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Author Topic: Gritty steampunk & sorcery - LGBT welcome  (Read 870 times)

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Offline DhiTopic starter

Gritty steampunk & sorcery - LGBT welcome
« on: November 05, 2017, 02:31:50 PM »

The Iron Kingdoms are a land where magic and machinery intermingle and nations engage in conflict rooted in ancient grudges while exploiting innovations from an ongoing industrial revolution. In the heart of western Immoren, thriving cities are separated by dark wilderness home to feral beasts, savage tribes, and dangerous cults.

Divided by culture and geography, the people of these nations are diverse, with attitudes and beliefs shaped by thousands of years of rich and bloody history. Not so long ago the region was subjugated by the Orgoth, terrible invaders from across the seas who plunged Immoren into a dark age of servitude. Gaining freedom required making use of arcane might and technological invention. The Iron Kingdoms now fight each other to control their own destinies.

This story takes place in the landlocked nation of Llael, within a war-torn river town beset on all sides by rival factions. Players take the role of a member of one of these factions, navigating a mazelike city of intrigue, adventure, and forbidden love between enemies.


For hundreds of years Llael enjoyed the height of culture and comforts of steam-powered labor and alchemical science while its neighbors skirmished over territory and for the scraps of long dead sorcerer-kings. While its neighbors grew strong in the forges of conflict, Llael grew complacent; the last strong Llaelese king perished of old age fifteen years ago, and his death plunged Llael's nobles into a frenzy of self-consuming plots and politics.

Then, in a suprise attack four years ago, Llael's land-wealthy neighbor to the frozen north declared war. Queen Ayn Vanar of Khador declared herself Empress, and set out on a conquest to reclaim its ancient holdings. Llael fell that winter to Khador's war machines. Dozens of cities surrendered, while those who did not learned the cost of resistance when the thriving city of Riversmet was razed to rubble and its people slaughtered by the tens of thousands.

Khador may have crossed the Black River and continued its conquest across all of Llael, had it not encountered the Northern Crusade. Out of the arid south, the scrutators of a harsh theocracy called the Protectorate of Menoth pushed into Llael on a mission of mercy to save the souls of the unconverted. An alliance of desperation between Llaelese Resistance and this Northern Crusade soon strained when it became clear the Protecorate were more interested in gaining a foothold than in driving out Khador.

What type of group game is this?
Iron Kingdoms will be a freeform sandbox. This means we will not use dice to resolve actions, and players will be responsible for arranging their own scenes and plotting their own stories with other players or GM-controlled NPCs. Any scene or event tagged as open will be free to join, but players who park their characters in a bar and wait to be approached will be considered inactive.

I don't know the Iron Kingdoms world, can I make something up?
Yes! Across the eastern desert, far to the frozen north, the southern subcontinent, and at least two continents beyond the seas are completely unknown. This story should not be beholden to the canon of Doug Seacat and Jason Soles, but to the pleasure of the players. Try to keep it coherent to the theme of gritty steampunk & sorcery, though.

How many characters can I play?
Just one for now. Incidental NPCs who're a part of a scene don't count.

How do I create a character?
Choose a faction that speaks to you, fill out a character sheet below, and either PM it to me or post it to this thread as you please. Illustrations are allowed for ancillary materials such as your character's house or outfit or shiny gun, but your character's face must be a portrait of a real person. If there's any nudity, please PM the sheet to me rather than posting it here directly.

How active will the game be?
I'd like everyone to try to post at least once per week.

Offline DhiTopic starter

Re: Gritty steampunk & sorcery - LGBT welcome
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 02:32:48 PM »
The Major Factions


Llael

The dominant race of Llael call themselves Ryn, a people of slight build and small stature who made up the majority of that nation's populace. Much of the Llaelese nobility were of Rynnish blood. According to legend, the first Ryn were nomadic shepherd tribes who dwelled in the rolling hills and interbred there with a vanished elven people. There are certainly echoes of the idea in Llael's romantic courtly culture and elaborate architectural styles, both of which are now under threat. They consider themeselves the inheritors of a long and esteemed history and are proud of their language and culture but now face the fact that their nation lies divided, most of it conquered by Khador, while the east has fallen to the Protectorate's Northern Crusade. The Ryn take credit for inventing the firearm and refining the arts of pistol dueling in particular but were a shrewd and well spoken people with a fondness for intrigue, fine art, and alchemy.

In truth, Llael was a failed state well before the Khadorans marched on their shared border. The last strong Llaelese king died of old age almost ten years before the onset of this war, and his death plunged Llael's nobles into a frenzy of self-consuming plots and politics. This includes the assassination of all teh former king's heirs as well as a number of duels and assassinations further thinning the ranks of the nobility. The small and poorly funded Llaelese Army was further reduced in favor of mercenary contracts and overreliance on its allies. It is widely believed that members of Llael's own government conspired with Khador by weakening the nation.

Llael as a kingdom no longer exists, yet its people and much of its culture persist. No one can predict how ongoing conflicts will reshape the region; it is in a state of flux and its people have accepted that life offers limited stability. Survival and adaptation are the rule. Llael is divided into three distinct political territories, though the exact borders of these areas shift as fighting continues. It seems unlikely all three will endure, with those Llaelese who consider themselves "free" being the most at risk of extinction.

The party line on...

KHADOR: A scheming, opportunistic enemy! Everyone has lost friends and family to the voracious Khador war machine. We won't forget the destruction of Riversmet or the cruel generals who starved our people from their homes.

PROTECTORATE OF MENOTH: Zealots from the east have thrown peaceful Llael Menites into a religious frenzy. Now we see the true face of the Menite faith in the their false prophet, a harbinger of human slavery and oppression.

Sample Ryn Names
Masculine
Alayn
Alger
Alnor
Alvy
Amery
Ansel
Anson
Ard
Aryas
Ardyn
Arkyn
Arland
Artys
Baen
Bayn
Bayrn
Barden
Barygan
Barlowe
Bartley
Bayden
Beck
Bergyn
Blayde
Blythe
Bolden
Boren
Bors
Bowden
Brandel
Bryll
Brock
Brone
Brue
Brunner
Bryson
Byrk
Byxler
Cacey
Cayne
Cam
Camden
Casner
Cobb
Creedan
Creel
Crowle
Dalmer
Dardan
Degar
Delp
Dexer
Dextrel
Dorn
Dowd
Doyle
Druce
Dugger
Dunley
Durwyn
Eckert
Egan
Elyas
Elgyn
Ennys
Everett
Fane
Fargas
Fynch
Fytch
Gade
Gadsden
Galt
Garrett
Garryck
Godwyn
Gryffon
Gum
Gunner
Hamyl
Harlan
Hawke
Heremon
Jagger
Jarok
Jonas
Julyan
Kade
Kell
Kerne
Kerr
Leto
Lon
Mago
Malek
Mylo
Nash
Nolan
Odger
Olson
Pandor
Perth
Phyneas
Radnor
Regan
Retho
Reynard
Rowe
Rudd
Scarle
Sebastyan
Sorley
Tymeck
Ulfass
Vahn
Vyctor
Vydor
Vynter
Waldron
Wolfe
Wyatt
Ycabod
Feminine
Alanna
Alexya
Alley
Amery
Ashlan
Ashley
Bayley
Betilda
Brona
Cammy
Canyce
Cara
Caylan
Cecyly
Creena
Dara
Darsey
Delaney
Derry
Desle
Devlyn
Dunla
Elatha
Elspeth
Emma
Enda
Erris
Evelyn
Gale
Gwen
Haley
Henna
Jenett
Jordan
Julyana
Kateryne
Kealey
Kearey
Keavey
Kelsey
Kyltey
Lorna
Matylda
Meara
Morna
Muryel
Nally
Orla
Renny
Rosaleen
Rowan
Sabyna
Shay
Styanna
Tara
Torey
Tressa
Una
Vora
Wren
Yslene
Surnames
Albyn
Alyr
Anthys
Badrigio
Boudewyn
Bracsio
Bralazzi
Bray
Chalerio
Claeys
Culpyn
Denys
Dimiani
Donaes
Dormio
Du
Dunlyfe
Dyvacci
Dyvarc
Elyse
Faryll
Feryse
Fiscani
Florys
Gervaes
Ghelyt
Gilfyn
Glaeys
Gossyn
Govaes
Granzio
Gustyn
Gylbert
Gyrart
Henryn
Hengys
Lamsyn
Laurenyns
Lowys
Lymos
Lynyse
Mancario
Martyn
Matys
Mirassi
Morosini
Moysarc
Niclaeys
Petrozzi
Polaro
Rimbaldi
Rovissi
Sanlyfe
Tadirir
Torys
Trivassi
Vandyse
Viadro
Viscario
Weyne
Wulfe
Wythsten
Yrnyse




Khador

North of Llael, the Khadoran Empire is dominated by the second-largest culture in western Immoren, that of the Khardic people, descendants of the empire that ruled the north before the coming of the Orgoth. Over a thousand years ago, the Khardic Empire and its western horselords conquered many small nations, city-states, and tribes, and the Khards of the present day descend from the strongest bloodlines of those times. Like the other people of the north, they tend to be tall and physically robust on average, mostly pale, with dark or reddish hair. At its height the Khardic Empire stretched across a sizable portion of western Immoren, including all of what is now Llael.

Khador is a land of sweeping expanses, fertile plains, imposing mountains, and dense forests. Her people are the stalwart inheritors of an ancient civilization that once dominated the continent. This history is ever present in the minds of the Khadoran people, as every generation repeats the tales of the legendary horselords. These fierce warlords banded together, conquered the weaker tribes, and fashioned the proud Khardic Empire. Some say the empire never truly fell but simply endured a dark age until it could emerge and evolve into the modern nation of Khador. Two years ago, bolstered by sweeping military conquest, Khador's sovereign declared herself Empress Ayn Vanar, becoming the personification of their nation, the Pervichyi Rodinovna, "Prime Daughter" of the Motherland.

Tensions with conquered Llael have hit an all-time high as the Protectorate of Menoth's Northern Crusade penetrated into eastern Llael and took the city of Leryn from its Khadoran occupiers. This has become the seat of the Protectorate of Menoth's new hierarch, who is expected to bring his armies to bear and challenge Khador over its newly conquered lands. The Khardic people are not troubled by this new adversary; they know their empress will respond with characteristic strength and ferocity and that her army will ultimately prevail.

The party line on...

LLAEL: Rebel terrorists should look to our kayazy as an example of how hard-working people may flourish under Khador rule. We do not and will never recognize the claims of the Llael who occupied our territory in the south and allowed the enemy to march to our doorstep. We are bringing peace and stability to the region.

PROTECTORATE OF MENOTH: The Menite faith is older in Khador than it is in the east. This Protectorate is political, not religious. Like before, a weak nation moves in on the hard won conquests of Khards to steal away scraps. When they witness the might of the Motherland, they will reconsider.

Sample Khador Names
Surnames are in common use only for wealthy families and the new urban class.
Masculine
Aika
Aleksi
Alexandr
Alexei
Aliosha
Ambroz
Andrei
Balsnoch
Barak
Bladko
Boris
Borja
Chasek
Costi
Culamir
Dahlrif
Dalmat
Dmitri
Dobrinya
Dorek
Dragash
Drago
Falko
Fedko
Fedor
Fodor
Gasan
Ghita
Giza
Gorash
Goraz
Gorian
Grigor
Grigory
Iagan
Iakhno
Iakshen
Igor
Ilya
Ivan
Ivash
Ivdan
Jachemir
Jarosch
Josef
Kachalo
Kigir
Kirbitei
Kohan
Kosara
Ladimir
Levanid
Loshka
Luka
Malash
Malko
Michal
Michka
Mikhail
Mikolo
Mishka
Negomir
Nekras
Nikolei
Olekse
Pachek
Petrov
Pytor
Radomir
Radu
Rajko
Ruskin
Sadko
Sergei
Servath
Solovei
Stoyan
Valerian
Vasily
Vasiuk
Vasko
Vladjimir
Vojin
Volkh
Yakov
Yaro
Yuri
Yurik
Feminine
Akina
Akilina
Aleksa
Anana
Anastasia
Anikita
Bazhina
Britt
Cesta
Cestina
Corinna
Dalika
Darzha
Elina
Eliska
Elka
Gridia
Gubina
Ihrin
Ilyana
Ivona
Kasia
Katerina
Katia
Klenka
Ksana
Laika
Lariana
Ludmila
Malana
Marfa
Marina
Marta
Mia
Mikhaila
Milena
Misha
Myrra
Nastasja
Natalya
Nikita
Ninete
Ondreiana
Riksa
Siri
Sivasha
Sofia
Sonja
Stefka
Tahni
Tara
Tatyana
Vjera
Yelena
Zelmira
Zori
Surnames
Abrosim
Adka
Agrimko
Aleksy
Aleshko
Antonidka
Babora
Belavdon
Berzhin
Blizbor
Bolovan
Borga
Csabor
Dementskov
Dvora
Durga
Faltin
Grishka
Grychkin
Gubin
Istori
Karakov
Koposin
Krasnovo
Kutsov
Ladislav
Lichko
Lovot
Louka
Lozar
Makara
Makarin
Makarov
Mikita
Mileshka
Mrovka
Nagorka
Nazarko
Neshka
Orlov
Osokin
Ostyvik
Padorin
Petrok
Petru
Raboshich
Rachlavsky
Radazar
Rostov
Starov
Stasvite
Szetka
Ushka
Tiudiaminov
Toshiana
Varnek
Venianminov
Vilimov
Vislovski
Zavor
Zeitsev
Zhina
Zhivo




Protectorate of Menoth

Under the unification of Immoren's newest nation, two distinct races share a dream of government and devotion to the Lawgiver. Sulese, or Sul-Menite people, tend to have cream-colored complexions and lighter hair. Idrians, on the other hand, typically have olive skin, dark brown or black hair, and almond eyes. Intermarriage between Sulese and Idrians is relatively common, contributing to further subtle changes over the last several generations. The Sul-Menites and Idrians of today were once made up of a number of diverse tribes native to the eastern region known as the Bloodstone Marches. Across bloody crusades, these tribes were brought into the faith of the Creator of Man, giver of the Flame, the Wall, the Sheaf, and the Law.

Over the last century, the Protectorate developed a unique culture centered on a strict caste-based theocracy. While the Menite priests like to think of their role as an extension of ancient beliefs, their theocracy is a uniquely modern invention and includes many reinterpretations of sacred text. The leaders of this nation are both more fanatical than Menites of the recent past and pragmatic when it comes to making use of developments such as mechanika. The Protectorate is noted for extremely strict laws controlling virtually every aspect of its citizens' lives. Within the walled cities and fortress temples of the Protectorate, Menoth's will is the Law meant to govern all mankind, honored above all else and followed without question or hesitation.

Five years ago, the Creator showed his favor by sending the Harbinger of Menoth, embodied in a young woman from a small town who channeled the god's will. Though great prophets had been known in ancient times, none had appeared for many centuries. Those who saw her knew immediately the veracity of the power and responsibility with which she had been blessed; she floated serenely above Immoren, her feet too holy to touch unclean earth. Although her appearance was met with skepticism at first, a series of miracles have changed hearts and minds and fueled a Great Crusade which has come as far north as Llael and shows no sign of stopping.

The party line on...

LLAEL: Bravely our brothers and sisters in the Llael Resistance fight the invaders, and with our help they can win. A brighter, stronger Llael will emerge from the flames, cleansed of old impurities and prepared for a new dawn as a subordinate state.

KHADOR: The false empress builds arsenals while using corrupt politics to keep Menite people disarmed and weak. Our cousins in the Old Faith should feel compelled to cast off the shackles of the dictator and embrace oneness under Menoth, for are we not all His children?

Sample Protectorate Names
Idrian people often follow surnames with the name of their tribe.
Masculine
Abidin
Adil
Adira
Affendi
Aiman
Akhet
Akhun
Amir
Amon
Amran
Anazim
Anuar
Arshad
Arzu
Azlan
Azrul
Badan
Bahari
Baharudin
Bakara
Bakva
Banu
Bashah
Dahari
Djavak
Djokola
Durga
Eman
Faizal
Fakharuddin
Farhan
Fashran
Fazrul
Ghani
Goha
Gosaf
Haakim
Hadi
Hafizul
Harun
Hasnan
Huslan
Ihsan
Imran
Ishak
Iskandar
Izal
Jaafar
Juhari
Kamarul
Khalid
Khvas
Kutsna
Lasha
Makhari
Marlizam
Moastaf
Mustafa
Muzaffar
Naazim
Nahak
Najmudin
Nazri
Proha
Razak
Retek
Rosdan
Saadim
Sahrizan
Sahu
Saltuk
Shaharuddin
Shamsul
Shariman
Shazrin
Siva
Sulaiman
Syahrian
Taarek
Taha
Tajuddin
Tarmizi
Umar
Vasan
Vasu
Volka
Yahaja
Yusuf
Zadar
Zahrin
Zahrul
Zakari
Zaru
Zedrin
Feminine
Adelina
Adisa
Ami
Amira
Anisah
Aryani
Asmida
Aysha
Azara
Azlina
Bala
Berka
Chiora
Dalina
Dasima
Dedika
Dendara
Ezadura
Fareha
Fariza
Fatima
Gulisa
Hafizah
Hasha
Haslina
Imanina
Indra
Jamilah
Juvita
Katijah
Kheta
Kita
Laili
Lamara
Lamzira
Latifah
Lilja
Mahran
Maisa
Mariani
Maya
Mazlin
Mutiara
Nadira
Nazariah
Nurjahan
Nurshafira
Opra
Rahanah
Rahiza
Rana
Razmani
Reha
Rohani
Safrina
Saleha
Sanatha
Shafeera
Shalan
Shorena
Shuhada
Siti
Suriani
Tasara
Tiara
Tiesa
Uma
Usha
Voha
Yana
Yara
Yasmin
Yati
Yuzmin
Zahidah
Zahirah
Zakira
Zarina
Zuraina
Surnames
Ad
An
Anh
At
Bal
Bahl
Bahn
Behn
Das
Dur
Et
Eyn
Had
Has
Ja
Kahn
Kat
Kehn
Keht
La
Lahn
Ma
Maz
Naj
Naz
Rehn
Roh
Sa
Sahn
Sek
Sekh
Set
Sil
Tar
Tas
Ull
Uz
Veht
Yah
Yas
Yeht
Zah
Zhah
Tribe
Bukhari
Foha
Madrah
Makha
Nazira
Okar
Raza
Silmani
Sohar
Yohada
Zahari



The Bit Players


Umbreans

Several other distinct cultures have survived in Khador amid the trackless wasted and vast wilderness that naturally divide the nation. In southeastern Khador and western Llael are a once-divided people, only recently unified under Khadoran rule after the Llael invasion. Umbreans are comparable in size and build to that of Khards, but they usually have darker complexions and dark hair. Heirs to the ancient eastern horselords of old, the Umbreans once contested with the Khards for domination of this region, and distrust and animosity persists between them. Tales of the ancient battles fought between Khards and Umbreans are still told, particularly near the grim battlefields where generations of blood have been spilled. Umbreans have intermingled with many other groups but retain a strong sense of cultural identity.

After being divided for centuries, western and eastern Umbreans are encountering the differences in their cultures, and only time will tell if they can be reconciled. Both Khador and Llael Umbey would have preferred an independent kingdom rather than a subject-state of the Khadoran Empire.

Sample Umbrean Names
Umbreans naturalized in Llael often substitute y for the letter i.
Masculine
Aberahama
Abesoloma
Adamu
Andrzej
Barsali
Bavol
Cato
Camlo
Chal
Colia
Danior
Garridan
Gillie
Gudada
Hanzi
Kale
Kalo
Kappi
Kem
Lash
Lendar
Merikano
Mihai
Orchilo
Pobea
Quidico
Saban
Shandor
Tobar
Valodja
Wen
Wesh
Yanko
Yoska
Zale
Feminine
Alafare
Alamina
Araunya
Asena
Charani
Damara
Esmeralda
Floure
Fifika
Grauni
Jaelle
Jidovaika
Kali
Kisaiya
Lajaria
Layla
Lela
Lillai
Lyuba
Mala
Malina
Mirela
Miri
Orchili
Pesha
Rupa
Ruza
Simza
Sinfi
Tasaria
Tematea
Tsura
Vadoma
Viollca
Zujenia
Surnames
Ashkali
Beticos
Bashalde
Boyash, Bayash, Beyash
Chergari
Chingianes
Chivute
Cutitari
Djambas
Erlide
Erlije
Gabori
Gelderari
Grastari
Hungaros
Janz
Jenische
Kabudji
Kale
Kantarai
Kopanari
Kotorara
Laieshi
Lalleri
Lautari
Lovara
Machvaya
Mango
Manouche
Mechkari
Potcovari
Rlia
Sfirnari
Shoshoraya
Sinti
Ursari
Vatrashi
Xoraxane
Xoraxai
Yevkos
Zingaros


Sinari

An ancient and proud people with dark skin and black hair, the nomadic Sinari travel primarily along the rivers of Immoren but may have originated far to the south and east, beyond the territory now claimed by the Protectorate of Menoth. They are sometimes mistrusted because of their refusal to put down roots, and clans of Sinari often travel with other nationless outcasts and pocket tribes in ornate and colorful wagons.

Sinari are craftsmen, weavers, woodworkers, and jewelers who make their living through barter. This is a people who pride themselves on storytelling and songs, and they know a diverse array of lore handed down through the generations. To the Sinari, the primal mother they worship has a complex and troubled relationship with Menoth, whom they acknowledge but do not pray to. They are among the few humans with a significant understanding and appreciation of the trollkin goddess Dhunia, and have ties to other wilderness peoples including bog trogs and gatormen. Many Sinari have been absorbed into other regional groups over the centuries. The small number of tribes that retain their old traditions disdain those who have given up their way of life.

Sample Sinari Names
The spelling of Sinari names varies widely from place to place.
Fewer than 20% of Sinari adopt surnames.
Masculine
Abdala
Abdoulaye
Adama
Akon
Aliaume
Alioune
Asse
Ayib
Babacar
Badera
Bakau
Cheikh
Creb
Djibo
Djibril
Fallou
Hachim
Idrissa
Jawara
Malik
Markus
Massamba
Morgan
Moustapha
Nuru
Oumar
Ousmane
Samba
Simba
Youseff
Yousou
Youssoufa
Feminine
Amina
Aminata
Arame
Arida
Awa
Binta
Diatta
Fama
Fatou
Fatimata,Fatimatou
Fatou, Fatoumata,Fatou-Maty
Jaineba
Jama
Kadija
Khadi,Khady
Leldo
Mame
Mamouna
Mariama
Mata
Mbaye
Nafissatou
Ndeye
Ramatoulaye
Ramatula
Roukia
Safara
Safietou
Safi
Saraitou
Saybatou
Tamsier
Thioro
Yande
Youma
Zanibou
Surnames
Aidara
Argintari
Aurari
Awei
Blidari
Bodiani
Churara
Dembélé
Diome
Ferari,Herari
Kalderashi
Killeswathi
Kirpachi
Kobzari
Kolburni
Kovachi
Lingurari
Ludari
Netotsi
Mansali
Marone
Mestere-Lacatuchi
Ndiaye, N'Diaye
Ndir
Niass,Niasse
Padureani
Rudari
Sadio
Sagna
Salahori
Sidime
Sinee
Sitari
Thior
Thiouné
Tidjiani
Vilané
Wilane,Willane
Zlatari

Offline DhiTopic starter

Re: Gritty steampunk & sorcery - LGBT welcome
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 02:33:49 PM »

Mechanika

Though many innovations came with the advent of blasting powder and Immoren's industrial revolution, true mechanika is a synthesis of magic and technology. The creation of clockwork-and-piston golems, given life through rudimentary magical brains called cortexes, began in secret under Orgoth occupation. The first such mechanika were towering monstrosities known as Colossals, created to lay siege to the Orgoth enemy. Over centuries of advancement, cortexes have become small enough to hold in the palm of the hand, and most modern mechanika- called steamjacks- have settled at a comfortable size of about nine to twelve feet and three to eight tons.

While these iron giants are expensive to manufacture, their industrial applications are so varied that all the nations of western Immoren consider them indispensable. Laborjacks are the backbone of logging, freight yards, docks, and construction throughout western Immoren, and every citizen of the Iron Kingdoms is familiar with the fearsome warjacks- steamjacks armed with dedicated military weaponry and possessing the highest grade of cortexes.

In Khador, the tireless creations work in massive forges pounding metal plates and other parts for locomotives, steamjack manufacture, and other heavy industry. While the Protectorate has prioritized producing warjacks over laborjacks, the latter can still be found assisting in construction efforts and other heavy tasks.

The artificial mind of a cortex can give life to a steamjack, allowing it to respond to commands, respond to visual and auditory stimuli, and slowly learn over time. But for military applications, unleashing a mechanikal behemoth with the mind of an infant is nearly useless; tighter control is demanded. For this reason the militaries of western Immoren prize a highly sought type of arcanist called a warcaster. These rare few are born with an innate ability to mentally contact and control the cortexes within steamjacks. While not all who have this ability are eager to join the military, warcasters enjoy a revered station in any army. The militaries of the Iron Kingdoms expend considerable resources to equip their warcasters with steam-powered and mechanically augmented armor, which affords them far better protection than most soldiers.


Magic

For most of recorded history, only priests who communed with the gods and spent time in prayer were known to wield magic, which was deemed divine intervention. These powers might be malevolent and fearsome curses or protective blessings, but in all cases magic was believed to originate from the gods and require their chosen vessels as intermediaries.

All of that changed with the arrival of Orgoth sorcerer-kings, who demonstrated such destructive power that they were able to bring the entire continent of Immoren to heel, practice human sacrifice and gather the souls of the slain to fuel dark rites in black temples. Gradually, across hundreds of years of occupation and cohabitation, the powers of the gift sorcerous made the jump from Orgoth to bastard bloodlines of humanity. Today when the spark of magic manifests without prompting or tutelage, the practitioner is called a sorcerer, and sorcerers are attuned to a specific element: fire, ice, stone, or storm.

Arcanists are instead scholars of the magical arts. Harnessing magic as an arcanist requires a steady hand and a clear mind. Unlike sorcerers, arcanists are bound to study arcane formulae, which unlocks for them the buried capacity to work willpower into telekinetic force or protection, cloud minds, divine secrets, or influence the weather.

Arcane mechaniks channel arcane formulae into special mechanikal devices capable of holding enchantment, such as a steamjack's cortex, mechanikal prosthesis, or highly sophisticated weapons, armor, and tools.

Gun mages are arcanists who combine gunpowder with the artifice of magic through rune-inscribed bullets capable of supernatural trick shots, magic disruption, igniting a fire, channeling bitter cold, or rusting strong steel. Within Llael, the Order of the Amethyst Rose has been decimated, but surviving members can be found assisting the Llaelese Resistance or selling their skills for hire.

Priests represent humanity's oldest magic, that of the faiths of Immoren. A priest devoted to a god commands divine magic in that deity's name. Priestly magic is capable of pulsing light, preventing an injury from worsening, banishing spirits, cursing or burning nonbelievers, or blessing an endeavor.

Shamans serve their communities in the wilds of Immoren by conducting rites during equinox feasts, births, deaths, and other significant events. Special rites may soothe animals, treat sickness, exorcise evil, hex enemies, or create sacred wards.

Warcasters are specialists trained by the militaries of Immoren to bond with mechanika, most often a steamjack. The power and precision a warcaster has over a bonded steamjack is unparalleled, making each a highly valued commodity.


Alchemy

Alchemy is arguably the oldest arcane art. Its roots and practices predate the gift of sorcery in Immoren by centuries. Alchemikal formulae and discoveries have become an essential element in mechanikal invention. Like most sciences, it also has applications in war. Alchemists crafted the first firearms, using them to equip rebels against the Orgoth. Over the centuries keen minds have continued to enact new and deadly uses of these principles. Today apothecaries, surgeons, mercenaries, and rogues find alchemical weapons excellent tools for achieving their goals both on and off the battlefield.

True elchamy is the synergy of natural ingredients and arcane lore. What began as a simple study of herbs and their properties has evolved into a vast field of study. Alchemy includes everything from the brewing of love potions and the mixing of healing salves to the careful creation of blasting powder.

Though many alchemical concoctions can be derived from simple plant, animal, and mineral components carefully combined, cooked, stabilized, distilled, and effervesced by trained practitioners, in the hands of an alchemist these mixtures can be enhanced with the magic of spell residue, monstrous organs, ectoplasm, mutagen, arcane crystals, and other truly unnatural ingredients.


Grind

In the sport of grind, ten ton ash-spewing steamjacks fight to move a giant spiked ball into the other team's goal. Using every weapon in their arsenal, these steamjacks tirelessly slug it out for dominance under the control of warcasters, engineers, and teams of mechaniks. Two rival teams of five armored metal warriors enter an arena of mud, iron, and fire each week in a war of proxy for the heart of the contested town. Grudges run deep in the Grind culture, where steamjacks earn names and notoriety beyond even their warjack masters.

Khador's proud foundries have fueled the empire's military ambitions since the time of the Orgoth rebellion. Its steamjacks are slow, heavily armored behemoths taken from retired military warjacks such as the defunct Berserker (height 10'11", weight 8.4 tons) or aging Juggernaut (height 11'7", weight 9 tons), or from laborjacks forged for heavy industries such as mining, logging, and cargo shipment. All are built for extremely durability and extremely long service life.

The Protectorate of Menoth has only begun to manufacture its own steamjacks in number over the last three decades in preparation for war. Its light steamjacks compromise between armor and mobility, being far less bulky than their Khadoran counterparts. Models such as the Purifier (height 8'7", weight 3.9 tons) are literal interpretations of the Canon of the True Law to eradicate unbelief through cleansing fire, while the Devout (height 8'7", weight 3.9 tons) boast a proud history of protecting the faith's holiest of holies. Since the Menite Temple considers mechanika at least partially unclean, al Protectorate steamjacks are blessed and consecrated by priests.

Compared to the other Iron Kingdoms, Llael has always had the smallest steamjack production. Most were laborjacks, and since the disarmament of Occupied Llael many intended for war have been stripped or destroyed. In Bexlyfe, Llael is not allowed to participate in Grind with its own steamjack teams. Both Khador and the Protectorate have, however, seen the wisdom in adopting certain warcasters and steamjacks, whether to curtail potential rebels or to win the hearts and minds of the people. Typical Llael steamjacks are docker or builder laborjacks, though one or two Vanguards (height 8'7", weight 3.8 tons) survive from the Order of the Golden Crucible's limited, exceptional manufacture.

The typical Grind arena is 70' wide by 130' long, surrounded by a ball gutter and then by a reinforced wall to (hopefully) shield spectators from careening steamjacks and the grinder itself. Because few steamjacks can operate at peak for longer than an hour, a Grind match is divided into five periods of 10 minutes, and in between each period mechaniks scramble to repair damaged steamjacks.

Offline DhiTopic starter

Re: Gritty steampunk & sorcery - LGBT welcome
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 02:35:45 PM »
Town of Bexlyfe (pop. 30,000)

The Llaelese town of Bexlyfe, located on the northwestern tip of the territory of the Northern Crusade and the eastern territory of Khador occupation, is between a rock and a hard place. The town's previous baron peacefully transferred his command to a Khador kommandant, while the Northern Crusade has arrived by invitation from the historic Menoth temple. While either side holds a claim to Bexlyfe and its strategic position, its wealthy iron mines, its enviable treasures and rumored ancient ruins, neither side is willing to wage open war just yet.

Bexlyfe's architecture is elaborate and well designed in the style typical of Llael. Because the elevation is so pronounced throughout the city, most of hte roadways wind and curve around the natural hills and valleys across which they've been built. Few streets, particularly minor streets, run straight for very long. The town is further interspersed with countless narrow, looping footpaths and alleyways, which make it easy for residents to evade pursuit. Bexlyfe's most prominent feature, however, is the extraordinary preponderance of exterior staircases carved into the myriad hillsides.

A six hundred foot span of the Black River divides Old Bexlyfe to the north, and New Bexlyfe to the south. Two bridges connect the two halves. North of the river, Old Bexlyfe lies at the foothills of rugged and iron-rich mountains. A number of its historic buildings date back three centuries to the town's founding, including the grand Baron's Estate and neighboring Church of Ascendant Sambert, local center of Morrowan faith. A far more recent Temple of Menoth is planned to dwarf that church, and construction is currently underway to demolish surrounding neighborhood buildings to make room.

South of the river, New Bexlyfe is fertile foothills of arable land, vineyards, and orchards. Much of this land in the four years since Khador invasion became hastily constructed communal housing for those fleeing the destruction of Riversmet. The rush fo accommodate these survivors led to a collapse along the riverbank which crushed several tenements, now a ruin referred to as the Broken Cliffs.

In places such as the Ship's Graveyard, the Quarry, the Slag Pit, the Broken Cliffs and the Witches' Cairn, arenas are reserved for the game of Grind, where Khador and Protectorate steamjacks meet in a war by proxy for the heart of the divided town.



Character sheet code:
Code: [Select]
[floatright][img height=500 padding=10](Image URL here)[/img][/floatright]

[center][size=18pt][b](Character name)[/b][/size][/center]
[b]FACTION:[/b] (Llael, Khador, Protectorate of Menoth, Umbrean, or Sinari)
[b]CONCEPT:[/b] (In two words, what is your character's hook?)
[b]AGE:[/b]
[b]SEX:[/b]
[b]ORIENTATION:[/b]

[b]BENEFITS:[/b] (No more than three skills which set your character apart, be they magic, special training, aptitudes, or material things)
[b]FLAWS:[/b] (At least two character flaws which could be exploited to fuel stories)

[b]DESCRIPTION:[/b] (What does your character look like? How does she dress? What are some of her unexpected quirks?)

[b]PERSONALITY:[/b] (What emotion best describes your character? What emotion does she evoke in others? What does she need most? What is her goal in life, and how does she believe this goal can be accomplished?)

[b]HISTORY:[/b] (Where did your character come from? How did she provide for herself? Who has had the biggest impact on her life? How does she view the Khadoran Empire? The Protectorate of Menoth? The Llaelese Resistance?)

[b]ONS & OFFS[/b]


Magdolna Szetka
FACTION: Umbrean
CONCEPT: Grease Monkey
AGE: 22
SEX: Female
ORIENTATION: Bisexual

BENEFITS: Mechanikal Engineer
FLAWS: Umbey Stick Together, Conspiracy Theories

DESCRIPTION: Darling coffee ringlets spill over steelworker's shoulders, slick to her brow with a sheen of sweat from the workshop. A soot-stained overall apron flares loose at the top of her hips, weighted by holstered spanner, reamer, hammer, and pliers. Rivets ready for the boltdriver sit cushioned between her lips to free up hands which are glossy and tempered in the forge, each small nail outlined in black oil. Her skin is fired in enriched clay with a smoky, forest-girl burnish, and takes to the color white like a wedding oak. The clothes that came with her from the north have proven too cumbersome for Bexlyfe's temperate weather, and so her cafe and vineyard dresses are borrowed from grandmothers' hope chests and sequestered from mud and machines. Her voice is thick-tongued with soft palate pronunciation, occasionally flicking into unexpected consonants or overlong vowels.

PERSONALITY: Magdolna is a relic of a youth which favors a skeptical mind, shrewd blame deflection, and sharp voice, and these coping skills have proven unfashionable in Llael. Her strength is tempered in the fires of Umbrey's extended family, wit sharpened on the whetstone of her jingoistic people, will chiseled in marble along with the glories of centuries gone by. Through the worst of times this family has seen her through, and the dream of a unified Umbrey, with a nation to call its own, is bigger than herself, or Khador, or Llael.

HISTORY: The Umbrean town of Voskor was a rust bucket by the time of Magdolna's birth, and had been since prostitutes, grifters and hopeful young men had thrown it together on the heels of the Khador Empire's railroad east. Boundaries get crossed on the road to opportunity, and those who didn't scrub clean after failure usually ended up back home in Voskor. Young Magdolna took after her father's craft of keeping the place running, making sure the gas lamps burned and the mine lifts cranked and the old repurposed rail engine chugged. She knew her old mechanika.

Mama and papa Szetka couldn't have been prouder of their daughter when she joined the Khadoran Mechanik's Assembly. The union asked her to pick up roots and move swiftly to everywhere work was needed along Khador's aging war infrastructure. The secrets of the trade and a fair wage were hers by right, but true success, a place beside the emerging bourgeoise class, was denied her as an Umbrean girl. She remained, despite her hard work, a second-class citizen anywhre but Voskor.

Soon the war effort spilled into Llael, and so many fresh bodies were drawn into that tide that Magdolna was never furnished the papers to return. Distant family among the refugees in Bexlyfe helped her to get back on her feet, and their excitement for a unified Umbrey caught fire in her heart. Great Prince Vladimir Tzepesci promised the dutiful a place in the homeland built on the ruins of Llael, and Magdolna let herself believe. She remained in Bexlyfe repairing engines of steam, and when they were repurposed, hired as a mechanik for the game of Grind.

Rivalries between Grind teams both Khadoran and Protectorate ran deep and often boiled over into accusation or brawl. It was here Magdolna first became aware of a spy network, the Llaelese Resistance, which worked in secret to sabotage Khador liberation. She began to notice strange behavior and clandestine messages, and knew that this menace could be a threat to unified Umbrey. Because she did not look Khadoran, Magdolna had an advantage prying into the business of those sympathetic to the rebels. How deep this conspiracy runs, however, Magdolna does not know.

ONS & OFFS Magdolna enjoys a tease and power struggle and grows frustrated with pushovers. Dirty talk is her flirtation of choice, and roughhousing a dance, a foreplay. Oil and skin and the thrill of risk are among her favorite sensations.
Fire and cutting bring to mind the horrors of her work and cannot be sexy, and she refuses what strips her of worth, such as degradation, race fetish, and rape fantasies.