Posts tagged #Lore Du Jour

Lore Du Jour: The Astral world

The next realm we are discussing is known as the Astral world, or the Aether.  This is the land spoken of by the mystics of the traveling circus who would tell you that the animals and plants have spirits they talk to.  They speak of this as existing "above Alluvium but not in the sky.  

The Aether is not regarded as real by the Church.  Unlike the Netherworld, which the evil necromancers have shown to some degree to exist, the Astral world seems to be a catch all for any mystical effect that the person describing it wants you to believe in.  From mind reading to predictions, they all claim the Astral World as part and parcel to their ability.  

Again, this is entirely subject to the "practitioner" of the Astral World magic, there is no evidence such a place ever has or does exist.

Posted on March 24, 2017 .

Lore Du Jour: The Folklore of Realms

They say the land of Alluvium is but one of many.  Each one formed with a purpose eons ago, a purpose misplaced before any chronicle was written.  It is known for certain that the Shade Realm does exist, and access to it can be controlled by keys.  But what it is for is a mystery.  

What is unknown is the location and veracity of these other realms.  Over the next few weeks we will discuss each of these rumored realms, the theories about what they are and if they indeed have ever been chronicled by any reputable source.    

The realms we will discuss are:

The Nether Realm

The Shade Realm

The Astral Realm 

The Divine Realm

The Infernal Realm 

and Alluvium itself.  

Posted on March 10, 2017 .

Lore Du Jour: The Chalice of Thought Death Blossom

On the field, and off the field, there is a term that has become associated heavily with the Chalice of Thought.  This is the maneuver known as the Death Blossom.  The origins of the term and the maneuver are not unique to the Chalice, however many have drawn a connotation between the faction and the maneuver.  

For those not familiar with the term, the Death Blossom is a maneuver wherein a fighter who was seemingly wounded in the legs so far as to be relegated to hobbling about on their knees or crawling with otherwise useless legs, would suddenly leap forward at their enemy, with a flurry of attacks hoping to take the enemy down with them.  This sudden burst of life in the apparently lifeless legs is often seen as a deceptive tactic, however this is not always the case.  

As it turns out, many times the legs of the death blossoming warrior are in fact useless.  Perhaps they have been broken or wounded to incapacity previously in a battle or accident.  Dr. Felix Deveraux did a research study on the corpses of several Chalice members, discovering a toxin within their humors that led to temporary paralysis of the limbs.   This paralyzing agent, he later found out, was actually ingested purposefully by the Chalice members as part of their rituals.  

So it appears that the famous Chalice brew is a capricious drink indeed.  This paralysis of the legs actually explains much about the strange Chalice fighting style observed wherein the fighters crawl across the ground with wounded legs almost faster than a man on foot.    

Posted on February 24, 2017 .

Lore Du Jour: The Years of Pain

17 ACI-The Years of Pain

  Knowing that the County would need a Knightly presence to defend her, Castellan Thomas and Chancellor Boltac announced the first open squire challenge for the Knights of the White Talbot. Five men took the challenge, and began the Trials of Knighthood. Willie MacGregor, Alonso Coronado, Wilmeck McWell, Iain McCalpine, and Karl Hungus. Of the Five, only Three made it to The Trials of Mettle, And none passed.

  And so, prosperity reigned supreme in the manner that had not been seen in ages. Surely the Renaissance had begun, and the County would rise to a bolder, grand new Era. Chancellor Boltac began his research into the history of the kingdom and region, and Chancellor Dunbar had began the search for new territories to explore.

The Dark Cloud

  Then, a dark cloud came over the lands. When Willie MacGregor returned from a voyage across the seas, claiming to have preformed a dark ritual evoking a demon, none believed him. His tales of gathering the rudest band of cutthroats ever to stalk our lands, intent on destroying all of the Scots was dismissed as the boasts of a loon. But everyone was wrong.

  Lord Brock returned one day, and with him the Minuet of Bones. This group was the vilest form of villainy to grace the land since the departure of the Kingdom.  From their first meeting, Clan Chattan and the Minuet were bitter enemies. This rivalry was as bloody as any ever witnessed. Brock's minions smashed the Claws of Ursa, Slaughtered the Scumdogs, and broke every back of Clan Chattan again and again. Women and children were not spared as Clan Chattan fought back, with the ferocity of their symbol, the cat. Back and forth the battles raged, bringing ruin onto all factions, and the near burning of Nicholshire Manor when the Scumdogs fled into the County to evade capture by their foes.

  Alonso Coronado decided to do something to stop the carnage. He formed the Castile de Leon. Noble in aspiration, they would heartily defend the peasants against the Warfare. This mere action angered the feuding factions to the point of turning their anger toward the fledgling Faction. This continued until the Grand Gathering.

A New Hope

  At the Grand Gathering, a ghost of the past appeared. Clan Ravensblood was seen on their way to the battle field, and then on the field. The Castile, Claws of Ursa, and Clan Chattan allied with Ravensblood in order to attack the Minuet of Bones. The war raged on and on, as many were slaughtered. Morgath of the Minuet sent the Claws of Ursa away with a mere word, as the Castile were shamed off of the field. Ravensblood battled until the last man stood, but it was too late. The Minuet had won the day, and destroyed the majority of the Factions.

  Shortly after the Grand Gathering, Lord Thomas stepped out of his office, and Chancellor Boltac Lowleaves was elected into the office of the Castellan. Boltac was quick to gather the Chancellors and attempt to re-build what had been lost. The Factions were granted tax-breaks in order to promote their formation. Ravensblood returned strongly, as did the Castile, however the Minuet of Bones seemed restless. Lord Brock went to Boltac and told him that he was not finished with the County, and he would return. Brock further informed Boltac to prepare for the coming revolution. Then the Minuet left the County and were not seen again.

The Last Hurrah

 When the Autumnal Gathering neared, Steven Kelly began his journey to the Outland Krymm Frontier, where he would form a Colony, and he wished for a contingent of the County to help him. Boltac gathered the Scumdogs, and asked all of the nobles to join with him in fighting alongside Kelly. The nobles were outraged, and began a revolt, which led to the alliance of the Castile de Leon, the Claws of Ursa, and the Scumdogs, against Ravensblood and the Sword Swinging Spectacle. Battle after Battle was fought, until the Powerful forces of Ravensblood defeated the Alliance.

  It was then that the Scumdogs turned on the Claws of Ursa, destroying them as they had been paid to do earlier that year by their own mate Elwood Chandler. The Claws of Ursa were forever destroyed. That day also marked the end of the Castile de Leon as Coronado renounced all ties to the county and nobility. Ravensblood had destroyed all other Factions in the area.

Posted on February 17, 2017 .

Lore Du Jour: The Light Order of the Shade Realm

In the Shade Realm wizards blatantly access mystical energies and commit acts of heresy without shame.  While these actions are both prohibited and generally impossible in Alluvium, in the Shade Realm things are quite different.

Wizards of the Light Order are the most numerous wizards.  The Order was founded by the Society of St. Paul in an attempt to combat the minions of Satan within the Shade Realm.  To most, members of this Order are referred to as Light Wizards.  In the Shade Realm, this Order is at constant war with beings that promote the evils of the land.  Light Wizards are well trusted by most people, as that they are bound by oath to protect the good and destroy evil wherever it lives.

The Inquisition finds this order to be a failed experiment.  Light Wizards are considered Heretics, but cannot act overtly against them as that they have the protection of the Church.  It is not uncommon however, for Light Wizards to be killed “accidentally” while an Inquisitor is purging an evil from the world.

When relating to other Orders, the Light Wizards feel superior.  Calling the other Orders “Blind Ones”, the Light Wizards feel that they alone are able to use magic without being corrupted by the devil.  They are placed on their path by the Almighty God, and it is their Holy Light that will cure the world.  Any other Wizard that possesses Necromancy is not to be dealt with, save for a quick death.  Other Wizards are generally respected, though the Light Wizard will often attempt to convert the ‘Blind One’ to see the ‘Light of God’.

Posted on February 10, 2017 .

Lore Du Jour: The Dark Ones of Tor

The Valeerians tell tales of a strange presence in Tor that threatens the whole world.  This presence manifests itself in many ways, according to the Valeerian tales the darkness can be most often found in the form of strange beings they call the Dark Ones.  The following is an account of these Dark Ones from one Valeerian found rambling in horror near Alterron. 

        Within the souls of every man lies the seed of darkness, a festering evil waiting to emerge and bring about the chaos.  The Dark ones are exceptionally subtle in their machinations.  Infestation by a Dark One leads to the eventual takeover of the host body, although they creature is neither parasite nor worm, but something else.  They can lie in wait, dormant within the host, for ages waiting and plotting.  
        Many of the Dark Ones make use of their host by manipulating their habits and some are so devilish as to alter the thoughts and words of the infected in such a way that they control the mind in time.   Ultimately the Dark One will take complete control over the host, causing them to serve the Dark Ones will.  
        The more subtle creatures are arguably more dangerous.  They whisper subtle doubts and prey upon the insecurities of the infected.  The creature will start off slowly,  altering the vision of the infected, flickering images and minor hallucinations are levied upon the victim, starting off small and growing.  As the Dark One continues to attack, the victim becomes more and more paranoid.  They begin to disbelieve others, seeing even their own allies as monsters.  Soon they lose touch with reality itself as their mind decays into the depths of insanity.  
        The more audacious creature will slowly change the body of the host as well, turning them into a creature that is best described as monstrous.   Fang and claw may sprout from the body of the host – many find viler transformations are in their future.   When the true form of the Dark One is exposed, the host body will be nearly unrecognizable.  Even death will not remove the Dark One’s presence.  In this way the Dark Ones pose the greatest threat the world has ever known.  
        Unfortunately for the rest of the Kingdom, most people do not accept the existence of the Dark Ones.  The Barber Surgeons claim that there is no evidence of a creature within the so-called possessed, they instead believe that the Valeerians are paranoid.  The Valeerians know better.  Valeeria knows there are no allies in this war; the Dark Ones are everywhere.   The best advice is given to each member of the house – pay attention and remain vigilant.  
Posted on February 3, 2017 .

Lore Du Jour: An Alluvium Creation Mythology

Many viewpoints about the land of Alluvium exist.  While many attribute this land's properties of death and Return to one god or another, others tend to believe the land is instead cursed by some evil from within humanity.  The church maintains that the land is part of the Lord's plan, and only by devotion to the church will ascension to the next world be attained.    

This is a version told by the Cult of Altarius, an explanation for world of Alluvium from their perspective.  

    In the beginning, there was the darkness.  The darkness formed a void of which no man nor did beast live.  The void gave birth once to the Six children.  These became the Greater Elemental Gods.  The Greater Elementals were at one with the Void, creating the perfection of the Great Sepentary.  The universe manifested itself in sevenfold directions, each governed by an Elemental, and becoming the sacred Unity of Nature, the Universe, and Gods.  The Void commanded that no harm should ever be given to his children by his hand, so long as they did no harm to each other.
    The day came when each of the Elements grew anxious.  With the void as the great father controlling the actions of the children, the unity worked well.  Life created Mana, Air adapted the Mana, and Fire changed the Mana.  Water controlled the course of Mana, while Earth forged stability, finally Death destroyed Mana.  The Void would cycle the Mana.   Fire was the most ambitious, starting to quarrel with Earth.  
    Fire wanted Earth to stop restricting his changes.   This disrupted the cycle, when Fire changed what Earth forged.  Soon the elements were at war.   Fire was attacking all of his brothers and sisters, with no regard for the cycle.  Life stopped creation, and this disrupted the activity of Death.  Water and Air were angry as they were overlooked, and disrespected as weak.
    The war of the Void continued as the Void itself was thrown into Chaos.  For untold Eons, the Elementals did battle with each other.  All of the elements were in battle, though there could be no winner since they were all immortal.  Finally the void threatened to consume the entire Sepentary into itself, and become nothing.  The Elements were ready to create a truce.  Peace was to restore Order to the cycle.  
    Fire was not faithful, as upon the day of Peace he burnt the body of Water.  Water was believed destroyed, so the others knew they had to act.  Earth sacrificed himself first.  The Earth Element tackled and surrounded fire, and created firmament.  
    Fire was not easily stopped, and began to burst from the skin of Earth.  Air blanketed the firmament to stop fire from leaving back to the void.  So it came to pass that Fire was consumed within Earth, and suppressed over the new firmament of Earth by Air.  Fire stretched and pushed on Earth to escape, and thus mountains and hills were created, but the two Elements were able to restrain Fire.  The Void was pleased that he who violated the peace was restrained, but the Void had sympathy.
    The day came to pass that the void spoke once again to his children.  The void was saddened that Fire had been so reckless.  The Void commanded Life to create again, and allowed Fire to act through small breaches in the firmament.   Fire was good.  And so it came to pass that Life Created again, and Fire changed, Air adapted and Earth gave stability to Mana once again.  Death destroyed that which was to destroy, but held resentment against Life, and violated the peace.
    Death attacked Life loosing his right arm in the fight after being struck by the Void.  The Void now had hurt his child.  Void was overcome with grief at breaking his commandment, and cut off his right arm to give to Death.  Death now was able to work again, and the peace was restored. 
    It came to pass that Fire once again became anxious.  Fire began to burst from the firmament as before.  Earth had become angry at Life, and created great Quakes.  Death was slow, as his right arm was unable to destroy.  The day was dark when all neared war again.  With Fire and Earth in fighting against air, the Firmament was nearly destroyed, and all of creation shattered.  Water returned from the Void, as Rain.  Rain became Flood, and Flood became Sea.  Water had returned to help control creation.  The weight of Water on Earth and Fire quenched the war.  
    And so it was that the Land of Earth was separated by Seas of Water, and the Fire was controlled by wind of Air.  Life created much, and Death destroyed.  So the Peace of Ages began.  The creations of Life began to learn from the Elements.  Civilizations began.  
    The day came to pass when Men had been created.  Men were good, and the world was theirs.  As their tribes were created, they began to worship the Greater Elemental Gods.  The Elements now were so confined by their mutual work, that they could not act independently.  Their bodies were formed into the World, and they could only interact through the world by the way of their followers.  Weaker forms, Lesser Elementals, Avatars, and Elemental spirits, are now able to work for their masters.  
Posted on January 27, 2017 .

Lore Du Jour: Subdivisions or The new Confederation of Nemea?

This week we will look into the history of one of the most prolific factions in the Kingdom and one of their lesser known offshoots.  While it is no secret that many factions and baronies have offshoots and subdivisions, it is not always widely known by outsiders how they interact.  As such, even this article is subject to the interpretation of the author, for I am not part of the Barony of Nemea from which this group comes.  Still, I have spent enough time around them to feel confident that my assertions are as close to correct as any other will get.   

When the Barony was founded, back when it was simply a faction, there were no divisions.  Just the Warriors of Nemea stood together playing games and following some ideals of heroism as the self proclaimed heroes of the land.  They fought as one against the army of Milus when he invaded to take the crown from Moto Mushi.  It wasn't until after the Hidden Wars that the Nemeans began to divide.

Under the command of Steven Dunbar, the first divisions were more like regiments in an army.  The heavily armored Titans, the Mercurian scouts and the Olympian guard that seemed to be the mainstay of the faction.  These three divisions would soon add the Hell Hounds and the Motley Lot to their ranks, although it seemed there was little distinction between them.  

Once the Faction began to seek Barony status, the divisions seemed to be forgotten.  Bringing the faction together in solidarity as a Barony it was once again a sea of black with red lions.  The only division was the white tabards worn by some of the members, although the significance of this remains a mystery.

Once Baron Lowleaves stepped down from direct leadership, Ramon Kalivantes changed teh color scheme of to a uniform red coat.  When Lord Steven Dunbar returned after his betrayal of the Faction, Baron Lowleaves joined him as the new faction Nemea and both were seen wearing the original black tabard.  The Barony was livid, which led to a great deal of animosity between the two.  This culminated at the Autumnal Gathering of 20 ACI wherein Nemea Black and Nemea Red charged into each other.  Then, clearly as orchestrated by both sides, the Red and Black Nemeans hugged, shook hands and joined forces to attack their enemies and claim the pennant.   Red and Black seemed re-united until Steven Dunbar dropkicked Lowleaves and once again went on his way.  

The Red coat era gave way to the Mercurians forming into the Army of Tang and the Olympians and Hell Hounds became the Polar Lions.  There were distinctions drawn between them that would never be the same.  Soon the Nemeans absorbed the Griffon's Gambit and became the Confederation of Nemea.  Perhaps the most diverse grouping since the beginning.  But that would not last.      

The Confederation broke after a cycle, the Polar Lions divided from the Barony and became House Valeeria and the Griffon's made their own way.  This was also marked by the ascension of Maarek to the leadership role.  The remaining Nemeans would wear Red kirtles that established the era of the Red Army.  

Today the Red Army remains much the same as it has for six cycles, although now under the leadership of Derry Bohannon and other regional leaders.  Still there are subdivisions showing up again.  The Clockwork lions bearing black, bronze and red schemes, the Sealions with their Black and Red look, very classic.  There are even the Forsaken of Nemea, who appear to have been cast aside when the Polar Lions broke from the Barony.  I even saw a green clad Nemean branch in Fadlan, although I did not get close enough to get a name from them.  

I know it does not matter much to many of you, but if history repeats itself, we will see yet another confederation or split of the Nemean forces soon.   Can the sleeping lion remain on top when everything around it is awake?


Posted on January 20, 2017 .

Lore du Jour: The Congregation of Altarius

The Congregation of Altarius

History shows the first to the land to be a man known as Altarius.  Stories vary as to what he did and how he lived, but he is widely regarded as a the founder of the civilization and the first king of Praelia.  Today we will discuss the Congregation of Altatius, also known as the Analtarians

It is said that his closest advisors were known as the Nolans.  Their fate is lost to time as much as Altarius is.  Aside from a historical figure and the basis for many laws, the majority of the kingdom does not think of Altarius until it is a celebration.  He is not unwelcome by the church, they even accept his name on so many events and the Gatherings. The church does, however, seek to curb the level of attention Altarius gets.  As they are fond of reminding people, he was a man not God. 

There is another group that does not feel the same way. The Congregation of Altarius follows the simple teachings that have been passed down for generations.  The Analtarians practice what they view as the true path that Altarius established all those cycles ago.  They eschew faith in other gods and dictums as clearly false due to the nature of Alluvium.   It is only through adherence to the laws and traditions laid out by the first to the land that one may be accepted when Altarius returns.

The Analtarian day begins with combat training.  Women and children tend to the fields and livestock for the first four hours of the day, whilst all men over the age of 13 run drills and mock combat in melee's with the four classical weapon styles.  Then at breakfast it is the men's turn to tend to the fields whilst the women and children practice basic polearm fighting.  At noon, the family gathers together for lunch and sparring practice.  Then the rest of the day is devoted to the family and any work undone.   To the Analtarian, combat is just as important as putting food upon the table.  

Analtarians never make any use of technology.  No firearms, no bows and no machines to help with the work.  All work must be done with hand tools as they may also be used as weapons if needed.  To the Analtarian, combat is always imminent.  Altarius proclaimed that all would be combat ready to please the Arbitrators, so shall it be to the Analtarians.

Analtarian settlements are scattered throughout the kingdom.  Although they are officially considered heretical by the Church, there is no active effort to do anything to get rid of them.  The Church calls them the Cult of Altarius and will often speak ill of the group, but any action against the Analtarians is isolated at best.  This is likely due to the behavior of the Analtarian and their belief system. 

Posted on January 13, 2017 .

Lore Du Jour: The Temple of the Hidden

Stories tell of a temple in the Barrens that sunk deep into the ground, lost for sometime.  This lost temple was known as the Temple of the Hidden by those who knew of its existence.   The stories told of this temple vary, some say it was the home of a pre-Altarian society, others call it the clandestine incursion of the secretive Hidden faction - once believed to control all of the land.   


One incident involving the temple happened in 23 ACI, when then assistant Historian Sorin Hraldr uncovered some disturbing information.   At the time Castle Kelly was being constructed and strange events were occurring around the site.

Malcolm Campbell and Cyrus Cabot approach the table in the corner of the Inn where Sorin is sitting with a concerned look on his face.

"Thank you both for coming, please have a seat"

"Can I get you anything to drink, I believe the Nicholshire Blonde is on tap tonight."

Both shook their head.

Sorin continues, "Terrible weather we are having, I have heard that it is going to...."

"You did not invite us here to talk about the weather, Cyrus Interrupts. "What is it you wanted, your letter sounded urgent.

Sorin’s face grows stern, and his voice drops to barely a whisper.

"Right.. I brought you two here because I trust you both. You see, after I left the Inn three nights ago I headed to Castle Kelly, to borrow a few Letcher to pay off my tab. When I arrived the workers were putting the finishing touches on the south end off the Castle. I thought to myself I could work for the few Letcher I needed, but when I asked where the Foreman was, no one knew. I made my way to the north end looking for him and found nothing, except.... bloody footprints leading into the servant’s quarters of the castle. Grabbing a lantern hanging nearby, I followed the footprints and came upon a flight of stairs that led down to the wine cellar. I descended the steps. The dank air was laced with the scent of death. I approached, what I thought to be, a wide open door leading deeper into the cellar. Above the door an inscription read-

“per mihi via in patientia urbs ,
 Per mihi via ut eternus poena ,
Per mihi via ut runs inter lost.
 Justicia urgeo in meus altus simultas ;
 Meus plasmator eram divinus auctorita ,
altissimus sapientia , quod primal diligo.
Pro mihi nusquam tamen eternus res erant no ,
 Quod EGO tolero intemporaliter.
Relinquo sulum spes ye quisnam penetro hic”

“That door contained a darkness not even my lantern could penetrate. I dared not enter, so with all the haste I could muster, I hurried back to town. For the next two days I spent my time in the libraries, researching to discover anything I could about that Inscription. It took a while, but I found the answer I was looking for. The origin of it is Latin and roughly translates to-

“Through me the way into the suffering city,
Through me the way to the eternal pain,
Through me the way that runs among the lost.
Justice urged on my high artificer;
My maker was divine authority,
The highest wisdom, and the primal love.
Before me nothing but eternal things were made,
And I endure eternally.
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

"It is said to be the inscription over the gates of Hell. I sent word to you two, and that brings us to where we are here. I’m not sure what to do. If we tell the populace it might incite a panic."  He continued

Sorin sticks his head up and looks around to make sure no one is listening. "Have you heard the legends of The Temple of the Hidden"?

"Aye, but it is folly, no more than a drunkard's tale" Said Malcolm.

"I used to think the same" Sorin replies "But as of lately my perspective on a lot of things have changed" "The legend even places the Temple of the Hidden not far from the construction site, as a matter a fact right below it. We are always worried about the gates to the Shade Realm that surround our borders, but what if there was a gate here, inside our very county. And what if that, during the construction of Castle Kelly, this gate was somehow unlocked"!

Sorin stops as a chill travels down through his body. "I take back what I said before. We must warn the county, but we must do it properly.

"Captain Cabot rally the Dukes Guard, but do not tell them why".

"Malcolm, you must bring word to Sir MacLeod and Sir Dunbar, tell them what I have said here".

"I will tell Duke Ramon and Baron Boltac about what I have discovered. I will also tell Stephen Kelly about this so he may immediately stop all construction on the castle".

"If my assumptions are correct, then we will need to amass a force large enough and close the gate".

"Now go, when your task is complete meet me back here at the Tavern".

The chronicles of the era say that there was indeed some small conflict during the construction of Castle Kelly.  A group of peasants and 'warrior priests' descended upon the site of the construction to pressure an investigation, but they were dispersed without major incident. Also in the records, several workers were killed during the construction, but nothing out of the ordinary for such a project.  It is also recorded that Stephen Kelly called upon the Society of St Paul to bless the site.  Again, not unexpected for the consecration of a castle and for somebody like Kelly to do to his brewery.  As to the nature of a Shade Realm gate, there is no evidence of such a thing existing in Castle Kelly.

The stories do line up with the records from many cycles before that tell of a Shade Realm gate in the area.   Texts found in the Library of Leng in Roses reference the Braxton tomb being reachable only from a hidden room within a tower in the Prahova Grasslands, an archaic term or the Barrens.   Finally, the Chalice of Thought considers Castle Kelly to be haunted and cursed.  While this seems convincing, the animosity of the Chalice toward the Granite Spire must be taken into consideration for this legend.  

Posted on January 6, 2017 .