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|Realms of Orbis|
|Game Masters|| Deng, YogiTheWise (V1) & Sobotnik (V2)|
|Total turns|| 12 (V1), 2 (V2)|
|Start date|| Year 0 of the First Age of Man|
|Creation date|| 6th of March, 2015|
Following the 12th turn, the RP underwent a phase of development hell. However, more than a year later, the RP finally returned under the helm of Sobotnik. This continuation of the RP is a direct continuation of the original, taking place after the events of the first, albeit after a timeskip, which largely skipped the Early Middle Ages to jump straight into the High Medieval Period. Sobotnik considers it a "soft reboot" of sorts, explaining the differences in areas such as the alteration of some areas on the map. With this also came a change in turn production, as Sobotnik now works on the turns without any obligation to get them out in a timely manner. While this does mean that turns aren't guaranteed to come out quickly, it does allow for the continued refinement of turns in the works.
As a result of the GM being permabanned for a toxx clause, the RP entered a temporary hiatus from November 10th 2016 to December 14th 2016, when the toxx clause's escape clause was completed. However, no one had taken into consideration Sobotnik's motivation in making the turns, due to his general attitude when it comes to creating RPs and the fact that the only reason this RP returned was because the players had asked for its return. So, following a discussion, it was revealed that Orbis was dead as long as he didn't want to make turns for it.
Realms of Orbis is set on the fictional planet Orbis, which is home to many sentient, non-human races such as orcs, dwarves, goblins and elves, as well as non-sentient fantastical flora and fauna. The game begins in year 0 of the First Age of Man (FAM), so called because it was marked with first true human civilizations. But humans may well be the youngest sentient race on the planet, as elves have built civilizations previously, and dragons used to rule the world millions of years ago. As stated in the introductory blurb in turn 1:
"Long before humans or even elves walked the surface of Orbis, dragons soared in her skies in great numbers. They were clever, wise, and magical, and could live for thousands of years. Then, it was foretold that a great rock will fall from the skies and destroy all dragonkind. The dragons refused to meet such fate, and when the time was nigh, the biggest and mightiest black dragon, Azkargadan, ventured high into the sky, above the clouds, until the blue became the black, and slammed into the assaulting rock. It slowed the celestial stone down until it hung in the night sky, like a younger brother to the moon, as it still does to this day. One can still see the silhouette of a dragon on it, if one looks at it at the right time and from the right angle. To commemorate his sacrifice, the second moon was named Azkara, after him.
The gods scoffed at the dragon’s defiance, and after preparing it for some tens of thousands of years, sent a malady to ensure the dragons’ slow and painful demise. Dragons died en masse, but even that didn’t ensure their extinction. Around a thousand or so dragons, immune to this plague, persist to this day. Some say that the gods created other sentient races specifically to hunt down the remaining dragons...
...For fifty million years, the world has been getting colder. The ongoing breakup of the continent of Jiuan led to an increase of volcanic activity, and the latest of these was a volcanic eruption 70,000 years ago that destroyed many of the elves. The last major group of them hangs on in Oycumen, struggling to adapt. The biggest of these was the long winter, which lasted many eons and ended 8000 years ago. The humans, originally from Notos, have settled all known corners of the world, and at the end of the long winter learned how to farm. Our story begins there, with the rise of the first civilizations."
work in progress
Other than humans, players can choose to play as elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins and more. At the start, only the continents of Oycumen, Jiuan and Notos are available and displayed on the map, with much of the world covered by fog of war. These regions are to be uncovered as players venture out to explore them, with the chance to name the newly discovered lands as they see fit.
Delshoran Society: 750–1000 SAM
The group of clans that raise their horses and battle among themselves by the Khooson Sea are known as the Delshor. Delshoran clans tend to be highly varied in dress, manner, combat style and appearance, but generally have several common features that unite the clans and tribes into a single culture group, despite their differences.
Masks, Beings and the Afterlife
One common feature among most of the clans are their ceremonial masks. When a Delshoran youth decides to become a warrior and either kills their first enemy or hunts a great beast, like one of the region’s Dire Wolves, they are given their masks. Depending on the clan, their wealth, and the social class of the youth, the mask generally varies. Some of the more flamboyant leaders among the clans will wear intricate iron masks that mimic the faces underneath, while others will have simple masks of stone, with no design except for two eyeholes.
The mask itself is normally chosen by the youth from a selection. The children of clan leaders will normally have great selections, and will get to choose and design theirs before their official choosing ceremony. Less rich children, which is most of the Delshor, will simply be given what can be found.
Masks can be remade every ten years, if a warrior has met with sufficient success for his leader to continue considering him a man. It is customary for warrior’s to take their father’s mask if they had killed him in one of the many inner clan struggles, or if the father gives an older mask when he himself changes. It’s generally agreed that if you are to change a mask, it must be of greater quality than the last. Changing to a similar mask or one of lesser quality is normally considered to be disgraceful.
When an enemy is killed, it’s custom to take his mask. Warrior’s may keep them in their huts, or, as is common among the largest clan, the Gurvakai, to wear them on one’s person. Warrior’s with many masks are generally feared, and are normally shown respect even by their chief. A warrior buried with his mask is considered to have lived and died a full life, and to have brought honor to his forebearers.
The masks carry very special connotations to the Delshor. The mask’s symbolize the Delshoran belief (known generally as Darganasi) that there is an ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ being. The inner being is shared among family members, a spirit that can only be matched by kin. To share this being with an outsider is considered a very special thing, and is not to be taken lightly. The face is considered the opening for one’s soul, the mouth the entrance into the being, and to show one’s face with expression is to share the soul.
For this reason, children are generally supposed to wrap themselves in cloth, face especially, and are only to share it outside of family and loved ones during their choosing ceremony and possibly after battle with comrades, if they feel especially close.
The outer being is the individuality and perception of the Delshor. Every Delshor’s outer being is unique to only them, and the perception others have of him can weaken or strengthen his outer being. A warrior that is feared by his friends and enemies, or a wizened sage who is seeked out far and wide for their knowledge are considered to have very strong outer beings, while fools and cowards are to have weak ones.
The mask is the point where the outer and inner being meet. Without a mask, the outer being weakens, and instead your inner being is exposed to the world at large, where it can then be effected by others. Thus, losing or breaking one’s mask is considered the greatest of insults, and if a Delshor does so, he is normally executed or banished for his failures and disgrace.
This is mostly due to the Delshoran beliefs on afterlife. If one dies without his mask, which is exceedingly common in the harsh Delshor clans, where mask taking is common, he does not continue to the afterlife. Instead, his outer being is stripped away and dissipates, and his inner being goes on to his family members, where it joins them and attempts to find release anew.
When one dies with his or her mask, they proceed to the Delshoran afterlife. The dead Delshoran will hunt among the great plains with his ancestors who have also died well, along with the great horse god and the sun and mountain spirits. When the final battle between mortal and demon comes, it is believed these dead horse riders will return to fight one last time.
An honorable death is also good for one’s family, as the god’s will look favorably on the inner being of the family and will give them good luck and fortune in their battles. A warrior who dies well and is buried with his mask is given great honors by his family, and many families maintain a list, orally, of those in their family who have died well. It is common to spill a drop of blood for every one of these ancestors, in respect. Remembering a former comrade or family member is normally done maskless, to emphasize the connection with the now deceased.
Although traditionally patriarchal, the harsh realities of the steppe means all warriors are needed. If a woman is of sufficient strength, the clan’s elders find her to be of sufficient strength in her outer being, and the clan leader agrees, then women may become warriors. Although women traditionally wear poorly made masks of wood or animal shell, they will be given from the men’s selection of masks for their choosing ceremony, and there on out will be considered men.
To rape a woman is considered unacceptable, as it’d be as if one was raping a man. Duelling against women-warriors, which make up about two fifths of women in Delshor society, is exceedingly common as warriors who feel like their honor or the honor of their families has been besmirched will attempt to solve it by quickly killing what they consider to be an insolent wench masquerading as a man.
However, although a masked warrior-woman is considered to be a man, an unmasked one is normally considered a woman by rival clans. Thus, it is not uncommon for rival clans to attempt to unmask and rape more renowned women warriors, as not only would it be a disgrace to the woman’s family, it’d be accusing the other clan of letting weakness, such as women, into their ranks.
This creates an odd hypocrisy where clans considered women to be men until they’re defeated, where they are then shown to be women and thus make that clan weak. Thus, despite almost all clans ‘allowing’ women to become warriors, most clans forbid it from occurring. Many heroes in Delshoran mythology are women however, and many women strive to become warrior’s despite the forces arrayed against them.
Finally, inter-clan warfare is exceedingly common. Although clans occasionally unite against a common foe, like a clan becoming too large or an outside force attempting to subjugate the steppe, for most of their history the clans have been battling each other in a constant series of raids, wars and killings.
Honor killings are common, and grudges can last centuries with the clans, normally based around the breaking of some ancient clan leader’s mask. The cycle of killings and then revenge killings has sparked the saying, “Khün ger büliin sanaj, martdag”, or, “The man forgets, the family remembers.”
If this was not enough, inter-clan conflicts are almost just as common. Families getting into disputes and then joining battle with each other even as clans actively raid and attack each other. Even when families are not killing other families and clans are not killing other clans, inter-family conflicts can be just as common, son’s trying to usurp their father’s who they see as unworthy of whatever title they keep in their clan, or brothers fighting over honor and possessions.
Despite their excessive differences, inter-clan hatred and other myriad of social issues that constantly lead to battle between the Delshor, the clans do have a term. Ger Bul, or, The Family. It is a common idea belief that all of the Delshor are one people, one family, who will always share a connection that the Yamchask, or Maskless (the Delshor term for foreigner) will never feel.
Thus, it is not terribly for clans to suddenly drop their ancient conflicts or to join each other seemingly out of the blue, citing their common bond of Ger Bul. However, the conflicts normally reassert themselves, and the clans have never truly unified.
Short Literature from about 1000-1250 SAM
"The endless ocean
Calling my name, Almost home
Weary; I arrive.
Rise in the air, Steadfast duty
Carried by some strange angel
The endless ocean
Calling my name, Almost home
Weary; I arrive
Rise in the air , steadfast duty
Carried by some strange angel"
~ Poem written by unknown Sayite sailor
"Elven ass and titties
How I love you so
The way you fuck and sail
Makes my erection hard as stone.
I want to fuck you lightly
Make you scream my name
It is a shame you'd kill me after
To learn my technological gains.
I want to stroke every single tail of yours
Of which I count eight
Oh, a Kitsune must be wild in the sack
Alas, my lusts for your booty never sate.
I cannot stop thinking about it
All your wild twists and turns
I feel a strange itching sensation in my rear
By Orbel, the herpes burns."
~ Poem written by unknown Skrall sailor
"Go away Saya, or we’ll send you to Haha.
We find your false god, rather odd.
Go away Saya, or we’ll send you to Haha.
Once we’ve taken your holds, we will bathe in your gold."
~ Classic Orc lullaby
Gilgamesh: 576 TAM
Kornen was a dwarven monk who worked on behalf of the Na'zyr church in travelling the world to document various events on behalf of the learned scholars of Oycumen. He was granted a rare permission to visit the academy in return for bringing translations of the latest mathematical works.
"To his holiness, Patriarch Aspasius
On arriving at the academy I was greeted by a younger assistant to one of the elder mages. Before doing anything else I was to take up lodging in one of the guest rooms in the external courtyard where I could unpack the gift I had brought as a sign of goodwill. As you know, they accepted your letter to them, and thus gave our church a rare opportunity we could take advantage of. I slept the night easily and was glad for the rest. I breakfasted in the morning with some olives and bread, and was given a pair of new boots. The hospitality I was afforded here was much more than that of the other nations I have visited, and nearly that offered by most of the faithful back home, and as such is worthy of attention.
After I observed their morning prayers I was taken from the courtyard to the inner facilities where there was a bathhouse, a library, several individual cells for study, along with numerous other rooms containing a myriad of other things I was unable to see in my time. I was however able to see many curious arrangements of gemstones and intricate metalworks in many of the rooms normally devoid of extravagance. I was lead through to a chamber where one of the elder mages received me and offered drinks and a seat. I asked for a rough wooden bench and some milk for I did not intend to give in to luxuries even outside of the monastery. After introductions I brought forth the illustrated manuscript of the philosopher Abelos, most prized by the abbot of Oxeburg. The mage then told me of several stories about the academy itself in addition to those pertaining to some of their own recent discoveries – most of which do not require repeating here for they did not pertain to my mission. I was also granted a tour around some of the facilities, for which I am grateful. They however did not have much to show me seemingly, as it was largely the gemstones and metalwork from earlier.
Before I left you did inquire as to the condition of the much afflicted Archmage Cohard of the academy, who was last heard as having been forced into early retirement as a consequence of his illness. I am pleased to announce that I was able to meet him, but his health has taken a turn for the worse. I was taken through to his private chamber where he has been for several months. In that time he has taken on an unnaturally pale pallor and is attended to by a doctor at all times along with a scribe who dutifully records down anything he considers worth reading. In the three days I was there I was only able to have a single conversation with him – which was shortly before I left to return to my duties in Oxeburg.
The Archemae Cohard talked plenty, giving me a great number of stories about his research and goings on at the academy before he decided to entreat me with information he considered serious and worthy of your attention. He told me that no matter what he tried, he was unable to make any breakthroughs and had consigned himself to unhappy ignorance. But some years ago he had a most curious dream, wherein a creature talked to him and told him that it possessed untold knowledge, evidenced by its “All-seeing eye” that could see into days that had passed, those that were to come, and days in worlds that were not our own. It asked to be given access to the mind of the archmage in return for this knowledge which he promised would unlock the mysteries of the world.
Our friend Cohard agreed to this deal with the creature, whereupon it was free to move into his mind while granting information to him. He found out about numerous secrets, among them the means to make use of certain powers which I am unable to elaborate upon in this letter. Even if I could, I would doubt very few people would be able to discern the meaning of that information. Regrettably for Cohard, after he transcribed as much information as he could extract, the creature grew impatient. He confided to me that he made a second deal with it in the pursuit of knowledge but had refused to follow through on it, enraging the demon and causing it to subject him to a series of nightmares that left his mind scarred and caused him to take up permanent lodging in his chamber, rarely leaving even his bed. After this he felt pride in having had the strength to trick a demon despite the consequence to his health, but he then implored me to tell you and any other person who may be tempted by curiosity to never entreat with this demon whatsover and to never trust the promises it makes. When I asked him why, given how he had tricked it so easily Cohard was unwilling to tell me. I left with many more questions created than answered, something that never bodes well for a scholar. As to the nature of their studies, they have made some kind of major breakthrough that was a cause of celebration – but at the cost of one of their own. He is not the first to have lost much in the pursuit of knowledge.
I hope that God grants me safe passage on my travels home, and that he guides us in our search for the truth of the material world.
Yours faithfully, Brother Kornen of Oxeburg"
Calliope: 500-1000 TAM
If you wander for long enough, if you let yourself melt into the forests and clear your mind of distractions, you might well end up at the city gates of Calliope.
It has been suggested that the Nymphs somehow mask their forest kingdom through sophisticated magic, or that those who do find the fabled kingdom find themselves in the cooking pots of the cannibalistic oak nymphs who rule behind the leaves. The truth is far simpler, though – decades of solitude have simply rendered any knowledge of the Nymph folk useless and easily forgettable. Calliope has become the exception. Formerly the seat of a fairly insignificant duchy, the new capital of the Kingdom is now the cosmopolitan heart of a people who, merely twenty years ago, had never set foot outside their wooded homeland. Trees stretch seemingly endlessly into the sky, and the forest floor is forever in the shadow of the thick canopy above.
Amongst the traditional treehouses, formed of natural bends and crooks in the trees, can be found the beginnings of mortal construction - a grand marble temple, chronicling the embellished history of the ruling Queen and her family, detailing their descent from gods and unification of the Nymph peoples. Although this immense spectacle is designed to form a centerpiece for the city itself, nothing that can be built by mortal hands dwarfs the Great Oak, a supernaturally-enormous tree that has been the home of most Dryads since the beginning of time.
Sprawling across both banks of Lake Eurydice, with groves of and orchards of lesser trees crowding it like supplicants before their king, the Great Oak (known by the Nymphs as Nubere and revered by the Dryads particularly as the Tower of Alpheus) is sometimes referred to as a city within a city, and is at once a royal palace, an urban sprawl, a cathedral, and a legend.
The very top of the tree, crowned by gold and green leaves, forms an atrium in which the Queen and her retinue reside – the organs of government are also found here, overlooking the city and, on a clear day, much of the kingdom as a whole. Lower down the trunk, dripping with vines and shining with sap, can be found the various cantons of the city itself; nearer the top are various networks of apartments where Dryads have made homes in the natural twists and turns of the gnarled branches, while nearer the forest floor is the Artisan’s Court, where the various guilds of Calliope occupy a large, hollow section of the Great Oak’s trunk. At the very bottom of the tree is the Garden of Alpheus, where according to apostolic legend the goddess Alphelusia the Waterer planted the first holy seeds that grew into the great forests of Knospe. Here, groves of golden trees stretch up the trunk of their great ancestor, cultivated by the priests of Alpheus.
Calliope is the only place in the kingdom where foreigners live unwatched by the natives; what few stone buildings can be found in the kingdom are found on Calliope’s forest floor, far from the busy upper quarters of the city, and are the preserve of the tiny non-native population.
Bórsce, before the written word: 500-1000 TAM
“Just a story?”
“Come now, how the hell were we to know?”
“Well it's your fucking fault for pissing off the whoreson”
The two goblins were bickering, as always. Alb and Ulb – the two goblins from the hamlet in the fields. They were by an old birch tree, sitting down and watching the small fire dancing before them.
Alb was trying to justify himself “It was for a bet, how could I refuse? The lads bet me to do it!”
“If I told you to shit yourself, would you do that?” asked Ulb
“How much are you willing to wager?”
Their argument wasn't unsurprising. Alb had caused a big stink, and this wasn't because he had taken up a bet like Ulbs in the past.
“You always do this sort of thing. We were told not to go over to the cave, and yet you went. Only reason I'm helping you now is because you're my friend” Ulb was glaring at Alb angrily, watching him poke a fire with a stick with intent curiosity.” Remember that curiosity killed the cat, as old gran would say.”
Alb was only half listening as he played with the embers “Ah yes, but I love to poke around. Curiosity will be my death, but I'll know things nobody in the tribe has ever known before.”
“Sure, but the oldest are the wisest and most cautious” replied Ulb. “It's why I fish, you just sit there waiting for the fish to hook on. Nice and quiet”. They had been sitting there a while, and Ulb was passing the time by carving fishhooks out of bone and antler.
At that moment, Albs poking caused a log to topple over and release a spray of embers and sparks, nearly burning Ulb.
Ulb got up and shouted “Fuck! Watch what you're doing! I'll go and leave you be!”
“But you won't get to see my master plan in action.” He patted a sheep sitting next to him, which momentarily stopped chewing to look at the two friends with a puzzled expression.
“Fuck your plan, you're a careless lout and I want no more part of this!”
Alb sat there looking innocently at Ulb as he spoke “Oh? Ok.” These words were enough to cause his friend to get up and stomp off back home in anger.
“Stupid arse! First he awakens a dragon in a cave because he thinks it was a made up story, and now he thinks that he can fix it?” Ulb was still patting his woollen clothes down (the same ones his friend made and mended for him as goodwill) when he heard a fearsome roar bellowing outwards. It rolled over the fields of rye, past the standing stones, through the trees, and into the houses of the villagers. At once there was a cry.
“The dragon! He has come for us again!”
Immediately the people ran out from their homes, grabbing their few possessions and making for the hidey holes they had dug or for the trees where they could hide. Even the chieftain was helpless against this monster – nobody could appease this beast.
Ulb was much afeared, but he heard Alb shouting and was immediately driven to rescue his friend. He ran back up towards the cave where he heard the commotion going on.
He bellowed loudly as he ran “Alb, where are you?”
“Here!” shouted back Alb from behind a rock. The sheep was tied to a stake nearby, bleating loudly and trying to get away. Ulb dashed over just as the dragon turned his gaze upon the both of them. The dragon then got up on his hind legs, spread his wings, and shouted out loudly:
“Why have you brought me a sheep little goblin?”
“It is a gift! So that you forgive us!” shouted back Alb
The dragons eyes grew red and he advanced closer to Alb and Ulb. “Dare you seek to trick me? This seems like a ruse, you will have put sulphur in its wool so that it may poison me!”
Alb peaked his head out from behind a rock “No, it is but a gift!”
“Then I have a gift for you too little one!” shouted the dragon. He opened his mouth wide and breathed in deeply as he prepared to blast them with fire.
Ulb sat there quivering, but Alb thought that he might as well throw something that would distract the beast. Alb was quick thinking, and grabbed the bag of fishhooks from Ulb and lobbed it into the dragons mouth. Immediately the confused beast tried to spit it out, but they all came out of the bag and got stuck in the gums and throat.
“Little shits! Fucks! Whoresons! Bastards! Cunts!” screamed the dragon. He was in such agony that he clawed at his mouth and throat in desperation before dashing for the river. Throwing his mouth into the water he began gulping greedily and trying to wash the fishhooks out. This didn't help, and the fishhooks tore away inside his body. Blood poured out and soon the dragon began to choke.
Alb and Ulb rushed down to the bank of the river, where they were joined by the other villagers as they watched the beast slowly choke to death and the river run red with blood. Everybody stood there for a long time before the beasts gurgling stopped and it expired.
It is said that this is how Alb showed the cleverness that eventually made the leader of this tribe, and with the help of his friend Ulb would go on to build their home village into a fine town that would later become the seat of the ruler of the Bolaków. The name of this town was Albaw, and another village founded nearby became known as Ulbaw. As for the river, it became known as the Smokrew (Dragonsblood) river.