Beasts and Monsters

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

 

In today’s blog post we are going to talk about the beasts and monsters of Sha’uru.  Antioch is unique in that there is a higher concentration of fantastical beasts and monsters than anywhere else in the developed world.  This is due mostly to the development that the Dur, Nisse and Humans have pushed into the wild places of the old world, and the vibrancy of Antioch itself.  All manner of species and breeds of beasts such as tigers, lions, bears, boars, and sharks have been cataloged by Antioch explorers.  There are also the large grey animals known as Hippopotamus and Rhinoceros that are wholly unique to the continent. There are also beasts and monsters that were thought to have been wiped out in the old world, but found in great number in Antioch.  Spider-Scorpions, Owl-Bears and Piranha-Eels have flourished on the continent, as most of the active leyline energies are unregulated and wild.  There may also be other types of yet undiscovered beasts for to catalog and hunt.

Monsters such as Trolls, Orcs, and Ogres have also been reported, but so far explorers have had difficulty locating their habitats.  We have covered Orcs in a previous post, so today we will briefly talk about Ogres and Trolls.  In Sha’uru, Trolls are lanky green humanoids with rock like scales on their forehead, nose and chin.  They are omnivorous and aggressive, and can digest almost anything, but prefer fresh meat.  They are very clever and strong, and prefer to catch their prey in traps rather than attacking them outright.  They have been known to toy with their prey if it is sentient and ask them a series of riddles, promising to let them go if they answer correctly.  These promises are seldom kept. Ogres are larger and stronger than Trolls but lack the troll’s intelligence and cunning.  What they lack in brains they make up for in brutality and raw power.  Ogres have been known to be able to knock down full grown trees for their amusement or to use as clubs.  They have bright orange skin and are carnivores, preferring sentient creatures over animals.  Ogres are simple to trick but react very poorly when they find they have been fleeced.  It is not uncommon to hear an Ogres temper tantrum from miles away.  Their favorite treats are Goblinites, as they are rare and bite sized.

 

 

Parma

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

 

Today we get back on track with the rest of the human republics.  Today we deal with Parma, on the Southeast shores of the Blackwater sea.

 

Republic Name: Parma

Capital City: Novara

Cities of Note: Catania, Ancona

Major Commerce: Tourism, Trade

Minor Commerce: Law Services, Cuisine

 

Description:  Parma is located to the south of Greisslund and directly north of the Durish lands, as such, the entire Republic tends to be a cosmopolitan mix of Durish and Human denizens. Parma is unique in that it is the only Republic that does not produce anything as part of its major commerce.  The other republics tend to joke that major export of Parma is bureaucracy, as the proximity to the other major nations of the world have made magistrates, barristers and customs officials a necessary part of everyday life.  The Novaran Archival Repository is the largest record keeping body in all of the Confederacy, as all of the other Republics are required to send copies of their inter-republic and international legal documents  to the Parman capital.  This is so that visiting merchants and nobles from the Nisse and Durish lands can access the public documents without having to travel to the more remote parts of the human lands.  Parma is also known for its top rated restaurants, hotels and inns, as well as opulent seaside resorts.  Its proximity to the border of both the Vrachos and Vuono Dur communities also means that it tends to be a haven for runaway Gnomes, which creates a strange juxtaposition of beautiful marinas who’s piers are also home to vagabonds and runaway Gnomes.  

Found Skills Part 2

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Earlier in the year we made a post about character progression beyond the basic classes and general skill list.  If you weren’t around then and want to take a read you can find the post here or here:

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Gentlemen and Ladies, Today’s post is going to be about hidden skills, aka found…

Posted by Aurum Larp on Thursday, June 8, 2017

 

Today’s post is going to continue by giving you another taste.  We’ve decided give you all a peek at some (not all) of the found skills that can be learned.  We will not be revealing HOW you can achieve them, but we felt that if you get a general sense of some of the things you can achieve, then perhaps it may inspire some new character goals for you folks.  So take a look and let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

 

Skill Name: Fiddle and Tinker Pre-requisites: ?????????????????
AP Cost: Permanent Skill XP Cost: 3
Description: As per Aetheric Tampering, only with Physics devices.  May not be used on Physics devices that do not have a listed duration.

 

Skill Name: Physician’s Call Pre-requisites: ???????????????
AP Cost: 2 XP Cost: 1
Description: Target an injured character within earshot.  So long as you continue to encourage and call out to the character they may move toward you nofaster than a jogging pace instead of a heel to toe/crawl pace.

 

Skill Name: Inspire Pre-requisites: ???????????
AP Cost: 2 XP Cost: 1
Description: After 5 seconds of roleplay give your target 3 temporary Action Points for 1 encounter. You may not target yourself and you may not target another with this skill more than once per encounter.

 

Skill Name: Gagging Strike Pre-requisites: ??????????????
AP Cost: 1 XP Cost: 3
Description: The target is silenced and unable to talk for 1 minute.  Reminder: Speech is required for all Occult ritual casting, activating the charm skill, and other similar oratory hidden skill.

The Bloodless War of House Ayanz

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

Today’s post is a little bit of Oranous Dur Lore to whet your appetite, and also give you a sense of how recent the Oranous are as a sovereign people.

The Bloodless War

The Oranous Dur have existed as their own culture for only 68 years, prior to that all of the great houses of The Oranous Dur claimed membership in the nation of the Vuono Dur.  Their separation and insistence on being their own sovereign nation within the Forged Kingdom  came as part of the Bloodless War of 1799.  The Bloodless War was so named because it was fought fiscally rather than physically.  It was started by house Ayanz and some of its lesser allies, who had grown tired of the heavy taxes levied on steam technology and aurum ore.  Many of those supporting the cause of house Ayanz began to remove the heavy metal adornments of their beards and replacing them with feathers instead, to symbolize the removal of a great burden for a symbol of freedom.  The year long period of boycotts, company espionage, and raucous pub crawl protests eventually lead to the signing of the Brass Accord between the Oranous, Vrachos and Vuono leadership.  

Though the Oranous are the more brash and hasty of the Durish people, the seeds of discontent that lead to the Bloodless War were sewn over 200 years prior, with the invention of the very first steam powered machine in 1606.  Jethro of house Ayanz invented a machine that used steam in order to pump water from underground lakes and rivers throughout Mount Grausaule.  

The technology was quickly developed to pump water for mining purposes, which catapulted Ayanz and its allied houses into prominence.  Over the course of the next 190 years, the technology was refined by house Ayanz with the invention of the steam locomotive engine in 1781 and the first sky ship in 1796.  This progress came with a price, which was the ire of both the older Vuono Noble houses and the Vand Nisse shipping conglomerates.  

The Tribes of Barlethan Style Guide

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

 

First, we want to quickly thank everyone who showed up to Metatopia for our final Beta test.  The data we gathered was pretty helpful and we look forward to putting it to good use.  Additionally, in to service members of the community that require accessibility accommodations, we have added the accessibility@aurumlarp.com email to our site.  Should you have additional questions, suggestions or needs regarding accessibility, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

 

For today’s post I’ve decided to scrounge up some imagery on the internet in order to better portray some examples of costuming for the Tribes of Barlethan.  The different communities that claim membership within Barlethan vary from region to region.  The two things that unify them all is that their community at large shuns city life and high steam technology.  They prefer to live in the vast rural places of the northern continent using simple mechanical tools that allow them to work the land.  They are also masters of alchemy, as this is the highest expression of using the bounty of nature in order to produce wondrous effects.  Beyond that, individual member cultures vary vastly in style and dress.  Some prefer to wear only furs and leathers, while others prefer hand woven cotton and muslin.  The beads that denote their tribe of origin is the one universal they all have in common (though that could also vary in design and color),  Below are some examples, I hope they inspire you to play a Barlethan at our game.

The Wayfaring Seekers

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Gentlemen and Ladies,

 

In today’s lore drop we are going to start talking about the Wayfaring Seekers. We’ve had quite a fair amount of information about some of the Republics in the human lands, but we haven’t talked about the humans with no homeland, or more accurately, all of Sha’uru is their homeland.  The Wayfaring Seekers have been around for a little over sixty years, but their free style of living and wanderlust has been infectious throughout the lands of the Republics.  The movement was founded by Matt Starling, a charismatic young occultist who was sick of everyone accepting the decline of the magical arts.  Born Peter-Loras Vodelair to a wealthy Occitane family, Matt forsook both his inheritance and his former name on the evening of his eighteenth name day to make his own way in the world.  He held to the belief that the decline of magic could be restored through the use of an artifact known as “The Keystone” that was rumored to have existed in ancient Sha’uru.  As he wandered the world, he inspired others to join him in his quest, and over the course of twenty years his views had caught on throughout the Republic to the point that many politicians began branding Seekers as vagabonds that sought to corrupt the minds of impressionable youths.  In the summer of 1824, a group of constables attempted to bar Starling and his followers from entering into Brighton.  The summer had been particularly hot, and the band had camped along the Agrinion River just outside the city while a few of them attempted to enter the Brighton seeking supplies. A combination of the head and political upheaval riled up by the aristocracy against the wayfarers had stirred the people to the point that the authorities feared what would happen should Starling and his people enter Brighton.  This angered some of Starling’s band and things turned violent.  Starling himself attempted to calm everyone down, but an unknown assailant threw a rock at his head, triggering a full scale riot.  Starling knew that eventually the city folk would come for the rest of his people, so he attempted to make his way to the camp to warn the rest, but was shot near the banks of the Agrinion River before he could reach the camp.  The death of Matt Starling and ensuing riots unified the Wayfaring Seekers in a sobering way.  They realized that if their movement was to survive, they needed to have friends and allies and foster a message of peace and friendship.  The Seekers began to develop trade routes and connecting caravans as a way to both foster allies and set a network of informants across Sha’uru, should any news of The Keystone arise.  In honor of Starling’s death, the practice of tattooing themselves with a compass rose became universal amongst the Wayfaring Seekers.  Forty four years after the death of Matt Starling, the Wayfarer’s numbers have grown considerably, and they can be found traveling throughout world.

Goblins

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

With Halloween just around the corner I though it would be fitting to do a plot lore post about Goblins in the land of Sha’Uru.  In previous posts we have discussed the current goblin kingdom in General terms, as well as slightly touched upon the Goblin surrender at the end of the Orc War in 1568 and their release from human enslavement in 1668.

For the last 200 years goblin society has developed through close partnership with the humans of the Empire (or for the last 80 years the Republics).  During the 100 year period of Goblin enslavement, there were many goblins who ran away and set up small communities in the wild places of the world.  Deep underground or in remote deserts, swamps and forests, these goblins consisted of the Goblin King and members of his court.  When the Goblin People were freed, the King at the time, Cuaitl Ixcitl The First, emerged from the wilderness and immediately consolidated his power.  Not much is known about the Goblin civil war to outsiders, but it is believed based on tangential evidence that the campaign lasted no more than a few years.  The wild goblins were more brutal than their docile cousins that grew up in the human lands, and this brutality served to place King Ixcitl in power and divide goblins into two castes.  The Ruling Caste is compromised primarily of Wild Goblins and the few captured goblins who sided with the king, while the Common Caste encompassed the rest of goblin kind.  Though there are some exceptions, surnames of the Ruling Caste tend to be traditional Goblin ones like Ixcitl, Xipetotec, Zanicoehua, and Atl.  Commoner Caste surnames tend to derive from the names given to them by humans during their time of servitude.  Surnames like Blacktooth, Sharpclaw, Rattlerasp, and Cellarscratcher.  Goblins of the commoner caste are constantly plotting and jockeying for position in order to enter the ruler caste.  Those of the ruling caste compete for the King’s favor while plotting schemes to gain prominence within the world of Sha’Uru.

It was very apparent to King Ixcitl that a campaign of force would not work to consolidate his kingdom outside of his borders.  The truce forged by the humans was too fragile, and the other races of the world far outnumbered the Goblins.  So the Goblins leveraged their talent for Alchemy, and then pressed this advantage to establish themselves.  Their greatest alchemical invention, The Homunculi, is their most profitable to date.  Within the last 50 years that Homunculi have been available for purchase, their demand has skyrocketed, as the world has become more industrialized and the rise of Aurum Steam Technology paved the way for wealthy merchants and nobles alike.  Even the Dwarves cannot deny utility of Homunculi servants, and a few of the noble houses have made purchases through secondary agents.  It is this economic boom that has allowed the current goblin King, Ixno Dynda Xipetotec, to press forward into Antioch on their own without the help of the other races and set up Vice Landing.

Event Dates and Metatopia 2017

Good evening, Expeditionists!

We have two pieces of great news! First, our module for Metatopia 2017 has been scheduled. Thanks to the amazing people over at Double Exposure, Inc. we will be doing our final playtest on Saturday Nov 4 from 4p – 6p! We will be utilizing our full ruleset (not our convention rules) and asking players to roleplay with pre-generated characters of varying levels.  Our foremost goal is to get a feel of the viability and balance of varying level characters in roleplay and combat situations.  We will also still be watching out for skill interactions, power combos, enjoyment of play and so on. If you are interested in being a part of this, tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

 

Secondly, we have more dates scheduled! Check out the main webpage here to see the (mostly full) schedule.  You can also view our event page to get more information about the different camps we have booked, such as the address and accommodations. We’re so excited to be so close to providing you a nearly full years worth of Steampunk-y, teamworking, magical fun!

Vand Nisse (Sea Elves)

It’s been some time since we’ve done a lore post, so today we have a bit more to whet your palate. Let’s get right into it and do some more talking about the Vand Nisse (Sea Elves).

 

 

The Vand Nisse tend to live near the coast or on islands, but are rarely found in areas further inland.  Their culture is so strongly tied to sea fairing that most outsiders think of the Vand Nisse as either the Forbund Af Nisse navy or a collection of pirates crews.  However, there is more to the sea than piracy and war.  The Vand Nisse control a great deal of merchant houses that run import and export businesses, fisheries, shipyards, and more.  The Forbund Af Nisse ports are all Vand Nisse controlled including those that have been recently founded on the northern coast of Antioch.

 

At sea, the Vand Nisse tend govern themselves politically in small groups that are beholden to larger groups, electing captains to lead the crew, who then elect an admiral to manage the fleet.  On land they elect officials to govern the local areas every 5 years.  These elected officials (whether the elder of a small coastal village or the governor of a major seaport) create counsels to assist them in governing. Though there is no rule that specifically mandates this, most elected officials on land, tend to be retired captains or rich ship owning merchants.  Captains serve until they lose the confidence of their crew, and the same goes for elected officials on land.  Should an official displease the masses, special elections to replace them may be organized by the community, which creates some of the more political savvy rulers in Sha’Uru. The Forbund Af Nisse’s position as a whole is that the slaying of corrupt officials is forbidden, however the sea is vast and accidents can happen.

The main source of Vand Nisse power comes from controlling five port cities: Sydlige Haven on the southern cape, Svardfisk to the south west, Mellemhavet to the west, Hvalfangstby to the north west, and Menneskehjem on the northern cape bordering the Human Republics.  Menneskehjem is the largest of the port cities.  Being near the Republics and the Forged Kingdom makes it the center of imports and exports by sea for the Forbund Af Nisse.  It also contains the largest presence of navy ships and dry docks to maintain them.  It is rumored that the best blockade-runners among the Vand Nisse are made in Menneskehjem as it is quite profitable to get past the prying eyes of the Republic naval blockades. Menneskehjem also quarters the embassies for the other Kingdoms making it one of the most culturally diverse cities in the Forbund Af Nisse.

 

The sea is a harsh mistress.  While other cultures might seek to overcome nature the Vand Nisse know better and scoff at such endeavors.  One must respect the sea and find ways to work with it to survive it’s onslaught.  The Vand Nisse are one of the few cultures that try to predict the weather and keep long records of weather patterns and changes.  There are rumors of Vand Nisse magics that can predict weather and even older stories of captains that could affect the weather to calm the seas.

Immersion, Occult and You!

Good Afternoon Gentlemen, Sentient Creatures and Ladies,

Today’s post is prompted by a recent question from someone in the community.  We were asked “Does Occult have to be witchcraft type stuff or could a player flavor his Occult rituals as, say, ancient prayers?”  This is a very good question as it plays into our intent with a lot of the crafting skills in the game.  So let’s start by saying that what we are interested in when it come to Occult (and to a lesser extent Science and Alchemy) is that players adhere to the casting time and components of rituals.  That’s it for what is mandatory for use of the Occult skill.  Theoretically one could just sit and whistle for 15 minutes over an Amber Stone and two Textile components to make a Warding charm.  

But is that fun for you and others?  Remember that immersion is not just about entertaining yourself, it is about a collective atmosphere that is created when players all engage each other in play. So if your character is an adherent of one of the two out of three in-game legal religions, and you wish to create a warding charm by praying for protection over an Amber Stone and two Textile components (or better yet, ask another player who is aligned with the same religion to join you in the blessing), then so be it.  There are a few caveats though that are a matter of policy.  We ask that you use as little reference to real world religions as possible, even if you yourself are an adherent to one of those religions.  We understand that not everyone is creative, and that re-wording real world prayers and religious rites is simple, but in those cases we would ask that you simply ask staff for a viable suggestion or use the recommended method of casting the ritual.  We also ask that you be mindful of other players and of the properties we rent for events.  Once upon a time there was a player who approached us as staff at a different  game and asked if he could slaughter a live animal at one of our events.  This may be a different game, but it’s the same answer, NO!!!

Players who come up with really unique and immersive experience for their rituals may find that they are rewarded for their effort and entertainment of other players, not just in the memories and experiences that they share in the community, but also in the attention that the plot staff will provide to those that prove they want to create a more fun game for other players.

These blog posts have a comment section, please feel free to leave a comment with questions or suggestions for occult rituals in Aurum.