ingwall: (Default)
Представьте себе, что вы - монарх маленькой и не очень гордой страны. Не всё хорошо с прочностью власти, разбойники гуляют по лесам, да и в соседях - могущественное волшебное существо, не отличающееся добротой.

И вот к вам во дворец приезжает некий странник, ищущий нечто. Допустим, ваши шпионы доносят вам, что это самое нечто находится во власти вашего могущественного волшебного соседа. И искать его может, по идее, только тот, у кого с этим соседом нешуточная вендетта, так как сосед со своими игрушками добровольно не расстаётся, и это всем известно.

А ещё один советник вам толсто намекает, что в таком случае странник может быть не тем, за кого себя выдаёт, а тоже нехилым волшебным существом, только переодетым.

Странник просит вашей помощи в том, чтобы добраться до цели своего путешествия.

Соседа злить нельзя.
Странника злить тоже нельзя.

Ваши действия?
ingwall: (Default)
Of Wars and Fighting.

The concept of war is, at present time, outdated. Disputes between the subject kings are nowadays mostly resolved in the court of law. There are no large armies. Each Land does keep a Royal Guard consisting usually of a few hundred regular soldiers and a few dozen volot. This is enough to deal with any sort of trouble, which comes usually from a rogue volot who either decides to become a king and starts a rebellion, or decides to grow in power, renounces the Creator and starts going insane.

When famine or a natural disaster strikes the lands of the archvolot, the inhabitants of those lands sometimes venture into the Empire. If they are peaceful, they are taken in. In other times, usually when they have volot to lead them, they start robbing and pillaging the frontier lands. Then a Provincial Force of Royal Guards has to be gathered, and maybe a former archvolot and volot known for their fighting abilities brought in to help.
ingwall: (Default)
Of the Craft.

Since the very beginning of the Empire, there were people who wanted to imitate the powers of volot, or come up with ways to neutralize or kill volot. Thus was the Craft born. It was discovered that by using certain mental techniques and certain specifically made items, one could alter the laws of the universe (limited in space and time) in the same manner as volot could. This became known as magic. The other branch of the Craft is known as science. Science teaches how the existing laws of nature can be used to replace, negate or counter the power of volot.

Surges of magical and scientific progress usually coincide with anti-volot tendencies in the society, which occur now and then, usually when a rogue volot commits some terrible crime or wild volot attack border settlements.

Because of the close association of magic and science, no mass production of technology-based items exists: things like firearms, internal combustion engines or radios are always custom-made by a master craftsman. As such, they are relatively rare and expensive.
ingwall: (Default)
Of Religion.

In the land called Egypt there dwelt, a few centuries before Romulus and Remus, a tribe of people called ha-Ibiru. They were slaves among slaves, working for the powerful archvolot rulers of that land. But they were not inclined to worship the archvolot. They claimed something that has never been claimed before: that no one walking on the earth, not volot nor archvolot was worthy of worship, that only the supreme Creator of the world was to be revered as one and only God.

The ha-Ibiru openly defied the Archvolot of Egypt, and, surprisingly enough, forced them to admit defeat and let their tribe and everybody who wanted to join them leave the land. Then they entered a long and terrible war with the archvolot Dagon and Baal-Zebub, and their devoted volot-worshippers. Again, to everybody’s surprise, they won. Some said it was because the leaders of the ha-Ibiri were themselves powerful volot. The ha-Ibiri said it was because their God, infinitely more powerful than any archvolot, was with them.

Time passed, and the luck of the ha-Ibiru (or their God) did not always help them. They have been conquered and subjugated by archvolot after archvolot, but they never lost faith in the Creator.

For the Empire, which by that time has gone through several volot-related crises, the peculiar faith of the ha-Ibiru appeared a wonderful idea. The Warrior Consul of Rome, Gnaeus Pompey, in one of the very rare moments in history when Roman forces invaded another country, came to the assistance of the Judeans, as the descendants of the ha-Ibiru came to be called by then, and helped them to overthrow the rule of the archvolot once and for all.

Judea became a part of the Empire, and Pompey invited the learned men of Judea to leave their land, and come live among the peoples of the Empire, teaching them about the Creator, promising them great honors and gifts.

In about two centuries, several different forms of faith in the One God have spread throughout all the provinces of Rome.

It appears that a volot who has been baptized and consecrated to the Creator, becomes immune to worship. He gets no power from it, and loses no sanity because of it.
ingwall: (Default)
Of the beginning of days and the origin of the Empire.

In the beginning of days, volot and archvolot ruled all the lands. Humankind was little but so many cattle for the whims and pleasures of the volot. In some regions, ruled by particularly benevolent or particularly indifferent archvolot, men could turn their minds to arts, and crafts, and sciences. One such region was Greece, lorded over by an assembly of volot and archvolot whose favorite pastime consisted of sexual escapades.

One day, an embassy came to the learned men of Greece from Romulus and Remus, two volot brothers who have established themselves as rulers of a hilly region in a land across the sea. They have observed that the worship of men, while bringing great power to the archvolot, was liable to drive them mad, so they were searching far and wide for a solution that would let them wield as much power as they could while letting them keep their sanity intact.

The learned men of Greece debated and discussed the matter over several years, and finally, among many proposed solutions, one was chosen. The brothers established a Senate – a ruling body consisting both of volot and regular people. They empowered Consuls, both volot and non-volot, to act on their behalf in different situations. And most importantly, they established laws, so as not to make every punishment a reason to hate them and every reward a reason to love them. This was the beginning of what will be later called the Roman Empire.

In time, the Empire grew and became stronger. The neighboring volot rulers, if they haven’t gone too far on the road to becoming mad, often saw the advantages of this new way of life, so they adapted or imitated the laws and structure of the Empire; or else joined their lands to the imperial province next to their land, and became subject kings. Those too mad or too ambitious sometimes tried to invade the Empire and take its lands and people, but it soon became apparent that a few hundred well-trained soldiers led by a dozen powerful imperial volot can prove a match even for an archvolot.
ingwall: (Default)
Of the Volot.

Volot is a generic term for people who are born with, or in their life gain certain extraordinary powers. The range of these powers is tremendous: starting with increased physical strength, and ending with the abilities to shape the face of the earth, temporarily alter laws of the universe, or bend thousands of people to one’s will. In estimation, about 0.006 to 0.01 % of the world population are volot.

Volot are capable of gaining power from people worshiping or irrationally fearing them. Thus many volot are revered as gods in the lands beyond the borders of the Empire. They are usually referred to as archvolot.

A human mind is often not capable of handling the archvolot powers beyond a certain degree, therefore as a rule most, if not all, of the archvolot are insane.

All volot are considered essentially mortal. Many of them grow old and die within a regular human lifespan. However, some of the archvolot are said to have been alive for millennia. No volot has ever been proven to have come back from the dead, despite numerous rumors to the contrary.
ingwall: (Default)
Of the Empire.

It took the old Roman Empire over two thousand years of expansion and growth to became the stronghold of law and order it is today. Now we just call it the Empire.

Citizens of the Empire are free men, able to own private property. Nobody can be deprived of freedom, life or property except as a result of a trial by law. Institution of temporary slavery exists but is highly regulated and fairly rare.

The Empire is composed of several Provinces, most of which are in turn composed of many Lands. The largest Provinces are: in the West, Iberia, Britannia, Gaul, Rome, Alemany, Slavia and Gothia; in the east, Illyria, Greece, Hettia, Judea, Syria, Great Armenia and Persia; in the South, Egypt, Lybia, Nubia and Ethiopia, and in the North, Skandia, Vendia and Great Fennia.

The natural borders of the Empire are the Riphean Mountains and the Hyrcanian Ocean in the East, the great forest in the South, the Atlantic Ocean in the West, and the Frozen Waste in the North. Beyond these borders ends the rule of Man’s Law, and begins the rule of the volot.

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