This is a world without humans, or at least humans as we think of ourselves. Instead, it is populated by a huge variety of anthropomorphic animals capable of varying degrees of intelligence, speech, and basic medieval level technology, such as swords and bows and arrows and the like. Some would have human-like hands with which to hold such weapons, some would not. Some would have giant teeth and claws, some would not. Some would be simple beasts living a simple life, some hostile predators, some peaceful, some dangerous, some kind. Variety really is the spice of life.
More fantastic elements, such as shape-shifting and magic, will also be a part of the world, but not so common-place that traditional weapons, claws, and forms of disguise would be useless.
This story will be adventure-focused, but not to the point that it’s all action with no character development, nor the other way around.
The known land of Suaka is actually a very large island (or perhaps a small continent). It is populated entirely by races of animal/human hybrids created by the same self-proclaimed ‘gods’ who created the world itself. It’s occupants have never taken to the ocean to chart the rest of the world, and consider their land mass to be the entirety of their world. They generally live with others of their own kind, and form their own societies of varying levels of organization.
A very rough map of Suaka, as well as (some) of its people can be found in this document.
Our story involves (primarily) four groups of peoples. They all overlap in the more temperate climates, and as such compete for resources and prey. This has historically caused friction between them, and three parties in particular have been long-time rivals. They’re not precisely at war (most of our animal cultures do not have this concept, or at least they didn’t used to) but they DO frequently have conflicts, which may or may not result in deaths, but which are usually battles over territory, or about stealing resources from the others. I will summarize them here:
The Wolf Clans are a loosely organized collection of clans grouped by subspecies (clans). They were summoned by the moon deity, and the clans regularly meet in a ceremony to honor their deity and to decide things which affect all of the clans together. Since they are quite widespread, each clan may be split into the actual packs which hunt and live together.
The Catfolk generally live together by geographical organization, rather than subspecies or organized clans/etc. They pride themselves on their culture, and tend to look down on the other societies as primitive. They were summoned by the moon deity as well, being predators, and have a system of government. They tend to live in villages. Their culture is somewhat unique, in that most species mingle and cooperate only with others of their specific kind.
The Bear Tribes are much more individualistic. While they gather as tribes, they spend most of their time alone or with immediate family. They do come together as tribes in order to raid the gatherings of the other (smaller) races, and are often considered bullies and thugs - although they are just as intelligent as the other dominant races. Being predators, they too are of the moon deity.
Lastly, there is the Avian Alliance. The birds of the land long ago realized they would forever be bullied by the larger, land-based races unless they cooperated. So was born the Alliance: an organized collection of bird species who might live apart, but work together for causes they can all agree on. Quite often they will act as spies, or more openly as diplomats and mediators. Their goal is to preserve a balance of power in the land. Depending on their species they may have been created by different deities, but the deity of the sky and stars is the most common.
When our story begins, a new development has threatened to destroy the balance of power. Influential leaders from the Bear Tribes and the Catfolk have come together with a shared idea: they would divide the land of Suaka between the two races, each side having its sovereign territory. There’s just one problem: there’s no room on that map for the Wolf Clans, who would now find themselves the target of aggression from both of their two rivals, and with no allies of their own. There is to be a meeting, where the leaders will hammer out the specifics of this agreement.
However there is a wrinkle: Either by their own means or the intervention of the Avian Alliance and its spies, the Wolf Tribes learn of this plot. When the wolf clans meet for their regular full-moon ceremonies, one clan comes up with an intriguing and devious idea: To solve this problem by sabotaging the negotiations. The Catfolk and Bear Tribes already hate each other, the wolves reason, so why not just add fuel to those flames and create more conflict in place of unity, until eventually the two groups weaken each other enough that the wolves can drive both of them from the face of the world?
However there is another wrinkle. The Alliance and their spies learn of this plot as well, and seek to foil it also. They would much rather have the predatory ground races continuing to fight each other than united under any individual banner. So, they bring together a group of individuals with specific skills they think they’ll need. Not just from among the bird races, but anyone they think would be useful. This group will work covertly to prevent war and maintain the (relative) peace and balance of power of the three races.
These will be our primary heroes. Brought together because of a shared belief that a large-scale war would be bad for the world and all of its races. Their challenge is two-fold: They don’t want the bears and cats to successfully ally against the wolves, but they don’t want the two openly warring with each other to their mutual destruction either. But will they have the skills and cunning to manage to hold the peace, even as all three races plot against it? Let’s find out…
The creators of this world were originally powerful mages and wizards from our Earth. However, they saw themselves becoming obsolete because of technology, explosive human population, and other factors. So, they came together to create their own world, and set themselves up as gods to the peoples they created to live there. Even taking names for themselves from the old gods and goddesses of Earth, they fully act the part and would be unlikely to ever confess that they were once mortal themselves.
They each had their area of influence in the world, but where they overlapped there was conflict. Unwilling to risk an open war between themselves (their powers are too great, and it would risk the destruction of the very world itself) they instead influenced their own specific favorite species - giving them intelligence, speech, teaching them (very) basic medieval technology (they don’t want advanced technology emerging after all) and even occasionally giving them magical “boons”, or magical abilities that give them an advantage over the other races.
As the magic of the world comes from these same powerful figures, a person gifted of magic would generally only practice one of the six “types” of magic, according to which deity had given them their powers.
Dyaus, the ‘god’ of the Sky and Stars, created an abundance of flying creatures to populate Suaka, and claims the right to rule over its skies. He often plays peacemaker, as he urges his followers to do as well, and is rumored to have been involved in the founding of the Avian Alliance. His magics are often protective and defensive. Though he frowns on war, he believes in justice.
Hadesis was made responsible for shaping the physical properties of Suaka, and his powers are most often associated with the ground, strength, solidity, insects, and burrowing or cave-dwelling creatures. He claims dominion over the land itself, and the low places of Suaka, and tends to the land still. His powers usually involve the ability to manipulate form and solid objects, and making things tougher and stronger, and shaping what could otherwise not be shaped. He believes in creating things that last.
Aphaea, the ‘goddess of life’ worked with virtually all the other deities, helping to create all forms of life. The one thing she had no part in was creating carnivores and predators. Her creatures live off the land, and it’s plant life, and do not need to kill others to live. She created plants out of a desire to feed all of the gods’ children, and is a nurturing and compassionate being. Her powers usually take the form of healing and growth, and sometimes manipulation of plants. She does not approve of the violence of the dominant races against each other, but believes the races must sort it out for themselves.
Nishakara, the ‘dark sister’ to Aphaea, is ‘Goddess’ of Night / Moon / Death. You would think that she and Aphaea would be enemies, but although their philosophies are very different they have mutually recognized that a balance between life and death (or “rebirth” and “renewal” as Nishakara calls them) keeps the rest of the world in balance too. She does not believe in immortality (except of course her own) and it was on her urging that the races of the world were made mortal, given a certain amount of time to live in the world before relinquishing their role to the next generation. She was influential in creating most of the predatory races, as she believes in the hunt, and that life takes on its greatest sweetness when death is always near. Her powers generally take the form of death and decay, or ‘renewal’ as she sees it - reclaiming the old and the dead to make room for new life.
Hephaestus, the ‘God’ of Fire and Chaos. Unlike Hadesis, he does not believe in permanence. Hephaestus believes in passion and consumption, in taking what you can. The concepts of balance and restraint seem needless foolishness to him, and just as a fire cleanses a forest ecosystem, he believes that lethargy and passiveness are best cleansed from the world. His powers, predictably, revolve around fire, heat, and acts of passion and self-aggrandizement.
Sagashahara - ‘Goddess’ of water, and the hidden realms. She has always believed that a world which is only what it appears, an unchanging world, is a boring one. She believes in the mystical, and her magic embraces the fact that reality is always more than what it appears. Like water - her favorite element- she is always changing form and her powers are centered around seeing the unseen, and thought being the source of matter -not the other way around. Those who seek her out have found that she can best be reached through meditation and a centered mind. It’s not that she believes she “rules” the ocean, merely that she takes a special interest in that world, and has little concern one way or the other about what happens on land or in the sky.
J Finch (MagicTurtle)
Scenes played: 6
License: Community License