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Roleplay: Useful Notes


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Poll: Roleplay: Useful Notes (14 member(s) have cast votes)

Was the first article Kiryn wrote any good?

  1. No, it sucked. (2 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  2. Meh. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. I suppose it was all right, but it wasn't really relevant to me. (2 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  4. Pretty good but could use some editing. (Comment on the blog and tell me what needs fixing!) (2 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  5. Yeah (8 votes [57.14%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 57.14%

Should there be more articles forthcoming?

  1. No, Kiryn sucks. (2 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  2. No, it's just not that useful. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Meh. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Maybe with improvement. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. Maybe, depending on subject. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. Sure why not. (12 votes [85.71%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 85.71%

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#1 kdanger

kdanger

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:20 PM

This thread is to be a resource for players in various forum roleplays. Campaign-specific notes may be posted, or they may be posted to a separate thread. The first post will remain a table of context; general info posts will be indexed before posts for individual RPs.

I'm creating this thread as a repository of information so that our RP posts will be better and more realistic. It works a bit like a wiki: if you know something about a subject (preferably firsthand) or have done research from credible sources, make a writeup. Other members with similar knowledge may catch errors. This is mainly to get down what things do and don't work. Also, if you don't know much about a relevant subject that has not been addressed but know of a good, short article that does, by all means link to it.

The other purpose is for world-building: getting down the facts about the world of the RPs. So, say, if you're the only one dealing with a certain aspect (wyverns for example) and you want to come up with part of the mythos for that, it would go here. These articles, however, must match up with canon as defined by the GM of the RP. No changing the entire history of the continent and contradicting backstory. If we start having problems with this, you'll have to get them approved before posting them here.

All articles should be understandable, with good grammar. Emoticons are not really good style here. Format's a bit more lenient; bullet-form or paragraph-form are acceptable. It might be advisable to have someone proofread a post before posting it, to avoid a bunch of useless commentary. Collaborating is fine and even a good idea, if all the collaborators know what they're talking about. For the first section, citations are welcome. Great amounts of depth aren't required; just have a minimum of "what to do/what not to do with/about (topic)" or "how thing does and does not work."

There will be two sections, one for general info and one for world-building. This post will serve as an index as articles come up. (I've got a couple under construction, will post soon.) I've also put down a number of things that I think would be very useful; these are the ones without someone listed next to them. If you plan on writing one, PM me and I'll put it up here. I'd prefer to have only articles in this thread; commentary can go to the feedback thread of the RP in question or via PM (if there is demand for a Useful Notes Feedback thread, I will make one).

General Info, facts and writing tips
Axes
First Aid
Horses: Riding (Kiryn)
Horses: Types, health, biology, care, tack (Kiryn)
Knife fighting
Lances
Outdoor survival: Dealing with the elements
Outdoor survival: Finding food/water
Outdoor survival: Notable Plants

Outside sources:
General RPing advice, good starter guide
Assorted First Aid
Archery
Swords
Common Military Ranks
Limyaael's Rants: General writing advice; good reads on how to avoid cliches that cause facepalming and make characters original and believable.
Coelasquid talks about what makes a Mary Sue
General Worldbuilding stuff
Historical swords and fighting
Mary Sue litmus test

Lord of Azure Flame canon
The countries (Snowy)*
The Crimson weapons
The heroes (Snowy)
Magic (Snowy)
The nomads (Kiryn)
Pegasi (Phoenix, Kiryn)
Septimian reform (Snowy)*
T.I.S.M.E. (Snowy)*
Wyverns (Phoenix)
Magic (Kiryn, with input from Phoenix)
Spirits, Dragons, Demons (Kiryn)

Return of the Emblem canon
The Fallen (Phoenix)
Magic (Phoenix)

Shattered Honor canon
Selarian culture
Selarian military

(In fact, I got the idea from a certain wiki's Useful Notes section.)

Stars indicate an item is outdated, needs elaboration, or otherwise could use an extra entry.

ALSO! I've been reading the Limyaael rants a lot lately, and remembering how useful they are. They're not always easy to apply to RPs though, so I have started to write some: http://moreopinionst...label/RP Rants/ Vote in the poll at the top if you think it's a terrible idea/want me to try it/don't even care anyway, just vote!

Edited by kdanger, 20 December 2012 - 09:58 AM.


#2 Snowy_One

Snowy_One

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:57 PM

The Countries: Elyisima: Elyisima is the most powerful nation OVERALL. It is the weakest, through, in standing military might. It's power comes from T.I.S.M.E. being headquartered within it's borders, and thusly, the strongest of T.I.S.M.E. mages being, technically, Elyisian citizens and forced to defend 'their' country. Elyisima is a kingdom which shares roots with Septimus. Though Elyisima has a king, the two hero's who have taken up residence in the nation have seized enough power to act like princes. Elyisima can be a wild place at night in main cities, but calmer in towns. A RL equivalent would be: Vegas.

Septimus: Septimus is a weird, someone bizarre kingdom. It is easy to be caught up and confused by the ongoings in Septimus. It is a different place, and this has decreased it's value to all outsiders, whom tend to not want anything to do with the nation and even ignore it's existence at times. A RL equivalent would be I would say Korea, but I know full well you would equate it to Japan even though it's not meant to be like it beyond being foreign.

Halton: Possibly the strongest nation in military might, Halton is a calm, overall simple nation to live in. It is a simple nation overall, with little going on... except for a seeming thirst for more land. Currently subdued, it constantly craves smaller nations, though it doesn't always take them by force. It isn't evil, mean, or nasty about it; just desiring to constantly grow. RL equivalent: Rome

Other nations: Are scattered and in various states of disrepair or chaos. The LoAF has not been merciful, and many of them are tattered nations only surviving because they manage to fake sufficiency enough to not fall into mass disorder. Few are stable, few are even remotely strong enough to stand out, and none are well known.

Septimian reform: The current 'in' religion is Septimian Reform. It preaches more or less that the LoAF being a complete and total monster who desires to destroy the world/enslave humanity/whatnot. That aside, there are millions of dime-a-dozen sects and cults with their own beliefs that litter the land to the point of having a minor number advantage makes you the 'in' religion. Septimian reform is lacking in most of the actual religious beliefs beyond the most basics of religions in the world. It preaches that a benevolent goddess created the world for her children, and the Lord of Azure Flame grew hateful of them and rose up against her. The Goddess fought back on behalf of humanity, summoning elemental spirits to her side to fight against the Lord of Azure Flame's demons. He was quickly routed, but in a final gambit, destroyed most of the spirits before falling himself before rising up again to be defeated by the six heros.

Opposed to the reform is 'Lunaism' which believes that there is a benevolent goddess residing on the moon; watching over humanity. The priestess hero is the patron of this religion. However, it's wildly unpopular since it preaches some things like the goddess and Lord being husband and wife and both having humanities best interest at heart... just the Goddess being willing to coddle and send divine protectors while the Lord desires people to be strong and self-sustaining (Path of the open palm vs. path of the closed fist if you've played Jade Empire). Most people view it as whacked and don't even bother learning the facts about it, thusly any wild religious conjecture often gets tacked on as being part of this religion, even if it is not.

There are other religions, but these two are the most recognizable within the world.

T.I.S.M.E.

The Institute for the Study of Magical Elements is the largest mage school in the world, and widely considered the best. It focuses largely on raising up its students to become potent magical researchers to further the study of magical knowledge, often by directly immersing them in learning all they can about magic. It is rumored they may even be starting to master elements that were previously unusable, such as water, though this is only evident currently in their highest of the high end spells like Blizzard. TISME assigns rank based on a series of circles. The natural association is as follows. Circle 1-2: Trainee's. Often learning the basics of magic and lacking any over-riding direction. Circle 2 trainee's have started to specialize, but are also still perfecting the most basic bits of spellcasting. Circles 3 - 4: mages. Having started to specialize, the student now starts to focus on their chosen element, gaining affinity for it until he is confident in his skill. Higher-circles who lose rank are often demoted to these circles. Circles 5-6: sages. Mages whom have mastered their chosen elements and whom have turned their knowledge and experience outwards to mastering the other elements. Most teachers are at least circle 5's. Circle 7-8: Archsages. The true masters of magic, each boasting incredible power. A single archsage is more than enough to turn the tide of almost any battle. Circle 9: Legends. Magic users of extreme power, beyond that of mortals. No amount of training and talent can make you a circle 9. It is... something more. It is rare for there to be more than one circle 9 at any one time, and the headmaster of TISME is currently the only ninth circle in the world.

#3 kdanger

kdanger

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:28 PM

Here we go. This will continue to update as I add more sections
Horses

Biology, terms, whatnot

Age: A baby horse is a foal. Notable: their legs are really long and clumsy when they're little. When they hit one year, they're yearlings; training to ride will start between 2-4, and they can be ridden seriously starting 4-6 (depending on the animal.) A young male is a colt; a young female is a filly. A horse is in its prime until 10-12; it's still quite rideable and strong in its teens, and will be getting properly old once it's in its 20s-30s. Lifespan also depends on breed.

Size: Horses are measured in hands, a unit equivalent to 4". Anything below fourteen and a half hands is technically a pony, though it really depends on body type. Average riding horse size is 15-17 hands (15 hands being 5'). More on that in the body type section.

Body type: There are several. Pony-types are short and stocky, with shorter legs; light horses are small-to-medium, with finer bones, medium is just sort of average, and heavy horses are big and brawny. Knights' chargers will be medium to heavy; if you need speed and agility (like a nomad, for example) go for a light to medium. Note that heavy does not imply slow.

Breed types: While we won't use specific breeds, here are a few breeds to illustrate body types/draw inspiration from:
-Pony: Connemara (a bigger pony)
-Light horse: Arabian
-Medium: Warmblood (about as nonspecific as a horse gets); Quarter horse is a bit chunkier and hardier
-Heavy horse: Percheron (for warhorses); Clydesdale (for farming etc)

A note about ponies: There's another difference between horses and ponies besides body type: Ponies are jerks. All right, all right, PEMN and all, so I'll admit that there are some wonderful, sweet ponies out there, but they're the minority. Every single pony I've ever met has been an evil little beast.

Sex: A male horse is a stallion, a female is a mare. A neutered male horse is a gelding. Stallions are the most unmanageable, though different breeds have different temperaments, and some stallions are quite trainable. Mares are pretty manageable, though they have their moments. Geldings are really easy to handle. (Of course, any horse can have training issues, but the causes will be separate.) Story-wise, characters are most likely to have mares or geldings, especially if they're buying the horse along the way.

Color: There are many, though in the medieval Europe-type setting Fire Emblem's in, you're unlikely to see spotted/paint coats. Go see the link for the range. There are also various markings. A couple of notes: True white is rare; most white horses are really grays (their skin is black.) Horses do lighten with age. Eyes are most commonly brown; blue, hazel, amber, and green are also possible (though blue is uncommon and others are rare). Hooves range from tan (if there's white fur above the hoof) to black.

Senses: Horses have much better hearing and sense of smell than humans. They also have the advantage of ears that can swivel towards sounds. Their eyes are on the sides of their head, which gives them almost 360 degrees of vision-- but it leaves blind spots directly behind and in front of them, and anything coming out of a blind spot may spook them. They're not entirely colorblind; science has not quite determined what colors they do see, but yellow seems to show up in high contrast for them. Green, not so much. They can see decently well in the dark.

Body language: Quick signals:
Ears back against head: Angry/afraid. Don't mess with this horse.
Teeth bared/kicking motions with back feet: Again, angry.
Tail switching: Either annoyed, or there are bugs. (Or both.)
Eyes wide, rolling: Angry/afraid again.
Ears pricked towards you: Paying attention to you.
Head down, leaving weight off one back foot: Resting. Content.

Vocalizations: Horses are actually pretty quiet, at least more than movies show. All the same, the sounds:
Nicker: Low, usually friendly.
Snort: Maybe annoyed, maybe just clearing its nose.
Neigh/whinny: Higher. Can be question, alarm, challenge, greeting, or "feed me."
Squeal: Angry. Probably fighting.

Care:
There's a lovely long article about this, but the basics: Horses need to be fed and watered daily (grazing, and grain when available.) Grooming should be done daily if possible; the saddle area at very least should be groomed to avoid problems. Hooves need cleaning, to remove dirt and rocks (picking up a bad rock may lame a horse for a while.) If you're putting a horse away after a lot of running, you'll need to walk it for a while first to cool it down.

Sleep: Horses do need it, though a lot less than humans. Horses can nap standing up, but need a couple of hours of lying-down sleep a day to stay healthy.

Special note: Shoes: Not all horses need them; it depends on the horse and what kind of work it does. Knights' horses, etc, probably will be shod; smaller breeds with harder feet may not need shoes. If a horse wears shoes, they need to be properly maintained; if a horse throws a shoe, it's useless until the shoe is replaced.

Tack: A couple of main ones: saddle and bridle. Armor may apply (go see a wiki.) Will also talk about halters here.

The saddle: Important for fighting on horseback. A saddle gives you a secure seat, and stirrups enable you to stand up in the saddle if necessary. The girth keeps the saddle on; if too tight, the horse will have trouble breathing or may just act up; too loose, and the saddle will slide around. The saddle should have a blanket underneath. Some saddles have attachments for packs behind them. Shouldn't be worn when the horse isn't being ridden.

The bridle: Provides control. The bridle fits over the horse's face and connects to reins. Control is provided either by a bit (piece of metal in the horse's mouth) or noseband, if the bridle's bitless. Keep in mind that bits are not inherently cruel, and a bitless bridle can actually be crueler if the rider is inexperienced. The bridle is not a handle to hold onto the horse, but a method of control. It isn't the only way either; one can steer with knees and weight if need be (as for horseback archery.) Bridles are generally made from leather, but can be improvised by someone who knows what they're doing. Shouldn't be worn when the horse isn't being ridden.

The halter: Generally for leading, not riding. A simple device for controlling the horse's head; no bit. Lead rope clips/ties to the bottom. Much safer for tying horses than a bridle, and allows horse to graze. May be worn when the horse isn't being ridden (probably shouldn't be on when the horse is, though. Of course, if it's an emergency, you'd rather ride with a halter than nothing.)

Story-wise note: You don't need to include all this care detail in RP posts, obviously. "$CHARACTER cared for his/her horse and put it away" is all, really. But you should be aware of how much of this your character actually knows: have they been in the saddle since they were able to sit up, or have they never handled a horse in their life? If it's the former, all this will be second nature; the latter, and they're bound to make some mistakes. The mistakes don't need to be big and frequent enough to trip up the plot, but no character's infallible.

Section on gaits and riding to follow.

Edited by Kiryn, 12 February 2011 - 10:40 PM.


#4 Phoenix

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:53 PM

(On Cynthia's suggestion, I'm just going to paste the entire article)

The Wyvern:
The Lord of Azure Flame guide to wyverns
By Phoenix

History:
Wyverns first appeared ages ago after mortal men began trying to tame the wild and powerful dragons of old. After many generations of “dragon riding”, what came to be known as the wyverns appeared, truly awesome creatures with the bodies of dragons, but the hearts of wolves, able to be domesticated as war mounts. Throughout the centuries wyverns have been on battlefronts across the continent. As their presence has grown, that of dragons has steadily decreased. Though historians believe the dragons have merely become reclusive, most believe that wyverns have replaced the dreaded beasts known as dragons. Unlike dragons, wyverns can be broken. Having them in the place of dragons seemed to be the best of both worlds.
Wyvern prejudice tends to be very common due to the incredibly high frequency of wyvern attacks.

Biology:
Wyverns are large flying beasts with distinct features, including but not limited to: large incisors, razor sharp claws, tough scaly hides, long serrated tails, and massive wings.
Not including their tails, they are on average around twelve to fifteen feet long. Their colors can range from black to white, and from blue to red, though dark orange, brown, light and dark green, gray, and unsaturated blue are the most common hide colors.
Wyverns need their thick hides because a vital organ or artery is underneath almost every inch of their torso. They have numerous muscles and fewer weak points on their limbs, but their torsos have always been a source of extreme vulnerability, especially to piercing objects such as arrows.
Like birds, wyverns have broadly hollow bones. Contrary to popular opinion, that does not make their bones any weaker than any other large animal. Their bones are in fact nearly twenty times stronger than horse bones. Though not directly related to bone density wyverns have a preposterously low rate of blood production after adolescence, and as a side effect, wyverns often becomes inactive after serious injuries for several weeks or even months. If they lose too much blood, they can slip into a coma and die of starvation.
Wyverns that lose scales due to injury do not grow those scales back when the weapon used to cause the injury go through the flesh and into the muscle tissue. Instead, the scar tissue hardens to near rock like strength to compensate. These areas of wyvern's bodies tend to be just as tough and resistant as the scaled regions.
Also similar to birds, wyverns have lungs especially suited for flight, complete with air sacks. These air sacks gather air that has entered the lungs. When the wyvern exhales, the lungs receive the surplus. In short, like birds, wyverns also gain oxygen from exhaling.
Like many flying predators, wyverns have what is known as binocular vision. They can spot and identify other creatures from as far as a mile away.

Diet:
Wyverns tend to favor livestock animals such as cows, and pigs. In the wild they prefer the hoofed animal of their home territory. For mountain wyverns that would mean rams, goats or pegasi. Ordinarily a pegasus is too fast to catch, but a sick or injured one is an easy target for a fast diving mountain wyvern. For wyverns living on the plains, horses, sheep, deer, and bulls.
Domesticated wyverns are commonly raised on surplus livestock, such as chickens.
Wyverns can eat nearly any kind of meat, including fish, but for a healthy upbringing, it is better to give them what they would naturally be eating in the wild.
Over time wyvern domestication has slightly weakened the wyvern population’s natural resilience. Wyverns brought up on chickens and the like don’t usually grow as large as those that don’t. The biggest differences in size are about a foot or two in length, and about sixty to a hundred and eighty pounds of weight. Rarely, a difference in as much as two feet in diameter occurs.
Wyverns that go for too long without eating become delusional, and sometimes highly aggressive and even cannibalistic. Domesticated wyverns are hardly an exception though they may sometimes remain sane longer. A starved wyvern will typically lose its sanity after about two weeks and will begin attacking anything and anyone around it in search of food, including their own riders. The crazed demensia usually wears off within a couple of days once the wyvern is being fed regularly again.

Wyvern breaking:
It is even more difficult to tame a wyvern than a horse or pegasus. The wyvern is a territorial animal, and a predator in nature, often hunting down nearly human sized prey. It generally takes about a month to break a wyvern of its habits. It can take even longer if the wyvern is older. Breaking a wyvern first starts by capturing the wyvern. Most failures take place during the capture attempt. The wyvern must be subdued with ropes or placed into a steel cage. It is easier to lure them into cages by disguising them and placing an animal inside.
Next, they must be exposed to humans constantly. A total of twenty four hours a week minimum. The wyvern must not be allowed to acquire food on its own. It must be fed directly by the rider who is going to eventually mount it. When wyverns feel that they are powerless to help themselves, they’re natural instincts take a backseat to reliance, and that gives the rider a chance to gain its trust. If the rider fails to instill that trust at this stage, any further attempt to tame the wyvern will fail, and the rider could be killed.
After two to three weeks of hand feeding a wyvern, the rider should expose himself to the wyvern. This stage is critical. If the wyvern hasn’t developed any trust in the rider, it will immediately assault the rider in an attempt to escape. In most cases, by the time a rider realizes his err, it is too late. The rider must now spend the next one to two weeks in direct contact with the wyvern: touching, petting, rubbing, feeding, and cleaning it. Wrestling games are common ways that riders will use to “trick” wyverns into allowing themselves to be mounted. That speeds up the mounting process.
On average, about four in every five attempts to tame a wild wyvern ends in failure. Three in five attempts end in the wyvern’s violent escape back to the wild, and two in five attempts end in the death of the tamer and or rider.
In modern times where wyvern riders are becoming more of a necessity in war, a more popular method is to capture wyverns and breed them. Their children are born in captivity and develop bonds with humans instead of other wyverns. Wyvern breaking is left strictly to the professionals nowadays, and is considered a dangerous and stupid sport suited only to the macho, or suicidal.
Mountain wyvern breaking is considered all but impossible.
Due to the difficulty of capturing wyverns alive, they are extremely valuable, especially to militaries. Breeding wyverns are the most valuable, females remain the most highly valued wyverns.

Wyvern breeding:
Wyverns are not romantic animals by nature. They do not come into heat, or mate during a specific season, because wyvern offspring can survive any season in their natural environment. Male wyverns that are raised in the wild will try to mate with as many females as possible when its mating instinct turns on. This generally happens if the presence of other wyverns becomes too low, or the wyvern’s own scent is lacking throughout the environment. Male goals are always to overpopulate the area with its own offspring and drive competitors out. The larger the male, the easier it is for them to have offspring. Female wyverns are generally passive aggressive, relying on males for protection, and only fighting themselves when their own offspring our nearby and in danger. When females fight, they are usually more dangerous than males, partly due to their claws and teeth. Male wyverns wear down their claws and teeth against rocks and other wyverns through their lives, while females’ remain razor sharp due to noncompetitive use.
In the wild, wyvern females lay from three to ten eggs at a time. On average only one or two will survive. Most of the eggs will be destroyed by rival males attempting to get rid of all the eggs and force the female to mate with them. If a wyvern male has been able to find only one or two females, he will defend them and their nests. If he has been more successful he will leave them to fend for themselves which usually means that an entire clutch of eggs will be lost from several successful matings. This leads to the dominate males having around three children for every two females he mates with. Ironically, a wyvern that defends his mate and nest will likely have a complete clutch of children. On the downside, these children will often exhaust the parents’ ability to feed them, and even turn on them for resources when they come of age.
In captivity, wyvern mating habits change only slightly. Breeding males are generally untamed and wildly aggressive. They are often kept on short leashes metaphorically speaking, but they are usually allowed to mate with which ever females they choose.
On average all wyverns born in captivity survive.

Wyvern upbringing:
Wyvern nestlings are brought up on meat and water, generally chicken, turkey, ham, and beef. Domesticated wyverns usually develop a taste for human food in response to being allowed left overs. It is seemingly harmless. They can also drink milk, though they have to be forced to drink it initially. They must also develop a tolerance for it and any other unnatural food they receive. After developing a love for their riders, wyverns will follow them everywhere. Between the ages of one and five are the optimal time for wyverns to become familiar with human speech. Wyverns will reach adulthood after nine to ten years. They never stop growing however. Their growth slows down dramatically, but they continue to get larger throughout their lives. Even the oldest wyverns are never longer than twenty feet or so, unless they are supplied with enough food to turn them into bull wyverns before they reach adulthood. This is highly discouraged however.

Wyvern habits:
Male wyverns and female wyverns have very different behaviors that are so distinct that they can be used to determine male from female by themselves. Domesticated wyverns show the most extreme cases of these habits.
Male wyverns display the following habits:
Gnawing on random objects, clawing wooden walls, snarling randomly, twitching their wings, swallowing large rocks, tugging on another wyvern’s tail to goad them into playing, head butting, snapping, eating anything edible that they come across including large animals, excessive scratching, and roaring with other wyverns.
Female wyverns display the following habits:
Beating their tails against the ground or objects, digging broad holes and sleeping in them, swallowing small rocks, attacking smaller animals(automatically with no intent to feed on them), rolling onto their backs, sleeping on their backs, spreading their wings out to appear larger when afraid, and flying away from sudden loud sounds.

Wyvern abilities:
Wyverns have astonishing mental capabilities, on par with four to five year old children. They can solve problems and use creative thinking to adapt to new situations, in some cases faster than humans could. Some wyverns can understand what their riders are saying by picking up on specific words in their speech that they associate with commands. In most cases, they appear to understand human speech in its entirety when in fact, they are simply listening for cues.
Wyverns also have frightening physical capabilities, able to tear most things apart in seconds. Their raw strength is enough to overpower any other creature or warrior.

Wyvern life span:
Mountain wyverns can live from ninety to a hundred years. Domesticated ones can live fifteen years longer.
Plain dweller wyverns can live from eighty to ninety years. Domesticated ones can live twenty-five years longer.
Sea wyverns can live from forty to sixty years. Domesticated ones can live fifty years longer.
Bull wyverns can live up to one hundred and forty years. Life span limit records for captive bull wyverns have never been successfully made.

Wyvern breeds:
There are different types of wyverns.

Mountain Wyvern:
These types lack forearms and are long and slender. Their tails are much longer than that of most wyverns. Exactly 130% the length of their head and torso. Their wing spans are anywhere from twenty-six to thirty-two feet. Mountain wyverns are notorious explorer killers, and are considered some of the toughest types to domesticate. They’re environment gives them a supreme advantage making capturing them so difficult that most would dare not try. These types of wyverns tend to have the highest populations. On moon lit nights, hundreds of them can be seen swarming around above the mountain tops.
They are usually dark and dull colored in their appearance, perfect to match the mountainous backdrop that serves as their home.
Unlike most wyverns, mountain wyverns are pack minded until domesticated. They attack in large numbers, another impeding obstacle to capture. The largest attempt to capture mountain wyverns ended with one hundred and thirty of the two hundred soldiers sent dying, along with fifteen mountain wyverns. Five were captured by the end of it for domestication and breeding. When they attack, they flap violently to push their prey to the ground, and then snap persistently. If attacked from behind, they whip their tails around to swat attackers.

Plain Wyvern:
The most common type of wyvern, and the most suitable for domestication. They share the same appearance as the dragons of old, possessing thick torsos, two arms, two legs, massive wings, and a long heavily armored serrated tail. Their wingspan is anywhere from twenty-four to twenty-eight feet. In the wild plain dwelling wyverns are commonly seen swooping down onto the livestock of farmers and flying away with cows in their grasp. They can also be seen soaring over the plains searching for any number of things. Plain dwellers tend to live alone or in very small groups of three to four once they come of age, and only seek out other wyverns for mating. Siblings will often stay together for a year or two after coming of age to increase their chances of survival. Once the urge to mate comes, siblings will split up and leave each other for good.
Plain dwellers are spread throughout kilometers of land. If two males encounter each other, that means that their individual territories have connected and a fight will always ensue, with the loser losing nearly ten square miles of his land if he survives.

Bull Wyvern:
Nearly all bull wyverns are male. The only time a female bull wyvern springs up is when a regular adolescent female plain dweller or mountain wyvern is nurtured by her mate to the point of doubling in size. A bull wyvern is classified as any wyvern that is twice as large or larger than normal wyverns. Even the domesticated ones tend to be extremely violent creatures. The ones found in the wild attack on sight(unless alone with eggs to guard), and are the most dangerous animals in the wild. They will doggedly pursue humans until they catch and slaughter them, or until they reach the edge of their territory. They’re strength is more than double that of normal wyverns and they can claw their way through heavy armor easily. Their jaws are strong enough to bite cattle in half, and their tails can swing with enough power to swat men away with bone crushing force.
Bull wyvern wingspans vary from forty to fifty feet. They are moderately resistant to normal magic attacks, and they are considered the most dangerous wild animals anywhere. They are also outlawed in many places due to consistent incidents they cause.

Sea Wyvern:
These types of wyverns are long and slender with tiny arms, tiny legs, long necks, thin wings, and spear tipped tails. They are generally blue colored or grey. Sea wyverns always nest on cliffs by the ocean, and dive down into the water to feast on fish. The only types to feed on sea creatures. They are defensive when outnumbered but aggressive otherwise. Surprisingly, they’re scale hides are quite resistant to magic, but weak against blades, spears, and arrows. They appear to be the drake equivalent of pegasi. Despite their weaknesses, they are radically aggressive when on the verge of capture, often impaling men on their tails and flinging them into the water.
Sea Wyverns eat whenever they can, often picking beaches clean if dead fish brought about by red tides show up. If a whale were to wash up onto a beach, a local sea wyvern population would leave behind nothing but bones by nightfall.

Edited by Phoenix, 25 June 2010 - 10:02 PM.


#5 kdanger

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 10:50 PM

Horses: Riding (Separate post due to article size)

Handling horses (a few general tips): Be calm. Don't stand directly in front of or behind a horse, as they have blind spots there. Do not shout or make sudden random movements. Lead from the left side (when possible). Left side is "near" side; right is "off" side.

Spooking: Horses do this a lot, so I should cover it. When a horse is afraid, it may rear up, kick, bite, bolt, or generally try to get the heck away from whatever spooked it.

Things that will spook a horse: (humorous version)
Spoiler ()


Things that will spook a horse: (legit version)
Spoiler ()


It's possible to desensitize horses to many stimuli that would normally spook them, but an untrained horse near any of this stuff is a terrible idea.

Speaking of which: How to calm down a spooking horse: DO NOT SHOUT oh gosh do not shout. Speak in a low, calming tone. It doesn't matter what you say (so long as it's not your horse's known command word for "run like hell"), just keep talking. If you're riding, try to get the horse to halt. Don't panic. Pet them, scratch their neck, try to convince them that nothing's wrong. If you're on the ground and don't know if it's wild enough, don't act all sneaky. Keep talking (they're prey animals, and talking away proves that you know that they know you're there, which means you're not sneaking up to eat them.) Don't wave your arms or make big sudden movements.

Now, back to your scheduled programming: Leading and getting on the horse.

Leading: Hold reins or lead rope with one hand close below the horse's chin. Don't coil the rein or the lead around your other arm; that can get you dragged away. Most horses weigh at least 1,000 pounds, and are quite capable of doing so.

Mounting: Mount from the left when possible. Put one foot in stirrup, swing other over horse's back and sit in saddle. Try not to do so like a sack of potatoes. (Inexperienced riders usually do so like a sack of potatoes.) With no saddle or stirrups (or just if you've got trouble getting up) use a mounting block or, if you don't have one, tree-stump/fence/crate/whatever. Experienced riders who are good with stunts may pull off a jumping mount, or mount as the horse is moving.

Dismounting: Drop stirrups (take your feet out), swing one leg over and slide down the horse's side. Again, do this to the left when possible. Riders with some decent amount of experience should be able to dismount at any speed (there are various reasons why it may be necessary to do so, such as an out-of-control horse.)

Falling off: It happens. It's not usually as bad as the media makes it out to be (which is not to say that it's not dangerous!) The easiest thing to fall onto is your rear end. If you fall on something else (say your head), you were probably doing something ridiculous beforehand, or your horse was actively trying to get rid of you. Check yourself for broken bones, get your wind back, get back up.
Riding: Sit with your back straight, heels down, balanced. Don't stick your feet all the way into the stirrups, as they may get caught and drag you if you fall off; keep the stirrups by the balls of your feet. If you have to hold on to something, hold the saddle in front of you; if there isn't one, hold the horse's mane, but try not to yank it, they don't really like that. Reins are not safety handles, they are directional aids; do not hang on them to keep yourself on the horse.
Main issues: getting the horse to go (faster), getting the horse to slow or stop, turning.

Go (faster):
Squeeze with your knees, click your tongue. Shift your weight forward a bit. Spurs can be used; there are humane spurs and crueler spurs. Do not mindlessly kick the horse.

Slow/stop: Shift your weight back. Give vocal commands ("Whoa" is common for stop; there are a variety I've heard for "slow down.") After those, pull in on the reins, gently and gradually. Do not yank the reins (remember, that equates to yanking on the horse's mouth or face.)

Turn: Apply pressure from the opposite leg (if you're turning left, use your right leg, etc.) Shift your weight towards where you want to turn. Apply the rein on the side you're turning toward (again, gently, don't haul on it.)

Special mention: Voice commands. Some horses have been taught 'em. Some haven't. But in general, don't assume a horse knows anything besides "whoa."

Gaits: There are four of them:

Walk: Easy, comfortable. Four beats (each foot moving separately.) Speed goes from regular walk to maybe a human's slow jog. Can be sustained for a long time.

Trot: Mid-speed, like a human's run. Two beats (diagonal legs move.) Many horses are bumpy and uncomfortable at the trot; some are smoother, and a good saddle can reduce the bouncing. Can be sustained for a long time. Some horses pace instead of trot (legs on same side move) but this trait generally has to be bred for, and not good for riding.

Canter: Mid-fast. Three beats, a lot like a gallop. More controlled than a gallop. Usually pretty comfortable. Good speed for jumping. Can be sustained, but shouldn't be used for long journeys.

Gallop: Fast. Four beats. Can jump at a gallop. Speed and stamina depend on the breed: Thoroughbred racehorses have been clocked at up to 40 mph (over one mile), while Quarter Horses have hit a record of 55 mph (but only for 1/4 of a mile, hence the name.) Other breeds will obviously be slower, 20-30 mph at full tilt. Stamina will depend on the horse's condition.

Other gaits: They exist, but only in certain breeds. Not likely to be necessary for the RP. (There's this weird thing some horses do halfway between trot and canter, but that's laziness and unwillingness to go, not a real gait.)

Jumping: You do this at a canter or faster. Horses can jump from other starts, but not very high or well (usually if one does so, it's because they're spooking.) They can jump pretty high (maybe four, five feet or so on average; eight's the record) and decently far (20 feet or so; 27's the record). Untrained horses, though, may balk at some obstacles. You should also mind what's on the other side of whatever you're jumping; if the ground's uneven (or lower than you expected) the horse may be injured (even breaking a leg.)

Fighting: If you're going to be swinging around a piece of metal over a horse's head, it had better be trained to be used to that, lest it spook horribly. If it's a lance, mind where you put it, so you don't hit the horse in the head. Also, horses are weapons in their own right. You're looking at a creature with five sharp ends, four of which may be enhanced with metal. The main actions are: biting, kicking with hind legs, and rearing up and striking with front legs. That last is quite risky if the horse isn't trained for it, because of balance issues (for both horse and rider). Horses likely won't fight in human-controlled battle unless trained to do so (though they'll rough each other up plenty if they get into a disagreement.) They can also run over things if trained to do so. Keep in mind that training is necessary! If you point a horse that isn't trained to fight into the middle of combat, it will likely spook and throw you.

Another important point: Riding bareback. It's possible. Hell, it's possible to ride with no tack at all (even a wuss like me can do it for a little bit.) However, whether it's wise to do so is a matter of your skill and the horse's training. For one, it's harder to fight bareback, though there are some stunts that are probably easier to pull that way. Bareback can be done with a saddle blanket or no blanket, though the former's probably wiser (sweaty horses are slippery.) If your leg muscles and balance are good enough, bareback's not that bad (though remember: horses have spines. This can make things uncomfortable.)

Which brings us, I suppose, to trick riding. I'll define that as anything ridiculous you wouldn't usually do on a horse. Standing in the saddle, riding backwards, "riding" by clinging to the horse's side, jumping out of the saddle at unexpected times, mounting/dismounting by jumping... it's all doable if you and your horse have the right training. If you don't know how to do it, you're likely to fall and break things; if your horse isn't used to it, they may spook spectacularly. It's risky even if you are well trained.

Again, treat this as a list of things that your character can or can't do. Keep track of their skill level, and write accordingly. Mind that dumb luck may get you through one or two incidents, it's not match for practice, and it stops being believable after a while. And, of course, riding takes muscles; a character that isn't used to doing a lot of it will be pretty tired after a long ride. It's definitely not just sitting there. And mind that what they do is appropriate to the horse's training, or have the horse react realistically to their actions, as well.

#6 Snowy_One

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:44 PM

Magic: Magic is a hard and often difficult and potentially confusing field that is not easy to master. In fact, most mages show no true mastery of magic and, instead, are stuck casting lower-leveled spells. Allow me to begin from the very beginning though.

Magic is divided into two primary categories for starters. The magic of the supernatural (encompassing light magic and staves), and the magic of the natural (encompassing anima and dark magic). Though indistinguishable to the common person except by visual appearance and names, to a experienced mage, the two are worlds apart. Let us begin with natural magic.

All objects and beings, be they the lowest cow or the mightiest sage, possess a innate field of magic known as a 'mana network'. Conceptually, imagine it being like a wireframe of magical power that covers a being from the moment they come into existence. Though it is normally innate and passive and can not be manipulated, certain people born with innate talents are capable of altering their own mana network. This is very important and key in becoming a mage, for without the ability to manipulate their own mana network, a person can not become a mage. The reason why is simple. When casting a spell, a anima or dark magic user will manipulate their own mana field, using it and altering it to form the desired spell. If a wind mage desired to cast a wind blade type spell, before he could do anything, he would first need to be capable of manipulating his own mana network into the form of the desired blade before he could do anything.

This tenant remains true for the vast majority of anima magic. All anima spells involve forming and shaping the mana network of the mage into the form of the desired spell. Then, once the form is attained, a anima mage will utilize the air about him into the desired element. A wind mage will use his magic to accelerate it and must be capable of making his mana network so as to support the rapid air, a fire mage combusts the air and must make his mana network capable of containing the flame so it doesn't dissipate or burn out of control, and a thunder sage will ionize the air and must make his network so that it can retain the charge as well as containing and focusing it so it will not disperse. Higher level spells usually require more advanced forms of mana networking or a improved durability within the mana network.

As for dark magic, it forgoes manipulating the air about it and instead chooses to manifest magic into the physical world en-masse. This typically makes the spells more powerful, but requires a heavier tome (explained why below). Due to the nature of dark magic, it tends to be capable of altering reality in ways not meant to be altered even by the caster; though this typically requires a immense amount of magical energy to get even the slightest sort of alteration. However, it does make it the choice magic of monsters.

Additionally, a person is capable of using their own mana network to weaken the impact of a spell upon their body. This is known as resistance, and pegasus tend to have a lot of it. Innate objects, typically talismans, though purified waters can work as well, can also retain a strong innate mana network capable of warding spells upon the body.

All this manipulation of the mana network as well as the usage of either air or arcane power is not easy to control, and can be quite difficult for a person to maintain. To combat this problem, tomes were created. Tomes perform two very important tasks in spellcasting. The first is providing the words for a desired spell. In order to aid a mage in their spellcasting, certain formations or acts of manipulating the mana field are often linked to words and drilled into the pupils mind in order to teach them to subconsciously alter their own mana field into the desired form or to alter the material for the spell accordingly. Advanced students can perform all the required manipulations simply be citing a spells name, and VERY advanced students can even learn to bypass verbal requirements all together.

Secondly, tomes are typically laced with magical catalysts (usually spirit dust either ground into the ink, or into the pages) to ease the usage of mana fields. This catalyst is so important that almost no mage is capable of casting without it around to aid them as it makes the work just THAT much easier. Typically, it gets used up and wears down as the tome is used more often, but we are forgoing that here. Dark spells require heavier tomes due to longer incantations and requiring more of the magical catalyst to cast the spell.

Light magic and staff magic is what is known as 'supernatural' magic and flows directly from the goddess herself. Though still requiring the proper catalyst, the material is supernatural light, and thusly requires a strong element of faith and attunment to the supernatural world to even be feasible to cast. It tends to work well against dark magic because it can easily bypass a dark magic exterior to weaken the arcane within without trouble. Meanwhile, anima tends to simply replenish itself from the natural air while still draining light magic in its attempt. Since the goddess tends to not desire violence, light spells are usually weaker then anima or dark spells (though this does not reflect on the goddess herself at all) so as to try not to kill except in self defense.

Staffs work similarly to tomes, except they are focused upon healing and manipulations of the body. From simple things like healing cuts, to causing a persons vocal chords to malfunction and, thusly, render them technically silent (and likely unable to cast).

Enchanting a item is indeed possible, but as it involves directly altering their mana network, it is exhausting and often draining on either person, object, or both. A enchanted blade tends to be either physically weak so as to not burn itself out, or weak because the extensive amount of manipulation done to it causes it to be brittle and easy to shatter.

When a crimson weapon takes form, it usually uses the current weapon as a base, thusly making it easier on both caster and weapon (not to mention the caster can just revert if it becomes too draining). Though it can materialize without a base, it is harder and easier to lose control over for certain. Additionally, if the light magic on the tome should become too weak, gouts of blue hellfire can slip forth from the weapon. It's certainly more common when a mana network is extra taxed by needing to support the weapon as well.

#7 Snowy_One

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 07:55 PM

Elyisima: Harold The Swordsmaster: A promiscuous man who views women and battlefields as the same, sadly in more ways then one. Back in the day, he was a swift and agile warrior intent on killing his foes with massive and cruel blows... then Katie came along. Having a child caused Harold to falter in his ways just before the battle against the Lord of Azure Flame. He was wounded and forced to managerial duties after the war was finished. However, he never gave them up. With Katie drifting away and his focus being on his work, Harold set to making Elyisima the best he could. He wields the sword Whisper, a enchanted blade capable of silencing any foe with nary a noise; yet it has mutated a new power in the form of being able to shoot sonic blasts. CORRUPT!


Percy the Wyvern Lord: A proud warrior back in the day, since the fall of the Lord, he has grown highly vain and self-absorbed even to the point of letting his combat prowess slip way. He doesn't head the military, nor have any rank within it anymore and is content to rest upon the fear he once commanded as a proud and powerful warrior. CORRUPT!

Septimus: Kaileen the Mother: The healer of the group, Kaileen is one of two female hero's and the last to take up arms against the Lord. She has resigned herself to Lunarian worship after the Lord of Azure Flame, a religion preaching that the Lord and Goddess are not so dead-set against each other and both desire the best for humanity, just having different means of doing it. Her choice has neither helped the religion or her status and she is the most easily forgotten of the six. She is only affiliated with Septimus in that it is where she lives. It is rumored she was once in love with Berthold. Her son watches over her consistently. Uncorrupt.

Jace the Brute: The Warrior of the group and the one whom by far is the most intelligent. Jace relies mainly on daunting and outright outwitting his foes to compensate for the inaccuracy of his axe. With good reason though. One touch from the head of his axe is enough to send weaklings flying. After the war, he became a lawyer, and has won every case so far. Mostly because no one wants to stand up to a prosecutor who can smash their head in without a conscious thought. He has become greedy and desiring of wealth beyond all else and has even tried to sue the king out of his throne, only to have the case denied by 400 armed guards. CORRUPT!

Halton: Bethold the Smith: The blacksmith whom created the crimson weapons. He took up the lance to defend his wife from demons, and has since passed it on to his son (though he doesn't know it yet). While not insane, he spends a immense amount of time within his workshop, creating endless pieces of art in weapon form. Not corrupt.

Naelia the Swift: Former thief queen, rumored to have won battles by simply stealing every weapon owned by the demons, then killing them with them in their sleep, and a wild child to boot. Criminally insane, she has refused the life of civilization in favor of robbing everyone BLIND! She's stolen something from someone at some time if she was in the same town as them for more than three days. CORRUPT but adorable.

#8 kdanger

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 08:28 PM

Pegasi

Biology: Pegasi are a little more than just winged horses. Their bones are hollow, like birds. (This does not necessarily mean "weak"; a good thwack from a pegasus' wing can break bones, though they do have lower weight limits for riders.) They are invariably built along slender lines, standing around 14-16 hands high. They have larger chest and shoulder muscles than ordinary horses of their size, to support their wings. Their wings are shaped for endurance, though they can certainly attain high speeds, and span about twenty feet. Fully mature pegasi develop long horns from their foreheads; the horn is not just for decoration, but is sharp, strong, and useful in combat.

Color: Pegasi are more limited in coat color than horses. "White" (really gray) is most common; uncommon, though not unheard of, are medium grays, cremello, and very light roan. Black, brown, and palomino pegasi supposedly have existed, but may just be the stuff of legend. Interestingly, pegasi may have amber or green eyes in addition to the usual equine brown or blue.

Age: Pegasi live much longer than ordinary horses. They also take a bit more time to mature; a pegasus is generally fully mature at around seven or eight years of age.

Eyesight: Pegasi have sharper eyesight than horses, but slightly worse night vision.

Intelligence: It's been claimed that pegasi are smarter on average than horses. Their heightened ability to understand their riders' intentions would certainly suggest so, but little research has been done on the matter.

Care: Much similar to that of an ordinary horse, with the addition of making sure the wings are in good condition. Notably, pegasi are rarely shod, as their hooves don't receive the stress that makes shoeing necessary.

Taming: Most pegasi are a bit harder to tame than the average horse. Once tamed, they are usually one-human animals, reacting to other people with distrust or even hostility (though a well-trained pegasus will still behave around others, and may even like a few people besides their master.) It's best to socialize pegasi to humans as soon as they're born, like any other domesticated animal.

Tack: Pegasus tack is similar to regular horse tack. The main difference is the saddle; it often is smaller to account for the wings, and is more securely strapped on. Some saddles may contain straps to keep the rider's legs secure for riskier flight maneuvers. Armor is rarely used because of weight constraints.

Riding: Pegasi require light riders; consequently, pegasus knits are predominantly female. The main difference in controlling a pegasus versus controlling a horse is altitude control. The shifts in weight that tell a horse to go faster or slower will instead tell a pegasus to go higher or lower. Voice commands are also more common.

Flight: Pegasi can fly from a running or standing start. Some will reflexively "gallop" in midair; others will pick their legs up as though jumping. Because of their relative bulk and odd center of gravity, they can't perform the rolls or stunts that other winged species may do, but they are agile enough when they need to be. It is believed that there is a magical element to pegasus flight, as the laws of physics state that given their shape and weight, they should not be able to fly. The Septimian Reform believes and preaches that the Goddess through her divine will sustains all pegasi in flight. This is hardly disputed due to the pegasus' natural resistance to all forms of magic. It is suspected that their strong mana network not only assists them in magical resistance, but in flight as well.

Habits: Pegasi like normal horses are very spookable. Nearly all of the same triggers apply, though random flying objects are less alarming. The main difference is a pegasus' wings. They will commonly flap their wings violently when afraid, and if not quickly calmed, they can cause harm to bystanders and standing objects alike. Pegasi also tend to nibble on things from time to time; this is not a unique vice, but tends to show up more than it does in horses.

Magical origin: There are two dominate theories surrounding the origin of the pegasus.
The first and more popular tale is centered around the Mother Goddess.
Long ago, the goddess looked down upon the earth viewing the world in its entirety. The animals she saw being abused by her creations was the horse. All over the world they were used for work, and war. The goddess preferred to see the numerous creatures racing across the planes in beautiful groups. Mankind's abuse of one of her treasured creations caused her to cry. In her mind, she envisioned a true horse, a free horse, a beautiful white horse with the wings of eagles. As her tears fell to the earth they became pegasi, and they scattered throughout the lands.
The Septimian Reform slightly opposes pegasus capture for domestication because of this story, but they seem to turn a blind eye to breeding them in captivity for the same purpose.

The second and darker tale involves a monster known as the gorgon. The gorgon is a snake like creature with numerous and hideous appendages, and snake heads for hair. The creature is said to be able to turn any living creature to stone.
It is said that the blood of a slain gorgon was used to create the very first pegasi. This tale is very unpopular among the religious community. The Septimian Reform especially discourages this source. Lunaism is slightly friendlier to the tale, going so far as to investigate its validity.

History: When the pegasi first appeared, they seemed to have arrived out of the ether. That gave rise to the two dominate theories regarding their origin. Pegasi were to be dealt the same hand that horses were however, as they were quickly targeted for domestication by mankind. The first pegasi were ridden by men. Over the years they slowly became unpopular mounts due to their slow speed when mounted. Archers enjoyed the sight of flailing riders atop their barely trained pegasi. The pegasus riders reached the end of their time quickly, and fell from the spotlight only to be replaced by wyverns.
A woman known to history only as Cecily was the first known woman to mount a pegasus. She took to the skies and her flight marked the beginning of the pegasus knights. Women were never popular choices as warriors, but the pegasi seemed as if they were sent from the heavens for their sake. There was nothing faster than a woman atop her pegasus, and due to this, many military powers throughout the world began to train pegasus riders once again. Through numerous innovations, the art of the pegasus knight was perfected, and they became the most popular and beautiful flying warriors on earth.

#9 kdanger

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 12:43 PM

The nomads

Culture: General
Nomad culture is arranged into different tribes, located mainly in the south of the continent and the plains of the different countries, largely in Halton, though smaller tribes may go pretty much anywhere. Tribes are led by one main chief and sometimes a council of elders, though everyone has a say for major decisions, and each tribe has a religious leader as well. They consider them to be outside any noble or royal jurisdiction; some tribes get on better with local government than others. Their primary living comes from herding, though some are traders or mercenaries. They're also known for their skill in breeding horses. Most tribes will split the year between several camps, based on the availability of grazing land or trading partners. While they'll camp for weeks or months in one place, they'll always be ready to leave if necessary.

History:
Years ago, the nomads lived primarily in the deserts (hence the slur "sandrunner") and plains to the south of Halton, and landholding was an actual concern, with some tribes even settling in to farm. The Lord of Azure Flame changed that, rendering their lands uninhabitable and scattering them across the continent, forcing most tribes to become part of Halton or Septimus (at least on paper). Those that survived took up herding and trading to stay mobile, not wanting to settle anywhere only to be scattered again.

Culture: Gender
While women are usually expected to stay nearer to the family, they are not expected to be weak; if the camp is attacked, everyone of age is expected to defend it. It's unusual, though not unheard of, for women to be warleaders or chiefs; more commonly, women can be religious leaders, usually devotees of Tani or Sunyou.

Culture: Children
Because of the need for mobility, it's hard for families to get very large; three children is considered a lot. Children are thus valued. Valued does not imply pampered, though; as soon as they're old enough to help out, children are expected to do so. They usually end up helping with the sheep or with younger siblings. Children are taught horseback riding nearly before they can walk; they also learn fairly young to use a bow or a sling, to protect the flocks.

Clothing:
Nomads favor simple, usually undyed tunics and breeches, acceptable for both genders, though styles tend to be segregated. For women, the long dresses favored by women outside the tribes are frowned upon; more common are knee-length dresses over breeches, which still allow for mobility. Most clothing is designed to be durable and low-maintenance. Things like dye and ornamentation are costly and thus used sparingly except for for special occasions, usually weddings, though high-level warleaders, chiefs, or religious devotees may wear colored garments regularly.

Culture: Warfare
It's rare for a nomadic tribe to initiate a fight; they've got no interest in owning land, and camp spaces can usually be negotiated easily. Scouting often allows them to avoid attacks from bandits or other hostile forces ahead of time. When forced to fight, though, they favor speed and mobility. Most use bows or swords, though spears are not unheard of, and religious leaders may aid with offensive or defensive magic, depending on their patron. If possible, they'll take the fight to familiar territory, and use it to their advantage. What their horses lose in bulk and raw strength to those of knights or bandits, they make up for with speed and agility.

Role of horses:
Horses are incredibly important in nomad society. One's riding horse is their most valuable possession; to kill or steal another's horse means death. Without a horse, it's impossible to keep up with the tribe. A good horse can be life or death in a fight. Immense care is taken in the breeding and training of horses. Racing is a favorite pastime, as well as horseback archery competitions.

Nomads' horses are bred for speed and stamina (think real-life Arabian horses.) They are trained for combat and trick-riding, with or without tack. Harness-training is rare, but not unheard of; merchants may have wagons. Nomad horses are never shod; their hooves are strong enough to not need shoes.

Religion and views on magic:

The nomads believe in four deities, corresponding to the four classical elements: Zia the wind goddess, Tani the earth goddess, Orai the fire god, and Sunyou the water god. Each tribe has a religious leader devoted to one of the four; only the biggest tribes have more than one major devotee, though they may also have acolytes. Devotees of Tani and Sunyou are healers foremost (equivalent to troubadours/clerics/priests); occasionally they will gain light magic (equivalent to valkyries/bishops/etc), though it isn't termed such by the nomads. Zia and Orai's devotees (equivalent to wind and fire mages) use battle magic; only the most powerful of their number (equivalent to sages) possess the power to heal. Scholars from other nations generally believe that the nomadic gods are really just aspects of the Goddess or lesser spirits mistaken for gods.

Because of this, nomads have a varying set of opinions on magic. Non-devotees using fire or wind magic is frowned upon as minor sacrilege. Light magic is generally unknown, but not frowned upon; similarly, thunder magic is nearly entirely unknown. Dark or elder magic is deeply mistrusted as the work of the Dark Presence (aka the king of demons, the Lord of Azure Flame). Non-battle magic is a tricky matter. Healing is entirely trusted, but magical enhancement of the body is sometimes seen as cheating; warding spells are condoned (as a specialty of some healers), but most other applications of magic are seen as cheating. Scrying and mind-reading/mind control spells are held on par with dark magic, if not worse. Of course, it varies from person to person; some treat all magic used by non-devotees as evil, while others have no problem with any magic save elder and mind-invading magic. The distrust of elder and mind-invading magic is fairly universal, though.

Since their religion differs greatly from the Goddess-based religions of the different countries, there is an interesting relationship between religions. The Lady is usually held in reverence, and often assumed to be an aspect of Tani or Zia. A minority of nomads do believe the goddess to be a false deity, though.

Folklore:
Like most cultures, the nomads have a set of stories full of wonders and terrors, made for the most part to keep children in line. The demons of these stories, though, are generally based in reality; the Dark Presence is a major player, as are its minions. Stories tell of warriors made from the bones of the dead, demons that wear whatever human face they please, and other horrors...

Language:
While many nomads speak at least some Common, they have their own main language, as well as a set of hand signs used primarily for scouting. The nomad language originally didn't have a written form; later, the alphabet used for Common was borrowed for it. If I put the lexicon up, it will be a separate article.

Addendum: Geographic distribution and relations with townspeople

Relations between nomads and townspeople vary by region. Nomads are viewed fairly neutrally in most parts of Elyisima and Septimus, becoming something of a rarity further north. Their trade is valued, but they are occasionally looked upon as curiosities or barbarians, especially in areas where less-trusting people have moved in and brought their opinions with them. Negative opinion is stronger in Halton, most obviously in the south, where there is an undercurrent of opinion that the nomads are thieves or invaders. Intermarriage between the two groups is generally discouraged by both sides; to the north it may be tolerated, but probably not encouraged.

The nomads generally reciprocate whatever the local opinions are; further north relations are better, while to the south townspeople are held in distrust. Trade still occurs out of necessity, but it is often made fairly clear that neither party likes the other. At the best of times there are faltering attempts at frienship, on average there is cautious tolerance and a tendency to keep at a distance, and at the worst of times there are open clashes. Relations also differ between individual tribes, often influenced by how a particular tribe's religious interpretation views the Goddess.

The majority of nomads move primarily through Halton, staying somewhat close to the region they once called home. Population tapers off further to the east and especially the north, and few tribes stay north full-time. There are no particular population centers, but friendlier or richer cities within a region become more frequent stopping points.

There is one particular location of note, but it will be detailed at a later time.

Edit 12/18/2012: Dye being too expensive for EVERYONE EVER was a stupid idea, so it's been revised. Also added a note about style differentiation for tunics, since that started happening in designs.

Edited by kdanger, 18 December 2012 - 08:04 PM.


#10 -Cynthia-

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:42 PM

If you have issues with placements on the map you can PM me (or Chat). It's crappy quality I know.

Posted Image

#11 Psych

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:48 PM

The Shoon Islands are about a Jerdon's length away from Zaftra's coast.

It's not just one island though. It's like a chain of islands...

#12 Reinfleche

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 02:46 PM

Let's use our imagination then because adding that would just make the map unnecessarily large.

#13 franku

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 07:36 PM

Where is Elysima?

Meh
Tora

Tora is a barren nation that is cut off from civilization. It snows there year long and the only villages are the ones surrounding the castle. This way, Tora has evaded invasion from Halton for many years. Most of their troops either die of the cold or retreated.

Edited by Kai, 18 July 2010 - 10:31 AM.


#14 kdanger

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 10:00 PM

Lord of Azure Flame: Map nobody can agree on

Posted Image

No, I haven't updated it since scribble session/flamewars in chat/other flamewars in chat/whatever. I promise I will eventually. Please take any and all criticisms of the map to the LoAF Chat (the channel isn't really good for that, people just argue more.)

Edited by Kiryn, 23 February 2011 - 03:57 PM.


#15 kdanger

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 04:02 PM

Notice notice notice!

So I'm guessing that nobody's going to come have a look at this topic just because the title changed, so I'm repeating the announcement in this post:

The Useful Notes thread is now general to all RPs, because it contains articles and links that I think any RP could benefit from. Individual RPs are still allowed to submit canon content; content will be indexed by RP in the opening post.

In addition, after a binge of reading Limyaael's fantasy rants (linked in the first post) I am considering doing a series of RP writing articles. If I do them they will likely be hosted on a blog somewhere and linked to in this thread for people to read. Please vote in the poll at the top of the thread!

Comments on this change or the RP article idea should go to LoAF's chat thread for now; if the Useful Notes thread turns out to need a chat or feedback thread, I will create one, but I'm not making it until demand is demonstrated. No feedback in this thread please.

#16 Phoenix

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:05 AM

THE FALLEN

ValSteinnandNorn.png

 

Spoiler (General Information)

 

Spoiler (History)

 

Spoiler (Government)

 

Spoiler (Society)

 

Spoiler (Religion)

 

Spoiler (Warfare)

 

Spoiler (Demons)

 

Spoiler (Gender)

 

Spoiler (Children)

 

Spoiler (Food)

 

Spoiler (Clothing)

 

Spoiler (Entertainment)

 

Spoiler (Language)


Edited by Phoenix, 24 January 2014 - 09:01 AM.


#17 Phoenix

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 02:26 AM

THE AVIANS

LiamJoannaandKarina_zps1f92f805.png

Spoiler (General Information)
 
Spoiler (History)
 
Spoiler (Government)
 
Spoiler (Society)
 
Spoiler (Religion)
 
Spoiler (Warfare)
 
Spoiler (Sacred Guardian)
 
Spoiler (Gender)
 
Spoiler (Children)
 
Spoiler (food)
 
Spoiler (Clothing)
 
Spoiler (Entertainment)
 
Spoiler (Language)

Edited by Phoenix, 06 June 2014 - 10:47 AM.


#18 kdanger

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:50 PM

What is this you guys

More officially: Well, I kept muttering about writing articles. Here is one. More will follow. Stay tuned, and vote in the poll re: whether I should keep doing this. Also, feel free to comment on the blog posts!

Edited by Kiryn, 30 March 2011 - 09:00 PM.


#19 Phoenix

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 12:22 PM

The following is a detailed article about militaries in RotE. Despite the specifics, some of this can be applied elsewhere.

RotE: The Armed Forces

Overview
Every country has its own military force that is used for both the defense of the homeland, and campaigns to expand. Though each country's forces are unique in appearance, training, mannerisms, and combat style, they all share similar command structures, and basic methods of thinking.

 

Spoiler (General)

 

Spoiler (Ursium)

Spoiler (Neviskotia)

Spoiler (Kigen)

Spoiler (Rex-Avaz)

Spoiler (Corvus)

Spoiler (Aquila)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Final notes:
-Promotions in rank vary a bit by nation but only posthumous promotions should ever increase more than one rank, and posthumous promotions have their own rules based on country which someone can come to me directly on.
-Demotions work the same way and should not be used in a >1 fashion.


Edited by Phoenix, 12 January 2014 - 07:09 PM.


#20 Phoenix

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:25 PM

This post covers three articles; the Naval Combat System add-on (undergoing revision), the RotE Currency article, and The Guardian Corp article.

 

Spoiler (Naval Combat System (Under Revision))

 

Spoiler (Currency: Ursium, Neviskotia, Kigen, and Rex-Avaz)

 

Spoiler (The Guardian Corp.)


Edited by Phoenix, 05 November 2013 - 04:46 PM.