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VoB - Alinia

 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:09 pm    Post subject: VoB - Alinia Reply with quote

Alinia

Map of Alinia

Alinia is a vast and diverse continent. Across its length there are over a dozen nations, ranging from small city states to massive countries covering hundreds of miles of land.

At the centre north of the continent is Baloria, the cultural capital of Alinia. It is from here that all modern language, religion and common culture originate from. As can be expected it is the centre of power for the Church of Solarias. It is a warm wind swept nation backing onto the mountains. Orchards and farms are found across its hard packed clay earth, and its people are some of the most well-to-do and enlightened people on earth.

Too the Northeast lies Entara and Estaria, both very similar nations. The people here are dark haired and olive skinned from a life spent in the warm sun that prevails this far north. The people of Entara rely on the sea for most of their goods and trade, and as such this nation has one of the most powerful navies in the world, and is known as the home of the navigators, with the nation producing many explorers of note. Estaria is a kingdom ruled by religion, with the Inquisition playing a massive part in keeping the people on the straight and narrow path of faith.

South of here lies Fellum and the fiercely independent Lornland. Both these countries produce extremely patriotic people, with a paler complexion than the northern counter parts. Here on the coast the Southwestern wind prevails, bring with it heavy cloud and constant drizzle. Folk of drier countries often say that Fellish and Lornish people must have gills to survive the constant damp, held in their nations by the imposing Knots to the east, the massive mountain range that is formed by many smaller mountain ranges all converging at this point. Whilst patriotic to the core, these people tend to be dour yet hard working.

Across the southern border lies the Fells mortal enemy in the kingdom of Gustenburg. Here the people are generally considered stuck up and self confident. It is an unwise man who snaps orders at a Gustenman. It is due to this that many smaller regions have broken off and declared independence from the kingdom, all lying to the north and backing onto the mountains.

As you head further south towards the Wastes Horn, one finds the two nations of Gustaland and Ipsburg. Here, you get very pale skinned, often blond haired peoples, who live in a very cold and often dark place. The people here are stout and brave, and are possessed by a drive and dedication unrivalled elsewhere. This place is far from the influence from the church and as such is full of local folklore and superstition. Many locals still believe in water fairies and mountain trolls, forest pixies and sea spirits. Such things would be blasphemous anywhere else, but here it is simply a way of life, something that can often make these southern people seem very odd and outlandish compared to others. These people also live in constant readiness or fear, as the southern wastes are only but a short way across the seas, and can even be seen from some parts of the coast. In winter, when the days are short and dark, these waters can freeze over and the raiders of the evil southern tribes make their way to Alinia to rape and pillage. As such these two nations are always on guard and posses a large militia of trained men to protect them from the marauding barbarians of the south.

North east of here you will find Lichenstadt and Volina. Both these countries are stoic and hard working, providing much industry for the world. Much of these lands have not been cleared for farmland yet and vast forests of conifers dominate these lands, a blanket of green most of the year, only being beaten out by the heavy snowfalls of winter. Most people in these nations are urban folk, and keep to themselves a lot.

Srassburg is further east of here. Strassburg is no easy place to live, with the massive Bluttenburgs wrapping around it to the north and east, and its mass being covered in a foreboding sea of pines. The people here are all strong willed, and it is a society that best suits the strong and ambitious over the weak and cautious. Within the massive forests and mountains are found some of the largest and more fearsome beasts in all Alinia, such as giant hogs and snarling Strassen Bears. Death is an everyday part of life here and as such Lunarion is revered here more than elsewhere. Industry here is unparalleled with many new discoveries and inventions coming from here, most notably Bloodore which has only ever been found in quatity in western Alinia in this dark country.

To the north of Alinia are a blue warm sea, and the lands of the dark skinned men who live in deserts and who have odd customs and gods. To the east are the former Nissian states. These people are often considered odd and alien to Alinians, despite being more similar in appearance and culture than the northern men. To the west is a vast sea that has never been conquered or tamed.


Last edited by Dorian on Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:54 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

History of Alinia

Many many moons ago, Alinia was an untamed land of warring tribes and fragmented peoples. Civilisation as it is widely known was non-existent and the closest thing to any sort of united peoples was small kingdoms carved out here and there by more ambitious warlords, that would come and go like the tides.

This was not so in Baloria however. United under one banner for several hundred years, Baloria was the first true nation. Ruled over by elected emperors chosen from the primary noble families, it was an island of calm on the stormy seas of unrest.

This all changed when a young noble by the name of Suberus was elected into power. Fiery and brash, young Suberus was of the highest blood, his ancestor Sinnius being the man who united Baloria.

Believing he needed to live up to his ancestor in uniting all souls under Solaria, Suberus gathered together a mighty war host, and set march northwest. The disorganised tribes of modern day Entara stood no chance against his disciplined trained armies. In a dozen years he had spread the Balorian empire half way down the western coast of Alinia to modern day Lornland. All along the way he had left generals to act as governors. Where ever Suberus led his armies, victory and civilisation followed.

His expanding empire had to halt at Lornland for a few years, while he returned to Baloria to quell some unrest. Though he was successful in doing so, he was heavy handed in doing so. It was then that the faintest seeds of discontent with the militaristic nature of Baloria were sown. But these would not truly rear their ugly heads for many many centuries.

Returning to the head of his army, Suberus lead them on to countless more victories against the peoples of what is now Gustenburg, who came at them massed upon horseback. Yet still no one was a match for the organised armies of Baloria.

This was until Suberus led them further south to modern Gustaland. Here the tall fair men, with their messy beards and knotted hair were a true warrior people. Gathered to meet the Balorian army, they outnumbered them three to a man. The Balorians had chased the host to the mountains till they would run no more. Here the biggest battle in history would take place.

In the foothills millions of men clashed. Suberus himself led the Balorian army. Long and savage the battle raged until dusk. Despite being outnumbered three to one the Balorians experience and discipline won the day but at a huge cost. Over half the army was mauled, unable to go any further, and Suberus himself was dead on the field of battle.

Suberus and his path to unification were over.

To replace Suberus, a man by the name of Elnerion was elected. He had been one of Suberus's generals in the early campaigns and had been governor of Fellum for some years. He was a warrior scholar and had studied every tactic used in battle by his predecessor.

Planning to continue the expansion of Suberus, he spent several years raising and training another warhost. He brought together warriors from across the empire, and combined them under one banner. He used religion and language as the glue to hold it all together, and managed to successfully tame the barbarians by doing so. the end result was a coherent and effective force with a multitude of skills.

This force poured south of Baloria via mountain passes into what is now Vellum, this force attacked as several smaller armies, attacking more strategically and carefully than the previous warhost. This way, the Balorian empire spread outwards from the mountains like an ink spot, till all of Alinia west of the Bluttenburg mountains was under control.

But it was here that warhost was to come to its end. Over eager to continue his expansion Elnerion pushed his army over the mountains in hope of finding new lands to conquer. But the Bluttenburgs were stronger, and lost and freezing, his army were to succumb to winter and never be seen again.

After this, the empire became peaceful for some two hundred years,spreading culture through more peaceful means, such as trade, to its slowly developing neighbours. This was until a man by the name of Sullian was elected. Elected more for his family ties than leadership skills, he was far from healthy for the nations diplomatic relations.

Two years following his election, for some reason lost in the history books, he took some sort of perceived insult from the king of Saragonia. Saragonia had been a long time ally of Baloria but this mattered little, as Sullian raised a mighty army. Gathering the greatest military minds of his empire he set about planning the most daring invasion in history.

Three years to the day of his election, Sullians army swept into the Saragonian capital from the sea, bypassing its forces amassed near the border. In a quick attack they had the capital by noon. Any remaining resistance was executed and the heads of the Saragonian royal family were hanging from the city gates by dusk.

But this wasn't enough for Sullian, and his army continued with his bloodlust. Within eight years of his invasion of Saragonia he was at the northern most tip of the Bluttenburg mountain range. He had goner furtherer from Baloria than any other emperor. Yet this still was not enough. Ignoring the advice of his advisors he pushed south, down towards modern day Nissia.

This continued for a further twelve years before his army halted. Internal bickering and a desire to go home had torn it apart, and Sullian was struggling to hold it together. Halfway down the nation of Nissia, where the southern seas could be seen from the hills, the army stopped. It had gone to far. Despite his commands, half his generals gathered up their regiments and marched home. Sullian was a failure. Realising this he returned home, leaving his remaining generals to govern the new lands of Baloria. Upon his return, he stood down as emperor.

The empire thrived however. The centre of civilisation, new technologies were constantly being discovered. Soon the empire was trading with men of the desert lands of the north via the sea. Soon iron was discovered, then later steel. Literature and the arts came to be truly appreciated. Baloria in particular was a place of decadence, with even the peasants being wealthy by southern tribal standards.

The winters grew longer and colder. Soon, the small straights between the southern wastes and Ipsburg were completely frozen over during winter. And over this ice bridge came the Southern tribes. Fierce warriors, who lived for conflict. Where the Balorians fought to conquer, the Southerners fought for pleasure. Fast unpredictable raids were their signature. Raping and pillaging undefended villages across the southern empire. There was tremendous outcry for the empire to react.

In response, the Balorians set about building fortifications along the southern shores. This failed to stop the Southerners who just bypassed them. The south was becoming a sponge, with more and more soldiers and wealth being required to keep it defended against the fierce warriors of the south.

To add to this tremendous cost, a vast mounted warhost was riding towards the empire from Nissia. This new threat was the stirrings of the mighty Nissian empire that was to come. It was not long before the ill prepared garrisons of the eastern empire were retreating from the Nissian advance.

This was the straw that broke the camels back, for noble families of Baloria, sick of spending taxes to prop up the edges of this over large empire, demanded that the emperor of Baloria started focussing on Baloria. With such huge demand being placed upon him, he had no choice.

Within two years Baloria had completely withdrawn from the lands conquered by Sullian, and then Ipsburg and Gustaland. Three years later the rest of the empire had crumbled, new nations springing up in old tribal areas. And like that, within five years, the Balorian empire had crumbled to nothing, leaving so many new nations to fend for themselves.

As can be expected the continent fell into chaos. It was many decades before it settled, with the new nations finding their feet. Even then, the many nations led to many political games being played, and many petty wars being fought. Despite Baloria having brought a common language, religion and civilisation, the individuality of the peoples of each nation showed through.

While the west was settling itself, the east was falling victim to the Nissian advance. Quickly filling the vacuum left by the Balorian empire, the Nissians carved an empire of their own. It wasn't until they reached the border of Saragonia that they halted. Here an uneasy peace between Nissia and the West came forward, with many nations stating they would come to Saragonias aid.

Looking to continue their expansion, Nissia turned south west, invading the small fiercely independent nations there. Each fell like dominoes, until Nissia had conquered Svalsing and was on the border of Strassburg, with only the might Bluttenburg Mountains halting their advance.

This uneasy status quo existed for some two and a half centuries. In this time many more great advances were made around the world. Exploration to the northern lands bloomed. Academic minds began questioning the gods in the west, while Nissia adopted the Solarias religion of Baloria and utilised Balorian as its common tongue.

Gun powder was bought in from the lands of the north, and Blood ore was discovered in the Bluttenburgs. Such new findings lead to engineers and alchemists blooming in trade across alinia.

Recently the Nissian Empire has imploded, as civil war has broken out in the streets of its capital. This has forced it to pull its troops back towards it centre, causing the empire to shrink significantly. This in turn has led to many nations reclaiming their independence.

And thus, Alinia continues its existence, empires coming and going and nations flickering in and out like candles in the night.


Last edited by Dorian on Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Religions of Alinia

When the Bolarians conquered most of Alinia they brought their gods with them. Whilst the primitive peoples of Alinia had various beliefs prior to the Bolarian empire, but their belief systems soon implanted themselves as the core beliefs of the Alinia peoples. The power of the church is directly related to the expansion of the Balorian empire. Nations bordering Baloria, such as Entara, show extremely highly influential churches, whilst the people of Gustaland and Ipsburg are still very superstitious, with beliefs in fairies and goblins still common. Many people in more remote places still openly worship the old ways and gods of their people, which are too many and varied to be listed here.

The belief system of Alinia revolves around three core gods, Solarias Lunarion and Urias. The people believe that the world is paralleled by the realm of Umbria, an evil dark place of shadow. Whenever light is absent Umbria fills the void. Whenever a man feels hate he feels the taint of Umbria upon his very soul. Umbria is a literal hell on earth, home of Urias, held at bay only by the loving Light of Solarias and Lunarion.


Solarias.

Solarias is the mighty sun god. Standing tall over the world each day, providing growth, warmth and light to his caring peoples, he is the dominant deity of Alinia. Loved for providing the light that makes crops grow, that warms cold bones and, most importantly, chases away the realm of Umbria.

Seen as the overall provider of life on earth, Solarias is worshipped on a daily basis as the ultimate god. The church of Solarias is the dominant, wielding the most power over politics of Alinia.

Lunarion

Sister to Solarias, Lunarion is the moon god, who takes up vigil when Solarios goes to rest and the world draws closer to Umbria. Where Solarias is Worshipped as one all powerful god, Lunarion is worship for her individual aspects. Her guiding rays lead navigators safely through the darkness of Umbria at night, her ever vigilant love provides health to the sick and infirm. Most importantly she watches over the dead, preventing their souls being forever sucked into Umbria and eternal torment.

Where Solarias has many large temples dedicated to him, Lunaria has but small shrines where she is needed most. It is rare to find a port devoid of a shrine to the guiding goddess, to find a hospital not staffed by nurses dedicating a life to the work of Lunarions healing hand. Her only temples are fond standing in the middle of cemeteries where she is often wanted most. Here the dead can sleep beneath the her ever watching gaze.

Urias

Urias is the counter weight to the two primary gods of Alinia. He is king of Umbria and isn't openly worshipped anywhere. He is the dark shadow, the rising feeling of hate in your gut. He is sin incarnate. He brings plague and poverty. He brings the early winter that kills the crop, the flood that drowns the cattle. A constant evil attempting to work his way into everyday existence. Held at bay only by the efforts of the other two gods.

Witching hour, when neither Solarias or Lunarion stand guard over man, is said to be when Urias draws nearest to earth. It is now that a wise man bars his doors, checks his children are safely in bed before praying.


Science

Of course not everyone believes in gods. Slowly but surely more scholars are taking to less divine explanations for man's continued existence. Whilst still rare, being restricted solely to academic scholars from more liberal nations, it is slowly becoming more common.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Languages of Alinia

Like religion, language spread across Alinia with the Balorians. They took their language to every corner of the continent. So much so that it has become known as the Common Tongue.

In saying this, each region has its own dialects and accents. So while a man from Fellum could speak with a man from Strassburg, to do so would be far from fluid. Also, each man could easily speak in their own dialect in such a way that the other could not understand.

This difference becomes even more noticiable in the areas that had the language introduced by the Nissians, such as Vishnu and Svalsing. Their accents are thick and their dialects very different from other nations. Talking with such people can be a slow and painful experience.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blood Ore

One of the most valuable materials in Alinia, Blood Ore is found solely within the Bluttenburg Mountain ranges. Discovered within the last 50 years, it is relatively new to the world and is proving to be quite a sensation.

Blood Ore is used to produce a metal known by many names that varies depending on area but is commonly known as Bloodsteel due to its colour being somewhere between the red of copper and the shine of steel.

Primarily valued for its strength, Bloodsteel tends to be as strong as the best steel, whilst being subject to very little corrosion, far outlasting any other strong metal on earth. As a result it is sought after for use in any construction that requires great strength and longevity. Engineers across Alinia all prey for the financial baking to include Bloodsteel in any of their projects.

However this assured quality comes at a cost. Being found in so few places, and being found only in small quantities at that, Blood ore carries a very high price. This price puts it out of reach of the vast majority of people, with many of the poor having never even seen Bloodsteel. Due to this rarity it is proving to be a hit amongst the wealthy, purchasing whatever Bloodsteel jewellery they can in an effort to flaunt whatever wealth they have. This has produced its own problems however, where alchemists attempt to produce Bloodsteel from lead, like gold before it. So far none has succeeded in doing so, except for producing fools Bloodsteel, by mixing cheap alloys with copper to trick foolish nobles away from their wealth.
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