On the continent of Telastia, there are many who call themselves "adventurers".
They are a people of freedom, often working with little regard to law and those who uphold it. On the contrary, these "adventurers" believe they can carve out their own destiny through the strength of their sword. For these adventurers, there always seems to be work available for the taking.
Escorting a person of interest, transporting goods through dangerous territory, exterminating a group of barbaros or clearing ancient ruins; all of these and more are expected out of hardy adventurer-types. Adventurers have even been hired for other menial tasks, such as contracted mining, civil engineering, and even disaster relief.
For those jobs that require a delicate touch, a modicum of discretion, some degree of anonymity, or all of the above, there exists a way to get in touch with someone who can fit your need. This is where the Adventurer's Guild comes in.
The Adventurer's Guild receives a variety of requests for help and posts them for available adventurers to see. In addition, the Guild will also buy and sell many different items of use to adventurers, though familiar faces tend to receive preferential treatment on jobs and purchases compared to adventurers foreign to the area. However, there are those who don't mind whether or not they receive such preferential treatment and continue to wander anyway.
The Origin of AdventuringEdit
The current idea of wandering adventurers in Telastia is a relic in and of itself, a remnant from the era of volunteer soldiers.
After the Great Catastrophe, much of the knowledge and technology from the previous civilizations were lost. Bands of volunteer recruits were established to try and find various literature, relics, and magical texts from razed and ransacked cities in order to maintain some sense of society. Successful as they were, these volunteers thought of themselves as protectors of knowledge and technology, and trained successors in the hopes they would be able to find and protect more lost treasures and ancient magics.
After driving many of the barbaros back underground from villages scattered across the continent, there was a period of reconstruction and rebuilding. The volunteer soldiers who went on the barbaros hunts came home to assume the role of protector again, keeping safe and maintaining the Telastian way of life.
Eventually, the volunteers who went out into ancient ruins, dark caves, and other unsavory places to hunt for the barbaros and find relics of the past picked up the name “adventurer”. Those with talent, whether it be martial, magical, or mental, were recruited to aid in the effort, and so adventuring became a viable occupation in Telastia.
Becoming an AdventurerEdit
In Raxia, more and more youths are attracted to the adventuring way of life.
Choosing to become an adventurer is easy. Simply saying “I am an adventurer now”, though, doesn't quite cut it. A popular method is to associate with a local Adventurer's Guild (free of charge), and take jobs from prospective patrons. Oftentimes, the guild will give each adventurer an emblem, colloquially referred to as a “venture crest”, as a symbol that the person in question is a member of that particular Guild.
Adventurers themselves can best be described as “armed for war, yet neither a knight or soldier”, and often have a unique air of carefree disregard for laws and unrestrained freedom hanging around them. In a time where ordinary citizens tend to avoid leaving their towns for fear of the barbaros, the armed adventurer is a welcome sight.
Organizations Affiliated with AdventurersEdit
The Adventurer's Guild is often seen as a hangout for adventurers, whether local or foreign.
When dealing with jobs, most prospective clients use the Guild as a middleman between themselves and the adventurers they hire. The Guild does take a small amount of money as a commission, but the value of the art, literature and other relics brought to the Guild more than make up for it. A quick way to tell the worth of any particular Guild branch is to see how many relics have been brought back from adventures. Those branches with few relics tend to be fairly new, with few members, while other branches may have a lot of veteran members with the relics to back that up.
The Guild also provides adventurers with a way to purchase a list of items, weapons and armor all at one shop. Sometimes, the Guild will be the lowest price in the area, while other times they will compete with local artisans over one thing or another. Information is also readily exchanged at the Guild, as wandering adventurers will bring in stories of far-away lands. Training, too, is offered, as there are often former adventurers running the Guild. For example, training one's skills as a scout requires a competent teacher, which the Guild will provide (even if they need to have one come in from another branch). The Adventurer's Guild even provides food and rest for an adventurer on a job, without any need for recompense.
If work is slow or a job didn't bring in as much money as needed, the Guild offers interest-free money lending to guild members, up to a maximum of 300 Gamels. This money is typically recouped by docking the adventurer's next job by the amount loaned.
Similar to a give-and-take relationship, the Adventurer's Guild and adventurers are practically inseparable. Additionally, since there are so many different branches of the Guild, there are suits of armor and clothes with each guild branch's venture crest designed right into them. Naturally, it is up to the indiviual adventurer whether to wear such items.
Frontier villages may also post jobs at the local Guild branch, even if they do not have any money or reward for the adventurers taking the job. If an adventuring party takes a free job like this, that guild branch will give them higher priority on any paying jobs coming in.
Reputation, too, is an important thing in the Guild as well. Higher reputation within the Guild will lead to bigger and better things, as well as having citizens recognize you on sight (sometimes even before, if your reputation is high enough!).
The Adventurer's Guild offers so much to so many people, and many adventurers think of it as a second home.
Both adventurers and the Adventurer's Guild have a nearly symbiotic relationship with each other, most notably when the Guild uses adventurers as information couriers. Specifically, the Guild has a widespread information network built on the backs of wandering adventurers. If an adventurer has had remarkable success with a job, a massive ruin had been discovered, even if there is a large-scale movement of the barbaros; all of these and more are shared between guild branches via adventurers.
There is an unwritten law between adventurers that they should help each other to the best of their own ability. However, that is not always the reality of the situation at hand.
The Mages Guild exists in most of the major cities on the Telastian continent. A fairly secretive group, their members include both sorcerers and conjurers, though often both are simply called magicians. Generally, townsfolk tend to keep a safe distance from magicians; while they recognize their power and usefulness, there is still some fear of the unknown yet to be overcome.
The Mages Guild has existed since before the Great Catastrophe, though unsurprisingly kept to itself even then. Similar to the Adventurer's Guild, the Mages Guild has established a network by which they can keep in contact with other branches. However, this network is used more for the collection and preservation of knowledge, understanding, and finding new talent than anything else.
With the presence of the gods directly felt in Raxia, it is little surprise that temples are to be found nearly everywhere. Temples of Lyfos and Tidan, being the Divine Ancestor and Sun God respectively, are found in most towns. Streets of temples to multiple gods are also not uncommon in most major cities. While there are often rivalries between various temples and priesthoods, it is almost unheard of for even the most devout follower to deny the existence of their rival deity.
Barbaros also worship divine beings, though these Malevolent Gods exploit their followers to their own ends. Unlike the Gods of Light, the Malevolent Gods have a hostile relationship with their followers. Because of this, quite a few temples have been encouraging the extermination of the barbaros, as a method of weakening the power base of the Malevolent Gods.
Sensitivity and talent are important for those who wish to become faerie tamers. Unlike sorcerers and conjurers, faerie tamers do not study excessively to learn their art, but simply have a natural ability to speak to and coax favors from faeries. Often, faerie tamers are simply self-taught, though there are occasionally those who learned from another tamer.
Due to their closer bond with nature, people from the countryside and frontier towns are far more likely to become faerie tamers than those in cities. That is not to say urban faerie tamers don't exist, but are far fewer in number than their less civilized counterparts.
Institute of MagitechnologyEdit
The Institute of Magitechnology, founded after the Great Catastrophe, works towards the conservation of ancient magitech relics and the revival of magitech construction. Aiming to save the heritage of the old Al Menas period, the Institute hires quite a few adventurers to search through ruins to try and find relics from the past.
Since the Institute works so closely with adventurers and trains many new magitechnicians, there is a branch of the Adventurer's Guild built into the Institute for the benefit of those attending. Currently, the Institute is found in the capitol of the Rukhsur Empire, but there are plans to expand throughout the continent.
Typical Jobs of AdventurersEdit
This section describes the typical jobs an adventurer may receive.
Exploring Ancient RuinsEdit
Perhaps the most common job, exploring ruins and dungeons are the bread and butter of any veteran adventurer.
Diving into ruins of a lost civilization in search of relics is often a very lucrative venture, assuming one can sell the relics they find.
When it comes to found treasure, oftentimes the Adventurer's Guild is more than happy to buy most relics. However, magical arms and items tend to be more readily bought by active adventurers than by the Guild.
Treasure hunting as it is currently known is mainly the purview of adventurers, as no one else would risk themselves for undiscovered treasure. Outside of humanoid realms, there is nothing stopping someone from claiming ownership of a particular tract of land, especially if it has unexplored ruins. Such a find is incredible, as the owner's name is associated with that site forever.
Any news of unexplored ruins inevitable attracts adventurers like moths to a flame. Occasionally, the Guild will catch wind of a possible ruin site and give general notice to those who want to take the risk.
When an adventurer asks about the new ruin site, the Adventurer's Guild will refer them to the "Seeking Shop" (as it's colloquially known), who deals exclusively with various forms of information. They make a living by finding information of new, undiscovered ruins and sell that information to the Guild (directions cost extra, and are not always available). Naturally, many of these sites are dangerous, and to go in unassisted would be dangerously foolhardy.
The "Seeking Shop" only provides information with advance payment, though the amount of treasure one brings back tends to cover this advance and then some. While the Shop claims not to sell the same maps and information to multiple adventurers, many believe this to be the case.
For most ruin information, 100G is enough to cover the cost. However, with rarer and more valuable (and more dangerous) ruins comes higher prices. Information on ruins from the Durandal period runs at 1,000G, while any information on the extremely rare Schnell ruin is 10,000G at the minimum (and often much more)!
Driving Off the BarbarosEdit
While a good amount of adventurers make their living off of dungeon exploration, others take it upon themselves to remove the remaining threat of the barbaros.
The unrelenting efforts of 300 years have driven them off of the majority of the Telastian continent. However, there are still active settlements, the home of tribes who raid and pillage Telastian citizens. Discovery and annihilation of these villages, while dangerous, is the job of adventurers.
Lucky villages and cities may have a "Sword of Protection" active, creating a protective barrier to hamper the efforts of the barbaros. While the more powerful barbaros tribes are affected by this significantly, lesser barbaros, such as goblins and boggarts, aren't as strongly affected and can slip through the barrier with some difficulty. Therefore, even with an active "Sword of Protection", there remains the need to have able-bodied fighters.
Powerful barbaros can also hold Sword Shards, which can be used to power a "Sword of Protection". By defeating these leaders, adventurers can kill two birds with one stone; exterminating the barbaros and providing Sword Shards to the nearby village or city. Such jobs are far more dangerous than normal extermination jobs, but are proportionally more lucrative as well.
Setting the Stage for Adventure!Edit
For those adventurers who will travel Raxia, we set the stage for adventure.
"The Sundered Land" - The Continent of TelastiaEdit
Telastia is the largest and most culturally prominent continent on Raxia. To put it into comparable terms, it is similar in size to the continent of Africa.
On this old continent, much culture from both humanoids and the barbaros has come and gone. From the Schnell period to modern times, there have been countries rising and falling in an endless cycle. Such has been the struggle of Telastia.
However, the Great Catastrophe changed everything.
300 Years. That is how long it took to regain a semblance of society after driving away the barbaros. With "Swords of Protection" and the barriers they create, new countries are able to rise and flourish without worrying about barbaros counterattacks.
Civilization on Telastia is still recovering from the destruction of the Great Catastrophe. Comparatively, Telastian technology is on par with 17th century Earth, though science has not developed much due to the presence of magic. Feudalism is rampant, with hereditary monarchs. However, there are those who harken back to the Al Menas period and have developed a republic, to inherit and nurture the skills and knowledge of the Magitech Civilization.
Currently, humanoids have taken to expanding into territory lost to the barbaros in the Great Catastrophe. There are often still barbaros to contend with in those lands, as well as beasts both mundane and mythic. Many areas in this frontier have been so devastated by war that peace is all but forgotten.
Telastia is only beginning to walk the road of reconstruction...
Politics and Nations on the Telastian ContinentEdit
After the Great Catastrophe, those from the ruined Magitech Civilization who survived began to gather under a strong leader. These circumstances laid the foundations for the current feudal system found throughout Telastia.
For the most part, countries have feudal tiers set up underneath one King. However, many free cities have allied together, ruled by a parliament of elected officials. Each city-state, as they are now known, often has their own individual method of governance besides the parliament, and the variations are as numerous as the city-states themselves.
Still, there are spaces between the various nations that are less safe to travel through, and international interactions are often less than friendly. Despite these differences, neighboring countries often loosely band together as a region for protection against larger threats.
Development of rural highways since the Great Catastrophe has been slow, and traveling these unfinished roads is extremely dangerous. Often, people grow up and grow old without leaving the safety of the city where they are born, as to do so is extremely dangerous for the average person.
The traveling merchants rely upon adventurers and local knights of the territory to protect their caravans while on the road. For a knight to follow a trade caravan and protect workers across a border is incredibly rare, and may be seen as an act of aggression by hostile nations.
Terrain and Climate of the Telastian ContinentEdit
The Telastian continent is a temperate continent, with colder temperatures in the south and warmer climates in the north. Because of the wide variety of terrain, there are four seasons in most areas, and mild weather in the east and west. Telastia is lush with greenery and fresh water, adding color to much of the continent.
With the Great Catastrophe, the barbaros were able to alter weather patterns in certain areas. Whether through a form of magic or some sort of curse, there are areas in Telastia that have decades-long storms and others where temperate forest gives way to desert wilderness.
In Telastia, there are a great many ruins from the years of conflict.
The most common ruins are those from the Al Menas period, which ended 300 years ago. Popular at the time were multi-story stone structures, which can occasionally lead to vast underground cities or even sunken city ruins far underwater. Because of their proliferation, the "Seeking Shops" offer information on Al Menas ruins relatively cheaply, making them popular among fledgling adventurers.
Thanks in part to the mass-production of magical items during the period, the Al Menas left behind a number of items that still function to this day. These magical items are far easier to use than older magic, and can be sold for a decent amount of money because of their ease of use.
Fewer in number yet still numerous are ruins from the Durandal period, 3,000 years ago and older. These ruins are often deep underground, some of which have been unearthed because of earth magic used during the Great Catastrophe. It is said the probability of finding a Durandal ruin is significantly lower, though quite a few have been found in the vicinity of one country in particular.
Flourishing in this era, advanced magic permeated every aspect of life. As would be thought, there are a good number of power magic items and armaments to be found in old Durandal ruins. The problem lies with secrecy, in that mages in those times were very secretive and built complex labyrinths underground to hide their secrets and treasure. Significant effort would thus be required, and even veteran adventurers do not find it an easy task to explore Durandal ruins.
The oldest and rarest ruins to be found are those dating at least 10,000 years back to the Schnell period. The rare few Schnell ruins to be found have been either in deep underground caves or in highlands once lost to time. Even now people believe them to have some sort of sacred connotation to them, considering them consecrated ground.
Relics from a time when the gods themselves were present... Saying such things are rare is an understatement. These sacred treasures and ritual implements have names beyond human understanding, and have slept for time immemorial.
While there are many rumors of Schnell ruins, less than a handful of these myths turn out to be anything more than legend.
The Zaltz RegionEdit
The center of civilization on the Telastian continent, the Zaltz region is located in the warmer northern area of Telastia. It's clear as to why people tend to spend time in the region, as it's mild weather and four seasons are easy to deal with.
However, across the northern sea on the continent of Röseldawn, lies a large settlement of barbaros. The west, as well, holds quite a few barbaros colonies, which leaves the Zaltz region in a near-constant state of war. Peace is but a short-lived dream here.
In addition to the common trade tongue, the local Zaltz dialect can be found throughout the region.
"The Fortress of Zaltz" - The Rukhsur EmpireEdit
The Rukhsur Empire, led by Emperor Julius Krause (age 28), is the largest province of the Zaltz region. The capitol, also named Rukhsur, boasts a population of approximately 80,000 people.
Before the Great Catastrophe, the capitol city was but a village, defended by a single hero. Now, thanks to the surge of laborers and artisans, the country maintains quite a few walled cities to defend against invasion.
To prepare for any invasion, whether barbaros or otherwise, the proud Knights of the Blue Eagle patrol the Rukhsur lands. The Knights of the Blue Eagle are one of the most famous knightly orders in Telastia, and many young men and women aspire to join their ranks. Other orders of knights also call Rukhsur their home, giving the Empire significant national power.
Adventurers are also often found in Rukhsur lands, as quite a few ruins from the Al Menas period have been found in the Empire. Fairly recently, a nuclear airship was excavated at great expense, and plans to reverse engineer the ship and mass-produce it have started.
In addition, the Rukhsur Empire leads the charge against the barbaros, being the head of the alliance of the entire Zaltz region. The Great Catastrophe played a large part in forming this alliance, as previous emperors had tried and failed to ally themselves with their neighbors before. It was only after the Rukhsur Empire lent their aid to repel a large barbaros invasion that other countries allied themselves with the Empire.
Once part of the Empire, the countries of Fendil and Dalesburg broke free from Imperial rule about 100 years ago. Civil war left the throne weakened, and the two countries took the chance to become independent from the throne. While still wary of Emperor Krause, both Fendil and Dalesburg are currently allies with the Empire. Although Emperor Julian took the throne at a young age, his ambition was strong. After restoring power and quelling civil war, he plans to re-annex Dalesburg, with Fendil and lands beyond not too far behind.
The Rukhsur Empire is seen as both a benevolent protector and ruthless conqueror; reliable, and yet to be feared.
"The State Bridge" - The Country of DalesburgEdit
The northernmost country of Telastia, Dalesburg is located one week's walk north of the Rukhsur Empire. The current ruler is King Alfred ? (age 66), and he counts 40,000 citizens under his rule. The capitol city is a massive walled fortress, spanning most of the length of the northern bridge to Röseldawn. The symbol of the nation is the Dalesburg "Sword of Protection", Falandalus, enshrined in the royal castle
Originally, the city was a military powerhouse that spanned the entire bridge and onto Röseldawn, but the Great Catastrophe brought waves of barbaros to tear down the northern walls. It was with the help of the Rukhsur Empire that the barbaros were only able to take the northern half of the city and no more. However, the Empire took it upon themselves to annex Dalesburg afterwards, claiming reasons of protection and safety. Only 100 years ago was Dalesburg able to break free from the Empire and reclaim independence.
The gate to the northern bridge was sealed after the Great Catastrophe for national security, though King Alfred opened it 20 years ago in the hopes of attracting adventurers (and their money). Once cleared, the King plans to move north again and reclaim his former lands and rebuild, which would relieve the problem of a burgeoning population with nowhere to go.
The politics of the country is divided over this. Some people think that the barbaros are still a threat, and even the combined might of adventurers and Dalesburg knights is not enough to stop them should they attack again. As such, they believe the bridge gate should remain closed so Dalesburg remains safe.
Others believe the city cannot bear too many more people as it is now, and the gate must be opened so the north can be reclaimed and rebuilt. The barbaros will remain a threat, they say, whether the gate is open or not, so Dalesburg should push north and develop. As of yet, neither faction has made headway in the King's court, but secret plans are already in motion to rebuild to the north.
"The Land of Flowers" - The Kingdom of FendilEdit
Said to be the oldest country in the Zaltz region, Fendil is five days' walk to the west from the Rukhsur Empire. Once a magical superpower, it is currently on the decline, with the capitol Dilcool counting only 30,000 citizens living there.
A variety of factors have led to the decline of the country, from the fall of the great wizards to the invasion of the barbaros. However, Fendil remains famous still, in part to the many remnants of the former glory of the Magic Civilization.
For example, one of the most famous landmarks is a huge hill that has grown above a colony of ruins. Perhaps in part from the magic in the ruins, the flowers on the hill remain in bloom year-round, even if transplanted to other countries. As these flowers were once Fendil's primary export, the country earned the nickname "Country of Flowers", which is still in use today.
Fendil also holds quite a bit of knowledge still from the Durandal, and even in their art can this knowledge be found. Of course, such craftsmanship brings a high price, though Fendil has no shortage of rich tourists willing to pay for unique art.
One curiosity of Fendil is the abundance of Runefolk compared to other countries. While a runefolk in other countries may be seen as a strange foreigner, villages in Fendil often have many runefolk living in the outskirts, so it is far less of an ordeal when one enters a Fendil village.
"The Colorful Port" - RoshiletteEdit
Located on the coast about ten days' walk northwest of Rukhsur, Roshilette is the smallest country in the Zaltz region. The flourishing port city holds around 15,000 people, though Roshilette is rare in that humans, elves, and dwarves live in relatively equal numbers.
There was once countries of both elves and dwarves established nearby, but the Great Catastrophe brought ruin to both countries. After a time, Roshilette grew out of the gathered survivors, and developed its own culture.
Being naturally skilled with the forge, dwarves were the go-to smiths for weapons and armor. Elves, given their disposition for the sea, were excellent shipwrights. Humans, having neither the forge skill of dwarves nor the ship building knowledge of elves, became liasons, diplomats and merchants between Roshilette and other countries. Roshilette's main trade partner, Lendrift, is located in the western region of the continent, and trade ships sail on a daily basis.
However, not everything is so easily dealt with. Roshilette's parliament, with representatives of each of the three races, can often find itself divisive over even simple matters. Unfortunately, one race often attempts to push blame onto the other two for the country's problems, whether deserved or not. Therefore, it is common for Roshilette to ask adventurers to come in and solve the problems of the country.
Allied Free CitiesEdit
The Allied City-States are a collection of six cities in close proximity to each other in the southern Zaltz region. The leaders of each city allied with each other to repel attacks from the barbaros. All said and done, there are nearly 40,000 citizens in the collective alliance, led by the current chairman Kurtz Helman (age 45).
Under normal circumstances, the Rukhsur Empire wouldn't tolerate these cities breaking from the Empire. However, the City-States hold onto a colossal granary called the Zaltz Food Storage. This granary holds enough food to feed the Empire for quite some time, and Emperor Krause cannot afford to lose it to the barbaros. So when the City-States moved to declare independence, Emperor Krause had no choice but to acquiese.
Currently, the alliance is on shaky ground. The barbaros have ceased their attacks on the granary, and without a common enemy the City-States have begun to quarrel between themselves. Emperor Krause is also turning his eye south, keeping tabs on the alliance...
"The Forest of Magical Power" - Jabberwocky ForestEdit
The Jabberwocky Forest is a large forest to the west of Fendil.
Intensely magical, the forest has existed since the Durandal period. Created by powerful mages of the time, even the world-changing magics thrown around during the Great Catastrophe could not alter the forest. It is a mystery as to exactly what purpose the forest serves, or why such powerful magic was needed to create it. One theory is that the forest is meant to contain failed magical experiments, which would explain almost tangible mana in the atmosphere while in the forest.
Regardless of the reason for the abundant mana, the fruit, vegetation and abundance of Mako Stones gives reasons to brave the forest. Of course, one has to compete with the various magical beasts and animated plants, which doesn't make harvesting such items easy.
There are also whispers of a Jabber Castle, deep in the forest. Supposedly, it contains unimaginable treasure, but to even sneak a glance at this treasure would surely kill you. Of course, this is just a rumor...
Large Caverns - "The Jaws of the Barbaros"Edit
Between Fendil and Rukhsur lies a mountain range full of caverns. This cave system is the end of the underpass used by the barbaros when they attacked during the Great Catastrophe. To this day, some barbaros still linger in the area, and adventurers are often drawn to the area to exterminate those who have begun to raid and pillage again.
Explorers are also drawn to the cave complex, as the barbaros brought many magical items with them during their attacks. However, as to be expected, there are not only barbaros in the caves but also various animals, magical beasts, and even dragons have been sighted in the lowest reaches. Undead barbaros, often merely shadows of their former selves, populate the shadows of the caves as well, using arms and armor of the past to attack any unwary being, barbaros or otherwise.
Because of the dangers, no one has been able or willing to fully explore the caves. As such, it is still unknown as to where else the caves lead...
"The Island of Burning Water" - Farblame IslandEdit
Farblame Island was once the peak of a volcanic mountain chain. However, with the Great Catastrophe and the world-changing magics unleashed at the time, much of the mountain rage sank into the sea, leaving only the peak above water as Farblame Island.
The island would be fairly forgettable if not for its rare minerals. Prior to the Great Catastrophe, a kingdom of dwarves lived in the mountains and mined these minerals. Currently, barbaros and mythical beasts live on the island, proving it difficult to recover either the minerals or the lost dwarven relics.
If one wishes, there is a ferry from Roshilette to Farblame, though leaving the island is not as easy...
The Continent of RöseldawnEdit
The continent of Röseldawn, north of Telastia. Still the dominion of barbaros tribes, it has nicknames such as "the twilight continent" and "continent of mist". Little is known about the continent, outside of the former lands of Dalesburg.
Recently, the legendary Dalesburg hero General Otfried Yates led a secret mission to the continent to drive out the barbaros still hanging around the ruins of northern Dalesburg.
General Yates perished in this mission, and those who were wounded returned to Dalesburg. Those who remain are rebuilding the city and reclaiming land from the barbaros, waiting for the word to bring their families north and start a new life.