Background

Posted: December 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Lost Roads | Comments Off on Background

The world of Lociam

Beyond the barriers of time lies another world. This world is filled with mystical powers, monsters, heroes, and magic. The only way to get there is by the use of imagination.
This world lies in an universe not unlike our own. A cosmos of life and light in a bubble. A bubble on the black seas of Chaos. A raging war is in effect on this sea of Chaos, and the prize of this war is the contents of the bubble. The prize is life.
In the bubble, the cosmos, is a balance between Order and Chaos. Enough Order to make the sun rise every day, and sink every night, enough to make water heavier than air, and enough to keep the heart beating in the living beings. But there is also Chaos; Chaos of desire, hunger, greed, illness, and power. All that which is necessary for the living to keep their spark for life. Their motivation and imagination.
However, Chaos is not satisfied with this balance. Chaos is to rule, and that is final. Therefore, Chaos has made holes in the bubble, and Chaos is seeping into the bubble, and a war between Order and Chaos is unavoidable. The bubble is straining to heal itself, and stop the Chaos coming in, and this is a colossal effort.

The life in the bubble is a multitude of worlds, around a million stars, in a million galaxies in this tiny bubble on the sea of Chaos. We look at one galaxy, one star, one planet. This planet is the third from its’ sun, and has three moons. The world is named Lociam, used like we use the world Tellus, but is called the Home, like we call our world Earth.
The world is green and blue, much like ours, but also very different. There are two magnificent continents on the world, and they are divided by great seas. Around this world circles three moons.
Unlike our world, this world is filled with magical wonders. It has a living current of magic flowing through it, and all living beings are magical, in one way or another. Some of the beings have learned how to use this current of magic, and has developed spells and chants to make magic do their bidding.
Another difference between Lociam and Earth is that Lociam is filled with living gods. The gods of this world are not dead or dormant as most are on Earth, but alive and active, caring for their followers, and aiding them in their actions. All beings that have a faith therefore have a special place in the eye of their god or goddess, making it harder or easier for them to be granted favors by their divine patron.
When these active gods started working on Lociam they could not agree as to how the beings of the world should look, or be, and most gods and goddesses created children in their own image. This resulted in a diverse group of intelligent, humanoid creatures. Humans, elves, dwarves, angels, demons, and even stranger beings were created a long time ago, when the world was new. There are beings on the surface of Lociam, in the oceans, in the earth, and even in the sky.

Among these the humans are the greatest race. They have prospered on Lociam as they have on earth, and they control most of the land. They have kingdoms and empires, and they fight petty wars for pieces of land, like the dark ages of our own history.

This is the world Lociam, and in this book are the rules for playing a character in this world. Enjoy.

A history of magic

On our world, magic has become the art of showmen and tricksters. This is not the case on Lociam.
Magic is quite alive, and very real on Lociam. Why this is may be hard to tell, but one would guess it has to do with the activity of the Gods and Goddesses of Lociam. Below follows a short description of how magic works on Lociam.

Through the walls of the bubble of Order on the Sea of Chaos sound a cry. This is the cry of tension. There is a strain of Order to keep Chaos out, and a force of Chaos pushing to burst the bubble. In this fight there is a cry. This is the tension. The tension resounds through the entire bubble, bouncing off its walls, and getting caught in all souls of all living beings in all worlds in the bubble.
This scream is that of power. If one can hear it, one can also direct it, and make it alter the reality around oneself. This is the use of magic. This is also very hard, and takes many years of practice. It is hard to manipulate powers of this magnitude, and to make this possible the living beings have developed forms of magic to be able to re-channel and re-direct the powers of this scream; this scream of tension.
First there is the Lower magic. This ability is found in almost all beings that can think and act. The powers of these forms are small, and are hard to learn, but to use them the person need only think of a pattern, and through this thought is the proper energy channeled towards the correct purpose. The effects of Lower magic are normally transient, unless anchored in another living being.

Then comes the Higher magic. This is a skill learned as a trade, and only some are called by magic, and can devote their entire lives to the study of this art, and make progress. The Higher magic is divided into spheres, each representing a certain force of the world; fire, water, spirit, change, and so on. The effects of the spheres are divided into thought, spells, runes and rituals, but they all have two things in common; language and power.
There is an ancient language taught to all magicians, users of Higher magic, and this language enables them to form patterns of immense complexity in their minds, re-directing the powers of tension into whatever direction, in whatever form, they want. Rituals are just large spells in this aspect, and can take hours to cast, but the effects are much greater. To sustain these patterns or forms in the world there is a requirement of power. This power is normally drawn from the very soul of the magician, but there are alternative sources of power. This power is basically that of will, and emotion, and replenishes itself after a few hours of rest. If all power is drained from the soul of the magician, all will is lost, all emotion is lost, all life is lost, and the magician dies.
It is not the will of the magician that causes the change. No mortal has that much power. The will of the magician is just the tool for directing the immense powers of magic surrounding the patters formed by the language.
Since magic is such a natural thing on Lociam, the beings of this world have learned to sense it, like beings on our world can sense the wind. This is done by opening the inner eyes of the soul, and looking out over the surrounding area, seeing the traces of the scream, and the way it has been directed. All this can be seen in a ghost-like state called astral. Astral traces look superimposed on the normal world, and are not tangible, but they are quite real, residue of the passing scream of tension.
Since mortals can affect the world so easily, it is even easier for a divine power to affect it. This is done on a regular bases, and a follower of a specific deity can ask, or pray, for a specific effect, hoping that the deity will make the small effort to alter reality in favor of the asker. However, the Gods and Goddesses can not do everything everywhere all the time, and therefore, they only listens to those of their faith, and only to those they like. Even if you are of the right faith, and the deity likes you, this does not guarantee you that the desired effect will occur. The will of the divine is hard to foretell, and even harder to understand.

Geography of Lociam

Lociam has two major continents with a great ocean between them on either side. The continent was once a large supercontinent, but split in times long passed and has since drifted apart. In some distant future they might collide as they finish their global trek.
Maoc is the bigger of the two, divided between hundreds of kingdoms. The continent stretches tens of thousands of kilometers from a hot south to a glacier-covered north.
Vai-qau is the smaller continent, only a few thousand kilometers from north to side, and about half as much from east to west. This is a savage continent which is only partially explored by the humans of Maoc.
Between these two is the ever-widening Sea of Conglomeration in which islands appear and disappear over night. This makes it very hard to navigate with any ships. On the other side there is the Copper Sea, which is impossible to navigate with any human ships, although rumour has it there are elven ships that can traverse this violent ocean.

History

Below is a time-line for the rise of Lociam. It starts at the very beginning of time and goes up to the current date, but it is no way complete, and several events are missing, but will be revealed later.

Beginning of Time
Lociam is created and Mian’cau, the Primal Landmass, rises from the waters.

Primeval times
The first children of the Gods appear. Among these are elves, dwarves, and animal-peoples.

Primeval times
The First People discover the powers of magic, and learn how to control and use it. Their civilization is great. The influence of Chaos is very small at this time.

Approximately two million years before year 0
The giants found their first kingdom on Lociam.

Approximately one million years before year 0
The Second People, the Humans, are created, and start colonizing the world.

Approximately 120’000 years before year 0
Mian’cau splits into two continents; Maoc and Vai’qau. They start drifting apart at a great speed.

Approximately 40’000 years before year 0
The first demon appears on Lociam, tearing through the bubble of Order from Chaos.

Approximately 12’000 years before year 0
The humans begin their war against the kingdoms of the giants.

0
The First Kingdom is founded on Maoc by Marcon Sa. This is appropriately called the First Kingdom.

24
Maoc now has 112 kingdoms fighting for the unaccounted lands.
Nearly all the kingdoms of the giants are laid in ruins, and the giants are close to extinctions.

31
The humans in the First Kingdom, in cooperation with the First People, starts the first magic-academy.44
The humans in the kingdom Diazo starts a war to make the First People extinct. This military campaign is called “Cleansing of the World”. It continues for some time. Humans in the surrounding kingdoms are intimidated by the military aggressiveness of the Diazo, and do not intervene as thousands of the First People are hunted down and killed.

70
The First Kingdom falls after getting its capital destroyed.

79
An army composed of different races from the First People rise to destroy the kingdom Diazo. This sparks a war between the First and the Second Peoples. This war is normally called the Redressional War. This war also ends the “Cleansing of the World”.

87
The first Savior appears and starts proclaiming his religion. He and his followers tries to stop the war.

198
The Redressional War comes to a halt when the high-priest of the Savior; Ybl Ena, sacrifices his own life to the Gods of Peace and Mercy.
The Savior foretells his own death and builds his mausoleum.

199
The Savior, sensing his imminent death, utters a spell of Non-war over the First People. This means that they are incapable of starting any wars for 1000 years. If they do initiate a war, they will all perish.
The Savior is assassinated by a group of mercenaries. These men never goes to trial; they are killed during interrogation. They claim full responsibility, but the king of Diamz (former Diazo), is accused to staging the assassination, and abdicates.
The Savior is buried in his mausoleum, and around it the city Starground begins to grow.

207
The tension between the First and Second People is great, and the First People build a new city; Blazepeace. A great part of the First People move there to escape the persecution by the Second People. No war can settle all the bad blood.

235
As a gift the First People build the city Wisdom’s Halls and gives this to the Second People.

256
The Black Library is set up in Wisdom’s Halls.

306
The fist creatures from the Third People are created.

700
The first colonization-attempt of Vai’qau is initiated by explorers from Maoc. They encounter strange civilizations and initiates an expansion-war against these civilizations.

985
A demon from Chaos steals the Savior’s sword; The Primeval Flame. A joined army composed by warriors from both the First and Second Peoples defeat a large demon-army at the gates of Breadground. The sword is returned to its rightful place in the Mausoleum.

1134
A force from the Third People first tries to burn Starground and then Blazepeace to spark a war between the First and Second Peoples. This fails as the elf-lord Zelogard travels to Starground and stays there as voluntary hostage until the conflict is resolved.

1185
The Third People starts working on their city on the western coast of Maoc; Rummageburrow. This is a rich port of commerce for both the Second and Third People.

1199
One thousand years after the non-war spell cast by the Savior, the First People take to arms and march towards Rummageburrow. An army of the Second People tries to stop this army, and after a few bloody battles the First People returns to Blazepeace without crushing Rummageburrow.

1343
The city Blazepeace disappears from all maps and can not be found, no matter how hard it is searched for.

1442
This is the year the game begins. There is still hostility between the First and Second People, and hostility between the Third People and First is at the brink of another war.
The First People are largely hidden in Blazepeace, while Rummageburrow has grown. Starground and Wisdom’s Halls are powerful and rich cities.
Lociam is divided in hundreds of kingdoms, and the greatest one is that of Starland, around Starground.
All the peoples are proud of their history, or at least parts of it, and it is retold in stories and songs for all to hear.

The natural order of being

There are several active divine deities on and around the world of Lociam, and some of them have created children in their image. They are divided into three Peoples; the First, the Second, and the Third.
The First People were created during the Primeval times, and were Dwarves, Elves and Animal-People, their form dictated by the god or Goddess that created them.
The Second People where created by Whorrm, the Man-Father, and they are the Humans of Lociam.
The Third People are either creations of Chaos, and its Gods, or the creation of other Gods, who just didn’t manage to create a People fitting in to the First People.

The First People were the first intelligent mortals on the world of Lociam. They were created by three divine powers; The Animal-father, who split in several pieces during creation, the Elf-queen, and the Dwarf-father. They will be detailed in later works.

The Humans of this world are divided into nine races, and all have evolved into a form that suits the environment in which they live. They were all created by one God; Whorrm, but have later been divided by evolution and cultural separation into nine distinct races.

The Third People, being created last, is either composed of the creatures of Chaos, and their image on Lociam, or by Gods who never really got around to create their children to belong to the First People. Their reasons for this vary as much as the image in which they create their children.
These are the mortal beings who inhabit the world of Lociam.

Social order

On Lociam, like on any other world, there are laws and regulations that control the life of the human common citizens. These laws are either written, or just so common praxis that they are followed without question. This goes for both the countryside and the cities.
There are exceptions to every rule, and, unfortunately, they all fall under the Golden Rule: “He who has the Gold makes the Rules”. Those with power often ignore the rules, simply because they can do just that.
Some of the laws are common for all lands, city and countryside alike, and they are the laws of the First Kingdom, the cradle of all human civilization on Maoc. There are basically seven rules in this law:

1. One shall not kill a fellow man.
2. One shall not steal.
3. One shall not commit adultery.
4. One shall not lie.
5. One shall not destroy a church or castle.
6. One shall be loyal to thine faith and church.
7. One shall accept the words of the ruler as truth.

These rules are frequently broken but still respected, and followed, but local laws seem to carry more weight than this generic rule of doing good deeds, as dictated by Whorrm, the man-father. There are loop-holes in this generic law, and some try often and again to use these holes to avoid punishment. One loop-hole, for example, is that, according to the first rule, it is acceptable to kill a woman, or a Dwarf.
There is no one to enforce these laws after the First Kingdom fell, but the laws are still the backbone for ordered laws on Lociam.

Humans and other mortal beings are normally either nomadic, traveling from one place to another, or more commonly stationary, living in a village or city. A city is normally defined as a village with a stone wall around it.
The people living in the city pay taxes for the protection they are given by the wall and the guards normally hired by the ruler of the city, be it a hero, a knight, or a priest. There is also commonly a council where representatives from the different guilds can speak their case in certain matters, except taxes.
Those living in villages normally gather money enough to hire either mercenaries or bounty-hunter when there are trouble brewing in the vicinity.
Nomads have no set place they live in but travel, either at random or in a set patters across the land, following herd-animals, seasons or other factors. Normally these nomadic tribes are small, family groups, but there are large groups as well, wandering cities or caravans miles long.
This is the way life goes on on Lociam.


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