Realms of Kar'Kaish Primer

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Realms of Kar'Kaish Primer

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:27 pm

The purpose of this thread is to give some details of what the project, Realms of Kar'Kaish (RoKK), is about and what our future ambitions for it are, as well allow members a quick look at some of the important aspects of the world.

The project itself started with members meeting and roleplaying in a generic RP on a site dedicated to a Warcraft 3 community. After the site went through some troubles and the owner expressed his distaste and uncaring for the RP section, the members and I left to a site of our making to continue our roleplaying. From there, we decided to make an original world of our own.

Enjoy Realms of Kar'Kaish and the work we have put towards it.

Creation History
The history of Realms of Kar'Kaish begins with a single entity surrounded by only itself and nothingness. The entity can only feel and think unendingly, and, wishing to no longer be burdened with the futility of its existence, effectively tears itself asunder, changing reality to the current universe. Planes of existence were created: The Corporeal, the Spectral, the Elemental Planes, the Astral, and the Expanse and Void. Beings of power were also rendered into existence, their nature aligned towards on end of the duality between Chaos and Order of the beginning entity. In the Corporeal Plane, Elder Gods who held absolute power over mana were created. In the Elemental Planes, four base elements were born, and one pure element of each was born afterwards. After the elements sought to expand their dominion and met a standstill, they were able to bleed out their power into the Corporeal Plane in an attempt to control more area. As the elements again fought to a standstill by trying to negate eachother's influence, the Elder Gods noticed just how weak their reach this far was and understood that they could use mana to block such reach. Over time, the elements were all but sealed completely away from the Corporeal Plane, and the Elder Gods manipulated the remaining manifestations of the elementals' power to their liking. Thus was born the stars and planets of the universe.

History of Ara'niel
Kar'Kaish, one of the Elder Gods, settled down on a planet of her choosing and decided to create things to her liking. Her being was wrought by the chaos that the Beginner experienced, and so sought to create opposing forces that would forever conflict one another. With her power she created the gods of Life and Death. She bid them to further create beings worthy of their power as she set to shaping the world to her liking. Her many children set to work together, eventually creating a single being, a daemon who split half of its power into a thousand lesser daemons, who in turn also split their power to continue the chain. The daemons, seeing that they could be more powerful than their creators, fought against the gods to earn Kar'Kaish's favor. After a long war, the daemons were sealed away, though Kar'Kaish bound some of them into orbs as she missed the ecstasy from the conflict they generated. Her children blamed one another for the failed attempt and began fighting themselves. The Death Gods fashioned tools from their own power, Scythes that were able to do magnificent things, in order to combat their brethren. Perhaps their work was a folly, for the Life Gods eventually won. Unable to destroy their brothers and sisters, they buried them deep beneath the surface of the planet.

Allowed once more to craft their own children, the Life Gods experimented with flora and fauna. To their surprise and dismay, the Death Gods they sealed away were corrupting the surface with their power, draining life away from their creations. Unable to do much more than create resilient flora that would absorb the corruption over time to lessen the overall power of death, one Life God decided to unravel her own being to create a well of life that all beings could draw from. Life would reproduce itself, drawing from the well of life to birth offspring. In this way, Life finally conquered Death.

The History of Man
Man was gifted with a body that could be used for many different purposes and a mind that had the intelligence to discover such purposes. Humanity was chosen as a test for sentience again after the failed attempt with the daemons. They rose to power, forming communities of nomads. Magic, the manipulation of mana, was discovered early on in human history. They were the least adept of creation at manipulating mana, being a derivative of a derivative of Kar'Kaish's power. Yet they could sense mana as it made itself known through different manifestations of sense-perversion, allowing some humans to feel, to taste, to hear, and to sometimes even see the omnipresent energy around them. Great use of magic was also known to cause death of the user as they were easily disintegrated by the power they foolishly tried to wield. Eventually they discovered that they could channel such feedback into other objects, allowing them to be destroyed instead of the user. Greater power meant greater fear from the masses that could not have such power for themselves. The first mages were chased away, forced into hiding or killed outright.

There came a time of dark sorcery, of vengeful mages who sought to enslave the pitiful masses that were so clearly beneath them. It was a time of heroics, where a sword, shield, and sheer willpower were met with flame and lightning. Mages who detested these evil practices also rose to defeat the dark sorcerers. When the last shadowed fortress was robbed of its steward, humanity looked at magic as a thing that could do good, and was largely accepted back into society.

Time went on, great kingdoms and other nations rose to power. Science, whether fueled by magic, war, famine or disease, rose to great heights, somewhat mirroring the time just before the Industrial Revolution. Golemns of steel powered by steam began to stride onto the battlefield for the first time. Medicine and dietary insight prolonged life. Research into the limits of magic were also made. So commonplace was magic that many housewives were able to learn and cast spells of mundane housekeeping nature, protected from possible annihilation from advances in the field. Then came Nomen Carries, a young savant of magic.

Nomen was recognized as a prodigy of magical talent though he was prone to bouts of insanity. He surrounded himself with a small number of apprentices who conducted research with him. Finally, after years of hearing voices of beings that weren't there, his insanity drove him too far, and he fled to the chagrin of his staff. He searched for a place from his visions that he believed held the key to end his insanity. He stumbled upon a Death God's scythe in the ruins of a tower of ancient dark sorcery. Instead of finding a cure, he found a catalyst, and was confronted with the image of an evil daemon that forced him to take up the scythe to defeat it. Fate was sealed. Nomen returned to his now-abandoned workshop, performing experiments on the dead using his scythe and the knowledge it granted him. In short order he perfected necromancy and a curse that would transfer his spell to others that his undead would feast upon. Farmsteads, villages and cities were robbed of life and rose in undeath at his command. He was beset by determined attempts to defeat him that eventually led to desperate attempts to halt his advance. The various gods the populace believed in began to sense a dark power manifesting in their divine realm, and sought out Nomen's brother to offer a deal: the sacrifice of the royal families to fuel him with the power to confront Nomen. He and the surviving royal family accepted. As the gods dealt with Nomen's growing presence and emergence to divinity, his brother found and confronted him on the battlefield. The power between the two shook the roots of the earth, and a blinding light was scene by all at their place of battle, extending into the sky. For three days and nights the light illuminated the dying world, until the light faded to allow everyone to see what had become of their world. Where once stood mighty empires now churned furious waters. The tallest mountains were replaced by small chains of islands. Ara'niel, the land of humanity, was reshaped.

Hordes of refugees, who had survived the horrors of their lost reality, forced to feed upon the floating corpses of livestock and whatever else they could find, fled on innumerable ships to the newly dubbed mainland of the south, where only young kingdoms stood at the base of grand mountains even further south. At first, the people of the mainland sympathized with the refugees, shaken by the dead look in their eyes, and offered them food and shelter. Many saw the importance of gathering as many of these survivors as possible in order to field them in combat, and sought to accommodate all who landed on their borders. Others simply did what they could for their fellow man, concerned purely for their well-being. None were prepared for the sheer number that fled death and destruction, and none were fully prepared for what would come.

When resources were exhausted caring for the newcomers, those who were left to starve simply resorted to crime or did indeed die in the streets and along the roads. Faced with the destruction of their entire nation, the kings and queens of the southern powers declared war on one another to take what they could grasp before it was too late. So started the Great War. For a thousand years it churned, a thousand years of even more death. Cities and fortresses were laid to waste, kings and commanders slain, great men rose and fell, lands changed hands, borders expanded and retracted, maps rendered useless after constant change. A thousand years claimed the life of innumerable people and the advances in science and magic that the people so took for granted. A thousand years that left scars upon the earth so terrible that decades of time have yet to see foliage return. A thousand years for Kar'Kaish to wallow in the sweet, mind-numbing bliss that humanity brought her. Then there was peace.

People across the mainland could no longer stomach a fight. Overpopulation at the start led to vast uninhabited areas. War gradually died down as civil wars became the only form of mass violence. Man rebuilt and recovered whatever they could in the centuries that followed. Wounds, for the first time, began to scar over.

The Great War is many generations in the past now, but the whispers of bloodshed once more begin to whisper into the ears of leaders. No longer are noble families so widely accepted as the masses recognize the power they command to depose them. The Conclave, a powerful magical society founded early in the Great War, seeks to control and regulate all magic to prevent another Fall while their Inquisitors hunt down free mages and magic guilds across Ara'niel. The orbs holding the daemons are beginning to crack. Powerful creations of Kar'Kaish are born into few children, giving them unique and terrifying power to use and abuse to further brew conflict in annoying times of peace. Humanity has been at peace for a long time, but peace is only ever a position on the precipice of a crumbling pillar above a sea of war and destruction.

RP versus RPG: A Stance on Numbers
Very early on we have taken a stance against using numbers to define actions or systems that we create for RoKK. There is no HP, no MP, no EXP, no stats, no numerical levels of proficiency. Everything is qualitative or relative. Any numbers that are written in exist only as a skeletal frame, a reference to put a concept into a quantitative perspective for the mind to render qualitatively. Thus, there is never a 'game' aspect, there is only story.

The Prominence of Man
What likely sets RoKK apart from other fantasy settings is that only humans and magically derived (See: experimented upon) abhumans exist. There are no elves, no dwarves, no goblins or orcs, and though a menagerie of species exist, there are no dragons or other such beasts.

Divinity
Divinity in RoKK is all about belief. Except for Kar'Kaish and the Life and Death Gods, divine beings are brought about when mortals want or need something so badly that they wish a being were to exist to grant them such things. Such created gods are only as powerful as the amount of belief they gain and are bound to the aspect they were born to represent. They are able to expend the belief vested in them to influence events or individuals, whether by curse or blessing, to give their followers what they ask, which in turn cause more to believe. Created gods who no longer have followers are forgotten and roam as wanderers to try and use the last remnants of their power to gain followers once more.

Magic
Magic in RoKK is purely the manipulation of mana, as an energy, to cause an effect. There are no spells such as "fireball" or "magic missile" or "feather fall". Mages form mana into a base, then form effects from mana that they apply to the base, and then let loose from their control. For elemental magic, they must also derive elemental power from their natural surroundings or from objects that have somehow absorbed elemental power. However, magic is far from fun and games: in addition to the hostile political world that mages live in, mana itself detests being controlled and seeks to feedback whatever attempts to force it into control. Luckily, mages are able to channel such feedback into other objects, negating certain death or disfigurement.

Character Possibility
Anyone can be anything they want within RoKK, as long as its possible and they do it well. A player character can start as a lowly peasant to later find themselves commanding an army or a nation. However, such advancement must be gained, whether it be naturally through epic tales, or allowed as a benefit of great skill in storytelling and loyalty in activity. Still, not everyone is cut out to be a general of armies, and players (or their characters) who are not serious or cannot deal with such things will logically never possess such a title.

Originality
We strive for originality in RoKK. It's apparent that there's not a whole lot that can be completely original in this day and age, but either we come up with concepts that we believe are original and are ignorant to their presence elsewhere, or we take concepts and change them until they resemble barely anything of their former selves. Logic is applied to everything we do, and both the how and why are explained. We also possess our own original world map thanks to one of our artistic members.

Current Status
Right now there's only a small group developing the project who are also the only players. I'm currently afraid of letting more people in only to lose them later because there's so little right now. Freeform RP and RP battles within the world are allowed, and a number of campaigns are being planned. The world's history is fleshed out though there are large gaps, and the political map is nearly bare. However, there's a lot more fluff than what's posted here: This is a condensed, summarized, paraphrased form of what we have developed.

Future Plans
We plan to develop RoKK into what is essentially a Massively Multiplayer Online Forum Roleplaying website that takes place in a persistent world, the mechanics of which will be applied with java or flash applications that allow interactive browsing of the world map and local maps that lead to forums for roleplaying. Everything will be managed by a staff of GMs that make sure players don't try to hijack the story.
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