Definitely a work in progress, suggestions welcome.
NAME: Elven Paganlands
OVERVIEW: West of the Elven Forests are the Paganlands, a stark contrast to the beautiful groves and meadows, instead filled with infested wealds and misty taiga's. The Paganlands were once the grand and majestic land of Lomillar before being corrupted by The Pagans, otherworldly malevolent forest spirits. Occasionally, their whispers of power lure Wood Elves to their lands, or drive them mad and attract exiles. The weak, vicious, and deviant: All are welcome and loved by the Pagans' twisted hearts. And one day, when the old kingdoms crumble to the merciless millstone of time, The Paganlands will pour across the world, bringing with them the Pagans, to spread their power throughout the land.
RACE AND CULTURE: The main races of the Paganlands are the Pagan Elves and Furbolgs, though outcasted and criminalized members of all races may walk amongst the various Circles.
The Paganlands worship Pagans, alien spirits of Chaos that have overwhelmed and devoured the Spirits of Lomillar, taking their places as the Forest's spirits, deconstructing the Order and Peace they brought to Lomillar, and replacing it with Madness and Chaos. The cause of such a gruesome overtaken being the indulgence and sacrifices that the Elves of Lomillar, drunken with luxury, had partaken in. The Pagans are in constant competition amongst themselves, dragging their circles into small-scale Holy Wars along with them. The more followers a Pagan has, the more power they grant to their Shamans. Worship of the Pagans consists of sacrifices, be it material resources, sanity, or flesh...
Pagan Elves were once Wood and High Elves, until the Touch of the Pagans permanently scarred them, warping their mind and contaminating their soul. Nearly all Pagan Elves are insane by the standards of most mortals. While most of them are naturally born, hundreds are made each year as entire pilgrimages of outcasted Elves journey to the Paganlands. Pagan Elves need not be naturally born. So long as an Elf submits to the power of the Pagan, they will be born once the Paganistic power corrupts their soul and mind.
Furbolgs are bearlike Beastmen, once peaceful, until the day the Pagans came and devoured the forest spirits. Since then, the jovial Furbolgs have become grief-filled and angry, grinding away at their axes. Yet despite their hatred for The Pagans, they can do naught but heed their will, as they pledged their lives to the Forest Guardians, which, technically, the Pagans have become.
GOVERNMENT: The Paganlands are divided into individual Circles, all bound by a treaty. The Shaman of each Circle has control, though the Pagans they worship could easily override their decisions. For decisions to effect the entire Paganlands as a whole, each Circle Master convenes at the City of Pagans, a city fueled with Bans that prevent any two Pagans from attacking each other, and vote. The power of each Pagan determines the weight of a Circle's vote, yet the Circle dedicated to the Alpha Pagan, currently That Which Takes, has upmost authority, yet the position of Alpha Pagan has a curse. With so much power and command at their disposal, the Alpha Pagan hardly concerns itself with the ongoings between the smaller circles. It's last command was that all Circles contribute forces to a new era of Conquest, led by his Shaman, before going mute to all attempts at Attuning.
Currently, the Alpha Shaman is an elven man by the name of Arrick Clearmind, a powerful warrior who fought his way to the favor of Irrich the Clare, Pagan God of Chaotic Battle. Yet the other Circle Masters speak ill of him behind his back. Rather than sacrificing his own sanity or resources, Arrick prefers bloody conflict to sate his Pagan, lest it be rudely disturbed from it's blissful eternal feasting.
INDUSTRY: The Paganlands are undeveloped. They have no currency, instead trading natural goods, such as crops and wares. More often than not, providers are small farms owned by family's that provide a portion of their earnings, and woodsmen who scavenge from hostile wilderness. In the military, soldiers are given short supplies, making them learn to adapt, if making them slightly less formidable in combat than other armies. They can survive weeks in lands other generals would consider logistical suicide.
MAGIC: Lore of Shadow Lore of Death Lore of Beasts(Furbolgs only) Daemonology -- Pagans
MILITARY: The Pagan army's lower and more plentiful ranks are more adaptive in surviving landscapes, making it easier for them to hold down positions in natural environments over fortifying cities and fortresses. Many of the Core soldiers are weaker than most other armies, yet less plentiful. The reason for such is that Pagan Daemonology requires sacrifice, be it of lives or sanity, to make contracts with Pagans that grant them the ability to manifest in the physical world.
Without Pagans, however, Pagan armies are still plenty capable. Their mortal soldiers often break conventions of others of their type, such as Dark Rangers, with more melee power for less infantry, or the Werebear Barbarian, which gives up its clarity and thought for raw power. A weakness of the Pagan army is it's reluctance to retreat and be controlled, as several soldiers live for the chaos of battle, making what would be small defeats for other armies into catastrophic failure on the Pagan armies.
Heroes: -Master Shaman -Speaker of the New Gods -Pagan Avatar
Named Characters: -Irrich the Clare: General of the Pagan armies, who possesses an unnatural clarity amongst Pagan Elves. While several of his equals talk behind his back, he is respected as the best military genius to carry out the inevitable conquest. -Tanglebane: Once king of the Treants, Tanglebane is a pessimistic Blight, who passes by his boredom through killing those who enter his domain. -Eireth of Sprawl: Queen of Sprawl, an overgrown city that is continuously being reclaimed by nature, despite the best efforts of the Pagan Elves to survive. Yet despite her city's state, she has claimed dominance over a single Blight, which begrudgingly carries her upon its head. -Duth Rageheart: The prophet of the Furbolgs, believing that "rage shall set us free". -Samia The Shifter: The master assassin of the Paganlands. Myths state that she can quite literally turn into shadow.
@ClocktowerEchos Since Poo is potentially taking Dwarfs I'd rather be on the safe side and go with my humans. However, since nobody is going for the whole Sigmarite Empire/>Holy>Roman>Empire thing can I have my Teutonic lads sort of take the place as the normal/average humans? Not trying to be at the centre of attention or have the most powerful spot, more trying to be there as the "base faction" like the Empire is.
Sure thing! That would be perfect actually.
TBH I think all of us, unless separate by distance or geography should have a little common history done on a piratepad or some shit.
I would say yes but I also don't want to get bogged down in the infamous NRP spiral of worldbuilding and collabs to the point that nothing actually gets done.
@ClocktowerEchosWell, one of the two projects I'm involved with looks to be a long time in the making; say a couple months before even the possibility of starting. I think I'm in the clear for another RP.
I intend to play a human faction, similar in technological prowess to the Empire, but with Aztec, or Mesoamerican culture and aesthetics. Not sure how they'll fit in with the existing human ethnography, but I'll make it work!
@Aristo Holy hot damn that picture is awesome. As for actually trying to fit in to things, I fear they might have to be separate from most humans seeing as how they're so radically different from the current ones that I can recall (being Bretonnia and the notTuetonic Order). I would say they could be Amazons and that would also give Poo's lizardmen someone to interact with but then that brings up the issue of how and why did full plate knights come to be in a jungle enviroment which doesn't suit them at all.
Well it's a start. As you can probably see I've worked some of my HFY tropes in there to make the fleshy humans have a chance against the many beasties inhabiting the world.
NAME: The Divine Confederated State of Zvagheldt and Iorge: Zvageorg.
OVERVIEW: The State of Zvageorg is a massive confederation of smaller states and territories under a single Tyrant being responsible for a lot of the current balance of power by it's size and connection to water as well as very large border. The Confederation has a very large army that is constantly expanding, re-arming and training because the days it was at peace are very few.
RACE AND CULTURE: Humans are the only ones who populate the Empire without fear of ending up as a citizen's lunch, though via anointment in the Holy Rivers the men of Zvageorg have gained the strength to conquer many of their neighbors. The State has an ancient history; it all started in the geographic area known as Zvagheldt. There were plenty of villages of man, but what there was in common between them was that they were ruled by foreigners with different appearance and odd tongues, or even non-humans. One day however, this all seemed to change when a hero said to have been anointed at birth in the blessed rivers to give him his great stature, strength and wisdom. He slayed many of the outsiders but with each village he brought some of the rulers before the villagers, and told them that either they vow to lead lives of goodness to their fellow man, and to also anoint themselves and children in the blessed rivers or he would let the horrid enemies go who would inevitably think up a punishment for the peoples.
Eventually the hero let his name "Iorge" be known and after single-handedly slaying almost all which presented threat to local human hegemony he came to rule as Tyrant (for that was the only name known to use for governors to the people) of the people, creating a golden age full of advancement and prosperity, and making a large family as example to his people. Eventually, the relatives of the foreigners he slaughtered plotted against him, and convinced the peoples under his rule that he was truly oppressive, and that he himself was going to steal some hidden treasure of the land and run off with it. Thanks to their vile sorcery, it worked. Eventually the people banded against him and under the guise of a feast tied him to a stake which they lit on fire to the glee of the conspirators about. Miraculously, the gag that the tricksters recommended be put on him burned before Iorge himself did, and he uttered a final defiance telling the people to hate the alien, the sorceror, and the traitor or enemy within. Angrily turning around, the people launched the first ever Crusade and rapidly expanded the territories of their lands wholly exterminating many a race in their path. After nearly a decade, they were war weary and in their hero's name established a state and religion, Zvageorg for the former and the grand cult of the Crusader for the latter. Old Gods were put on "the choir of the Saints" and more or less forgotten, and ever since then people have anointed children or conquered humans in the rivers of the state whilst launching great Crusades to expand it's land quite often.
Recently, after having a massive growth the Empire has slowed down it's expansion with Crusades and now wages the "long war." Slowly it expands by building a few villages here and there, by building roads into borders that didn't have them before; it spreads like a disease to surrounding areas into which the culture, religion and ideas go and eventually, they snap to soundlessly annex territories. This has already happened to an island territory just off of the mainland's coast called "Varjengrad," several foreign villages, and a whole city state was swallowed up in the last decade.
The culture is very reminiscent of 14-1700 European culture with a language comparable to Viennese German (the cockney British of the time/area).
GOVERNMENT: The State is an ultra-authoritarian autocratic theocracy with a single, more or less monarchic leader. While governing is obviously delegated to various smaller rulers across the state the ruler, known as "the Tyrant" (ironically this has no negative connotation in the Reichspiel) always has the last word. He is generally picked by a secret meeting of Priests across the nations, and will usually be some sort of hero, though they are careful to make sure he isn't all brawn. That said, he is also largely a puppet for the secretive Religious order. Zvaghalf does have a nobility but nobles can rarely if ever wriggle out of military service, and have limited equity to the lower classes (meaning, that the government makes sure they too get a decent dose of oppression). Entering lower nobility is also very easy, one simply has to enlist for a military position with a very high mortality rate like a cuirassier or sapper and survive after six years of service.
INDUSTRY: The Empire is arguably the most advanced nation of the world, and if not then almost surely the most advanced of the human ones. This, combined with a very large expanding area and a moderate but swiftly growing population (that has a “live to serve” mindset) means that even with 90% of the usual workforce at war the Empire still has a production capability to be reckoned with. Additionally, the Empire is rich in both minerals and fertility of soil, and while the society adamantly clings to traditional gender roles it is not scared of putting women into the workforce when men are working; in fact it more or less forces them to do so.
MAGIC: Magic is forbidden on penalty of death in Zvageorg but there is heavy use of Clerical powers of all sorts, not to mention anointment the strengths given to the peoples by being anointed in the holy rivers of the land.
MILITARY: Unlike most human nations, the state does not make use of arquebuses and gunpowder and pike and shot to quickly arm a deadly force, and instead delegates this matter to mechanical crossbows. The reasoning behind this is that crossbows are quick to train with and the Empire has many veterans willing to teach. As such, remaining stores of gunpowder allow it to amass a large armada, huge reserves of artillery and all sorts of interesting new weapons with the black stuff. Their military can largely be described as being extremely practical and efficient, having had it's art perfected by necessity over a very long time.
Hunters and other likely lads rounded up and given a paper saying they’ve willfully enlisted, they’re more or less the only common infantry units to use rifles in the Imperial Army (and they’re usually their own). However these men make excellent irregular infantry that carry out nighttime raids with explosions of light and hail followed by Imperials disappearing into the night. Their nimbleness also allows them to quickly get around open battles and make up for the short range of their armament with speed, whilst bear-traps from home and other useful implements let them quickly create unfavorable grounds for the enemy. While still very much conscripts these men are drilled in kneel-fire, firing by rank, reloading whilst moving, and are perhaps the only riflemen in the world to have bayonets; while originally these were supplied by the hunters themselves, seeing their utility Zvageorg has made them standard issue.
These men have a blunderbuss, two pistols, some sort of grenade or clay bomb, a heavy cuirass and helmet, a great big horse and nothing to lose but what little sanity they have left. These are the recruits who are considered just a little too enthusiastic, and who are subsequently given a place to vent this. They are expected to ride right up to the enemy putting less than two metres between themselves and the target before blasting their firearms at them and riding off, or right into the devastated foes.
Conscripts: Halberdiers, Pikemen, Crossbowmen
These men have their assigned primary weapon, full plate, a falchion and zeal. This is given in the hopes that being extremely well equipped and very faithful shall compensate for these men's nonexistent experience with battle. Pikemen are generally placed at the front of Imperial forces whereas pikemen at the flanks. Crossbowmen are placed behind these melee forces, shooting over their kneeling comrades until the melee begins and they then make mad dashes to find good spots to fire upon the enemy that is not blocked by an ally. The crossbows of Zvageorg are almost exclusively mechanical ones, with a massive pull that makes them take nearly a minute to reload. However this gives them very long range and deadly force even upon monstrous foes. If their equipment fails them, then the colossal amount of these men will surely compensate.
Cannons and Mortars
This is the standard artillery of the Tyranny, of which it has a massive collection of thanks to not making heavy use of rifles in their rank and file troops. Usually they fire a single solid shot but some experiments are being made with canister shot, quicklime, anti-magical or blessed shots, and if worst comes to worst one can load miscellaneous items for grapeshot.
These are trained animals of all sorts that are barely controlled by their masters and are typically released to chase down and massacre routing armies but occasionally are sent into open combat, particularly against weak, not very numerous or ill-disciplined troops. These are either typically nasty mongrel dogs and wolves, bears or large cats like lions and tigers (though these are far few and more expensive). It is not rare for them to be some sort of horrid mutants or deviants with two paws per leg, an extra head or tail, razors implanted in the mouth. Occasionally, they will also be given some light armour like chainmail or boiled leather to close the distance better.
Sword Brothers (unmounted)
These men are those who wish to one day become full-fledged crusaders, they make up a considerable portion of the Tyranny’s assault troops being unbreakable in faith. They are given heavy plate, chainmail and leather for formidable protection against nearly any sort of attack. They are armed with a shield, and any other hand-weapon including but not limited to a mace, short-sword, side-sword, arming sword, mace, axe, or spear. Usually their armament will be uniform but some have a mixture of all of these weapons for versatility in an engagement.
Sword Brothers (mounted)
Much like their unmounted comrades, these men have the same equipment with the addition of a barded warhorse, and either a long spear for anti-cavalry actions or a big lance for anti-infantry maneuvers. They aren’t particularly fast but they have the courage to charge even pike formations and the skill as well as strength to come out of it alive or even victorious.
Repeater pellet throwers
These are pieces of artillery invented in the Tyranny of Zvageorg usually applied to grind through enemy elite or monstrous troops and to greatly soften the charge of opponents into the infantry on either side of it. These guns have eight rotating cylinders that are entirely disposable and replaced with every shot producing a rate of fire of nearly a shot per second. Each cylinder is filled with a lot of powder and large grapeshot about twice the size of a rifle ball per pellet. These weapons are placed at the very front of the Zvageorg Army’s ranks usually between every 60-150 pikemen or halberdiers who are there as much to defend it as be defended by it. The weapon is very rarely used in offensive battles due to the short range of it and difficulty to transport it but if an expert general can get it close it can usually make short work of any entrenchment, barricades or even light fortifications like houses and upturned carts.
Men perhaps even braver than any Crusader, they have a variety of near-suicidal jobs. Most typically they are used to bring down enemy fortifications by making a mad dash for them, and applying all sorts of explosives or simply taking bits away with a pick. They are also responsible for all sorts of clever siege methods like drilling horses to charge gates with wagons of explosives (that naturally have a protected roof to prevent pre-mature explosions) and then leave the carts as they roll for the gates. Of course, they do have purpose in open battle too where they construct impromptu defenses like entrenchment or barricades, or set traps ranging from bear-traps to experimental mines. Worst comes to worst, they can act as grenadiers and riflemen. Taking a note from hunters, the rifles of these men are also equipped with the new-fangled bayonets.
Heretics, criminals, prisoners of war, non-humans and other undesirables these troops have been brainwashed by Clerics of Iorge to have a hate for themselves surpassed only by a hate for the enemy. They wish to go to paradise with their God and to redeem themselves by fighting. While sent out at first unarmed they are allowed to scavenge from dead enemies and allies alike, and are willing to go so far as to use limbs of dead comrades as weapons. While their primary purpose is to provide a frightening and disposable shock troop, they are not to be underestimated as many have experience with murder in the most clandestine manner and some even have magical powers that they will unleash in uncontrolled and typically self-harming bursts, whilst some go as far as strapping explosives to themselves. In theory, if one of these Legionaries fights long and hard enough they can earn an amnesty but there are less than a dozen such men and women alive in Zvageorg today, half of them over fifty.
Men who aren’t initiated to be full Clerics, they go to battle chanting prayers and hymns, most with some sort of hand-weapon (axe, mace, long or arming sword, flail, hammer, spear, etc.) in one hand and a staff representing the stake Iorge was burned on or scripture in the other. They have no armour but their robes however they do not need it; the holiness of these men makes mortal wounds scratches and it gives them incomprehensible strength and zeal to compensate for inexperience.
These are carts carrying riflemen, crossbowmen, blunderbussers or some piece of artillery, they are drawn by horses with heavy barding and some slight roofing and protection on either sides. Carts are used similarly to Cuirassiers to provide heavy volleys and then retreat though with heavier firepower. Occasionally they also stop and use their carts as temporary fortifications for in battle if it is defensive in nature.
Carrying the heaviest armour of the state’s troops, Crusaders have four layers of protection given all sorts of Godly blessing in plate, then scale-mail, then chain mail and finally leather; however they run quickly and unimpeded as though they were naked thanks to their Divinations. They are armed with longswords and massive shields carrying similar blessings to that of their armour. They are as close to monstrous infantry as Zvageorg can get, perhaps even qualifying or surpassing the necessities for the role. The presence of these unbreakable men inspires all allies around them.
These are identical to their unmounted brethren except for the fact that are mounted. Their mounts are massive beasts that could be horses if not for its size and muscularity, and the fact that they carry their heavy barding as though it is nothing. These men also have lances that have similar blessings to the rest of their gear. They are as close to monstrous cavalry as Zvageorg can get, perhaps even qualifying and surpassing the necessities for the role.
The result of cooperation between Engineers and Religious personnel, Steel Saints are massive metal machines in the shape of a Knight working on steam but given fluidity and life to their movements thanks to blessings, prayers and enchantments of various Clerics. These are difficult to make and are costly so there are naturally few of them but their sight upon a battlefield makes all men of Zvageorg rejoice for a giant iron man is sure to turn the tide of battle. These constructs have a massive sword that cuts through mountains, a device throwing flaming tar from where it’s “mouth” is and a batter of rifles on either shoulder to deal with attacks from above. There are in fact only nine of them at a time, each representing one of the Saints or great figures after the death of Iorge.
These are manifestations of the Old Gods, now part of the choir of Saints in a physical form. They have a mixture of pre-historic and modern appearance, though they all are generally appearing as Angels and with their respective symbols be it a staff, sword, bow etc. There are twelve different Incarnations that may appear when summoned, each representing one of the Old Gods worshipped in the land of Zvagheldt. It is difficult to summon them but gets considerably easier when Zvageorg is at threat; at such times they may even appear at their own volition.
Cannons or mortars but simply much, much bigger. A single blast from these devastates whole regiments, brings down walls, or turns giants into red paste.
High Priest Inquisitor
High Priest Proselytizer
Cleric - Firebrand
Cleric - Preacher
Lord Dieter von Weissburg
The current Tyrant of Zvageorg, Lord Dieter is a noble that was chosen to be the next Tyrant for his well-rounded skill-set. Quite tall and imposing he is a great statesman, diplomat, religious model and while he has few have seen him in open combat the only person he has lost a duel against is the previous Master of Crusaders. He has five children, though his wife was assassinated not long ago. He is armed with a powerful magic sword rumoured to be what the Old God Valkhyr carried in his mortal form, whilst for armour he has a suit of plate which when asked about the origins of he merely smiles and refers to it as the crystallized tears of Iorge.
Aleksander von Weissburg
First son of the current Tyrant, he is ironically the least mature and brash. He became a Sword-Brother at 20 and is now a Lord-Crusader in rank though it is obvious he will soon become a Crusader Patriarch in the near future. He is an expert fighter and good leader if not as great a general as his father. He makes sure to never take advantage of his position and has learned fighting himself, as well as taking the same gear as others of his position. His only unique item is his shield - while looking to be a normal shield albeit with no wood it is soon revealed to be much more when a cannon ball had glanced off of it and Aleksander remained unharmed.
Johan von Weissburg
Second son of the Tyrant he is a quiet, pessimistic and cryptic man that has much more tact and cleverness than his brother. He is responsible for a lot of the more devious plots of the Confederation and for turning down many ideas due to their unreliability and trustworthiness. While he is best used as a leader he meets the expectations needed to be a good warrior though he fights much like how he thinks; he goes in with ambushes, or even disguises himself as a common soldier to suddenly slay a great opponent with some relic weapon who was hoping to just crush an ordinary conscript.
Olga von Weissburg
Daughter of the tyrant, she became a nun at an early age but yet wanted to be near him in his endeavors. As such, she progressed quickly to become the head of her convent and eventually a prominent figure in the nation. It wasn't long before she was travelling around and outside Zvageorg doing clerical and humanitarian deeds. Perhaps most astonishing was that she has joined every Crusade so far raised and has even went directly into battle to save injured soldiers or even banish otherworldly creatures.
Master of Crusaders Phillip Augustus
A giant, awkward and easily angered man, the master of Crusaders rarely if ever takes his armour off for the sheer amount of it that there is; his sword and shield have both more than a year of constant divination in them as befits someone of his rank. He is a great commander just like he is a warrior though he is at times over-demanding of his men and expects normal soldiers to have the same efficiency as Sword-Brothers or even full-fledged Crusaders.
Arch-Cleric Josef van Nachtliche
Greatest Religious figure in Zvageorg, he manages the worship of all of the old-Gods and making sure that they are still only kept as part of the Choir of the Saints, and that there is no herest within the Confederation. He can sense any magics or magical items from miles away and is perhaps the greatest user of super-natural powers not associated with magic in the world.
King Brunner Bulow
Obese, rambunctious and lazy this close friend of the Tyrant is not to be underestimated; under the massive beer gut and chins is a maddened beast that - while possibly described as "simple" - is unrelenting and very methodic in planning and battle, who's mind is not clouded by anger and merely driven if needed.
@ClocktowerEchosWell, they might not have to be on the other side of the world if they aren't so ethnically different. They could be dark like Spaniards or Mediterraneans and just have Mesoamerican themes by coincidence. Still "European." Or their climate could just be more temperate than S.America and their progress is thanks to trade with the not!Empire.