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 The Setting

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Sam
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PostSubject: The Setting   Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:14 am

Welcome to Asmetris


Flanked on one side by the lofty reaches of the Icewell mountains and the shimmering blue of the Morfil ocean on the other, Asmetris is, on the surface, one of the most gloriously beautiful kingdoms the world has ever seen. The farms are highly productive, the mines are rich with gold and gems, and trade with the other kingdoms is the strongest it has ever been. The King and his Queen rule fairly and justly from their thrones in the great city of Serenity, promoting peace and kindness to all, and both traditional and magical education systems are blossoming.

In a kingdom that has spent generations in a state of unrest, this peace has been a long time coming. For the first time in centuries children can play on the streets of the capital city of Serenity in safety, traders can ply their wares without fear and attendance in the numerous churches and temples is at an all-time high. People have begun to believe in hope and goodness again, and with each passing year the strength and influence of the crown is being felt more across the entire kingdom.

However, away from the glittering joy of the capital city of Serenity there lies the deep darkness of sin. Bandits roam the borderlands, their numbers growing every year. Attendance in the temples to the Gods of chaos and desecration show no signs of wavering. The slave ring in the mountains grows richer, the desperate people of Fogwick are still dying in droves and attacks by wild beasts are still commonplace. The usurping of the twisted and corrupt governor of the Second City of Lochrose was a welcome blessing to some, but few can forget the brutal and very public way the new ruler dealt with him. They wonder whether they have merely been taken from the frying pan into the fire.

Between beasts, natural disasters, slavery, murder and mayhem, those outside of Serenity’s grasp and without the comfort that wealth or a very big weapon can bring struggle to merely survive.

And somewhere in the darkness, the Gods are stirring…


Last edited by Sam on Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Setting   Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:57 am

Lay of the Land


Asmetris is a kingdom divided into districts, each one with its own systems of operation but all under the guidance of the King and Queen of Serenity, the capital city. Below is a brief breakdown of each of the districts. Please see the ‘About’ post on each district’s own forum to get a more detailed analysis of them.

Serenity – The capital city of Serenity is ruled by the King and Queen. A rich and prosperous city, Serenity is the safest district in the kingdom and the most powerful and influential. The Watchmen patrol the streets regularly, and the streets are lined with delicate trees and beds of ever-blooming flowers. It does have its seedy underbelly, of course, but any unrest or corruption is quickly rooted out and ended before it has a chance to take hold.

Sagemont – The closest district to the capital, Sagemont is a place of healing and worship to the non-evil Gods. Temples and churches line the streets, and any form of violence or disruption is severely punished. Even the poorest people can come here in search of help, healing or guidance. It is ruled by the head priests and priestesses.

Mallowlay – Located on the edge of the kingdom, backing onto the Outerlands, Mallowlay is a land of farmsteads, providing the bulk of the food, mounts and other such provisions. It is an unsettled land, ruled by a Council made up of the most influential landowners and life here can be very tough if you are not near the top of the pecking order.

Oakhaven – On the opposite side of the Kingdom from Mallowlay and nestled at the foot of the mountains, Oakhaven is a vast forest that is home to relatively few. It is a major producer of all the Kingdom’s wood and wild meat, but those who live there fiercely protect it and any outward desecration of nature is punishable by death. It is ruled by an elected council.

Blueway – Sitting beside the Morfil ocean and along the top of the cliffs that overlook it, Blueway is a fairly poor district whose primary trade is the fish and other bounties of the ocean. Leadership of this district changes frequently, with the main houses forever bickering over who is worthiest to rule.

Fogwick – Located in the far reaches of the Kingdom and about as far away from Serenity as it is possible to get, Fogwick is a desolate district of the desperate and dying. Gangs battle constantly for control, the river runs thick with pollution and sickness, and many are kidnapped into lives of slavery in other districts. For some poor souls, though, slavery is preferable to the horror of spending what remains of their life in Fogwick.

Icewell – Providing a very treacherous but efficient border with the next kingdom, the district of Icewell is a vast mountain range that is controlled by the wealthiest mining families. The mines here are rich with gold and precious gemstones, and slave workers are incredibly common. It is also home to Lofty Peak, the Kingdom’s incredibly secure prison under the mountain.

Morwynne –Located next to Lochrose, ruled by the guilds and shunning all control from Serenity, Morwynne is a district home to assassins, prostitutes, thieves and other unsavoury types. For those with the means to get by life here can be incredibly profitable and uncomfortable. For those without, it is only a matter of time until their luck runs out.

Lochrose – Known as the Second City, Lochrose boasts the best education system and biggest library in all the Kingdom. Even the poorest here can receive schooling. In Lochrose knowledge and loyalty are key, and those who prove themselves worthy to the ruling governor can find themselves very quickly rising to high positions. Those who don’t, however, face a less than pleasant future.
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PostSubject: Re: The Setting   Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:51 pm

Education



The level and standard of education varies massively from district to district and is largely determined by the wealth and status of the person involved, though there are some situations that can change that. The vast majority of educational facilities cater to both traditional schooling and magical training.

By far the biggest and most well-regarded school in Asmetris is Gardmore Abbey, located in Serenity a short walk from the palace. This network of buildings caters to the educational needs of the children of many of the wealthiest and most highly regarded families from all districts, partially due to their high standards and partially due to the high cost of sending your child to study there. They hold traditional and magical teaching in equal measure and the graduates tend to find it easy to secure very good work when they leave.

Lochrose is home to the second largest and most highly regarded school, called Harkenlight Academy. This school is highly devoted to the teachings of the deity Lalumal and places very high standards on traditional education, and the teachers are known to be very strict and hard on those who are not progressing as they should. However there is also a high importance placed on magical learning, especially combat magic, and many graduates who show a particular talent for it face mandatory recruitment into the palace guard.

There are a number of smaller schools located in some of the wealthier of the other districts, all of which are to a similar standard. Many of them are funded by parents/ guardians of the children being sent, and some are funded by the temples located near to them. Whether they place more emphasis on traditional or magical teaching varies from one to the other, but all of them tend to produce pretty well-rounded individuals. See the 'about' page for each district to find more information about the specific schools in each district.

For those who cannot afford to send their child to an official school, or for children who do not possess enough latent magical ability to win them sponsorship into a school, there are people in each district who can provide basic teaching. These are generally older more knowledgeable people who have retired from their previous careers, and can provide basic traditional and magical teachings for a very small fee or small gift of food or supplies.

For those who cannot afford even that, however, there is little hope. The poorest people are almost always illiterate and uneducated, and most go through their lives without ever being able to understand or develop their magical ability. The only chance they have of winning education in any way is to have enough natural magical talent to catch the eye of a sponsor, but that is an incredibly long shot as most sponsors will not give a second glance to those living in such a state.
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PostSubject: Re: The Setting   Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:51 pm

The Pantheon


While there are those who hold little or no faith in the Gods, they are in the minority. The vast majority of people hold faith in at least one of the deities in the pantheon, with many supporting two or more of the Gods. Worship is commonplace and in some sectors of society it is even enforced, though those who support and praise the deities that are not good-aligned tend to keep such worship more secretive.

In the past few years there have been more and more stories coming forward of people who have actually met with one of the Gods, or who have been blessed or otherwise had their lives dramatically altered by divine means. Whether these people are telling truths, spinning falsehoods or are simply insane is very much a matter of debate.

Below is a quick guide to the key deities of the pantheon.


Beidi
God of fate and the future
Many followers seek clues to the prophecy of the end of the world
Main temple is the Temple of Insight in Sagemont
White three-eyed skull on a purple field


Disian
God of death and the afterlife
Some followers take a vow of silence in respect of the unspeaking dead
Main temple is the Temple of Undying in Sagemont
Black wilting flower on a grey field


Eniuna
Goddess of athletics, sport and competition
People honourably injured in the arena hold high praise among the followers
Has no temple, but does have a church in Sagemont
Black horse statue on a yellow field


Fare
Goddess of chaos and destruction
Sister to Fayd
Followers seek the prophecy of how to decimate and reform the world
Main temple is the Temple of Bones in Morwynne, but there are several secretive churches elsewhere
Grey two-headed dragon on a horizontal bipart crimson and black field


Fayd
God of flames, fire and the desecration of nature
Brother to Fare
Offerings of burned flora and fauna earn high praise from the priests
Has no temple but a small church in Morwynne is dedicated to him
Fire leaf on a horizontal bipart black and crimson field


Lalumal
Goddess of knowledge and education
Believed by many to have created the world
Main temple is the Temple of Thought in Sagemont, but there is also a large church in Lochrose
Black quill pen on a white field


Musai
God of romance, poets and music
Holds very high status among many rich and powerful houses
Has no temple but has several small churches scattered widely
Blue star and white lyre on a white field


Neiat
God of lies, illusions and trickery
Many followers are members of the various guilds in Morwynne
Main temple is the Temple of The Masked Man in Morwynne
White masquerade mask on a black field


Nenane
Goddess of healing and healing magic
Truly neutral, Nenane's followers tend to everyone regardless of their allegiances
Main temple is the Temple of the Gentle Touch in Sagemont
Black outline of a bandaged hand on a green field


Nerida
Goddess of water, fishing and fishermen
Only has a few followers, but they tend to be the most unerringly loyal
Has no temple, but has several shrines in Blueway
Black winged leaping fish on a horizontal tripart cyan, navy and brown field


Phalym
God of miners and the mountains
Despite having relatively few followers, Phalym boasts by far the richest temples
Main temple is the Temple of the Undermountain in Icewell, but there is also a church in Sagemont
Multi-tonal blue diamond on a horizontal bipart blue and white field


Phon
God of weather, harvest and the changing seasons
Phon is respected and feared in equal measure as he brings both food and natural disasters
Brother of Viss
Has no temple but there are several shrines in Oakhaven, Mallowlay and Blueway
Autumn leaf on a vertical bipart green and golden-brown field


Taia
Goddess of travel and adventure
Has a relatively small following with no established order of worship
Has no temple, but many shrines along the Strongbridge Ways
White sixteen-spoked carriage wheel on a horizontal bipart white and orange field


Tegai
Goddess of peace and sanctuary
By far one of the most widely worshipped deities
Main temple is the Temple of Solitude in Sagemont, but there is a small Temple of Blessing in Serenity
Black eleven-pointed star on a horizontal tripart yellow, white and yellow field


Viss
God of nature, freedom, animals and hunting
Despite having no real order of worship, Viss is one of the most celebrated deities
Brother of Phon
Has a small church in Sagemont but has shrines everywhere, particularly Oakhaven, Mallowlay and Blueway
Turquoise circle and black bow on a brown field


Zeuroni
God of law, soldiers and warfare
Has a strict order of worship, and those injured in battle are held in very high regard
Has no temple, but does have a church in Sagemont
Green shield and crossed swords on a white field
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PostSubject: Re: The Setting   Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:17 pm

Calendar


General Guide to the Seasons.

The world on which Asmetris sits has four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. Spring tends to be the wettest months, but with mild temperatures. This makes it ideal for the growth of young plants but untended fields and buildings alike often suffer from rot and mould which thrive in the damp, warm conditions. Summers are often warm and pleasant, though some days there are violent storms and heavy rainfall, leaving the days following humid and uncomfortable. In fall the temperatures begin to slowly drop but the days are often dry and sunny. The trees begin to shed their leaves, and many crops ripen for harvesting. Winters are cold and dark. In milder years there is heavy rainfall, leading to ice on the coldest mornings, but in harsh years snow falls heavily and travel becomes increasingly treacherous.

There are some differences in the seasons between a few of the districts. In Icewell the summers tend to still be a little chilly, particularly farther up the mountains, and the snow often lays several feet deep in the winter. In unusually harsh winters, entire buildings become at risk of being buried under the snow. Mallowlay, on the other hand, tends to have quite mild winters and the summers are often the warmest and most pleasant in the kingdom.


The Months of the Year.

The year is divided up into twelve months, as follows:

Ionawr [Winter]
Chwefror [Winter]
Mawrth [Spring]
Ebrill [Spring]
Mai [Spring]
Mehefin [Summer]
Gorffennaf [Summer]
Awst [Summer]
Medi [Fall]
Hydref [Fall]
Tachwedd [Fall]
Rhagfyr [Winter]


Celebrations and Special Events.

1 Ionawr – New Year Festival. Many use this day of rest to give thanks to the Gods for the coming of a new year.
14 Chwefror – Musai's Day. In celebration of the God of romance, people give gifts to those they love.
21 Mawrth – Rebirth Festival. Saplings are planted as thanks to the Gods. Children and animals born or conceived on this day are considered blessed. A horse race is held at the palace in Serenity.
10 Ebrill – Eniuna's Tourney. The year's largest tourney and sports event, held in the grounds of the palace in Serenity.
16 Awst – Lalumal's Day. Brought into play by the new governor of Lochrose on the day he took over, to celebrate education and learning. Libraries give away free books, and teachers impart their knowledge on the streets.
30 Medi – Phon's Festival. To celebrate the coming of fall and the harvest of the crops. Excess produce is often donated to the churches, festivities and markets are held throughout the land and there is a horse race at the palace in Serenity.
31 Hydref – Disian's Day. Considered by many to be a cursed day, people often pray for the peace of the souls of the dead, and give gifts to Disian in the hope that they will not soon be among those numbers. Gifts of sweets are often given to children.
11 Tachwedd – Zeuroni's Blessing. A day of remembrance of those who have given their lives in defence of the kingdom. Gifts of flowers are often given to the families left behind.
25 Rhagfyr – Winter's Solstice – Spent in celebration of the day of the longest darkness, and for the spring that lies ahead. Many people give gifts to friends and loved ones, and feast on any excess produce from the fall harvest.
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