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25 April 2013 @ 03:39 pm
World Build: THRONE/Legions Over Zothoth  
The Throne Islands are a loose archipelago of islands to the northwest of the main populated continent which concerns our setting. Unlike one might expect in most nautical adventure settings, the islands are largely temperate climes rather than tropical. These mean large wooded forests, occasional rainforests, but again these are mostly temperate ones. The islands are centered around a main, very large island or microcontinent from which the archipelago gets its name. THRONE is an island of rolling hills and occasional valleys, and a volcanic plain on the westernmost side.  Most notable is the islands eponymous feature, the Throne. A towering but largely featureless citadel stretching perhaps hundreds of feet into the sky, which from a distance appears to be a traditional high-backed seat upon which some titanic regent can easily be imagined have recently vacated. Even the island’s active volcano is dwarfed by the Throne, although some suggest that the volcano is (comparatively) a newer addition to the island.</p>

The island surrounding this citadel is littered with ruins and catacombs of a former civilization long destroyed. These are scattered across the surface and underbelly of the island, even extending to the blasted, obsidian and magma-burned plains of the western coast.  These tombs and ruined necropolises house some of the worlds’ greatest treasures and artifacts, or so it is rumored as some of the worlds’ most dangerous creatures also are said to inhabit the ruins of Throne. This itself would be enough to draw travelers and adventurers to the Throne Islands. However, the islands have a great richness of minerals, unique spices, and perhaps the most valuable commodity, the oilweed (more said about that later). </p>

There are a little more than a hundred separate islands, but the largest hold most of the population of the Shattered Isles. The Orcaulis Empire holds a great penal colony and trading port on the southern isle of Thinmist.  Their rivals, the Empire of Ornament has established a great series of plantations and mining towns throughout the eastern island of Cautinland.  As always, where there is commerce and industry, there will ever be those who seek to exploit and prey upon the labor of others. So it stands that the Throne Islands are also home to the great Pirate Tyranny, a conglomeration of so-called freebooters and mercenaries who bend their knee to no emperor, no flag, and possible even to no god. Their rogue ports flourish and fade according to the ever-persistent efforts of the navies of the New Empires.</span>

While these colonies are well established at this time, none could have been possible without the intervention of the great sea elf race, the Vondine, whose tidal capital Breach(?) lies to the north of Throne. Their trading vessels and shipwrights first braved the great western oceans to bring the Ancient Forefathers of Zothoth immense riches, goods, and erudition; and the promise of renewing this trade drew the New Empires to the Throne Islands.

And strangely, the sea-elves are not the only indigenous race to populate the islands.  The strange proto-human race known as the Ahng, the Neanderthal tribes, huddle in obscurity and living out the last dying days of their once promising race. Legend holds that they once ruled the Throne itself, but were punished by the gods for some unknowable blasphemy.  However, this is hardly the only legend as to the origins of the enigmatic landmark, and the Ahng are far from the only civilization who claims title to it.


The Orcaulis Empire

Most people know the story of the Orcaulis Empire, and that’s not just because they control a significant portion of the Zothothian continent. It’s a curious tale on its own, one that the Orcs have embellished and codified over the centuries since their ascent.  The orcs were not always the deeply disciplined, increasingly civilized race that they are today. They were once unmanageable hordes and tribes that spent most of their time battling each other and being prey for other, more developed races. Occasionally there would be a great wizard or magiarch who would band them together for one reason or another, but these alliances usually quickly degraded once the madness of their assumed leader or tyrant overwhelmed his competency.

So it was when the Final Tyrant of the Orcs was defeated by a great alliance of the other races, arrayed in a final siege of one of the Human capitals. The orc armies were on the brink of failure, in full retreat as the wizard who once shielded them fell in single combat with another of his arcane order. Only then, gazing upon the chaotic terror and infighting of the tribes, the great orc warlord Kuyrrh decided that he refused to run any further. He gathered the remaining tribelords and, after battling each one for dominance of the horde, rallied the great army. A great wall of orc flesh was formed against the surge of humans, elves, dwarves, and the other overworld races: a shield of might and blood, flesh to swallow the iron of the uncaring light-lovers.  Against this tide of pain, the Orc legion pushed. They pushed, step by step and inch by inch, climbing over the bodies of their fallen brothers and sons, pushing the overworlders back until it was their sons and fathers the Orc legions were trampling.

That day, the Orc Overlord declared never again would an orc live in bondage to another race, another tyrant. A council of the tribelords was established, a council that became a Senate, the Senate that now administrates the great Orcaulis Empire.

Within the few centuries since it was established Orcaulis has marched straight through the once proud nations of the elves, the dwarves, and most of all, the humans. While the wars were bloody and cruel, the what followed in their wake was oddly peaceful. The Orcs knew of slaughter and slavery, and had their fill of it. Their hate was slaked on their enemies and those who opposed them, but the ruined and shaken survivors were left to fend for themselves without further molestation. The temples remained, the cities allowed to rebuild as they could. Orcs had no need of the cities, and made residence in the soon-sprawling under-cities. The overworlders were allowed to continue their lives, and slowly, the orcs began to learn of the ways of trade, of scholarship, and refined magic. Gradually, although also slowly, the overworlders ruled (indeed, truly governed) by the Orcaulis learned to accept the new Empire.  A strange new order began to emerge, a society where anyone, noble or peasant could ascend to power.  The orcs had no knowledge or care for bloodlines, for divine right. The gods had pissed all over the destiny of the orcs, and to them, the only power that mattered was what one earned or clawed away from those unable to hold it for themselves. The ruthless realpolitik left little need for the chivalry that the other overworld races prided their nations on. There was strength, power, and dignity. Nothing else mattered to the Orcaulis’ emperor and his Senate. With each of the conquests, the Empire flourished with new plunder, bringing a strange, hybrid beauty to the undercities and the overcities.  Today the Orcaulis Empire is teeming with trade, while her borders strain against those of the other New Empires and Kingdoms.

Orcaulis Races: Orc, Half-Orc, and Humans are most typical. A few terrestrial elves can be found, but their temperaments are generally incompatible with the Orcs. Dwarves are typically not seen given the aeons-long feud between them and the Orcs. Giant-kin occasionally find their way to the Throne Islands, along with a few independent clans of goblins. Despite several attempts to have the Ogre warrens join with the Orcaulis, they have stubbornly refused to civilize themselves sufficient to harmoniously participate in the Orc Ascendancy.

The Ornament Empire

When the orcs finally rallied, the allied forces of human, elf, dwarf, and others were unprepared for the unprecedented will-to-power they demonstrated over the following years. Kingdom after kingdom fell beneath their push toward dominance over the Zothothian continent. The noble houses of the Children of An were put to the sword, debased into impotence, or turned traitor and embraced the Greenskin governance in defiance of the gods. Yet, the Orcaulis’ ruthless disregard for the divine order of the world would not go unchallenged. At the extremity of their endurance, the true Sons and Daughters of An dug into the mountainous keeps and impenetrable forests of the eastern edge of the continent, determined to be pushed no further.  They would hold the line and pray for intervention from the gods.  This time, as in the holy texts of the ancients, the gods listened and granted the Children of An the blessing of the Nine Holy Fathers, great saints and holy warriors who held back the Greenskin tide with faith and fury. They bore the forgotten True Sacraments and the Incorruptible Ornaments of Light, that evil and monstrosity cannot withstand.  The Nine Holy Fathers led the Children of An to a new glory, and slaughtered the Greenskins from the ancient fatherlands of the An. The greatest of the Fathers, the Ordained Triad, recorded the Stone Testament, the sacred words of Order and Law which would forever burn those who scraped and served chaos, evil, and toiled against the Holy Hierarchy of the Heavens. The Ornament Empire stands as a beacon to the true races of the gods, unwavering in their dedication to prove themselves the rightfully, divinely chosen rulers of the carnal world. Piety, service, righteousness, valor, and justice are the commandments that the Ornament Empire endlessly crusades to inspire in the black cities of the Forsaken Children beyond their borders.an>

Taxi Summersunsi_sempai on April 26th, 2013 01:48 pm (UTC)
Tor Segundo: diogenesstsisyphus on April 26th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
Ah look at you buttering me up with a good ol' Nick Cave song. Oh that reminds me, I need to check out his new album.

Doing okay. Gaming, as you might see. Resisting doing anything bookface or twits. Cyber-hermit, that is me.

How have you been doing? I mean, aside from the obvious recent panic and everything.
Taxi Summersunsi_sempai on April 27th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
Not too bad, despite my city having been covered with blood. Been watching a lot of good movies and enjoying springtime. And tonight, I'm having curry and beer!
Taxi Summersunsi_sempai on April 27th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
p.s. new album has some good songs and some mediocre songs; the Bad Seeds just aren't the same without Mick and Blixa