Cyc Abyss 1021Edit
- System: Pathfinder
- GGM: Suzune
- Session Frequency: Depends
- Channels: #EESCAbyss & #EESCAbyss-session
- GM Policy: GMing is encouraged, but please respect the GM rules
- Rules: As SRD. Third-party rules are allowed with GGM approval. The Psionics rules by Dreamscarred Press are pre-approved (mostly because your GGM has perused them pretty heavily already). Also. Characters start at level 3 with 20 ability points. HP is maximum-roll at level 1 (As per normal rules), and dice average rounded-up at subsequent levels (so 3 for a d4, 4 for a d6, 5 for a d8, 6 for a d10, 7 for a d12). Characters advance using the Fast experience advancement table (So you start with 3300 XP), and start with 3000gp. Characters also have 2 traits. Find out more about character creation here.
(Pardon the odd formatting, it's a bit hard to wikify this material)
The Cyc Abyss (Pronounced 'saik') is a vast pit the size of a small country when you include its height and multiple shelves, and will be the near-entire domain of the setting, despite being on a mild-sized planet (named Ilira). This is important, though, because the Abyss is the home of the Great Pillar, a tall, white stone(?) pillar that qualifies as a Big Dumb Object, and radiates palpable mystery. The Abyss is divided into shelves with (slightly) variant climates, as well as numerous cavern communities and networks. Sunlight manages to filter down through the entire Abyss and hits all but the Fifth Shelf evenly, leading to a mild climate all around. Adventurers often appear in the area to explore its ancient ruins, cavern systems - and a few even try to brave the Depths (though many fail to return...). Right now, the Abyss is in a dire state of war with both itself, and the monsters of the depths...
--=Layout and Politics=--
The Abyss is filled by the Five Shelves, the top of which is only called a shelf for consistence - it is actually at the surface. Though referred to as the land of Alemar for both the Abyss itself and its surroundings, the once-proud nation has long since been divided into a number of warring states, almost too many to count. And if you go too far down, you meet the Depths, a region filled with monsters and held back by The Deep Wardens, a loose extranational coalition of heroes and soldiers.
The first shelf, the surface level, is situated in the midst of the Ruun Plains, and is where the majority of Alemar's food comes from. By and large this area won't be paid attention to, /except/ for the nations that surround the Abyss, known by their being amongst the ruins of the old capital Ring.
Once a massive city encircling the Abyss, Ring is now simply a term for the region. The old boroughs have since become city-states of their own, like Norgard in the north, arguably the most powerful of them due to controlling the old acropolis and having long-consolidated its wonders. Other borough-states include the Grand Arc on the west side, North and South Namina split by the river of the same name in the southeast, and the Ruunlands which hold (or 'hold', given their tentative status) much of the rest of the city and its ruins. Norgard and the two Namina states are probably the most advanced of Ring's new boroughs, while the Ruunlands are obviously the least by not even being a full nation, sometimes overtaken by Orcish hordes (including now).
The Ruun Plains are the breadbasket of the Alemar region, and are where much of the Abyss's food comes from. However, much of it is still wild, and thus there are untamed reaches of plain where bandits, monsters, and worse prowl. Not only that, but there is the chaos and destruction caused by the sometimes-wars of the states on the plains, or even just the isolated strongholds in the Ruunlands proper. Even worse, Orcish raiding parties often stream in from the Greater Ruun Steppes to ruin the Ruunlands with their carnage and pillage.
-Orcs of the Steppes:
The Orcs of the Ruun Tribes live mostly east and south of Alemar, and are considered a menace to much of civilized society. The Steppes, as well as a good chunk of the Plains, are their 'playground', where few others can tread safely. They do, sometimes, trade with the fringes of other societies, and as such Orcish relics sometimes turn up in th hands of other races, allowing their natural powers to be used. However, the tribal structure of the Orcish society also makes peace almost impossible with them, simply because there are so many of them (and they're usually very aggressive) such that any negotiations will only function with a small segment of their population. Either way, they're currently invading parts of the Ring area, and sometimes even spill out into the Abyss.
The more distant ones are for the players to come up with if desired. However, a few nearby ones are known, like Dennamare (A feudal empire to the north that is a lot more organized than Alemar or its other neighbors, yet at the same time is a stark, harsh place), Einai (An archipelago nation in the southern ocean, known for its martial tradition and Egypt-esque theocratic Einoth rulership system), and Tremain (the one nation to the immediate west of Alemar, known for having a similar culture to Alemar and basically being from the same societal bloc). In this era, Beregarde has not colonized the East, so Tremain owns what would become Rechma in the 2040s.
Interstice 1-2 (And Ring's Underground):
The underground of Ring is a confusing web of catacombs, having not been cleared out or worked yet, and in spite of the complexity of the network, much of it doesn't exit out into the Abyss proper (which is good, because some of them used to be sewers in the old capital.) Furthesrmore, the dwarves of the Abyss now live on this cliff in deep warrens that extend horizontally into the earth, afraid to go deeper lest they run into hostile creatures below this height. Because of this, many armies patrol this interstice during their sorties, so it's at least somewhat safe to traverse - except for on the eastern side, occupied by the Orcs as it is. However, not only are there Orcs to deal with, but small nests of monsters, goblinoids, and the like.
The Inner Forest makes up a large portion of this, the second shelf, and not even the elven stronghold of Estvale at the top of the Second Namina Falls completely penetrates through it. Wild beasts often roam through the woods, Orcish raiders from above come in to attack elven settlements there ever so often, and on top of all of that, there's the matter of the Depths to deal with. Hillsmarch, the other major town on this shelf, is a part of Norgard, and is a hub for adventurers trying to help out with some of the problems of this shelf, mostly the monsters. Generally, the second shelf is run by the elves of Alemar, who exist in various spread-out communities, and try not to interfere with each other too much - but if pressured by Ring's nations or invaders from beyond, will retaliate.
A dangerous place, the Second Cliff leads to the Upper Depths, whose inherent danger due to hostile Drow makes the elves of the Second Shelf patrol regularly, though with the warring states further out, they can only do so much. Either way, there are a number of threats, such as the actual monstrous Depthdwellers, or the Drow who live on the third shelf and sometimes invade upwards and outwards.
The Upper Depths are found on a damp and cold brushland on the third shelf. Much of its territory is controlled by the Drow kingdom of Estragoth, who have moved in from elsewhere underground, made pacts with intelligent Depthdwellers, and tamed many of the non-sentient ones to survive in this dangerous landscape. Their bleak cityscapes mock the war-torn lands higher up, even if they're not really that much more advanced - for they too have repurposed the ruins of the old empire. Many Drow cities exist on this shelf, though they're hardly safe places, even for the very race that lives there, due to their cutthroat society. There are other landmarks, like Lake Fellevar on much of the northern side, that the Drow fish in and gain much of their food from, or the Beringer Rift, which cuts a wide swath through the southwestern corner of this shelf, starting from a crack on the Second Cliff.
Few people from up above have ever been on the Third Cliff in centuries. What is known, though, is that things start to get stranger. Abberant creatures stalking the tunnels, monster cults, and worse are all in store here. Dwarves once lived here rather than the First Cliff, so their relics are a promise to adventurers who seek treasure... and more often than not instead discover danger.
The Fourth Shelf is the last one visible from above (usually only seen this way from a great distance), and it is... different. Light levels are starting to decline here, and as such large fungi often replace trees, and a strange sort of night-jungle has formed here, full of viney creepers and giant mushrooms and even stranger foliage. Dwarven ruins abound, and many lesser civilizations of aberrant beings have come to house themselves in these ruins, as well as in the matching tunnel networks in the Third Cliff. The night-jungle claims all who traverse it - save only for a small handful who survived the trip so that the world might know of the dangers of it. The Beringer Rift still cuts into this shelf, but it hardly matters - giant networks of vines have crossed and netted it in what may even be intentional bridges forged by some magically-adept race.
The Fourth Cliff... not much is known about it. Not much at all. One can only imagine that the invasive tendrils of the night-jungle has claimed its tunnels as well, draping down in great curtains to the cavernous interior below.
Nobody can recall anyone making it this far down, and unlike the other shelves, it is covered by the Fourth except for a small disc around the Great Pillar. As such, many theorize it's like an actual cave, and that the night-jungle of the Fourth extends all the way down onto it, and in truth is /originating/ from down there. Demonic, unknown monsters are said to live there, making it a forbidden place even moreso than the rest of the Depths.
--=Technology And Magic=--
In the height of the Dark Ages, there isn't much in the way of advanced technological wonders, and magical conveniences are the expensive province of the aristocracy or rich adventurers. Guns do not exist and won't for centuries, so the "No Guns" firearms rules are in effect, also meaning that Gunslingers and gun-using archetypes are unavailable. However... relics from the higher-magical time of empire can sometimes be found in ruins in various places, making it possible for an enterprising adventurer to live the high life too.
Other than that, the technology level is basically that of the items available in the SRD, sans culturally-PF-specific items (again, you should be able to identify which those are, and I can point them out if you cannot). Furthermore, unlike in the 2040s, druidic magic is still practiced by Alemar and its neighbors, though not as much as other forms of divine magic (or for that matter arcane magic).
The major prevailing religion, followed by the majority of peoples except for the Orcs and those that follow the Court, is that of the Providence. Providentialists, as they're called, believe that in the distant past, there were people of Light and people of Darkness, who were once embroiled in a terrible war that happened before what is now known as time. The peoples' reason for war was forgotten over time even by them, and eventually they actually destroyed one another, but yet the people of Light left behind the Providence to govern the world in their place. It's unknown what precisely the Providence /is/, but it is something akin to a god, but yet permeates the world, and may exist in some form in relics. As such, terribly ancient things like the Great Pillar are considered holy to Providentialists, as they may be foundations of the ancient Providence itself, which it lives in and flows through. Nonetheless, since the Providence is the cosmic law of all reality, any divine principle can be filtered from it, often with different colors of the refraction of light (the sun is believed to be one of the places in which the Providence lives, and thus sunlight is a holy emanation) representing a given aspect or side. For example, red might represent things like fire, passion, or the like, while green might instead represent nature. Colors of one's favored aspect are worn by clerics, and coincidentally, this makes the symbol of the providence the Holy Ring, often colored in a melange of different hues.
The religion of the Orcs is different, of course. They follow ancestors, especially Hrol, the Orc-father, but also individual ancestors. Thanks to their varieties of magical practice and strong martial tradition, Orcish clerics have no shortage of available domains to choose from, each possibly corresponding with a famous ancestor, or even an obscure one. Many a time, it is training under rebellious Orcs that leads one to learning druidic magic, for they also know of nature spirits.
There is also a string of minor cults, often devoted to beings belonging to a larger entity called the Court, whose Courtiers are often a type of eldritch abomination that sometimes intervenes in the affairs of the world, but ultimately seem terribly distant from the happenings in it. Just as with the other religions, it's easy to find a Courtier who represents the aspects of the world that you might wish to influence, though often they forge Contracts with worshipers that ask for strange devotions from time to time. Despite their somewhat horrifying nature, most Courtly cults are tolerated, though Providentialists sometimes express irritation with even the good or neutral ones, and are in open war with the evil ones. It's of especial note that the goddess of the Drow - She Who Weaves Darkness - is an especially powerful Courtier.
--=History in Brief=--
In this era of the Abyss, there has been a large amount of war and chaos. The nation of Alemar was once a powerful empire more than 400 years ago, and much has been forgotten about the period of empire since then, due to the sacking of the ancient capital of Ring and the burning of many now-unknown historical records. Still, the remnants of empire are clear enough in the system of roads connecting the many belligerent states collectively still known as Alemar, the ruins of the former city of Ring, and so on.
In recent history, the warring states of Alemar have successfully repelled an invasion from Tremain, which is a little bit more on-the-ball politically. However, that was more than a decade ago, and since then the infighting (and/or awkward truces, depending) has begun anew. Similarly, there have been rotating monster surges from the Depths every few years - chances are the next one is soon...
--=What the PCs Are and Do=--
The PCs are all recruits of the Order of Starlight, a group originally founded by Elven adventurers two centuries ago to protect the Abyss from its Depths and outside forces of similar nature. They're most often known as monster-hunters, helpers who sometimes donate their time and labor to help the less fortunate, and as an international force of good. They only require some level of combat prowess and upright moral standards to join, and despite being based in the elven stronghold of Estvale, accept people of all races who fit their standards.
- Please don't lose on purpose, it inconveniences everyone.
- Respect the other players and GMs.
- If you want to create a character that has a prior relationship to with an existing PC, ask the player for permission first and coordinate with them, in order to ensure it would fit into their character concept as well!
- Please don't intentionally try to wipe out the players. Challenging battles are fun. Really hard battles based on ignoring obvious warnings? Fine. Really hard battles for no apparent reason? Not fine.
- If you want to create an NPC for a role mentioned in the setting, please clear it with the GGM first, please.
- While it's fine to use NPCs made by other GMs, if you're going to change anything permanent about them (change their relationships, get them killed etc. etc.), ask the the person who created them first.
- Likewise, don't alter the setting too much without GGM permission. Like creating a peace between the nations of Alemar, driving out the Orcs/Drow/Abberant Races, or solving the mystery of the Great Pillar.
- Death does not happen to PCs. All characters are considered stable but unable to act and otherwise completely helpless at negative HP scores. This is called the "Defeated" condition. After the encounter ends, the character will recover to 1 HP. Their fate is to be raped/captured, not murdered. This goes for characters of all races and genders. There is no mechanic to punish death per se, but you may lose some gear or the like if you party-wipe, so be careful!
- As a special full-round action, an enemy can Drag Away a character who is Defeated. This causes the enemy and PC to disappear from the battlefield, and for most characters will lead to a rape or similar. If the party wipes, the character will join the rest of the party in their ensuing fate. If the party manages to defeat the remaining enemies, they will discover the Defeated PC nearby - unless that PC's player would prefer being captured or otherwise needing rescue. This goes regardless of the enemy's normal motives, simply as a way to streamline ero-content delivery properly.
- There is a new spell, "Remove Fertilization" [Level 1 - Available to All Classes - School: Conjuration - Casting Time: 1 Standard Action - Components: V, S - Range: Touch - Target: Creature Touched - Duration: Instantaneous - Saving Throw: Fortitude Negates (Harmless) - Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless)]. It removes any fertilization, eggs, or other impregnation from a character, provided it's cast within a month of the fertilizing event. If you for whatever reason do not wish to learn this spell (or cannot), there will be an ordermaster NPC who knows it. As an option to be negotiated between player and GM, more powerful monsters (especially outsiders and aberrations) may also require a unique material component be sought for. In this case, the time limit may be fudged to make finding the cure reasonable. Furthermore, magical or unnatural monsters (again, like aberrations and outsiders) may also inflict a negative level that stays as long as the fertilization does.
- There are new special drawbacks: a minor one and a major one. To remind/inform, a minor drawback allows you to take a third trait, while a major drawback allows you to take a bonus feat. Either way, they both read as follows: "Dark Charisma - The character is unusually attractive to a group of enemies, and will draw their interest in multiple ways. In combat, they'll priority-target the character provided doing so is not perceived as tactical suicide by them, and out of combat, there's the chance she'll attract reasonably mild extra attention from the target group - such as the interest of a raiding party or the intervention of a power that happens to be monitoring the area. As a minor drawback, choose 3 types/subtypes from the ranger list. As a major drawback, instead choose 5 and such creatures gain a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls and grapple-related checks against you."
- All PCs gain the same amount of experience regardless of whether they've been played or not, and if they haven't gotten loot, will gain a stipend per-level equal to the difference between their current worth (including items) and that level's expected wealth.
Order of Starlight CharactersEdit
|Leene||GMs||5||Elf||Female||NPC||Your chapterhouse's leader.|
|Arienne||Kagarus||3||Elf||Female||PC||Somewhat atypical paladin.|
|Suri||Suzune||3||Human||Female||PC||Psionic fighter from Einai.|
|Sabine||Saru||3||Half-Elf||Female||PC||A dark Oracle.|
|Carol||Kitty||3||Samsaran||Female||PC||A questionable Oracle.|
See Also: General NPC List