akin to them through intermediaries or via some artifact, and in such a case, they will operate in secret, in the shadows and often beneath the city or town itself in warrens and caverns natural or crafted.

There is no known settled erm for a head priest of a Manse, and those that have been discovered and routed all feature a space for cruelties and horrors, seating to witness this spectacle of terror, and an altar on which sacrifices are given. Manses always involve sacrifice, and they most commonly choose those in a way that makes the sacrifice truly noteworthy and memorable.

IT should be noted that consecrating a Manse to a Dread god requires the deaths of 100 non believers in an ordained fashion that relies on torture and takes at least three days for each. An exception to this is Urisha, who additionally requires that none may have the same kind of harm done to them – all must be distinct forms of death.


The Bright and Shadow Hosts are served in their ways by Clerics, people who have chosen or been chosen to serve the Powers in assorted ways. This is a key point, as well, since the clerical orders for each are typically overseen locally and not always in agreement with each other.

The interesting thing to keep in mind is the difference between them: for many that serve the Powers, it is a job, no different from being a banker or a baker, a farmer or a stall worker. But for some of them, it is something they cannot escape, cannot avoid, and the hands of Powers are always in their lives.

Of note is that there ae no limitations on Priests in regards to family, marriage, or children – there is no chaste requirement, for love is sought by all the Powers for all people – though it is rumored that those who serve Dread Powers may indeed be required to forego such unless directly ordered. I am fairly certain the current Ikon for Belial is celibate. He whines enough about it.

There are three general kinds of Clerics.


First and foremost, there are those who choose to serve the Powers or those the Powers have chosen. They are the vast majority of those who do so, and they are ones who enable and make possible the particular work that doesn’t involve direct intervention or some great and grand and terrifying magical ability or ritual spell – and yet they are often able to do such things to a degree themselves once they have shown aptitude for it.

These are the priests, though the term is a generalized one for all of them as each of the assorted Powers has a term for them that is specific to that Power. The Powers recognize the importance and the commitment that comes from leaving one’s home an apprenticing to the service of a power – even if you will never be granted the incredible abilities that many will speak of.

Priests can be found at Temples or Shrines, but they generally will stay with a given one for the entirety of their lives – they are the backbone of the place, and what they may lack in individual power, they make up in ritual power through the collective of them all. In many ways, Priests are the balance to the Paladins and the Shrinewards, much as how even the mightiest Wizard can be taken down by the collective power of everyday people.

A Priest will always start out as a Novitiate, or Apprentice, to a given Shrine or Temple. In times of difficulty or trouble, they may be asked – never commanded – to move or to take up a role with a different Temple or Shrine, but always under the same Power. Once one is in service to Paria or Mansa, you will forever be in service to them unless you leave the priesthood.

They will begin instruction and learning, first of the earliest tenets and ideals and history of the Power they come to serve and begin to be initiated into the differing mysteries as they move forward and prove their commitment. Baptism is the first and most important of the many rituals, as without it they cannot set foot upon any consecrated ground for that Power. The largest such locations for this are usually attached to a given temple of the particular power, and the large buildings are very much common areas for sleeping, classrooms, and workshops. They will work in the gardens, the kitchens, the stables and assist higher ranking Priests with their duties as needed.

As they become more experienced, they will do more, but most find that advancement can be slowed by time and stubbornness. At the head of each Temple is a Curate, Domina, or Vicar – this is the head Priest, whose power is significant, often both locally as well as within the Temple proper. Shrines are headed by Shrinewarden – who, unlike the Shrinewards, is bound to that shrine – and have a similar role in overseeing all the work and functions of the Shrine in the same way the Curate, Domina, or Vicar does for a Temple. In practical terms, they ae the head of all religious activity for the power within their region – and for Temples that is usually an area equal to the borders of the Realm, whereas for Shrines it is far less centralized. There will never be a Shrine within 100 miles of another shrine or temple to the same power.

A Curate is a masculine Cleric, and a Domina is a feminine Cleric, a Vicar is a nonbinary Cleric. All are Priests, but some of those priests may also be Paladins or Shrinewards.

The heads of each order under a Power are called Bishops. A Bishop can be a Curate or Domina or Vicar. Each of them is the head of their particular following – though in some cases, there may be one of each, or two, who have to share power, depending on the Power they serve. Beneath them will be bots who will often serve as the local heads – an Abbot could be a Paladin or Shrinewarden as well – such is the power of a Bishop that they have oversight over all the Shrinewardens in terms of rank within a given realm. Abbots are usually Masters in terms of experience. Beneath them are Deacons, followed by Friars, then Chaplains.

Thus, within the religious orders there are still similar degrees of competence and skill equal to the world outside the cloisters. Bishops, Abbots, Deacons, Friars, Chaplains, Novitiates are all equivalent to the Grand Masters, Masters, Adepts, Professionals, Novices, and Apprentices of the wider word. This means Friars and other positions all serve some function within the faith, and whose work will include supervision of those below them, from Masters to professionals to Adepts and down to the novitiates. In a given life, it can take several decades to move up from an apprentice into differing degrees of experience.

Priests wear robes of office, with sashes that denote rank. Hese robes are always in the primary color of the Power, with decorations in secondary and third colors that highlight the power’s particular pleasures and symbols.

Priests serving a temple may live within small, utilitarian, and sparse rooms inside the Temple proper, where there is also a Working room (behind the altar), and a mess hall where all eat without regard to rank or station. Those who have families may live outside the Temple, and priests earn their wages through the sales of the goods offered from the Temples, through the nominals for the rituals performed, and through donations.

The Bishop is always housed separately on the Grounds of the Temple, in a place where dignitaries and related functionaries can meet. Grand Master Clerics are also able to communicate over great distances with each other – rumor has it they possess sacred devices that enable such. Grand Master Clerics have a staff that may include both Novices and lay persons.

The principal work done is rituals for the followers, ceremonies and care for the sacred space.


Those who serve in Shrines are often collectively just called Shrinewardens, though that particular term is actually meant to apply to the Shrineward who has been bound to that Shrine – and it is important to note that once bound, a Shrinewarden never leaves the consecrated ground again. It is where they will remain, and when they pass on, it is where their remains will lay.

Some Shrines will have one, other will have three, but all Shrines will have an actual Shrinewarden, and within the grounds of the Shrine, they are inviolate in person. While a Temple’s Bishop may decide they dislike a particular Shrinewarden – who may be equal to or greater in experience than the Bishop – they will never be able to unseat them directly. Nor can they seek the Deconsecration of a shrine without combating the Shinewraden directly. Ose who are candidates for the role of a Shrinewarden are called Shrinewards, and some of them may never find a Shrine – but the distinction of a Shrineward is that they are always called directly to service, and they are always granted unique abilities to defend and protect those of the faithful and the Shrine itself.

A Shrinewarden will often be accompanied by many Shrinewards who will be learning from them as Apprentices, as well as those who are in line to take over and those who seek to assist in the task of preserving the remarkable space they have been given.

Along with them will be Priests – sometimes trained locally, sometimes trained by the Temple if there is one (for not all realms have a temple), who will engage in much the same general work – but it is the Shrinewarden who is central to the Shrine itself.

While Priests can be identified by their robes and sashes, Shrinewards are identified by the distinctive uniform they wear. It consists of a tight fitting, mid-waisted white jacket with long, bell sleeves that drape dramatically and are set to be one finger longer than the length of their arms. This jacket is always trimmed in ribbons with the second color of the power and seems to never get dirty – it is always a bright white. Beneath it they will wear a wrap shirt of the third color of the Power, and then they will always wear a pair of very loose, skirt like trousers – dance is a frequent act for them, and range of motion is important. They normally wear sandals, but some will wear boots, especially when traveling. The trousers ae always the first color of that power. White is what stands out, and each is a solid color. It is said that the garments are gifted by the powers directly, as no one has ever been found to make them, and duplicating the dyes is seemingly all but impossible, and never for such clothing. They are potent and persistent reminder that these are people that have been specifically chosen by a power.

Shrinewards are also always able to seek shelter and community within any temple or other shrine of their Power – and there are always two or three well appointed rooms for them in any of these locations should they pass through. The same does not apply, however, to Priests, including the Bishop.

Shrinewards are chosen and have unique gifts, but they ae not the only ones so chosen. The role of a Shrinewarden, however, is to assist in the task of turning back the denizens of the Necrotic – often thought to mean that the role of a Shrineward is to turn the undead, though it is both narrower and broader than that thought. Shrinewards are often members of the Adventurer’s guild, as well, and they are the rare but still found folks who will travel, for they do not get to take time off – they are the representatives of their Power, and they haea mission to bring more people to follow that Power.

Shrinewards start their apprenticeship early. It is said that they begin training as early as 9, and that the vast majority of them are feminine in nature, though this is not an absolute nor a requirement. There are both masculine and nonbinary Shrinewardens – and notable ones, as well, but the majority of the Shrinewards are indeed women. They begin to seek out their own Shrines and go wandering, they are often 14 to 16 yeas of age, far younger than any others, and this often raises serious concerns by the wider communities, for the work they do is dangerous and deadly and often traumatic.

Most Shrinewards will “settle down”, whether becoming a Shrinewarden or turning to the aid and assistance of a Shrinewarden, by the time they turn 25. Again, not absolute, merely the most common outcome. The youngest grand master Shrineward ever was 23 – and to have a lifetime of knowledge in one so young is a mark that shows when you look to their eyes.

There is one final thing about a Shrineward to note: it takes significant long term contact to be able to identify them. They tend to fade from memory and thought, and identifying them after a brief encounter is very difficult – it is as if the work they do and the people they save ae meant to be only whispers and vague hints. A Shrineward out of uniform is pretty much not able to be recalled at all.

One of Antelle’s former shrinewards says that She only called her to serve for a while, and that it is a blessing, a part of the gifts they are giving, so that they can enjoy a normal life after their calling. I need to point out that I am an Ikon of Antelle, her living embodiment on the world, and I cannot recall her name or what she looked like after talking with her to learn more about it.


One of the things that folks often try hard not to remember is that we are always but a thin tear in the veil away from a disaster in many ways, for there are many different dimensions that are attached and attracted to our own Mortal Realm, stacked in interwoven, interleaving, interconnected layers that are held back only by the warp and weft of the Veil and Pale.

What works against one of those dimensions does not always work as well against another one – and there is no more critical a point to draw than that there is malice and malevolence in those dimensions we call the Infernal. Hell, The Abyss, the Dread Domain, and even, yes, the Mortal Realm of The Bleak.

Incursions from them are seemingly eternal, and it is not helped that there are those here who would listen to the seductive calls to power and domain if they would just let a bit of evil into their life…

And this is where the paladins come in.

To many, there is no need to have Paladins and Shrinewards, and given that some of the Shrinewards almost seem to be paladins in and of themselves, this might make sense to those who are not well informed, who have not studied the intricacies and the nature of these extradimensional enemies. No amount of effort to turn the undead will ever effect a Wight or a Wraith. Nor would they stand against a demonic presence or be able to defy with skill and the necessary heart a bit of deviltry in a downtown.

Not that any Shrineward would ever turn away from the fight, mind you – that simply isn’t what they are about. To fight Hags and Demons and Devils, you need a tool and a power and force of personality that is unyielding and unclouded. You need someone that the Celestial powers would support and guide and aid, and that means you need someone who is good in a way that few others are.

Not perfect, not incorruptible, but decent, fair, and able to stand against the wickedness of the evil that has brought many a man to ruin and misfortune.

Paladins start out as candidates and are tried through their apprenticeship in way that would harrow even the most noble of us. I am an Ikon and I could neve endure what they do just to become what they must. Antelle has seventeen Paladins and seeks to have 25 – but that is a struggle that she has been having for over 200 years.

Demons are among us. Devils are twisting and corrupting. Hags are ensnaring the unwary and all are causing dissent and fomenting rebellion and discord.

Mansa’s Ikon estimates that there are 30,000 denizens of the Internal Plane among us, all striving to widen the breach and trick others into summoning more of them, and I can say that even with he power I have been granted, a higher order devil is no small task, nor one assured of completion should I join against one.

That is what Paladins are for. You may have heard the stories – of Jonathan, of Paxarria, of the Knightly orders that were lost in those ages past during incursions such as we hope never to see again, of the battles that just recently took place in the far west.

Paladins are trained in Temples, and it is the role of older Paladins to do that harrowing of them, that strengthening of mind and heart, that binding of soul to self, to put them through ordeals the like of which most never emerge unscathed and many emerge no longer whole.

And even then, there is no certainty that they will become paladins. Many who do not will become vanguards or warriors, turn to the priesthood – and some may even be called to become Shrinewardens, though that is thankfully rare.

They are called only when they have endured and proven themselves – and sometimes it is not even when they have gone through those orchestrated trials and tests – the Powers sometimes choose those whose own personal ordeals have been just as harrowing. Paladins are strong people, but not cruel. They may not be nice, but they are always kind. They seek to serve and seek to bring others into the followings. Paladins are always found where disaster strikes – often appearing simply because they felt like it was a direction they had to go in, a place they had to see, an unknowable urge to be in that place.

There are legends and tales and songs sung of many who have been heroic, but it is paladins who can be nothing but, for that is part of their purpose: to be the light in the darkness, to be the balm of the wounded, to rally the troops and to stand in defiance of the greatest of evils.

One sage once suggested that Paladins are the opposite of Vampires. I find no fault with that, for there are few things as utterly unredeemable as Vampires or their kin the Lich.

Paladins who are in the whole of their power are annoyingly great. Their mail and weapons gleam and glitter, polished and shiny, and around them no one can feel fear or be turned to despair. And while many of the typical people will say that such things are “silly” or without real value, they have never faced down a demon in the fullness of its power and in the midst of its grand design.

IF Shrinewards are the ones who help the needy, Paladins are the ones that work to make it so that there are ever fewer needy.

After the long training, a paladin will become an Errant, and hence forth they will go where they are bid, according to the Power of Powers that called and granted them their blessings. Paladins may be chose by as many as five different Powers, who will then always work in concert for that given Paladin – and there is no way to tell who will choose them or why they are chosen until that moment when they are.

I have witnessed the empowering of five Paladins in the last couple hundred years, and I would much rather go to battle with them than not – but should it be not, let it be a battle they would have approved of. That is how these traveling clerics of steel and sword are. Also, they do a bang up job of healing, and you will always find plague stopped by one.

Clerical Duties

All of them are Clerics, though. Paladins, Shrinewards, Priests – each of them has a task, a role, a way and a place, and yet, all of them share the duties of all Clerics: to further the following, to be what a Power cannot in the moment, to prove that the Powers are worthy of worship again, and to make the world a more fit place for the people who live upon it, while performing the ceremonies and rituals of worship wherever they may be called upon to do so.


Worship itself is a simple affair. You go when you feel a need, make tithe and offering, kneel before the altar, perform a sacrament of the appropriate type (Tamasin likes people to clap three times), light some incense, have your one-sided conversation, and leave. No one is limited by time. For the Bright Host, the usual prayer is for some sort of Boon that will ultimately help them. For Shadow Host, it is a payer to avoid their affections. For the Dread Host, it is a prayer for selfish actions and personal needs.

Most people only visit a place of worship when there is something important happening, or for holidays and celebrations of key events. The reason for the many small Daises in the entrance is to perform Rituals of Worship.

There are eleven basic types of sacred rituals that are performed. Each one will have at least three (1 for Shrines, four for Manses) Clerics, with one a Focal, much like a coven. For these rituals, unlike those performed by a Cleric, the Clerics draw from the faith of the adherents, the lay folk.


Making up for some past transgression, and proving that one has repented of that heresy, which restores the blessings.


Births are celebrated, and it begins as soon as the pregnancy is known. A blessing for a smooth birth and healthy child is normal and common.


Baptism happens once a person is old enough to choose to follow or pledge to a given Power.

Coming Of Age

The ritual of adulthood is a varied and notable ritual.


Permission to court is of critical importance in many homelands, and not seeking it has consequences.


Marriage is a finality, but not a singularity. This creates a sacred bond that allows the parties to share their feeling for each other.


Should a marriage dissolve, there is a way to break the sacred bonds.


This ritual, covered elsewhere, is necessary each time you gain a new degree of mastery – and it applies to everyone.


Once a person reaches an age about 25 years short of expected natural lifetime, they are granted Seniority through a ritual that ultimately seeks to preserve their health and wellbeing.


Death is honored and last rites are an important aspect of being empowered to move on after death. Last rites should be done as soon as possible after death to prevent returning as a ghost.


Different Homelands have different customs, but they are always accompanied by a ritual of passing. Sibola, Durango, and Dorado bury their dead. Qivira, Aztlan, Lyonese, Antilia, and Islandia all cremate their dead. Hyboria and Kahokia leave theirs to the elements. Keris buries them at sea. No one knows what the Exilian do.


The most common rite any Cleric will do, consecration is one of the greatest and most potent powers that they have. Consecration can destroy undead, can ward against evil, can create a safe place against the dangers.

Consecration cannot happen on places that have been Desecrated for the use of Dread Powers or consecrated to the Old Ones. It is a first come, first served thing. It appears that only Chicory and certain of her ilk can change this.


In the normal order of the Universe, people are reincarnated into a new life on one of the other Seven Mortal Realms in a cycle that persists indefinitely. It is possible for this to be forced to happen on a particular plane, but the spell caster doing it must be of the plane wanted to reincarnate on. Next, those for reincarnation require a mature vessel, a body, for the person to inhabit. The cost of a reincarnation is 2500 quid and an unharmed vessel within 7 days.


All of us, when born, are allotted five spans. A Span is 20 years. Many things can take away that full allotment, but it is still ours. Those who have not used all their spans can be returned to life, their body healed of illness and harm, but it comes with a price: they lose a Span each time. Resurrection must be performed within three days of death, costs 2500 quid, and can only be done on those who have not yet lived out their allotment on the plane of resurrection.


Ordeals are covered elsewhere but are always overseen by at least an Adept Cleric.


Tithes are usually simple and involve some form of sacrifice.

For the Bright Powers, the tithe is often coin for the temples.

For the Shadow Powers, a tithe is often a form of offering of value to the local Shrine. Figures, art, food, clothing, needed tools all count.

For the Dread Powers, it is always the blood tithe, and it is best done on site, bleeding a living thing over the altar.


Prayers for the Dread Powers are meant to distract them, to avert their eyes, to avoid attention.

Prayers for the Bright Powers are meant to seek their favor.

Prayers for the Shadow Host are meant to aid them (the powers) in their works.


All of this is in addition to the fact that sometimes some people are given Gifts by certain Powers That Be, as part of their effort to bring people back around. Gifts can vary wildly, and so in some places there are efforts underway to try and ensure people don’t give these gifts.

People with Gifts are Weird, having been chosen by the Powers That Be for something, and those who are chosen are often fortunate, while those closest to them often are not.

The Powers That Be of Wyrlde are not well liked, well thought of, or trusted by many. The scars and harm of the God’s War are still fresh, and still present, and the abandonment of the Powers That Be makes people feel very much hostile to them.

The Hosts

The Powers that be are divided into three Hosts. These divisions go back to before the God’s War and were settled and fixed by it. Each host is known by assorted names that are often used interchangeably:

The Dread Powers That Be, called The Three, called The Dread Host

The Shadow Powers That Be, called The Five, called The Shadow Host

The Bright Powers That Be, called The Seven, called The Bright Host

There are often partnerships among the Powers That Be in various actions and activities – typically, these come in groups of three. For example, each of the Heritages have three Powers That Be that were their source. These groups may cross lines – this is especially true with the Shadow Powers That Be.

The Seven

The Seven are all immensely powerful, and each has taken a given City within the Empire as their own, though their worship can be found in all of the great Cities – but not always in Towns or Villages. They are a diverse lot in terms of personality, but one thing does remain highly noticeable: most of them tend to present a feminine aspect to the world. It does not mean they only appear that way, nor that such defines them, merely that it is the most common. Mansa and Qetza only ever present themselves in a masculine way. The rest can be variable.

Many years ago, The Seven led a Rebellion and overthrew the previous Powers That Be (The Three, then called The Five) and since then have essentially been the Powers That Be of the World. At the time the Seven were the Nine, and the war cost them two of their number, whose presence is still felt, and others whose names alone are all that remains.

Each of them is enormously powerful, and each stands alone as a deity – a Host is more like a collective than a pantheon, all of them having equal import, value, and power, with individual arguments and particular desires in play. There is no King of the Powers That Be among the Hosts, though Belial would have you think there is.

The Seven are aloof, snarky, unserious, and demanding that people recognize them for the Powers they are. They like to show off, to be larger than life, and all of them are secretly desperate for attention and praise and worship. This little bit applies to all the Powers: they need worship, for it is the lifeblood that sustains them. They love games and stratagems, and do not have a view as narrow as mortals.


History The much beloved Kybele is one of the most important Powers and was the first to realize the power of worship and the gifts that could be given to Clerics. Belial’s desire for her led to his causing her great harm and so started the God’s War. She is the mother of the Angels, the Demons, and the Kaun.

During the God’s War, Kybele personally destroyed the Dread Lord Sakrefis, one of Pallor’s most dangerous generals, though her entire regiment was slain. She collected them and personally raised them all into he night as stars. She often uses Valkyries as messengers. Kybele is said to be the most involved of the Seven in the daily affairs of those who follow her.

Relations Kybele is the currently somewhat estranged partner of Mansa, and she is terrified of Belial. She is not fond of Qetza or Gallae and finds their posturing to be annoying. She grows quiet around Chicory and prefers to be near Ululani and Paria. She is the sister of Gallae, and some believe grandmother of Acacia.
Centers of Worship Kybele is of great importance to Sibola, Dorado, and Aztlan. She is the most worshipped, most beloved of all the Powers, and if there was one that people said they trusted, it would be her.

Her patronage of Dorado is a sore spot to many, though she did personally raise her Temple there.

Followers Of all the Bright Host, no one is loved more than Kybele. No one is worshipped more than Kybele. Kybele is the prettiest, kindest, most forgiving and generous of all the Powers, and her many followers reflect this. She is known to heal wounds of children without being asked, and to personally show up to feed prisoners and criminals.

She is not, however, without a vengeful side, and she uses the power she has judiciously and exactingly. She is said to punish those who ask her to bring harm to others, even if unintended, but will help those who seek aid not for themselves but for others.

Personality Kybele is someone no one decent can say anything bad about. She is gorgeous, gracious, elegant, charming, kind to a fault, and yet she is also seemingly distracted, not always grasping things at the first, self-deprecating and apologetic, willing to accept the faults in a meeting as her own. She is considered the epitome of grace and womanliness, and only the most uncouth of people will gainsay her to others.
Kybele P1398C2T6#yIS1
Alignment Pattern, Benefice, Balance, Agency, Unity, Dependence, Life
Alternyms Paramour, The Beauteous, Europa
Patron of Sibola Dorado
Colors Blue White Silver
Fauna Sheep Beast Manticore
Flora Lotus Omen Wilted, dead flower
Ordeals Solitude Ingestion Cross
Virtues Empathy Kindness Caring
Sins Mercilessness Cruelty Viciousness
Worship Bow, prayer, request, offering, bow, back out.
Baptism Ritual bath in goatmilk
Prayer Hey Lady, I was hoping you could hear me.
Offerings Flowers
Clerics Only women may be Clerics of Paramour, and they must be strong and must be willing to raise at last two children. She permits any armor, but no edged or pointed weapons. Her symbol is marked on the forehead by ordaining.


History The irrepressible and strong-willed Gaea is called the Earth Mother, Paraterra, and is a member of the bright Host. She was relentless hounded by Belial, who held a grudge against her that she never fully understood beyond he thought a woman who was uninterested in sex was broken. During the War, she was known to lead vast regiments of all women warriors whose fury and skill challenged even Timur’s legions for supremacy. Since then, she has been focused on warding the wild areas of the world, not wanting it to fall to the hand of Men.
Relations Gaea is on friendly terms with most of the Bright Host. She is the occasional Consort of Paria, the confidant of Mansa, and the best friend of Qetza. She has sworn an oath to end Timur, and that has echoed throughout the ages as her will continues to be thwarted. She will disagree with Mansa openly, sometimes harshly. She gets along well with Gallae and Lamia. Gaea is the Mother of Gob, Paralda, Neksa, and Djin, making her the mother of Elementals.
Centers of Worship Gaea’s cities are Aztlan, Lyonese, and Antilia. She is known to favor them and to support their efforts as they strive for greatness.
Followers She is called The Great Mother, the Dancer, Ayesha and Paraterra, Lady of the Hearth. She is the loving maternal embrace, the encouraging word, the fiery defender, the protectress.

Her baptism involves being fully submerged in running water, face to the sky, while the Priest intones the rite of baptism. She abhors inhospitality, even to enemies, considers mistrust and rudeness to be sins, and she will accept any offering of value to the worshipper, often returning it the following year.

Personality Gaea is generally laid back and informal, fond of comfort and the pleasures of home. She is believed to have a home in all her cities, and every temple complex has a small set aside building, usually fairly humble, that is said to be her Home, her hearth, and is sacrosanct.

Gaea has a fiery temper one aroused, however, and will fashion herself a from a dozen feet tall, clad in metal ribbons that ripple like silk streamers, and carries an immense double headed battle axe into battle, which she enjoins with a wild, snarling leer of anticipation.

Gaea P1507C2T8#yIS1
Alignment Chaos, Benefice, Balance, Agency, Unity, Dependence, Life
Alternyms Paraterra, Hearthmother, The Dancer Ayesha
Patron of Antilia Lyonese
Colors Brown Orange Gray
Fauna Squirrels Beast Elementals
Flora Daffodils Omen A rotten nut
Ordeals Walking Fire Burning Hand Ingestion
Virtues Hospitality Familial Love Courtesy
Sins Mistrust Rudeness Secrecy
Worship Kneel, offering, prayer, request, gratitude.
Baptism Being fully submerged in running water, face to sky, while the rite is intoned.
Prayer She of the hearth and home, hear my plea.
Offerings Any of object of importance and value to the worshipper.
Clerics People of any gender can be her Clerics, must remain celibate once ordained.

Clerics have her symbol tattooed on the backs of their hands in orange ink.


History The God’s War started because Mansa was seen as a threat by his one-time best friend, Belial. Coveting Kybele, Belial sent Mansa off on errands and tried to seduce her, and when he failed, he took her, and he took the children of that and corrupted them into demons. On returning, Mansa became mad with rage and punched Belial, and so started the God’s War.

Mansa is still angry over what was done to his wife.

Relations As befits the man who punched Belial to start the God’s War, Mansa is unerringly opposed to anything the Dread host does in all manners and in all ways. He has been somewhat single minded in this, and it has cost him dearly – he is somewhat estranged from Kybele, his wife, though he is still close to Qetza. He rarely gets along well with the others due to his always thinking he is right and is said to think of himself as the leader of the Powers – a thought shared by no others.

He does not get along well at all with the Shadow Host members, who find him infuriating.

Centers of Worship The largest, grandest, and most conspicuous of all the Temples in his honor is located in Sibola, which remains the seat of his worship and influence. Mansa is deeply popular among men, and it can be said not at all among pretty much everyone else.
Followers Mansa always has two, and only two, Temples in every complex dedicated to him. They are identical, except that one (always left hand from entry) is for women, and the other is for men. He maintains a strict division between the two, to the point that they cannot touch nor speak to a member of the opposite sex. He allows followers to marry, but the man is always the leader and head of the family.

Mansa is possibly the least popular of all the Powers. His clerics, when ordained, are marked on their backs by his scale, and it actively measures their devotion to him in a visible manner.

Personality He is paternal, patriarchal, and believes in firm, strong gender roles.

He is a brilliant strategist, absolutely focused, and can become blood crazed. Despite his flaws, he stands solely for goodness and order.

Mansa P1619C2T10#yIS1
Alignment Pattern, Benefice, Balance, Structure, Unity, Dependence, Life
Alternyms Paragon, Dagon, Mister Shiny, Lawfather
Patron of Sibola Durango
Colors Gold Red White
Fauna Lion Beast Chimera
Flora Linden Tree Omen Consistent Clumsiness
Ordeals Combat Arena Boiling Stone
Virtues Paternalism Justice Orderliness
Sins Weakness Criminality Emotionality
Worship Kneel, Prayer, Offering, Request, Bow
Baptism Blessed Water drizzled over head and shoulders
Prayer Mighty Mansa, I ask you to hear my hopes and accept my offering
Offerings Braids, Coins, Weapons, Jewelry
Clerics Clerics have the Scales appear on their backs, and the scale weighs them visibly.


History The Warlord, the Hedonist, the wild man of the Powers, Qetza is many different things, with manly standing out as the first and foremost. He is exceptionally handsome, and his whole body is covered by intricate tribal and knotwork tattoos that he also requires of is Clerics.

He is famous as the strategist of the Bright Host, and is a warrior’s warrior, dedicated to and loving the contest, the challenge, the test, the use of skill of and wit. Yet once the fight is over, he turns to his other proclivities, which in many would be women and wine, and his case is missing the Wo- part.

Relations Qetza is the strange one of the Bright Host. He is the only other man among them besides Mansa, who is his best friend, and he absolutely loathes Belial and Pallor, but is said to think he can win over Timur, his counterpart among the dread host.

He does not get along with Chicory at all, and the two have been known to fight openly, loudly, and with much vigor – much to the dismay and risk of those around them. He is on good terms with Paria, Erishu, and Baen. He is close to Lamia and Gallae, but on a different level.

Centers of Worship Durango and Antilia are his principle locations, but it is said that most towns and cities have at least one place where men who enjoy leather and his brand of joyful exuberance can be found and a shrine to him is raised. Qetza is also the Patron of the Grand Games, and he is said to have a personal interest in the Dire War.
Followers His followers tend to be large, hairy, boisterous, proud, happy, loving, friendly, and heavily tattooed. They often wear leather clothing and are frequently, like the Power himself, found wearing fur lined vests and leather pants with boots.

He has an entire cadre of women followers, who often are angry at him for not allowing them to be clerics, but he just winks and says “see Lamia”.

Personality “If it ain’t fun, why do it?” is the core summation oof Qetza’s outlook on life, and his approach to everything but combat. His approach there is best described as “Hit it so hard it never gets up and if it lives, will fall over on its own after it sees you.”.

That is pretty much the whole of Qetza’s personality.

Qetza P1735C2T12#yIS1
Alignment Chaos, Benefice, Imbalance, Agency, Unity, Independence, Life
Alternyms Parabellum, Etragon, Bladelord, Aries, Bataer
Patron of Durango Antilia
Colors Black Brown Green
Fauna Bear Beast Polecat
Flora Pansy Omen Weapons Breaking
Ordeals Seated Pyre Molten Metal Arena
Virtues Speed in Battle Calm in Peace Hedonism
Sins Cowardice Hopelessness Moderation
Worship Set weapon on altar, bow, offering, bow, prayer, bow, retrieve weapon
Baptism Single combat to first blood, scar remains
Prayer Lord Qetza, I beg of thee hear my plea.
Offerings Flowers, candy, braided and woven goods
Clerics Qetza only allows men as Clerics, forbids them the use of any armor, and requires fearlessness in battle. His mark is on the back of their heads, often beneath hair.


History Tamasin was the first to emerge from the Eternal Fire and set foot on the world. Where a tear of hers fell an immense Wisteria tree sprang up immediately, and the blossoms surrounded her from above as lavender grew below.

Tamasin worked closely with Dwarfs and Elfin in their efforts during the War, and remains thought of fondly by them.

Relations The only known entanglement of any of the other Powers and Tamasin is that Tamasin claims first place for vengeance upon Timur, whose slaying of Alfey still echoes through many places and in many ways. She is cordial, reserved, and seemingly above things in her dealings with other Powers, much like she is in dealing with Mortals. She is the one who points out that to their knowledge, Powers can die, and thus they are closer to Mortals than to the Old Ones.
Centers of Worship Qivira, Lyonese, and Islandia are her three most well known centers, with large, ornate and gilded temples. Her temples are marvels in and of themselves, every inch worked to display intricate, stunning beauty, and her Clerics always seem to posses some craft to which they devote their extra time in search of mastery and perfection.

Tamasin’s Temples are quiet places, with hushed whispers and gentle streams among the many wisteria trees. When in bloom, the entirety of them is decorated.

Followers Tamasin’s followers are expected to display Harmony, Grace, Equity, and absolute mastery of craft in their daily lives, which is why she is popular in both Qivira and Lyonese. She encourages obsessive behavior and is known to think well of those who conceive, plan, and execute a successful plan in secret. She hates braggards.
Personality “A pleasant demeanor is a more powerful weapon than any hand.”

She, herself, lives up to it, in that she is on the surface very generous of spirit, polite and courteous, demure and pleasant.

Some say that Sahara Shang is her current Ikon, and it is hard to deny, as Sahara did rather cold bloodedly secure the realm of Qivira by following Tamasin’s teachings.

Tamasin seems to be above everything, and yet she is a strong willed and sometimes cruel woman who will do many things to get her way.

Tamasin P1852C2T14#yIS1
Alignment Pattern, Benefice, Imbalance, Agency, Unity, Independence, Life
Alternyms Paraduush, Tamara, Tamarind, Tamsin
Patron of Qivira Aztlan
Colors Blue Gold Black
Fauna Falcon Beast Drake
Flora Wisteria Omen A haunting 4 note, then 5 note sound
Ordeals Solitude Sulphur Brew Ingestion
Virtues Planning Self- Confidence Self-Reliance
Sins Disrespect Capriciousness Impulsiveness
Worship Clap twice, kneel, prayer, offering, rise, bow, clap thrice
Baptism Purification bath in naturally running water from above
Prayer Lady of Vows, this is my oath.
Offerings Flowers, food, first fruit
Clerics Prefers Demihumans, semihumans, and humanoid Clerics. Her mark is on the throat, and she only allows ranged weapons and up to light armor.


History Tritons and the naval wars were almost wholly in the hands of Ululani, who hates water but loves fishes. After some early failures, she began to steadily and unerringly turn the tide of the war at sea completely in favor of the Bright Host, and ultimately is why the final battle was staged in and around the Ancient Land, far from where her naval forces could be of value.

In the Battle of Bilderburg, she managed to completely decimate the Thyrs based frontlines using strictly massive globs of saltwater hurled from ships. Her impact was such that she is credited with the design basics for all Ships of the Empire.

Relations Laminar’s Daughter, Ululani watched her parents die in the Voes, and has never been quite right since. She survived, and has ever since been distant, overly concerned with the fascination of the moment, seemingly flighty, and yet, despite all of this short erm attention stuff, she is one of the sharpest and most sought for advice among the Powers – though to say she is friendly with any might be a stretch.
Centers of Worship The largest Temple for Ululani is reached through a passage from the landward part of Keris that leads below the lagoon to Keris proper, and is completely dry, with a clear ceiling that allows one to see the sea all around. The Temple is isolated from the rest of Keris proper, as it is wholly dry and water is not allowed in. It took 70 years to construct.

She also has Temples in Islandia, and in Gateway in Akadia. She is very popular among Akadians, even is most of the Mages still prefer Melane.

Followers Ululani’s followers tend to keep fish as pets, from small ones up to large koi ponds and on to the Aquariums of Islandia’s towns. They are often very focused people, easily distracted and given to simple pleasures and what is best described as quirkiness. A great many of her followers are women, especially young women.
Personality Ululani is often said to be a Power that lacks focus, that is hard to pin down, that is flighty and unreliable. These belie who true strengths in deep knowledge, grasp of subjects far below the surface level, and the particulars of how systems interact and operate. She comes across as distracted and uninterested in what is going on around her but is paying close attention. She never meets people’s eyes, is shy and reserved. “Sorry, what did you say?” seems to be a favorite phrase.
Ululani P1966C2T16#yIS1
Alignment Chaos, Benefice, Imbalance, Agency, Self, Independence, Life
Alternyms Ulu, Pretipreti, Waterwalker, Dreameress
Patron of Islandia Akadia
Colors Orange Blue Pink
Fauna Fish Beast Sea Serpent
Flora Lily Omen Chill Wind
Ordeals Solitude Freezing Water Floating Water
Virtues Whimsy Joy Knowing all of a thing
Sins Meanness Harming Fish Bathing in Water
Worship Knock thrice on the altar, request, prayer, offering, knock thrice, leave.
Baptism Breathed on by the Cleric after a Fire Walking ordeal
Prayer Ululani, Loving Daughter, embrace my entreaty in your warmth.
Offerings Living sea life, Lilies, coin
Clerics Her mark travels around the neck of the Clerics, said to move just slow enough that you can only spot it if you watch for a long time. She doesn’t like swords or spears.


History Vulcana was Alfey’s first love, and he was her only and eternal love. They were inseparable, save for a single time, and that separation became permanent.

Every scar on Timur’s body comes from an encounter with Vulcana, who even now hunts his chained parts that she might further torture and inflict harm on him. It is believed her intense dislike of Chicory comes from the fact that she thinks Chicory knows where the parts are and is not telling. She dislikes Antelle because Antelle is close to Chicory and won’t push on her behalf.

Relations Vulcana seems to get along well with all the Bright Host but avoids having anything to do with any other host. It is said she blames the near loss on the Shadow host and their unwillingness to commit. Since Alfey was a member of the Shadow Host, this has led to some hard feelings.
Centers of Worship The grandest Tower in all of Akadia is a non-standard Temple to the woman whose fury razed the original built by struggling failed revolutionaries.

Needless to say, Vulcana has a strong presence in Akadia, and a second one in Dorado. It is said that she is also worshipped within Thule, having earned the respect of the leaders there during the war. Vulcana is worshipped in many places, though, especially in areas where the overall sense is that someone is angry.

Followers Vulcana’s followers are people of action, even when that action might be rash. They are decisive, curious, and prone to dislike the idea of talking too much or too long. They are called impatient, but it is more that they have an inner fire, a drive to move, to keep moving, and are fearless about the day. They get along famously well with Qetza’s followers, except for the partying stuff.
Personality Vulcana is a very tall, lithe woman, with coal dark skin, red eyes, and appears to be on fire at all times. That is always how she appears, and she almost never seems to be anything but angry. This is surprising because prior to Alfey’s death, shwas in the running to be as well-loved as Alfey or Kybele. These days, she is defined by that rage of hers, and the speed and finality with which she acts when she makes a decision. Her ikon, a Meka named Murderbot, is as externally cool as she is externally fiery.
Vulcana P2080C2T18#yIS1
Alignment Pattern, Benefice, Balance, Agency, Self, Independence, Life
Alternyms Arcadia, Parignis, Firesong, The Burning One
Patron of Durango Lyonese
Colors Yellow Blue Black
Fauna Eagle Beast Phoenix
Flora Poppy Omen The scent of smoke w/no fire around
Ordeals Burning Hand Burning Brand Seated Pyre
Virtues Commitment Vengeance Self Expression
Sins Fearfulness Caution Hesitation
Worship Offering, Prayer, Request
Baptism Three stages: Fire Walk, Water Walk, Air Walk.
Prayer Firesong, hear me, this is what is needed.
Offerings Coal, valuable metals, fire, blood
Clerics Her mark will cover one side of the face of the Cleric, but will not be a brand or burn, more like a birthmark. She expects her clerics to get stuff done, and not hem and haw and delay.

The Five

The Five are also called the Shadow Powers That Be, for they chose not to take part in the God’s War and rebel, preferring instead to merely defend their areas of interest. Each has a secret place on and in the world that they hold as their own, and guard. The Five are not often spoke of openly in major cities, as they are even less trusted than the Seven. The Five were caught between the Seven and The Three in the God’s War, sometimes on one side, sometimes on another, but were often called on by other Powers That Be when something needed to happen. Alfey’s death at the stalks of a gross of beholders shattered the uneasy neutrality of the Five – who were once the Seven and lost two of their number in the God’s War, just as all the others did. To hear it told, they have lost even more long before that. Alfey was much beloved, the patron of Elfin.

There is no other set of deities who are as constantly involved in the affairs of the world as the Five. They are found as easily walking along a road as a weary traveler as they are standing beside a King as an advisor. Antelle, my Lady, will move her Inn from place to place, and serve as hostess and innkeeper to those she finds of interest. Paria is said to be always watching, always listening, always present, and yet never a part of anything. The Five have unique quirks to their personalities, and are opposed to the rise of the Three, and hate what was done during the God’s War. They are very certain of themselves. Of the Shadow Powers That Be, the least active is Melane. The most active are Antelle and Paria. The Shadow Powers That Be limit who can serve them by gender, with Antelle and Paria favoring trans folk, and Melane favoring non-binary people.

Lamia and Gallae are lovers. Lamia is occasionally mistaken as a man for showing a masculine aspect, though she tends to be quite firm about disliking that.


History It was Mansa’s blow, but he only knew because of the plotting and slow, methodical work of the ever risky to cross Antelle. She was and some say still is the Spymaster, the Schemer, the Planner behind many plans, and Pallor’s opposite number. Antelle is not someone who tolerates betrayal or who seeks to harm those in her care, and this has placed her at opposite sides of many a situation fro people who are otherwise friendly.

Her chief concerns these days are ensuring the success and wellbeing of all the peoples of Wyrlde, even the Foes.

Relations Like much of the Shadow Host, Antelle has cordial if distant relations with the Bright Host and is closer to her own Host than many of them are. She is tightest with Paria and Lamia, and rumor has it she even once seduced Mansa “just to see”. It is a favorite story of Ara’s to tell. She is fairly rigid in her positions but is willing to work with others to achieve their goals or ends.
Centers of Worship Antelle is the chief Patron of Dorado, and it is there her largest Temple is found. She can be found in many other places as well, as among the shadow host she is fairly popular despite her flaw: Antelle, like Paria and Chicory, is a transgender Power. As below, so above, and while few will speak to her directly, all find her a bit unnerving to deal with at times.
Followers Like Qetza, Antelle’s followers love festivals and parties. Unlike his, those who follow the Shescythe are much more sedate and think of themselves as refined. Flowers feature largely in any activity involving her followers, as flowers are all sacred to her.
Personality She is the heart of the Shadow Host, and even if the others were to switch sides, she would remain where she is, always in the center, always between the poles, just as she was in the War itself. She is unconcerned with he things that benefits the Powers – her worries and focus are on the people, but she does not seek their favor, like the rest of the Shadow Host, in the same way. She is grateful for it, but few would say it is what drivers her.

Antelle is famous for carrying a gigantic scythe that is bone white from gleaming point to metal shod base. She uses it to carve away the souls of those who oppose her, and to stop time – which is one of the reasons she is considered among the most powerful of the Powers, for only three, maybe four others can do that: The Three of the Old Ones, and Chicory.

Antelle P2199C2T20#yIS1
Alignment Life, Independence, Unity, Agency, Balance, Benefice, Pattern
Alternyms Arabelle, Shescythe, The Laughing, Paratrans
Patron of Dorado Hyboria
Colors Green Blue Violet
Fauna Dogs Beast Dragon
Flora Daisy Omen A black dog in the distance
Ordeals Molten Metal Sulphur Brew Stones
Virtues Boldness Thoughtfulness Love
Sins Stalking Failing to see the beauty around you
Worship Offering, request, prayer
Baptism Raise 13 flowers from seed and present as an offering.
Prayer Be well, be happy, be thankful, be open, be honest
Offerings Flowers of any kind, coin
Clerics Must be gender Variant. Her weird shows up as a tattoo like change around an eye, an ear, or the mouth.


History The Foe still tell tales of what it was like for their ancestors to face Gallae on the field of battle. Immense herds of gigantic beasts. Trees which would grab you and swallow you whole or tear you limb from limb. Stones that would draw you down and silene you. Insects which would drain you dry or sting you to madness before letting you die a painful death.

Survive all of that, and you faced the fifteen-foot-tall giantess and an army of boars, her massive arrows able to cleave one in two while she smoked a cigar with her free hand. This woman helped make the Dreadnoughts.

Relations The short version is Gallae doesn’t get along with anyone. The long version is she gets along with her cousin, Gaea, occasionally with Ululani, and most often with Antelle, though that was a frosty one at first.

Gallae is uninterested in cities and city life, and is focused on the places beyond them, untamed, wild, and needing protection from the ravages of the Dread Hordes.

Centers of Worship Despite this, Gallae has a magnificent temple on Zefir, which only a few ever visit in any given year. It is said the Emperor is a devotee of hers, and as that is the only Temple to her in any city, he stays there.

Gallae’s Shrines are all over the place, and she is known to frequent them in disguise.

Followers Gallae’s followers tend to be hunters and woodsmen, folks in steadings and hamlets, those who seek to find a way to live in the world away from walls.

She likes it that way.

Personality Gallae is a regal woman, with tight black curly hair kept short, a penchant for trousers and plaid patterned shirts, and a mistrust of other Powers That Be except for her Wife, Lamia.

Gallae is said to resemble Gaea, in that she tends toward middle age in most encounters and adopts a gruff personality that is quite different around her spouse.

Gallae P2315C2T22#yIS1
Alignment Life, Independence, Unity, Agency, Imbalance, Benefice, Pattern
Alternyms Forest Queen, Tiberia, Radagael, Paramundi
Patron of Kahokia Bermuda
Colors Green Brown Blue
Fauna Coyote Beast Treant
Flora Oak Omen Wind through leaves or grass
Ordeals Stones Cross Combat
Virtues Defense of Others Care for the Wild Coexistence
Sins Nobility Greed Uncharitability
Worship Prayer, Request, Offering, Kneel with head on floor.
Baptism Earthen ordeal: A night within a bed of dirt, only face exposed, naked.
Prayer I honor this, Tiberia, I see it, I feel it, I am one with it.
Offerings Anything
Clerics Masculine Women only, no armor, ranged weapons only, preferably a bow. Her mark will appear on either the rear end or the upper chest area.


History While her wife would have the world do it for her, among those who stood against Lamia there was only the mother of Serpents, and her fangs are two sharp, short blades. Laia moves with grace and dances through combat like it was a song, and while her blades bites deep, the venom within them is what truly is to be feared. Lamia likes people, but doesn’t like what people do, and is not known to be the forgiving partner of the pair.

She makes exceptions for Serpent Therian in her clerics and was said to be why they exist.

Relations Lamia give everyone the willies. She is pretty, demure, feminine, and absolutely uninterested in anything anyone else is doing except for her wife, who she supports and who supports her in turn.

She does like Acacia. That’s about it.

Centers of Worship Lamia has quiet, secluded Shrines scattered about the lands, often in very out of the way places and guarded in part by snakes raised by her clerics.

She has no temple in any city.

Followers Lamia’s followers are known to shave a line through one eyebrow based in part on what they are attracted to (left for women, right for men), and all get a tattoo around their eye, though it can vary from a snake to a scorpion to a flower – all are known for their poisonous nature, however, even though those poisons have long since stopped working.

Poison is an acceptable tool in the arsenal of lamia’s followers, but it must be done properly, and innocents cannot die from it.

Personality Lamia is always concerned with the consequences of an action, the outcomes that are not seen, the impacts that are not predicted. She is a forward thinker, then, less concerned with he moment than she is with what will be, and she is rarely wrong in her sibylline outlooks.

As a result, her Clerics are often sought for auguries and prophecies, as they are thought to be particular useful and far less likely to be couched in some strange mystical puzzle format.

Lamia P2432C2T24#yIS1
Alignment Life, Independence, Unity, Structure, Imbalance, Benefice, Pattern
Alternyms Serpent Queen, Ravenlass, Skywitch
Patron of Akadia Dorado
Colors Red Yellow Black
Fauna Snake Beast Blood raven
Flora Reeds, Cattails Omen A coiled snake
Ordeals Stones Cross Combat
Virtues Perceptiveness Wisdom Quietude
Sins Loudness Idleness Impulsiveness
Worship Kneel, Offering, Prayer, Request, rise and bow, ring bell.
Baptism Ordeal of Solitude, one week, water only three times.
Prayer So I sing to thee of sunsets and sunrises, hear me Lamia, and grant my plea.
Offerings Brooms, beer, meat, coin
Clerics Feminine men only, any armor, melee weapons only, preferably a sword. Her mark will appear on either the rear end or the upper chest area.


History The maker of Meka and Dreadnought, the clockwork queen, the Teknogy of Melane was one of the greatest tools for any side in the War, and when she saw what her works had been turned towards, she turned against them as well.

It is said that while the Bleak Journey was going on, Melane was learning magic and how it worked, and that she took the form of a young wizard to teach it to others. It is also said she taught the smith of Lyonese the secrets to sprocket and gear, and that she may still yet be teaching someone else something new and wonderful because no one has the level of curiosity and ambition she has, for the sake of that curiosity and ambition – but she has always bent it towards an old and ancient set of rules for personal behavior that she has fought hard to preserve through the Ages.

Relations Melane sees people and is seen by others as a resource, or a possible tool, and since Shavan was killed has been exploring the nature of mortality and returning. Few will cross her in person, she seems to exude a sense of rage and anger, and other Powers have said that she has been that way since Shavan passed on.
Centers of Worship Melane is the favorite of Mages of Akadia because she pretty much asks noting of them except be decent people. Her temple is the more traditional one, next door to Vulcana’s, across the way from Tamasin’s.

Antilia has declared her the Patron of the City and taken her Oath as one of citizenship.

Followers Followers of Melane never cut their hair, and always wear it in braids of many different sorts. They must have hair the length of their hand to be baptized, and they must recite the Oath of Melane while their hair is being braided. The Oath has seven parts and follows devotionals to uphold seven virtues and aver seven vices whose existence predates the history of the world.
Personality Melane is challenging for many to deal with. She accepts cut braids as offerings, will nearly always choose the underdog, and cannot stand places or points where there is a degree of unrepentant discrimination.

She has been seen and said to be working to foment rebellion among the people of Lemuria, and to be using a host of Denizens to do so.

She adores clockworks and magic, and is always accompanied by Legolas, her per snake, and Margolis, her pet white panther.

Melane P2548C2T26#yIS1
Alignment Life, Independence, Self, Agency, Imbalance, Benefice, Pattern
Alternyms Icequeen, Snowcat, Hecate, Columbia, Paranix
Patron of Akadia Antilia
Colors White Green Gold
Fauna Panther Beast
Flora Snowbell Omen
Ordeals Earthen Solitude Watery
Virtues Curiosity Discovery Exploration
Sins Incuriosity Ignorance Sinfulness
Worship Prayer, Request, Offering
Baptism Recitation of an oath while uncut hair is braided.
Prayer With Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, Faith, Hope, and Charity I ask of thee this.
Offerings Braids and coin.
Clerics Must be nonbinary. Her clerics often serve as Messengers and are allowed any tool that will enable them to do their jobs – but not more, and never for the sake of having it. Her mark will appear on the palms of their hands.


History Where Antelle was the Spymaster, Paria was the Spy. Unassuming, unremarkable, unremarked, unheard, usually unseen, Paria was the youngest of the Powers and was close to Chicory and her friends. In the War, it was Paria that uncovered the many experiments and cruel works of Belial and Pallor.

It is said that Paria is the reason that after taking over Sibola, the victors left the city and founded Aztlan instead of occupying it – Paria shared secrets that they did not know could be known.

Relations Paria is a wanderer. The last time they were at a full meeting of the Powers was before the end of the God’s War. They still knew everything and were active enough to add in some surprises in Zefir that the Emperor is still learning about.
Centers of Worship Paria has traveled more of Wyrlde than any of the existing Powers have and is said to know all the secrets held everywhere by anyone. They have small Shrines scattered about, but most pass them by without knowing what the places are for or why they are there. Many are places where Paria has stopped and paused, before continuing on the journey that has seen them cover the whole of the world, above and below, and uncover secrets in all the crevices. Paria is recognized even within Lemuria and Agartha, Duat and Thule.
Followers Pariahs, they are called, and they are a strange, reserved, people who smile sadly and sigh wistfully and ask more questions that should be right and proper for anyone to ask. They tend to be good matchmakers, but because they will pry into everything they are seen as nosy busybodies, gossipers, and pests. While most do not wander, they have a brisk trade in secrets, but tend to follow a rule Paria would find humorous: a secret can only be shared three times.
Personality Paria, when asked, says they are the God of Nothing, of Outcasts, of Thought and Ideas. Neither man nor woman, Paria is a walking enigma to most. Paria is closest to Antelle and Chicory.

They always appear in a hooded cloak or robe and wears a mask that covers half their face at a diagonal, starting upper left above their eye, crossing their nose, and riding under their lower right jaw.

Paria always has an air of longing, of yearning, of sadness about them. They are never encountered alongside other members of the Hosts, and always move alone, unless for some grand project.

Paria P2663C2T28#yIS1
Alignment Life, Independence, Self, Agency, Balance, Benefice, Chaos
Alternyms Grey Wanderer, Outcast, Lonely Boy, Parasecreta
Patron of Exilian Antilia
Colors Dark Gray White Light Gray
Fauna Lizards Beast Sphinx
Flora White Roses Omen A susurrus in the air
Ordeals Solitude Oath of Silence Exile
Virtues Quietude Solace Knowledge
Sins Deceit Deception Dishonesty
Worship Prayer, offering, request
Baptism A pilgrimage to a Shrine, where they must stay for seven days, alone.
Prayer I speak this chant, and offer this gift, in hopes you’ll grant my moment’s wish.
Offerings Secrets, needful things, dreams and hopes, desires and feelings
Clerics Clerics require devotion to absolute Candor, absolute truth. They must be gender variant. All must carry and use a staff. Paria’s mark is over their throat.

The Three

The Dread Host were once the masters of the world, the leaders of all the Powers That Be. They tend to enjoy blood sacrifice and are the creators of the Goblins and the Grendels and many of the monstrosities in the world.

The Dread Host are Chained. Bound by fetters real and unreal, split into three parts of Flesh (The Shell), Mind and Heart (The Numen), and Soul and Spirit (The Anima), then confined to small and dark places none have been able to discern, each part bound separately, differently, and far apart; while the power around them keeps them from acting with the same level of ease as the others, they have still grown strong in the centuries of their exile from the faith of The Foes, and are still able to have an effect in the world, and Belial is ever threatening to break free. Where once they discounted some of the Spirits of the World, they will never do so again.

The Three were the old Powers That Be, whose rule of the land was utter and total and whose malevolence and cruelty knew neither bound nor limit. The Three were once the Five, and two of their number were slain during the God’s War, after they, in turn, slew two each from the Shadow and Bright hosts.

The Three are always actively seeking to restore the natural order of things, because people need strong leaders and only they can provide, protect, and preserve the world the way it is supposed to be – the way it was before the Bright Powers That Be overthrew them unjustly. The Dread Powers That Be and their servants are the acknowledged bad guys. For all these years, the Bright Peoples have fought to ensure that the Dread Powers That Be never rise again, and that their servants are given neither quarter nor space, for their goals are subjugation and domination and conformity. The Dread Powers That Be names are never spoken. There are four of them these days, but they are called The Three because one is barely known, and new, and has a peculiar hidden history. They are considered to be absolute evil, and they were overthrown by The Seven, the Bright Powers That Be.

The Five only get along well with Lamia and Paria of the Shadow Host – they merely put up with the others when needed.

During the God’s War, the Dread Powers took those who were loyal to them, and from them they created the Foes, whose evil has been our bane ever since. Chief among these are the Imps. They are incalculable in number, and one on one they are more than a match for a typical person, despite their diminutive size. They are small, ugly winged people whose bodies are too dense to fly any great distance, and they are people who have turned the world into their playground the fashioning of the Underdark – massive complexes and delvings that spread out from Agartha throughout the land and give access into the Empire. Next among them, though they would have you think they are first, are the Goblins. Said to be so far removed from what they once were that they can barely still interact with other people, Goblins are a persistent and ongoing danger and risk to all peoples. Yes, it is true that there are tales of Goblins who are not like these others staging rebellion from within Antilia, but here we are concerned with those who serve the Dread Host.

They have a base in the South, a massive city teeming like an insect hive with the most vile and horrible of the servants, the Goblins. Goblins do not only live there, though — they are creatures of the night, hiding in shadows and roaming out there. It is Lemuria, and as such is ruled by “the Dark Lord”, whom none alive have ever seen the face of. “The Dark Lord” is always armored in black armor, like a chitinous shell, a faceless mask and cruel seeming twisted and sharp spikes jutting out from it. He goes by Bane, but his real name is Chadwick Beckerson. He is surrounded by the Fascians, the high Clerics and nobility of Lemuria, always in white, hooded, and anonymous.

After them come the Grendels, and the Thyrs, and many would even argue the Kobolds. However, I am friends with the Kobold King, and I can assure you they are not in service there – well, save perhaps for a few lured into it. The Grendels and Thyrs, however, like Goblins, are mostly in service to the Dread Powers, and share in a delight of conquest and the nature of their origins. While Imps do not, the others all eat meat, and are not particular what kind.

The Dread Powers That Be have asserted deep and abiding Dominance over the Dread peoples, and while some have resisted them, the vast majority are wholly bent to their will and created for the express purpose of destroying the Bright Lands.


History Belial is the most powerful of all the Powers That Be, though his particular talents are not as broad or useful, it is his magnetism and drive to control, dominate, and possess everything that his power has turned towards. His arrogance and nerve led him to assault Kybele, led him to attempt to kill Mansa after being struck, and led into the God’s War. His ego is out of control and drives him. Truth is what he says it is, and his truth is that save for a rare few of true and loyal friends, everyone else is his enemy.

His whole is sundered at present, into three distinct parts, scattered about the cosmos that he built, each part aware but unable to come together. Belial does not know how it happened, for it happened so swiftly, that he never learned.

He awaits restoration.

Relations Belial gets along with Pallor and Timur. Everyone else hates his guts, but he is certain and absolutely convinced they love him but have merely been mind-controlled by others.
Centers of Worship Belial has a gargantuan Temple crowned by the Three Towers – the Dread Tower, the Black Tower, and the Tower of Doom. This Temple is located in Lemuria. His other followers have constructed Manses in secret around the world in every major city and town – rooting them out is a preoccupation of both the cities and his people, who seek to avoid it all costs.
Followers Belial’s followers are just like him, except they think of him as the rightful leader of the Powers, whom they call Gods, and that all this has been stolen from them and only he can restore them to the places and positions of power and authority that are rightfully theirs.
Personality Belial usually appears to be a pale skinned man of average height, with black hair and dark eyes and an easy smile. He is warm, friendly, outgoing, and genial. He is nearly always called handsome, and he delights in seduction for his own purposes. He is jealous, callous, cruel, petty, and vicious. His temper is immediate and brutal, his kindness lasting only if he is not displeased.

He feels that he knows more and knows better than everyone – and that as a result, everyone exists to serve his whims and his will.

Belial P2789C2T30#yIS1
Alignment Pattern, Malefice, Balance, Structure, Self, Independence, Life
Alternyms Paramal, Paramalus, Malevolence, Nimrod
Patron of Lemuria Agartha
Colors White Red Black
Fauna White Cats Beast Kraken
Flora Monkshood Omen A white cat
Ordeals Bloodletting until nearly dead, then drinking one’s own blood.
Virtues Dominance Obedience Service
Sins Egalitarianism Kindness Mercifulness
Worship Offering, Prayer
Baptism Bath in the blood of a slain enemy.
Prayer I serve; I will be of service; I yield to thy will.
Offerings Blood, organs, innocence, life
Clerics His symbol is branded onto their forehead, even though it can also appear as a birthmark anywhere on the body. They have no other restrictions.


History Quite possibly the single most feared of all the Dread Host, Pallor is the partner of Belial, a jealous, vengeful, possessive woman whose thirst for and love of cruelty and destruction may have neither limit nor boundary.

Her whole is sundered at present, into three distinct parts, scattered about the cosmos that she helped build, each part aware but unable to come together. Pallor does not know how it happened, for it happened so swiftly, that she never learned. She awaits restoration.

Relations Pallor wants Belial all to herself, and she wants him under her control and influence, but not in a way that he is aware of it. She gets along with no one else among any of the different Powers, though she has had past dalliances with Paria and even once with Qetza in a different form than her normal.

She entertains herself with watching the hapless mortals she tortures as they struggle in her webs. It becomes interesting to watch at times, because she is very much willing to suck up to The Three of the Old Ones, but finds herself rebuffed and seeks to undermine them, as well. She has at least Two Manses in every city, and in most towns; she plays them off one another in increasingly deranged contests. Failure is often an option with her; it may not be a good one, depending on her mood, though.

Centers of Worship Agartha has a solid square mile wide Temple dedicated just to her within the deep roots of the world. It is the single largest, most intricately decorated, most ostentatiously gilded and glittering Temple in all the World, and she keeps it a secret.

What they don’t know can’t hurt her. She is likely the second most powerful of all the Powers That Be.

Followers As above, so below: Pallor’s followers celebrate with a wicked and cunning glee at the hurt, the harm, the suffering, the hopelessness of others. They delight in schemes and contrivances that befuddle and fool, trick and deceive, corrupt and turn.
Personality Hates being called Becky.

Pallor is the most active of the Dread Host, save possibly for Urisha, who even she does not fully understand yet.

Pallor is fond of complex and layered plots, and she delights in corrupting and turning people. She is the most manipulative of all the Powers, and even Paria is cautious around her.

Pallor P2904C2T32#yIS1
Alignment Chaos, Malefice, Imbalance, Agency, Self, Independence, Death
Alternyms Becky, Parapsyche, Spider Queen
Patron of Thule Lemuria
Colors Black Red Navy Blue
Fauna Spiders Beast Tarrasque
Flora Black Dahlia Omen An unseen web touches you.
Ordeals Poison Sulpher Brew Ingestion
Virtues Deceit Deception Planning
Sins Innocence Kindness Laws
Worship Sacrifice of a living being
Baptism Poison Ordeal, if survives, then baptized with ash.
Prayer Please don’t see me.
Offerings Blood, organs, innocence, life
Clerics Must shave head and body of all hair. Daily self-flagellation required. Her web can be anywhere on the body, but it glows faintly in the dark.


History The least known of the Dread Powers, for all his history of making things we fear.

Timur became the General of the Dread Host early in the War and proved that he was a better strategist than Qetza, though not a better tactician. At his feet can be laid some of the greatest criminal acts of the entire war, including the slaughter of over a million innocent lives that were not involved in fighting, and shifting h the war to a scorched earth format.

His whole is sundered at present, into three distinct parts, scattered about the cosmos that he helped build, each part aware but unable to come together. Timur does not know how it happened, for it happened so swiftly, that he never learned.

He awaits restoration.

Relations Dislikes and does not trust Pallor. Gets offended when a woman challenges him. He mocks Mansa frequently and is glad that Belial and Mansa are no longer friendly. Timur is the Father of Hags, by way of Gaea.

Timur is basically on everyone’s hit list for having killed Alfey. This includes his own; he too was once close to Alfey.

Centers of Worship Thyrs, Agartha have small Temples to him. He doesn’t like them, as they are not as well built and ostentatious as Belial’s, but he doesn’t say anything about it.

He has no Manse outside of the Shadow Lands, though some whisper he has one in Antilia.

Followers Timur’s few dedicated followers are often in disarray and struggling as they are caught between the schemes of Pallor and the hubris of Belial, all while trying to serve a Power that doing the same thing and finds himself working at cross purposes with Pallor more often than he would like.
Personality Timur is handsome, pale man, with loosely curled white hair and eyes so light as to seem colorless. Standing seven feet tall, he has never smiled. For Timur the point of any confrontation is winning at any cost; he is not bothered by morals, ethics, or the right way. Timur is the brilliant mind that enables Belial’s dominance over the others when he is free.

Timur once led an army in a battle on other lands of this world, and nothing walked away from that battle alive.

He said, “that’ll do.”

Timur P3023C2T34#yIS1
Alignment Chaos, Malefice, Balance, Structure, Unity, Independence, Death
Alternyms Tom More, Gilded One, The Shepherd
Patron of Thule Lemuria
Colors Gold Blue Red
Fauna Shark Beast Blood Hound
Flora Bluebells Omen none
Ordeals He does not aid nor assist in Ordeals.
Virtues Loyalty Victory Creativity
Sins Scheming Deception Betrayal
Worship Sacrifice of a living thing.
Baptism Must slay one friend and one foe by any means and present proof.
Prayer I submit, I yield, I grovel, I plead; hear me, my Master.
Offerings A life
Clerics Timur’s Clerics appear to be diseased, with pustules covering them. These pustules leak a black pus, and are called the mark of Timur.


History Urisha is a new Power. She has only been known to be active for the last few Ages, and her actions make neither sense nor seem to have a reason beyond what was once pulled out of a tiny group of folks found to have begun following her.

Urisha’s goals are to end the world. To destroy the entire cosmos. To kill every last living thing, even the stars above.

It is believed that Urisha is one of the Dead Gods, killed during the God’s War, returned – but not quite themselves.

Relations Urisha gets along with no one. Indeed, when asked about her, nearly every major Power That Is says “who?”.

Antelle, Chicory, Acacia, and Erishu all seem to have some knowledge, and ae known o be working together against something she is doing. The Old Gods are aware of her and warn their folks to stay well away from her, calling her a mad God. The emphasis is on God, and they never acknowledge her as a woman.

Centers of Worship Urisha has no Temples, no Manses, no Shrines, no places of worship.

It is believed that if she does have worshippers, they do so at secret shrines in their homes.

Followers It does not appear that Urisha has any followers, or that she even seeks to find them. Indeed, those who have been found to do her bidding have thought themselves doing the work of some other Power or force.
Personality “I know for whom the bell tolls because I am the one ringing it.”

“Don’t be sad. Into every life a little rain must fall, even if that rain is of blood and the thunder is screams.”

“Hush child, it will soon be all over for you, just as it was for me. You won’t come back, though.”

The maddest of all the Powers, thought dead for centuries, once called either Trundle or possibly even Shavan, Urisha may not be chained and is thought to be working for the Dread Host now. Regardless, she is unhinged and unreasoning in ways that disturb even the other Powers. Her apparent goal, according to the last Ikon of hers (who self-immolated), is the End of All Things. She has unleashed a demon in a small town and set forth minions n many locations as part of her goal to plunge the world into a war and restart the God’s War.

Urisha P3140C2T36#yIS1
Alignment Chaos, Malefice, Imbalance, Agency, Self, Dependence, Death
Alternyms Paravox, Karen, The Toll of The Belle
Patron of None None
Colors Red Yellow Black
Fauna Pigeon Beast Harpy
Flora Unknown Omen The tolling of a bell
Ordeals Urisha does not answer ordeals.
Virtues Unknown Unknown Unknown
Sins Honor Defiance of Her will Unknown
Worship None
Baptism Unknown
Prayer Unknown
Offerings Unknown
Clerics Unknown

The Old Ones

In certain quiet places, in secret rooms, in places where few dare tread, in the Wild, in the Woods, there is talk of other Powers in the world, powers whose names have been forgotten but whose power is still felt.

They are the Old Ones, the Secret Powers, the Forgotten. The Powers That Were.

They are now named for what they were, their powers, their ancient names forgotten or obscured. These are quiet gods, secret powers, the domain of Druids and cycles.

To understand them, though, you must understand The Triplets – who are held in awe and secret reverence by nearly everyone, regardless of who else they may follow.

The Triplets

The Pale interleaves with the warp and weft of each tiny thread in the vast and unending Tapestry of All That Was and Is and Will Be, the fabric of universes and planes and layers and levels, the weave of all things that make up our cosmos. Even the Powers That Be bend before this, though not without some input.

This is only somewhat a metaphor, for it is said that all the things that have come to pass have been woven before, and that the patrons for all divination and all foresight are the Triplets, who were before Wyrlde, who are in the now and who will be until they can card no more, spin no more, weave no more, and cut no more.

You already know them. We need not say more. For some reason, their existence is part of everything that walks, and even the Old Ones – even Belial himself, tread lightly before them. Perhaps the only one who does not is Chicory, but she is a work unto herself. They can appear as anything, and different measures have them in different forms, but always, always they are about, and it is said the only Power that they stand equal to is Chicory herself. They are those who pluck the Stuff of Fate, set the Wheel of Destiny, spin the thread, and weave the tapestry of a single life, and it is said that Chicory’s thread, like their own, lies dormant and unmarked.

It is said the Triplets were the ones who let the Dread Powers That Be in, who wove their ascension, and wove their defeat, and that the tapestry they weave now bears portents and omens of a change to come. It is also said these Powers That Be are so old, they came with Man to Wyrlde. It is said that while the Bitter Road was taken, while the Bleak Journey was made, they bargained with the Powers and set the Tapestry of Wyrlde apart, and now they spin only it.


There are powers more ancient than the Powers That Be, though greatly weakened, almost vestiges of what they once were. They are whom we call Gods, and it is always with both awe and derision. For what good are the Gods? But there are some we know in the whispers and the mutterings, in the hints of the Powers and the visions of the Druids. They are known to us as The Old Ones.

The Old Ones are terrifying; they are all vast in size, thought to be several hundred feet tall. None are of form graceful and fine, for they are mostly forgotten, and mostly misheard and misthought and mis known, and this has all corrupted them, changed them, shifted them. They are terrifying to behold, even though they are so rarely seen in material form that we can mark the times they have been by the scars of the world.

One notable thing about the Old Gods is that they are not always enfleshed when they manifest, and never deal with mortality. It is said that even Chicory cannot steal that from them, for they draw even from her. The Old Ones are old; they were old before the walls of Jericho fell. They were old when Gilgamesh dragged Enkidu back. They are so old our words, our dreams, our nightmares are said to be all that is left to sustain them, and they are an object lesson for those Powers we know.

Dawnbringer Evenstar Fastingstar Fireforge Hearthmother
Huntsman Moondark Riverdaughter Seamaster Skyfather
Springmother Stormbringer Sunshine Trickster Warbringer

The Skyfather, God of the Daytime Sky. Hearthmother, his consort and goddess of home and children. Their daughters Dawnbringer, and Sunshine, their sons, Fastingstar and Evenstar. Their siblings, Stormbringer, the Huntsman, Fireforge, and Warbringer; Moondark, God of the moon. Riverdaughter, goddess of rivers and lakes, her father, the lost Lord of the Sea, and her mother, the Goddess of Spring.

Riverwalk Numen
Timekeeper Jaenyus

DemiGods & Saints

Of the Fire that lives in the Water in the deep Well of Souls. Of how one can reach the otherworld by following a river walk of sparkling light, guided by the ancient one whose task it is to take souls across and past the guardian, a three headed hound as black as pitch.

St Man St Emir
Worldtree Worldragon

It is among these believers that you hear the tales of the two brothers who struggled, Saint Man and Saint Emir, and of the death of Saint Emir whose body became the earth itself, while Saint Man became the forerunner of all humans.

Where you can hear how the Worldragon was bound to protect the Worldtree by Huntsman’s sacrifice of his left arm, placing it into the mouth of the five headed Worldragon as Fireforge bound the mighty being to protect the Tree.

Of how their tale is not finished being told, for Stormbringer must face the Worldragon once more, and only one of them can walk away.

Of how the fruit of the Worldtree bears knowledge, immortality, and eternity, though one can only choose one fruit to eat at a time.

These people make offerings to the many spirits of the world, the numen and the jenyus, who serve the Powers That Be in their own way, flighty and fanciful, yet take time to help those who remember the Old Ones, who still place saucers of milk and who still remember to lay out the first bread for them.

For these are the oldest Powers That Be, the ones that came forth as humans came forth, the forebears of what came later, before any Zeus or Thor, forgotten even now by you. They whisper these Powers That Be, for they are rare and quiet, yet some say they are still present; that they still watch over their domains. That they are personifications as much as powers, unlike those we know, and that they want to return, to rise from their prisons of soil and stone, and reshape this brave new world in their image, rather than that of the bickering, squabbling Hosts.

But most will tell you that they are fictions, tales made to amuse children, to teach lessons, to explain the world – as if one can explain the Dreadnaughts or the Dwarfs. And yet, they persist, they endure, they are still spoken of, quietly, in shadowed corners, away from prying ears and among those with whom trust has been earned.

There may be something to all of it. There are Warlocks, after all.

The Spirits of the World

In addition to the Powers That Be, there are a host of other folks and spirits and such one needs to be wary of. The world is alive, in the sense that there is a spirit located nearly everywhere, a fashioning of the world through the Pale into a sentience and will that has its own rules and ways of being. A few of these can be found in the Bestiary. Some, like Chicory or Acacia, you will not find there. These are the Powers in the World, Extradimensional Sorcerers, Immortal Black Knight bridge guardians, and of course the ones we call the Spirits of the World. Yes, it is a lot of things in the World. I said and thought that too.

These Spirits are a part of the Wyrlde – killing them kills the world, a little bit at a time. Killing the world kills those who live and dwell within it, like us. As a result, these Spirits have significant capability to defend and protect themselves and the world.

Perhaps it is best explained using a phrase that Chicory often mutters before losing her temper, though why she of all people would reference Gaea is beyond me. She often says, “You don’t want to mess with Mother Nature, do you?” For that is what these Spirits of the World, the Powers, represent: the planet’s will and life and sentience, all as a single thing.


The Powers in the World, the Spirits of the World, are all typically served by those folks who have risen over the ages to fill in the gap that was left when the Clerics went away. Speaking with these spirits, learning their secrets, sharing their knowledge – these are the tasks known to be undertaken by Druids.

Druids are often confused with Witches by most folks, and can be found among all the assorted peoples and realms of the land – even the Dread peoples. Druids terrify people, in part because of the totems and fetishes they use, the nature of their magic, the fact they will speak to things unseen by others and be answered. Druids speak of the magic of blood, the trading of life, the needs of things that are not people, and they carry the stories and the dreams of the people they are beholden to – the dead know Druids, who are not always known to get along well with Shrinewards, for often the two will find themselves at odds. But Druids have skills and abilities no Shrineward ever will.


If there are things that the people of Wyrlde enjoy almost universally, it is smoked meats, good bread, and coming up with extraordinarily creative imprecations regarding the Powers That Be.

Even the Clerics get into it, though they tend to create them for Powers That Be other than the one they serve.

The Powers That Be are not beloved on Wyrlde. This is forever an understatement, and it is the role of Clerics to restore the faith in them, to prove that they can be turned to, can be valued, can be worshipped.

It is much more difficult than it sounds.


An Ikon is a regular person who is chosen by the God to be their voice on the planet. By custom, they are the highest-ranking member of that God’s followers, the favored child, and they do indeed get to hear the voice of the God often. Possibly too often. Demanding things, Powers That Be. Fussy, picky, whiny, they wake you up in the middle of the night and they cause wagons to break down and shove spells for soup in your head and generally annoy the hell out of you.

Ikons are sometimes Clerics, more often Clerics, but there is no specific limitation there. Batair is quite fond of making some overly muscled, thickheaded man with a club his Ikon, and Mansa always chooses some noble leader. The Ikons for at least one God are usually orphan and homeless children. The term of service for most is until death. Being invested with the power of a God can be hard on a body and can shorten the life – or extend it. Mortal shells are fragile, and subject to limitations that impact what the Powers That Be can do through their Chosen Ones. Ikons must do as their God commands. They are the Ultimate Servant, and the price for the power they wield is treading a narrow, distinct, and exacting path.


Over the many years, there have been people who served a God with extreme devotion and piety. Those whom the Powers That Be take an interest in often are blessed with unique gifts, be they clerics or merely Clerics. These people become saints and are usually joined by tales of great adventure. It is important to note that Saints are often more popular than the God or Powers That Be they served, as the Powers That Be of Wyrlde are not at all popular or well liked, let alone thought of well.


P3309#y1 Chicory is the anima mundi, the Spirit of the World, the personification of the planet as a whole and insistent that she is not a god or goddess.

Chicory does have absolute power in the world itself– perhaps more so than the Powers That Be. It is said she feels mines as they are dug, feels trees as they are cut, has the will of the birds and the bees and the beasts fey and fell. That no matter what you are, when you set foot on Wyrlde, you are under her aegis, in her domain.

Some legends say that it was she who ended the God’s War, and she who helped the survivors during the long march and she who set up The Agency. Others say that she it was who brought magic to the world, that it was she who first found The Source and reached it to slake her thirst on power. Some whisper it was she who shattered the world and isolated the ancient land that it might not be found.

She is grumpy, grouchy, sometimes bitter, often caustic, and generally distracted. She does have one rule that she seems to follow until pushed to extremes: she avoids killing. Which is not to say that she won’t, or that she isn’t as capable of violence as other Powers, but rather that she has some strange rule about the taking of life.

It is notable that when she has killed, she has never done so in small numbers. The last known instance, reported by a Reeve caught up in some plot or plan of hers, she erased three entire families in a single night. A prior time, she erased an entire town, rendering it naught but dust.

It is said that as the spirit of the World, Chicory has a knowledge of all things upon this world, that unbidden she can feel and hear and see and taste the lives of all things, and so always knows what powerlessness feels like, what terror tastes of, what the sound of despair is.

It is also said that her greatest sadness lies in the fact that she cannot heal anything. She can make it older or make it younger, but she cannot heal. Lastly, it is said that everyone who has ever summoned Chicory has seen their dreams destroyed, and the Tale of the Black Emperor is true.

Chicory has six friends who are very secretive, each of them said to be some sort of a manifestation or personification of something in the world. Like her, they do not need to be worshipped, and actively avoid most engagements with the world openly.

Each of them has complete mastery of certain things within the world in a way that puzzles even the other Powers that be. It is said that the Old Ones were called into being, the Host was burned in the Eternal Flame, and that Chicory and her friends drank from the Well.

These individuals are more akin to personifications in terms of their powers and abilities but are still independent actors who do not gain or lose based on worship, and for whom all that is gives them their presence through its existence.

Chicory The People of the World Anima Mundi
Acacia Dreams & Nightmares The Veil Anima Somnia
Oremus Faith & Hope The Hall Anima Spes
Charon Blood & Bone The Field Anima Caro
Erishu Liminality The Passage Anima Liminalis
Beauregard Joy & Humor Anima Risus
Baen Hearth & Home The Hearth Anima Focis


She is Chicory’s best friend, and the wild woman of the world, the Lady of Sleep, the precipice between Dreams and Nightmares, the one that straddles the line between the Netherworlds and the Shadowlands.


She is the hope in despair, the light in darkness, the faith among the faithless, and she is usually on the left side of Chicory. When she speaks, the whole situation just got a lot messier, for she is the prophetess and the planner.


Charon is the self-appointed guide for lost souls, the guardian of ghosts, and the one that sails the Voes and its tributaries in a boat that touches all the dimensions. Charon is the only one among all of them who can heal, but he can also harm with a glance, and all that is flesh and bone and blood is his to play with.


Erishu is always either or; one time Erishu will appear as a woman and she will turn and then you will be dealing with Erishu as a man and he will turn and it will start over again. Erishu is always either/and, occupying a liminal space that only Chicory seems to fully understand.


Loud, boisterous, certain of his knowledge and his actions, unbound by consequence, Beau is the most enjoyable of all the folks in Chicory’s circle, and if you are ever of questionable fortune enough to be in a room with both Beau and Qetza, please do make sure that the cellars are stocked and that you have much of the stuff needed to repair and rebuild handy, for those two are like peas in a pod.


About the only way to describe Baen is to try and describe someone who personifies Dad Jokes and makes them real. He is like the uncle you dread to see at a family gathering, the overbearing hen of a mother that was born to feed others, the bratty younger sibling and the aloof but teasing older one. He is also the most comforting of all of the Powers of the World, for he is the hearth and the home, and where he sits is always warm, welcoming, and familial.

Word Cloud

Magic In Wyrlde

Magic uses a potent, unseen force to influence events, effect change in material conditions, or present the illusion of change through the guidance of one’s immense belief in the power of their own desire. Magic is the ability to alter the moment in some manner that steps around the forces of the Universe, acknowledging them, playing with them. Magic is sacred and profane, shadow and substance, mystery and revelation, vast and often contradictory. Magic is alive; it thinks, it feels, it reasons and deduces, it laughs, it weeps, it consoles, it condemns; it considers, it ponders, it resists, it is willful and contrarian, and magic wants to be wielded. So much so that it has a tendency to spill out in unpredictable ways if it isn’t called on.

Magic emerges from the vibrations of the music of the spheres, birthed of the friction of dimensions and the interaction of the Planes, creating the life of The Pale; from that Great Mystery reaching through the Weave of the Veil, we have a kind of energy field that is found in all the liminal spaces, in all the spaces in-between, in All That Is; surrounding us, penetrating us, within and without, above and below, always beyond.

Magic binds us and flows between us, sweetens the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, art and wonder; dwells in the moments of eerie synchronicity. It speaks to us, whispers in a soft and quiet voice as a hidden presence, in the rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of stars. It is the Art, the Craft, the Way the World Works, the wisdom and the philosophy of the despairing and the science of the superstition of the hopeful yet is always and the path to new beginning. It is Magic, foundationally ineffable, indescribable, inexhaustible.

It is a cheat, and on Wyrlde it is a cheat that some have embraced, studied, and learned to a greater degree than anything else.

Magic behaves according to its own rules. Always. Those rules do not have to make sense to mortals, and never consider just the here and now – it is theorized that magic considers the past, the future, and the possibilities of all three. Nevertheless, we have been able to learn some things over the last few centuries or so that have helped us to use magic more efficiently.

We get to cajole it so that it does so on our terms, in our moment, in our way. One truth remains: this is magic. It is not constrained by what we think it should be, and it is not as dramatic as we expect it to be. No matter the wellspring, Magic needs must be shaped by our will, always with the risk that it will turn back upon us. Those who use the powers of the Planes or strike bargains may be slightly less at risk than those who grab the arcane and mold it with passion, but the risk is still there.

It is notable that while all Mortal Realms have magic, not all the Mortals in those Realms can access it. The Dimension of Shades has no magic that mortals can touch or feel or use. As well, the way that magic works varies from plane to plane, dimension to dimension. Upon Yrthe, for example, there is no Mystical or Eldritch magic, and the Apothegms are different.

Commonality of Magic

The people of Wyrlde are used to seeing magic as something tangible that works for a certain period and then dies. It is a transient thing, short term, useful or scary in equal measure. They understand potions and wands and such, but the art of spells, in and of itself, is terrifying to most people.

To a common person, Mages scare the heck out of people. Power is said to corrupt, and the greater the power, the greater the corruption. The power to reshape reality, to change outcomes, to seemingly escape consequences: this is a power that can corrupt absolutely. Because spellcasting is rare and gives immense power in Wyrlde, it is treated as something dangerous and in need of controls or monitoring. Mages are not free to willy-nilly have their way and mess with the world; they also must deal with others who often fear that they will try to take over the world (and history shows this is a warranted fear).

There are laws against the use of distinct kinds of magic. Magic shapes or influences everything on Wyrlde, and has since the end of the God’s War, when the capacity to use magic entered the world. It is not absolute, as the secrets of how to do something, or a particular spell, are zealously guarded; the deaths of many who sought to discern how the horseless carriages of Durango work, or how the Enjin of Dorado functions are testament to this. But there are streetlights in Lyonese and Durango that do not need to be lit, and there is a whole process for sanitation throughout the empire (controlled by the Nobles); and of course, the recognized professions of the Adventurer’s Guild are deeply affected by this.

Magic’s Basis

Magic is said to be alive, to think, to ponder, to exist in all things and as part of all that is and was and will be because magic comes in some way from the interaction of The Pale with the Planes and Dimensions, and what it creates is the power itself, always a part of the greater Pale, and yet we can see and feel and shape it as Mages of assorted typed. The Pale is thought by many to be the ultimate source of all Magic, and the Well of Souls is sometimes called the Well of Magic, while the Voes is said to be the Path of magic, birthed from the Eternal Flame.

For evidence that Magic does not change the rules, look to the nature of what Magic cannot do. It cannot reduce complexity. It cannot change Time, save for a scant few moments of movement within it. The more complex the spell one does, the more difficult that writhing mass becomes to shape and hold and release. We are still learning the limits of what that complexity is – while a Power That Is may casually walk by and move a mountain, we Mages have neither the strength of magic nor the capacity to grasp that vast and complex a working within our minds, even for the short while to cast it.

Magic cannot force someone to reveal their true name. It can be used to uncover it, but a true name cannot be yanked out of the person so named. Mages have limits on their ability to alter things at range. Magic does not, but we are the ones using it, and we have limits on our range of influence, for all the grand and glorious power that we do have. Magic cannot hide or obfuscate a manifestation. Magic has a price, and many have not realized how dear that price can be until it is too late.

Magic bends those forces; it does not create new ones. It has guidelines that it seems to follow, and so we mages must follow them as well.


What is a Mage, you ask? Mages are anyone who uses magic spells outside of a ritual on Wyrlde. If there is a manifestation, then it is magic, and the person is a mage. We cannot do anything merely because we can conceive of it, like Powers and Old Ones and Spirits, but we are Mortals, after all, and they are not. That should also give you thought about why a Mage cannot bring the mountain to them, but Gods can.

Mages are those who can use magic without resorting to a ritual, who do not have a need for imbued or ingrained objects, are a different group entirely. They have the inherent ability to manipulate different forces according to certain principles, though the source and nature and manner of such can vary dramatically.

While nearly everyone has some degree of capacity to hold and generate at least some orgone, only some have the capacity to draw more of it into themselves, to use it to shape effects, and to serve their own desires. If there is one thing I can say from all the years of gathering dust here, it is that magic likes to be entertained. The ability to use it is not typically passed down by family – it is something that comes to one at the moment of Quickening, the drawing of the first breath. Some have said that it means those with the gift have been chosen, and others have said they have been cursed – and that the curse is why there are people who still have the ability to store magic, but are somehow less subject to it, more immune to it.

What we do know about Mages is that when they are properly trained, they can do much, much more than if they were to try and teach themselves, though of course we all ultimately learned from someone who taught themselves and then taught others. The greater your facility, the broader your knowledge, the deeper your dedication to the task of learning, the greater your capability with magic.

Mages are born with a capacity to do magic. It is not a matter of degree, and it is not limited to any given heritage, nor is it directly Inherited – just because one person has the ability does not mean that their parents, siblings, or children will have it. To discover if someone has that power is quite easy, though it is believed that less than 10% of the total population has the capacity.

Identifying children who can use magic is a big business. Akadia pays well for those who can use it that are young enough, so that they can continue to gain more mages under their control.

To identify someone, all that is done is a child is asked to read from a piece of paper.


P3393#y1 The paper is written in Caligulan, the language of magic, which only those with the Gift of Magic can see and read (and never need training to do so). This works down to the age of six. Younger than that and it doesn’t seem to function.

For Servants, Caligulan is still used, but they are bestowed their Gift and granted a Weird – a mark in the form of a holy symbol that denotes them as having been given in service to a god. This is key because Servants exist outside the normal structure of a Clerical Orders, and though they can always request space in a temple, they are still outsiders who are subject to jealousy and envy.

Culturally, Magic is nominally structured in support of noble powers and is intended to support the current order of things. Most mages work for a noble or other force, however some do not, and they are treated as risky, untrustworthy, and dangerous. For this reason, most mages do not advertise themselves as such – they will pretend to be something else among the common folk. There is a history, early in the founding of the Empire, that tells of how a group of mages thought that they could take over; it was narrowly averted, and the mages were exiled in what became the slow establishment of Akadia, once under the eventual rigid and absolute rule of a Warden named Gimlet of Tolues (a town erased by the rebellion).

This is difficult as it is drilled into most Disciples how they are special, and important, and better they are than others from almost as soon as they begin the arduous training. Meanwhile, many Sensates never really get a complete grip on their powers, and often become afraid of it, unwilling to move forward into that task of learning how to use their powers actively, sometimes not even realizing they are using their powers.

There, again, are more of the secret rules of magic. It is not so easy as it seems, and it wants to be known.

Magic’s Apothegms

The greatest of us have determined that there are several guidelines, which we call apothegms, that apply. These are often found engraved in the entrances to Towers and are often the first things that Apprentice Mages learn and store in their books of spells. I require my apprentices and Pupils to memorize them several times throughout their education and am often disappointed by them.

Many will call these the Rules of Magic, though that makes it seem as if they are imposed upon magic – they are not. They are what Magic imposes upon Mortals. Mortal beings, from any of the Mortal Realms, have significant limits upon the way that magic operates for them, and the way that they can use – and, as noted, in some places they cannot even use it.

This is one reason why some Mages seek to become Immortal and tread the dark paths of Lichery.

Apothegm of Self-Knowledge:

One who does not know herself, having never tested herself or her limitations does not know what she can do. And the reverse is also true.

The Apothegm of Knowledge:

With understanding comes control and power.

The Apothegm of Names:

Knowing the True Name, the true and complete name, of a phenomenon or entity allows you to target it even beyond the traditional limits, including summoning it across the Planes and Dimensions.

There is another, darker more terrifying thing about this: using this True Name in a very specific but very short ritual, with the target confined to the ritual sigil, can strip a person of their affinity for a year and a day. The Rite is Severance.

Apothegm of Senses:

Everyone’s senses are finite and limited to the amount of information which one can absorb and process at any given time.

Apothegm of Imitation:

The more the first entity knows about the second the better the imitation.

Apothegm of Balance:

One’s energy or power level must be kept on an even keel, too much or too little will kill oneself.

Apothegm of Sigils:

All effects must be structured, bound by the function and then the form.

Apothegm of Discrete Effect:

A spell must always be for a single, discrete effect.

Apothegm of Locus:

Mages must have a Locus – an object that helps them to empower and direct their effects, as well as possibly provide a handy reference.

Apothegm of Incantations:

Spells must be released by chanting to draw forth and build up the energy needed.

Apothegm of Motion:

All spells involve motion of the Mage, from hand signs to motion of the body to more.

Apothegm of Concentration:

While engaged in somatic and vocal action, one must focus one’s will and this requires concentration, regardless of the spell.

For some spells, it is only necessary for them to be brought to fruition, while for others it may take continued concentration to maintain an effect over time.

Apothegm of Interruption:

An interrupted Spell is a failed and lost spell.

Apothegm of Attraction:

Merely the act of thinking a lot about what you expect (desire or fear) will summon that thing.

Apothegm of Contagion:

Things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance even after physical contact has been severed.

Apothegm of Relevance:

The effectiveness of a connection depends upon the relevance, or import and value, of the contact.

Apothegm of Association:

Things react upon each other by their connection with each other.

Apothegm of Sympathies:

The part is equivalent to the whole.

Apothegm of Rites:

All Rites require a call and response incantation, a ripple of motion, and then Materials to engage the spell.

Operation of Magic

All of that said, the actual process of using magic is fairly simple on the surface. There are four basic parts to a spell:

An Effort of Will: Effort of Will requires focus and concentration. If this focus is broken the spell escapes and unravels.

Somatic Gestures: Specific gestures result in specific magical effects.

Incantations: Chanting aloud in Caligulan; a combination of sounds that informs and shapes the Orgone, spoken aloud and clearly. Note that the magic of Caligulan is not something that can be understood by others who are not mages, but if they recognize the spell, they can counter it.

Manifestation: The thing that says it is working. Different Affinities have different manifestations, but once you see it, you know it is working.

I will repeat this to you several times: spells are very much living things. A sigil is a constraint on spells, a kind of cage for it. They wriggle, they struggle, they seek to have their way and be free – magic is aware and has desire and sentience. As they are abstract, they dwell in the mind of a person, wriggling, struggle, poking, prodding, pestering to distraction. And once distracted, it is free.


Formally, in the study of magic, the term for all the assorted kinds of power derived from their Affinities is Orgone. Each Affinity is unique, each is a different expression of The Pale as it interacts with the Prime. We use mana as the term for all of them out of custom and habit, as the study was conducted chiefly by Wizards in their Akadian Towers, and so they tended to favor their own form over the others.

  • Mana is specifically the form of Arcane orgone. Mana is drawn from The Pale directly into the sigil as it is crafted within the mind. Arcane magic is a specialty of Akadia and is the best-known form. All others are influenced by the history of this, and the terms used often reflect this.
  • Mojo is specifically the form of Mystical orgone. Mojo is the energy within one, replenished and fed by unique interactions of the Prime and the Pale to provide an inner power. You will often hear Bards muttering about how to get their mojo back after a bad performance.
  • Cie is the form of Primal orgone, pulled from within and without, the world and the self, blended and merged. Many folks will focus their Cie to achieve impressive feats.
  • Élan is the form of Eldritch orgone, raw and instilled within the host, refilled over time. Warlocks are famous for their very peculiar ways of using it.
  • Divine orgone is called Mantra. Granted from On High by the Powers That Be.
  • Ritual orgone is called Penumbra, and is built up slowly, like breathing, like the wind, like the air itself, drawn in until it finally exhales into the sigil. It is not to be confused with the miasmatics that empower certain constructs, though it is deeply similar.

Within the Primae, the power of magic is called Mana, and mana is what gives a Mage their power. Mana is like an energy field, present within all things, living or not, everywhere, in everything. It surrounds us, and penetrates us; it binds us, and flows between us. It is energy – drawn from the Pale itself, from the world around them, from within them, from the dedication and devotion to some task or in service to others.

Mana is represented in game by Spell Points. For those from other worlds, Mana is much like MP for the character. This is not the Magic Points or Spell Points you may have encountered previously – there is no spell slot system here. But you can run out of mana; you can use it up in excitement or desperation and then must wait to restore it. You can see why we just call it Mana, or Spell Points.

Spell Points

Wyrlde uses a spell point system for magic. Spell points are usually called Mana and each person has some of them, regardless of their other ability to use magic.

Base Mana is determined by your Mana score, rolled when you create a character. Base mana is a key number for rituals and recovering the ability to add to it, and the Axiom of a character determines how well they are able to hold and store that mana within them over time.

Those born with magic gain the gift of holding it and can hold and control more mana than most people, and this is part of what enables them to grasp Caligulan, even before they have begun to store enough of it.

Those classes which use magic focus to some degree and for differing reasons on building up the capacity to hold and regain mana. Mana comes from different places according to one’s Affinity, but the use and storage of it is built up according to one’s Axiom.

Axiom impacts the number of spell points a character is able to build up and store within them, and this level increases with experience, knowledge, and mastery. Servants have more, Disciples are next, followed by Devoted and Sensates. The difference is notable. Each spell has a point cost based on its spell level. Cantrips do require a spell point. All magic spells do. This may include class features and special abilities – though not all do. It does include magic spells used by monsters.

Sharing Mana

Most people can share mana on a successful constitution roll, even Nulls, but some people are cursed and unable to share mana. If the subject is willing otherwise, sharing is possible.

Mana can be stolen from another though the use of Infernal, Fell, Abyssal, Nether, Shadow, Necrotic and related devices, but not otherwise.

A Mage’s Axiom determines the amount of mana they can gather and hold to empower spells. Most people have truly little mana – even if they don’t have the ability to use magic – and never learn to embrace or manipulate it. Mages can sense that mana within themselves, to manipulate it, to use it and play with it and fashion it into things.

There is a limit to how much power a person can contain, how much mana they can hold, and mana is slow to restore. Additionally, there is a limit to the number of spells per day of each level that a person can truly memorize, and it is a skill that requires constant attention and development.

Another way of looking at it is that you expend spell points to cast a spell and the greater the spell’s level, the higher the cost. Some have noticed this means that some mages are much more underpowered than is expected in other locales beyond the greater planes. The flip side is that here you can memorize a spell once each day and use it as long and as many times as you have the mana for it until you fall asleep.

When casting a spell, your Mana Modifier is used with the particular ability score that is linked to your affinity for the purposes of rolls involving magic.

Mana Recovery

You regain mana every hour of a full rest, long or short. Spell points are a physically dependent characteristic, inherent in the body of the caster. No body, no spell points, no spells. You can always fully recover your maximum mana with three long rests, if you don’t use any in the interim.

Using Mana

The number of spell points (Mana) you must spend on various feats and spells is based on your level as a spellcaster (mastery). More on that in a bit, in Casting Spells.

Your profession level also determines the maximum level spell – based on complexity of the spell –you can learn and so the maximum level spell you can cast. Different axioms also have variable limits to the number of spells you can hold within your head.

Even though you might have enough points to cast a spell above this maximum, you cannot do so simply because you don’t have the capability yet – training and experience help you to develop this ability, enabling greater control and mastery over the complex sigils involved.

There is a physical toll to running out of Mana. Indeed, anytime you use a significant amount of mana in casting a single spell, either through the base cost or through additional mana you pump into the spell to increase its effect and power, you will become fatigued. Too much fatigue means you slide into Exhaustion territory, and then Mana use seriously begins to tire you, eventually resulting in unconsciousness and often long-term bedrest. That is never fun and let me tell you it can be extremely displeasing to have completely drained yourself for the sake of others only for them to leave you with a rock for a pillow and traipse off ahead.

An exhausted mage cannot defend themselves, cannot move, and cannot recover until they have completed at least a one-hour rest. In some cases, it could kill you to run out of mana.

A Mage who uses spells regularly typically only has a limited ability to hold these complex things within themselves. As they progress in skill, mastery, and knowledge, they gain a greater grasp of the glyphs, more control over the magrams, and fuller power over the ciphers that they must hold within themselves as sigils.

The Spell Point Cost table summarizes the cost in spell points of spells from 1st to 9th level. Spells of 6th level and higher are particularly taxing to cast. The mana cost per spell is as follows (based on Spell Level, or Complexity).

This cost is regardless of the spell list, the Axiom, or the Affinity of the caster. Skill, knowledge, and efficiency in control are all what determine the ability of someone to manipulate the energy around them. There are things and ways to influence this.

Storing Mana

A lot of this means that people will often be concerned about finding ways to store mana and to be able to use that supply as needed. There are some philters that can help replenish some mana, but they are only able to double your recovery speed, and useless in an emergency. Sometimes you just need a bit of extra juice, y’know?

Those items are very rare, but they do exist, and they do not require magic to create them. They are fashioned from a blue tinted metallic material called Orikal. Although it requires using mana to do it, one can store mana in an Orikal object, to an amount determined by the object based on several factors including amount and purity. For some, this is the only way they can truly access their mana.


There are kinds of magic and kinds of ways to learn it, and the two interact in certain ways. The kind of magic one has cannot be changed. These Aspects are often defined as the origin of that mage’s ability to interact with the many forces that make magic possible. Magic in Wyrlde has two Aspects to it: these are Affinity and Axiom.

Axiom determines how much you can hold, and how learned you are at spells. It reflects the manner in which one learned to use the power they have, and so what it is they can do with it.

Affinity determines where your magic comes from, and so it has an effect on how it manifests, and what it is called.


Affinity is like flavors of the same fruit; it can be different from each other although all of it is still magical. As the Pale ripples through all the spaces and places of the multiverse, it gains power and knowledge and all of that can change or shift it, for it leaves a bit of itself behind wherever it exists, and this becomes the different “kinds” of magic. A given individual can normally only ever have one Affinity – and in the case of multiclass characters, they must follow that Affinity.

Affinity Arcane Divine Eldritch Mystical Primal Ritual
Cipher P3501C9T41#yIS1 P3502C10T41#yIS1 P3503C11T41#yIS1 P3504C12T41#yIS1 P3505C13T41#yIS1 P3506C14T41#yIS1
Glyphs Axiom Axiom Axiom Axiom Axiom By Anchor
Manifestation Circle Motes Aura Whirlwind Shine By Focal
Orgone Mana Mantra Elan Mojo Cie Penumbra
Spell Spell Prayer Jinx Juju Hex Rite
Source The Pale The Planes The Powers The Self The World The People
Ability Score Kno Wis Per Cha San Con
Spell Book Grimoire Apocrypha Picatrix Nomicon Occultaire Grimoire

An Affinity determines the source of the magic and how you gain it. Affinities have importance because some beings are functionally immune to certain kinds of magic, and some wards or defenses are only useful against certain kinds of magic. Affinities determine the Manifestation, Cipher, Spell Attack Bonus, and other aspects of a given Mage’s abilities. Each Affinity has different ways of categorizing spells – and of course, Servants have their own approach. Axioms determine the spell list you use – and all members within that Axiom have the same spell list, but not all spells are on all spell lists.

Whenever a spell is cast, a certain visual effect happens around the caster. This is called a manifestation, and each Affinity has a different sort of manifestation. Spells always glow brightly – they can change a pitch-black room into dim light – but they are always there and always visible. All of these are visible to others, though they don’t confer much ability to see in the dark beyond the immediate presence of the caster.

Manifestations make it so that it is always known when a spell is being cast and who is casting the spell. For those able to read a spell and grasp it, it becomes known what is being cast. These effects end once the spell is activated – so casting a light spell may have them glow, but once the light is created, they won’t. With casters having to move and gyrate, chant and empower their spell, this can last anywhere from a few seconds to a minute, or far longer if it is a ritual in process.

It is said this was done by several Gods working together, but it may also have been a tweak to the world by them. Hard to say.

The Affinities of Magic are Divine (Wis), Arcane (Kno), Mystical (Cha), Eldritch (Con), and Primal (San). Nulls use Strength (Str).


Arcane Magic draws from the Pale and then shapes what is taken; it is drawn magic, pure creation in origin, raw and shaped by skill more than will. This magic is often confused with the others, but ultimately requires being some sort of scholar that spends all their time learning things.

  • Mana is specifically the form of Arcane orgone. Mana is drawn from The Pale directly into the sigil as it is crafted within the mind.
  • Arcane Mages use a kind of spell book called a Grimoire.
  • Arcane Magic manifests with visible sigils of light, often around the person of the mage or their arms, depending on the target of the spell and the spell itself. It is a visible magic sigil around them when they cast a spell. These circles take many different forms – from a small circle around the focal point of a spell, to a large-scale circle that spreads out beneath them or beneath the target of their spell. This circle is unique to each caster, and they can be simple or complex, but no two are alike among any living or undead mages – but there have been cases where after the death of a Mage, another mage has come into their power with the same circle.
  • Arcane magic is linked to Knowledge as a trait, and those who use it commonly have strong personalities.

This magic is instilled by an outside source into the caster. It does not present itself in the same way as other forms, and it is said that Eldritch magic can drive the caster mad or twist them. Unlike with Divine Magic, where the caster functions as a conduit of a Power, eldritch magic is placed within the caster, and usually dependent on some condition or agreement, or derived from some capricious act. Ultimately, the Ikons of the world are all using a peculiar combination of both Eldritch and Divine magic – and that makes them very dangerous, as only they are known to be able to do so. Eldritch magic has a cost, a price, is always part of an exchange, over and beyond the use of mana itself.

  • Élan is the form of Eldritch mana, raw and instilled within the host, refilled over time. Warlocks are famous for their very peculiar ways of using it.
  • Eldritch Magic give off an Aura around them. An Aura is generally a single or multihued aura. It extends out about three to six inches around the spellcaster, within which glyphs dance and spin and float. In darkness, this light only shows them, and in bright light, the auras shimmer and have a prismatic effect.
  • Eldritch Mages use a Picatrix as a spell book.
  • Eldritch Mages have to have a high Perception to hold that power within them.

Mystical magic comes from the person themselves and the ambient world, the natural magic inherent in all people and all things. This is the magic of life, of existing, of being and not being, a complex and everlasting kind of magic. By some lights, it is the inherent magic of Mortality itself, though if so how it is used by Fae remains unknown. It could very well be the magic of the Material, and is sometimes said to be the everyday magic, the layman’s power, the personal power of the individual. Some argue that it is derived from creatures smaller than the eye can see living within us, while others will argue that is poppycock. Others argue that Mystical Magic is the magic that was released into the world itself at the end of the God’s War, and that is what makes other kinds and forms of magic possible.

  • Mojo is specifically the form of Mystical mana. Mojo is the energy within one, replenished and fed by unique interactions of the Prime and the Pale to provide an inner power. You will often hear Bards muttering about how to get their mojo back after a bad performance.
  • Mystical magic is linked to Charisma as a trait, and so those who follow this path tend to put a lot of effort into the trait.
  • Mystics use a Nomicon for a spell book.
  • Mystic magic manifests as a whirlwind of magical script that surrounds the Mage. Whirlwinds are a swirling pattern of glyphs around them (in an angular script, no less) in a kind of vertical tunnel or whirlwind. It provides no defense or protection.

This magic is the rarest – This is the raw stuff of the realm of The Source and The Void. This magic is wild and unpredictable. This is the magic elemental forces employ, the magic that creates magic, that is sourced in the very making of everything, including the pale. While some have an affinity for it, it is unpredictable, dangerous, and can interfere with other forms of magic.

  • Cie (Chee) is the form of Primal mana, pulled from within and without, the world and the self, blended and merged. Many folks will focus their Cie to achieve impressive feats.
  • Primal magic manifests with a tendency for the Mage’s eyes to shine brightly and their hair to lift, even glowing from within as if their bones were heated, and seem to have a kind of crawling, phosphorescent, liquid-like light that wraps around them in a stream that caresses and flows, following their movements, enfolding those they touch like a shroud. Within this one can see glyphs and forms.
  • Primal Mages use Occultaires for a spell book.
  • Primal magic is linked to Sanity as a trait.

Divine magic is given over, or granted, to Servants. It can be Celestial, Nether, Shadow, Necrotic, Radiant, or Infernal in origin. A Servant is anyone who has given themselves over in Service to one or more Planar beings, those who hold sway over vast areas beyond the Pale. This magic is magic that comes from The Gods and is both sacrifice and strength. The magic of the gods is flashy and showy and meant to drive home the point that they are there, and that folks should forgive them the cruelties they inflicted during the God’s war. Servants are marked by a weird.

Servants are varied in how they approach things and the degree of devotion they allow for it. Clerics choose to serve outside a Clerical Orders, for example, or may dedicate themselves to a set of ideals that different sources require of them.

  • Divine orgone is called Mantra. This is mana Granted from On High by the Powers That Be.
  • Apocrypha is what a spell book held by those who use Divine Magic is called.
  • Divine magic causes the mage to shed a kind of colored light in motes that dance around them. Using magic causes the caster to give off tiny motes of light, sometimes called magic dust, that emanates from them when they are casting spells. These motes surround and come from the Mage, extending out to between three and five feet in all directions in an amorphous cloud. In darkness, this light only shows them, and in bright light, the motes shimmer and have a prismatic effect instead of the more typical silver, golden, or coppery color they possess. The motes themselves are tiny glyphs.
  • Those who use Divine magic are given over to Wisdom, as it is the principal trait related to magic in this form.

An individual, a place, or a thing can be consecrated. When used on denizens of the Lower planes, consecration is a devastating attack, but for the most part it has insignificant effect except one important one: it defines ground as Holy, and so sacrosanct from those on the Prime Material Plane from who are not followers that have been consecrated from stepping foot on it.

It is, essentially, counting coup for the Powers That Be. If one is consecrated in the Name of a specific Power, that Power then could act in these simple manners. If you are not consecrated to a Power, you cannot receive a blessing from them, nor can you enter their holy ground (or disturb their Shrine). A person can be consecrated for one God from each pantheon.

Clerics may be consecrated by one Power from each of the three groups of Hosts. That is, you can be consecrated to a Bright Power, a Shadow Power, and a Dread Power. However, you are still and always only a cleric for one of them. This rule about consecration applies to others as well – anyone can be consecrated in the name of one deity in each of the groups. Druids can be consecrated or consecrate either the Powers of the World, The Ancestral Spirits, or The Old Ones (calling on specific Gods within that group as needed).

The Shadow Host are not all that picky, like the Dread Host or the Bright Host are, and so they allow someone to receive the boons they have so long as at least one of them is involved. This can be important: it sucks to not be able to Bless a fighter’s weapon in the heat of battle because the Warrior is a follower of a different Power.

Consecrated Spells

There are some spells which consecrate or desecrate holy ground, and others which only operate on those people, places, and things which have been consecrated – and always to a particular Power. Note that these spells are only available to Clerics and Druids. Paladins do not have them as spells, but rather as abilities for some of them.


Those things that seek to cause harm or woe are maledictions. Sometimes called curses, the operation of a malediction is always based in some sort of sin or disapproved act, and is a punishment inflicted.


Those things which seek to provide weal, or help are called benedictions. Sometimes called blessings, the operation of a benediction is always based in some sort of virtue or highly approved act, and is a benefit granted.


There is an additional combination of Affinity and Axiom called a Null, and those who are Nulls are resistant to magic to a slight degree, and it manifests at different time in different ways. Essentially, when encountering any kind of magic effect, Nulls have Advantage and are able to use their Mana Modifier on rolls to their benefit. Magic simply has a harder time working on or around them. Nobody knows why this is, and when asked the Gods just smile, spread their hands, and wave their fingers and say “magic” with a smirk.

Nulls themselves do have mana, but it is a small amount; even though their experiences with magic give them more over time, they are not able to harness it and use it in quite the same way nor do they ever gain immense amounts of it.

The degree to which they are resistant is still small and can work against them – Nulls have a harder time being healed magically, and things which may help them out are sometimes less effective. Nulls are often used in Rituals because they are effective “batteries” of a sort. Also, their Mana score provides them with a reduction to the damage from the effects of spells. When this happens, the Null is surrounded by tiny sparks – smaller than the Motes of a manifestation, shorter lived, but if one looks closely, it appears as the smallest fractions of glyphs, shattered and broken.

Strangely, this only applies to cast spells and workings. Imbued, Ingrained, and prepared items, such as healing potions and other ingested and imbibed items, still work well.

Nulls do not have any attachment to magic – they can still use things that are magical, but they go beyond simply being unable to cast a spell. Nulls are slightly resistant to the effects of magic, resistant to it in some strange ways that serves them well in their professions. In short, magical attacks on Nulls are at Disadvantage, while Nulls have Advantage against magical effects.


An Axiom is the approach, the philosophy, the way and manner by which one learns magic and approaches the study and therefore mastery of it. It is a way of looking at how one masters the forces that one can wield to varying degrees and purposes. An Axiom determines your approach to it and your mastery of it.

A Wizard may spend a decade studying fundamentals and deep secrets and the history and structure and nature of magic, whereas a Ranger may have simply never fully grasped that what they do is magic and bent it to the task of improving their skill, never fully mastering or grasping the deeper aspects of their gift while still performing incredible feats with it. Meanwhile, the young kid who could light a candle with a glance may have never been found by one of the child thieves and grown to use their gift in ways that seem strange to others, or as larks or amusements.

This reflects the degree of mastery in shaping the magical forces as a whole – efficiency and skill and underlying knowledge. Ultimately, the most skilled users of magical power are Disciples, followed by Servants and Devout, with Sensates having the least likely because they are generally untrained or self-trained and unrefined in their use of magic. This means they have less overall power at their disposal, and so can cast fewer spells.

There are four Axioms, and Axiom reflects the ability to hold mana, the power of magic within you, how long it takes to memorize a spell, and how well you learned to shape, manipulate, and embrace it. Axioms also determine the spells per level that a mage is capable of learning. While they can have a thousand spells in their grimoire, they can only hold so many spells within their minds at any given time, and they only have so much energy they can expend on spells in a given day.


The Devout, also called the Devoted, are those who dedicate their lives to some peculiar cause, and in so doing shape their gift to serve them in unique ways that are directly related to that cause. They have unique qualities to their use of magic to support and drive their own abilities far above and beyond the typical and ordinary.

They are commonly tied by intense oaths of fealty, driving purpose, or even mastery of self. The biggest difference between The Devout and the Servant is that the Devout do not operate in service to a Power – they operate in service to their own ends, even when those ends coincide with a Power.

Drawing from outside Powers, and from devotion to a particular purpose, the Devout are a scary group because they always have a sacrifice of some sort that they have made and tend to have strong rules by which they live – even when their goal is chaos.


It is often said that few know more about how magic works than the deeply studious Disciples, whose quest for knowledge and mastery is often hard to match. As a disciple myself, I am possibly biased, but my experience has shown that the truth is simple: we have followed the Apothegms and particularly those about knowledge, and so have reaped the greatest benefits.

Disciples have set the stage for understanding how to use magic, how to shape it, how to master it, often at the cost of other things, as the early training to learn it can be utterly occupying. The end result, though, is greater power.

Nearly all the materials about magic are ultimately derived from the knowledge and studious application of research, experimentation, and investigation by Wizards, and chief among all of them are those who call Akadia home.


Sensates are often thought of in many people’s minds as things like Elohim or Cambion, and while there are many of them within this, it is not about what they are, but how they do it.

Sensates are gifted with great powers and ability innate to their being, but it is often less well focused, and more narrowly. Sensates are the self-taught, the learned without formal training, the folks who figured it out as they went.

A sensate may have discovered that if they pointed at a rock and thought a certain way, or did things in a certain order, it would change. They are often looked to for their abilities to enhance themselves, their tools, and to make their crafts and arts more compelling. It may become fused with their skill and their talents.


As noted, Servants have been handpicked by the Gods to serve them. They act as conduits for the powers they serve, their overall will passing through them to manifest the magic. They are subject wholly to the will, desire, and goals of their Patrons.

While the anima mundi Chicory is often tied to the Druids, Clerics have different Powers that give them powers of different natures.


A spell, also called a Sigil, is a discrete magical effect, a change, a shaping of the way that the Pale and Primae interact into a single, specific, limited expression. Spells can be incredible, but they are always dangerous, and the greatest spells are those which have the greatest danger not only to others, but to the caster.

Spells are very much living things. A sigil is a constraint on spells, a kind of cage and for it. They wriggle, they struggle, they seek to have their way and be free – magic is aware and has desire and sentience. As they are abstract, they dwell in the mind of a person, wriggling, struggle, poking, prodding, pestering to distraction. And once distracted, it is free.

In casting a spell, a character draws up their Cipher, imprints it with Glyphs, fills it with mana, and causes a desired effect to happen. To achieve this, they must have intense focus and maintain a strong degree of concentration, for all spells are part of and discrete from the fullness of the sentience that is The Pale. In a way, they are communicating, but it is not a request or a query, it is a demand and an enforcing of will.

Sigils, Ciphers, & Glyphs

Each Affinity starts its Sigils with a set Cipher, that is then filled in with Glyphs and magrams in a complex pattern. When inscribed, these can be incredibly complex, and often may seem much like each other in pattern at more complex workings – but this is how all of them start.

A Sigil is a complex pattern, starting with a Cipher and magrams, then filled with glyphs, and triggered with a command that releases it, usually a combination of drawing the trigger glyph and uttering the spell’s purpose, name, or working.

A Cipher is basic form, the foundation of the complex spells that are used. A cipher is a base, an outline, and into it are placed glyphs. A Cipher is determined by the Affinity a caster has, the kind of magic used.

A Magram is an expansion of a cipher, an addition or extension, — a secondary form or shape that is not limited to the Affinity.

A Glyph is a symbol, an ideogram with a multitude of context-based meaning. Each affinity tends to develop its own set of glyphs – and often those without training create their own, sometimes uses mental images that the magic translates into a glyph, such as a thought of fire.

These glyphs and ciphers are complicated and twisting things, requiring intense concentration and focus to fully grasp, like memorizing an unsolvable maze or complex mandala.

Learning to read these deeply complex and liminal forms takes years of effort, grasping how they work and what makes for the best and most useful combinations takes years of solitude and study, and there is always a constant struggle to keep them held within the head, ready to use.

Sigilcraft is the designing of spells, in and of itself.

Spellcraft is the casting of spells.

Complexity Degrees

The more complex and challenging a spell is, the more difficult it is to form, to hold, to use. This is reflected in the way that spells are structured according to Spell Levels. The higher the Spell Level, the more difficult and the more knowledge and artistry is required.

Spell complexity reflects the difficulty of a spell to cast or to use, and there are five Degrees of Complexity, each with a certain number of Spell Levels within it.

The five degrees of complexity are Simple, Rudimentary, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert.

Degrees Simple Rudimentary Intermediate Advanced Expert
Spell Level 0 and 1st 2nd to 3rd 4th to 5th 6th to 7th 8th to 9th

Spells are assigned a Spell Level from 0 to 9. We classify spells according to five discrete groupings: Simple (0 to 1), Rudimentary (2 to 3), Intermediate Levels (4 to 5), Advanced Levels (6 to 7) and Expert Level (8 to 9) spells. These levels describe the complexity of the spells, with said complexity increasing with each level. Within the different degrees of difficulty is the cost of the spells in mana.


Simple complexity spells can be memorized and visualized almost on the fly. Anyone with a capacity for magic can learn this. Cantrips take as long as 6 seconds to cast. Some may take a bit less – perhaps a second or three.


Rudimentary spells, Level 2 to Level 3, are more challenging but enable capacity to grasp and tend to have the most core responses. Most people never move beyond this degree of influence or control except in limited ways. As a result, they will never be able to use Intermediate or Advanced spells – but do not discount their overall abilities beyond that. Rudimentary spells take as long as 12 seconds to cast and require concentration during that time.


Intermediate spells, Level 4 to Level 5, are a way of combining and layering and redeveloping the interfaces and exchanges learned from lower order spells, to create greater effects and more stunning impacts. This seems to be the sweet spot for many, the balanced space between giving too much over to the study of magic and not enough to the other things of value and importance. As a result, they will never be able to use Advanced spells – but do not discount their overall abilities beyond that. Intermediate spells take as long as 18 seconds to cast and require concentration during that time.


Advanced spells, Level 6 to Level 7, are the most potent, most complex, most difficult spells, described by someone as having a four-year-old Therian living in your brain and wanting to go outside. Only some can reach these levels of spells. The amount of effort and training that goes into this tends to preclude other activities, in much the same way that someone looking at a complex chemical composition diagram will not be able to understand it without significant study, which will likely leave them struggling to deal with other things – notably weapons and armor. Advanced spells take as long as 24 seconds to cast and require concentration during that time.


Expert spells, Level 8 to Level 9, are the most potent, most complex, most difficult spells, described by someone as having a four-year-old Therian living in your brain and wanting to go outside. Only some can reach these levels of spells. The amount of effort and training that goes into this tends to preclude other activities, in much the same way that someone looking at a complex chemical composition diagram will not be able to understand it without significant study, which will likely leave them struggling to deal with other things – notably weapons and armor. Advanced spells can take as long as 30 seconds to cast and require concentration during that time.

Once a Spell is cast, the effect is instant, though in some cases, and depending on the spell, the Mage may need to maintain Concentration (the chanting and somatics) to cause the effect to persist. It is important to note that spell effects do not start until a spell is finished being cast, and then they have a duration that can vary according to many criteria.

Casting Spells

Spells are cast in play by saying that you are going to cast a spell you have memorized, spending the spell points, and casting it. Some spells require an action plus a bonus action, or several actions over your turn. All spells can be readied, however, and held ready to be released once the casting part is done. Many mages will move around with a spell at the ready, just in case.

As one can note from above, when we cast a spell, we are rather occupied for a while. We cannot be interrupted in the casting of this spell, and we cannot stop, or we will lose it. Know that losing a spell means the mana is lost, and that seemingly simple things like being jostled can result in a great deal of harm. This length of time to cast a spell is one of the biggest limitations we have – and I feel for those poor folks in The Bleak who have to add in material components to their regular casting. Many a time I have been on some outing or other and been left alone while trying to cast a spell to attend to the needs of the team.

We Mages need some sort of protection, by Melane!

Using, casting, or releasing a spell does not mean the spell is not still memorized after casting – one can cast a memorized spell as many times as one has energy for it in that day.

Spells are very much living things. A sigil is a constraint on spells, a kind of cage and for it. They wriggle, they struggle, they seek to have their way and be free – magic is aware and has desire and sentience. As they are abstract, they dwell in the mind of a person, wriggling, struggle, poking, prodding, pestering to distraction. And once distracted, it is free.

This means that they are exceedingly difficult to form on the fly, at will, if they are more complex than a cantrip, and that there is a limit to the number of spells that any given person can hold within them each day. It also means that when rendered unconscious, you lose all the spells you have been holding in your head. It is really quite a bother to have to start each day, but even more so when you are in the midst of casting a rather marvelous area of effect spell, get knocked out, and have to start from scratch.

The act of casting any spell requires the caster to sketch in the air before them a trigger glyph while incanting the spell in Caligulan, the peculiar language of magic itself. An interesting part of using Caligulan is that it is magical in and of itself, and so when spoken is often heard by others around the caster (including other casters) as the name of the spell in the language they normally speak.

For this reason, while Caligulan can be written and read by anyone who can understand it, it cannot be used by those who lack the Gift, nor can it be understood in its native form.

Note that the combination of speaking the spell’s name in Caligulan and sketching the rune can be of varying length and complexity. Some spells can take a great amount of time to say the name of (Caligulan has a complicated sentence, naming, and word structure), and timing that to the drawing of a complex rune that lights up in form before them to hover in air can take a lot out of the spell caster.

Memorizing, tracking, finding, and personal growth are a whole different challenge, and without some kind of resource to increase one’s personal power, the amount of magic one uses in a given day is finite and limited. It is often wiser to focus on more simple, less taxing spells in abundance than to try and use multiple potent spells, simply because you will run out of mana.

The Spell Point Cost table summarizes the cost in mana of spells from 1st to 9th level. Spells of 6th level and higher are particularly taxing to cast. This cost is regardless of the spell list, the Axiom, or the Affinity of the caster. Skill, knowledge, and efficiency in control are all what determine the ability of someone to manipulate the energy around them. There are things and ways to influence this.

Spells always have a somatic and verbal component to them: you are always speaking the spell aloud in Caligulan and drawing the trigger glyph on or at the target with motions or movement. Bards will see their music take form, and so forth. Caligulan is surprisingly fluid in pronunciation, as well.

Spells here do not generally require the commonplace material components to varying degrees – as a ritual they do, but rituals here can be extraordinarily long and difficult and do require material components, and so are not useful for those striving against the forces of chaos and evil in the world in the moment.

This lack of immediacy is the reason that those who imbue and ingrain are not known to go out into the world and make a name for themselves or force a change. Facing a horde of goblins when you have spent much of your life learning how be precise and particular to grant some farmer’s hoe the ability to pass through a crop while snagging a weed is not conducive to handling the matter at hand in a timely manner.


The casting of a spell is rather rigorous and arduous effort and requires intense concentration. While this is happening, the Mage is generally in what we call a bad spot. An interrupted spell, where their concentration is broken, costs the same amount of mana as an uninterrupted version of the spell. So interrupting an Intermediate complexity 5th level spell still costs mana points, and the process must begin again in casting it, along with the expenditure of the mana to do so. Note that some casters have learned to concentrate on more than one spell at a time, while others have learned to manipulate the way a spell functions.

Memorizing Spells:

In order to cast a spell, you must first memorize it. For many, this means consulting a spell book for the spells they have encountered and locked within. A spell book is a unique item, containing information on spells, rituals, the preparation of magical tools, and lists of ingredients and their magical correspondences. They are specific to each caster and are described shortly.

Spells are increasingly complex patterns that must be visualized, all of them starting from a specific base, or cipher, that is more or less complex based on the knowledge, skill, and efficiency of the caster. Into that base, the caster must wrestle assorted symbols, glyphs, and ciphers into the form, and then memorize it and hold onto it.

A Caster will usually have several spells memorized each day but may never use that spell. Memorizing a spell need only be done once each day, regardless of the number of times the caster uses that spell. The following chart shows how many spells a caster is able to memorize, based on degree of Mastery.

This chart applies to all professions. All Mages are bound by this, but some professions have bonus spells they are able to add to this number, based on the particulars of that profession.

Also, this is a number of different spells one can memorize in a given day; there is no limit to the number of different spells one can have in a spell book.

Spells are very much living things. They wriggle, they struggle, they seek to have their way and be free – magic is aware and has desire and sentience. As they are abstract, they dwell in the mind of a person, wriggling, struggle, poking, prodding, pestering to distraction. And once distracted, it is free.

Spells take a certain amount of time to memorize, with one to four degrees of difficulty.

Spells which are memorized frequently (each day, minimum of 7 consecutive days) take less time to mentally set up, and so can be memorized in half the time.

Complexity -> Simple Rudimentary Intermediate Advanced Expert
Mastery Level Cantrip 1st Level 2nd Level 3rd Level 4th Level 5th Level 6th Level 7th Level 8th Level 9th Level
Novice 1 3
2 4
3 4 1
4 4 2
Professional 5 5 2 1
6 5 3 2
7 5 3 2 1
8 6 4 3 2
Adept 9 6 4 3 2 1
10 6 5 4 3 2
11 7 5 4 3 2 1
12 7 6 5 4 3 2
Master 13 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
14 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
15 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
16 8 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Grand Master 17 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
18 9 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
19 9 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
20 10 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

Cantrips take 1 minute to memorize, and often are done on the fly, since many of them are simple spells and make great practice. It is said the original purpose of cantrips was to help very young mages learn.

Devout Axiom: sharpening skills to memorize spells takes 4 minutes per degree of complexity for each spell (4 to 16 minutes).

Disciple Axiom: intense focus to memorize spells requires 3 minutes per degree of complexity for each spell (3 to 12 minutes per spell).

Sensate Axiom: harnessing will to memorize spells takes 2 minutes per degree of complexity for each spell (2 to 8 minutes per spell).

Servant Axiom: being granted spell takes 1 minutes per level of the spell for each spell. The Powers call this “dounloding” and complain often about the speed.

Creating New Spells

Creating a new spell means that one must combine the assorted sigils from glyphs, runes, and ciphers, as well as related elements into the complex and convoluted patterns of spells. That task alone can take some people years, for the nature of magic is enigmatic and capricious, with meaning changing and variables shifting according to the effect of other forces around them. It is said that even a simple cantrip has something on the order of 2.5 million variables. Complex spells have exponentially more variables to deal with. The level of difficulty is immense.

To be able to create a spell, one must have reached the Professional degree of mastery or higher (5th Level and up).

Learning Spells

How different people learn new spells is simple: they find it, they are given it, or they create it. Spells are typically collected by each person in a spell book, and each spell book is unique to the caster – but the spells within can be read and learned and then placed within their own spell book so long as the person doing so is of the same Axiom.

For most, when you start out, you learn the spells that your Master taught you as an Apprentice – learned through hours of painstaking copying and study. Thereafter, you must pay for the privilege of learning from someone else’s book or tome, or you can learn them from scrolls you can purchase, or you gain them in the most common way: you go out and find them in some way. Barter is common among Mage, trading a spell they know for a spell from someone else. Crossing Affinity often means having to do some conversion of the spell, but even Clerics and Wizards are known to share spells. This is why there is essentially one spell list for everyone; spells are little more than constructs and designers, and once you know the particulars of a sell and adjust for the peculiarities of the Affinity and Axiom, you can.

For Servants, these new spells are granted after proper entreaty – that is, you ask for them, and they give them. It creates a strong structure. Usually, it is after intense prayer or rigid meditation, and the Powers That Be, peering into the future and listening to you, give you what you want, need, or may find a use for. Those come to them, whole cloth, though of course the Host may choose to instead allow a greater level of free will than the others.

I recall one morning when I awoke with a spell for making pea soup in my head. It was rather disconcerting. Turns out that there was a beggar I encountered later that day whose last meal was pea soup conjured by me.

The Gods do not ignore us. They simply have their own motivations. But even then, we are inclined to collect what we know and preserve it for future use.

Sensates essentially fashion their own version of spells or come up with a new way to use the power within them or have a need that arises, and the magic responds to.

Even they need a way to be able to duplicate their unique combination of things to enable their magic.

For that, everyone has a use for a spell book.

Spell Books

A Spell Book is the core tool of a Mage. Any affinity, any Mage; they must have something in which they can store their spells, even if the magic they use isn’t always obvious otherwise.

Spell Books come in five very broad forms, but most folks just call them Grimoires or spell books. The forms are Grimoires (actual books), Occultaires (typically an item or object of import to the person), Nomicons, Picatrix, or Apocrypha (the sacred receptacle of knowledge from the gods).


Apocrypha is what a grimoire held by those who use Divine Magic is called. This is often given to them, or passed down through lines, or fashioned from the common tools of the person using it. It is said that many a Paladin has used their sword as a grimoire, and holy symbols are often part of it. The nature of this makes these books somewhat sanctified, though they are not truly holy or consecrated. First, they must fashion, form, and create the Bundle for the leaves – no one knows why they are called leaves, but that is what they are, even though what a leaf is can vary as much as an Occultaire. In some cases, the ritual might place the person as the Bundle, and the leaves will be tattoos. The thought of tattooing oneself to do this is uncomfortable, but it has and does happen. This is a three-day effort requiring one spell point each day as they infuse it with mana and enable it to set. Next, they must fashion the leaves themselves, always something sacred to the divinity they draw from, that they will place the sigil within or upon in a manner they can reclaim it, using 1 spell point for each object, during a day long effort per object of the Apocrypha.


Grimoires are books of spells. Grimoires are for those who use Arcane Magic as a standard – a book, fashioned painstakingly, only handwritten, sometimes multiples over the life of a person since the creation of them is arduous in and of itself, and they have a finite amount of space in them.

First, they must fashion, form, and create the cover and prepare the binding. This is a three-day effort requiring one spell point each day as they infuse it with mana and enable it to set.

Next, they must fashion the carefully handcrafted, thick, rough-edged pages, during a day long effort per page of the grimoire. Each page in turn also requires one spell point.


A spell book for Eldritch Magic. These very often take the form of a specific item, or focus, of the caster. The risk around a Picatrix is that without it, the Mage is unable to use their spells.


A spell book for Mystical Magic. These take many forms – sheets of paper with musical annotation, long scrolls in elaborate tubes, and even tattoos, set upon the body.


Occultaires are a form of grimoire that doesn’t take the form of a book. They are used by those engaging in Primal Magic. It may be a carved bone or a bit of stone or wood, an item or collection of items that together make up the repository of the Mage who develops them. Occultaires are usually used by those using mystical or Primal magic. First, they must fashion, form, and create the container for the object or objects that will be used. This is a three-day effort requiring one spell point each day as they infuse it with mana and enable it to set. Next, they must fashion the carefully handcrafted, specially chosen objects they will place the sigil within or upon in a manner they can reclaim it, using 1 spell point for each object, during a day long effort per object of the Occultaire.

Fashioning a Spell Book

Collectively, they are all called grimoires, or spell books, even though they do have their specific names.

Each represents the collected and collective knowledge the Mage has about magic and the way in which they shape it, often using complex instructions, patterns, and designs, to explain and elaborate on the sigil that they will then fashion.

Grimoires, then, are costly and time consuming because they must be capable of ingraining the spell within them – which steals from it some of its power until memorized. With so much of their lives set within the creation of one, it is no wonder that mages are jealous and guarded about their spell books in any form.

As a result, spell books in all forms tend to have several pages or elements in them. The typical grimoire has between 300 and 500 of the carefully handcrafted, thick, rough-edged pages that are part of the ritual to create a book. An Occultaire might be a collection of small stones, and an Apocrypha may be like a book, a collection of preserved leaves, or the armor and weapons of a paladin.

Should a mage run out of space in a spell book, they must create a new one – and this has led some to seek the additional books of some mages that were thin or less detailed than many, on the presumption that perhaps they recovered a lost spell, such The Razing, or perhaps The Galavant.

Spell books contain more than spells, as well – they record rituals, they store observations and experiments; they hold the mental treasure of the Mage who crafted it. Most of the famous spell books are named after the Mage who created them and are often valued more for the additional information stored. One mage used his spell book as a record of his trips into the great Wild, where he delved into abandoned Imp holdings and struggled against one of the Great Dragons, recording his experience and knowledge for presumably himself, but possibly for those who would come later.

Spell Scrolls

As a result of this, one of the tasks that are socially expected of great Mages who lay dying is that they inscribe their knowledge onto scrolls that they then allow to be spread on the wind.

These scrolls are essentially whisked away by the Pale, and it is rumored that they appear where they are most likely to be the most beneficial, most humorous, or most maleficent.

Scrolls are, like the spells they contain, somewhat aware. They do not seek to be learned, and so they are usable only once, for scrolls are merely imbued, not ingrained. A collection of scrolls is called a Grimoire – and it can be all manner of forms.

Finding a spell scroll is considered a Rite of passage for Mages of all sorts.

Spell scrolls which are found are often not used and instead painstakingly copied into a spell book, that the spell might be preserved for that Mage. By doing this, they avoid the use of the spell scroll, and can retain it for as long as it happens to feel like sticking around.

And yes, this does mean that some scroll spells are pages from a Grimoire, and that some objects are the pieces of an Occultaire, or the leaves of an Apocrypha.

Mage Duels

While not a universal trait among my colleagues by any stretch, we do tend to have enormous egos, and when Mages get into arguments about magic, inevitably the practice initiated so many years ago as part of the Warding of Akadia comes into play. These arguments inevitably end up coming down to one of three things:

  • The number of spells they know.
  • The kinds of spells they know.
  • The amount of Mana they have.
  • The use of Mana and Spells.

These disagreements can become quite ferocious, and there are often points where one or another feels their honor is besmirched and requires repair, or there is a desire to prove greatness and position. So popular is the activity as a spectator sport that it has become a part of the very Grand Games themselves. I am, of course, talking about Duels.

From this, and with the less than pleasant encouragement of the Pale itself, a set of rules developed out around the act of challenging another mage to a duel. Doing so is not something to consider on a lark – it is a formal and sadly rigid thing that cannot be taken back once accepted and cannot be escaped.

Every Novice Mage knows at least three Cantrips and then has three additional spells in their arsenal that are among the very first taught, because of their value in training. These spells are Duel Skin, Duel Seal, and Duel Bond.

When making a formal challenge, the Challenger casts the Duel Bond and in a face-to-face confrontation challenges the person they seek to overcome, with an inclusion of where they seek to make the challenge take place.

The challenged Mage can then choose to decline or accept the challenge. If they accept, they too cast the Duel Bond and the pair clasps forearms, which triggers both spells and locks them in while formally accepting the challenge and specifying a time for the duel. If they decline, then nothing happens.

Attempting to back out of a challenge results in a loss of all Mana for a week. This is a debilitating effect, as you can imagine, and given Mages tend to be sneaky sorts, there is always a possibility of an effort to block one or the other from reaching the location of the Challenge. It is considered highly illegal in Akadia.

On the appointed time and at the appointed place, both casters will cast the Duel Seal cantrip. This will create a barrier that is a dome with a diameter of 50 feet and a height of 25 feet. This dome will move with the duelists. The space for the duel must be great enough to accommodate this field. There are a few Apprentices who have tried to set a place for such that wasn’t capable of accommodating the duel, and have suffered accordingly, as they are the ones that chose it.

Next, a Duel Skin cantrip is cast. This is a thin barrier that only works during duels, and has the effect of changing damage done to a loss of Mana. Don’t ask me how it works. Magic. We have been trying to make skins work better and outside of duels for 300 years, and no luck. All I can tell you is that it only functions if a Duel Bond is in play, a Duel Seal has been erected, and they are about to enter the duel.

The field keeps all magical effects confined to the duel area, the skin causes damage to reduce Mana, and the bond enforces the terms of the duel. After that, the duel is fought by the mages using all the tools in their personal arsenals – including physical and martial skills, since even they are converted.

Mage duels are decided by any one of the following conditions:

  • A Mage runs out of Mana.
  • A Mage is rendered unconscious.
  • A Mage yields.

It is only when one or more of those conditions are met that the Bond, Seal, and Skin end, and the duel is over.

Ritual Magic

One of the things that “keeps the Mages in line” is that anyone, even nulls, can be part of casting a spell; of using magic. Clerics can move out into the world and proselytize because Clerics can still perform Rites. Kings can have a Mage whose power is checked by a full ritual team. Creative bandits and pirates may have a ritual team. Imps are often said to be the first ones to learn the intricacies of ritual spellcraft to imbue their traps and snares and protect their Warrens and the rest of Agartha. Lyonese has entire families that are dedicated entirely to this act.

While magic is common, most of it is in the form of practical cantrips or benedictions performed by ritual or using an imbued or ingrained device or object.

Rituals on Wyrlde are a complex, involved processes that often involve multiple steps, take place over a length of time that can vary, and require some form of sacrifice in the process – highly valued materials, life force, focus, blood, tears, and similar things. The defining aspect of a ritual is not merely the act of a ritual itself – it is the nature of the spell. Only spells which require a material component can be done via ritual.

These common rituals can be used by anyone, and indeed has led to folks who are otherwise not considered spellcrafters to be capable of performing magic that can have a durable and specific impact. Ritual Magic on Wyrlde is potent, dangerous, and devastating. Ritual Magic has its own Spell List.

Ritual Mages are subject to the same limitations on them as most other spell casters. Rituals are often available at a price for the common person – a small wand that is imbued to start a fire a set number of times is considered a useful thing.

There are some exceptions to this, and while many have tried to learn why, the general answer appears to be because the Pale wishes it so. These exceptions are Ritual Summoning and Sacred Rites.

Rituals spells are called Rites, and they use the primary Affinity of the Focal, and they manifest during casting by that affinity of the Focal.

Someone who constructs sigils for Rituals is called a Magewright. This is one of the reasons that Ritual magic takes so long on Wyrlde – it does not directly employ the sentience of magic, rather it draws it together through sympathetic practices or related efforts and tries to appease magic’s appetite for use.


A Ritual space is usually filled with the resonance of spells done previously. There will always be some form of access to the sky – though it may only be as large around as a finger. Even Agarthan mages know they must have it, and so their ritual rooms are often near the surface – or they have a complex structure for it to happen. The perfect ritual space would allow for an unbroken sphere of a given size, most commonly ten feet but larger and smaller are possible so long as the Cabal can gather.

Ritual magic is something that anyone can do, so long as there are conditions met:

  • There is a Cabal, the size of which depends on the complexity of the spell.
  • At least one of the members performing the ritual knows the spell/rite.
  • One of them can freely use magic (the Focal).
  • That person can use the Affinity the spell comes from (The Anchor).
  • All of them share the same Affinity.
  • The combined Cabal has the Mana to cast the spell.
  • The combined degree of mastery of all assembled equals that necessary to cast the spell.

Nothing can interrupt the rite. It is said that early in the history of learning the rites, flies and other insects would destroy a rite simply by flying through it. It is not something that is easy to do and can exhaust those doing it.

Space: Ritual magic requires inscribing the base cipher in silver into a smooth, cleared space and then preserving that space uninterrupted throughout the ritual.

Spell Caster: The Cabal is treated as a single caster for purposes of the rite by the Pale. A Cabal of Grand Masters was convened to put down the original Akadian rebellion and did it easily.

Casting Time: Rituals require significant time, always at least two hours, with some spells requiring longer depending on what they are trying to do.

Components: All rituals require some sort of material components, the more potent and powerful the rite, the greater the sacrifice. A Wish spell, for example, might require the lifespan of a dragon, the servitude of an elemental, and the blessing of a god. The same complex spell may require different sacrifices for each time it is performed.

Memorization: The Focal must be able to memorize the spell for each instance. They also must be able to cast the Sealing spell.

Multiple Focals: The more persons capable of acting as a focal, the greater the power of the ritual, with a maximum of six possible Focals in a hexagram formation. Focals are dependent on the form of the Sigil.

Mana: Rituals are possible because everyone has a little bit of mana in them. The Focal draws that mana out slowly, over time, from the Cabal and uses it to perform the spell. Nulls can hinder a ritual; each null adds mana but also makes it more difficult.

Sacred Rites

There are several Ritual acts that are sacred and draw through the Divine forces. Sacred Rites vary more greatly in terms of time needed, but it is still measured in hours.

Sacred rites have the following additional special rules:

  • There is a Cabal, the size of which depends on the complexity of the spell.
  • At least one of the clergy performing the ritual knows the spell/rite.
  • One of them can freely use magic (the Focal).
  • One of the clergy performing the rite has the Divine affinity (The Anchor).
  • All of them share the same Patron.
  • The combined Cabal has enough Benison to cast the spell.
  • The combined mastery of all assembled equals the necessary level necessary to cast the spell.

They are otherwise like the normal ritual magic, and only apply to the Divine Affinity spells.

Common Rites

Ritual Summoning

Ritual Summoning is a special form of Ritual Magic. It is Advanced in its complexity and exists across all Affinities. It has a massive mana cost, takes 11 hours to cast, followed by an hour to solidify, and has complex, specific material components and set up prior to the casting that must be exact and match the being that is summoned.

An open summoning can be performed, but the results are unpredictable, and so typically people will focus specifically on the summoning of known being, whose powers and abilities are in line with what is desired (summoning a human from another plane is just going to give you a human).

On occasion, someone will decide that they have the power and privilege and place to summon another being from one of the planes. This typically goes poorly, which is why we have Spectres, Wraiths, Beholders, Trolls, Yuma, Wisps, Shades, Hypnarachs, Angels, Malakim, Valkyries, Devils, Demons, Yogs, Hags, Khrysos, Lepras, Wrights, Ghouls, Ghasts, and assorted undead. To name a few.

Ritual Summonings are comparatively easy to perform, extremely difficult to prepare for, and usually have a bad result. The beings of the many different Planes are still sentient beings, and often deeply resent when someone yanks them out of their lives and hauls them into another world and then demands they act essentially as slaves for them.

A poorly conducted ritual can summon some beast from the other planes that might be terrified or enraged, that will not have the natural capacity to support itself, may not even be able to eat anything here. Meanwhile some Lord or Power could be summoned but doing so then places the summoner in the position of having to ensure their own safety.

A Summoning Ritual involves an inscribed ritual cipher with a greater and specific managram, with the inner diameter about six feet across. It can be larger or smaller, and the size matters as the being will be contained within that inner area at first unless it is too small to do so, in which case it will break the circle and free the being.

Ritual spaces are set up with salt, silver, iron, and blood. There are always these four things involved – salt forms the glyphs and works with the silver which must be poured into the cipher channels uniformly and evenly. Blood must join and be used to set the magrams, and iron must be mixed with that blood for some parts of the sigil, whereas silver must be mixed for others.

All Ritual Summoning involves an Offering. Offerings are specific to the plane and needs of the summoned being. Summoning a human from some other world may only require something they desperately want, whereas summoning a demon may create a problem in how you provide the emotional power they desire.

Most commonly, the offering ends up being the death, pain, terror, and flesh of some living being, because people seem to always try to summon something infernal or necrotic. All offerings are consumed, in total, regardless, as a part of the spell. So even for something Radiant or Celestial, where the offering may be a newborn for innocence, the offering is destroyed. There is no Ritual Summoning that does not involve an offering, and so there are likely to be few Ritual Summoning events that are not foul and evil and cruel, even when the goal is something benign or beneficial.

Summoned Beings are confined to the inner circle. Breaking that inner circle can free them – disturbing the salt line, or marring a glyph or rune, or even the slightest imperfection in the silver channel can break the ring. Sometimes it is enough to stop it before anything is summoned, but other times it may work, and the being may not act immediately.

Summoned beings must be done so by name, or the ritual could bring across any denizen of that plane. Many historically summoned beings have worked to ensure that their names are available, and they will often have designs on those who fail, including slavery and taking the summoner back to their plane with them as a slave. This can be exceedingly bad, as magic on the other planes is not the same as magic here, often meaning the only way they can return themselves is if they are summoned.

A summoning ritual can be performed by a single person. The Rites are often found, with the names of certain individuals whose summoning may have been successful and beneficial to the mage, in scrolls, tomes, and even carvings. The Mana cost of a ritual summoning is frightening. Because of this, often large groups will form to share the mana among them to achieve the amount needed.

A summoning ritual must be performed without break, and once complete takes an hour to enable the being to appear during which the Ritualist cannot do anything but concentrate.

If everything else is done properly, a summoned being will be stuck within the circle, and not be able to be freed until the Ritualist releases them. Summoning is often done for a purpose, a goal, and summoners often invoke a geas of some sort, that enforces any agreements or bargains made. Without that, however, there is little holding the summoned being in thrall.

They are all essentially bound up here, into this form of spellcraft, and while not illegal under imperial edict, they are under Akadian Principles, and they apparently really anger Chicory and her friends.

Very few will perform a summoning ritual, and even fewer will perform one twice.

Rite of Variance

Gender variant peoples have a wide variety of herbal and mineral tools at their disposal, but the surgical arts are still quite limited due to a lack of facilities and knowledge. That said, there are some Mages who have access to a special form of the Alter Self spell that is cast as a ritual to imbue it.

This Rite of Variance can only be performed on another, with rumor saying it requires absolute and uncoerced willingness to accept it (though this is not true in fact). The ritual takes 12 hours to perform, and there are people who specialize in this ritual, primarily in Sibola, Qivira, and Akadia. The ritual is draining and requires five casters, and so is expensive – the average cost of such is around 10 gp. A good part of this is that only some folks can perform the ritual, and they tend to make it pricey.

That cost, however, does include “follow ups,” as the ritual has a duration of Ten Years and One Day, with an exception whether the recipient is pregnant or not – it will not end until after birth nor begin while pregnant.

Rite of Endowment

For a higher cost, it is possible to Ingrain a change into the fabric of the person. This requires the combined efforts of at least nine Masters. The Rite of Endowment is performed during Dawn and Dusk and happens every day for a month. This will permanently ingrain the changes and works beyond just the uses for the Gender Variant. The cost of this Rite is 50 gp.

There are some who will do the ritual for a lot less – and note that alter self and polymorph are available as a potion, so there are many options. Most notably, however, is that those who follow Antelle, Melane, and Paria always have the choice of asking them to intercede. Kybele is known to do so on occasion, as is Ululani. On Wyrlde, sometimes the Powers That Be do answer prayers – especially ones they possibly made themselves.


Runes are empowered marks, often seen as streaks of light or sparks, or graven or etched into or on something, that empower and trigger spells and magical effects. Runes are often also gravened into an object to prepare it for holding magic – not always visibly; they could be within the layers of a sword’s blade or struck into the warp and weft of a garment, or more. Some have learned the runes, and in so doing have come to find ways to use them as sigils unto themselves. Runes are always considered a risk to one’s sanity, even when not using them.

Runes are a very peculiar form of spell, different from a sigil, and used most often by those who come to specialize in their use, for Runes require a different kind of focus. Runes can be used regardless of Affinity, and the axiom can vary but always involves a deep and abiding focus on mastery of them. Runes glow brightly when activated. Like Spells or Sigils, Runes are a way to bend and shape the power of magic, but they tend to be much more narrowly targeted because of the way they are laid out: they are gravened, inked, tattooed, or similarly inscribed upon a surface, and this is done with intent and pure will.

Glyphs of Warding are a form of runecraft. Runes have significant power, and their use is often found among those who are Sensates, striving to figure out how to use the magic at their disposal, and discovered often through dreams, visions, or visitations as a hint to set them along a path whereby the power within them can be unlocked. Runes work much like magic items. You can discover them, attune to them, and use their magic in a variety of ways.

Words of Power

There are 25 Words of Power that can be learned and charged with mana to achieve an effect. They require a great amount of Mana and must be deciphered through the process of learning one’s spell craft – they cannot be learned from a scroll or a teacher, they can only be learned through study and focus. Words of Power are spells that have no visible manifestation.

Words of Power are always gifts, usually provided with a specific goal in mind, and can be forgotten or taken by assorted Powers that be. Those in the Feywild love to use Words of Power, which are said to have come from there. It is said that the ranking and Power of a Fae or Fell Lord or Lady is determined by how many Words of Power they know.

Words of Power are extremely disruptive magic, having the ability to alter circumstances beyond what most formal magic is capable of. Anyone can hold a word of power, even Nulls, but using one can be an immense challenge, as not knowing what you want to do now of use can have significant consequences. Dees, a wizard who once oversaw a team of three, once used a Word of Power and ended up accidentally killing his entire team and driving himself mad.

There are only twenty-five words of Power.


After the last Skyfall, and particularly in the area of Qivira and the Colonies, some people began to manifest abilities like magic, and yet, they were not Magic. The timing of it was fortuitous in the case of the Colonies, as it may one day give them a potential edge in the Dire War should it be successfully developed. That work is being done at the newest Colony, Diaspore.

There are also two Tanjin where these strange new powers are still being explored. The first is in Qivira, where the Tanjin Shinobi is run by the underworld Queen Remay, and in Lyonese the former farmer Vadim runs the Tanjin Nemen.

It is notable that those who manifest such abilities are not Nulls and have no Affinity, as they are unable to use magic but not immune or resistant to it. Psychics are strange, and it is expected that soon there will rise some people other than Monks and Nomads who use them. The Pale does not like these inborn abilities of a few, and they are still poorly understood – but one day there will be professions.

The Wilde

P4134#y1 P4134#yIS1

The Planet

Wyrlde is a large Earth-like planet with four continents, two permanent polar icecaps, and a very slight axial tilt that makes for seasons which are still quite mild overall. The axial tilt of only about 9 degrees means that the tropics are very narrow, and the arctic regions are as well.

Radius of 2,865 miles.

Diameter of 5,730 miles.

Circumference of 18,000 miles.

One degree of longitude is forty-nine miles, latitude is 50 miles.

Axial Tilt: 11.75 degrees.

Ninety million miles from star.

The Sun

The sun is an A class star with very white light that is also cooler and lacks much of the UV risks associated with the. It is said that it was not always that way – that it was changed during the God’s War. Wyrlde is centered within the habitable zone for the star, and has three moons that circle it, but little else in terms of space debris. There are six comets that pass through, four of them close enough to be seen with the naked eye from Wyrlde. There is also a strange extrasolar effect that passes through at strange times and in an unpredictable path so far – it has struck twice, and this has been called Starfall.

Each star in the sky is the brightly burning presence of some hero of Wyrlde – most unremarked, unknown, save to those Powers who witness all. There is nothing beyond the vast Sphere of Night. This is because the Dread Powers That Be sealed Wyrlde off from the broader universe ages ago. They are very proud of that, and the other Hosts have sought to restore Wyrlde to the broader Universe ever since.

The Moons

Wyrlde has a total of three lunar bodies in a complex dance that circle around it. On any given day on Wyrlde, there is a strong likelihood of there being some moon visible the entire time. The moons each have a peculiar color to them, as well. The moons are used to form the basis of the Wyrlde year, covering seasons, months, and weeks.


Coyola is green and blue in color, with patches of white that seem to move and drift across it. Coyola is about a fifth the size of Wyrlde overall, taking up space about the size of an outstretched palm without the fingers in the sky. Coyola has an individual revolution of about 7 days, and Coyola’s Cycle is 28 days, with the Full moon on the 15th day and the new Moon on the first. Coyola is linked to lycanthropy and is visible starting only at Dusk and setting at Dawn. Like most of the world’s aspects, Coyola is frighteningly regular.


Sina is a pink, white, and pale blue colored moon that has a new moon every 91 days and the full moon 45 days after that. Sina is considered the divine moon, with effects on prophecy and divination. It takes up about as much space as three fingers’ width in the sky and is loved by witches. Sina marks the seasons and is used in many rituals. “Sina sets the seasons” you may hear people say, and it is used heavily in farming to time crops. Tides respond to Sina strongly, while they can be weak around Coyola.


Themis is a golden color and only ever appears as a full moon, though it seems to grow larger or smaller by season. It always seems to present the same face to the planet, which is blank, smooth, and unchanging. It circles during the day, rising at the dawn, setting at dusk, always just a little ahead of the Sun, and is sometimes called the Sun’s Mule. Themis is notable in that it has no impact on any spells, curses, or other expected effects of a moon. It is about the size of a pinky fingertip in the sky. Themis sets the week.


P4155#y1 Avilon is the continent, though it is known the world is round and there are other continents. No one has ever been fortunate enough to return from any voyage attempting to reach the other continents. It is claimed that someone in Islandia is building a massive ship the goal of which is to travel the world, with five hulls and crewed by over a thousand.

Wider World

There are other continents on Wyrlde, though they have yet to be explored by anyone who has ever returned from them. It is widely believed that the Powers That Be protect Avilon from being engaged with the wider world. Much of what we know comes from Paria, in terms of mapping. According to the Powers That Be, one of the other continents is inhabited by immense reptiles and other enormous life, while another is inhabited, though none of them will talk about it or the things that live there. Much of what we do know of other lands comes from records kept from long before the God’s War, which raged across the planet. Even our own lands of Avilon have changed dramatically – it is said that what we have today looks nothing like what it once looked like, the Powers having reshaped the world to their whims.

Aracal: There are some lost World Gates that lead to the continent of Aracal, a northern hemisphere continent West of Avilon

Montaigne: South of Aracal lies a continent said to be filled by vast, enormous lizards. There is a lost gate that leads to it.

Pangea: To the East of Avilon is the continent of Pangea. There is a Lost Gate to it somewhere (this is why they are called Lost World Gates). It is whispered that this is very much like our continent, but that magic works differently there. Pangea has two massive portions to it, according to the maps of Paria – one to the north, and one to the south, straddling the equator.

Kokaigne: South of Avilon lies a set of three large landmasses collectively called Kokaigne.


To the West of Avilon, between it and Aracal, it is said that there is an island that the Powers built for themselves, and upon which they have built their homes and that the Old Gods reside beside them. There is a Lost gate to this place, which is said to be the home of the Powers That Be, from whence they watch the world.

The Wild

The Wild is the uncivilized realms of the planet, the lands that are not patrolled by official people armed to the teeth. The Wild is untamed, untouched, uncaring, unspoiled. It is the world after a cataclysm, the varied and assorted toys of the Powers That Be left to roam and wander and fend for themselves. It is the world off the roads, where nymphs and naiads frolic, and satyrs lure women to bowers of leaves.

Travel and Encounters

The safest way to travel is by Skyship. The chances of an encounter in those circumstances are around 1%. The most common way to travel is by horse or by wagon, then by Riverboat or Ship.

Going overland or over sea, however, guarantees at least one encounter, each time. In any given Shift (two Bells, 8 hours), there is a 30% chance of a random encounter if one is within a Civilized area, and a 50% chance of an encounter in Wild areas.

A civilized area is any place within 15 miles of a City, Town, or Village. All Steadings, Camps, and Hamlets are in Wild areas.


Biomes are not always something seen being used in many settings but are of import here. Each Biome here has a complex food web that usually has two sides to it that operate interactively and create challenges when traveling. On one side are more common and typical plants and animals, while on the other are monsters and other things of a less “normative” nature, as well as both the small and large versions of all of them. In addition to that, different Biomes have different soil and weather types, and so can vary dramatically. Biomes do not inherently make sense on Wyrlde – an alpine environment might sudden break out into a sylvan woodland, for example. This is usually a sign that there is a Spirit fo the World present, who protects, engages, and maintains that biome.

From the perspective of a traveler, the chances of encountering things are often directly affected by the biomes that one passes through – as well as what one might encounter.

Frigid Biomes

These are biomes found primarily in high Alpine or Arctic regions, where the mean average temperature is low enough for permafrost and year-round snow.


Alpine biomes exist above the tree line on very tall mountains. They are usually iced over most if not all the year and are known to be the home of some formidable creatures. The mountains are an Alpine biome, and while the mountains here are not as high as some on earth, they are still tall, and still deadly, and still ice capped year-round. Nearly every mountain range on Wyrlde qualifies as an Alpine biome once one moves past the tree line.


Tundra is a flat and cold grassland with low plants like grass and moss that only grow during the short summer. A thick layer of ice lies just below the shallow soil (permafrost) all year around, and trees cannot penetrate it to anchor their roots. Many birds visit the tundra in the summer to nest, but most escape the winter by migrating to warmer areas. Mice and other small mammals stay active during the winter in protected tunnels under the snow.


Taiga is made up of mainly conical-shaped evergreen trees with needle-like leaves. These trees are called conifers because their seeds are clumped into cones. The taiga has long, cold winters when most mammals hibernate and birds migrate, or leave the area because the winters are too cold for them to stay. Animals like weasels, grouse and rabbits that do not migrate or hibernate grow dense feathers or fur and turn white to match the snow.

Wooded Biomes

All forests are wooded biomes except those within a desert.


This is the kind of forest where there are four relatively distinct seasons. Many of the trees shed their leaves in the fall and become inactive through the frigid winter. In these forests, you find deer, woodpeckers, and bears, some of which hibernate through the winter.


You probably picture rainforest as a jungle, where it stays warm all year. There are too many animals to count, and the vast numbers of trees keep their leaves year-round. Many of these forests get so much rain that there isn’t even much of a dry season – more like a rainy season and a rainier season. This is the more temperate version, where the weather is more amenable.


This is your thick, wet, dense, green and bug filled, muddy and noisy and smelly tropical rainforest. They are found mostly on Islandia, but also around the Seven Seas.


Sylvan biomes are commonly deciduous and temperate forests, sometimes with mixed types, two tier canopies (as opposed to a Rainforest’s three or four). Nearly all Bamboo forests are Sylvan.


Sometimes called plains or prairie, grasslands are almost entirely short to tall grasses with no or few scattered clumps of trees. This land type gets just enough rain to help grasses, flowers, and herbs grow, but stays dry enough that fires are frequent, and trees cannot easily survive across the whole region. Here we find large mammals that often travel together in huge herds.


Meadows are marked by a high concentration of edible plants and flowers, often ringed by trees or separated from other, nearby grasslands. Meadows have shorter grasses, rarely getting above two feet in height, and are favorite pastures.


Plains are temperate low grasslands. They very rarely have trees and are sometimes described as oceans of grass. They can be windy, and are subject to regular, predictable seasons of alternating wet and dry. Plains have grasses that grow as tall as four feet.


Prairies are temperate low grasslands typically found in valleys. They very rarely have trees and are sometimes described as seas of grass. They can be windy, and are subject to regular, predictable seasons of alternating wet and dry. Prairies have grasses that grow as tall as seven feet and can have seemingly entire worlds that are unseen from elsewhere within one.


These tree-studded grasslands receive enough seasonal rainfall so that trees can grow in open groups or singly throughout. The animals living here have long legs for escaping predators and usually are seen in herds. A combination of fire and grazing animals are important for maintaining the savanna. Savanna are tropical grasslands. Savanna grasslands typically have grasses that grow to about four feet in height during the wet season but die down during the dry season to almost nothing.


Scrublands are drier than Grasslands, and decidedly anything but flat. They are hilly terrain, only occasionally reaching as high as 4,000 feet, mostly running between 2,000 and 3,000 feet, with valleys and dips and narrow or wide canyons, but a notable absence of hard and sheer faces. Scrublands are more rounded and gentle appearing.


The chaparral is also called scrub forest. The annual rainfall in this biome ranges from 25.6–29.5 in and most of the rain falls in the winter.

Summers are very dry, and many chaparral plants are dormant during the summertime. The chaparral vegetation is dominated by shrubs and is adapted to periodic fires, with some plants producing seeds that germinate only after a hot fire. The ashes left behind after a fire are rich in nutrients like nitrogen and fertilize the soil, promoting plant regrowth. Fire is a natural part of the maintenance of this biome.


Steppes are cool, hilly, rugged, and covered by shrubs and scrub. Steppe vegetation is dominated by shrubs and is adapted to periodic fires, with some plants producing seeds that germinate only after a hot fire. The ashes left behind after a fire are rich in nutrients like nitrogen and fertilize the soil, promoting plant regrowth. Fire is a natural part of the maintenance of this biome. Steppes will have small clusters of trees in thickets – young growth, densely packed. Grasses and shrubs are generally very diverse, but most are over four feet in height.


Moors are warm, hilly, rugged, and covered by shrubs and scrub. Moor vegetation is dominated by shrubs and is adapted to periodic fires, with some plants producing seeds that germinate only after a hot fire. The ashes left behind after a fire are rich in nutrients like nitrogen and fertilize the soil, promoting plant regrowth. Fire is a natural part of the maintenance of this biome. Grasses and shrubs grow three to five feet high here.


A Heath is a high, mountain shrubland, cool, subject to snow, and usually possessing unique grasses and herbs, plants, and animals. The grasses and shrubs on a heath grow to about three feet high.


Deserts make up the hottest biome but can also get cold temperatures in winter. Such temperature swings make this an extreme environment, where many animals must burrow underground to find more stable temperatures to survive. Plants and animals here must be able to withstand prolonged periods without water.


A barren is a desert area that is dry, perhaps somewhat rocky, does not often get much rain but still supports plant life in scattered areas and has plenty of life that struggles. And finds a way. Barrens are feared because they are also known to have places where quicksand exists, massive moist sinkholes fed by underground streams and made up of silt that often seems dry on the surface and is merely thick sludge below.

Sand Sea

This biome is a primarily identified by sand. Dorado has the largest known sand sea. Of note is that the Sand Sea of Dorado is often traversed by Sandships, which are typically driven by magic as if the sand itself were water. Sandships are built along the same lines as sea ships – the finer sand of the Doradan Sand Sea enables far less friction.

Stone Desert

This biome is typically covered by large amounts of crushed stone.


A biome found exclusively within deserts, around a source of freshwater. They will be surrounded by assorted Palm trees and fig trees, and have a low growing, inch high at best groundcover that is thick and somewhat rubbery.


Riparian biomes surround freshwater rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and other related areas. They are the Waterways, and this applies to locations where there is no human settlement around it.


This is a freshwater biome around streams, rivers, and watering holes that possess tall banks of soil over firmer root and stone.


This is a freshwater biome around streams, rivers, and watering holes that possess tall banks of loose stone and rock over firmer root and dense soil. They are generally shallower than Banked areas, and broader, with sharp three-to-five-foot drop offs farther inland from the river.


This is a freshwater biome around springs and watering holes that possess shallow pools and serve as watering holes. Some will include hot springs, which are waters heated by some internal force within the earth and have minerals and often surprising abilities.


This is a freshwater biome around lakes, ponds, and similar larger bodies of freshwater that possess tall banks of soil and stone.


Wetlands are fairly rare on Avilon, but where they are it is a broad and large area covering several square miles.


A marsh is a freshwater wetland, usually heavily wooded, with rain frequent and river drainage often. Marshes are found in cooler areas, with water that is sluggish, brackish, and usually 5 to 12 feet deep.


A swamp biome is a saltwater marsh or bog that has Mangrove trees in a kind of forest structure. It will have many other kinds of trees and will slowly shift as it moves inland from saltwater to fresh, but always have a water depth of three to five feet. Swamp biomes are typically humid and warm.


A Bog is a wetland that is full of peat moss and similar mosses, often compacting down into tight layers that are then flooded around and part of water, with little oxygen and few fish, but a great deal of other wildlife. Bogs can often run as deep as thirty feet and spread out around things. Bogs are also home to several vines sorts and other plants and are a favorite haunt of mushrooms and plant critters.


The underground biomes are of a kind all their own. Note that Agarthan areas are formally considered to be part of the UnderDark, and one should always tread carefully lest you stumble across one or more of the many traps, surprises, and tricks they have for those who dare follow into their warrens.


This biome exists in a natural space underground, typically dry.


This Biome exists in a semi-natural space underground, often occupied by Imps and damn fool adventurers. The Agarthan biomes are also the means by which Goblins and others are able to conduct raids and attacks, using them to smuggle their ill-gotten gains out and to the civilized lands.

Sea Cave

Sea caves are found among the littoral region and are formed by the sea.

Wet Cave

Wet caves are very moist, naturally formed spaces.


The Oceanic Biomes are for the large bodies of saltwater – the oceans, seas, and similar locations.


The shoreline of the seas, within sight of land.


Shallow waters (down to one quarter mile).


Pretty much as you guessed – deep water. Depths over a quarter mile.


This open water biome includes the major oceans beyond the Littoral zone (outside sight of land). Marine water has elevated levels of salt, so animals and plants living here have adaptations that help them get rid of salt or take on water. This is a surface version of Pelagic in many ways and is where much of the sea’s bounty can be found.


This biome is for oceanic islands.

Mortal Croft

Mortal croft biomes are those created by us – people.


This Biome is wherever settlement by people is ongoing.


This Biome is wherever a settlement has been abandoned.


This Biome is irrigated agricultural land.


This biome is herding land that sees frequent, persistent, ongoing use in agricultural herding.


This biome is a human maintained, wooded area, not too unlike a park.


This biome exists where the land has been ruined by some great cataclysm. On Wyrlde, these are rarely devoid of life – instead, the life there tends to be hungry, alien, and inevitably deadly. The Wastes are an example of a Ruined biome. However, some biomes whose Spirits have been slain or otherwise been lost may become ruined as well.


This biome exists in manmade space underground. There are more than a few known ones, but most adventurers will avoid even them – they are rife and well known to be heavily trapped and designed to kill.

Features of Note

There are some things about Wyrlde you just have to talk about on their own, because of the way that they are referred to or how they are notable in common conversation and note.

The Seven Seas

Even a casual observer of the Empire will notice the startling feature that has been commented on for as long as people have known the shape of the world.

Sometime after the end of the God’s War, during the Bitter Road, the world changed, and one of the greatest of those changes was the sealing of the Ocean of Tears, turning it into the Sea of Tears, though most often just called The Great Inland Sea. Divided into smaller seas now (six of them), it is around this plentiful source and the shores of it that the Empire has been built.

The great inland sea is very deep, but usually clear and warm, and troubled only when storms come up from the south. It is what allows the great Riverboats to ply their trade, moving upstream into the realms, and even crossing it, alongside ships. It is a major hub of commerce and travel, rest and beauty, and only the fact that it is filled with some rather dangerous creatures keeps people from truly taking it for granted.

Within the Sea of Tears, however, are The Seven Seas: Tranquility, Serenity, Showers, Storms, Clouds, Shadows, and Dreams.

The Seven seas are littered and strewn with small islands and assorted options – there is even a legend of a Floating Island that drifts about. The tale of the Sea Wizard Garda and his unrequited love for the Elfin maiden Isen is well known and oft heard, complete with the tragedy of their passing beyond the Pale after years of travel within the Seven Seas. The legendary Mariner, said to be half-Triton, was the first to sail all seven seas, and today serves as a Saint for those who ply their trade on the waters.

The Wastes

This is somewhat like the opposite of a biome, an anti-biome, a place where there is no life; not flora, not fauna, not a spore nor speck of possibility. Not even the monstrous nightmares or the great Dreadnaughts dare tread here.

The Western Waste

It is, as it is named, a wasteland. Utterly barren, even the topsoil gone. It is said that when those who hold spells pass through such an area, they lose the spells – because they have been deprived of all that makes them magical. Even the great artifacts do not work here. At least one of these great wastes was created by mortal deed, and the name of that person has been struck from all record and note. There are vast and peculiar obelisks here, averaging about five wide and between 8 and 16 feet high, about a foot thick. They seem impervious to tools and have the peculiar ability to vanish and reappear elsewhere. They are haunted, many say, and many claim they whisper, “water sleeps.”

Northern Waste

It is said that trees of ice, shrubs of snow and a thousand sparkling sculptures occupy this place, where the north wind meets the sea, with a river that flows, full of memory, where all that was lost might one day be found. There are vast and peculiar obelisks here, averaging about five wide and between 8 and 16 feet high, about a foot thick. They seem impervious to tools and have the peculiar ability to vanish and reappear elsewhere, their surface sides reflecting strange patterns and markings. They are haunted, many say, and all that they whisper is “water remembers”.

Southern Waste

A wizard built a tower here once. A grand blue one, ten stories high, legend saying each story was of greater size within than without.

Later, he engaged in bargains and trade, dealings and demands with Imps and Thyrs and Grendels as he sought ways by which he could make his magic have mastery over all others.

During those years he forged and created many mighty things including twenty rings that he is said to have gifted mighty families, save one that he kept for himself. His deceptions and perfidy exposed, he couldn’t make magic great again, and in defending himself from vengeance, he created the waste where the Tower of Ism still stands.

The tower is surrounded by a field of these same Obelisks, most standing, some lain across others in a ring, and these stones are said to whisper, “water’s wet”.

Sea Waste

This is a peculiar patch of sea near Keris and Bermuda, where it is said a Merrow mage once tried to slay the world. Whirlpools and spouts have been known to appear out nothing without warning, and sailors tell of unseen shifting sand bars. There are vast and peculiar obelisks here, averaging about five wide and between 8 and 16 feet high, about a foot thick. They seem impervious to tools and have the peculiar ability to vanish and reappear elsewhere, and they float across the waves, prone, their sea sides covered in thick dead barnacles, their surface sides reflecting strange patterns and markings, and many say they can hear them whispering “water lives”.

The Ancient Land

Occasionally, someone will desire to risk themselves to try and recover some of the iron and steel that were lost in The Ancient Lands. Less than 1% of those who have tried that effort ever return, but those that have come back have spun wild stories about how the world there is reclaiming the land, but that what has come is twisted and vile and deadly to everything.

The most reliable source is the Master Sorcerer Amenhast, who described the Ancient Lands as being beautiful and deadly, filled with vast ruins overrun by deadly plants, of waterways and rain that are poison, or vast clouds of spores that will choke and swarms of insects that will bleed you dry.

He claimed that there are areas there where magic is dead, that no bird nor beast flies or crawls there, that it is a realm beyond anything imaginable – and that it is trying desperately to grow and expand.

The truth remains unknown, save for two things. The first is that Amenhast died the night after giving this report, and his body erupted with growths and was twisted monstrously before he was burned. The second is that he brought back with him samples.

Water that was like acid, plants that moved on their own, even severed and without soil, and dead insects the size of a hand, six legged and with mandibles that are razor sharp and stingers that leave behind eggs.

Branches of crystal, and soil that nothing natural could grow in and that had to be destroyed.

The sacrifice of Amenhast and the team of fifty others who were not able to return is a key point to remember, for the temptation remains; steel, iron, and artifacts from the God’s War still lie within that realm, untouched and lost for generations unknown.

It is widely suggested that some of the diseases and corruptions that are happening have their source in the Ancient Lands – brought with them by those who journeyed to that place and returned.

Thule is rumored to contain the only path still somewhat open towards the Ancient Land. The sea path is said to have always been closed off – even the most ancient of records indicate that – but since the end of the God’s War it has become an even more dangerous possibility – there are legends of creatures found nowhere else on the planet that infest the Barrier Peaks, whose teeth like white caps hemmed the survivors in for years.

Those same Peaks prevent the mythical route that was once taken through the Akadian path. And of course, the great spiders and dragons now control the original path through the Journey.

It is believed that the Thulians have been intentionally working to create a path through their side of the Barrier Peaks to create a gap into the Ancient Land.

The Five Healing springs

Long ago, when people were less fearful of those from the Fairywilde, there were five healing springs created by them. They were meant to be a precious gift to the peoples, to save the sick and the injured, provide for the chance to live longer lives, to ensure youth and vitality longer than normal. Some legends say they can even return the dead to life.

They were hidden, though, so that only the most determined could find them, using clues scattered throughout the world, to save themselves or those they loved.

I once joined a seven-month long search, and we traipsed many of the far corners and strange spaces of the world. We found empty lamaseries and ancient ruins, but not once, in all those months did we come across any healing spring, having followed ever last one of the clues we could obtain. It was an enormous waste of time, money and life.

Over half our bearers were slain by wildlife, the rest of us by critters like the terrifying Almiraj.

Nasty little bunnies. The small group we had sent ahead to scout had to use one of our precious Doradan grenades on it.

Speaking of critters…

Bestiary Briefs

For much of the last 40 years, a booklet is often found among the hands and in the hearts of many folks of the land. Typically fashioned of a rough paper, printed on a press, bound in a thick cover, and scattered throughout the land, they are nearly ubiquitous. It is certain that at least one member of the party has one, if not all of them.

We use a classification system from that here.

(Un)Common Creatures

The classifications used here are:

Aberrations Abominations Constructs Corruptions Denizens
Dragons Elementals Faunalia Floralia Giants
Grimms Horrors Rumored Salathen Slimes & Oozes
Spirits Trolls Undead Undying Water Monsters

The following is a general list of some of the most terrifying creatures that exist in the world. Descriptions are provided for several, but you would do better to consult a good bestiary for more information. I recommend a book called The Bestiary. It was written by Shim Sheroo, and although folks keep waiting for him to update it, he has not. Shim is a merchant, and by all accounts one who made his fortune before the book as an adventurer, which he wrote in his retirement.

You can find a copy of it yourself, called The Critteralia Wyrldica. It contains much the same information here, only in far more depth and with suggestions, tips, hints, and even some cures.

In the book, Sheroo catalogued around two hundred or so known critters of the world, as well as many of the most pernicious diseases; in doing so he often fought with them, battled with them, seeking in some way to find ways to make the lives of those who came after him easier. He describes many of the creatures and denizens of the world beyond the walls, all of them encountered in his travels, with some tips for dealing with many of them. This list is drawn from that book, and I have included a few of the descriptions given in the book, but not many details.

Sample Creatures

The following list gives a brief sample of some of the creatures known to inhabit the greater Wyrlde.

Aboleth Al’miraj Animated Objects Ankheg Awakened Plants
Banshee Basilisks Behirs Beholder Bicorn
Black Pudding Blights Blue Slime Carrion Crawler Cave Urchins
Chupacabra Clay Golem Cloaker Constructs Crawling Claw
Cyclops Darkmantle Demilich Dragon Turtle Dryad
Elemental Ettercap Fae Dragon Flameskull Flesh Golem
Gargoyles Gas Spore Gelatinous Cube Gibbering Mouther Golem
Gorgon Gray Ooze Green Slime Grick Harpies
Hellhounds Helmed Horrors Iron Golem Jackalope Katikis
Kraken Leviathan Lich Medusae Mimic
Mummy Naiad Ochre Jelly Oni Orcus
Peryton Piercer Pseudodragon Quaggoth Racoonwolf
Redcaps Revenant Roper Scarecrow Scylla
Sea Serpent Shrieker Shroomkin Skeletons Hypnarach
Stone Golem Tarrasque Trolls Vampires Violet Fungus
White Slime Yuma Zombie Other (G & L)

Trolls are an especially pernicious problem, perhaps more common than some of The Foe that appear at inopportune times. In my past life, they were a children’s story told in bits and pieces, either friendly or hostile, small or large, and they were generally cute. Not here. No, here, they remind me of something in what we called a “comic book”, stories to entertain, but in this case brought to life in a horrible, disgusting, terrifying way. They are very dangerous to encounter, though all have a peculiar weakness that can render them immovable and allowing for a hasty escape.

Bridge Desert Forest Hill Deep
Mountain Frost Jungle Swamp Sand
River Meadow Stone Blood Rampant

Here are a few descriptions of the broad groupings, in some cases with a bit of information on a notable type or three within that grouping. Sorry to say, do not expect much; it is more of a collection of hints, and as you are off to be adventurers, I shan’t give you too much. It would spoil the surprise.


Utterly alien, highly sentient, and terrifying. Aberrations tend to have some kind of Planar origin, and are usually hostile and generally foul tempered, but this is not a default trait; rather they are often angry that they are trapped within the cycle of Wyrlde where they do not belong.

They are some of the strangest of all the things that are out there in the world.


Beholders are the product of Dusit and Pallor getting together with Melane an exceptionally long time ago and creating something new. They became weapons meant to change the course of the war, and they still get mighty upset when folks forget how important they were, sweeping across the land in vast groups of them, and they would have been unstoppable “if it weren’t for the damn Elfin”.

They are why one can come across a field of statues, or a swatch of vegetation that is new amid the old. The last attempt at a census of them identified twenty-five before the last of the team was slain.


The Wyrlde Tarrasque is not quite as large as its sibling in other Mortal Realms. This makes it significantly less a threat – and far more common. This does not mean it is a pushover. Widely considered to be the single most dangerous thing one can encounter – in so far as people have returned. It is said that some places one can go and never return, and there are things as bad or worse there.


Abominations are living remnants of the God’s War, creations built to destroy the followers and defenders of other Powers That Be. Abominations are terrifying to behold, and often fashioned to destroy and eradicate anything. Since the God’s War, most of them have fashioned some lair or found some place, for they do not fit into the circle of life of the world itself, and do not often need to feast on anything other than the followers of the Bright or Shadow Powers That Be.


Mashenists are not, sadly, only interested in making life easier and improving the lot of the ordinary person. Some are dark, and often they have picked up the same cues from wizards, and sorcerers, and warlocks, in the fabrication of monstrosities.


The God’s War was absolutely devastating to the entire planet, not merely to the Ancient Lands. The people had spread far and wide across the lands, and built many places that were special, and even sacred.

Wherever people were, the Powers That Be fought. The Powers That Be tried many things before they turned to creating the young peoples. The most devastating and fearful of them all were the Dreadnaughts.

Dreadnaughts are machines built for the sole purpose of destroying life, and they feed on all things. But they were often left alone, or abandoned, and the places they were made, the vast forges, were not shut down. Some say these forges are still out there, somewhere, still building them, though the materials are rare and there does not appear to be anyone still mining for them, let alone who might know who how to make them or what to make them from. It is rumored that Dreadnaughts are not the only things of their kind left over from the ancient days – that a few attempts to create soldiers exist as well.

There are several distinct kinds of Dreadnaughts. Each has vitredur armor around its inner workings, but all are still able to be felled, and vitredur is a valuable material, as are many of the other parts from these things.

Dreadnaughts are not alive. They have no Soul, but it would not be something you could tell. They will stalk, hunt, and kill people, and there are rumors of the Goblins even using them. They are animated by forces from the necrotic plane, however.

The advice of the wisest is that when you see a Dreadnaught, you run. You run for all you are worth, and you do not stop until it goes back into sleep.

Let sleeping Dreadnaughts lie.



The Corruptions are something that came about after the God’s War, twisted beings like the Yuma. No lair has ever shown any of them to be in service to a Dread God, but they still seem to have found some source that has twisted them beyond the norm. While the birth of a Yuma from a corrupted person has been witnessed, no one knows where the hellhounds come from, and their twisting is too like the Yuma to be a coincidence.


The Yuma are large, eight to ten-foot-tall, emaciated (young) or grossly thick (well-fed) beings that have some unique powers. They eat only entrails and organs, with a special delight for livers, hearts, and brains. They are usually roughly human in shape, with long, curved nails that end in sharp points, elongated feet that force them to stand on thickened balls and toes with bent knees, and rows of pointed, sharp teeth but no molars.

The most terrifying thing about Yuma is that they were once people, and their forms reflect the rage, the despair, the jealousy, the vices, the horror of their inner selves. Transformation happens over a week, and the first sign is the loss of molars as the new teeth grow in. A common symptom is inordinate hunger that cannot be satisfied normally, along with pain should something other than entrails be eaten. The best tasting entrails come from other people. They cannot eat cooked food, grains, or fruit. As they change, their base desires override their ability to reason, though not their cunning. Yuma heal incredibly fast – they are not too dissimilar from trolls that way.


The Hypnarach are eight limbed – four limbs on each side, capable of bending in multiple directions. Each limb is roughly seven feet long. These are attached in groups of two to gut sections about three to five feet long each. Behind the gut sections is a large, six to eight-foot-long bottom section much like a spider’s abdomen, while ahead of it is a chest and head section. The head looks somewhat human, though it splits open into four sections revealing the inner maw with its many moving parts that can cut through steel as if it were paper. They have six eyes, two forward, one on each side, and two above that can also see forward. The eyes are human looking. To either side of the head, in what might be thought of as the “shoulders” though no limbs come from it, only strange cilia used for manipulation, are sets of spinnerets.

Hypnarach are mottled shadow black, covered in long stringy hair that is usually tangled and matted and coated in filth. They make musical, pretty sounds that can calm and lull creatures. They lair in places that people do not go, where they fashion a burrow usually about fifteen to twenty feet deep that is lined with webbing that is slick and frictionless. They give birth to live young three to five per birth, and they eat any kind of moving protein. Preferably while alive, as dead is tasteless.

Hypnarach are not spiders – each of their limbs ends in a five fingered hand, they are warm-blooded, and they think. It is believed that they may have once been human, like Yuma, and were or are corrupted by something. Their vital organs are in a soup in the large “belly,” and in some cases an entire person has been found within it, pale and hairless.

They lure victims in, calm them with their song, and then wrap them in a cocoon that seems to have a surface paralytic. When they eat, the “head” burrows into the cocoon, and they feast while the flesh is still warm and the victim alive. The cocoon is then eaten after. They are experts in trap building, lure making, and incredibly strong, agile, and fast. They do fear fire or intense cold, and do not move or go out when it is too cold or raining.

Some theorize that they are the servants of Pallor in the world, for their lairs often have imps and other creatures around them as helpmeets.

There is little that one can do for a victim of a Hypnarach. The filth around them often carries infections and illness, and few survive.

Many a Yuma has come to be because of them.


Denizens is a collective term for the dimensional beings. These include Fae, Phantasms, Specters, Angels, Malakim, Valkyries, Devils, Demons, Hags, Ghouls, Ghasts, Miasmas, Zyma, Humours, Vapours, Pneumas, Wraiths, Wights, Shiki, Kauns, Khrysos, Lunos, Wisps, Shadows, Shadowfells, and Netherfells.

By and large, they can be grouped into three Orders:

  1. First: Fae, Angels, Devils, Miasmata, Wraiths, Kauns, and Shadowfells.
  2. Second: Specters, Malakim, Demons, Ghouls, Wraiths, Khrysos, and Shadows.
  3. Third: Wisps, Lunos, Wights, Ghasts, Hags, Valkyries, and Phantasms.

Because of the nature of the Planes, the Orders are set up around how each of them is a reflection or shadow, a kind of variant on the others within the Order.


When discussing the denizens of the Fairywilde, it is key to remember a few things about terms for them and those drawn from them:

Fey is a “kind” of Faerie, with the other sort being Fells (singular Fell, and much like the other dimensional Fells). Fae is the term for all of them, any who come from the Fairywilde. Fell beasts include the dreaded Displacer Beast, as well as assorted other horrific creatures, inclusive of Cait Sidhe and Cu Sidhe. The Fell are, essentially, not able to be mistaken for people. The Fey, on the other hand, can and often are mistaken for them.

Fay is a term to denote a Halfling, with the reason behind it being that Elfin were shaped in part with stuff from Faerie.

Although spelled differently, they all sound very much alike, and there is no doubt that it is intentional and purposeful, a form of the natural unreality and chaos the forges that place and those people.

The Fey are dangerous, capricious, and prone to all manner of violence and harm against people, because they don’t believe that Wyrlde should have people in it, and that they are little more than overdeveloped animals and savages that might make for halfway decent pets.

The Rules Of Fairywilde

It is not uncommon to encounter a Fae or Fell. It is of value to know certain rules gleaned through trial, tribulation, error, and grievous consequences.

  1. Never accept a Faerie gift.
  2. Do not eat Faerie Food or drink Faerie wine within the plane – their food is not meant for us, and they are known to be amused by our reactions.
  3. Do not follow the music and step into a fairy ring, nor follow the singer and descend a Mound, nor rest wearily to the wind’s whispers beneath a shady bough.
  4. Do not tell the Faerie your full name. Whenever possible, do not tell them your name at all, nor let those around you do so.
  5. Do not be impolite, or rude, or offensive, even in jest. Be polite, very polite, so very polite.
  6. Do not give them any clothing except for the most wonderful, nor anything made that is not the most beautiful.
  7. Do not be surprised if they ask a gift of you, and already know what they want.
  8. Do not thank them, but always show gratitude, lest you incur a debt or acknowledge one.
  9. Do not mention a newborn child you may know of when in their presence or within earshot.
  10. Do not kindle flame in the woods except in clearings.
  11. Do not shed the blood of another on Fae ground except in a duel, and always make sure you have witnesses.
  12. Do not run in the Woods at night, lest you step upon a resting Fae, or offend a dryad or nymph.


From the Hydra to the assorted sized dragons and on to the wyvern, these dragons of Wyrlde are not what you might expect. The Dragons of Wyrlde are not the many-colored splendorous things that many have flights of fancy about. They are six limbed, typically grey-brown, and get really annoyed with people. Especially people who steal things. Dragons hate to have things stolen from them.

Dragons of Wyrlde have enormous wings but are otherwise small – about the size of a large elephant, excluding the wings and tail. Not much more is known about them – they do not seem all that interested in having long conversations that end with people returning to tell the tale.

And they do like to talk. Endless talkers. Seems as if they have a culture and social system all their own, but it centers on being the one with the most stuff and the largest herd, though I have to say I have never seen a dragon herding anything.


The elementals of Wyrlde are far less interesting than those able to cross to other places. Note that there are thirteen kinds of Elementals.

Elementals have many different forms, some of which are well known – Dao, Djinn, Efreet, Marid, etc. They may seem to be humanoid, with great powers, and there is always one kind for each of the elements. Earth and Fire elementals are always masculine, Air and water elementals are always feminine. The rest of the dimensional Dozen are generally without a fixed or given gender state. There are many other types of elementals, like the great birds, the serpents, and others. One thing remains true: if an elemental exists in a shape in one, then there is a form of it in all others.

Lastly, there are guardians of the world itself, separate from any God or other power, whose sole purpose is to protect the world. They are always people, who are infused with this spirit, and become lost in the memories of all the people they were before and separated from the regular concerns of mortal people – for people are their enemy far too often.


It is difficult to describe Beasts, as I am never sure what Sheroo used for his boundaries. Most of them are some sort of strange combination creature, usually not particular sapient or sentient – that is, they are animals, beasts, but not “normal”.


These resemble a rabbit with a single horn, like a unicorn, but have the temper and disposition of a stepped-on Badger. They are sometimes found among Jackalope. Of note is that some of them have horns that are more like spear points, and teeth that are so sharp they can be used to shave. They have earned the nickname “vorpal bunny,” and it is rarely said with humor. Nobody knows what vorpal means, but that doesn’t matter.


A part-panther, part-cow creature with a human-like face that feeds on divine or radiant energy and tends to eat clerics. They carry a strong and unforgettable stench about them.


These demonic looking beasts are reputed to attack and drink the blood of livestock. They resemble a dog with horns, extra-long teeth, and metallic claws that unsheathe like a cat.

They are especially fond of goats.


Jackalopes are said to be so dangerous that hunters are advised to wear stovepipes on their legs to keep from being gored. Stores sell jackalope milk, but some question its authenticity on grounds that milking a jackalope is known to be fraught with risk. One of the ways to catch a jackalope is to entice it with whiskey, the jackalope’s beverage of choice.

The jackalope can imitate the human voice. When ranchers gather by the campfires singing at night, jackalopes can be heard mimicking their voices or singing along, usually as a tenor. They would attack humans by goring their legs with their antlers, causing foresters to wear stovepipes on their legs as protection. The legend stated the only way to calm an angry jackalope was to offer it whiskey to drink.

It is said that jackalopes only breed during lightning flashes and that their antlers make the act difficult despite the hare’s reputation for fertility.


The Kaktikis is a cat-like creature, covered in hair-like thorns, with particularly long spines extending from the legs and its armored, branching tail. The creature is said to use its spines to slash cacti at night, allowing juice to run from the plants. On later nights, the creature was said to return to drink the now fermented juice. The then-drunken creature was said to shriek throughout the night. The cactus cat was a very hostile creature towards any animal invading their territory. Animals that crossed them often ended up with large puncture wounds, and sometimes fatal injuries.

It is a desert predator. To avoid the harsh heat, they’d carve out the inside of a cactus and sleep through the day. It eats the bugs and juice of the cactus, keeping it hydrated. They were said to be immune to scorpion venom and would hunt them at night.

Cactus cats were social animals, often mating for life. They were said to live about 20 to 30 years. Before and during mating season, the male felines would break open a large Saguaro cactus and let the smell attract females to the location. Often enough, two females would be attracted to the scent, and fight. The fight usually ended in one of them getting brutally spiked or stabbed to death. The winning female would then meet with the male and drink the cactus juice. The pair would get drunk and then produce a litter of kittens within the next few weeks. The kittens were born blind at birth with no spikes.


Yeah, Trash Panda crossed with a wolf and as big as a horse. In packs. If you see one, use fire. They do not like fire. They do like your friends, though – usually for a meal.


This bird with luminescent feathers which feeds on gold or silver is often found near mines, causing all manner of problems given it is a wingless raptor, smart, and brutal. It does not eat flesh, only metal, but it has no problem with tearing anything that gets between it and its food to pieces. Think a feathery velociraptor.


“It had the head of a frog, the grinning face of a giant elephant, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur, and a long tail with spears at the end”, according to one survivor of an encounter with a hodag. Vicious, sneaky, and predatory, Hodags are a scourge that often sneaks in through patrol lines into civilized territory, usually by burrowing.


Details on these beings are scarce. These include the creature only having one eye, long claws, lizard-like skin, backward feet, and a second mouth on its belly. In more recent alleged eyewitness accounts, it has consistently been described as resembling either an ape or giant ground-dwelling sloth and having long arms, powerful claws that could tear apart small trees, a sloping back, reaching heights of seven feet when standing on its hind legs, and covered in thick, matted fur.

It is slow but ferocious and extremely dangerous due to its ability to move without noise in the thick vegetation.

It gives off a putrid stench and emits a frightening shriek and weapons such as arrows and bullets could not penetrate the creature’s alligator-like hide. Its only known weakness is that it avoids bodies of water.


They have Horns on their heads like those of a deer, a horrible look, red eyes, a beard like a tiger’s, a face somewhat like a man’s, a body covered with scales, and so long a tail that it winds all around the body, passing above the head and going back between the legs, ending in a fish’s tail. Green, red, and black are the three colors of this beast that haunts rivers, streams, lakes, and shores.


Creatures which have a sinuous six limbed body, like a snake, and their fur is slightly green-colored. Its eyes are yellow and its nose is like that of a hog, which it uses to dig very deep holes. Ramidrejus are a very sought-after animal because their fur heals sickness and the animal has a fervent desire for gold, so there is often a goodly amount of it in its lair. They eat it, though – you might come across a lair of a hungry one.


Kind of a mole, badger, and tiger hybrid that burrows or swims through the soil. They avoid stone, and are ambush hunters, usually seeking to pick off one of the large herds of deer and related creatures. They are about five feet tall at the shoulder, with clawed feet, but are not particularly fast above ground.


Plants, sentient, sapient, and other. Yes, we have them. Fortunately, they are rare. At least in my experience. Wyrlde has a large variety of murderous plants, carnivorous flora, and then, of course, the number of plants that are just going to poison, kill, or maim you.

Fungal Foes

Fungi are everywhere and known to be the all-time favorite foodstuffs of Imps. As with most plants, they can be cultivated, a trait that many species engage in. Goblins like them since they too have a large enjoyment of their taste – it is said that the fastest way to distract a horde of goblins is a plate of mushrooms with gravy. As Goblins can eat pretty much anything, even poisonous ones will do.

Of the forms the Imps have bred (and there are many), the Shrieker is the most dangerous and deadly in any of its several forms.

Deadly Plants

Some plants are just plain dangerous.


The greatest horror is the vine which they call “the devil’s snare”, and we’re full of stories of its death-dealing powers. I was able to discover truly little about the nature of the plant, owing to the difficulty of handling it, for its grasp can only be torn away with the loss of skin and even of flesh; but, as near as my friend Dunstan could ascertain, its power of suction is contained in several infinitesimal mouths or little suckers, which, ordinarily closed, open for the reception of food. If the substance is animal, the blood is drawn off and the carcass or refuse then dropped. This does make it easy to avoid, if you can spot the skeletons that the vines tend to cover or catch the scent of death in the air.


These are parasitic vines with purple blossoms known as the “devil’s poppy” that seize and poison animals. Is a potent narcotic. My band once fell asleep passing through a meadow full of the damn things. Lost my dog, Toto, too.

Madagar Tree

The slender delicate palpi, with the fury of starved serpents, quivered a moment over her head, then as if instinct with demoniac intelligence fastened upon her in sudden coils round and round her neck and arms; then while her awful screams and yet more awful laughter rose wildly to be instantly strangled down again into a gurgling moan, the tendrils one after another, like great green serpents, with brutal energy and infernal rapidity, rose, retracted themselves, and wrapped her about in fold after fold, ever tightening with cruel swiftness and savage tenacity of anacondas fastening upon their prey. I still have scars from this damn thing. I won’t say where.


Named for producing a hissing sound and having poisonous “spines” that resemble “many huge serpents in an angry discussion, occasionally darting from side to side as if striking at an imaginary foe” which seize and pierce any creature coming within reach.


It is said that there are Giants in Wyrlde though they do not appear to want much to do with us, and I have heard of none within the Empire. However, there are some giant-like beings that are quite fearsome, if easily manipulated.

Orci and Oni are often said to be two sides of the same thing, but I suspect they are more than that, a twisted relation not unlike the Goblins that was never functional, and they have much in common with the hulking Trolls.

Oni, fortunately, are limited to the islands, and Orci prefer quiet forested streams and ponds that draw prey to them. I am aware of the legends about yeti or ogres that infest other regions in small numbers, but the best I have seen is casts made of footprints that could have been shaped by people seeking to draw money out of the unaware or Trollsign, and you just don’t want to encounter a troll.

Notable about both Orci and Oni is that they are generally ten to twelve feet tall.


Creatures of the Underdark, bred in secrecy for the purposes of the Imps, these terrifying things are truly monsters. Some of them are classified as Floralia, as Imps create incredibly beautiful gardens they do not like to be disturbed, and peculiar traps for the unwary.

Cave Urchins

Stone covered, many spiked creatures that tumble through cave like spiked boulders, with a massive maw capable of swallowing a person whole. They never come out of the tunnels – should you encounter such, please report it to your local Guildmaster.


Horrors are exactly that: things that are utterly horrific, and terrifying, and horrible, and, well, you get the idea. Yogs are an infamous example of this.


The Rumored are creatures there is some kind of rumor about, usually unproven, sometimes a hoax. They may more properly belong in other classifications. As an example, one rumored is that there are an entire people who have the bodies of goats but with a human head!


Mites are a race of violet or purple skinned, two foot tall, bipedal, pigeon toed, winged, flight capable beings with one eye in the center of their wide heads, one brightly colored horn that juts up from it, no visible nose, and a gaping maw that stretches nearly the width of the head and can open to almost a foot wide. They are primarily arboreal, preferring to ambush prey from the trees, and seem to be able to tell if the prey is going to be tough or not. They have an intense love of music and will often pause to gyrate strangely when they hear a tune they like. They can also be bargained with, having a value on very short shorts, something they occasionally wear.

When attacking, they will drop to the ground and begin to gyrate and speak their strange tongue, including such words as wop, bam, boom, bop, a-boppa, lopa, and lum. This is a ritual chant to prepare the sacrifice for their deity, which appears to just be a ten-foot-tall representation of one of them. The horn on their head can be useful to gore their opponents, but also can be used as a sort of musical instrument, with them exhaling through it while closing off holes they have drilled into it in some strange ritual.

Victims are sacrificed and their corpses dragged at the mouth of a cave within a large, circular rock that is thick in the middle and thin on top, like two inverted teacup saucers. There, a shaman keeps careful count, and those who have reached an unknown number of acceptable sacrifices are allowed into the cave. After a period, they will emerge, nearly eight feet tall and commensurate in size. this massive increase in size leaves them in an aggravated state, which can only be calmed by music and ritual prayer.

These very large ones have a deep fondness for eating their prey, usually people, whole.


There are five broad types of Salathen (Sky, Sea, Soil, Sand, and Smoke), each broken into around a dozen or half dozen kinds, and they are all very dangerous. It is said that they predate all the Peoples on the world. They are six limbed, often vaguely resemble a dragon in some ways, or perhaps a big lizard. They have peculiar eyes that have three pupils surrounded by a comingled iris of assorted colors and horizontally slit nostrils. Some have fur, some have scales, and some seem to combine aspects of different animals. Among the assorted types occasionally seen, however, are Agrainains, Silurians, Floridians, Venturians, and something that is usually just referred to as a walking wall.

Salathen comprise an entire system unto themselves – and they especially enjoy eating the things the Gods made. Legends say that Dragons are a kind of Salathen, and that among them are some strange beasts that seem to be combinations of different animals – including people and horses! How hilarious. Probably just some sort of therian.

Thankfully, it is rare to encounter Salathen in the Bright Realms, as they tend to be mostly confined to wherever it is they come from.

Slimes & Oozes


Slimes are of assorted kinds, usually marked by their overall color. They are an amorphous species, their core form being a kind of rounded dome like shape, and they can exude assorted things from their surface. All essentially eat in the same way: they absorb the thing, enfolding itself within them. They are able to operate collectively and form a large being with a kind of hive mind that is likely about the same level as a dog. It is said that if ever there were an intelligent slime, it could likely find a way to take over the world, and slimes eat anything. One of the most feared is the Gelatinous Cube, which seems to be an oversized version of the assorted slimes. Despite reports of the sometimes being seen above ground, they dislike the heat of the sun. One report has a massive conglomerate of Cubes acting with high levels of intelligence down in Lemuria.


There are some things that defy the mind. One of the most likely is the existence of sentient oozes, which actively move of their own will, slick and sticky, fluid and filmy. Their moist and malleable forms are excessively painful, and they love to hide and ambush prey.


One of the more complicated groupings, this is a catch all for the Spirits of the World, the dis-, semi-, and incorporeal beings that inhabit assorted places around the world. Naiads, Dryads, and a host of other beings occupy places and will often defend or protect them.

Spirits are a powerful and potent force, rarely to be underestimated, and they are everywhere. Many have Shrines raised to them or have made deals with people. They are often confused with Fae or Elementals, and Spirits often rely on that misunderstanding.

Spirits are of particular importance to Melanie, Antelle, Ululani, and Tamasin.


Ghosts are not planar – they are the cursed dead. It is possible to curse someone so that their Quintelan is bound here, trapped and often fractured in some way, such that they are unable to move on unless the curse is lifted, or the circumstances forced upon them are changed.

Ghosts can be harmless or extremely dangerous and deadly – the things and events that make a ghost are myriad and not fully understood, but few who are ghosts are happy with their state of being, for they are no longer in the Cycle, and are trapped.

Ghosts are weak against Radiant energies, and susceptible (like all things) to the voids. Voids do not free them, however, merely discorporate them, and Radiant causes them to fade for a time, but they will return.

Ghosts can only be freed through solving a problem that lifts a curse. A curse always has a solution, but it is always out of the grasp of the Ghost. They cannot be exorcised or turned away, and they require Arts to understand and communicate – so they can be terribly angry, very frustrated, and often violent.


The Trolls of Wyrlde are leftover madness, half sentient, extremely removed from what may once have been a human start, Trolls are varied and terrifying creatures.

Many names have bubbled up over the ages for them, but they are abominable, man shaped, seven- to eight-foot-tall human shaped beings with massive hands and large feet, covered in thick mated hair over a skin like hide that often earns them their name. Their eyes are sunken, and smoke or steam wafts out of the dark eye sockets in which there resides an ember like glowing mass They smell atrocious, and they will eat anything, their breath far worse than the rest of them.

Trolls are also sometimes called Things, because it is the best someone can come up with at the time. They all have a certain quirk that varies from one to one. Trolls tend to fit into their environments. They are described as seven to nine feet tall, bipedal, with overly long arms and large feet, covered in thick fur, usually matted, that helps them blend into the region they occupy. They can be found in Frigid, Wooded, Grassland, Scrubland, Desert, Wetland, Riparian, and underground biomes.

Stone trolls cannot stand the light of the sun – it causes them to harden and freeze into immobility. For Wood trolls, they are extremely susceptible to fire, but they also recover from it when the fire is out. River Trolls cannot move beyond the river or stream they have taken as home, waiting in the depths for the unwary, demanding tolls to cross a ford or bridge. Snow Trolls, sometimes called Yeti, become white and depend on the cold. Sand Trolls can rest beneath the sands for weeks and draw down their victims. Swamp Trolls can summon the very roots and vines to do their bidding, and at least one is said to cause burns on those who fear it when touched.

Oh, yes, they can talk, they can demand, they can beat the unwary and unprepared to death and later add their ground bones to flour for vitamins. Trolls are not inherently good or bad, orderly or chaotic – they can vary. But trolls are often said to be like children.

If you come across an Arch Sage named Telomere in your travels, ask him about trolls. He knows a lot about them and even then, tends to speak on their behalf.


There are dark magics in Wyrlde, magics which twist the flesh and bind the soul, necromancies that revive the dead and unnaturally prolong the spirit, drawing on necrotic powers. Those for whom this happens, those unfortunates, are called the Undead. Infested and driven by miasmatics from the Necrotic Plane, these beings are alive, but not in a sense that we recognize, being driven entirely by death itself.

There is no hierarchy to the undead. They are the tools of others like the dark Clerics, and as such the revenants, zombies, and skeletons are little more than puppets. They are often confused with the corrupted, however, of which the Yuma are the most fearsome, but thankfully not all that common yet. That these things can animate skeletons and keep them together, that they fill zombies and pause decomposition, that they are able to raise revenants and restore mummies – they are a scourge, and the necrotic plane is to blame.

According to the lore of visitors to other Mortal Realms, some things that are undead elsewhere are not so here.

Vampires and Liches are not undead here.

Nor are Wraiths, Spectres, Shadows, Ghouls Ghasts, and many others. They are planar Denizens.

Ghosts are not undead. They are very much just dead. Specifically, ghosts are a Spirit of the World.


Zombies – and their more decayed future selves, called Skeletons – are the work of something and or someone bringing through vapours, humours, and miasmas through a dimensional rift to animate and empower the dead. A lot of people will say that the best way to kill a zombie is to chop its head off. Sadly, that is why most of those people survived by running away from Zombies. The best way to get rid of a Zombie is to get a Cleric over there to dispel the Necrotic denizens and restore the corpses to the ground.

Chopping the head off of a thing that doesn’t need one in the first place is foolish and I am pretty sure something leftover from folks from another world.


There are beings of immense power and horrific weakness who have found ways to extend their life beyond the norm – and are not undead, but Undying – immortal, though the manner of that life leads much to be desired.


Vampires are a scourge that first appeared following a bloody civil war, with a member of a minor Noble house making a deal with one of the infernal courts and gaining significant power as a result — but at the cost of his humanity and his soul.

Vampires have no soul, and are neither dead nor alive, having become something else. The original and Prime vampire is long dead, but he had three “children”, or people whom he turned into vampires and bound within the same curse that he had been bound by.

Vampires are entirely territorial, limited to the realms in which they were born and a connection to the very soil itself. Vampires cannot stand the purity of the Sun, and have challenges with fire, which can harm them in any of their forms. Vampires are not stronger than they were in life, but they are generally faster and less limited by sensations such a pain — for they do not feel such things, and are incapable of love, contentment, and friendship.

A group of vampires is headed by a Master. The master vampire is always going to be the oldest, and they will always have three people beneath them, and those in turn, will have three, and those then will have three, and so forth. A vampire does not always turn others — doing so is weakening, and not all seek to reduce their own power. They can compel others, to induce a loss of memory, and they are utterly and completely without any redeeming qualities. They can change form into a thick black smoke or take the form of a rat or a wolf. The stories about bats are a myth — vampires do not fly, though they do have very strong and very sharp claws, allowing them to scale surfaces and their lack of fatigue means they do not tire.

Vampires need to sleep upon the soil of their realm of birth, and they need to be hidden from the sun. Some have cabinets in which they rest during the day, lined with the soil, so that they can travel.

Vampires can be killed much the same as anything else can, though the best ways are still fire and any other great source of Purity (including running water, which can drown them and tear them apart, though this can take significant time). A vampire is ranked according to how deep their lines of subordinates go, so a vampire with none is a rank one vampire, while one that has five generations is a rank five (each generation consisting of three answering to one above).

Vampires can command undead. Vampires are always empowered by evil, but weakened and subject to the powers of the Powers That Be who oppose those forces.

Water Monsters

There are monsters in the seas and rivers, who will strike at an unwary vessel and destroy it – for pleasure, for glory, for territory. Some have theorized that this is why Wyrlde’s ships are either riverboats, with their wide, shallow draft single hulls that avoid the oceans and seas, or the vast catamarans that are more difficult for these fearsome creatures of the deep to overturn. A single hulled craft would be easily capsized and likely lose all hands far more readily, for these things are voracious, and even the Kerisian warriors fear them.

Sea Serpents & River Serpents

Combining features of both snakes and eels, these amphibious critters are found in assorted sizes from something as big as your finger to large enough to swallow a ship whole, with a typical specimen able to swallow a large man in a single bite, ready for slow digestion. The best news about them is that once they have a snack, they leave people alone while they retreat to their deep underwater lairs and digest them. Slowly. Sparing a though for the victims, the good news is they usually suffocate before they are digested much.


There are remarkably few diseases on Wyrlde. Influenza, Colds, and cancers are about it. Well, not counting the magical ones.

Cackle Fever

This disease targets humanoids, although gnomes are strangely immune. While in the grips of this disease, victims frequently succumb to fits of mad laughter, giving the disease its common name and its morbid nickname: “the shrieks.” Symptoms manifest a few hours after infection and include fever and disorientation. Victims begin to feel fatigue, with the effects building up until they collapse or are cured. Stressful events, such as fighting being hurt, mild fear, nightmares, and the like can result in intense harm and a sudden fit of shrieking laughter that persists until they can control themselves. The laughter is how the disease spreads, and those around a laughing victim can be infected rather easily The greatest worry is that while in many the disease will ultimately pass, for some it leads into a descent into madness.

Sewer Plague

Sewer plague is a generic term for a broad category of illnesses that incubate in sewers, refuse heaps, and stagnant swamps, and which are sometimes transmitted by creatures that dwell in those areas, such as rats and trolls. When a humanoid creature is bitten by a creature that carries the disease, or when it comes into contact with filth or offal contaminated by the disease, they have a chance to become infected. It takes a few days for sewer plague’s symptoms to manifest in an infected creature. Symptoms include fatigue and cramps. The infected creature will suffer from a deep weariness, healing more slowly and recovering more slowly. Eventually the illness will pass, but as it progresses the fatigue becomes ever greater, with a risk of death if they do not rally and recover.

Sight Rot

This painful infection causes bleeding from the eyes and eventually blinds the victim. A beast or humanoid that drinks water tainted by sight rot may become infected. One day after infection, the creature’s vision starts to become blurry. This makes it harder to do things dependent on sight, each day progressing as the body fights off the infection. In most cases, this will result in sightlessness, where they cannot see anything, and their eyes begin to rot within their heads. Herbalists, Physics, Apothecaries, Alchemists and others experienced in herblore may be able to effect a cure before full blindness sets in, using a rare swamp flower called Eyebright where a single dose comes from a single flower – assuming the swamp water it grows in is not also contaminated. It takes three doses to cure it, but if any of them is given after full sight loss occurs, then only magical aid can restore it.


A deadly, green, crystalline, agent of indeterminate origin. It erodes the vessel walls of the circulatory system, causing death by either triggering the body’s coagulation response (resulting in the entire system clotting in a few seconds), or by cerebral hematomas (accompanied by dementia) if clotting is prevented. It evolves at a rapid rate, is spread by airborne transmission, and is extremely contagious. It cannot take very acidic host environments, however.


A disease that decreases the efficiency of the body’s immune system, causing exhaustion and black sores appearing on the skin. Mostly affects children due to their weaker constitutions. It is a symptom of planar matter infesting the body. The body tries to eliminate it and overcompensates.


The varied forms of lycanthropy are cruel and malicious, for the lifespan of a lycanthrope from the moment of birth – roughly 30 days after infection – is not more than five years, as the disease ravages the body through the forced transformations. It is far better to be cursed, as the magical forms at least do not eat at the mind until one becomes a raving beast, bereft of all memory and sense of who they once were. This form of lycanthropy is derived from the curses, transmitted by bites which nearly kill the victim. Each month, this disease robs one of their mind, with the poor victims sometimes less aware than the beast whose twisted form they take by the end.

It should be noted that while it is popularly believed otherwise, all Therian are immune to lycanthropy.


A parasitoid macro virus. The parasite’s larval form resembles a slug and attempts to enter the body through the mouth or anus. Stage two develops in the gastrointestinal tract over a week, becoming a legless creature resembling a deformed potato with a mouth consisting of a slit on the underside of the head that goes down the length of the worm. They escape by eating their host’s body between the stomach and anus– and emerge as fully grown, six legged versions of the stage two shape, but about the size of a small dog. The lips separate to reveal hundreds of teeth that can bite through steel.


A deadly, flu-based virus. Causes a lethally high fever and is highly contagious. It is deadly because as the body fights off the disease, it mutates into different strains of influenza, making immunity next to impossible. It is said that the Posse of Eld are descended from survivors of this sickness going all the way back to the Ancient Lands.


It is a highly virulent killer bacterium. Its method of infection is overly complex, and it will mix in with other microorganisms and multiply. It can be transmitted via air, blood, mouth, or skin contact. It can grow even more dangerous by combining with Athlete’s foot, Lactobacillus, or other extremely common pathogens.


This hybrid of virus, mycorrhizae, and bacteria is found in nearly all freshwater sources, but is harmed by the sun, rendering it inert if exposed. It is responsible for the creation of Yuma (see above). It takes about 10 days to grow within the body enough to trigger the changes which take another ten days, with an eruptive end that causes the tailbone to grow thicker and longer, the shoulder blade to enlarge and appear to create vestigial wings, nails to harden and grow longer, curving over and around the tip of fingers, and loss of all teeth as new ones form beneath them and grow out. This process causes intense hunger in the person, culminating in the eruptive stage where their bones thicken and grow, muscle is grown rapidly, and they become the huge monsters in a rush in a single day. The pain and hunger drive their wits out of their head, and all they want is to eat entrails, which they can smell as if they were fine delicacies.

Other Risks

There are other risks, beyond that of the bestiary, that people should be aware of.


There are fourteen known poisons that cannot be easily recovered from without resorting to magic, although most people have access to or own an amulet against poison, and there are antidotes and antivenin for nearly every major poison. Most are things that people are aware of. Additionally, it is said that most people are immune to things that once were poisons – a probably outcome of the last Skyfall. Poisons known are classified according to how they enter the body.

Poisons Type Effect Price/D
Niobe’s Tears Ingested Burning, Convulsions, Bleeding Orifices 4 Pp
Helena’s Drought Ingested Sleep, Coagulation, Heart Failure, Preservation 4 Pp
Moon’s Rest Ingested Sleep, Heart Failure 4 Pp
Eyeshut Ingested Sleep, Dazedness, Intense Fatigue 1 Pp
Veracity’s Edge Ingested Truth Potion 2 Pp
Essence of Aether Inhalant Sleep, Short Term Amnesia, Trance, Suggestibility 2 Pp
Scent of Madral Inhalant Sneezing, Coughing, Gastrointestinal Troubles 3 Pp
Smoke of Severus Inhalant/Eyes Blindness, Loss of Coordination, Brain Fog 3 Pp
Oil of Shadows Contact Sleep, Dazedness 2 Pp
Oil of Silence Contact Suffocation 4 Pp
Oil of Serpents Contact Hallucinations, Convulsions, Heart Failure 4 Pp
Duel’s Finish Injury Head Pain, Dizziness, Vomiting, Weakness, Muscle Failure, Heart Failure 5 Pp
Helena’s Wrath Injury Loss Of Bowel Control, Intermittent Muscular Seizures, Hallucinations, Permanent 6 Pp
Aztic Surety Injury No Coagulation, Loss of Coordination, Dizziness 4 Pp

The known poisons in current use are limited in number but are prized and their formulas kept deeply and utterly secret – Envoys are known to make use of them. The recipes often convoluted and complex, somewhat alchemical, a bit of physic, relying on all manner of strange and peculiar ingredients.


This dense smoke like fog, a pale white shot through with grays and even hints of blue, is one of the most terrifying of things one can encounter. It billows out, and even the merest touch of it will immediately cause intense pain, raising white pus filled blisters on any area exposed to it, killing nearly instantly should it be inhaled, and causing intense agony that never lets up.

Yet for all the cruel, malicious evil of the stuff, it has a relatively simple cure: saltwater. Bathing in saltwater or hot springs will cause it to heal wounds as it rubs off.

Ruins & Tombs

At one point, the entire world was civilized. There were settlements and private sites all over the world. These locations and places have joined the tombs and constructed mausoleums of the powerful or the mighty from ages long past as an ongoing risk to people because they can make for a great Goblin or Imp base or serve as the entrance to Grendel Warrens or just generally attract something scary like a dragon or Beholder.


When a powerful adventurer or other person dies, they often have left behind Remainders – not quite ruins, not quite intentional tombs. Towers, Castles, and more are scattered across the world, and they await new people to claim, reclaim, or discover them. This is important, for those that are not often become outposts for Goblins or Grendels, and present real and present dangers to the Bright Lands should they gain true footholds.

The Civilized World

Wyrlde has a fixed way of doing settlements, going back to the Age of Dreams. From a designated central point, a city, people begin to spread out. In general, settlements are founded by a Noble or the head of a House, who then sponsors people to move there, promising to provide and protect them and building the necessary resources.

The space between settlements is patrolled – the most essential function for all governments is to patrol the region in between their settlements, at least out to about twenty miles. The settlements themselves often have a Patrol House or three from which those people patrolling are based – and there are Rangers as well, some in orders that stretch back to the Age of Myth, who help to ensure the world is not too hostile to the people living in it, and vice versa.

Settlements tend to spread out following the terrain and available freshwater. A City is supported by Towns who are supported by Villages that are supported by Hamlets. Cities will typically have a population of around 10,000 people, Towns will be around 1,000 people, Villages around one hundred people, and Hamlets will be around 50. A Steading may just be a single family, out forging their own path, in hopes of establishing a new House or escaping the sometimes-onerous rules of a noble.

Anyone can start a settlement in any region – the practical points differ, but the essential basis is the creation of a Steading, with 10 to 25 people. A steading is supposed to be walled, homes built, and fields laid out, but from there, growth tends to be basic and in general follows a plan set by the respective regional governments.

All smaller settlements (Village or smaller) will typically have some place of safety called the Refuge. It could be a building, a hollow, a magical space, caves, or even a castle. It will always be large enough for the bulk of the population (or at least the women, children, disabled, and elderly) to hide and survive, but it may also be something that is attacked by the creatures of the wild, or Goblin gangs, or Impish efforts or mayhap even a daring Thyrs raid.

The Imps are said to be the greatest danger to the Empire, because they have created the Underdark, and it is through that massive warren of tunnels and delvings that Grendels and Goblins often invade, creating a camp somewhere, and using it to stage, fleeing back to the warrens if they are discovered and unable to overcome.

Those along wide, navigable rivers worry about the Thyrs and the Merow, for they prowl the water ways, above and below, and there is always the Fairywilde and the poking through the Veil of its peoples.

Lastly, there are corsairs – found in the air, in the water, on the land. Bandits, really, despite their claims to be free spirits living by some code, they are more dangerous than most bandits because they often have more organization, and many are given special grants by assorted people with authority and power and wealth to put pressure on others. It is said that Corsairs are what happens when the Arenas are crossed, for Corsairs can be of the field and the hearth, but the fields and hearths they once had were somehow taken from them.

Daily Life

This section looks at the daily life of the typical person at various places on Wyrlde to give an idea of what it can be like to live here.


Wyrlde has had years of stability and relative security, which has been due in part to the efforts of the yearly Convocation, where the leaders of all the Realms gather once a year to ensure the peace. The absence of wars between the realms is welcome to most, but not all, people of the Empire, and peace with Hyboria and Kahokia is lasting and respectful.

This has also led to the rather easily identifiable establishment of somewhat competing forces linked around wealth and social power. The Economic and Social Professions of the Bright Lands are quite well established, and in some cases are generational.

Social Standing

There are three types of standing generally talked about. The first kind is Family. The second kind is Regional. The third kind is Social.

Social Class

Social Class is derived in part from an individual’s social standing. This is more about the way that the person of that class sees the world, and what they were taught by those around them as normative and typical.

Family Class

Family Class represents the social standing of one’s Family and how they are collectively seen by the world at large, with some aspect of their wealth involved, though there is no direct tie here.

There are many people who have a patrician family that are dirt poor.

Regional Class

This is a reflection of the combination of one’s personal, historic, and general position in society at large taken as a whole, and may reflect many different factors, including one’s reliability, honorability, trustworthiness, and reputation within their field of endeavor.

The following table lists the common ways that people refer to folks according to different social standing metrics as they measure them.

Social Class Regional Class Family Class
Beggar Beggar Wretched
Serf Serf Squalid
Peasant Low Poor
Artisan Artisan Modest
Guilder Tradesman Comfortable
Merchant Guilder Wealthy
Gentry Merchant Gentry
Steward Patron Patrician
Aristocrat Aristocrat Aristocratic
Lesser Noble Lesser Noble Vassal
Noble Noble Noble


It is only within the Empire that one can be indentured, and while there are many laws to ensure that they are well treated, it is not often the case. Indentured folks are tied to the land, not to a person, and so should a parcel of land pass to a different owner, they will still be tied to it, though the needs to meet their quotas may change.

The typical indentured person is responsible for meeting the needs of the place they are sentenced (for indenture is always a sentence). They may be a maid, a butler, a cook, a housekeeper, or whatever, but most of them are farmers, assigned to work some fields and care for them. They receive a portion of those results, but it is meager. They will often live in a very small place, with limited privacy, often shared with others – a barracks that is assigned to an area in which they have a cot to sleep on, clothing to wear (rarely more than two sets, one of which is for festivals), and food served communally.

City and Townsfolk acting as servants will usually have a communal room but may have a bit more privacy and while still meager, typically a better class of food.

Wages are set by Fiat, varying from the 1 pence per week of the Sibolans to the five pence a week of the Aztlan realm. When someone is paid varies, but the expectation is that it will be at least once each month. It is not well enforced, and some only pay once a year, or only at the end of the indenture period.

Indenture periods can be no longer than 5 years, and this is absolute. The price of an indenture to buy their way out is also fixed – 1 pence for each day remaining. So, a five-year indenture on the first day can cost 182 quid (1,820 pence, or 14,560 bits).

Of the Empire, Dorado and Qivira do not have indenture, though Qivira recognizes it, and Dorado does not. Outside the Empire, Indenture is meaningless and risky – in Islandia, it is the person responsible who will be punished for “keeping slaves”.



Poverty has been a persistent problem on Wyrlde since the end of the God’s War and is one of the reasons that people continue to be mistrustful of the Powers That Be. Poverty is common and affects over a third of the population, though in some cases their lot might be less under a given Noble.

Within cities, the poorest are said to have it the worst, often set in large, barn like structures set all around a City or Town, often as a requirement of the Noble, where shelter, a bed, a single set of clothing in decent repair, and communal food can be had. The food is often a thin stew, because it allows for using little to feed many, and there is often not enough to go around, and so children are fed before adults.

The typical person living in poverty is able to scrounge perhaps six to eight bits a day, through begging, through minor tasks and errands, and for youth perhaps the most important moment is when they are eligible for apprenticeship. There is a great deal of thievery and other unsavory elements attached to folks in this state, however they very rarely go after each other, and much of it is visited upon them by those in current employ of some Guild or Syndicate or Circle.

It is difficult in practical terms to escape poverty, but not impossible. Apprenticing to a trade can ultimately be done at any age, and many will try that route, and there is a need for employees and an expectation that Nobles will find a way to reduce poverty and aid all people. However, most folks simply scrimp, save, and struggle – often for decades – in order to find and make a better life for themselves.

Not all poor dream of moving up within a city or a town, however. Many seek to find a place or establish a steading, perhaps move to a hamlet. One thing remains true – while there is much greater danger beyond the walls of a Town or City, opportunity is what you make of it beyond. Impoverished folks generally bring in less than 5,000 pence a year.


Serfs and Peasants.

Technically, all of the Impoverished are Freemen as well, but the description is more usually used for those who are not near or half-starved, destitute, and desperate. Freemen make up the bulk of the population – at least another 30% overall, or (counting the poor) around 60% of the peoples.

Freemen have a home of their own and on land of their own unless they are in a city and renting from one of the especially tall buildings for that purpose. They are also able to buy one of the homes in such a building and many do exactly that within a city. However, outside of those situations (most common in Sibola, Durango, and Aztlan, but rumored to be the case in Antilia) they live in small homes that include space for a garden capable of feeding their family. This last bit applies nearly everywhere, most often with a low wall surrounding the house, stable, and garden, sometimes with a play area for children. This is usually set up within a walled hamlet or village and is the expectation in most towns and cities in Lyonese, Qivira, Dorado, and Akadia.

Keris and Islandia tend to be scattered, with gardens still but lacking walls or frequently any kind of stabling. In Hyboria, the normal dwelling is typically ringed by others in concentric circles that represent the closeness to the leading family, with the three principal huts in the center. In Kahokia, they always layout their homes in a spiral pattern based on a mix of seniority and time of arrival at the site.

Most freemen eat a diet that is usually drawn from the principal crops of the realm they live in, with Islandia, Hyboria, Keris, Kahokia all adding foraged material from known areas that they care for collectively, and stored foods (sausages, cheeses, salted meats, and dried meats). Each major realm has a particular group of dishes is it famous for, but all also have some sort of stew that is the frequent staple and comfort food for those from that region. The food may not be the pick of the crop or the hunt, but it is still superior to that received by the impoverished, and generally they achieve a decent overall meal due in part to long standing traditions and heritage.

Freemen occupy pretty much every role in society other than Guilder, Merchantry, and nobility (who have responsibility of their own or are themselves suddenly freemen). This is mostly farmers and farming families, who will often fight stubbornly for their farms, even if they don’t feel safe living there. Farms will often have a bunkhouse, where farmers and farmworkers will stay, linked or nearby to a stable where draft animals are kept, sometimes transportation. These are no frills, communal housing situations, meant to help out and serve as shelter during critical periods such as harvest and planting.

By and large, Freemen are whom one encounters most often, and the typical freeman makes between 12 and 24 thousand pence a year. Some make less when they fall upon hard times, and some make more when fortune and a hard bargaining session turns in their favor, but for the most part, they fall within that range.


Artisans, Guilders, and Tradesfolk.

Guilders are the makers, the crafters, the artists, the tradesfolk who are the heart and soul of what makes a given place a given place when it goes out into the broader world, taking the raw stuff and making of it things of value, need, and desire. Guilders make up about fifteen percent of the population and occupy a critical place. The vast majority of apprentices are to someone in this class of person and the openings are often in demand even when someone can take on many.

They generally have good times and bad times, and the real goal of every Guilder is to gain a Patron – someone from the Nobility or the Patron class that will select them as their primary provider, thus ensuring a market for their work – though this can sometimes come with risks all by itself.

The typical Guilder will live in a comfortable, well-appointed home, not too ostentatious, and will attempt to feature a generosity of spirit when possible. This is achieved since they earn between 20 and 40 thousand pence in a given year. Guilders have a more structured life, however, and higher expectations to stick to what is acceptable to do and be in society and keep up appearances.

Failing to do so can result in loss of patronage…


Merchants and Gentry.

Those who take the risks and the task of selling things to whoever might be around – and then take the lion’s share of the profit from such. Collecting, buying, dealing, packaging, shipping, delivering, and ensuring it all happens is the realm of the Merchantry, the folks who carry the burden of trade and ultimately the economy on their sloped, usually bejeweled shoulders.

Merchants, or at least the successful ones among them, tend to be closer to the nobility, and often are people who were unable to secure a position or stepped away, given funds enough to act as seed money from which they grow their grand tree. They, too, seek patronage, though not in the same exact way as Guilders – for Guilders need Merchants just as much as Merchants need them. On top of that, they must deal with the river folk and the Skyewards, the Trainwards, and the mercenary troops they use to guard their long caravans. It is a role that comes with stress when younger, but as success and time provide more people to do more things, it means more and more security for the merchant, and they do love to flaunt their wealth.

Merchants generally earn between 30 and 90 thousand pence a year, and are able to bend the ears of Nobility, for they control the fortunes of them through any small and seemingly innocent ways.


Stewards, Patricians, and Patrons\Matrons.

The highest a person of any other station can get in Wyrlde is that of patron, who are basically just eh most wealthy of people in the land. Some have even greater wealth than nobles, albeit without the full degree of power afforded them. Making up about 10 percent of the population, patrons see themselves as above the common rabble – even when they came from such rabble.

Patron is a position granted to someone, as well – it is not simply a station. It is inheritable, but that rarely happens. The appointment normally comes after a significant bribe or donative to a noble, who then declares them a patron. They also must have a worth of at least 100 thousand pence per year, though there is no real upper limit on that. This has led people to sometimes say that they are “hundred crown bullies”, an allusion to the amount of wealth it is known to take to reach that status.


Aristocrats, Lesser Nobility, and Nobles.

At the top of the heap are the Nobility – those whose task and torture it is to rule, to lead, to officiate, to do paperwork. Some folks reincarnated here say that our nobles are far and away the strangest nobles they have heard of, for they are usually too bogged down in the operations of a given assignment to do much more. Nobles, through taxes, make around one thousand crowns a year.

Common Architecture

Official Buildings

There are surprisingly few official sorts of buildings, and there is no custom of erecting them in any special way beyond the need for size and efficiency – though that may also be due to the use of Dwarf labor.

Guild Halls are the most common of the more official buildings. Large structures, they often have several meeting rooms, a residence for the Guild Master and their family, storage, and warehousing facilities (as well as offsite stuff) and more. Guilds do not sell things. They arrange for the selling of them by members.

In Cities, the large Banks will often have a large place and some sort of furnace going, as they are typically attached to or near the Realm’s Mint, be it closed or open.

By and large, most official buildings are built of brick or quarried stone, with the stronger the stone the more desired. Walls are uniformly built of vast and large bricks, layered thickly to be able to resist the impacts of and started a good twenty feet deep to resist sapping.


Housing on Wyrlde for the most part is a standard affair, even though materials, design, and the like will vary.

The typical home has a small, immediate plot of land that is attached to it, and will have a fence or wall around it and the home. Outhouses will usually be just beyond or at the edges of this fence, and the area enclosed can vary considerably according to the size of the family and the pattern of its growth. There will usually be some form of firepit outside, often covered to protect from the elements but open on three sides. Stock will have a shelter of some sort close by, and there may be a small pen for assorted animals. There absolutely will be a garden that changes seasonally.

The home itself will usually be around one thousand square feet, usually two stories, though the second story may be no more than a sleeping loft reached by a ladder. The home itself will have a cooking fire, a way to vent that, sleeping, bathing, and common areas to accommodate the assorted activities they need to do. The vast majority of homes are close to self-sufficient in terms of food – heavily based around vegetables since the common ones grow in all seasons. Meat is typically eaten once or twice a week, more if the family is wealthy, or if they choose to do the traditional stews which can be left all day.

Weather in much of Wyrlde means that winters are cold and spent indoors, and the need to have a way to defend oneself from bandits, raiders, and other dangers means the houses and fences will be sturdy enough to help do that.

Homes are often built-in community and involve celebrations and possibly even a rite in some locations if there is a shrine nearby. Most of those who do get blessed are done by Antelle, Galle, Lamia, or Melane, but some are blessed by Kybele, and of course the goal of many is to bless the Hearth through Gaea.

That blessing comes to a point of head when a child is 3 years of age, as if the home itself is consecrated, then the child cannot enter. A simple blessing, however, is usually all that is sought.

The realms all tend to have different styles of housing, with one common feature being a broad covered space called a porch on many of them – these function as extensions of the house, and there is a long history of using them when warm as the main areas of family life.


Akadian homes are nearly always square or round stone and wood structures. The typical residence has a main room on the bottom where a hearth sits vented outside, with stairs along one wall leading up to a sleeping area, and a sharply peaked roof.

Wealth is established by the height of the towers, and as wealth is tied to magical power, it also means that mages will have taller Towers. Common Mage towers are at least three or four stories tall, with the upper floors being laboratories, storerooms, or studies.


Wood frames, low angled single direction roofs that shed towards the back of the house, with long porches out front, these homes are long and rectangular, with a hearth room in the center venting directly and rooms reached along the porch. The houses are sided with long, thin strips of wood set to overlap each other, often painted bright colors.


Azlian homes are built mostly on stilts, raised typically eight to ten feet off the ground, reached by broad staircases and having wide broad porches all around that can be sectioned off using screens of fabric or rice paper. The Hearth I s always center of the homes, which are often built out of wood. Gardens are typically grown beneath the house for the family use. They tend to have bulbous roofs, in which warm air is captured and vented out through fans.


Doradan homes are square, sturdy structures built of a sub baked or kilned brick, with a single window and door. They are large structures, surrounded by low walls that mark out the garden and well area, and have flat roofs that include channels to let water run for collection or provide sleeping space through a laddered hatch.


Durangan houses are typically two or three stories, with two to four rooms per floor, built around a central staircase. Simple peaked roofs, with walls built of exposed timber and plaster bound stones. Hearths are located on the bottom floor and vented there. Durangan homes are mostly closely clustered, and in some cases a single home may have what they call “apartments” – each of the rooms on a floor is a home. Durango is laid out in a surprising grid system, very regular, but has a history of using the alleys between buildings as places of terror.


Weaving cottons, wool, and plant fibers, Hyboria is a home of woven walls and triangular pointed shelters, often as high as thirty feet for the more permanent locations but using shorter poles to support the wrappings that form their homes. It is shocking how fast two people can raise a house or drop one – and Hyborian peoples like to be on the move.


Raised on thick, often cultivated and still living stilts, reached by moveable, folding steps or ladders, the raised homes of Islandia are round or pointed with the points facing into the wind, and the porch areas beneath them. Some have noticed that the houses resemble the pontoons that make up the hulls of most ships – designed to cut through storms, which can happen with little or no warning, and meant to resist and survive even flooding or massive tidal waves.


Kahokian homes are round or square or triangular, depending on the larger grouping, and always slightly sunken with long entry ways that have a rounded roof. They are mostly domed structures, supported by posts. Sod is used to cover the lodges, and often adds additional garden space for a family. Hearths are located outside the homes, which are small, compact, tight, and used for family only.

For many gatherings, they raise a fur or hide covered open sided shelter.


Keris has the unique trait of building its homes within the sea, using carefully cultivated coral and collected shells and when they do reach land those buildings are all flowing and lack solid angles. They are very fluid in their style, and homes are often interconnected among families that have strong ties, and there is always access to water.


Within Lyonese, the houses are generally rectangular, and divided up into three main sections, with outhouses part of the property indoors and having a space to clean out night soil from the alley side – and there is always an alley side. Night soil is usually collected in Lyonese by people who transform it into fertilizer for crops, and also the same folks are generally responsible for cleaning the streets of trash, debris, and horse or similar droppings. It is an oft cited concern that leashed bears make for messy streets. The houses separate by having an entertaining space up front, a kitchen in between, and then a family space in the rear, with guest and family bedrooms on the sides and upstairs. Lyonese homes often have a small shop built in that fronts the house, and in this case, the shop takes up a large area while a work area is off to the side (baker’s ovens, blacksmith forges, and the like. Rural homes tend to have the same set up, and one peculiar thing about all Lyonese houses is that they have no windows on the outer walls, though shops may have an awning that can be raised or lowered. Situated around the kitchen is a large open space, usually about ten feet wide (the homes are always at least thirty feet wide and 90 feet long, and the rectangle is important to them) that is utterly open to the sky, and allows in light, that can be draped in bad weather.


Qivira homes are typically raised above earth four to eight feet, approached by often ornate, wide banister, stairs to a broad patio typically around six to eight feet wide that stretches around the entirety of the house – even as it is added on to for the needs of the family. The patio is covered by a wide, curving sloped roof, the supporting posts sticking out and heavily decorated. Internally, the building is more or less a single vast open space but is divided by movable walls. Everything in the house is made of wood and bamboo, and it will feature a sometimes-complex arrangement of runners for the moveable panels that are divided and filled in with a thick paper also made from bamboo or, in poorer homes, with woven bamboo sheets. It rains often in Qivira, so the wood is often stained and treated to become more durable, and they developed a form of shellack that is used extensively to waterproof and protect it, and for the tiled roofs they use bitumen like most do.

Inside there will be a kitchen with a stone hearth, a larger family area, and then small rooms for family members, who often will sleep two to a room. Qiviran furnishings are of note – they are almost all of the same height, about twenty-eight inches off the floor — and do not have backs. Square, stout legs support them, and this applies to couches, chairs, beds, tables and more. They use a thin woven bamboo cushion that is usually filled with small stone beads – smaller than a pinky nail, about the size of a fish egg and gathered from the shores – for what we from Sibola would call a rather uncomfortable rest, but they use woven blankets of incredible complexity and fantastic rugs to add cushioning. Even steel shod boots stop tapping the polished bamboo floors when they come to one of these rugs.

Survival of someone wearing steel shod boots into the house of a Qiviran is questionable since they do not wear shoes within the home, ever.


Sibola’s homes are two stories of stone construction, built around a central hearth, and often include access to an area for animals in the winter. They are round buildings with woven thatch for roofs, slightly sloped.

Urban Dwellings

In Cities and Towns, the most frequently encountered kind of dwelling is a two- or three-story structure that incorporates some form of shop or workspace and a common area on the lower floor, and on the upper floor has sleeping and bathing areas reach via a set of stairs in the common area.

The particular building sort can vary, according to materials available, but in most cities, they are fashioned from brick or wood and stone with plaster or stucco (sometimes with cement). They are often decorated to stand out, and most have some sort of signage or other. These buildings are often built close tighter, with perhaps a narrow walkway between them, but in some cases are built right up against each other, possibly even sharing a wall (common to Durango).

The only buildings taller than three stories in any City or Town are official function ones, such as a Guild or Temple, or the homes of the wealthiest. Average square feet are right around 1000, and the most wealthy might have a 3000 square foot home, but only Nobility can afford anything larger and that is usually the Manor Houses.

In cities, people are often taxed on the size of their home. Large families are not common in cities, so often the largest homes will also be the oldest, having grown from the original families who founded a city.


While not absolute, most settlements on Wyrlde are located along, across, or very near a river, usually a navigable one with a strong flow. This is especially critical for Villages and larger places, as the rivers are what power the mills.

Wyrlde is deeply agrarian, with farming and ranching making up about 80% of the daily work life of most people. The peculiar structure of nobility allows for much of this to move through the markets of the large settlements fairly easily, aided by the extensive and broad approach to transportation such as Skyships and the Train for more easily spoiled produce and the Riverboats for the rest. The greatest challenge is tithes, taxes, and levies.

Cities can generally only produce enough food for about a third to half of its population, with the rest coming from the towns, villages, and hamlets that are seen a supporting it and dependent upon it.

The Cities hold that power through two main functions, both dependent on the Nobility: Protection and the Tanjin, or schools, that are required to be set up any time a population in each area has more than thirty children.

Cities do not do a real census, relying instead on the reports of those who are assigned to support and uphold the local laws as well as oversee the guards and provide protection. Each city has the ability to send up to one regiment out to defend each Village.

Steadings and Hamlets are often the least well protected, and many will have an Arbiter who will travel broadly to try and encourage young, newly married couples to move and relocate, even possibly promising them some small startup funds.

This is because that kind of work is essential to the survival of everyone, and all the aspects of life feed into the overarching pursuit of security in a world where Goblins do not hesitate to attack, or Imps do not seek to infiltrate.


The Cities of Wyrlde are generally the largest settlements, often located near a river. With a population of at least 5,000 people, a city is usually grown by simple population growth, and are therefore the oldest settlements in an area.

Cities have thirty-foot-high, ten-foot-thick walls that are crenellated, made of stone, wood, and fill (often trash). They are solid, with broad plinths at the bottom to discourage laddering and siege towers. The base city, which most try to emulate in some way, is Sibola, with its ten rings and massive seventy-year wall. It remains the only city to have never had a direct Imp or Goblin incursion.

They are manned by a standing guard that will vary but is usually around 10% of the population in some form or other. Guard posts will always have a supervisor on duty, and usually have a team of ten to twenty men-at-arms.

Most cities have at least three gates, some will have four. Cities with Ports will have a wall pulled away from the port, making the Port itself a bit of a free zone.

Cities do not barter – one cannot pay one’s taxes with bartered goods.


The Towns of Wyrlde are medium sized, located typically 30 or 60 miles out from a Village or City. There are several Towns in any given Imperial Realm, each town having two to six Villages.

There is always at least thirty miles between any town and any other village or city, as 30 miles is considered a single day’s travel by a fast horse, but also far enough that there won’t be interference from other nobles.

Towns are often walled, usually with wood or stone construction. These walls are at least ten feet high, and usually about five feet thick (stone, rubble, or doubled tree trunks, usually a mixture). They are patrolled at the top, and occasionally will have earthworks meant to delay or harass attackers in case of siege.

Adventurers are welcome in towns if they don’t disturb the peace. Just inside the Gate to each town will have an Inn, and a Pub. All Towns have a full market, usually a designated street or two for varying sellers of wares, most of whom live in their shops. Towns use coinage far more than barter, and barter is frowned on unless they know they person.

Towns are the heart and soul of an area. They set the tone for the villages that come to trade there, they act as the major trade marketplaces, and they usually have the ability to provide the things needed while smaller settlements do not. Towns are formally designated, and one aspect is that they are responsible for a broad area – it is the task of a Town’s leadership to “tame” the region around it as best they can, and to protect the people in that area from the dangers and disruptions that exist.

As noted in the section on Taxes, Towns have taxes to support the tithe to the Cities, but also for their local needs.

Towns are a day’s ride away from help, essentially, and there is always a force of at least 15% of the population that is able to be mustered in the town guard. There will always be a leader on duty, subordinates, and then the majority will be everyday people. Gates are opened in the morning, usually a couple hours after dawn, and closed at night, though getting in happens for a few hours after nightfall if it seems safe enough.


Villages are small, variable and located typically 30 or 60 miles out from a Town or City. Roads are often flagged or cobbled for the last mile to the walls.

There is always at least 30 miles between any town and any other village or city, as 30 miles is considered a single day’s travel by a fast horse, but also far enough that there won’t be interference from other nobles.

Villages are a day’s ride away from help, essentially, and there is always a force of at least 20% of the population that is involved in the Village guard. There will always be a leader on duty, subordinates, and then the majority will be everyday people. Gates are opened in the morning, usually a couple hours after dawn, and closed at night, though getting in happens for a few hours after nightfall if it seems safe enough.

This also means that a village that is in trouble must wait for at least two days, more commonly three days, for help or assistance to arrive. Villages are frontier locations, filled with hardy but often frightened folks trying to make a living as best they can in a world that essentially wants to kill them all the time. The vast majority of people in the world live in a Village or smaller settlement, even within the Dread Lands.

Villages will often have a large building capable of holding all the “recognized” members of the community, along with some supplies. This recognition is essentially being known or related to someone or brining something needed and being known by many folks. Strangers are not usually allowed. It will be somewhat fortified and could be a group of caves or other place where a Refuge can be built. This acts as the Village Refuge, and is a primary building for the Village, known to all, and acts as one of the main core buildings alongside the Merchant Barn, the leader’s home, and any Manor.

The center of life in a village is generally situated around a Manor, that may or may not be the principal House’s Manor. Most villages owe their security to a Noble who resides in that manor, and that manor Lord is responsible to the people.

Adventurers are welcome in villages if they don’t disturb the peace. Villages that are well established will have at least a Tavern, and most likely a Pub. Some will have a full Inn, though it will always be outside the gates, often about an hour away from the village.

Most villages have a market area. It is not always certain to be open or even available but serves primarily to allow visiting merchants and locals to exchange wares, goods, and crafts. A lot of barter goes on in villages, though coin is always welcome. Village markets are often the places where Peddler’s sell their wares, as most major Merchant groups do not go to villages, only Towns and Cities. This makes Peddlers a key source of news, a way to get otherwise hard to find items, and similar things.

Most people on Wyrlde never leave their village or smaller settlement. The demands of daily life and survival and the bonds of family and friends and dangers braved together makes people feel safer and protective of their home.


The second smallest form of Settlement, Hamlets are typically wooden walled compounds that lack formal or direct supervision. Some Hamlets are called Forts. The inner area of a Hamlet is where the people who live in it retreat and is often the precursor to a Village Refuge.

They are led by a community designated leader, and usually have a population of around one hundred. Most hamlets are also used as a duty station for a contingent of around a platoon of soldiers, guards, and such from the regional City.

Hamlets often have their fields outside of their walls, and most residents will live outside them as well – but there is always space within the hamlet proper for everyone, often through a Commons House, which is the Hamlet version of a Refuge and Merchant space. Hamlets have a one or two-person gate, and rarely have more than one gate. The typical Hamlet has the ability to muster up to a dozen people to augment the soldiers stationed there.

Hamlets sometimes have a Public House, but not often, and the best one can hope for is a public house barn for some place to sleep.


A Steading typically has around 50 people, usually from a few families that know each other well or are directly related and are overly cautious about strangers.

Steadings do not usually have any resources to support outsiders – but they almost always know where the closest Inn or Village is.

Steading gates are usually manned by volunteers, often a single person who always has something better to do and are simple affairs. Steadings do not wall their fields and use basic wooden and earthen construction to fashion barriers to limit attacks by Goblin and Imp raiders.

Banditry & Piracy

Wyrlde does have those who band together for illegal and often violent theft and extortion and other crimes. They are general scourges to trade and travel, and while some are land and some are sea, they are all called the same thing: Corsairs.

Corsair camps are found in out of the way, easily defensible places, though on occasion some have even grown large enough to strike up small villages or hamlets. Corsair groups are typically led by a charismatic leader, often with some form of gift, and are dangerous people who have strong rules for keeping such groups of people in line. Corsair Camps are often based in ancient ruins and may even use a Goblin Lair that was cleaned out and sealed off. This often puts the onus on Adventurers to help wipe out entire bands who have become too large or too threatening.

Corsairs engage in open banditry and piracy, often taking on tasks of robbery and theft, raiding and sometimes pillaging. Corsairs are known to engage in slave taking, and other unsavory acts. Not all corsairs are wicked, and redemption seems to be a theme among them once they have seen too much, but often the true key to a corsair is that they come from a background of disenfranchisement and harm at large scales. Many Corsairs operate secretly in service to some realm or other.

Extreme poverty, raids by goblins or infestations of imps, the often-absent presence of the local Lords, famine, drought, crop failures – the sources are always something that has placed people in a situation where they must either become desperate to fend for themselves, or they have to find a way to provide for their families.

Corsair Camps often are led by one who leads through skill and cunning, a true Rogue, whose ability to deal with many things is only the start. They will have Seconds, and Thirds, who help to enforce their will – but also provide training and teaching of the crafts of those who would be corsair, in what is very much an apprenticeship all of its own.

Corsair camps are not often self-sufficient, and often will raid not for wealth, but for supplies. There are many large Corsair groups operating at any given time – it often seems as if once you take out one, another will rise in their place. Corsairs love to attack Exilian caravans, because they always travel with enough to feed themselves, and as a result Exilian caravans are not the easiest prey.

The spoils of a corsair group are often divided evenly among those who did the despoiling. Many will contact a guild for fencing, or perhaps try to pass themselves off as ordinary merchants with goods that they came by honestly, in order to find the coin to live. They then take those earnings back to the camps, where there are individuals and families who live and struggle together, often in defiance of the local customs and laws, living by what most of the all the Higher Law.

One corsair I know, who styles himself as “The King of Thieves” has five camps, scattered through three of the realms, and what comes to him often finds its way to those who have the greatest need of it. Not that he is a kindhearted sort, mind you – for all his charm and manners, he is as wicked as any other when the blade touches the throat.

As a result, while many Corsairs are hostile to the Foe on their own turf, they may not be so opposed to dealing with them in some circumstances – a corruption that always pleases Pallor.


Perhaps few things are more important to know than local law and custom. It keeps you out of goals and lets you know the way of things, and while there are many commonalities to the Seven Cities, there are also some peculiar differences.

Here are the big things to keep in mind.

Common Law

Although each of the assorted settlements tend to have their own special and local laws, there are certain common crimes throughout Wyrlde, even within the savage lands. The reason dates to the Age of Dread first, with the Decrees of Belial, and then to the Age of Myth, with the Code of Mansa, and most recently with Chicory showing up to remind people, usually in ways that get very bloody and painful and destructive.

In both cases, the Powers That Be set forth a set of basic laws that were taught to everyone, with the expectation that they would be handed down over the generations. These make up the fundamental basic laws, and many Ikons have noted that the stories do not track with what their patrons have said.

These basic laws have been in place for as long as there have been people on Wyrlde, in any case. The full code lists one hundred crimes and describes a set of specific punishments for each (ranging from 1 day in jail to 50 years in jail). Over the intervening years, however, the punishments were altered even if the crimes themselves were not.

Over time, the full list seems to have lost some of the crimes, but those that remain are still universal, with local Realms having additional crimes that will vary according to the culture. However, these crimes are all still enforced across the world, and remain the principal basis of laws throughout the Bright Lands.

It should be obvious that in some locations not all the laws are fully enforced. This is due to the way that many realms engage in punishments and determine guilt or innocence, as well as local corruption and laxity among those within The Agency, though few would ever say so out loud and within earshot.

Some of the laws are a bit confusing these days. For example, what is Accessory Disabling? What is temptation? While the laws do apply to nobles, it is not typically the common folks that punish and try them, it is the secretive and Powers backed Agency.

Chicory is especially concerned with the laws. It is said she has thirty rules, and woe betides those who break them and come to her attention.

Common Crimes of Wyrlde
Abuse of Authority Acceptance of a Bribe Accessory Affray Arson
Assault with Intent to Rape Assault with Intent to Rob Attempt Battery Blackmail
Blasphemy Breach Of Prison Breach of the Peace Attempted Bribery Burglary
Cheating Common Assault Concealment of Treasure Trove Conduct Unbecoming Conspiracy
Contempt of Court (Contumacy) Contempt of the Sovereign Defamatory Libel Dereliction Of Duty Desertion
Accessory Disabling Espionage Extortion Fabrication Of False Evidence Failure To Appear
Failure to Obey a Lawful Order Forcible Detainer Forcible Entry Forgery Harboring
Heresy Impersonation Incitement Influence by Magic Abduction
Larceny Malicious Mischief Manslaughter Mayhem Mobbing
Murder Murder of Five or More Murder of Two to Four Obstruction Of Justice Bribery
Public Indecency Perjury of Oath Piracy Rape Use of Magic to Harm
Riot Robbery Rout Slavery Theft
Trespass Unlawful Assembly Vandalism Temptation Intransigence


There are three kinds of organized policing that are designated as Police within the Empire, and all the realms still follow this because the funding for two of them appears to be derived from the God’s themselves, and so no one worries much.


The first and most basic are the local settlement watches. Watches are organized and overseen by the local Nobility and can vary widely in structure and nature. They are tasked with enforcing the local rules and policies within settlements and have a roughly half day boundary beyond the settlement as part of their jurisdiction. The Knights of Eld, charged with law keeping in Dorado, are an example of this, albeit a unique one, being hereditary and especially dangerous.


The next is chartered through the Grand Council and the Convocation, known as the Imperial Enforcers, and is charged with enforcing the Imperial laws throughout the Empire, outside of the settled areas. This is an immense area to cover, and there are not a lot of them, but they do their best, focusing on banditry and the like. They are also charged with keeping an eye on Powers that may be in their region. They will not engage with the Foe, except under the direst of circumstances; they are not cowards nor running, but their arsenals and training are not up to it.

These units are headed by a Sheriff, who has a designated area that they are charged with, and who is the Commander of a Guard Garrison – typically a small, tight wooden fort built in a defensible location. Sheriffs must report to the convocation yearly, and so have an Undersheriff whose task is to step in for them when they are absent and serve as second.

Reporting to the Sheriffs are Deputies, typically twelve. Deputies oversee Watches, which are eight-hour shifts. A watch is led by a Commandant, who has a team of six to eight Enforcers reporting and taking orders from them. There are additional assorted logistics staff to support these activities, but not much. All prisons and jails are assigned to Imperial Enforcers, regardless of where they may be, though Durango has a consistent issue with corruption that has led to there being additional jails where Enforcers are denied access.

The Agency

The last and final group is the Agency. The simplicity of their Title aside, they act as wards of and are charged with the previously mentioned Crimes. They follow no jurisdiction, answer only to the Convocation, are some of the toughest people around, mostly Elfin, and are easily identified by the strange, all black clothing they wear.

Most folks encounter a Constable. Considered akin to a one-person army, a constable must be able to handle a great many duties in the course of their work – investigating, gathering evidence, arresting, detaining, and so forth. They operate in groups of three and are accompanied by a large wagon with bars over the cabin to hold prisoners and other miscreants.

Investigative work is often done by Reeves, who are generally outside the normal reporting framework, and act as both a check and balance to the rest, as well as providing essential knowledge to ensure they do their jobs properly. Reeves are independents, solo operators, often recruited from Envoy and Messenger guilds.

Constables report to a Bailiff. They seem to use some sort of imbued or ingrained item for this, as distance is not a factor. Bailiffs, and their team of clerks, keep records based on the reports of Constables.

Bailiffs report to Marshals. Marshals are charged a given region, and while their exact number is unknown even to the Convocation, it is believed there are twenty-five of them. A Marshall has earned their position through both reputation and seniority, and both are significant.

Marshalls in turn report to the Agency, which is run by Agents, who have some arcane process by which they gather in The Directorate and make decisions collectively. It is known there are factions within the Agency, but the nature and divisions remain a mystery.

Of note is that none of the groups of police here make decisions on guilt or innocence, and do not engage with the doling of punishments. They leave that up to the nearest court, though they will testify (especially the Police). One exception to all of that is Reeves. Reeves have a special license to judge guilt, but if they do so they must provide proof supported by the word of many others, and they must also sit in judgment of other cases. Reeves are often used for exactly that by that Nobility.

The one exception to this is when the accused requests an Ordeal. Then they will haul the individual off to a place of Worship and let the Ordeal happen under their ever-watchful eye.


Most disagreements are of a more business or personal nature, and those are overseen by the same Courts that handle the more serious actions of criminals and ne’er-do-wells.

These Courts vary by region and settlement – some are overseen by the local Nobility, others are charged to designated people assigned by the Nobility, but in the end, Nobility is the final arbiter and is subject to their will. In general, the local head of a community is the final appeal, with most courts being presided over by a judge of some sort, and the specifics of each court vary from realm to realm.

All sentences must bear the mark of a “responsible” Noble, and this matters because the Police have nobility within their purview; as a look at the common crimes of the world will reveal, even nobles are not safe from them.

The Police once deposed a Crown Prince of the Empire. He now spends his time trapped in a mine in the Golden range, and his sentence was life, with his Father, the Emperor, being forced to abstain. Among his crimes was an attempt on the life of his sister, the Princessa Himesama.


Although most will not openly state so, all realms allow for the personal Defense of Ordeal. Part of the reason for this is the presence of the Powers That Be themselves, who do take an active interest and participate in the daily affairs of the people. The problem is that they do not always work together, and sometimes work at cross purposes – a particular person undergoing trial may be fiercely loyal to a particular deity but have angered a different one.

During the ordeal, the opposing deity may act to harm the individual with intent, while the supportive one may simply not be paying full attention.

Nevertheless, there is usually someone who requests it. Often the young, who are beginning to lose the fear of the Powers That Be and the anger towards them. An interesting thing about Trials by Ordeal involving magic comes to mind. Some have figured on using magic to escape the effects of an ordeal. The spell is cast, and for all intents appears to work perfectly, except if it goes against a God’s Will, nothing happens.

Ordeals are overseen by the Temple and replace a standard trial for that region unless the realm has a formal declaration of Trial by Ordeal. The outcome of a trial is absolute – it is as the God’s desire, and only a damn fool argues with a God.

Ordeals can only be called for by the Accused, and while they can demand it beneath any Power they are consecrated by, it may be done under the power of the Accuser’s Power. While it is not perfect, for the most part the Powers That Be do, in fact, pay attention and intervene. The possible Ordeals are as follows:

Ordeal Description
Arena Accused faces the trials designed for the Grand Games
Burning Brand Accused must submit to being branded
Burning Hand Accused must place hand in a fire or grasp a hot stone
Champion As above, but each side selects a Champion
Combat Individual fights Accuser in a one-on-one battle. First blood, usually, death for high crimes
Cross Accused and Accuser must stand with arms raised parallel to ground. First to drop
Earthen Accused is buried except their face for a specified period of time
Floating Water Accused is tossed into water – if they sink, they are innocent if they float, they are guilty
Freezing Water Accused is submerged in frigid water for five minutes
Ingestion Accused must ingest sacred items (such as holy water)
Molten Metal Accused must endure having molten metal poured on their body
Oil Stone Accused must retrieve a stone from the bottom of a cauldron full of boiling oil
Seated Pyre Accused must sit within a pyre for five minutes
Solitude Accused must endure without food or water, unclothed, in a chamber, for a set time
Sulphur Brew Accused must drink a concoction of some sort (traditionally Sulphur)
Walking Fire Accused must walk three paces (9 feet or so) across burning hot coals
Water Stone Accused must retrieve a stone from the bottom of a cauldron full of boiling water
Weight Stones Accused has stones equal to the weight of themselves/ their accuser placed on top of them for a variable amount of time

Sentences, Jails, and Prisons

For the most part, the Realms avoid the use of death as a punishment except in cases of the murder of five or more people.

Corporal punishments used are usually amputation of some sort when used, or flogging (public or private, depending on the crime), or perhaps pillory. Pillory is the lashing of an individual to a post, typically in a cage, for all to see, for at least three days and not more than a fortnight. Those in a pillory are allowed only water, and only one cup each day.

Fines are common, in some form the guilty can pay, and fines are always in percentages, tracked by the Fodge based on taxes. For a large business, this can be significant. A criminal fine can be as low as 1% or as high as 40% for significantly harmful crimes.

Enslavement is a sentence, and some jurisdictions will impose stripping of name, status, wealth, and similar effects. Enslavement is always for a set time in the Empire. The length of that time is always three to nine years. No person may be enslaved for longer than nine years, even one day. They do not call it enslavement, instead calling it Indenture, but that is the practical outcome. Indenture is recorded before the Trusty of the region itself, witnessed by at least two Imperial Enforcers, and often with some part of the person’s Clergy and possibly even an Agency representative. They are denied their rights, their homes, their families, and can be made to do anything except be killed or die by the holder of their Penal Lien.

On the flip side, those charged with holding such Liens are responsible for the well-being of the enslaved. A meager ration, a place to sleep out of the elements, and clothing (including, explicitly, shoes) are required, and should a slave die while under sentence, the holder of a lien is required to fulfill the time remaining on that slave’s sentence.

This does not mean that death of slaves is uncommon. Merely that there is strong encouragement not to do so.

Enslavement is only actively used in Akadia. All other realms do not use it, though on occasion someone will apply it as an example within Sibola.

Prisons & Jails

Prisons exist, and are used, but they ae dark pits of despair where people who have no value or purpose to society are sent to die for the most part. The most famous prison is Tarterus, located in a hollowed-out mountain in Durango. It is overseen by a very cruel Warden and is said to be able to house as many.

There is usually one Prison in each Realm – even Antilia has one. Prisons are used only when there is no other option and are not pleasant places. Inmates must not only provide everything for themselves, but they must also provide often unreasonable burdens to the Wardens, who in turn must send that to the government.

Jails are always used as short-term detainment, and a standard jail cell has a cot, a desk, a chair, facilities, fresh water brought in daily, at least three meals, and is usually a two-room space about 10 by 10 in total. Cells are typically located below ground, with no outside visibility or access.

There are secret Prisons, of course. Filthy pits where people are placed, usually via a sliding tube that is the only access point besides a lift for food delivered once every three days. It is in these dark places that people who are never expected to be seen again are placed. In no small part because getting them out again is all but impossible.


Wyrlde has a host of different languages, The more detailed information can be found in The Lexicon.


Soil, sand, smoke, and stone! Antelle’s Ass! Qetza’s Balls! Pishposh!
All of Tarnation! Gallae’s great gazongas! Sikayaya! Goblinguts!
Egads! Chicory Hickory Liquory Lapse! Ah, turdbossoms! Ya Mafa!

Regular Courtesies

Among the norms that one will find worldwide are Please and Thank you, a greeting that is often specific to the area, and the celebration of festivals around the same time.

Greetings and Honorifics vary by realm, and you can find them in the description of the realm. Not using a greeting or honorific, or using the wrong one, is a major mistake, and can create a sense of being rude and discourteous. Most homelands have traditional parting sayings. These common courtesies include a variety of aspects, covered under the realms listing.

The Linguistic History

All languages on Wyrlde stem from one language that was spoken over all of Wyrlde for several hundred years called Ancient, though we think they called it Ingish. It does not seem to have roots in common with other languages, and tradition holds that it is the language of the Powers. One thing seems to remain true: if you are not from Wyrlde and you are reading this, odds are very good you speak Ancient.

P5191#y1 During the early years of the Reign of Belial, a new language, constructed by Belial and Pallor, was put into place. Called Progenic, it was ultimately combined with Ancient and became the parent language called Colonial. Progenic-derived languages are still spoken, and Progenic is the forebear of Thulian, Lemurian, and other languages of the Foe.

Progenic is deeply important, however, because it used a structure that is very different from Ancient in how it assembles language and speech, using a system of prefixes, suffixes, roots, and additions that deeply influenced all languages spoken today except perhaps Dragon, but no one has survived asking them about their language.

Colonial is still used today as the parent language of the Planar roots, and is the mother language of the Hyborian peoples, though theirs has shifted over the centuries into Hyborian. Each of the assorted forms there has several additional branches as well for each of the dimensions. During the God’s War, to reduce the enemy understanding of plans and messages, Colonial was shifted into a more coded form that used some of the same mechanisms as Progenic but followed more of the core basis of Colonial and created Mortalian.

Mortalian spawned five languages: Elfin Cant, a shorthand combining gestures and single syllable sounds that was used during combat operations during the God’s War; Dwarfin Cant, a symbolic language of complex markings that helped them to convey ideas with people they would never meet about how to build or construct, or manage something, as well as a form of shorthand for taking notes at speed that were exact; Old Shanty, which is the parent tongue of both Islandian Shanty and Kerisian Shanty, which are only varied in the way that sounds are spoken within the water; Old Kahokian, which interacted with Hyborian over the years and became what we hear today from them; and finally Journian, which was the language that evolved out of Mortalian during the Bleak Journey and was ultimately the language that founded Sibola. Journian has recently been shown to be the parent tongue of the Exilian peoples.

Many of the earliest records of Sibola show the slow shift and the occasional leap into what we now call Old Sibolan over a few hundred years. Old Sibolan was a direct change from Journian, and many words that were previously slang became common terms, and some common terms vanished.

Old Sibolan led to Akashik and Aztani, with Aztani leading into Qiviran later on as it reacted to Mid Sibolan. Mid Sibolan was a direct result of an Imperial Decree that sought to regiment and formulize the language after the Akashik and Aztic Rebellions. It is from Mid-Sibolan that we reached Imperial as it is spoken today, and also the sister languages of it – Durian, Dorian, and Lyrik, also called Lyonesian. The Syndics of Durango developed out the Shadow Cant used by the underworld, and Imperial is the basis of the Guild Cant, also often called Common, which serves as the essential lingua franca of the world – hence why it is called Common.

It is known that Dragons have their own language, and on occasion we hear vague, unconfirmed tales that there are other beings that speak languages unknown to us just as the language of dragons are. We keep hoping one will teach us, but thus far they seem more interested in the kill it first and talk later sort of exchange.

Current Languages
Imperial Durian Dorian Lyrik Qiviran
Akashik Aztani Kahokian Hyborian Shanty
Kerisan Lemurian Agarthan Thulian Duatian
Bermudan Common Shadow Cant Elfin Cant Dwarfin Cant

Planar Languages include the following:

Angelic Valkyrian Malakish Fae Tanjiblish
Hellish Abyssal Hagish Elemental Cants Wraith
Ghoulish Ghastish Wightish Shikini Radish
Shaded Tongue Nightmare Wispic

The Cants are special, private languages used within their respective professions. Note that Common is a stunted language, with a limited vocabulary, so the cants often add additional terms known only to those within the same language, making them often mostly unintelligible to others. The Cants also do not have a written form in the traditional sense. They do usually have a set of marks that are ideograms, stylized expressions of a concept, that are used in some cases – rumored to have been borrowed from the Exilian.

Common is a curious thing, using only a few prefixes and a much simpler linguistic base (there are only about eight hundred roots in Common) that is very much suited more to trade than anything else. At the Convocation, Sibolian is spoken, and it remains the de facto “universal language” for much of the Bright Lands.


The vast majority of people in Wyrlde are educated in the home, usually by one or both parents, and learn much of their knowledge from rote and immersion. In all Cities and many Towns, there are established schools, called Tanjin, that grew out of an effort originally sponsored by the emperor, but was strongly influenced by aspects of Qiviran society and the mysterious Colonies. These schools vary from informal ones that teach basic reading and math skills to the poorest to exclusive, deeply involved efforts sponsored in part by one of the Grand Colleges or perhaps a university. As a result, only about a third of the population in any give area is literate, and while that number increases in the Cities and Towns, it drops dramatically in villages or smaller settlements. It is then made worse by a lack of cross-national literacy.

One of the reasons for this is the use of official languages and scripts, as each of the major Cities has its own official, required language and writing system, in no small part due to hostility towards Sibola and the history around it. Akadian scholars are often enraptured by their studies of the Glyphs and Runes and ideographic semantic symbology that even they do not get around to much literacy. Caligulan is an unreadable script to those without magic and magic itself has assorted scripts that it uses.

While the history of the spoken language is fascinating, it had significant impact on the development of the writing systems. Ancient uses only a small set of some twenty-six letters with strange additional figures that appear as well. It was not adopted later, and when Belial created the Progenic basis, he included and used a structured syllabary that has remained the basis ever since. Though while the syllabary has remained mostly intact, the lettering systems have not.

As a result, learning a written language is just as involved and challenging as learning a spoken one. There are people who can read one language they may have never heard spoken, and people who can speak a host of languages and never able to read any of them.


The syllabary is a set of representations of sounds. There are 63 sounds, with one of them (jg) rarely used in Journian languages.

All the languages of Wyrlde use the same core phonic syllabary, but have quite different methods for writing it, and the languages have differing rules for how they are used. The syllabary is a universal one, though not all of them may use all the sixty-three sounds. As the orthography can be a bit difficult for many from elsewhere, most names of places and people are written using a modified approach to this syllabary herein, found on the next page, featuring the common ways to write things out in US English.

We do provide representation conventions that are difficult to achieve without resorting to secondary character sets. The Rep column lists the selected characters of preference if doing so. Note that much is difficult to effectively use the representative forms and still leave legible terms. Qetza, for instance, becomes Qeѣэ, which for most English speakers is nearly unintelligible. The traditional “Lyonesse” would be Lyonese, as an example. Liones is how it would be represented in text in-world. Lĩneſ is how one would see it when one used the representation orthography.

Each of the major languages has its own particular way of writing their language, often due to a formal law and or edict for how businesses is to be conducted. Here, we use a particular set of flexible rules that provide a rough guide to the language, with the conventions for using certain letters and then the representations for those letters provided.

Letter Sound Rep Letter Sound Rep Letter Sound Rep
A Lad, cat A a Ie light Ī ī S sister S s
Ai late Ā ā Io I-oh Ĩ ĩ Sh shush Ś ś
Ar art, bar  â Ir Bird, hurt Ĭ ĭ Ss hiss ſ
Aer lair, care Ă ă J jump J j T tattoo T t
Au lawn, yawn Ä ä Jg Ĵ ĵ Th with, three Ŧ ŧ
B bubble B b K cackle K k Ђ (th) then Þ þ
C (ch) church C c Kh khan Ч ч Tl coyotl Ψ ψ
D dad D d L level L l Ts tsar Ѣ ѣ
Dj (dg) dodge Đ đ M mom M m U lug, up, cut U u
E led E e N nanny N n Uh What, Cuz, Э э
Ei lead, teach Ē ē Ng ring Ň ň Ui loon, loot Ū ū
Er Ear, here Ĕ ĕ Nj (nj) danger Ŋ ŋ Ur hurt, lure Ŭ ŭ
Eir Dirge, purge Ė ė Ny manana Ñ ñ V vulva V v
Eo ee-oh Ë ë O Coat, load O o W well, wait W w
F phluff F f Oi loin Ф ф Wh what Ŵ ŵ
G gag G g Oo good Ѳ ѳ X (ks) box, axe X x
Gz bugs Ġ ġ Ou loud Ő ő Y yes, hiya Y y
H haha H h Or lore, door Ŏ ŏ Z zip, zoom Z z
Hw who Ħ ħ P pop P p Zh leisure Ż ż
I lid I i Q quick Q q ^ tick sound ˆ ˆ
Ia ee-ah Ï ï R rawr R r pause ́ ́

ā â ă ä đ ē ĕ ė ë ġ ħ ï ī ĩ ĭ ĵ ň ŋ ñ ф ѳ ő ŏ hś ŧ þ ψ ѣ э ū ŭ ŵ ż

The Distinctions

One of the more key things about all the languages on Wyrlde is that they are heavily dependent on prefixes and suffixes for nearly everything. The suffixes and prefixes format changes from languages to language, and how they are applied does as well. Combined with historical metaphors and kennings and the like, the various languages are no longer able to be understood unless they speak common.

A secondary and equally troubling aspect is that there are several words that are not affixed and are conjugated according to a seemingly arcane set of rules that vary from language to language. These are notably such things as pronouns, but also simple prepositions such as “the”, “and”, “or”, and “but.

The affixes are what can change a given root into a noun, a verb, an adverb or adjective, and even demonstrate the possessive – which can be complex since they impact the object being possessed, not the possessor. This is easily described and ultimately simply taught, and greatly speeds up education and learning of language compared to some historical sources but does fundamentally contribute to the near unintelligibility of all the languages since each language has its own set of basic or core root words, of which there is a comparatively short list for most purposes.

Complex terms that combine multiple concepts into a single word become very difficult in many languages, as that sort of compound word forming isn’t possible in most of them.

Ђou and I, my frind, can, in the most flunkei wurld, make, eic of us, wun non-flunky, one hero, if wei liek: that will be too heros to beigin with:—kuruhj! eivin that is a whol wurld of heros to end with, or what we poor Too can do in furthurance thereof!

On the other hand, some of the languages are wonderfully musical and poetic, and poetry is a rarity in art form and function.

Time & Measurements

The Year

The Typical Year on Wyrlde starts the day of the Spring Equinox. The Midyear is celebrated on the Summer Solstice. A year is 364 days long, divided into 13 months of 28 days each. Each month has four weeks. That year has four seasons over much of the world, two in the tropics. These are marked by the solstices and equinoxes. The year is set by the moons and their passage through the firmament. Twice a year (Meadow 1st and Harvest 1st) there are nights with only new moons, called Blacknights. They are holidays. Seasons are 13 weeks long.

There are 13 months, each consisting of 28 days, each year. The last day and the first day of each year are given to the New Year Festival, throughout the Bright Lands, often called the Empire.

The four solar events are celebrated broadly over a three-day period each, even in the Dread Lands and Hyborian lands. These are the High Holy Days. The celebrations are always the day before, the day of, and the day after. There is usually an honoring of the patron deity of the area on these dates.

Not too coincidentally, an awful lot of people celebrate birthdays around these times.

There are an assortment of local festivals and events that can vary, but a few are common enough to be worth marking. These festivals happen pretty much everywhere. The Fresh Festival is typically an Easter like event, the Heart Festival is a lover’s holiday and a time to recognize parents, and the Closing festival is about closing for the worst of winter. They are scattered throughout the year and joined by often more local festivals and celebrations.

This does exclude holidays particular to different Powers That Be.

Holy Days

Celebration Date Type Description
Spring Equinox Rest 28th to Stir 1st High Holy Day Spring festival, usually to celebrate belonging, New year’s festival.
Summer Solstice Sunny 8th High Holy Day A time to relax and attend to needed personal things. A day for self-care and reflection, growth, and passages.
Autumn Equinox Vine 15th High Holy Day The day of preparation for storms and challenges, gratitude, Harvest festival
Winter Solstice Frosty 1st High Holy Day Festival of Hearth and Home, Family & Bonds
Stir Fruit Rainy
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Blossom Harvest Misty
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Meadow Vine Frosty
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Sunny Windy Snowy
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
The Calendar of Wyrlde is similar to that of Earth. Rest There are no leap days or extra calendar days.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28


Ghost Festival Harvest 1st Festival A wild festival that recognizes the desire to remember and be reunited with those who are gone. Masks are worn to protect from possible harm of malevolent ghosts.
Children’s Festival Blossom 21st Festival The festival of Youth, of new life, of hope
Hearth Festival Meadow 1st Festival Romance and Fertility Festival
Yule Festival Snowy 13th to 15th Festival A day to recognize and give gifts to those you love.
Carnivale Vine 14th to 15th Festival A day for a massive party
Dreamer’s Day Rest 7th Festival A day to celebrate artistry and artists, crafts, and craftsmanship.
Heritage Day Misty 15th Festival A day to reconnect with family bonds
Sojourn’s Day Rainy 14th Festival Commemorating the landing and The Bleak Journey
Wind’s Day Windy 18th Festival A day to honor the Faerie and the gods

Daily Timekeeping

A Day starts at Dawn and ends at the close of Night. The days are solar based and tracked by its movement. The typical Day has about 12 Wyrlde hours of sunlight and 12 hours of night, with an hour on each side (two hours total in the morning and two total at night) being a bit of flexibility depending on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes and the Summer and Winter solstice points.

Bit 1 second Shift 2 Bells (8 hours)
Moment/Round 6 seconds Period 6 Chimes
Minute 60 seconds Day 24 Hours
Turn 10 minutes Week (Watchnight) 7 Days
Hour 60 minutes Fortnight 14 Days
Chime 24 Minutes Holdnight 21 Days
Bell 10 Chimes, 4 Hours Month 28 Days

Time is tracked simply. As with much of the calendar, the basis of much of this is ancient edicts that no one wants to mess with, having agreed on common standards. Hours and Periods are not used much by most folks, they tend to think in terms of Chimes and Bells. A period is used to identify when it is time to take a turn long break, though.

A Shift is two Bells and constitutes the main working hours. Wyrlde’s rulers like to make people work three bells, but the people tend to ignore that whenever possible and stick to just two.


Days are broken up into Bells. The Bells are:

Dawn Morning Afternoon Dusk Evening Night.

Bells ring out once at the start of each Bell period. Each Bell is divided into ten sections called Chimes (when Chimes are rung), and those in turn are broken into ten further sections that are called Turns. The clocks of Wyrlde are rare, expensive, and track time in Turns and Chimes within Bells, with a small image dial indicating the Bell. The Sibolan clocks track only a single Bell of time, so there are six complete revolutions each day. Lyonian clocks have ten Hour marks, each divided into six Turns, with the face shaded to show three Bells. They have further markings to break the time into smaller increments.

Days of the Week

Wyrlde hasn’t truly named the days of the week. Most would argue that there is no need to. There is a developing convention of doing so using the following set up:

Rest Day (1) Hearth Day (2) Faith Day (3) Field Day (4)
Hall Day (5) Passage Day (6) Veil Day (7)

Dates on Wyrlde currently follow the reign of the New Empire. This was when the current House ascended to the throne of Sibola and held it against challengers.

The format is pretty much the day, month, and year of the Empire. So today is 27th Rest, 299th YNE (Year of the New Empire). Some who have come from elsewhere have noted that the calendar and time seems far too regular. When asked about it, Chicory rolls her eyes and says take it up with the gods. The Gods look embarrassed and avoid the subject. Acacia says it is a sore spot, and that the Powers that Be made it that way on purpose – but it was an unintentional side effect of something else.


Wyrlde’s measurements grew out of the post Bitter Road era and were “a significant mess” by the third Emperor, who declared certain standards and unified all of the chief measures through a set of fixed adamantine objects named Grains, Drams, Seeds, and Tips. They reside today in the Imperial Palace on Zefir, rumored to be stored in a sealed block of crystalline material. Copies of them are used in many places, alongside far more common tools developed from them for measuring. What follows are some of the common measurements used for four common needs: Weight, Volume, Length, and Area.

Certain measures are uncommon, and used often in special circumstances or are merely adaptations based on need. The one exception is the Coinweight, which is fixed and genuinely used everywhere. Beyond that, any measure where the lesser is not ten is a Customary use, such as Vials, Sups, Flasks, and Cups, or Feet.

Weight Volume Length Area
[0.5 Grams] 1 Grain [0.29 ml] 1 Dram [1.61 mm] 1 Seed [0.0001 sq m) 1 Tip
7 Grains 1 Coin 10 Drams 1 Peck/Pinch 10 Seeds 1 Finger 10 square Tips 1 Inch
10 Grains 1 Dram 10 Pecks 1 Spoon 10 Fingers 1 Hand 10 square Inches 1 Scroll
10 Drams 1 Ounce 2 Spoons 1 Vial 2 Hands 1 Feet 10 square Scrolls 1 Foot
3 Ounces 1 Pebble 4 Spoons 1 Sup 4 Hands 1 Pace 3 square Foots 1 Link
6 Ounces 1 Heft 6 Spoons 1 Flask 6 Hands 1 Qibit 7 square Foots 1 Chain
35 Coins 1 Pound 8 Spoons 1 Cup 8 Hands 1 Scope 10 square Foots 1 Perch
10 Ounces 1 Pound 10 Spoons 1 Pint 10 Hands 1 Yard 10 square Perches 1 Read
5 Pounds 1 Kain 5 pints 1 Pitch 10 Yards 1 Rod 10 square Reads 1 Farrow
10 Pounds 1 Stone 10 Pints 1 Gallon/Bucket 10 Rods 1 Furlong 10 square Farrows 1 Field
10 Stone 1 Mark 10 Gallons 1 Bushel/Barrel 10 Furlongs 1 Mile 10 square Fields 1 Acre
10 Marks 1 Ton 10 Bushels 1 Tun 10 Miles 1 League 10 square Acres 1 Stead


Symbolic Numbers

Symbolism is a scary word in a place where omens, portents, and bodes are all very real things (as those who adventure here will learn). Some symbolism is unavoidable, however. The numbers 3, 5, and 7 are considered very positive and powerful numbers, while 4, 6 and 9 are considered bad. 1, 2, 8 and 10 all have significance, but are not considered particularly bad or good in and of themselves.

As a result, however, squares, hexagons, and nonagons are all considered unlucky shapes – and this has an impact across architecture and performance.


There are 15 general astrological signs on Wyrlde, each sign being 24 days in length, plus a 16th one for the Equinox or Solstice being “days without a sign”. First, it should be noted that as a form of divination, it can be useful – and the specialized tools and knowledge for such are confined to the Towers of Akadia or the Temples of the Clerics. These signs are named after constellations – patterns among the stars known usually only to a few. The stars were literally placed in the sky by the Powers That Be – The Hosts, The Old Ones, and dear Chicory and friends. Some did not go willingly and are said to be screaming within their fiery prisons as immortal moments in the sky.


The unsigned, also called The Veiled, are those who are born on a solstice or equinox. They are said to be unseen by fate and free of destiny. A surprising number of adventurers are Unsigned. For all of them, they are considered to have the star sign of The Veil.

In Qivira, they are more likely to use the signs for their calendars than the traditional calendar cited earlier.

Sign Element Comments Flower Gemstone
The Hall Air The space of Politics and Leadership Daisy Amethyst
The Heroine Frost Hala, her sword drawn, her hound beside her. Lily Sunstone
The Sword Spirit The Black Blade of Stars, slayer of gods. Honeysuckle Sapphire
The Field Earth The Farm, people shaping the land Larkspur Citrine
The Dancer Water Viola, my namesake, in pose. Violet Emerald
The Fox Earth Wily and cunning, swift, and sure footed Aster Topaz
The Shield Thunder Shavan’s Shield, raised on his fall. Marigold Ruby
The Passage Smoke The space between healing & health, battle & blood; life & death. Daffodil Beryl
The Hero Sand Vortigern, who led all along the Bitter Road until slain. Holly Opal
The Bear Water Powerful, strong, unyielding, persistent Chrysanthemum Aquamarine
The Axe Stone Stoneblood’s great Axe, preserved. He is, too. Sweet pea Peridot
The Hearth Fire Home and Family, the key of Kinship. Primrose Agate
The Herald Lightning Freya Firefrost, Herald of the Bright Host. Cosmo Lapis
The Wolf Fire Feral, sharp minded, dangerous, savage Snowdrop Amber
The Spear Sun Acheron’s Spear, which pierced the heavens and became stuck. Hawthorn Starstone
The Veil The Unsigned Mystery and secrets, knowledge and ignorance, thresholds Carnation Garnet


Flowers in Wyrlde have both a meaning and a purpose, a value, a way of expressing their power. Flowers are of particular importance to Spirits of the World. Each flower has multiple meanings, solving it is based on the number of them in each bouquet or use. Flowers are also used in rituals, as well as by Witches and Runewrights for effects. Not all flowers have a meaning or value, even if they are commonly seen. Herbs and Spices also have certain meanings and purposes to them.

Flower sellers are often found tending to gardens in glass walled buildings they call Teriums, exceptionally large buildings with dozens of boxes, sometimes partitioned in the larger cities. Scores of folks will travel through a city selling them from handcarts, but they are rare in villages unless the village itself is something like Aztlan’s Flowerton, where the entire town is engaged in the growing and selling of flowers (which are a big business in Aztlan). While specific flowers in singles and groups have meanings, there are also general meanings:

Red flowers

Passion, Love, Affection, Courage, Respect, Desire, Cheer.

Pink flowers

Grace, Joy, Innocence, Trust, Good Fortune, Good Health, Femininity, Playfulness.

Yellow flowers

Cheer, Joy, Lightheartedness, Happiness, Friendship.

White flowers

Purity, Humility, Innocence, Weddings, Births, Death, Mourning.

Primary Secondary Tertiary Quaternary
Acanthus Seduction Artifice Deception Dishonesty
Aloe Affection Grief Healing Curative
Amaryllis Pride Shy Achievement Epiphany
Anemone Forsaken Sincere Illness Anticipation
Angelica Inspiration Kindness Sweetness Nostalgia
Apple Blossom Preference Patience Modesty Austerity
Aster Love Daintiness Remembrance Trust
Azalea Temperance Fragility Caution Fragility
Baby’s Breath innocence Purity beginnings Birth
Bachelor’s Button Blessedness Celibacy Fortunate Wealth
Bay Tree Glory Fate Hope Victory
Begonia Beware Whimsy Risk reward
Black-Eyed Susan Justice Encouragement Motivation Restraint
Bluebell Humility Gratitude Loyalty Constancy
Borage Bluntness Directness Courage Abruptness
Butterfly Weed Freedom Vivacity Enthusiasm Independence
Calla Lily Beauty Magnificence Aristocracy Nobility
Camellia, Pink Longing Falling Surrender Melancholy
Camellia, Red Passion Reason
Camellia, White Adorability Waiting Excellence
Candytuft Indifference Capriciousness
Carnation Fascination Women’s Love Mother’s Love
Carnation, Pink Unforgettability Fascination Fantasy
Carnation, Red Yearning Longing Deep Love
Carnation, Striped Refusal Disdain Rejection
Carnation, White Innocence Pure Love Sweet Love
Carnation, Yellow Whimsy Disappointment Unreliable
Chrysanthemum, Red Declaration Joy Optimism
Chrysanthemum, White Truth Righteousness Fidelity
Chrysanthemum, Yellow Slight Neglect Depth
Clover, White Thoughtful Luck Industriousness
Columbine Foolishness Folly Deception Faithlessness
Columbine, particolored Anxious Trembling Resolution
Crocus, Spring Cheerfulness Youthful Gladness
Cyclamen Resignation Diffidence Goodbye
Daffodil Misfortune Regard Unequalled Love Chivalry
Dahlia Good Taste Dignity Elegance
Daisy Innocence Loyalty Secrecy Faith
Dandelion Adversity Strength Adaptability Perseverance
Delphinium Levity Generosity Ardent Feelings
Edelweiss Courage Devotion
Fern Magic Fascination Secret Bonds Shelter
Forget-Me-Not Memory Recollection Remembrance Nostalgia
Freesia Youth Immaturity Trust Friendship
Gardenia Loveliness Secret Love Reverence
Geranium Folly Foolhardy Gentility Luck
Gladiolus Vanguard Integrity Strength Victory
Goldenrod Encouragement Good Fortune
Heather Solitude Admiration Protection
Hibiscus Delicate Gentleness Rarity
Holly Defense Domestic Joy
Hollyhock Ambition
Honeysuckle Devotion Generosity bonding
Hyacinth, Blue Constancy Gamesmanship Jealousy
Hyacinth, Purple Sorrow Good News Loyalty Forgiveness
Hyacinth, White Loveliness Prayer Eloquence
Hydrangea Heartlessness Gratitude Sentiment Sincerity
Hyssop Sacrifice Cleanliness
Iris Faith Trust Wisdom Hope
Ivy Affection Friendship Fidelity
Jasmine, White Amiability Friendly
Jasmine, Yellow Grace Elegance Valor
Larkspur Open Hearted Levity Whimsy
Lavender Distrust Faithful Maturity happiness
Lilac Joy Of Youth First Love Humility
Lily, Orange Hatred Danger Sacrifice Revenge
Lily, Red (Spider) Loss Abandonment Reincarnation Necromancy
Lily, Tiger Wealth Pride Aspiration
Lily, White Virginity Purity Celestial
Lily, Yellow Happiness Contentment Joyfulness
Lily-Of-The-Valley Sweetness Humility Happiness Returning
Lotus Flower Purity Enlightenment Recovery Rebirth
Magnolia Nobility Nature Perseverance
Marigold Grief Healing Despair Restoration
Morning Glory Affection Promise Jealousy
Myrtle Good Luck Romance Marriage
Nasturtium Patriotism Conquest Victory
Pansy Thoughtfulness Caring Remembrance
Peony Bashful Shame Bravery Honor
Pine Humility Piety Philosophy
Poppy Consolation Oblivion Sleepiness Forgetfulness
Rhododendron Danger Beware Necromancy
Rose, Coral Friendship Modesty Sympathy Empathy
Rose, Dark Crimson Mourning Silence Grace Gentleness
Rose, Lavender Love At First Sight Thoughtfulness Possessiveness
Rose, Orange Desire Enthusiasm Passion
Rose, Pink Happiness Trust Confidence
Rose, Red Love Passion Caring Devotion
Rose, White Innocence Celestial Worthiness Purity
Rose, Yellow Jealousy Infidelity Childhood
Rue Grace Clear Vision Regret Repentance
Snapdragon Deception Graciousness
Sorrel Affection
Southernwood Constancy Jest
Sunflower, Dwarf Adoration Radiance Respect Longevity
Sunflower, Tall Haughtiness Hope Happiness Loyalty
Sweet Pea Pleasure Gratitude Farewell
Sweet William Gallantry Humility
Tansy Hostility Intent Violence
Tulip, Red Passion Declaration Trust
Tulip, Yellow Beauty Fame Charity
Valerian Readiness Valor heroism
Violet Watchfulness Modesty Faithfulness Devotion
Willow Sadness Learning Grace Honesty
Wisteria Sensitivity Personal Growth Knowledge Welcome
Yarrow Everlasting Healing Inspiration
Zinnia Absence Affection Loyalty Openness
Herbs & Spices

Surprisingly, Herbs and Spices have particular uses as well – some of which apply to (and the entire concept is drawn from) cooking. These are generally thought to explain why some food is good for you and other food is only just good.

Spice or Herb
Basil Good Wishes
Bay leaf
Chamomile Patience
Chives Usefulness
Coriander Hidden Worth
Dill Dismiss Evil
Fennel Flattery
Lemon Balm Sympathy
Marjoram Happiness Joy
Mint Virtue
Onion, new
Oregano Substance
Parsley Festivity
Rosemary Remembrance
Sage Wisdom Immortality Spiritbane
Savory Spice Interest
Spearmint Sentimentality
Tarragon Lasting Interest
Thyme Strength Courage

Food occupies a gran part of the whole of Wyrlde, having a tendency to inspire battle, drive romance, foment rebellion, bring people together, and more. To say that it is important probably understates the value of food.

And then you have the Grendels…


There are 30 recognized gemstones on Wyrlde. Each has a particular meaning, and it is said that Runewrights and Witches are particularly attracted to the powers they hold, for the gemstones are all linked to some kind of power in and of themselves.

Gemstone Purposes
Agate Strengthening Confidence Courage Prosperity Nourishing
Amber Warmth Health Wellbeing Recovery Rest
Amethyst Countercharm Clarity Intuition Perception Truth
Apatite Awareness Perception Clarity Knowledge Sanity
Aquamarine Relaxation Peace Calm Balance Healing
Aventurine Wealth Prosperity Good Luck Empathy Alteration
Beryl Demonbane Clarity Sincerity Truth Youth
Carnelian Creativity Ambition Passion Sexual Energy Enchanting
Citrine Brightness Energy Obfuscation Secrecy Illusion
Diamond Commitment Love Strength Spirituality Perfection
Ebony Knowledge Intuition Defense Death Necromancy
Garnet Vitality Determination Optimism Discipline Stability
Jade Wisdom Peace Clarity Soothing Balance
Jasper Guidance Adaptability Independence Travel Animals
Lapis Charisma Self-Discipline Individuality Nobility Divination
Larimar Energy Clear Speech Confidence Dexterity Conjuration
Malakite Protection Hope Honor Strength Stone
Moonstone Beauty Sensuality Safe Travel Intuition Friendship
Obsidian Peace with Past Spirit Acceptance Protection Transmutation
Onyx Objectiveness Patience Determination Meditation Spirituality
Opal Sympathy Compassion Confidence Kindness Smoke
Pearl Love Innocence Faith Integrity Inhibition
Peridot Faith Blessing Abundance True Purpose Joy
Quartz Clarity Comfort Peace Positivity Healing
Ruby Constitution Power Endurance Defense Inspiration
Sapphire Energy Dreams Concentration Sand Clairvoyance
Starstone Harmony Truth Honesty Sun Divinity
Sunstone Generosity Motivating Creativity Alertness Compassion
Topaz Focus Frost Preservation Immortality Success
Tourmaline Magic Power Femininity Nature Elementals
Turquoise Protection Banishing Security Water Abjuration

The Arenas

You may have noticed that throughout the works there is some reference made to the Arenas. An Arena is a loose concept, a broader understanding of things. Clerics and Clerics and Druids may know them more intimately, but most people see the world as a way of serving or operating in one of the five arenas, which are often represented by icons because they are associated with good luck.

The Hearth

The Hearth represents the arena of Home and the Family, the crafts and arts of the household and the simple life.

The Field

This is the arena of the farmstead, the growing and raising and herding and care of animals and crops.

The Hall

This is the arena of politics and leadership.

The Passage

This is the arena of life and death, the space of healing and health, the space of battle and blood.

The Veil

This is the space of mystery and secrets, of liminal things and the planar realms, of knowledge, truth, deceit, and ignorance.

Land & Taxes


All land that is used for the support and survival of a settlement is called an Estate. Estates are established by the highest member of the Nobility in that region and are tracked through the Imperial Trusty as well as local Trusty, who are typically but not exclusively Nobility.

The Trusty is a position that oversees Fodges, who are responsible for tax collection, maintenance of property rules, and related aspects. They are often called Fudgies and are also often Nobility.

Each Estate is divided into smaller groupings, and each grouping is variable.

There are Manors, who are self-sufficient entities that could involve many people and are centered around a Manor House, often a location that serves as the ancestral home of whoever is leading a House at that time. Every major realm has a few Houses, and not all Houses still have a Manor in Sibola. Manors often are the central feature of a Town, Village, or Hamlet.

Another division is Freeholds. A Freehold is an area of land that can be used for specific purposes and is also able to support the people living on it.

The next type is a Lienhold. This land is owned by someone who does not live on the property, and instead it is rented out to others. This is the most common form of land around, and rent is limited to 20% of whatever comes to those upon it.

The next type is a Crafthold, which has a specific requirement that it be used by a member of a guild. Craftholds include the Guild buildings, as well as smaller shops and stores.

The next type is a Domicile, which is a portion of housing shared with several other homes, usually found in a City. It is an owned sort of space usually, but some of these larger buildings are used as Lienholds as well, housing folks who often work for some Manor.

By and large, property ownership across the Empire is not based in the nobility owning it. Land is typically owned and tracked through the Trusty and the Fodge. Some land may be owned by the local Lord and worked on by people who live there as part of their wages.

Outside of the Empire, there is Antilia, where all land is held by individuals. Islandia does not really think of land as being owned, it is more about territory of the family. Hyboria and Kahokia see all the people owning all the lands of their region, and property ownership is more focused on the collective and individual belongings.


The power of the nobility comes from taxes. Each realm has a tax base that is overseen by the local leadership, usually collected by Fodges. In most of them, nobility is who claims those taxes, and the primary purpose to which that money is put are defense (the walls and the military) and tithes to the Empire. Taxes have a specific purpose, and there is an accounting made to the people, by Fodges, who must post it publicly. The Emperor collects a tax of 5% on all those who would be his, except for Dorado and Antilia. That tax is lain on the nobility, not on the common person. The nobility, in turn, taxes the population they oversee – so Duke Calais could only tax those in Sibola proper.

Taxes are paid on a percentage of goods and objects and can be paid in either coin or in goods. One out of every ten young hens, one out of every twenty suckling pigs, the most luxurious of hides, a measure of fine ore. Taxes for most of the Empire are low. Even Tributes are considered low and are the last vestige of hold the Empire has.

Akadian Tributes are paid from Skyship sales, use, and related functions, a value of at least 25,000 crowns. Dorado pays its Tributes in arms for the military, around 15,000 crowns worth. Aztlan pays exactly 10,000 crowns a year. Not one pence more, not one pence less, and, in the words of the Sultana, “he can kiss my ass for anymore.” Lyonese pays 17,500 crowns, Durango pays 20,000 crowns, and Qivira pays 15,000 crowns. These Tributes go to support the courts, and the Agency is funded from these Tribute.

Nobility Titles and Roles

An additional aspect of the Convocation is the equivalencing of titles. This is key since the official status of the Empire is one of barely recognized existence.

Officially, the Emperor or Empressa have formal say over the realms of Sibola, Akadia, Durango, and Lyonese, while Aztlan, Dorado, and Qivira are distinct, separate from the Empire but only thinly and due mostly to differences in how the government is run. In practice, since the Emperor is effectively confined to Zefir and practically powerless outside the Convocations, the titles enable the rest to understand the role of whom they are dealing with. The following titles are used among Nobility and assorted leadership on Wyrlde.

Sibola, Akadia, Durango Lyonese Qivira Aztlan Dorado Islandia Hyboria, Kahokia Exilian Antilian
Nation King/Queen Jarl Shaga Sultana Duke Sultana / Khan Chieftain Alman Minister
City Duke/Duchess Graven Shine Dame Councilor Sula / Shah Chieftain Jefe Secretary
Town Count/Countess Margrave Alitel Doyenne Mayor Emir/Amira Chief Honcho Councilor
Villages Baron/Baroness Burgrave Lieton Maven Mayor Caliph/Calipha Chief Kahuna Senator
Hamlet Earl/Contessa Landgrave Thispla Dowager Mayor Sheikh/Ajaw Elder Gaffer Reeje
Steading Lord/Lady Hargrave Ceplease Lady Rancher Nawa Elder Lord/Lady Pitch

It should be noted that not all noble people have a title – titles are only granted to those who have an active aspect in rulership. While many members of the Nobility may have roles and functions in government according to the locale, they are not titled, and cannot be unless they end up with the role.

Titles are passed to the chosen successor of the Noble with the title. If that person is not related to the family, they become such upon that point. This is inviolate, and all nobles have a succession chain they have determined that may or may not include their own household.

This was set up so to be a regular and orderly form and function, and that regardless of where one comes from one could be effectively titled. Antilia, the youngest city and not a part of the Empire, has a strange idea that is somewhat like Dorado but goes much further and is likely to collapse from a lack of stability and strong leadership.

Titles also convey that those with them oversee a specific settlement – the highest is for those overseeing many, proceeding down to those overseeing a steading, usually those the locals turn to in times of crisis.

Everything about Nobility is ultimately structured for a simple purpose: to provide for the poorest, defend all, and ensure taxes are paid. Nobility set the taxes in their region and pass a portion of their taxes up. Most nobility are Liege based, in that they also owe those above them who grant them titles loyalty and a set number of days of service every year, as well as have the requirement to provide soldiers. Lastly, Nobility are the judges, the final appeal, even if they set up a structure for justice. Nobles decide who is a judge in their region.

Coming from nobility and not having a title means that while one may be in line for a hereditary seat, they are not actually of any great importance unless they are a declared heir. Many people who come from nobility can be found in everyday walks of life or may have one of those appointments to some position that allows an area to function. They may be in line to inherit, but without an income, they must live off what their family brings in, and men and ambition are not cheap, and people have a low order of value for those who merely take up space.

There is one place that many a lesser noble – or Patron – often find a path for themselves that doesn’t require quite as much work. That is in the very important and essential field that keeps many of them in the circles of power and helps to settle problems and improve communication.

Diplomacy & Warfare

Once a year, The Convocation happens on Zefir. Zefir is not considered a part of any of the Seven Cities at the same time it is considered a part of all the Seven Cities. The Empire is currently based out of Zefir. Zefir is an island, and it is known for the strange and often wondrous city that covers the southern third of it and is built to house the leaders of each major Realm as well as retinues of up to 150.

All the leaders of the Seven Cities attend the Convocation – it is rumored they are driven to do so by Powers — and the goal of all of it is Diplomacy. This is helped immensely by the consistent threat the Dread provides.

For fifty years, the Empire has been a product of the Convocation, with standards and agreements being reached among all of them, and with each realm having its own input. The convocation is overseen by the Emperor, whose voice in matters is no greater or lesser than anyone else’s, as he is treated during it as the leader of Sibola, and nothing more.

About 25 years ago, both Kahokia and Hyboria sent representatives, but they do not have voting power. Antilia is considered a rebel province and is barred. It is said that the Exilian showed up the last two years, and are being considered for participation, but again, no voting or say in the proceedings.


The only known settled landmass on Wyrlde is Avilon.

After The Bleak Journey, the remaining Humans began to adapt to the world, and so today they and those who survived the God’s War are known as The People.

For most of Wyrlde’s history, there was only one people – Human. As the God’s War began and the cost in human lives increased, the God’s reshaped other peoples to serve as shock troops and logistical support in their battles, and, in the case of some, to ensure that there would be life that continues.

The first people shaped were the Dwarfs. Intended as logistical support, they tend toward strength, firmness, and resolution, and are well known for being unflappable while also being the best at partying. They often still carry aspects of that era, in part because of people limiting them to those roles still, so we find many Physics, many Drovers and Teamsters, wrights and smiths among them They have resisted this in the years – and produced some of the finest poets, playwrights, and painters in history.

The second peoples shaped were the Elfin. Elfin were shaped to serve as special assignment, shock, and front-line troops. They are fierce, aloof, and disciplined people and for good reason. They are seen by many as tending to temper too quickly, to be deeply emotional and subject to those emotions, though the Elfin themselves resent that line of thinking. They have, nonetheless, worked to use it to their advantage. After them came the Tritons, who remain masters of the sea and stream.

Towards the end of the God’s War, a few of the Powers That Be created the Therians, in a variety, but kept them a secret and separate from the rest – until they began to harass and harry the survivors during the Dark Age as they traveled the Bitter Road in search of a place to call home.

The Dread Powers That Be were not still, themselves, though the timetable of their work is less well known beyond the creation of the Goblins, which predates the God’s War. They shaped the Goblins, Grendels, Imps, Thyrs, Merow, and Kobolds. Of all of them, only the Goblins can interbreed with Imperials – and the effect of it is always fatal for someone, ignoring the way in which it happens.

Lineage & Kinship

A notable aspect of most of the Imperial and related peoples on Wyrlde is that all of them can trace their lineages back to four thousand two hundred thirty-one distinct families. Islanders have thirty-eight families, and Hyborean have five.

Most of them, to include Kahokians, come from the survivors of the God’s War. Even though it was over a thousand years ago now, it remains a deeply scarring and influential moment in history in part because 80% of the global population at the time was wiped out, killed in the five centuries of conflict, followed by the horrors, sacrifices, disasters, and loss of the Long Walk, the Deadly Journey, the March of Madness, The Bitter Road, the Bleak Journey; the path of sadness that followed for generations struggling to survive in a world without any of the Powers they had been fighting for.

In the years since those two massive cullings, many family lines have died out, and others have arisen, but ultimately everyone is part of this entire chain. There simply weren’t that many people left. Bonds of family, alliance, and dependence became essential aspects of simple survival.

During and following the God’s War, the people organized themselves into distinct units, each of which has a particular importance. These units are as follows:

Family – usually a collective of parents and children. Families build what are called Camps – small settlements that have a distinct flavor built around a core idea of basic needs, smaller than a Steading and not really recognized by authorities. Family is exceptionally important, and the expectations of a family can shape and guide an individual’s entire life.

Kin –related familial groups. Kin generally congregate in Outposts, which are formed by the gathered Camps. Among the Elfin folks, a Kith is often what forms a commune. A Kith is great grandparents or grandparents, their children, and their children’s children. Kin go out to fifth degree relatives, up to twice removed. Kin can be called Bloods, Kinfolk, Vales, Outposts, and Camps.

Kith – a group of kinfolks linked by a single common ancestor pairing. Kiths are also called Halls, Kindreds, Communes, Grottoes, and Broods. Kiths are often joined together by necessity into Hamlets. Kith can go out to 9th degree relatives, up to twice removed. Traditionally, when someone strikes 10th degree of relative on both sides of their families, they form a new Family, and become part of the larger Tribe. Kiths are usually formed of not more than four Kins, though it can depend as it is based on the relationship of the Kith’s leaders (typically sibling). They are constantly growing.

Tribe – are traditionally collective of five Kiths, tied to each other by often forgotten bonds, a minimum of 10 degrees removed among the different Kiths that make it up – though direct relation is not a need. Linked often by old blood ties and entanglements forged out of surviving the Bleak Passage, working together to form and create the ties, bonds, and alliances that forge them. Tribes generally live in a Village, linking them together for defense, trade, and survival. In the Bright Lands, Tribes are often called Houses, Cartels, Syndicates, Coteries, Sects, and Circles. The tribe structure allows people to shift the nature of the relationships, as well, such that we have seen Guilds, Circles, and Syndicates become very powerful within entire areas. Posses do not fall into this, as they tend to be less about relation and more about wealth, akin to a guild.

Clan – A Clan is a collection of three to ten tribes, gathered for common purposes. Clans are usually large enough to occupy a Town and fall within that given structure. There were 500 Clans that settled in what became Sibola at the end of the Trail of Terrors, the sum total of all those who endured. Along the way, disagreement led to a dozen Clans breaking off from the main body and seeking a passage where one was not seen, and they became the Kahokians. Clans can sometimes be a Nation, especially among the larger, older Houses and the realms outside the Bright Lands of the Empire.

Nation – A Nation is a group of Clans led by a common body. There is no limit to the number of Clans that make up a nation, but it is always considered to require 3. Zefir is said to hold the Scroll of Nations, which somehow knows the relationships among all the different Clans and of what nation they are part. On the founding of Sibola, the surviving leaders of each of the Nations, formed from the leaders of the Clans, became the nobility. A Nation is how we arrive at The Seven Cities – for each ream is a Nation itself– even when that nation is not tied down such as with the more savage peoples.

Lineage is mostly tracked through the Kith of the individual – sometimes they can choose, sometimes it is arranged for them, sometimes it is simply decided by a combination of custom and tradition. That a tribe is composed of

In all cases, though, each person on Wyrlde can trace their lineage through their family and up to their Nation. This can mean that a full naming may include each of those linkages – and among the savages of realms like Kahokia, that is the normal manner, even though within the Empire itself these things are far less formal.

Still, it is common for one to carry the names of their Kith and Kin, and to have responsibilities that derive from those relationships. This means that for some people they will have a given name, and then trace other names back through successive history.

Donegal Tournoy, of the Tournoys of Akadia, from the Kith of Salan of the Haloran tribe, of Clan Houser and the Sibolan Nation.

The format of the statement and trace can change, but the key points remain and can tell a tale all by themselves; why did the Tournoys move to Akadia from Sibola, for example, using the above.


Inheritance is handled slightly differently by the general realms. The most common default is that of Sibola with the eldest boy child inheriting what can be inherited. This is, of course, challenged right now, as the Emperor has no eligible male issue, and the Princess is not interested in suitors.

That last bit may sound odd, but keep in mind that nobility is not an absolute inheritance, as it must always come with the attendant responsibilities.

This was originally structured by the first King, chosen to lead all the people when Sibola was built. There was no Divine Right to Rule then. That only came about during the First Interregnum, when King Jails passed away and civil war was likely in seeking the new leader. It was the Faded Emperor who won that struggle, and in so doing set up the consecration of the crown jewels and aspects of the Office of State, though it wasn’t until the New Empire that those same aspects became linked to a single kinfolk.

In Aztlan, it is the designate, though only women can hold any power there. Being forced to choose a single heir has led to much confusion at times, but Aztlan has a Rite of Ascension, that fixes it and must be done each time a new designate is named.

In Durango it is the eldest three, dividing property up as equitably as possible.

Dorado divides among all heirs equally.

Qivira has the Kin as an heir. Everything goes back to the kin, always under the hand of the person who leads the Kin. Qiviran Kins are headed by those who meet the needs of the Kin and are absolutes who then parcel out the aspects of the Kin. They are always both the most marital and the eldest.

Lyonese always has the youngest inherit. It is seen as their rightful gain, as the elder heirs are all expected to rise on their own and provide for themselves, but the youngest always has the hardest path.

Akadia has no inheritance. The number of people who inherit magic from a direct progenitor is small enough to be considered insignificant, and so most of the time the possessions go to whomever can claim them against others.


Childhood on Wyrlde is broken into stages.

The first is as an Infant. Infants are up through the age of 4.

The second stage is when they are a Child, from 5 to 9. It is childhood that the ability to use magic becomes more apparent.

The third stage Wyrlde calls Youths. Coming of Age happens usually towards the end of Youth, as for some reason it has shifted over time to where development is uniform among the sexes. As a result, women and men mature physically at the same rate, and around the same time, instead of distinctly in different times. Youthhood is between 10 and 14 years, with coming-of-age rites around 14 or so for most, but connection to the broader community and responsibility are delayed. It is during this period that some of the most famous adventurers learned much of the unique qualities about themselves.

Starting at 15 is when they are called Apprentices, only in part because it is the age most folks are apprenticed out. All young adults who appear to be this age are generally called prentices, as the guild system in place reinforces it, and the long-held traditions of preparation and defense that have been baked into the culture over the years make it a necessity.

Adulthood comes following that at the age of 20, and most apprenticeships are given over to Novice status or the individual heads into the world proper. This is the age at which it becomes described as Age of Majority and Age of Consent, and there are elaborate rites of passage for this. It is also the age at which responsibility for one’s actions kick in, regardless of other factors – many a ‘prentice has been enslaved or imprisoned or branded for some damn fool thing they did. Fortunately, the young are more likely to claim Ordeal.

Senior is when they generally become what folks think of as “old”. It is when infirmity and depredations of time have firmly taken hold of the body, and it begins to become more and more difficult to remain hale and whole for nearly all the peoples, this happens starting around 20 years before the end of their lifespans, or about the last 20% of it.

Lifespan is a general end point for most people, assuming illness and disease or violence do not claim them. This figure can vary as much as ten years in any direction for all but the Goblin. They seem to be almost programmed, having a variance of only about a year to either side. The rest can vary 3 to 10 years in either direction.


Trade on Wyrlde is the lifeblood of the Cities, the essential service of the towns, and the necessity of the nations.

Over the decades the influence and power of the Merchants Guild has waxed and waned, but it has always been one of the most powerful of all the guilds and has long been a thorn in the side of all the rulers. It is almost as if the merchants make a game of not paying their taxes.

Trade requires several elements to function. Among them is a way to communicate, a place to stay, a way to loosen resistance, money or goods, fair prices, and exchanges, and staying clear of the troublemakers.


There are six core coin types for Wyrlde. The standard for them was set years ago, although there is currently a difference in the ways that they are described and the particular nature of the coins themselves in details and engraving.

Wyrlde’s coins do not have figureheads on them. Instead, they are all meant to be carried on coin strings, and so all of them have a hole punched in the center. That hole is always shaped, and the shape of it tells where the coin was minted. The content and make of the coins were standardized several years ago during the first Zefir meeting, and old timers say that every single coin in the realms changed shape overnight to match the agreed-on standard. Around the hole is usually the name of the reigning noble, the date, and on the obverse some wise saying or other chosen by that country’s leader as an expression of their reign.

The coin holes show where they are minted – e.g., hexagonal holes at Lyonese, circle holes at Sibola, square holes at Aztlan, and triangle holes at Qivira. The hole shapes were selected based on the coins themselves. There are tens of thousands of coins in circulation among every realm – even the Dread Realms are said to use them, which makes sense given how many they have stolen over the years.

Standard Exchange Rates

Bit (bp) 1 1/8 1/80 1/400 1/800 1/8000 Bit
Pence (cp) 8 1 1/10 1/50 1/100 1/1000 Guilder
Shilling (sp) 80 10 1 1/5 1/10 1/100 Buck
Farthing (ep) 400 50 5 1 1/2 1/20 Florin
Quid (gp) 800 100 10 10 1 1/10 Eagle
Crown (pp) 8000 1000 100 50 10 1 Sovereign
Ingots Not made Ingot Ingot Ducat Doubloon Guinea Ingots

The coin types all have a particular shape to them:

Bits are squarish, rounded corner coins of a highly mixed metal, used for common trade. They are the smallest denomination and serve as a measure of inflation and accounting. A Bit should get a person a chunk of bread or cheese, a small mug of beer, or a bowl of porridge.

Pence are triangular, from a larger coin that is hexagonal and then broken up. The larger coins are still occasionally found, and a sixpence is considered a lucky coin. Pence are used often in general daily trade, and many costs are reckoned in Pence, which have a copper color to them. The main unit of practical exchange on Wyrlde is the Pence.

Shillings are circular, or round. Many transactions are reckoned in Shillings when it comes to trade and commerce. Shillings have a silver color to them and are the sort most often traded.

Farthings are square, with very slightly rounded edges, also from a larger coin called a Full Farthing. Farthings have a mottled blend of silvery and gold color to them. They tend to be used more often by the Merchantry, due to their higher value and odd positioning within the schema.

Quids are hexagonal, and a gold coloring to them. They are the most sought-after coin, and rarely seen by any below Guilders. The value of a Quid is such that one could likely feed a family for months or lift an impoverished out of poverty.

Crowns are octagonal and have a shiny, reflective surface derived from what some think is chrome. Crowns are the most valuable and rarest coin used commonly in the realm – one is more likely to encounter an Guinea ingot that a Crown, and then only in large level trade. However, it is known that adventurers often come across them. A Crown could feed an entire family for a year or more.

Dorado and Durango do the mining for and production of the gold, silver, platinum, copper, tin, nickel, aluminum, and zinc that go into the alloys to make the coins. No coin is more than 55% the base metal it is often referred to as being, as all coins are an alloy that includes at least some each zinc, aluminum, and tin, with some nickel tossed in there usually.

There are eight Bits to a Pence. “Two bits, four bits, eight bits, a Pence!” The Pence is the base, with a value of 1. A Shilling is worth 10 pence. A Farthing is worth five shillings, a Quid is worth ten shillings, and a Crown is worth ten quid. Few carry around a lot of coin, but this is due less to weight and more to the comparative poverty and most folks.

The coins are hefty – 35 of them equals a pound. Experienced cutpurses can tell the weight of a string by how it swings and can usually add them up on sight.

In terms that meet the general sensibility, look at a Pence. It will buy you a half loaf of bread, a pint of milk, a wedge of cheese, a meager beer, and a pile of straw to lay your head in at night. With change.

A day’s wages for the typical Serf (an impoverished worker) usually work out to about 2 pence a day (16 Bits).

This exchange rate is based on the norms established for the meetings in Zefir and holds as the main rules there and more generally in the wild. It is also used by the Guilds, so has tremendous influence, and is the de facto standard.

Imperial Coins are used mostly in Akadia, Durango, Lyonese, and Sibola.

Sovereign Coins are used in Antilia, Aztlan, Dorado, and Qivira.

Ingots are a special coin, in the shape of a bar with a hole on one side. Ducats are bars of electrum, Doubloons are bars of gold, and Guineas are platinum bars. These bars are about five pounds each, the equivalent of 175 coins. They are used in large exchanges and noble contracts.

Other Currency Forms

Currency has a few different forms, with coins from before the God’s War being of the highest possible value.

The value of an Ancient Coin is equal to 3 Crowns each. These bright orange coins are fluorescent, and they are made from a platinum and titanium ceramic composite that is extremely hard (some say adamantine, though no one has figured out how to make it work yet) but are also extraordinarily rare. Only about 100 have ever been found, and they have immense value above their strict monetary value as collector pieces among the wealthiest. They are all stamped with a strange design on the face of a round orb in fifths against a shadow of Wyrlde, and the obverse, a series of markings around the edge: MMMMCCLXXXV. They measure about four fingers in diameter.

Blood Coins are incredibly old coins minted from a strange red stone-like metal, in the shapes of a circle, a triangle, and a square, all with a hole of the same shape in the middle, a little more than an inch in diameter, and used primarily in Qivira, Lyonese, and Aztlan. Their value comes from their age, as no one can find any more of the stone, and they are exceedingly rare. They are called Chips (cp, triangles), Shards (sp, circles), and Stones (gp, squares). It is often suggested that modern coins were based on these.

Common Resources

One of the more interesting qualities to Wyrlde is that there are a variety of very common staples and core resources that are located and shared via trade and extraction throughout the Bright Lands, and that are often the target of Dread Land efforts to obtain.


There are several staple crops that make up the bulk of the available foodstuffs on Wyrlde. These crops do not always grow well across all regions, due to assorted mechanics, but are grown enough that they have an impact and are valuable trade goods.

Those mentioned are because of their value, importance, or impact. Agriculture within the Bright Lands has a complex structure to it that requires crop rotations, soil amending using composting, cultivation of particular crops both together and in a certain sequence. Nearly every farmer will have at least some strong idea of all of the plants mentioned here, and most will grow several of them over time, with a rotation on their fields that is different from the rotation in their neighbor fields. These rotations are tracked over long periods both by the farmers and by the local authority over them, and in some cases in Sibola can be traced back to before the formal founding of the city itself.

Almond Apple Apricot Bamboo Banana
Barley Bean Beetroot Blueberry Cabbage
Cacao Carrot Cassava Celery Cherry
Chick-Pea Chicory Citrus Coconut Coffee
Cucumber Eggplant Fava Bean Fig French Bean
Grape Grapefruit Groundout Hops Lentil
Lettuce Lima Bean Macadamia Nut Maize Mango
Melon Millet Mustard Oats Oil Palm
Okra Olive Onion Orange Papaya
Pea Peach Pear Pepper/Chile Pineapple
Pistachio Plum Potato Potato Radish
Rice Rye Sorghum Soybean Spinach
Squash Sugar Cane Sunflower Sweet Potato Tea
Teff Tomato Walnut Wheat Yam

Perhaps the single most important form of these trade staples are cereals. They form a significant chunk of all agricultural effort within the Bright Lands, and represent the most basic blocks of keeping people fed.

There are five principal grain crops, each of which has a long and often storied history in and of itself. Each of these crops, in turn, has between three and a dozen different strains, varieties, and lines that all trace back to the core five that are noted in historic documents saved from the Ancient Land.


The first of these is Tritia, which is used for a broad range of foodstuffs, but most notably bread. Hardy, comparatively easy to grow, Tritia has the position of pride as the major grain. It is used for bread, noodles, porridge, and more.


The second one is Baykern. The oldest available records suggest that it is two things, but our actual knowledge of it shows it is just one. It produces larger kernels than Tritia’s finer style but has both a sweetness and a richness that triticale often lacks – however it does not make great bread. It is used in several different ways, including soups, roasted (it pops with an earthy scent), boiled, and ground for assorted flatbreads. It is also used as additional stock feed, in addition to the falfal and hay. Of note is that a single War Ration always includes Baykern. The grains are round, large, and grow in tight clumps within a sheath that must be peeled back.


The next one is Ryce. Large grains, almost seedlike, that are used in much the same way as Tritia is, but with a sweetness and a lightness. It also does not form a strong dough, but flours from it blend well with the other two mentioned previously. Ryce is usually a light brown in color, and is often eaten just as it is, steamed.


The fourth staple is Milgha, which grows like a grass to a height of around five feet, with each stalk topped by a massive forearm length cluster of small, hexagonal seeds that birds absolutely love but that is also extremely valuable and tasty. Milgha has some fifteen different varieties, bred over the years for different locations, and Qiviran Milgha is considered the richest, sweetest of all (often simply roasted lightly and then snacked on with a bit of salt).


The fifth staple is called Soya and forms small pea-like pods within which are five to seven small beans per pod. These are used in a variety of ways, even fermented, and used as an additive (soya juice) or treated to make a fine paste that is often mixed with dried fish to make a portable soup stock. Antelle says that she misses “the real thing” and claims that Soya is a hybrid plant between something called korn and a plant much like what we have, called soibein.


There are many plants that are grown for their tubers, corms, or roots. They are, like cereals, consumed during nearly every meal, and fill many different purposes.


Taters are the most common of them, with a stunning 60 different kinds that have different growing needs and ultimately work together for a year-round yield while also functioning to help balance and stabilize the soils.


Kasiv is the second most common, and the one most often used for feedstock. Kasiv is often said to be bland and is one of the most common of the forms also founding the wild. It is a shallow, semispherical tuber, usually a gold with purple stripes, and grows a cluster of tall, broad leaves (usually a handspan in size) that reach about two and half feet to three feet high. A single tuber can be well over a foot in diameter at the widest part, with a rind or skin that is usually durable but not thick. They are peeled and then treated. Antelle calls them Turnavas.


The third major Tuber is the Yam. Many varieties, all of them are very sweet, and frequently are simply roasted on their own and then eaten. They grow in clumps beneath a small plant that has striking purple flowers when it prepares to go dormant for the season.

The last major tuber grown is called Taroe. It is similar to Yams, but not as sweet.


It is said that in the Dread Lands, there is a root called Kathen that is a major focus and serves as the principal crop for Agarthans and is used to feed slaves. In Akadia, they call it Bloodroot, because it requires blood to germinate properly, and it must be freshly spilled, and usually more than a person can spare.


The next major agricultural crop is sometimes called the largest, most important one. Berries are grown to serve an incredible array of purposes. Antelle says that all the Berries were intentional, that the Powers That Be chose and created them.

Wyrlde Berries can range from the fingertip sized ones to ones as large as two fists held together. Berries generally have a thin outer rind, a core, with seeds in each berry, ranging from 3 to 5 seeds per.

The plants themselves come in a huge variety of shapes and growth patterns, but the berries are always found growing in clusters of 15 to 50 small fruits. They grow year-round, adapting to all climates, and are found pretty much everywhere on the planet.

Paria tells a tale of how Berries were once many different kinds of plants and made to work more efficiently for the peoples of the world. Some used to grow on trees, with huge single pits, all green throughout, and people would take the flesh of the berry and spread it on toast.

Antelle says that it was intended that a balanced meal, meaning a meal that would truly help keep someone healthy and taste good, would be comprised of a cereal, a tuber or vejei, a few berries, and sometimes meat from the herds.


It is hard to address staple foods within the Bright Lands without including the three kinds of livestock usually found in great numbers. Legend says they came with the Powers That Be, and it is more than one who occasionally mutters about changes. Chicory is famous for her complaints about the livestock.

Common Staple Meats Include:

Beef Dormice Mutton Capybara Elk
Pork Chicken Fish Rabbit Deer
Goat Shellfish

Cheeses: Cow, Goat, Sheep, Aruk, Weg.

The three forms of livestock all have a multiplicity of importance. Although there are such wild animals as boars, deer, horses and more, it is these three that are tamed – Antelle says domesticated – and that exist to serve people.


Aruks are large ruminants that survive on feedstock or graze the grasslands of the world. They provide milk, leather, meat, haul carts, pull plows, wool, and more. Standing about four feet high at the top of their shoulders, with broad heads capped by round tipped horns that grow down, they are huge animals that weigh several hundred pounds each. Shearing season is early autumn, and a typical Aruk will provide around 100 pounds of stiff wool that is prized for the lanolin that is in each fiber.

Milking Aruks are far more common, and the black and white patterns that are both part of their hides and match exactly the colors of their wool are often used to suggest something that is related to them. Most small families will have an Aruk as one of the most important provisions, especially when children are present, as the milk is easily tolerated and makes outstanding cheese and butter.

Aruks in mating season have a temper, however.


Fesan are a kind of large bird, usually weighing as much as 40 pounds when full grown. They can fly, but usually not higher than a couple stories, never fast, and not for long. The record for distance for a Fesan is something along the lines of 120 yards. Fesan are brown, gray, and black in plumage, with hints of white. They have extremely strong upper leg muscles that they use to drive themselves into flight and stand two to three feet tall at the top of their head (taller for hens, shorter for cockerels).

Fesan have three layers of feathers that are shockingly easy to lose, and they grow them rapidly and constantly so that they have to be groomed frequently. They do very poorly when caged, dying fast. They lay 3 to 7 eggs every three days, with any given group of ten hens laying eggs on different days. Eggs are about four inches tall, and one egg is enough for most people. The eggs have a yolk, a white, and a cren (like a secondary yolk for feeding an embryo), Cockerels are males and known to respond to the rising sun with a cry every day as a way to mark their territory, and they are territorial, each cockerel having 10 to 20 hens in a harem. The eggs are typically speckled, multicolored in browns, blues, whites, and yellows,

Fesan are seed and feedstock eaters, usually cereals, but can eat grains that people cannot and adore falfal seeds as well as millen (a feedstock grain).


Wegs are a large, omnivorous, hoofed animal with a thick, bristly fur and extremely well-developed sense of smell. A fully grown adult Weg can weigh as much as 1500 pounds, stand three and a half feet tall, with strong teeth and powerful jaws set in a short snout, stretching out as long as five feet. They have long, curly tails that indicate their overall mood. Bacon is made from them, and their rendered fat is used in cooking alongside oilberry oil. Their meat is much lighter in color compared to the dark red of Aruk but is still deeper colored and far fattier than that of Fesen. Wegs will eat anything. Including people – but tend to want to eat at very specific times and they eat a large amount. They are often used to dispose of garden scraps, food scraps, and more.

All of these livestock are friendly to humans and comprise the majority of livestock. There are some small places that keep goats, fowl, and other animals, but they tend to be more specialized, and these are what is seen most commonly.

Other Crops

Other key crops are well known, but more restricted in where they can be grown. Stonefruit, Appas, Vadoes, Berries of different sorts, Seedfruit, Leafruit of course are all there.

Coffee is grown mostly in the mountain areas, and tea can be found in many different locations, with different strains of the plant producing different flavors that are then changed again by soil conditions.

Cereals are, of course, used heavily in the brewing of beer in homes, but there are Graphez which grow on enormous vines and form large clusters of berries that are often used in making wine and other beverages.

According to Antelle, the Powers That Be selected the edible plants that the world would possess, then seeded the whole planet with all the possibilities, having made sure the plants would work not only for the planet, but with each other, and be good and healthy for people. There are no edible plants that have any kind of risk associated with eating them.

The most common “group” of plants are Berries, like Tomatoes, followed by Stalks and then Vejees, which are flowers that are eaten.


Wyrlde has many metals and minerals that are of value.

Most Common Metals

Aluminum Antimony Arsenic Copper Gold
Iron Lead Nickel Silver Tin
Titanium Zinc Chrome Cadmium Vanadium

There are five alloys that each combine five of the above in equal parts.

Other Key Minerals

Limestone Ash Coal Chalk Bitumen
Gypsum Oyster Shells Clay Magnesium Phosphorous

At some point in its past, Wyrlde has an immense amount of mollusk and related sea life, several thousand times the size of that place from which current ones came, and it is common to find their remnants pretty much anywhere. Imps are known to favor them and can be bought off by offering them.

Artisans from the Mason’s Guild in Lyonese are said to be engaged in some strange new effort around the use of certain clays, limestone, lye, volcanic ash, chalk, and coal that involves burning rocks.


One of the more abundant resources, and the primary metal resources of Aztlan, aluminum is more widely used here, often alloyed with titanium or other hard metal (but very rarely iron). It surprises some of the Powers that titanium is worked with here, but when you have magic involved, the creation of malleability is much easier.


Used for waterproofing (scabbards, armor plates, clothing, fabric, etc.), shipbuilding, building and construction adhesive, embalming, mosquito repellent, lining cisterns, varnish, ink, paint, patent leather, and more.


Sought by the Syndicates in Dorado, Bluegleam is of high value.

Like its similar cousin, this only appeared after the God’s War, and is a highly prized, very rare material found in the general wilds. Crystalline and flexible, it grows to about two feet long in small clumps, a fully formed crystal being for inches in diameter. Note that it reacts poorly with diamond and is very durable.


Copper is a valuable metal used for several things, all of them pricey. The most common way that people will see it is in the form of coinage or Bars. Bars are pure, coins are alloyed, usually with electrum. Qivira’s mint mines much of this and the mines of Qivira are well known for their production of not just copper, but also gold and platinum.


A peculiar metal found growing in a crystalline pattern, it is brittle when discovered, easily turned into a powder, but when smelted becomes an extremely strong, magically potent metal. The dust is used in wand making and rituals, and the metal has occasionally been forged into startling forms and uses. It is unknown where it comes from, but it is something that the Posse of Eld is always on the lookout for, without ever saying why.


Of the two gold mines outside of Qivira, the Arcadian mines include electrum as a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver within the dedicated mines being one of the more common ores available on Wyrlde.


There are five mines, three of which are in Qivira, for gold. Considered the most noble of metals, it is a malleable, magically reactive metal available in coinage and bars.


A strange crystalline substance that has faint glowing properties (about 3 feet in a dim light around it), greenschine is used to alloy metals, improve health, provide for magical rites, and generally improve things. It is found in the wild and has great value. Crystals grow up to two feet long, with a diameter of about four inches. It is rumored to be a part of the birth of magic in Wyrlde. It reacts poorly with diamond. The Skyewards are always interested in finds of greenschine, but, like the Posse of Eld, never really explain why.


Iron is rare on Wyrlde, seemingly as a whole. As a result, it is often alloyed with assorted other metals and refined in surprisingly complex ways. It is believed that the alloys are critical for it to reduce the impact on magic. Wyrlde has a shortage of iron of a quality decent enough to make anything. Nearly all the steel and silver in weapons and gear found today is patched and reused or derived from recycled materials. The mines continue to dig for it, so the supply is increasing, but the sources are rarer and more difficult to find. Often, people will dig in ruins and abandoned places for it – scrap iron has high value.

Fae and Fell creatures are commonly allergic to unalloyed iron, to the point that it causes them greater pain and poisons them. The specific kind is called Cold Iron, which is forged without being smelted, from raw ore, the impurities beaten out of it. Extremely expensive. Steel hurts more but isn’t poisonous. Cold Iron does not keep an edge well, rusts easily, and needs frequent repairs. As a result, it is usually confined to manacles, daggers, and arrowheads.

The most well-known source of iron is found in the mines of Lyonese, which is also where the artisans are said to produce the finest weapons and best steel. However, they tend to export most of it through the Miner’s guild, and so the supply of this steel is still rare and considered to be unique.

One odd thing is that the Smiths of Qivira make a very potent form of steel called “teal iron” and guard the secret of its make closely; as of last known count, only three people knew the secret of it. It is believed to be a highly advanced alloy, incorporating both Bluegleam and greenschine into it.


Used exclusively for coins, platinum is considered the property of the Empire, and tribute must be delivered in this form. All the cities have mines for it, and these shipments inevitably make their way to Qivira for use in the Mint.


Another crystalline material, Starstone is sought after by many smiths and wrights because it is used in the making of both Vitredur and Crystalium, which are extremely valuable and often used materials loved for their durability. Starstone has a strange dark color in its natural form, with tiny, bright specks of white, yellow, blue, red, and green throughout the dark mass – hence the name: it looks like stars within the night sky.


The primary source for Silver is Dorado.

Precious Stones

There are not nearly as many kinds of precious stones on Wyrlde as one might expect – not all stones are as valued here. The following table shows the particular stones (all of which can come in a variety of colors) that are given additional value and are sought after and sought for.

An exception, of course, is Pearls. Pearls are extremely valuable – even more so if they are Giant Pearls, for they can be used to fashion all manner of magical devices. Giant Pearls, however, come from Giant Oysters and their close kin, and their close kin can be, well, a bit hesitant about releasing their pearls. One might even say deadly. Of note is that while Giant Abalone shell is liked, it is not considered a precious stone – it is more a valuable mineral and while used in jewelry, has other value (such as serving places for Triton homes).

Magical Materials

There are certain materials on Wyrlde that are often used to support, improve, store, and influence magic and the effects of magic. As a result, it should be noted that the value of these materials is exceptionally high. A small ring with but a chip of Orikal might cost several thousand shillings. A Calcifer may be worth hundreds of crowns or sovereigns.


A pearlescent crystalline stone with metallic properties that glows with an internal light. Mined in Cievira, it is a widely sought after stone because it allows for light without heat and does not seem to scar like Radiant light (such as the Sun) can cause.

The veins also are home to a species of snake like entity, that can and will defend the ore. The veins move. Typically it is shaped into crystals, polished and honed, faceted to provide light. A tiny fragment of it, about the same size as a candle flame burning on a wick, casts around 3 times the light of a single candle (3 candlepower, or around 36 lumens).

It should be noted that skystone also comes from meteors, and is often intertwined with meteoric iron, to which it can bond in some circumstances, used to make a very fine, extremely durable, and extremely flexible, glowing form of steel called Katanis.

Skystones are traded broadly and are one of the major light sources among the wealthy. The light of a Skystone never goes out, you see. They can be Inherited and passed down among families.


This is a gray, sand-like mineral, the tiny grains of which constantly move as if impelled by some living force. It is thought to be found in Akadia, and rumor has it that it can be found in Durango as well. When a small amount of gaulaun is burned and directed by the correct spells, it is capable of powering magical machinery. Used in a Mechanical Engine spell, it can provide significant motive force.


An exceptionally heavy, hard, impervious, pinkish or reddish crystalline metal with the unusual property of being able to absorb and store all kinds of magic. Many mages wear Orikal jewelry. A one-inch cube of the material is said to weigh 1 pound.

The most prized metal on Wyrlde, it is found primarily in Qivira with a deposit known to be somewhere in Arcadia. It is very reactive magically, and much sought after, particularly by Mages who use weapons. It is a very rare metal, with the unusual property of being able to absorb and store all kinds of mana. Many folks wear jewelry made of Orikal and use them to contain bits and pieces of their power that they could use when needed. However, Orikal not only absorbs the magic—it hungers for it, as though the metal was hollow and eager, aching even, for power to fill it up and make it whole. You can feel the desire for more magic, for more power when using it.

It is said that the extremely rare and expensive metal has the capacity to absorb magic, to store it for use when needed, enabling it to become a kind of magical battery over time.

It is often said that this is deeper than it seems — that Orikal not only absorbs the magic, it hungers for it, as though the metal was hollow and eager, aching even, for magical power to fill it up and make it whole; some claim that they can sense this, can feel it, as an active desire on the part of the metal.

Once it is properly smelted, it can be used to store raw magical power. One Grain (0.5 grams) of it typically can take in a bit of mana each day and be available afterwards.

If the prepared metal absorbs too much mana, it melts, losing all the stored Mana, and it is the application of too much magic that causes it to melt and be able to be shaped. Melted Orikal does not have heat – it remains temperature neutral, but it is said that contact with it can drain a caster in a moment of their mana.

Orikal bonds readily and easily with assorted woods such as Rowan, Oak, Willow, Hazel, Hawthorn, and Ash, and becomes almost impossible to separate from them (one must burn the wood). For this reason, it is often used in rods, wands, staves, and similar items. Note that it must be bonded to something else in order to be ingrained or imbued. Otherwise, it just absorbs the mana.

Orikal can bond to starwood, and doing so creates a dangerous tool that not only dispels magic, it draws the mana out of the person holding it. This is often used in cuffs or collars to restrain Mages. Nulls lose their resistance when in contact.

It is found in small clusters of crystals in many different places, and legend says that there is a flowing pool of it near one of the places where magic erupted into the world, and that this pool keeps the magic in check.


A tree that strongly resembles bamboo and grows in much the same way and the same places that has a startling property: it dispels magic. It is often treated much like bamboo and used to create a kind of woven material that is light, strong, and flexible. It is used in the creation of certain kinds of armor.

It is illegal to bring starwood into or possess it within Akadia.


Calcifers are strange crystals that are unpredictable in where they are found or how many or how effective they are, but one thing is said about all of them: they are solid magic. Different calcifers may contain the stored capacity for different kinds of magic. Most of the crown jewels of the assorted Realms contain at least one calcifer among them, and the imperial Crown Jewels are known to include five different ones that enable their use no matter what the affinity of the Emperor may be.

Calcifers grow smaller when they are tapped or drawn from. They have a known limit, and this makes them very difficult to set into jewelry, so will often be set up so that they can be tapped without being lost (such as in a globe).

Calcifers, however, are, like magic, sentient. And they will often have their own plans, purposes, ideas, and needs that are often detrimental to those who use them.

Calcifers were used in the creation of all the great Legendary Weapons. A calcifer can be melted into and combined with other materials, but it requires mastery of one’s craft to do it, as well as significant study into the nature of and qualities of this kind of work.

It is said that the use of a calcifer can enable a single person to perform any ritual.

Trade Goods

There are some things that are not mined, not found, not reclaimed, not grown. They are the product of artistry and skill, of craft and cunning; they are the manufactured things, and their value and worth as goods is always worth knowing and considering.


Fabric is expensive, bulky, and always in high demand, especially those that have been dyed. Most people have a single set of work clothes, a more formal set of clothing they take care of for celebrations, and if they are lucky a spare. Fashion is important in the Cities among the wealthier people, who may have as many as five possible outfits, but the typical person will have one set of clothing that includes sturdy material, such as denim. Linen is the man fabric of Sibola and Aztlan, but it can vary among the others. Dorado is fond of denim, apparently.

That clothing will be decorated – laces, bows, trims, and other fine work are very popular and in great demand. They are also pricey.

A standard bolt is 1 yard tall and 25 yards long. Some mills in Lyonese will make bolts that are 3 yards wide and 125 yards long.

Silk is made from a few different kinds of threads – from strange worms to spiders to creatures from the Fairywilde, large, small, and in between. It is especially popular among nobility and those with the money for it, as it is always in short supply.

Wool and Cotton are also popular – both in bulk and raw form but more so if they are woven into any kind of textile.

Paper is made in small batches, and typically will be set up on a sheet that is one yard square, then cut down to the size needed.


Brass & Bronze

Iron being a comparatively rare thing, the ability to create alternative alloys and materials is of immense importance. Brass and Bronze are often used and tend to be a standard structure. They are slightly lighter and stronger some incarnates have said, in comparison to where they came from.

These are mined on Wyrlde, coming mostly from Durango and its broad open face mines. Brass is mined and smelted pretty much as is, but sometimes separated into its components. Bronze is a unique and light metal here, mined as it is. Brass shines brightly, and is composed of copper, zinc, titanium, and tin. Bronze is copper, nickel, tin, phosphorous, and silicone.


A more common stronger metal is called Whiteshine, crafted through a process that the folks in Lyonese keep as quiet and to themselves as the farmers of Aztlan, the Skyewards in Akadia, the Posse of Rails in Dorado, and the Syndicate does about their carriages in Dorado. It is, by all accounts, very hard to make. It uses a blend of Adaman, Nickel, and others. It gains its name from the white appearance of the metal, that can be polished to a luster.

An odd feature of it is that once it is alloyed, it never unalloys.


Another material made using the highly sought after combinations of Adaman, Starstone, and certain metals, it is stronger than the steel that Is hard to find, and difficult to fashion, but is highly sought after. It is a slightly transparent material, and warms rapidly to the body, so it liked for armor, and is sometimes called rainbow hued, because the surface reflects in many different colors, like a rainbow.


This is a composite substance, a form of flexible ceramic that is able to take an extremely fine edge and require little upkeep or be used in plated that are set within different garments to add protection. It is a strange and useful material, used by those in Qivira to make many things, including strips used in armor. As a ceramic, it goes through a process of curing but once cooled and finished, polished, and edged, the thing it is most famous for is how it is used in making deadly weapons that can outlast anything else.


Antilian merchants have been finding a market for the peculiar material they are famous for creating. It is a transparent, clear material that looks like glass, and yet is as hard as steel and takes an edge like vitredur. It looks like glass, and rumor says that the wealthiest of Antilian leadership can be found sporting armor of it. This is striking, because one thing remains true about Steelglass – it is heavier than and less flexible than steel.


A material very much like steel that does use iron among its parts, it is the special creation of Qiviran specialists. It is a teal-colored metal, somewhat less flexible than steel, but durable and light. Like Glassteel, it is still exceedingly rare in the larger markets.

Critter Parts

There is one kind of item that many folks will speak about but few will have the ability to acquire, and this is a major source of revenue for many. This is the gruesome and often disturbing trade in the parts and pieces of abominations, monstrosities, horrors, and other assorted creatures.

For example, Dragon’s blood is often worth several Crowns – one year Akadia’s entire tribute was derived from it. Troll bone is used to fashion hinges and flexible but strong tools. Beholder jelly is a potent tool for fashioning managems. The list is extensive and is talked about to a degree in Sheroo’s Bestiary.


There is a way that information travels among the world. News, legends, stories, ideas – all of it is carried through the work of the Bard’s Guild, often linked to the Messenger and Envoy guilds, and the agents that they collectively send out will bring word and news back, or pass it along, and inevitably it ends up in the Broadsheets that are published by the Guild and passed out for free to the people – even in Sibola, though much more secretively.

Literacy is low on Wyrlde, by and large, and so there are entertainments – songs, dances, orations, poems, and even simple Readers who share the news and keep the thoughts of the Empire connected.

Messengers carry letters both of grand import and lesser, but also they carry the memorized words. There are folks – called Automemory Dolls – who will take down the thoughts and feelings of people and convert them into written language and then travel to deliver the letter.

The typical amount of time that it takes news to travel from Dorado to Sibola is generally a week. For more common or routine deliveries, it can take up to three, so the average of most information and news traveling from one location to another is around two weeks.

There are other somewhat common ways that some people are able to communicate, if they have the funds, over great distances. Of course, there is also just plain, old fashioned, every day, run of the mill magic, too.


Spheres, or orbs, crafted from large crystals and ingrained with differing abilities, they enable people to see each other and communicate across great distances. They are always made in matched sets, that are always only linked to each other. It is said the Rulers of all the Realms have one gifted to them by the Powers That Be, that they were waiting for them at Zefir when they arrived.

Scrying Mirrors

Known because some junior Clerics let slip the secret, most of the major Clergy are able to stay in touch through the use of scrying mirrors. Some say that these mirrors may be able to do more than merely allow communication – either way, the Temples neither confirm nor deny this, they ignore it, pretending such things don’t exist.

I can say that I have seen one, and they look pretty but I am not sure I could hold my arm like that.


Small marbles, each with ability to read and write a given language. They embed themselves just below the ear at juncture of jaw.


Wordstones that enable speaking over distances to attuned matches. They embed in the center of the forehead.

At least one variant includes the ability to see through the stone. They are exceptionally expensive.


The major kinds of Factions are Houses, Guilds, Circles, Posses, Syndicates, and Orders.

Guilds and Posses form the most generally well respected and well-known groups, devoted to their respective efforts, while Syndicates (concentrated and based around Durango) seek to corrupt and empower themselves and the Circles strive to stay relevant and in power (that is, outside of Aztlan).

It should be noted that nearly all of them derive their initial basis from Guilds, and so Guild is what they are often called (particularly in the common speech). All of them follow the apprenticeship model, as well, even the Syndicates.

All of these factions and assorted groups compete and struggle with each other, sometimes not entirely legally, and often using people they have hired for things that they need to wash their hands of.

Renown has a direct impact on one’s standing in any of these.

Every noble on Wyrlde belongs to one of the Houses or Circles, even when it is just a tracing of lineage back to one of the original families from the Age of Fable. While several have fallen aside over the many, many seasons since then, there are still many Great Houses that trace back, as well as new ones that have arisen in the years since. It is said that for a thousand years there have been Five Hundred Houses, and they will stand for a thousand more, though the names will change. In most cases, a Circle is also a House, not merely a guild.

Houses operate slightly differently from realm to realm – the House of Hoar, for example, is only led by women in Aztlan and only led by men in Sibola – but the core underlying concept remains the same; they trace back down through the seasons to a core ancestor, tracked in each realm’s Great Codex. Houses can be split among the entirety of the Empire, each branch linking towards a given nation, and given the complexity of linkages and alliances, it can create a sense of disunity, even though it has long lost the direct linkage of kinship.

The Great Houses of The Empire

Aldrin Atani Bajwa Bankol Beash
Braga Cen Deng Diallo Dorsay
Dreams Esse Fazeli Ford Fukital
Grissom Hanuman Hariman Haveiair Hoar
Hopper Inita Jasper Kant Kardagast
Kelie Kernan Kone Koral Lanterns
Lopez Lotfi Lovel Lubis Lyle
Malik Mall Oran Pita Qivas
Raptor Reza Rigi Rocha Rouge
Saetang Sala Sheroo Situmoran Skye
Stane Stark Traor Unase Usher
Victor Walker Walker Wazoo Wikof
Willan Wont Xamina Yama Zigie

There are Five Hundred Houses, but only 60 of them are currently considered Great Houses. The myth of Landing speaks about how there were thirty thousand families that celebrated the first full year of the Wyrlde, as an example. However, there are very few that have enduring or current influence and power. Houses are key players in Durango, Sibola, and Lemuria.

Among the best-known Houses are Usher (Sibola), Ford (Durango), Skye (Akadia, Lyonese), and the Circle of Lanterns, which is powerful everywhere, as they operate as a House and as a Guild and are not afraid of blackmail used judiciously.

The Guilds

The greatest factions of Wyrlde are the Guilds. Guilds include the Circles of Aztlan, where all Guilds are called Circles and mandated to be led only by women. They also include the Knightly Orders. Guilds are akin to private powers of their own, and they are everywhere. Guilds have been a part of Wyrlde since before the God’s War and are known for their control over their area of commerce.

All Guilds have a Guildmaster. They are always expert members, usually selected by lot from among the members in that area. Each Guild maintains Guild Houses in every City and in every Town, and in many villages, there will be at least a few.

The most powerful guilds are those for Adventurers, Merchant, Thieves, Innkeeper, Messenger, Smith, Lanterns, and Sailor guilds. They demand a tithe of 15% of earnings from guild members, or they require a set payment monthly.

Guilds do provide a host of services, including contracted orders, the House grounds for meetings, contract negotiation, and dealing with other guilds. They also control and provide Trademarks, assign apprentices, teach, and educate, provide grounds for training, and more.

Some guilds are only open to someone of a certain gender; though rare, it does happen, as the Tailor and Seamstress Guilds demonstrate.

Membership is limited – one must have been an apprentice of a member to become a new member. Masons, Carpenters, Tanners, and so forth – the trade crafts –have their own guilds, who zealously guard their secrets and training.

Guilds are the only source for Marks of Trade, and only a faction can attest to someone becoming a Master or being a Professional.

Basic Guild Structure

Some complain that the Tithe is too high, without realizing that it is only required of Journeymen or higher.

The way that a Guild (or related faction) functions is dependent on paying for the support folks that provide services like transporting raw materials, paying the taxes for all the members under a given Master, supporting the Guild Lord for a Region, who handles the taxes and related aspects and deals with the nobility, none of which typically comes cheap. In the case of the hidden and apparently invisible Thieves Guild, they handle the disposition of stolen property as well as governing what jobs are out there.

Some guilds – Wrights, Smiths, Swains, and Wards – have sub guilds beneath them, all of which operate independently but offer the ability to collaborate, compete, and operate collectively for the benefit of all, acting as a kind of check to the power of Nobles. No one wants to anger one of these guild collectives, as they control a significant part of what is made and needed.

A Wright is someone who deals primarily in fashioning a raw product into a given shape or form – A Wheelwright bends the wood to make a wheel, for example. Carts, wagons, ships, locks, clocks, and more.

A Smith is someone who uses a forge to fashion ore into a useful item – and they are divided according to the kind of ores they work with (with iron being the Blacksmith, Brightsmith’s specializing in silver, Redsmiths in Copper, and so on).

A Swain is someone who fashions processed material, such as fabric, into a particular shape as a product. Boats need repairs and upgrades, lights need mending and fashioning, sails need creating and nets need making.

A Ward is someone who protects and looks after something. The Greycoats are an offshoot of the Reeves, who represent the guild of guardsmen.

The Guilds, Circles, & Orders

Actor Adventurer Alchemist Apothecary Arbiter
Artisan Baker Barber Bard Basketwright
Beadswain Blacksmith Boatswain Bookwright Bookwright
Bowyer Breeder Brewer Brickswain Builder
Butcher Butler Carpenter Carriagewright Cartwright
Carver Caskwright Castellan Chance Chandler
Claywright Cleaner Clockwright Cobbler Cook
Craftwright Crossings Cutler Dancer Distiller
Draper Dream Drumswain Dyeswain Embroiderer
Enamellist Envoy Explorer Farmer Felter
Fieldward Fisher Fishmonger Flowerward Furnisher
Furrier Gameward Glassmith Glover Grocer
Hatswain Herald Herbalist Horncraft Hostel
Hunter Inkswain Innhost Jeweler Knight: Chalice
Knight: Lotus Knight: Masque Knight: Rose Knight: Round Knight: Stars
Knight: Unicorn Knitter Lacewright Lacquerswain Lanterns
Laundrer Lightswain Lockwright Luthwright Mage
Maid Mapwright Merchant Messenger Miller
Miner Navigator Orewright Painter Paperswain
Peddler Performer Perfumer Purlcraft Ranger
Ratter Redsmith Reedcraft Reeve Riverward
Saddleswain Sailswain Scholar Scribe Sculptor
Seamstress Seaward Shepherd Sherlock Shipwright
Skyeward Smith Spellwright Spicer Spinner
Surveyor Tailor Tanner Teamster Thatcher
Thieves Timberer Tinker Treeward Tunewright
Vanguard Vintner Waferer Weaver Wheelwright
Whitesmith Wisewomen Woodward

On Wyrlde, children are Apprenticed out of their home at the age of 15. This is part of why they are called such at that age.

Apprenticeships are usually an arrangement, sometimes contractual, and is normally until the age of 20, but could be up to the age of 21. To be taken on as an Apprentice, a Keeping Fee must be paid, and an Escrow set aside. This can often leave people unable to leave a trade, however, if the fees are too great, and so they are usually formally set, typically around a Shilling a year for the fee and 10 shillings for the Escrow. The Escrow becomes a part of the Apprentice’s starting wages when they move to Novice. After apprenticeship, one is a Novice. A Master has their own shop and wares and trains Apprentices, usually after proving themselves to the Guild to which they belong, with the aid of Professionals and Adepts.

Apprentice Novice Professional Adept Master Grand Master-

For nomadic cultures, a similar structure is in play, though it tends to start younger. This is due in part to having been the system that was established in the Age of Legend, and it has worked extremely well. Individual Tribes tend to have their own terms for this. Nomadic groups tend to also have fewer roles. An individual can apprentice to their own parents, but usually one seeks to apprentice out, even if it is within the same trade or profession, in order to improve the skills one picks up or expand possible family trade opportunities.

Noteworthy Guilds

The Adventurer’s Guild

To the best of their ability, the massive, somewhat frightening Adventurer’s Guild has a branch in every town, and there is one found either in or just outside of every city. Rare few villages have a Common House run by a Guild; though, lacking lodging, but enabling storage and usually cheaper food and drink than a guild run pub or inn. Dues are 90 ep a year (or 1gp a month) and joining has a fee of 10 gp upfront. Members of the Guild can stay for free in greater comfort at a Guild House, as well as find opportunities. AGs can be contracted for bounties, escort jobs, and more. They work closely with several other guilds, at excellent rates, including those who operate in the shadows. It also serves as the Mercenaries’ guild, taking all manner of jobs for listing. The Adventurer Guild Motto is “We fight just a little harder”.

Adventurer is a job, in and of itself, and considered to be a calling. Adventurers are weird; that is, they have been touched by the Powers in some way that has made them suitable and interested in that field, and so are considered dangerous and risky and short lived.

Note that the Adventurer’s guild is composed of several smaller guilds. Among them are the Merchanter, Antiquarian, Physic, Sage, Oracular, Soldier, Mercenary, Vanguard, Delving, and others. One offshoot of the Adventurer’s Guild operates without oversight and beneath the law. It is known, however, but the operations of the sub-guild is always questionable, for it is hidden from any who are not members. They are known to consort with Envoys, Corsairs, and other Rogues to achieve specific goals and aims of the adventurer’s guild, without contact between contracting parties. Of note is that the Guild is inclusive of the Syndicates – all of them are members, reportedly.

The Circle of Lanterns.

The Circle of Lanterns claims to oversee all sex work on Wyrlde. They are known to compete somewhat with the Innkeeper and Tavernhost Guilds and will often operate in opposition. Their Saloons are very popular in Dorado.

The Circle of Crossings

Provides guards for traveling caravans and mercenaries not affiliated with a guild. They compete with the Vanguard guilds, as well as the Adventurers Guild. They do not get along well with the Hovewards.

The Circle of Dreams

The Circle promises all a very good time, albeit with perhaps an uncontrollable interest to return after.

The Circle of Spells

Originally out of Lyonese, and merged with a couple others, it is considered one of the finest organized groups providing imbued and ingrained items to the public (for a price).

Alcohol (Brewers and Vintners)

Alcohol is overseen by Brewer’s and Vintners. Mead is made by the Temples, who are also the Beekeeper’s Guild, informally. The Beer of Wyrlde is a thick, low alcohol beverage that is usually the main beverage everyone drinks during the day, instead of water, which is often not clean. Beer can be made by most homes, and most places will serve it.

Mead, made from Honey, is typically made in Temples, and sold during festivals. Wyrlde Mead is sweet, dry, and potent.

Liquor in Wyrlde is made by Guilds, Posses, Syndicates, and other factions, and they compete steadily to provide the best and the most enjoyable.

Dorado produces Tequila, Durango makes Whiskey and Rye, Aztlan produces something called Uzo, Sibola makes a potent clear Vodka, and Gin is made pretty much everywhere except Qivira, where they tend to drink a thick, sweet beverage called Virale in tiny glasses.

Knightly Orders Of Wyrlde

Many who rightfully call themselves “knight” earn that title as part of one of the knightly orders.

These knighthoods are secular and nongovernmental organizations of warriors who follow a philosophy, or consider themselves a kind of extended family, like an order of monks. Although there are organizations, such as the Knights of the Round, that use the trappings of knighthood without necessarily being warriors, most folk of Wyrlde who hear the word “knight” think of a mounted warrior in armor beholden to a code. Below are a few knightly organizations.

The Knights Of The Unicorn began as a fad of romantically minded sons and daughters of noble families in Sibola. On a lark, they took the unicorn as their mascot and went on various adventures for fun. The reality of the dangers they faced eventually sank in. Over time the small group grew and spread, gaining a following in places as far as Durango. The Knights of the Unicorn are chivalric adventurers who follow romantic ideals: life is to be relished and lived with laughter, quests should be taken on a dare, impossible dreams should be pursued for the sheer wonder of their completion, and everyone should be praised for their strengths and comforted in their weaknesses. The Knights are always men.

Long ago, the Knights Of White Rose were a famous adventuring band, and Dove Falconhand, one of the famous Seven Sisters, was one of them. The band took its name to honor the legendary Ancient City, just as the new Knights of White Rose do today. With the city in ruins, Dove Falconhand decided to reform the group with the primary goal of building alliances and friendship between the civilized Bloodlines of the world and goodly people to combat evil. Their members, each accepted by The White Rose herself, are above all valiant and honest. Today, they are both a Syndicate and a Clan in Durango. The Knights of the White Rose are always women.

The Knights Of The Silver Chalice was formed by edict of the demigod Siamorphe in Antilia a century ago. Siamorphe’s ethos is the nobility’s right and responsibility to rule, and the demigod is incarnated as a different noble mortal in each generation. By the decree of the Siamorphe at that time, the Knights of the Silver Chalice took it upon themselves to put a proper heir on the Council and reestablish order in the region. Since then, they have grown to be the most popular knighthood in Antilia, a region that has hosted many knighthoods in fealty to the Council. A side note: Siamorphe is thought to be Urisha, one of the Powers That Be.

When it comes to the Knights Of The Black Lotus, little is known about this group of mostly older, retired people with military backgrounds other than their love for a complex strategy game with arcane rules and strange piece, the rarest of which is the Black Lotus.

The Knights Of The Red Masque are one of the more popular orders for when you need things done that the others would find distasteful, this order is famous for the blood red masks they always wear, carved in grimacing and horrible faces. These masks are worn any time they are out in public.

The order of the Knights Of The Round, created in honor of a find in an ancient ruin, always follows the Code of Chivalry, but they are also among the cheapest to hire. While they do have Paladins among their membership, they are not the main body.

The Knights Of The Wild Heart serve the interests of Antelle and Paria, who often partner up on whatever the latest machinations of the Powers That Be are at that time. Founded 23 years ago in Qivira, it has a distinct Code that is kept secret and known only to members. The Wild Hearts are, like Messengers, without gender.

The Major Syndicates

The Syndics of Durango are known as an extra-legal shadow government within Durango proper. There are twelve major syndicates in Durango, and another few minor but improving ones.

Kosa Triskelion Kuza Sinola
Kamora Lanterns White Rose Riders
Treypers Trumps Fashes Copper

Syndicates openly and explicitly state themselves to be organizations dedicated to trade and public welfare, yet appear to specialize in fraud, extortion, gambling, prostitution, drug use, robbery, kidnapping, theft, and graft as normative aspects of their operations.

Most Durangans tithe a Syndicate of one sort or another because they know that the bonds of a syndicate are stronger than blood in many cases, and the Syndicate protects its own; at least in theory.

Each Syndicate is headed by a Syndic, who is, as you can guess, a crime lord. While based in and around Durango, they have influence which spreads throughout the world, and they seek to keep it going at any cost.

The street murders that Durango is famous for are the work of Syndicates, who often disagree about territory, business, and loyalty. The Syndicates are very wealthy, overall, though the Syndics themselves may come from very humble or impoverished beginnings. O interesting thing is that the syndicates do not harm their targets usually; for example, a shopkeeper who tithes to one syndicate and is desired by another won’t have to worry about the syndicates causing his place of business harm (unless he misses a payment), as they will fight among themselves. They will also fight any of the assorted police, and the reputation of a Syndicate man as a murderous thug with little heart or morality is well earned.

The most influential Syndicates currently are the Cosa, the Triskelion, the Kuza, the Sinola, and the Kamora. It is notable that the Lantern syndicate and White Rose Syndicate are indeed related to the Circle and the Order of Knighthood that share their name.

Syndicates have a strong internal discipline, rigid codes, and expectations of those who are members, and often competing middle management. They do, however, keep their promises – for woe or for weal, they always keep their promises.

Major Posses

Dorado is the home to many new and different ways of doing things that are already done perfectly well elsewhere, but this has given us such thing as the Pistols of Eld and the Train and more. Among the reasons for and the examples of this trend are the Posses.

Rails Eld Nym Ism
Cattleman’s Herdmen Lights Monsanto
Apel Gigle Natjeo Jind’r

A Posse is a formally confirmed business arrangement among many diverse people who pool their resources, people, and effort towards a business purpose. Posses are formed by a Charter that is registered with the Kinhouse and operated in a strange way.

They are created by the pooling of resources by several different people who each have an interest that is considered property all by itself. This interest is recorded by Deed and has a value that determines how much of the Posse’s left-over revenue in each season goes to that person. These people are called Members, and while they collectively have oversight and are in charge, the day-to-day affairs of a Posse are run by a Leader, who is himself employed by the members and in turn employs the people needed to achieve their goals, as that is the Leader’s job: to make as much money as possible for the Members.

The Train is the work of the Posse of Rails, and the Leader of the Posse is Hariman, who is both a Member and the Leader. His father was the person who designed and created the first Dynamo, and they have kept the secret of that process ever since while building the vast rails that connect the Bright lands along the traditional trade routes. It is estimated that out of every ten gold pieces the Train brings in, one falls to Hariman.

Posses, then, are essentially an alternative to the Guilds, though several guilds are members of the Posse of Rails, making it less a competitive model and more a way of achieving things that no one person or small group can do on its own.


One powerful faction is the Sherlock Guild. All Cities have several, most Towns have one or more of them present, but they are an exceedingly rare sight in villages except in their local realm. Sherlocks usually charge a high commission for handling money (the Bank fees for every transaction, their own fees, profit) that comes out to roughly 10% of whatever the coinage type in trade is.

Most funds transfers and such are with Sherlocks, who do not typically advertise themselves. They are more likely to come across as and to operate out of pawn shops, where they keep meticulous records.

A Sherlock traveling is usually en route to or from whichever of the large banks they have business with on behalf of their customers.

The Sherlock Guild Houses operate as Banks.


Each Sherlock Guild House operates as a Bank, and most Adventurer’s guild’s have a liaison that spends their days there. These Banks operate as depositories, and often are directly involved with the local Trusty and the assorted Fodges. Banks themselves cannot sell anything, as they are still Guilds, but they can offer accounting and ledgers, issue Letters of Credit, and provide Loans to those in need. They operate together in a Consortium of Banks, but this is most often a formality. Moving a deposit is difficult, takes a lot of time, and generally banks avoid the use of magic, making it all very laborious and tedious.

Banks charge a fee of 2% for every single transaction, and it is important to realize that is in addition to the Sherlock you are dealing with having a fee of 3% of every transaction.

Loans are made by Banks, and they use the reputation of the individual and a sense of the ability to pay, as well as a team of three sherlocks who must all be willing to personally guarantee the transaction. The interest rate on these loans can vary from 10% to 20% and the terms of payment are fixed according to a date, with significant penalties. Compound interest is illegal.

Letters Of Credit are essentially bearer bonds – a bank will issue one for a fee, and it will be accepted at other banks for the face value. These letters of credit are statements of how much money is physically present – not promissory bills. A typical letter of credit will have a half dozen seals on it and be a wood frame with coated wax inside which is the document itself. This is done to prevent tampering.

Some of the Nobility operate their own banks. The Realm of Aztlan operates one and has placed significant oversight on the Sherlock Guild.

The Illuminati

As befits them, they are secret societies so as I have never been a member, I cannot tell you much about any of them. It is known that they are frequently found to have Bards and Envoys as lead agents, and they have mysterious rituals.

To hear them talk, the world is trapped in a secret war has raged on since the end of the God’s War between powers and forces that seek to overthrow the leadership and bring in the Dread powers as a part of the whole, with themselves at the leadership. The Illuminati is divided into three aspects: The Duskdanceers, The Dawnbreakers, and The Euphonium.

Duskdancers focus on magic and spycraft, Dawnbreakers are more operational and leadership, and the Euphonium is the warrior caste of the illuminati.

The Colonies

This group is worth noting because they are so unique, and those are the Colonies. Within these vast, forbidding, very much out of the way places are small groups of people who devote and dedicate themselves to mastering some form or other of martial art, both armed and unarmed. Each of them has a slightly different take, a different style, but all of them are still very much organized in a manner similar to the other factions.

There are four Colonies: Onisaman, Eridian, Thunderheart, and Diaspore. The first was founded by Onisama herself around the time of the second Skyfall. One of her pupils later left and founded Eridian Colony. A fortuitous meeting between pupils of the two led to the founding of the Thunderheart Colony after that, and the Diaspore was the final Colony established and is the least well known. Each colony has a host of people present. They are entirely self-sufficient, and they seem to draw in travelers and outcasts, those who seek something more, something different, and those who seek to prove themselves.

They are called Monks, and they are engaged in a life-or-death struggle that seems to consume them called the Dire War. They live ascetic lives, with few comforts, but they are seemingly unflappable and able to defy much, and they have peculiar powers that are not always magic in derivation. Each colony has around 400 people or so, who tend to all the many tasks and chores, while also all training, at all times, and all of the colonies are located in out of the way places among the mountains, with very few who are not of great power or great wisdom ever knowing exactly where, for they do guard the knowledge carefully.

Like Nomads, they are a group that seeks to aver and avoid scrutiny and prefer to remain inscrutable and mysterious. They do enter the broader world, and some will leave the Colonies for years in order to hone their skills and help provide through tithing.

It is important to note that each Colony has a particular focus to the arts they teach. Onisama and Diaspore teach something called the Way of the Open Hand. Thunderheart teaches the Way of the Peaceful Hope. And Eridian teaches the Way of the Shattered Heart. What they mean and how they mean it only seem to make sense to the Monks themselves.

They are, much like the House of Eld, reserved and have a strong focus on training and competition and self-improvement, and always focused on something that they are doing in those isolated places, some sort of massive combat challenge.

Dire Wars

During the second Skyfall, shortly after the founding of Sibola, the still new Colony hidden away among the Dire Mountains was beginning to teach a new way of fighting, to escape the violence of the old war and forge a new path. Onisama, the woman who founded the colony now named for her, and her way of doing things, ere visited by a strange man, whom many say even today was a Warlock of exceptional skill and talent.

He claimed that those he served would like to come to our world, and asked if Onisama, in her wisdom, would grant them safe passage and a place to rest. Suspecting a trap, she offered a counter: if they could defeat her best with their best, she would let them come and learn and take shelter from what they sought to escape.

With a wicked gleam in his eye and a wrathful smile on his face, the Warlock agreed on behalf of his benefactors, who were from another dimension and sought to find a path to ours, that they might take it over. This was the origin of the first of the Dire Wars.

Dire War is returned to every six years. It is a contest of martial strength and skill, of creative effort, of absolute perfection, and of absolute importance, for should the Colonies ever lose, should the Monks ever fall, then our world will have a gateway to the Nightmare dimension and all the nightmares of the world will be released to wreak havoc. It is generally agreed by most on Wyrlde that we have enough nightmares already, and do not need any more. Generally. Some folks are less certain.

At that very first Challenge, the future of them all was established as dire, as mortal, when the first victor slew the chosen champion instead of merely taking a victory, and since that moment, all the challenges have been Dire and it has erupted through efforts to cheat, to manipulate, to corrupt into true warfare fought for the sole purpose of saving the world.

Each bout in dire conflict is to death or to absolute incapacitation. Fatalities, often gruesome, are common. The contests are held every sixth year from Windy 1st through Windy 28th. The first week there are 128 bouts. The second week there are 64 bouts. The third week there are 32 bouts. The first day of the last week has 16 bouts. The second day has 8 bouts. The third day has 4 bouts. The fourth day has one bout. The fifth day has one bout. And the final bout is the sixth day – the 27th of Windy — with the victory declared on the final day of the month. The next scheduled Dire War rounds are in Windy of the year 300. One hundred twenty-eight of the finest, greatest, bravest, most capable warriors are tested every six years, with few surviving the experience.

Combatants can only use what is inherent to them. They can bring into the venue no weapons, wear no armor, and they must possess impeccable honor. At least for our side. The nightmare side seems to have folks who have weapons as part of them.

To prepare for this in the time between, the many Monks and now other warriors called by the Colony masters to these contests compete in far less fatal contests of skill, tactics, strategy, and mastery to determine who will fight the bouts. This testing begins in Windy of the second year following the Dire War. In that year, each of the four great Colonies choose 128 of their greatest, usually through volunteering or recruitment of outsiders. Note that the Grandmasters of the Colonies are not above using their mysterious powers to encourage outsiders to fight. Qetza is particularly fond of Grand Warfare, and it is said that Lamia and Timur have taken stakes in the past as well.

The following year, the Colonies have their champions face off against the champions of another Colony. The order is a rotating one. This continues in the fourth and fifth years, as well, until there are 128 warriors chosen. They all then travel to the mysterious tropical island that was set aside for these events following the 13th cycle when an entire Colony was nearly destroyed.

This island has 128 discrete fighting areas, that are cleaned and prepared for a year, decorated, and sometimes adjusted, so that none of the contestants are aware of what venue, or what the venue will look like or consist of. The particular venue is randomly selected, and all are named and designed to look like some place elsewhere on Wyrlde, and bounded by strong wards that will let someone, but will only let one person out unless they know the particular rituals to enable leaving (such as when dragging a body out).

Entrants must be at least Adepts and are typically well known and deeply honorable in all their actions. They must represent the best Wyrlde, after all, and stand firm even though those they fight will try to cheat, and sometimes succeed. It is noteworthy that Adventurers are rarely chosen, though many have volunteered after hearing about it. The finality of the events means that those who choose to do so must be aware that they will be facing their own mortality, their own death, in the form of a nightmarish being, and that once committed there is no escaping, no turning back, and it is final. Death in the Dire War removes one from the Cycle, and so resurrection is not possible.

These events, over the many, many years, have come to be watched closely by many in power. Some from great distances, others will make the journey to the Island of Venues. It is said that even Denizens from other dimensions will make a special journey just to watch, for it is one of the most brutal contests within all that is known, and it is said even the Three Old Ones turn a blind eye to the Warfare.

InnHost Guild (InnKeepers)


On Wyrlde, the Innhost’s Guild controls the Inns and Taverns through subguilds. They do this with what is regarded as a velvet glove drenched in blood around an adamantine fist with spiked steel knuckles built in. Given the constant encroachment of the Syndicates, the Royal vagaries, and the flat-out defiance of the Posse of Rails, it may well be that they must. There are, then, some Inns and Taverns that are not Guild linked. At least two Powers are known to set up Inns in the middle of nowhere from time to time, moving them around.

An Inn is a building that has a walled area, stabling, pasture, offers food and drink, and has both a communal sleeping area and 4 to 20 private rooms that sleep two.

There is an Inn located typically 30 miles out along any road where there is not already a village, town, or city. There is a network of Inns within a given region defined by ethnicity, and they will all be similar within it and ultimately controlled by the Guilds.

Inns always have 5-10 men-at-arms, and Innkeepers are usually capable of at least some magic, even if most of it is meant to keep the place running and clean. They have stable hands, cooks, assorted help, and, yes, servers that are most likely women in patriarchal regions, men in matriarchal regions, and both in less rigid regions.

Inns are “signs of civilization in the wild”, and are not found in cities, towns, or villages.


Taverns are Guild-run establishments that will serve food, beer, and possibly wine. They are usually near a Public House, and the two may be owned by the same person or family, but they are always careful not to cross the guilds by combining the two. There is usually a carriage house nearby, or the site will have a stable, but is unlikely to have the ability to deal with a wagon.

Taverns usually have a Host, a few cooks, some servers, and a few ancillary staff.

Public Houses (Pubs)

A Public House is a place of short term, temporary residence, usually near a gate. They usually can handle horses and wagons. They are often considered seedy places, and the Adventurer’s Guild operates them, often in partnership with the Innkeeper’s Guild.

In a Village, Town, or City, Pubs usually have housekeeping, a pubkeeper, and a stable hand.


A Saloon is an establishment that just sells drink, and they are often rowdy places that are, at best, controlled by a Brewing guild, and normally just by someone who started one. Men dominate saloons. They sell strong, hard liquor (Whiskey, Rye), Wine, and Specialty drinks from other locations – such as Ale in Aztlan, or Tequila in Dorado.

Some Saloons are operated by The House of Dreams. They do not serve drink and are frowned upon as their clients find themselves unable to avoid returning.

A Saloon will typically only have servers and a bartender, possibly a bouncer. The saloon often doubles as the residence of the saloon keeper.

Travel & Transport

To travel, you must have a Guild Pass, Knight’s Mark, or Travel Token from a recognized authority, to enter a city or town.

Cities, and Towns are walled. Villages, Hamlets, and Steadings will have a Refuge of some sort. Starting your own village (which grows to become a town and then a city) is even encouraged in most places.

These walls and refuges are essential: the world is not a safe place. Especially at night. The world left after the God’s War has plenty of critters malign and benign who just aren’t healthy to be around. The only safe place at night is a walled compound. There are monsters in the world that will prey on travelers. From Dreadnaughts to Powers That Be to beasts. This is why villages are a day’s ride away, or there is a walled Inn.

Often, the fields are walled as well. Traveling beyond your home is a dangerous thing, and even though the merchants talk tough and all, ever notice how rarely you see one come back through?

Typically, a city will support a few Towns, each of which supports a few Villages. The walls are huge. They encircle the fields and crops and even the cattle at night, called in.

Each City influences the culture of the Towns and Villages beholden to it – typically because that is where the people came from (limited space inside cities that are walled), but also because of the assorted ways in which laws and governments work around them.

Different Powers That Be tend to favor certain cities, as well, and this has manifested in physical qualities about them – notably complexion, hair color, and eye color. Folks who come from one city tend to have similar coloration traits, regardless of bloodline, which vary slowly change when the people move to a different region.

Passes & Marks.

Travel between Cities, Towns, Villages, and Hamlets always requires a Pass or Mark of some sort. These can vary from metal plaques stamped to ornate scrolls that must be signed, and so forth. Entry into a location requires a pass, and they are often expensive if simply bought. Messengers in uniform – even retired single messengers – are the sole exception to this – no one gets in without a pass, though a single pass can serve for a group traveling together.

Most gates will collect information about those entering the town – name, purpose, duration – and will always direct adventurers to the nearest Public House (which often gives them a cut of the higher fees charged to adventurers from outside the region).


Most shipping is done using a 10-foot-wide, 20-foot-long wooden box that can be opened along any side.

Containers are fitted with removable wheels that store in slots along the outer walls. These wheels are usually made of metal reinforced wood, with free axles built into the base. There are six wheels for each, around four feet in diameter, strongly built. The containers all have struts that are raised or lowered using a ratchet system built into the walls, allowing them to be set in place by a team of four to six people quickly, and allowing the wheels to be used on either ends or sides, depending on which direction they want to move the container.

There are designs for this box that vary according to what is going into one (including designs for a double stateroom for passenger craft such as cutters), but the dimensions do not change. Containers are built with ballast to help them float should they be lost at sea, but this is not always a certainty. Each major merchant has a seal they use to secure their own goods, and the Guilds are very particular about ensuring cargo is moved readily and easily and traceable.

The story goes that containers have been used for as long as there have been people – and vehicles are designed around them, including Water, Air, and Land vehicles.

Ramps are used in all ports for moving them around, often little more than large platforms that rest on two wheels on a free axle. Skyships typically carry them in slings and moorings beneath the ship, Sailing craft and riverboats on the broad decks, and the Train is little more than a conveyance for them supported and hauled along by the Enjin.

The Waters of Wyrlde

Wyrlde’s ships are designed along similar methods, with all the larger vessels capable of long voyages in rough seas. While some of the more specialized craft may employ a wheel, the mainline ships of Wyrlde are all sailing craft. While there are some, rare few, single hulled ships on Wyrlde, the vast majority are one, two, or three deck multihull ships and vessels, and have been for well over a thousand years. It is said that the very first ships on Wyrlde were the twin hulled ones.

Although a five hulled ship is being built, the overwhelming baseline for nearly all ships is a two or three hulled form, the hulls always the same size, and on larger ships they function as quarters and crew storage and provisioning as well. On smaller ships or boats, the deck could be little more than canvas or some planks. These ships have up to three rudders, and as many as four masts. Ships of Wyrlde are built using only a few methods, in part because they are traditional and handed down generationally, also in part because it has been a challenge to make improvements. There are a few broad categories of them, discussed below. Ships are primarily built of wood, using an interlocking part system, often sealed by a combination of pitch and other substances, and often having the ability to break out immense oars.

On Wyrlde, there are two broad divisions of watercraft: Rivercraft and Seacraft. Ships are the larger of each and Boats are the smaller – a boat is said to be a craft for fewer than a dozen. All the Ships and Boats of Wyrlde have a normal speed of around 25 knots, with some reaching as high as 60 knots. This makes them quick – they can sail from Eastier to Vendia in a day.

It is said that the Argo, the massive five hulled monstrosity commissioned by the Adventurer’s Guild, has five masts. However, it is expected to crew a thousand and survive a journey few are expected to return from: it may take a decade more before they are ready, but they plan to circumnavigate the world.


Tradeships are broad, double decked ships built to carry the large, removable wheel containers that are used in most mercantile efforts. They have a foredeck and a raised aft deck, with crew quarters aft and leadership fore. They are usually double masted, though the larger ones out of Sibola and Aztlan — typically a third again as big – have a third mast and midquarters. They need a crew of 15 to 25. They are divided into Barges, Galleons, and Schooners. A typical Barge can hold 8 containers, a Galleon 16 containers, and a Schooner can carry 24 containers. Loading these ships is considered a fine art, and they would rather travel light, as even a little overweight can cause capsizing.


Coreships are single or double masted Boats and a kind of Ship that make up most private and support craft. Able to be crewed by 3 to 10 people, they are divided into Yachts, Fishers, and Cutters. Cutters for passenger carrying can hold 4 containers, 8 containers, or 12 containers.


Transport by water is still the main method of most trade and travel among the Bright Lands. On the full-scale map of Wyrlde, there are several rivers shown. These are navigable, and while some smaller ones are as well, it is on these magnificent rivers that you will find the Riverboats.

A Riverboat comes in two general sorts: Sail and Wheel. Sailboats are the smaller of the two, used often by small traders and families as homes and storefronts. They will almost always be twin hulled, very low to the water, with never more than two masts (fore and mid).

The Wheelboats are three hulled, the distinguishing feature for all of them is that they are wide, with shallow drafts, and each hull could possibly be pierced to support a massive water wheel driven by a magical engine. Typically, there will be one large wheel, situated in the rear of the central hull, with rudders on the out hulls, though for larger, three wheeled boats, they will have a central rudder set forwards of the wheel.

The Oar Wheel. The Oar wheel is a large round wheel that has several slightly warped and tilted panels all around it that act as oars. Paddle wheels are what powers the Riverboats up and down the rivers. There is no sail on Wheelboats. The Wheel is what impels them, and the secret of the making of it is lost in the depths of Qivira. Some say that within the Wheel is a man or a group of men who turn the wheel by running. Others say it is some form of magic. I have heard that the real truth is between the two – that Qiviran Mages have created golems that move the great wheel and so power the large boats.

Riverboats are named so because they do not venture into the open sea – they are never out of sight of land, and during storms they will tie up wherever they are. Riverboats – and any other kind of river going vessel, are Boats, not Ships, and sailors are quick to remind people of that. Even the largest of Riverboats will avoid challenging the open sea, though many will play the waters of the Sea of Tears.


The smallest and most basic of crafts – skiffs they are called as a group, but they are Kayak, Kanoo, Dingy, and Skiph.

A true Skiph is a small private one room shack on a small single hulled vessel – often with an outrigger that can be raised and lowered, and always a single mast.

A Dingy is a single hulled, shallow draft, wide in the middle and pointed at the front, usually flat at the back with a rudder, and lacking a stabilizing bit. Most ships have one or two aboard, for when they need to get to a shore or the tides are wrong for docks, or even just to fish. They are generally able to seat up to 10 people, and moved by oars, usually four per dingy.

A Kanoo is a small craft for up to four people, usually run by one, that has no rudder, only oars. They are shallow, long, narrow, and as simple as it can get. They are often used by raiding groups in piracy between ships, and they are light – sometimes little more than a covering over a frame.

A Kayak is a single person, single hull boat driven by oar power. For some reason, they are always associated with recreation, and not used widely in the Empire, but it is said that they are sometimes fitted with outriggers by Islanders and used extensively thee. I would think they would be handy for river travel, but I get boat sick, so who knows.

I was once asked where the lifeboats were on a ship by another incarnate. I replied, truthfully, that there are no lifeboats on Wyrlde. If you can’t get in one of the skiffs that are used for everything, then you won’t have a lifeboat. I hope they have some on that Argos. And what a weird name – it seems familiar, but I just can’t place why.


Warships are triple masted, large vessels, with most of them using a double or triple hull system to provide stable firing platforms. They often have two to four decks, and some of them are fitted for rowing. They have a crew complement of 20 to 60. Warships are divided into Battleships, Destroyers, and Frigates.


Warships do not have cannon on Wyrlde. They use catapults on occasion, usually hurling some form of burning material, but most of it is done using ballistae. Able to fire lances, balls, bombs, and the like, they are the principal weapon of not only sailing craft, but Skyships and battlecraft as well.

Ballistae range in size from the scorpion-like large crossbow to massive weapons that can hurl a forty-pound stone at over two hundred miles an hour using metal springs.

The Skyships

Going only from City to City where there is a Gantry – a tall, stone and wood building typically five stories high containing a lift, stairs, and limited amenities – the various Skyships that fly out from Akadia are a universe to themselves. The Skyships vary in size from small private craft, typically owned by the wealthy and nobility, to the vast monstrosities that are reportedly able to fend off the Dragons themselves, the size of what we would call football fields.

The Skyships are often described as being held aloft by large fabric bags of special airs, though not all of them have such, and while Skyships were used to devastating effect a thousand years ago, it has taken many centuries to recover the secrets that allowed them to return to the skies.

Because that history is still well known, Skyships are not always trusted, and looked on with suspicion by most folks. It is rumored that there are pirates, but no one would confess to such, and the Gantries are well controlled, so even if there were, where would they dock?

They provide trade between the rebels calling themselves Lemuria, Aztlan, Sibola, Quivira, Qivira, and Dorado, but do not travel to Durango, where they are outlawed, or Lyonese, where they are likely to be stolen.

Akadia is the home of the Skyships, and the place where they were reborn. There, the House of Skye controls them, and strives to be as controlling as their competition on the ground.

Wizard candidates share a common experience of having ridden in one of them. Sadly, they also often share the experience of those who failed the tests while traveling exiting them while in transit. The Wizards of Wyrlde are often not the folks people think of them, and while the Training is not particularly abusive, the being discovered and brought there can be and is often traumatic.

Gantries are found in Akadia, Gateway, Sibola, Aztlan, Durango, Lyonese, Karovia, Dalovia, Darkdale, Bluier, Souton, Chenmar, and Haldes.

Skyships come in five sizes:


The small and light creations used frequently by Arch Wizards and the wealthiest of nobility are Skyships that can seat a few, never more than five. Most are very personalized.


Cruisers are the purely passenger-based ones, that never carry more than a dozen passengers and perhaps a single Container. They often have armed guards who ride upon the deck whilst the passengers ride within the single hull of the craft in well-appointed cabins.


Merchanters are the workhorses, hauling freight and goods around at a speed that is competitive with the Train, albeit at a higher cost. Used most often for luxury goods.


Akadia is sworn to always come to the defense of Sibola, though they do not necessarily respond to the defense of the Empire. War Skyships are bristling with not only terrifying weapons, but also entire contingents of Battlemages.

Land Based Vehicles

We’ve made much of the more incredible and costly ways of travel and shipping, but there are also the more common and regular forms as well.

Containers themselves are able to be set up to be drawn by a team, linked together to form Convoys that were likely the inspiration for the Train. Many merchants will transport their goods through this, but the size of the containers makes it somewhat challenging for long journeys across rough terrain.

They also don’t do much for the average person, who may not be able to afford a personal riding horse. Most people have a pair of draft animals, used to pulling carts or plows, or perhaps oxen or related beasts of burden. What they have for those are a few different types of Wains.

A wain is a type of horse- or oxen-drawn, load-carrying vehicle, used primarily for agricultural purposes but sometimes for transporting people. Wains can have two or four or even six wheels.

The Train

One of the most unusual forms of land transport, and a major mercantile partner, is The Train.

Owned and operated by the Posse of Rails, the Doradan Train is the wonder of the world, and has changed all manner of things while also creating a host of unforeseen problems.

Starting in Dorado, doing a circuit that touches on several Towns and Cities, the Trains of Dorado are wholly owned by the Posse of Rails, one member of whom is the Duke of Dorado. The Posse employs Eld gunslingers to defend the Train, but there are also the Greymen who are known to pursue thieves and vagabonds to the end of the earth, and are often former adventurers themselves, often armed with magical and even legendary gear.

There are no tracks. The Train snakes through the world often by following roads, and hovers about 24 inches above the ground on average through some sort of effort that only the Posse of Rails knows, much like only the Skye know how to make the skyships and the Durangan Syndicates know how to make their moveable coaches.

There are two Trains running throughout the world, and each Train carries at least one Dynamo and as many as three dozen carriages. The Dynamo is the part that pulls the train along and is one of the largest things built on land – rivaled only by the Sandships. Most of those carriages are filled with trade goods, but at least one carriage always has passengers, typically the wealthiest.

Once a Train is moving, it only stops in the Waystations and Cities along its route – some of which have sprung up entirely around it being there. There is always a stop coming, always a schedule to keep. The Train is made of wood and stone imbued and ingrained with a hundred different spells – including anti-magic ones. The most controversial locations are the two large Depots, complete with non-guild Inns, like villages unto themselves, a piece of Dorado far from home.

The Waystations of Wyrlde are: Dorado, Dream Depot (located along the River of Dreams), Fortton, Chenmar, Qivira, Sedimar, Lyonese, Halnes, Mount Depot (located about 200 miles south of Shadowdale in the Blue Valley), Shadowdale, Durango, Daleovia, and just shy of Sibola. There is a spur being built, the first of them, that will head southwest to Aztlan and expected to be completed in about four more years.

Depots are fortified structures, usually self-sufficient, with Posse members stationed there for entire cycles of the train. Both are seen as challenging different kingdoms, but no one has taken action yet, as they are almost exclusively concerned by the Train – though each is said to have a garrison of up to 250.

Still, that much potential wealth, no matter how fast it is moving, tends to attract those who want a piece of it for themselves. Even more so since one of the reasons for it being so favored is that it is described as safer than a caravan, and able to carry much more.

Each Dynamo on a Train, the lead carriage, has a Paladin who follows the Order of Eld, a Master Wizard or similar, and 10 men-at-arms called Greymen for the long grey coats they wear. They are outfitted with ballistae and the front is equipped with an adamant wedge.

A single Carriage interior is typically twelve feet wide by thirty-six feet long and twelve feet high. The walls of a given carriage are usually around four inches thick. They can carry a lot of cargo.

Being able to move much faster than a single person on a mount, the Train is often a way to travel across large chunks of the planet, but it is not the only way. Of all the forms of Travel, there is none faster: the train can travel 100 miles an hour.

There are two trains, and they make a circuit so that when one is in Dorado, the other is in Sibola. It takes about 6 weeks to travel the full circuit one way, so everything is organized in 3 month sets for round trips. Compare this to the one third as fast ships, or the half as fast skyships.


The Sand Sea of Dorado is an immense, mostly hostile place which is loved for the many rare minerals and other things of value found within it. However, it is a brutal place, hot and dry, and water is rare and precious, and food is scarce. The sand is like a sharp-edged powder, finer than beach sand or sea sand, clingy and gritty. Travel in it is often compared to travel in the snow.

Take a Cutter. Modify the two hulls to be akin to broad skis of a strange “v” shape that can flex flat, with thick struts supporting them the length of the ship. Add sails in a half circle around the whole, rectangular instead of triangle or squares, supported by thinner, flexible masts that can be folded up into a large column midship. Give them bright colors, contrasting with the terrain. Now let it travel as fast as 20 miles an hour over that sand. That is a Sandship.

Drawn Vehicles


A bullock is a large, four wheeled wain typically pulled by oxen.

It conventionally includes a sturdy wooden tongue between the wheels, a yoke connecting the pair of oxen, a wooden platform for passengers or cargo, and large steel rimmed wooden wheels.


A wagon is a largish four or six wheeled vehicle, featuring a hauling area and heavy-duty wheels covered by a set of suspension ribs over which a canvas cover it tightly wrapped to protect cargo and such from weather. Deep and tall sided, they are the primary way most farmers haul the fruits of their labors to market, and often will have an attached awning or a supportive cart.


A buckboard is a is a four-wheeled wagon meant to be drawn by a horse or other large animal. A utility vehicle, the buckboard has no springs between the body and the axles. The suspension is provided by the flexible floorboards of the body and a leaf spring under the seat. The buckboard has no sideboards on the body, leaving the floor quite mobile, or has ones that can be attached and are low and meant to flex. In rough terrain, the floor can flex and “buck”, lending the vehicle its name.


A carriage is an open or fabric frame topped four wheeled vehicle pulled by one or two animals (usually horses). Carriages can be a bit bumpy and can be tricky to maneuver in tight spaces but are the used for transport of people.


A coach is a team drawn covered vehicle with four wheels and sometimes a complex suspension and having large, widely spaced wheels that operate with a limited degree of independent movement affects by the size of the compartment. Coaches have a driver mounted high, above the team, and often a trunk in which packages or gear can be stored. They will have a door on each side, and two to six windows. Coaches carry people, not cargo.


A Buggy is a one or two seat, single horse drawn, two wheeled vehicle with an open front and shade cover, often with a window in the back. Some Buggies have a small area for luggage or perhaps a single bay of Hay behind the buggy cover. Buggies are affordable and popular.

Clockwork Carriage

Durango has strange contraptions that are clockwork based. They are set on four wheels, rectangular with a squarer top. They have windows that can be lowered, and the top is permanent for the protection from weather. They can seat four comfortably.

In the front is a hood that can be raised where a large, typically black, sealed box sits, with a hole in the center of it. A large key is inserted into this and turned to wind the clockworkings and enable the carriage to move without the use of something to pull or push it beyond the black box.

A single winding is good for up to 50 miles, and they can achieve speeds as fast as a galloping horse on cobbled streets.


A cart is a two wheeled, pushed or pulled standing vehicle often hauled around by a single person that can be of many different designs depending on the needs of the cart owner. Many are used for preparing street food, or hawking wares at markets, or even by peddlers making their way through small Hamlets or Villages


Corfs are specific to the Exilian and their nomadic style of living. Part tent, part wagon, and part coach, a Corf will carry all the belongings of a family or individual and the tools and means by which they make their living. A Exilian made coach is often considered among the best, as they have learned over the decades living in these small, cramped, tight little wains how to maximize space, reduce jarring and bumping, and handle rough weather.

Military Organization

The militaries of Wyrlde can be roughly divided up into five kinds of service: Infantry, Cavalry, Naval, Air, and Logistics. While not every realm has an established or standing military force, an agreement was forged at the Convocation about twelve years ago among all of them to standardize the ranks and units (except for the number of people in a squad or the nature of those serving). This has proven useful on many occasions and helped ease some of the potential conflicts, especially with the presence of the assorted p0licing forces.

Unit structures

The base unit is the Squad. The Squad may or may not be broken down into two or more sub-groups, but it is the base unit that the realms deal with. A Squad is the same across all the types of military force – it is the smallest complement on a ship, and the core team for a logistical group. The name for a squad leader can vary greatly, but the most common leaders of a squad are Sergeants and within a squad are Corporals.

Five Squads form a Company. A Captain always leads a Company. A Company is usually what mans a warship and is the standard infantry formation.

Five Companies form a Cohort. A Major leads a Cohort. For many realms, a Cohort is the unit that oversees patrols and security. The logistical Cohorts always have a wizard or similar spellcaster attached to them.

Five Cohorts form a Legion. For most realms, this is the largest group that can be assembled at once. Legions will usually have a Cohort of Logistics, Infantry, and Cavalry assigned together. Naval Legions are sometimes called a battlegroup and include several ships (one per company plus a Flagship) and will always include coordination, as will air groups.

Five Legions form an Army or an Armada. An Army is a ground-based group, an Armada is an air and sea-based group. Armies are overseen by Generals; Armadas are overseen by Admirals. Armies are rare to see – Sibola has two standing Armies, which is considered rude and unnecessarily threatening — while most major Realms have at least an Armada.

Camp Followers are forcefully discouraged.

The Battlecraft of Wyrlde

Battlecraft come in three rough categories, each with three different kinds. These are used in warfare, which is slowly becoming more common on Wyrlde.

Siege Engines

These are usually divided into Sappers, Towers, and Rams. These are primarily designed for defense of the soldiers within them as they approach the walls or ram the gates or dig the tunnels to bring down the walls. All are wheeled craft, capable of being drawn by large teams, armored with stone or clay plating over a metal layer bound to wood. Siege engines are all set up to be rapidly deployed using a standard module system that also allows them to be stored in one or two Containers for movement.

Field Engines

Field Engines are grouped into Artillery, Carriages, and Emplacements. These are weapons that are used to attack and destroy opponents. Emplacements are easily disassembled large weapons – catapults and related items – that are hauled in on wagon trains usually ten to fifteen wagons long. They are very rarely used, and thus far only Sibola seems to have any.

Artillery is usually large-scale scorpions and ballistae, set on wheeled platforms that have complex systems of movement for fine tuning the positioning vertically or horizontally while also ensuring level. The typical one can hurl a 45-pound shot or spear a good four hundred yards and with enough force to penetrate stone less than six inches thick or metal less than three. Two to four of these can usually be loaded into a Container.

Carriages are solidly built wagons that have a large protective housing for the team of four that pulls them, a protective encasement around the wagon proper which houses four to six ballistae, and enough space for the team of six to twelve that operates it. They are large vehicles, built on the same mold as the Container, and they use a peculiar axle system that allows each wheel to move independently. The wheels are spiked, and the teams must be specially trained – a typical carriage will have three teams per day for the operation of one over a six to ten-hour day.

Logistical craft

Carriers, Support, and Medical wagons comprise the rest here. When battle is certain or the area is thought to be under attack, the Carriers will come into play. Each carrier is a large wagon drawn by a team of six to eight that can carry up to twenty soldiers and their gear.

Support craft include the field kitchen and flag corps, as well as the Camp Team. Usually six wheeled, these are just larger than usual wagons with special designs to enable the work to be done quickly, or to haul the Containers.

Medical wagons are always marked by a large white triangle with a large red circle in it. They house healers, barbers, and surgeons, as well as their equipment.

One thing common to all Logistical craft is that they are built in the same fashion as Containers (see Sails of Wyrlde) and can be moved wholesale by any of the major transport systems.


Most cities have at least two theaters, and most towns have at least one, with villages a more hit or miss proposition easily solved through a portable stage. Beyond the traditional performing arts, however, there are many other forms of entertainment and diversion, but none so utterly captivating as The Grand Games.

Card Games

There are several card games that are known (gofis and oldenmad being the most popular children’s games) among the world. Each is slightly different and what makes for even more interest is that they may be played with any of the decks that are used.

Size and Shape

All cards have rounded corners, usually made of a very thick paper or a very light wood or coated metal. Cards are 5 fingers tall and 3 fingers wide.


Back: Cards typically have complex designs on the back of each card, that are the same across all cards. Backs are printed first and meant to make them all the same.

Fields: Most cards designs have a standard, simple field on the face, with many using the field for some artistic effort that makes the cards worth something. Typical inexpensive decks have blank fields. Commissioned decks will have elaborate designs. Across the field will be the suit symbol, and there will always be at least one row of small dots, or pips. The pips denote the value of the card, always from zero to 9, that usually run down the left and right edges of each card, though some older decks actually spread them out across the field. The current fashion is to have them in an ornate border that runs around the card.


There are seven commonly used decks. One is familiar to anyone who came from elsewhere called an Ancient (52 cards, four suits, Ace to King). Another is the strange and peculiar TÆROE deck, which is used in divination and also as a set of trump cards in certain games played among the nobility. The other five are assorted decks created for a variety of reasons.

The Imperial Deck is the one mandated as the de facto deck. It has ties and links to many of the world’s aspects, with each suit being a representation of a particular realm. Each Suit has nine Court cards, ten pip cards, and one Rascal card, which is a wild card that can shift an entire game. It is an immense deck of 134 cards, as a result, and is used in professional gambling and sponsored events.

The Elemental Deck is somewhat different. Pip cards are 0 to 5, there are 6 court cards per suit (12 cards total), for 60 cards per deck. It is used in several small group cluster games, where the goal of play is to collect clusters with as many court cards as possible. This deck does not feature any representations of people. There is a “secret suit” to this deck called Song, which brings the total up to 72 cards and acts as a master trump suit.

The Field Deck is also lacking any representation of people, but are often some of the most beautiful of the cards, as they are intended to reflect the natural world. Five suits, four court cards each, pip cards are 0 to 5, so 10 cards per suit, 60 cards total. It is plant themed and considered a mark of honor to design one that is loved.

The Hearth Deck, also called a home deck or a workman’s deck, has four suits, five Court cards, full pip cards (15 cards per suit), with each Envoy card being a double suit card, and having a complement. This 60-card deck is the most commonly used one. Faces usually have a blank field. All games can and have been played with a hearth deck.

The Passage Deck is used in games of two to four players and is typically found among combat units or military teams. It is also a common gift among those who spent many cold nights on watch. The Passage deck has three suits, each with six court cards and full pips (16 cards per suit), for 48 cards total. Passage decks are used in a peculiar game that places emphasis on protecting your Kings.

Court Cards: All decks have a set of Court cards, that comprise the cards past 9. Each of the decks has a different set of Court, and it is said that some decks are extremely magical, fashioned to consist of entirely Court cards. Court Cards are variable according to the deck in use, and a list of them is below.

Passage Deck Hearth Deck Field Deck Elemental Deck Imperial Deck
Shield Cup Leaf Rock Crown
Baton Bell Rose Water Star
Sword Tile Daisy Wind Flower
Heart Clover Candle Dagger
Acorn Spark Cloud
(Song) Coin
Passage Hearth Field Elemental Imperial
King King Lion Queen Emperor
Viceroy Queen Bear Deputy King
Marshal Heir Wolf Guardian Queen
Captain Marshal Deer Heir Viceroy
Sergeant Envoy Knave Marshal
Corporal Envoy Heir


While there are many games played with cards, some have risen to the point of such great popularity and enjoyment that they are the de facto standards.

For Children:

Gofis and Oldenmad are popular children’s games also played by adults. Chicory says that the actual names are Go Fish and Old Maiden, and while one makes some sense, the other is bizarre. How can a maiden be old?


Cards are cut for dealer. Each player gets 10 cards, remainder is set for Draw. Dealer plays first, dropping lowest card. Another player either drops lowest higher card or draws. Hand plays until one person runs out of cards.

Points awarded by either number of court cards taken or number of hands won. A game has no end. Gambling happens based on an agreed-on value to either points or hands. Often played to kill time.


The game in favor on the riverboats. The massive Imperial deck is used for this normally, but smaller groups of players can and have used smaller decks. On the riverboats, a common table will use two decks.

On riverboats, the House is dealer. Dealers cannot bet. The goal is to have the highest ranked or Point hand, and bets are made throughout the process. Points are equal to the card face, with court cards always counting for 11, the Rascal stealing 10 points from the hand. Ranking is based on rarity of the hand, and the highest ranks are for sequential cards of the same suit with a full straight of six Court cards all of the same suit the highest Ranked in Straight Games and six cards of the same rank across different suits being the highest in Court Games.

Rascals always steal 10 points, and do not count towards the Court, being Rascals.

Cards are dealt deftwise (to the right) face down, one at a time. Dealer card is dealt face up. Players then bet against each other and the showing card of the dealer. A second card is dealt like the first, and betting commences. A card is dealt to all players face up, called their hole card, and the dealer’s card is face down. Betting then goes around, and no one can pass or drop. A fourth and fifth card are dealt, betting after each, face down. The last round is two cards, one face up, one face down, for a total of seven cards for each, with five cards in each hand unseen and two cards seen, except the dealer who has two cards unseen and five seen. The dealer cannot look at those facedown cards.

At any point except the third card, a player can pass their bet to the next person (only going around once) but if they pass, they must match highest existing bet. If they drop, they are out of that hand (sometimes called folding) and forfeit any existing bets.

Once all bets are done, Show happens starting to the left of the dealer (daftwise) and going around, with dealer showing left. The highest hand wins the pool, including the dealer.

The tension, excitement, release cycle can be extremely attractive to many people, and folks have been known to make themselves broke.

There are variants to Pahka, but they are rarely played for money.


Chasen is played with the Passage deck. Dealer is determined by lowest card in the cut.

Each player bids for a King to set the pot. The remaining Kings are removed and set as the initial play onto which the draw card is lain, the deck is shuffled, and each player is dealt 9 cards, and the remainder are set for a Draw.

The top draw card is turned, and play passes daftwise (to the left), with dealer last. The goal is to go under the pip card that is shown. Not being able to go under means a draw. Court cards require going over the court card shown. Not being able to means a draw. Playing a King means a loss.

If the Draw is emptied, then all but the top card are collected, shuffled, and reset as the draw. Play continues until only one player remains with a king – but it does not need to be the king they started with. The winner collects the pot.

This game is very old, and many will speak to historical games, as the play goes quick, but has strategy built throughout. It is a military game at its core, with the goal of using up your troops while protecting your leadership, and calling up reserves, and is said to reflect the turn of battle on the field.

Tile Games


Where I came from, we played a game called Chess. Kress is very much like chess. It is played on a board that has a large, square, central area from which just two narrow areas one segment narrower than the board. The board is divided into a grid of equal size, 12 spaces to a side, 144 spaces in total, with the protrusions having two rows that are ten spaces wide and two spaces deep.

Each side is color coded, and up to four people can play at once. The most common colors are Black, Blue, Brown, and Red. Starting is always determined by the color chosen: Red first, Brown second, Black third, Blue last. The tiles, themselves are two sided, and each player receives 20 tiles.

Tiles are round, marked with a symbol on one side and a different symbol on the other. One face of the tiles is always a white, the other is always a light yellow, with the symbols being emblazoned in the colors for each side.

Each side gets one Crown, one Queen, two Bishops, four Knights, and two Towers. These are the Hearth pieces. Each side also has Field pieces: two Squires, two Merchants, and six Pawns. The Hearth order is always T/K/B/K/Q/C/K/B/K/T. The Field order can be any.

The Crown can move one space. The Queen can move anywhere as long as she is not blocked. Bishops move diagonally. Knights move in a peculiar L pattern of two forward and one to the side. Towers can only move in a straight direction. Squires can move to any square within two of them. Merchants can move to any square within three of them, but not the ones immediately attached to them. Pawns can move one space in any direction.

Crowns are defeated by any Pawn or Queen; they defeat any other piece. Queens are defeated by any Merchant, Knight, or Bishop, they defeat any other piece. The rank of the others determines their defeat or success, with highest first: Bishop, Knight, Squire, Merchant, Pawn. On a defeat, the victor can choose to Hold, or Turn. On a hold, they claim the piece. On a turn, they gain what is on the yellow side. However, if a Turn piece reveals an Envoy, the defeated player gets an additional turn immediately.

A game board will have 144 tiles. The white side will be marked according to the Sides, the obverse will be marked with a random assortment, but always include five Envoys, who never appear on the white side. Yellow sides have two additional pieces, Corsair and Envoy. There are always five Corsairs and Five Envoys. Corsairs can defeat anything but a Knight or a Merchant. Envoys can defeat any piece but a Merchant or a Bishop. The rest of the yellow side pieces are going to be Knights, Merchants, or Pawns. 14 of them will be Knights, 15 will be Merchants, 5 will be Flowers, which halt that piece, as they cannot move, defeat, or be defeated. The rest will be Pawns (100). Each bag will have 2 of each of the Hearth for each color and two each of the Field for each color. The rest of the white faces will be pawns. The markings on the yellow are random within the following limits: no yellow may duplicate its white, no Crown may have a yellow other than a Pawn or a Flower, no yellow/white may duplicate another yellow/white except for Pawns, no Crown may be on yellow, and no white Knight may be a yellow Flower. The making of the tiles is almost always a secret among those who do – and none of them do their tiles in the same way except as per above rules.

Play continues until only one player remains or until only one Crown is left on the board. Notably, there is no checkmate, though there can be a draw, even if it is rare. Kress boards fold up into small boxes that hold the bag with the tiles.


These are small tiles that I once called dominoes and got looked at funny for doing so. It became even more humorous for me because they were playing a game of dominoes. They play both the Block and the Draw forms, with two to four players. One big difference is that no tiles here are double six, and no tiles have a six-pip section. They only go to five, because six is an unlucky number.

Dice Games

Dice games use small cubes marked with pips to represent 0 to 5. Again, six is considered an unlucky number.


Each player bets on the number of the next roll of a single die. They can choose to also bet the number will be Low (0, 1, or 2) or High (3, 4, or 5). After bets, one person rolls. That person cannot bet, and usually serves as the Hole. Winnings are divided by both exact number sharing half, and high/low sharing half. Some variations do not allow a high low, but this mostly in poor places and with unskilled players. After each roll, the Hole moves to the right.

Kasina Hilo

In gambling houses, they roll multiple dice, with each die getting a bet – and the Hole winning whenever the total of the rolled dice is 6. This variant is called Kasina.


Two dice are used here, with the Hole allowed to bet alongside everyone on the first die, but not on the second die which is done in a second roll. The Hole passes to the right after every second roll.


In this game, two, four, or six dice are used, in three colors. Bets are placed on the Hole rolling one, two, or three Sevens on matching dice. One can also bet on how many sevens will be rolled, including none. The Hole gets to roll Seven Times, then it passes to the right.

Grand Games

Where people go, so too goes the need for competitive sport. On Wyrlde, there are a few different kinds of Grand Games, and each is very much a part of everyday life.

500 years ago, the Black Emperor ordered that there be built a grand and great Stadium in Sibola and granted to his eight Dukes the right to found and train and prepare Vanguards. And from that humble beginning arose The Grand Games, the Spectacles, the Show of Shows, the one thing that has overwhelmed all other entertainments in the Empire – and even beyond, for even Antilia has built a Stadium.

A Stadium is a vast, oval building that typically rises five, seven, or even nine stories high. Made of vast blocks of stone, they can vary in decoration and manner, but are set up so that one can enter from twenty-five marked points at the ground level and make one’s way up the many ramps to the different levels. The levels are important, for the wealthiest have large terraces on the third level, regardless of the height, and the first level is reserved for the assorted participants in these shocking and stunningly varied games. All the other levels are set for those who can afford seating, which is typically in a small are called a box, with four seats to each space, and beyond that they are packed tight. In the very tall ones, the seating is little more than a bench that surrounds the entire thing, for those who are the poorest but still want to partake in the viewing.

There are other places, as well – smaller, fashioned of wood more often, typically around 3 stories tall, with the nobility and participants all crammed into the same first level. While the vast City Stadiums can hold as many 30,000 people (nearly half to a third of a city!), these smaller ones can hold perhaps one to two thousand.

All of them share a few traits in common though – originally as part of an Imperial decree (that was immediately flouted by Aztlan), but today more a formalized aspect because of complaints from the guilds. First is the size of them. A Stadium is oval in shape, 500 feet wide and 700 feet long. Within it lies what on the surface appears to be an Arena that is also oval, 300 feet wide and 500 feet long. The Arena is surrounded by a seven-foot-high wall, beyond which is a seven foot wide, double that deep trench, above which rises the seating are, with the first ring of seats also having stairs that descend at 25 points that do not match the entrances, being slightly rotated. The “stands”, or seating area, is divided into 25 sections as well, and within each section are either marked boxes or general seating, depending on the level.

Beneath the arena, which in its most basic form appears to be little more than polished stone tiles, lies the warren of rooms, passages, chambers, secrets, ways, means, and places to turn this massive place into all manner of possible environments, and a small army of people to not only make it all work, but to do it on time in sequence. It is said that the art of clockworking began here, and that some of the amazing clockworks one can buy of grand games are derived from the massive wheels and cogs and levers and what not that allow the entire are to be changed. Sand can be moved out to cover the floor, grass can be raised, the whole thing can be flooded, and more.

Situated about halfway along the length of the Arena are two large entrances, typically about 25 feet high and 25 feet wide. These massive openings are sealed by immense doors that can open in sections as needed, from something the size of a person up to something the size of a great ship.

The top of each Stadium is ringed with long poles that are connected to a vast ring, and within the ring is a grid of triangles arranged to support both ropes and pulleys and chains and other items, but also that supports a series of narrow walkways that cross and provide further capabilities beneath the grid. Above, the grid supports large sheets of waterproofed canvas, which also hangs over the seating areas, though less rigidly, Water from rain is always collected, however – it provides the best source for the aquatic spectaculars and is stored in cisterns beneath the building. Vast fires and other features exist, including ritual spaces for the workers who help to shape the events that are possibly the most important entertainment in all of Wyrlde.

Lighting is made possible through carefully placed movable mirrors that right upper walls, above the heads of the highest level of spectators. These are manned and moved throughout the day for lighting effects and to ensure that the whole of the Arena is well lit. The larger boxes and nobility patios all have additional lighting as well.

Stadiums are laid out along a compass line, and at one end of the stadium, slightly overhanging the very edge of the Arena, is the Imperial Box, though really it is just called that because of the one in Sibola. It is a small pavilion, able to seat about thirty or so, but is the place for the ruler of the area to sit and enjoy the entertainment.

While the Stadiums themselves are incredibly structures, based on very ancient designs, they are themselves only one of the many wonders that surround the Grand Games.

Grand Games are held in every city and town, and some villages that have built one, every 10th and 24th of the month. They are held even if there is a local festival – they just end up becoming combined, and the truth is most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The night of the 9th and the morning of the 11th (and the same for the 23rd and 25th) there is a festival like atmosphere, with betting, celebrations, parties, vendors selling food and banners – it is an experience in and of itself, and the Circle of Lanterns is known to run some very interesting deals. Entire lives are planned around these games.

Each Stadium has five to nine, and traditionally eight, though one is always considered lower and an upstart and unworthy, official Campuses, and these are where the peculiar arts of entertainment are taught apprenticed, built up, and sometimes even housed. In the earliest years, these campuses included a barracks, a training field, and tutors, all derived and supported by the Dukes. These days, while nobility is still involved in many cases, they are often owned, run, and operated by patrons or well-connected merchants.

For the poor, enrollment in a Campus offers a trade, regular food, housing of sorts and a fighting chance of fame and fortune. If they are not able to work as Vanguards, they may find trade and new skills as one of the hundreds who supported the games, which happen with little failure on a schedule and persist enough that one can make a very respectable living.

The Grand Games are advertised well beforehand, on billboards that gave the planned main events for the games, the Curator of the Stadium, the participating Campuses and their most famous or infamous members, date, and the number of paired Vanguards to be used. The cost for a seat can vary from 2 Bits for a bench seat at the top where one might get a nosebleed or neck cramp looking down, to a full crown if you can get a noble to give up their box.

Other highlighted features could include details of featured beasts to be shown or slain, executions, music and any luxuries to be provided for the spectators, such as an awning against the sun, water sprinklers, food, drink, sweets and occasionally “door prizes”. For enthusiasts and gamblers, a more detailed program was distributed on the day before, showing the names, types and match records of Vanguard pairs, and their order of appearance.

There is absolutely no question that the Vanguards are the stars of the show when it comes to the Grand Games. Skilled, trained, fierce, cunning, creative, and known to be able to cleave through entire forces almost singlehanded, there are few who would say that they do not deserve it, for while they are best known for their martial prowess, their true skill is still and always a gift for showmanship.

They are not, however, the only thing that happens at the Grand Games, for they are a constant, ongoing competition that ultimately ends in the weeklong Imperial Games held in Sibola every anniversary of the Emperor’s ascension. This is currently Meadow 15th. A Grand Cycle, where the competitors vie to move forward in rankings, is two years, and so after an average of two dozen Games, their particular aspect of performance is honed to a fine edge. This can be important, especially for many of the more unusual side events.

Where I came from originally, I remember some odd things, though they are often vague and seem quite strange. But among them are county fairs, carnivals, circuses, olympics, and craft shows. The Grand Games are a lot like all those things thrown together at once. With brutal contests of assorted types added in.


Anyone can enter the games, but everyone must pay a fee of 1 Shilling per event entered into. One need not be a member of a Campus, and one can enter as a team – so long as each member of the team is paid for. Entrants must specify which events they are entering and are walked to the areas for them to await, where they are typically attended by rather burly and experienced guards who have an additional role in ensuring that they do not suddenly change their minds.

Once entered, one must complete one’s event, though standing doesn’t matter.


The Grand Games start early, with announcements just before the Morning Bell and lasting until the Night Bell is rung. For some events, multiple activities will be going on at once, and for others the audience applause combined with judges is what determines a win. In events that happen around the Stadium, craftsfolk might be showing off their finest work, artisans may be competing within a given theme, and bards may be practicing or performing. I one was asked to judge the work of confectioners who had been asked to craft bouquets of flowers from little more than pure sugar and I will forever be in awe of what I saw.

At the Morning Bell’s last peal, a procession enters the arena, led by Heralds who bear the standards that signify the Sponsoring Noble and the Stadium Lord. They are followed by a small band of trumpeters playing a fanfare. Next is a group of scribes to record the outcome, and a group of Glitterati who carry the assorted wreaths, circlets, and bouquets used to honor victors. The Apprentices then enter as a retinue who carry the arms and armor to be used, and the section chiefs and Games designers as well as other folks. After them come the many assorted performers who will have a scant Chime to prove themselves, and finally they come, last no but least: The Vanguard.

This is a quick procession, marching quickly around the Arena in a single circuit before the Arena floor begins its transformation. While this happens, there is likely to be a troupe of burlesque musicians and tumblers, perhaps including a well-trained animal doing something silly in a peculiar costume, and they may even do a sort of mock version of the proceedings about to happen. These troupes will appear throughout the day, providing distraction as the Arena configures. Within the stands themselves, vendors will travel selling and providing food and drinks, baubles, flowers, and more to the spectators. As the Arena nears completion, the performers will vanish, and the Stadium Lord will announce the first event.

In a given day, there are going to be 10 Arena based events. There are 25 different kinds of events that can be held, and within each is a variety of ways in which it can be held, and Stadium Lords are often hired based on how creative they can be. Some will combine two different kinds of events, for example.

A Stadium Lord’s role is to ensure that their games are entertaining, that they are exciting, that there is something that will become memorable about them, and to please their Sponsor, typically a noble, in doing all of those things well. Public sentiment is usually a major deciding factor, and more than a few stadium Lords have been removed or penalized for a bad games.

There are five broad groupings: Blood Sports, Entertainments, Physical Prowess, Skilled Competitions, and Team Events. Events are accompanied by music, played as interludes, or building to a “frenzied crescendo” during combats to heighten the suspense during a Vanguard’s appeal; blows may be accompanied by trumpet-blasts and drum strikes, staggers accompanied by violin arpeggios. The whole is very much a production, even if the stakes and risks are very real – and those who can appeal to the crowd will find their efforts and rewards improved.

The possible kinds of events, and their subtypes in some cases, are described below.

Blood Sports

Blood Sports are the combat and martial arts battles of the Grand Games. These are the highlight of the day, and are as inventive, varied and novel as the Stadium can afford. Before the Blood Sports begin, a whole fanciful production is done to make a show of the Stadium Lord checking all the weapons to be used in the next event. It ends with the naming of the bouts. It should be noted that Blood Sports can involve several different efforts. From solo matches to outright campus grudge matches.

Battle Arts

In this format, entrants are given two sticks, one stick for offense, one for defense, and told to essentially beat the crap out of each other.

Beast Hunts

The entertainments often began with beast hunts. Meganimals and Beasts, abominations, aberrations, constructs, and horrors are all among the favorite spectacles, the brave Vanguards fighting them and taking them down.


These are often featured matches, frequently between famous Vanguards, but always one on one. Challenge match terms are agreed to beforehand by the challengers and can (and are pressured to) include death.


A free-for-all hand to hand fight that mixes boxing, kicking, and wrestling. There are only three rules: don’t bite (nobody likes a biter), don’t go for genitals, and don’t gouge out your opponent’s eyes. Everything else is fair game. Except in rare cases where a judge might intervene, the fights lasted until one person surrenders or dies.

Mage craft

Mage craft against mage craft. Note that this can include Swordmage Duels. It always features two, though each bout may be a part of a larger series. Only elemental and Force magics are allowed, and there is a ritual protective shield raised over them to safeguard.

Specialty Vanguard Events

Most Vanguard Events pair off either teams belong to a Campus, or Solos, in an assortment of possible formats. The Vanguards may hold informal warm-up matches, using blunted or dummy weapons – some Vanguard, however, may use blunted weapons throughout.

Armored Glove Boxing Blindfolded Blunt & Spiked Heavy Armored Jousting/Mounted
Knife Fighting Lasso & Spear Light Armored Medium Armored Net & Trident
Spear/Polearms Unarmored Comedic Bouts

Entertainments are set in between the other events, and feature an assortment of things meant to get the crowd excited or to entertain and have them judge the efforts of competitors.


Executions are rare, and so they tend to get a particular degree of prominence. They are exactly as it says: an execution. Often the condemned will be armed and allowed to defend themselves, n order to provide a show, but the end result is always predetermined – even if they win, they will merely be returned in 14 days time to face it again, and they will not be given medical care.

Vanguards have been involved in these as executioners, though most of the crowd, and the Vanguards themselves, prefer the “dignity” of an even contest.

Oration & Debate

Oration is a skill and typically two persons will be given a time to speak – sometimes four, with a concomitant reduction in time, as they take turns, and they are adjudged by both a panel of Scholars and by the audience applause. Usually done mid-day when people are hungry.


Performances by solo artists, troupes, and more, of almost any sort, so long as it can set up, be taken down, and done within the passage of a single Chime.


For this, they fill the arena with water, add a bunch of boats and recreate famous naval battles. These are often extremely bloody, often featuring prisoners sentenced to die if there are enough, or those desperate for a chance to get into a Campus or even make their way solo and become a Vanguard (even Apprentices), are set to fight one another with very high mortality rates, unlike many other competitions.


Reenactment of famous battles done on dry land, just like above.

Physical Prowess

These are contests held in three groupings: Men, Women, and Enby. The goal is to be the best in their group, and then the final rounds of each are done among the three winners. It is often startling to many how often a woman wins.


Gymnastics & Acrobatics on a specially designed course, with requirements for certain kinds of movements.


A competition that requires swimming running, and exercise while bearing a 75 pound pack.

Obstacle Course

An Obstacle Course that must be completed by the entrants in the time allotted – and these are very dangerous and sometimes deadly courses in the Imperial Games.


Running. Sometimes hurdles are added, sometimes the Arena is set to alter, and sometimes the contestants are armed.


Weightlifting and Throwing (lift it and throw it). The infamous Toss of Brillan Mastagar, a dwarf who hurled a 12 foot pole an astonishing 30 feet is still talked about eighty years later. A subvariant is hammer tossing.

Skilled Competitions

These competitions involve demonstrating skill and are all entrants welcome.



Axe Throwing

Throwing Axes at a target


Chariot Racing.


Hurling weights for distance and accuracy.

Knife Throwing

Throwing Knives and darts at a target.

Team Events

There are five Events that are specifically only for teams. The same Campuses often sponsor these teams, and that quite grueling.


Battleball involves a hard, round ball about eight inches in diameter that must be delivered into a “Safe zone” from the middle of the field, which spans the length of the arena. The teams are made up of 9 persons on each team, and the only rule is that no one can be hurt so bad they cannot continue or the team forfeits.

It is a shocking brutal game.


This is the game of those who are prepared to die. It is played pretty much like Burnshot, save that hips, elbows, and heads can be used as well (just no hands), and the ball is usually a semisoft, sawdust filled ball wrapped in twine and covered with leather. However, the game is played with all players having to carry two knives.


The objective here is to get the metal, six inch diameter ball through a hole on the opposing team’s side that measures 2 feet square and sits seven feet off the ground. Behind the whole is a chute that returns the ball to the field. Two, or four teams play this on a field that is 100 feet long and 100 feet wide, and often there are two bouts going at once. Teams are made up of five people, and they have to get the ball through that space only with their feet. The ball is filled with burning coals, and the game lasts exactly one Chime.


Essentially one big game of tug-of-war, played over a huge fire or mud pit. As you may have guessed, the losers either showed their cowardice by letting go, or became intimately acquainted with a roaring fire pit. The gambling on this one is huge, and it is said the penalty for allowing gaming to influence one’s actions is death. Each side is allowed up 25 players on each end of the heavy, thick rope. Both sides must be equal in both number and weight, and there are five weight categories. In the Imperial Games, the pit is said to be filled with acid. Not true. But the little fish in it may make it seem that way.


A game where a team competes with another to strike a target and score a point in the other teams territory. In six foot deep water, and the ball cannot touch the water or the team in control loses a point. This is one of the few games longer than a chime – it is typical for it to be set for two chimes.


Victors always receive Prizes, split most often with any sponsor they may have. Some of the most common prizes are feasts, weapons, items of value, items of desire, and of course, wealth. In the Imperial Games, these prizes can consist of significant sums of money – one year the grand Prize was ten Crowns, though usually they will be something less.

Prize money and gambling are at the heart of all the games, for they are what support the efforts of a Vanguard, a Campus, and patrons. Gambling is done on everything, both formally and informally, organized, and friendly.

The Vanguards

Spectators prefer to watch highly skilled, well-matched Vanguard with complementary fighting styles; these are also the costliest to train and to hire.

A general melee of several, lower-skilled Vanguards is far less costly, but also less popular. Even among the Vanguard, match winners might have to fight a new, well-rested opponent, either by prearrangement; or a “substitute” Vanguard who fought at the whim of the Stadium Lord as an unadvertised, unexpected “extra”. This yields two combats for the cost of three Vanguards, rather than four; such contests are prolonged, and in some cases, bloodier.

At the opposite level of the profession, a Vanguard reluctant to confront his opponent might be whipped, or goaded with hot irons, until he engages through sheer desperation. Combats between experienced, well-trained Vanguards demonstrate a considerable degree of stagecraft. Among the cognoscenti, bravado and skill in combat are esteemed over mere hacking and bloodshed; some Vanguards make their careers and reputation from bloodless victories.

Trained Vanguards are expected to observe professional rules of combat. Most matches employ a senior referee and an assistant to caution or separate opponents at some crucial point in the match. Referees are usually retired Vanguards whose decisions, judgement and discretion are, for the most part, respected; they can stop bouts entirely, or pause them to allow the combatants rest, refreshment and a rub-down. A Vanguard who refuses mercy is dispatched by their opponent. To die well, a Vanguard should never ask for mercy, nor cry out. A “good death” redeemed the Vanguard from the dishonorable weakness and passivity of defeat and provided a noble example to those who watched: A match is won by the Vanguard who overcomes his opponent or kills him outright.

Victors receive an award from the Stadium Lord. An outstanding fighter might receive a crown and money from an appreciative crowd but for anyone originally condemned the greatest reward was manumission, symbolized by the gift of a wooden training sword from the Stadium Lord. This is rare, but does happen, particularly if a given condemned somehow survives seven matches – it is considered an Ordeal and judgement of the Powers That Be.

A Vanguard can acknowledge defeat by raising a finger, in appeal to the referee to stop the combat and refer to the Stadium Lord, whose decision usually rests on the crowd’s response. In the earliest Grand Games, death was considered a righteous penalty for defeat; later, those who fought well might be granted remission at the whim of the crowd or the Stadium Lord.

The contract between Stadium Lord and the Campuses may include compensation for unexpected deaths; this can be some fifty times higher than the lease price of the Vanguard.

The night before the Games, the Vanguards are given a banquet and opportunity to order their personal and private affairs; it is sometimes called a “last meal” to acknowledge the truth of a Vanguard: for some, these games will be deadly.


Vanguard Schools.

Campuses are headed by their familia Vanguardia, which after signing on have lawful power over life and death of every family member – that is, all the members of the Campus. Socially, new Vanguard are on the same level as pimps and butchers and as despised as price gougers. No such stigma was attached to a Campus owner of good family, high status, and independent means. Campuses will rent out Vanguards for private functions of various sorts, and there is a reason that Vanguards are often very handsome, very beautiful, or very appealing. In some cases, this kind of activity can make up for the entirety of a training program for them.

Volunteers require a magistrate’s permission to join a Campus as an Apprentice. If this is granted, the Campus’ physician assesses their suitability. Their contract stipulates how often they are to perform, their fighting style and earnings. A bankrupt or debtor accepted as an Apprentice can negotiate with his Familia Vanguardia for the partial or complete payment of his debt.

All prospective Vanguards, whether volunteer or condemned, are bound to service by a sacred oath. Apprentices train under teachers of fighting styles, probably retired Vanguards. They can ascend through a hierarchy in the same way as any other profession, with Grand Master Vanguards being a very rare thing indeed. Lethal weapons are prohibited in the schools – weighted, blunt wooden versions are used. Fighting styles are learned through constant rehearsal as choreographed “sequences. An elegant, economical style is preferred. Training includes preparation for a stoic, unflinching death. Vanguards are typically accommodated in cells, arranged in barrack formation around a central practice arena. Discipline can be extreme, even lethal. Successful training requires intense commitment.

Those condemned are branded or marked with a tattoo on the left side of the neck. Condemned are usually sent to a given Campus under a contract, and at least one (in Durango) is almost exclusively made up of condemned persons.


No general discussion of recreation in world would be complete without noting the power of dance. Social dance is common among the peoples, be they Foe or Shadow or Bright, and they are extremely popular regardless of the instruments available. There s a tradition of makeshift percussion use that is preserved by Bards, and all dances can be done with nothing more than a good beat and some sort of point where there is a change.

Dances typically symbolize three things, all of them telling a story: Victory, Fighting, and Romance. The formal dances of entertainers, including those who somehow seem to float across the stages on their toes, all derive from these core ideas, though they may take it into very complex and involved dances that are very popular among nobles, accompanied by choirs or singers.


The Kotril is perhaps the most traditional dance throughout the lands, and some variation on it is danced by all persons. There are three kinds of other traditional dances, and may be danced in triplets or quads, with separation by gender a common feature of the starts.

The forms are based on the starting positions: a square, two lines, or a circle. Lines involve no touching, and movements of forward and back, arms behind backs, and separated by gender among the different lines, moving forward and back towards the others.

Circle dances always require touching, and involve moving left or right, rotating and spinning the circles and the participants around the two. Circles may be organized by height, gender, or some other aspect decided on and historic (Therian will dance by sect, as an example).

The square start dances are stomping and clapping dances, with the dance setting the beat and tempo for the musicians, and slowly increasing in speed and tempo from a 2/2 start. The squares will expand and contract, challenging each other.

In some cases, squares and circles will start out entirely of one gender or group, and then will begin a move towards each other about a third of the way through the dance, intermingling and forming up the circles and squares with mixed groups, but otherwise following the same pattern.


Each region has a series of regional dances that they engage in, and it can include such patterns as the sword dance of the Kahokians or the Comedies of the Qivira, performed as social activities as well as performances. One of the best known of the forms is the swordancers of the secret societies, who combine sound, speed, motion, dance, elegance, beauty, and even magic into their displays both for show and for actual combat.


Courtly entertainment featured around Dancing comes in three broad types: Balls, Masquerades, and Debuts. Debuts are a fixed affair, and held at all different stations, and feature dancing as a major portion of the festivities.


Balls are very formal affairs, with wealth, prestige, and influence all on display. Balls have three five to them: The Entrances, The Procession, The Feast, The Performance, and The Dances. The Entrances is an elaborately staged affair, having persons arriving in order of the least senior or lowest ranked, slowly working up in often long lines to the final entrance of the Host, who would outrank all for the Ball save the Emperor or Princessa. Ball season is always during the summer months, when the evenings are cooler, and take place from Dusk on, sometimes carrying through the entire next day. The Procession goes on in a large gathering room where light snacks called Ordurves and liqueurs are served, often something special and always a point of pride for those hosting. It begins the moment the first guest is announced and continues until the Host arrives. The host then invites all those attending to the Feast, which can be all manner of set up, but is focused on feeding and providing guests with a good meal. They may stand, they may sit, the food may be laid out or it may be brought to them individually; the particulars vary from Ball to ball and are determined in part by the ability to provide for the guests invited. Most Nobility do not have a large space, and the Palace is only known to hold three balls during the summer. This also adds to the sense of exclusivity and honor afforded attendees. The feast is followed The performance, which is when some group is brought in to entertain guests, allowing them to watch or walk around and generally mingle. Those performers often include Dancers, who will perform either solo or couple dances.

The final portion of a Ball is the Dance itself. Here the attendees will begin to pair off with partners, and begin the courtly dances according to the music played. There are five courtly dances, and the involve two to five people moving together in a group that will slowly traverse the entirety of the ballroom floor, completing steps and movements, sometimes synchronously, though in one case asynchronously around a predefined pattern. A Typical dance is either 5 or 10 minutes in length, and there is a pattern of two dances each chime, then a pause, then two more dances, and this can go on until a predetermined time and the guests begin to leave according to the same fixed entrance protocol, but in order of highest rank to lowest. This means that the lower ranking folks are there the longest, and as many of them are typically younger, they do not seem to mind.


Masquerades are an informal version of a ball, with one of the key elements being that one should not know who one is (though of course most people can tell). Domino masks are often worn by the older crowd, but full-face masks are most common, decorated in wild patterns and strange style. With the masks goes the sometimes overly daring, always extremely fashionable, and frequently flamboyant dress that is worn. Masquerades are held in Winter, and only in the cities.

Masquerades do not have an Entrance – it defeats the purpose of “secret” – but they do have invitations, and so there is always a line to follow that process in. There are then two rooms plus a garden that is often used. The first room is the Commingling, and proffers food, drinks, and a chance to talk. The other room is The Dance, and typically there will be two or four sections for that often with one section having performers who will continuously demonstrate the dances that the guests are doing in the other section(s). At the end of the Masquerade, the final hour is taken up by The Reveal, where people will come forward and declare the identity of different people, winning a small prize if they are successful, or being unmasked themselves as a penalty. Each person can only Reveal one other.

There are entire small industries that have grown around the Masquerades.


In all events, on entering the festivities people will be given a Dance Card, which lays out the order of the dances and what the dances are for that evening. Food is often prepared to enable more vigorous dancing.

Of the five common dances, the one considered most enjoyable is also one of the oldest dances known: the Kotril.

The Kotril places dancers in groups of eight, often divided by gender, arranged in two lines that face each other. The music is a likely, up-tempo selection, often eight or sixteen measures in 2/4 time. From that starting position, each side will take two steps forward, one step back, in time to the music, and cross to the other side where they will turn and begin the cycle anew. After third such crossing, when the participants are beside each other, a Caller will announce one of eight different movements and the dancers will respond to the calls and perform the movements. From that point, it becomes a square of movement, with partners breaking apart and coming together, interspersed with dancing with others, and the dance will move swiftly through several different movements, until at last the partner will be returned to each other and finish the dance before moving back to their start, finishing the dance with a final change over.

The Kotril is danced throughout the lands and is said to be the dance that celebrated the end of the Bitter Road. However, it is also present in much the same form among all the peoples, including the Foe, and there is even an undersea version danced by the Tritons.

The second dance is the Gambol, played in a moderate tempo 4/4, starting on a downbeat, with dancers formed in two concentric circles, the taller on the outside, the shorter on the inside, facing each other. It follows many of the same patterns and movements of the Kotril, but they are done only with the one partner, and while holding hands. It is bad form to lose touch.

The third dance is the Sedukta, which is an energetic dance that features jumps, stamping of the feet and violent movement, accompanied by music with syncopated rhythms, danced between partners in a direct line, moving back and forth, in such that participating couples are passing each other as they move across the floor. It has many movements, and the start is couples stagged on either side of the long portion of the ballroom, facing inward, then turning to each other and beginning the movements. It is customary for the flower of following partner’s choice to be presented by the leading when they ask. It is also a set structure that the lead is the one that always asks, and if accepted then that person becomes the follow. Sedukta is one of the most popular dances for show, as well, and some entertainers do little more than perform this for nobles and the general population. It is an extremely vigorous and deeply moving dance, representing in many ways a seduction of the parties, on both sides.

The fourth dance is the stately, ¾ time, slow tempo Mineta, done by two couples who start with one leg out behind them, one leg into a center square formed by them, and all hands touching at the center above their heads. It then breaks up in a stately fashion with the square trading partners at set times, and following a series of steps that varies only when the leaders and the followers come together, at which point they mimic each other exactly without touching – but the rest of the time, there is always at least one point of contact. There are four basic steps, three twirls, and at the end of the dance it closes with bows and curtseys.

The fifth courtly dance is the Slide. It is done in staggered lines, arranged across the narrow of the floor, with the tallest in a back row, medium in a middle, and shortest in a front. A series of two forward, one back, a hop or skip, a slide forward with a lift of the off leg, , three forward, two back, a hop, a slide forward a slide forward with the opposite leg, then four forward and two back a hop with a twirl, and so forth with the two lines passing and crossing each other until the reach the opposite side where they turn and begin the journey back. The slide is done in 5/8 time, and is considered somewhat scandalous because of the leg lift, which can reveal too much of the women’s legs, and perhaps a bit more of the men’s hind ends. One of the underlying goals is not to tip and touch others.


There is a unique form of celebration that occurs for young women who are of Merchantry or higher status in society at large, called a Debut. These are formal occasions that present the young women to society as a whole and indicate that they are considered eligible for marriage.

One notable exception to this is Aztlan, where it is the young men who are debuted, and the only other serious exception within the empire is Dorado, where all young adults are debuted at different celebrations.

These Debuts are always held the fifth day of the season following their 15th birthday in Aztlan, Sibola, Durango, Qivira, Lyonese, and Akadia, 16 in Dorado, 18 in Antilia, and are not done in other realms. While the nature of each differs, the general event involves a gathering of all the eligible children of that age together for a formal event. This event lasts roughly six hours, and the primary purpose of it is to identify and find a mate. For this reason, the 5th of each season, following the solstice or equinox festival, is a Debut date.

Debuts are usually highly competitive events, as the individual young women are essentially showing their fitness for marriage and are essential for those who do not apprentice. In Dorado, they have two, simultaneously, where they begin separate and end with a large dance and attempted matchings between boys and girls.

The Bright Lands

The Bright Lands are those that circle the Seven Seas. The Shadow Lands lie just beyond them, including the Ancient Land, and beyond them lie the Dread Lands. The Bright Lands are not called Bright because they are inherently good; they are Bright because by and large they follow the Bright Powers That Be.

The Realms are officially the scattered cities of The Empire of Sibola, the seven cities thereof, with a long history of their own, though the shadow of the Bleak Journey hangs over everything, and they do not get along with each other even on the best of days, as none of them will openly admit to being a part of the Empire.

Zefir {Zephyr}

P9040#y1 Nestled comfortably in the Sea of Tears lies the island and city of Zefir. It is believed that Zefir could house a hundred thousand families and as many as twenty-five great Realms worth of royalty. It is immense, and the most startling thing of it is that no mortal hand built it.

Zefir was raised, whole cloth, from the Sea by the combined effort of the Seven and presented as a gift following the last War of Succession. The goal (and, thus far, success) of presenting the location was to give the leaders of each of the great Realms a place to meet yearly, at the Grand Convocation, where they collectively make decisions about the whole of Wyrlde.

Zefir is a large island, with sheltered coves, broad beaches, and tropical greenery combined with large areas for growing food and forests for wood. There are twenty-five distinct piers radiating out from it, each one just barely within sight of the nearest two, that are anchored to the seafloor by thick stone plinths and pier supports. Each can moor at least ten of the large tradeships.

Rising from the center of the island, surrounded by great beauty, and reached by five simple roads that are linked from the piers, is a stone city. The walls of the city are seventy-five feet thick and forty-eight feet high, capable of housing a massive army within the walls while also providing them with storage, billeting, and logistics needs. The five gates are flanked by two towers, eight stories tall, which control a series of three gates and can be used to divide and break up those entering for defense.

P9044#y1 Within the city center is an enormous twenty-five spired castle of crystal, rising without break from the ground and the central feature of it is a vast chamber with alcoves and side rooms that surround a huge table of white, smooth, stone capped with an unknown metal. Around it sits twenty-five chairs, each equally ornate, and while most of them are blank, 11 have sigils marked within them that were not put there by mortal hands.

No one knows what four of them are, or why it appears that others have sigils appearing while yet others are still plain. The chairs are a marvelously light material but extraordinarily strong. This place is the Council Hall. It has the capacity to support the rulers and their retinues of 50 or so.

Surrounding the Council Hall are shops, homes, stables, toilets, ovens, temples and more, all of them following a fairly simple plan of a single square box with low walled side garden. Windows are filled with a mica like substance that is clear and hard, and do not open of move – the roof has several vents, however, that can be opened from within through a series of levers built into the walls. A large fireplace sits within each one, and there are rails for curtains across the ceilings.

Doors are all hinged without any sign of break so they can be removed – it is as if it was all fashioned of one piece.

There is a strange sense that one gets when at Zefir that makes it uncomfortable for many. As a result, there are few who will live there year-round. The exception is the retinue of The Emperor and the Emperor himself. The Emperor has made Zefir his permanent home, and does not leave, and is guarded by his Imperial Troops and served by his retinue.

Early in the year there is an influx of people for two weeks as the rulers make their way to the island. By Flower 1st, they usually have arrived and set up, and that day is filled with ceremony as they begin the yearly convocation, which will end usually mid-week of the third week of Flower, around the 13th.

These trips are both well-known and quite secret – the routes, the approaches, the whole purpose is obscured even though people know this is happening. The level of intrigue and risk of assassination are high.


Official Name The Magiocracy under Warden Motto Magic Above All
People Akadian Goods Akashik Akashian
Flag & Symbol P9065C11T81#yIS1 P9066C12T81#yIS1 Crafts Akadian Akadic
Honorifics Lord Mage, Seras
Greeting Well Met!
Parting Success!
Respect Shown When meeting someone of a higher station, bow your head with your hands clasped before you.
Virtues Vices Towns
Knowledge Skillfulness Unreliability Incuriosity Gateway Skyway
Affection Caring Rudeness Ignorance Farway Freeway
Armor Weapons Skills
Akashik Padded Kadaga Arcana
Spell Shield Athame History


P9123#y1 In Akadia, magic is a must. Akadians believe that magic will solve the problems of the world, and they look to the Grand Masters in their many Towers to find the solutions and often identify problems. Those who live in Acadia without magic work as servants, farm and ranch, conduct trade and business very much as they do anywhere else, they just have wizards in a fit randomly killing people with Finger of Death and have to meet the needs of the Mages.

Years ago, Sibola was engulfed in a civil war. Out of it came two groups who failed in their bids to rule and were driven out. One group settled in what became Aztlan, the other kept moving, having heard tales from the Exilian of unique places, ultimately, the second group founded Antilia, but the first group were sent to carve out a living.

Nestled in among the valleys of the Kunlun mountains lies the place and time that is Akadia. where most Wizards learn their crafts and Arts. Separate yet a part of the whole, they are an autonomous Ward as the realm of Akadia, where the mountains themselves are the walls, and there are none around the villages, hamlets, towns, and cities of the mile-high world to itself.

Akadia has no walled cities, towns, villages, or hamlets. Yeti rarely come down from the snowy heights, and there is much game in the wooded valleys that all tend to have small lakes and streams passing through verdant fields. It is very much steppe country.

The mighty House of Skye controls the Skyships from here, the principal way in and out of the main valley; the only other route is a torturous, winding, narrow set of switch backs that can take a week to traverse when in the best of shape and with light wagons that begins in the city of Gateway, the major mercantile port and seat of the Warden.

Beyond Gateway, it is a land of hills, fields, towers, and small villages, each overseen by some Mage who has set up shop there and either hired or attracted people to them. It is easiest to say that Akadia is anarchist in its nature, but this belies the underlying truth: it is not. Akadia is a wholly subject vassal state of Sibola, that is allowed by the custom of the Wardens, to do pretty much what it wants, and it is a realm of Mages who have all the practical power and authority, that then delegate it to those who do not have magic and provide for their needs.

The Ruling Mages are all called Mage Lords, and often they have delegated their authority to someone who does not possess the ability to use magic who acts in their stead for others. Mage Lords oversee the villages and towns – with towns coming for a group of mages who at least at some point worked together on some project – and officially have final say over pretty much everything.

It is not unfair to say that when one lives in Akadia, you are taught and trained to do what is asked of you by a mage with absolute obedience. There is no use of Magic that is outlawed in Akadia, and mages can get a sense that they are the most important people, something even their own history undermines.


Akadia is built and functions around the needs of the many most powerful Mages – across many different fields and affinities, axioms and studies. As magic is not directly inherited, it deals with a need for new mages to take up and learn from those who have been active in their research and learning, and it is expected by default that all Mages are actively seeking to improve and hone their crafts, living in their towers and closing out the world around them.

This means that those who are closest to mages are the ones with the most real power in the realm, and they are not often afraid to use it. Each tower will have a group of people whose basic core function is to make sure that maintenance is done, that things are cleaned, that there is food available, that everyone eats, that even a late-night session is looked after.

As a result, Akadians have a reputation for being outstanding Innhosts, and for good reason: everyone of them is taught from an early age to help support Mages in some way since it is pretty obvious, they are so caught up in their work they forget to do other things. They take care of themselves by taking care of the Mages – be they a Pedant or a Pupil, a low level or a high level.

But it is not always wonderful. Mages can be demanding, cruel, rude, inconsiderate, and worse.


Life for most folks in Akadia is often considered better than that of folks in Sibola or Aztlan. Rent is inexpensive, work is plentiful, commerce is brisk, and there is always something interesting happening somewhere, as a side effect of a lot of the secrecy of the wizards is that gossip is nearly an art form here, and rumors are a baseline expectation.

For Mages, the days are spent learning, teaching, experimenting, developing new spells, creating magical items, and all the assorted aspects. Nearly every mage of age in Acadia has a staff of 10 to 20 people whose job is to anticipate and respond to their needs and often even coddle them a bit, cajoling them to bed or to eat or something. Given that many Mages have a strong trait of being readily distracted, while also being able to concentrate deeply, these folks are usually treated well by the Mages by custom and tradition, but also because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have anyone.

The schools focus on training mages to serve the nobility and aid the broader world, meeting their sole request from the Emperor so long ago. They exist to enable, to improve, to study, to drive forward magic, and they are none too fond of Lyonese as a result, for only they tend to be able to compete.

For most other people, the one benefit to Acadia is that there are exceedingly low taxes since everyone works for a particular Mage and all they need is provided by those who work for them. Excess and additional is pretty much freely sold, bartered, traded, and used, and every avocation and vocation are represented.

The Guilds are strongest in Acadia, because they, too are headed by Mages. This is a key thing – where power is, a Mage is. Even if they don’t seem like it.

Every major town and city has a large orphanage that cares for the parentless. These orphanages are businesses, often operated by or employing people who work as UrMages – the child thieves. Officially illegal, and under a death penalty for those caught smuggling stolen children, there is an intense problem in Akadia around those who seek a magic capable child of their own to pass on their secrets to, and the fact that there are people who get angry about their children being stolen.

Adoption from a regular family does happen and often, but not frequently enough to satisfy the desire o the Mages of Akadia. Given some mages are vile people, this is not an unfounded concern, but nevertheless the trade continues, and because they exist, it is common for Sibola, Durango, Lyonese, and even Qivira to send their orphans in large batches here, or for families to send children they cannot care for there.

This is how, ultimately, the original magicless population arrived – they were orphans. The orphanages are also the location of the Tanjins, and most Akadians will welcome children into their homes, as it often seems that there are fewer children in Akadia than in other realms.


Knowledge and Skill are highly valued in Akadia, knowing how to do something better than anyone else while still passing on your skills is considered one of the greatest rewards.

Privacy is a large value, and the sometimes-comical interactions between Mages and their closest servants, who both seek not to pry into the life of the other yet still accomplish their goals of either receiving help or giving it and growing closer.

Love and Affection are a distinct thing that permeates much of Akadia; the idea of caring for someone else over yourself often strikes many as strange, given that Akadia is famed for its egocentric, self-absorbed Mages, but the way that people are raised stick with them, and in a nation of people who were mostly orphans at one time, the need and recognition of attachment, affection, and love are all important.


While Akadia is under the official, direct rule of the Empire, it usually doesn’t feel like it. The presence of the Marshals and the Imperial Enforcers tends to curb some of their worst excesses, but not much, and there is the ongoing challenge in that magic is not automatically inheritable.

A point is tied to the last bit there – only about ten percent of all the people on Wyrlde can use magic, and since it is not automatically inherited there are no dynasties or similar powers. As a result, to keep the great Towers filled with Students, the different colleges and their masters employ urMages to seek out, find, and bring back children to train and preserve the way of life they have built.

They overlook the fact that urMages may buy children, or steal them, or kidnap them, or more. As a result, among the most important places in the entire realm is The Orphanage, and adoption by a Master is considered the normal standard.

Nitressa, Grandmaster Mage of Shang Tower, and her extended family comprise the highest levels of government, rarely bothered save for intrigues. The real governance is handled by the Regional Governors and a massive, rule bound bureaucracy that attends nearly everything else. Given latitude by the Wardens, this particular Tower is one of the oldest, and the official seat, in Akadia proper, of the real leadership. Other Towers are also found there – it has excellent water and fields, and helps ensure the Mages won’t starve, since they are so devoted, and it also houses the several different colleges that fill up so much of the time of those learning.

A Mage Lord is responsible for everyone living on the lands they are assigned and their well-being. Failure to care for them is not an option or one may find oneself living at the command of others, as the Wardens have the ability to do much to them.

Courts and such are overseen by the local Mage Lord, who is appointed by and reports to the Warden. They in turn appoint officials to handle these duties. As corporal punishment is not practiced, the sentences are usually fines and stripping of social status, combined with public humiliation, but also they are known to sentence people to be experiments or experimented on (though with a guarantee of safety of life and limb) and even some punishments involving polymorph.

The military of Akadia is a standing body composed of four kinds of troops: Infantry, Cavalry, Mage, and Skyship. Towers supply Mages. Airpower is a major factor, with Akadian Skyships usually faster, more maneuverable, and more advanced than any outside of Akadia. The Military is part of the Sibolan Ward, who all serve the local Warden. They make use of all those who are assigned to them, with a focus on getting the greatest mastery out of all of them. Patrols are led by Skyships, supported by Cavalry, and backed by infantry, with mages scattered throughout the units.

Only Mages can hold a position of power, can own land, can make laws (and then only for their own Towers), can decide the nature of the realm as it moves forward. They are left alone to do this by the Warden, whose primary role is to ensure that none are engaging in the work of something like the Razing (and it was one time, I swear!) or fomenting rebellion. This is why the military is under the Warden.

The Tower of Skye (called the House of Skye outside of Akadia) is the source of the wondrous flying machines. They also tend to promote a bit of jealousy and pettiness. The great Skyships are the products of Acadia, their wealth shared by all citizens, but the Train of Dorado’s Posse of Rails infuriates them – they even mandated that it cannot stop in Acadia proper and must go no further than Gateway should it ever have a chance to reach there.


Education is the primary focus of the people of Akadia in one sense: magic requires effective training, a honing of gifts, a mastery of skills, and so the city of Akadia itself is little more than a city of colleges and the things needed to support those colleges.

There are Tanjin set up, open to all, and there are schools for bards, Witches, Wizards (so many wizard schools), Sorcerers, Warlocks, and more. Curses run from the start of Dawn through the end of Dusk, and are taught by Pedants, while those learning are called Pupils.

The typical person attends school, learns a trade, goes into a relatively peaceful life, and if they are great they will find themselves asked for help by some mage on a project – this is a common goal of many, as Mages are not known for having great skills as wrightwork or smithwork.


Akadia lacks many of the ties to the great Houses.

Pupils will descend there from all over often to their shock and dismay that no one cares. This is also noted in the ways in which families are built – it is common for friends to become lovers, finding love on their own. Lineage matters little, but is traced through the paternal side, and often they will simply create their own surname for themselves, leading to some fascinating oddities.

Incarnates are welcome and often helped to adjust, even though they would have grown up, because there is a great deal of freedom in a land where the people in charge are too busy to bother with minutia and rarely act unless something is missing or their whims are being thwarted.

Officially, Marriages are set and recorded by the local Mage Lord, and courtship is typically in the Sibolan model, with men courting, women being courted, but after that it all changes. Thee is little in the way of dowry, but there may be business issues to figure out – and many farms are combined by marriages.

With movement between the villages frequent and often, there is a good chance of having to turn a farm or lease over to someone else. In many ways, it is the freest realm for this, as no one has much say over the desires of others, and disputes are handled by the Lord Mages or their assigned deputies.

Cultural Weapons

There are still tales and stories told of Akade and the Rebel mages, whose failed coup resulted in the creation of Akadia by the then Emperor. Akadia is a place of exile for the most powerful mages, and the only realm where people do not freak out at the sight of magic being performed, and where all magic is legal. There is a sense that if it can be done, it can be done better by using magic.

While the realm may not be visited by the Train, it is still subject to raids from the sea and from below, and even the mountains are known to harbor some strange and dangerous creatures (which Villagers are often sent to capture). Lemurians (especially Imps, who love to steal from the Mages), Duatians, Thulians, Corsairs – there is a need to defend at some point and at some time, and so nearly every farm or village home has some sort of weaponry.

By law, no Akadian may carry a sword or possess a long knife unless they are in service to and answerable to the Warden. This is enforced beyond Gateway, and those descended from the founding Mages will often be very particular about it. Especially those who are also Mages.

As armor often interferes with the ability to perform the movements and aspects of a spell or ritual, it is fairly rare in Akadia, but they have developed a kind of padded set of clothing that can be a bit bulky at times. It was originally intended to help determine the effectiveness of certain spells but proved to provide at least some protection from Lemurian bolts. It is thicker than normal clothing, quilted and embroidered, the filling a mix of tough fibers woven into a strong material and then furred for cushioning. It consists of a set of pants with little protection behind the knees, a tunic that covers to just below the elbow, and occasionally a set of gloves or helm. It is very warm.

With the intent of the prohibition on swords being to be a limit on the weapons one can have for war, the people of Akadia opted to be far more creative in their tools. They have a broad assortment of knives, none longer than about 16 inches, which are used for self-defense. These Akashik Knives are generally pointed, tapering to a sharp edge from a broader base, or else it will be a wavy bladed knife with very sharp outer edges and dull inner sections, the very tip being useful to piercing or slicing. It is said they are used with quite a deal of finesse when people have trained with hem since they were children. The two types are called an Akashik Dagger and an Akashik Athame.

Many folks and most Mages will have in their homes a small, round shield, about the size of a dinner plate. On some occasions that shield will be able to be spelled, or may have a magical function, but it is more common for it to just be a sturdy, well-made item meant to intercept blows in close contact, worn on the forearm.


Official Name The Queendom of Aztlana Motto For All People
People Aztani Goods Aztic
Flag & Symbol P9190C11T82#yIS1 P9191C12T82#yIS1 crafts Azlian
Honorifics Missus, Mon
Greeting Hausa!
Parting Fair Weather!
Respect Shown You Crouch or Kneel before someone of higher standing. you remove your shoes before entering a house.
Virtues Vices Towns
Be Fruitful Bring Honor Shame Cowardice Fortton Souton
Be Mindful Know Thyself Thoughtlessness Carelessness Plainston Seaton
Armor Weapons Skills
Scale Mail Cutlass
Shield Shortbow


P9248#y1 On the southern coast lies the main city of Aztlana, with broad harbors that stretch out along the shore for the fishing and naval fleets that ply the waters and ultimately defend the Sea of Tears from invasion by water. Aztlan is a land of bright colors, huge festivals, and rich, spicy food that fills. Warm, humid, and bustling, it is a traveler’s welcome respite from the Wylde.

North, across the Sea, lies Sibola, with whom Aztlan has a friendly rivalry. Where Sibola is the Father, Aztlan is the Mother, and the difference between the two is the stuff of bard’s tales throughout the Bright Lands. Aztlan is a realm of sharp contrasts, from the opulent wealth of the plutarchs to the abject poverty of the poorest.

Aztlan is known for the spice trade, as the home of tea and coffee and chocolate, and is where most of the medicines come from. It is a land where the jungle has been carved back only temporarily and is one of the few areas said to be free from the Dreadnaughts.

Famous for amber, which is also a major symbol and found on display everywhere. There are massive sheets of amber mined from the forests and mountains. The Sultana’s home is built of amber, and the Amber Throne is the dream of all.

Aztlan broke away from Sibola following a successful coup but chose to leave rather than stay. After many legendary adventures, the founders – all strong women, came upon the island that houses Aztlana today, and began a new kingdom.


Aztlan is a land where everyone is proud of what they have done, where machismo is a way of life, and where women control everything.

From Aztlana proper to Atahur (Souton) and even among the Chromite mines of the mountains, everyone dreams of making it big, of making that one thing that lifts them into the upper classes, of becoming a Matrician in their own right. The Aztani people are a fierce and gracious bunch, quick to laugh, fond of music, dance, and food – not always in that order.

The Aztani worship Paramour in her great Temple, where the Clerices are generous with Mead and always welcoming the hurt, the sick, and the orphaned. In the villages, towns, hamlets, and as always, the sea, Lamia is given her due, especially when it comes times for the rains to stop or start, the storms and wind to give you good journey, and the harvest or the catch to bring in for the best price..

Worship of any of the Dread Gods is the only crime punishable by death that is known – and trial is not usually something anyone worries about. Despite the pejorative often assigned to them, few people are as devoted to work as the Aztani are – their world revolves around money, and so they know it is what will save them.


Aztlan is a mercantile realm. They say that an Aztani knows two things, and she knows them well: Money and War, and for an Aztani those are not very different. Most of the most successful women Vanguards in the Great Games have been Aztani women. Trading with an Aztani is an art form in and of itself, as they are canny and notably greedy people, as no Aztani worth her salt is going to lose money on a deal. It helps that Aztani coffee is the better choice that Qiviran, that Aztlan is the only source for Cinnamon, and that many Spices are easily found here, and that if you want certain Medicinal Plants you must go to them eventually.

Aztlan also exports its culture to a degree. The music of the Aztani is distinctive and highly structured, and usually played by a group with both stringed instruments and horns, the beat held by the dancers with sharp and stylized and traditional dance moves that many find erotic. The most loved is called the Flamenco, a dance only found in Aztlan, and considered nigh on pornographic outside the realm with the way the seduction-based dance goes.

Aztani wool is prized for its careful blend of sheep and alpaca or llama into a strong and weather resistant fabric. Lastly, Cinnamon is the Sacred Spice of Paramour, and nowhere else does it grow save for the well-guarded fields of a few families. It commands a high price, for it is used in ceremonies to honor the patron deity of Aztlan.

Most folks, though, are poor. Exceptional artisans and craftsmen and such may make more, but generally it is the merchant class that changes the rules, by being sneakier and tougher and inspiring the rule of money over the rule of law.

Serfdom is usually the result of a punishment. Children are an extra burden on a serf, increasing the costs they must pay off to their debtors, and the children inherit the burden of the parents.

Aztani culture adores wine, and wine is the single greatest import they have, for they cannot grow grapes in the humid and hot tropics that are the realm’s lands.


The government of Aztlan is a matriarchal plutocracy, led by the 11 women of the Tribunal, headed by The Sultana, which is the only hereditary position. The seats of the Tribunal are open and bid upon every year during the week-long Festival of Paramour.. The bids are not refundable, and are deposited in the Bank of Aztlan, owned and operated by the Tribunal. The bids, called Franchise Fees, are used to fund the government. There are many requirements for a seat –able to afford it, have a staff, have land, be distaff (a woman), and only one member from a given family can sit on the Tribunal.

The Tribunal makes all laws in Aztlan. The Tribunals appoint Tribunes over Towns and smaller settlements. They are enforced by the Marshalls, an arm of the military charged with keeping the peace and enforcing the laws.

In Aztlan, one must prove one is innocent, and the rules for an accusation are tough. There is one day in Court, and appeal is to the local Tribunal or the High Tribunal, neither of which tend to take them. Punishment is swift, and usually in the form of property and fines. The one prison that Aztlan has is considered a death sentence. More common than jail is as a punishment is serfdom, where the individual charged is essentially fined an amount that requires them to serve as serfs for those they owe – indentured servitude after the stripping of all other assess.

The Azlian Navy has a vast fleet, and they are considered the greatest naval power in the Bright Lands. Usually a third of its power is at sea at any given time. They are sail, oar, and Arcane powered, with rams and ballistae in place.

The Azlian Army is led by General Jung, who has three standing divisions at her call, plus another five divisions she has the power to call up by fiat from the population, which is trained and required to serve if called on. Of those Divisions, three are Cavalry, well-armed and mounted on trained chargers.

The Marshalls use the same structure, with two Divisions, all of which are mounted for Patrols of the Realm.

There is no air group. Though the Tribunal is mulling it over in relation to cost.

Every Aztani man is required to serve in the military for at least two years starting at 9. Every Aztani woman is given a choice to either serve or produce two children in that time. The fine for failure is 500 pence.


Aztani Tanjins are incorporated into every facet of life, and once one is an apprentice, they are still expected to go to Tanjin at least once a week, to learn and share their knowledge, to ensure the success of all.

Women and Girls are required to go to Tanjin, men if their families can afford are encouraged to go, but not required. However, success in life is often dictated by such, so most do.

The Tanjins also serve as the Heralds in Aztani life, producing broadsheets that share all the news, but never rumor or gossip, and they avoid speculation like it was the curse of the powers itself.


The Aztani are intensely matriarchal. To be the head of a family one must be a woman in life. Men are charged with defense and provision, and a woman with many husbands is often very wealthy indeed. Women are expected to spend a significant amount of time pregnant, however, and produce many children, though there is no shame in being unable to do so, and often women who cannot bear children aid those who do in large collective families.

Men in Aztlan marry up if they can, and often look for ways to help their family while proving their value and prowess.

When there is a marriage, the family of the bride pays the family of the groom a price that is agreed on when the families arrange the marriage.

It is women who do the courting and men who are the courted in Aztlan. Aztani women usually know their minds, and Aztani men are almost universally the most macho of men, convinced of their ability to please a woman and ensure that she is well taken care of.

Cultural Weapons

Aztlan is famous for being extremely good at the use of the traditional weapons of an Aztic warrior. They are also quite well known for the creation – inspired by the work of Islandian and Kerisian armorers, that is called scale mail. It is a series of small “scales”, interlocked and overlapping, that are assembled into a tunic form, and then joined by other pieces. The Aztic style incudes a bustier of some sort as well, giving it a greater weight but more protection, and from the bustier hang several wide strips of the scale backed by a set of woven thin metal leaves. This split skirt hangs to about the mid-thigh and provides for a very dramatic profile of a well armored woman.

With this, they carry a short bow that unstrung seems to curve towards the front of the bow, but once strung is no taller than the warrior’s torso and is capable of powerful draws. Every member of the Aztani military carries one and is proficient in its use. Finally, there is the Aztic Cutlass.

With a length of 32 inches and a narrow blade that curves slightly at the end with the backside top quarter as sharp as the leading edge, the Aztic Cutlass is very popular among those who would prefer to master a weapon with style – such as Corsairs. A knuckle guard and a two-post cross guard mean the wielder is well protected.


Official Name El Dorado Motto All for One and One for All
People Doradan Goods Doradan Doradic
Flag & Symbol P9302C11T83#yIS1 P9303C12T83#yIS1 Crafts Doric
Honorifics Sirrah, Missuh
Greeting Hola!
Parting G’day!
Respect Shown Touching forehead with slight head bow to everyone
Virtues Vices Towns
Eat it up Make it do Avarice Laziness Eastier Bluier
Wear it out Do without Whining Gossip Derier (Seahold)
Armor Weapons Skills
Korinthian Leather Doric Mace
Doric Knife


P9360#y1 Nestled against the shores of Parime Bay, the desert sand sea beyond, but surrounded by irrigation canals that turned the transition zone into as rich a field as the chaparral that leads away from it into the gentle lands around the seaport of Bluier on the Blue sea.

Eldorado is famous for the Posse of Eld, who are the protectors of the Train for the Posse of Rails. The 15 years of its being built were bloody, brutal, and now, profitable to a degree few can argue with.

Eldorado is watched closely by the other realms and is known as a place where they can all meet should they need to – formally neutral. It has one unique thing going for it that attracts even respectable nobility to uplift – it is something called a democracy, where each household has a vote in the wider realm. This causes many to shake their heads in disbelief, but it has led to a prosperous, successful realm that may one day change the shape of the world.

The heart and soul of Eldorado is the Ranch (Ranc). It is the basis around which all else arises, and anyone is welcome to start one. All it takes is three months of living in a building on land that the resident walled and then be registered with the local Kinhouse, which costs nothing.

A Ranch is usually a cluster of buildings – House, Barn, Stable, bunkhouse, wellhouse, outhouse. A Ranch is also a settlement of its own. The registered Head of the Ranch is the only member of it that can vote in elections or have a voice on the Kining. They are elected within the Ranch itself, by those on it – ranch hands, family members over 4, other residents – and it can and does change as time goes on, because an election is held yearly.

Ranches are not merely agricultural – they are not designation of what they do, but rather simply a way of saying home and family. A ranch may be dedicated to dyes, or to ceramics. Most, however, are indeed dedicated to herding cattle, raising crops, and other agrarian pursuits.

After the Ranches come the businesses that are collectives – created by an agreement to put up funding to do something, with all the parts receiving a share. They are the Posses, and many people will work for a Posse – such as the Posse of the Rails.

Eldorado can be a bit wild at times – the Order of Eld is a very visible presence, and those humorless bastards are used for security and patrols. The Prisons are Dwarfin-make, guarded by Wait Dilon, an Elf known for a fanatical adherence to the law.

Eldorado is the only known place where firerth and duretile are found, deep in the desert sand sea, and neither is exported. Controlled by the Eld Posse, they thought to be essential in the use of firearms. The Posses control most of the mercantile supply sources in Eldorado, so the Guilds have to deal with them. The Posse of Mines, the Posse of Stone, the Posse of Rails, the Posse of Sails, and so on, they dominate the non-agricultural, craftsman sector, and are typically quite good at taking care of their people. The recently formed Posse of Ways is banking on a trip around the world.

Doradan crafts are supported as well by the use of wind- and watermills, which help them to create the fine clays used in their highly sought-after ceramics, and make the vibrant dyes that color their textiles, as well as the flours they are known for. Doradan ceramics sell for higher than any other.

They also have one of the few iron mines known – iron is extremely precious on Wyrlde. It is common for a Doradan home to have cast iron cookware, instead of the usual brass or bronze found elsewhere, often polished to a high gleam on the inside.

Doradan Hamlets, Villages, and Towns are laid out in a grid pattern that does not allow for curving roads or meandering ways. A settlement space is usually about 1,056 feet square and surrounded by roads. Fields are often outside the settlement walls, making them more compact. The fields are still walled – a good wall makes for good neighbors, they say. Usually, stone walls caulked with clay mortar.

The Goddesses of Eldorado are active participants in the lives of its people – a posse leader once called Kybele a whore in a drunken bar fight and was struck by lightning three times. At once. A stranger once insulted a Shrine Maiden of Antelle and found himself a slave in a brothel in Lemuria the following morning. It is even rumored that the Avatar of Paria is to be found in Eldorado.

Each Village or larger has a Kinhouse, Court Hall, Jail h Hall, Market Hall, Craft Hall, Guild Hall, and Temple. Many Ranches have private shrines within them, visited by Shrine Maidens in their readily identifiable sky blue and white.

The catch with starting a ranch is the need to build a wall around a new field and the cost to build a walled residence. It is estimated this is usually around 100 farthing, for a single person building a barely livable place.

Hola all! This ‘un asked me t’let ya know the way of things in Dorado. Well, it ain’t like it were in the bigger places – Dorado is still young y’know. We got Ranches and every ranch has a kitchen that is big enough for all to eat. When we have a communal dinner, everybody brings dishes, they all get put on a counter, and you go along and help yourself.

We say that one should eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. We don’t have time for the fancy clothes and all, as we usually got to get out to check the cows and make sure the heard moves to the next pasture or any of hundreds of chores.


Daisy here comes from Dorado. You might remember her.

Now that big place, a Cookhouse we call ‘em, that place is also where everyone gathers. A ranch might have two, three even ten families on it, plus hired hands and more, and we use that place to be a kind of communal house. It will mostly have stone walls, or thick ones made from our adobe bricks. They get used all the time, for anything where a lot of people needed to get together. Schooling, quilting, sings, dances, pretty much anything where more people wanted to gather together than would fit in someone’s house.

When ya go around doing your jobs, e’ryone greets ya, even if’n they didna like ya. And with those who do like ya, there’ll be brief touches, pats on the back, hugs. Back home, we’re a touchy bunch. E’ryone hugs, e’ryone kisses, even some of the folks we call Kingelds, who are kinda like nobles, I suppose. I reckon I never lacked for any of that.

It’s ain’t that e’ryone loves e’ryone else, but where I come from e’ryone is loved by someone and knows it.

Doradans are rarely in a rush and tend to take the view that steadier is better than swifter, and surety is better than uncertainty. They are not a people who gamble with their futures, though one wouldn’t know it from the Saloons and Casinos.

That about covers what happens daily, with festivals and celebrations being big events that might bring a ranch into one of the villages or towns or perhaps the big city itself, Dorado proper.


The Ranchhead is the law on the Ranch proper. Sheriffs are only brought in when it steps outside the ranch. This level of authority and power is extensive – it is possible for a head of household to make many rules that limit or restrict those on the Ranch. In practice, this is linked to the laws of the land, which usually act a limiter on this power. But it also only applies when it is seen, and some ranches are considered particularly foul.

What other places call nobility or Patrons, they call Kingelds. They are usually popular and powerful members of the Kinning, wealthy and respected. Well, mostly.

Guilds have less power in Dorado, but that is often because the guilds don’t actually pay guildsmen like Posses do, and thee balance between the two groups is always iffy.


Ranchheads meet monthly at the local Kinhouse to pass laws, hear appeals, and deal with the function of the government. Each Kining (hamlet up) selects three members to represent them at the next Kining up, so from a hamlet those three would go to a village, and the village would select three to go to a Town, and the town would select three to go to the City. This culminates in the High Kining, representing all the hamlets, villages, towns, and cities, at the Council Hall in Eldorado.

The Kinings also choose the local Mayor, Judge, and Sheriff – often the same 3 they chose to represent them. The Mayor is the local government representative, the Judge the courts, and the Sheriff the enforcement. Cities have Mayor’s Councils and collective courts that seat multiple people based on the areas in the city.

Law is made by the Kinings, who are also the appeals options – local first, with the High Kining the final arbiter. The Kinings select and appoint a Mayor, Judge, and Sheriff for their areas. The Sheriff is charged with enforcing the law, the judge with applying it.

One can hire a lawyer if one chooses or defend oneself. In capital cases, a Jury of 7 is chosen by the judge from those who are not Ranchheads. High value theft, murder, rape, or crimes against children are all capital cases. Sentences are prison, hanging, or, if the guilty chooses, an ordeal (usually water, fire, air, or earth). Few choose ordeals.

Eldorado has no standing military, navy, or Skyship group. Each Ranch is itself a defensible area, even within the walls of a settlement, and each usually has a few able-bodied people able and willing to defend it. There are, however, the Orders.

The most famous of these is the Order of Eld, where those who swear the Oath of Eld come from, but there are four other Orders, as well: Eagle, Bear, Cougar, and Coyote. While the Order of Eld is tied to the House of Eld, the others are not, having been chartered, and they often will have members from the Knightly orders in them, but are not knightly orders themselves.

They serve as a kind of militia, for the most part, all following a set chain of command that leads all the up to the generals of each order, and each order handles something. General Miraj overseas the Order of the Bear. They are an infantry group. General Cavalcada oversees the Order of the Coyote. They are a Cavalry group. Admiral Nessa oversees the Order of the Cougar. They are a naval group.

Bear, Coyote and Cougar all have a full division. They also supplement the Reeves who are often hesitant to face the Sea of Sand, which occupies the massive heart of Dorado.


Each Ranch is responsible for the education of those upon it, unless they are in a town or city, where there is a Tanjin. The Dordan Tanjin is very large, but the Town ones are very small, and no one forces them. Most of the smaller ones are one room buildings, with a slate wall on one side and chairs facing it.

Literacy is lower in Dorado, but math is strong and the folks certainly do talk a great deal and should not be thought of as uninformed. Rumor has it the Duke is likely to require some form of education, as he contributed to a Posse that was formed to help use one of the elements developed for the Train so that people in even small villages could send messages quickly. He is also setting up something called a Postal service. Unsurprising; the Duke has always been strange.


Typically, an individual marries into an established Ranch, unless they are an Eldest child (who are expected to start their own). A merger of Two Ranches does happen, but it is rare. Usually one of the people has already established one. The family name is the Ranch name, and all persons there take that name for theirs.

It is the second Eldest child who stands to inherit the Ranch, with others expected to stay or marry into others to secure alliances, improve trade and support systems, et