Hail, glorious conquerors, so far from home.
So much has changed in the world. But there is a place that has gone untouched by modern man, a realm where the fantasia of myth comes unhindered.
A realm of monsters, kings, and wars where legends are judged by the blood on their hands.
Skellbrieg - where the real meets the fantastic! Where the boundary between fact and fiction is blurred!
Imposing castles raised by the hand of men protect a populace struggling against the brute nature of their enemies on all sides. Giants, ogres, orcs, dragons, garuda, harpies, and all other sort of evil, any form of demon walking the ground on Skellbrieg wants to torture and kill humans to their hearts' content. It is a strong person indeed who guides the masses.
But squabbling lords and kings fight just as much against themselves than against other, more important, threats.
It is a dark age of Skellbrieg, the mysterious Eighth Continent of the World, where all things stories dream of come true.
Rather appropriately named, Midland is the centermost point on Skellbrieg's geographical surface. It is primarily grassland with a few mountain ranges (namely Araknoak and Sfiflheim) that divide it. Midland is the home to the powerful human nations that make up most of the actual human population in Skellbrieg. Within Midland are several distinct kingdoms, each of which feud between themselves despite existing in such a desperate age of terror.
One of the largest of the fiefdoms of humankind, Isuldor is a proud nation with much power compared to other human realms. However, that hardly makes them a unique threat to the monsters that raid their towns and villages. It is not a normal day unless Isuldor goes to war against at least one of their myriad of enemies. By the blood of its people, Isuldor has been made into a martyr nation and a bulwark zone. This makes it the prime target for mercenary armies.
While Isuldor appears powerful with its gleaming armies and outstanding experience on the battlefield, its long line of cowardly kings keep it from achieving any true progress. Expeditions of brave soldiers are sent into the unknown to satisfy the fear of doubt in the modern royal family's hearts only to come back butchered or not at all. The same goes for the mercenaries sent along with them. With blood or gold, the Isuldorian royal family has a waxing control over the fear sapping the will of the citizens they brainwash. The skyrocketing popularity of the Monotheistic Cult only serves to cement the fact that Isuldor will continue to stand its ground, but feel unimaginable suffering in the process.
The smallest by geography of the human fiefdoms, Aralgnor is nothing short of astounding. With only one city and hundreds of thousands of citizens, it is impossible to imagine a single castle holding that many. Instead, the native Aralgnorians are bred to be horse-riders. With traveling bands of mighty nomadic warriors born in the saddle, it would seem that the Aralgnorians are natural candidates for Isuldorian allies in the dark age.
The truth is quite the opposite. With the Monotheistic Cult infringing upon the horizon, the king of Isuldor has become paranoid of pagans and other so-called heretics. Since the Aralgnorians refuse to accept the Cult and build temples (instead, they call them a waste of time and resources), the Isuldorians practice active executions and purgings of Aralgnorian refugees coming into Isuldorian territory looking for trade, shelter, or simple survival. Aralgnor's main armies under the command of its king do their best to fight the coming chaos, but war against Isuldor seems inevitable at the current rate of diplomatic decay.
As suspected, Araknoak is based in the mountain range of the same name. Working alongside the native dwarves, the humans of Araknoak are skilled blacksmiths and stonecutters. Collectively called the "Bearded Ones" due to their hairy disposition, the humans of Araknoak are seldom seen because of the Isuldorian xenophobia where they are based. They keep to themselves in their caves and mountain fortresses, preparing for the inevitable storm.
They sometimes go to war in heavily-armored regiments colored black. They are rightly feared because of their equipment, which they wield with unmatched ferocity and skill. While their mercenary work is rare, it brings an astounding amount of revenue back to their caves because of the sheer demand for their undeniable power.
Seldom spoken-of, Morrogoth is a dread and bleak place where no good things emerge from. Swampy and ugly, it forms the barrier between normal human realms and the Ice-Wastes. It is cold and miserable - the perfect place for a Womb of Evil to take root. While minor compared to other Wombs, the one found in Morrogoth is still exceptionally sinister because of what it managed to create: Nosferatu.
Drawing in the evil spirits of humanity's collective anger, lust, and greed, the Womb of Evil in Morrogoth spawned the very first Nosferatu in Skellbrieg when a particularly loathsome count actually killed and devoured his children. Since then, the Womb inflicted him with the lust for blood and his curse haunts Morrogoth and beyond to this day. The armies once marching proudly under the banners of ancient Morrogoth now spill out at the behest of powerful necromancers under the influence of evil and their collective desire to both destroy and feed upon the living.
The Great East
Because of its proximity to Africa and the Middle East, those civilizations that were founded within the Great East are heavily inspired by the Babylonian and ancient Egyptian royalty. As such, the giants native to the Phoenix City march to war in gold and red while their king wears purple as is customary of royalty. They also have thick curly beards and thick brown skin from having lived a lifetime in the desert. The giants and monsters from the Great East are more akin to the mythologies of the Middle East. Creatures like anthropomorphic jackals, giant crocodiles, oliphaunts, and even the occasional Walking Island Tortoise are common sights.
Named specifically for the great number of dragons inhabiting it, Dragon Canyon is a massive scar in the earth from an ancient battle and acts as the boundary between Midland and the Great East. While few dragons now inhabit it due to their natural inquisitiveness of the world around them as well as their burning lust for gold and treasure, there are great wyrms, flightless drakes, and other ravenous element-breathers that would proudly call it their home.
As is to be expected, everything beyond Dragon Canyon is dangerous and all but unknown to humans. Those who try to cross Dragon Canyon are usually met with a painful death.
The single largest and most powerful of the human realms in Skellbrieg, Rhushan is known as the Most Powerful Human Nation of the World (keeping in mind that the 'world' to the native person of Skellbrieg ends at the Edge, the impassable wall surrounding the mighty landmass). To prove this, Rhushan has always managed to persuade giants, orcs, and even the occasional dragon to march against its enemies for the right price, of course.
Rhushan is mortal enemies with the Isuldorians, who deny their pantheon of gods and denounce them as barbarians. It is rumored that the king of Rhushan is a monster all his own.
Rhushan could be considered a splinter nation of the Empire of the God-King, but the two seem to have good relations despite them being natural biological enemies in that Rhushan is a human nation and the Empire is mostly made up of giants.
The Empire of the God-King
The largest of the lands of the giants, the Empire of the God-King holds a firm grip on almost the entirety of the Great East. Passed down from warrior to warrior, the title of God-King is synonymous with power considering all giant-kind convenes to the Phoenix City once every year to hold a tournament in order to decide the next ruler of the Empire. To have a single giant exit from such a gathering speaks volumes of how strong he (or she, considering that there have been God-Queens) is.
The Empire is content with acting as a mercenary force all its own. Most of its soldiers see battle across the length and breadth of Midland as hired swords. Sometimes, they are even commissioned by travelers from beyond the Edge of the World to fight in battles in modern Earth. The only condition the giants seem to have is that they wield their own weapons while idly considering human-made ones little more than toys.
But it is not uncommon for the Empire to march to war in full battle formation. Raging battalions of armored giant knights riding oliphaunt steeds and blowing trumpets louder than a thunderstorm are a sight of both awe and terror as those who they are engaging in battle are mowed down like wheat to a scythe.
The Empire and Rhushan have been on good terms since ancient times, both revelling in their shared hatred of Isuldorian bloodlines. Lately, however, the newest God-King Ganishka Saul has been more than intrusive in the dealings of Rhushan between other nations, indicating possible impatience with their mutual peace.
The Black Jungle
Like Morrogoth in Midland, the Black Jungle harbors a Womb of Evil and acts as a vortex of evil spirits that find hosts in the beasts already hunting the trees. Both the Empire and Rhushan utilize the demonic monsters roaming the Black Jungle as scouts, assassins, or even steeds in full cavalry regiments. The beasts from the Black Jungle consume nothing but human flesh, meaning that their riders and handlers have to be just as demonic and spiteful.
The winds blow strangely. The sand sometimes moves on its own. Something is unnatural here. Those on its borders listen to the voices in the night and whisper about shapes on the hilltops around campfires. None are able to say what is beyond the Ghost Desert and its gleaming bone-white dunes or what is hidden within them.
The Frigid South
Untameable wilderness, the southern part of Skellbrieg kisses the lanes of the Antarctic glacial waters. It is where most of the ogres, trolls, ice wyrms, frost giants, and dark elves come from. Legend has it that most of the south is a Womb of Evil, where untold horrors spill from each and every day. To go to the south is certain death, for it is inhabited by some of the most devious enemies of humanity.
Land of Eternal Midnight
Claimed by the dark elves, the black cities of their twilight empire shine forever under a shroud of misery and pain. On the very doorstep of the Womb of Evil, the dark elves make it their mission to torture every last creature on Skellbrieg's surface until only they are left unbonded. Naturally abhorrent of the sunlight, the dark elves cloak their realm in bleakest nightfall. When they are ready to march to war, the night follows with them and entire battlefields are turned into a hellish midnight bloodbath.
Relations between the dark elves and other nations are, suffice to say, not that good. With sadism and cruelty being their bread and butter, the dark elves are collectively uninterested in making peace with anyone. There are, however, some who detest the dreary lifestyle of a dark elf and venture out into the world to make personal amends by joining parties of mercenaries or becoming medicinal healers.
A mysterious and foreboding place, the Ice-Wastes are home to the Haunted, the Walkers, the Pursuers, and a number of other strange, disturbing monsters. Humans have been reported to stay there throughout the centuries, but no contact has been maintained or even confirmed.
Though giants are found everywhere in Skellbrieg, it is in Boflheim where the frost giants make their home. A mighty fortress of impenetrable black ice, Boflheim is home to the throne of the Many-Antlered King, an infamous rival to the God-King of the Great East. The Many-Antlered King wears a crown littered with the bones of his greatest kills, which include the horns of the Leviathan and the teeth of the elusive and monolithic Beast Walrus.
In Boflheim, war between the frost giants and the giants of the Great East has always been a topic of hot debate. It seems that all events leading up to their inevitable conflict point to a stage somewhere in Midland where the greatest wars in Skellbrieg have always been unleashed.
Beyond these established lands are wilderness, unexplored and wild. Wombs of Evil exist everywhere, giving rise to beasts great and small of all shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments. There are even rumors of a leader who is able to coordinate these beasts and give their seemingly random rampages meaning.
The Land of Khan (by La_Espada)
Shebao - the Snake Fort (by Atomikill)
Blackwind Grotto (by _Nobody_)
Against All Odds (OOC/RPG)
Clandestine Crusade (OOC/RPG)
Available Species List
(TH) True Horde
(IP) Infernal Phalanx
- Humans - from Aralgnor (I), Korgon (I), Isuldor (C), Kraken Harbor (C)
- Elves - Blood Elves (TH), Twilight Elves (C), Wood Elves (I)
- Dwarves - from the Kingdom of the Three Peaks (C), Darkstone Tribe (I)
- Thrae - Dawnsong, Kleindorr, Lightweaver, and Sunblaze (C)
From the Black Jungles
- Zduha - Zulutari (TH), Vangari (IP)
- Orcs - Bloodstomper, Thundereater, Glaciertooth, and Skullsplitter Clans (TH), Darkfist Clan (I), Blackwind Grotto (TH)
- Other - Sauros (I)
- Undead - Vampires, general Undead, Death Knights, Dark Rangers (D)
- Forlorn - Sylvania's Undead, rogue Death Knights, Shadow Hunters (I)
- Giants - Many-Antlered King's frozen empire (I)
- Elves - Dark Elves (I)
- Humanoid - Wolfen (C)
- Humans - Rhushan (I), Khan (TH, but contact @la_espada first)
- Giants - Phoenix King's Army (I)
- Undead - Ghost Desert (D)
- Humanoid - Panden (C/TH), Yokkin (I), Mugol (I)
- Sea "Elves" - Naga (I)
- Demons - Pit Lords, Skull-Lords, and Seats of Chaos (IP)
- Orcs - Rageblood Clan (IP)
- Thrae - Grimsworn (IP)
- No destroying anything without asking me first. This is going to be a story eventually (I hope) and some, if not all, of the pieces are important.
- Joining in is easy as asking me and voila!
- The first part of the story is going to be in medias res when the mercenary group Band of the Ivory Skull are already established. Anyone wishing to join Gaiseric and his pursuit of human liberation are free to under certain stipulations that will be defined upon IC interactions.
- The Edge of the World is a giant wall that surrounds Skellbrieg. It is more than a thousand feet tall and three-hundred feet thick on all sides and extends down to the ocean floor. Its main purpose is to keep the monsters Skellbrieg produces with the Wombs of Evil rampant across its surface from getting out.
- If this doesn't work out with other people, I'll just make it into a blog post considering I already have the location approved.
- Other than that, have fun and don't get killed too quickly.