The Nation of Urizen

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Altheus



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Join date : 2012-05-05

PostSubject: So many questions   Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:27 pm

Hi Darren! Very Happy

Pretty interesting stuff all this. About the cultures am I right in saying?:

Dawn: Arthurian Types
Marches: Normans
Wintermark: Fur-wearing northerners
League: Renaissance Types
Brass Coast: Arabian Nights
Highguard: Zealots
Navarr: Gypsies
Varushka: Slavs
Urizen: "Elven" Wizards
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Delvy



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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:05 pm

The Brass Coast

“Life is short — let it never be dull!”

The Freeborn of the Brass Coast are travellers, traders, lovers and poets. They are exotic and flamboyant; when they laugh their humour is infectious and without spite, when they love they do so with a passion that is without guile and when they’re angry, their wrath is like a summer storm – terrible to behold but swift in passing. To be Freeborn is to be driven by a hunger for life, to see the world, to taste every delicacy, sample every wine and tell every tale. Success is measured in wealth, family and influence, not out of greed, but for the joy success brings.

Their wagons and ships cross the world bringing exotic spices, exquisite fabrics and cut gems that command the finest prices. While others see them as brazen and mercurial, their honesty is without arrogance, for to aggrandise the self is vulgar, while to praise the deeds of another is an art. Their tales are bawdy enough for a common tavern and grand enough for a lordly court alike and can fill a room with laughter, tears or gasps of horror.

The Freeborn prize individual freedom and responsibility, although they are capable of serving a cause, they have little respect for authority. Pompous or self-important individuals, especially those who think that titles and positions have made them important are ridiculed on the Brass Coast. Respect is earned; it cannot be bought or appointed.

They are infamous for their corsairs who operate throughout the bay of Catazar. These daring privateers risk everything ensuring that the Empire’s enemies are unable to threaten her shores and earning a fortune in gold in the process. It is a dangerous life but one that perfectly suits the reeborn passion for high adventure.

They are the Freeborn and they believe that while life may be short, it should never be dull!

The Freeborn look is one of bright colours, silks, jewels and sumptuousness. They admire
ornate or bejewelled items.

Dawn

“Great deeds are eternal.”

Few lands espouse the heroic ideal in quite the same way the Dawnish do. When people think of the Dawn they imagine her favoured sons and daughters, the nobility arrayed in armour, weapons drawn, eagerly seeking battle. Before them stand the minstrels, singing the epic lays of past heroes. And behind them, the war wizards, giving their strength to the battle.

Knights-errant travel the land, seeking an opportunity to prove themselves and achieve glory. Their nobility give battle in the tourney to judge who is fit to rule. The people turn their eyes on the enemies of the Empire, seeking victory and renown.
Alone amongst the nations of the Empire, the Dawn has never given up land to the barbarians. But the aspiration to achieve great things is not just found on the battlefield. Every Dawnish feels that same urge, this is a nation that eats and drinks glory.

Great men and women may be forgotten. Great deeds are eternal.

Dawn is the land of valour; the classical images of gleaming plate, of brightly coloured banners and traditional heraldic devices provide the imagery for the nation.

Highguard

“The Empire is our destiny”

The Highborn are a proud people and that pride is rooted deeply in the belief that they are the architects and guardians of human destiny. The history of Highguard is the rejection of corruption and the pursuit of virtue. As a consequence the Highborn have been instrumental in forging the Empire, they hold themselves to the highest ideals, to epitomize Imperial Virtues, to reflect the noble obligations of leadership and thereby to embody the very spirit of the Empire. Their destiny is to drive the barbarians from the land and unite all humankind; they will accept nothing less.

The chapters, the great stone settlements in which most Highborn dwell, are scattered across the plains that lie between Urizen and the Bay of Catazar. Many are built on holy sites; places that resonate with virtue, or sites of great battles in the historic wars that wrested control of the land from the Barbarians. All are heavily fortified, with granite quarried from the southern mountains, for the Highborn will brook no expense to protect what is theirs. “Wood burns, stone endures” is an old Highborn aphorism that says much about their perspective.

Although the First Empress put aside her nationality when she united the Empire, the Highborn consider their nation the proud parent of the Empire, and themselves to be its founders, tutors and guardians. They protect the Empire with their armies, guide its hand in the Senate and guard its soul in the Synod; perhaps most important of all, they keep the Imperial Histories to record and tell of the deeds that make the Empire great.

The League

“A street map? You need much more than a map of the streets to navigate this city my friend.
There are rules to this city, break them and the Camorra will break you.”


Tales of the Catazarri cities have been made famous by balladeers – rival theatre houses and rival gangs, savage duels across rooftops, strange secrets in the depths of canals and sunken streets that only the Merrow boatmen have mapped. Grand cons; high politics; Free Companies and the bitter clash of powerful Camorra. The Church of the Little Mother, feeding the orphans of countless border wars – children who might themselves become the Merchant Princes and Princesses of tomorrow.

This is the League of Catazarria; and if the four great rivers that run down to the Bay of Catazar are the veins of this nation, carrying the lifeblood of coin and trade, then its cities are the beating hearts – Catazarri are city-folk through and through. Do not think them soft, however! The Catazarri are a driven people, carving a realm from the floodplains that now begins to span the Empire. From the wealthiest moneylender to the loudest street bravo, they are sharp as steel, quick-witted and ready to seize the moment.

The League of Catazarria is rich. Fine fabrics showing the wealth and style of merchant-princes. Rich silks in the south and fur trim for the northern cities of Temeswar and Holberg. It is opulent not ostentatious, a purposeful show of wealth and power.

The Marches

“Pride in small things, loyalty to great ones”

The Marches: Hearth and home; loyalty and land. Rivalry, pride and a nation of traditions. Sentinel hills, silent marshes, and standing stones that mark the roads to Elsewhere. Generation to generation tilling the good, dark earth as their forebears did and reaping the harvests that feed all the Empire.

For centuries the Marcher Households have marched with the Empire’s armies, reliant not so much on magic or shining faith, but on the strength of their arms, the courage of their hearts, and the knowledge that they fought for the green fields of home.

Old folk tell of glorious conquest in their grandsires’ time, of defeat in their own, and hope for victory in years to come. Lanes once clogged with refugees in unfamiliar colours see change come to the Marches, change born in fire and darkness. The woodsman and the smith turn their hands to things of war. The merchant’s clerk lists supplies for the baggage train. Those granted stewardship remember wicker men. Those who choose to follow know the power of sacrifice. Those versed in lore, revisit darker magics. The ceremonies of the harvest are marked with blood.

The Marches is the sleeping giant of the Empire. Enemy boots churn up the rich soil, as the dog days of Summer give way to the cold dawn of Autumn – and to war.

The nation draws strongly on English history from the 12th century through to the War of the Roses for costume, weaponry and armour.

Navarr

"Actions have consequences”

Self-appointed guardians of the realm, the Navarr roam the forested places of the Empire keeping a careful watch, treading paths that no others will dare.

Brave warriors clad in leather and fur charge screaming into battle wielding barbed spears. Warlocks fuel magic with the visceral power of blood. Warleaders defend their communities and protect the Empire from the darkness in the heart of the forests. Wise elders guide the people on their migrations along the ancient Trods. Brokers negotiate trade, and help people to reach their destination. The people of the Navarr are as varied as the trees that shadow their daily lives.

If you were asked to find Navarr on a map you might point with one finger, or many. It matters not. Their domain is the places in between, the wild, the forgotten and the corners best avoided. Parents still frighten their children with macabre stories of the deep, twisted forests; this is where the Navarri walk.

The Navarri consider themselves crucial to the survival of the Empire. It is not the forest they protect from you… it is you they protect from the forest.

Varushka

“Bar your door and do not open it before the sunrise."

Varushka is a land of dark magics and dark tales. Monsters lurk in the sunless spaces of the forests that spread from one horizon to the next. The roads are warded to keep travellers safe, best you take that to heart, keep to your business and keep to the path.

Boyars rule their dominions with more power than any ancient king ever had. Wise ones nurture their people, teach them right from wrong and help them fend off the terrors of the night. Itinerant wizards, the Volhov, make everyone’s business their own. Authority comes in many forms in Varushka, sometimes brutal and uncompromising, sometimes subtle and unnoticed.

The land may be dangerous, but it is also rich. It is famous for its high quality furs, creating cloaks, robes and mantles in a range of colours and styles that mean many consider Varushkan fur the only fur to wear.

Varushka is the iron in the Empire’s laws, unyielding, uncompromising and they do what must be done to keep their land strong.They are the Empire’s bones. They endure all and still they prosper.

Wintermark

“The storms can never break us.”

The Winterfolk live in the most inhospitable terrain the Empire has to offer – they stare death in the face every day without blinking. The Winterfolk are implacable foes, who stand unshakable in the face of the Empire’s enemies. For the people of the Wintermark, strength in battle is a joy and a good death is is the best one can hope for.

The Winterfolk consist of three peoples, the Suaq, the Steinr and the Kallavesi, bound together by an ancient oath.

The Suaq homeland is in the extreme north on shifting ice floes and permanent bergs.
They are consummate survivors who use every part of the kill and take nothing for granted. Most are hunters, scouts or guides, who spend much of their time travelling the icy wastes, ever watchful against the creatures out there in the cold.

The Kallavesi are mystics whose traditional homeland lies in and around a great cold marsh. They provide the nation’s spiritual backbone, acting as prophets, sages and guardians of the dead.

The Steinr are warriors, smiths and artisans, equally at home facing down invading hordes or creating things of beauty and purpose. They are the strength of the Winterfolk.

In Wintermark you are judged on every deed. It is a land of ancient mysteries and obscure riddles. It is a land where men and women stand steadfast against the cold and know that sometimes there is no-one to rely on but yourself. This is a nation where a warrior faces down an enemy chieftain, knowing she’ll be outflanked in the process, but knowing that her courage will turn the tide of the battle. In Wintermark there's a firm belief that if only the other nations followed their example, the Empire would rule the world.

The Way of Virtue (the Imperial Religion)

Ambition, Courage, Loyalty, Pride, Prosperity, Vigilance and Wisdom

The Way of Virtue – often simply known as The Way – is the dominant and pre-eminent religion of the Empire. It found its birth amongst the Highborn and was adopted across the Empire at the Founding, though its roots go back to the very Dawn of Time, and it is one of the forces that binds the Empire together.

At its core, The Way of Virtue teaches:
Human flesh is perishable but human spirits are immortal. After death, the spirit must traverse the Labyrinth of Ages before being reborn through reincarnation.
The journey from death to rebirth is not instantaneous, and passage through the Labyrinth of Ages is influenced by how virtuous a soul is.
The Way of Virtue comprises the Seven Paths of Virtue each of which prospers the individual in life, enhances the purity of their spirit, and speeds their reincarnation through the Labyrinth of Ages.
Other virtuous qualities may be laudable, but they do not aid you in the Labyrinth of Ages. Some may actively hinder your passage.
Individuals who have attained sufficient purity of spirit, predominantly through perfection of a Virtue, pass through the Labyrinth of Ages unhindered to Enlightenment and are never again reborn. These individuals are called Paragons.
Individuals who embody, or illustrate, a particular Virtue, or Virtues, are called Exemplars and are considered to be strongly on the path to becoming a Paragon, if indeed their spirit is not already ready.
There is no expectation that every Imperial Citizen be an Exemplar or Paragon, though that is the eventual goal of The Way. For the majority it is sufficient to be aware of the Seven Paths of Virtue and how they influence your life so you can pass through the Labyrinth of Ages.
There are some Priestly Ceremonies that benefit from dedication to a single Virtue. As a result, dedication is only normally practiced by some Priests and individuals who aspire to be Exemplars of that Virtue.
Only human spirits reincarnate. As a consequence of this, humans – especially the Citizens of the Empire who follow The Way of Virtue – are the greatest agents in Creation and are inherently superior to non-humans.

The Way of Virtue is promoted and protected by The Imperial Synod, comprising Priests of all Nations, and is shaped by the Imperial Theology.
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Altheus



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Join date : 2012-05-05

PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:00 pm

Really interesting and evocative. My impression is of an umbrella empire trying to hold together wide, disparate people and managing purely based on the players ability to stay friends. Hopefully they can't and we're in for a "end of the roman empire" story with the barbarians closing in Laughing

Never actually played an Arthurian Knight so Dawn is quite interesting to me. A big, bright knee-length tabard and plenty of klinking armour would a fun departure from my usual romano-greek stuff. For the same splash of colour reason, Brass Coast and the League maybe, but I'm a bit burnt out by Brass Coast because it's so very LT Jackals faction and the League seems a bit orientated towards the money game and I've done that to death over the years.

I like the idea of the Varushka, partly because I really wanted to play a Fidelian at Maelstrom and it never happened. What I envisioned for my Fidelian feels like if anything it'd fit even better as a Varushka. (Very slavic, rustic and a great excuse to wear a huge fur cloak!)

Marches seem ok, if a bit drab. A bit Freiboden-esque maybe. I can see the appeal, but not really into that sort of culture. Navarr tbh isn't something I'm ever likely to play cause the ranger of the woods stereotype has always irked me.

Wintermark is impressive. Love the (Finno-Ugric I'm guessing?)-esque Kallavesi especially. Don't think I could pull it off though so they'll probably be like the LT Wolves faction to me. Impressive and something to admire from afar.

I feel like I don't really get the Highguard or how they fit into the scheme of things. If they're just the "lead culture", then I'm not sold. If they're the "holier-than-thou" culture to try and get all the other cultures to cooperate then that's worse. Hopefully there is more to them.

The little I know about the Urizen is intriguing, other than the aweful name. (I know William Blake too well) Rivendell-esque wisefolk is pretty cool, but if anything I'd like the direction to be pushed further and to bring in what I think of that sort of culture, namely bright celtic patterns, clothes very reminiscent of plantlife, maybe even a bit Changling the Dreaming-esque if you're familiar with the game.




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Altheus



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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:49 pm

I've read up about the monstering but how's it actually going to work? If the monsters are going to be non-humans (i.e. orcs) to the players empire humans isn't that going to involve a crazy amount of prosthetics, alternative kit etc. that players are going to be expected to bring, assuming that PD wouldn't have the resources to literally kit out half the system?
How is it actually going to get managed? I understand the idea of a social contract, but out of experience the bigger a system becomes, the harder it is to persuade players that they should be monstering and realistically I can't see how it'd be possible (or even possibly desirable) to enforce them.
A ticket system perhaps? But that would all seem a bit OOC and as I understand it PD (quite rightly) have always been very keen to keep OOC out of IC as much as possible to avoid plastic tokens syndrome.
Unless they're some clever solutions I'm missing?
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Camillius

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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:09 am

I don't think we'll see much influcence from nature/plants in Urizen's appearance simply because there is enough of that angle in other nations. Navarr in particular.

Urizen's appearance is more influenced I think from Tibetan Monastic styles.

The changling appearance can still be covered though.. thanks to the Eternals/Lineage side of the game.
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Altheus



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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:49 pm

So what's the link between Rivendel and Tibet?
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Camillius

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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:06 pm

Nothing I think other than that Urizen's appearance is inspired by both.
But we'll find out more when PD finally gets the wiki up and running..

Been a long wait, especially for Urizen as the only nation not to have a brief yet...
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Altheus



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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:43 pm

It sounds like Urizen is a bit still up in the air.
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Delvy



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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:46 pm

Urizen is not up in the air no. It was one of the last briefs to be completed of the nations but the brief is done. The art brief is being finalised but as we move them onto the wiki each of them is being revised anyway, and new images included.
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Altheus



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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:10 pm

Ah, thanks.

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Asherven

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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:53 pm

Altheus wrote:
I've read up about the monstering but how's it actually going to work? If the monsters are going to be non-humans (i.e. orcs) to the players empire humans isn't that going to involve a crazy amount of prosthetics, alternative kit etc. that players are going to be expected to bring, assuming that PD wouldn't have the resources to literally kit out half the system?
I've heard that PD bought something like 40 Orc masks for volunteers when monstering.
So PD will provide the critical prosthetics, but I'd assume the players will have to provide the rest of the costume.
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Delvy



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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:10 pm

400. Not 40.
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Asherven

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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:19 pm

My bad, I'd forgotten the precise number.
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Altheus



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PostSubject: Re: So many questions   Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:10 pm

That's impressive. If they're supplying the masks then bringing along some generic monstering kit to go with sounds more practical.
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