Common Knowledge about the Known World of Epoch: Places and Events

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Common Knowledge about the Known World of Epoch: Places and Events

Post by Lessa on Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:36 pm

Epoch Common Knowledge:
The Known World


This knowledge is available to players from all clubs.

The Known World.
The Known World stretches from the Great Wastes in the west to the Isle of the Dead in the east, an island surrounded by The Black Sea which becomes The Great Ocean. The Southern Forest of the Known World forms an effective border to the south of the Known World, and the frozen Dragonspire Mountains cut off exploration to the north. Although it is known that there are people living beyond these borders, and beyond The Isle of the Dead (which is called Annwm by the locals), no reliable witness has ever traveled to those distant lands and returned to tell their tales. Those who have claimed to return from travels beyond these borders are generally thought to be liars, crazy or both.

Major Places and Peoples of The Known World
For those in Annwm (Epoch on the Rock): the Known World is split into four major regions: The Tawdonian Empire (in the West); The Frontier (near the middle); The Confederacy of the Eastern Woods (in the East); and The Isle of the Dead, also called Annwm by the locals.

1 The Tawdonian Empire.
Frequently, this region is simply called The Empire. It stretches from the edge of the Great Wastes to the shores of the Northam Sea and then south through the Rocklands, along the coast of the West Hurn Sea to the Southern Forests. The Tawdonian Emperor rules these lands from his throne in the Imperial City.
The Empire is shaped by a long history of conquest and expansion. Citizenship in the Empire is available to anyone who can afford to buy it. Those who cannot have no rights under the law. The Imperials worship a three faced god called NOS. Ney, the hidden face – represents summer, mystery and beauty. Olt is the owl face – the predator, representing middle seasons, change, knowledge and wisdom. And Sim is the skull face, representing winter and death.

Imperial Quick Facts
1. The current year (OOG year 2016) is The Year of Our Emperor 425.
2. The current Emperor is True Emperor Medaka V, who was crowned at the age of 17 in 407. The young Emperor was assassinated in his sleep sometime in the Fall of 411 but successfully resurrected several months later.
More extensive information about the Tawdonian Empire is available at
http://www.epoch-larp.ca/?page_id=211.

2. The Confederacy of the Eastern Woods  
Often shortened to The Confederacy. It stretches from the Great Ocean west encompassing The Isle of the Dead, The Great Woods, the Spirit Forest and The Thunder Mountains. The area is in the control of the Confederacy of the Eastern Woods, a loose political grouping of a three of powerful tribes and a number of smaller tribes.
The Confederacy consists of three main tribes, the Skae, the Pyren, and the Curn. The Skae are a warrior society with overtones of ancestor worship. The Pyren are a hardworking people that believe that all spirits wish naturally to strive towards perfection but that any individual spirit lacks the means to find the path. The Curn are the most spiritual of the three major tribes and are generally noted as the spiritual leaders of the woods.
More information about the peoples and practices of the Confederacy are available at http://www.epoch-larp.ca/?page_id=315.

Please note: The Imperials and the Confederates have been at war on and off for over 300 years. Most Imperials consider Confederate peoples to be primitive, dangerous savages. Most Confederates consider the Imperials to be arrogant, power-hungry expansionists.

3. The Frontier
The lands that lie in-between The Tawdonian Empire and the The Confederacy of the Eastern Woods are called The Frontier. Geographically, it is centered on the region between the Sea of Storms, the Sea of Aerie and the East Hurn Sea. Control of this area has been in dispute between The Confederacy of the Eastern Woods and the Tawdonian Emperor for the last 300 years. Presently, governments vary from community to community.
Epoch Toronto is set on the Frontier, which is neutral territory between the two main human groups, the Empire and the Confederacy. For more information on the Frontier go to: Maps – The Frontier.

4. The Isle of the Dead (a.k.a Annwm).
Epoch: On the Rock is set on the Isle of the Dead, known by locals as Annwm. This island is bordered on all sides by the Black Sea, which becomes the Great Ocean some distance out. The outer edges of the island of Annwm are sparsely settled, and its empty inner reaches, especially the unknown place called Nullisia, are known to be dangerously unstable. While there is no one dominant religion in Annwm, there are many who follow the Nordin religion. Anyone who has been born and raised on Annwm may have little or no knowledge of life on the mainland.

Major Places Outside the Known World
There are two additional places that are known to exist, although they have no physical connection to the Known World. These places are the Mists, and the Land of the Dead.
The Mists
The Mists are the homeland of the Fey. All the Fey currently on the human plane either came there from the Mists or are descended by those who made the journey. Fey who have been to the Mists have found it extremely hard to put a description of them into words. The best most are able to come up with is, “Like here, only better.”
The Mists are also the home of the Faerie. The Faerie are powerful unpredictable creatures. It is the Faerie who created the Fey and the Fey worship them as gods.
Theories as to why the Fey left the Mists vary. Some believe they were sent by the Faerie to conquer the humans. Others believe they were sent as either a punishment or a reward. Still others, say that it was to relieve the over population of The Mists by allowing them to take up space vacated by the death of most of the humans. And then there are those who believe it is part of some larger cosmic cycle.
The name “The Mists” is derived from the blue mist that emerges through the portals opened between the two planes.

The Land of the Dead
The Land of the Dead is the place where the souls of the dead go when they leave the body. It is a vast and strange place. Many rules of time and space do not seem to apply here. A spirit may dwell here for a short time or may linger there longer. Some spirits return to the human plane to be resurrected, others travel though the swirling portal to the Land Beyond.
Different cultures have different understandings of what lies in the Land Beyond. But that journey appears to be one way, as none have ever returned to tell of it.

(Some other peoples and places are described at and near the following link: http://www.epoch-larp.ca/?page_id=337. At the moment, however, the vast majority of people play humans, Fey, and Kin from OOG North America.)

Major History
The Great Plague
The Great Plague ended 67 years ago <about 1949 OOG time>, and killed about ninety percent of the population across the world. Until the Plague hit, magic and Fey Folk were just legends. No one knows what caused The Plague. The Confederates believe it was their ancestors crying out in outrage and shame at the way the current generation was behaving. The Empire believes that it was because Sim held dominance in NOS and in society for too long. The Fey believe a variety of things about the origin of The Plague. Some say it was a ritual gone wrong. Some say a ritual gone right. Some say the Faerie are responsible. Some think a Dragon played a trick on the world. Some don’t care.
Despite The Plague, humans still make up the majority of the population of the Epoch world. Both the Imperials and the Confederate cultures are still struggling to recover from The Plague almost seventy years later, and also from the emergence of both magic and the Fey races into the world at roughly the same time.
In addition to making people sick and killing them, The Plague has been known to change people, plants, and animals in strange and terrible ways. The Great Plague was never cured. No medic, shaman, priest or wizard could ever find a way to get rid of it. It just went away -- which means it could just as easily come back.
The animal hardest hit by the plague was horses. Effectively, all the horses died (although rumours exist that the Emperor might have a breeding pair or two). Donkeys and other related animals suffered a 99% mortality rate.

Common Knowledge about Non-Human Peoples in Epoch
Relations between Humans and Fey Folk
From the point of view of the humans, magic, the Fey Folk and mysterious resurrections have only been around for about two or three generations - ever since the Great Plague subsided almost seventy years ago. A few people have “mastered” magic, and societies are coming to grips with what it means, spiritually and legally, to have multiple lives. To the average human these things are still strange and wondrous. The average human has probably not yet met a member of every species, let alone been briefed in full on the workings of their society. It is commonly rumoured that the Fey peoples come from the Mists, a place of mystery and magic. Many human societies regard the Fey peoples with fear and suspicion.

The Fey
Out of the mysterious Mists came the Fey peoples. Believed by some to be the union of mortal men and True Faerie, the Fey are neither human, nor immortal Faerie. They are the beings of legends and lore, and recent newcomers to the world. Shortly after the Great Plague ended, these unusual creatures moved into the abandoned areas of Man, starting their own societies. Now somewhat integrated into the fringes of human society, the Fey peoples are still regarded with a great deal of apprehension, fear, and awe. The Fey races include Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Orcs, Kaern, Fauns, and Arluru.  

Elves
Elves are known by all demi-humans to be the mortal race with the greatest claim to kinship with the Faerie. It is because of this that many of the other Fey (demi-humans) respectfully refer to the Elves as “older brothers” or “older sisters” in deference to their purer Faerie blood. Their blood makes them so akin to Faerie that they are inherently magical, and they tend to become powerful mages. The Faerie consider Elves to be their business and force the Elves to adhere to a strict code of honor; straying from this code can have dire consequences for an Elf. Aside from this code, Elves lack a concept of good and evil, and it is not uncommon for personal tastes to lead Elves to opposite sides of a conflict.
Elves are born aware, thus they all see magic around them. For an elf, casting a spell is as natural as breathing. Magic is part of their environment like air. They are attuned to it to the point of being able to cast spells no other mage can cast. Most Elves become accomplished mages. But because it comes so naturally to them, they are unable to explain magic to non-Elves.
Elves are recognized in an Epoch game by their pointed ears.

Dwarves
Dwarves are second eldest of the Fey, less pure in Faerie blood than the Elves, but more pure than the other Fey. Because their blood marks them as different from the other races, Elves and Dwarves, although frequently rivals, always treat each other with respect. All other Fey are considered so distant from Faerie blood as to lack this bond. Dwarves tend to be blunt people with an eye always on the bottom line. Although profit oriented as a people, they tend to be long term planners which make them (fairly) honest. When Dwarves are wronged, they tend to be quite tenacious in exacting revenge, although they may not seek redress immediately. Dwarves have LONG memories.
Dwarves are recognized in an Epoch game by their luxurious beards.

Halflings
Halflings tend to be a gregarious, cheerful, curious people who are never happier than when they are sitting down to a good meal in comfortable surroundings. The Halfling creed can easily be summed up as “good food, good drink, good friends, good song, and some more good food. They are a peaceful people who seem curiously ill-equipped to deal with the trouble that their curiosity can provoke. Appearances do tend to be deceiving in this instance. Halflings’ cheerful natures often allow them to charm their way out of most situations and, in any case, they usually have many friends willing to come to their aid.
Halflings can be identified in an Epoch game by the fur upon the backs of their hands.

Orcs
Orcs have a reputation for being ignorant, bloodthirsty savages, and generally speaking, they deserve it. All Orcs tend to be competitive and clan oriented, seeking to dominate those that they perceive as weaker than themselves. However, an Orc, when called upon to defend themselves and their homes, or their friends, are capable of extreme acts of bravery and self-sacrifice. The weakness of the Orcs is in their mental laziness. Although excellent specimens of health, they rarely master mental disciplines. An Orc may be cunning and sly, but they generally lack the focus required for study and mental excercise.
Orcs can be recognized in an Epoch game by their green-tinted skin and protruding lower teeth.

Kaern
Kaern are a cat-like people who live in a female-dominated culture. Although they may be found in human society, they will tend to congregate in an area which they mark as their territory. Trespassing into Kaern territory can be dangerous indeed as this passionate people tend to ask questions later, if at all! Kaern are quite emotive and tend to share their feelings with everyone. No Kaern has ever learned to use a poker face – instead they revel in sensuality. They consider their own pleasures (and displeasures) to be of the utmost importance. Kaern males are all owned by a female. The males are taken care of by their female, while the female demands complete loyalty from her men. Males who have no females are called “rogue” and are either absorbed or destroyed by other Kaern groups.
Kaern can be recognized in an Epoch game by their cat-like facial features. Some Kaern have tails.

Fauns
Fauns are flighty forest dwellers. Although some take a fancy to the social scene of civilized areas, they always remain near their beloved woods. Fauns are a lustful, socially oriented race; loners are unknown! Fauns like nothing more than being at the centre of an admiring crowd. They are naturally devious; they constantly play harmless practical jokes in an effort to make everyone else lighten up. They have had enough experience with other races to always keep an eye on the exits just in case one of their jokes is taken the wrong way. Fauns tend to rely on fleetness of foot, quickness of mind and advance preparation to deal with whatever troubles may be thrown at them.
Fauns can be identified in an Epoch game by their horns.

Arluru
Arluru are wolf-like hunters, whose rage fills their minds and hearts. They dwell in the untamed wilderness, taking up and protecting their territory with extreme vigilance. A pack of Arluru are not to be trifled with. A group can explode into a frenzy and tear the offender apart at the drop of a hat.
Arluru are, by instinct, berserkers. When provoked, backed into a corner, or outnumbered, they unleash their anger in desperation. And when one is dangerous, a pack of them is unfathomably terrifying. The Arluru are Fey, and their purpose is to protect and keep the wild lands wild. As such, seeing one in a small town is rare, and one in a major city is unheard of.
Only recently have the Arluru begun to emerge from wherever they came from to The Known World. Before this, they were in a much more horrible place.
Arluru are recognized by their wolf-like features in-game.
For more information on the Fey go to:

The Elemental Kin
Unlike the Fey, who are magical beings who came from the Mists, the Elemental Kin are magical beings who are native to the Known World. The Elemental Kin are beings made of the four prime elements: Earth, Fire, Air and Water. Each species is as different as their elements to each other and each have traveled to the prime material plane for their own reasons. Elemental Kin greatly revere their respective Elemental Lords as their creator and gods. There is no natural animosity between each element. Their magic power is as much a part of their essence as it is a learned ability.
The Fire Kin are known to be fierce warriors with tempers as hot as their element.
The Earth Kin are normally calm and steady. Rarely making hasty decisions, they value the long process of decision making and generally do not favour change.
The Air Kin are flighty people, changing moods rapidly and unpredictably.
The Water Kin are normally very steady and slow to anger. Once angered, however, it’s very difficult to slow them down.
Elemental Kin can be recognized in game by their multiple horns and power lines on their skin in the colour of their element.
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Lessa

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Re: Common Knowledge about the Known World of Epoch: Places and Events

Post by Lessa on Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:42 pm

Hi everyone! This Common Knowledge material and the material on Fey culture and beliefs are both from the In-Game menu on the Epoch: Toronto website, which you can find here: http://www.epoch-larp.ca. Much of the Common Knowledge has become more relevant this season; I would have liked to post it earlier, but it's here now. I hope you enjoy reading it, and that it improves your LARP experience.
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