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Thread: ZEITGEIST Player's Guide: Danor
Monday, 16th April, 2012, 05:54 PM #1
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ZEITGEIST Player's Guide: Danor
Guided by a congress of businessmen and scholars, Danor is devoted to endless progress. Old beliefs, especially religion, are cast aside in the face of newer and more profitable ideas. After surviving an apocalyptic collapse five hundred years ago, reason and hard work have created armies more powerful than any in the world, where a common man can wield weapons as mighty as the magic of legendary heroes. After centuries of complacency, the other great nations eye Danor with envy, and with fear.
Following the Second Victory, the social order in old Danor was upended. The Great Malice left the capitol of the Clergy bereft of magic. Horrible monsters spawned in the border regions of wild magic wrought havoc as quavering holy warriors struggled to destroy them without their divine aid. The whole country was cut off from its usual channels of communication, and in a matter of weeks, thousands of priests killed themselves, believing their gods had died, and many more fled in every direction. A once-mighty nation fractured into desperate enclaves, and the old capitol was abandoned as an accursed place.
After decades of chaos, a tiefling named Jierre who had once been a priest near the top of the sacred hierarchy gathered the fractious leaders and managed to convince them in the span of a mere five years to reunite under a new vision. If the hands of the gods could no longer reach into Danor, then it would be the hands of mortals that would give them power and safety. It was magic, after all, and the superstitions and archaic beliefs that were its trappings, that had held back the people of Danor from their potential. Jierre understood that they had a unique opportunity. No foreign nations would bother a land without magic, so the new Danor needed not to worry about invasion. It would decide its own fate, and as long as all were devoted to the ideal of progress, Danor would one day be the strongest nation in the world. Finally, after centuries of insular work and struggle to build a new society, Danor has begun to claim its place in the world.
The House of JierreCommon belief attests that Srasama cursed the leaders of the Clergy with infernal horns and jagged tails, sacrificing half her mortal followers in a Great Malice when she realized she could not defeat the armies arrayed against her. When Jierre united Danor’s factions, almost all those so accursed, dubbed “tieflings,” joined him. Some became decisive merchant leaders, while others took a role in government.
Jierre, for his part, refused to be crowned king, and for his remaining years he served as part of a congress of peers. In the centuries since his death, though, his family—tieflings all—has proven a source of many great statesmen, scholars, and inventors. Though officially Danor has only a Congress and a Sovereign who is elected every decade, the House of Jierre is effectively Danor’s royal family. Where they point, most follow.
The Sovereign today is Han Jierre, former president of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academy of war, the Jierre Sciens d’Arms. Various relatives and in-laws hold many positions in the government and military. A few have even traveled abroad to study magic and apply Danoran principles of science to explain how it works, rather than relying on traditional beliefs. So far, detailed theories have eluded them, as if magic itself refuses to let itself be understood.
Without a doubt, the House of Jierre rules Danor, but their prominence has none gone uncontested. In past periods of riots and protests, though, it certainly helped that, even in a realm where ritual magic does not work, any tiefling can still rebuke a person who attacks him with infernal fire.
Cities and IndustryDanor’s historical capitol of Methia lies abandoned. Though Danorans reject superstition, even they cannot help but feel uneasy in these ruins. Nothing grows there, wild animals stay out, and even in the height of summer, a chill breeze blows under overcast skies.
The modern capitol of Cherage, though, is a bustling center of business and trade. Two centuries of practice at industry has moved the pollution-coughing factories and poverty-riddled worker villages outside the city, where deep canals provide the water for mills. Trains powered by steam crisscross the nation, and the great Avery Coast Railroad runs from mountainous Beaumont on the west coast, through Cherage, and on eastward to Drakr, passing through Crisillyir, before finally ending three thousand miles away in Elfaivar. Warships armored with iron churn along the nation’s coast and among the islands it holds in the Yerasol Archipelago, protecting shipments of food that feed Danor’s burgeoning population of industrial workers.
Wild and Dead MagicWithin Danor’s borders, magic quickly seeps away, a consequence of the Great Malice, where the high elf goddess Srasama died five hundred years ago. Magic item powers, enhancement bonuses, and item properties function normally, subject to GM adjudication.
A creature’s own innate magical powers still function, such as racial spell-like abilities. Magic class abilities that aren’t implement-based also function normally. Unless the caster has an appropriate magical focus, such as a wizard’s bonded item, a magically enchanted holy symbol, or an associated familiar to use as a conduit, magic will not work within the realm of Danor. These items carry enough innate magic with them to power spells and prayers, but over a period of weeks or months, even their power fades entirely.
Since it is impossible to create magic implements in Danor, almost no Danorans study magic. The few Danoran mages there are either traveled to other nations to study, or purchased magic implements and paid exorbitant amounts to import tutors.
Just beyond Danor’s borders, in a broad swath hundreds of miles wide, the fabric of magic is damaged but not destroyed. In these places, known as the Malice Lands, whenever a character casts a spell they must make a DC 14 Will save or be affected by a random spellblight (See the “Spellblights” section in Chapter 2 of the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game Ultimate Magic supplement.) If you don’t have access to the spellblight rules, instead roll an unmodified 1d20 anytime a spell is cast. On a 1, a mishap occurs. A mishap is a random magical event that usually results in the spell backfiring, manifesting as a free-willed monster, or otherwise going dangerously awry.
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