Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

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Miakoda
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Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

Post by Miakoda »

I already deleted an earlier thread like this, afraid it might be seen as spamming.

Anyways, in the SoTW thread, Jack1974 had been looking for some possible pre-order bonus ideas. While he decided this wasn't a wise course, someone else (shot123, I believe) Someone made a suggestion of PDF of lore for the world taking shape from Loren, SotW, etc.

What can I say, I was taken by the idea, and found some inspiration and have come up with the following.

The first are just some bestiary entry ideas for some of the monsters in Loren 1.

Slimy Scorpions

Unlike their reptilian neighbors, the origins of the Slimy Scorpions is shrouded in mystery. Urban legend around the Lothark Wizard Academy tells of a young mage implicated in a prank with a surly professor which backfired. However, all sources indicate the scorpions were present long before this occurrence.

What is remarkable is the adaption the Slimy Scorpions adapted to the thaumic waste which the Academy sends into the sewers on a daily basis: the Slimy Scorpions have developed a resistance to magic.

This trait makes their venom highly sought after by assassins who primarily target wizards and other wielders of magic. Already potent enough to slay a foe, the scorpion’s resistance remains in their venom, ensuring all but the strongest magic-worker can magically cure the victim of its effects.


Giant Snakes

Giant snakes are among the most dangerous predators one can encounter. Specimens have been found as long as 50 feet (15.25 meters) and weighing 600 lbs. (272 kg).

Fortunately for most concerned, a giant snake will go up to a year between meals. However, when hungry, they can typically consume two large humans with room for more.

The Nomads of the south speak of an interesting phenomena. Once every five years, there is a mass migration of giant snakes on the planes for the purpose of reproduction..

While it hasn’t been verified, the Nomads the snakes will grasp their tail in their mouth, going rigid in a circular pattern, and move much like a wheel. Needless to say, most creatures keep out of their way during


(Fun fact: In the real world, the largest snake in captivity measured 25 feet, and 350 pounds. As for the rolling snake, there were tall tales in the Old West about ‘hoop snakes’. I imagine a giant snake doing that would be an interesting image).

Slimy Snakes

Encountered in the sewers below Lothark, Slimy Snakes are an instructive tale of survival. For a period of time, snakeskin was all the fashion rage in the Empire of Man, and several enterprising farmers started to raise Giant Snakes to meet this demand. However, as with any trend, it soon crashed, and the farmers were left with thousands of snakes on their hands.

Intending to make a profit at any cost, the farmers cut a deal with the military, and soon snake meat was gracing the tables of the army. However, some of the farmers' children made pets of the snakes. Rather than see their scaly friends meet the butcher's knife, they released the snakes into the wild.

Things went well for the snakes until winter started. Most froze to death, but the more fortunate made their way back to the city via the sewer tunnels. There, amidst the filth and muck, their numbers grew, and size shrank due to the run-off of failed apprentice experiments. Legends started to appear about the 'sewer snakes'. The legend was soon confirmed as fact when the head Headwizard of the Lothark Magic Academy encountered one of the slimy snakes while...shaking...off the effects of a 'faculty meeting' which lasted until the brink of dawn.
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Miakoda
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

Post by Miakoda »

Not that we really know how it is going in the game yet, I did get a slight 1001 Arabian Nights feel for the country of Ningirra

Tale of the Wise Vizier

One day, the Grand Mogul of Dingirra woke to found his silver nightingale missing. This enraged the Grand Mogul for the nightingale was enchanted to sing, and only for him. Its dulcet tones were the only palliative for his troubled brow.

The royal court grew wary as the royal guard determined the nightingale’s theft didn’t come from some outside source. A city wide search was launched to find the missing songbird.

It was located in the possession of a blind merchant, a man who specialized in the trade of musical instruments and other sundries. The merchant eagerly returned the silver nightingale, but sadly said he couldn’t identify the seller.

That was when the Grand Mogul’s Vizier pointed out the only other people with access to the room were three servants. After further investigation, it was determined only three individuals could have perpetrated the crime. Further questioning had each individual proclaiming their innocence.

Patience worn, the Grand Mogul ordered the three servants executed as an object lesson for future would-be thieves. This troubled the Vizier, for she knew the lower classes were less than pleased with the Grand Mogul as of late.

The Vizier approached the approached the Grand Mogul, and said she could find the guilty party, but all she would need was one day. Somewhat intrigued, the Grand Mogul gave his approval.

The Vizier ordered each man to cut a branch of the same length from a nearby fig tree. She then planted each branch into the ground until each was the same height. The Vizier looked closely at each servant, and announced the branch of the guilty party would grow the length of a man’s palm come the morning.

The Vizier then ordered the guards to release the servants, telling them they would be confined to the palace until the morning. Then, the royal court went to bed.

Come the morning, the left and right branch both grew the length of a man’s palm the previous night! This perplexed the Grand Mogul, who wondered if there were in fact two guilty parties.

The Vizier shook her head, and ordered the guards to arrest the servant who planted the middle branch. She indicated a notch, pointing out that only the guilty party would cut the branch in quiet of the night to prove their ‘innocence’.

Pleased, the Grand Mogul rewarded his two loyal servants, and had the traitorous one beheaded. The Vizier, happily enough, retained her job and her head for a while longer…
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

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The following mostly comes from the fact I like centaurs. As for the two names, they come from classical literature.

The Nightmare

In the waning days of the Old Age, many are the tales of the humans and elves who, through their bravery and might, brought about the fall of the Death Knights. What is little acknowledged of are the contributions of the other races. Without the might of the Cyclopes, or the cunning of the Ratlings, the War of Fallen Kingdoms could have turned against the mortal races.

It was in these ages, which first mention the centaurs. Much like their modern day descendants, they thrive in the wild places, prizing their freedom above all. However, this was an affront to the Death Knights. The spawn of Limbo and their servants took special pride in ‘domesticating’ the proud centaurs.

The centaurs to this day tell of how, with monstrous might, and fell enchantments, centaurs were harnessed like mundane horses. Whether it was being ridden upon as a beast of burden, or harnessed to till the fields as common plough horse, thousands of indignities were inflicted upon the centaurs. Even with this, many were the centaurs who managed to escape, and live a life of freedom on the fringes of the Old Age.

It was in this age which was born the fair Hylonome. Shaman to the Nightreaper clan, Hylonome was betrothed to Cyllarus, blacksmith of the Skybreaker clan. Their union would unite the two clans, and making the centaurs that much stronger.

On the day of the wedding, demonic servants of the Death Knights struck. While the centaurs slew many foes, the enemy was just too numerous. Hylonome, and a few others were able to retreat, but most were slain or captured…including Cyllarus.

Hylonome wanted to follow the demons, looking for an opportune time to rescue her betrothed and the others. Wiser heads prevailed, pointing out that without reinforcements, the rest of the heart was bound to be captured. Hylonome reluctantly saw the merit of their words.

Soon, a rescue party was assembled, but by then it was too late. In their journey back home, the Death Knight’s servants held an impromptu feast…and her betrothed was the main course. It is known demons prize the flesh of man, and the meat of horse, and a centaur provides a fair union of both.

Overcome with rage, Hylonome fled into the darkness. There, she called upon the dark powers of Inferno, and made a pact with the goddess of vengeance. She would serve as the Dark One’s faithful servant as long as Hylonome could wreck her own vengeance on the Death Knights and their servants.

Thus was the Nightmare born. Secure in their strongholds, the Death Knights could laugh at the futile attempts of the centaurs in their bid for freedom. However, the Goddess of Vengeance knew what she was doing, for even the undead must rest…allowing Hylonome to strike from the realm of dreams.

While she couldn’t strike at the Death Knights themselves, Hylonome was more than capable of felling their captains and lieutenants. Many were the vampires turned to ash, a single smoldering hoofprint as evidence. Many were the demons rent asunder, drawn and quartered in their own beds.

This isn’t to say Hylonome wasn’t captured, even slain at times. The power of the Death Knights rivalled the powers of the gods, after all. However, how can one permanently slay a dream? Through her pact with the goddess of vengeance, Hylonome would rise once more, and take the fight to her foes. As time passed, her name was slowly forgotten, and Hylonome came to be known by a new title: Nightmare.

When the humans and elves made their bid for freedom, they found ready allies in the centaurs, eager to crush the Death Knights under hoof once and for all.
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Miakoda
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

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The following is inspiration on the idea of a Magic Shop for the dark-elf Amber. If one looks, there are mentions of what people believed to be real 'magical' plants and whatnot. Féar Gortach was mentioned in connection with the Potato Famine in Ireland, though there are other references to it from before in Irish myth.


Féar Gortach, also known as hunger grass, appears as flaky, rust-stained blades of grass. Little is known of its origin, though some think it may arise when an individual dies of starvation out in the woods.

It has the singular effect that whoever eats it, instead of being filled, feels a gnawing hunger, whereupon the eater usually ends up consuming more grass to fill the now empty pit in his stomach.

While Féar Gortach is usually not a danger to humans, whole herds of livestock have died when they’ve inadvertently been allowed to graze on fields of Féar Gortach.

However, Féar Gortach has been used in other capacities. Invading armies have had their foodstores laced with distillations of hunger grass, turning disciplined armies into marauding cannibals.

Needless to say, Féar Gortach is banned by competitive eating contests.
Last edited by Miakoda on Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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yayswords
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

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That last line was such a nice touch.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.
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Miakoda
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

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yayswords wrote:That last line was such a nice touch.
Thank you. Although, for some reason, I already imagine Dora participating in competitive eating...and winning.
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

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Something about Golems.

Golems
Little is known of the origin of Golems, but scholars assume they are as old as Aravorn itself. Encounters with Golems are few and far between as most meetings occur in the depths of the Everburn Mountains.

Even if the geography wasn’t problematic, biology (or what passes for it among Golems) poses an even greater obstacle. Golems have lifespans that make even an elf’s seem no better than a mayfly’s. As such, Golems tend to be…leisurely…in how they approach life, stolid as the very earth they came from.

Which makes their occasional eruption that much more dramatic. When aroused, they are dangerous as an earthquake, and will bury their foes under their ponderous blows. The dwarves have lost many a miner who, thinking they were digging out a precious gem, instead pulled out a Golem’s toenail and became a red paste under its feet.

There is a minority among Golems which seem sociopathic. They want nothing more than a quiet life, and view all the fleshy beings scurrying around as too ‘loud’. These individual Golems take it upon themselves to bring about a nice, ordered quiet…even if they have to do it one blood-smear at a time.

There is a story told in far of Groblandia which a talented sculptor worked on a piece of marble, slowly bringing forth a beauteous woman from its rocky confines. As the sculptor neared completion, he became enamoured with the figure. However, he wasn’t the only one. One day, as if rising from the floor of the studio itself, was another figure, a Golem which stared at the carving in rapt attention. The Golem didn’t respond to the sculptor’s entreaties, and the authorities had little luck moving a pile of boulders.

Flustered, the sculptor finished his carving. Drawn to its smooth curves, the sculptor made an entreaty to Torza, wishing the statue would be his wife. Much to his surprise, the Goddess appeared. Rather than granting the sculptor’s wish, though, Torza enchanted the statue. With a groan, the marble woman moved, and the Goddess asked her what was the statue’s wish. The statue glanced at the sculptor, and at the Golem, and stated she wished to join with the Golem. The statue said she could never be with a man who wanted to change her so much…
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

Post by Miakoda »

I like that Goblins are a fairly well organized race in Aravorn, easily on par with the humans and elves, especially when realizes they have wizards, rogues, wolf-riders, etc. I would love to see one more group: redcaps. This is obviously inspired (borrows heavily) from the legends about the fairies who dye their caps in the blood of victim.

Redcaps
Most view the average goblin as so much cannon fodder. However, this is just as true for any human or elf green recruit. And just as humans and elves celebrate their heroes, there exist champions among the goblins. Deadliest of these are the redcaps.

So named from their crimson-stained headgear, redcaps have a special gift: they are eternally young, a special gift from their demon masters.

This everlasting youth comes with a cost. At least once a year, the redcap must engage a warrior of some renown, and triumph. Victory has the redcap dab their cap into the blood of the fallen, but defeat means the death of the redcap.

Therein lies the rub, for while the redcap proves immune to the ravages of time, they may still be struck done. Many redcaps are defeated by the foes they face, while others are brought low by other envious goblins wanting to take the power of the cap for themselves.

If a redcap manages to survive five years, then he or she undergoes another special ceremony. Presided by their 'elders', the redcap has their teeth filed down, leaving a jaw a shark might envy. This means, even if a redcap loses their weapons, they are still armed as they can go for one's jugular.

Some stories tell of redcaps who survived from the Age of Fallen Kingdoms. If true, they would be among the most dangerous mortals in Aravorn.
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

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Just had a bit of fun with Gargoyles. I like to think of them and Golems as distant cousins, examples of living rocks rather than the product of some sorcery bringing stone to life.

Gargoyles resemble nothing more than bipedal, winged, reptilian figures. However, closer inspection reveals there is little biological about them, at least on the outside. Respected scholars suspect they are related to the much more primordial Golems. For one thing, both are living stone. For another, both crumble into simple rubble when slain.

For all their freedom of movement, Gargoyles seem quite comfortable staying in one places for long periods of time. For some reason, they love to roost in stone buildings which can support their weight. They aren’t a burden to the original inhabitants, and have been known, if their home is threatened, to rise up against the invaders.

In fact, observation seems to be the chief form of recreation among Gargoyles. Just what they get out of it is unknown, but, at least in Amazon territory, they seem to love the public baths.

Gargoyles have been observed seeking out various sources of sulphur (such as hotsprings) and consuming the contents. Whether they gain any nutrition from this is debateable, but what is certain is some Gargoyles have been observed…deploying…a yellowish gas cloud before engaging an enemy. This cloud typically brings tears to one’s eyes, block’s up one’s nose, and in extreme cases cause a hacking cough which the Gargoyles are quick to take advantage of.
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Re: Ideas/musings from the PDF suggestion (SOTW thread)

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I always liked the idea of Death Crows from Magic Stones (though I would have been tempted to go with Ravens ;) ). I would love to see them in a future game at some point. I did had the whole deathly vision bit. Heh, and yes, a shout-out to Dora. What can I say, I like the dwarven thief...


Death Crows:

As can be implied by their name, Death Crows are larger, more intelligent, and malevolent cousins of regular crows. The appearance of Death Crows is little welcome by many save necromancers, and others of their ilk as the foul avians are considered harbingers of famine and plague.

Death Crows are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with a human warrior. Using their swift speed, a Death Crow loves nothing more than to pluck the very eyeballs from heads of their foes. When a foe is rendered blind, the Death Crow will take their time pecking and clawing their foe to death.

What may be more disquieting, some survivors say Death Crows have another special attack, and this is what gives the birds their name. These individuals said with a soul-piercing shriek, the Death Crows could force their victims to face a vision of their demise. Those weak of heart or will could fall dead, while even the stronger people were still shaken by the experience.

Death Crows also share another trait with their smaller cousins: they are attracted to shiny objects of all kinds. One enterprising dwarven thief out of Grimoire was able to infiltrate a tower guarded by Death Crows by simply tossing glass marbles their way. Even better, she had explosive powder packed into those balls, and was able to take out their necromancer master.
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