- Shattered kingdoms
Shattered Kingdoms is the name of a
Multi User Dungeon( MUD) text based RPG. The game opened on January 1st, 1996 and has been evolving ever since.
Shattered Kingdoms is a sword and sorcery fantasy roleplaying game, played online by many people at the same time who each roleplay a different character.
The main continent of SK is home to six different kingdoms - all of which are available for citizenship as a new character. Five of the six kingdoms in the realms are controlled by a tribunal whose player members enforce their individual laws. While the player leader of a tribunal may not be the actual ruler of the kingdom, they do speak for them and wield power in their name. One kingdom is completely lawless. Organizations known as cabals, which provide unique powers to their members, are also available to join. Cabal members are generally stronger than non-members, but frequent violent confrontations with other cabals can mean that cabal membership is not something desired by everyone.
Kingdom of TaslamarThe kingdom of Taslamar is a just and peaceful kingdom founded over a millennium ago as a refuge for exiles fleeing from the Empire of the Bright Star. They fled west, across the continent, seeking a place of safety where they could build a government based upon their ideals. Taslamar, the leader of the rebels, helped to found the city of Exile in the center of the kingdom which now bears his name. Those who follow a good or balanced path will tend to find themselves at home here, though it may be harder for one of evil intentions to prosper.
The Empire of the Bright StarThe Empire of the Bright Star, often known as the strong arm of the east, is well-known for its penchant for conquest. The Emperor, once a vigorous leader, is now better recognized for his lack of concern for the welfare of his people. Though not intrinsically evil, much wickedness is done in his name as he allows the empire be governed, for the most part, by the bloated, lazy, and inefficient bureaucratic class. As a result, Menegroth, one of the main cities, is rife with corruption. It is known that strong swordsmen and talented wizards are always welcome within the Empire, especially if their motives are not altogether righteous.
The Dominion of ZhenshiThe Dominion of Zhenshi is huge, spanning the mountainous regions in southern Pyrathia as well as the deserts along the southern coast. The natural wealth that Zhenshi enjoyed through its lush farmland and bountiful forests were wiped out by Zhang the Usurper, whose tyrannical rule raped the land, helping to bring about the Zhang Desert. The one good thing Zhang did before his destruction was to discover superior metal wealth through his slave labor camps. Historically, Zhenshi tends to isolate itself from the rest of the realm, but events continue to bring the people out of their seclusion. Most of the human and elven population left Zhenshi during the Usurper's Rule, leaving a land populated by the other races. Currently, the Imperial line has been destroyed and the government of Zhenshi has become a Theocracy by means of a council of priests who rule the Dominion. Nerina, one of the main cities, is an excellent home for those who wish to follow a good or balanced path, though it is more difficult for those with evil in their hearts.
Uxmal TerritoryThe kingdom of Uxmal lies in the center of the realms both geographically and politically. Ruled by Delhenan's iron fist, Uxmal stands between Taslamar and the Empire, acting as a buffer zone in peace and a battleground in times of war. Teron, the main city in the kingdom, is a riotously confusing city where even long-time residents can find themselves lost simply by turning the corner.
The Ayamaoan AllianceThe Ayamaoan alliance is a little-known, loosely arranged federation of villages and towns in the southwest region of the realms. The lands there are rarely divided by any sort of roads, only the natural paths affording any sort of passage through the plains and forests. The homes of many of the non-human races can be found here...the sprite village, the elven city, and the centaur village.
The Northern WastesThe Northern Wastes are too isolated and sparsely populated to have any effective government. But buried deep in the heart of the north is a den of evil called Krychire. The city is fabled for the necromancers who have made it their home, though it is an oppressive zone where few are welcome to walk the streets. Most of those who live here are either steeped in evil or slaves to its power. Those with good intentions in their hearts will not find it easy to make their way in this land.
About the game:
Creating a character in Shattered Kingdoms (SK) requires you to chose your gender, race, class and alignment.
The Races of Shattered Kingdoms.
Centaurs are a crossbreed of humans and horses, with the upper body of a human attached to the body of a horse. Centaurs are a wise race but somewhat lacking when it comes to dexterity. They are resistant to acid and to cold attacks but are more vulnerable to most other energies. Centaurs are able to run for hours and receive the endurance skill no matter what their profession. A centaur makes the finest land-based mount available anywhere. There are five centaur tribes which determine the centaur's place in life.----
Deep-elves are slightly shorter than humans and have a much lighter build. They are inherently evil (and cannot be brought to the Light) both from their heritage and their upbringing. They are in most ways like their sunny elven counterparts, but dwelling underground has given them the potential for even more intelligence and innate magical abilities. Their cousins, however, are still the more agile of the two races.----
Dwarves are a race of short and stocky folk, standing a full head or two shorter than the average human though just as broad or broader, who are known for their excellent stone and metalwork. They are a long-lived race, often surviving well into their second century. Dwarven men are known for being proud of their beards, and one of the best ways to insult a dwarf is to suggest his beard is unattractive. Public shaving is a humiliating punishment in their culture, akin to flogging for humans but far, far worse as it denotes a dwarf of shame. Dwarven women also have facial hair but aren't nearly as uptight about it as the men. Children gain their beards shortly after birth if they are not born with them.
With only merchants and diplomats leaving to trade and communicate with others, dwarves generally spend their lives around or in their homelands, mining metals and precious minerals and tending natural resources near the areas they favor for their cities. They then turn those metals, stones, jewels, and wood into weapons, armor, and crafts of stunning beauty and legendary strength.
Although dwarves do have spell casters among them, they don't have a natural bent toward any magic. They do, however, make excellent fighters, and dwarven bands of mercenaries are not uncommon on the surface world. Despite their short stature, they are very strong. They have grown to resemble the rocks they love so much in two important ways: first, they are often more stubborn (and frequently grouchier) than mules, and second, their endurance, toughness, and general health are unsurpassed. Telling a dwarf he has the constitution of a brick wall is actually insulting, because brick walls aren't normally as strong as the bedrock they're built on! Since they are long-lived, like elves, they tend to be more patient than other people, but not to the same degree. Their general tendency toward stubbornness makes them loath to try new things, and they therefore learn skills and advance their powers more slowly than normal.----
Elves are slightly shorter than humans and have a much lighter build. They lack the strength and stamina of the other races, but are far more agile, both in body and mind, helping them to move very quietly. Elves are inherently good, both from their racial heritage and their upbringing. They tend to resist charms and other magic, due to their magical nature. They may also see in the dark with infravision.----
Giants"I am a giant of the Foxrow clan.I like to fight. I fight all the time.Giants like me like food. And drink. We fight the ones who want to fight us. When it is cold, I gather with my brothers. We sleep close at night. When it is hot, we fight! We fight to fight better. My brothers protect me! My mother is gone. My mother was a great warrior! She defeated my father. Her smile was large and her eyes were warm and dark like coals. All giants are brothers. Giant brothers fight though. In my heart I know I am Foxrow. Foxrow carves me like water in a canyon.
"Sometimes I am in the mountains. I look over trees and see blue sky and brown mountains with white caps. I see green leaves like waves and orange sun burning in the ocean. The sight makes me smile. Sometimes it makes me cry. But if I were small I would only see trees. That is why giants are better than not-giants."-- Zhorzahk Yinlasto Foxrow, Barbarian Giant of the Wastelands
Giants are the largest race, ranging from 9-12 feet in height. They are stronger than any other race and almost as durable as the dwarves. However, giants aren't very bright and their huge size makes them relatively clumsy. Giants resist poison and disease easily. However, their slow minds make them extremely vulnerable to mental attacks. Regardless of profession, giants devastate with the ability to throw boulders and bash barriers.----
Gnomes"Brother and kin to the smithies of metal,Dweller of fields and lands unsettled.Other kin to that burly bearded tinker,Stellar craftsman am I too, and deep thinker.Treasures of the earth lay bare to see,Dark and shadows mean nothing to me.Pleasures of wisdom are open and free,Mark me, though smaller I'll always be.Droll and spry, wise and wry,Oh me oh my, what am I?"-- Traditional Gnomish Riddle
Gnomes are distant kin to dwarves but are noticeably smaller than their cousins. Gnomes are wiser than any other race but slightly below average in most other abilities. They are resistant to poison and mental attacks but find it hard to swim. They sense disturbances in the earth and also see in the dark using infravision.----
Griffons are a noble race whose roots are deeply embedded in the arcane. The first griffons are thought to be the product of a powerful wizard's magic combined with a god's sense of humor. Due to the nature of their creation and because of their creator's own altruistic heart, griffons are inherently good beings. They appear to be a cross-breed of a bird of prey in their front-quarters and a large feline in the rear, though they are easily larger than both. Over the years, several bloodlines of griffons have appeared, but the vast majority of their racial traits have not changed.
Their feline ancestry is clearly apparent in the thick fur, often a sandy brown, though many variations in color do exist. Generally this fur extends up past their shoulderblades, where the wings protrude, before giving way to a more feathered covering at the neck and head. The wings of a griffon are a majestic sight to behold, the length from tip to tip easily longer than their large forms. The head itself is almost identical to a bird of prey, though their features vary greatly to resemble either eagles, hawks, or falcons. The fact that these creatures possess beaks and no lips makes it rather difficult to read their odd expressions. Obviously this unique build makes it impossible to wear most armors, and their talons make gripping any weapon not specifically designed for them exceedingly awkward.
These creatures have almost no weaknesses as they possess great strength, a sturdy build, and a keen mind. Their hardiness also allows them to easily shrug off most types of poison, as well as disease. Their size does, however, make them somewhat cumbersome, but it is also this size and build that allows them to carry another person, even while flying. Despite all this, griffons are often not well accepted by many and are often thought of as a perversion of, even an affront to, nature.----
Half-elves"Tis a wonder to me that any elf could see it fitting to love human...and even more a wonder that anyone aside from the mongrel's mother could possibly ever love it."-- Andret Qu'thron, guardsman of Sith'a'niel
"Nah, they ain't half-bad, one o' them saved my life a few years back from a bandit..never did catch her name."-- Rangret Tulrav, Taslamaran farmer
Half-Elves are the offspring of a human and an elf. Because of their mixed heritage, half-elves can generally meld well into the cultures of either, though humans are generally vastly more accepting of them than the elves. This tolerance, of course, varies greatly. There are many who see them as mongrels, little different from any other perversion of nature. This idea tends to be especially true among the deep-elves, of which many see them as little better than a full-blooded elf, and some believe them worse than their hated brethren.
Half-elves tend to resemble their human parents in most ways, having a sturdier build than most elves, though still lighter and more agile than most humans. These half-breeds also tend to inherit the humans' tenacity, ambition, and versatility. Like humans, half-elves are well-suited to any profession. While they often are not as smart as most elves, because of their elven blood they do have the ability to see in the dark as well as an inherent resistance to mental powers and other such magicks. Due to their mixed lineage, or perhaps due to the trying childhood that can accompany such odd breeding, not all half-elves retain the inherent goodness of their elven parents.----
Halflings"Halflings are an oddity, and not well understood, I'm afraid. They are very short, generally plump people, striking in their resemblance to miniature humans. This small stature makes them relatively weak in body, however their size also gives them a bit of fleetness, and even the greatest thieves of Teron find it nearly impossible to rival a halfling's natural stealth.
"Many people who have met this strange little people almost always leave with the impression that they are extremely self-centered, often incapable of self-sacrifice. Those who truly come to know most halflings, however, soon realize that they are simply extremely zealous individuals, bordering on the line of obsessive. Halfling priests tend to be fanatical, their piety rivalling that of most of the holy knights I have met. Likewise, their warriors yearn for battle, their huntsmen and trappers thirst for the thrill of the hunt, and those less savory who practice the black arts are perhaps the most morbid individuals living. It just happens that many aim this...devotion...at themselves."-- Granthor Islinwon, travelling entertainer and magician----
Humans"Versatility. That's what is means to be human. You take the damn elves. Sure they're quick and smart, but they're set in their ways. You wouldn't find elves living in a hole in the tundra, would you? Or living in a ship for months on end? Adapting. That's the key. Once, on a battlefield against an army of orcs and ogres, I noticed that the filthy monsters were just chomping up my front lines. They would charge for the cavalry, every time. They loved to eat horses, the sons-of-bitches. But anyway, once I noticed that, I set 20 horses with straw men on them on the top of a hill, and had my men dig ditches around the hill. Filled the hill with pits, spikes and traps, lacing them with anything that poke a dozen holes in each one of 'em. The monsters charged the hill and died by the dozens. We flanked them, gutted them and smeared them. And you know what was the damnedest thing? We did the exact same thing the next day. The same trick worked again and again, and we ran that filth off the battlefield. Why? They didn't change.
"Your average human is just that, average. Not as strong as a dwarf, but not as slow as one. Not as bright as a gnome, but fitter. He'll never outfly a sprite, but he can swat down and smush the bugger. It's like a mold, y'know? You can find a mold anywhere. Anywhere where's there's air, water and land, and sometimes they can make do without those either. Let the elves have the woods, we'll thrive in the desert. Halflings in their neat little valleys, we'll mushroom in the mountaintops. You wonder why there are more humans out there than any other race, more of us than any other race by far? We aren't picky. That's why its humanity's world. We'll take it from every other race. It's just a matter of time."-- Taken from "Interviews with Grand Inquisitor General Nohamstis, Conqueror for The Empire of Bright Star" T.A. 137
Humans are the most common race. They have no special talents like the other races, but they are far more versatile and can learn any profession. Humans also receive a bonus to their profession's primary attribute.----
Sprites are tiny elf-like creatures with small, semitransparent wings. They are intelligent creatures, but very weak physically. A sprite is naturally the quickest and most agile race, and their magical heritage gifts them with several spells regardless of their chosen profession. Sprites can use their wings to fly. They are resistant to charm and to mental attacks but are vulnerable to poison and disease. Sprites have a variety of personal traits that can vary depending upon their sprite bloodline.----Minotaurs are large, muscular humanoids with the head and hide of a bull. Theyalso have cloven hooves in place of feet. Although their bovine ancestry makesthem tremendously strong and tough, minotaurs anger easily and are particularlyprone to acting before thinking about the consequences of their actions. Whenflying off the handle, minotaurs tend to gore victims with their horns, whichgrow during puberty regardless of gender. While most races of the realms haveinnate psychic talent, this hard-headed race has an odd defense against charmsand mental attacks that also makes mind speech extremely difficult. They areweak to energy as well as sonic attacks which target their sensitive hearing.----
The available classes:
Mercenaries Mercenaries are the most common of the warrior professions and can be found just about anywhere. They learn few truly unique skills, sticking instead to the tried and true methods of combat. Don't be fooled, however, into thinking them weak, for a skilled mercenary can be devastating in combat.
SwashbucklersSwashbucklers are sophisticated, witty, lightly-armed and -armored fighters who are usually found in the cities. They are the only profession that can truly handle the complexity of wielding two weapons at the same time. Experienced swashbucklers are so agile that they can even find ways of using an enemy's strikes to their own advantage. The two-handed weapon style does have its down side though, especially the inability to use a shield effectively.
BarbariansBarbarians are uncivilized warriors who combine instinct, determination and sheer brute force into a formidable fighting style. Barbarians are healthier and feel the pain of wounds less than others. They are rarely surprised by any attack as their combat instincts never allow them to relax. Most barbarians view magic as a weakness and disapprove of its use. They do, however, have a special bond with shamans and will always accept the use of their spirit-gifted powers.
PriestsPriests are the most common of the clerical vocations and can be found in all but the most uncivilized kingdoms. They are not adept at physical combat, but receive spells from their god in compensation. Most of a priest's spells involve healing or protection of some sort. Although a priest can be of any alignment, most tend toward good or neutral. Far too often, evil priests find themselves forced into a subservient role by the more offensive hellions.
PaladinsPaladins are the holy knights of the gods of goodness. They are always of principled alignment and follow the ancient code of chivalry. Paladins are accomplished warriors and have learned a number of combat techniques, but the true strength of the paladins lie in the spells they receive from their gods. Paladins can heal the sick and bless the faithful and they can gather important information about the world. The paladins' defensive spells are especially valuable. Paladins and hellions are mortal enemies, yet they do respect each others abilities, for they are two sides of the same coin.
HellionsHellions are the unholy knights of the gods of evil. They are always of aberrant alignment and follow their own code of twisted chivalry. Hellions are magnificent warriors and have learned many useful combat techniques. The true strength of the hellions lie in the spells they receive from their gods. Hellions can call down sickness and disease upon the people, and their guile allows them to subvert otherwise good creatures. Furthermore, no one can escape to fight another day as well as a hellion. Hellions and paladins are mortal enemies, yet they do respect each others abilities, for they are two sides of the same coin.
ShamansShamans are the holy people of the barbarian tribes that roam the wilderness. They worship the spirits of their ancestors instead of the gods, but receive potent spells of both offensive and defensive natures for their devotion. The special powers of the shaman are tied to their close contact with the spirit world, but their close contact with barbarians also strengthens their skills in the arts of war.
BardsBards are charismatic performers of the highest quality. Gifted bards are frequently employed by lords and even kings. However, bards are not known only for their musical talent. A bard's performance is an excellent cover for other types of covert activities. For this reason, a bard is usually a jack of all trades, with a knowledge of history and good combat skill as well as the powers of a magically infused voice.
RoguesRogues are the most common of the adventuring professions. They are weaker in straight combat than a warrior, but receive some compensations in other areas. Rogues are adept in the arts of theft and deception. The greatest ability of a rogue is his ability to strike unexpectedly while his opponent's back is turned.
ScoutsScouts are explorers skilled in woodlore and bush-fighting. They are valued for their ability to silently slip in, observe enemy formations and make it back to friendly soil to report. As much of their job requires them to be loners, scouts are very self-sufficient. They fight well and are adept at living off the land.
SorcerersSorcerers are the most common of the wizardly professions, although they can be hard to find in the more uncivilized kingdoms. Sorcerers are extremely weak in physical combat, but their spells are a must for any truly worthy group of adventurers. Sorcerers concentrate on those spells which affect the world and people around them. The attack spells that they do receive can be used to spectacular effect, and few can travel across the world as quickly as a sorcerer.
WarlocksWarlocks are the most untraditional of the wizardly professions, for in the truest sense they are not wizards at all. A warlock receives his powers from Yed, the great lord of the elemental planes. Now that Yed has been awakened from his long sleep, warlocks shall be made to pledge their powers to his service. Warlocks wield great destructive power, but are often as great a danger to their friends as to their enemies.
NecromancersNecromancers are the masters of the undead and are skilled at manipulating the draining energies of the negative material plane. These powers make them very powerful, able to raise up armies from the bodies of dead opponents and to warp space in hideous ways. Wielding these energies does have drawbacks, as they invariably cause a necromancer's mind to become twisted and warped.
Your character's alignment is a very important factor in developing his/hermoral principles and how they interact with the world around them. You mustselect an alignment among the following seven during character creation.Keep in mind, the alignment you choose is a ROUGH GUIDELINE as to howyour character should act. It would be impossible to classify all of thepersonalities in the world into seven categories. Select the alignment thatis closest to how you wish for your character to act, and play accordingly.The eight alignments you can choose from are:
"Note: It should be noted that the alignments do not scale and any such attempt to play out of your alignment in hopes of switching to a different alignment is frowned upon and subject to discipline."
The pantheon of Shattered Kingdoms is diverse, offering to all mortals a chance to find their true path in the realms. Some of the immortals remain aloof and set apart, even from their followers, while others among the gods involve themselves on a near-daily basis in the lives of mortals, often much to the chagrin of those affected.
The Pantheon of Shattered Kingdoms
The Shattered Kingdoms Pantheon
Aludra: Goddess of Love, Devotion and Compassion
It is rumored that Aludra has long remained watchful in the realms, allowingher young brother, Shailan, to oversee the realm of love and passion whileoff on alliances with the other gods (and perhaps a few mortals). It isonly as of late that she has felt the desire to be fully present, and bringforth her faith in a strong surge for the principles of Love, Devotion, andCompassion.
The Goddess Aludra is also known as LadyLove, or The Mistress. When mortalsare blessed by her manifestation, she appears in various forms, each ofwhich holds an unearthly beauty surpassing anything they have everexperienced.
Those who follow LadyLove are called The Devoted. Her following consists ofall those who wish to revere and promote the presence of Love, Devotion, andCompassion in the realms. The Devoted are frequently noted as being themost beautiful of people, but a comely appearance is almost as common of herfollowers. It should be noted that spirit's beauty can easily make up forthe physical lacking. Her following spans races and alignments, althoughdark hearts find lust more desirable, and seldom adhere to the tenants ofthe church.
The symbol of the church is a pair of doves holding a red rose between thetwo of them. The dove pair symbolizes strong Devotion to a life longpartner, to family members, or to the personal beliefs of a person. Therose of course, is a universal symbol of Love.
The followers of Aludra and Dabi do not see eye to eye in any way. Theobvious differences in beliefs put the two churches at odds with each otherperpetually. ----
Alshain the White Flame - God of Courage, Righteousness and Purification 'Twas a raging day of battle between gods of light and deeds of darknessover southern Zhenshi when the God of Courage was reborn... Sands of unnatural power were spreading further afield, strangling the veryhealth out of earth and plant alike. Peaceful animals were torn from theirskeleton; some even twisted into new beasts, the like of which has not beenseen before in Pyrathia. It was this unnatural invasion that two gods werecalled forth, at the beckoning of zealous prayers and rituals: Shailan, godof Healing, and Calrion, Lord of the Morning. Battling the sands and then Lord Sargas himself - who was the malign forcewho summoned the sands - Lord Calrion was smote by the great-axe Dominion.His form cleaved nearly in two, it was consumed in flames and arose in thesky. A flaming phoenix flying before all those gathered - mortal and godalike - he was born anew as Alshain, the White Flame. Returning to thebattle ground, he brought both fist, flame and sword down upon his godlyfoe with paladin honour and Sargas the Smiter, having ties with the hellioncode, returned blows in kind. After battling across the realms for nighon days, they eventually stayed their weapons. It is said that the respectand recognition between skilled foes equal on all counts came upon them,and thus the ending postponed until either believed they are the betteronce more. Thus was the god of courage reborn. Showing valor in battle and a promisekept to his followers after his ascension from the tears of Lord Rishivelmourners. Paladins swear oaths to spheres of Alshain as they attainknighthood and it is said he watches over them as if they were his sons.Priests of Alshain's church are also a force to be reckoned with, havingbeen given the title battlepriest by citizens since they first foughtalongside their cavalier brothers, long ago.----
Dulrik: the Blade of Truth Dulrik is one of the most powerful gods in the realm. He is also one of the most enigmatic. It is said that he is a god of extraordinary powerwho sides with truth and honor in all its forms. He has been known to deal out justice on the gods themselves, thus becoming the one who watchesthe watchers. It is rumored that he is also the patron of a martial artsfaction in the realms, but these rumors are unconfirmed.----
Meissa -*-*- The Shining One These are the words of the first appearance of Meissa, the Goddess of Healing and Art, within the lands of Pyrathia: "The desert was still as the might of Sargas Lord left. No sound from the sands, no wind stirred the air. Death pervaded where we knelt, surrounded by the corpses of all who drew the God's wrath as they raged against each other. Alshain Lord turned His attention then to bringing back the immortal who had purified the Conquering Sands. Slowly, the wind began to dance upon the rocks and sand that littered land. Sighing, the wind swelled into music, then small motes of light rose from ground to swirl before us. I thought I would be blinded yet the light didn't harm me, but others cried out in pain. Soon, the light formed into a willowy Goddess of silver hair wearing a mithril circlet with a large, shining white gem upon her forehead. I must say I passed out in terror at this point, no longer able to contain the sights I had witnessed that day." As told by Basma of the Ghover-dhun in Zhenshi 642 T.A. Throughout the ages, the worshiping of the Immortal of Healing has taken several forms, each an evolution to the next. The most recent, and some say final form of the incarnation of Healing is the Lady Meissa, giving inspiration and hope to those who need it. Though seen often as a willowy goddess with silver hair, she is also known to take the form of a Nightingale that sings away the darkness. The followers of the Lady know that the Health she represents is not only within the body, but also the mind and spirit. Some would say that a follower of Meissa could do no harm to others, but this would only be told by the ignorant. The Priests of Lady Meissa approach the duty of their Goddess with a passion to rid Pyrathia of disease where they see it. Some choose to heal the sick and injured, others take the more crusading approach and cut the disease out where it lays festering. The act of destruction against evil is a purification towards health. In times past, the Nightingale's song used to guide all with the beauty of music, now it has become the inspiration of many. Art is revered by the followers of Lady Meissa, in dance, verse, music, sculpture, and canvas. ----
Zavijah the Essence of Knowledge and Wisdom
Zavijah governs the mortal influence of Wisdom, Knowledge, Enlightenment,and Freedom. All the great explorers of Pyrathia; the cunning poets, wittyjournalists, and wise philosophers murmur a prayer to him. In fact, anyonewith a thirst for understanding pray to him at one time or another. He isknown as "Zavijah the Essence," marking his presence as the essence of allwisdom and knowledge, the form of free thoughts. In the most recent age,His presence has been felt and even seen with increasing frequency. Thisoccurrence has also dubbed him as "Zavijah the Restless."
While these are all the things the Essence represents and influences, hisreligious doctrine mandates that his followers are not the indifferentstudents of all things, implied by the influence of unbiased knowledge andwisdom. His faith is one of benevolence, protection: to worship Zavijah isto worship the spread of Knowledge and Wisdom. To be one of His is toteach, learn, and guard all at once. The faith of Zavijah is a sect ofbenevolent people, both zealous and pacifist, who desire to end all of theoppression and impediments upon freedom which hinder education. They desireto spread all knowledge and wisdom they have, selflessly and without greed. It is hard to describe the philosophies toward the God of Wisdom - the best way to describe them is with some of their most noteworthy quotes.
"It is said that staring into lightning is staring into the eyes of Zavijah.It blinds you of all possible distractions and deceptions, and every othersight that could get in the way. It makes you clear of these things,metaphors for oppression and malice. In the wake of this freedom, you areleft with every color in the spectrum, and arguably sight of all things inthat brief glimpse."
"And in the fiery tongue of the ancients, it was written: the free exchangeof knowledge (justified true belief) must be defended with words ifpossible, but with beak, talon, and sword if necessary. Further the priestof Zavijah will defend the helpless from murder, oppression, or torturesince all of these prevent the flow of knowledge."
"With knowledge and wisdom at hand, no wrong choice can be made. There canbe no malice with the wisdom of its futility; there can be no fear with theknowledge of limits to displace it. There can be no evil in the mind of theenlightened. And so, we must enlighten."----
(the pronoun 'he' is used in this text for convenience only)
The immortal called Achernar was once known to mortals only as Nada, the Embodiment of Change. He was worshipped as such for centuries, until the time came for the completion and fulfillment of Himself. Change itself, by its very nature, cannot remain constant. And so came the time that the Embodiment of Change revealed His true name, Achernar, to a lowly priestess named Katia. Nada had long had influence over that final, greatest Change, the ultimate transition of Death, and when He fulfilled Himself, He changed His focus from the sphere of Change to the gateway of Death. And so was born the Church of Achernar, amongst the faithful servants of Nada. Now called the End of the River, Achernar still holds influence over Change, and Time, but He is known first and foremost as the hand of Death. His followers share in common a respect for death, the afterlife, and the power associated with it. Although not necessarily a religion of shamanism, the faithful of Achernar hold great respect for those who commune with spirits and the power to be found in drawing from the spirit world. The Church of Achernar is very loosely organized, usually only drawing together to face a threat against the faith as a whole. Because of this loose organization, there can be found much diversity within the church, the following varied in their reasons for, and method of, worship. Because Death itself is a neutral concept, as are Time and Change, beyond the constrictions of morality, followers of Achernar may range from principled healers to the most diabolic unholy priests. At varying times,people of differing professions may be counted among themembership of the church, but only once was it a status reservedonly for the clergy. What is always held in common between thefaithful is a profound respect for the power of Death, oftenrevered as the greatest, final Change that one can experience,the culmination of all Time, the inevitable passage for all mortals.----
It is written that Pergan, Dark Lord of Ambition, whose name was a rallying cry for dark knights and mages of yore, slipped from the realms quietly and without pomp. And so it was with some shock and much amusement that Yopparai, Patron of Chaos and Insanity, fresh off a bout of merriment and binge-drinking, did happen across Pergan's sleeping form in one of the back halls of the fabled Citadel of the Gods. Not one to pass over a ripe opportunity presented, Yopparai silently produced an enchanted bottle of gutshaker, drained it, then slipped the dark lord carefully inside. He then made his way swiftly to the Mount of the Silver Winds, where he knew the Silver Dragon, Xandrennus, Lord of Virtue, was slumbering away peacefully after a misguided attempt on his life by a despairing elven champion. There was the bottle produced once more, and Xandrennus awoke to the confines of an ornate, but alcohol-tinged cage. Yopparai shook the bottle violently, and Pergan awoke with a mournful howl, heaving his considerable bulk against the bottle, to no avail. Yopparai amused himself for a good while with his prank, then, bored and sleepy, tossed the container into the sea and promptly forgot about it.:Several centuries later, the bottle turned up in a fishing net, from whichit was retrieved and opened. It is said that the sky clouded up immediately,and the heavens flashed a deep green. The oceans bubbled and seethed, andsulfur choked the air. The flask shattered in short order, and the haplessfishing boat and her crew, minus the cabin boy, were incinerated on the spot. The young lad's ear drums imploded when he received the divine messageof the entity released that day, and he was ushered off to a sanitarium tospend the rest of his days, but his account was recorded by the Zavijans forposterity.:"Ain.", said the deaf boy, his body wracked by spasms. "Ain is what He calls Himself. Never have I seen eyes like His, deep and full of meaning, yet so angry. His aspect was dark, but full of internal light, and His flowing green robes concealed his massive form. He had the face and silver locks of an old man. He demanded Order, and spoke things of Lord Yopparai that I cannot possibly relate with this tongue, lest it fall right off. Itwasn't the sort of scripture you'd carve into tablets.":Ain the Eye is the Lord of Order, but the ambiguity of His origins hasgiven rise to at least two distinct cults. One concerns itself primarily with Justice, its symbol the Balanced Scale. These principled followers of Ain champion the oppressed and the downtrodden, while seeking to further civilization through a strong sense of Order. The other cult deems itself a gathering of Adjudicators, and its followers sport the symbol of the Eye. These aberrant sorts watch and judge and sometimes punish. They tend to prize Order at any cost and are less altruistic than their scale-toting cousins. All of His followers share an enmity toward the disruptive and unproductive minions of the Lord of Chaos, Marfik.----
Marfik, the Maelstrom -- God of Chaos, Mayhem, and Anarchy 'Chaos is the law of existence while Order is merely the dream of man.'-Anonymous 'Chaos often breeds life, while Order breeds only habit.'-Anonymous 'What we imagine as Order is merely the prevailing form of Chaos.'-Anonymous 'In the beginning, there was Chaos. Chaos nurtures progress. Progressenhances Order. Order tries to defy Chaos at all cost. But my friend, if andwhen Order wins the final battle against Chaos, I will mourn becauseprogress will be dead.'-Anonymous Marfik is the pure embodiment of Chaos. The most common story of hisawakening is a tale of imprisonment. In a time long since forgotten bymost, a being known as Xareth wielded the powers of Chaos to further hisgoals in the lands of Pyrathia. The powerful influence of Chaos affectedeven his immortal psyche and pushed him into a constant state of Warand Destruction. With Xareth's demise, Marfik finally had his chance tobegin to form, only to be cut short by the concentration of his power into amere mortal by the name of Yopparai. Having already been blessed formany years by Yigg, his constant source of Insanity and Pleasure, hismortal mind couldn't even begin to properly wield Marfik's power, and heslowly enterered a downward spiral of pure Insanity. The fleshy prisonwhich served to keep the power of Marfik from coalescing into theMaelstrom he was destined to become also gave him a more personalview of Pyrathia's natives. Able to gaze upon the mortals and do nothing,he saw many that would do well to serve him that had been turned awayby all others. He swore that he would never forget the forsaken that he hadseen and been unable to help. He finally received a chance to escape hisconfines when Insanity finished taking Yopparai's mind and made himbelieve that Chaos had existed before the Elements. This mental instabilityultimately led to the pretender's demise, as well as a sum of gratitudetowards Yed. After Yopparai and Khore's mutual demise, the imprisonedessence of Chaos now freed went into seclusion so that he could regainhis former power. The church of Marfik is composed of such varied and sundry individuals asthe wanton criminal and the blind beggar; he accepts any who would aidthe forsaken or contribute to the downfall of Order. The rallying cry at manya Marfikian sermon is a general shout of discontent. Depending uponwhich nation the preacher is in, the message of his sermon will vary, butunflinchingly, it calls out to the oppressed and disenfranchised, urgingthem towards the destruction of the abominable rule. Marfikian aregenerally found amongst the slaves, lower classes, and outcasts who havenot flourished under the rule of merchants, nobles, or kings. Those whorecognize the plight of these people also find an easy home within theMaelstrom. He welcomes all, be they griffon or necromancer, as long asthey do not hold Order within their heart. Followers of Marfik are encouragedto reject established ethos and law as they see fit. Rebellion is a tool usedby his followers to achieve a world where they will ultimately find theirplace, a world where everything is not just over-turned, but the shacklesare smashed with a large hammer.----
Mira - Providence of Magic, Womb of the Unknown Mira is the Essence of Magic, the Teacher, the Enabler, the Womb of theUnknown, the Shroud of Mystery. All creatures are bonded to this deity. Mira understands and has been known to use this bond to call upon those thatshow promise. Mira's history is long. Very long. Most of the traditions of the Churchof Mystery are passed on by the faithful without ever touching quill toparchment. Mira seems to favor magical creatures, for obvious reasons, butsmiles upon any creature that uses any sort of magic. Mira's church isloosely organized, bordering on chaotic, with about equal parts laymen andclergy. ----
'. . .the Cycle is balanced between life and death. Everything that lives also dies.'-Sullom Voe 'Nature does nothing uselessly.'-Anonymous 'The goal of existence should be to accept and live in agreement with nature. Regardless of whether or not it is convenient, you are part of it and you do serve it by simply living.'-Anonymous The manifestation of Nashira into the world is full of myth and legend. No one is sure of how it came to be that Reina failed to exist and Nashira came to be, but it is widely believed that somehow Nashira was born of Reina after her decline into a very quiet state. Some believe that Reina gave birth to Nashira as a woman would give birth to her child, and that the agony of giving birth to another immortal being was enough to extinguish her existence. Others believe that Reina was so broken-hearted over some strange and unseen event that her will was broken, and she no longer wished to exist. Being immortal as she was, it would have been impossible for her to simply cease to exist, and from her broken spirit Nashira arose to take her place. However it came to be, it further exemplifies the continuation of the Cycle of Nature as one being passes on to produce another. Reina no longer exists, and Mother as she has been called in the past, is now the entity known as Nashira. The goddess Nashira is hardly ever seen by mortals eyes, but when seen walking on the mortal world is normally manifested as a treant or human. It is believed that these forms are symbolic of the grand Cycle of Nature, being that they are the two most prominent examples in the world of birth, growth, and eventual decay. The church of Nashira is very lax in its organization. The only structurethat exists would be a set of several select blessed followers and a HighPriest(ess) who have been charged with voicing the concerns of Nashira tothe general populous. Followers of all walks of life are invited to jointhe church as long as they are dedicated to a life of continual learning;a life dedicated to understanding the Cycle of Nature.----
Luck, both good and bad, is the dominion of Sadal. It is her hand that may guide the change of weather, the inclination of hearts, the fall of dice, and even the tide of battle. She weaves together life's events, moving each participant along its course to fulfill her unknown purpose. Though her motives may be obscure, the touch of her hand is sometimes evident through supernatural blessing or affliction in one's life. Sadal is also associated with agitations in weather and the sky. Her touch is thought to be more frequent within the context of storm, but the precise nature of her relationship to the climate of the realms is something of a mystery.----
Yed: Elemental Consciousness In the beginning were the elemental planes. Fire, air, water and earth: they were old when the gods were young. Beyond the reach of memory, they had existed, pure and barren, devoid of life and consciousness, yet they lived. An age passed, and the gods matured. In the beginning, the gods created the world from the elemental planes. They brought forth earth to lay its foundation, and called down fire to fill its core. They filled the skies with air, and poured water into the low places. The world existed, pure and barren, devoid of life and consciousness, yet it lived. An age passed, and life arose. As life evolved, the races began to mimic the powers of the gods. They drew upon the powers of the world around them. They prayed to the heavens and summoned forth divine energies. They even opened channels to the elemental planes. And in the barren places of the world, something awoke and came into consciousness. It reached forth with its mind, and for a millennium, it studied the world and that which existed with the air, water, fire and earth. It bided its time, growing in strength as more elemental energy was brought into the world. When it came fully into its own power, Khore was born. Three mortals played an instrumental role in this, by uniting the four parts of the Elemental Key: Bregan, a priest of Suffering; Savax, a neutral swashbuckler; and Qazpe, a mercenary of the Light. Khore stood among the gods for an age as the Elemental Lord, until war broke in the heavens, and the elemental consciousness again passed into slumber. Years passed, and then something stirred. Drawn by their enlightenment and their connection to the elemental plane, four strangers found their way to the place where Khore had been born: Cronoss, an elven warlock, the last of Khores faithful; Xiere, a half-elven priestess; Baalbek, a deep-elven warlock; and Renyua, a centaur warlock of Natures flock. The coming together of these four, in this place, at this time, woke the elemental consciousness. As It took physical form, It spoke and asked Its name- Lord Yed, the words spoken by the deep-elf, were taken, and by this name the Elements have since been known by mortalkind. Yed is the united consciousness of the four elements. It is worshipped by those who call upon the elemental planes for power, and those who are close to the barren places of the world. It pays little interest to mortalkind- those parasites who live upon the elements- having little concern even for Its own worshippers. Yed is amoral- such things as deceit, truth, death, courage, and the like have little meaning to the elements. As such, the Elemental Church is open to any and all who wish to pay homage to Yed, though its hierarchy is controlled strictly by warlocks and priests.----
Algorab, the Raven
God of Fear, Tyranny, and Vengeance
We speak admiringly of a pride of lions, or kindly of a charm of finches, buta terror of ravens? Somehow it does not seem fair, although opportunisticallyscavenging and feeding on dead animals makes the association with obvious...
Beyond any doubt, the raven is considered first and foremost a bird of evil.Its resonant "caw" has signaled pending doom throughout history in societiesthroughout the realms. During the military invasions and plagues in earliercenturies, the raven dined on human corpses, and they apparently loiterednear the sites designated for human executions. The sight of a raven broughtfear and anxiety to those of weak mind and stout heart alike. Ravens havebeen known to lead other avian through tyrannical means, often maiming someso that others are submissive. Not surprisingly He was known as the Ravenlong ago...
Scriptures of old indicate that He has existed since the forming of therealms. Feared by the very Gods themselves, they banded together to imprisonHim. After being confined for ages in a prison of stone deep beneath thesurface of the realms, Algorab has broken free.
Algorab is seldom viewed by mortals in the waking world enjoying instead tomanipulate mortals into believing their actions are their own. He derivespleasure from the sheer terror in a person's eyes or the shaking of theirboots when they believe they are in His presence. Some claim he cansometimes be sensed in every dark mist that haunts the realms, others say heis present when they hear a Raven's "caw". When mortals do find themselvesin His presence, be assured that death and destruction are near.
He is worshiped by any who have tasted fear, lead through tyranny, or wishedfor vengeance. Only the chosen few who dedicate their lives to Him, be theyPriest or Knight, can be called His own. Some followers choose to remainanonymous, believing that fear flourishes in the unknown. Others rule with aniron fist and choose to wear His symbol. His clergy can be seen with adimmed orb. His Knights wear a clenched raven's claw. But all that followcan be assured one thing: Triumph and be rewarded, fail and their punishmentwill be like none ever felt before.----
Dabi - The Star of Slaughter Whispered only in shadows and written only in the darkest of tomes wasthe legend of Bane's daughter, Ghania, the being held beyond the touchof Death within the flesh of her Dark Father, which brought about histransformation from Bane to Zynor, the Union of Blood. And all but forgotten were the tales of her birth, betrayal, anddeath, murdered by the birthing of her children, slain by the curseher brother bore and forced upon her. And all but lost was the world on the day when the moon became red andthe ground wept blood, and the Cultists of Zynor gathered in ritual toawaken their Lord and bring about the end of all creation. Whether it was fate or the error of the cultists or the interventionof the Gods themselves, few know, but on that day, in Zynor's attemptto loose himself from his centuries-old sleep, something went awry.The power of the Blood Cult was broken along with the fabled blood orband His daughter was awakened. As Bane had once preserved her in half-life and become Zynor, now Ghania claimed her Father's spirit, power,and place for Her own - to became Dabi, the Star of Slaughter, theGoddess of Hate. The followers of Dabi seek Her touch out for as many different reasonsas there are followers, but they are all united by the darkest ofhearts and souls full of Hatred. Her priesthood in civilized areasgenerally takes the form of a loosely organized matriarchy, althoughwelcoming of both men and women as both priests and lay members. Itsteachings are of the power of tapping the deepest, blackest core ofHatred, transcending mere anger or disgust, and drawing strengththrough the destruction of its object. In wilder areas She is also venerated by certain tribes of theNorthern Wastes as a Goddess of Rage, and invoked before enteringcombat. Berserking fighters are held in special honor in such tribes,as their battlerages are seen as a possession by the Goddess Herself,and an unmistakable sign of Her favor. Wherever Her worship takes place, in whatever form it takes, onealways finds in its wake the shedding of blood, the destruction oflife and light, and the smoke of burned sacrifices as She completesthe work, in Her own way, that Her father began.----
Sadr - the Goddess of Disease, Mistress of Pain, Maiden of Suffering Once known in the elder tongue as Yenko, the Goddess Sadr appeared in the pantheon during the latter centuries of the First Age. She is the goddess of disease, as well as pain and suffering. This revelation of the true name of Sadr and the embodiment of disease occurred late in the Third Age. Some say this knowledge originated from a lost prophet, while others suspect the influence of the Lord of Chaos. Pain and suffering is seen as a part of the learning process by those who venerate Her, and only through them do people gain wisdom and enlightenment. How this is interpreted often varies, as some see this path as an internal exercise of perseverance, while others work externally- often pursuing acts of torture as a method of 'spreading the Word.' The Goddess' role as the culler of the weak does not garner favor with much of the world, except by those who view Her work as a necessary process of life. Other factions of this faith are more fanatical in their pursuit of understanding through disease, and that of the culling role. They have been responsible for seeding villages with clouds of plague, contaminating even the dead with its corrosive touch. Those who survive are deemed worthy, while those fallen serve their purpose through the spread of such fetidness. Some also view Her harshness and infliction of suffering incarnated in the icy climes and as part of the natural cycle of winter, and venerate Her as such. However, that practice is not as common as it once was.----
Sargas, * ( the Smiter ) * These are the words describing the first appearance of Sargas in the realm of Pyrathia and the destruction of the former Lord of Conquest: 'So it was that the explosion hurled us all from the ancient temple. As we each came back, we saw golden sand flow into the cracks of the ruined ground. Heat cooked our bodies as the dust manifested into the form of a God. The fire that flowed along his form added to his golden radiance. Holding aloft his hands, lightning struck him as he laughed at the world. 'The ground groaned in agony as the dark clouds held the chorus of thunder and lighting. Rage flowed through Sargas as he held his hand over his missing left eye. Grabbing the Great Sword of Conquest, Sargas strode forward to cleave Ariakas in two, destroying his form. The fires of Sargas consumed the essence that was that Lord. His rage challenged the world as he announced himself to the mortals of this realm' - From the personal account of Ramlah of the Shield Lands. 612 T.A. 'No mortal, no mountain, no god shall hold ground before my Dominion!', thus is the challenge of Sargas, God of War; The Desert's Scourge, The All Consuming Flame, Harbinger of Conquest. What form such an immortal vessel could take cannot truly be told, but the priests and old men speak of Him as a taking the form of an ancient dwarf, gnarled and muscle-bound. Radiating an aura of terrible power and fury upon that dread day when he did rise to claim the soul of Ariakas and commit it to His flames. Sargas the One Eyed: The All Consuming. The stories tell of how He did lose his left eye in that fateful battle when he did come to claim his Power. The embodiment of Dark Honor, whispers tell that he bears the wound still, a dark crater as a badge of respect to his fallen and defeated foe. Conflict is the Glory of the Soul. The Weak are beneath Contempt. Mercy is for the Weak in both its giving and receipt; Honor and the gift of Death is for the truly worthy foe. Conquest is resolution and second to the conflict that glorifies His name. It is by such lessons that The Smiter expects his Chosen to extend his Dominion throughout these realms. Such tenets inspire His priests, and draw His followers to the dark banner. And for such harsh and unbending tenets of belief, Sargas the Smiter finds great favor as a Patron of those dark Knights, the Hellion. ----
Law at its most oppressive and useless.Chaos reduced to mindless despoilment.Light and darkness twisted, twistedinto a whirlwind of blinding hubris.Balance and harmony into blind eyesand a frown of distaste as a ruined world dies.
Such ruined husks of the values of gods and men stand as empty monuments unto the Autocrat of the Void, Thuban the Liar, Quintessence of Untruth, the primal Mother-Father of Betrayal.
Thuban is held as the patron of all those who thrive amidst veils of falsehood and subterfuge, from the lowliest trapdoor spider to the leader of men whose pride leads great kingdoms unto ruin. It has worn a hundred masks in the past, the names and semblances of a hundred gods and men who do and do not exist, and will likely do so always.
As for Its true nature, some speak of Thuban as an amoral force like any other, the principle by which the chameleon escapes the jaws of the snake,by which the clever find their way amongst the strong. Others speak of It as the inevitable shadow cast by the gods and spirits' will, others still asa corrupting, alien presence from beyond these realms entirely. It is likely only Thuban knows the truth of the matter, and certainly it would not be believed even if It condescended to speak of it openly.
Some worship Thuban openly, some in secluded places, and some in forgotten corners of their hearts, without truly knowing they do so.----
"It should be noted that not every deity in Shattered Kingdoms is played by an administrator, as some take on the role of multiple deities to help better run the numerous in-game religions."----
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