A Tale of Iron RP Background (wip)

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A Tale of Iron RP Background (wip)

Post by Cthulhu on Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:41 pm

The world is filled with stories and fables , songs of fire , epics of stone , and sagas of steel , yet perhaps none as intriguing as A Tale of Iron. Iron that strange base metal , not as heavy as lead , without the shine of gold or the gleam of stainless steel. Yet it is said in the lands of Styricum an Iron blade is as valuable as a crown of jewels , for it cuts through the shapeless wraiths of the northerners like butter. It has sat in the hand of undead kings , been payed as the price for the great crusades of the south lands. Yet to truly tell the tale of iron , one must tell the tale...of the world.

     It was a millenia and three centuries ago when the Spartoai, the common ancestors of the mannish kingdoms of the south arrived in Styricum in their triremes , sails as bright as the rainbow and bearing devices that the natives had never seen. They were refugees , fugitives almost , fleeing the great catastrophe that had befallen their homeland to the far south past the Ocean of Neptune. They were farmers , scholars , wizards , nobles , as well as men of the uncouth sort , thieves , killers , raiders and the sort. Knowing they would not survive to settle in this strange land, and so crowned their first king Alexius the First , under his noble leader ship the Spartoai flourished in land they thought for a while uninhabited, founding their great city of World's End on the southernmost type of Styricum , and so the origin of the mannish kingdoms was lain.

     Yet far to the North of Stryicum , past the Crowfoot mountains , straddling the snowy black coast lay another far older realm of men , the Grimnir a breed of men with dark eyes and dark hair , tall , dour , yet noble were united under the Kingdom of Ferund. For centuries before the Spartoai even set sail from their ancient home the Styricum had lived and died as men. Yet now they lay trapped in a murderous conflict , a scourge from across the deadly northern seas, the Khaz Khulan. Spirit wraiths bound to no physical forms , invincible to weapons of steel , sprang on the entirety of the north like a lightning bolt. Their dark magics , screaming war chariots and deadly cunning laying waste to the north and stealing the priceless treasures of many a realm that now lay ruined. And as they began to crush the might of the noble kingdom of Ferund from the south the Spartoai intervened  ,now established in the south west bay of Styricum. Yet they did not send forth their armies , or aid the Ferund with weapons and food. No , the sorcerer prince Balieoth knew there was only one way to defeat the ruthless monster spirits of the north , upon the land of Fendor he put an eldritch curse , fueled by gallons of blood , and so cursed that any who died in this land would rise up as undead.

    Held by the sway of this spell the dead of Ferund (including their legendary king Ulfast ) rose from the dead and fearing not for their lives sprang on the wicked wraiths of the Northern tundras , sending them fleeing back across the sea lest they be cut down by iron blades , their only true weakness. Soon though many of the Styrica began to fall victim , for it seemed this spell once seen as a blessing that gave them back their kingdom was a curse after all. Man and women and even child began to fall to madness , their minds rotting to naught without any magic to preserve their brains. And so it was that the kingdom of Ferund , once noble and mighty became the Realm of the Dead , a fell land where few enter and return alive. The few undead still sound of mind ever  keeping watch over their once mighty land. And to the south the realm of the Spartoai flourished and grew rich , never feeling the true suffering of those northerners they sacrificed. They had never cared for the Grimnir with their dour faces and their heathen gods. Now the few sane undead sit alone in their gloomy halls , reading their great scrolls and tomes , comitting themselves to art and scholarship and taking care of their sacred sites. Relics of a past age lost from the memory of the world , so it has been , and so it will be until the last of the Undead finally fade from this world.

  And so the world is protected in a fragile peace, barred from the savage conquerors of the North who sit idle in their cities ,worshiping their stolen wealth.Yet tension mounts in Styricum and all is unsure, a new epoch seems to be on the horizon ,a  great storm after the long calm. And thus the tale of Iron is only beginning. (Also reg is the best)


Different Races:

 Chagerrta Tribes:  In the Eastern grassland  life moves in cycle , renewal and rebirth are the cornerstones for the eccentric but peaceful people of the steppe , the four armed brightly hued folk known as the Chaggerta. Their migrations , ordained by their faith in the cycle and instinctual need for movement would pass across the plains of central Stricum , the mountain valleys of the north and the arid steppe of the south. Their ringing bells and colorful lanterns heralding the coming of one of their great wagon trains , which would set down so swift at the setting of the sun that by midnight it would seem a new town had appeared in the middle of the wilderness. Though they have weathered war before and are skilled in it the Chaggerta , in their ruler-less tribal confederation prefer peace greatly. For they gain a simple joy in selling their exotic wares and herbal remedies in exchange for steel and silk from the mannish kingdoms and precious gems from the Azhikal in the bloody desert. And at times they even dared venture into the land of the undead to barter their eccentric tales and scrolls for the knowledge of the ever-living folk. Then as always they pack up their tents and farms and wares and move elsewhere....after all , the cycle never ends.

    Characteristics: The Chaggerta are often tall and firm , with solid packed muscle and skin in hues of all shades of blue , the texture of the skin often being smoother than that of a humans , their hair comes in almost any shade imaginable from green to pure white , and they have small gold or white horns that sit atop their crown , the number and size varying from person to person.They are skilled traders , bards, clerics, healers , mystics and blades-men, ever ready for battle though they love peace more. For despite their peaceful nature they have little issue with ending lives when needed,  death is only the next spoke on the wheel.

Azhkazil Clans:   Ever ignored when men of knowledge speak of the civilizations of the age (whether out of ignorance or hatred) the Bloody Desert is home to the Azhkazil . A humanoid yet insect-like race who live in their great burrow mound cities deep in the heat of the burning dunes.Once mighty lords over much of southern Styricum , the ruins of their ancient tower now either hidden in the wilderness or destroyed by zealous Spartoai. Their rivalry with the Sea Apes (as they used to call them) dated back to soon after the first Spartoai arrived in Styricum a millenia ago. Several bloody decades were spent battling the newcomers in crusade after crusade as the Spartoai attempted to destroy these 'insectoid heathen's and the Azhkazil strove to drive these invaders to the shore. A heavy toll was taken from the Azhkazil , their territory relegated to the harsh deserts and volcanic plains, dozens of their ancient cities lost to the menfolk, a loss that would never be healed. Never would the Azhkazil regain the former glory that once had graced their folk , nor would any other race before the world came to it's end.

 Yet with peace between the two races finally found they  find work as middle men ,traders , and pirates , passing on wares from one people to another, or raiding the very same caravans that pass through the desert. However despite their relegated status they are fiercely independent and prideful. Ever remembering the lost glory of the centuries past , the stories passed down from brood mother to larvae to bring stars of wonder to their compound eyes. It is said by the Spartoai that this is why they cannot shed tears , for they dry out their eyes as children to the sorrows of past ages. Nonetheless the walkers in the sand though faded in glory are not yet gone , and if any would forget it and seek to conquer their lands...they will find the dunes are much less empty at night. And that a burning ball from an Azhkazi jezzail hurts a lot more than the blade of a sword.

   Characteristics: Azhkazil tend to be around the size of humans but a bit smaller, with skin tones ranging from light brown to a lime green , their eyes are compounded and often come in shades of blue , yellow and purple. Their canine teeth are fangs and they have claw like fingers. Hair is often black and wiry ,styled in tightly coiled braids that reach down to the shoulders.Antennae are thin and short and extend from right above the eyebrows. They are a lithe and clever folk , lean yet with a sort of whipcord muscle, and though it is taboo a family that is half man and half azhkaz is not unheard of in these times. They are limber and light on their feet with powerful muscular legs, a necessity when traveling the dunes beneath which many great beasts lurk. Their eyes see much better than a humans and though they do not have ears like humans they have a semblance of hearing from sensing vibrations in the air.Nor do they have any ability with magic at all , their bodies having a natural resistance to magic.

Yet there is one ability that offsets their lack of talent in magi, for all azhkazil are natural telepaths , communicating their thoughts to each other through their antennae. This along with their semblance of hearing allows them to speak to other races. This ability to read the minds of others is mostly passive , and a normal Azhkazil cannot see far into the mind of others. However their natural abilities of the mind can be trained ,and there are those among them who are  said to be capable of controlling the minds of others , molding the sands with their thoughts and lifting objects solely by force of will. These rumors often color the opinions of men ,it is common that in first dealings dialogue will be terse and haggling ignored out of fear that one's mind will be manipulated into a bad bargain.

The Spartoai:  Along the rich southern western coast of Styricum from the region known as the Bay of Bellal to the fertile heartlands of the continents western height lie the kingdoms of man, all of this known under the collective moniker Spartaeon. Descended from the Spartoai settlers who came to the land a millennia ago to escape a great catastrophe , their once united kingdom splintered during the war of the Four Crowns four hundred years ago after the death of King Valerios II. Despite intermixing being fairly regular in each kingdom , this separation has caused the Spartoai to be split into four different 'Bloods' who dominate the south.

The Principality of Myrkos: Along the southeastern quarter of Spartoai lands , from the mouth of the river Kadmos to the border of the bloody desert the Saltbloods staked their claim.  Descendants of the clan of the second eldest son of Valerios , Alminaar the SilverSail. They grow taller leaner than their cousins to the west and north and their skin is like polished dark bronze. The Principality of Myrkos , still held by the Clan Silversail , has ruled this land in both prosperity and war for four hundred years. The four Sail Cities on the bay of Bellal allowing the realm this stability , Paramor , Alamis , Andalus , and Cetesphon. Each city is a wonder in it's own right , teeming with riches both material and cultural , from the glowing treasuries of Alamis to the learned Wizard sects of Cetesphon. Yet foreigners would be wise to watch their pockets during trips to this region , as it is home to The Thousand Hands , thieves and scoundrels of the highest order.

 Regardless of these criminal nuisances the Blood of The Salt have much to be proud of and some believe they will be the clan to finally unite the Spartoai under one banner. At the very least they rule the seas as their name would imply , the hands of every Saltblood said to be 'tough as a barnacle, clever as a sea-snake' and built for the sail. The deeds of their Admiral Prince Umair already becoming the stuff of legend despite his young age. And who knows as they say in the galleys of Galwan , from the tossing waves may yet come victory!

The Nikaec Order: The rich green heartlands , temperate woods , and snow capped mountains lying in the central quarter of Spartaeon belongs to the Firebloods. Foremost servants of The Snake in The Sun and doers of his will on Earth. Centered around their capitol fortress city of Sword's Rest (named so because it was built upon the field where the treaty of Four Kings was ratified) the Firebloods grow strong and proud , fed well of the rich fields and orchards of their lands. Firebloods hold the greatest resemblance to the ancient Spartoai of old , with olive or copper skin , auburn and brown curly hair and glowing hazel eyes. They are not as tall as their Saltblood cousins but they tend to grow broader and with more muscle , growing large off work on the farm instead of lean on the deck of a ship.

   However the trait most noticeable about the Sons of Fire (as they like to call themselves) is their piety, it is rare to find a fireblood not wearing a Serpent's Sigil or Sunband even in these doubtful times. Although some would say this is more out fear than any real faith. For you see , unique among the realms of man the fireblood lands are not ruled by some kingly dynasty or oligarchic council but by the order of Nikaeon. Founded by the childless prince Nikaeon (who was infertile and could produce no heirs) the holy order of the Snake in The Sun rule as stewards over the land. Their will enforced by an army of Justicars , and Sunsworn , the crusading paladins created by the holy order to carry out their will. The order is ruled by a Grandmaster ,a great warrior and monk skilled in both pursuits scholarly and martial. It was the first grandmaster who ordered the second and greatest crusade against the Azkhazil in the days of old ,destroying the Mound Hives of Makaz and Hekhal. Now the time when the faithful will be called again seems as though it inches closer and closer with every passing day, and the disciples of the serpent have readied their fangs.


The Kingdom of Asteria: Four hundred years ago , the grand kingdom of Spartaeon splintered for the first time since it's founding in the Time of Yore , splintered by the four children of Valerios the Second. Heraklion Starcrowned, first born son and sire to the Blood of Sky gained the most from this war , though he held not the navy of Alminaar nor commanded the fervent zealot warriors of Maximilos , not even the vast silver mines of Memnon Heraklion held one advantage. His mind , as firstborns often are he was the focus of his father's attention above all the others and Valerios poured all of his knowledge to him , of war , of statecraft , and of the arts of magic. A natural warlord who took to battle like a fish to water , his well drilled elite troops many a time came close to securing the Ivory throne for himself , yet it was not to be. And though his new kingdom would come to claim vast swaths of Spartaeon and even expand outside it's borders , he never grew content in peace. As he lay on his death bed , ripely old at the vast age of 202 (his life span long enhanced by magic) , he bade his son make a vow , and for his son's son's to make a vow , to ever struggle to unite Spartaeon beneath their feet , and to bring the kingdom of his father back to life.

For five lifetimes of men the warrior kings of Asteria have struggled to regain the glory of their forefathers , and some would say they have achieved it , for their lands stretch all the way to the serpents fang mountains in the west , and the tongue of Spartaic is spoken all the ways to the border of the Wilderland. Now with the winds of change beginning to blow across the land ,all eyes turn to World's End ,for who knows perhaps finally their vow may be fulfilled.

The Zendari Republic: The youngest son of Valerios , Serapis grew to manhood in the decade long chaos that was the War of Four Crowns , initially siezed by the king's vizier as a figurehead for his own regime.  Serapis was treated as nothing but a puppet for much of his adolescence , yet as he grew beneath the thumb of the treacherous vizier Kassius , he grew clever and wise beyond his years. His tongue became silver from days flattering and appraising his 'beloved vizier' and his mind sharp from years playing little games of intrigue within his thorn patch of a  'court'. And by the time he was eighteen had arrayed the servants and retainer of Kassius against him right under his nose. In a spectacular lightning coup in the midst of the night Serapis finally took true control of his kingdom and went on to orchestrate the Treaty of The Four Crowns near single-handed.

   Now only in his twenty-second year and in firm control of his own kingdom on the north eastern quarter of old Spartaeon , Serapis as always committed to doing the unexpected. Realizing that the role of king bored him greatly he called council at his capitol in Highroost , and proposed a new form of government , Dimokratia or republic in the common tongue. His keen eye picked out the best representatives for his people , the most loyal and trustworthy of his lords to represent the rich , and most respected and educated of the common folk to represent the people. In this way the greed of the rich would never outpace the competence of the people , and in so doing would allow both to stay in balance. With his new republic established Serapis became the first ever Grand Consular of the council , and proceeded over the assembly with wisdom and cunning, turning back the advance of the Silver Khan from the east , and the Azhkazil incursions from the south. By the time of his death at  the grand old age of 207 the republic was stable , wealthy and strong though it would face numerous challenges after he had passed.

In life Serapis was known for his sharp mind , silver tongue , and ice filled veins that allowed him to weave through obstacles whether military or physical with all the grace of a winter wind. From this his people get their name , the Blood of Ice , known for their scheming minds and intrigue filled courts, not to mention the often chilly border lands their republic lies on. And they are often treated with a level of frigid disdain by their cousins who see them as 'dishonorable' and 'deceptive'...but the cold never bothered them anyway.

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