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  • #16
    Viktor Kaznov

    Viktor was born in the town of Orminsk, not the most prosperous town,
    but better than some in the Kingdom, still Victor's father Ivar wanted
    better for his wife Natalia and Viktor and farming wasn't going to cut
    it. When news that a new factory was going to be built nearby, Ivar
    saw his opportunity to improve his family's life, or at least earn
    enough to send Viktor to a proper school in Xol as he saw that his son
    was a bright boy even at a young age. Ivar believed such talent should
    not be wasted; his son deserved a chance for a better life, perhaps
    with Viktor's intelligence he would grow up to become an inventor for
    the Kingdom.

    So it came to pass Ivar went to work at the factory and Viktor was
    sent to a school in Xol. Sadly after a few years of working in the
    factory an accident occurred as they normally do in such places and
    Ivar was killed. It would've been the end of Viktor's higher education
    had his father not signed a "Death contract" which permitted Xolan
    Necromancers to raise him as a zombie so that he may continue to work
    to support his family (And the Kingdom) in death. Viktor came home
    after hearing the news and said he would quit school, as the Death
    pension wouldn't be enough to support his education and his mother,
    but Natalia would not hear of him quitting school she knew how
    important to her husband that Viktor make something of himself and it
    was important to her too, so she took a job as a barmaid. Viktor's
    mother told him one thing before he left for school again.

    "Remember your father's sacrifice. Remember mine. Succeed."

    Viktor vowed that he would and redoubled his efforts in school.

    Viktor excelled in his classes, and even in the martial training
    requirement. He had a fascination with places outside the Kingdom and
    made every attempt to read more about them, especially about the Great
    Empire to the south. The war with the Empire occurred long before he
    was born, but he'd heard nothing but bad things about the place, so
    unsurprisingly what little he read about it, was also negative, still
    he wondered what it was like to actually be there. To this end he
    sought out one of his professors who had actually traveled to the
    Empire and asked him all he could hoping to get a more balanced

    He did…to an extent. The Professor Petrovich explained that there were
    wondrous things about the Empire such as their art, music, philosophy
    and things of that nature. Most things that were considered frivolous
    in the Kingdom. However, the professor felt the need to reinforce the
    idea that all the things that Viktor heard about the Empire were also
    true. The Empire was a dangerous threat to the Kingdom. Viktor wonder
    about this remark; he couldn't see how the Empire could harm the
    Kingdom especially when he always heard how badly they lost in the war
    against them. Petrovich became even more serious…

    "Viktor, I have traveled to many places of The Empire and while I saw
    wonders I saw much more unnecessary hedonism and tyranny. The Empire
    is a plague on this land, indeed its influence can be felt almost
    everywhere. Its decadence and oppression spreads wherever it plants
    its flag. It is worse than barbarians or monsters; at least they
    merely attack and kill. The Empire chooses to not just attack, but to
    suck the very life from people and continue to use them until it has
    no more need of them. What it cannot assimilate, it conquers, what it
    cannot conquer it destroys completely. It couldn't do the first two to
    us, so what does that leave?"
    "But, aren't we at peace?"
    "Hah, a mere set back for them. Make no mistake, the Empire IS
    powerful, we should never underestimate it and we must be ever
    vigilant to maintain our way of life and our identity. A way of life
    and identity that the Empire hates because it is not their own…but I
    believe my words cannot truly do justice to the place. You have to
    know evil before you can spit in its eye. Would you like to travel to
    the Empire and see it first hand?"

    Viktor didn't need to be asked twice, he jumped at the chance.
    Petrovich still had government friends to set up such a trip and also
    spoke highly of Viktor's academic achievements to them. Of course the
    agreement was that Petrovich had to attend the trip.

    The trip to the Empire was uneventful, but Viktor was overwhelmed just
    to be outside of the Kingdom, he noticed how much nicer the land
    looked, much greener too. Soon they arrived in the Empire port city of
    Veno. Petrovich was familiar with the city and noticed it hadn't
    changed much, so he had little difficulties in getting around to show
    it to Viktor. The first thing Viktor noticed was how much bigger the
    city was than the average Xolan City and he saw things that would've
    never held a place in the Kingdom. Magnificent structures and statues
    made with ornate material, merchants going about their business
    wearing heaps of jewelry, an open stage like area where people were
    speaking to each other and the audience while another played some sort
    of instrument. Petrovich saw the wonder in the Viktor's eyes, he and
    many others that had also visited also felt that wonder for a fleeting
    moment, but only for a moment.

    "Yes, this is the nice area of the city, but there are other parts of
    it to see." Petrovich said.

    Petrovich took Viktor to the slave docks where Empire troops were
    bullying their latest captures which consisted mainly of a group short
    people in chains.

    "Hey those aren't Dwarves are they?"
    "Dwarves? No my boy, I'd wager any Dwarf worth his mettle wouldn't
    allow such a fate befall him. Those are Halflings."
    "Oh yes, I remember reading about them now! Were they at war with the Empire?"
    "Not at all, they were minding their own business, much like we were
    and the Empire just attacked them for their own gain. Except unlike
    us, these poor creatures were unable to defend themselves. Look upon
    this and know that thanks to our way of life, we were strong enough to
    repel the Empire to avoid such a tragedy. You remember those wonderful
    monuments you saw earlier? Who do you think built them? These slaves.
    Most of this Empire is built upon the backs of slaves."
    "Why don't they revolt or something?"
    "The Empire is quite adept at breaking the will of people, oh sure
    there have been a few minor revolts here and there, but those are
    usually a small group of slaves that have planned for their own
    escapes, nothing on such a grand scale that would damage the Empire on
    a permanent basis. And more often than not those escaped slaves are
    caught and made an example of, to discourage further disobedience. It
    gets to the point that the slaves accept their fates and are content
    to live as mere chattel. Madness I know, though you'll see that even
    its own citizens do not fare so well, let's look at where the regular
    commoners live, I suggest you keep alert; the law isn't too enforced
    in such places."

    The second part of this tour involved walking around in the poor area
    of Veno. The first thing Viktor noticed was the crowdedness. It was
    almost like all these people were being stuffed and forced to live in
    this area. Another thing that stuck out was how much dirtier it was
    here than the other parts of the city he visited. Granted the Xolan
    Kingdom struggled with its own pollution problems, but the reasons for
    them were due to the very practical need to produce defenses and other
    things for the Kingdom. This uncleanliness was more due to lack of
    care and apathy; there wasn't a reason for it.
    The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


    • #17
      "I don't understand why they're all crammed together like a family of
      Rozloks, this city is huge, and there's plenty of room to support the
      entire population and there really isn't a good reason for these
      filthy conditions, it's a breeding ground for disease." Viktor said as
      a rat scuttled past his feet.
      "Because the upper class wouldn't allow that. They don't want these
      commoners living next door to them, yet they don't want to spend the
      money on public works to make life easier for them either, they'd
      rather spend it on foolish things like a gold hat or something."
      "I understand there is always going to be people with more than
      others, but the government can only function like a well oiled machine
      if everyone is doing their part. Don't they realize that this isn't
      good for morale if their own poorer citizens are blatantly disregarded
      and treated this way?"
      "Oh they have ways to appease the masses, see that large circle like
      structure that everyone is going to? That's an arena where the
      government holds bloody games and slaves, prisoners and captured
      monsters all fight to the death. Its sole purpose is to keep the
      population occupied for awhile so they don't dwell on how miserable
      their life is, not to mention rob them of what little money they earn.
      I suppose the commoners get some sort of satisfaction that it isn't
      THEM getting their guts stabbed and pulled out in the arena"
      "But that doesn't even make sense! They're paying to escape reality!"
      "In my experience, the citizens of the Empire wallow in escapism. The
      reasons vary, but none of them are good ones. Look around, you notice
      how many drunks you see passed out in the streets? How about the
      number of harlots? You see that man sniffing the contents of that
      small bag over there? Yet another new form of escape. I recently heard
      about a new addictive drug spreading in the Empire. Looks like its
      spread here. Heard that it's highly addictive and deadly."

      Prostitution wasn't unknown or exactly illegal in the Xolan Kingdom,
      but like other things that could cause potential problems, it was
      regulated by the government. Kingdom
      sanctioned prostitutes mainly serviced miners and workers from the
      factories and considered to be working for the good of the Kingdom.
      Here Viktor saw no such regulation. Spirits and ale existed in the
      Kingdom, but rarely overindulged in to the extent Viktor was seeing
      here. Such drunken revelry on a mass scale would be unheard of before
      Xolan Guards would come to break it up. As for the drug, there wasn't
      anything like that in the Xolan Kingdom and most likely never would
      be. It would be considered a dangerous threat, though it would be
      highly unlikely any right thinking Xolan would take such a drug,
      Viktor certainly wouldn't want to when he saw the wild yet empty like
      state on the face of the addict after inhaling the drug. He looked
      away and shook his head.

      Petrovich noticed that Viktor was now starting to see how truly
      poisonous the Empire was.

      "And just think Viktor, you have just seen a taste of how the Empire
      functions, it is like this all over and in some places even worse."
      "It seems like something should be done, I mean all the Empire seems
      to be is a large parasite draining the world."
      "Hmm, you're talking about a war, and you wouldn't be the first to
      suggest it, however even in its current state, the Empire is much too
      big and powerful for us to handle by ourselves, though the day will
      come Viktor. The day will come when this bloated pig gets carved up.
      With all of its problems, it is inevitable that it will fall and when
      it does, we shall be there to pick up the pieces and properly avenge
      those that died in the village of Nosovalik so many years ago. That
      act of destruction will never EVER be forgotten. Come, you've seen
      enough of this decadent place; let us return back to the Kingdom."

      Soon they were back in the "nice" area of the city of Veno again,
      accept now the things that Viktor saw looked less wondrous to him. Now
      he saw them as most Xolan would, symbols of arrogance and oppression.
      Viktor saw another merchant; a very fat one probably wearing as much
      jewelry as he weighed being carried by four very tired and abused

      "You lazy slaves, move faster! Watch it! Hey! You two, get outta my
      way, I got important business to attend to!"
      "Alright, calm down." Viktor replied which caused the fat merchant's
      eyes to narrow as if he'd never been spoken to in such a manner.
      Petrovich watched closely to see how Viktor would handle this
      "How DARE you speak to me in such a manner…you…you…you're a Xolan aren't you?"
      "Of course!" Viktor said proudly and getting more annoyed.
      "Hmph. Figures you don't know your place. Don't know why they even let
      your type in Empire lands, you barely even trade with us."
      "Maybe that's because you don't have anything worthwhile to trade."
      "Hah! I'd say it's the other way around boy. You lot don't produce
      anything, but smoke up in that little kingdom of yours."
      "And all you're doing is producing is hot air, you could be one of our
      balloons with how fat you are and how you're being held up, the only
      difference is our balloons are much more useful and serve a purpose!"

      Somehow this last remark made one of the slaves laugh even though he
      tried hard not to, this in turn caused him to lose his grip and the
      fat merchant's own weight caused the now unbalanced palanquin to fall
      over and now he was sprawled out on the ground along side his slaves.
      While Petrovich pushed Viktor towards the City gates before anymore
      trouble was caused, the fat merchant cursed everyone around him,
      Viktor, his slaves, and the gawking onlookers.

      There was something very symbolic about this to Viktor. His mere words
      caused the slaves to falter from their subservience for just a moment
      which caused the fall of the fat Empire merchant. It's possible
      something like this could be applied on a grander scale. He remembered
      back to the earlier words of his professor saying how the Empire is
      built upon the backs of slaves, if mass slave revolts occurred it
      would surely cripple the Empire, but why stop at just slaves? If
      enough of the citizens weren't so distracted and spoke out against
      their own corrupt government, anarchy wouldn't be far behind.

      Yes words could be weapons as well and it was at that point that
      Viktor decided he would fight the Empire with words. Get inside its
      bloated belly, explore it all, pin pointing where it was at it
      weakest, strengthen where the dissension already exists, and create
      dissension where it doesn't, all to create a domino effect of total
      collapse and destruction of the Empire.

      His mother told him to "succeed" and he would.
      The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


      • #18
        More information on Viktor

        Viktor is a man of average height and build, though he is skilled in
        combat, he prefers to use his intelligence to get out of problems if
        necessary. He carries a sword and a pair of custom pistols for
        protection. (Flintlocks) His pistols are currently the few in
        existence as one-handed firearms are still not available on a wide
        scale, usually only reserved for high ranking officials. Viktor tends
        to dress in dark colors as is the custom of most Xolans who have lots
        of contact with things like soot, gunpowder and smoke.

        Viktor tends to be serious minded, but having contact with the Empire,
        Dwarves, and barbarians has allowed him to "fit in" when the need
        arises and as necessary for an Emissary from Xol, though in cases of
        the Empire he still seems a bit standoffish with the ruling class and
        some of the richer merchants. He of course gets along much better with
        the common Empirites when he's dealt with them.

        After he completed his education and recommendations from his
        professors, he proved himself to be a skilled diplomat to Xol when
        dealing with various barbarian tribes. The Xolan can come off as
        "scary" to less developed places, and typically when tribes are
        scared, they attack. This would result in a waste of time and
        resources for the Xolan and a waste of life for the barbarians. Thanks
        to Viktor though, many of the tribes were dealt with in a peaceful
        manner and some joined the Xolan Kingdom, or at the very least they
        could be traded with.

        Other accomplishments was Viktor's trip to the Najord Fiefdoms which
        reinforced trade routes there, and an ongoing good relationship with
        the Dwarves after he fought along side them during a small surprise
        goblin invasion when he was currently there to just discuss
        strengthening their mutual protection pact. Of course this deed caused
        the Dwarves to agree to it.

        After these deeds, it was then decided that he would be best employed
        to deal with the Empire. Past Xolan ambassadors only just barely kept
        the peace, indeed many hated being there in the middle of the
        decadence, and that was mainly due to the fact that they still
        maintained a "Xolan mindset" Viktor however had proven to be versatile
        when he needed to be, so he was dispatched and he gladly accepted the

        Other than dealing with the arrogant Empire ruling class, he quickly
        began his plan he always thought about since his first visit. He began
        to find out through bribery, listening, and exploration where the
        "rebellious" folks of the Empire were. The Underground as it were. It
        was his goal to help, encourage or fund these small but growing
        factions whenever possible. He was reminded of how one Rozlok doesn't
        do any damage, but if thousands can lay waste to a farm. Eventually
        that's what would happen to the Empire.

        He is very careful about these dealings, most often only dealing with
        a single "rep" from such underground resistance movements when
        necessary. While the Empire government doesn't trust him, there is no
        evidence so far that he's been doing anything wrong or damaging.
        Fortunately the Empire is also lazy and corrupt, if it was still half
        as vigilant as it once was, Viktor's activities might be discovered.
        This is one of the few times Viktor appreciates the decadence of the

        The Xolan Kingdom doesn't exactly want to know all the gruesome
        details of what Viktor is doing, just whether it's making some sort of
        headway as far as the big picture is concerned.

        As of late The Xolan Empire has also been opening up talks to
        Grishrak's Horde. Discussions have been non-violent, but not really
        making an impact. Viktor may be called away from the Empire to talk to
        Grishrak. In fact its very likely, but if this can in anyway harm the
        Empire, Viktor will do everything in his power to make sure these
        talks go successfully.
        The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


        • #19

          Grishrak is the current Warlord of the largest unified barbarian horde
          North-East of the Empire, though its unification is only due in thanks
          to Grishrak's leadership and ruthlessness.

          Grishrak is a half-orc, but his birth was an unusual one from an
          unlikely pairing. His mother was an orc outcast and his father was
          human soldier of the Empire.

          Grishrak's father Dominicus was part of a legion during one of the
          Empire's forays into barbarian lands. The battle was one of the
          bloodiest, and Dominicus in particular was in the thick of it. Having
          had his own family killed in a barbarian raid, he cared nothing for
          his own life and fought with reckless abandon and paid no attention to
          his surroundings other than where the next attacker was coming from.
          Eventually Dominicus became embroiled in a small battle of his own
          with two ogres. He prevailed, but was heavily wounded and his battle
          with the ogres had placed him far from the original battlefield; he
          soon heard the sounds of orcish grunting nearby. Finally having a
          sense of self-preservation, Dominicus staggered into a nearby wood and
          eventually collapsed. He was found by the female orc, Traga, who was
          living alone as an outcast from the Blood Rock tribe who nursed him
          back to health over the course of several months.

          One can only speculate what happen in those months, while Traga was
          skilled in natural herbal medicine, she did not have any magical
          powers of any kind, so whatever feelings that developed, occurred
          naturally. Perhaps they were both lonely, who can guess the matters of
          the heart in cases like these? What was certain is that Dominicus
          never returned to the Empire and stayed with his new family after
          Grishrak was born and for awhile they were happy in their secluded
          part of the woods for awhile. He learned various skills from the both
          of them as the years went by.

          Of course as with most things, this was not to last. One day an Empire
          advance squad lead by a recruited renegade scout from the Pure Hills
          tribe discovered them. Traga was gathering herbs and attacked
          instantly by the blood thirsty scout before the Empire troops could
          even react. Being an orc of course she wasn't entirely defenseless,
          but the scout killed her before he and Grishrak arrived after hearing
          her cries.

          Upon seeing Traga's body, Dominicus reverted back to his once quelled
          rage except this time it was towards the Empire and their lackeys. He
          slew the scout, but the Empire troops subdued him, they would've flat
          out killed him had one of the soldiers not vaguely recognized him.
          Going AWOL was a serious offense, it was decided that he was a
          criminal and as such would be taken back to be tried properly, which
          in essence meant that he'd be executed at worst, or sold into the
          gladiator pits at best.

          As for Grishrak, who was kneeling by his mother's body the whole time,
          the Empire troops decided that he would be sold into slavery, but this
          was not to be either. before Before being walloped on the head
          unconscious, Dominicus shouted to his son to run, to live free and
          never a slave to anyone. Grishrak, always one to obey his father, he
          complied, by biting off the fingers of one the Empire soldiers that
          tried to grab him and disappearing deeper into the woods. There was a
          chase, but Grishrak knew the woods better than the Empire troops and
          soon lost them. Only when he knew he was safe, did he allow himself to
          weep for his parents.

          He survived in the woods for a long period of time, but eventually
          again more interlopers stumbled upon him, this time it was a pack of
          goblins. Thinking they had found easy prey they attacked, but Grishrak
          had been living out in the woods for a long time at this point,
          fighting dangerous wild animals for food, not to mention he knew it
          probably as well as an elf might have. One by one he dispatched the
          goblins save one, who begged for his life and came up with proposal,
          that his own tribe could use a great fighter such as himself. As it
          turned out the tribe that the Goblin was speaking of was the Blood
          Rock tribe. He'd heard about them from his mother, he was curious, and
          had enough of the solitary life in the woods, so he took the goblin up
          on his offer and headed north.

          His acceptance into Blood Rock tribe wasn't easy; the fat Orc
          Chieftain Klag wasn't as impressed as the goblin was especially given
          that Grishrak was obviously half human. Klag insisted that if Grishrak
          was truly a warrior, he'd have to fight as many orcs as he had goblins
          to the death. Grishrak barely won, but he'd managed to earn a place in
          the Blood Rock tribe.

          It was during this time that Grishrak participated in countless raids
          and battles with other tribes. It was fun at first, it made Grishrak
          come to appreciate the comradery of others. However, it wasn't enough.
          The battles seemed pointless especially since the other tribes never
          had much more than they did. Up until that time Grishrak had only
          fought for survival, he was tired of just fighting for mere survival
          and scraps, he wanted something bigger. Something more for himself. He
          began to think about some of the stories that his father told him
          about the Empire. To him it sounded like a magical place filled with
          The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


          • #20
            Of course it was also the place that took away his father and mother;
            he hadn't forgotten that, he hadn't forgotten a lot of things. The
            more he dwelled on things that angered him, he also remembered that it
            was THIS very tribe that exiled his mother, probably by that barely
            competent fat fool Klag too no doubt. He also remembered how his
            father told him not to be anyone's slave. And while he wasn't actually
            a slave here, he was following someone else's orders; he wasn't living
            as "free" as he might've liked. Grishrak picked up his axe…

            Grishrak became the new chieftain of the Blood Rock tribe and Klag's
            head was put on a spike.

            Grishrak being brighter than his predecessor (and the rest of the
            tribe for that matter) began to think of the bigger treasures that lay
            within the Empire, but he knew in order to gain those he'd have to
            gather a larger group than the tribe he was in control of now. So he
            waged war on the neighboring tribes like what was done in the past,
            except this time, they were wars of conquest. The time of simply
            raiding other tribes was finished; it was time to play for keeps. One
            by one surrounding tribes were conquered and united under Grishrak's
            banner. Eventually the Blood Rock tribe was renamed Grishrak's Horde
            and it began to push back to the south towards the Empire where he
            began to organize raids again, but this time on Empire caravans and
            border towns.

            It still wasn't enough for Grishrak though; the "meat" of the Empire
            lay further within and in order to get to that, he'd need an even
            bigger army, so he began conquering more minor tribes, (Most of which
            had heard of him already and gave little resistance in exchange for
            mercy) and it was at this time he'd come across the tribe of the Pure

            Remembering that the retched scout that hacked down his mother had a
            similar tattooing as this tribe, he wasted no time in declaring war on
            them, especially when it was obvious that they consorted with the
            Empire. In this case, Grishrak seemed less interested in their
            submission (Even if they'd given it) as he was in total annihilation
            of the tribe. A genocidal war he's currently winning. After they're
            finally gone the next step is most likely the city of Drevlin.

            More info on Grishrak and his horde

            Grishrak takes after his father somewhat, in that he actually stands
            erect rather than the "hunched" appearance that most orcs seem to
            favor. Though his muscular build and skin tone are more in line with
            his mother. He is tall, and gives off an air of leadership that most
            orcs want to follow despite him only being of half-blood. He's lead
            them in victory after victory, so they've already looked past that.
            Victory in battle and gaining loot are more important to them. He
            favors a large battle axe rather than a sword.

            Grishrak is a grim individual, though not without a sense a humor
            (albeit a violent one) he tends to take great joy in victory in
            battle. His horde consists of orcs, goblins, ogres and even humans.
            (There are also a few other odd creatures in the mix) Orcs and goblins
            make up the majority, but that doesn't mean he particularly has an
            affinity for either of them. He respects orcs in that they're great
            warriors, but he wishes most of them thought more about the "bigger
            picture". If it wasn't for him holding everything together, they'd
            most likely all be still fighting each other. As it stands now,
            in-fighting is kept on a smaller scale and localized (Grishrak
            wouldn't want to eliminate ALL of it anyway, as it does weed out the

            Goblins he finds annoying, (Always has ever since his first encounter
            with them in the woods) but they're a little brighter than his orcish
            followers and they do most of the jobs nobody else wants to, so they
            serve a vital purpose.

            Pure humans he flat out distrusts as in his experience, (as well as
            tales he's heard of the Empire) they're certainly the most treacherous
            race he's ever dealt with, in fact it was usually the human tribes
            that gave him the most trouble in subduing. Subduing orcs and goblins
            is easy; a show of superior strength usually ensures loyalty. Not so
            with humans, they're more than likely to say they're loyal and then
            try to assassinate you in your sleep. (As with what happened a few
            times in the past, though Grishrak obviously taught the would be
            assassins a severe and fatal lesson) Of course it is this human
            deviousness that probably has allowed him to get as far as he did (A
            fact he's aware of which is why he distrusts humans!)

            Other "mixed bloods" he finds no more affinity to other than the
            superficial fact that they also have a mixed heritage, mainly because
            they were raised like barbarians so they act accordingly. Nobody born
            in the barbarian lands had a childhood quite like his, so he wouldn't
            find anything in common with them. He truly is unique and alone in
            this way.

            Oddly he tends to like ogres. Despite them being simpler than orcs,
            they tend to be very loyal which he greatly appreciates; in fact he
            personally has four elite ogre guards.

            Most of his army consists of foot troops, but has a sizable "Calvary"
            as well, if you count goblins riding giant wolves as cavalry. Most of
            these goblins are also skilled in the bow and can be devastating as
            they ride and shoot at the enemy. (Another reason for their
            The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


            • #21
              Grishrak has never turned down the usefulness of magic in combat, but
              he doesn't particularly like to rely on it. The few "wizards" under
              his control are untrained "Hedge wizards" who have some natural
              ability, but nothing formal. Most of them are able to cast a few
              combative Elementalist type spells, and of course Nature magic.
              Healing magic is minor as being a bunch of barbarians, they use a lot
              of natural herbal medicines, though after a big battle with lots of
              wounded it's used more extensively.

              Illusions are not used (Too wimpy) and Necromancy is right out. (Too creepy)

              Religions amongst the individual tribes can vary, but most of them
              believe in burning their dead. (To prevent necromancy no doubt!) A
              simple form of ancestor worship exists to an extent, and a few warrior
              type gods exist in the pantheon. Grishrak himself isn't particularly
              religious, and that's probably due to his childhood. Though he does
              acknowledge that they do exist. He leaves such matters to Shaman and
              others who place more faith in their favor.

              Grishrak also has many wives and offspring (And probably more
              offspring since he's also taken many mistresses in the past) and just
              like his horde they range from human to ogre.

              He definitely has aspirations for something greater, but he sometimes
              wonders about the desire for a kingdom of his own. From what
              "civilized" contact he's had with the Empire he's not too impressed
              with them as warriors and considers them soft, weak and spoiled from
              civilized city living. He'd hate to turn into one those fat Warlords
              who allowed themselves to let their skills deteriorate (Sort of like
              what happened to Klag)

              Still, part of him (the human part no doubt) does like some of the
              things that civilization has to offer. He wouldn't mind a little
              stability and relaxation every once in awhile as while he'd never
              admit it to anyone, even he gets tired of ongoing violence all the
              time. The other attraction is a few of the more cerebral things that
              come with civilization, most under his banner have no interest in
              books and such, but Grishrak has a curiosity about them probably from
              his father teaching him the Empire alphabet by drawing symbols in the
              dirt and some of the stories he told him. Currently one of his human
              wives (who was an escaped Empire slave) is teaching him how to read
              with a few of the books he's managed to stop his overzealous from
              destroying when they raid merchant caravans.

              There are no challenges for his leadership of the horde yet and
              probably won't be for a long time, but he knows there probably will be
              a day when one of his sons will challenge him (perhaps even daughter,
              as a few females have been known to fight alongside the males) While
              Grishrak doesn't exactly have a problem with this, he just doesn't
              think it'll last after he dies. He sees the horde splintering into
              several factions and dissipating soon after his death. This is another
              reason why he would prefer to establish a proper kingdom.
              Organization, succession, and legacies are a few more of the things
              civilization got right. After all he's accomplished he'd also hate to
              die only to be forgotten soon after his death like so many other
              "barbarian warlords".

              Grishrak's Dominion

              At this point his holdings are greater than any other barbarian tribe
              and the territory stretches from a great distance with several
              villages dotting its landscape, it is also home of several nomadic
              tribes as well. Landscape varies greatly, ranging from hills,
              mountains, forests, woods and plains. At one time it was called the
              "barbarian lands" but in recent years it's been called "Grishrak's

              For the most part, Grishrak allows everyone to go about their
              business, with just a few rules.

              No major warring between the tribes under his control
              If he needs them to fight or extra supplies for a battle they must comply

              Other than that, it's relatively the same life they all lived before.
              If anything the land has become more peaceful under Grishrak's rule as
              he's managed to direct all that fighting to outsiders like the Pure
              Hills tribe and the Empire.

              Besides the obvious enemies, Grishrak's also had skirmishes with
              Dwarves, but this has lessened somewhat due to the Xolan Kingdom
              intervening and helping their allies. The Xolan Kingdom is one enemy
              that Grishrak doesn't take lightly. In fact he finds them to be quite
              unusual for humans as they don't seem to have let civilization allow
              them to grow lazy and corrupt. They even seem to have a code of honor
              of sort. (Unlike the Empire) He hopes in some ways to emulate their
              success in this regard.

              However, he finds the strange machines that they build to be in the
              realm of insanity and completely unsporting. While he doesn't doubt
              that one his would be worth ten of theirs in a straight up fight, he
              also knows one of theirs has the power to kill ten of his with one
              shot of their cannon things. Not to mention that they seem obsessed
              with defense and from what he's heard their land is poisoned from all
              their industry. (And their practices in Necromancy don't sound too
              good either) It certainly doesn't appear like its worth attempting to
              conquer for such a little prize. No, the Empire is much more
              attractive. As it stands there are no formal hostilities between
              Grishrak and the Xolan and given that the Xolan aren't exactly friends
              with the Empire either, this has resulted in some Xolan ambassadors to
              be sent to talk with Grishrak about a more formal "peace treaty" with
              hints of a possible alliance. Grishrak is VERY skeptical about such
              matters, though he has been willing to listen rather than having their
              heads lopped off, after all, stranger pairing have occurred.

              His own existence is proof of that.
              The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


              • #22
                There. Found that in my e-mail. That's all I got.

                Now go write a story based on all of this.
                The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                • #23
                  Do the posts have size limits?

                  Hmmm... seems they do, 10000 character max. That's lame, but I suppose it gives reason for shameless post whoring.
                  Click it now.


                  • #24
                    Bumped for Great Justice.

                    (Or rather for fleeting interest in it once again)
                    Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


                    • #25
                      Do you have any need for artifacts? I like writing back stories for them and specifying their powers and location.
                      Click it now.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by apotheosis View Post
                        Do you have any need for artifacts? I like writing back stories for them and specifying their powers and location.
                        There's nothing wrong with additional tools for the writers to use... You know, assuming anyone uses any of this.
                        The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                        • #27
                          Okay, it's late.

                          I have a lot to read over. As far as scale and doing maps and stuff I got you covered there. I could even do a side by side comparison with Europe or North America.

                          This continent is pretty massive by my original reckonings. I might scale it down a bit. Weather patterns come into play, as far as where one would put deserts, plains, forests, ect.

                          For me, having a solid geographical foundation has been first and foremost in creating a solid, believable world. Give me a little time here.

                          I mean, I haven't even gone beyond reading End's first post yet.

                          EDIT: Usoki et. all

                          I can totally revamp the map and I'm quite sure you'll like it or at least tolerate it. Just give me some time to read over what you guys put forward.

                          I agree it's a little too Europy.

                          Actually that's what I was going for at the time. Just give me a couple days. I'll read over your stuff tonight, and start on my new map tomorrow. I'm quite certain you'll like it.

                          EDIT 2: Wow. I forgot how much thought I put into this. I was really pleased with everything I read.

                          And how much thought you guys put into it as well. I view this still as a rough draft, though. It can still be refined. It is my firm belief, however, that if you take the time to create a realistic world - tedious and boring at times thought it may be - you position yourself for success. Once a rich, complex backdrop has been set the players in this breathing world can bring everything into it's fullness. Comedy, drama, adventure, ect.

                          Fun fun. At least for me. No need to hurry. If this is just a side project for all of us, but I'd still think it was fun. I like having creative outlets like this. Of course I'm sure you all know I'm stealing from real world history here, but it's fun giving it a little twist.

                          I love your idea for the layout of Drevlin, Usoki. Hilarious. Ha! Oh man. I remember seeing in Shaun of the Dead the kind of thing End put forward as far as putting zombies to use. But I still love the idea. Very practical.

                          I dunno. Thanks for saving this stuff, DEP. I had all but forgotten some of this stuff.

                          EDIT 3: Also, I think it's great I can tell from simple writing style who wrote what. I like how End has kept everything, especially language, interconnected. The peoples of the Northwest have very harsh, almost slavic sounding names. I think we're all kind of on the same page here. Maybe the only weakness I see is over complicating things. While I believe in a rich backdrop, I think it's more important to keep everything valid and consistent.

                          I'm pretty happy with everything I've read, though.'s just late...and I...ZzzzZZzzzZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

                          Oh, and Apoth: Feel free to contribute as you want!!!!! Give us some artifacts!!!! Give us anything!! This is an open forum!

                          EDIT 3: As far as fleeting interest goes, I understand. But um, as I said, this is but a rough draft. I like a lot of the ideas put forth here though.

                          They need refining and simplification. I have a few tricks up my sleeves here, folks. Give me some time. Let me rework all of this.

                          I really like some of the ideas here. They just need a little tweaking.

                          Thanks for giving me a new project. It's been a long time for me. Okay I'm seriously going to bed now.

                          EDIT 4: I, um, don't expect anyone to be as enthusiastic as I am, though.

                          Because it's really just a pain in the ass. I really do have a couple tricks up my sleeve though. Give me a couple weeks. You MIGHT like it.
                          Last edited by ChubbyTeletubby; 03-26-2008, 09:42 PM.


                          • #28
                            Other than a few minor changes, the only thing I'd probably majorly change/add with some of my writing is the Xolan government system. Doesn't seem like the Xolans would have a proper hereditary king/leader anymore given their way of life, so I'd change the "Kingdom" bit. I still don't really see it as a democratic society though, but whoever is the Xolan leader would've gotten there on merit rather than bloodline.

                            Plus this would be a another difference between them and the big ass Empire south of them, since that place is completely ruled through a class system and bloodlines.
                            Last edited by End Master; 03-27-2008, 09:35 AM.
                            Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


                            • #29
                              Despite it being in perpetual development hell, I still think this attempt at collaboration had some neat ideas.
                              Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


                              • #30
                                Thanks for reminding me, End!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                I had completely forgotten. I did LOVE what you did with Xol, End. The corpses working in the factories, ect.

                                Very funny. I'm going to re-read this whole thread. I had COMPLETELY forgotten.

                                Can you believe I'd forget something?

                                Wonders never cease.

                                EDIT: Hey guys, I got this REALLY cool map making software now, too! Just so you know. When I make my finished map you're gonna be like "damn."
                                Last edited by ChubbyTeletubby; 06-08-2009, 11:06 AM.


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