Areas of Tolgalen
Hello and welcome to Tolgalen! Below are the various areas of the continent open for all to use in their RP experiences. The areas will be updated and changed periodically as Tolgalen is constantly changing and being explored. (OOC: sometimes we make mistakes and need to fix them.) Please feel free to use them and hopefully, they will fuel your RP adventures.
- Lunar Woods:
Far inland on Tolgalen is a rare patch of forest known only to very few. The forest is known as the Lunar Woods and for very good reason, during the day this forest is seemingly normal if not very dark due to the dense trees but when the moon arises the entire woods change completely. In the light of the moon, the woods become alive with light as everything in this forest is Bioluminescent and reacts to the moonlight. While it is not a very dangerous area there are many things in the woods that can catch unaware mages and humans off guard. Inside the forest are many things that actually use the bio-organic light as a way to catch prey or catch things off guard before attacking them. There are also many plants and animals that use their bio-organic light to mesmerize things to keep them from being harmed or to ward them off. Though many things in the woods are dangerous not all of them are. Many animals and plants are useful in the woods as medicine or natural remedies. Some creatures light can be used to ease one to sleep while some plants are useful not only for sleeping medicine but also curing very rare forms of poison. However, it's important to have a good sense of direction when in the woods night or during the day due to how confusing it can be at night and how dark it can be in the day time. Some say the woods can choose those that it likes and dislikes and will lead those that it dislikes astray never to return. To those of inhuman blood, these woods are considered very sacred ground and know to not fight or take anything from it without offering a thank you or an offering to the forest
In the center of Tolgalen, atop a mountain is a massive tree. A tree not only large enough to hold one entire village but two. This is Celestia, the Tree of Stars. The villages of High Branch and Homevale reside within its leafy confines. Homevale is set within the trunk of Celestia while High Branch has been built along the thickest branches high above the world. Celestia is 300 meters tall and its trunk at its widest is 70 meters. The roots of the tree dig into the mountaintop around it creating an impassible barrier. Only the specially constructed path can be used to reach Homevale. The tree of stars glitters when darkness falls over it. To anyone looking up, it appears as if the stars stream down to touch the highest point in Tolgalen. The largest of these apparent stars are the tsuki fruit. This fruit is a source of massive magical energy and its abilities/properties are why the people of Homevale and High Branch work together to protect it. Should the tsuki fruit ever fall into the wrong hands, entire villages could vanish off the face of Fiore in the blink of an eye.
The first line of defense for Celestia is as already stated the roots. The form an impassible barrier from below unless taking a specifically carved path in the only root that reaches down smoothly. That path can be controlled by Homevale. The root can curve, make itself longer or even change the stairs into a slide if need be. Every other root has a two defensive abilities. The first is the outer part of the root is very durable and hard. It makes putting anything into the root whatsoever quite hard. The second is the pure amount of heat the roots generate. Celestia requires large amounts of heat to be siphoned off and the outer part of the root is used to do so. The inner parts of the root carry nutrients from the ground that is transformed into a floating liquid substance called hoshi juice. Hoshi juice is used in the alcohol, healing salves, ointments, makeups, perfumes, colognes, incense, and oils made by Homevale. Each of these products has a special quality, thanks to the hoshi juice, and they are Homevale’s main export. One bottle or tub of these products is usually quite expensive. It is after all the stuff of the stars.
Homevale is considered to be the second line of defense for Celestia and the tsuki fruits. It resides within the hollow trunk of Celestia and supports a population of 3214 people. They have a small Home Guard of master mages who are used in the defense of Homevale. The Home Guard controls the pathway root and patrols the hollow of the trunk to check for holes that might need patching. The entire population is willing to jump to the defense of their home if need be. The center of the hollowed-out space is three columns that twist into one which leads to the top of the tree. Most of the housing is placed in the back of the hollowed-out space behind the column away from the entrance. Nearer to the entrance are the brewery, winery, apothecary, and beauty parlor. There are two collection centers on either side of the trunk. They each tap into three roots to collect the hoshi juice. There is a debate of a third one being built but at the moment nothing is in the works. Storage is near the entrance itself along with the shops for weapons, armor, food and other miscellaneous things.
The people of Homevale are leery of outsiders. This might be because they aren’t quite human in addition to wanting to keep people away from the tsuki fruit. Their skin is an unnatural white color, tinged with shades of blue. Their eyes are usually purple, blue or green. Their hair can be any cold color. Upon their arms and backs is a thick coat of fur. The fur is generally a dark blue color. They have retractable talons on their third and fourth fingers. They also have sharpened teeth. There are a few humans within Homevale but they are generally people who have earned the trust of the Homevalen. The third line of defense is a simple illusion coupled with the trunk itself. The illusion hides the path inside Homevale that will lead to High Branch. It is hidden within the column itself opposite of the entrance to the village itself. The illusion hides the entrance that is 3 meters off the ground. The trunk contributes to this defense because all the heat in the trunk is drawn toward the center. This is why Homevale can exist. Also with all the heat on the inside, the trunk becomes so cold most people will get frostbite simply from touching the bark. The bark is sometimes collected for special weapons but the extraction process must be handled very carefully.
High Branch lies among the branches of Celestia. It functions as the fourth and final defense if one counts the eight guardians as one with High Branch. High Branch is a small village of 300 people. The houses spread along the massive branches of Celestia. There are three massive forges built deep within the thickest branches to make use of Celestia’s inner fire. The people of High Branch are of all shapes and sizes. The only thing High Branch produces is weapons, elite warriors and mages. They trade their weapons in return for the goods they need. Anyone wanting training from High Branch is locked into a magically binding contract: five years defending the tsuki fruit and they can never tell anyone what they’ve learned nor may they ever touch the tsuki fruit. The weapons of High Branch are created from Celestia’s leaves. These leaves, in addition to the high altitude, are why it is difficult to penetrate Celestia’s defenses from the sky. Each leaf is made of a hard metal that burns with an inner holy fire. Scratches from these leaves deal holy poison damage. The craftsmen of High Branch have a special method to harvest and craft these leaves into lethal weapons. Some even incorporate hoshi juice to make the weapon lighter.
The branches leading to the tsuki fruit have space-bending lacrima implanted into them. The demi-planes created by these lacrima are all interconnected. That means you are required to defeat each of the eight guardians, each and every time you want to secure a tsuki fruit. The demi-planes are also places of healing connected to the guardians. If the guardian is defeated/killed, so long as they are in the demi-plane they are connected to they will regenerate. The people of High Branch will do their utmost best to put a guardian back in its demi-plane if it dies outside it. The order in which you fight the guardians will change every time you go for a tsuki fruit. This prevents someone from memorizing the order and preparing for such. The journey to the tsuki fruit is called the Path by the people of High Branch.
Tetalus, the original Siren Dragon, gave Cirven one of her eggs. He, in turn, handed the egg to the people of High Branch. That egg would become Trenatus, one of the eight guardians of the Path. He was raised by the people of High Branch and is fiercely loyal to them. Trenatus appears to be a rather small dragon of rainbow scales when he is first encountered. His spine is covered in a fin and his entire body seems more adapted to the water than the sky. His demi-plane looks like a peaceful lake surrounded by a thick lush forest. Trenatus is small enough to hide within the trees, given that he is the size of a large dog. His rainbow scales change colors giving him the ability of camouflage. He will hide and attack from cover if he is certain the person entering his domain is a threat. However, Trenatus can also change his shape into that of an ethereally beautiful man. His face still carries his scales and he still has his wings but besides those features, Trenatus looks to be human. In this guise, Trenatus lounges on the side of his lake. His hauntingly beautiful voice fills the air, muddling the senses of any who hear it for too long. Trenatus’ magic is tied into sound. He has a variety of attacks but his favorite are sound blasts and singing his opponents to sleep. Bones litter the bottom of his lake. They are those who underestimated this tiny foe.
Golgalor is a monstrous creature created through the use of the tsuki fruit. It was originally an octopus but with the infusion of the tsuki fruit’s magical power, it became a guardian of the Path. Golgalor was trained specifically to be a guardian. He is highly intelligent though he has no personality. There is only the bestial side of Golgalor. Golgalor has three heads, is 15 meters long and has twenty tentacles. His demiplane is completely saltwater. There is no land whatsoever within it. There are reefs well below the surface but most mages won’t go there. Mostly because the reefs are made of the bones of Golgalor’s victims. Golgalor is usually used as High Branch’s executioner which means there are many bones littering the floor of his seas. He is able to regenerate at an incredible rate making it difficult to kill him. On top of that, he can generate lightning with his heads. When they touch, it shots off a bolt of lightning but if they are kept together, they generate a lightning field that will paralyze Golgalor’s enemies. Galgalor can also shoot boiling hot water from the tips of his tentacles.
Hytabi was rescued by the people of High Branch and nursed back to health. In return, she offered to protect the tsuki fruit for all time. She is one of the few guardians who regularly leaves her post. For what, no one knows but Hytabi. Hytabi is a flying creature that is a mix of scorpion and crab. There is only one difference. She has no legs. From head to the tip of her tail, Hytabi is 5 meters long. Her claws are a meter in length each. Her demiplane is a ruined castle floating in the middle of the sky. This allows Hytabi to hide easily and ambush those who enter her domain. There are plenty of holes she can slip through that mages wouldn’t be able to fit an arm in. Hytabi isn’t magically gifted except in that she has extremely tough armor. Her tail also has a powerful poison that she constantly uses whenever she can. The poison not only drains away an opponent’s health, but it also has a psychedelic property that keeps them disoriented and confused. Hytabi will use her voice and sudden sounds to create fear within her victims. A leaf of from the Lunar Woods worn on the back of the neck marks you as a friend within Hytabi’s domain. However, she will speak with you from the shadows in order to keep herself safe. She doesn’t want to be stabbed in the back.
When the necromancer was put down, the people of Homevale found they could not kill his creation. Not because they couldn’t but because the necromancer trapped an intelligence within the bones. Arius thus became a guardian of the Path. He has regular visitors from Homevale, descendants of those who originally rescued him. To mark themselves as friends, the descendants carry the symbol of their families when they enter Arius’ domain. They are also the only people he lets freely into his domain. Arius’ demiplane is a series of small islands in the center of nothing but ocean. There are 20 islands in all and the largest is maybe 10 meters across. None are very tall either, allowing Arius the ability to attack anyone on any of the islands. Arius is a giant whale skeleton with a length of 16 meters and a width of 5 meters. He is deviously intelligent and likes to attack relentlessly then make it appear as if the opponent won before he is even at half health. His magic helps him do so. Arius can manipulate his bones to attack his opponents in any way he sees fit. One of his favorite methods is to summon up human skeletons from his ribs, sending hordes of enemies at his opponents. He also likes to transform into a very long thick snake skeleton. This snake skeleton is long enough to let Arius attack every one of the 20 islands simultaneously provided he hasn’t summoned any human skeletons.
A phoenix is normally born hot but once in a blue moon, the phoenix of cold fire will be born. These phoenixes are more powerful than their brethren and usually killed before they grow too old. Kritanta managed to escape before she was killed. She found refuge in High Branch. Feeling like she would belong nowhere else, Kritanta took a position as a guardian of the Path. She receives regular visitors from male phoenixes who wish to mate. It is unknown if she does mate with them. All that is known is Kritanta will leave every so often for a day or two. Kritanta’s demiplane is the scorched planes of an erupting volcano. Streams of lava pour down the sides. Pools form in a basin not far from where most people emerge. The blue phoenix flies over it all, bathing in the heat. Kritanta is a dangerous foe who uses her potential mates to attack as well as her own power. That means the seekers on the Path must face not just Kritanta but one or two phoenixes as well. The phoenixes’ attacks are straight forward: claw, beak, wings or stream of fire. Kritanta attacks with all of the above in addition to claps of fire, pouring lava upon her opponents’ heads, a sonic scream that paralyzes one victim and occasionally flying below the ground and using the volcano’s natural heat vents to attack her opponents.
- Unryth Tree:
The people of Homevale almost died when a magically enhanced tree was placed into their midst. The people of High Branch managed to help them but there was no way to contain the powerful infection created by the tree. So they uprooted it and locked it within a demiplane. The Unryth Tree now serves as a guardian on the Path. There is no intelligence to the Unryth Tree. There is only hunger. Only the need to consume. The Unryth’s demiplane appears to be a peaceful meadow with a small pool surrounded by dark trees and squat dark bushes. Despite this, there is a sweet scent in the air that relaxes the mind. Once the intruders relax or if it seems like they aren’t going to relax, the trees attack. The trees have a hardened wood that reduce some of the damage that would be done to them. They try to drive the intruders toward a large clump of bushes. If the intruders brush against the bushes at all, a gray star will subtly latch onto them and drain their strength away. The bushes also do their best to trip up the intruders in order to cover them in these parasites. The stars reduce all damage except for water damage in half and remain attached until full. No matter how many trees, bushes or parasites intruders might down, they never do any damage to Unryth. For Unryth lies beneath the small pool in the meadow. It is a dark heart of the wood, appearing to be a beating wooden heart to some, and an oozing thing leaking black liquid to others. Once the intruders discover this, the trees do their best to keep them from ever entering the pool. The intruders must dive 10 meters to reach the chamber of the Unryth. All the while, tree roots attack them and star parasites shoot from the sides of the pool. Unryth itself is relatively weak but you have to get past its defenses to ever reach this dark heart itself.
Skye was an accidental creation by a Homevalen alchemist. What he was trying to create was forgotten. What he managed to create was a sentient storm. She was quickly contained within a demiplane and made into a guardian of the Path. Many people are fearful that she will break free but some, like the alchemist’s descendants regularly visit her to help her grow in intelligence. Skye can easily recognize friend from foe due to their bioelectronic signals. Her demiplane is a flat field with a few steep hills along the edges. The entire thing is covered by Skye herself, drenching the entire place in rain. Skye attacks with lightning, wind and water attacks, all in the form of storms (i.e. tornados, high winds, lightning, waterspouts, snow and hail, etc). She hides the fact that she is sentient from the seekers of the Path for as long as she can. Once she is discovered, she tries to drive her opponents toward the edge of her demiplane. That way she can rain rocks and mudslides down upon them, in addition to her natural attacks. Skye can be defeated only by attacking her heart which lies within the eye of the storm. It is protected by a net of lightning which upon being touch, paralyzes the offender and causes Skye to move the eye of the storm.
No one is sure where the drake, Incastas, came from. He appeared in High Branch and applied to be a guardian of the Path. He was granted the position but a close eye is kept on him. No one wants a dagger in the back. Incastas is the silent sort so he doesn’t exactly make many friends. Incastas appears to be a small dragon head with a snake-like body covered in spikes. Two small wings are on his back behind the frill of his head. His eyes are completely red though whether this is because he is blind is impossible to tell. His demiplane appears to be flat sand when first entered. However, the entire thing is networked in sinkholes. These sinkholes cause an intruder to suffocate, taking damage before they land them in a giant cavern beneath the sand. The cavern is filled with bones, gold and other treasures that might be lost beneath the sand. Incastas will attack both above and below the ground. When the intruders first enter, he’s sneaky, pulling them beneath the sand repeatedly. Once they discover him or fall below the ground, Incastas switches tactics. In the cavern, he fires multiple blasts of superheated sand that immediately turns to glass when it hits something. This has the potential to trap his opponents. When they are above ground, he acts like a dolphin, leaping from the sand. His tail snakes out to either strike an opponent or launch spikes at them. In either case, Incastas tends to fire off random sonic blasts that slow his opponents down. If he is ever pulled above ground, Incastas loses it. He fires off his superheated sand repeatedly along with a hail of spikes and sonic blasts until he is beneath the surface again. Incastas takes small amounts of damage when he is above ground for extended periods of time.
- The Weeping Forest:
This forest was forever changed after the siren Tetalus spent many years crying within its borders. The trees now weep, showering water down upon whoever might enter here. As such, the forest is populated with many a beast who loves the water and the damp places of the world. The constant water might be a detriment to some adventurers but there are many magical plants that grow within the weeping forest as well. The beautiful Crystal Rose, the resilient Water Amethyst, and the strange Firewood tree are all found here. Soil from the center of this forest can help even the driest places produce a bountiful harvest. However, beware. For even in a place like this there is danger. You may never know the creatures or magic that might linger in a forest forever changed by the tears and cries of a sorrowful siren.
- Nightmare Tree:
Near the center of the weeping forest lies a tree as black as the night. Its bark shimmers in dim light, appearing to disappear into the twilight. Many do not believe this tree even exists. However, there are those who have touched the bark, have plucked the moss from it. They were struck by nightmares of a terrible sort. A few of these also tried to dig into the ground around the tree due to the rumors of treasure and a powerful suit of armor. They were attacked by the tree’s roots in addition to have a great pressure placed upon their brain. This is where Tetalus buried her protector, the knight Gregorius. The tree is enchanted to protect his remains by any means necessary. It does so with illusion or perhaps it is a twisting of reality. Few try to get near it despite the bark and moss are good ingredients for sleeping potions.
- The Mourning Stone:
There is a stone on the edge of the weeping forest, that glows blue under the moon. Banshees gather around it in the dark, and in the daytime, soft weeping is heard from within the stone. This is where Tetalus mourned the treachery of her lover, Jabez and the loss of her first clutch of eggs. As with the Weeping Forest, the magic in her tears seeped into the very essence of the stone. Now while the stone isn’t inherently dangerous, it does draw in creatures like the banshee and wraiths. It can make it difficult to approach the stone. The stone’s magical properties increase the potency of water magic, aids in finding lost things and have some relatively minor healing properties. The stone is also malleable allowing it to be shaped and used as if it were metal by skilled blacksmiths. The stone regenerates what is taken from it every night, making pieces of it coveted by alchemists, blacksmiths, and inventors across Fiore.
- Usawoti Lake:
A huge dead salt lake, has small brine shrimp, a large variety of migrating waterfowl, some mangroves and reeds. Mostly devoid of life the lake is set in a windy prairie, miles away from the nearest urban city, and although the lake is known of, it is typically avoided by both people and animals alike for the fact that it is a big dead salt like and nothing really lives or grows there. The lake is large in size, 103 miles in length, 70 miles in width, but of various dips and depths. The high winds evaporate much of the water and make it hard for the lake to be replenished by rain, hence its high salt content. On very rare occasions scientists have visited for a short time to study the waterfowl. Despite being known, the lake is not mapped out on paper and until recent businessmen took an interest, it was not really visited for any particular reason. Matapo: The monster An old monster species lives in the lake, and has been there for many years. They never leave the lake, and nobody knows how they ended up in the lake in the first place. They are somewhat like crocodiles, 12 feet long, with massive claws, thick and sharp armor spikes, and two layers of sharp teeth. They have no eyes, but a good sense of smell, and can sense direction through use of pressure organs inside of his body (the same way fish that school can sense other fish in the area and move around without bumping into each other). Most of the original population has been dying out from starvation. The dead lake's bottom is littered with the bones of dead monsters, dead waterfowl, and various other animals who ended up at the lake only to die at the jaws of these monsters. There are likely around 10-15 in the entire lake. Those most familiar with the monsters live in an underground tribe locally, and they refer to the monster as Vak. To all others, scientists included, the monster is known as the Matapo Lizard or just the Matapo.
- Flute Reeds and Hale Mangroves:
The flora Due to the location and the high winds, lake plants have had to adapt as well for survival. The lake is extremely low in nutrients required for plants to live, but the wind gives an opportunity for the plants to make a change. The tall reeds growing along all sides of the lake are hollow with various placed holes, creating natural ocarina or piccolo-like shapes and sounds. The reeds are identified has Flute Reeds. The mangrove trees gather in small clutches over more than half the lake, in groups of 4-8 trees, and they too have adapted for sound production. Various placed holes in their roots allow for wind to pass through and create louder deeper sounds. The mangroves are identified as hale mangroves. The reeds are slightly reddish in color, while the mangroves are actually white from the trunk down due to all the salt. Together, on windy days or nights, they can sound like a lullaby and entrance anything in earshot as the music is carried on the wind, to come to the lake. Once the victims (usually animals) hear the sound of music, go to the dead lake, they are attacked and consumed by the Matapo in the lake. Their dead forms add nutrients to the water and help the plants to survive.
There is a small town called Whiteshire set a few miles away from the lake for visitors to the windy prairie and the dead salt lake. Its name refers to the color of the mangroves on the lake. It is mostly filled with transient tourists, musicians, artists, scientists, and salt workers. A large business is set up in the town which sells all local goods and needs to people in the town. The business and most of the town is owned by the same employer of the salt workers, who are making a ton of money selling the 'salt from dead monster lake' as a magical component or an unusual food ingredient. The town has a population of fewer than 500 people consistently but offers the same amenities as most towns due to the many visitors. It has an adventurous backwoods atmosphere and is filled with creative and industrious people.
- Siren's Cove:
This accursed place is the site of a massive blast of power from the Djinn of Discord, Taxen. No one knows if this was a targeted attack or simply an act of malice but the Djinn certainly left his mark. His magic forced a schism in the mermaids, causing one half to become violent almost obsessed with death. The other half became serene devoted healers, protectors of nature. Obviously the sides clashed brutally over their differences. The bloodbath stained the sand and the waters to a permanent red. The magic in the mermaids’ blood created a strange spell as a result of the battle. The spell separated the different mindsets of mermaids to either side of the cove while also granting them the ability to walk on land should they wish. Over time, they evolved into different cultures as well as different subspecies of mermaid. The boundary spell as it came to be called, keeps violence within the cove to a minimum. Each side does occasionally step over the invisible line the spell creates but there are severe consequences for any mermaid that does so with the intent to cause harm. Their eyesight dims, their hearing weakens, their body becomes numb with each symptom growing worse as they traverse farther. However, this only happens if they cross over the center of the cove. Going around the outside of the cove has no adverse effects. Such an attack is easily detected however. Both sides are not above hiring mages to do their dirty work for them whether it be a little sabotage or some murder of key figures in the opposing community.
The serene healers called themselves the Aicaya. They built their settlement on the left half of the cove on the shore and within the 30ft deep waters. They appear to have light shades of hair, their fins appearing to shimmer as they swim. Their skin is of light tones, ranging from a light tan to an off white. The Aicaya delight in trading with humans and helping them out wherever they can. Despite their rather peaceful existence, the Aicaya have a highly trained unit to repel any attacks from the other half of the cove. That unit is also meant to protect those they can without putting the Aicaya people in danger. The Aicaya are split into pods of 20-30 mermaids. Each pod inhabits a single building either above or below the water’s surface. The pods have two leaders, one male and one female with each have an advisor or two generally of both sexes. One of these two leaders makes all the decisions for the pod itself, deciding what work the pod will do, when the pod will have time off, when they will eat etc. with input from the other leader. This other leader represents the pod on the Conclave, a collection of pod leaders that decides what is best for the community. The Conclave will meet every month under the full moon in a secret location to prevent an assassination attempt. When either of the pod leaders dies, the rest of the pod ‘uplifts’ what they believe to be the worthiest candidate for the job. That candidate then chooses two advisors from the pod and life continues. The job is for life regardless of whether the mermaid or merman is a proper fit. More often than not, the two leaders are mated but that is not a requirement of the job by any means. What mated means depends on what is agreed within the pod. It can either be a lifelong commitment to one person (mermaid/merman or not) or it can merely mean a joining of houses to which each can take multiple mates if they so wish.
Cecealia was the name the mermaids of the right half gave themselves. They are very nearly entirely black from head to tail tip with bioluminescence lights down their sides and along their tail. Their hair is generally a dark color but they can also have a shocking white head of hair. A rare few have evolved from having fish tails to having octopus’ tentacles. Some blame settling in the depths of the cove while others think it is a strange side effect of the boundary spell. Whatever the reason, these mutations are stronger than the other Cecealia and capable of magic. The Cecealia live under the belief that Might is Right. Therefore, the five strongest warriors called the Vehemans gather as many Cecealia into pods under themselves as they can. These five make up the ruling body of the Cecealia people. The reason they do not have a king or queen is to prevent constant assassination attempts from both the Cecealia and the Aicaya. The vehemans tend to have some 50 mermaids within their pods while claiming to rule any smaller offshoot pods that may emerge. The offshoot pods are generally lead by either a child of one of the vehemans or by a potential rival looking to take one of the current vehemans’ place. The offshoot pods led by rivals are most often sent into battle first with the hope that the rival will die or lose all of their support. This can be a double edged sword as it can potentially make the rival even stronger. The Cecealia tend to send out war parties every so often to try and claim bits of the coast for their own. They aren’t overly concerned if those parties don’t come back. The Cecealian society is namely a twisted net of lies, treachery and assassination and they feed upon the dead. If a Cecealia isn’t killing something for food or training themselves to be a better warrior/mage, than they are usually plotting something to increase their power. Might is Right.
Beneath the land of Tolgalen, there is a creature. One that appears to be a black whale covered in overlapping natural plates enhanced with metal. A mass of tentacles rings its neck draping nearly the entire body. There are four apparent openings in the creature. Its mouth, two slits in the side that appear to be gills which can open and shut at will and something like a blowhole. The blowhole appears to be two metal doors which only open periodically when the whale thing is above ground. This creature is a moving, breathing prison owned by the Black Legion. The Black Legion is an organization that gathers supernatural beings and studies them. This creature, called Garganta, is where the Black Legion keeps those they capture. Garganta feeds off of the prisoners’ mana, leaving them with just barely enough to keep themselves alive. That combined with the fact that Garganta spends most of its time under the earth make escape difficult. While the prisoners could try to take the whale, they are weakened from the mana drain and the Black Legion are all highly trained non-magical warriors. The fight would be over before it even began.
The inside of Garganta is split into four sections for the prisoners and the Black Legion. The first three sections are cells for the prisoners, taking up most of the area inside the whale. These ‘prison’ sections near the top and middle of Garganta hold 20 cells each. These cells are made of antimagic material both in and out. They cover a 6 by 8 space. The cell delivers nutrients to the prisoners as needed from an opening in the top of the cell which connects into a tube system. This tube system also is used to clean the prisoners as need be. The bottom prison section holds 10 specialized cells meant to hold the strongest or most powerful ‘inmates of the Black Legion. These ten cells are not only built to hold the prisoners but keep them barely alive and paralyzed. They are built like the other cells except for the added protections and a tube that inserts into the prisoner’s mouth to deliver nutrients. All the prison sections have multiple locks on each cell and entrance to the section. There is always one mundane lock, one magical lock and one lock that is both mundane and magical. Only the Commander of the Black Legion has an override for all three locks.
The section for the Black Legion resides in an enlarged brain cavity. It functions as a barrack, an armory and a rec room all in one for around 30-40 off duty Black Legion soldiers. Garganta usually holds double that number and they switch off shifts. The entire section is built around the brain of Garganta. The creature is intelligent but subservient to whosoever controls the panels. That just happens to be the Black Legion at this moment. With the panels, the Legion can cut off any area of the creature. Garganta’s muscles respond to the commands given from the panels. The panels are also used to direct where Garganta goes along with weaponizing various functions of the creature if need be. However, weaponizing Garganta causes the creature to buck against the controls so it is only done with extreme prejudice. The armory of this section is built toward the nose of the creature with the barracks and the rec room flanking either side. The armory holds enough to arm twice the number of Black Legion soldiers that are on the Garganta at any given time. It has higher security with three locks on either side of the door and two elite soldiers watching it at all times. The floor of the armory also has an enhanced mana draining ability. This is meant to keep any revolting prisoners from ever seizing the weapons. Though there would have to be a revolt for that to happen first.
Five systems keep Garganta alive or moving. The first two filter air and nutrients the creature requires through its entire body. This prevents the creature needing a stomach or lungs in order to function. The third provides Garganta with the ability to move through the earth or water if need be. It’s an undulation along the outer layer of the plates covering the creature. This moves the earth around and behind Garganta, propelling it forward where it wishes to go. There is also a slight electrical field used to gently push living things away from Garganta until it passes. The final two systems use the mana absorbed from the prisoners. The first system regenerates Garganta from any damage caused to it. This does not include the metal enhancements of the creature, merely the organic material. The more extensive the damage the longer repairs take but the whale cannot die. This is due to the second system. An immortality clause so to speak. If Garganta does not have enough mana to regen, the creature will collapse in on itself, becoming smaller first. This tends to either make the damage superficial as the extra flesh fills in where the damage was or moves it to a less critical part of Garganta. Woe to anyone inside as the creature cares only to preserve itself at that point. Should that fail, Garganta places itself into a coma drawing tiny amounts of mana from its surroundings until the damage is fixed. This generally means Garganta can disappear for years, even centuries at a time.
Every three weeks, give or take a few days, Garganta must emerge to load/unload prisoners and/or replace Black Legion soldiers. This is to prevent her from accidently digesting the prisoners, as the constant mana drain can liquefy them after too long. There are several Black Legion strongholds around Tolgalen with areas built specifically for Garganta to surface in. These locations are a secret known only to the leader of the Black Legion, Black Legion captions and a few trusted members. The Black Legion members have their memories wiped when they are rotated out of Garganta to ensure that the location is kept secret. Each location is laced with magic-dampening lacrima as well as being manned by more of the Black Legion to prevent any prison escapes. The only entrance in or out of the cavern, besides Garganta’s ‘pool’, even has lacrima intended to collapse the entrance should any prisoner escape. For most strongholds, this is an unnecessary precaution as they were built using Garganta and have only one alternative way out besides the creature. Garganta can be called to the surface by the Black Legion leader or captains. Each of them carries a specialized whistle that only the great prison creature can hear. This allows them to call Garganta for an emergency instead of waiting three weeks for it to surface again.
Deep in the center of the country of Tolgalen, where the stream becomes river and the hill becomes mountain, where the plains turn rugged and the sea rushes to claim the land, there lies the Scars. These scars are the result of a great battle fought between the Dark Fire Phoenix, Arsiatra and Taxan the Djinn of Discord. That great battle went unwitnessed by mortal eyes but the scars tell a tale of their own. The fey can always be asked about the story if one wishes to pay the price. The Scars are a perilous place taking mage and mundane alike for their prey. Few beings can walk freely about them without being effected by their strange phenomenon.
The scars appear grey to the eye, blank to the senses. It’s as if they don’t exist. The five of them are clustered together, creating an area known to the common folk as the Rictadon. The Rictadon is 10 miles in radius. The scars do not cover the entire area but to pass between them is considered folly. The Rictadon is kept clear of visitors by a family of wyvern riders called the Kurtama. They consider it their sacred duty to keep people away from the dangers of the scars. Their wyverns are raised from a young age, entrusted to them by the parents only after the pass a lengthy test. The test is designed by the wyverns to test the worthiness of the potential rider. If the potential fails, they will never ride a wyvern. That is why they train for years before attempting the test. After the test, the new rider must spend 3 years bonding with their wyvern. It is possible to fail in this as well, resulting in the wyvern flying off into the wilderness. Once the rider and the wyvern have become a team, they help patrol the borders of the Rictadon. The Kurtama and the wyverns work together to keep people out of the RIctadon. A council of Elders, both human and wyvern, oversee the entire operation.
All the scars constantly absorb any magic that is cast within its borders into the ground. Lacrima are slowly drained of their charge. Magic weapons have a chance of working but more often than not, their abilities are also absorbed. This is why the Kurtama work diligently to keep people out.
- First Scar:
The first scar is the largest cover 4 square miles give or take a few meters. This was the first place that Arsiatra and Taxen hit in their battle. Taxen attempted to trap Arsiatra against the ground by making the ground come alive. When that failed, he tried to turn their blood into creatures to hold her against the ground. Arsiatra sent her black flame into the ground. The regenerative ability of her flame caused flowers to sprout. Their roots trapped the ground allowing Arsiatra to take to the skies once again. In this scar, absorbed magic makes the ground comes alive. It rises up attack whoever cast magic within it. The perpetrator is swallowed into the ground and slowly suffocated, squeezed until their bones crack, their blood watering the ground. That blood is turned into creatures that roam about the scar, aiding the ground in consuming intruders. The creatures range from small to large and none look like any normal creature. They are amalgamations of various animals. They tear non-magical intruders apart for the ground. The creatures cannot leave the scar lest the magic that sustains them be ripped away reducing them to red sludge. A special plant, the Trasiimu, lies in the center of this scar. It is a beautiful plant that looks like a red heart when fully grown. This plant is mainly used in love potions but can be used for powerful rare healing agents as well. If worn into this scar, the ground weakens and the creatures do their best to only drive the wearer out of the scar.
- Second Scar:
The second scar is where the battling behemoths smashed into the ground a second time. This time, Taxen smashed Arsiatra into the ground. Thus this scar is a crater in the ground. People say that Arsiatra’s magic seeped into the ground to create the scar. Whatever the reason, this scar produces a black fire low to the ground. Its movement is mesmerizing, hypnotic The more magic is used here, the stronger the hypnosis of the flames becomes. The ground of the crater is soft, like quicksand. When combined with the flames of the scar, people don’t realize they are in danger until it is too late to pull themselves out. A creature known as the Caretaker feeds on the bodies of those trapped by the ground. It piles their valuables around the center to entice more people into the scar. It will also fan the hypnotic flames to try and increase their effects. No one has ever seen the Caretaker in its entirety and it almost never stoops to fighting. Someone will always come along to be trapped. It only has to wait. Then it will feed. The most anyone has seen of the Caretaker is a mouth full of teeth and three or four tentacles that splits into three near the tip. The closest creature anyone can place the Caretaker as, is an octopus.
- Third Scar:
The third scar was a trap set in place by Taxen before the beginning of the battle. It was meant to absorb all magic within a person. Instead, when Taxen activated it, the scar created the Nithlings from the tribe that had been resting on that land. This altered the intended purpose of the scar as it wasn’t meant to hold so many different magics at once. Now when magic is used within the scar, it absorbs the emotions of a person. This may not seem like a dangerous thing but the more emotion a person loses, the more likely they are to make decisions that might haunt them later based purely in logic. Eventually, if someone stays too long in the scar, they become a Nithling themselves. A Nithling is a creature of pure magic and logic, unable to feel emotion without siphoning it from others. They appear look like genies, possessing no legs and a powerful torso, that lack a face and emit black wisps of smoke from their bodies. A Nithling looks fuzzy around the edges almost as if they aren’t entirely there. Their bodies are shot through with blue veins whenever they use magic. These creatures run a highly regimented society within the scar. They nurture the land while keeping their numbers at a healthy medium between a strong community and allowing the scar to flourish. This means there are 30-50 Nithlings in the scar at this time. The Nithlings treasure new knowledge as this helps them to make the most logical decision. Thus Nithlings are sent out in pairs to search for new knowledge. It is out in the world that a Nithling can discover feelings, emotions.
They need only siphon them off of others using their magic. Their magic mimics the scars in that they absorb magic and emotions. Unlike the scars, the Nithling can then copy what they absorbed for a short amount of time. Emotions are like a drug for the unfeeling Nithlings and they tend to take too much which kills the person they are taking from. Most often, the Nithlings that become addicted to emotion are put down by their partners but occasionally, one will escape. What that Nithling becomes, no one can say. Knowledge brought back to the scar is stored within a building the Nithlings have erected within the center of the scar. The wealth of knowledge held there is astonishing, holding many ancient secrets. It tends to draw many people to it. The Nithlings allow people to see their accumulated knowledge but try to take anything out of their library/storehouses and they produce powerful magic items to kill the thief as they see it. They will stop at nothing to recover the item taken, pursuing the perpetrator until they have recovered it. If the item is handed over peacefully, no harm will come to the person.
- Fourth Scar:
The fourth scar is an unknown mystery out of all the scars. People go in and seldom come out. Those who do manage to come out have no memory of their ordeal. It is said a great treasure lies within this scar and even if it didn’t, the number of mages and noblemen who have died there have belongings worth the trip. The only known information about the fourth scar is that magic used within it causes memories to become hazy. First why you came to such a place then slowly going backwards the more magic you use. Yet this doesn’t account for all the missing memories. Experiences, languages, even how to use magic vanish the longer one uses magic in this scar. Some speculate that a creature is born from the ground every so often. These Natlings steal memories as a source of sustenance. Perhaps they devour until the mind is no more and the body expires. That is just a rumor however as no one can confirm it.
People have vanished into the scar but that is the extent of their disappearance that is known. Others think the scar steals the memories and uses them to create the fog that permeates the scar. This has a little more credence as those who enter merely the edge of scar find themselves remembering things they never experienced. There lies a certain kind of danger in that fog. It lures people who wish to forget and live a different life. There is no telling what really lies within the fourth scar of the Rictadon. The Natlings are very careful to keep it that way. They are weak and fear retribution for those who disappear into the scar. They do take memories but never anything that is vital, from their point of view. Memories are harvested from those who enter the scar and planted. They blossom into a flower, then into a fruit that the Natlings eat. To anyone that beholds the fruit, it appears wispy, see through. Yet when one tries to pick it up, the fruit solidifies in their hand. The Natlings, should they ever be beheld, appear to be spindly creatures with four legs, a body belonging to an extremely skinny humanoid and long thin arms with fingers to match. Natlings can move at high speeds for a short period of time but that is all the magic they have besides the ability to harvest memories.
- Fifth Scar:
The fifth scar was a desperate attempt by Taxen to steal Arsiatra’s ability to fight. It was meant to steal her youthfulness. Unfortunately for him, a trio of hags found more use for the scar. Arsiatra’s ability to regenerate herself kept his desperate attempt from ever really working. Magic used within this scar causes the body to rapidly age. Youth and beauty are drained away with each spell cast. This can be reversed by exiting the scar but the person will always feel a little older, have a few more problems, then they would have had otherwise. The hags draw this youthfulness up out of the scar to enhance themselves. At the center of the scar, they have created the Citadel of Sorrow. The citadel is meant to protect them should anyone try to attack. The paranoid creatures also have several vampire servants who feed upon the decrepit that wander far enough into the scar. A few of those wanderers are transformed into zombies to increase the defenses of the citadel. Occasionally, the hags will have these servants fetch them something to eat – usually a child or a teenager. That way they can drain the young one’s youth before eating him. If no children can be taken, the hag sisters will eat one of the poor people that lost all their youth to the scar.
The three hags are called, Vera, Dalia, and Anima. Each have a different kind of magic. Vera, the youngest, appears to be a buxom redhead when she has stolen enough youth. She is the adopted sister and wields the magic of the mind. She can project illusions, speak into someone’s mind and influence what they see to a certain extent. Dalia looks to be a lithe blonde with a mischievous smile. She wields the magic of emotions, allowing her to manipulate others, or cast misfortune upon others. She is the most intelligent, carefully making other see her as weak. However, Dalia augments her abilities with various potions to shore up her weaknesses. Anima appears to be a tall brunette and she wields the magic of the elements. She tends to use water and earth most heavily. When the three work in tandem, they have complete dominion over a limited area. Animals, people even the very elements bend to the sisters’ wills within this area. Only a fool would engage all three at the same time without proper preparation.
Credit to Kyran, Adalinda, Yona & Sol
Last edited by Onyx Moon on 20th March 2020, 6:17 pm; edited 3 times in total