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Amaroth • View topic - Announcements by the Creation-team
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PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012, 01:22 
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In this topic, the Creation-team will announce what has been decided in their meetings. Members are allowed to give feedback, of course, as well as suggestions about what the Creation-team should discuss in their next meeting. This is, however, non-committal and the Team may use and ignore member input as they see fit.

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PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012, 01:24 
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The first meeting, may 2nd, 2012.

(click for larger image)

This is the continent of Auralis. Like Ozun, it is situated on planet Amaroth. It is situated in the southern hemisphere, meaning that it gets colder if you go further south. In size, Auralis is roughly 50% bigger than Europe and has a large arrangement of climates and nature, varying from jungles in the north to wide steppes in the east, dark forests in the southwest and frozen wastes in the southeast. A chart of the exact climates and vegetation is yet to come. It’s priority is low, however, and as such it may take a while before we can accurately give a detailed map of nature.

Our focus right now is civilisation. On the map, you can see two distinguished nations: Kingdom Avaren and the Empire (as referred to by the Dutch term on this map). Avaren will be our main focus and highest priority, but we have been able to come up with –very- basic ideas for other nations.
These include:
- A trading nation on the island in the Northern Bay. These are an arrogant people with a very strong merchant-spirit and a very large trading fleet.
- A sea-roaming nomadic people who live on enormous ships and survive by trading and processing products (activities such as spinning wool) on their ships. They have an unique calendar based on the stars.
- Primitive nomadic tribes in the far east.
- a group of aggressive city-states at the east side of the southern bay. These cities often use privateers as a part of their economy. As such, the bay is full of pirates from this faction or another. The city-states are known for fighting amongst themselves practically at all times, but they often combine their strength if the Empire tries to conquer them. So far, the Empire hasn’t been able to conquer them. The city-states inherit a large part of the political system of Elfaza.

More nations are very likely to be created later, but for now our priority lies with Avaren.

But before I begin to describe Avaren, there is an important bit of history that needs to be told first.
The grand island to the west of Avaren used to be home to a race now known as the Old Race, who wrote and spoke in Eyenera. Said to be tall, slim and very gifted, the Old Race built a civilisation like no other on their home island. However, something which historians now believe to be a terrible drought that lasted for centuries drove the Old Race from their homeland. They migrated to the mainland in hopes of continuing their civilisation there, but things did not work out as planned. The soil differed from that of the homeland and could not sustain the complex irrigation-systems that had produced the food needed to sustain their population. Unable to adapt their civilisation, the Old Race decided to blend in with locals who were capable of building villages or even cities. The biggest concentration remained in the southwest of Auralis. The further one would go east, the less one would encounter evidence of Old Race presence. By far most of the Old Race population blended in with locals in the areas now known as Avaren and the Empire.

As a direct result of the stronger presence of Old Race genes, people from Avaren (and to some extent the Empire) are taller, more elegant, and brighter than people from the more eastern and northern regions of Auralis. They still write in Eyenera, even though the language itself is no longer in common use and solely used as a language of science. Their technology is the most advanced on the continent: gunpowder has already been invented and is being used in limited quantities. Avaren is the leading nation in terms of science and architecture as well as weaponry. However, they are behind on the Empire’s superior military and raw manpower. As such, Avaren is smaller than one would expect from such an advanced nation.

Avaren’s surface is roughly three times the size of that of France. The highest power is the King, who officially rules the entire country, with five dukes who govern his most important provinces and a number of counts who govern the lesser areas. However, Avaren doesn’t have a very centralized government. Dukes and counts officially swear fealty to the King, but, in practice, they rule as they see fit, feuding amongst themselves. A King who doesn’t keep his nobility in check has a high chance of infighting between counts. In the worst case, a duke might even try to stage a coup.

To lower the chance of these happening, a representative of every duke and count is present in the capital of Avaren (now known under name Konigsberg, whether or not the name will change is not known yet). Together, these representatives form a political body known as the Council of Illumination. These members of the Council are generally ambitious scions from the houses of the counts and dukes. These men and women strife to improve the political position and wealth of their patriarch. As a result, the political games between the counts and dukes are played at the court of the Council, and the players aren’t the patriarchs themselves, but their scions in Konigsberg. These political games may still lead to civil war, but the chances are lower.

Although Avaren has a large hinterland with a lot of production, its variety in resources is very limited. The most important export product is wool, together with crystals mined in the mountains of the east. The agriculture rarely produces a surplus in grain, and whereas the hardwood harvested in the southern regions makes for good construction material for both ships and buildings, it is no match for the tropical timber from the far north. All in all, Avaren has very little export products and as such it isn’t orientated on international trade. Instead, they prefer to be a completely self-sufficient country, in which Avaren is mostly successful.

A last –mostly roleplay-oriented- point concerns the emancipation of females. Avaren is quite far with equal rights for male and female, relatively speaking. Women are allowed to join the military, can own shops, and have a chance, albeit a low one, to climb on the social ladder. However, leading roles such as commander in the military and ruling duchesses are frowned upon and women at the top of the chain of command rarely exist.


That’s all for this meeting, folks! The next meeting will be on Saturday, may 5th. A few things the Creation-team is sure to discuss:
The dividing of the land between the dukes and counts of Avaren. This includes names for prominent noble families, the balance of power between the counts and dukes, and the dividing of Avaren into smaller provinces.
Magic. What is the role of mages in Avaren society? How does magic work? What are the possibilities? How common is magic?
Religion. We already know a thing or two about the religion of Avaren that is known as the Faith. But exactly how influential is this religion? What impact does it have on the daily life of citizens of Avaren? What about mythology? Architecture? Practices and rituals?

Some things the Creation-team might discuss.
- Alchemy, the enigmatic counterpart of magic that was banned by the Faith.
- the military structure of Avaren. How does it work?
- the Avaren calendar. Days, months, how many are there and how are they called?

And that’s all. If you have any feedback or suggestions (… or just compliments, I don’t even know), please feel free to post them here. The Team will look into it.

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PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012, 09:10 
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On an unrelated note, I want to express my gratitude towards Lavinia, GaaraKyuubi, and Wubbles, who have all three been eager to help forming Auralis up to its current form. We couldn't have done it as fast as we did (all of this was done in less than 48 hours, which I find incredible) without your enthousiasm!

Also, thanks to Rhynn for making the map and coming up with the name for the continent. And teaching me how not to blow up the forum.
>implying she'll read this any time soon.

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PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012, 11:51 
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PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012, 16:17 
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Ozun still excists. Auralis is the second continent of Amaroth but the two are completely isolated. However, quite a few things will be different on Auralis. The seven gods are unknown on Auralis, magic will be different (things will be familiar, though) and the amount of animals and plants found on both Ozun and Auralis has yet to be discussed. My personal goal is to make Auralis new, yet familiar.

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PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012, 17:53 
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And is mine assumption right, that Ozun still exist before we started with revolutionary changes at Amaroth?

and if my assumption is right, than we are going to develop Ozun further somewhere in the future :)

BTW, I like the quick reply

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PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2012, 18:10 
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I honestly can't say, Duck. It may be possible, but in the upcoming months we will be completely focussed on Auralis and Avaren. If you really cherish Ozun that much, you can develop stuff further over there but do note that it is of no relevance to the forum in its current state and probably never will be relevant.

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PostPosted: Fri 04 May 2012, 09:38 
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Did you leave out the civilization on the western archipelago? Did you scrap that? Or is that not discussed yet?

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PostPosted: Fri 04 May 2012, 11:57 
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Ah yes, the Archipelago. Forgot to add that one, my bad...
The western archipelago will also be added. As it stands now, it will be called the Janateirako-Archipelo. But that has yet to be confirmed.

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PostPosted: Sat 05 May 2012, 23:35 
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Second meeting, may 5th 2012.

This is a more detailed map of Avaren. It has yet to be lined out digitally, but for now it will work lovely.

And we’ve been working on quite a lot of stuff about Avaren the last few days! The original idea was to just work out some practical information, but we’ve managed to throw in some history to boot. However, not everything has worked out the way we had hoped it would. Magic is still quite vague and I had to kick mythology, practices and symbolism of the Faith into the next meeting we will discuss it. Which may take a week, because I’ve had my share of religion for the upcoming days. Or week.

But! We have other stuff for you guys to feast upon.
Let’s start with the map (drawn by Lavinia, if you were wondering).
Every duchy and county has a name that rooted in Eyenera, the language spoken by the Old Race, but the names have been corrupted over time.
Names, rule form, and the origin of the names:
County of Vyalae = County of Grace.
County of Aquinasko = County of the Waters
Duchy of Nicj = Duchy of the West
Duchy of Deroman = Duchy of the Strong
Duchy of Maetranarch = Duchy of the Ruler
County of Havenaden = County of the First Riverside
County of Ulvenaden = County of the Second Riverside
County of Kojadish = County of the Vain
Duchy of Thar = Duchy of the East
Duchy of Yuroka = Duchy of the Hills
County of Beranela = County of the Mountain
Duchy of Xes = Duchy of the South
Duchy of Iln = Duchy of the North
County of Lynmeon = County of the Green Grass
County of Ixinar = County of the Plains
County of Nenaka = County of the Noses
Duchy of Semaka = Duchy of the Seas
County of Ersenai = County of the fallen blossom
County of Icura = County of the Cold Land
County of Rucara = County of the Round Land
County of Hajera = County of Eternal Spring
County of Alenark = County of the Fishermen
County of Zalineka = County of the Many Trees
County of Avelia = County of the Flowing Tears
County of Nimaya = County of the Grazing Animal
County of Anai = County of the Yellow Blossom
County of Cilara = County of the Bright Star
County of Sileth = County of the Shining Stone
Duchy of Firayla = Duchy of the Split Land
County of Meraley = County of the Little Fruit
County of Leros = County of the Red Leaf
County of Arnara = County of the Haven
County of Riveko = County of the Warm Gulf

As you can probably see, many of these names seem odd names to give to oneself. In fact, these names were given to the places by the Old Race. The names stuck and as the Old Race integrated the names corrupted and eventually became the official names of the kingdoms.

Kingdoms, you ask? Yes, kingdoms! Time for a little lesson in history~

Avaren has not always been an united Kingdom. Up until roughly 200 years ago, the land now known as Avaren was a patchwork of petty states and kingdoms that reached from current-day Avaren to the east, almost to the Southern Bay. The lands in the Great Valley were never counted amongst these kingdoms as they had a different religion and culture.
Things changed drastically with the rise of the Empire in the Great Valley. The Empire had a vastly superior army and managed to conquer the little kingdoms one by one. Until at last the Kingdoms of Avaren rallied together and destroyed the Imperial expedition army in a decisive battle. The Empire had been stopped, but at great cost: all land to the east of the rivers had been annexed by the Empire. The kingdoms finally decided to unite, and the most powerful among the little kings became the King of Avaren, with the others becoming counts and dukes and forming the Council of Illumination. That did not happen without a fight, for not everyone was willing to give up their sovereignty, but eventually the Kingdom of Avaren became a fact. In his younger years it was extremely unstable, but a few good and strong kings brought the lower nobility in line and even a coup by the Faith was put down. Now, a few hundred years later, Avaren is at least as stable as the Empire, and has even begun the Reconquista of the annexed territories.
Konigsberg was founded right after the unification. Its location was chosen to be along the river Evera, on the crossroads of four duchies. In the river, a hill was raised for the palace to be built on. However, the river did not reform after splitting, and thus two new rivers were created. The city that formed around the hill was named after the hill itself: Konigsberg.

Next up is religion. I’m going to be very short on that here. I’ve worked out an entire article about what I’ve got so far. It could be put here but quite a bit of it is rather trivial so I’ll just give it its own topic and give the most relevant information here.
The Salan (Church of Daul) has got quite a great deal of influence on the common people, who pray in the salants (churches) on a daily basis. This influence is mostly moral, for the Salan has no political interests.
The Faith is what has united Avaren in the first place. It was not the kings who rallied the counterattack, but the servants of the Faith who wanted to preserve their religion. However, after a failed coup by the Santak, the Salan no longer pursues political power. Instead, they preach the Reconquista of the Avarian kingdoms that had fallen to the Empire. So far, it has met quite a bit of success, as Avaren has reconquered the land between the rivers.
In daily life, the servants of the Salan closely work together with the rulers. They work as scribes when needed, and are moral advisors who help the ruler with rendering judgement and morally challenging decisions. Meanwhile, they preach compassion towards the lower classes whenever possible. For the common people, Maurasses and Venue-Maurasses are father-figures and shepherds, guiding them to the right path, lending financial aid to the poorest with money granted to them by nobility and wealthy people, and offering advice to whoever asks for it.
As such, the Salan, and therefore Daul, is very popular with the common people.

Moving on to magic. Now, I’m afraid this part is probably going to seem half-assed and incoherent. Which it probably is. Discussing magic has been problematic as Gaara wasn’t able to attend the meeting. Lavinia and I patched together what we could.
- Mages use mana, converting it into raw magic.
- Mana is energy released in thinking. That energy is stored everywhere in the body. It is present in everything that has a working brain, but the most in humans as they have the highest brain activity.
- Mages convert mana into magic on intuition. That's the ability that defines a mage.
- The ability to use magic is a kind of brain disorder. It is hereditary but can also occur in people without parents with the ability.
- The legacy of the Old Race is mainly physical. Longer, leaner, smarter (that’s why Avarian mages are more powerful: they produce more mana). Avarians also have slightly pointed ears. Magic is not an ability inherited from the Old Race.
- The ease with which the mage converts mana into magic defines how powerful he is. Someone who has to focus very hard for on releasing the slightest amount of mana has little power and may never know that he is a mage, but someone who's can convert mana faster than the blink of an eye is very, very dangerous. Of course, the former group is far more common than the latter.
- The aristocracy is not quite fond of rogue mages. However, a mage on a leash makes quite a good status symbol.
- magic is more tolerated in cities than in rural areas, where mages are distrusted and often handed to the local Lord to serve as a court-mage. In cities, mages can often hide in the masses and citizens care less for magic than the more superstitious countrymen. The local nobility still tries to sniff mages out, though.
- The Salan tolerates the existence of mages but is not happy with them, as mages often tend to worship Mork. They also fear the potential power mages wield.
- Nice detail: how much is a nobleman willing to let his court-mage practice? It is a balance of letting them practice enough to be better than others, but not powerful enough to break free of the Lord.
- Magic is like magic on the old Amaroth intuitive magic. It works with elements, and relies on feelings and emotion, which, together with the mana, form the desired effect.
- Affinity is also in practice. An energetic mage has more affinity with fire while a mage who is very calm has more affinity with water.

I would turn it into a nice prosaic piece of text for you guys, but I honestly don’t feel like it. At all.

And that’s all for now. Next meeting will be on Wednesday, may 9th.
Things the Creation-team is sure to discuss:
- Alchemy. What is alchemy? How does it work? Why is it banned?
- The Avarian calendar. And it’s going to be a simple one.
- Avarian military. How does it work? How is it organized?
- Magic. Because it still needs proper talks.

Things the Creation-team might discuss:
… We actually don’t know! We couldn’t come up with anything else within Avaren that requires our direct attention, so we’d like to ask you guys. What do you want to know more about? What do you think we’ve missed? Let us know!

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PostPosted: Thu 17 May 2012, 15:10 
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Hiya, it's been a while since I posted our last update.
Sadly, we haven't managed to hold a full-fledged meeting since the last one we mentioned, so there's no real update for you guys yet. But we haven't been completely idle as the base of alchemy has been defined and the Avarian calendar has been made.
Unfortunately, magic is still kinda stuck in the bog and military structure consists purely of ideas. I still hope we can get to that soon, but in the meantime, take a look at Alchemy and the calendar.

Alchemy

Alchemy is, basically speaking, the scientific opposite of magic. Its effects are mostly passive and come in the form of enchantments.
Unlike with magic, one does not need a particular talent to perform alchemy. However, it does require knowledge and resources. The first thing needed is ether. Ether is mana, extracted from the body. The easiest and most practical way to do so is to tap blood. Blood contains adequate amounts of mana and easily lets go of it in the alchemic process, creating ether. When mages convert mana into magic, they give it form by thinking about the effect they want to create. When alchemists convert ether into enchantments, they give it its purposes by exposing it to certain metals. This gives the ether a form and effect based upon the metals it was exposed to.

There are more parallels between magic and alchemy. Both work with the elements. With magic, elements are represented by emotion: passion represents fire, calmness represents water, determination represents earth and joy represents air. Mana mixed with a strong feeling of passion creates more competent fireballs, for example.
With alchemy, elements are represented by metals: gold represents fire, silver represents water, copper represents earth, and nickel represents air. In addition, alchemy links the elements to parts of the body. This division shows which element affects which aspect of the body when used in enchantments. Fire affects the muscles, granting them explosive energy or draining them. Water affects the nervous system, able to heighten or dull senses, improve reflexes and dampening or inflicting pain. Earth affects skin and bones, reinforcing them or weakening them. Air affects the mind and is the odd one out. Instead of manipulating the body, it manipulates the world around it. Its effect is commonly known as luck.

Enchantments come in two forms: there are enchantments that affect the body of the user or the target (like enchanted weapons) and there are enchantments that affect the enchanted object itself. A good example is presented by talking stones. Enchanted in pairs, their purpose is to absorb sound and send it to the other stone, which will recreate the sound. If someone were to talk into one stone, he would hear his voice coming from the other stone. The element used to create this effect is air, for sound is composed of vibrations in the air, which the stones absorb and recreate.
Similar enchantments include lighters, floating devices, and automated objects.

However, even though alchemy has many useful applications and alchemists control very little power, alchemy has been banned by the Faith. The doctrine states that ether is not mana released from the body, but power granted by demons in exchange for the offered blood. As such, the Faith sees alchemy as the worshipping of demons and condemns enchanted objects as foul things. As such, alchemists are being hunted down by the inquisition constantly.

This hasn’t stopped nobility from using enchanted items or purchasing the assistance of alchemists, though. Over the ages, alchemists learned to stay hidden under the scrutiny of the inquisition. Contacting alchemists is very tricky and costumers never get to know the identity of the enchanter as they always work under aliases and via intermediaries. Alchemists ask exorbitant prices for their services, making enchantments exclusive for nobility.
It is unclear how alchemists manage to recruit new apprentices and are able to hide so well. The inquisition suspects a secret guild (or as they call it, sect) that directs all alchemist movement in Avaren, but experience tells nobility that alchemists work alone. The truth is a secret kept by the alchemists themselves.


The Avarian calendar

The calendar used in Avaren uses 12 month, each month having 30 or 31 days and seven days forming a week.
Names of the days:
Monday – day of the moon
Daulsday – day of Daul
Midweek – the central day of the week
Morksday – day of Mork
Lawsday – day when judgement is rendered
Fairsday – day when most towns and cities hold markets and fairs
Sunday – day of the sun

Technically speaking, There are two days of the sun and two days of the moon, as Daul and Mork represent the sun and the moon. People seldom pay attention to that, however, and it is a curiosity at best.

The month days are named after minerals. They resemble the seasons with their colours. The wintermonths are commonly named the cold months or the blue months. Autumnmonths are named the brown months. Summer has the colours red and yellow, resembling the warm months. The spring months are named the green months. Because Avaren lies in the southern hemisphere, summertime takes place during the earth-months December, January and February. The first day of the year starts at the first day of spring.

September = Turan - Turquoise
October = Emeran - Emerald
November = Olivan - Olivine
December = Rubi - Ruby
January = Jaspi - Jasper
February = Pyri - Pyrope
March = Wulfan - Wulfenite
April = Spessa - Spessaritive
May = Tigra – Tigereye
June = Lapi – Lapis Lazuli
July = Dia - Diamond
August = Sapphi - Sapphire

In order from first to last moth of the year: Turan, Emeran, Olivan, Rubi, Jaspi, Pyri, Wulfan, Spessa, Tigra, Lapi, Dia and Sapphi.

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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 17:54 
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People, fasten your seatbelts, it’s time for the last major announcement concerning Avaren! And this time it’ll be a recap of alchemy and the calendar (note that some info has been added with the calendar), a recap and additional information on magic, military structure, a dash of history, and some good news.

So, let’s start with the recap of the calendar.
The Avarian calendar uses 12 month, each month having 30 or 31 days and seven days forming a week.
Names of the days:
Monday – day of the moon
Daulsday – day of Daul
Midweek – the central day of the week
Morksday – day of Mork
Lawsday – day when judgement is rendered
Fairsday – day when most towns and cities hold markets and fairs
Sunday – day of the sun

Technically speaking, There are two days of the sun and two days of the moon, as Daul and Mork represent the sun and the moon. People seldom pay attention to that, however, and it is a curiosity at best.

The month days are named after minerals. They resemble the seasons with their colours. The wintermonths are commonly named the cold months or the blue months. Autumnmonths are named the brown months. Summer has the colours red and yellow, resembling the warm months. The spring months are named the green months. Because Avaren lies in the southern hemisphere, summertime takes place during the earth-months December, January and February. The first day of the year starts at the first day of spring.

September = Turan - Turquoise
October = Emeran - Emerald
November = Olivan - Olivine
December = Rubi - Ruby
January = Jaspi - Jasper
February = Pyri - Pyrope
March = Wulfan - Wulfenite
April = Spessa - Spessaritive
May = Tigra – Tigereye
June = Lapi – Lapis Lazuli
July = Dia - Diamond
August = Sapphi - Sapphire

In order from first to last moth of the year: Turan, Emeran, Olivan, Rubi, Jaspi, Pyri, Wulfan, Spessa, Tigra, Lapi, Dia and Sapphi.
We are currently in the year 632. It’s 632 years ago that the Faith united and formed the Doctrine. As it is the Faith that decides whether or not someone sees himself as an Avarian and thus is the binding factor, the unification of the Faith is used as starting point of the era. So please, please keep in mind that it is not the unification of Avaren itself that is used as starting point. The unification of Avaren was made official in 403 ad. (After Doctrine). This makes the kingdom itself 219 years old, whereas the Doctrine is 632 years old.
Now, moving on to alchemy. This hasn’t changed, but I added it for convenience when we’ll make the wiki-article on Avaren.

Alchemy is, basically speaking, the scientific opposite of magic. Its effects are mostly passive and come in the form of enchantments.
Unlike with magic, one does not need a particular talent to perform alchemy. However, it does require knowledge and resources. The first thing needed is ether. Ether is mana, extracted from the body. The easiest and most practical way to do so is to tap blood. Blood contains adequate amounts of mana and easily lets go of it in the alchemic process, creating ether. When mages convert mana into magic, they give it form by thinking about the effect they want to create. When alchemists convert ether into enchantments, they give it its purposes by exposing it to certain metals. This gives the ether a form and effect based upon the metals it was exposed to.

There are more parallels between magic and alchemy. Both work with the elements. With magic, elements are represented by emotion: passion represents fire, calmness represents water, determination represents earth and joy represents air. Mana mixed with a strong feeling of passion creates more competent fireballs, for example.
With alchemy, elements are represented by metals: gold represents fire, silver represents water, copper represents earth, and nickel represents air. In addition, alchemy links the elements to parts of the body. This division shows which element affects which aspect of the body when used in enchantments. Fire affects the muscles, granting them explosive energy or draining them. Water affects the nervous system, able to heighten or dull senses, improve reflexes and dampening or inflicting pain. Earth affects skin and bones, reinforcing them or weakening them. Air affects the mind and is the odd one out. Instead of manipulating the body, it manipulates the world around it. Its effect is commonly known as luck.

Enchantments come in two forms: there are enchantments that affect the body of the user or the target (like enchanted weapons) and there are enchantments that affect the enchanted object itself. A good example is presented by talking stones. Enchanted in pairs, their purpose is to absorb sound and send it to the other stone, which will recreate the sound. If someone were to talk into one stone, he would hear his voice coming from the other stone. The element used to create this effect is air, for sound is composed of vibrations in the air, which the stones absorb and recreate.
Similar enchantments include lighters, floating devices, and automated objects.

However, even though alchemy has many useful applications and alchemists control very little power, alchemy has been banned by the Faith. The doctrine states that ether is not mana released from the body, but power granted by demons in exchange for the offered blood. As such, the Faith sees alchemy as the worshipping of demons and condemns enchanted objects as foul things. As such, alchemists are being hunted down by the inquisition constantly.

This hasn’t stopped nobility from using enchanted items or purchasing the assistance of alchemists, though. Over the ages, alchemists learned to stay hidden under the scrutiny of the inquisition. Contacting alchemists is very tricky and costumers never get to know the identity of the enchanter as they always work under aliases and via intermediaries. Alchemists ask exorbitant prices for their services, making enchantments exclusive for nobility.
It is unclear how alchemists manage to recruit new apprentices and are able to hide so well. The inquisition suspects a secret guild (or as they call it, sect) that directs all alchemist movement in Avaren, but experience tells nobility that alchemists work alone. The truth is a secret kept by the alchemists themselves.

Onwards to magic. Last time I mentioned magic, it was really short and very rough, so this time it’ll be explained properly.
Magic is defined by two things: the existence of mana, and humanity’s ability to convert it to create a direct effect on their surroundings.
Mana is the very core of magic. It is energy of a pure form, generated as a side product of brain activity. A working brain produces residual energy. On earth, this energy is lost. On Amaroth, however, it is absorbed by the body and stored in every cell. Every living organism with a brain constantly produces mana. Humans, as the species with the biggest and most active brain, generate the most mana. Within our species, variety in generation speed is trivial. Being smart does not automatically let you generate mana faster, but intensive brain usage (like thinking really hard or solving puzzles) increases activity and as such it augments generation speed. This is trivial, however, and a scholar hardly commands more mana than a farmer. The true limitation is the amount of mana one is able to store. The more cells a person has, the more mana he is able to store. As such, the bigger you are, the more mana you can store. This variety is more noticeable than generation speed, but still hardly a decisive factor.

So every human and every animal with a brain generates mana. The process is passive and only alchemists are aware of its existence (they call it aether). And even they are unaware that animals also produce mana (as they generate less and aren’t able to store it well, alchemists don’t notice it) so the above is mainly to explain it to us, the creators and roleplayers, to understand magic better. The process of generating mana or even its mere existence is not common knowledge.

But if everyone has access to mana, how come not everyone is a mage?
Technically speaking, every human is a mage.
But here comes the second thing that defines magic: humanity’s ability to convert the mana stored in their body into power that manipulates its surroundings (or rather, magic). Technically speaking, every single human has this ability. What defines a mage is how great this ability is. A man who has very little talent will have a very hard time to convert mana whereas someone who is very talented can do so in the blink of an eye.
This ability can be trained to some extent, but it is hardly noticeable. For the biggest part, it’s defined when forming the brain itself, just like intelligence and spatial awareness, and not unlike dyslexia or autism.
For convenience, let’s make comparison between autism and the conversion-ability. Both are created the very moment a foetus grows a brain. Both are unchangeable. Both are hereditary but may also randomly pop up. Both are present in every human, but hardly noticeable in most. Differences are that the ability merely affects the ability to convert mana, whereas autism is far more noticeable in many aspects. Also, autism can be suppressed with medications, but the conversion-ability can’t be augmented or suppressed by any means.
The greater the ability, the more potent the mage. Using magic requires focus. The greater the ability, the less you need to focus. Anyone is able to move a rock if he focusses on it for long enough. But because it costs such great effort while hardly producing anything noticeable, most people never manage to successfully convert mana and thus never find out about their magical powers.
Mages are people with a very good conversion-ability. They require less focus and can convert more mana per second. Their potency is great enough to actually be discovered. For example, a boy notices a rock blocking his path. Staring at the rock, he thinks about how he wants it to move. The greater his conversion-ability, the quicker and further the rock moves. If the boy has a lot of potency, the rock will budge rather quickly and the boy discovers what he can do: a mage discovering his potential. If the boy lacks potency, it will take way longer for the rock to budge. Probably, the boy would lose focus and just look for a more mundane solution like moving the rock or climbing over it. And so he never finds out that he can move the rock.
In short, a mage is a person whose conversion-ability is great enough for practical use.

The process of magic is mainly based on intuition, not unlike intuitive magic on the old Amaroth. The mage releases mana, converting it into raw power. Then, the mage will have to give this power a purpose to determine the effect it will have. This is based on will, focus, imagination, and emotion. Will determines the scale of the effect. Focus affects the effectiveness. Imagination determines what will actually happen, and emotion affects effectiveness.
As an example, I’m going to pick a mage who wants to create a fireball. His imagination determines that the power will take form as a ball of fire. Will determines how big the fireball will be (the greater the will, the more accurate it will be to what the mage imagined). Focus affects how effective the fireball will be (how accurate it will be, how hot it will be). Emotion is the last factor. If the mage is passionate by nature, the fireball will be more potent. If he is angry at the moment of performing magic, it will be even more potent. If the mage is weak-hearted by nature, the fireball will be less potent, and fear always dampens fire’s effect.
As you can see, magic is heavily afflicted by nature and emotion. As such, these play a big role in the mage’s affinity. Both natures and emotion are linked to elements. A passionate nature links to fire, a calm nature to water, a disciplined nature to earth, and a carefree nature to air. A mage with none of these natures does not have a direct affinity. Anger is an emotion linked to fire, serenity is linked to water, determination is linked to earth, and joy to air. If a naturally carefree person is currently angry, both his fire and air-magic will be more potent than average. Natures never have a negative effect on affinities, but emotions can. Fear dampens fire, doubt damps water, apathy dampens earth, and sadness dampens air. A calm mage who is currently self-conflicted has no increased affinity whatsoever. A determined mage who is currently sad will have a decreased affinity with air, but maintains his increased affinity with earth.

In theory, a mage is able to use every element, but most prefer to focus on an element they have greater affinity with. They’d rather be an expert on one area than being a jack of all trades but king of none. An expert on earth magic can still summon a fireball, however. Mages who can only use one element do not exist.

Magic in society
In Avaren, life is poor for mages. Because their power is feared, nobility and the clergy are very cautious about them and want to keep as much control over them as possible. In rural areas, people are overflowing with superstition about mages. In cities, people just don’t care for them.
Officially, mages are not outlawed or prosecuted. What makes life poor for mages everywhere in Avaren is the nobility. Initially out of fear, the aristocracy leashed and even killed mages since long before the unification of the Faith. Over time however, the use of leashing mages mutated. Killing went out of fashion in most kingdoms and leashed ones became status symbols. And so it happened that in time, noblemen no longer hunted mages out of necessity, but for personal interest. Having a mage improves your position with rivalling nobles, and the stronger your mage and the more mages you have, the better. As such, the nobility has a constant vigil for mages.
There are two kinds of mages: courtmages and rogue mages. Neither live good lives. Courtmages, often taken captive against their will, are treated poorly and almost always are forced to serve because their lord threatens to kill them or their families if they attempt to escape. On the same time, noblemen try to augment their mage(s) to improve their power. As such they are always looking for a balance to make their mage as powerful as possible while still make sure they can control them. Some mages seek this augmentation and willingly surrender themselves to a lord. Most are prisoners, however.
Rogue mages are free, but constantly live in fear of being captured by local noblemen. They are either travellers, or they live in cities. Some try to escape Avaren and move to more tolerant nations, but the lords of the borders and ports are amongst the most vigilant mageseekers. The anonymity of the city and the traveller are a rogue mage’s safest bet to elude capture.

Next up, military.
Avarian military works through call to arms. In times of war, the king summons a number of counts and dukes, and orders them to assemble their armies. In turn, these counts and dukes summon their own vassals to assemble their troops. And if these vassals have vassals themselves, they call upon them to recruit.
The largest amount of troops are recruited from peasants, farmers, and citizens. Generally, they receive poor training before being sent into battle and are given low-quality weapons. They are poorly organized and their only strength is their sheer number: the Avarian army relies on its size. If the king were to summon all his counts and dukes and every one of them would answer the call, the army would be so massive it could defeat every standing army on Auralis, simply because it would be so insanely big. The king would never do so, however. Calling a county or duchy to arms results in a drop in production and trade in that area. Calling all of Avaren to arms would destroy the economy and leave it vulnerable for the Empire while the army moves. So the king only calls a limited amount of vassals to arms, the numbers varying with the nature and calamity of the situation.

Military organization varies from county to county and duchy to duchy, but every province works with a call-to-arms system (although it may be combined with conscription) but the methods, drills, outfitting, standing armies, composition and chain of command can differ greatly.
Because of this great diversity within the military, clustering is almost unavoidable. Mingling between armies is uncommon and merging two battalions from different counties is highly ineffective, as soldiers usually only take orders from a superior from the same duchy or county. Infighting between generals is a given.
Because of all this lack of discipline and unity, the Reconquista is processing way slower than it could and now that the Empire has taken a stand and fortified their border, the only way Avaren could ever reconquer the lost kingdoms is by reforming its military. Something that is very unlikely to happen until the kingdom becomes more centralized.


Speaking of the king, it’s time for a bit more information on the guy and his dynasty. His name is Toran of house Fedel, or just King Toran. House Fedel is the very same house that spawned the First King of Avaren. In its 219 years of existence, Avaren has known 14 kings, barring the Santak-King. However, not all these kings have been from house Fedel.
After King Hirac Fedel of Maetranarch became the First King of Avaren (a feat that concluded months of infighting and show of force) the throne was highly unstable, but Hirac and his son after him managed to keep their vassals in line. Hirac’s grandson, however, was not the man his father or grandfather was, and in a bloody civil war, he lost the throne and house Fedel was cast in the shadow.
But four generations later, the house rose up again and usurped the throne again, making the 8th king of Avaren a man of house Fedel. Ever since, it has been in control of Avaren. There have been weaker kings and stronger kings, but this time around the house had made good connections to solidify its influence. There have been coups, but the last 80 years have been a time of relative peace between the king and his vassals. The vassals still have a tendency to fight among themselves, but the rule of house Fedel is certain.


And now, on to the good news!
Being: you guys can finally get of your asses and start creating stuff yourselves. The creation-team is giving out duchies and counties for people to work on. Every province is available, except for the duchies of Firayla, Thar and Maetranarch, and the counties of Icura, Kajadish and Ulvenaden. That leaves 27 provinces for you to work on, so I’d say that’s enough.
If you want to work on a province, please post it here. The creation team will send you a package of things you directly need to know about the duchy or county you are about to work out. These include the flag and insignia of the ruling family, general vegetation, and other things the team wants you to pay attention to.
The things that need to be worked out first are military structure, political viewpoint, and ruling family. After that, you can work on things like history and culture, then fill in the smaller details.

Aaaaaaand… I think that’s all. I might have forgotten something, so Lavinia or Gaara can add what I didn’t.

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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 18:20 
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I'll take Anai.


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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 19:31 
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I'd like the duchy of Yuroka

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PostPosted: Thu 24 May 2012, 20:18 
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I'd also like to create something, but a whole duchy or county? And if you want to desclibe it good, original vegetation etc, you'll need plants and animals, right? How about a special topic for plants and animals? Than you can use the crations from oveer there in your duchy/county.

Maybe a stupid question ;) but why is everybody talking in english over here? :D

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