Sunday, 23rd May, 2010, 12:44 AM #1
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Malazan Book of the Fallen [Recruiting: M&M 2nd Ed]
To those interested in this epic fantasy setting, I have pre-made characters available but am happy to consider your ideas! As stated, using the M&M 2nd Ed rules as they seem the simplest and, to my mind, best fit.
I would be looking at having players start at Power Level 5 to begin with, until we'd all warmed into it a bit! THe premise would be a group of people that already know each other in some way, who all live the city of Kindle that is mentioned later on - this city is under threat from the Malazan Empire and our story would start off with the players being involved in Kindle's response to that. The details will be fully fleshed out once some people are on board
The following is just background, to give you some idea - note, have referenced several sources and none of this is my own!
A brief history…
“The First Empire eventually collapsed. The Seven Holy Cities arose on the ashes of its birth continent and the colonies became independent kingdoms. Just over 100 years ago, a band of adventurers and schemers in Malaz City, on an island off the Quon Tali continent, overthrew the lord of the city, Mock, and forged the Malazan people into a military power.
Under the leadership of the charismatic Kellanved, Malazan power spread to the mainland, eventually coming to dominate all of Quon Tali and the Falari Isles. Malazan armies then subjugated Seven Cities before launching campaigns on Genabackis and Korelri. The efficiency of the Malazan military was radically bolstered when Kellanved found the long-hidden First Throne under the sands of Seven Cities, allowing him to command the Logros T'lan Imass to do his will. Kellanved and his assassin companion Dancer disappeared for a time on an unknown mission. When they returned, possibly spurred by the apparent assassination of the Empire's greatest general and champion, Dassem Ultor, outside Y'Ghatan on Seven Cities, they were killed by Surly, the head of the Empire's secret service, the Claw. Surly became the Empress, taking the name Laseen (a Napan word, meaning Thronemaster). Under her leadership the Malazan Empire continued to grow, but internal dissent among the noble classes of Quon Tali and the threat of a prophesied rebellion on Seven Cities have dogged her reign. On Genabackis the Malazan 2nd Army lays siege to the city of Pale, opposed by Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii warriors.”
Copies of notes taken from a once-priest of Fener on his arrest
A brief timeline..
1058th Year of Burn’s Sleep (approx) – birth of the Malazan Empire, possibly marked by the conquest of Malaz Island and the subsequent invasion of Quon Tali.
1152nd Year of Burn’s Sleep – Kellanved and Dancer leave the Empire, leaving no details of their destination nor their reasons for leaving.
1154th Year of Burn’s Sleep – The 96th Year of the Malazan Empire, the last year of Kellanved’s reign.
1156th Year of Burn’s Sleep – Malazan-Moranth Alliance established in the 2nd Year of Empress Laseen’s Rule.
1160th Year of Burn’s Sleep – Beginning of the Siege of Pale, one of the last Free Cities of Genabackis.
1161st Year of Burn’s Sleep – Year of the Ikto Kan Massacre and the 7th Year of Empress Laseen’s Rule.
On Warrens and other mysteries…
“Spells and acts of magic are accomplished by reaching into a Warren, or through the mostly forgotten means of taking magic from within or the taking of spirits. Effects common to most warrens include enchantment of objects, large-scale energy blasts and travel through Warren, which allows movement across greater distances than that of mundane travel. Only a minority of humans can access Warrens, but those mages who can have access to between one (in most cases) to seven (in special circumstances). Certain Elder races have access to racial Warrens that seem to be significantly more powerful. Magic can be countered through the use of the magic-deadening ore otataral, though it is ineffective against Elder Warrens.
Warrens can be both an access point to power and a physical realm; some are both while others are only access to power. Within some of the Warrens that exist as physical worlds dwell organized races with families, rulers and kingdoms. As well, some Warrens manifest with variations in different parts of the human realm, resulting in a certain duplication of purpose (i.e., Meanas and Rashan, both essentially being Warrens of Shadow). Warrens may also in some ways mirror or reflect the circumstances and physical properties of the ‘real’ world. Warrens also exist as the realms of Gods only accessible to priests instead of mages, though the distinctions between the two types of Warrens have not been clarified.”
Known Warrens accessible to humans:
Aral Gamelon: The Path of Demons, allows the summoning and control of demons; related to Hood's Path
Denul: The Path of Healing; allows treatment of injuries and diseases
D'riss: The Path of the Stone; allows petrification of wood and passage through solid stone, the flesh of the Sleeping Goddess Burn
Hood's Path: The Path of Death; allows animation of corpses, communication with spirits and control over demons
Imperial: The Warren employed for transport of certain agents of the Malazan Empire
Meanas: The Path of Shadow and Illusion, allows the manipulation of colour and sound
Mockra: The Path of the Mind, allows manipulation of thoughts and emotions of individuals and groups
Ruse: The Path of the Sea, allows manipulation of pressure and summoning of underwater creatures
Rashan: The Path of Darkness, allows concealment through shadow
Serc: The Path of the Sky, allows travel through the air and the perception of and movement through the temperature and layers of gasses in the air
Telas: The Path of Fire, allows powerful blasts of fire
Tennes: The Path of the Land
Thyr: The Path of Light
The Deck of Dragons, or the Fatid…
“The Deck of Dragons resembles a Tarot card deck in that it consists of cards that divine the future. The difference is that a real Deck of Dragons adjusts itself to the changing circumstances of the Pantheon (gods). If an entity ascends or dies, the deck will reflect this fact.”
Taken from Master Glim’s ‘Treatise on the Warrens and Other Mysteries’, courtesy of the House of Wyrd, Kindle
Genabackis is named a continent in its own right and lies to the east of Seven Cities and Quon Tali, across the Seeker's Deep (which natives of Genabackis call the Meningalle Ocean) boasting a wide variety of flora and fauna. The mapped portion of Genabackis extends for over 600 leagues from east to west and over 1000 leagues from north to south. Genabackis' northern area is controlled by the Malazan Empire, whilst its central area is held to be controlled by a loose coalition of cities led by Darujhistan.
Darujhistan, born on a rumour…
‘In the Early Cycles in this Realm, three great peoples struggled for dominion, none of them human as we would know human. Bowing out early in the struggle were the Forkrul Assail, or the Krussail as they are now known. Not through weakness, but . . . well, disinterest. The remaining two peoples warred endlessly. Eventually one fell, for they were a race of individuals, battling as much among themselves as against their racial enemies. They were called the Jaghut, though the term has degenerated these days to Jhag, or Shurl. While losers in the war, they did not disappear entirely – it’s said some Jaghut survive to this day, though, thankfully, not on Genabackis. ‘So,’ Mammot cupped his hands around his tea-cup, ‘Darujhistan was born on a rumour. Among the indigenous Gadrobi hill tribes survived the legend that a Jaghut’s barrow lay somewhere in the hills. Now, the Jaghut were possessors of great magic, creators of secret Warrens and items of power. Over time the Gadrobi legend made its way beyond the hills, into the Genabackan north and the Catlin south, to kingdoms since crumbled to dust in the east and west. In any case, searchers came to the hills, at first a trickle then hordes – entire tribes led by power-hungry shamans and warlocks. Every hillside was laced with trenches and boreholes. From the camps and shanty-towns, from the thousands of treasure-seekers arriving each spring, a city was born.’ Taken from ‘Discussions With Crokus’, writings of the T’orrud Cabal, anon.
Ascendants and Religion…
“Ascendants who find worshippers become gods, and that binding goes both ways. Ascendants without worshippers are, in a sense, unchained. Unaligned, in the language of the Deck of Dragons. Now, gods who once had worshippers but don't have them any more are still ascendant, but effectively emasculated, and they remain so unless the worship is somehow renewed. For the Elder Gods, that means the spilling of blood on hallowed or once-hallowed ground. For the more primitive spirits and the like, it could be as simple as the recollection or rediscovery of their name, or some other form of awakening. Mind you, none of that matters if the ascendant in question has been well and truly annihilated ...ascendants, whether gods or not, seem to possess some form of power. Maybe sorcery, maybe personality, maybe something else. And what that seems to mean is, they possess an unusual degree of efficacy...They’re trouble if you mess with them, is what I’m saying. A mortal man punches someone and maybe breaks the victim’s nose. An ascendant punches someone and they go through a wall. Now, I don’t mean that literally — although that’s sometimes the case. Not necessarily physical strength, but strength of will. When an ascendant acts, ripples run through...everything.”
“Sorcery could be the ladder to Ascendancy - a means to an end...'”
“The trouble with Ascendants is that they try to rig every game”
Taken from an anonymous conversation.
The current list of Ascendants and Gods, as it stands:
Apsalar, Lady of Thieves
Beru, Lord of Storms
Burn, The Sleeping Goddess
Cotillion, The Rope, Patron of Assassins
D'rek, The Worm of Autumn
Dessembrae, Lord of Tears
Fener, Tennerock, the Boar, the Boar of Five Tusks, the Bereft
Gedderone, Lady of Spring and Rebirth
Hood, King of High House Death
Jhess, Queen of Weaving
Mowri, Lady of Beggars, Slaves and Serfs
Nerruse, Lady of Calm Seas and Fair Winds
Oponn, Twin Jesters of Chance
Poliel, Mistress of Pestilence and Disease
Scalissara, a discredited goddess of olive oil, ruling over Y'Ghatan
Shadowthrone, Ammanas, King of High House Shadow
Sha'ik, the Whirlwind Goddess
Soliel, Shedenul, Lady of Health, Mistress of Healing
T'riss, Queen of Dreams, Queen of High House Life
Treach, Trake, The Tiger of Summer and Battle
A note on the phenomenon of Convergence:
“...a drawing-together of Ascendant powers”
“...power draws power. If one Ascendant parts the fabric here and now, others will come, smelling blood. Come the dawn every mortal in this city could be dead.”
From scholarly conversations of ascendants and their motivations.
Our story begins…
In the 9th Year of Empress Laseen’s Rule
1163rd Year of Burn’s Sleep,
105th Year of the Malazan Empire.
In the Free City of Kindle, a small city that sits to the north of Greenwater Lake on the Rhivi Plain. Its position is neither strategic nor particularly advantageous in terms of trade or resources but Kindle has prospered. It may not match the tall spires of Pale or the cosmopolitanism of Darujhistan, but it has its own charms.
Kindle is governed by the Five Houses:
House of Blades, essentially the city’s own assassin’s guild which serves the functions of keeping petty squabbles amongst the other Houses from spilling out onto the cobbled streets of Kindle
House of Faith, these are representatives of the many religions that have temples within Kindle’s walls
House of Wyrd, a collection of prominent mages and scholars
House of Manners, the nobles of Kindle that can trace their lineage back to the city’s founding
House of Coins, arguably the most influential House as it comprises the city’s most successful, and therefore wealthy, merchants
The expansion of the Malazan Empire had appeared to pass Kindle by, lying so far to the west it was believed that this small city had been largely ignored by Malazan strategists. Boasting little of import save its excellent relations with the Rhivi tribes and as such indirectly support the efforts of the mercenary company the Crimson Guard, and the Ascendant Caladan Brood, to drive back the encroaching forces of the Malazan Empire.
But news has arrived of Pale’s fall, and the Empress has turned her eye on the ‘glittering jem of Genabackis’ that is Darujhistan. The legendary Moon’s Spawn, which had been described as: “ ..Ragged as a blackened tooth, the basalt fortress was home to the most powerful enemy the Malazan Empire had ever faced. High above the earth, Moon’s Spawn could not be breached by siege. Even Laseen’s own undead army, the T’lan Imass, who travelled as easily as dust on the wind, were unable, or unwilling, to penetrate its magical defences.”, was said to have been driven off by the Malazan High Mage and his cadre. Even now a Malazan company as detached itself from the clearing of Pale and is moving towards Kindle across the Rhivi Trail towards Greenwater Lake…
Last edited by Friday; Monday, 12th July, 2010 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Additional info!
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