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Dominion Cross

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  1. Countries
    1. Continent Dominia Grantis
      1. Masovia
      2. Gavonais
        1. Belleterre Marquisates
      3. Tarfelz
      4. Merlkring
      5. The Bursk
      6. Khaazmeric Pharoahcies
      7. Black Society
    2. Continent Avisia
      1. Asaguni
      2. Ubantu
      3. Five Naga Kingdoms
    3. Ocean Grandean Deep
      1. Nuleeria
      2. Northern Ice Shelf
      3. Longman's Reaches
  2. Other pages
    1. World Maps
    2. Fantasy Races
      1. Ilves
    3. Magic
    4. Religion
      1. Dorgon Cosmogeny
        1. Seven Races of Mankind
    5. The Dominion Cross Relics
    6. Adventures and Plot Hooks

Introduction

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Dominion Cross is a Fantasy world built for use with Steve Jackson's GURPS (although it should be easily transportable to other RPG systems). It is in its (very) early stages. We hope to take this online work and create a PDF book to give back to the community. Dominion Cross will be "a world from the community for the community".



The material presented here is our original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

GURPS is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games, and the "Powered by GURPS" logo and "GURPS 4th Edition" banner art here are copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.


Method of Building

The best way to describe this is an "Open Source World"; anybody is welcome to contribute anything to it, from a single NPC all the way to an entire race or anything in between. People are free to take anything they want from this and give back whatever they feel is justified; any help is appreciated no matter how small.


Basic Outline of the World

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The world is split into two main and very divided areas; a more western, european-based continent, covered in forests, mountains and in places deserts; and a continent more based on eastern philosophies, Feudal Japan and China. Only recently have ships that are capable of surviving the LONG journey between the two continents been widely available and as such the two continents are only just finding out about each other; their contact so far has been peaceful but it doesn't look like staying that way for long.

The western continent is made of lots of warring countries, each trying to outwit the other; at the moment many of them are in an uneasy cease-fire. The eastern is imperialistic in its government so nearly all of the continent is united under their "God"-Emperor (there are numerous factions who would like to change this though). The "eastern" continent is smaller than the "western" one but is is far less divided so is more of a threat than the "west" likes to admit.

Numerous islands dot the ocean between them, normally clumped together into chains. Some of the largest islands are bigger than some of the warring countries and have rich flora and fauna which are quite exotic.

The ocean itself is temperamental in the void; the region which lies directly between the continents, another factor in why the two haven't found out about each other.

To the north and south lie uncharted land masses, little is known of them except that they are cold and legends of powerful creatures are abound about them.


Factors that are still being discussed for inclusion

Magic

GURPS Magic gives numerous examples of different magic types, which type would you like included: just one, several or none at all?

Comment: I would like to see things based on the standard magic system (maybe areas of different mana levels, some magic item write-ups, etc.) and then incorporate some options from the upcoming Thaumatology. This way rules are readily available to those who wish to use the setting.

--Trentin 01:41, 1 June 2007 (EDT)

Comment: I'm setting up a page for discussiona and suggestions. Hopefully over time we can wiki-hammer it into some semblance of a set of rules. See Dominion Cross: Magic --Daigoro 01:51, 27 June 2007 (EDT)

Comment: Let's create our own set of spells for each region. We can use GURPS: Magic as a pretty standard "if we don't have other rules set up, these are the spells that are available" sort of companion. Those with GURPS: Magic can put spells into their own colleges and come up with new spells. We might come up with "off limits" spells.

Since I have GURPS: Powers (and not Magic...) I was going to work on my stuff using its directions and coming up with powers to represent the spells.. They may be costlier in points, but I don't see a problem with that. GMs can decide if they want to charge less for them to be in keeping with the costs outlined in GURPS: Magic. --LemmingLord 14 July 2007 (EDT)

Other Races

It has already been implied that the humans are the dominant species on this world but do you agree with this? Do you want other races and if so what types? Classic fantasy (elves, dwarves) or something else?

Ilves added to their own page - LemmingLord 7.22.07

[ThatDarnCat] I was reading a website about world design for games and something came up that I had never considered before. Why would more than one species become a co-dominant species? Many fantasy worlds have groups of gods that create the various races. Elven gods create elves, dwarven gods create dwarves and co on. It got me thinking about my own world and the many races within it. After much thought I simply removed all the other races from the Creation Myth and figured out a diffurent way for them to have come to the planet.

If there are going to be multiple races there needs to be something in the creation myth to support there being more than one race of sentient beings on the planet, dominant or mot. And there are actually 5 separate types of humans on my world, some with stat bonuses.

What I don't want to see are generic Elf and Dwarf types. They need to be unique to Dominion with a culture equally unique, but grounded in the world history of Dominion and it's 'true' cosmology.

Religions and Cosmology

Each culture and people on Dominion has its own take on the Truth, along with a religion and likely a creation myth. Many of these myths include supporting evidence, even Gods who claim to have created this world. All of the myths conflict, and it isn't possible for all of the Gods to be telling the truth. Perhaps they are lying, deluded or it's just that reality if more complex than mortals can understand or even all three. Or, just perhaps, this world condensed from interstellar dust, underwent biogenesis whereafter intelligence evolved and began creating Gods, but no one on Dominion actually believes this. Go figure.

Dorgon Cosmogeny

[ThatDarnCat] There needs to be one 'true' creation story and cosmology. The original deities (gods and goddessses) need to be determined, and then the other deities and how they came about. Then you can work on the diffurences as promoted by the various deities based on his or her motivation. If a specific deity is actually an interloper with an agenda contrary to the desires of the 'real' god or gods, then this needs to be spelled out in detail in each deity's description.

The truth doesn't have to match the creation myth(s).

Feel of the world

There are numerous types of fantasy but what type should this world be best suited for? High Fantasy, with magicians of epic power throwing around fireballs that make craters in the deserts? Low fantasy, with people no one particularly powerful but the nations being the most feared things? Dark fantasy, with the more good the heroes try to do the further into darkness they find themselves?

Comment: I vote for a lower magic world with the fringes of unchartered places invoking fear and beckoning explorers. I think a strong navy will play into the dominant nations as traversing the seas on coastal routes may prove easier than braving the lush jungles and forests. The temperature and rainfall levels of Dominion Cross will make for some interesting inventions for capturing water, keeping the crew dry, and preserving the ship's wood and fixtures. Mages who specialize in travel and comfort could prove very valuable and the abilities of mages may be more accepted in this regard than feared. With the incredible miles of mountains gems for powerstones shouldn't be hard to find. Mining them could be quite the journey however...

--Trentin 01:49, 1 June 2007 (EDT)

Comment: [ThatDarnCat] What is the overall Tech Level for the world? And are there variations in TL in specific areas for specific groups? In Phacseon, the overall TL is 3. I gave the Farefolk(dwarves) TL5 in metalworking and some areas of engineering like architecture to represent their vast knowledge and experience, while the city of Parth has TL4 ship building. The overall medical TL is 3, with some countries having TL4. I've been looking at dropping Parth onto the souther tip of the western continent, east of the mountain ridge in the area of temperate and alpine forest.

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Dominion Cross World Maps

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Logo Specs

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Cross Color: Black

Nations of Dominia Grantis

The world's largest land mass is divided into two continents by the massive mountain range running north-south down its spine. The western continent is known by its inhabitants as "Dominia Grantis", while they refer to the lands across the mountains to the east as "The Grellens". They consider Dominia Grantis to be a collection of (mainly) civlised states and countries, while The Grellens are widely held to be a wild, untamed, primitive and uncivilised land overrun by human tribes of hunter-gatherers, savage Ogrim war bands and disparate unorganised collections of other non-humans. Contact between the two continents had been patchy and infrequent until the last century or so, when the advent of more advanced sea-faring technology made it possible to complete the journey round the hazardous polar capes.

For a long time, the nations of Dominia Grantis had not realised the military and financial possibilities offered by maritime interests. They have found no treasure islands, no lost continents of gold, no great lands to conquer and make slaves of the natives. Any attempt to venture more than a day's sail from the coast faces a high risk of failure, due among other factors to great storms, sea monsters, innavigable currents, the non-existence of a magnetic north and otherwise a lack of knowledge of navigation. Most ships are built for coastal sailing and are used for trade between ports up and down the west coast.

It is only recently that ships of Masovia, Gavonais and the Black Society, among others, have begun to unlock the secrets and hidden potential of deep ocean navigation, finally making contact with the faraway continent of Avisia via the mid-oceanic archipelago known as Longman's Reaches.


Masovia

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Historically Masovia was not a nation at all, but a small cultural region between three larger nations. It's people never had much of a strong culture of their own other than a general strong work ethic, instead borrowing from the stronger cultures in the surrounding area. It's strategic position and weak national identity often led to it's occupation by larger warring forces. It's people, while not enslaved, were commonly used in other nations as domestic or manual labor.

The city-state of Masovia's political existance began as a treaty among it's neighbors. The Treaty of Masovia determined the borders of the small nation and declared the region off limits to foreign armies. For the first twelve years of this new arrangement, the govornorship of the region would be rotated between the three nations that signed the Treaty. Thereafter, the people of Masovia itself would be free to determine their own government.

The new ideas and new technology of the recent era of enlightenment, what we may call a Renaissance, did not begin in Masovia. But it is perhaps in Masovia that these ideas have found the most fertile soil. When the time came for the people of Masovia to elect their own form of government, they looked to the new political and economic ideas that were becoming popular among the intelligencia of the other nations. It is precicely because of the regions lack of cultural identity and history that they were able to most completely implement these ideas of individualism, representation and freedom into the structure of their nation.

Where once existed a small handful of villages now can be seen a great city. A proserping, busy, metropolis filled with energy and a boundless sense of mankind's potential for acheivement and excellence. Instead of a cultural backwater, Masovia has become an area of great cultural movement and energy, creating great works of art such as symphonies, great architecture, sculptures and paintings. The artists and philosophers of the West all either speak Masovian or are learning it. Many people of all the sentient races flock to Masovia for it's equality, freedom and opportunity. The new economic power of the small city-state has allowed it to purchase more land from the surrounding nations, expanding its tiny boundries.

This new freedom does not come without price, however. Many criminals come to Masovia seeking refuge or perhaps seeking to steal their piece of the pie. It's strategic position in the West also makes it a hotbed of espionage. It has been said that more spies live and work in the City State of Masovia than the rest of the West combined. Some come to gather information, some to steal new ideas, others to attempt to sway the favor of the city toward or away from some other nation. Despite all this activity, Masovia continues to grow. It's merchant fleet now rivals those of its neighbors. As the 100th anniversary of its independance approaches, the people of Masovia are begining to realize they can no longer afford to survive under the protection of the Treaty. For the first time in their history, Masovians are no longer an invisible, inconsequntial people and they must struggle with their new identity and new place in the world.

Belleterre Marquisates

These four territories compose the southern extent of the Gavonais Kingdom. Two of them share borders with Masovia, and the other two extend up to the north.

The marquisates were the first line of defense against invaders from the south, but with the establishment of the Masovian neutral territory they have been slowly coming to terms with their new political position.

Gavonais

This kingdom lies to the north of Masovia. It is ruled by the Philosopher King and the Queensmith under the banner of "Hope and Unity".


Tarfelz

Tarfelz is a modestly-sized kingdom lying on the River Tarn. Its western borders front onto Gavonais and the Belleterre Marquisates.

The capital, Reiburk, was previously known as Ogsburk and was the seat of Ogir the Fierce's short-lived Ogrim Empire until its downfall 237 years ago. Tarfelz bears the legacy of the First Orcish Rampage with a unique social order, allowing Orcs to hold an equal position in society to that of Humans. Thus the Orcs of Tarfelz are almost unrecognisable as members of their species, adopting the trappings, fashions, bearings, customs and education of modern civilisation.

Tarfelz culture and customs are closely related to those of Gavonais, although Tarnish society is far more liberal and broad-minded, and they follow a similar religion, worshipping the Lady of Ash.

Merlkring

Located on the Kringsmaer coast somewhat to the north of Gavonais, this kingdom has been under the occupation of Gavonais since the end of the Unity War two years ago. The Merl Koening is still suffered to rule, but does so under the command of the Duc de Lais of Gavonais, while the Merlish Mage's Council has been disbanded.

Black Society

Also known as the Black Society Fleet, or just the Black Fleet, this extra-national group's knowledge of ley magics gives it an edge over other ships of these seas. Originally founded in Merlkring only twenty years ago, they fled the country when the Gavons invaded and act now as privateers against the Gavonais fleet. They are just beginning to leverage their superior ley knowledge into financial and military advantage.


The Bursk

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Detail

Inhabiting the frozen and rocky region which extends for many hundreds of miles around the base of The Great Mountain, the Bursk people are tough and relatively primitive. Seeming more bestial than the southern human races they nonetheless have an impressive culture; grand cities carved out of the mountains themselves have provided near impossible defence against invading armies; assisted by the dwarves with whom the Bursk share this arid region.

The average Bursk stands tall for a human, around 6�4�, and they put on muscle almost twice as fast as normal. These combined make the Bursk a formidable looking foe but can often be misleading as many focus more on their intellect than their appearance might make you believe.

The Bursk capital, Ursa, is named after their God and, legend has it, creator; the myth says that Ursa, part-bear, part-woman, descended from the crest of The Great Mountain at the beginning of time and seeing the bears on the plains as nothing but animals granted them the power to walk, talk and craft. The small bears became the dwarves and remained in their caves; the large bears became the Bursk and started forging out their kingdom; bears are hence sacred animals for both the Dwarves and the Bursk; bears are not allowed to be killed and the skin of any naturally dead bear can only be worn by a Chief or a Priest.

Within the city of Ursa is the high temple, home of Ur-Primus the Bursk�s leader. Ur-Primus was the first bear Ursa transformed and so was given her kingdom when she ascended again. He has lived for a combined life of 3000 years; when Ur-Primus dies his spirit migrates to the frozen peak of The Great Mountain where it inhabits a great white bear which returns to the temple and transforms into a new, human body.

Bursk society is run primarily on strength; Ursa decreed that the best warrior would be the best leader, and the Priests of Ur are the epitome of that, able to channel the strength of the bear into their body and, according to outside superstition, able to transform into a bear. The colour of the bear is said to change with rank:

Priest Rank Colour
Ur-Primus White
Ur-Secundus Black
Ur-Tertius Grey
Ur Brown

Ur-Secundus= There are 3 of this rank of Priest, one for each third of the year, and they inhabit the high temple with Ur-Primus.
Ur-Tertius= There are numerous of this type of Priest; they are the leaders of the temples in each city.
Ur= This is the lowest type of priest and they work in every temple (there are often 3 or 4 Ur-Priests to a temple).

Religion is a major part of Bursk life; there are minor rituals for everything (especially combat) which all Bursk must follow if a Priest is to be able to grant them power in battle.

The story of the Bursk�s creation, even if not true, has its feet founded in the Bursk�s physical characteristics; as well as their physical build and heightened strength, the Bursk have tough skin (it has been known to stop an arrow on occasion) and a heightened sense of smell. In combat, the Bursk favour axes or hammers, which add to their already considerable strength, and wear light armour so that they can keep their speed. Preferring close-combat over ranged the Bursk have not developed blackpowder weapons (in contrast to their dwarf cousins) and indeed, are further behind, technologically, than nearly all of the other nations. What they lack in this though they make up for in brute force and numbers; the exact population of the Bursk isn�t known but it is estimated to be higher than 90 million.

  • See The Bursk page for character templates.

The Khaazmeric Pharoahcies

The people of the southern desert on the West continent are a hardy and tough people, their harsh environment requires it. They are also extremely devoted to the use of magic, their environment requires that as well.

All cities and villages have interconnecting tunnels below ground, and some even have the majority of the buildings there as well. During the heat of the day none need to appear on the surface. Deep wells and cisterns provide the water they can.

Create Food and Create Water strech supplies while plant spells allow better crop growth. Suspended Animation lets some supplies stretch even more during hard times.

Although efforts have been taken to produce the maximum number of mages magic items are still needed to fill in the gaps and have become a major export item.

The secondary export is the undead, with a more pragmatic outlook on life the desert people wouldn't waste a body that could continue to work, even if it's at only the simplest task. When a person is near death they are Soul Jarred so their knowledge is saved, then the body is zombified.

Some of the other nations in the region see Necromancy as somehow a bad thing, but they recognize the wisdom in using the dead for certain tasks. Hence the secondary export.


Location Seeds

These are some ideas for nations, tribes or territories that could be added to this continent. If you like one of them, feel free to expand on it and add some of your own ideas. You may also add to this list if you have an odd idea floating round you don't know what to do with.

  • Wolf-kin, Reindeer Tribe: Other tribes of the Urbursite, found in the far north. Wolf-kin follow or worship the Volfenpater.
  • Vaalden, Veerenland: Nordic kingdoms in the arctic regions. One of them may be related to the Yellow Ur descendant of the Urbursite.

Nations of Avisia

Asaguni

On the north-east coast of Avisia, extending for some 1500 miles along the coast and reaching up into the mountains, the name Asaguni means "Morning Country." It is ruled over by a god-empress, the latest in a dynasty descended directly from the sun-goddess.

Ubantu

Ubantu is a collection of cultures and kingdoms on the west coat of Avisa. Milikyunjovu, the Empire of the Elephant is far and away the most power of these. The Empire is an alliance of Humans, Sentient Elephants, and others, coming together to build a powerful technomagical society.


The Five Naga Kingdoms

On the far western point of Avisia, if you squint and look at the peninsula which extends to the south-west and closes in the north end of the great western bight, you can see the head of a snake, with a huge lake making its eye. This region is known as the Naga Lands, or the Five Naga Kingdoms. The kingdoms are Ghemat, Hualit, Du-a'Nua, Tam Sao and Bonh Benh Vanh. Each is ruled by a Naga, a river serpent who blesses the country and keeps its lands fertile.

Location Seeds

These are some ideas for nations, tribes or territories that could be added to this continent. If you like one of them, feel free to expand on it and add some of your own ideas. You may also add to this list if you have an odd idea floating round you don't know what to do with.

Nations of the Grandean Deep

The Grandean Deep is the ocean lying to the east of Avisia and west of Dominia Grantis. Officially it stretches east-west from the coast of one continent to the other, and north-south from pole to pole, but local names for different parts of it, seas, straights, etc, will exist.


Nuleeria

The Island known as Nuleeria sits east of the mainland of Avisia and has for years been undiscovered. The sea around it is notoriously treacherous and largely unnavigable to those without a good rudder. This has kept Nuleeria isolated for a number of years.

There was a native populace on the island before the arrival of the continentals. However, it was not long before they were at war. The southern portion of the island has been colonized by Illyrian settlers for centuries. The name 'Nuleeria' is merely a corrupted version of 'New Illyria".

Originally, an expedition left the forgotten Republic of Illyria to prove the world was round. The fleet suffered a number of mishaps, lastly being the loss of their leader and having their ships damaged in a hurricane. Turning a course for the nearest land, they sought to repair the damaged ships, and repair the rift in the fleet as there was some allegations their leader was murdered.

The infamous currents caused the damage ships to flounder or beach, marooning them there. While the captains did a great job of holding everyone together, once the situation was stable, old wounds opened up and started a nearly-constant state of warfare. Ultimately, a fracticious society rose out of the toils of the survivors. Headed by wealthy princes, policed by sprawling clans of knightly warriors, and administrated by the descendents of the originals captains, they bear no resemblence to the original Republic of Illyria.

Comment: This island is one of the "lost island" chain and is part of the remnants of the sunken Atlantis. There are many pieces of a shattered Dominion Cross scattered around the region, one of which found its way into the possession of a prince after it was found by fishermen centuries ago.--Daigoro 03:58, 16 June 2007 (EDT)

Northern Ice Shelves

The great glaciers of the northern sea is inhabited by tribes of Ilves, the ice elves, who hunt the creatures, both mundane and magical indiginous to the frigid conditions. Low power ley lines generated by tribal patron spirit shrines criss cross the icy reaches.

Longman's Reaches

This group of islands lie on the remnants of the lost ancient continent of Coronalis. Oceanic leylines converge here, so this is the point where ley-navigating ships from both continents meet.

Location Seeds

These are some ideas for nations, tribes or territories that could be added to this section. If you like one of them, feel free to expand on it and add some of your own ideas. You may also add to this list if you have an odd idea floating round you don't know what to do with.

Nations of the Grellian Greatsea

The Grellian Greatsea is the ocean lying to the west of Avisia and east of Dominia Grantis. Officially it stretches east-west from the coast of one continent to the other, and north-south from pole to pole, but local names for different parts of it, seas, straights, etc, will exist. It contains a good number of larger-sized islands which can be inhabited by various fantastic races and cultures.

Location Seeds

These are some ideas for nations, tribes or territories that could be added to this section. If you like one of them, feel free to expand on it and add some of your own ideas. You may also add to this list if you have an odd idea floating round you don't know what to do with.

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