[Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Voltron64 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:17 pm

Bumped back to front page.
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:39 pm

I keep thinking I want to do more for this thread and realising that I can't work up anything! :(

What I need is a nice long list of undeveloped names to start working forward from, but I've no gift for coming up with such a thing!
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:36 am

Awaken you neglected brain-children of our collective creative genius! Rise up you denezins of the Savage Worlds of Charles Phipps! Your old uncle is back and he commands you to LIVE!LIVE! LIVE!
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:42 am

Amusingly, RPG.net Savage Worlds fans voted Winterweir the worst of Savage World's settings.

:P

In retrospect, there's a lot I would have done differently and I definitely would have had editing handled by a third party but it's still a work I'm very proud of.

I only wish I could have had someone like you, Libra, to expand on it as much as you did.

*thumbs up*

I'm happy to answer any further questions or expansions you'd like.

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The Dragon-Kings of a Bygone Age

Postby Libra » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:34 am

Of old, there were Dragons and they made Kings of themselves and gathered to themselves great golden hoards in consequence, such being the way of Dragons and of Kings.

Few living now remember those days, for they preceded the conquests of ALACARN herself and now the world is different in form and in name and in it's peoples, although not perhaps in nature for always the strong do cry their dominion from the highest peak and cry havoc upon them that do cry out against them, be that voice great or small.

Yet we scholars know something of that time, for even in those days the quills of our clerkish forebears scribed almost as quickly as the tongues of their neighbours wagged and the fingers of the minstrels danced upon the strings as they wove high deeds into Legend not to be forgotten even after the breaking of their world.

It is ever the way of the world and those in it to remember doom and high deeds, but not the niceties of life and the doom of scholars to record Dragon-fire and Dragon-Doom when they would rather immortalise the charms of life and wife.

Yet if, as lore and legends claim, Dragons do be immortal it is better that memory of them likewise endures; memory of their powers and principalities, memory of their cruelties and their glories so that we kinfolk may be all the better prepared should the Great Days of the Dragons return for even at the ending of those days not every Dragon was put to the lance.


Abryss the Black: Reckoned one of the smallest of the Dragon-Kings and yet feared in his day as the mightiest predator to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his taloned feet, he was also the perpetual rival of Galax for dominion in the raw lands west of the Great Mountains, where civilisation was young and treasure thin on the ground, for in his youth Abryss had lost the battle for those Dragon-friendly swamps we now know as Amania but arguably won the long war when he decided to fight with equal vigour for the southern plains and forests into which he had been exiled (now know as Lartan, Tythan and Thur).

Shunning the luxuries he'd been denied in any case when Galax claimed the black dragon's thralls for his own, Abryss honed his powers of talon, dragon-fire and cunning to a lethal edge - driving off every rival that strayed into his realm, be they fellow dragon or any other titanic monster, with main strength launched from ambush coupled with the most keenly honed of senses, never consenting to let one defeat end his campaign against the latest rival to enter his domains until they had been brought to an end written in venom, fire and blood.

With these rivals ever in the forefront of his thought, Abryss was entirely content to ignore any humans that strayed into his domain, considering them too small to be a real threat to himself and too poor to be worth robbing; in the main it was this lordly indifference to humankind and keen appetite for the conquest of his fellow monsters that bred the tradition of Abryss-worship in the ancestors of Tythan and not a single stroke of real benevolence towards those exiles, nomads and runaways desperate enough to make their home in his shadow (preferring that lordly indifference to enslavement or predation).

Then the weariness of middle age and injuries (past and present) took their toll upon the Dragon-King of the South; still fearsome, he began to favour intimidation over fang and flame, finally condescending to lower himself to (relatively) petty depredations upon the now-numerous 'minor sentients' squatting across his domains - although he remained still as ferocious as ever towards his major rivals, though these struggles took such a toll of his reserves that the most succesful of these later rivals are now remembered as part of a tradition of heroes (some more credibly than others).

In the end though it came as no surprise to the various enemies and rivals whom Black Abryss had called peer, neighbour and future conquest when they learned of his demise - what shocked them was that his end came not under the talons of a mightier rival but at the hands of a mere HUMAN, who managed to slay the most peerless combatant of all the Dragon-Kings in SINGLE COMBAT, armed with little more than a lance, horse, faith and her native wit (succeeding where the combined armies of two peopled had failed).

It was an achievement without precedent, but not without sequal.


Galax the Green: Also known as Galax the Gluttonous, Galax the Giggling and Galax the Great during his period of rule, the Dragon-King of the West was one of the younger dragon-kings and while certainly larger than his nearest neighbour and dearest rival (especially around the belly), Galax was still not amongst the largest of his kind, although verifiably the peer of even the mightiest (Dranax) and therefore a being of rare power.

What Galax the Green lacked in raw strength he compensated for with cleverness, a tie to his subjects with unusually strong roots and some clever positioning on the great playing-board of Ezul (far from his mightier rivals and the Old Kingdoms that were capable of giving even them pause for thought, not to mention in close proximity to the young populations in the West, with their burgeoning treasuries ... and ever-expanding cities, fleshpots where an ever-expanding drake might gobble his fill).

Filling most of his days with the great game for supremacy in the West played out between himself and his obsidian rival to the south, blessing his subject with new technologies so that he might milk them more profitably, tightening the screws on the burgeoning population of mortals within his thrall still further, as well as indulging a fascination with these 'Humans' and their kinfolk that drew him back to toy with them again and again, Galax the Green grew comfortably fat and rich in his roost at the peak of what would become High Amania but remained as ruthlessly fixated on the accumulation of power and wealth as ever he had been in his lean and hungry youth.

Then Black Abryss died at the hands of the first human dragons-bane and for a time everything was EVEN BETTER - or so Galax tried to tell himself, at least, for the success of Tira Dragonslayer had bred a new spirit in her people that began to spread apace, even to seep across the borders of The Green Death's personal domain; growing ever more paranoid and ever more desperate to conceal this with opulent bravado, in the end Galax made the near-fatal mistake of accepting a cup from the hands of those Aman Twins, his stewards and the descendants of his many generations of thralls - a cup brimming over with a poison that MIGHT kill him, that he could not afford to refuse and that most certainly put an end to his dominion.

At which point The Aman Twins were anointed his heirs and began the long work of turning their dual dynasties into a fitting substitute for The Dragon-King of the West and their city of High Amania into the beating heart at the centre of a network of tributaries, works far too succesful for their neighbours to take any comfort from the demise of Galax the Green.


Zull: Thought to have been the spawn and kinslayer of Ezul, that mighty cold drake who had previously been the overlord of what is now Alacarn (and it's namesake, prior to the Dragon-slayer Empress), it seems ironic that Zull himself had taken no portion of the continent greater than what are now the Pirate and Wyvern Isles for his own dominion.

Zull was so old and so battered by the elements that his coat of scales had long since faded to purple (either from black or red, no-one is certain), but still his sway extended to encompass the Black Coast and the north-eastern coasts of Saiyan, the terror of his reputation was strong enough to persuade even mighty D'Henna and Turlon to pay him a tribute whenever he chose to exercise the power that lay in him and his word was given keen attention when the Dragon-Kings convened - yet he frequently preferred to keep an eye on the oceans and keep a watch over the Wyverns.

In the end, his disappearence was noted yet at first considered neither surprising nor any kind of relief for those that dwelled in his shadow, for he had travelled from his domain once or twice before during his centuries as Dragon-King (deep beneath the surface of the Great Waters some said), returning to wreak retribution on those that had sought advantage in this; yet as long years grew into decades and then became centuries his abscence did not go unnoticed - least of all by the Wyvern Riders who would increasingly come to bedevil the coast of Ezul and finally provoke Alacarn A'Bretai into taking the interest in them that would one day lead her armies to victory over the Dragon-Kings, whose company Zull had grown so weary of.


Talthar and Turroc: Blue-scaled and quarrelsome twins who tended to snap at one another whenever no other rival presented themselves for their attention, the overlords of that vast and hollow mountain now comprising Vokelstein never-the-less proved surprisingly close-knit siblings (for dragons) and a formidable threat even to neighbouring Turlon and D'Henna, The Old Kingdoms that gave even dragons pause for thought.

So formidable did they seem and were in fact, that it became the custom of their neigbours to pay them dragon-gold to keep them at bay and their custom to extort still further golden tributes from these neighbouring kingdoms, all the better for D'Henna and Turlon to preserve their borders, as well as their manpower and still better for the twins to enrich themselves by playing the one against the other.

A fine protection racket in truth, but one that finally faltered when Alacarn conned the two of them into half-killing one another, finished the job these twin terrors had begun with her Wyvern-riders, then proceeded to build the army and bribe the allies that would help her seize Turlon using the hoard those old drakes had amassed over the long centuries.

Rumours that these Big Blue Buzzards left behind a might clutch of eggs in the wake of their numerous reconciliations remain unconfirmed, but remain so credible that agents of The Powers that Be continue to launch sporadic investigations into their former dominions to this day.


Wemax: Although Zull was more mysterious, few of the Dragon-Kings were as remote from Humanity as The King of the North, ranging frosty lands that none of those other reptiles could stand and appearing to thrive upon them in some contentment.

Presumably because The White Death was quite capable of recognising that none of the others were going to fight to the death for what was - by their exacting standards - a frozen wasteland empty of anything but ice, snow and dumb animals (with the more snide perpetually adding 'Wemax included').

While humans have relatively little to say about Wemax as a result, good or bad, The Jotun make up for it with a fiery ire that has not quite subsided even after a very long abscence that was begun when one of their greatest heroes hacked off her head and used it as a hat (possibly prompted by the thought that if a single HUMAN could kill a dragon hand-to-hand a Jotun should have no problem; as it turned out he was VERY wrong, but somehow won in the thirty-fourth battle anyway).


Dranax: The uncrowned king of Ezul before Alacarn toppled him from his lofty perch and unmourned afterwards, Dranax was know in his lifetime and long afterwards as 'The King in Blood-Red and Gold' (amongst other titles equally chilling and complimentary, which he seems to have regarded as part of the tribute he levvied on anything within range and demanded with menaces from anyone beyond it).

So secure was he in his power and upon his perch at the highest peak of the Skyland mountains that divides this continent, bestriding his world like a colossus, he seems to have regarded Alacarn's campaigns as little more than a minor problem with some interesting potential at first - initially limiting himself to far-flung manipulation and self-centred schemes, before proceeding to direct assault not long before the last of his rivals were stone-dead (he had in fact hoped to hold off until they were ALL dead, but recognised that Alacarn was now grown into too much of a threat to be permitted to grow on, no matter how greatly to his benefit her efforts continued to be).

In the end Dranax eventually perished under the power of Alacarn, despite his best efforts and the imposing, outstanding security of his mountain fastness; with his unlamented demise at the most unlikely of hands the era of the Dragon-Kings was ended and the Age of Alacarn was begun (even if the full power of Alacarn had not QUITE been able to stretch as far as his lair - but her influence and her allies had just managed to, at the fruition of an ever-so-slightly desperate scheme).
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:46 am

Amusingly, RPG.net Savage Worlds fans voted Winterweir the worst of Savage World's settings.


BAH! shows what THEY know bigad ...


I only wish I could have had someone like you, Libra, to expand on it as much as you did.


The problem is that you DID, it's just that I don't seem to have done my work very well where The Savage Worlds of Charles Phipps are concerned ... so far, at least and I hope to change that.


In retrospect, there's a lot I would have done differently and I definitely would have had editing handled by a third party but it's still a work I'm very proud of.

I'm happy to answer any further questions or expansions you'd like.


One question that occurs to me immediately is "How would you reboot The Savage Worlds of Charles Phipps?" and I suspect that some others may well occur in future (hopefully with thoughts I would feel free to share). :mrgreen:
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Voltron64 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:53 am

It's back, huzzah!
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:42 pm

I hope so! (although I would appreciate suggestions as to what sort of articles you and our other readers would like to see).
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:18 pm

Charles, one question I really WOULD like to see answered is "What part of this setting would you particularly like me to work on revamping?"
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Let's see what we can do for the Free Republic.

Dragon comments up next.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:21 am

Thank you very much Charles! :mrgreen:
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:02 pm

Comments part 1

Libra wrote:Of old, there were Dragons and they made Kings of themselves and gathered to themselves great golden hoards in consequence, such being the way of Dragons and of Kings.


The Reign of the Dragon Kings was simultaneously more civilized and less civilized than people go. From the perspective of the Dragons it was a great thing because, bullies and tyrants they were, it was actually a network to speak at great length about things like breeding and educating their young plus creating clans of dragons. The entire thing had been assembled by "The Great Old Wurms" as a way of trying to rebuild the Terra'ssar race.

The Worms believed their Empire could start rebuilding their race with the slavery of lesser races almost incidental (perhaps believing they could be educated in "finer" civilization as well as used to reconstruct the lost technology that was a major motivation of their actions). Unfortunately, the Great Old Wurms underestimated the level of savagry which had taken root in their brethren. When presented with the ancient devices and possibility of learning more about their past, they were actually more interested in the plunder and worship possibilities presented plus lording over their fellows.

The experiment actually hastened the Dragons final demise (which is only a matter of time now) due to many of the Old Wurms being killed by their fellows--thus costing the world uncountable amounts of technical and historical data.

Abryss the Black: Reckoned one of the smallest of the Dragon-Kings and yet feared in his day as the mightiest predator to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his taloned feet, he was also the perpetual rival of Galax for dominion in the raw lands west of the Great Mountains, where civilisation was young and treasure thin on the ground, for in his youth Abryss had lost the battle for those Dragon-friendly swamps we now know as Amania but arguably won the long war when he decided to fight with equal vigour for the southern plains and forests into which he had been exiled (now know as Lartan, Tythan and Thur).


Abyrss the Black was notable for the fact he was actually a Great Old Wurm and his "youth" was something not even born on this world. Unfortunately, Abyrss was a story less about wise old sages and more "A Heart of Darkness" with Abyrss being Kurtz. The relatively small dragon had never been particularly revered during the time of the Terra'ssars empire. A slave of a slave of a thrall in the service of a vizier, he was a minor functionary in their infinite Empire.

Being trapped on Alacarn was at first terrible but soon became an opportunity for him. It wasn't about how large you are, really, but how VICIOUS.

Note: Many Terra'ssar enhanced themselves to gigantic levels since they bred like turtles and it wasn't like there was any reason NOT to be building size other than food, excrement, and physics needs--and why the smaller ones thrived after these became a problem.

Galax the Green: Also known as Galax the Gluttonous, Galax the Giggling and Galax the Great during his period of rule, the Dragon-King of the West was one of the younger dragon-kings and while certainly larger than his nearest neighbour and dearest rival (especially around the belly), Galax was still not amongst the largest of his kind, although verifiably the peer of even the mightiest (Dranax) and therefore a being of rare power.


Galax the Green was an interesting case of being a legendary figure to his subjects but something of a joke to his fellow dragons. Despite his tremendous power, the vast majority of elder worms considered him a gaudy and stupid figure who was unworthy of the power he wielded. Ironically, Galax was one of the few dragons actually interested in rebuilding the Old Empire. He assembled a fairly vast collection of broken Terra'ssar junk and had thousands of human scholar-slaves pouring over them despite his own incomprehension of the material. This was just another sign he was a degenerate savage who had "monkeys" beating rocks on Ipods.

Later, these slaves went on to write about 80% of the technical manuals which formed the backbone of the Children of the Divine Spark and Grand Arcanum.

Zull: Thought to have been the spawn and kinslayer of Ezul, that mighty cold drake who had previously been the overlord of what is now Alacarn (and it's namesake, prior to the Dragon-slayer Empress), it seems ironic that Zull himself had taken no portion of the continent greater than what are now the Pirate and Wyvern Isles for his own dominion.


Zull was the pragmatic and cynical one in the project, having long since determined rebuilding the Terra'ssar's glory days to be impossible. As a result, he was primarily interested in working on his own projects such as a working interdimensional gate and communicator (which he successfully completed). Zull actually visited numerous other worlds as well as created "astral projection" devices that allowed him to use humanoid puppets across multiple worlds.

Zull's influence across the universe is thus not ended and he's long since developed bigger fish to fry.

Zull, amusingly, also had the best relationship with the humanoids under his "care." He found it much easier to rule them when he took upon the idea of a totem to be venerated and made (nonsensical) religious promises that his power could be shared. Later, Zull actually gave them his idiot mutated descendants to serve as their mounts almost as a means of disposing of them but which made the Isles its own unique culture (and impossible to conquer).

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Charles Phipps » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:33 pm

Comments part 2

Talthar and Turroc: Blue-scaled and quarrelsome twins who tended to snap at one another whenever no other rival presented themselves for their attention, the overlords of that vast and hollow mountain now comprising Vokelstein never-the-less proved surprisingly close-knit siblings (for dragons) and a formidable threat even to neighbouring Turlon and D'Henna, The Old Kingdoms that gave even dragons pause for thought.


The natural territorialness of dragons has always been one of their chief impediments. Dragons only share territory when they are a mated pair and even then, only when they're raising children. Otherwise, the dragons tend to regard each other with hostility and suspicion. Talthar and Turroc's relationship always struck other dragons as strange with the two personifying "creepy twins" for a lot of them.

Despite being rulers of a Gothic hellhole, they actually weren't incestuous or inclined to demonic activities. Instead, the two merely carried out a vast war on the local populace designed to terrify them into submission. Their regular slaughters of villagers (once a decade), demands for human sacrifice, and building gigantic treasure hordes (something most dragons had never seen a reason to do so) were infamous.

Their greed, ironically, overcame their love for each other.

Wemax: Although Zull was more mysterious, few of the Dragon-Kings were as remote from Humanity as The King of the North, ranging frosty lands that none of those other reptiles could stand and appearing to thrive upon them in some contentment.


Wemax's reputation amongst the Jotuns is motivated by the fact he was less motivated by territorial ambitions than misusing the locals in the pursuit of his archaelogy. The giants were enslaved to help him clean out and maintain the massive cities once inhabited by the dragons while he catalogued and repaired them. Indeed, Wemax's efforts lead to many of the city's become self-sustaining and becoming home to highly intelligent dragons as well as numerous dragon cultists.

His interest in the population and wastes, themselves, were nothing to his greater desire to trying to rebuild draconic civilization.

He had some success but his actions lead to isolationist almost Elder Thing society.

Dranax: The uncrowned king of Ezul before Alacarn toppled him from his lofty perch and unmourned afterwards, Dranax was know in his lifetime and long afterwards as 'The King in Blood-Red and Gold' (amongst other titles equally chilling and complimentary, which he seems to have regarded as part of the tribute he levied on anything within range and demanded with menaces from anyone beyond it).


Dranax, himself, was one of the few Dragons who actually ruled his territories versus threatening them and demanding their fealty. He had a massive dragon-constructed palace, hundreds of lesser dragon governors, dragon-cults, and even more interaction than the Wyvern Lords.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole threa

Postby Libra » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:04 am

The Reign of the Dragon Kings was simultaneously more civilized and less civilized than people go. From the perspective of the Dragons it was a great thing because, bullies and tyrants they were, it was actually a network to speak at great length about things like breeding and educating their young plus creating clans of dragons.


From the perspective of those Humans and those amongst their Kinfolk species NOT gainfully employed picking ticks off scaly hides (metaphorically or literally), it meant more and smarter Dragons which is seldom a good thing for anyone who is not a several stories-tall firebreathing monster with a supremacy complex as large as it's appetite for shiny things (or edible sentients).


The Worms believed their Empire could start rebuilding their race with the slavery of lesser races almost incidental (perhaps believing they could be educated in "finer" civilization as well as used to reconstruct the lost technology that was a major motivation of their actions).


The fact that they might also keep the dragon in a style and level of veneration to which our new, fire-breathing overlords would doubtless swiftly become accustomed to would of course be a rather nice bonus to the reconstruction of something resembling their former civilisation AND numbers.


Unfortunately, the Great Old Wurms underestimated the level of savagry which had taken root in their brethren. . .

. . . The experiment actually hastened the Dragons final demise (which is only a matter of time now) due to many of the Old Wurms being killed by their fellows--thus costing the world uncountable amounts of technical and historical data.


Given that these Great Old Wyrms had doubtless overthrown their own predecessors (many of them their own near kin), this seems surprisingly naive of them - or perhaps they simply assumed, as the likes of Ezul once had, that they had brought up their offspring to know better, then been thoroughly disappointed.

Dragons, as the observant will have noted by now, don't generally feel much for family beyond respect - either as an enemy or an ally - but they do tend to feel excessive amounts of satisfaction in their own powers and prowess, possibly because on some existential level they know that no-one else is ever going to love them so they might as well do love themselves FIERCELY (or so the unkind suggest).


Being trapped on Alacarn was at first terrible but soon became an opportunity for him. It wasn't about how large you are, really, but how VICIOUS.


It also helps a great deal to be CLEVER and in his own vicious, cunning way Abryss was (for proof of this consider his survival of the collapse of the Terr'Assar Empire when his mightier brethren went the way of their Dinosaur kin, albeit with Mass Drivers rather than Meteorites to blame); his decision to ignore the Humans was initially unconscious (even a small dragon has bigger things to worry about than these particular featherless bipeds), but he was more than smart enough to work out that they had to be coming from somewhere and that the fewer humans his nearest and least-dear neighbour had at his disposal the better (not to mention sting his pride just a little - Galax loved to be loved and hated any proof that he was not).

The fact that in the fullness of time these mortal might build cities which he might milch for fun and profit didn't escape him either; he wasn't exactly planning ahead for his retirement, but he DID want to give his inner Smaug a run-out at some point (even if Abryss did look more like Maleficent, amusingly enough).


Galax the Green was an interesting case of being a legendary figure to his subjects but something of a joke to his fellow dragons. Despite his tremendous power, the vast majority of elder worms considered him a gaudy and stupid figure who was unworthy of the power he wielded.


Except Abryss, who resented the HADES out of the fact that HE might have been wielding that power had he beaten the Green Glutton once upon a time; Galax tended to treat Abryss with a mixture of amusement, caution and a heaping helping of salt in those old wounds (it's a bit like having Peter Ustinov's Nero acting as a rival to Basil Rathbone's Guy of Gisbourne, only with Dragons).

Concerning the other Dragon-Kings, Galax tended to condescend to them awfully; even if they couldn't see it, he knew how FABULOUS he was and so could his minions. Why should he care about what his only living peers and extended pseudo-family thought of him?

This was just another sign he was a degenerate savage who had "monkeys" beating rocks on Ipods.


Galax would have called 'degenerate' a fair cop, but could only see 'savage' as a hilariously inaccurate insult - you'll see how funny he finds it when your funny bone is a lot closer to his, just after you get a chance to inspect his dental work ...

Later, these slaves went on to write about 80% of the technical manuals which formed the backbone of the Children of the Divine Spark and Grand Arcanum.


One would assume that some of these scribes would go on to form the first, technocratic aristocracy of Amania (with their Batha counterparts as occasional back-up) before Alacarn's empire pilfered their finest goodies and the Shadow-King finished the job begun several milennia earlier - incidents that drove the surviving Amanian nobility to conclude that intellectualism was for peons, with several milennia of mutual concussion-induced meatheadedness after butting heads with Tythan-style military aristocracy playing it's part in turning Amania's aristocracy into would-be world beaters, with what results we all know.


Zull was the pragmatic and cynical one in the project, having long since determined rebuilding the Terra'ssar's glory days to be impossible.


Not least because he'd played his own significant part in bringing those days to an end or so I would suspect.

Zull actually visited numerous other worlds as well as created "astral projection" devices that allowed him to use humanoid puppets across multiple worlds.


One suspects that he and The Shadow King know one another of old and from clashes in a more modern era; one idea that occurs to me is that the decline of the Dragon-Kings had a good deal to do with The Shadow King quietly manipulating misunderstandings into mutual antipathy even more severe than it had been to start with.

I would not be surprised if The Emperor of Turlon was acquainted with The Dragon-Kings as well and would be ASTONISHED if his retreat into himself did not coincide with the final conclusion that this time Zull's disappearence might just be permenant (or with his coming to believe that Humanity and associated species would be able to deal with The Dragons on their own); it's interesting to note that his Retreat began only a century or so before the coming of Alacarn.

One wonders what the old Turlon tinpot knew about what was coming ...

Zull's influence across the universe is thus not ended and he's long since developed bigger fish to fry.


One wonders how Captain Carpenter (BH) would react to a cry of "Sensors are picking up draconic life straight ahead!" (The words "Red Alert" come to mind).

Later, Zull actually gave them his idiot mutated descendants to serve as their mounts almost as a means of disposing of them but which made the Isles its own unique culture (and impossible to conquer).


Doubtless he would have been alarmingly amused to see his inbred-hillbilly islander great-great-great-great-great-goodness me HOW great can these dragon wannabes be?-great-great grandkids eventually kill and eat his old peers on behalf of a Human Empress.

He always did have a fondness for and a fine sense of the absurd.


Talthar and Turroc's relationship always struck other dragons as strange with the two personifying "creepy twins" for a lot of them.


Mostly because dragons don't really think in terms of 'families'; they keep track of bloodlines to some degree (look at what happened when the ancestors of the Wyverns failed to!), but see their peers as potential allies or enemies or rivals first, relatives a distant last.

There's a REASON the younger generation of dragons always seem to keep up the tradition of killing their elders.

Their regular slaughters of villagers (once a decade), demands for human sacrifice, and building gigantic treasure hordes (something most dragons had never seen a reason to do so) were infamous.


You have to admit that from a human perspective regular massacres and demands for human sacrifice are pretty diabolical (although in their defence under their rule what would one day become Vokelstein was only a Hellhole, rather than a GOTHIC hell-hole - it must be noted that The High Principality was already pretty Gothic when the Vampires began to settle, the atmosphere and ease with which they might conceal themselves amongst an aristocracy founded by The Shadow King's patricidal adopted son being big attractions).

something most dragons had never seen a reason to do so


Although not a few of them began to do so anyway, if only to keep up with the neighbours or beat them at their own game (I'm looking at you Galax and Abryss!).


Indeed, Wemax's efforts lead to many of the city's become self-sustaining and becoming home to highly intelligent dragons as well as numerous dragon cultists.


Cities and cults which, it must be admitted, were mostly either smashed or buried after The Jotun Champion removed old Wemax from life, the universe and everything but history (although there are rumours that Dragon-Cults survived amongst Jotun-thralls into the days of Venetia and may have played a part in the founding of Winterwier).

Others, however, were retained by certain Jotun clans for their own personal amusement and use; unsurprisingly these clans tended to wind up very prominent and powerful until something smashed their shiny toys.


Dranax, himself, was one of the few Dragons who actually ruled his territories versus threatening them and demanding their fealty.


He did all that TOO, he just knew what to do in order to keep the pets he'd just acquired alive in great numbers and on-side afterwards.

He had a massive dragon-constructed palace, hundreds of lesser dragon governors, dragon-cults, and even more interaction than the Wyvern Lords.


One can only suspect that a major part of the Empress Kalinka's reasoning behind The Twilight of the Idols was the suppression of the major Dranax cults, beginning with weakening of the same by replacing them with a more palatable alternative.
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Libra
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The White Sail Alliance

Postby Libra » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:44 pm

Being a highly accurate, true and partial account of the Dread Privateers and Sea-Dogs calling the most unfortunate City of Paalok's Touch their Home Port and Their Own in despite of all Law and Sound Custom.

In brief the White Sail Alliance make a hearty living doing to the Oceanborn (that inveterately opportunistic Island Nation of hungry fishermen, well-fed pirates and merchants offering a wide variety of goods acquired under extremely fishy circumstances) what the Pirate Islanders have themselves turned into a fine art through several centuries of experience with aggressive negotiations, ships, other sailor's property, wheedling the customer into submission and cutting out the middle man (figuratively AND literally); bluntly The Oceanborn have made The Sea of Shadows their own, helped by the fact that the Powers bordering it have better purchases to make with their money than their own costly fleets (not least because when it comes to hungry neighbours, Oceanborn are the least of their worries, not least because they're happy to hire out their own warships to the East Coast Thrones looking to wreak maritime havoc on their neighbours).

Their free run of the East Coast, it's markets and ports, the shipping which calls them home AND the cargo holds of same is kept from being an absolute monopoly thanks primarily to the Oceanborn's increasing competition over the choicest slices of the Coast and the White Sails Treaty alone (an agreement on the part of 13 particularly maritime Black Coast city-states, which happened to hate one another slightly less than they did the Oceanborn containing a series of protocols dictating how the Alliance will jointly muster, fund and employ a Unified Fleet to their mutual defence seldom honoured except when emergency which is seldom honoured except in time of crisis and a far more frequently employed agreement to hand any ship-master willing to target the Pirate Islanders carte blanche to do so).

Paalok's Touch, a ramshackle city of refugees squatting at the foot of the towers called Home by that powerful college of spell-slingers known as The Nine since their protection was sought in the wake of The Old City of Peace was quite thoroughly plundered and reduced to near-ruin by Pirate Islanders is somewhat unsurprisingly a leading advocate of The White Sails treaty and has given that agreement much of it's cutting edge since employing the idiosyncratic collection of captains and their ships who, by signing the White Sails Treaty, have effectively been given a license to rob the Oceanborn blind, then sell their eyeglasses for fun and profit.

Now their only problem is living long enough to enjoy the profits (also preventing Paalok's Touch from descending into a still deeper level anarchy or worse yet turning respectable enough to kick out their Piratical Peacekeepers).


Skullak the Slaver (Captain of The Sea Serpent): A riverboat captain and face of an extensive slave-trading network that travels those labyrinthine inland waterways, Skullath has been charged by her senior colleagues to cut out the Oceanborn middle-men who keep eating into the profits of anyone who so much as sunbathes at a beach next to the Sea of Shadows.

Being already hardened to violence, but neither suicidal nor particularly experienced with the complexities of seafaring, Skullath elected to sign up with the White Sails and has slowly built up a reputation as a useful partner in any cruise with a target too big for one crew to handle waiting at the end of it - earning the nickname 'fifty-fifty' for her conscientious division of spoils and her habit of never sailing the wide waves except with a partner.

While arguably the most respectable of the White Sail Crew by dint of her frequent trading in good other than those acquired through piracy on the high seas, she's still a lizard-woman who makes her living primarily through the profits of her investment in that slave-trading conglomeration of merchants previously mentioned and one who has been known to minimise losses incurred when shipping live cargo by proving that a dead slave is a dead loss only to those squeamish enough to pass up the prospect of reasonably fresh meat when it drops dead in transit.


Red Melyssa (Captain of The Sweet Revenge): The daughter of a noted captain of the Oceanborn who took the idea of winning the High Throne of Krandoir more seriously than any other would-be King of the Oceanborn in recent memory and found his chances of being taken seriously flopping only after his death amongst a multitude of others in the course of a longshore raid that proved that while such a scheme could still turn a profit, it was inordinately difficult to get away with both your life and the plunder anywhere on Alacarn within easy reach of an Oceanborn Fleet these days.

Herself a lifelong exile by dint of her inability to downplay her own role in that particularly abortive feat of piracy, Red Melyssa has turned to the White Sail Alliance in a bid to work round the complete refusal of any known Oceanborn to have anything to do with her and the massive hole this put in her plans to acquire the treasure to excel all other treasures.

While somewhat uneasy with being obliged to sail against her own people for profit and the purpose of winning enough money to bribe any opposition to her return from exile into submission, Red Melyssa has proved an extremely useful source of what one might as well call insider knowledge on the ways of the Pirate Islanders and an energetic hunter of profit (even if her record of hunting down pirates is infinitely more spotty).


The Faceless One (Captain of The Hellship): That rarest of pirates, a man with plans for the future beyond "Sail, Plunder, Squander, Sober, Repeat" The Faceless One earned his nom-de-corse through the mask which he has made notorious and the calculated employment of rumours regarding what lurks beneath that mask which have reduced strong minds to whimpering capitulation (when coupled with a hearty crew of well-armed buccaneers with blood in their eye and the prospect of profit through bloodshed on their minds to back).

A shrewd, surprisingly well-educated rogue with a curious habit of favouring some herbal elixir called 'Tea' over any kind of booze and a remarkable ability to pick plunder from a man's pocket and secrets from his skull without resorting to those crude expedients so common to other pirates, The Faceless One is arguably the most successful and least violent of the blatant pirates amongst the White Sail Crew.

Even he faces an uphill struggle against the strong probability that he won't live long enough to die old - not least because he has a bad habit of letting his customary lucid cynicism be undercut by a romantic streak which he takes pains to suppress, but which surfaces at the most appropriate yet inconvenient moments.

Well that and his determination to hunt down the worst crew of reavers in the Pirate Isles (a hellish crew that make other Oceanborn look like the crew of the Black Pearl next to the monstrous Reavers from the Firefly 'Verse) because even a man without any loyalties or even any past which he will admit to can bear a grudge.


Chubbath the Tormented (Captain of The Growler, formerly master of The Snarler): Attack dog of the White Sail crews and quite possibly the unluckiest sailor afloat, having suffered the loss of crews, limbs and at least one ship in the course of his drive to take out his anger at the World out on some socially-acceptable target - not to mention a Curse inflicted by one of The Nine when the latter discovered that Chubbath shared the common Batha inability to take into account a Wizard's desire to keep Clarke's Law secret from the proles.

To be precise he was cursed with sea-sickness, which is a lot more of a curse when you can't make any living on dry land by dint of being unable to find an opportunity to turn your innate talent for slave-driving to any use there that doesn't demand you actually torment some poor d----- slaves (principles can be a pain, especially when they make you few friends and many enemies).

Mikael Hawkwing (Captain of the Knight's Fee): A gentleman who found himself obliged to leave the modest knightly household into which he had been born and had expected to inherit one day by dint of falling victim to the sort of luck that furnishes many silk purses, only to reveal them as sow's ears and being left no recourse but to skip town ahead of The Law and jump ship once those interesting nautical types who'd tried robbing him switched tactics to promise him that with them he would make his fortune and that without them he'd be left to sink along with his previous means of transport.

Being a decent man but no martyr, Mikael Hawkwing signed on and proceeded to make himself first a valued seaman and then a Captain in his own right; attempting to regain some shred of legitimate renown Mikael Hawkwing signed the White Sails Treaty and has been hunting Pirates ever since (and much to his embarrassment occasionally hunting other prizes alongside them to boot).

He's STILL cursed with a surfeit of fortune good and bad, not least because he remains cursed to be a Romantic longing to be the Pragmatist he attempts to pass himself off as - not to mention under the scrutiny of the diabolical conspiracy known as the Crimson Dawn, whom he fully intends to stab in any constituent part of which he can reach once he finds backing that will provide him the support that might allow him to survive this defiance.

In the meantime he spends that part of his time not spent before he mast trying to bring Paalok's Touch to something approaching decent order, even if peace continues to elude the city (in great part due to the efforts of his colleagues, but also the machinations of the Shadow Network, yet another criminal conspiracy which he has made it his hobby to take pot-shots at).
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