Wednesday, January 25, 2017

plane of life lore

Plane of Life


Life Rifts: wild growth

Exploring Telara, you may find a lush oasis in the heart of a wasteland, where alien plants grow thick as corded sinew and heavy with fruit, and new species of beast prowl, displaying fur and plumage in unreal colors.

Turn away from such places, for if you wander in alone you may become intoxicated with scent and sight and lose all sense. By the time you realize the foliage has blocked out the sun, you will be bitten by legions of ravenous insects, and finally come to the center of the growth.

There hangs the Life Rift, vines and roots spilling out, tearing the rift wider like fingers pulling at frayed cloth. One of the vines will notice you and dart for your guts like a viper as its end sharpens to a venomous spear…

The Plane of Life: nothing in moderation

There is no ground in the Plane of Life, and there is no sky. Both are overgrown with plants as exotic as they are deadly. Roots clash like enemy armies, shoving and scrambling, while vines bulge together, sprouting thorns to stab each other. Mere survival in this plane means no coexistence or compromise, only constant competition.

This is a place of beauty, but no peace, where eternity is one long, bloody chain. Childlike in loveliness and cruelty, a faerie torments wildlife with illusions and traps, until plucked from the air by a leaping raptor and chomped to bloody gobs. Plants pulsate and grow in around the reptile, forcing it to flee until a forest troll snatches it up by the tail and breaks its back on a tree trunk. As the troll feasts, the tree— actually a treant’s leg— uproots and crushes him flat. The treant moves for the first time in centuries, seeking a new spot to root until it succumbs to the poison of sun-bright flowers.

Enemies: red in tooth and claw

These and more are the denizens of the Plane of Life, obsessive in their will to survive by supplanting other species, like the amphibious boglings who eat and kill all interlopers, usually in that order.

Many of Telara’s most savage beasts are invaders from this plane. Dire wolves hunt the local game to extinction, and razorbeast boars trample like jagged boulders over any natural predator. The Plane of Life can warp wildlife into abominations like the shamblers: swollen toadlike heads pulled along by spindly arms, with no body but a mass of soggy leaves.

The Lifetouched have adapted countless tricks in their war for survival. Ecstatic satyrs might raid a village, calling barbed roots from the ground to bind their victims in place to be poisoned, while the goat-men heal their own wounds by regrowing flesh as a tree regrows leaves.

Dragon of Life: Greenscale the Primeval

Greenscale the Primeval is the relentless enemy of civilization, hating any structure that coddles the weak or hobbles the strong. His ideal is constant, shifting struggle, where species of every sort live and die at each others’ throats, till only the most vicious survive—or something stronger comes along.

For centuries, Greenscale has raged against his sterile, lifeless prison, as his faerie servitors leech off his power to fuel their wicked games. If freed, he may crush them for their impudence or reward their ruthless drive. Greenscale yearns to level Sanctum, Meridian, every bastion of order and progress until Telara is covered in writhing, biting wilderness.

Cult of Life: House Aelfwar

For eons, the High Elves of House Aelfwar safeguarded Telara’s wild places. Then the Ascended returned from death as protectors of all Telara, and Aelfwar fell in status from Tavril’s chosen to mere mortals. When the goblins emerged from Gloamwood to burn the Elves’ wood to the ground, Prince Hylas of Aelfwar resented the Guardians’ failure to act.

The Prince led his house to worship Greenscale. Now they loathe the orderly civilization that betrayed them, and work to foster the wild at its wildest, spreading the Primeval One’s philosophy of endless competition. No less glorious for his bitterness, Hylas is a leader of ambition, charisma, and intense focus. He may quickly outstrip even Fae Lord Twyl as civilization’s most implacable enemy, though once he was harmony’s devoted friend.

Amid a teeming jungle, only this ruined wall remains of an Eth city. Something has carved this into the wall in jagged glyphs:

“This stone reminds all prey that the predator will find you, though you huddle together. Great Greenscale trod upon this city, and hungry plants rose from his footsteps, choking out the desert. Screaming his name, the city rats ran in vain from his burning eyes and breath of fragrant poison. He tumbled the towers, and he broke the streets, and he roared the triumph of nature amid the toppling pillars. Greenscale gives this jungle to Telara, to devour and be devoured as it deserves."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

plane of water lore

Plane of Water

Deep One

Water Rifts: the deep rises

The surface of all water is a membrane between sanity and lunacy, between the open air and the dark depths. By the shores and in the swamps, where real meets surreal, the Water Rifts form, letting madness loose upon Telara. Stay away from the water! Better to fish in the sand than risk ever meeting the gibbering, slimesome horrors that slither from the nightmare plane.

But then, a Water Rift can take hold even in the driest desert. Salt water rushes from nowhere and spreads into a reeking lake, from which tentacles rise and quiver in frantic rhythm. Toothed tendrils writhe from a rent in the sky, living creatures drown on land, and monsters spill from the rift like rotten fish from a net.

The Plane of Water: the crushing dark

Be thankful that the planes are closed to mortals, for mere moments of gazing into the Plane of Water would snap the sturdiest psyche. This is the plane of nightmares, the bottomless depths of its endless sea mirroring the darkest corners of the mind.

Reefs grow that defy geometry, where unclean creatures build cities and play their games of torture and depravity. Colossal creatures lie entombed within the glaciers that float upon the Plane of Water, awaiting word from their master to push through the rifts and swallow continents.

Touched by Water: the things that should not be

Watertouched invaders merge the worst bestial traits with the worst human urges. Fish-headed, with squirming tentacles for legs, the cephalons build fluted cities deep beneath the waves and hold depraved revels, hoping Akylios will wake and lead the dance. Slouching sobeks with scaly hides and crocodile jaws wallow in everything cruel and lazy. They have long served as enforcers for Telaran sorcerers arrogant enough to summon them.

The Plane of Water breeds twisted beasts such as notchback crocodiles with catlike legs, and dragon turtles that walk upright, twin heads spouting blasphemy. Deep ones lurk in seaside caves, crab-faced hulks whose pincers can crack the spines of giants. Like a maniac’s smile, the things that wash up from the Plane of Water resemble something healthy at a glance, but a second look reveals the alien, awful thing before you.

Dragon of Water: the Profane

The prison fits the prisoner: Akylios waits deep beneath one of Telara’s great secret shames, a place of terror and darkness and forbidden magic. He sleeps and he dreams, remembering endless eons marauding through the cosmos with his Blood Storm brethren, learning every tragic secret, every evil spell, sipping the nightmares of dying worlds.

Telarans can comprehend the other dragons’ urges to consume, to conquer, to hoard, but Akylios is beyond understanding. The living interest him because the tortured howls of races sound almost like music. He does not seek victory over men any more than the ocean strives against the land. One day he will simply wash all mortals away just to hear them scream their silly symphony. He was mad even before he learned all fears and secrets. There are no words for what Akylios is now.

Cult of Akylios: the Abyssal

Cabals clad in the skins of children, chanting in tide pools by moonlight. Artists locked in seaside shacks, bidden by spirits to summon blubbery monsters or else venture out and carve up village maids. Sages who venture into forbidden archives and read until their eyes shrivel in their heads. These are the wretches who serve Akylios.

They will seek any path to power, learn any magic, betray any loved one to rouse their dreaming lord. They whisper their nightmares into bottles set adrift on the tide, and draw his filthy spawn into Telara to feast. Meridian was theirs before the Defiant drove them out, and now the Eth scholars hang Kelari dreamcatchers by their beds, hoping their nightmares never reach the Abyssal’s sleeping lord.

Shortly after the Shade, the oceans swallowed a coastal manor house. Only the following was legible on this scroll found in a sealed case within.

“The fog rolls in like a gauzy tide, creeping closer by the night. It coils about my bones, slipping over the waves toward the little fishing village.

By day I pore over my tomes. By night, I watch shapes writhing in the mist. Things bray and gurgle and men scream, and every morning when the fog slips away, more fisher-folk are gone. The village is eroding, like a sandcastle left to the hungry waves. I do not care for the villagers and their stupid superstitions, but I envy no man such a fate.

Yet I hear the tentacles grasping at the cliffside, and flutes squealing in the cities in the crushing dark. They know the secrets my books keep from me. I need only join them, and they will tell me all. It seems I do envy the villagers, but not for long."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

plane of fire lore

Plane of Fire

Fire Rifts: death and destruction

Beasts rest in a glade, sipping sweet water from a trickling stream, soothed by birdsong from boughs high above. And then a glowing, orange slit opens in thin air, waves of searing heat pulsing from it in all directions.

Small volcanoes rise from the ground as grass and soil burn away, leaving cracked, ashen bedrock. Underground gases poison the tress, the smell of sulfur seeping between withered roots. Where once brooks flowed, trees bloomed, and life abounded, this Fire Rift brings streams of lava, charred stumps, and the smoldering corpses of every living thing caught in the inferno.

Every rift carries the threat of death and planar invasion, but the incendiary magic released by a Fire Rift consumes everything. Monsters rush from the rift, roaring like a flame, eager to waste the land and roast the innocent in their homes.

The Plane of Fire: fields of flame

The Plane of Fire is a broken and cracked expanse of sharp rocks and blasted mountains, valleys obscured by smoke and ash. Volcanoes rise thousands of feet into the methane sky, spewing rivers of molten rock into seas of fire that the plane’s denizens walk upon as if it were harmless soil.

Razor shards of stone carpet the scorched plains, where fire elementals and ifrits clash together in a riot of joyous violence. Demons fly between the jagged peaks, plucking goblins from their lairs in handfuls to gorge upon.

Tainted by fire: devouring hordes

The creatures that come to Telara through Fire Rifts make up for a lack of subtlety with pure, ruthless aggression. Goblins have lived in Telara since the Age of Dragons, and every mother scares her children with tales of the goblins’ vicious cruelty. Recently, the Gedlo priests have joined their lesser goblin cousins, honing anarchic tribes into war-bands that harass and butcher even well-armed patrols.

Invaders from the Plane of Fire overwhelm their victims with bursts of devastation, but this does not mean they are stupid or without foresight. Tall and beautiful in their monstrous way, Devils can incite victims to mindless fury, or enter such a state themselves when one of the lesser races has the nerve to pose a threat. If bested, they may fall on their own swords in arrogant spite, denying their lessers the honor of ending such elegant malevolence.

Dragon of Fire: the Flame Sire

The red dragon is chaos incarnate. Any goals beyond sowing turmoil and ruin are a waste of his time. While many of the other dragons of the Blood Storm have additional motives controlling Telara, Maelforge sees anything beyond the cycle of annihilation, regrowth, and new destruction as decadent self indulgence.

A creature of rapacious lust, the Flame Sire would tolerate no other Blood Storm participating in the destruction of the world, and so he turned against his fellows. Unlike Regulos, who seeks to end all creation once and for all, Maelforge would let the world regrow, only to return and burn it again and again, an endless cycle of fiery torment.

Cult of Maelforge: the Wanton

The Wanton revel in senseless violence and brutality. For these cultists, the only goal of conflict is more conflict. Devastation, fire, and chaos fan the flames of the Wanton’s passions, their dearest desire to sow mayhem. Every person killed, every town destroyed, every forest burned is a sacrifice to Maelforge.

The least organized but most fanatically loyal dragon cult, the Wanton ranks boast many monstrous humanoids such as goblins or dragonians. In Telaran communities, cells of Wanton can rise up suddenly, burning and despoiling in huge swathes before dying out. Many cultists seek to emulate the brutal centaurs: doing violence without honor, seeking a meaningless death, a body-count their only contribution to the world.

Ritual sacrifice is common among the Wanton. The dismembered limbs and spilled gore of their victims fuel the cultists’ hideous magic. As the Flame Sire decrees, death sows the seeds of new destruction.

Ranger-Captain Dio Booras (newly-promoted) on the destruction of Diokesi Village,

“Captain Gaiane broke ranks and rushed the smoking ruin. I suppose she could no longer stomach the screaming. As if to counter, the ground broke in her path, magma welling in the cracks like blood in a fresh cut. Her legs a blur, she cleared the lava, dodged gouts of flame, then leapt, spear twirling, into the smoke.

A huge, clawed hand plucked her from the air and dashed her against a blazing hut. The captain jabbed into the smoke, but the beast only chuckled as it stepped into view. It had wings and cloven hooves, and its forearms were twisted inside out, bone over muscle. But none of this mattered. Its bestial maw split crosswise, ear to ear and nose to jaw, to reveal a second set of humanoid teeth at the end of bleeding gums… It shoved the captain in there up to her waist and bit down, twisting its head to the side…”

Monday, January 09, 2017

plane of eath lore

Plane of Earth


Earth Rifts: avalanche from beyond

The ground shakes. Dust swirls and rocks rain as a monstrous spike of stone stabs down through a tear in the sky. Carbuncles and stalagmites bubble up like boils as hulking monstrosities emerge from this new Earth Rift.

Explorers may be tempted by an Earth Rift, for every new spire bursts with precious minerals and gems clearer than water. These riches are but a trap to lure the greedy into the arms of waiting horrors. With each treasure hunter so doomed, Laethys smiles…

Plane of Earth: the unquiet stone

The Plane of Earth is a desert of multicolored sand, pierced by massive spikes of crystal and stone. Rivers of molten metal flow down mountains that rise beyond the sky, cooling sometimes into continents of alloy in a sea of dust. Rock formations defy gravity as tiny necks of stone support boulders that span between horizons, dotted with gems as big as houses.

Earth Rift

Earthtouched: immovable objects

Sheer, unrelenting might is the trademark of the Earthtouched. They resist all coercion, bow to no force. They summon unbreakable shields and wear soldered plate armor, and they strike with such power that their victims would prefer to stand in the path of a landslide. From the lurking gnar, to numberless swarms of giant ants, to basilisks with corrosive poison dripping from their fangs, the beasts from the Plane of Earth exemplify this base brutality.

Orelings tunnel underground, enslaved to expand the mines of troglodytes. The troglodytes’ bulbous cousins, the Mountain Trolls, imitate boulders in their bulk and blunt stupidity. The minions of Laethys only grow from there: sharp-toothed ogres and muscle-bound cyclopes, golems of mud and rusted iron and even diamond.

And the Titans. Once rulers of an empire within the Plane of Earth, these enormous beings make the tallest mortal look like a toy. They are not brutal, the Titans. They are not stupid. They are Earth at its most dangerous: wise, cold, mighty beyond comprehension. And they will have an empire again.

Dragon of Earth: Queen of Avarice

The Gold Dragon’s flesh flows like molten metal, and diamonds are her eyes. The riches of worlds will fall through her clutches, and she will never have enough while anyone else has anything at all. Laethys will feast atop a pile of famished wretches. All will adore her alone, and she will never give them quite enough.

Laethys would never let Regulos destroy the world, for how can she possess that which does not exist? She hates Crucia for spreading passionless devotion where there should be ravening lust. But she will work with nearly anyone who offers enough treasure, if only to steal the source of their wealth and watch her former ally grovel in the dirt.

Spoiled and fickle, Laethys discards her followers as quickly as she warms to them. Who knows how many back-alley beggars were once fat merchants who forgot the proper sacrifice to Laethys: pretty youths, their eyes cut out and replaced with rubies.

Cult of Laethys: the Golden Maw

There is a tale of an Oligarch of the Golden Maw who would pour molten gold down the throat of any of his cultists who even used the word “enough.” “Never,” he would say over their hideous corpses, “not even now.” Such is the way of the Golden Maw. They want more, more wealth, bottomless wealth for its own bloated sake.

You might see a cultured merchant leading a life of glittering splendor, and never know that he feels every day like a starving beggar because somewhere he imagines a fatter belly or prettier slaves. The Golden Maw make a game of manipulating economies, sluicing a nation’s wealth into their own overflowing hoards. They serve Laethys in hopes of splitting her leavings, and having a bigger piece of the refuse than any of their fellows.

In sickness and in wealth

In the ancient Dwarven Delve of Broochforge, there lived a jeweler named Igor Burburov. Igor Burburov had a wife who thought of nothing but their sick son, and Igor’s gold went to doctors, then to Elven healers from the wood, then rare treatments from across Telara, and still the boy only coughed and coughed, until Igor Burburov was all but a pauper.

“I wish he would cough up something useful, for a change. Like diamonds!” said Igor Burburov one day to his wife.

And so the boy did. He coughed up diamonds of rare beauty. Igor Burburov laughed as they tumbled through his fingers, not noticing when his wife caught the illness. And when all his neighbors caught the illness. But Igor Burburov did not notice, until they coughed up enough diamonds to fill up all of Broochforge.

There is no more Dwarven Delve of Broochforge. There is a hollow filled with diamonds. In the center is poor Igor Burburov. And he is still laughing.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

telara the world lore info

    Telara is a unique world, forged by the gods from Sourcestone and located at the nexus of the elemental planes. The creatures that inhabit these planes and interact with Telara are both familiar and exotic.
     The Shade rendered much of Telara inaccessible to explorers. The civilized territories are now bordered by impassible mountains on north and west and in the east and south the coasts are battered by churning waves, the sea whipped into a frenzy by planar energy unleashed by the cracking of the Ward.
     The somewhat smaller continent of Mathosia boasts a wide variety of climates brought about by the ever-changing planar convergences. Within its borders lie ancient forests and haunted swamps, mysterious bogs and snow covered mountains that seem to touch the clouds. It holds skies of crystal blue and thunderstorm gray and deepest sable, all struggling for dominance over a landscape that changes at the drop of a hat with the advent of a planar tear. All of this on just one of Telara's continents, all brought upon by the coming of the Rifts and the cracking of the magical barrier that had always protected the world from the chaotic touches of the planes. The world's other two continents, rife with intrigue, mystery and danger, are as vastly different as night is from day, hosting immense rocky mountains and technological wonders far advanced from that of Mathosia. Many small islands also dot the seas, each one a tiny micro environment with it's own unique wonders and monsters.

     At the time that the Ascended arrive on Telara from their respective timelines (20 years in the past for Guardian and 20 years in the future for Defiant), the Ward that had surrounded Telara for countless years is failing, allowing the various nutjob followers of the Blood Storm to work themselves into a frenzy in renewed efforts to release their masters, knowing that this is the best chance they've had in a long time. This was made possible by the combined efforts of the king of Mathosia and the notorious scientist Orphiel Farwind. Because of their reckless decisions, the planes were finally able to again touch Telara, causing a wave of chaos to ripple across Telara. Once opened, the rifts were a floodgate into Telara, creating new dangers and threats toward the civilized sections of the world. Strange creatures began attacking towns, changing the local climate, and twisting the minds of Telara's native inhabitants. Where rifts form, the sky changes color, the ground is warped until it becomes a mirror of that plane, and all nearby creatures become affected physically and mentally by the energy of the planes. Also, the rifts leave planar residue behind, which is a valuable and powerful resource for Ascended. Is Telara better off without the convergences of the planes or does it need this spark of new life that has been breathed into its atmosphere? Who knows, but it certainly makes living on Telara more hazardous and interesting, each day a different experience.

     Apparently there are many worlds out in the universe, but Telara is the only one unique in the fact that is made entirely out of Sourcestone, created at the nexus of the planes. It means this world, above all others, is the most valuable, and is therefore, the most sought after by the various powerful denizens of the planes.

     Each region on Telara is full of unique challenges and beings, all waiting for a brave and enterprising adventurer to explore or an Ascended to come and bring aid. And the dragon cults are again active, stirring up old magics, corrupting the innocent and waking ancient horrors in their quest to free their Blood Storm masters from their age-old prisons. Rifts ravage the landscape, some appearing where their element is plentiful, others a surreal contrast to the terrain around them, but all are full of deadly planar creatures with one single goal in mind: to kill all they see and claim this land for their own. This is Telara. But it is also home to many different creatures, sentient or otherwise. And all fight to the last to keep it safe.

References: As always, everything Rift related belongs to Trion! I just read stuff in game and pay attention to all the tiny background tidbits to turn it into Telara's history! Also, there isn't much actual lore on the actual world of Telara as whole. I think you should get on that and write up a little "history of Telara" there Trion! *hint hint* Hehe. :) Oh, and in case you didn't know already, I don't own any of this stuff. It's like writing an essay on a novel already written. I'm just summarizing it in my own words is all!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

plane of death lore

Plane of Death

Death Rifts: a rot upon the land

There are places in Telara where death holds dominion: Graveyards that rot in the stinking swamps as inscriptions fade on the headstones, or battlefields where the grass has been crushed under charging feet, and the bones and blades of fallen warriors sink into the mud. Beware such places, for the air itself might tear open, spilling horrors like maggots from a corpse.

Around these Death Rifts, plants wither as the air stills, trapping rotten smells. The undead patrol the brittle dust, slaughtering and feasting upon passersby, the cries of fiends and victims chilling folks’ blood for miles around.

Places of decay are most likely to attract these diseased patches, but Death Rifts can appear anywhere in Telara, blighting the pristine snow or the forest glade. Beyond each rift lies a plane of endless decay where even the Ascended cannot tread.

The Plane of Death: quiet forever

The Plane of Death is an endless, flat expanse of dust and bleached bone. Shadowy tendrils slither across the horizon, while vast obsidian spikes tear from the ground to claw at skies of purple and gray. The few clouds are ragged and pale, and the occasional flash of lightning sets everything into stark relief.

Things rot under pools of black oil, ready to yank prey down to a gruesome end, and mummies wait in elaborate tombs that were not built by hand, but grew from the land like cysts.

While death is the natural end to life, there is nothing of rebirth and healthful change in Regulos’s realm. The Plane of Death devours, it erodes the flesh from living bones, stealing vital energy. Its denizens spread slow, painful rot through virulent diseases, or infect the mind with fear, nightmares, or outright compulsion.

From the journal of Maura Reinhard,

“We lived at the heart of where the Shade appeared, my husband, my two sons and I. We tried to flee, but the land was dead in every direction. The undead beasts of the rifts did not slaughter us, but watched with hollow eyes, as if they knew. As if they knew.

My sons changed, skin tight over bones, and so pale I could see down to their dear hearts. Their father recoiled from them, but I could not. By night, they would tell me how alien everything seemed, how strange it was that father’s chest rose and fell as he slept, while ours did not. We decided to open him up and see why. My boys and I did not leave the shaded lands, but no matter how many people we open up, we can never remember how to breathe."

Tainted by death: the dead and the doomed

When a Death Rift opens, the plane’s denizens pour into Telara to spread terror and despair in the name of Regulos. One group of invaders, the lorn, are hollow imitations of the glorious Ascended, husks that yearn to reclaim their lost spark by spreading pain and suffering to the living. They are often accompanied into Telara by the shadow elementals called umbrals, who leave their victims’ faces frozen forever in terror.

Anything from the Plane of Death can enter Telara through a rift, from its monstrous natives such as mummies and vampires, to fell energies that send corpses shambling forth as zombies, or bind the souls of the wickeddead to Telara as spectres.

Even the living are touched by energy from these awful rifts. Mortals who run afoul of death-tainted witches are cursed to stalk the moonlight as ravenous beasts. Madmen in hidden laboratories stitch corpses together into loathsome abominations, composing with flesh as a musician composes an overture.

Regulos, Devourer of Worlds: Dragon of Death

Regulos lies. He promises his cultists peace through death, but the peace of the void is not prosperity. He promises his lieutenants eternal power over the undead, but will unmake and consume all of reality to sate his hunger. Even his dragon form is a lie, rotting flesh disguising his incomprehensible nature within a cage of bone and sinew.

The Destroyer hungers, seeking to end the keening screech of life. Thanks to the treachery of his fellow dragons and the unforeseen heroism of Telara’s defenders, Regulos remains banished to the Planes. But when his pawn Aedraxis Mathos broke the Ward, Regulos’s hideous energy flooded once more into Telara. If he is not stopped, the Devourer of Worlds will consume everything, and stretch his bloated form across all creation.

Cult of Regulos: the Endless Court

Telara was young when Regulos first arrived, and his cult has festered in dark places ever since. Mighty Titans, haughty Elves, even the humblest human priest could fall victim to the Destroyer’s overwhelming vision of the end of the world. Throughout history, wherever thoughts of doomsday take hold, the Endless Court works its evil.

From nihilistic madmen who believe Telara should receive the gift of tranquil death, to mortals so hungry for power they would rule over the undead, Regulos’s followers are the worst of the worst.

While Aedraxis once led the Endless Court, Regulos’s most famous follower has not been seen nor heard from since he released the Shade, and his body was never produced. Folk everywhere fear that he might one day return, to hone the Endless Court into the scythe that reaps Telara for the dragon of extinction.