Maelstrom Primer (SAFE)

((A physical copy of this is located in the underground city's library if your character cannot Dream. If your character also cannot read... One of the Clerks will most likely be able to read it out loud for them))

Greetings to all residents of and visitors to the land currently known as Maelstrom.

As some of you know, I am endeavoring to create a better communication system between us all. In my talks with everyone I have discovered odd gaps in general information about where we are and what we are doing here. This is, to that end, a general primer of information about the Maelstrom. If anything is inaccurate or should be added to, please let me know.

Most of (if not all) this land was taken up by the Empire of the Iron Hand. The Empire was always at war- there were some past historical wars during the formation of the Empire, but the primary war for hundreds of years was against the undead and the Dread Pride- a pride of eight Griffin Liches who commanded them. This conflict was known as the Chaos War. (Source: Terren)
The council to the Emperor came up with a plan. In order to end the war they would open the gates to the elemental planes and control the elementals that came though, using them to destroy the undead. The Emperor refused the plan and his council had him assassinated which resulted in his permanent death. (Source: The spirit of the Emperor during his Spirit Farewell) It is likely that the council was being manipulated by Outsiders in some way. (Source: ???)
The elemental gates were opened and the elementals began killing everyone, both living and undead. A truce and alliance was negotiated with the undead but it wasn't enough. Within 6 months the land was barren, and elementals had either destroyed earth circles, or staked them out killing everyone who came through until nobody came back. Based on general approximations about 15 years passed. (Source: Last Bastion members, Terren, Abel)
A few years ago, a group of mistwalkers came to this land mostly from a land called 'Parna' and efforts have been made to restore the land ever since. (Source: Mistwalkers, Shin)

The primary antagonistic force at present are Elementals. There are 8 'main' elemental planes- Flame, Ice, Lightning, Stone, Life, Death, Order, and Chaos. At present Flame and Ice are 'sealed' with guardian creatures guarding both. However, the seals are not completely tight as flame has popped back though in the past. (Source: Shin, Calderon, Terren)
Elementals and the planes are a natural part of the land and presumably something is driving them or forcing them to behave out of the ordinary. (Source: A guardian dragon)
Elementals are capable of marking mortals, and mortals can become infected the elemental 'taint' which alters their physical being, personality, and motivation. Such taint can be removed as long as it is gotten to quickly. (Sources: Terren, Kasuni, others who have been marked or infected)
Elementals use small coin-shaped black disks called 'motes' as money (and possibly energy?) These motes have a variety of uses and the marking on them indicates how 'strong' they are.

Update 3/13/617
Lightning has been sealed and the taint removed from it. The lightning dread pride griffon is guardian of it. (Source: Tevas). Ice elementals are being purposefully returned to areas where ice should be, such as mountaintops and glaciers, by Puck. (Source: Puck)

Outsiders are creatures from beyond the stars, native to the Void. The Outsiders's goal is the destruction of Fortannis. They cannot be reasoned with, and while they may pretend to be reasonable or helpful, it is always a lie. There are many, many kinds of them- Some just outright attack, some slowly and subtly manipulate. They don't notice or have time for small details, however, so there can be small clues that someone is being controlled by one, or has been replaced with one (ex: They walked with a limp, now they don't). (Source: Sir Krieger, Empress Suenessast, Warlock of Ravens) If you were in the Neverwhen (the strange place last year where many people from different lands converged) you have met an Outsider- Sightless- the creature trying to consume people's coins.
Outsider 'taint' has been identified through celestial circle identification and has manifested physically in the past. It may show up in other forms. How exactly it gets removed varies based on the case, but it has been successfully removed in the past as long as it is gotten to early. (Source: Terren)
An Outsider has been pulled out of a connection to the elemental plane of Chaos, possibly indicating further Outsider taint in the elemental planes (Source: Resete)
Using magical means, Outsiders have been seen tearing holes through the barrier that separates this plane from the Void. (Source: Tevas)

Update 3/13/617
Outsiders have publicly attacked the fishing village. They appeared to have a primary leader, but the name of the leader is presently unknown. (Source: Kasuni)

Spirits of the Land
Vellis took excellent notes on the subject of the Spirits of the land, and I have simply copied them here, with edits as they come up:
Here are the spirits as viewed thorough the Resonance:
  • Bear: Eldest, dreamed the spirit world into being. Solitary, gentle, fierce, protective. Stands for strength, healing and dreams. Hurt and currently hibernating. Should be found, woken up. There is a malevolent presence who wants her to stay asleep. Her death will bring an end to the spirit world and the other spirits.
  • Beaver: Industry, crafting, cooperation. A faint presence, nearly powerless--with most of the mortals of Maelstrom dead, there is little cooperation.
  • Deer: Empathy, abundance, sanctuary. Hiding very well.
  • Frog: Song, rain, medicine. Consumed by jealousy, and responsible for drought and flood, his medicine turned to poison. Faint hope of saving.
  • Raven: Intelligent. Brings magic, secrets, visions. Recently returned to the world and strongest because of their dedicated shaman.
  • Wolf: The hunt, cunning, loyalty, family. A plurality, but reduced to four and dwindling. Not hiding but being hunted (by Boar) and lashing out in anger. Parts have been eaten by Outsiders. Update: Doing better (Source: Kjeld)
  • Butterfly: Change, beauty. Weak and nearly gone. Trapped on Maelstrom, not dead. Something is using their power to disguise themself. Update 3/13/617 Taken by Outsiders. Interacting with butterfly will draw Outsider attention and needs to be prepared for. (Source: Kosh, Spirit of Tiger) Update 10/9/617 Butterfly is currently safe and is being empowered and cared for. (Source: Plue)
  • Boar: Rage and strength. Always fighting. Requires blood sacrifice. His shamans were corrupted before the end and were sacrificing sentient creatures. Hunting Wolf.
  • Owl: Judgment, law, knowledge, patience. Waited too long to act before the end.
  • Lion(?): War, nobility. Alive but defeated and brooding on their loss.
  • Fox: Cunning trickster--almost bends reality. Not dreamed by Bear but by himself. Seems corrupted, but is playing both sides against each other. Very weak.
  • Mouse: Fertility, safety. Hiding. Kind, gentle. Wasting away.
  • Update 3/13/617 Tiger: Protection. The spirit was injured and corrupted. Currently weak and resting. (Source: Kosh)
  • Update 10/9/617 Spider:
Dead spirits include: Eagle, Ram, Lizard, Snake.

To help the remaining spirits will require a great deal of work. You must find those who hide, find their homes and places of power, in addition to revering them. You must perform appropriate sacrifices at their places of power (Raven likes secrets, Boar needs blood, etc.). Some strongholds have been defiled. The spirits need dedicated shamans to work through, to be dedicated and act as the hands of the spirit in the land, and to teach others. This will take time. (Source: Vellis)

Current Location
Update 3/13/617 The Mistwalkers and the Resurrected have evacuated to the larger Vaeltarii city following an assault on the fishing village by the forces of lightning. More information on the area will be available shortly.
Around the area are sometimes found Nexus forges. These forges are connected to laylines, and move, occasionally. The Nexus forge can be used to create things (like magic items, rituals, etc), and can be powered with Motes and other materials. (Source: Nikos)

Local Personages
There are a number of people who can be called on for specialized tasks or information. They are listed alphabetically by their name, though their title is also included (I apologize for any misspellings, please inform me and I will correct them). They will not always be available, but they may be able to help you. If you wish to be added to this list or removed from it please let me know:

  • Sargent Darve - Sargent Darve works with the guard and the militia. He is an excellent source if you have questions about the local surrounding area, the milita, or the guard. If you wish to join the guard or the scouts, he is a good person to inquire with.
  • Dame Marize - Dame Marize leads the Last Bastion, the final standing group of mortals that fell during the fall of the Empire. She is an excellent person to ask if you have questions about military movements, the militia, the guard, need assistance strategizing, or wish to know more about the land before and during the fall of the Empire.
  • Warlock of Ravens Nikos - The previous Warlock has passed on, and Nikos is now the Warlock of Raven. He is invested in both circles and leads and tains the healers that man the resurrection circle. He is also the foremost expert on the Nexus Forges.
  • Master Saali - A ritualist and mage of great power. He should soon have an assistant who can take questions for Saali as he is extremely busy and needs to concentrate.
  • Empress Suenessast - Empress Suenassast is the Empress of the Vaeltarii people. Her knowledge of the current situation is vast, and she is a good person to ask if you have a strange question or wish another set of ears to hear an idea.
  • General Terren (sp?) - A recently resurrected Vaeltarii General of great experience. An excellent person to inquire to on the subject of war.
  • Lord Terren - Lord Terren heads the Clerks, a group made up of people from all over the camp for the purposes of increasing communication lines. If you have a project and you are uncertain of which way to turn, who to inquire with, or just want to know if there are resources or information available to go to the project, inquire with Terren.

The populace is primarily made up of resurrected citizens of the Empire of the Iron hand. There is currently a population of around 300, though the Clerks by the Earth Circle will be able to give an exact number. Most of the resurrected have been human, wylderkin, dwarf, a few elves, high orcs and high ogres. There have notably been zero Stone Elves; a limited number of Selunari, Mystic Wood Folk, and First People; three Vaeltarii and one Dryad. Some people resurrect with 'Resurrection Sickness' an affliction of the mind that manifests in many different ways, including a full comatose state. The cause, as far as can be determined, is a combination of many factors- the long time in death being one. Most but not all have recovered with some time to rest and right themselves and assistance of those with mental abilities.
Recently resurrected and occasionally present are a people known as the Azacranti (sp?) who were people of the forests and thought of somewhat as myths and stories. They were allies during the fall of the Empire, and they are allies now. They are characterized by huge spiraling horns, and difficult to miss.
The people here are extremely competent and ready to help if asked. If you have a project and require extra hands they are happy to help. (Source: Terren)

Update 3/13/617
It has been discovered that resurrected Stone Elves and Biata were being stolen away to a separate stronghold and mentally manipulated in an attempt to restore the Empire of the Iron Hand. This stronghold then fell in an assault by lighting. (Source: Sargent Darve, Terren)

Update 3/24/617
According to the record keepers on the plane of Death the spirits came in fine and left fine. The problem (resurrection sickness) is not on the Plane of Death but seems to be with the local environment when they resurrect. It could still be trauma, it could be something more. (Source: Baron Marcus)

I realize this is exceedingly long, but if it helps one person it has done it's job. I have had to write this in some haste so I apologize for the typical writing mistakes that come with no editing. Please let me know if anything needs to be altered or added to.

In Service,
Clerk Terren
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