Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls
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Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls
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03-11-2013 04:13 PM
Post: #11
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



David Offline
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Good question. There are numerous types of Magic on the world of Calydorn and the Cosmos in which it floats. Much of this is uncertain speculation on the parts of the ignorant masses who inhabit the Seven Worlds.

Many academies of magic have opposing views and see things differently, but here I will describe the magical lore which is most commonly agreed by the learned scholars and philosophers of Calydorn. I will quote some parts from the background, and summarize others, as well as add some additional points.

The first factors to consider are that mythologically the Cosmos is composed of Elemental matter and Keraunic energy.

At the edge of the Material Plane, reality diverges into two distinct forms – the five Elemental Planes and the innumerable Aethernatos Realms.

There are now 6 elemental planes (since the birth of Darkness)
The 4 primary planes earth, air fire and ice all surround the material Plane, which lies at the centre. One could imagine that the Plane of Ice lies to the north of the Material Plane and the Plane of fire to the south. Above is the Plane of Air and below the Plane of Earth. Each primary plane faces it's diametric opposite. To either side is the Plane of Shadow. Darkness grows at the outer rim of the cosmoss and seeps in through the crack, jostling with Shadow.

Again, at the centre rests the Material Plane which contains the worlds, moons and suns etc. The Material Plane is considered to be the result of the mixing of the 5 original elements.

Now existing concurrently with this is a completely separate form of reality - the Aethernatos Realms.

Girdling it like the layers of an onion are the Aethernatos Realms, forming thousands of mirror images of the central plane. Resounding like an echo through the chasms of existence, these dimensions are said to stretch all the way to the edge of the cosmos, where reality meets infinity, though no mortal has ever returned with his sanity intact to confirm or deny such.

Anchored equidistantly around the reality shell of the cosmos are the twelve Grammata – mystical nodes radiating the very fabric of existence itself. The twelve powers emanated by the Grammata are called the Keraunoi, and where these emanations converge, realms are woven into being. The ephemeral outer realms, woven from just two strands of Keraunoi, manifest as vague and mercurial existences; while toward the core of the cosmos, where many of the twelve powers have bonded, solid realms of reality take shape. Shimmering at the centre of the cosmos is the Grand Conjunction – the Material Plane – the glorious combination of all twelve Keraunoi, so finely interwoven that the individual powers can be sensed only by powerful sorcerers.

Mortals strut out their insignificant, three-dimensional lives upon the stage of a single Plane, oblivious to the walls of their prison; walls which to Immortals represent mere veils through which one may slide with ease. Towering above Mortals are the gods and devils, which by their very nature, tread the skies of countless dimensions simultaneously. Conversely, the ghosts of the dead are beings struggling to manifest in merely two or three dimensions.

In some manner, the Aethernatos Realms bestraddle the elemental planes, rather as light may exist simultaneously with sound; so that the elements and the Keraunoi are two independent forces which cannot ordinarily interact. In fact, the Material Plane is the only place where the twelve Keraunoi and the five elements preside together.

Those able to channel the powers of the Keraunoi are called Sorcerers.
Those who wield the power of the five elements are known as Mages, and conversely,

In the West the great mystic-masters of the fallen Gnostic Cabal sought to comprehend the entirety of existence, and they theorized that all matter consisted of combinations of elemental atoms. They believed that the five types of atoms were bound together by the 12 Keraunoi and that the various combinations of atoms and Keraunoi formed all the unique solids, liquids and gasses of the Material Plane.

The Cosmic Puzzle
It is common knowledge among sorcerers and mages that the elements and the Keraunoi cannot interact with each other directly, and perhaps the most ancient and potent secret of all the cosmos’ mystic arts is the esoteric process enabling these two independent forces to be combined. Several of the firstborn Jotuns are said to have been taught this reality altering magic by the Mother of the Cosmos at the dawn of time. Vast and prolonged rituals are required to shift both forces into a third, mutually interactive form of power; most of these rituals require months or years, and at any point the entire process can be ruined by a misstep. At the culmination of the rites, sacred symbols are inscribed which activate the enchantments. These symbols are known as the runes.

So we have:
Elemental magic which derives from the power on the 6 elemental planes.
Sorcery, which is manipulation of the 12 Keraunic powers which form the cosmos.
Runic Magic which is a combination of both forces.

Next we have the powers of numerous immesely powerful entities - Gods and Demons. This magic results not only from the gods/demons but also from theire relationship with Mortals. It seems that gods and Mortals have a sort of symbiotic relationship and Demons a similar parasitic relationship. The Gods have been great movers in the mythical ages of the cosmos and during the Asraedian Age (40,000 BSC to 22,000 BSC) they gained individuality, emerging as masters of some certain aspect of life - Hunting, fertility, war, art, love, peace, strength, etc. Every aspect of the lives of Mortals is encompassed by one or more gods, who congregated into nine separate pantheons. (listed on p47 of the Background book).

The Magic of the Halodynes derives 100% from the gods they worship. this magic is not merely the gods granting requests, its a lot more subtle and complex than that.

As each god is worshipped, its power grows. In effect the god becomes inflated by the power of its worshippers. This power forms in a field around the god, which the Halodynes call the "logos". Each Logos is divided like a spectrum into the key defining aspects of that god. For axample, Maenandros has the aspects Wine, Feasting and Frenzy, so within each aspect are mythic feats and skills. these can be drawn upon by priestesses and used to alter reality. these are losely called "spells", but called also be called "prayers" or "´Miracles" or "Divine Magic". In this way a god can only offer his worshippers spells which relate to his field of expertise or his mythical deeds.

Normal people can also access the Logos of a god through prayer. Not all prayers are answered or even heard; many factors influence the outcome including how strong the faith-bond is between worshipper and deity, how weighty the matter at hand is, how worthy the individual is and how earnestly he prays, not to mention attentiveness of the deity in question. A lazy farmer who prays every day for more his crops is unlikely to ever be heard, but a renowned hero with a lifetime of colorful exploits who is defiantly battling against the odds to save his city will surely be looked upon favorably. Indeed, the gods find some individuals such wonderful play-things that they maintain a constant watch upon them. Worthy individuals can therefore often enjoy some form of divine intervention, but altering the natural flow of reality takes a considerable toll on deities who are consequently reluctant to right every little wrong in the cosmos. The fate of a devout man is also subject to the fickle whims of the gods, for they may grow bored or take offense at some imagined slight.

Demonic magic works in exactly the same way as divine Magic, except they give less back and take more.

Necromancy is a macabre and twisted form of Sorcery. But that's a separate subject. Essentially it is enslaving the souls of the dead and re-animating dead flesh with Keraunic power instead of life-force. But of course there is a lot more to it than that, since it involves breaking the natural order of life-forms in the Cosmos.

Life-force brings us to the final power of the Cosmos. Life-force is some form of energy or spirit created by the mother of the Cosmos (Dhannya) or the father of the cosmos (the Urghast) depending on your view. This power animates all life-forms such as plants and animals. Like the cosmos it moves in a circle of birth-change-death or birth-growth-death. This form of power is manipulated by Animist magicians, and is essentially a type of nature magic. The Wyldfolk Tuathan use this power.

Lastly there are the Dreamspinners of the Golden Age who claim that all of reality is only the dream of Dhannya and that the coming of demons was an invasion of that dream by another force. They believe that the celestial Death was not the true death of the goddess Dhannya, but was instead a collapse of consciousness as she became trapped within her own dream, unable to awaken. Dreamspinners seems to on to something because there are many who claim their magic works. They claim to cause changes in the Cosmic Dreamtime, which then effect reality (normally with a few days or weeks delay).

There are tales of a few other forms of magic throughout the historical and mythological ages such as the Akashic Knights of the Gnostic Cabal, but the above are the primary forms of magic on Calydorn.

There is actually more to be said about each of the above types of magic, but I think that's enough for this post :-)
(This post was last modified: 03-12-2013 10:49 AM by David.)
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03-12-2013 07:15 AM
Post: #12
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



tmastgrave Offline
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Thanks for the great explanation. So, from what I'm reading, there are a few primary forms of magic:
Sorcery - the manipulation of Keraunic energy
Mage magic? (not sure what to call it) - the manipulation of the elements
Runic Magic - Combination of the previous two
Derived Magic - magic drawn from gods or demons (I'm assuming they have an innate magical essence that is fueled by their worshippers?)
Life Magic - the manipulation of the essential life-force of existence
and Necromancy - Corrupted sorcery
Along with a few other possible forms of magic

I think I can probably guess what elemental magic is (at least the basics) and how it works, but I'm not clear on sorcery. From what I can tell the Keraunoi are fundamental principles of the cosmos? Is this like gravity, momentum, entropy, order, etc? Or something else? I'm not really clear on what the Grammata are, except that there... pillars that hold up to cosmos? Is that a good way to put it?

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03-12-2013 11:56 AM
Post: #13
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



David Offline
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I will amend your summary slightly. these are the primary types of Magic in the Godslayer Cosmos.

Sorcery - the manipulation of Keraunic energy
Elemental Magic - the manipulation of the 6 elements
Runic Magic - Combination of the previous two
Derived Magic - magic drawn from gods or demons (drawing on the Logos of each god created by the innate magical power of the deity, and fueld by its worshippers)
Animistic Magic - the manipulation of the essential life-force of existence
Necromancy - Corrupted sorcery & corrupted Animistic magic
Shamanism - appeasing, summoning, binding and controlling of various types of nature spirits and other supernatural creatures. The Warlocks of the Kassobar Khanate took this form of magic to its extreme, binding ancient entities from earlier earlier cosmic cycles of time, especially creatures called Djinn, Efreet etc.
Dreamweavers - Manipulation of reality through the Cosmic Dreamtime


Regarding the "Keraunoi", this is the name commonly used to describe these 12 magical forces of sorcery, and derives from the Gnostic Cabal's word for them. However, Sorcerers of other cultures call them Sephiroth, Sepherata, Qi, Chi, Heka, the Mystic Rainbow and by many other names.

From the Background book:
Anchored equidistantly around the reality shell of the cosmos are the twelve Grammata – mystical nodes radiating the very fabric of existence itself. The twelve powers emanated by the Grammata are called the Keraunoi, and where these emanations converge, realms are woven into being. The ephemeral outer realms, woven from just two strands of Keraunoi, manifest as vague and mercurial existences; while toward the core of the cosmos, where many of the twelve powers have bonded, solid realms of reality take shape. Shimmering at the centre of the cosmos is the Grand Conjunction – the Material Plane – the glorious combination of all twelve Keraunoi, so finely interwoven that the individual powers can be sensed only by powerful sorcerers.

The Material Plane drinks in the twelve radiated powers, blocking each one of the Keraunoi from passing through it, and thereby creating individual zones of shadow for each of the twelve powers. These shadow-regions surround the Material Plane and each resembles the central plane closely, for these neighboring realms all lack but one of the twelve mystic powers. These twelve realms appear almost as mirror images of the Material Plane but possess a dreamlike, insubstantial quality. They are known as the Mytherion Realms to their denizens or as the "Otherworld" to superstitious Mortal races.


Here dwell the Fey Races in their greatest concentration. The Feylands of Calydorn were also once part of the Otherworld, but in a cosmic catastrophe created by the Wu Wei sorcers, parts of reality were exchanged with the Otherworld, and so portions of Calydorn a missing one of the 12 Keraunoi and possess a dreamlike nature, and where the forces of reality are bent.

The vegetation of these lands is that of the Aethernatos realm of Nhaar, from which they originate. Plants grow in various shades of purple, while flowers are predominantly green and blue. Because they lack one of the 12 Keraunoi emanations which combine to form the Material Plane, these Fey realms possess a dreamlike and insubstantial quality. The laws of nature do not always apply within; gravity, motion, and dimensions are variable. Water may run upstream; rain may fall into the sky; and opposing winds can create standing walls of air. Even time is variable; days can last for months or months can last for days.
Sorcerers of Calydorn say the 10 magical Keraunoi are essentially all the same but with slight variation. It could be compared to light being passed through a prism. Light is still light, but is can possess different wave-lengths. The Fey races (Aetherions, fairies etc.) can manipulate the Keraunoi as part of their very nature.

Keraunoi of the Mystic Rainbow
Kethyr - (Power of cosmic Space)
Chomkah - (Power of Gases)
Binath - (Power of Liquids)
Ceshron - (Power of Solids)
Gevarhu - (Power of Rays and Waves)
Tipheret - (Power of Time)
Nezham - (Power of Consciousness)
Hrod - (Power of Will)
Mankon - (Power of Perception)
Yesitho - (Power of Emotions)
Avrakh - (Power of Infinity)
Shigah - (Power of Unity)

These forces make up reality and inside the Material Plane, where they act as forces which bind combinations of the 5 primary elements together, forming all the mundane materials people know.

So when a Sorcerer casts a spell creating an illusion, he is manipulating all 12 Keraunoi but primarily the one known as Mankon which affects perception.
A spell causing of a blast of energy would primarily use the force Gevarhu.
A spell dominating the willpower of another would focus on Hrod.
A spell slowing down time would use Tipheret.
A Spell causing fear would consist more of Yesitho.

And so on.

The greatest of Mortal Sorcerers were the Wu Wei, but their ancient lore was preserved and passed down through the ages. Druids of the Wyldfolk also use the Keraunoi as a part of their magic (they combine divine magic with bits of sorcery, elemental magic and Animistic magic), and discovered that the the Keraunic powers form concentrations, making a grid pattern criscrossing the world of Calydorn. They erected Ogham Megaliths to boost and store this power.

So that's the basic concepts of how magic works in Godslayer.
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03-12-2013 05:51 PM
Post: #14
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



tmastgrave Offline
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I think I missed shamanistic magic entirely, and I thought that dream magic was included in those 'other possible but unverified' forms of magic. Are we going to see these in the game in any way? From what I've seen so far it sounds like Elemental Magic, Keraunic Magic, Animistic Magic, Derived Magic, and Necromancy are going to be those that playable factions generally manipulate. Is that right? I've always been fond of the concept of dream-magic, and it appears in some form in most of the background writing I do, whether for my own projects or for others.
I like the combination of both Gnostic and Qabalic concepts that I see in the Keraunic magic, and some of them have obvious applications. However, what kind of practical spells would come out of Avrakh, Shigah, and Kethyr? Would Kethyr be primarily magic for transportation? And possibly Shigah inherently used in combining one creature with another?

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself. - Kahlil Gibran
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03-14-2013 01:53 AM
Post: #15
The nature of the shadowtrolls and Magic



David Offline
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From what I've seen so far it sounds like Elemental Magic, Keraunic Magic, Animistic Magic, Derived Magic, and Necromancy are going to be those that playable factions generally manipulate. Is that right?

For the moment yes.

We do have tentative plans for further factions, but the priority is to finish Wave-1 (all models in the rulebook) and then another 72 models/units wave-2 (being play-tested now) before releasing further factions. If and when that occurs, some of these other types of magic would probably be included. Some might be included in other publications, such as a possible RPG. We wanted to have a comprehensive background which would enable us to add future factions and games to the Godslayer world without artificially adding big sections of background or even worse - reworking existing background.

However, what kind of practical spells would come out of Avrakh, Shigah, and Kethyr? These are more abstract and would be part of many spells which are less tangible. Avrakh - (Power of Infinity) would also be part of making spells permanent. Shigah - (Power of Unity) would be primary inspells which heal or bind things together, and would also be a factor in spells which use multiple powers.

Would Kethyr be primarily magic for transportation?
That would be the primary force for any spells related to spacial dimensions and locations, such as crushing, teleportation, moving objects, etc.

In order to make a realistic world with detailed and unique cultures, we drew on a lot of different sources. We want each culture to be iconic, and the various magic systems mentioned above were one way give them an individual feel.
(This post was last modified: 03-14-2013 01:54 AM by David.)
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03-14-2013 06:29 AM
Post: #16
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



tmastgrave Offline
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From what I've seen so far you've definitely succeeded. I'm a little jealous actually, the project I'm working on right now isn't nearly this far along. I can't wait to get the rulebook box and look through the books.

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself. - Kahlil Gibran
If you have a moment consider checking out http://tobiasmastgrave.wordpress.com/
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005AZZZ9G
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03-14-2013 07:49 PM
Post: #17
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



tmastgrave Offline
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David, I run a blog that provides exercises and advice for creative writers and background writers, and we're actually in the middle of a series on how to develop a magical system for a fantasy world. Would you guys mind if I emailed you some questions concerning the magic in Calydorn and how you developed it, and then posted the interview on my blog?

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself. - Kahlil Gibran
If you have a moment consider checking out http://tobiasmastgrave.wordpress.com/
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005AZZZ9G
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03-15-2013 03:54 PM
Post: #18
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



David Offline
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No problem tmastgrave. I am happy to help.

If anyone has any questions about factions background, model backgrounds, hitsory, geography or other fluff, you are very welcome to ask here on the forum.

I also like receiving ideas and suggestions too :-)
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03-16-2013 04:28 AM
Post: #19
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



tmastgrave Offline
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Great! I'll put together a list of questions and email them to you. Thanks.

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself. - Kahlil Gibran
If you have a moment consider checking out http://tobiasmastgrave.wordpress.com/
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005AZZZ9G
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07-11-2014 05:15 AM
Post: #20
RE: Fluff: The nature of the shadowtrolls



Maximus XIII Offline
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(02-27-2013 01:57 PM)Raoul Wrote:  You're welcome to write background stories. I do the same Smile

Would you mind sharing some of those stories? Especially the ones for your Troglodyte warbands :-)

(02-27-2013 01:57 PM)Raoul Wrote:  Besides, who knows: at some point we might suddenly get a Godslayer RPG, and then there will be vast amounts of fluff about all the things yet untold. Big Grin
consider this a very early pre-order for that ;-)



I do have some questions about the shadow trolls and the way they work together (fluff wise) with the normal troglodytes. Since their very presence on this plain is an accident that happened because of an inbalance, how do the normal trogs see them? Shouldn't they see them as an abomination? Something not intended to exist on this plane, and thus shouldn't. Or is it more as a 'with the birth of darkness, and it being a serious danger to existence, the twilight has caused the breach of the shadow trolls. Balance must and shall be achieved, even if we must create inbalance to do so'. Kind of a fight fire with fire sort of thing.

On the other hands i imagine gnolls with shaking knees offering gifts to please the shadow trolls. They are scary!!!! Especially for a coward that need as many bodies as it can get. So how do these two work together? I imagine shadow trolls being subtle and sneaky, but not power hungry. Power can be a tool, but never the goal. If that makes any sense.

What role do shadow trolls have in the feudal Troglodyte system? Religious / magical advisors?

p.s. if i'm making any errors in the fluff i do appologize. These questions are based soley on the fluff i read on the site.

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