08-18-2007, 11:48 PM
For those of you who have not visited my wiki, I thought I'd let you see some of it. I'd really like to hear you opinions on this. Let me know what you think, okay?
Here is my...
In the mist-shrouded ages of times gone by, Oramis was a much
different place. Myths and legends tell us that the world was whole and solid then, a sphere of unimaginable proportions. They say the world would turn its face away from the world every day so that a great darkness called “night” would fall, dividing time into alternating days and nights. In this darkness, or so the legends run, one could see lights in the sky - small lights called “stars” as well as a greater light the ancients called the “moon”. The followers of Selene say that this is true and that this moon and their Lady are one and the same. But if that is true, who supplies their powers now that the moon is gone?
They also say that great sections of our world were covered in water. Vast “oceans” of water so great that one could not see the other side, and so deep that one could not see the bottom. Ships plied their trades on the surface of these oceans and great monstrous beasts filled their depths.
Then came the Dragon Lords. From whence did they come? What did they want? What was their purpose? No one seems to know for certain save, perhaps, the elves and dragons - and even they do not have the answers... or so they claim. For ages the Dragon Lords ruled, setting up stone circles and monoliths. Only they knew the purpose for them. Their servants, the elves and dragons, provided the labor, while the native peoples of our world - human, dwarf and twyll - could only watch in awe. Great magical powers the Dragon Lords had, and watching them we learned. We learned about building, about power, and ultimately, about magic. Through their servants, the elves, they began to teach our peoples the ways of magic, and our peoples learned well and true. Many of the people began to worship them, turning their backs on the True Gods. In return the Gods, in their jealousy and rage, turned their backs on us.
If only we had known what was coming....
Everything seemed peaceful according to the stories. Yes, the True Priests and the Followers of the Dragon Lords bickered and fought, but everything else, it seemed, was fine. Then one day the
True Priests began to cry, “The end is coming! The Tapestry unravels! Turn away from the false ones and return to the True Faith! Bring their blessings back upon us before it is too late!” But few heeded their warnings.
Then He came. He Who Has No Name. The Incomprehensible One. The Destroyer. The Unraveler. The people cried out to the Dragon Lords to save them, but they could not be found. They and their followers, the Mages, had vanished, deserting the peoples in their time of need. The True Priests gathered their strength and stood up to him, but ultimately it was no use. The Unraveller struck, and the world was shattered like a glass ball into ten thousand pieces. But the True Priests were able to rescue us. They cried out to the Gods “Save us!” And the Gods responded. They drove away the Nameless One, and created a sphere to keep the pieces of our world from drifting away.
Only after the world had shattered and the Nameless One defeated did the mages return saying that they had saved the world for us. The Guild (some of whom were diviners) claimed that it had been able to foresee this disaster months before it actually happened and was prepared. They said that - though unable to completely prevent this event now referred to as the Shattering - they were able at least to save the world from total destruction. After determining how the world would be shattered, the Guild - working feverishly - claimed it had devised magical devices called shard-keys and placed one of them on each piece of land which would someday become a shard. These devices maintain each shard's gravity, atmosphere, climate, and stability. If a shard-key were ever to be removed from the shard it was designed to protect, that shard would lose all of these things and would pose a hazard to other shards as it spun out of control. All of these shards were suspended inside a large envelope of air and set to floating within it in random, ever-shifting patterns.
Millions of people died in the ensuing chaos which followed the Shattering. Common people, blaming the cowardice of the mages for the destruction and death, hunted down and slew many wizards. Much knowledge of magic was lost. Modern mages have yet to duplicate many of the marvels that have been accredited to those ancient wizards - including the magic which created shard-keys!
For centuries mundanes - those who don't practice magic - persecuted those who do, blaming them for the catastrophe that was the Shattering, despite the fact that they were instrumental in saving the world from total destruction. However times and people change. As society began to rebound, people became more and more dependent on those who use magic for trade. There is now a grudging acceptance of mages in most places. However there are a few shards - even today - that still cling to the old beliefs, that remain suspicious of those who use magic and continue to support the witch hunters who help to "rid the world of those dangerous people."
RASAMA (the Royal Academy for the Study and Advancement of the Mystic Arts - also known as the Mages' Guild) was originally conceived as a means of controlling and monitoring mages in light of the general public's fear of them. All mages were required to register with the Guild, and those who did not were shunned and hunted down by witch hunters - betrayed by to them by their own brother mages. Today the registration of mages with the Guild continues, despite the general shift in attitudes and the changing views of most people. In many places a mage will not be hired for work unless he is a registered Guild member, and since the Guild still brands those who practice forbidden schools as rogue mages, often those who are not registered will be viewed with suspicion.
Undaunted by the prejudice and persecution they received in the past, however, mages have continued to be of great service to man - their greatest accomplishment being the creation of windriggers, flying ships which provide transportation from shard to shard.
08-24-2007, 02:53 PM
A Lexicon of Common Oramian Terms and Phrases
Achoite: A spice made from the the seeds of the Achoite cactus, which is found only on the shard Oriolis. It's incredibly expensive to obtain and is very popular among rich Oramians.
Airship: See Windrigger.
Alliance, The: See Kusaran Alliance.
Ancients, The: Pre-shattering peoples. (See Shattering, The)
A.S.: After the Shattering (used in dates). (See also: Shattering, The)
B.S.: Before the Shattering (used in dates). (See also: Shattering, The)
Cabal, The: A group of rogue wizards who study the art of necromancy. They have banded together for the sole purpose of self-preservation, and are believed to have a covert shard base hidden somewhere. The name of this shard and its location are kept secret by members of the Cabal. They believe that the Restoration is a hopeless goal, a fool's errand, and are more interested in their own studies and goals - primarily the destruction of RASAMA. (See also: RASAMA, Restoration, The; Rogue Wizard; Shard.)
Children, The: See Children of the Light.
Children of the Light: A militant organization composed of extremist Lawful Good members who are fanatically driven to further their own alignment. They use inquisition-like tactics to find and convert those who are not Lawful Good to their own system of beliefs. It is rumored that the radical group called the Witch Hunters is in some way connected to this organization, since the Children condemn mages and all things magical in nature. Based on the shard called Caemlyn. (See The Gazeteer of Shards: Caemlyn. See also: Shard; Witch Hunters.)
Circle, The: A group of rogue wizards (mostly demonists, diabolists, wild mages, and necromancers) who believe in the goals of RASAMA, but believe that the solution to the problem of the Restoration lies within the forbidden schools of magic (since the Guild has obviously had no luck using the more widely accepted schools). This group desires a shard-key to study in order to unlock its secrets in the hope of achieving this goal, and will pay HANDSOMELY to get their hands on one. (See also: Demonist; Diabolist; RASAMA; Restoration, The; Rogue Wizard; Shard-Key.)
Compass: A portable magical device which can be used to locate nearly any given shard from anywhere in the world. They are very expensive. (See also: Shard.)
Darkfall: Oramian term for the brief periods of twilight-like semi-darkness resulting from one shard passing between another shard and the sun, temporarily casting its shadow on the other shard. Darkfall may also occur when an individual shard’s rotation causes it to briefly turn away from the sun. Darkfall can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days, depending on many factors. At least one shard, the shard called Dark Haven, is known to remain in darkness all of the time because it is somehow linked to another, larger shard, which always blocks it from receiving sunlight. (See The Gazeteer of Shards: Dark Haven. See also: Shard.)
Death Rede: When an elf dies, any elf who has shared communion with him will receive a death rede. That is, when dying an elf can by some means project his or her final thoughts unto another elf. It is a traumatic blow unto the recipient, for elves are immortal, and for one to die means that a virtually unthinkable event has occurred to a loved one. A death rede is the final message of the dying elf, and it often contains visions as well as the elf's last words.
Demonist: A type of Thaumaturgist who specializes in the summoning of demons. Demon conjuring is considered a forbidden art, and all such conjurers are considered rogue mages. (See also: Rogue Mage.)
Diabolist: A type of Thaumaturgist who specializes in the summoning of devils. Devil conjuring is considered a forbidden art, and all such conjurers are considered rogue mages. (See also: Rogue Mage.)
Dragon: Dragons of the Shattered World are vastly different from those of other worlds. Dragon females give birth to large clutches of eggs which the mother then abandons. As the young dragons begin to hatch from their eggs, those which are quicker and stronger begin to break the other eggs and eat their siblings. As the survivors grow, they leave the nest and begin to congregate with other immature grays in flocks. At this stage, grays have a sonic blast ability which can be quite destructive. Flocks of grays (so-called because their hide has not yet developed a color and appears as a neutral gray) are a common sight. At this point they have no more than animal intelligence. When they reach adulthood, their hide begins to take on its color, intelligence begins to develop, and the sonic ability is replaced with a breath weapon. At the mature adult stage all Oramian dragons gain the ability to polymorph self into humanoid form at will. The dragons of Oramis do not follow the same patterns of those of other worlds. Skin color is NOT indicative of alignment or of breath weapon! It is entirely possible to have a chaotic evil gold dragon with a flame breath weapon! Each mature Oramian dragons is unique and, as such, these regal creatures will NEVER be found as random encounters! (DM'S NOTE: The following information is NOT considered general knowledge, and as such it should not be made available to the players unless and until they discover it on their own. In the Shattered World, dragons are the primary components used in the manufacture of windskiffs and windriggers. Thus dragons are heavily hunted and can bring high profits on the black market.) (See Dragons of Oramis. See also: Windrigger; Windskiff)
Dragon Lancers: Windrigger crews who actively hunt dragons to sell to the Ship Builders’ Guild. It is unknown what purpose these creatures are used to accomplish. (See also: Dragon; Ship Builders’ Guild; Windrigger.)
Dragon Lords: An ancient, powerful, and mysterious race that has now vanished from the world. Ruins of Dragon Lord cities as well as monoliths and stone circles which they erected have been found on several shards. The Dragon Lords were not native to Oramis, though where they came from and where they have now gone is not known. This is a topic of much discussion and debate amongst Oramian sages, mages, and scholars. Another topic for much debate is whether or not the Dragon Lords will ever return to Oramis. Elves and dragons were introduced to Oramis by these beings. (See Races of Oramis: Elves and Half-Elves. See Dragons of Oramis. See also: Oramis; Shard.)
Dragoneers: Special windrigger crew members who specialize in protecting windriggers from dragon attacks. They often use special harpoons and lances especially enchanted for this purpose. Unlike Dragon Lancers, Dragoneers are only concerned with the protection of the windrigger they are currently working on, not with the capturing of dragons. (See Dragons of Oramis. See also: Dragon Lancers; Windrigger.)
Dwarven Plague: A devastating plague ran through the dwarven clans 500 years ago. Unfortunately the disease proved fatal. Even worse, it only affected females. Today only 1/4 of all dwarves are female.
Edge Monster: Oramian myth. Mothers on many shards threaten their children with this creature in order to frighten them into staying away from the shard-edge. For example, here is a saying that is commonly overheard: "If you stray to close to the edge, the edge monster will get you!" (See also: Shard; Shard-edge.)
Fey: There are no drow in the Shattered World, only the fey - elves every bit as evil as the drow, but not restricted to darkness. The fey have powerful necromancers, and seek to conquer the world. Fey elves do not have the black skin and white hair common among the drow of other worlds. A fey is indistinguishable from other elves - at least by non-elven eyes. An elf can easily spot a fey. Despite the obvious fact that the fey are brothers of the elves, elves will not tolerate anyone of any race remarking on the fact. Elves become angry, even violent, if the relationship is mentioned, even in a casual way. The fey are not even discussed amongst the elves themselves. (See also: Races of Oramis: Elves and Half-Elves.)
Fragments: There are seven of these shards which are actually almost large enough to be called continents. One of these is even large enough to enclose a large inland sea. (See also: Shard.)
Globe: A puzzle/game popular with Oramian children. A three-dimensional glass ball which, when disassembled, becomes miniature models of all of the shards. Curiously, when the ball is reassembled, it is hollow. Magical versions of this game have been created which can be used as oracular devices. To use one the holder simply drops the solid ball on a semi-hard surface. The pattern the pieces land in is said to be able to predict future events. However, with ten thousand pieces, the possible permutations are endless. It is nearly impossible to use an oracular globe without first consulting a Pattern Book. (See also: Pattern Book; Shard.)
Governor: See Shard Lord.
Gray: A young dragon. (See also: Dragon.)
Guild, The: See Wizards’ Guild.
Guild Mages: The general public is fearful of mages. As a result, the Wizards’ Guild has had to become an underground organization. Even so, the Wizards’ Guild is a powerful organization. One of the main purposes of the Guild is to seek out new mages and try to convince them to join the Guild. There are two main reasons for this. First and foremost, it allows the Guild to keep tabs on all Guild mages. If these mages do anything to jeopardize the Guild or any of its members or goals (by the open use of magic, following forbidden schools of magic, etc.), they may be dealt with by the Guild. Second, in return for joining the Guild, a mage gets certain benefits. He has a place to go to get supplies and training if they become needed. He may recruit other mages to help in an adventure or other endeavor. He is welcome to use the Guild’s laboratories and libraries to further his own studies (as long as these do not interfere with the Guild’s objectives). One of the conditions of joining the Wizards' Guild is that the mage must agree under a binding oath that he will not create any new spells or magic items without the expressed approval of the Guild. Also, any magic items found by the mage must be viewed and approved by the Guild before they may become anyone's personal property (thus the Guild may weed out any items deemed too powerful or dangerous for use). Any mage who refuses to join the Guild is branded a rogue mage, and is actively hunted by Guild mages. The term "The Wizards’ Guild" is somewhat misleading. It is actually just another name for RASAMA. (See also: Oramis; RASAMA; Rogue Wizard; Shattering, The; Wizards’ Guild.)
Halfling: A name which refers to anyone of the Twyll race. Twyll find this term to be highly degrading and insutling, and take great offense at its usage. (See Races of Oramis: Twyll)
High Magus: The leader of RASAMA. The current High Magus is a female human named Salandra Norfressa. (See Who’s Who in the Shattered World: Salandra Norfressa. See also: RASAMA)
Holy Order of the Skywyrm Riders: An order of paladins who are dedicated to the protection of the mages of RASAMA. These men and women believe in the possibility of the Restoration and have dedicated their lives to ensuring that the mages have the opportunity to continue work that they believe is vital to the survival of Oramis. Each Skywyrm Rider is chosen at dedication by a dragon and spends all of his or her training time with that wyrm. By the time the Rider is ready to join the Order, the two have developed a telepathic bond. The greatest threats facing RASAMA today include (but are not limited to): The Cabal, The Children of the Light, The Circle, the Sky-Pirates of Gao-Den, and the Witch-Hunters. (See also: Cabal, The; Children of the Light; Circle, The; Oramis; RASAMA; Restoration, The; Sky-Pirates of Gao-Den; Skywyrm; Witch-Hunters.)
Key: See Shard-Key.
Key-Holder: See Shard Lord.
Keystone: See Shard-Key.
Kusaran Alliance: An alliance of four shards: Kusara, Carbuncle, Sheranda, and Tartassos. Guild mages from RASAMA have found a way to magically tie the four shards together so that they are always near each other. The four shards that make up the alliance are probably the most accepting of mages of all of the shards. (See The Gazeteer of Shards: Carbuncle, Kusara, Sheranda, Tartassos. See also: Guild Mages; RASAMA; Shard.)
Library at Tartassos, The: The legendary Library at Tartassos is a mysterious place. It is large beyond belief and so old that it is believed to predate even the Dragon Lords. (See The Gazeteer of Shards: Tartassos. See also: Dragon Lords.)
Lost Ones: See Wind Wraith.
Mad Ship: A windrigger whose captain has died without appointing a second. When a captain purchases a windrigger, the shipstone is magically bonded to him. The death of the captain is the only known way to end this bond. If this happens, however, the ship becomes uncontrolled (a mad ship) and often rebels against those creatures which are currently inhabiting its body, intentionally trying to kill those aboard. A mage from the Ship Builders' Guild will be needed to bring the ship back under control and bond it with a new captain. (See also: Second; Ship Builders' Guild; Shipstone; Windrigger)
Mageslayers: See Witch Hunters.
Masladh: A dwarven term term implying shaming and disgrace that is often associated with traitors. A male dwarf who kills another dwarf without just cause is branded masladh. Such criminals can be slain on sight by any dwarf.
Female dwarves branded masladh are not slain, but are shunned and treated as prisoners. (See Races of Oramis: Dwarves.)
Moon: Before the Shattering, Oramis - like many other worlds - had a moon called Selene. It is theorized that when the world "exploded," the sudden loss of gravity and the force of the explosion hurled it into space, leaving Oramis moonless. If this is true, then it becomes difficult to explain why the priestesses of Selene still revere the moon and - mysteriously - still retain their spell-casting ability and other granted powers! Some sages have theorized that this can be explained in one of two ways. First, perhaps some other power has adopted the moon’s portfolio and has "adopted" the priesthood as its own under the guise of Selene. Second, perhaps the moon was not lost at all, it just isn’t visible now because of the fact that there is no longer a true night. (See also: Oramis; Shattering, The.)
Mundane: Wizard slang for anyone who is unable to harness the power of magic.
Navigator: Navigators are strange and mysterious beings who are present on all windriggers. No one seems to know exactly who or what they are. It has been rumored that navigators are diviners, using their magic to know exactly where any given shard is located at any given time. Navigators appear as faceless humanoids wearing midnight-blue hooded robes and have never been known to speak. It is forbidden to touch a navigator. (DM'S NOTE: The following information is NOT considered general knowledge, and as such it should not be made available to the players unless and until they discover it on their own. Navigators do not really exist. They are merely illusions projected by the ships themselves Unknown to the general public, windriggers are actually living sentient beings - young gray dragons - magically shaped by mages to look like ships. Somehow, possibly through a natural homing instinct or a natural magical ability, they are aware at all times of exactly where each shard is at any given moment and whether or not there are any other shards blocking a given route. The "navigator" illusion is used simply so that windrigger captains may have somewhere to direct their orders for destinations. Please note that a ship's navigator can onlly help with direction. It is up to the captain and crew to operate the sails.) (See also: Dragon; Shard; Windrigger.)
Night: A pre-Shattering myth. Supposedly when the world was solid, it would undergo periods of complete darkness, resulting from the world turning away from the sun. Sages say that such a thing is possible, but it is difficult for most Oramians to imagine such a concept. (See also: Shattering, The)
Ocean: A pre-Shattering myth. According to legends, much of the world was once covered with great bodies of water which were only separated by areas of land. These bodies of water were referred to as oceans. Supposedly, the bodies were so large that one could travel for days, even weeks before encountering dry land. (See also: Shattering, The)
Oramis: Setting for the Shattered World campaign. Once a solid world, Oramis was blown apart as the result of a Wizard War fought between twin brothers, both of whom were powerful mages. Due to a great deal of foresight and Foresight by diviners of the Wizards’ Guild, Oramis was saved but forever changed. Today, Oramis is composed of one thousand floating islands (called shards) suspended within an envelope of air which revolves around the Oramian sun in approximately the same position formerly occupied by the pre-Shattering world. True night is now unknown in the shards, though some shards experience brief twilight-like hours of semi-darkness (known as darkfall). Unfortunately, the moon is believed to have been blown from its orbit and is now nothing more than a fondly-remembered legend. (See also: Darkfall; Moon; Shard; Shattering, The; Wizard War; Wizards' Guild.)
Ostoria: Lost capitol city of the dwarves. Before the Shattering, Ostoria was the greatest of the underground dwarven cities, well-known for its beauty and finery. When the Shattering occurred Ostoria was ripped apart. With their caverns and tunnels collapsing all around them, the dwarves were forced to retreat to the surface. Dwarves have been searching for it since the Shattering, but it has not yet been recovered. (See Races of Oramis: Dwarves. See also: Shattering, The.)
Pattern Book: Used in combination with a globe to predict the future. (See also: Globe.)
Proxy: A person who temporarily fills the role of Shard Lord should a Shard Lord ever need to leave his shard. Without appointing a proxy, a Shard Lord cannot leave his shard. Both Shard Lord and Shard-Key must approve of a proxy before he can recieve charge of its care. (See also: Shard ; Shard Key; Shard Lord)
RASAMA: An acronym which stands for The Royal Academy for the Study and Advancement of the Mystical Arts. This is the formal name of the Wizards’ Guild. The Guild formally and openly receives the endorsement of the shards comprising the Kusaran Alliance, since its main goal is the Restoration of the world to its former solid shape. Branches of RASAMA, also known less commonly as the Wizards’ Guild, are known (at least to mages) to exist on many shards, however most -except for the University on Tartassos - exist in secret owing to the paranoia most mundanes feel toward mages. (See The Gazeteer of Shards: Tartassos. See also: Kusaran Alliance; Mundane; Restoration, The; Shard; University on Tartassos; Wizards’ Guild.)
Restoration, The: The name applied by Guild Mages to the major goal of RASAMA - the restoration of Oramis into a solid whole. (See also: Guild Mages; Oramis; RASAMA.)
Rogue Wizard: A wizard who has refused to join the Wizards’ Guild. Such mages are hunted by Guild mages. It is rumored that the Wizards’ Guild sometimes sells information concerning known rogue wizards to the radical organization known as the Witch Hunters. Certain types of magic are also forbidden and those who practice them are considered rogue mages. The fobidden types of mage are: Necromancers, Wild Mages, Demonists and Diabolists (types of Thaumaturgist). (See also: Guild Mages; Witch Hunters; Wizards’ Guild.)
Seas: The seas of Oramis have changed, as has the rest of the world. When the Shattering occurred, seas and lakes which were not land-bound flooded off the shards into the Wind Ways. Today, the seas (and there are seven of these) resemble large, free-floating, amorphous globs of fluid. There are also several fresh water "lakes." Some aquatic life still remains in the seas of Oramis, supported at its most basic level by plankton. Seas appear bluish-green from a distance, while lakes are blue. (See also: Oramis; Shattering, The; Wind Ways, The.)
Second: A navigator will only obey the commands of a windrigger's captain. However there may be times when the captain needs to be off-ship or becomes incapacitated by some mishap (including death) and is unable to issue commands. For this reason, a windrigger captain may appoint up to two seconds - persons whom the ship recognizes as “next in command” and whose orders the ship will obey. A captain's bond with his ship can only be permanently severed by the captain's death, so once he is able to resume command, the ship will cease to respond to the second. Sometimes a ship captain will not appoint seconds - a very effective means of discouraging mutiny. (See also: Navigator; Windrigger)
Selene: See Moon.
Shard: Any of the ten thousand floating remnants of what was once the world of Oramis, resembling free-floating islands. They are composed of three parts: topside, shard-edge, and shard-root. A shard’s stability, atmosphere, climate, and gravity are maintained by magical devices known as shard-keys the existence of which is a closely kept secret. Windriggers must approach a shard at the shardedge. Otherwise, the shard’s gravity could possibly pull them down and result in shipwrecks. Due to the lack of a large, solid world to block the sun’s rays, there is no true night. Most shards will occasionally experience temporary periods of twilight-like darkness (called "darkfall") as another shard’s path prevents it from receiving the sun’s rays, or, if the shard rotates, it may turn "upside-down" away from the sun. Otherwise, the shard-world is stuck in a perpetual state of never-ending day. Obviously telling time is much more difficult here than on other worlds. Luckily, all of the inhabitants of the world of shards have developed strong internal clocks which lets everyone know when it is time to sleep. How this works is unknown, but it may be a side-effect of the same magic which provides each shard with its gravity and atmosphere. Magic varies from shard to shard. Some shards have normal magic, some have wild magic areas, and still others have dead magic areas, all of which are residual effects from the unleashing of the powerful magicks which caused the Shattering. Pre-shattering national borders have - for the most part - been forgotten, and are reated as little more than footnotes in the history of the world. After 1,000 years, such things seem really unimportant to Oramians. The people living on a shard cannot remember a time when they were ever a part of another nation. all that they are aware of is their current situation, and generally regard the edges of their shard as being the borders of their nation. (See also: Darkfall; Night; Oramis, Shard-edge; Shard-Key; Shard-Root; Top-Side; Windrigger.)
Shard-Edge: The rim of a shard; the point from which - if one continues walking - one will fall off the shard into the Wind Ways. (See also: Shard; Wind Ways, The.)
Shard-Key: Magical devices which exist on each and every shard. These devices maintain a shard’s gravity, climate, atmosphere, and stability. If a key is ever destroyed or removed from the shard it was designed to maintain, the shard will become unstable and could pose a threat to other shards as it becomes uncontrolled and uncontrollable. No two shards’ keys are exactly alike, their forms being disguised so that you would not know what you were looking at even if you saw one. On shards which have ruling families, it is usual that this family will have the shard-key under its protection, since the possession of a key would basically give the holder complete control over the shard and its inhabitants. (An old Oramian proverb says, "He who holds the ability to destroy a thing controls a thing.") In the hands of a tyrant or other person with less than pure motives, the possession of a shard-key would be equivalent to holding the entire shard - and everyone on it - hostage, since simply by breaking it he would be sentencing everyone and everything on the shard to death. Also known as "keystones," or simply as "keys." (DM'S NOTE: The following information is NOT considered general knowledge and as such should not be made available to the players unless and until they discover it on their own. Shard-keys are actually sentient, intelligent artifacts that bond with their owners. They will not bond with anyone of chaotic or evil alignment. If such a person gains possession of a shard-key, the key will attempt to take over the mind of its new owner. If this fails, it will attempt to change the person’s alignment to something more fitting. It is up to the DM to decide what powers each individual key possesses, but each should have powers designed to prevent them from falling into the hands of the wrong person, as well as defensive powers in case they do. As a sentient artifact, a shard-key's sole purpose is to maintain a shard as closely as possible to it's pre-shattering state. It can cast certian spells as needed to insure the preservation of the shard, such as Control Weather to summon rain if needed. A shard-key can operate independently of its owner to ensure a shard's safety) (See also: Shard.)
Shard Lord: The holder of a shard-key. The Shard Lord, quite often, is the ruler of a shard. Shard Lords are immune to spells which affect the shard for which they hold the key, (Hide Shard, Obscure Shard and Close Borders), and can break these spells as well as shard-affecting spells (such as Bind Shards and Move Shard) if they did not cast them. Typically, a Shard Lord cannot leave his shard. However should the need to leave ever arise, he may appoint a proxy who will serve as temporary Shard Lord in his absence, and will assume the role of Shard Lord should something happen to him while he is gone. A proxy must be approved by both the Shard Lord and the Shard Key. Sometimes referred to as a Key-Holder or Governor. (See also: Proxy; Shard; Shard-key.)
Shard-Root: The underside of a shard which hangs down much like the root of a tooth. Shard-roots are popular nesting spots for dragons. (See also: Dragon; Shard.)
Shattered World, The: See Oramis.
Shattering, The: The event which shattered the world of Oramis into one thousand pieces called shards. (See also: Oramis; Shard.)
Ship Builders’ Guild: The group which is now responsible for the creation and sale of windriggers. This Guild is rumored to be a branch of RASAMA. The Guild is completely neutral, and will sell windriggers to most anyone who has enough money to buy one. (See also: RASAMA; Windrigger.)
Shipkey: See Shipstone.
Shipstone: A shipstone is a smaller, much less powerful version of a shard-key. It is this object which provides a windrigger with gravity. Navigators recognize the holder of a shipstone as captain and will obey only the holder's commands. Also called "shipkeys." (See also: Navigator; Shard-Key; Windrigger.)
Siesta: See Slumber.
Sky Merchants' Guild: Guild of merchants responsible for most inter-shard commerce. (See also: Shard.)
Sky-Pirates of Gao-Den: Plague of the Wind Ways, they are known to harry caravans of the Sky Merchant’s Guild. It is believed that one of the Guild mages who first learned how to create windriggers has gone rogue, and is now helping the sky-pirates to create an armada of pirate windriggers. (See The Gazeteer of Shards: Gao-Den. See also: Guild Mages; Rogue Mage; Sky Merchants’ Guild; Wind Ways, The; Windrigger.)
Sky Sphere: The large air envelope which the True Gods erected to surround the Shattered World and keep its atmosphere intact. Shards cannot run into or pass through the sky sphere, as the sphere gently repels errant shards, nudging them away from its borders. The sky sphere is not clear, it is opaque. (See also: Shard)
Skyship: Alternate name for a windrigger. (See also: Windrigger.)
Skywyrm: Oramian term for a dragon. (See also: Dragon.)
Slumber: Oramian term for the periods in which the peoples of Oramis simultaneously begin to feel the need to rest. Slumber is universally agreed upon as the dividing period between Oramian days. The slumber period lasts eight hours of each 24 hour day, and is regulated by the shard-keys. Sometimes referred to as siesta. (See also: Oramis; Shard-Key)
Stars: A pre-Shattering myth. Supposedly, when the world was still sold, the sky would periodically go completey dark, a condition the ancients referred to as night. During these periods of night, it is said that one could small sparkling objects in the sky which were referred to as stars. (See also Ancients; Night; Shattering, The)
Topside: The upper portion of a shard. (See also: Shard.)
University on Tartassos: Home of RASAMA. (See The Gazeteer of Shards: Tartassos. See also: RASAMA.)
Voice: See Voice of the Lady.
Voice of the Lady: Leader of the Church of Selene. Sometimes referred to simply as Voice. The current Voice is Serena Tarsellis. (See Who's Who in the Shattered World: Serena Tarsellis. See also Deities and Myths of Oramis: Selene.)
Ways, The: See Wind Ways, The.
Wind Ways, The: The space that exists between the shards. A chaotic, wind-filled area dominated by strong air currents and buffeting winds. Sometimes referred to as simply as "the ‘Ways." There is no gravity in the ‘Ways, so anything which falls into the ‘Ways without some means of self-propulsion will be buffeted haphazardly by the winds. It is nearly impossible to determine direction in the ‘Ways unaided. (See also: Shard.)
Wind Wraith: It IS possible to fall off the edge of a shard. Doing this is a terrible way to die. Unless one is rescued by a windrigger or other benevolent inhabitant of the Wind Ways, crash-lands on a shard, is devoured by dragons, or meets his demise in some other way, one drifts aimlessly about the ‘Ways with no control over direction or speed. One simply floats about until one dies of thirst or starvation. Many of those who die in this fashion become Wind Wraiths. These horrid undead creatures have no fear of the sun. Being formless entities like ghosts or common wraiths, they are immaterial, and can pass through the walls of an windrigger. They are most often identified by their terrible moaning which is often mistaken for the sound of the wind blowing. Sometimes called "Lost Ones." (See also: Dragon; Shard; Wind Ways, The; Windrigger.)
Windrigger: Magical conveyances which resemble normal ships but have the ability to fly, allowing travel from shard to shard. Most windriggers may also land on water. All windriggers have a mysterious figure known simply as the Navigator onboard. Creation and sale of windriggers are controlled and regulated by the Ship Builders’ Guild. Rumor has it, however, that one of the mages who first learned how to create windriggers has gone rogue, and is helping the Sky Pirates of Gao-Den to create an armada of pirate windriggers. (DM'S NOTE: The following information is NOT considered general knowledge and as such should not be made available to the players unless and until they discover it on their own. Windriggers are magically constructed from the living bodies of young dragons called Grays.) (See Dragons of Oramis. See also: Dragon; Navigator; Rogue Mage; Shard; Ship Builders’ Guild Shipstone; Sky Pirates of Gao-Den; Wind Ways, The.)
Windsailor: Sailors who are trained in the operation of windriggers.(See also: Windrigger.)
Windship: See Windrigger.
Windskiff: A windskiff is a small flying boat designed to accommodate no more than six people. Unlike windriggers, a windskiff is a man-made vessel. Because of this, it has no navigator, and therefore the pilot is on his own when determining direction, routes, etc. (See also: Navigator; Windrigger.)
Windtamer: Windtamers are a special type of mage which can often be found on Windriggers. They have focused their abilities into harnessing and taming the Wind Ways, making travel therein much easier. (See also: Wind Ways; Windrigger.)
Witch Hunters: Because of the fear the general public has of wizards, Witch Hunters have become very popular. These men and women seek out and slay known mages, even Guild mages if they can do so without getting caught. Witch Hunters have an innate magic sense which they use to track down and slay wizards. It is known that the Wizards’ Guild often sells information about known rogue wizards to Witch Hunters. It is rumored that the Witch Hunters are a branch of the Children of the Light. Also referred to as Mageslayers. (See also: Children of the Light; Guild Mages; Rogue Wizard; Wizards’ Guild.)
Wizards’ Guild: Unlike the guilds of most worlds, the Wizards’ Guild is a secret organization. Because of the effect the Wizard War had on the world of Oramis, the general public is frightened of wizards. Because of this, all wizards MUST be Guild mages. Those who are not are branded rogues and are hunted down by Guild mages. The primary goal of the Guild is to find a way to reunite the shards back into a solid, whole world again, and thus regain the confidence of the general public (referred to as "the Restoration"). The term "Wizards’ Guild" is misleading. The Wizards’ Guilds are actually local branches of RASAMA, a magical university based on the shard Tartassos, a member-shard of the Kusaran Alliance. (See also: Guild Mages; Kusaran Alliance; Oramis; RASAMA; Restoration, The; Rogue Mage; Shard; University on Tartassos; Wizard War.)
Wyrm: See Dragon.
08-29-2007, 05:21 PM
Finally got around to writing up the gnomes of Oramis. Please let me know what you think...
Gnomes - like muls - are an infant race when compared to the other races of Oramis, having only been in existence for around 500 years. The origins of the gnomish race have their roots in dwarves.
The dwarves have always been small in number, owing to the fact that they suffer from low fertility rates. However in the year 497 this problem was greatly compounded by a devistating plague of unknown origins - now referred to as the Dwarven Plague - that struck the dwarven clans. Unfortunately, the plague was fatal to all who contracted it. Even worse, it only affected dwarven women. Today only 1/4 of all dwarves are female.
Realizing the adverse implications that this could have on the probability of the survival of dwarves as a race, the dwarves pursued drastic measures - they explored the possibility of cross-breeding with other races. Around the year 512 A.S., the great Dwarven Breeding Experiments began. These had mixed results. The most successful of their experiments was in dwarf/human crossbreeding, which resulted in fertile half-dwarves as well as a few sterile muls. Dwarven attempts to breed with Twyll did not work at all - the progeny of all such attempts were stillborn. Attempts to breed with elves, however, had a completely unexpected result - the birth of the species which would come to be known as gnomes.
The first gnomes were treated as curiosities. There were 12 of them - six males and six females. The dwarves had no idea what to do with them, and the elves had no time for them. Thus, for the most part, they were left on their own to explore their surroundings with very little help from others. As they matured, it became obvious that they were an incredibly intelligent race, able to learn very quickly, and to retain knowledge with great accuracy. Another thing became very obvious - gnomes are unbelievably fertile and multiply like rabbits.
By the year 707 A.S.,only around 200 years later, the dwarves began to realize that if something were not done, the gnomes would soon overtake them in number. Gnomes had begun to feel restless among the dwarves anyway, feeling like outsiders, not quite fitting in, and wanted a place of their own. The dwarves were more than happy to oblige. thus began the Gnomish Migration of 710. Utilizing a handful of prototype dirigibles, the dwarves helped the gnomes to relocate to an uninhabited shard which the gnomes promptly named Shinnsa.
Today Shinnsa is a booming metropolis. Ruled by 7 of the original 12 gnomes - all of whom are obviously nearing the end of their lifespans - Shinnsa is a mecca for all of those who pursue knowledge.
Personality: Gnomes are incredibly curious about how things work, and enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together for the sheer fun of it. To other races, they seem very child-like in their youth and innocence. They also have a great sense of humor, and enjoy puns, jokes, and games as well as intricate tricks.
Physical Description: Gnomes combine the slim graceful build of their elven mothers with the smaller stature of their dwarven fathers. They stand about 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall, and weigh about 40-45 pounds. Their facial features are also a combination of those of their parent races. They have the upswept, pointed ears of the elven race as well as the trademark bulbous dwarven nose. Gnome males prefer to wear short carefully trimmed beards. Their skin ranges from dark tan to woody brown, their hair is fair, and their eyes can be any shade of blue or green. Gnomes love to dress in bright yet tasteful colors in elaborate styles. Gnomes reach adulthood at about age 40 and have an apparent lifespan of about 450-500 years. Multiple births are common among gnomes.
Relations: Gnomes get along well with humans and twyll - at least those who are tolerant of their practical jokes. They enjoy spending time with dwarves, however the sentiment is not returned as enthusiastically. Dwarves had hoped that gnomes would be the solution to their fertitlity problems, and the fact that they are hyper fertile when compared to dwarves is a sore spot in gnomish/dwarven relations. Gnomes are a little intimidated yet awed by elves and rapotrans, and suspicous of Tieflings. They are, however, rarely hostile or malicious.
Alignment: Gnomes are almost always good, though they are almost equally divided between lawful, neutral and chaotic. Those who are lawful tend to be tinkers sages, researchers and scholars, while those who are chaotic tend toward illusionists, minstrels, tricksters and wanderers. Evil gnomes are as rare as they are frightening.
Gnome Lands: Gnomes may be found almost anywhere throughout the shards, though they are most numerous on the gnomish homeshard of Shinnsa. There is also a fairly large number of them to be found on the four shards which comprise the Kusaran Alliance: Kusara, Tartassos, , Carbuncle and Sheranda.
Religion: The chief gnome god is Garl Glittergold. His clerics teach that gnomes are to cherish and support their communities. Pranks are seen as ways to lighten spirits and to keep gnomes humble, not as ways for pranksters to triumph over those they trick.
Language: The Gnome language blends elements of Dwarven, Elven and Common in an eloquent yet practical language. It uses the Dwarven script and is renowned for its technical treatise and its catalogs of knowledge about the natural world. Human herbalists, naturalists and engineers commonly learn gnome in order to read the best books on their topics of study.
Names: See the section on gnomish names in the PHB page 17.
Adventurers: Gnomes are curious and impulsive. they may take up adventuring as a way to see the world or for the love of exploring. Some take up adventuring as a quick - if dangerous - path towrd wealth, which is often needed in order to purchase supplies for their experimenting and inventing. Gnome adventurers are occasionally forced to begin a life of exploration after being stranded far from home by a flying machine gone wrong. More often, though, a gnome character chooses to travel among the other races of Oramis as tinkers and craftsgnomes, selling minor inventions and masterwork objects to finance exploration into their personal interests.
Gnome Racial Traits
+2 Intelligence, +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, -2 Strength. Gnomes are brilliant creatures that masterfully and carefully are able to manipulate machines. However their innocence and naivete often causes them to make faulty and questionable decisions during construction.
Small: As a small creature, a gnome gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three quarters of those of a Medium character.
Gnome base land speed is 20 feet.
Low Light Vision: A gnome can see twice as far as a human in torchlight and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes may treat gnome hooked hammers ( see PHB page 118) as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions. Gnomes are innately familiar with illusions of all kinds.
Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusions cast by gnomes. Their innate familiarity with these effects make their illusions more difficult to see through. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects, such as the Spell Focus feat.
+2 racial bonus on Listen checks: Gnomes have keen ears.
+2 racial bonus on Craft (Alchemy) checks: A gnome's sensitive nose allows him to monitor alchemical processes by smell.
+3 racial bonus against all effects that cause aging: A gnome's elvish blood resists aging.
+2 racial bonus on Knowledge, Craft and Profession skill checks involving large and complicated machinery, mechanics or tinkering.
+1 racial bonus to Reflex saving throws: gnomes are used to ducking for cover when things blow up.
Automatic languages: Common and Gnome. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Raptoran, Twyll. Gnomes deal more with elves and dwarves than elves and dwarves deal with one another.
Favored Class: Tinker. A multiclass gnome's tinker class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty (see XP for Multiclass Characters, page 60, PHB).
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