– Benevolent, loved by the people. Is more of a prime minister of his region than king, appointed by the people after sickness claimed the last in the province’s royal bloodline.
– Was met by a despotic tyrant from the borderlands who he bested in battle.
– Early chapters focus on the coronation. Everything seems idyllic at first though the cost of maintaining alliances across the realm begin to drain the new ruler.
– The key to defeating the despot was turning two of his valued generals. One is secluded in the misted marshes of the south. The other revels in war to the extent that he even goes in search of campaigns, even beyond the mainland.
– His close allies include a former naval captain turned general. Though his part in the campaign is crucial, he is also the butt of many jokes considering how most of his fleet is stationed to the west.
– The orc clans to the north despoil neighbouring settlements in the mountains and steppes.
– Master swordsman who keeps the god of balance.
– Imperial seal.
– Many flock to his lands from neighbouring realms, the eventual overcrowding leading to shortage of supplies. Many are freeloaders, who neither keep his faith or moral code, leading to rampant crime and factionism.
– The naive king.
The first royal bloodline of the mainland. Cultivated much of the mainland from their base in the East. Close ties with the Dwarfs. They first made contact hundreds of years ago when the stout kin were still mostly above the surface. A week of skirmishes lead to treaties between the two folk who have lived in peace since and prospered. Both fought together, driving the orcs towards the peaks in the West.
Chivalrous and believe in noble birth and hierarchy. Kingdom is split into baronies. Lords are occasionally locked into bitter feuds that span generations.
The king is old, reaching his early seventies, yet still wise and fit to rule his kingdom. His only son is due to become heir, a chivalrous knight favoured by the people. Whether or not his claim will be aided or challenged by the many lords of the realm, is another matter.
His son is killed/vanishes, leaving his daughter, Ellasa.
Both his brother, sister, and mother died at the hands of the barbarian hordes to the West. The bloodline also fears and hates the elves, who fought and killed in wars fought hundreds of years ago as they elf kin tried to reclaim their lost lands.
Sybor, the Lord of the Wild
Reaching his older years. Still whores, and fights in every battle.
Feared and respected, unpredictable and careful not to surround himself with boot lickers. Only trusts those he has campaigned with and those he has shed blood with.
Sybor’s house hailed from the first kingdom, his clan defected to hill tribes and wild men in an attempt to usurp the king.
Has no base, instead he directs his forces in skirmish parties, carrying out raids on his old nemesis.
Treats with the lords of the north, a long-forgotten people banished to the frozen wastes.
– Only one faction remains neutral; the Order. Comprised of magic users across the world, they seek only to maintain balance, their clan bound to a code forbidding them to abandon their non-partisan status.
The dwarfs to the far north fight their own battles. The great thanes continue to oversee their expansion into the ring of mountains that surround their capital. In doing so, however, they stir the emotions of both the hillsmen and the orcs who are native to the mountains. Further off, into the West, an even bigger, unknown threat awaits…
The elves do not concern themselves with the human conflict. This is despite the fact they were once driven from the mainland to a shattered peninsula. There, they watch the world and consider themselves arbiters. Their numbers are fewer than that of most races though they are part immortal, each one blessed with a minor affinity for magic.
A division exists, however. The high king is still seen by some as a human sympathiser and the single reason why the elven empire fell all those years ago. A former general in the human-elf wars plots to usurp the king and return to the mainland.
Dwarfs fear magick, imprisoning their own tainted kin in a spire. Here, there are guarded night and day, their affluence used to engineer runes that filter their way through the many craft guilds. It’s a hypocritic approach to magick as Dwarfs still benefit, imbuing their weapons with arcane powers.
The Spire itself lies south of the Ygramore and the ring of peaks, bordering the forested mainland and hillman territory. It is guarded by an elite brigade, their leader being a magick user himself, though devoted to the advancement of his kin.
The Dwarfs used to live above the surface hundreds of years ago. They occupied the northern region of the realm and built outposts upon the mountains and hill lands. Here they fought against the orcs of the west and the goblin tribes of the northern glades.
Their population grew rapidly, as did their affluence with the artisan crafts. Mining colonies were soon established and prospectors sent to the far reaches of the northern peaks. The Dwarfen industry flourished soon after their first contact with the first human bloodline who had made their way north. The two would go on to be allies and later push back the dwarf hordes.
A plague would soon wipe out nearly a third of the dwarf population. Those who were infected endured weeks of agony as the illness slowly corroded them from the inside, causing harsh mutations to their bodies. Fire rose from the hills and peaks as the dead were put to the torch. Completely unexplainable, the great thane condemned dark magicks as the source of the plague, routing out the dwarf cleric order -many of whom had aided the ill and dying- and slaying them all in a short series of skirmishes.
Both stubborn and superstitious, their fear of magick and the threat of another plague drew the dwarfs beneath the surface. Mining colonies bulged in size as they tore through the mountains, erected entire cities and tunnel networks within their vast stony bowels. There they would stay for hundreds of years, yet some remained on the surface.
These dwarfs lived alongside the humans as they continued to expand northward.
Orcs are seen by their adversaries as mindless and brutish yet have
Mo’thak – talks to head on staff
THE DREAD COAST
To the far west, beyond the sloping mountains, past the emerald glades, and vast oceans lies a dark spot where no man has ventured and returned. Shrouded in thick fog and cursed by unending storms, it’s an ominous part of the world and remains completely uncharted on any map.
At first this will seem like a trivial device to the reader. It will be a purposefully under-developed part of the story that rushes to forefront later on as they realise just what lurks beneath the veil. The answer? An island, or kingdom rather. The first that ever existed in the world. An entire doomed citadel preserved in time and space as the world around was torn asunder by an even more powerful entity.
– The most ancient race in the world with archives spanning thousands of years before the dawn of man.
– Early elves travelled from their southern peninsula to the mainland where they cultivated the land, reaching as far the northern peaks.
– Something drove them back, however. From the east shores and north climbs, they were driven to hide in the forest from an ancient evil. A handful of survivors returned to the Elfen Empire, among them the son of the Archon, who convinced them never to venture there again. He is now the only one who knows what dwells beyond – but what happened to those who also witnessed the event?
– This is often dispelled as a folk tale. Elves are natives of the forests and tropics so many assume they could not acclimatise to the frozen wastes of the north and stormy seas of the east.
– Their position as the most ancient race leaves means they often view themselves as nurturing and teaching the younger races.
– The peninsula is a powerful source of magick. Nearly a quarter of all elves born are imbued with natural magick powers.
– Centuries before, the elves were torn from the mainland by the humans, many of whom have always feared and hated them. Aligning with several dwarfen clans, they seared a path through the forests, routing them to the southern shores before initiating a slaughter.
– King 3 has always been a friend of the elves. Interbreeding isn’t unheard of, with many half-elves roaming the western lands.
– The human rebellion divided the elves forever. Many simply saw the humans as having misunderstood them and see it as their duty to continue to teach and guard the realm.
– Others forsake this notional duty, seeing themselves as the master race.
– High Priest
Another land that is largely inhospitable, this time due to blistering sandstorms and endless miles of desert.
A small colony of humans, elves, dwarves, and other races wander the wasteland. Though perilous it is often the stage for folktales, many of which suggest that ancient treasure lies within its dunes.
The truth is that this realm was once inhabited by a mighty race wiped out in their prime. For some reason, they were flushed from their abodes in the deep southern reaches of the desert. The survivors, the nomads, died out as they made their way north to the shore.
Afriti – firecallers
Sand Seers – Journey – Children of the Afriti. Many have an aptitude for magic, striding across the deserts on stone relics.
Dahma – The sleeping giant.
A house of the Eastern-most realm that had once years ago almost been decimated. It was a time in which the realm was divided into smaller provinces, each ruled by lords and barons. The leader of the house, a former soldier to the king, became too ambitious too fast. He invited several of the barons to feast in his vast hall – a true sight of beauty. There he slaughtered three houses, his men managing to kill scores of soldiers, though some broke free.
Outraged, heirs and neighbouring kingdoms rallied under one banner and rode upon the mountain. Some of Krieg’s men fled only to be cut down – even those who weren’t complicit in his crimes. Filled with rage, the bannermen sacked the entire mountain, razing its gardens and fantastic spires.
A hundred soldiers were spared and swore
Developed by a dwarf clansman long exiled by the artisan’s guild for his dangerous experiments. Originally, he had planned to develop a means by which to excavate mountain passes in a fraction of the time it would take even an experienced troupe of dwarf miners.
The guild, renowned for its ingenuity, is also a battleground for infighting as inventors and pioneers seek to outdo one another. Fearing that X could become one of the greatest inventors of their time, three of the revered guild masters hatched a plot to rout out their opponent. This was done through whispers of magick and elven sorcery.
The thane, whose fear of magick was well-known, ordered the death of the conspirator. X managed to escape, however, hiring two companions to escort him from the mountain city. Their journey would be a perilous one, arching over the northern ridge and into Jotun territory. They eventually made it to an abandoned dwarven fortress, lost beneath snow and forgotten memories.
Lizard-like creatures of the far tropics. A mostly zealous race who worship a myriad of gods, chief among is Az’hallar, the Sun King.
Many Tsajari live in primitive societies deep within the jungles and marshes where others have ventured to the coast lands. Some have become apt traders, realising the value in some of their nation’s natural resources. Heart of Darkness.
There are no kings or nobility in Tsajari society though the presence of human and dwarf colonies have started to modernise some who are willing to assimilate.
Three Grand Arbiters roam the Ko’tal, chosen by their Gods as a medium between the deities and their servants. There are only ever three Arbiters at once, Tsajari who pass a series of trials. These include slaying a basilisk of the Serpent Isle, taming the Terror Hawk, and claiming the scalps of C’lopi warriors of the western peninsula.
Cyclops. One eyed humanoids, similar in size to ogres. Savages.
A sparse people who are found throughout the world; from the harsh deserts of the south to the blistering cold of the north. Goblins can live to around three hundred years and are characterised by their small, crooked physique.
Hibakusha – The Forgotten
A small human kingdom that borders the Eastern realm, ruled by a bloodline of despots. Their leader was cruel, twisted, and known to torture exotic subjects, from rogue mages and elves to creatures of the far lands.
He was fearful of magic and
Mages bombarded the kingdom as the despot tried to flee, hiding in the villages of his common folk. Blood mages finally routed him out and burnt him at the stake. Their wrath left—
Storm’s Reach – The Storm Lords
A primarily human faction that resides in the upper eastern marches. They occupy the precarious mountain peaks, linked together by a network of rope bridges and high steps.
They worship the sky god who assumes the form of a bird as well as the weather cycles, especially storms.
The current lord had his faith tested in a long and brutal campaign against the barbarian mountain tribes and their orcish consorts. Upon breaching the narrow passes, the horde was held off by the storm lord and his honour guard though it was a losing fight.
Storm lord dies passing his legacy to his only son who is largely apathetic yet has great prowess in the field of battle.
“Saw God” kind of conversion.
His new-found piety has lead him on a conquest again sinners, be they kinslaysers or unjust killers. His cause rallies arms from all over the realm.
Occupy the northernmost region of the mainland. Covered in rocky crags, frozen lakes, and miles of uninhabitable wasteland with few to no settlements.
The Jottun are a brutish race which pride themselves only on their size and strength. With each eclipse of the sun, Jottun tribes from across the wastes gather at an obelisk which they believe to be a remnant of their forebearers. Here a makeshift arena is built in a matter of hours. Entire forests are pulled up, debarked, and crudely moulded into stakes that line the melee pit. The winner of the fight is promoted to Jottun Overlord, granting him the power to command the Jottun warchiefs.
– Jottun infighting
– Politics of even the most brutish race
– Alliances with non-Jottun
– Shamanic influence on melee
Whether to appease a Dark God or the simply the magick properties found in their blood, blood mages sacrifice their own being to empower their magic. Through acts of desperation, these mages have severed entire parts of their body or given up vital organs.
– One or two could ally with dwarf smiths who build them new limbs?
An expanse of land bordering the two realms. A perimeter of forest draws a green curtain around the festering swamps and bogland within. Here roam some of the kingdom’s rarest creatures. The Fen is divided between the centaur folk and the bog witches.
The story revolves around a fantasy kingdom and its myriad factions.
– Sybor, a barbarian warchief of the northern clans, has his force decimated by the Jottun, barely escaping with his own life. With enemies on every side, life for the wildmen is seemingly coming to an end. Their repurposed strongholds are few and far between and the stubbornness that runs in their blood means they will never bend the knee. Sybor is faced with a dilemma and with time running out he’s about to make a dangerous gambit.
– A king is about to die, leaving his throne to his eldest son. He is to be killed by his brother.
– A tyrant is massing his hordes in the west where he intends to build and empire.
– A small band of dwarves seek a hidden treasure in the mountains.
– A blood mage believes magic users are superior to their mortal counterparts.
– An Elfen Archon is reaching his twilight years. He recounts how he and his brothers first sailed to the mainland.
– An Ibta is banished from his clan after killing another, forced to complete a rite of atonement.
– A mage hunter returns a bounty to the capital.
– Someone is killing the old High Elf Lords. All eyes turn to a scion of their noblest family.
– An heir lives a life of luxury while his father fears him dead.
– A dwarfen guild master, long-banished, works studiously in an abandoned fort.
– Colonists continue to explore the uncharted lands of the east, delving further into primitive Tsajari territory.
– A hunter travels every part of the world in pursuit of glory and forgiveness.
– A storm lord falls, only to find his faith renewed.
– The new king has dominion over the largest kingdom, at least in terms of populace. At his disposal he also has the brightest minds in the realm, not to mention its most feared assassin, Bae’horlin the Ghost.
– The Eastern kingdom may be the oldest but has long lost its way. Dogmatic leaders bound by tradition and outdated customs have been the catalyst for migration to the south and beyond where trade is plentiful as are opportunities out of service and lifelong fealty to hereditary lords.
– The west kingdom is brought into a new era having shrugged off its feudal chains. The last emperor has been renounced and a republic is formed, helmed by its first _____ whose involvement in the previous campaign saw the fall of a tyrant. Still young and inexperienced, he is ushered into office where he must try to rouse some of the more reluctant of his generals.
Mages who possess the powers of mind control.
Considered even more dangerous as blood mages as the have the power to bend the will of man. However, their numbers are few, a couple of hundred perhaps. Like most mages and other magic users their powers come to them naturally and are often discovered by accident.
Religion: The Archknight lead a rebellion against The Slave King and his thralls.
King 3 vs Tyrant
Think Dong Zhuo. Fought fervently against the southern rebellions to help the emperor retain his throne but was secretly instrumental in the death of his son, leaving the kingdom without a ruler. His original plan was to use his fame and renown from the campaign to win the hearts and minds of both the grand assembly and common folk. During the rebellion, his efforts are matched -and arguably surpassed- by other generals and noble lords. He eventually speaks with his advisor, who convinces him to attack his political opponents. When the covert approach fails, he is forced to declare war, hoping his mercenary contingent will help him secure victory. His campaign soon starts to fall apart:
Ideas for characters, their appearance, and potentially what role they play in the book.
Piracy, raiding, and seafaring. Here are some ideas about what kind of stories unfold upon the high seas.
Although there are cultures in this world on the edge of discovery and innovation, most still see the universe as something created by God-like beings. This section explores some real-world religions and those that feature in the book.
Inspired by Arabic/Chinese history and culture, Shara Dauv lies in the East and, despite its distance from the mainland kingdoms, plays a significant role in how the story plays out.
Various set pieces inspired by films, books, and other media.