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Title: The Mainland


uzair - May 16, 2011 07:53 AM (GMT)
the mainland
Click here for the map

The Mainland is large, populous continent off the coast of Escova. It is the birthplace of civilization, and the point of origin for all Refugees. It contains dozens of countries, hundreds of tribes, and thousands of unique cultures. In many respects, it is the great cultural tapestry—the mosaic to Escova’s homogeny.

But that’s all common knowledge.

You’re here to understand what the Mainland can do for you.

Let’s start with the basics—the point which I will stress throughout this write-up: The Mainland is yours to fill. While this is a small outline for the basics, it is nearly impossible for someone to sit down and detail a continent. So we’re leaving that up to you, the player. This is your world. The Refugee character you create is yours. You get to decide his or her background, where he or she comes from. All within reason of course (and by 'within reason', I mean technology and setting appropriate backgrounds).

The Mainland is currently at War. It has been at war for about twenty-two years now, and almost every inch of the continent is buckling under the strain of endless battle. Resources have been depleted, and thousands (maybe even millions) have died.

Now, what does that really mean? Who are these people instigating the war?

The simple answer: The Barbarian Horde. This is a blanket term used to describe a tide of mounted horsemen who have swept through from the Great Steppe, bringing warfare and destruction with them. Ruled by the Great Qayan, they are an unstoppable force of arrows, light cavalry, and unmatched brutality. Few cities are spared, and their raids penetrate deep in almost all sovereign lands.

The Horde initially started as a loose band of nomadic riders, but under the Great Qayan, they have organized under one banner and seek glory and conquest. This happened around twenty-three years ago—right before the Mainland was plunged into an endless war.

But there is a deeper aspect to this horde. A magical aspect. For the purposes of this RPG (and future plots), I’m going to keep this part vague. However, rumours abound that the horde is practising dark magic. Forgotten magic. Magic that entails sacrifice, blood, and death. It is said that the Great Magicians of the horde have managed to perfect curses. Some even go so far as to say that the magic has begun to twist these magicians, turning them into grotesque demons. Rumours fly about the ‘deals’ made between the darker forces of the world and their ties to the horde. The truth is difficult to ascertain—even by soldiers of the horde. The great magicians and the court of the Great Qayan are rarely seen by the common riders, and few understand the deeper nature of their conquest.

Alright. Makes sense. What about the countries fighting the horde? What about them?

Well, and here I’m going to lead up back to our main point: these countries are your territory. Since this RPG is focused on Escova, it’s pointless to get into the politics of the wider world. For starters, it shifts focus from the setting, and secondly, it isn’t that important in the long run. Also, it gives you guys the freedom to give your Refugees their own unique depth. Giving too much concrete information here will only stifle that creativity. So go on, create that nomadic tribe which wanders a distant desert. Have someone come from a country of severe social stratification.

However, there is one important note to mention: The Seljik Confederation. Formed about fifteen years ago, it is a vast confederation of smaller countries banding together to fight the Horde. When you create your Refugee, you are welcome to create men and women from this Confederation (you can even detail one of the countries too!). It has faced the brunt of the Barbarian onslaught, and though united, it seems to be on the losing end of every major battle. Many of its member nations have been swallowed by the horde, and Refugees have fled these lands in the thousands.

Now, you say you want to make a Tribe, or a Country, or a culture. You have a character in play and you want to share their background. Can you do that?

Of course you can.

I have provided a template for you to work on if you want to share. Do try to read the little blurb at the end for rules, information, and how to go about doing this. Again, if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to grab a staff member and ask them.

So, have at it.

For a country:
    Name:
    Capital City:
    Relative Location on the Mainland: Think in terms of direction. North, East, South, West. Is it in the Absolute East? Far North?
    Brief overview: How big is it? What kind of geography can one find?
    People and Culture: Religion! Culture! Politics!
    Other: Anything special about the country that also needs mentioning?
    Character/s from this Country: Your character (and any subsequent character that belongs to this country)
    Who to contact for further information: Player name and best method of contact please.
CODE
[b][SIZE=2]For a country:[/SIZE][/b][LIST][b]Name:[/b]
[b]Capital City:[/b]
[b]Relative Location on the Mainland:[/b] Think in terms of direction. North, East, South, West. Is it in the Absolute East? Far North?
[b]Brief overview:[/b] How big is it? What kind of geography can one find?
[b]People and Culture:[/b] Religion! Culture! Politics!
[b]Other:[/b] Anything special about the country that also needs mentioning?
[b]Character/s from this Country:[/b] Your character (and any subsequent character that belongs to this country)
[b]Who to contact for further information:[/b] Player name and best method of contact please.
[/LIST]

For a Nation/People/Tribe:
    Name:
    Relative Location on the Mainland: Are they stationary in one area, or are they nomadic?
    Brief overview: How large is this nation? Which climate do they live in? Is it a small tribe, or a large, settled group of merchants.
    Beliefs and Culture: How are they organized? What kind of religion do they follow?
    Other: Anything else that needs mentioning.
    Character/s from this Nation/People/Tribe: Your character (and any subsequent character that belongs to this group)
    Who to contact for further information: Player name and best method of contact please.
CODE
[SIZE=2][b]For a Nation/People/Tribe:[/SIZE][/b][LIST][b]Name:[/b]
[b]Relative Location on the Mainland:[/b] Are they stationary in one area, or are they nomadic?
[b]Brief overview:[/b] How large is this nation? Which climate do they live in? Is it a small tribe, or a large, settled group of merchants.
[b]Beliefs and Culture:[/b] How are they organized? What kind of religion do they follow?
[b]Other:[/b] Anything else that needs mentioning.
[b]Character/s from this Nation/People/Tribe:[/b] Your character (and any subsequent character that belongs to this group)
[b]Who to contact for further information:[/b] Player name and best method of contact please.
[/LIST]

We're not going to try and impose any strict limits, but each write up must be setting appropriate. So as long as you are aware of the technology level and the war that is raging across most of the Mainland, you'll be fine. Try to keep the write-ups concise and to-the-point. And try not to mention or write-up anything that has wide-ranging implications (e.g. a detailed history that also ends up being the history of the Mainland itself). And let's rein in the crazy, shall we?

Please only use these forms for a write up if you have a character in-play that belongs to the Country/Tribe you are writing about. While we appreciate detailing the wider world, we also don't want an information overload, nor do we want to shift the focus from Escova.

Reply to this thread with your write-up, please. Or, if you are unsure, PM an Admin and discuss it with them.

In the end, I understand this is a fun side project to have, but remember that the focus of the RPG is Escova. If we Admins begin to feel that this is getting out of hand, or that the focus is shifting, we will begin to limit these write-ups and information on the Mainland.

uzair - May 16, 2011 07:54 AM (GMT)
Dun has kindly provided us with an example:
    Name: The C'neen Tribe
    Relative Location on the Mainland: The tribe was nomadic during the height of their main hunting season but otherwise they were permanently located on the eastern edge of the Great Steppe. Almost all are now found in the refugee quarter of Kyha.
    Brief overview: The tribe is fairly small in comparison to others with a total number of less than three hundred. . . that is, it was about that size before the vast majority of the C'neen relocated from the warm, dry plains at the edge of the Great Steppe to Escova. Their numbers are less than half that size now. They were once hunters and traders of animal skins and other products from feared plains animals.
    Beliefs and Culture: The C'neen are governed by the Da, a male leader elected by the tribe every eight years, and the Sha, a female spiritual leader. The Da handles most day-to-day matters whereas the Sha offers individuals guidance and counsels the Da on important decisions regarding the tribe's future. C'neen people see dogs as their spiritual companions and worship the sun and moon as deities. They believe the dead ascend to the sky and become stars.
    Other: The people of the tribe typically braid and place beads and other decorations in their hair to signify their accomplishments and their position in the tribe. Many of the tribes-people are multilingual.
    Character/s from this Tribe: Kalliope D'aher
    Who to contact for further information: PM or message Dun via AIM or MSN.

Isa Karun - May 21, 2011 10:43 PM (GMT)
For a country:
    Name: Aydin
    Capital City: Dobrugeea
    Relative Location on the Mainland: North-East, the last land before Paras.
    Brief overview: A relatively hilly state, crossed by many violent rivers. Its main revenue comes from crops and the milling of grain, although it has been gifted with rich mountains in the far East. It comprises the Capital (and monarchic seat), Dobrugeea ("the Lady's Crown", in old Aydish) and three more notable duchies that maintain partial sovereignty from the Crown: Eastfall, Greymoor and Frynn.
    People and Culture: A small to mediocre state in size, Aydin makes up in mentality and organisation. There is a saying, on the Mainland, "as straight and true as the Aydish". Aydin's culture is very family orientated, its political system constitutes a wholly patriarchal monarchy while its people's religious beliefs claim that there two main gods: the god of light and the god of darkness. Out of the two, the world was born; every woman and man is their child, each with characteristics of both.
    Other: Aydin is a part of the Seljik confederation. The name of the current king is Aelfgar III. The country is known for its industrious people and its strong moral code. It is considered rich and prosperous by other neighbouring states.
    Character/s from this Country: Queen Astraea, Cada Eastfall
    Who to contact for further information: Lina, PM Cada Eastfall or Isa Karun :)
CODE
[b][SIZE=2]For a country:[/SIZE][/b][LIST][b]Name:[/b] Aydin
[b]Capital City:[/b] Dobrugeea
[b]Relative Location on the Mainland:[/b] North-East, the last land before Paras.
[b]Brief overview:[/b] A relatively hilly state, crossed by many violent rivers. Its main revenue comes from crops and the milling of grain, although it has been gifted with rich mountains in the far East. It comprises the Capital (and monarchic seat), Dobrugeea ("the Lady's Crown", in old Aydish) and three more notable duchies that maintain partial sovereignty from the Crown: Eastfall, Greymoor and Frynn.
[b]People and Culture:[/b] A small to mediocre state in size, Aydin makes up in mentality and organisation. There is a saying, on the Mainland, "as straight and true as the Aydish". Aydin's culture is very family orientated, its political system constitutes a wholly patriarchal monarchy while its people's religious beliefs claim that there two main gods: the god of light and the god of darkness. Out of the two, the world was born; every woman and man is their child, each with characteristics of both.
[b]Other:[/b] Aydin is a part of the Seljik confederation. The name of the current king is Aelfgar III. The country is known for its industrious people and its strong moral code. It is considered rich and prosperous by other neighbouring states.
[b]Character/s from this Country:[/b] [URL=http://z15.invisionfree.com/Escova/index.php?showtopic=26]Queen Astraea[/URL], [URL=http://z15.invisionfree.com/Escova/index.php?showtopic=32]Cada Eastfall[/URL]
[b]Who to contact for further information:[/b] Lina, PM Cada Eastfall or Isa Karun :)
[/LIST]

Dagon Bruth - May 29, 2011 02:15 PM (GMT)
For a Nation:
    Name: The Island Nation of Paras
    Relative Location on the Mainland: Paras is a large island off the coast of the Mainland. The straits of Belford mean that there are lots of Parasans (or 'Parasi', depending on the area) in the Northern Seljik Confederation, and Aydin.
    Brief overview: The Nation has approximately a hundred thousand inhabitants, divided between city dwellers and villagers. City dwellers, making up sixty thousand, inhabit Belford Port, now being rebuilt, Helgrid Harbour, and High Haven, the Capital. All are on the eastern coast. The villagers, making up forty thousand, inhabit tight-knit towns and villagers across the rest of the nation. The environment is very wet, very cold and often lashed by severe storms. The city of the island is consisted primarily of mountains and forest, while the coastlands are farmland.
    Most Parasans are light-skinned with light hair.
    Beliefs and Culture: The Parasans believe in the Five Swords of the Sea; Tempus, God of Warfare and storms, Helgrid, God of Trade and Fertility, Belford, God of Sailors and Adventurers, Haven, God of the nobility and Nature, and Cengrid, God of Chaos and Foreigners.
    The entire island is divided into two peoples; Nobility and Commoners. Two sets of laws exist for each; the thousand or so nobility rule with an iron fist. The three main cities are huge trading ports, that bristle with soldiers and massive sea defences. The Redcoats, the Army, make up thirty-five regiments, each about two hundred strong. They are disciplined and famed as the most adept city-fighters in the world.
    The land is ruled by the Council of Nobility, the Lord's Accord, which consists of much backstabbing and politicking.
    Other: Belford Port, the second largest city, was burned to the ground by The Red Rebellion, an uprising of fifteen Redcoat Regiments, stirred up by the Lord Colonels. However, since the destruction of Belford, the revolt has become a general one against the Nobility.
    Character/s from this Nation/People/Tribe: Dagon Bruth, Welkin Njordson.
    Who to contact for further information: Dagon Bruth.

Khotimir Rohtslovod - May 31, 2011 10:03 PM (GMT)
For a country:
    Name: The Principality of Zhytoskrad
    Capital City: Zhytoskrad
    Relative Location on the Mainland: The Principality controls the lands known as Kuyvia, a far eastern region of the Seljik Confederation, being roughly equal in latitude to Kiya. Zhytoskrad is situated on the Soltar River in the western reaches of the Kuyvian lands.
    Brief overview: Kuyvia is a mostly flat region consisting of expansive steppes and coniferous forestation. The Soltar River flows from the Dyranksir Mountains to the east, which mark the eastern most reaches of the Kuyvians lands. The Soltar splits into a number of tributaries which vein the Kuyvian landscape.
    People and Culture: The predominant religion of the Kuyvians is Casthianism, an ancient religion which holds that there is only one God, and that Casith is his profit. Casthianism promotes the importance of knowledge, truth, and understanding, and holds that these were all gifts given to man by God. The Kuyvians are an austere, efficient people, wastefulness being something they simply cannot afford. What they may lack in ornamentation however, they have certainly made up for in technological achievements. Zhytoskrad was one of the first cities in the known world to have a fully-functioning sewer system, which utilized the waters of the Soltar. The Kuyvians continued to uphold this tradition of innovation throughout the centuries with a number of other groundbreaking achievements in science and engineering, and the city of Zhytoskrad became known as the Jewel of the East. Despite the modern reputation of Zhytoskrad, Kuyvia still maintains an essentially feudal system of government and power. Serfs must swear fealty to their boyar lords and agree to work their lands in exchange for military protection. The boyars must in turn swear fealty to the Prince, their supposedly sovereign and unquestioned liege lord. Despite this , it is not a rare occurrence for one or more boyars to rebel if they feel the Prince has done them wrong. In its history, Kuyvia has experienced two full-on civil wars which pitted half the boyars against the other, one side supporting the Prince, the other fighting against him. The Kuyvian national identity is an ancient one, the name having first appeared in histories some 2,000 years ago. The Principality was formed only 586 years ago however, after Tiskar the Great unified the various independent boyars and knyazs under one banner.
    Other: The Kuyvian lands were some of the first to come under attack by the Barbarian Hordes. Their strong military enabled them to hold out against the barbarians for some time, however their land was slowly conquered until the barbarians eventually conquered Zhytoskrad some ten years ago.
    Character/s from this Country: Khotimir Rhotslovod
    Who to contact for further information: Ian, PM Khotimir or e-mail me

Erika Stormguard - July 6, 2011 03:51 PM (GMT)
Name: Navare, pronounced nah-var
Capital City: Calais, pronounced cal-eh
Relative Location on the Mainland: The far South-East, on the Cerule Sea.
Brief overview: A moderately sized nation with a Mediterranean climate, Northern Navare is mostly rugged and mountainous while the South is home to verdant plains and coastal lowlands. Its economy is based on the trade of wine, silver, spices, tea and silk.
People and Culture: The main tongue spoken in Navare is of course Navarese (pronounced nah-var-ess). Under the rule of Empress Velane of the Amaranthe Dynasty, Navare is nothing short of wealthy and ambitious, with its large aristocracy famed for its culture and extravagance. A dark underworld where prostitution and thievery grow rife thrives in stark contrast to aristocratic society. In terms of religion, the citizens of Navare revere the Mother Goddess Ardiene, a scion of peace and protector of all living things.
Other: OOC: Calais is very much like France.
Character/s from this Country: Aveline d'Elaure
Who to contact for further information: Ren, PM Erika Stormguard

Song Nesse - July 24, 2011 06:43 PM (GMT)
For a Nation/People/Tribe:
    Name: Bhyt'elia (bye-tel-ee-yah)
    Relative Location on the Mainland: Southern Baran'ghat, inland in the vast, dry, desert. There are hard to find oasis and springs, and the dunes are constantly shifting.
    Brief overview: A primarily nomadic tribe which reaches across the Great Southern Desert of Baran'ghat, with occasional settlements for important members of the tribe. They are almost always have very dark hair, and rarely pale.
    Beliefs and Culture: The majority are nomadic, living in extended family groups of 5-15 individuals and a few cattle, camels, goats, or horses. A select few live in settlements, dealing with the trading and business on behalf of the others. These Traders are held in high esteem, and bi-annually the nomadic groups descend upon their Traders for debate, political decisions, celebrations, and worship of their gods. The Horde has made the settlements impossible, and it is no longer known how many of the Bhyt’eli people are left. The primary goddess of the Bhyt’elia is Thelia, of the Sky. They place importance on a peaceful existence, on war actions as a defence only, on respecting the landscape and animals under their care. Many of the refugees in Escova have adopted a vegetarian diet, which is not possible in their original desert home. They are accomodating to guests and strangers.
    Other: The Bhyt'elia frequently wear bright clothes, and have tattoos to indicate the groups within the tribe that they have lived and travelled with.
    Character/s from this Nation/People/Tribe: Song Nesse
    Who to contact for further information: Willow, PM




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