Lore24 - Terance's Thread

Hey everyone., it’s Terance!

I’ve created several homebrew settings since I started roleplaying in 1998 or so and each one has had stuff that I liked and stuff ultimately didn’t work for me. So I’m taking the Lore24 challenge as a chance to reimagine, compile, and remix the disparate parts I liked into what will be a (hopefully) cohesive whole.

So let’s start off the revised World of Xerth with a Big Bang with and the oldest lore there is…

The Creation of the Universe -

  • The oldest tale of the beginning of the universe is similar in dozens of the ancient cultures of Xerth and while the individual details vary from culture to culture the core of the story remains the same. It is the story of the Books of Creation.

  • First there was The Before, and no one knows what the Before held save those who came before.

  • Then came the Primal Chaos and washed away the Before and the Primal Chaos was everything. It was a formless sea of unfathomable potential roiling on forever and ever, and not even time existed to mark its beginning or define its parameters.

  • After an unknowable age a group of unknowable spirits called the Ten Elder Vanguards came to the Primal Chaos from a nameless outside place and with them they brought the Books of Creation.

  • Each Elder Vanguard bore a single volume of the Books of Creation and in turn they read from a book.

  • The Vanguard of Time, called Father Epoch, read from The Book of Chronology

  • The Vanguard of Materia, called Elder Stone, read from The Book of Substance

  • The Vanguard of Space, called Elder Sky, read from The Book of Boundaries

  • The Vanguard of Patterns, called Elder Architect, read from The Book of Forms

  • The Vanguard of Life, called The First Mother, read from The Book of Vitality

  • The Vanguard of Energy, called Elder Lightening, read from The Book of Energy

  • The Vanguard of Knowledge, called Elder Rubric, read from The Book of Inspiration

  • The Vanguard of Wisdom, called Elder Shadows, read from The Book of Philosophy

  • The Vanguard of Names, called Elder Rune, read from The Book of Nomenclature

  • The Vanguard of Endings, called Death, read from The Book of Entropy

  • And after the final page of the final book was read, the Elder Vanguards stepped into the new and multitudinous worlds they spawned and hid the books of creation.

  • Then they left a message deep within the memories of the first living things, memories that passed down through every generation.

  • It was a warning.

  • It said that if the books ever come together again the cycle of creation must begin once more.

But only fools would attempt something so mad.

Lore24 Jan 1


lol 2 days in and already late. Anyway here’s yesterday’s post. Just hitting the macro stuff

The Shape of the World

The World of Xerth is your bog standard spherical planet with a totally normal number of moons (three) and perfectly normal subterranean cavern networks where all manner of lost civilizations and ancient horrors remain hidden from the world above.

There are a non-peculiar number of continental land masses (6), oceans (4), and subcontinent sized petrified gods (1)

Its seas and oceans show a stable amount of sunken treasures and threats lurking in their dark depths and its skies suffer from no overabundance of demon winds, cursed storms, or cloud borne hidden fortresses.

There does seem to be a slightly higher than average level of background probability defying energies (AKA magic) which has resulted in gravitational anomalies, leyline entanglement, mystical mineral build-up, localized anachronistic distortions, dimensional breaches, curse mutation, spell effects lasting longer than 4 hours, and numerous other unforeseen side effects of long term magical build-up. That being said, the magic does lie within “safe” parameters for a world of its type.

In short Xerth, being an absolutely normal world, is the perfect place to be born, live a normal life, and die with dignity having been devoured in a statistically non-significant monster attack.

Lore24 Jan 2*



The First People?: A Never Ending Argument
And A Theoretic Solution by Lorma Wells, Prof. of Improbable Histories, Cloakhaven University.

Despite having a mostly commonly shared creation myth amongst the various people of Xerth we immediately begin running into problems of historicity after day one of the universe existing. For while time, space, matter, physics, and magic were all ticking along followed closely* by life, there’s something of a debate on which of the various creatures that inhabit the world were first to win the race to sapience**.

Humanity makes a strong claim as they are the most numerous and can point to animals they claim to share common ancestors with (which frankly the other races find pretty weird).

Giants say it is they who came first for the ancient world was made for them to thrive amongst the massive trees and animals that used to cover the Xerth.

Dragons claim that they were the first, but dragons are born liars who love to fabricate self congratulatory narratives.

The Cold Bloods claim that since scales and feathers came well before fur that they will be*** the oldest among the races.

Elves may act like they were here first (and further act like they own the place) but even the most general level of historical knowledge belies this idea.

Dwarves know it was them and they will not elaborate.

Other peoples who know (or assume to know) their exact origin on Xerth, Goblins and their varying subspecies, the Cold Bloods, the Grimkin, the Orcs and others may maintain secret or heretical narratives that reimagine them into roles of the primeval intelligences.

Hobs, as a side note, think the whole debate is stupid.

But is there a way to truly know? No, but one simply has to look at the species that has adapted to each and every ecological niche on the planet to find the most likely candidate.

That species is Trolls.


Trolls run the gamut from tiny cupboard dwelling nuisances to mountainous roving forces of nature. They resist extreme heat and cold, both arid and aquatic environments, and have seemingly shown up in the historical records all the way till the time where the record simply becomes myth… and they are well represented there as well.

One cannot sail to any corner of the Xerth and not find a troll waiting under some bridge, a dark cavern, or in a forest to leap out and to try to eat you or bargain its local knowledge for your goods. Reports now say that on the continent of Vontar trolls represent up to 10% of the standing armies of its territories.Even in the grand city of Rookstone they have moved into the sewers and slums. Some have even been recruited by local businesses to act as heavy laborers or bodyguards.

This question of the first people will likely rage on in academic circles forever, but it is important to remember to look beyond the familiar and not blind oneself to the abundance of data that might be right in front of you.

*Literally billions of years. But what the hell I’m trying to be concise here.
**Sentience, the run-up to sapience, is generally ignored because people don’t like to think about how emotional their steak dinners might have actually been about the whole getting eaten thing.
***This odd turn of phrase has to do with the cultural prevalence of the worship of Zvarrann “He Who Waits At The Beginning And At The End” the reptilian god of cyclical renewal.

LORE24 Jan 3


Jan 4 - weekly prompt entry - Not sure I exactly hit all the keywords on this one but it was fun to write :smile:

There is a 174 year period of history on the continent of Savrine that war historians always mark down with numerous irritated footnotes and passive aggressive asterixis called the Era of Twisted Fortunes.

The Era of Twisted Fortunes marks a time in the long contentious history of the continent when, despite armies presenting overwhelming forces, superior tactical acumen, more favorable conditions of both season and terrain, and many other advantages, the inferior side of military conflicts won the day in battles they should not have possibly been able to.

Historians were vexed for hundreds of years until an enterprising military scholar named Horst Featherstone began an investigation into the phenomenon. After 10 years of searching noble family archives, he finally stumbled upon the answer. After three further years of confirmation, magical divination, and periods of peer review he released his findings in a book that rocked the world of historical military academia*.

His book, entitled “The Bird”, is the in depth description and documented history of a single item. It follows the titular “Bird” from noble house to noble house and from military leader to military leader describing the disasters and debacles that follow in its wake.


Item Description: The Bird

The Bird is a taxidermized wading bird identified as a roseate spoonbill. It is fitted with a few fanciful accessories sized for the bird which include a small sword and scabbard, a proportionally wide ruff collar, and small crown made of tin affixed to its head. On its base there is a small brass plaque that reads “Gud Fortun Hafth Lain An Egge”

The Bird is a powerful cursed object that is activated when the current owner of The Bird gives it away to someone prior to a battle, contest, or game. The recipient of The Bird has a sudden change of fortune as their opponents are then granted victory against them in their next conflict by means of improbable turns of luck. This effect lasts until the new owner of The Bird dies or gives The Bird to someone else (a situation that happens quite often as The Bird is considered a tacky ornament in the extreme)

Once the item and its effects had been revealed to the ardent military academics there was a public outcry by war historians calling for the international banning of magic in matters of warfare as it made military history too complicated, made everything seem more arbitrary, and made their own serious field of study look silly**.

It is important to remember though that The Bird is responsible for devastating losses of life in its odd accursed history, including the life of the author of its own history, Horst Featherstone, when after years of further searching he was able to acquire the object, pay a man to regift it to him, and died as a finalist in a pie eating contest while trying to test its effects.

The Bird’s current whereabouts are unknown.

*and nowhere else
**an outcry that was promptly and decisively ignored

LORE24 Jan 4


RIP Horst Featherstone
Effed around and found out


Trying to cut down on the length of these so I’m splitting this one up

Before We Begin… Dragons Pt 1


Before we further embark on a year long exploration of the world of Xerth I feel it is of the utmost importance to stress to you, dear reader, one crucial thing.

Dragons. Cannot. Be. Trusted.

Especially on the matter of their own origins.

Historically dragons have maintained that they were here first and nurtured intelligence in the primitive beasts; elevating the various species as a kindness that has ungratefully not been repaid.

This is a self aggrandizing lie and it always has been. Dragon’s true origins put them well behind the other intelligent life on Xerth chronologically because their existence is entirely dependent on other intelligent lives.

Dragons are purely magical beings and thus have a purely magical origin. They arise spontaneously from times of powerful or sustained emotional synchronicity in sapient cultures. When a population becomes oversaturated with an idea, trapped in a dire circumstance, consumed by an ideology, or overwhelmed with sweeping emotion, a dragon egg is suddenly formed, cuckoo-like, among the clutch of a nearby nesting creature.

In times of famine and deprivation, ravenous dragons are born; in times of poverty and exploitation, the dragons of greed are born; when there is large-scale warfare, tyrannical war-like dragons are hatched; and when there is great celebration the dragons of hedonism will be born. These are just a few examples of the kinds of dragon that can form. Each newly spawned wurm in all their multiplicity of form and powers are the localized spirit of the age in which they are created.

In short Dragons are expressions of mortal desires and dread given flesh.

In part 2 we will dive deeper into both the physiology and phycology of Dragons.

LORE24 Jan 5


Today’s lore entry is a visual piece. The unlabeled version of my newly revised world map with color terrain indicators. Not much to read but if you’re curious about the scale it’s a standard Earth-like 25k miles at the equator.

Lore24 Jan 6

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What app did you use to generate the map?

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Uh… i drew it in FireAlpaca lol

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What the heck is FireAlpaca!?! :rofl:

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A freeware drawing program. Not nearly as good as photoshop or others… but good enough.

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Today’s Stream got me thinking about orcs and how they fit into things in the setting. So here’s a bonafide (but by no means comprehensive) infodump on the topic of orcs in the World of Xerth and on the “main” continent of Zartun in particular.


  • Origins

  • Orcs are a relatively new race on Xerth. In the age of the Tenebrous War the Dark Lord created numerous true breeding species to serve in his armies and administrations. Much like the Archfey he was making war upon (and to a lesser extent his shakey allies, the Gods) he chose to use his fellow humans as a base for his creations. He regarded orcs as his most successful.

  • The Tenebrous King created orcs by combining aspects of boars, frogs, and humans to form the perfect foot soldiers for his war machine, being ideal for long military excursions and sieges. They were also used as especially effective hunters, trackers, and poison detectors.

  • Birth & Life:

  • Orcs tend to be born in twos and threes, orc children are usually fraternal twins with identical twins being rare, and single births being exceedingly rare. Single births are usually considered an omen of good or ill fortune (depending on other factors).

  • Orc physiology is unusually heritable meaning that any child sired by or onto an orc in a cross species pairing will be just as orcish as the orc parent with only very minor indications of the other parent’s traits (so while “half-orcs” exist in technicality, physically is it’s a largely useless distinction)

  • Orcs are considered physically mature by age 16 and live from 65-70 years.

  • Physicality:

  • Common orcs range from 5 ½ feet to 7 feet tall with a tendency toward quickly gaining muscle mass in their youth, though even the not-particularly strong ones will still appear stocky or stout.

  • They have green skin in hues from light to dark.

  • They have thick hair in colors ranging from light brown to black or very rarely red, they also tend to develop patches of fur on the arms, legs, shoulder, chest and back. Orcs have wide pointed ears with tufted tips that tend to stick out at a rather severe angle, either straight out or slightly downturned and deep set eyes that come in black, dark red, dark brown, or dark green.

  • Their muzzle-like faces sport short tusks that jut from their lower jaw and a flat porcine nose with a deep philtrum that runs from the nostrils to the thin top lip.

  • Orcish night vision is particularly keen though they can develop mild photophobia in adulthood.

  • Some orcs (about 1 in 50) are born with an especially keen sense of smell though it is thought that this trait was much more common in the days of the Tenebrous King

  • Orcs can survive three times longer than a human without food or drink, are extremely resistant to toxins, and all orcs can detect poisons via smell.

  • Traditions & Culture:

  • Orcs are ancestor worshippers and tend to dwell on the glories of the past, however much of their histories get mixed up with boasting and a naturally conspiratorial cultural mindset that pollutes facts with conjecture and outright fabrications.

  • Orcs consider themselves a diasporic culture on the continent of Zartun, descendants of ancient invaders from the continent of Vontar who served the Tenebrous King (who they view as combination demiurge and sort of ur-ancestor). On Vontar they are the most numerous people

  • They also maintain a strong warrior culture ethos with many adult orcs from wilderness areas joining mercenary groups, private armies, and raider bands to increase their status amongst the tribes. Even the orcs in settled areas often wear fierce ornamentation, armor, and weapons in their day to day life as a way to differentiate themselves from other races and to maintain a reputation as a people not to be trifled with. Additionally most orcs (both settled and nomadic) are taught to be constantly prepared for the return of the Tenebrous King and while many modern orcs doubt the reality of such prophecies of the Dark Master’s return they still believe to go unarmed is to invite misfortune and disapproval from their ancestors.

  • Other Cultures:

  • Orcs tendency toward insular communities and clinging to the myths of a violent past put them at odds with the rest of the world, even something as simple as orcish clan names (which tend to be gruesome, violent, and insulting to other races) serve to alienate them in cosmopolitan settings (Sample Clan Names: Collectors-of-Enemies-Faces, Chewers-of-Elf-Brains, Dwarf-Marrow-Suckers, Wearers-Of-Human-Skins, Skulls-Of-Our-Foes-Line-The-Roads-Of-Our-Fortress-Like-Paving-Cobbles, and Salters-of-the-Feilds-With-Widows-Tears. *Note: these are much shorter in orcish)

  • Orcs still harbor a deep antipathy toward goblin-kind even now, nearly 5000 years after the Tenebrous War, and the most staunchly traditionalist of them will refuse to work with them or even remain in the same building with them.

LORE24 Jan 9 (entry 7)


Kinda got orcs on the brain now.

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Thought Made Flesh - Dragon pt.2

As covered in our last entry, dragons are created from the combined desires, dreads, and ideologies of groups of intelligent creatures.

When a population comes together in a single powerful ideal or point of emotional congruity, a dragon has a very high chance of being created.

But what happens after what scholars call a “draconic genesis event”?

Depending on the strength of the genesis event, magical practitioners may notice a sudden drop in the ambient magical energies in the area as a side effect of the spontaneous generation of the dragon’s egg. The egg itself will appear randomly in the nearby nest of an egg-laying creature, reptiles and birds being the most likely.

Once the dragon’s egg appears it immediately begins to incubate, continually drawing magic from the environment as the egg begins to grow in size. The rate of the incubation and growth seems partially tied to the ongoing strength of the event that caused its genesis and partially the strength of the ambient magical energies in the area. This makes for unpredictable results with some dragon eggs taking many months to hatch and others mere hours.

Upon hatching they usually have some similarities to the species of egg layers whose nest they were “fostered” into, but they are far larger and bare signs of the genesis event that created them. (Some examples include: dull blue-gray scales for those born of gloom, A body that crackles with small flames for those born of rage, a large slavering maw for those born of famine, honestly the variations are countless)

Dragons are born with much in terms of physical capacity and understanding. Right out the egg they are able to use all forms of ambulation they have (walking, flying, swimming, slithering, ect), they have a supernatural grasp of all local languages as well as the very specialized* tongue of dragonkind, and they can make small but deadly targeted bursts of what will eventually become their fully realized breath weapons.

The path to physical maturity is a short one for dragons. Their growth is not counted in stages or by age categories as older models maintain (which was based on information provided by dragons, of course) but instead based on apotheosis. A dragon hatchling might lurk for weeks, months, or even years being a small-time predator, tricking and threatening people out of their wealth and goods, or even just taking up residence with some other more powerful being and behaving as if they were a pet or minion.

Eventually however, a dragon will realize and fully embrace their purpose and simply choose to mature. The manifestation of such a maturation is unique to each dragon. Some fly up into a gathering storm and transmogrify amid a tumult of thunder and lightning, some split apart revealing a new larger egg and re-hatch as their final form, and some simply change with an audible “pop” sound. Each apotheosis seems different but each time the results are the same, an adult dragon with terrific power and an agenda.

A fully formed adult dragon is usually drastically different from their birth-form. The superficial signs of its genesis event give way to what can only be described as full-blown blunt visual metaphor. Draconic forms can incorporate elements of any other creature, color, material, or effect to fully embody the ideas at the core of their creation. These forms can be huge, fearsome, and awe inspiring. They can be long, lithe, and beautiful, They can be rotund, mirthful, and adorable. They can be anything, as long as it is that thing that they truly are.

Once fully realized, a dragon is effectively immortal unless they are slain by violent means (a commonality) or decide to die themselves for their own reasons (a rarity).

But all this is simply describing the birth and life cycle of the beasts. The ultimate reason WHY they manifest is still unknown to mortals and is of little interest to the dragons themselves.

*Dragons are beings partially composed of ideas and their inborn language is extremely complex and hyper-specific. This inborn complexity of mind makes dragons particularly good at learning spells, if a dragon ever happens to read a spell from a spellbook or see it cast often enough it will just stick in their mind like so much lint. So it’s rare to come across a dragon of any size that doesn’t know any spells by pure accident.

LORE24 Jan 11 (entry 8)


I love the boar/pig style orcs! The “doomsday prepper” vibe they have too of being ready for their evil lord to return at any time is perfect too.


The Bloodless Stone

Continent: Zartun
Country: The Duchy of Rook
Settlement: City of Rookstone, Tumbledown District
Business: Tavern, Information Brokerage
NPCs: Merv the Barkeep, Mother May-I, Specs

The Bloodless Stone is one of the most heavily trafficked taverns in the whole city by adventurers looking to meet up and find a little lucrative trouble . While people assume that it has simply gained a reputation from local mercs and visiting scallywags as a cheap place to meet, the truth is that in the back room of the tavern two old-timers of the adventuring lifestyle, known to the patrons as “Mother May-I” and “Specs”, maintain one of the city’s most extensive (but rather loose) information gathering networks.

Notes, rumors, wanted posters, and messages trickle in through the back alley window day and night as page boys, scullery maids, valets, bar wenches, grooms, prostitutes, lamp lighters, street urchins, and vagrants are all interested in making a little extra coin for the things they’ve overheard or the notices they find and Mother May-I is happy to pass a few brassies their way for the dirt. Specs logs and tracks who turned the rumor in for future pay-outs and posts them on the walls of their room under three categories; Solid, Credible, and Dubious based on the reliability of the source.

Adventuring groups can gain access to the Job Board for a door fee (based on what they think the group can afford) and all they ask is to help them keep track of who does what and how it turned out (but charitable donations are very welcome). It’s clear the two old-timers do this for fun and to stay connected to their old lifestyle for much of the money they make off door fees gets put back into the tavern and used as pay-outs to informants.

The Rookstone Exploration Society tends to look the other way of this blatant encouragement of unlicensed adventuring for some reason. Speculations abound but the most popular theory is that Mother May-I and Specs also act as scouts for the Society and will direct promising adventuring groups their way.

The Job Board - Here’s some of the types of notices a party may find on the Job Board.

  • Cleaning Crew Needed - Elderly wizard has passed away leaving numerous wards and magical defenses active in his estate. Town officials and family are seeking a team to enter and deactivate the defenses so that the property ownership can be transferred to inheritors and to mitigate the public safety hazzard.
  • Now Hiring Exterminators - The City Maintenance Commision is in constant need of extra hands to root out monster nests in the sewers. Reasonable Pay with bonus gold available for those with a keen eye and a strong stomach. Remember if they flushed it and you find it, It’s Yours!
  • Now Hiring Bodyguards - The Duchy Treasury and Taxation Authority is seeking escorts for tax collectors in particularly dangerous rural areas, Daily rates, plus mileage, plus Hazzard Pay Bonuses - Apply at the Office of Verjal Grist at the Bureau of Tax Collections building
  • Prison Transport Caravan - Need ready truncheon arms to aid in the escort of a number of prisoners to the Bagra’s Oubliette. Good pay. Food Provided.
  • Nuisance Flying Pigs Need Slaying - The village of Beech’s Burl is offering a reward to anyone willing to root out the source of and put a stop to a herd of flying pigs who are ruining crops and creating a huge mess. This is not a prank! We are desperate!
  • Reward Offered For Stolen Heirloom - Heirloom suit of plate armor was stolen from the collection of Lord Myron Salaroli, offering substantial reward for its return. Job may require skilled exorcist.
  • Adventurers Urgently Requested - The Abbot of the Monastery of Peaceful Tranquillity seeks aid with a giant problem. Seek out Brother Barrek in the Abbey of Endless Reflection, Temple District
  • Help Advance Magical Research! - Cloakhaven University’s Department of Unstable and Untested Spellcraft and the Department of Creatively Applied Enchantments are seeking healthy, uncursed, thrill-seeking volunteers to participate in the testing of new and exciting magical effects and item designs. Compensations include; gold, occasional take home items, and the knowledge that you are making the world a better place through applied arcane science!
  • Help Wanted! Seeking Darklord - Castle Ichorblack has an open position for entry level Darklord. Looking for an energetic and clever evil mastermind to dominate the local countryside and enact schemes of conquest. Position comes with a haunted castle, terrifying wardrobe, weapons of malevolence, a number of obsequious minions, and modest army of the damned at no cost to you. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! To apply, simply enact the simple incantation on back of form and wait for a servant of darkness to contact you

These are but a few among hundreds of leads and jobs they track and post at the Bloodless Stone and if you make a good impression, Mother May-I and Specs may give you access to the “Special Jobs” that they keep back for their favorites.

LORE24 Jan 14 (entry 9)


The Godswar - Pt 1 Before the War

The Godswar is definitively a thing that happened. That may seem like an odd way to start but for this exploration we will be delving into a time before recorded history and heroic myth. Hell it was even a time before time itself wasn’t anything more than a hard clock-ticking fact with no poetic conceptual baggage weighing it down. In short we are dealing with an incomplete picture and just painting in the missing parts with conjectural artistic license. That being said, let us begin.

The Old Gods of Xerth did not adhere to the formal niceties of pantheonic cooperation that we see in more modern deities. Nor did they dwell in the distant metaphysical realms of the Otherworld. No-no, the Old Gods lived here on Xerth, each setting up their own physical divine realm to rule. Each god cowed the primitive mortals they found on their staked claims. Each god looked across their proverbial fence and saw land and servants they could have had if not for some unworthy other god squatting on top of them… and boy did it chafe on them.

You would think after tens of millennia of dominating all they survey, and being waited on hand and foot* by terrified primitive mortal servants they might have come to some kind of arrangement. But no, they blustered and rattled thunderbolts at each other.
They fielded huge armies of their pitiful mortal peons to strike at each other’s territories over petty squabbles. Much of the time a rare meeting between them occurred was spent bellowing back and forth and making physical threats that they all knew wouldn’t come to anything.

This was because all of them at the time were roughly equal in power and all of them to a god was so insanely narcissistic that the idea of putting ego aside and cooperating to put down their divine enemies had simply never occurred to them.

Then one day one of the gods, called Ungrax the Horned One, had an odd idea. As a way to stave off some boredom as he plotted his next pointless invasion he turned to an assembled rabble of primitive servants and smilingly asked them if any of them “wanted anything”. He was greeted with fearful silence, something he normally wouldn’t have noticed but was now somewhat irritating. He had asked a question damnit and he wanted an answer. So he created a tree with fruit that would make anyone who ate them utterly fearless. He ordered the assembled servants to eat and when they had, he asked his question again. Ungrax expected to be amused by the stupid simplicity of the servants’ desires but soon his eyes were wide with shock.

“I would like a sword sharp enough to kill you” said one
“I want to make you suffer as I and my family have suffered under your rule” said another
“I want to see you choke on your own tongue.” said a third
“I want you and all of your kind to lie rotting like beached fish, so that we may have peace” added a fourth
“You have already given me what I want for I am no longer afraid to die.” said a fifth who then charged the old god with a carving knife he was using to cut meat for the indolent deity.

When the fifth servant struck him the god was shocked to find he, an indestructible being, had been cut by a mere mortal. As his divine blood trickled down his chest Ungrax stared at the servant who stood resolute waiting for his divine retribution. How did this happen?
“I’m waiting, Master,” said the servant. “Destroy me as is your way.”
The old god stood for a long time, thinking. Parts of his divine reasoning that had heretofore never been used in the god’s long existence began to whirl to life.
“No.” he said “No, I don’t think I will.”
All the assembled servants including the attacker began to look confused. Slowly the old god continued. “I think… I may… have… deserved that?”

Suddenly the god felt something he had never experienced before. Something coming from the servants. A feeling of understanding? Tentative empathy? Very mild admiration? Whatever it was the old god was certain that the energies the servants were giving off were making him, by fractions of degrees, more powerful. He turned to the now fearless servants and said to them “I’m… sorry. I didn’t know.” And since they had no fear they couldn’t stop themselves from feeling hope for maybe the first time in their own lives. In turn the old god felt more powerful. Then he knew he had stumbled on a way to defeat his enemies, to go beyond the limits of his own natural power he must create and embrace whatever this was.

Ungrax the Horned One had discovered the power of belief.

*or tentacle or fin or wing or whatever else they may have had

LORE24 Jan 15 (entry 10)


I fully expect nobody to read that wordburger lol

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The Continents of Xerth

There are six continents on the World of Xerth. Those continents are…

DOVAESIA - Called the The Southern Wilds, Dovaesia comprises the lower half of the largest continuous landmass. Covered in soaring mountains and dense forests that are home to fearsome beasts and hide the remnants of the long gone civilizations.

KRETH - Called the Unconquered Land, Kreth is the brutal southernmost continent and home to the giant civilizations that stood firm against all potential conquests for the last ten-thousand years.

MARRANTHIA - Called the Golden Expanse, Marranthia comprises the upper half of the largest continuous landmass. Marranthia is known for the beauty of its lush jungles, majestic peaks, mighty rivers, and its abundant mines.

SAVRINE - Called the Bloodlands, Savrine is a continent of seemingly unending wars and intrigues. Here valor can earn you great acclaim and guile can earn you vast wealth.

VONTAR - Called the Monster Sovereignty, Vontar was once the Tenebrous King’s seat of power but has since fractured as powerful monsters have claimed large territories and crowned themselves rulers.

ZARTUN - Called the Shattered Continent, Zartun is the second largest landmass. Zartun has witnessed the rise and fall of numerous powerful empires across the millennia with each one leaving their indelible scars. (much of the information during our exploration will center around Zartun and the City of Rookstone in particular)

The Fallen One/Ungrax
A seventh continent sized land mass exists as well. Called The Fallen One, It is the supine petrified body of a dead god that has been traditionally identified as the ancient god Ungrax the Horned One, though this is unconfirmed and likely unknowable. The Fallen One is sparsely populated despite the abundant deposits of rare and valuable minerals shot all through the fallen god as other resources are rare and it has become a haven for dangerous pirates.

LORE24 Jan 19 (entry 11)


In order to fully understand the state of the world in the modern era, we need to look at the most key figure of the previous era. Let me tell you about…


The Tenebrous King, also known as “The Shadow Lord”, “His Darkness”, “The Cursed One”, “The Bone Twister”, or “The Dark Master” was the platonic ideal of a Dark Lord* and a creature wholly unlike any other either before or after.

The Tenebrous King was a powerful mortal wielder of magic (some say the most powerful who ever lived) who ruled most of the known world** for the better part of a thousand years. He twisted his followers body and soul into new creatures altogether to serve his ambitions. He defeated both the Archfey and the Gods. His empire stretched in every direction, completely dominating four of the six continents and there was no person or culture untouched by his influence. His legacy is so deeply entrenched in the world of Xerth that the repercussions of his actions are still being dealt with in both cultural and material contexts to this very day.

What little was known about his origins before his rise to ultimate power has been obscured by time or expunged by his own efforts but here is what we do know. The man who would become the Tenebrous King was born a normal human in the Fair Demesne of the Noble Kin. The Noble kin were archfey or Fairy Lords who had insinuated themselves, bargain by perverted bargain, into stealing an entire kingdom to project their power from The Primal Wood onto Xerth. Their depravity and cruelty knew no limit, treating the people of Zartun as a sadistic child would treat an animal for their own amusement. The Tenebrous King was no exception to the many abuses of the Fairy Lords and he grew to hate them with a passion that would soon kindle one of the darkest periods in Xerth’s history.

It is unknown how it happened or why but at some unspecified point in his youth his magical potency began to grow facilitating his escape from the Fair Demesne and ultimately a transcontinental jaunt from Zartun to Vontar.

On Vontar his might and popularity grew as he orchestrated a successful defense against the invading forces of the Fairy Lords (who now sought to expand their mortal empire) earning him a loyal core of support. He then freed Vontar from the grim theocracies that endlessly immiserated and sacrificed the people to please their cruel gods. Eventually he had rallied the populations of the various peoples and monsters of Vontar under his leadership as he promised to banish the Fairy Lords and the malicious gods from the Xerth forever. By this time a century had passed and it is said he simply willed himself to stop aging.

After several unsuccessful campaigns trying to invade Zartun (and destroy the Fair Demesne), he began to transform his most fanatical followers into new more combat effective forms for his armies; thus was born the gnomes, the kobolds, the minotaurs, and the orcs. Additionally the servants of the gods began to make overtures of peace offerings on behalf of their deities. The gods, while still angered by their altars and kingdoms being destroyed, agreed that their chief rivals on Xerth were still the Fairy Lords and decided the Tenebrous King would make a better ally than enemy. They instead attempted to make him their instrument of destruction. To this end they offered their power by increasing the natural might of their divine beasts to be his warriors.

Hesitantly the Tenebrous King accepted their help, but he did not trust them.

The story of the Tenebrous War is long and horrible and it raged for 246 years. It ended when all sides seemed as if they were going to destroy the whole world. In the final battle the bloodthirsty Fairy Lords had become active combatants and even the gods themselves had finally been coerced into manifesting to do battle with them. The armies and war machines and the divine beasts and the roaming horrors and the spirits and the madness and the unfathomable tumult of it all clashed and clashed again, all the while in secret the Tenebrous King was completing an incantations that took him over 135 years to devise. This was The Primordial Seal.

The Fairy Lords were creatures that existed as embodiments of the darkest aspects of The Primal Wood and could only exist on Xerth as summoned creatures forever tethered to their plane of origin. The Primordial Seal banished the Fairy Lords back to The Primal Wood and severed the god’s avatars from their power sources in the Otherworld, locking both mighty factions out of direct influence on Xerth and making the Tenebrous King the supreme power on the planet. It was short work for him to personally slay the gods’ avatars and the war was over within days. But instead of freedom, the Tenebrous King finally earned his name and demanded that all follow his laws and bow to his will. The Pax Abominable had begun for the only peace that could be had was as his servant.

His empire was built in its final form in less than 400 years and for 800 more he was the sole monarch, a mortal god who brooked no dissension and enforced a terrifying peace.

Then one day he left.

With no warning or final message, the Tenebrous King vanished. It’s unknown how long he had even been gone when his departure was discovered, as he lived such a solitary life in the towers of the Highest Bastion.

What came next? Well that history is a bit too complex for one simple essay.

*Dark Lord is not a specific title but more of a cultural marker put on someone who’s attitudes, methods, and deeds meet a certain threshold of gothic theatricality coupled with malevolent intent. It’s slang basically, a way to acknowledge someone as important, dangerous, and deeply distasteful all at the same time.

** ”with an iron fist” is a popular refrain that would seem like a fitting insert here, but if you’re the dictator of a world spanning empire it’s kinda like putting a hat on a hat.

LORE24 Jan 20 (entry 12)