I am going to at least start out 2024 doing Lore 24. A year is a long time, and who knows if I will keep it up.
The idea of Lore 24, as I understand it, is the write a usable ‘piece’ of lore every day. Person, place, or thing (or event). It doesn’t have to be a new idea, you can formalize something you have already been using in your world.
I have an encyclopedia for my world where I write bite sized bits of lore, Lore 24 seems like a good excuse to add to this encyclopedia and edit entries I have written in the past.
If anyone is interested in reading them, I will post them here.
Lore 24 (minus 4)
The two most important historical figures in my world are Ignimius the Divine and Urna the Great. I went through and edited their entries in our encyclopedia.
Ignimius the Divine
year: -75 to 24, 999 to 1002
The most important cultural figure in history, Ignimius was born in the principality of Illia. He joined the armies of Urna and fought in the later part of the Substratum Wars. The horrors of war led him to become a priest. Ten years later Valroon, came to Ignimius in a vision and told him to start a new church that would be a strong, active, and powerful force in humanity’s culture. Ignimius and his followers started the Imposition of the Faith to create that church. Ignimius was the personal rival of Urna the Great, and opposed the Conclave at every turn, only cooperating with it to destroy all recorded history before year 0 in what came to be called The Winnowing. His resurrection in 999 reunited humanity. He led the fight against the goblins in the Second Goblin War as the first true emperor since the time of Urna. Ignimius was killed in the last battle of that war.
Urna the Great
year: -115 to 100
The most important political figures in history, Urna was born the second son of the ruler of the unimportant principality of Illia. He discovered magic and became the first human wizard. He used that power to conquer the human world in the Substratum Wars and formed the Urnum Empire. A personal rival of the other most important figure in history, Ignimius the Divine, Urna opposed his Church at every turn; only cooperating with it to destroy all recorded history before year 0 in what has come to be called The Winnowing. He disappeared in the year 100. Divination revealed that he was dead but nothing else can be learned and his soul cannot be contacted.
These are the two central organizations in the world, each founded by one of the two figures above.
The Church of Ignimius
The Church of Ignimius is the cultural center of humanity. It worships the one true god Valroon and venerates its heroes from the past, called Paragons. Chief among them is its founder Ignimius the Divine. The church’s principle mission is the guidance of humanity into a successful, powerful culture. Its principle virtue is submission to, or participation in, that guidance. Because of the existence of the supernatural, it is beyond dispute that those who live in accordance with the church go to Paradise when they die and those who live in opposition to it (typified by The Conclave) go to Punishment when they die. This means there is no cogent argument that the Church of Ignimius is not working for people’s best interest, and those who oppose or question the Church of Ignimius have either made serious missteps in reasoning or have very sophisticated, nonutilitarian philosophies.
The Conclave is an amoral organization of wizards and is one of the two most powerful institutions in the world, along with the Church of Ignimius. The Conclave was originally made up of the apprentices of Urna the Great. Its membership expanded as more humans learned the secrets of magic. The Conclave considers its members outside the authority of kings and kingdoms and has the power to enforce that idea. Its rules change over time but generally all humans that can cast magic are forced to join under penalty of death and no violence of any kind is allowed on Conclave grounds. The influence of the Conclave has risen and fallen throughout history and was much diminished after the Great Abeyance in 1291.
The two ‘wars’ that shaped the ancient history of the world. Now is probably a good time to say that these encyclopedia entries are meant to be player facing, so they don’t necessarily represent a 100% factual and unbiased account of history.
Year: -92 to -55
This series of wars was waged by Urna the Great, unified the human world under his rule in the Urnum Empire. At the time most humans lived in settled, or semi-settled bronze age cultures. During these wars Urna demanded little from the concurred except soldiers and fealty. He left their debouched and vicious cultures, religions, and leaders in place. The particulars of these wars are largely unknown as it happened before The Winnowing.
Imposition of the Faith
Year: -30 to -11
The Imposition of the Faith is the term given to the violent and non-violent efforts of Ignimius to free all humans from the depraved Old Way religion and the cultural domination of the elves by bringing mankind together under his Church. In the popular imagination at the end of the Imposition all human religions were subsumed under the Church of Ignimius, or had been destroyed. In reality numerous religions remained, some in isolated locations, others practiced in secret. Many of the particulars of this war are unknown as it happened before The Winnowing.
This is only Day 4 since I started Lore 2024 (and I isn’t 2024 yet). So far I have only been editing existing entries in my lore encyclopedia, but I am very happy with how this framework has pushed me to go back and improve the entries that make up the core elements of my setting.
The Winnowing started as a contrivance so that I wouldn’t have to write an infinitely long history for my setting, but it has become an important plot point for several campaigns and is now a central piece of ‘flavor’ for the world. The Winnowing starts recorded history at year 0. For reference we usually play from 800-1000 but have played campaigns set as early as the year 221 and as late as the year 1522.
For unknown reasons, Urna the Great and Ignimius the Divine worked together to destroy all record of the past before the arbitrary year 0. The motivation for this is entirely unknown, but it must have had overwhelming popular support, since it required suppression of events still within recent memory. By the year 100 both the Church of Ignimius and the Conclave had become fanatical in enforcing the Winnowing, going so far as destroying mundane administrative records, deeds, and defacing tombstones. By 150 it was a capital office to possess any piece of writing written before the year 0, no matter how trivial.
Great stuff! I’ll be starting my own Lore24 journey, hopefully today.
For the first actual day of Lore 24, here is the first villain I have posted so far.
Malivar the Damned
year: -49 to -28, 222 to ?
In life, Malivar was a petty priest-king of a moderately large tribe living north of the City of Urna. After he tried to assassinate Ignimius during a negotiation, the first battles of the Imposition of the Faith were fought against him and his tribe. Suffering continual loses he fled into the Stallion Forest, pursued by Theomond the Convert. Malivar eventually made a pact with the demon princess Ralrut to be able to continue to fight the forces of Ignimius forever, turning him into an undead warrior. But he was betrayed by Ralrut and was trapped in his tomb. Malivar was released from his tomb in 222, and began wondering the world continuing his war on the Church of Ignimius.
Year: -55 to 250, 999 to 1291
In -55 Urna the Great conquered all of the inhabited world, sans a few frontiers and out of the way areas. Over the next 100 year the great cities of the Empire were rebuilt. With the aid of dwarven allies magnificent marble building of all types were constructed along with mighty walls, aqueducts, and sewer systems. After Urna’s disappearance in the year 100 the Empire was administered by the Conclave. The Conclave’s mismanagement and various moral failings eventually caused the populus to rebel and the Empire was dissolved in 250. Ironically 750 years later the Empire was reformed by Ignimius, Urna’s hated rival, upon Ignimius’ resurrection. This time the empire lasted almost 300 years led by Bram the Malkavian and his successors. This incarnation of the Empire fell because of the Great Abeyance, which destroyed the empire thanks to its heavy reliance on miracles and magic.
My game is called “Claymore Role Playing Game” but for decades there was no reason for the name. So here are a group of powerful artifact claymores, retroactively explaining the name. The stats for the Claymores are giving at the bottom
Claymores of Abolition
year: -30 to ??
The Claymores of Abolition are a collection of 17 holy claymores made for Ignimius the Divine by Keese the Dissonant, one of his original followers. Three types were created, all were used in the Imposition of the Faith, and all were designed to combat heathens and heretics. Twelve Lesser Claymores of Abolition grant bonuses to hit. Four Greater Claymores of Abolition grant bonuses to damage. A single True Claymore of Abolition was made and functions as a bane weapon. Most of the Claymores of Abolition had multiple owners during the Imposition of the Faith, many of whom died during those conflicts. By the time the Imposition was over, four of the Lesser, two of the Greater, and the True Claymore of Abolition were lost. The True Claymore of Abolition was recovered in 222 by the Forerunners of the Republic from the tomb of Malivar the Damned.
Lesser Claymores of Abolition
This claymore appears to be solidly made. The hilt has a blue gemstone set in it and both cross guards have red gems set in them. Twelve claymores of this type were made during The Imposition of the Faith.
(Miracle—Ignimius) Res: 60% ID: +0
Major Relic in the Church of Ignimius.
• +5% to Hit, +2 to Dam, +1 to Speed
• +25% to hit versus Heathens and Heretics
Greater Claymores of Abolition
This claymore appears to be solidly made. The hilt has a blue gemstone set in it and both cross guards have red gems set in them. Four claymores of this type were made during The Imposition of the Faith.
(Miracle—Ignimius) Res: 80% ID: +0
Major Relic in the Church of Ignimius. Counts as a Legendary Relic for miracles in the Combat sphere.
• +10% to Hit, +4 to Dam, +1 to Speed
• +10 to Dam versus Heathens and Heretics
True Claymore of Abolition
This claymore appears to be solidly made. The hilt has a blue gemstone set in it and both cross guards have red gems set in them. Only one of these claymores was made during The Imposition of the Faith.
(Miracle—Ignimius) Res: 100% ID: +0
Legendary Relic in the Church of Ignimius.
• +20% to Hit, +8 to Dam, +2 to Speed
• Truebane versus Heathen and Heretic (When this weapon draws blood against a heathen or heretic they are killed.)
One of the strange aspects of my fantasy world is that it is more or less monotheistic. Valroon is the good guy, Eshrenel is the bad guy.
Valroon is the most powerful entity in existence. He created the world with the help of the Celestial Beings. He never (or rarely) acts directly. The Church of Ignimius is seemingly the only worship he finds acceptable (although logically this could not have always been the case). Those that die in the good graces of that church have an afterlife in Paradise, those who do not have an afterlife in Punishment. In this sense Valroon defines morality. Valroon is not all powerful, and whether he is all knowing, in a philosophical sense, is debatable. Because of the verifiable presence of the supernatural, the existence of Valroon is rarely doubted and is seen as a fundamental reality.
Eshrenel was the Warlord of Paradise and Valroon’s chief servant. Shortly after the creation of the world he rebelled against Valroon. Legendary monsters and many mortal creatures were created during this war and its battles shaped the land and sea. After Eshrenel lost that war, he was imprisoned in Punishment with the Celestial Beings that followed him. In philosophical circles Eshrenel in sometimes thought to be indirectly responsible for all evil in the world. This is not emphasized in the Church of Ignimius, which favors personal accountability.
I’ll try to have something for the weekly prompt tomorrow!
I thought about the weekly prompt at work today and came up with this. But now I am looking at the prompt and it says it should be a THING! I didn’t see that last night! Failure
Prompt: Thing, seer/medium, roseate, victorious.
The Ventae are three female Celestial Beings that dictate the fates of man and are the only beings in creation that know the future. They are usually portrayed as enacting the will of Valroon but are sometimes portrayed as a check against it. The first is named Rees, who causes true successes and is depicted in red to salmon-colored robes. The second is Purdit, who causes true defeats and is depicted in yellow robes. The third is Ambigua, who causes victories you later regret, defeats that end up saving you, draws, and other ambiguous outcomes. She wears orange, or sometime grey robes. All three use winds as the vehicles to transmit their influence.
Demerit! 2 points deducted!
Here is, at least, a THING related to my Lore24 entry above, which related it the weekly prompt.
Lots of the Ventae
This 8-sided dice is said to have been created by Ambigua. It is 1 and ½ inch from tip to tip and made from a matt, polished, white, very uniform substance with black letters recessed into its faces. Three faces have an R, two are blank, and the last three have a P.
(Miracle—Ignimius) Res: 100% ID: -20%
• 1/day, before making any percentile role, the possessor of this die may cast it. On the role of an R the roller gains a +10% to whatever he is trying to do, on the role of a P the roller receives a -10%.
• If after casting this dice the roller chooses not to perform his intended action he is cursed, receiving a -10% to all percentile rolls, permanently.
• This object and its miraculous effects can not be Quelled, destroyed, influenced, or altered in any way by mortal creatures.
Here are some details about the organization of the Conclave.
Urna’s original 10 apprentices are known as Sorcerers. These apprentices eventually took apprentices themselves and the number of wizards in the world started to increase dramatically. Each Sorcerer started acting as a representative for his Wizard Line in a council formed to governed the Conclave. When the original Sorcerers died, members of their line elected new leaders and granted them the name of the deceased Sorcerer as a title. This continued with each passing generation, such that the leader of the line of Adny is always called Adny, even centuries after the death of the original Adny. This has at times given rise to the belief among the uneducated that the original Sorcerers are still alive.
A line of wizards is made up of all the wizards that can trace their mystical lineage back to one of the original Sorcerers, through an unbroken succession of master-apprentice relationships. All human and monstrous wizards are members of a line. There are 9 lines: Adny, Aldebaron, Atrofus, Dlem, Ideal, Marcus, Phos, Syric, and Xyarn. Additionally, there are two lines that are special cases. All monsters belong to the line of Yip-Tid. Lastly gnomes and a few human illusionists are members of the line of Quaggmyre. Wizards generally display traits that are common to their line, but many also will display the opposite of one or more of those traits.
The majority of dwarves have always lived under the World Edge Mountains in what human’s call the Dwarven Kingdom. But until the year 404, many dwarves also lived among humans and were great allies of the Church of Ignimius. They fought in the Imposition of the Faith, and rebuilding many human cities. However, after that war’s conclusion the dwarves grew increasing frustrated with humanity. They grew tired of constantly shifting human politics and dying in what they saw as pointless human civil wars. Most dwarfs sealed themselves under their great mountain range in the year 404. From that year until 999 the memory of dwarves faded and they came to be seen as greatly dishonorable, practically evil. It was not until Ignimius’ resurrection that contact was restored, allowing armies of dwarves to fight in the Second Goblin War and renew their friendship with man.
Temple of Ignimius the Divine
Year: c110 to
The construction of the Temple of Ignimius the Divine in the Great City of Urna was started by Millen the Architect around the year 110. It took decades to construct and is an architectural wonder of classical design. Its central dome is the largest manmade enclosed space in the world and was built by filling its interior volume with dirt and building the dome on top of the fill. Large silver coins (worth 2.5s) were mixed with the dirt. The massive amount of soil was removed by simply allowing the people of the city to take as much dirt as they wished and keep any silver within. The temple is the spiritual and administrative center of the Church of Ignimius. It is said that the Celestial Being Ara protects all within the structure from both spiritual and physical attack.
Conclave Tower Building c-30 to
Built by Urna the Great, in the city that bears his name, Conclave Tower is the tallest construction in the world and one of the most important buildings in the world. In a time of classical architecture, the tower was built in a radically new style. The architecture of the tower was so striking that it became the catalyst for a whole new school of architecture, the gothic style. Although it took builders several hundred years to be able to duplicate in stone what Urna created with magic. Throughout history the tower has served as home for many of the Sorcerers. Rumors persist that miracles, no matter how powerful, will not function within the tower.
Below is a picture of the Temple of Ignimius the Divine and the Conclave Tower in Urna.
I had a professional artist draw them for me, for no reason other than I had too much money lying around. But it was worth it. I unironically love this image. By way of Credit here is where the artist posted the image on Deviant Art, if you are interested you can probably get ahold of him there.
That is a beautiful render!
I thought of a legendary monster killed in a past campaign that almost fits the weekly prompt. So I wrote it up.
Year: killed 993
The Unspeakable Terror was a monster that prevented the dwarfs of the Dwarfhold Mountains from accessing a mythril mine. In hopes of indebted the dwarfs to them, the Greater Soldiers took it upon themselves to kill the Terror. The dwarfs emphatically told them not to and would literally not speak about the Terror. In fact, when High Priest G’Lun said, “Even if you win you will rather you had died,” he lost his priest powers for speaking of the unspeakable. The Terror turned out to be a vastly powerful rust monster, atracted to iron and steel, but could destroy any metal even magical items. Upon encountering the beast, the Greater Soldiers realized that their powerful mystical items were in danger. Donovan fled the scene. Octavius stayed and fought, having already lost all his items at the beginning of the encounter. Only Gus the Archer heroically stood his ground. Sirrus and Gareth spent parts of the battle casting spells from a distance, but at key moments also fled in an attempt to save their mystical items. Having initially panicked and lost his only remaining metal item, Curran returned to the battle, and along with Octavius and Gus the Archer, defeated the Terror (21 Dec 993), earning great reward.
Speaking of the Greater Soldiers (above) here is an entry about them. In an effort to keep things short and modular the entry below leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Who is Rothren? What was Ander’s demon pact? Entries for another day!
The Greater Soldiers
The Greater Soldiers were a group of heroes that were largely responsible for defeating the goblin forces in Delmorr during the First Goblin War. Among their other accomplishments, they killed the Great Smoke Grunder and Frizin the Coin Maker, and rescued humans that were being used as slaves in his mine. They slue the Unspeakable Terror of the Dwarfhold Mountains. Their most influential victory was the killing of the Beast of Mischief Bay which allowed several legions to be brought into Delmorr from Urna. They later joined those legions and facilitated corporation between the legionary forces and the distrustful Dellic militia. That corporation was instrumental in the military campaigns that eventually destroyed the goblin armies in Delmorr. However, their reputation is badly tarnished by two failures; their early work aiding Rothren, who turned out to be one of the principle leaders of the goblins in the North and their failure to detect Anders’ demon pact before it was too late.
I was one of those Greater Soldiers (Curran)!