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Fire Emblem: The Ruined World (Act 1- Clandestine Crusade)

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Player Phase:

Spoiler

Butter moves to I10. Butter attacks Wyvern1 using an Iron Bow!

Spoiler

Butter attacks

  • 28 damage, 100 hit, 3 crit
  • Crit: 10

Wyvern1 takes 28 damage (0/22)

***

The last wyvern plummets into the ground!

Butter gains 37 EXP (114/100) -> (14/100)

Butter gains 2 Bow wEXP (42/70)

Butter gains a level up!

Spoiler

Strength up!

Skill up!

Cantus stays in place. Cantus attacks Knight1 using Flux!

Spoiler

Cantus attacks

  • 13 damage, 98 hit, 6 crit
  • Hit: (26+17)/2 = 21
  • Crit: 23

Knight1 takes 12 damage (8/21)

***

Cantus continues!

  • 13 damage, 98 hit, 6 crit
  • Hit: (25+23)/2 = 24
  • Crit: 49

Knight1 takes 12 damage (0/21)

***

Even the armor returns to the soil.

Cantus gains 34 EXP (39/100)

Cantus gains 6 Tome wEXP (52/70)

Noelle moves to K11. Noelle uses Heal on Cantus.

Spoiler

Cantus heals for 16 HP (19/19)

***

Noelle gains 11 EXP (109/100) -> (9/100)

Noelle gains 2 Staff wEXP (36/70)

Noelle gains a level up!

Spoiler

Strength up!

Magic up!

Speed up!

Luck up!

Karen moves to L12 and Sings for Cantus. Karen gains 11 EXP (66/100).

Cantus moves to M11. Cantus attacks Knight3 using Flux!

Spoiler

Cantus attacks

  • 13 damage, 98 hit, 6 damage
  • Hit: (38+74)/2 = 56
  • Crit: 54

Knight3 takes 13 damage (8/21)

***

Cantus continues!

  • 13 damage, 98 hit, 6 damage
  • Hit: (6+43)/2 = 24
  • Crit: 63

Knight3 takes 13 damage (0/21)

***

The suit of armor collapses, as if suddenly hollowed, and then the metal itself turns to clay.

Cantus gains 34 EXP (73/100)

Cantus gains 6 Tome wEXP (58/70)

Toki moves to I11. Ca

On 7/19/2020 at 1:55 AM, SoulWeaver said:

"So far so good, everyone." Glad I stuck with the camp, that mystery lady would have led me right into the middle of them. She's probably dead by now, if she wasn't a decoy. "Hm...looking at the enemy positioning...sorry, Butter, but I think we'll just scoot you over a bit...like this."

Toki shoves Butter to I9

Enemy Phase:

Spoiler

Archer1 moves to I7. Archer1 attacks Butter with an Iron Bow!

Spoiler

Butter activates Vantage!

Butter attacks

  • 14 damage, 93 hit, 5 crit
  • Hit:
  • Crit: 1

An arrow finds its way into a visor slit!

Archer1 takes 42 damage (0/18)

***

Archer1 and its raiments crumble to dust, including a damaged looking visor.

Butter gains 28 EXP (42/100)

Butter gains 3 Bow wEXP (45/70)

Archer2 moves to I7. Archer2 attacks Butter using an Iron Bow!

Spoiler

Butter activates Vantage!

Butter attacks

  • 14 damage, 93 hit, 5 crit
  • Hit:
  • Crit: 97

Archer2 takes 14 damage (14/18)

***

Archer2 counters!

  • 5 damage, 95 hit, 1 crit
  • Hit:
  • Crit:

The arrow doesn't get far past Butter's armor- but it gets far enough to sting.

Butter takes 5 damage (22/27)

***

Butter gains 10 EXP (52/100)

Butter gains 1 Bow wEXP (46/70)

Fighter1 stays put. Fighter1 attacks Butter using an Iron Axe!

Spoiler

Fighter1 attacks

  • 8 damage, 74 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (20+30)/2 = 25

The axe slams on Butter's helmet, causing an obnoxious shaking (14/27)

Fighter2 moves to J9. Fighter2 attacks Butter using an Iron Axe!

Spoiler

Fighter2 attacks

  • 8 damage, 74 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (19+13)/2 = 16

Butter is caught of guard and knocked off balance by the surprising speed of a horizontal swing (6/27)

Merc1 moves to M11. Merc1 attacks Cantus using an Iron Sword!

Spoiler

Merc1 attacks

  • 5 damage, 86 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (54+56)/2 = 55

Cantus is knicked along the shoulder (14/19)

***
Cantus counters using Flux!

  • 16 damage, 57 hit, 5 crit
  • (68+84)/2 = 76
  • Crit: 33

The swordsman hides behind a tree, avoiding Cantus's attack (18/18)

***

Cantus gains 2 Tome wEXP (60/70)

 

Player Phase Begins

Objective: Survive (2/5) or Defeat Boss

https://imgur.com/QS1JvBEQS1JvBE.png

Easy Reference Information:

 

Spoiler

 Player characters

Spoiler

a

Name Class Affinity Level HP Str Mgc Skl Spd Lck Def Res Weapon Ranks Skills Status HIT AVO
                                 
Karen
Infantry
Light
1 16/16 0 7 5 5 7 0 6
Staff (D- 30/70)
Miracle, Sing, Charm
+2 Luck
17
17
66 40% 10% 65% 50% 55% 45% 10% 45%
                                 
Toki
Specialist
Wind
2 18/18 6 3 5 4 1 5 5
Lance (D- 34/70)
Axe (E- 0/30)
Sword (E- 3/30)
Positioning, Fortune, Miracle, Foresight Figher
+2 Luck
10
6
22 50% 25% 25% 35% 20% 100% 30% 30%
                                 
Butter
Armor
Steel
3 6/27 11 1 6 2 4 9 6
Lance (C- 84/120)
Bow (D- 46/70)
Vantage, Obstruct, Wary Fighter
+2 Luck
14
8
52 70% 50% 10% 50% 20% 25% 45% 45%
                                 
Cantus
Armor
Thunder
2 19/19 5 9 7 9 3 5 3
Tome (D- 60/70)
Shadowgift, Fortune, Celerity
+2 Luck
17
19
86 60% 15% 75% 40% 50% 0% 40% 35%
                                 
Noelle
Wyvern
Steel
2 19/19 3 7 6 6 5 3 3
Staff (D- 36/70)
Tome (E- 6/30)
Vantage, Shadowgift, Lady of Status
+2 Luck
16
14
9 50% 20% 60% 30% 50% 40% 20% 45%

 

a

Enemies

Spoiler

a

High Masked Infantry O4 5 25/25 7 1 10 10 5 6 3 Steel Sword, Elixir*   25 25
                               
Wyvern1 Wyvern - 3 DEAD 8 0 6 5 2 8 0 Steel Axe   14 12
                               
Wyvern2 Wyvern - 1 DEAD 7 0 5 4 1 7 0 Javelin   11 9
                               
Wyvern3 Wyvern - 1 DEAD 7 0 5 4 1 7 0 Javelin   11 9
                               
Archer1 Infantry - 1 DEAD 6 0 7 7 1 5 0 Iron Bow   15 15
                               
Archer2 Infantry I7 1 4/18 6 0 7 7 1 5 0 Iron Bow   15 15
                               
Fighter1 Infantry I8 1 12/20 8 0 4 4 1 6 2 Iron Axe   9 9
                               
Fighter2 Infantry J9 1 20/20 8 0 4 4 1 6 2 Iron Axe   9 9
                               
Merc1 Infantry N10 3 18/18 5 1 11 10 2 4 1 Iron Sword   24 22
                               
Knight1 Armor - 2 DEAD 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Lance   9 1
                               
Knight2 Armor - 2 DEAD 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Sword   9 1
                               
Knight3 Armor - 2 DEAD 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Axe   9 1
                               
Knight4 Armor H2 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Sword   9 1
                               
Knight5 Armor I2 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Axe   9 1
                               
Knight6 Armor J2 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Lance   9 1
                               
Shaman1 Infantry I3 1 15/15 0 9 5 2 1 0 2 Thunder   11 5
                               
Peg1 Pegasus P16 3 15/15 5 2 6 8 2 3 7 Steel Lance   14 18
                               
Peg2 Pegasus Q15 1 15/15 4 1 5 7 1 3 5 Iron Lance*   11 15
                               
Peg3 Pegasus N17 1 15/15 4 1 5 7 1 3 5 Iron Lance   11 15
                               

a


Weapons

Spoiler
Name Rank Uses Might Hit Crit Range Weight wEXP Description
                     
Swords
Iron Sword E 45 5 95 0 1 4 1 A simple blade forged from iron
Steel Sword D 35 9 80 0 1 11 2 A hearty blade of tempered steel
Silver Sword B 25 13 85 0 1 9 2 An elegant blade made of silver
Wyrmslayer C 25 9 95 0 1 7 2 Effective against dragon units, solid all around
                     
Lances
Iron Lance E 45 7 85 0 1 6 1 A simple lance with an iron tip
Steel Lance D 35 11 70 0 1 13 2 A hefty lance with a steel tip
Silver Lance B 25 15 75 0 1 11 2 An elegant lance with a silver tip
Javelin D 25 6 60 0 1-2 11 1 Designed to be thrown
                     
Axes
Iron Axe E 45 9 75 0 1 8 1 A common axe with an iron head
Steel Axe D 35 13 60 0 1 15 2 A mighty axe with a steel head
Silver Axe B 25 17 65 0 1 13 2 An elegant axe with a glimmering silver head
Hand Axe E 25 8 50 0 1-2 11 1 Designed to be thrown
                     
Bows
Iron Bow E 45 8 90 0 2 5 1 A common bow made of wood and iron
Steel Bow D 35 12 75 0 2 12 2 A heavy bow made of wood and steel
Silver Bow B 25 16 80 0 2 10 2 An elegant bow made of wood and silver
                     
Tomes
Wind E 40 2 100 0 1-2 0 1 Introductory Wind magic
Fire E 40 4 95 0 1-2 2 1 Introductory Fire magic
Thunder D 40 6 85 10 1-2 3 2 Introductory Thunder magic
Flux D 40 7 70 0 1-2 4 2 Dark magic, WTA against elemental tomes
                     
Monster
weapons
Claw N/A N/A 7 80 -- 1 8 N/A A monster's claw
Venomous Claw N/A N/A 6 60 -- 1 10 N/A Poisons targets struck
Fang N/A N/A 5 90 15 1 4 N/A A monster's sharp teeth
Evil Eye N/A N/A 7 70 0 1-2 6 N/A Dark magic concentrated through an evil gaze
        Effectiveness       EXP    
Staves
Heal E 30 Mgc +10     1 11 2 Restores HP to an adjacent ally
Mend D 20 Mgc +20     1 17 3 Greatly restores HP to an adjacent ally
Torch D 8 N/A     M/2+1 20 5 Lights up a dark or foggy area
Recover C 15 N/A     1 23 4 Fully restores HP to an adjacent ally
Physic C 15 Mgc +15     M/2+1 27 5 Restores HP to a distant ally

Items

Spoiler
Consumable Items
Bitter Herb 2 Heals 10 HP when used, can be distilled into more potent healing items
Vulnerary 3 Heals 15 HP when used
Elixir 3 Heals all HP when used
Antidote 3 Heals poison when used
Seraph Robe 1 Max HP +6
Strength Drop 1 Strength +2
Spirit Dust 1 Magic +2
Secret Book 1 Skill +3
Speedwing 1 Speed +2
Nortia Icon 1 Luck +4
Draco Shield 1 Defense +2
Talisman 1 Resistance +2

Skills

Spoiler
Name Effect
     
Personal Skills
Charm Allies within 3 tiles gain +10 Hit and +10 Evade
Foresight Fighter This unit may changes their equipped weapon after combat. Doing so gives this 
unit +2 Str / Def / Res until the start of the next player phase. 
If this unit is then traded with by another unit, the bonus is lost.
Wary Fighter This unit can neither double nor be doubled
Celerity Movement +1
Lady of Status Allies within 3 tiles deal +2 damage
     
Passive Skills
Canto May use remaining movement after acting
Miracle The first two battles of each map where this unit would take lethal damage, this unit survives with 1 HP or dodges if already at 1 HP
Fortune Critical hit chance against this unit is always 0
Wrath Critical Hit +50 when this unit's HP is less than half of its maximum
Vantage Strike before the enemy when attacked
Obstruct Entering a tile adjacent to this unit costs an enemy unit the rest of its movement
Escutcheon For each allied unit adjacent to this unit, this unit and all adjacent allies receive -2 damage taken
Fury This unit receives +2 Strength, +2 Magic, +2 Speed, +2 Defense, and +2 Resistance, but loses 3 HP after every round of combat.
Spellblade Magic +7 when using a magical sword / lance / axe / bow
Shadowgift Tome users only, can use Dark Tomes
Bow Range +1 Bow-locked units only, +1 maximum range with all bows
Special Fighter Special Gauge begins at 30 at the start of each map
Sharp Eyes Vision Range +5 in fog of war, provides additional benefits outside of maps
   
     
Map Commands
Sing Enables an adjacent ally who has already acted to act again this turn
Thievery This unit may steal and use lockpicks
Positioning May use the Swap, Shove, and Reposition commands
   
     
Combat Arts
Adept Costs 30 SP, immediately follow your first attack with one additional strike
Cancel Costs 30 SP, prevents the enemy from counterattacking
   
     
Initial Bonuses
Discipline Increases initial weapon rank by 1 for all equipable weapon types
Side Arm Gain an additional equipable weapon type

Terrain

Spoiler
Terrain Foot Magic Horse Flying DEF AVO Effects
Plain 1 1 1 1 0 0  
Forest 2 2 3 1 1 20  
Mountain 4 4 7 1 2 30  
Peak       1 2 40  
Fort 2 2 2 1 2 20 Heal 20% max HP at the beginning of your phase
Gate / Throne 1 1 1 1 3 30 Heal 20% max HP at the beginning of your phase
Cures status conditions at the beginning of your phase
River 4 4   1 0 -10  
Sea / Lake       1 0 -10  
Desert 2 1 3 1 0 5  
Settlement 1 1 1 1 0 10 Houses, shops, arenas, etc.
Cliff, Fence       1 0 0  
Snag, Wall, Door         0 0 Snags become Plains after breaking

The Gameplay

Spoiler

Charlemagne has no combat ability and does not appear on the map. However, he possesses the ability to manipulate probability, and will be able to operate a Turnwheel once such an item is obtained by the party.

Charlemagne can perform one manipulation each player phase. He may acquire additional manipulators as the campaign progresses.

  • Alteration: Switch between 1 RN and 2 RN (true hit) system
  • Favor: Luck +10 for all units

***

The equations are based on the GBA games, with a few changes:

Staff experience is no longer halved after promotion
A unit's full luck stat is used in calculating hit, rather than just half
Crit = Skill
Constitution is not present in the Ruined World, so its functions have been transferred to other stats
The weapon triangle provides +2/-2 Damage, rather than +1/-1
The Trinity of Magic has been removed, as there is only tome weapon type
Armored units have the same movement penalties as infantry units
Experience calculations are instead based on FE9

For more detailed information, please consult the spreadsheet.

***

Weapon weight penalties are now calculated using Strength, as in FE9.
Incurred weapon weight penalties reduce not only Speed, but Skill as well.

Rescue is now class-based:

  • Riders can rescue any other class, but cannot be rescued
  • Armors can rescue any class besides Riders
  • Infantry and Specialists can only rescue other infantry and specialists

***

Units who have an S rank in the weapon type they are currently using gain +1 Damage, +5 Hit, and +5 Crit.

Like in FE6, a unit can have multiple S ranks.

Critical Hits, much like Fatal hits, provide x2 wEXP. These effects combined give x3 (rather than x4) wEXP when killing an enemy with a crit.

***

Casual Mode is on, but may be turned off for your character at your discretion.

***

Support level increases when two characters have made major steps in their relationship. I'll grant them at my discretion, and players can ask if they feel their characters qualify for an additional rank.

  • Fire: +.5 Attack, +2.5 Hit
  • Wind: +.5 Attack, +2.5 Avoid
  • Thunder:  +.5 Defense, +2.5 Avoid
  • Light: +.5 Defense, +2.5 Hit
  • Dark: +2.5 Hit, +2.5 Avoid
  • Steel: +.5 Attack, +.5 Defense

***

The Well Being System:

Certain actions and consumables may benefit or penalize a unit's performance in the next battle. For example, eating a high class lobster dinner may provide +3 skill, +3 resistance, and +2 defense in the next battle. If you sleep in the rain, though, you have a chance of catching a cold, which might inflict penalties of -4 skill, -2 speed, and -2 luck until the character recovers.

***

Assume GBA mechanics are in place unless otherwise stated.

Lore

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Maps

This is a map of the continent of Weal as it once stood:

wnIVRS0.png

This is a map of the continent of Weal as it stands now:

QkEUmuc.png


The World as it Stands:

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The Masked:

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A8ILG0y.pngFeminoids wholly clad in black armor.
They never tire, or hunger, or thirst.
They take prisoners, even the dead and wounded of their raids, yet leave none of their own.
When mortally wounded or even when captured, Masked disintegrate to the reddish powder of dry clay. Even their armor turns to dust.
This has made is quite difficult to see what lies underneath their namesake ornaments.

The Masked do not fight alone. Their invasion is backed by monsters, supposed to have been purged by the four goddesses during the world's formative years. The ruin they leave in their wake is patrolled by these monsters and a few squadrons of their own.

Individual Masked can have vastly different combat abilities. Furthermore, hey appear to have organized into a martial hierarchy based on their intelligence.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Common Masked

Most of the Masked are only slightly smarter than monsters, which are themselves more mindless than most beasts. Their fighting prowess, even their ability to use magic, seems to derive more from an instinct which is not specialized for coordination. They are sometimes called the Low Masked or the Common Masked, but usually just the Masked.

  • High Masked

???

  • Grand Masked

???


The Survivors:

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The once great Cardinal and Auran Empires have been reduced to wastelands, always overcast and gray. After over a century of alternating between peace and war, it was a threat no one anticipated which brought about their ruin, proving too great even for their built up armies.

In a desperate, panicked maneuver, the Cardinal Empire protected a small section of its territory and abandoned the rest. Only this portion remains. Emperor Phillip, merely a figurehead, operates with the nobility from a seaside inn seized by the state. It's treasonously rumored that most of Cardinal was sacrificed while public and military officials saw to their own evacuation. However, these administrators argue that broader efforts would have spread defenses impotently thin.

The barbarians of the Highlands have likely been saved from the fate of the empires by their eternal shield: terrain so mountainous and heavily wooded that no army has been able to invade it. Not even the Masked seem like they are able to overcome this, nor the cunning of warriors so ferocious and familiar with the land and its many shadows.TAty5Ge.png

The Auran fortress of Palisade, built into a mountainside, manages to ward off the Masked and the monsters through their strategic position and the advanced technology of ballista.
Rumors circulate that the city of Haven has been partially preserved by the mythological warrior Tamerlane.

Scattered, nomadic remains of the original population persist. They scavenge the wastelands, hiding away from the Masked in remote fields and smoldering cities. Rings of criminals have repurposed their tactics and escape routes to meet these new challenges, and their protection rackets now face no competition from the state, yet they too live poverty and paranoia.

The Emperor of the Aurans, Mithradates V, is known to have died fighting against an early incursion of the Masked.

His young son Khosrau and his vizier Oborzos are unaccounted for. Another mystery is the whereabouts of the sacred treasure of the Auran Empire's ruling dynasty, a token of their proclaimed divine lineage, a relic said to be able to harness the power of the sun: the Fire Emblem.


The Faith:

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The world of Weal believes in a pantheon of goddess called "the four."

The first day of the first year is set to their awakening. Over the next four years, they were integral in the formation of the world. Famously, they defeated a terrible monster called the Clay Dragon, whose body become the terrestrial sphere (i.e the world), and they purged the remaining monsters from the land.

Each has appointed a human envoy, called a Patron.

The Masked arrived in the 889th year.

It is now the 897th year.

A man claiming to be Charlemagne, patron of Nortia, alleges that his former master is behind the invasion. To repel the Masked, he has performed a ritual to summon powerful warriors from across the continent.

He got you.

1167200640_TheGang8.thumb.png.2863477540fafcbe38903cc0ac533a4e.png

 

The Mythos

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Cosmogony

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We should be content to never know what came before the four. Who may testify what came before them?

The universe at first held only aether, homogeneous and chaotic. The four determined that the universe be ordered, and so split the aether into the physical arche, light, and the mental arche, mind.

Light they split into mass and form, the ratios of which compose the elements, and set to govern them were Belladonna's strife and the Philotes's harmony.

Mind they split into instinct and reason. From instinct, Ceres formed the vital force which animated all living things, but among them only humans posses reason. As the universe could not exist without the boundary of the Celestial Sphere, so too could reason not exist without the boundary of Nortia's mysteries.

These elements were at first without balance, and from this chaos came the Clay Dragon to wage war against the four, and it cut their flesh; Yet the four overpowered it and slew it, and its body became the land, and its blood became the sea. Yet, still tainted, the remains of the Clay Dragon begat monsters, which lashed out against all other forms of creation. The blood of the four fell to the world, and begat humankind, and the four again waged war alongside humans, and drove out the monsters, and purified the waters and the soil.

By the first day of the fourth year were all these accomplished, and so began the reign of humankind on Weal.

***

Light, when formed, flowed endlessly from a single sphere, which was called by the four the sun. They set it between the edge of the universe and its center, to which Belladonna took, for its light was vigorous. Each day, the sun moves around the world, dragged across the sky behind the flying ship which Belladonna captained in the war against unbalance and monstrosity.

The four, having made the world safe for man, then retreated from the world. They built for themselves a great sphere of silver on which to live, and placed it between the sun and the world, and the realm of its placement was the Lunar Sphere, to which Philotes took, for it was a home and a light in the night, which family and friendship are as well.

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Cosmology

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Untitled.png...the universe is divided into four spheres. In the center is the terrestrial sphere, which is the world on which we live, its seas and the land both...

...the lunar sphere was once empty, but leaving the terrestrial sphere to mortals, the goddesses built a great palace out of silver, that sphere which is the moon, and placed it within the lunar sphere, a realm in which to live and from which to look down and over us. This sphere rotates around the terrestrial sphere once in a period of 30 days...

...the solar sphere, where the sun, wellspring of the physical arche, which is light, is suspended...One full rotation of this sphere around the terrestrial sphere produces one full day...

...the celestial sphere is the boundary of all that is. It is on this sphere that small pieces of the sun have been placed, which are the stars. One full rotation of this sphere around the terrestrial sphere produces one full year...

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Eschatology

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It is better for a man not to be born, for then he will never taste the excitement of life and yearn for it in the afterlife...

...upon death, the soul may wander the land, but may not speak with any other thing, living in total isolation, and frozen in time...

...those who die old are old in death, those who die in battle are pierced in death, but all are numb in death...

So it falls on Hanno, Patron of Philotes, to gather the souls of the dead onto the flying ship in the night, and then sail them to the moon...

...souls on the moon live no more fulfilling an existence, excepting that they may speak to one another when upon the silver surface...
...but a ghost is not an inconvenience to the living whilst there...

...those who, in life, show great valor and courage, sacrificing themselves for others, may enjoy a more splendorous life in the Silver Palace of the four, yet their afterlife is no less endless and repetitive than the common man's, and as is often said, "the dead trample upon silver"...

...a woman who dies in childbirth, deemed by Philotes as having made the greatest sacrifice of self, shall live in the Silver Palace as well...

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Tetratheon

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-Selection from Empedocles's Divinities

The four are powerful beings credited with terraforming the barren world into a fertile realm and driving terrible monsters from it. Each is ascribed powers not only over a realm of human life, but also over one of the cosmological spheres, and is closely associated with a suite in a deck of cards.

Ceres

Ceres is most popular among farmers, the dominant occupation on the continent. Many mages also favor her due to her mastery of the elements. She is associated with the terrestrial sphere and the spade suite in a deck of cards, the spade being a tool for tilling the ground.

Philotes

Philotes is most popular among merchants, household servants, philosophers, and youths yearning for companionship. She is associated with the lunar sphere and the heard suite in a deck of cards.

Belladonna

Belladonna is most popular among among soldiers and mercenaries, but also among hunters and athletes. The majority of ethnic Aurans, regardless of occupation, are loyal to Belladonna. She is associated with the solar sphere and the club suite in a deck of cards, the club being a weapon of war which she is often depicted with.

Nortia

Nortia is not particularly popular among any one occupation, Many see her impartiality as being unconcerned with whether they worship her or not. Though the only goddess to be less popular than her patron, she finds some followers among those who live from moment to moment, submissive to their destiny or limitations.

All depictions of her are veiled, and statues of her have no face underneath. She is associated with the celestial sphere and the diamond suite in a deck of cards.

Hagiography

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-Selection from Empedocles's Divinities

Tamerlane
In what is now the city of Hearth, there was a farmer named Tamerlane who took up arms to defend his city against invasion. He demonstrated unparalleled skill as a warrior and tactician, such that he was asked to become king and form a great empire. However, Tamerlane refused and instead returned to his farm, wishing for his city to retain its republican governance and peaceful ways. So noble was he that the goddess Ceres favored him, and Tamerlane became the patron of Ceres in the 87th year.

He is considered the patron of the harvest, often depicted with a great scythe, and is sometimes associated with death, reaping those who have reached their time.

Hanno
There was once a messenger carrying mail by ship from what is now Bight to what is now Delta. A great storm ravaged the vessel he traveled on, and so Hanno pledged his unfailing allegiance to the goddesses should they rescue him. The sky soon cleared, and Hanno kept his promise, becoming a priest and religious scholar. As a reward for his integrity and commitment in keeping his oath, Philotes favored him, and Hanno became the patron of Philotes in the 174th year.

After becoming patron, Hanno took the flying ship and flew to the sun. He then took small pieces from it, which he placed on the edge of the celestial sphere, thus creating the stars so that sailors could use them to navigate at night. He is considered the patron of sailors, navigators, and messengers.

Theodoric
Originally a brilliant metallurgist from the city of Pool, Theodoric was the first to create steel. With Pool being a crossroad between both ends of the continent and not being governed by any strong state, the secret of his technology traveled fast and made him a very rich man. Being greatly impressed by his invention, its strength and its usefulness in warfare, Belladonna favored him, and Theodoric became the patron of Belladonna in the 261st year.

He is considered the patron of metal workers and craftsmen.

Charlemagne
The small city of Origin had a very esteemed academy, and among its minds was the mathematician Charlemagne. His work laid the foundation for game theory. He was also the inventor of card counting, but was almost beaten to death by the staff of the gambling den where he attempted to test his creation, being saved by the intervention of Nortia before he was first struck. For finding a way to "cheat" luck, Nortia favored him, and Charlemagne became the patron of Nortia in the 348th year.

He is considered the patron of good fortune. His popularity is fair among most groups, but mathematicians and gamblers seem to favor him more than most

 

The Nations, as They Once Were

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Geography

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Mount Night
A dormant volcano located within the Cardinal Empire. It last erupted in the 381st year, when it ejected so much smoke and ash that everything for miles was bathed in darkness.


The Ivory Mountains
A mountain range which divides the Cardinal Empire to the west and the Auran Empire to the east, named for the stunning white sides of its peaks. This natural fortification has never been pushed past by a power from the east until the invasion of the Masked. Though several passages exist through the mountains, the Cardinal Empire kept them well guarded, and it was by sailing around the mountains that the invasion of Cardinal began. While the Imperial Cardinal Navy would normally have prevented this, much of the nation's might was pulled back to guard the major cities. Afterwards, the Masked flooded the west and conquered the passages, allowing their numbers to pour through fully.


Ivory Lake
A lake which divides the Ivory Mountains into two. Invaders have tried to cross into Cardinal through this lake, though a small fleet long fended off such attempts. When it had the authority to do so, the Cardinal Empire taxed merchants who shipped goods across the lake. This tax was often paid, as it was easily the quickest trade route between the city of Pool and the Cardinal Empire. After the invasion of the Masked, their crude ships are most all that sails across this small sea. It is fed from the Ivory Mountains, for which it is named.


The Ivory River
A river which drains the Ivory Lake into the sea, passing by several major cities of the Cardinal Empire along the way. This granted it similar importance in shipping to its source lake.


Lake Quell
A massive lake in the center of the continent. It served an important role in trade, with ships delivering cargo from one end to the other, saving days and even weeks of travel time. Wars have been fought over control of the lake for this reason.


The Helices
A pair of mountain ranges which encompass a great river valley. It serves as an impending obstacle to those trying to move quickly along Lake Quell. In the north, its peaks eventually give way to the impenetrable mess of wood and mountain known as the Highlands.


The River Vale
A river located between the two ranges of the Helices. Fed by the melted snow of the mountains and feeding into Lake Quell, the river served an important role in the shipment of goods from the northeast before the invasion of the Masked ended almost all trade.

The Cardinal Empire

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The empire which held the lands west of the Ivory Mountains. Though it was ruled by an emperor, power gradually and long ago shifted to the Oligarchy, a council of statesmen appointed by the governors of major cities to represent their interests. Diverse in its religion and cultures, these territories were united primarily by military conscription and a vague body of imperial law.


Cardinal
The former capital of the Cardinal Empire and the city for which it was named. The city's own name derives from its city square, where a large fountain lies in the center of four gigantic temples, each dedicated to one of the four goddesses and pointed in a different cardinal direction. Nortia's lies to the south, Philotes's to the east, Ceres's to the north, and Belladonna's to the west. Folk tales say the temple of Belladonna is placed either so as to be as far from the Auran peoples as possible, or so that its entrance always faces them. In all likelihood, neither is true, as these temples predate extensive contact between Cardinal and the Aurans.
 

Origin
A small city whose academy, the University of Origin, has trained many of Weal's greatest scholars. In addition to holding an extensive library, the city once tried to conquer the lands west of the Ivory Mountains in the 357th year. Their assault was halted at Cardinal, who then adopted the idea as their own, eventually forming the Cardinal Empire. Despite their military failure, Origin would go on to produce some of the most influential statesman and advisers of the empire's history, and remained a prominent center of learning until the invasion of the Masked.
 

Bight
An important trade hub and the makeshift capital of what remains of the Cardinal Empire. It lies next to Mount Night, whose volcanic soil has long produced rich harvests. As the destruction of Cardinal continued, more and more of its army retreated further and further, surrendering most of the land in fear. Bight now commands half of what Cardinal's army was before the invasion, a strong enough number to hold off the Masked along natural fortifications.


Lode
To the south of the mainland Cardinal Empire lies Red Clay Isle. Named for the red clay which most of its soil consists of, this island holds great mineral wealth. In the 820th year, Lode was established as a colony to oversee mining operations on the island.


Bastion
Located along the shores of Ivory Lake and against the side of the Ivory Mountains, Bastion served as a central component of the Cardinal Empire's border defense ever since said borders reached the mountains. In its prime, it was equal parts encampment and city. Its massive stone barracks held so many soldiers that supplying their needs was sufficient to generate a thriving economy, for both private enterprises and those hired by the state to supply equipment.

The Auran Empire

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A shared ethnic identity is not often a strong concept in Weal, found mainly among one group of peoples. These are the Aurans, native to the lands east of Lake Quell and south of the Helices. Their community is derived from a shared belief in their descent from Belladonna, goddess of war. The idea of a single Auran nation dates back to at least the 101st year, but this dream was only made a reality by the conquests of Medes I, who unified the various Auran city states into an empire, and whose own descendants would expand that empire to include "Vulgar Bloods," those who are not ethnically Auran and therefore have no divine blood.

The Auran Empire had more consistent governance than the Cardinal Empire, and a more consistent culture as a result. The empire's promotion of Belladonna throughout its lands made her popular even among non-Aurans. Centuries of conquests forged a diverse empire. Differing peoples and religions have traditionally been tolerated, even if not entirely advantaged. Though the empire's elite maintain that a descendant of Belladonna should be over all the people of Weal, it has been very common for vulgarbloods, especially conquered monarchs, to be brought into the imperial bureaucracy.

Even before the unification, Auran peoples banned slavery and animal sacrifices. The monarchy of these early city states, seeing themselves as divinely appointed due to their purer blood, engaged in an uncomfortable amount of incest to "preserve" the godliness in their bloodline. While slavery and blood sacrifices are still outlawed, the inbreeding was phased out a few generations after unification, and is now just something the Auran nobles would like you to forget about.

Vulgarblood was once a slur. It was phased out, and then brought back into the common lexicon as a generally inoffensive slang. It is rarely used or taken as seriously derogatory outside of a few small sects, respectively Auran ethno-nationalists or adamant anti-Aurans, who sometimes adopt it as a title of pride.
 

Burnish
The former capital of the Auran Empire. It was considered a small and insignificant city state of backwards idiots before Medes I, Twelfth King of Burnish, launched a military campaign which united the Auran peoples and declared himself the First Emperor of the Aurans. His descendants continued to rule, sometimes nominally, from his original palace until the invasion of the Masked. Patronage brought many great thinkers to the city, though it was always overshadowed by the cultural significance of Hearth.


Hearth
In the 101st year, a small tribal kingdom began raiding its neighbors, capturing their people as slaves, and throwing them into a great fire as a sacrifice to Belladonna. It is said that Belladonna found this so appalling that she descended from the heavens and commanded it to be stopped. The Auran peoples obliged her, and have not kept slaves or made blood sacrifices since that day, or so the story goes. As a symbol of their dedication, the people of Hearth have kept that great fire burning through the centuries. This is the hearth for which the city is named, and it was once guarded by over a hundred soldiers every hour of the day so that miscreant children would not throw rats or bugs into it.

During its prime, it was the undisputed capital of Auran culture, attracting many of its finest artists, scholars, and architects. Though many imperial building projects aimed to bring glory to Burnish, and did, Hearth always demanded the greatest attention and investment. Its strategic location at the mouth of the River Vale and on the shores of Lake Quell granted it extreme commercial importance, with numerous craftsman utilizing raw materials from upstream. Before the conquests of Medes I, it had been assumed that any attempt to unify the Aurans would spring forth from Hearth.


Haven
Named for its extremely defensible location, surrounded by the Helices and the River Vale. Its people lived primarily as farmers and shepherds, producing raw materials that were sent downstream to Hearth. However, it was much harder for finished goods to travel upstream to Haven, so only a small number of merchants truly reaped the benefits of this trade. Though a small city, Haven is larger than the numerous small villas which dot the River Vale's course, the security of its walls attracting many.


Delta
Formerly an important center of commerce located directly south of Lake Quell. Though mountains separate it from the heartland of the former Auran Empire, naval power allowed the unsuspecting city to be conquered early in the Empire's life, with its high hills and marshes keeping it a defensible asset up until the invasion of the Masked. Countless rivers drain from Lake Quell and the surrounding mountains, entering the sea in a delta which the city is built along and named for. Before the invasion, the upstream territories produces bountiful harvests which were exported across the continent, including absurd quantities of rice.


Pool
Pool existed as an independent city state until the 780th year, when it was forcibly turned into a client state of the Cardinal Empire. It was then conquered by the Aurans, taken by Cardinal, reconquered by the Auran Empire in the 861st year, and then overrun by the masked. Pool has always been pulled upon and influenced by numerous outside states, due to its location near the center of the continent. This has been a weakness as well as a strength, with the city becoming an important center for trade. Perhaps more important is how its central location brought together people from all nations, their ideas mixing together and the resulting innovations quickly spreading across the continent.


Palisade
Built into a cliff overlooking Ivory Lake, Palisade is a marvel of engineering and served as the Auran Empire's main defense on the Cardinal border. Not only beautifully decorated, it is so well defended that even the Masked could not overtake it, though its soldiers have been largely contained within the fortress by a ceaseless siege. It was famous for its ballista, which allowed the defenders to remain high above their enemies while still detracting from their numbers. It was commissioned during the third Auro-Cardinal War with the intention of intimidating the Cardinal Empire with both its invulnerability and the beauty of its statues and reliefs.


The Great Gate
Located on an island to the south of the former Auran Empire's heartland. The isle was conquered almost as an afterthought and was the most ignored province due to geographical separation and low strategic importance. The Masked now control it, but its population was always sparse, consisting mainly of native villagers, temporary pilgrims, and shrine keepers. The Gate has no ritual importance, but is still considered a sacred landmark, as it is said to be how the goddesses move between the moon and the terrestrial sphere.

The Highlands

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Writing and temples never took off in the Highlands- for every thousand Highlanders, maybe one will be able to read or write. Having produced very few records of themselves, Highlanders are seen as a mysterious people in a mysterious land. Though the Auran Empire completely surrounded the region, it was deemed too mountainous and too heavily wooded to conquer or administer, and so was left alone while nominally being claimed as a part of imperial territory. The most common speculation about them is perhaps the most truthful- the people live simple, traditional lives in small, isolated villages and tribes. Every ancient practice seems to be maintained by at least one group of Highlanders, including the primitive act of slave raids, though most towns have settled into a lazy peace with each other.

Criminals and anarchists often flee the state's punishment or overbearing authority and go to live in the Highlands, and are very often accepted if they are not too disruptive to the extremely traditional ways. Though full temples are uncommon, piety is still found among the Highlanders. Shrines can be found in the center of towns and at the top of hills, and most villagers are dedicated to a single goddess. Patrons, like temples and writing, never became very popular in the Highlands.

The Nations on Each Other

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The following is from a letter written by an Auran merchant who sold sold rice in Cardinal during a time of peace:

I know that mother has been very worried about the influence of these foreign customs on my well-being. Let her be assured that I remain strong in my faith to Mother Belladonna. These Cardinals are certainly an odd folk, though. Ask one what his people are, and he responds with his city or his family, few of the peasants even know the name of their emperor.

Their names are formed in a peculiar way, to allow them to have more than one. Each person has a given name, but also a family name after that, which comes from their father. Some have yet more names following that- married women have the family name of their husbands, the wealthy have the name of their estate.

They treat drink as a sort of taboo among their children, but are exceedingly indulgent with it among their friends. They drink no beer and become drunk only from the vine. It is often mulled with spices or sweetened with honey- It escapes my mind how anyone can handle so much of such a rich drink, but perhaps they cannot, for many among them become so drunk during festivities as to throw up all they consume.
This lechery, I theorize, is why the men shave their faces, so they neither have to clean their beards nor refrain from such indulgence. Few have more than a week's growth, and some have taken such offense at my beard as to call me barbaric and dirty for having it.

Speaking of wine, I have seen in my travels people who pour wine as well as oil as a libation before every meal, and others who have never made an offering at a temple after many years of life. There seems to be only zealots or atheists among them, and all of them unfaithful in their worship. Even those who do not follow Philotes make their marriage vows under her moon, even if they are supposed followers of Belladonna, who gives them the sun under which to make contract.

Their meals are far too heavy, and lacking in spice or zest. A good lemon cannot be found in this place. Their citrus fruits are small, and hard, and bland.

 

The following journal entry was made by a Cardinal mercenary who fought for Auran monarchy during the Auran Civil War:

They are truly a quaint people, quite amusing in their dullness.

Each of them has a name ending in "S." They do not notice this. Point it out to one of them, and they will neither believe you nor be able to disprove you.

They only have one name, even in their census. Should that one name not be specific enough, as is often the case, they specify with the name of their father or husband or town- a proper family name would do them wonders, but they seem to think the idea an unnecessary and preposterous one.

Their appearances are in such disrepair, whatever attractiveness might be found in their faces is hidden by the dust they too rarely wash off and the hairs they never shave, only trim to what they hilariously call a "reasonable" length.

They manage to make drink boring- they sip at beer throughout the day, but never at wine, and even their young boys and girls do this, yet never do any of them seem to get drunk.

You would at least think such a number of such devout Belladons would have exciting wars, but they are so stoic about it that I'm surprised they don't fall asleep in battle! It is that, not Belladonna's favor, that I suspect is the reason they only fight during the day. Even the vigor of noble Belladonna they seem to forgo to emphasize her role as mother of their people, having her put away the club for the mother bird's perch.

Speaking of Belladonna and mothers, I find it novel that they hold their marriages during the day, under her sun, excepting those few Philoteans among them, who do so properly under the moon. How unfitting, since they seem incapable of having their blood boil enough to have a proper war between husband and wife- the women are so demure, no spunk! Even their dancers, talented beauties though they be, are as dry as boards left in the sun.

That reminds me of an odd quirk of their food, besides their eating so many damned lemons and limes and oranges. Instead of making a proper bread, the cooks for the army just make dough, and leave it to the soldiers to cook it by stretching it across an iron shield and placing it on the fire. It has a nice, chewy texture, but they often ruin it with an overabundance of toppings. Lamb and beef and beets and carrots and cheese and pineapples all at once, the one time something of theirs would benefit from their plainness!

No humor! Oh, my best jokes go over their heads like the arrows of the rebels!

Religious Practice

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In addition to spiritual responsibilities, priests serve as healers, and provide food to the poor and teaching to the illiterate.

Most temples are organized about a large, candlelit prayer chamber. Since temples are found primarily in cities, those living in rural areas make fewer visitations bearing larger offerings. They might also utilize wayside shrines or traveling priests.

Cardinal lets religious practice be handled at a local level. Priests live off of offerings, and the Cardinal army conscripts religious offices. They consider animal sacrifice the most sincere and sacred sort of offering.

The Auran Empire took a more active role in its peoples' religion. The emperor served as head of the church and had the oft-deferred power of appointing important positions within it, and all priests had to undergo standardized certification. Though tolerant of other creeds, the Aurans see themselves as descendants of Belladonna and thus promoted her worship especially. The state built temples to Belladonna and offered tax cuts to those who gave to them. Clergymen in her service received a fixed wage from the empire, though they could also accept offerings. Traveling priests were often paid to patrol certain routes, and martial priesthood was a viable profession.
The Auran Empire strictly prohibited animal sacrifice, though very few Auran priests are vegetarians.

Patrons do not have temples, only shrines, which are sometimes found in a temple of their associated goddess. Animal sacrifices are almost never made to a Patron.

Most people will follow one entity throughout their life, usually the one who most benefits their profession. As most people inherit their parents' trade, they also inherit their faith. To beseech multiple goddesses and patrons is not unheard of, but is considered improper and excessive, with one exception: servants of Ceres might also serve Tamerlane, seeing them as working together to produce and harvest bountiful crops. Shrines to Tamerlane are more commonly found in temples to Ceres compared with other patron-goddess pairs.

 

Additional Information:

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The Auro-Cardinal Wars and Related Historical Events Leading to the Present

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793rd Year-
The Auran Empire under Mithradates II, called "the Iron Emperor," completes its conquests of the lands north of Lake Quell and east of the Ivory Mountains. This is the inevitable moment in which their lands now border those of the Cardinal Empire, which controls the city of Pool and other lands west of the lake. Tensions immediately arise between the two expansionist powers.

796th Year-
The First Auro-Cardinal War breaks out after an attempt by the Auran Empire to enforce taxes on Cardinal vessels traveling Lake Quell.

801st Year-
A peace treaty is signed in which the Cardinal Empire gives up claims to the lands north of Ivory Lake.

827th Year-
The Second Auro-Cardinal War breaks out following the Cardinal Empire seizing control of plains settlements lost during the First Auro-Cardinal War.

834th Year-
A peace treaty is signed, granting the Cardinal Empire restored control over territory lost in the First Auro-Cardinal War, as well as all lands west of Lake Quell.

836th Year-
The embarrassment of the Auran Empire's defeat, combined with mounting taxes, drought, and an increasingly corrupt and obtuse aristocracy, lead to the outbreak of the Auran Civil War. With many of both the local nobles and the peasantry siding against the monarchy, the emperor is short on men, but refuses to higher mercenaries from Cardinal.

837th Year-
Emperor Arses dies in battle against the rebels and is usurped by his young son Mithradates IV the Great. His military and domestic reforms are countless, but included hiring Cardinal mercenaries who had fought against the emperor only a few short years ago. The young monarch manages to reestablish order and some semblance of prosperity.

860th Year-
An aging Mithradates IV takes advantage of a complacent Cardinal Empire and initiates the Third Auro-Cardinal War.

868th Year-
After five years of the front being frozen along the Azure Mountains, a worn down Cardinal Empire declares peace with the Auran Empire, surrendering all land east of said mountains.

Important Historical Figures

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Archelaus (???-???): Nothing is known about him what Empedocles quoted him as saying. He seems to have been a follower of Nortia and was likely contemporary to Empedocles, but it's hard to say for certain.
 

Empedocles (???-381): His birth year is unknown, but he was in his fifties when he died.

He was a young man when Charlemagne was appointed Patron of Nortia, and was inspired by this historic event to record the religious traditions of Weal. The result of years of travel and research was Divinities, a codex considered the definitive source of religious history. Though the original copy is lost, it is the oldest work whose text is preserved in Weal.

Empedocles was a follower of Philotes and a vegetarian, based on posthumous accounts which mocked him for these things and his death. He was a native of Bight, which was a mere town during his lifetime. He refused to evacuate when Mt. Night erupted, believing Philotes would protect him. He died on that day.

The traditional model of morality, as outlined in Divinities, includes four virtues, each associated with a specific goddess. Ceres is compassion, Belladonna is courage, Nortia is impartiality, and Philotes is loyalty. Only by having all four of these virtues, as well as the fifth virtue of piety, can one be considered moral.
 

Roswitha(505-566): A monk who lived near what is now Palisade. She codified many later religious traditions and popularized many theological stances, though her work is considered less definitive than Divinities.

Smaller contributions of hers include finalizing the associations between card suites and deities (which are not mentioned in Divinities) and determining the ship Hanno's ship to be Belladonna's. She also worked on a controversial ethical quandary, the Question of Perfection.

The Question of Perfection asks why the Four are to be venerated when they embody only one virtue and why piety is virtuous if none of them are pious. The idea behind the classical virtues was that they were good because their association with a goddess, so this question was of some importance. Roswitha put forward the idea that being moral meant displaying one virtue and venerating the goddess associated with it, which has achieved moderate popularity among progressive practitioners of hermeneutics.

Controversially among the Aurans, she argued that each daughter of Belladonna had a different father
 

Terrence the Atheist (547-607): A playwright from Cardinal. His heretical beliefs cost him a promising career in civil service, so he turned his education and writing talent to the stage. Despite his disbelief in religious traditions, Terrance was an arch-conservative who blamed religious reinterpretation for the the degradation he perceived in society.
 

Odes (750-797): A religious scholar and ambassador from the Auran Empire who produced the Standard Auran Texts. These are the most recent and comprehensive versions of religious history which were used by the Auran government. Though the events are largely the same as in Divinities, Odes felt it necessary to produce an account which properly credited Belladonna, unlike the Cardinal-derived texts that had been standard up to that point.

According to Odes, Belladonna best embodied each of the four classical virtues. Compassionate and impartial because she remained to aid humanity and could love a human. Loyal by her motherhood and devotion as a wife to one man. In writing the Standard Auran Texts, Odes made very clear that Belladonna's four daughters had one father. He named this man Oxin and standardized the naming of his daughters by Belladonna, the traditions of which varied from region to region.

  • Aura, the divine light (universally agreed upon)
  • Pyre, the light of fire (fairly common throughout the empire at that point)
  • Luster, the sheen of gold and silver (fairly common throughout the empire at that point)
  • Tempest, the light of lightning (still somewhat of a contested pick)

Odes was ambassador to the Cardinal Empire leading up the First Auro-Cardinal War. He was executed for failing to secure a peaceful arrangement between the two nations. Though the war would end up being successful for the Auran Empire, there initially great skepticism about fighting an equally powerful nation.

 

 

 

Edited by AnonymousSpeed

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Player Phase:

Spoiler

Toki moves to M12. Toki attacks Merc1 using a Javelin!

Spoiler

Toki attacks

  • 11 damage, 46 hit, 3 crit
  • Hit: (4+54)/2 = 29
  • Crit: 25

The javelin plants itself firmly in the swordwoman, who stumbles before pulling it out of a bloodless wound (7/18)

***

Toki gains 13 EXP (35/100)

Toki gains 1 Lance wEXP (35/70)

Toki activates Foresight Fighter! He swaps to an Iron Axe.

Cantus moves to J11. Cantus attacks Fighter2 using Flux!

Spoiler

Cantus attacks

  • 16 damage, 90 hit, 6 crit
  • Hit: (61+59)/2 = 60
  • Crit: 50

Darkness brings the fighter to its knees! (4/20)

***

Cantus continues!

  • 16 damage, 90 hit, 6 crit
  • Hit: (22+79)/2 = 50
  • Crit: 47

Fighter2 is drained of all life (0/20)

***

Fighter2 disintegrates!

Cantus gains 31 EXP (117/100) -> (17/100)

Cantus gains 6 wEXP (66/70)

Cantus gains a level up!

Spoiler

Speed up!

Defense up!

Resistance up!

Butter moves to I10. Butter attacks Fighter1 using an Iron Bow!

Spoiler

Butter attacks

  • 15 damage, 99 hit, 5 crit
  • Hit: (21+7)/2 = 14
  • Crit: 61

Fighter1 takes an arrow to the heart (0/20)

***

Fighter1 crumbles like butter cookies!

Butter gains 28 EXP (80/100)

Butter gains 2 Bow wEXP

Noelle moves to I11. Noelle uses Heal on Butter.

Spoiler

Butter recovers 17 HP (23/27)

***

Noelle gains 11 EXP (20/100)

Noelle gains 2 Staff wEXP (38/70)

Karen moves to I12 and Sings for Noelle. Karen gains 11 EXP (77/100)

Noelle moves to L11. Noelle attacks Merc1 using Fire!

Spoiler

Noelle attacks

  • 9 damage, 72 hit, 4 crit
  • Hit: (46+22)/2 = 34
  • Crit: 57

Merc1 finds that trees are a poor defense against fire! (0/18)

***

Merc1 is reduced to smouldering ashes! Thankfully not hot enough to cause a forest fire.

Noelle gains 37 EXP (57/100)

Noelle gains 2 Tome wEXP (8/30)

 

Enemy Phase:

Spoiler

Archer2 moves to I8. Archer2 attacks Butter using an Iron Bow!

Spoiler

Butter activates Vantage!

  • 14 damage, 100 hit, 5 crit
  • Crit: 59

Archer2 is struck before it can put any tension on her bow (0/18)

***
Archer2 turns to a dusting of clay on the dry grass.

Butter gains 28 EXP (108/100) -> (8/100)

Butter gains 2 Bow wEXP (50/70)

Butter gains a level up!

Spoiler

Strength up!

Skill up!

Defense up!

Resistance up!

Knight4 moves to I5

Knight5 moves to I6

Knight6 moves to J6

Shaman1 moves to I8. Shaman1 attacks Butter using Thunder!

Spoiler

Butter activates Vantage!

  • 20 damage, 100 hit, 6 crit
  • Crit: 99

Shaman1 takes 20 damage (0/15)

***

Butter's arrow flies straight through Shaman1! The mage is vaporized and the arrow flies on unhindered.

Butter gains 25 EXP (33/100)

Butter gains 2 Bow wEXP (52/70)

Peg1 moves to M13. Peg1 attacks Toki using a Steel Lance!

Spoiler

Peg1 attacks

  • 9 damage, 46 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (82+22)/2 = 52

Toki jumps to the side, allowing Peg1 to drive her lance into the dirt.

***

Toki counters!

  • 16 damage, 97 hit, 3 crit
  • Hit: (7+5)/2 = 6
  • Crit: 62

Toki brings down the axe! His foe is to slow to free her lance from the ground and is crushed like a pot (0/15)

***

The riderless pegasus flies off in terror.

Toki gains 37 EXP (72/100)

Toki gains 2 Axe wEXP (2/30)

Peg2 moves to M13. Peg2 attacks using an Iron Lance!

Spoiler

Peg2 attacks

  • 4 damage, 70 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (96+22) / 2 = 59

Toki's skin is cut by the lance's head (14/18)

***

Toki counters!

  • 16 damage, 88 hit, 4 crit
  • Hit: (93+69)/2 = 81
  • Crit: 78

Toki topples Peg2! (0/15)

***

Peg2 is slain.

Toki gains 31 EXP (103/100) -> (3/100)

Toki gains 2 Axe wEXP (4/30)

What an oddity! While the body and armor of the pegasus rider return to the soil, the weapon of this particular Masked remains. Toki gets an Iron Lance with 44 uses!

Toki gains a level up!

Spoiler

Strength up!

Luck up!

Defense up!

Peg3 moves to M3. Peg3 attacks Toki using an Iron Lance!

Spoiler

Peg3 attacks

  • 3 damage, 67 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (59+32)/2 = 45

Toki is struck in side, thankfully not close to anything too vital (11/18)

***

Toki counters!

  • 17 HP, 91 Hit, 4 Crit
  • Hit: (41+9)/2 = 25
  • Crit: 40

Toki hits Peg3 for hitting him! (0/15)

***

Peg3 falls from its mount and is blown away by a breeze before hitting the ground.

Toki gains 28 EXP (31/100)

Toki gains 2 Axe wEXP (6/30)

 

Player Phase Begins:

Objective: Survive (3/5) or defeat boss

More reinforcements arrive! One to the north seems to have a strange weapon with in hand...

C2qhFPO.png

Reference Information:

Spoiler

 Player characters

Spoiler

a

Name Class Affinity Level HP Str Mgc Skl Spd Lck Def Res Weapon Ranks Skills Status HIT AVO
                                 
Karen
Infantry
Light
1 16/16 0 7 5 5 7 0 6
Staff (D- 30/70)
Miracle, Sing, Charm
+2 Luck
17
17
77 40% 10% 65% 50% 55% 45% 10% 45%
                                 
Toki
Specialist
Wind
3 11/18 7 3 5 4 2 6 5
Lance (D- 35/70)
Axe (E- 6/30)
Sword (E- 3/30)
Positioning, Fortune, Miracle, Foresight Figher
+2 Luck
12
10
31 50% 25% 25% 35% 20% 100% 30% 30%
                                 
Butter
Armor
Steel
4 23/27 12 1 7 2 4 10 7
Lance (C- 84/120)
Bow (D- 52/70)
Vantage, Obstruct, Wary Fighter
+2 Luck
18
8
33 70% 50% 10% 50% 20% 25% 45% 45%
                                 
Cantus
Armor
Thunder
3 19/19 5 9 7 10 3 6 4
Tome (D- 66/70)
Shadowgift, Fortune, Celerity
+2 Luck
17
23
17 60% 15% 75% 40% 50% 0% 40% 35%
                                 
Noelle
Wyvern
Steel
2 19/19 3 7 6 6 5 3 3
Staff (D- 38/70)
Tome (E- 8/30)
Vantage, Shadowgift, Lady of Status
+2 Luck
17
17
57 50% 20% 60% 30% 50% 40% 20% 45%

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Enemies

Spoiler

a

Name Class Position Level HP Str Mgc Skl Spd Lck Def Res Weapons Skills HIT AVO
                               
High Masked Infantry O4 5 25/25 7 1 10 10 5 6 3 Steel Sword, Elixir*   25 25
                               
Knight4 Armor H2 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Sword   9 1
                               
Knight5 Armor I2 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Axe   9 1
                               
Knight6 Armor J2 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Lance   9 1
                               
Fighter3 Infantry I3 3 22/22 10 0 6 5 2 6 2 Hammer   14 12
                               
Merc2 Infantry H2 2 19/19 7 0 8 7 1 5 1 Iron Sword   17 15
                               
Shaman2 Infantry Q10 2 19/19 3 4 3 5 1 4 5 Wind   7 11
                               
Shaman3 Infantry Q11 2 19/19 3 4 3 5 1 4 5 Fire   7 11
                               
Shaman4 Infantry Q12 2 19/19 3 4 3 5 1 4 5 Thunder   7 11
                               
Archer3 Infantry P14 1 18/18 6 0 7 7 1 5 0 Iron Bow   15 15

 

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Weapons

Spoiler

a

Name Rank Uses Might Hit Crit Range Weight wEXP Description
                     
Swords
Iron Sword E 45 5 95 0 1 4 1 A simple blade forged from iron
Steel Sword D 35 9 80 0 1 11 2 A hearty blade of tempered steel
Silver Sword B 25 13 85 0 1 9 2 An elegant blade made of silver
Wyrmslayer C 25 9 95 0 1 7 2 Effective against dragon units, solid all around
                     
Lances
Iron Lance E 45 7 85 0 1 6 1 A simple lance with an iron tip
Steel Lance D 35 11 70 0 1 13 2 A hefty lance with a steel tip
Silver Lance B 25 15 75 0 1 11 2 An elegant lance with a silver tip
Javelin D 25 6 60 0 1-2 11 1 Designed to be thrown
                     
Axes
Iron Axe E 45 9 75 0 1 8 1 A common axe with an iron head
Steel Axe D 35 13 60 0 1 15 2 A mighty axe with a steel head
Silver Axe B 25 17 65 0 1 13 2 An elegant axe with a glimmering silver head
Hammer D 20 12 60 0 1 15 2 Effective against armored units
Hand Axe E 25 8 50 0 1-2 11 1 Designed to be thrown
                     
Bows
Iron Bow E 45 8 90 0 2 5 1 A common bow made of wood and iron
Steel Bow D 35 12 75 0 2 12 2 A heavy bow made of wood and steel
Silver Bow B 25 16 80 0 2 10 2 An elegant bow made of wood and silver
                     
Tomes
Wind E 40 2 100 0 1-2 0 1 Introductory Wind magic
Fire E 40 4 95 0 1-2 2 1 Introductory Fire magic
Thunder D 40 6 85 10 1-2 3 2 Introductory Thunder magic
Flux D 40 7 70 0 1-2 4 2 Dark magic, WTA against elemental tomes
                     
Monster
weapons
Claw N/A N/A 7 80 -- 1 8 N/A A monster's claw
Venomous Claw N/A N/A 6 60 -- 1 10 N/A Poisons targets struck
Fang N/A N/A 5 90 15 1 4 N/A A monster's sharp teeth
Evil Eye N/A N/A 7 70 0 1-2 6 N/A Dark magic concentrated through an evil gaze
        Effectiveness       EXP    
Staves
Heal E 30 Mgc +10     1 11 2 Restores HP to an adjacent ally
Mend D 20 Mgc +20     1 17 3 Greatly restores HP to an adjacent ally
Torch D 8 N/A     M/2+1 20 5 Lights up a dark or foggy area
Recover C 15 N/A     1 23 4 Fully restores HP to an adjacent ally
Physic C 15 Mgc +15     M/2+1 27 5 Restores HP to a distant ally

 

a

Items

Spoiler
Consumable Items
Bitter Herb 2 Heals 10 HP when used, can be distilled into more potent healing items
Vulnerary 3 Heals 15 HP when used
Elixir 3 Heals all HP when used
Antidote 3 Heals poison when used
Seraph Robe 1 Max HP +6
Strength Drop 1 Strength +2
Spirit Dust 1 Magic +2
Secret Book 1 Skill +3
Speedwing 1 Speed +2
Nortia Icon 1 Luck +4
Draco Shield 1 Defense +2
Talisman 1 Resistance +2

Skills

Spoiler
Name Effect
     
Personal Skills
Charm Allies within 3 tiles gain +10 Hit and +10 Evade
Foresight Fighter This unit may changes their equipped weapon after combat. Doing so gives this 
unit +2 Str / Def / Res until the start of the next player phase. 
If this unit is then traded with by another unit, the bonus is lost.
Wary Fighter This unit can neither double nor be doubled
Celerity Movement +1
Lady of Status Allies within 3 tiles deal +2 damage
     
Passive Skills
Canto May use remaining movement after acting
Miracle The first two battles of each map where this unit would take lethal damage, this unit survives with 1 HP or dodges if already at 1 HP
Fortune Critical hit chance against this unit is always 0
Wrath Critical Hit +50 when this unit's HP is less than half of its maximum
Vantage Strike before the enemy when attacked
Obstruct Entering a tile adjacent to this unit costs an enemy unit the rest of its movement
Escutcheon For each allied unit adjacent to this unit, this unit and all adjacent allies receive -2 damage taken
Fury This unit receives +2 Strength, +2 Magic, +2 Speed, +2 Defense, and +2 Resistance, but loses 3 HP after every round of combat.
Spellblade Magic +7 when using a magical sword / lance / axe / bow
Shadowgift Tome users only, can use Dark Tomes
Bow Range +1 Bow-locked units only, +1 maximum range with all bows
Special Fighter Special Gauge begins at 30 at the start of each map
Sharp Eyes Vision Range +5 in fog of war, provides additional benefits outside of maps
   
     
Map Commands
Sing Enables an adjacent ally who has already acted to act again this turn
Thievery This unit may steal and use lockpicks
Positioning May use the Swap, Shove, and Reposition commands
   
     
Combat Arts
Adept Costs 30 SP, immediately follow your first attack with one additional strike
Cancel Costs 30 SP, prevents the enemy from counterattacking
   
     
Initial Bonuses
Discipline Increases initial weapon rank by 1 for all equipable weapon types
Side Arm Gain an additional equipable weapon type

Terrain

Spoiler
Terrain Foot Magic Horse Flying DEF AVO Effects
Plain 1 1 1 1 0 0  
Forest 2 2 3 1 1 20  
Mountain 4 4 7 1 2 30  
Peak       1 2 40  
Fort 2 2 2 1 2 20 Heal 20% max HP at the beginning of your phase
Gate / Throne 1 1 1 1 3 30 Heal 20% max HP at the beginning of your phase
Cures status conditions at the beginning of your phase
River 4 4   1 0 -10  
Sea / Lake       1 0 -10  
Desert 2 1 3 1 0 5  
Settlement 1 1 1 1 0 10 Houses, shops, arenas, etc.
Cliff, Fence       1 0 0  
Snag, Wall, Door         0 0 Snags become Plains after breaking

The Gameplay

Spoiler

Charlemagne has no combat ability and does not appear on the map. However, he possesses the ability to manipulate probability, and will be able to operate a Turnwheel once such an item is obtained by the party.

Charlemagne can perform one manipulation each player phase. He may acquire additional manipulators as the campaign progresses.

  • Alteration: Switch between 1 RN and 2 RN (true hit) system
  • Favor: Luck +10 for all units

***

The equations are based on the GBA games, with a few changes:

Staff experience is no longer halved after promotion
A unit's full luck stat is used in calculating hit, rather than just half
Crit = Skill
Constitution is not present in the Ruined World, so its functions have been transferred to other stats
The weapon triangle provides +2/-2 Damage, rather than +1/-1
The Trinity of Magic has been removed, as there is only tome weapon type
Armored units have the same movement penalties as infantry units
Experience calculations are instead based on FE9

For more detailed information, please consult the spreadsheet.

***

Weapon weight penalties are now calculated using Strength, as in FE9.
Incurred weapon weight penalties reduce not only Speed, but Skill as well.

Rescue is now class-based:

  • Riders can rescue any other class, but cannot be rescued
  • Armors can rescue any class besides Riders
  • Infantry and Specialists can only rescue other infantry and specialists

***

Units who have an S rank in the weapon type they are currently using gain +1 Damage, +5 Hit, and +5 Crit.

Like in FE6, a unit can have multiple S ranks.

Critical Hits, much like Fatal hits, provide x2 wEXP. These effects combined give x3 (rather than x4) wEXP when killing an enemy with a crit.

***

Casual Mode is on, but may be turned off for your character at your discretion.

***

Support level increases when two characters have made major steps in their relationship. I'll grant them at my discretion, and players can ask if they feel their characters qualify for an additional rank.

  • Fire: +.5 Attack, +2.5 Hit
  • Wind: +.5 Attack, +2.5 Avoid
  • Thunder:  +.5 Defense, +2.5 Avoid
  • Light: +.5 Defense, +2.5 Hit
  • Dark: +2.5 Hit, +2.5 Avoid
  • Steel: +.5 Attack, +.5 Defense

***

The Well Being System:

Certain actions and consumables may benefit or penalize a unit's performance in the next battle. For example, eating a high class lobster dinner may provide +3 skill, +3 resistance, and +2 defense in the next battle. If you sleep in the rain, though, you have a chance of catching a cold, which might inflict penalties of -4 skill, -2 speed, and -2 luck until the character recovers.

***

Assume GBA mechanics are in place unless otherwise stated.

Lore

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Maps

This is a map of the continent of Weal as it once stood:

wnIVRS0.png

This is a map of the continent of Weal as it stands now:

QkEUmuc.png


The World as it Stands:

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The Masked:

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A8ILG0y.pngFeminoids wholly clad in black armor.
They never tire, or hunger, or thirst.
They take prisoners, even the dead and wounded of their raids, yet leave none of their own.
When mortally wounded or even when captured, Masked disintegrate to the reddish powder of dry clay. Even their armor turns to dust.
This has made is quite difficult to see what lies underneath their namesake ornaments.

The Masked do not fight alone. Their invasion is backed by monsters, supposed to have been purged by the four goddesses during the world's formative years. The ruin they leave in their wake is patrolled by these monsters and a few squadrons of their own.

Individual Masked can have vastly different combat abilities. Furthermore, hey appear to have organized into a martial hierarchy based on their intelligence.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Common Masked

Most of the Masked are only slightly smarter than monsters, which are themselves more mindless than most beasts. Their fighting prowess, even their ability to use magic, seems to derive more from an instinct which is not specialized for coordination. They are sometimes called the Low Masked or the Common Masked, but usually just the Masked.

  • High Masked

???

  • Grand Masked

???


The Survivors:

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The once great Cardinal and Auran Empires have been reduced to wastelands, always overcast and gray. After over a century of alternating between peace and war, it was a threat no one anticipated which brought about their ruin, proving too great even for their built up armies.

In a desperate, panicked maneuver, the Cardinal Empire protected a small section of its territory and abandoned the rest. Only this portion remains. Emperor Phillip, merely a figurehead, operates with the nobility from a seaside inn seized by the state. It's treasonously rumored that most of Cardinal was sacrificed while public and military officials saw to their own evacuation. However, these administrators argue that broader efforts would have spread defenses impotently thin.

The barbarians of the Highlands have likely been saved from the fate of the empires by their eternal shield: terrain so mountainous and heavily wooded that no army has been able to invade it. Not even the Masked seem like they are able to overcome this, nor the cunning of warriors so ferocious and familiar with the land and its many shadows.TAty5Ge.png

The Auran fortress of Palisade, built into a mountainside, manages to ward off the Masked and the monsters through their strategic position and the advanced technology of ballista.
Rumors circulate that the city of Haven has been partially preserved by the mythological warrior Tamerlane.

Scattered, nomadic remains of the original population persist. They scavenge the wastelands, hiding away from the Masked in remote fields and smoldering cities. Rings of criminals have repurposed their tactics and escape routes to meet these new challenges, and their protection rackets now face no competition from the state, yet they too live poverty and paranoia.

The Emperor of the Aurans, Mithradates V, is known to have died fighting against an early incursion of the Masked.

His young son Khosrau and his vizier Oborzos are unaccounted for. Another mystery is the whereabouts of the sacred treasure of the Auran Empire's ruling dynasty, a token of their proclaimed divine lineage, a relic said to be able to harness the power of the sun: the Fire Emblem.


The Faith:

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The world of Weal believes in a pantheon of goddess called "the four."

The first day of the first year is set to their awakening. Over the next four years, they were integral in the formation of the world. Famously, they defeated a terrible monster called the Clay Dragon, whose body become the terrestrial sphere (i.e the world), and they purged the remaining monsters from the land.

Each has appointed a human envoy, called a Patron.

The Masked arrived in the 889th year.

It is now the 897th year.

A man claiming to be Charlemagne, patron of Nortia, alleges that his former master is behind the invasion. To repel the Masked, he has performed a ritual to summon powerful warriors from across the continent.

He got you.

1167200640_TheGang8.thumb.png.2863477540fafcbe38903cc0ac533a4e.png

 

The Mythos

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Cosmogony

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We should be content to never know what came before the four. Who may testify what came before them?

The universe at first held only aether, homogeneous and chaotic. The four determined that the universe be ordered, and so split the aether into the physical arche, light, and the mental arche, mind.

Light they split into mass and form, the ratios of which compose the elements, and set to govern them were Belladonna's strife and the Philotes's harmony.

Mind they split into instinct and reason. From instinct, Ceres formed the vital force which animated all living things, but among them only humans posses reason. As the universe could not exist without the boundary of the Celestial Sphere, so too could reason not exist without the boundary of Nortia's mysteries.

These elements were at first without balance, and from this chaos came the Clay Dragon to wage war against the four, and it cut their flesh; Yet the four overpowered it and slew it, and its body became the land, and its blood became the sea. Yet, still tainted, the remains of the Clay Dragon begat monsters, which lashed out against all other forms of creation. The blood of the four fell to the world, and begat humankind, and the four again waged war alongside humans, and drove out the monsters, and purified the waters and the soil.

By the first day of the fourth year were all these accomplished, and so began the reign of humankind on Weal.

***

Light, when formed, flowed endlessly from a single sphere, which was called by the four the sun. They set it between the edge of the universe and its center, to which Belladonna took, for its light was vigorous. Each day, the sun moves around the world, dragged across the sky behind the flying ship which Belladonna captained in the war against unbalance and monstrosity.

The four, having made the world safe for man, then retreated from the world. They built for themselves a great sphere of silver on which to live, and placed it between the sun and the world, and the realm of its placement was the Lunar Sphere, to which Philotes took, for it was a home and a light in the night, which family and friendship are as well.

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Cosmology

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Untitled.png...the universe is divided into four spheres. In the center is the terrestrial sphere, which is the world on which we live, its seas and the land both...

...the lunar sphere was once empty, but leaving the terrestrial sphere to mortals, the goddesses built a great palace out of silver, that sphere which is the moon, and placed it within the lunar sphere, a realm in which to live and from which to look down and over us. This sphere rotates around the terrestrial sphere once in a period of 30 days...

...the solar sphere, where the sun, wellspring of the physical arche, which is light, is suspended...One full rotation of this sphere around the terrestrial sphere produces one full day...

...the celestial sphere is the boundary of all that is. It is on this sphere that small pieces of the sun have been placed, which are the stars. One full rotation of this sphere around the terrestrial sphere produces one full year...

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Eschatology

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It is better for a man not to be born, for then he will never taste the excitement of life and yearn for it in the afterlife...

...upon death, the soul may wander the land, but may not speak with any other thing, living in total isolation, and frozen in time...

...those who die old are old in death, those who die in battle are pierced in death, but all are numb in death...

So it falls on Hanno, Patron of Philotes, to gather the souls of the dead onto the flying ship in the night, and then sail them to the moon...

...souls on the moon live no more fulfilling an existence, excepting that they may speak to one another when upon the silver surface...
...but a ghost is not an inconvenience to the living whilst there...

...those who, in life, show great valor and courage, sacrificing themselves for others, may enjoy a more splendorous life in the Silver Palace of the four, yet their afterlife is no less endless and repetitive than the common man's, and as is often said, "the dead trample upon silver"...

...a woman who dies in childbirth, deemed by Philotes as having made the greatest sacrifice of self, shall live in the Silver Palace as well...

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Tetratheon

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-Selection from Empedocles's Divinities

The four are powerful beings credited with terraforming the barren world into a fertile realm and driving terrible monsters from it. Each is ascribed powers not only over a realm of human life, but also over one of the cosmological spheres, and is closely associated with a suite in a deck of cards.

Ceres

Ceres is most popular among farmers, the dominant occupation on the continent. Many mages also favor her due to her mastery of the elements. She is associated with the terrestrial sphere and the spade suite in a deck of cards, the spade being a tool for tilling the ground.

Philotes

Philotes is most popular among merchants, household servants, philosophers, and youths yearning for companionship. She is associated with the lunar sphere and the heard suite in a deck of cards.

Belladonna

Belladonna is most popular among among soldiers and mercenaries, but also among hunters and athletes. The majority of ethnic Aurans, regardless of occupation, are loyal to Belladonna. She is associated with the solar sphere and the club suite in a deck of cards, the club being a weapon of war which she is often depicted with.

Nortia

Nortia is not particularly popular among any one occupation, Many see her impartiality as being unconcerned with whether they worship her or not. Though the only goddess to be less popular than her patron, she finds some followers among those who live from moment to moment, submissive to their destiny or limitations.

All depictions of her are veiled, and statues of her have no face underneath. She is associated with the celestial sphere and the diamond suite in a deck of cards.

Hagiography

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-Selection from Empedocles's Divinities

Tamerlane
In what is now the city of Hearth, there was a farmer named Tamerlane who took up arms to defend his city against invasion. He demonstrated unparalleled skill as a warrior and tactician, such that he was asked to become king and form a great empire. However, Tamerlane refused and instead returned to his farm, wishing for his city to retain its republican governance and peaceful ways. So noble was he that the goddess Ceres favored him, and Tamerlane became the patron of Ceres in the 87th year.

He is considered the patron of the harvest, often depicted with a great scythe, and is sometimes associated with death, reaping those who have reached their time.

Hanno
There was once a messenger carrying mail by ship from what is now Bight to what is now Delta. A great storm ravaged the vessel he traveled on, and so Hanno pledged his unfailing allegiance to the goddesses should they rescue him. The sky soon cleared, and Hanno kept his promise, becoming a priest and religious scholar. As a reward for his integrity and commitment in keeping his oath, Philotes favored him, and Hanno became the patron of Philotes in the 174th year.

After becoming patron, Hanno took the flying ship and flew to the sun. He then took small pieces from it, which he placed on the edge of the celestial sphere, thus creating the stars so that sailors could use them to navigate at night. He is considered the patron of sailors, navigators, and messengers.

Theodoric
Originally a brilliant metallurgist from the city of Pool, Theodoric was the first to create steel. With Pool being a crossroad between both ends of the continent and not being governed by any strong state, the secret of his technology traveled fast and made him a very rich man. Being greatly impressed by his invention, its strength and its usefulness in warfare, Belladonna favored him, and Theodoric became the patron of Belladonna in the 261st year.

He is considered the patron of metal workers and craftsmen.

Charlemagne
The small city of Origin had a very esteemed academy, and among its minds was the mathematician Charlemagne. His work laid the foundation for game theory. He was also the inventor of card counting, but was almost beaten to death by the staff of the gambling den where he attempted to test his creation, being saved by the intervention of Nortia before he was first struck. For finding a way to "cheat" luck, Nortia favored him, and Charlemagne became the patron of Nortia in the 348th year.

He is considered the patron of good fortune. His popularity is fair among most groups, but mathematicians and gamblers seem to favor him more than most

 

The Nations, as They Once Were

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Geography

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Mount Night
A dormant volcano located within the Cardinal Empire. It last erupted in the 381st year, when it ejected so much smoke and ash that everything for miles was bathed in darkness.


The Ivory Mountains
A mountain range which divides the Cardinal Empire to the west and the Auran Empire to the east, named for the stunning white sides of its peaks. This natural fortification has never been pushed past by a power from the east until the invasion of the Masked. Though several passages exist through the mountains, the Cardinal Empire kept them well guarded, and it was by sailing around the mountains that the invasion of Cardinal began. While the Imperial Cardinal Navy would normally have prevented this, much of the nation's might was pulled back to guard the major cities. Afterwards, the Masked flooded the west and conquered the passages, allowing their numbers to pour through fully.


Ivory Lake
A lake which divides the Ivory Mountains into two. Invaders have tried to cross into Cardinal through this lake, though a small fleet long fended off such attempts. When it had the authority to do so, the Cardinal Empire taxed merchants who shipped goods across the lake. This tax was often paid, as it was easily the quickest trade route between the city of Pool and the Cardinal Empire. After the invasion of the Masked, their crude ships are most all that sails across this small sea. It is fed from the Ivory Mountains, for which it is named.


The Ivory River
A river which drains the Ivory Lake into the sea, passing by several major cities of the Cardinal Empire along the way. This granted it similar importance in shipping to its source lake.


Lake Quell
A massive lake in the center of the continent. It served an important role in trade, with ships delivering cargo from one end to the other, saving days and even weeks of travel time. Wars have been fought over control of the lake for this reason.


The Helices
A pair of mountain ranges which encompass a great river valley. It serves as an impending obstacle to those trying to move quickly along Lake Quell. In the north, its peaks eventually give way to the impenetrable mess of wood and mountain known as the Highlands.


The River Vale
A river located between the two ranges of the Helices. Fed by the melted snow of the mountains and feeding into Lake Quell, the river served an important role in the shipment of goods from the northeast before the invasion of the Masked ended almost all trade.

The Cardinal Empire

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The empire which held the lands west of the Ivory Mountains. Though it was ruled by an emperor, power gradually and long ago shifted to the Oligarchy, a council of statesmen appointed by the governors of major cities to represent their interests. Diverse in its religion and cultures, these territories were united primarily by military conscription and a vague body of imperial law.


Cardinal
The former capital of the Cardinal Empire and the city for which it was named. The city's own name derives from its city square, where a large fountain lies in the center of four gigantic temples, each dedicated to one of the four goddesses and pointed in a different cardinal direction. Nortia's lies to the south, Philotes's to the east, Ceres's to the north, and Belladonna's to the west. Folk tales say the temple of Belladonna is placed either so as to be as far from the Auran peoples as possible, or so that its entrance always faces them. In all likelihood, neither is true, as these temples predate extensive contact between Cardinal and the Aurans.
 

Origin
A small city whose academy, the University of Origin, has trained many of Weal's greatest scholars. In addition to holding an extensive library, the city once tried to conquer the lands west of the Ivory Mountains in the 357th year. Their assault was halted at Cardinal, who then adopted the idea as their own, eventually forming the Cardinal Empire. Despite their military failure, Origin would go on to produce some of the most influential statesman and advisers of the empire's history, and remained a prominent center of learning until the invasion of the Masked.
 

Bight
An important trade hub and the makeshift capital of what remains of the Cardinal Empire. It lies next to Mount Night, whose volcanic soil has long produced rich harvests. As the destruction of Cardinal continued, more and more of its army retreated further and further, surrendering most of the land in fear. Bight now commands half of what Cardinal's army was before the invasion, a strong enough number to hold off the Masked along natural fortifications.


Lode
To the south of the mainland Cardinal Empire lies Red Clay Isle. Named for the red clay which most of its soil consists of, this island holds great mineral wealth. In the 820th year, Lode was established as a colony to oversee mining operations on the island.


Bastion
Located along the shores of Ivory Lake and against the side of the Ivory Mountains, Bastion served as a central component of the Cardinal Empire's border defense ever since said borders reached the mountains. In its prime, it was equal parts encampment and city. Its massive stone barracks held so many soldiers that supplying their needs was sufficient to generate a thriving economy, for both private enterprises and those hired by the state to supply equipment.

The Auran Empire

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A shared ethnic identity is not often a strong concept in Weal, found mainly among one group of peoples. These are the Aurans, native to the lands east of Lake Quell and south of the Helices. Their community is derived from a shared belief in their descent from Belladonna, goddess of war. The idea of a single Auran nation dates back to at least the 101st year, but this dream was only made a reality by the conquests of Medes I, who unified the various Auran city states into an empire, and whose own descendants would expand that empire to include "Vulgar Bloods," those who are not ethnically Auran and therefore have no divine blood.

The Auran Empire had more consistent governance than the Cardinal Empire, and a more consistent culture as a result. The empire's promotion of Belladonna throughout its lands made her popular even among non-Aurans. Centuries of conquests forged a diverse empire. Differing peoples and religions have traditionally been tolerated, even if not entirely advantaged. Though the empire's elite maintain that a descendant of Belladonna should be over all the people of Weal, it has been very common for vulgarbloods, especially conquered monarchs, to be brought into the imperial bureaucracy.

Even before the unification, Auran peoples banned slavery and animal sacrifices. The monarchy of these early city states, seeing themselves as divinely appointed due to their purer blood, engaged in an uncomfortable amount of incest to "preserve" the godliness in their bloodline. While slavery and blood sacrifices are still outlawed, the inbreeding was phased out a few generations after unification, and is now just something the Auran nobles would like you to forget about.

Vulgarblood was once a slur. It was phased out, and then brought back into the common lexicon as a generally inoffensive slang. It is rarely used or taken as seriously derogatory outside of a few small sects, respectively Auran ethno-nationalists or adamant anti-Aurans, who sometimes adopt it as a title of pride.
 

Burnish
The former capital of the Auran Empire. It was considered a small and insignificant city state of backwards idiots before Medes I, Twelfth King of Burnish, launched a military campaign which united the Auran peoples and declared himself the First Emperor of the Aurans. His descendants continued to rule, sometimes nominally, from his original palace until the invasion of the Masked. Patronage brought many great thinkers to the city, though it was always overshadowed by the cultural significance of Hearth.


Hearth
In the 101st year, a small tribal kingdom began raiding its neighbors, capturing their people as slaves, and throwing them into a great fire as a sacrifice to Belladonna. It is said that Belladonna found this so appalling that she descended from the heavens and commanded it to be stopped. The Auran peoples obliged her, and have not kept slaves or made blood sacrifices since that day, or so the story goes. As a symbol of their dedication, the people of Hearth have kept that great fire burning through the centuries. This is the hearth for which the city is named, and it was once guarded by over a hundred soldiers every hour of the day so that miscreant children would not throw rats or bugs into it.

During its prime, it was the undisputed capital of Auran culture, attracting many of its finest artists, scholars, and architects. Though many imperial building projects aimed to bring glory to Burnish, and did, Hearth always demanded the greatest attention and investment. Its strategic location at the mouth of the River Vale and on the shores of Lake Quell granted it extreme commercial importance, with numerous craftsman utilizing raw materials from upstream. Before the conquests of Medes I, it had been assumed that any attempt to unify the Aurans would spring forth from Hearth.


Haven
Named for its extremely defensible location, surrounded by the Helices and the River Vale. Its people lived primarily as farmers and shepherds, producing raw materials that were sent downstream to Hearth. However, it was much harder for finished goods to travel upstream to Haven, so only a small number of merchants truly reaped the benefits of this trade. Though a small city, Haven is larger than the numerous small villas which dot the River Vale's course, the security of its walls attracting many.


Delta
Formerly an important center of commerce located directly south of Lake Quell. Though mountains separate it from the heartland of the former Auran Empire, naval power allowed the unsuspecting city to be conquered early in the Empire's life, with its high hills and marshes keeping it a defensible asset up until the invasion of the Masked. Countless rivers drain from Lake Quell and the surrounding mountains, entering the sea in a delta which the city is built along and named for. Before the invasion, the upstream territories produces bountiful harvests which were exported across the continent, including absurd quantities of rice.


Pool
Pool existed as an independent city state until the 780th year, when it was forcibly turned into a client state of the Cardinal Empire. It was then conquered by the Aurans, taken by Cardinal, reconquered by the Auran Empire in the 861st year, and then overrun by the masked. Pool has always been pulled upon and influenced by numerous outside states, due to its location near the center of the continent. This has been a weakness as well as a strength, with the city becoming an important center for trade. Perhaps more important is how its central location brought together people from all nations, their ideas mixing together and the resulting innovations quickly spreading across the continent.


Palisade
Built into a cliff overlooking Ivory Lake, Palisade is a marvel of engineering and served as the Auran Empire's main defense on the Cardinal border. Not only beautifully decorated, it is so well defended that even the Masked could not overtake it, though its soldiers have been largely contained within the fortress by a ceaseless siege. It was famous for its ballista, which allowed the defenders to remain high above their enemies while still detracting from their numbers. It was commissioned during the third Auro-Cardinal War with the intention of intimidating the Cardinal Empire with both its invulnerability and the beauty of its statues and reliefs.


The Great Gate
Located on an island to the south of the former Auran Empire's heartland. The isle was conquered almost as an afterthought and was the most ignored province due to geographical separation and low strategic importance. The Masked now control it, but its population was always sparse, consisting mainly of native villagers, temporary pilgrims, and shrine keepers. The Gate has no ritual importance, but is still considered a sacred landmark, as it is said to be how the goddesses move between the moon and the terrestrial sphere.

The Highlands

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Writing and temples never took off in the Highlands- for every thousand Highlanders, maybe one will be able to read or write. Having produced very few records of themselves, Highlanders are seen as a mysterious people in a mysterious land. Though the Auran Empire completely surrounded the region, it was deemed too mountainous and too heavily wooded to conquer or administer, and so was left alone while nominally being claimed as a part of imperial territory. The most common speculation about them is perhaps the most truthful- the people live simple, traditional lives in small, isolated villages and tribes. Every ancient practice seems to be maintained by at least one group of Highlanders, including the primitive act of slave raids, though most towns have settled into a lazy peace with each other.

Criminals and anarchists often flee the state's punishment or overbearing authority and go to live in the Highlands, and are very often accepted if they are not too disruptive to the extremely traditional ways. Though full temples are uncommon, piety is still found among the Highlanders. Shrines can be found in the center of towns and at the top of hills, and most villagers are dedicated to a single goddess. Patrons, like temples and writing, never became very popular in the Highlands.

The Nations on Each Other

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The following is from a letter written by an Auran merchant who sold sold rice in Cardinal during a time of peace:

I know that mother has been very worried about the influence of these foreign customs on my well-being. Let her be assured that I remain strong in my faith to Mother Belladonna. These Cardinals are certainly an odd folk, though. Ask one what his people are, and he responds with his city or his family, few of the peasants even know the name of their emperor.

Their names are formed in a peculiar way, to allow them to have more than one. Each person has a given name, but also a family name after that, which comes from their father. Some have yet more names following that- married women have the family name of their husbands, the wealthy have the name of their estate.

They treat drink as a sort of taboo among their children, but are exceedingly indulgent with it among their friends. They drink no beer and become drunk only from the vine. It is often mulled with spices or sweetened with honey- It escapes my mind how anyone can handle so much of such a rich drink, but perhaps they cannot, for many among them become so drunk during festivities as to throw up all they consume.
This lechery, I theorize, is why the men shave their faces, so they neither have to clean their beards nor refrain from such indulgence. Few have more than a week's growth, and some have taken such offense at my beard as to call me barbaric and dirty for having it.

Speaking of wine, I have seen in my travels people who pour wine as well as oil as a libation before every meal, and others who have never made an offering at a temple after many years of life. There seems to be only zealots or atheists among them, and all of them unfaithful in their worship. Even those who do not follow Philotes make their marriage vows under her moon, even if they are supposed followers of Belladonna, who gives them the sun under which to make contract.

Their meals are far too heavy, and lacking in spice or zest. A good lemon cannot be found in this place. Their citrus fruits are small, and hard, and bland.

 

The following journal entry was made by a Cardinal mercenary who fought for Auran monarchy during the Auran Civil War:

They are truly a quaint people, quite amusing in their dullness.

Each of them has a name ending in "S." They do not notice this. Point it out to one of them, and they will neither believe you nor be able to disprove you.

They only have one name, even in their census. Should that one name not be specific enough, as is often the case, they specify with the name of their father or husband or town- a proper family name would do them wonders, but they seem to think the idea an unnecessary and preposterous one.

Their appearances are in such disrepair, whatever attractiveness might be found in their faces is hidden by the dust they too rarely wash off and the hairs they never shave, only trim to what they hilariously call a "reasonable" length.

They manage to make drink boring- they sip at beer throughout the day, but never at wine, and even their young boys and girls do this, yet never do any of them seem to get drunk.

You would at least think such a number of such devout Belladons would have exciting wars, but they are so stoic about it that I'm surprised they don't fall asleep in battle! It is that, not Belladonna's favor, that I suspect is the reason they only fight during the day. Even the vigor of noble Belladonna they seem to forgo to emphasize her role as mother of their people, having her put away the club for the mother bird's perch.

Speaking of Belladonna and mothers, I find it novel that they hold their marriages during the day, under her sun, excepting those few Philoteans among them, who do so properly under the moon. How unfitting, since they seem incapable of having their blood boil enough to have a proper war between husband and wife- the women are so demure, no spunk! Even their dancers, talented beauties though they be, are as dry as boards left in the sun.

That reminds me of an odd quirk of their food, besides their eating so many damned lemons and limes and oranges. Instead of making a proper bread, the cooks for the army just make dough, and leave it to the soldiers to cook it by stretching it across an iron shield and placing it on the fire. It has a nice, chewy texture, but they often ruin it with an overabundance of toppings. Lamb and beef and beets and carrots and cheese and pineapples all at once, the one time something of theirs would benefit from their plainness!

No humor! Oh, my best jokes go over their heads like the arrows of the rebels!

Religious Practice

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In addition to spiritual responsibilities, priests serve as healers, and provide food to the poor and teaching to the illiterate.

Most temples are organized about a large, candlelit prayer chamber. Since temples are found primarily in cities, those living in rural areas make fewer visitations bearing larger offerings. They might also utilize wayside shrines or traveling priests.

Cardinal lets religious practice be handled at a local level. Priests live off of offerings, and the Cardinal army conscripts religious offices. They consider animal sacrifice the most sincere and sacred sort of offering.

The Auran Empire took a more active role in its peoples' religion. The emperor served as head of the church and had the oft-deferred power of appointing important positions within it, and all priests had to undergo standardized certification. Though tolerant of other creeds, the Aurans see themselves as descendants of Belladonna and thus promoted her worship especially. The state built temples to Belladonna and offered tax cuts to those who gave to them. Clergymen in her service received a fixed wage from the empire, though they could also accept offerings. Traveling priests were often paid to patrol certain routes, and martial priesthood was a viable profession.
The Auran Empire strictly prohibited animal sacrifice, though very few Auran priests are vegetarians.

Patrons do not have temples, only shrines, which are sometimes found in a temple of their associated goddess. Animal sacrifices are almost never made to a Patron.

Most people will follow one entity throughout their life, usually the one who most benefits their profession. As most people inherit their parents' trade, they also inherit their faith. To beseech multiple goddesses and patrons is not unheard of, but is considered improper and excessive, with one exception: servants of Ceres might also serve Tamerlane, seeing them as working together to produce and harvest bountiful crops. Shrines to Tamerlane are more commonly found in temples to Ceres compared with other patron-goddess pairs.

 

Additional Information:

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The Auro-Cardinal Wars and Related Historical Events Leading to the Present

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793rd Year-
The Auran Empire under Mithradates II, called "the Iron Emperor," completes its conquests of the lands north of Lake Quell and east of the Ivory Mountains. This is the inevitable moment in which their lands now border those of the Cardinal Empire, which controls the city of Pool and other lands west of the lake. Tensions immediately arise between the two expansionist powers.

796th Year-
The First Auro-Cardinal War breaks out after an attempt by the Auran Empire to enforce taxes on Cardinal vessels traveling Lake Quell.

801st Year-
A peace treaty is signed in which the Cardinal Empire gives up claims to the lands north of Ivory Lake.

827th Year-
The Second Auro-Cardinal War breaks out following the Cardinal Empire seizing control of plains settlements lost during the First Auro-Cardinal War.

834th Year-
A peace treaty is signed, granting the Cardinal Empire restored control over territory lost in the First Auro-Cardinal War, as well as all lands west of Lake Quell.

836th Year-
The embarrassment of the Auran Empire's defeat, combined with mounting taxes, drought, and an increasingly corrupt and obtuse aristocracy, lead to the outbreak of the Auran Civil War. With many of both the local nobles and the peasantry siding against the monarchy, the emperor is short on men, but refuses to higher mercenaries from Cardinal.

837th Year-
Emperor Arses dies in battle against the rebels and is usurped by his young son Mithradates IV the Great. His military and domestic reforms are countless, but included hiring Cardinal mercenaries who had fought against the emperor only a few short years ago. The young monarch manages to reestablish order and some semblance of prosperity.

860th Year-
An aging Mithradates IV takes advantage of a complacent Cardinal Empire and initiates the Third Auro-Cardinal War.

868th Year-
After five years of the front being frozen along the Azure Mountains, a worn down Cardinal Empire declares peace with the Auran Empire, surrendering all land east of said mountains.

Important Historical Figures

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Archelaus (???-???): Nothing is known about him what Empedocles quoted him as saying. He seems to have been a follower of Nortia and was likely contemporary to Empedocles, but it's hard to say for certain.
 

Empedocles (???-381): His birth year is unknown, but he was in his fifties when he died.

He was a young man when Charlemagne was appointed Patron of Nortia, and was inspired by this historic event to record the religious traditions of Weal. The result of years of travel and research was Divinities, a codex considered the definitive source of religious history. Though the original copy is lost, it is the oldest work whose text is preserved in Weal.

Empedocles was a follower of Philotes and a vegetarian, based on posthumous accounts which mocked him for these things and his death. He was a native of Bight, which was a mere town during his lifetime. He refused to evacuate when Mt. Night erupted, believing Philotes would protect him. He died on that day.

The traditional model of morality, as outlined in Divinities, includes four virtues, each associated with a specific goddess. Ceres is compassion, Belladonna is courage, Nortia is impartiality, and Philotes is loyalty. Only by having all four of these virtues, as well as the fifth virtue of piety, can one be considered moral.
 

Roswitha(505-566): A monk who lived near what is now Palisade. She codified many later religious traditions and popularized many theological stances, though her work is considered less definitive than Divinities.

Smaller contributions of hers include finalizing the associations between card suites and deities (which are not mentioned in Divinities) and determining the ship Hanno's ship to be Belladonna's. She also worked on a controversial ethical quandary, the Question of Perfection.

The Question of Perfection asks why the Four are to be venerated when they embody only one virtue and why piety is virtuous if none of them are pious. The idea behind the classical virtues was that they were good because their association with a goddess, so this question was of some importance. Roswitha put forward the idea that being moral meant displaying one virtue and venerating the goddess associated with it, which has achieved moderate popularity among progressive practitioners of hermeneutics.

Controversially among the Aurans, she argued that each daughter of Belladonna had a different father
 

Terrence the Atheist (547-607): A playwright from Cardinal. His heretical beliefs cost him a promising career in civil service, so he turned his education and writing talent to the stage. Despite his disbelief in religious traditions, Terrance was an arch-conservative who blamed religious reinterpretation for the the degradation he perceived in society.
 

Odes (750-797): A religious scholar and ambassador from the Auran Empire who produced the Standard Auran Texts. These are the most recent and comprehensive versions of religious history which were used by the Auran government. Though the events are largely the same as in Divinities, Odes felt it necessary to produce an account which properly credited Belladonna, unlike the Cardinal-derived texts that had been standard up to that point.

According to Odes, Belladonna best embodied each of the four classical virtues. Compassionate and impartial because she remained to aid humanity and could love a human. Loyal by her motherhood and devotion as a wife to one man. In writing the Standard Auran Texts, Odes made very clear that Belladonna's four daughters had one father. He named this man Oxin and standardized the naming of his daughters by Belladonna, the traditions of which varied from region to region.

  • Aura, the divine light (universally agreed upon)
  • Pyre, the light of fire (fairly common throughout the empire at that point)
  • Luster, the sheen of gold and silver (fairly common throughout the empire at that point)
  • Tempest, the light of lightning (still somewhat of a contested pick)

Odes was ambassador to the Cardinal Empire leading up the First Auro-Cardinal War. He was executed for failing to secure a peaceful arrangement between the two nations. Though the war would end up being successful for the Auran Empire, there initially great skepticism about fighting an equally powerful nation.

 

 

 

 

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Player Phase:

Spoiler

Noelle moves to P10. Noelle attacks Shaman2 using Fire!

Spoiler

Noelle attacks

  • 6 damage, 100 hit, 5 crit
  • Crit: 40

Shaman2's robes ignite in a small fire (13/19)

***

Shaman2 counters

  • 7 damage, 88 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (80+52)/2 = 66

Noelle feels some turbulence, but she manages to stay on her mount (12/19)

***

Noelle gains 12 EXP (69/100) -> Nice

Noelle gains 1 Tome wEXP (9/30)

Butter moves to L11.

Karen moves to M11. Karen uses Sing for Butter and gains 11 EXP (88/100)

Cantus moves to O11. Cantus attacks Shaman3 using Flux!

Spoiler

Cantus attacks

  • 15 attack, 100 hit, 6 crit
  • Crit: 12

Shaman3 is nearly slain by strange forces (4/19)

***

Shaman3 counters!

  • 2 damage, 52 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (51+21)/2 = 36

Cantus feels a little warm (17/19)

***

Cantus continues!

  • 15 attack, 100 hit, 6 crit
  • Crit: 47

Shaman3 is enveloped by darkness (0/19).

***

When light returns, Shaman3 cannot be seen.

Cantus gains 31 EXP (48/100)

Cantus gains 6 wEXP (72/70) -> (72/120)

Cantus reaches C rank tomes!

Butter moves to P11. Butter attacks Shaman4 using an Iron Bow!

Spoiler

Butter attacks

  • 18 damage, 100 hit, 6 crit
  • Crit: 0

Butter makes a perfect headshot! Shaman4 takes 54 damage! (0/19)

***

You should be able to figure what happens to Masked that get headshot by now.

Butter gains 28 EXP (61/100)

Butter gains 3 Bow wEXP (55/70)

Toki moves to P12 and equips a Javelin.

Toki uses Swap on Butter! Now Butter is at P12 and Toki is at P11.

Enemy Phase:

Spoiler

Knight4 moves to I9.

Knight5 moves to I10.

Knight6 moves to J9.

Fighter3 moves to L5.

Merc2 moves to K4.

Shaman2 moves to Q11. Shaman2 attacks Noelle using Wind!

Spoiler

Noelle activates Vantage!

  • 6 damage, 100 hit, 5 crit
  • Crit: 77

Shaman2's robes are thoroughly charred (7/19)

***

Shaman2 counters!

  • 7 damage, 87 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (4+10)/2 = 7

A strong gale nearly dismounts Noelle! (5/19)

***

Noelle gains 12 EXP (81/100)

Noelle gains 1 Tome wEXP (10/30)

Archer3 moves to Q12. Archer3 attacks Toki using an Iron Bow!

Spoiler

Archer3 attacks

  • 8 damage, 91 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (25+14)/2 = 19

An arrow finds its way to Toki's shoulder (3/18)

***

Toki counters!

  • 10 damage, 61 hit, 4 crit
  • Hit: (10+0)/2 = 5
  • Crit: 98

Archer3 is impaled! (8/18)

***

Archer3 continues

  • 8 damage, 91 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (46+33)/2 = 39

Toki activates Miracle! The arrow barely misses his vital regions (1/18)

***

Toki gains 10 EXP (41/100)

Toki gains 1 Lance wEXP (36/70)

Having stood aside long enough, the leader of the enemy squadron charges forward, a steel sword in hand.

High Masked moves to O9!

Player Phase Begins:

Objective: Survive (4/5) or defeat boss

Though simple creatures, the Masked possess a degree of readable body language. It would seem they were running low on morale- and soldiers. If they could hold out for just a bit longer-

OPSFi5q.png

Reference Information:

Spoiler

 Player characters

Spoiler

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Name Class Affinity Level HP Str Mgc Skl Spd Lck Def Res Weapon Ranks Skills Status HIT AVO
                                 
Karen
Infantry
Light
1 16/16 0 7 5 5 7 0 6
Staff (D- 30/70)
Miracle, Sing, Charm
+2 Luck
17
17
88 40% 10% 65% 50% 55% 45% 10% 45%
                                 
Toki
Specialist
Wind
3 11/18 7 3 5 4 2 6 5
Lance (D- 36/70)
Axe (E- 6/30)
Sword (E- 3/30)
Positioning, Fortune, Miracle, Foresight Figher
+2 Luck
12
10
41 50% 25% 25% 35% 20% 100% 30% 30%
                                 
Butter
Armor
Steel
4 23/27 12 1 7 2 4 10 7
Lance (C- 84/120)
Bow (D- 55/70)
Vantage, Obstruct, Wary Fighter
+2 Luck
18
8
61 70% 50% 10% 50% 20% 25% 45% 45%
                                 
Cantus
Armor
Thunder
3 19/19 5 9 7 10 3 6 4
Tome (C- 72/120)
Shadowgift, Fortune, Celerity
+2 Luck
17
23
48 60% 15% 75% 40% 50% 0% 40% 35%
                                 
Noelle
Wyvern
Steel
2 12/19 3 7 6 6 5 3 3
Staff (D- 38/70)
Tome (E- 10/30)
Vantage, Shadowgift, Lady of Status
+2 Luck
17
17
81 50% 20% 60% 30% 50% 40% 20% 45%

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Inventory

Spoiler

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Holder Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3 Slot 4 Slot 5
           
Karen Heal (30/30) Vulnerary (3/3)      
           
Toki Javelin (20/25) Iron Axe (42/45) Iron Sword (44/45) Iron Lance (44/45)  
           
Butter Steel Lance (32/35) Iron Bow (30/45)      
           
Cantus Flux (27/40)        
           
Noelle Fire (32/40) Heal (26/30) Vulnerary (3/3)    

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Enemies

Spoiler

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Name Class Position Level HP Str Mgc Skl Spd Lck Def Res Weapons Skills HIT AVO
                               
High Masked Infantry O4 5 25/25 7 1 10 10 5 6 3 Steel Sword, Elixir*   25 25
                               
Knight4 Armor I9 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Sword   9 1
                               
Knight5 Armor I10 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Axe   9 1
                               
Knight6 Armor J9 2 21/21 9 0 4 0 1 10 3 Iron Lance   9 1
                               
Fighter3 Infantry L5 3 22/22 10 0 6 5 2 6 2 Hammer   14 12
                               
Merc2 Infantry K4 2 19/19 7 0 8 7 1 5 1 Iron Sword   17 15
                               
Shaman2 Infantry Q11 2 7/19 3 4 3 5 1 4 5 Wind   7 11
                               
Shaman3 Infantry - 2 DEAD 3 4 3 5 1 4 5 Fire   7 11
                               
Shaman4 Infantry - 2 DEAD 3 4 3 5 1 4 5 Thunder   7 11
                               
Archer3 Infantry Q12 1 18/18 6 0 7 7 1 5 0 Iron Bow   15 15

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Weapons

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Name Rank Uses Might Hit Crit Range Weight wEXP Description
                     
Swords
Iron Sword E 45 5 95 0 1 4 1 A simple blade forged from iron
Steel Sword D 35 9 80 0 1 11 2 A hearty blade of tempered steel
Silver Sword B 25 13 85 0 1 9 2 An elegant blade made of silver
Wyrmslayer C 25 9 95 0 1 7 2 Effective against dragon units, solid all around
                     
Lances
Iron Lance E 45 7 85 0 1 6 1 A simple lance with an iron tip
Steel Lance D 35 11 70 0 1 13 2 A hefty lance with a steel tip
Silver Lance B 25 15 75 0 1 11 2 An elegant lance with a silver tip
Javelin D 25 6 60 0 1-2 11 1 Designed to be thrown
                     
Axes
Iron Axe E 45 9 75 0 1 8 1 A common axe with an iron head
Steel Axe D 35 13 60 0 1 15 2 A mighty axe with a steel head
Silver Axe B 25 17 65 0 1 13 2 An elegant axe with a glimmering silver head
Hammer D 20 12 60 0 1 15 2 Effective against armored units
Hand Axe E 25 8 50 0 1-2 11 1 Designed to be thrown
                     
Bows
Iron Bow E 45 8 90 0 2 5 1 A common bow made of wood and iron
Steel Bow D 35 12 75 0 2 12 2 A heavy bow made of wood and steel
Silver Bow B 25 16 80 0 2 10 2 An elegant bow made of wood and silver
                     
Tomes
Wind E 40 2 100 0 1-2 0 1 Introductory Wind magic
Fire E 40 4 95 0 1-2 2 1 Introductory Fire magic
Thunder D 40 6 85 10 1-2 3 2 Introductory Thunder magic
Flux D 40 7 70 0 1-2 4 2 Dark magic, WTA against elemental tomes
                     
Monster
weapons
Claw N/A N/A 7 80 -- 1 8 N/A A monster's claw
Venomous Claw N/A N/A 6 60 -- 1 10 N/A Poisons targets struck
Fang N/A N/A 5 90 15 1 4 N/A A monster's sharp teeth
Evil Eye N/A N/A 7 70 0 1-2 6 N/A Dark magic concentrated through an evil gaze
        Effectiveness       EXP    
Staves
Heal E 30 Mgc +10     1 11 2 Restores HP to an adjacent ally
Mend D 20 Mgc +20     1 17 3 Greatly restores HP to an adjacent ally
Torch D 8 N/A     M/2+1 20 5 Lights up a dark or foggy area
Recover C 15 N/A     1 23 4 Fully restores HP to an adjacent ally
Physic C 15 Mgc +15     M/2+1 27 5 Restores HP to a distant ally

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Items

Spoiler
Consumable Items
Bitter Herb 2 Heals 10 HP when used, can be distilled into more potent healing items
Vulnerary 3 Heals 15 HP when used
Elixir 3 Heals all HP when used
Antidote 3 Heals poison when used
Seraph Robe 1 Max HP +6
Strength Drop 1 Strength +2
Spirit Dust 1 Magic +2
Secret Book 1 Skill +3
Speedwing 1 Speed +2
Nortia Icon 1 Luck +4
Draco Shield 1 Defense +2
Talisman 1 Resistance +2

Skills

Spoiler
Name Effect
     
Personal Skills
Charm Allies within 3 tiles gain +10 Hit and +10 Evade
Foresight Fighter This unit may changes their equipped weapon after combat. Doing so gives this 
unit +2 Str / Def / Res until the start of the next player phase. 
If this unit is then traded with by another unit, the bonus is lost.
Wary Fighter This unit can neither double nor be doubled
Celerity Movement +1
Lady of Status Allies within 3 tiles deal +2 damage
     
Passive Skills
Canto May use remaining movement after acting
Miracle The first two battles of each map where this unit would take lethal damage, this unit survives with 1 HP or dodges if already at 1 HP
Fortune Critical hit chance against this unit is always 0
Wrath Critical Hit +50 when this unit's HP is less than half of its maximum
Vantage Strike before the enemy when attacked
Obstruct Entering a tile adjacent to this unit costs an enemy unit the rest of its movement
Escutcheon For each allied unit adjacent to this unit, this unit and all adjacent allies receive -2 damage taken
Fury This unit receives +2 Strength, +2 Magic, +2 Speed, +2 Defense, and +2 Resistance, but loses 3 HP after every round of combat.
Spellblade Magic +7 when using a magical sword / lance / axe / bow
Shadowgift Tome users only, can use Dark Tomes
Bow Range +1 Bow-locked units only, +1 maximum range with all bows
Special Fighter Special Gauge begins at 30 at the start of each map
Sharp Eyes Vision Range +5 in fog of war, provides additional benefits outside of maps
   
     
Map Commands
Sing Enables an adjacent ally who has already acted to act again this turn
Thievery This unit may steal and use lockpicks
Positioning May use the Swap, Shove, and Reposition commands
   
     
Combat Arts
Adept Costs 30 SP, immediately follow your first attack with one additional strike
Cancel Costs 30 SP, prevents the enemy from counterattacking
   
     
Initial Bonuses
Discipline Increases initial weapon rank by 1 for all equipable weapon types
Side Arm Gain an additional equipable weapon type

Terrain

Spoiler
Terrain Foot Magic Horse Flying DEF AVO Effects
Plain 1 1 1 1 0 0  
Forest 2 2 3 1 1 20  
Mountain 4 4 7 1 2 30  
Peak       1 2 40  
Fort 2 2 2 1 2 20 Heal 20% max HP at the beginning of your phase
Gate / Throne 1 1 1 1 3 30 Heal 20% max HP at the beginning of your phase
Cures status conditions at the beginning of your phase
River 4 4   1 0 -10  
Sea / Lake       1 0 -10  
Desert 2 1 3 1 0 5  
Settlement 1 1 1 1 0 10 Houses, shops, arenas, etc.
Cliff, Fence       1 0 0  
Snag, Wall, Door         0 0 Snags become Plains after breaking

The Gameplay

Spoiler

Charlemagne has no combat ability and does not appear on the map. However, he possesses the ability to manipulate probability, and will be able to operate a Turnwheel once such an item is obtained by the party.

Charlemagne can perform one manipulation each player phase. He may acquire additional manipulators as the campaign progresses.

  • Alteration: Switch between 1 RN and 2 RN (true hit) system
  • Favor: Luck +10 for all units

***

The equations are based on the GBA games, with a few changes:

Staff experience is no longer halved after promotion
A unit's full luck stat is used in calculating hit, rather than just half
Crit = Skill
Constitution is not present in the Ruined World, so its functions have been transferred to other stats
The weapon triangle provides +2/-2 Damage, rather than +1/-1
The Trinity of Magic has been removed, as there is only tome weapon type
Armored units have the same movement penalties as infantry units
Experience calculations are instead based on FE9

For more detailed information, please consult the spreadsheet.

***

Weapon weight penalties are now calculated using Strength, as in FE9.
Incurred weapon weight penalties reduce not only Speed, but Skill as well.

Rescue is now class-based:

  • Riders can rescue any other class, but cannot be rescued
  • Armors can rescue any class besides Riders
  • Infantry and Specialists can only rescue other infantry and specialists

***

Units who have an S rank in the weapon type they are currently using gain +1 Damage, +5 Hit, and +5 Crit.

Like in FE6, a unit can have multiple S ranks.

Critical Hits, much like Fatal hits, provide x2 wEXP. These effects combined give x3 (rather than x4) wEXP when killing an enemy with a crit.

***

Casual Mode is on, but may be turned off for your character at your discretion.

***

Support level increases when two characters have made major steps in their relationship. I'll grant them at my discretion, and players can ask if they feel their characters qualify for an additional rank.

  • Fire: +.5 Attack, +2.5 Hit
  • Wind: +.5 Attack, +2.5 Avoid
  • Thunder:  +.5 Defense, +2.5 Avoid
  • Light: +.5 Defense, +2.5 Hit
  • Dark: +2.5 Hit, +2.5 Avoid
  • Steel: +.5 Attack, +.5 Defense

***

The Well Being System:

Certain actions and consumables may benefit or penalize a unit's performance in the next battle. For example, eating a high class lobster dinner may provide +3 skill, +3 resistance, and +2 defense in the next battle. If you sleep in the rain, though, you have a chance of catching a cold, which might inflict penalties of -4 skill, -2 speed, and -2 luck until the character recovers.

***

Assume GBA mechanics are in place unless otherwise stated.

Lore

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Maps

This is a map of the continent of Weal as it once stood:

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This is a map of the continent of Weal as it stands now:

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The World as it Stands:

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The Masked:

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A8ILG0y.pngFeminoids wholly clad in black armor.
They never tire, or hunger, or thirst.
They take prisoners, even the dead and wounded of their raids, yet leave none of their own.
When mortally wounded or even when captured, Masked disintegrate to the reddish powder of dry clay. Even their armor turns to dust.
This has made is quite difficult to see what lies underneath their namesake ornaments.

The Masked do not fight alone. Their invasion is backed by monsters, supposed to have been purged by the four goddesses during the world's formative years. The ruin they leave in their wake is patrolled by these monsters and a few squadrons of their own.

Individual Masked can have vastly different combat abilities. Furthermore, hey appear to have organized into a martial hierarchy based on their intelligence.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Common Masked

Most of the Masked are only slightly smarter than monsters, which are themselves more mindless than most beasts. Their fighting prowess, even their ability to use magic, seems to derive more from an instinct which is not specialized for coordination. They are sometimes called the Low Masked or the Common Masked, but usually just the Masked.

  • High Masked

???

  • Grand Masked

???


The Survivors:

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The once great Cardinal and Auran Empires have been reduced to wastelands, always overcast and gray. After over a century of alternating between peace and war, it was a threat no one anticipated which brought about their ruin, proving too great even for their built up armies.

In a desperate, panicked maneuver, the Cardinal Empire protected a small section of its territory and abandoned the rest. Only this portion remains. Emperor Phillip, merely a figurehead, operates with the nobility from a seaside inn seized by the state. It's treasonously rumored that most of Cardinal was sacrificed while public and military officials saw to their own evacuation. However, these administrators argue that broader efforts would have spread defenses impotently thin.

The barbarians of the Highlands have likely been saved from the fate of the empires by their eternal shield: terrain so mountainous and heavily wooded that no army has been able to invade it. Not even the Masked seem like they are able to overcome this, nor the cunning of warriors so ferocious and familiar with the land and its many shadows.TAty5Ge.png

The Auran fortress of Palisade, built into a mountainside, manages to ward off the Masked and the monsters through their strategic position and the advanced technology of ballista.
Rumors circulate that the city of Haven has been partially preserved by the mythological warrior Tamerlane.

Scattered, nomadic remains of the original population persist. They scavenge the wastelands, hiding away from the Masked in remote fields and smoldering cities. Rings of criminals have repurposed their tactics and escape routes to meet these new challenges, and their protection rackets now face no competition from the state, yet they too live poverty and paranoia.

The Emperor of the Aurans, Mithradates V, is known to have died fighting against an early incursion of the Masked.

His young son Khosrau and his vizier Oborzos are unaccounted for. Another mystery is the whereabouts of the sacred treasure of the Auran Empire's ruling dynasty, a token of their proclaimed divine lineage, a relic said to be able to harness the power of the sun: the Fire Emblem.


The Faith:

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The world of Weal believes in a pantheon of goddess called "the four."

The first day of the first year is set to their awakening. Over the next four years, they were integral in the formation of the world. Famously, they defeated a terrible monster called the Clay Dragon, whose body become the terrestrial sphere (i.e the world), and they purged the remaining monsters from the land.

Each has appointed a human envoy, called a Patron.

The Masked arrived in the 889th year.

It is now the 897th year.

A man claiming to be Charlemagne, patron of Nortia, alleges that his former master is behind the invasion. To repel the Masked, he has performed a ritual to summon powerful warriors from across the continent.

He got you.

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The Mythos

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Cosmogony

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We should be content to never know what came before the four. Who may testify what came before them?

The universe at first held only aether, homogeneous and chaotic. The four determined that the universe be ordered, and so split the aether into the physical arche, light, and the mental arche, mind.

Light they split into mass and form, the ratios of which compose the elements, and set to govern them were Belladonna's strife and the Philotes's harmony.

Mind they split into instinct and reason. From instinct, Ceres formed the vital force which animated all living things, but among them only humans posses reason. As the universe could not exist without the boundary of the Celestial Sphere, so too could reason not exist without the boundary of Nortia's mysteries.

These elements were at first without balance, and from this chaos came the Clay Dragon to wage war against the four, and it cut their flesh; Yet the four overpowered it and slew it, and its body became the land, and its blood became the sea. Yet, still tainted, the remains of the Clay Dragon begat monsters, which lashed out against all other forms of creation. The blood of the four fell to the world, and begat humankind, and the four again waged war alongside humans, and drove out the monsters, and purified the waters and the soil.

By the first day of the fourth year were all these accomplished, and so began the reign of humankind on Weal.

***

Light, when formed, flowed endlessly from a single sphere, which was called by the four the sun. They set it between the edge of the universe and its center, to which Belladonna took, for its light was vigorous. Each day, the sun moves around the world, dragged across the sky behind the flying ship which Belladonna captained in the war against unbalance and monstrosity.

The four, having made the world safe for man, then retreated from the world. They built for themselves a great sphere of silver on which to live, and placed it between the sun and the world, and the realm of its placement was the Lunar Sphere, to which Philotes took, for it was a home and a light in the night, which family and friendship are as well.

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Cosmology

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Untitled.png...the universe is divided into four spheres. In the center is the terrestrial sphere, which is the world on which we live, its seas and the land both...

...the lunar sphere was once empty, but leaving the terrestrial sphere to mortals, the goddesses built a great palace out of silver, that sphere which is the moon, and placed it within the lunar sphere, a realm in which to live and from which to look down and over us. This sphere rotates around the terrestrial sphere once in a period of 30 days...

...the solar sphere, where the sun, wellspring of the physical arche, which is light, is suspended...One full rotation of this sphere around the terrestrial sphere produces one full day...

...the celestial sphere is the boundary of all that is. It is on this sphere that small pieces of the sun have been placed, which are the stars. One full rotation of this sphere around the terrestrial sphere produces one full year...

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Eschatology

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It is better for a man not to be born, for then he will never taste the excitement of life and yearn for it in the afterlife...

...upon death, the soul may wander the land, but may not speak with any other thing, living in total isolation, and frozen in time...

...those who die old are old in death, those who die in battle are pierced in death, but all are numb in death...

So it falls on Hanno, Patron of Philotes, to gather the souls of the dead onto the flying ship in the night, and then sail them to the moon...

...souls on the moon live no more fulfilling an existence, excepting that they may speak to one another when upon the silver surface...
...but a ghost is not an inconvenience to the living whilst there...

...those who, in life, show great valor and courage, sacrificing themselves for others, may enjoy a more splendorous life in the Silver Palace of the four, yet their afterlife is no less endless and repetitive than the common man's, and as is often said, "the dead trample upon silver"...

...a woman who dies in childbirth, deemed by Philotes as having made the greatest sacrifice of self, shall live in the Silver Palace as well...

-Selections from Empedocles's Divinities

Tetratheon

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-Selection from Empedocles's Divinities

The four are powerful beings credited with terraforming the barren world into a fertile realm and driving terrible monsters from it. Each is ascribed powers not only over a realm of human life, but also over one of the cosmological spheres, and is closely associated with a suite in a deck of cards.

Ceres

Ceres is most popular among farmers, the dominant occupation on the continent. Many mages also favor her due to her mastery of the elements. She is associated with the terrestrial sphere and the spade suite in a deck of cards, the spade being a tool for tilling the ground.

Philotes

Philotes is most popular among merchants, household servants, philosophers, and youths yearning for companionship. She is associated with the lunar sphere and the heard suite in a deck of cards.

Belladonna

Belladonna is most popular among among soldiers and mercenaries, but also among hunters and athletes. The majority of ethnic Aurans, regardless of occupation, are loyal to Belladonna. She is associated with the solar sphere and the club suite in a deck of cards, the club being a weapon of war which she is often depicted with.

Nortia

Nortia is not particularly popular among any one occupation, Many see her impartiality as being unconcerned with whether they worship her or not. Though the only goddess to be less popular than her patron, she finds some followers among those who live from moment to moment, submissive to their destiny or limitations.

All depictions of her are veiled, and statues of her have no face underneath. She is associated with the celestial sphere and the diamond suite in a deck of cards.

Hagiography

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-Selection from Empedocles's Divinities

Tamerlane
In what is now the city of Hearth, there was a farmer named Tamerlane who took up arms to defend his city against invasion. He demonstrated unparalleled skill as a warrior and tactician, such that he was asked to become king and form a great empire. However, Tamerlane refused and instead returned to his farm, wishing for his city to retain its republican governance and peaceful ways. So noble was he that the goddess Ceres favored him, and Tamerlane became the patron of Ceres in the 87th year.

He is considered the patron of the harvest, often depicted with a great scythe, and is sometimes associated with death, reaping those who have reached their time.

Hanno
There was once a messenger carrying mail by ship from what is now Bight to what is now Delta. A great storm ravaged the vessel he traveled on, and so Hanno pledged his unfailing allegiance to the goddesses should they rescue him. The sky soon cleared, and Hanno kept his promise, becoming a priest and religious scholar. As a reward for his integrity and commitment in keeping his oath, Philotes favored him, and Hanno became the patron of Philotes in the 174th year.

After becoming patron, Hanno took the flying ship and flew to the sun. He then took small pieces from it, which he placed on the edge of the celestial sphere, thus creating the stars so that sailors could use them to navigate at night. He is considered the patron of sailors, navigators, and messengers.

Theodoric
Originally a brilliant metallurgist from the city of Pool, Theodoric was the first to create steel. With Pool being a crossroad between both ends of the continent and not being governed by any strong state, the secret of his technology traveled fast and made him a very rich man. Being greatly impressed by his invention, its strength and its usefulness in warfare, Belladonna favored him, and Theodoric became the patron of Belladonna in the 261st year.

He is considered the patron of metal workers and craftsmen.

Charlemagne
The small city of Origin had a very esteemed academy, and among its minds was the mathematician Charlemagne. His work laid the foundation for game theory. He was also the inventor of card counting, but was almost beaten to death by the staff of the gambling den where he attempted to test his creation, being saved by the intervention of Nortia before he was first struck. For finding a way to "cheat" luck, Nortia favored him, and Charlemagne became the patron of Nortia in the 348th year.

He is considered the patron of good fortune. His popularity is fair among most groups, but mathematicians and gamblers seem to favor him more than most

 

The Nations, as They Once Were

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Geography

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Mount Night
A dormant volcano located within the Cardinal Empire. It last erupted in the 381st year, when it ejected so much smoke and ash that everything for miles was bathed in darkness.


The Ivory Mountains
A mountain range which divides the Cardinal Empire to the west and the Auran Empire to the east, named for the stunning white sides of its peaks. This natural fortification has never been pushed past by a power from the east until the invasion of the Masked. Though several passages exist through the mountains, the Cardinal Empire kept them well guarded, and it was by sailing around the mountains that the invasion of Cardinal began. While the Imperial Cardinal Navy would normally have prevented this, much of the nation's might was pulled back to guard the major cities. Afterwards, the Masked flooded the west and conquered the passages, allowing their numbers to pour through fully.


Ivory Lake
A lake which divides the Ivory Mountains into two. Invaders have tried to cross into Cardinal through this lake, though a small fleet long fended off such attempts. When it had the authority to do so, the Cardinal Empire taxed merchants who shipped goods across the lake. This tax was often paid, as it was easily the quickest trade route between the city of Pool and the Cardinal Empire. After the invasion of the Masked, their crude ships are most all that sails across this small sea. It is fed from the Ivory Mountains, for which it is named.


The Ivory River
A river which drains the Ivory Lake into the sea, passing by several major cities of the Cardinal Empire along the way. This granted it similar importance in shipping to its source lake.


Lake Quell
A massive lake in the center of the continent. It served an important role in trade, with ships delivering cargo from one end to the other, saving days and even weeks of travel time. Wars have been fought over control of the lake for this reason.


The Helices
A pair of mountain ranges which encompass a great river valley. It serves as an impending obstacle to those trying to move quickly along Lake Quell. In the north, its peaks eventually give way to the impenetrable mess of wood and mountain known as the Highlands.


The River Vale
A river located between the two ranges of the Helices. Fed by the melted snow of the mountains and feeding into Lake Quell, the river served an important role in the shipment of goods from the northeast before the invasion of the Masked ended almost all trade.

The Cardinal Empire

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The empire which held the lands west of the Ivory Mountains. Though it was ruled by an emperor, power gradually and long ago shifted to the Oligarchy, a council of statesmen appointed by the governors of major cities to represent their interests. Diverse in its religion and cultures, these territories were united primarily by military conscription and a vague body of imperial law.


Cardinal
The former capital of the Cardinal Empire and the city for which it was named. The city's own name derives from its city square, where a large fountain lies in the center of four gigantic temples, each dedicated to one of the four goddesses and pointed in a different cardinal direction. Nortia's lies to the south, Philotes's to the east, Ceres's to the north, and Belladonna's to the west. Folk tales say the temple of Belladonna is placed either so as to be as far from the Auran peoples as possible, or so that its entrance always faces them. In all likelihood, neither is true, as these temples predate extensive contact between Cardinal and the Aurans.
 

Origin
A small city whose academy, the University of Origin, has trained many of Weal's greatest scholars. In addition to holding an extensive library, the city once tried to conquer the lands west of the Ivory Mountains in the 357th year. Their assault was halted at Cardinal, who then adopted the idea as their own, eventually forming the Cardinal Empire. Despite their military failure, Origin would go on to produce some of the most influential statesman and advisers of the empire's history, and remained a prominent center of learning until the invasion of the Masked.
 

Bight
An important trade hub and the makeshift capital of what remains of the Cardinal Empire. It lies next to Mount Night, whose volcanic soil has long produced rich harvests. As the destruction of Cardinal continued, more and more of its army retreated further and further, surrendering most of the land in fear. Bight now commands half of what Cardinal's army was before the invasion, a strong enough number to hold off the Masked along natural fortifications.


Lode
To the south of the mainland Cardinal Empire lies Red Clay Isle. Named for the red clay which most of its soil consists of, this island holds great mineral wealth. In the 820th year, Lode was established as a colony to oversee mining operations on the island.


Bastion
Located along the shores of Ivory Lake and against the side of the Ivory Mountains, Bastion served as a central component of the Cardinal Empire's border defense ever since said borders reached the mountains. In its prime, it was equal parts encampment and city. Its massive stone barracks held so many soldiers that supplying their needs was sufficient to generate a thriving economy, for both private enterprises and those hired by the state to supply equipment.

The Auran Empire

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A shared ethnic identity is not often a strong concept in Weal, found mainly among one group of peoples. These are the Aurans, native to the lands east of Lake Quell and south of the Helices. Their community is derived from a shared belief in their descent from Belladonna, goddess of war. The idea of a single Auran nation dates back to at least the 101st year, but this dream was only made a reality by the conquests of Medes I, who unified the various Auran city states into an empire, and whose own descendants would expand that empire to include "Vulgar Bloods," those who are not ethnically Auran and therefore have no divine blood.

The Auran Empire had more consistent governance than the Cardinal Empire, and a more consistent culture as a result. The empire's promotion of Belladonna throughout its lands made her popular even among non-Aurans. Centuries of conquests forged a diverse empire. Differing peoples and religions have traditionally been tolerated, even if not entirely advantaged. Though the empire's elite maintain that a descendant of Belladonna should be over all the people of Weal, it has been very common for vulgarbloods, especially conquered monarchs, to be brought into the imperial bureaucracy.

Even before the unification, Auran peoples banned slavery and animal sacrifices. The monarchy of these early city states, seeing themselves as divinely appointed due to their purer blood, engaged in an uncomfortable amount of incest to "preserve" the godliness in their bloodline. While slavery and blood sacrifices are still outlawed, the inbreeding was phased out a few generations after unification, and is now just something the Auran nobles would like you to forget about.

Vulgarblood was once a slur. It was phased out, and then brought back into the common lexicon as a generally inoffensive slang. It is rarely used or taken as seriously derogatory outside of a few small sects, respectively Auran ethno-nationalists or adamant anti-Aurans, who sometimes adopt it as a title of pride.
 

Burnish
The former capital of the Auran Empire. It was considered a small and insignificant city state of backwards idiots before Medes I, Twelfth King of Burnish, launched a military campaign which united the Auran peoples and declared himself the First Emperor of the Aurans. His descendants continued to rule, sometimes nominally, from his original palace until the invasion of the Masked. Patronage brought many great thinkers to the city, though it was always overshadowed by the cultural significance of Hearth.


Hearth
In the 101st year, a small tribal kingdom began raiding its neighbors, capturing their people as slaves, and throwing them into a great fire as a sacrifice to Belladonna. It is said that Belladonna found this so appalling that she descended from the heavens and commanded it to be stopped. The Auran peoples obliged her, and have not kept slaves or made blood sacrifices since that day, or so the story goes. As a symbol of their dedication, the people of Hearth have kept that great fire burning through the centuries. This is the hearth for which the city is named, and it was once guarded by over a hundred soldiers every hour of the day so that miscreant children would not throw rats or bugs into it.

During its prime, it was the undisputed capital of Auran culture, attracting many of its finest artists, scholars, and architects. Though many imperial building projects aimed to bring glory to Burnish, and did, Hearth always demanded the greatest attention and investment. Its strategic location at the mouth of the River Vale and on the shores of Lake Quell granted it extreme commercial importance, with numerous craftsman utilizing raw materials from upstream. Before the conquests of Medes I, it had been assumed that any attempt to unify the Aurans would spring forth from Hearth.


Haven
Named for its extremely defensible location, surrounded by the Helices and the River Vale. Its people lived primarily as farmers and shepherds, producing raw materials that were sent downstream to Hearth. However, it was much harder for finished goods to travel upstream to Haven, so only a small number of merchants truly reaped the benefits of this trade. Though a small city, Haven is larger than the numerous small villas which dot the River Vale's course, the security of its walls attracting many.


Delta
Formerly an important center of commerce located directly south of Lake Quell. Though mountains separate it from the heartland of the former Auran Empire, naval power allowed the unsuspecting city to be conquered early in the Empire's life, with its high hills and marshes keeping it a defensible asset up until the invasion of the Masked. Countless rivers drain from Lake Quell and the surrounding mountains, entering the sea in a delta which the city is built along and named for. Before the invasion, the upstream territories produces bountiful harvests which were exported across the continent, including absurd quantities of rice.


Pool
Pool existed as an independent city state until the 780th year, when it was forcibly turned into a client state of the Cardinal Empire. It was then conquered by the Aurans, taken by Cardinal, reconquered by the Auran Empire in the 861st year, and then overrun by the masked. Pool has always been pulled upon and influenced by numerous outside states, due to its location near the center of the continent. This has been a weakness as well as a strength, with the city becoming an important center for trade. Perhaps more important is how its central location brought together people from all nations, their ideas mixing together and the resulting innovations quickly spreading across the continent.


Palisade
Built into a cliff overlooking Ivory Lake, Palisade is a marvel of engineering and served as the Auran Empire's main defense on the Cardinal border. Not only beautifully decorated, it is so well defended that even the Masked could not overtake it, though its soldiers have been largely contained within the fortress by a ceaseless siege. It was famous for its ballista, which allowed the defenders to remain high above their enemies while still detracting from their numbers. It was commissioned during the third Auro-Cardinal War with the intention of intimidating the Cardinal Empire with both its invulnerability and the beauty of its statues and reliefs.


The Great Gate
Located on an island to the south of the former Auran Empire's heartland. The isle was conquered almost as an afterthought and was the most ignored province due to geographical separation and low strategic importance. The Masked now control it, but its population was always sparse, consisting mainly of native villagers, temporary pilgrims, and shrine keepers. The Gate has no ritual importance, but is still considered a sacred landmark, as it is said to be how the goddesses move between the moon and the terrestrial sphere.

The Highlands

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Writing and temples never took off in the Highlands- for every thousand Highlanders, maybe one will be able to read or write. Having produced very few records of themselves, Highlanders are seen as a mysterious people in a mysterious land. Though the Auran Empire completely surrounded the region, it was deemed too mountainous and too heavily wooded to conquer or administer, and so was left alone while nominally being claimed as a part of imperial territory. The most common speculation about them is perhaps the most truthful- the people live simple, traditional lives in small, isolated villages and tribes. Every ancient practice seems to be maintained by at least one group of Highlanders, including the primitive act of slave raids, though most towns have settled into a lazy peace with each other.

Criminals and anarchists often flee the state's punishment or overbearing authority and go to live in the Highlands, and are very often accepted if they are not too disruptive to the extremely traditional ways. Though full temples are uncommon, piety is still found among the Highlanders. Shrines can be found in the center of towns and at the top of hills, and most villagers are dedicated to a single goddess. Patrons, like temples and writing, never became very popular in the Highlands.

The Nations on Each Other

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The following is from a letter written by an Auran merchant who sold sold rice in Cardinal during a time of peace:

I know that mother has been very worried about the influence of these foreign customs on my well-being. Let her be assured that I remain strong in my faith to Mother Belladonna. These Cardinals are certainly an odd folk, though. Ask one what his people are, and he responds with his city or his family, few of the peasants even know the name of their emperor.

Their names are formed in a peculiar way, to allow them to have more than one. Each person has a given name, but also a family name after that, which comes from their father. Some have yet more names following that- married women have the family name of their husbands, the wealthy have the name of their estate.

They treat drink as a sort of taboo among their children, but are exceedingly indulgent with it among their friends. They drink no beer and become drunk only from the vine. It is often mulled with spices or sweetened with honey- It escapes my mind how anyone can handle so much of such a rich drink, but perhaps they cannot, for many among them become so drunk during festivities as to throw up all they consume.
This lechery, I theorize, is why the men shave their faces, so they neither have to clean their beards nor refrain from such indulgence. Few have more than a week's growth, and some have taken such offense at my beard as to call me barbaric and dirty for having it.

Speaking of wine, I have seen in my travels people who pour wine as well as oil as a libation before every meal, and others who have never made an offering at a temple after many years of life. There seems to be only zealots or atheists among them, and all of them unfaithful in their worship. Even those who do not follow Philotes make their marriage vows under her moon, even if they are supposed followers of Belladonna, who gives them the sun under which to make contract.

Their meals are far too heavy, and lacking in spice or zest. A good lemon cannot be found in this place. Their citrus fruits are small, and hard, and bland.

 

The following journal entry was made by a Cardinal mercenary who fought for Auran monarchy during the Auran Civil War:

They are truly a quaint people, quite amusing in their dullness.

Each of them has a name ending in "S." They do not notice this. Point it out to one of them, and they will neither believe you nor be able to disprove you.

They only have one name, even in their census. Should that one name not be specific enough, as is often the case, they specify with the name of their father or husband or town- a proper family name would do them wonders, but they seem to think the idea an unnecessary and preposterous one.

Their appearances are in such disrepair, whatever attractiveness might be found in their faces is hidden by the dust they too rarely wash off and the hairs they never shave, only trim to what they hilariously call a "reasonable" length.

They manage to make drink boring- they sip at beer throughout the day, but never at wine, and even their young boys and girls do this, yet never do any of them seem to get drunk.

You would at least think such a number of such devout Belladons would have exciting wars, but they are so stoic about it that I'm surprised they don't fall asleep in battle! It is that, not Belladonna's favor, that I suspect is the reason they only fight during the day. Even the vigor of noble Belladonna they seem to forgo to emphasize her role as mother of their people, having her put away the club for the mother bird's perch.

Speaking of Belladonna and mothers, I find it novel that they hold their marriages during the day, under her sun, excepting those few Philoteans among them, who do so properly under the moon. How unfitting, since they seem incapable of having their blood boil enough to have a proper war between husband and wife- the women are so demure, no spunk! Even their dancers, talented beauties though they be, are as dry as boards left in the sun.

That reminds me of an odd quirk of their food, besides their eating so many damned lemons and limes and oranges. Instead of making a proper bread, the cooks for the army just make dough, and leave it to the soldiers to cook it by stretching it across an iron shield and placing it on the fire. It has a nice, chewy texture, but they often ruin it with an overabundance of toppings. Lamb and beef and beets and carrots and cheese and pineapples all at once, the one time something of theirs would benefit from their plainness!

No humor! Oh, my best jokes go over their heads like the arrows of the rebels!

Religious Practice

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In addition to spiritual responsibilities, priests serve as healers, and provide food to the poor and teaching to the illiterate.

Most temples are organized about a large, candlelit prayer chamber. Since temples are found primarily in cities, those living in rural areas make fewer visitations bearing larger offerings. They might also utilize wayside shrines or traveling priests.

Cardinal lets religious practice be handled at a local level. Priests live off of offerings, and the Cardinal army conscripts religious offices. They consider animal sacrifice the most sincere and sacred sort of offering.

The Auran Empire took a more active role in its peoples' religion. The emperor served as head of the church and had the oft-deferred power of appointing important positions within it, and all priests had to undergo standardized certification. Though tolerant of other creeds, the Aurans see themselves as descendants of Belladonna and thus promoted her worship especially. The state built temples to Belladonna and offered tax cuts to those who gave to them. Clergymen in her service received a fixed wage from the empire, though they could also accept offerings. Traveling priests were often paid to patrol certain routes, and martial priesthood was a viable profession.
The Auran Empire strictly prohibited animal sacrifice, though very few Auran priests are vegetarians.

Patrons do not have temples, only shrines, which are sometimes found in a temple of their associated goddess. Animal sacrifices are almost never made to a Patron.

Most people will follow one entity throughout their life, usually the one who most benefits their profession. As most people inherit their parents' trade, they also inherit their faith. To beseech multiple goddesses and patrons is not unheard of, but is considered improper and excessive, with one exception: servants of Ceres might also serve Tamerlane, seeing them as working together to produce and harvest bountiful crops. Shrines to Tamerlane are more commonly found in temples to Ceres compared with other patron-goddess pairs.

 

Additional Information:

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The Auro-Cardinal Wars and Related Historical Events Leading to the Present

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793rd Year-
The Auran Empire under Mithradates II, called "the Iron Emperor," completes its conquests of the lands north of Lake Quell and east of the Ivory Mountains. This is the inevitable moment in which their lands now border those of the Cardinal Empire, which controls the city of Pool and other lands west of the lake. Tensions immediately arise between the two expansionist powers.

796th Year-
The First Auro-Cardinal War breaks out after an attempt by the Auran Empire to enforce taxes on Cardinal vessels traveling Lake Quell.

801st Year-
A peace treaty is signed in which the Cardinal Empire gives up claims to the lands north of Ivory Lake.

827th Year-
The Second Auro-Cardinal War breaks out following the Cardinal Empire seizing control of plains settlements lost during the First Auro-Cardinal War.

834th Year-
A peace treaty is signed, granting the Cardinal Empire restored control over territory lost in the First Auro-Cardinal War, as well as all lands west of Lake Quell.

836th Year-
The embarrassment of the Auran Empire's defeat, combined with mounting taxes, drought, and an increasingly corrupt and obtuse aristocracy, lead to the outbreak of the Auran Civil War. With many of both the local nobles and the peasantry siding against the monarchy, the emperor is short on men, but refuses to higher mercenaries from Cardinal.

837th Year-
Emperor Arses dies in battle against the rebels and is usurped by his young son Mithradates IV the Great. His military and domestic reforms are countless, but included hiring Cardinal mercenaries who had fought against the emperor only a few short years ago. The young monarch manages to reestablish order and some semblance of prosperity.

860th Year-
An aging Mithradates IV takes advantage of a complacent Cardinal Empire and initiates the Third Auro-Cardinal War.

868th Year-
After five years of the front being frozen along the Azure Mountains, a worn down Cardinal Empire declares peace with the Auran Empire, surrendering all land east of said mountains.

Important Historical Figures

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Archelaus (???-???): Nothing is known about him what Empedocles quoted him as saying. He seems to have been a follower of Nortia and was likely contemporary to Empedocles, but it's hard to say for certain.
 

Empedocles (???-381): His birth year is unknown, but he was in his fifties when he died.

He was a young man when Charlemagne was appointed Patron of Nortia, and was inspired by this historic event to record the religious traditions of Weal. The result of years of travel and research was Divinities, a codex considered the definitive source of religious history. Though the original copy is lost, it is the oldest work whose text is preserved in Weal.

Empedocles was a follower of Philotes and a vegetarian, based on posthumous accounts which mocked him for these things and his death. He was a native of Bight, which was a mere town during his lifetime. He refused to evacuate when Mt. Night erupted, believing Philotes would protect him. He died on that day.

The traditional model of morality, as outlined in Divinities, includes four virtues, each associated with a specific goddess. Ceres is compassion, Belladonna is courage, Nortia is impartiality, and Philotes is loyalty. Only by having all four of these virtues, as well as the fifth virtue of piety, can one be considered moral.
 

Roswitha(505-566): A monk who lived near what is now Palisade. She codified many later religious traditions and popularized many theological stances, though her work is considered less definitive than Divinities.

Smaller contributions of hers include finalizing the associations between card suites and deities (which are not mentioned in Divinities) and determining the ship Hanno's ship to be Belladonna's. She also worked on a controversial ethical quandary, the Question of Perfection.

The Question of Perfection asks why the Four are to be venerated when they embody only one virtue and why piety is virtuous if none of them are pious. The idea behind the classical virtues was that they were good because their association with a goddess, so this question was of some importance. Roswitha put forward the idea that being moral meant displaying one virtue and venerating the goddess associated with it, which has achieved moderate popularity among progressive practitioners of hermeneutics.

Controversially among the Aurans, she argued that each daughter of Belladonna had a different father
 

Terrence the Atheist (547-607): A playwright from Cardinal. His heretical beliefs cost him a promising career in civil service, so he turned his education and writing talent to the stage. Despite his disbelief in religious traditions, Terrance was an arch-conservative who blamed religious reinterpretation for the the degradation he perceived in society.
 

Odes (750-797): A religious scholar and ambassador from the Auran Empire who produced the Standard Auran Texts. These are the most recent and comprehensive versions of religious history which were used by the Auran government. Though the events are largely the same as in Divinities, Odes felt it necessary to produce an account which properly credited Belladonna, unlike the Cardinal-derived texts that had been standard up to that point.

According to Odes, Belladonna best embodied each of the four classical virtues. Compassionate and impartial because she remained to aid humanity and could love a human. Loyal by her motherhood and devotion as a wife to one man. In writing the Standard Auran Texts, Odes made very clear that Belladonna's four daughters had one father. He named this man Oxin and standardized the naming of his daughters by Belladonna, the traditions of which varied from region to region.

  • Aura, the divine light (universally agreed upon)
  • Pyre, the light of fire (fairly common throughout the empire at that point)
  • Luster, the sheen of gold and silver (fairly common throughout the empire at that point)
  • Tempest, the light of lightning (still somewhat of a contested pick)

Odes was ambassador to the Cardinal Empire leading up the First Auro-Cardinal War. He was executed for failing to secure a peaceful arrangement between the two nations. Though the war would end up being successful for the Auran Empire, there initially great skepticism about fighting an equally powerful nation.

 

 

 

 

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Player Phase:

Spoiler

Noelle moves to N11. Noelle uses Heal on Cantus.

Spoiler

Cantus recovers 17 HP (19/19)

***

Noelle gains 11 EXP (92/100)

Noelle gains 2 Staff wEXP (12/30)

Cantus moves to J11. Cantus attacks Knight5 using Flux!

Spoiler

Cantus attacks

  • 13 damage, 98 hit, 6 crit
  • Hit: (35+95)/2= 65
  • Crit: 52

Knight5 barely even tries to dodge (8/21)

***

Cantus continues!

  • 13 damage, 98 hit, 6 crit
  • Hit: (85+78)/2 = 81
  • Crit: 57

Knight5 can't tank magic so good (0/21)

***

Knight5 disintegrates!

Cantus gains 31 EXP (79/100)

Cantus gains 6 Tome wEXP (78/120)

Karen moves to O11. Karens sings for Noelle and gains 11 EXP (99/100)

Toki stays put. Toki attacks Shaman2 using an Iron Sword!

Spoiler

Toki attacks

  • 10 damage, 100 hit, 4 crit
  • Crit: 51

Toki lunges forward, stabbing through Shaman2 (0/19)

***

Shaman2 collapses into dust!

Toki gains 31 EXP (72/100)

Toki gains 2 Sword wEXP (5/30)

Toki activates Foresight Fighter! He swaps to an Iron Lance.

Noelle moves to Q11. Noelle attacks Archer3 using Fire!

Spoiler

Noelle attacks

  • 11 damage, 99 hit, 5 crit
  • Hit: (62+69)/2 = 65
  • Crit: 14

Archer3 takes 11 damage (0/18)

***

Archer3 goes down in flames!

Noelle gains 31 EXP (123/100) -> (23/100)

Noelle gains 2 Tome wEXP (14/30)

Noelle gains a level up!

Spoiler

HP up!

Magic up!

Luck up!

Defense up!

Resistance up!

Butter moves to O10. Butter attacks the High Masked using a Steel Lance!

Spoiler

Butter attacks

  • 21 damage, 96 hit, 2 crit
  • Hit: (55+84)/2 = 69
  • Crit: 58

Butter drives the lance straight through the High Masked! (4/25)

***

Butter gains 13 EXP (74/100)

Butter gains 2 Lance wEXP (86/120)

 

Enemy Phase:

Spoiler

Knight4 moves to I11.

Spoiler

Knight4 attacks

  • 8 damage, 69 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (8+89)/2 = 28

Cantus is hit by some unexpectedly nice swordplay (11/19)

***

Cantus counters

  • 13 damage, 98 hit, 6 crit
  • Hit: (67+89)/2 = 78
  • Crit: 41

Knight4 struck while recovering (8/21)

***

Cantus continues

  • 13 damage, 98 hit, 6 crit
  • Hit: (81+21)/2 = 51
  • Crit: 1

Overwhelming power bursts forth from Cantus! Knight4 takes 39 damage! (0/21)

***

Knight4 falls to its knees, crumbling into clay as it lands prone.

Cantus gains 31 EXP (110/100) -> (10/100)

Cantus gains 8 Tome wEXP (86/120)

Cantus gains a level up!

Spoiler

HP up!

Skill up!

Res up!

Knight6 moves to J10. Knight6 attacks Cantus using an Iron Lance!

Spoiler

Knight6 attacks

  • 10 damage, 59 hit, 0 crit
  • Hit: (60+65)/2 = 62

Cantus leans his head back just in time to avoid the knight's thrust! (11/20)

***

Cantus counters

  • 13 damage, 100 hit, 7 crit
  • Crit: 64

Knight6 is unable to dodge! (8/21)

***

Cantus continues!

  • 13 damage, 100 hit, 7 crit
  • Crit: 58

Knight6 is pummeled, magically (0/21)

***

Knight6 vanishes at Cantus's feet.

Cantus gains 28 EXP (38/100)

Cantus gains 6 Tome wEXP (92/120)

Fighter3 moves to N8.

Merc2 moves to M7.

High Masked moves to Q10. High Masked attacks Noelle using a Steel Sword!

Spoiler

Noelle activates Vantage!

  • 9 damage, 98 hit, 1 crit
  • Hit: (69+48)/2 = 58
  • Crit: 1

High Masked is enveloped by a blindingly bright ball of fire! (0/25)

***

The High Masked thrashes about before turning to ashes.

Noelle gains 100 EXP (123/100) -> (23/100)

Noelle gains 3 Tome wEXP (17/30)