Houses of Laplana: Murgonal, Vavassor of Mir

In this post one of the noble houses of the earldom of Mir is described: the house of Murgonal.  If you want to know the tools used to create a noble house, read the entry about how to create a noble house.

  • Feudal Rank: Vavassor of Mir.
  • Lands: on the Earldom of Mir.
  • History: se fundó el 245 AR.
  • Ethnics: archaic.
  • Name: Murgonal is a naval name for a metal piece holding the sails.
  • Personality:
    • Primary: simple (low reasoning).
    • Secondary: untidy (low perfectionism), imaginative (high imagination).
  • Coat of arms: Per bend sable and or, a chief of the first (see the images below). The charge is a red sail.
  • Motto: “Always right to the horizon”.
  • Emblem: the emblem of this house is a boat sail. The Lord of Murgonal has the sail extended over his tower, and the wind shakes it when the house has a problem about to happen. People think that, if needed, the sail can be put in a boat and this will go fast over the water, with or without wind. Actually, and this is a secret only know by the Lord, there are two things people doesn’t know. First, the emblem is not the sail, but the metal pieces holding it; second, a boat with this pieces not only will move without wind, but it will fly over the air if needed. Centuries in the future, flying ships will be common, but on this age it was something very strange to see.
Murgonal Coat Of Arms

Murgonal Coat Of Arms

Colors of Murgonal Vassals

Colors of Murgonal Vassals

If the emblem is too powerful by the Director taste, it can have some limitations: it only works in case of great need, and only leads where the emblem personalty thinks it will be helpful.

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Generic system for skills and difficulty levels

In this blog, to describe a character, monster, adventure, etc., a generic system with an easy equivalence to other systems is used. In this systems, characters and monsters have 5 levels of skill, corresponding with the five basics levels of skill.

1. Novice
2. Beginner
3. Competent
4. Proficient
5. Expert

The tasks done by the characters can be classified too in five levels:

  1. Very easy
  2. Easy
  3. Average
  4. Hard
  5. Very hard

Each level of skill and difficulty can be easily translated to other systems, although the probabilities doesn’t remain the same.

Equivalence with D20

In the D20 systems, the characters throw 1d20 adding their skill level; the task is done if the result is equal or greater than the task difficulty.

  • Novice: +2
  • Beginner: +6
  • Competent: +10
  • Proficient: +14
  • Expert: +18

The task difficulty lies between 5 and 25, with the following equivalence:

  • Very easy: 5
  • Easy: 10
  • Average: 15
  • Hard: 20
  • Very Hard: 25

Equivalence with percentile systems

In the percentile games, the characters throw a 100 sided dice (2d10). The result has to be equal or smaller than their skill level. The equivalence is the following:

  • Novice: 50%
  • Beginner: 60%
  • Competent: 70%
  • Proficient: 80%
  • Expert: 90%

The task difficulty is added or subtracted from the skill level:

  • Very easy: +40%
  • Easy: +20%
  • Average: 0
  • Hard: -20%
  • Very Hard: -40%

Equivalence with GURPS

GURPS uses 3 six-sided dice (3d6), but the mechanics are the same as in the percentile games: the character throw de dice against his own skill level, and the result has to be equal or smaller.

  • Novice: 10
  • Beginner: 12
  • Competent: 13
  • Proficient: 14
  • Expert: 16

The task difficulty modifies the character skill level:

  • Very easy: +4
  • Easy: +2
  • Average: 0
  • Hard: -2
  • Very hard: -4

Equivalence with FIVE

FIVE is a system created by myself, not published yet because I’m testing it. Is a reserve pool game: the characters throw as many dice as they have skill levels:

  • Novice: 1d10
  • Beginner: 2d10
  • Competent: 3d10
  • Proficient: 4d10
  • Expert: 5d10

The task difficulty goes from 2 to 10. At least one dice has to be equal or greater than the task difficulty to be successful.

  • Very easy: 2
  • Easy: 4
  • Average: 6
  • Hard: 8
  • Very hard: 10

Other systems

The conversion is easy to do: one has to divide the skill and difficulty level by five.

If you know other systems to be added here, leave a comment please.

 

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Houses of Laplana: The Priory of Saint Baldric

In this post we will describe one of the houses of the Earldom of Mir: the Priory of Saint Baldric. If you want to see the tools used to create a noble house, read the entrey about how to create a noble house.

  • Feudal Rank: Priory of Mir.
  • Lands: in the Earldom of Mir.
  • History: founded on YK 306.
  • Ethnics: varies from one Prior to another.
  • Name: A Baldric is “a belt worn over one shoulder that is typically used to carry a weapon, usually a sword” (definition extracted from the wikipedia).
  • Personality:
    • Primary: enthusiast (high vitality).
    • Secondary: emotional (low emotional stability), disordered (low perfectionism).
  • Coat of arms: Per fess vert and argent (see the images below).
  • Motto: his motto is “Always ready”.
  • Emblem: the emblem was a baldric (see the definition above), to wear a sword. The baldric has the property of being completely invisible to others than his wearer, including the scabbard and the sword attached to it. Even if the wearer is captured and registered, anyone will see nothing, nor the baldric, the scabbard or the sword. The baldric will be only visible when the sword is pulled off the scabbard.

This is the coat of arms of the Priory of Saint Baldric.

Draw of the Coat of Arms of the Priory of Saint Baldric

Coat of Arms of the Priory of Saint Baldric

And these the colors worn by his Lords, without the charge:

Draw of the Colors of the Lords of Saint Baldric

Colors of the Lords of Saint Baldric

 

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Maisandres, Capital of the Earldom of Mir: Year of the King 250

In this post we will describe the city of Maisandres, capital of the Earldom of Mir, as it was the Year of the King 250. The original map of the city by Brian van Hunsel has been published under a Creative Commons By-NC-SA license on the DeviantArt web site.

The name of the city has been mantained (with a little variation), replacing the former name of Mir. The map has been modified too, removing the little island in the river centre, the walls and some groups of houses to represent the evolution of the city through the years. You will see this evolution in other posts.

Map

This is the map of the city, built near the river Entrepàs flowing from east to west (from right to left in the map).

Map of the city of Maisandres, capital of Mir, the YK 250

City of Maisandres, Capital of Mir, YK 250

Buildings and Neighbourhoods

In the city the important buildings were the following:

  1. Church of Saint Sicari. It was a temple of the order of the Admonoms. 12 priests lived there.
  2. Market.
  3. City hall. The house of the Mayor and his family, and the house too of the 7 guards of the city.
  4. Saint Perol Monastery. It was a temple of the order of the Truthful. 7 monks lived there.
  5. Temple Amarant. It was a temple of the order of the vitalists. 6 priests lived there.
  6. Commerce House. Here the goods were bought and sold. Most were imported from Infradània or the Swamp, and were exported to this places too in one direction or the other.

The city was divided in neighbourhoods, established above all by jobs:

  • Port district: inhabited by river sailors.
  • Woodplain district: most nomad woodmen earn money working as guides for the caravans between Maisandres and the earldom of Infradània. In this plain they mounted their skin tents.
  • Market district: near the market building lived most of the craftsmen, shoppers and merchants.
  • Field: here lived the peasants working in the fields near the city.
  • Swamp district: the cocodrilians living in the city had built a zone full of water, like a little swamp. There they had built houses in the swamp style. Most of them were merchants o middlemen, living of the commerce between the city and the swamp.
  • North district: all king of people lived there: soldiers, servants, serfs, sailors, mercenaries and adventurers.
Mapa dels barris de la ciutat de Maisandres

Barris de la ciutat de Maisandres

Population

1028 people lived in the city, with 68 craftsmen families.

Maisandres_Population_YK250

Most of the people had a work related to the commerce between the city and the earldom of Infradània, to the east, and the Swamp of Entrepàs, to the west.

The river between Maisandres and Embarcador was navigable. Embarcador was the second city of the earldom, and served as a connection with the cocodrilians of the swamp. See the description of the Earldom of Mir for more information.

Fortifications

The YK 250 the city didn’t have walls yet, but they were being rebuilt from the remaining ancient walls of the city.

Roads

A road went to the west to Embarcador. It was a packed earth road, without any pavement. The distance to Embarcador, in a straight line, was 17 km, but the road made 27 km because went to north to avoid the Entrepàs gorge.

Taxes

The crafstmen payed a tax of 172d / $688 / 69 po every  year. This generated an income for the city of 11.696d / $46.784 / 4.678 po invested mainly in the walls construction (the currency is given in the systems of Hârnmaster, GURPS and D20 respectively).

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Religions of Laplana: The Eternal Balance

The religion of the Eternal Balance was one of the religions of Laplana. It was a pantheist one. The origins of the Eternal Balance were on the Great Night, when the woodmen were hiding in their forests from the demons and tantarantans (ogres, harpies and giants).

The Eternal Balance Symbol: Scales

The Eternal Balance Symbol

(icon by Lorc under a CC BY 3.0 licence)

Believes

Cosmogony

The planet was viewed by the woodmen as a living being. They named him Torcan, the thinker. Everything imagined by Torcan became real. This way Torcan created all the things: animals, plants, men and mountains. He did it for himself, to have company through the long millenia.

The Balance

The aim of the balance was to preserve the nature as conceived by Torcan. The woodmen had the mission of preserving the balance between all the things. Failing to accomplish this mission meant to be exposed to the Torcan punishment.

The Evil

Torcan, as any other living being, had evil thoughts, nightmares… The demons and the undead were born from this kind of evil thoughts. They were enemies of the nature and Torcan himself. They didn’t belong to the balance, and had to be fought.

Eschatology

When men died, they were reabsorbed by Torcan conscience. Those who had followed the balance came back to the nature in a privileged form,like a mountain, a river, a star… Those who didn’t, came back in a less glamorous form, like a worm or a fly.

Priests

The woodmen priests were called druids:

  • Access: the druids choose their disciples by their capabilities. The studies to became a druid were up to twenty years long.
  • Functions: they leaded the rituals of adoration and sacrifice, predicted the future and administered justice aiming to preserve the balance.
  • Lifestyle: the druids had solitary lives, and joined the community only in special occasions, typically to celebrate rituals and for the tribe important meetings.
  • Distinction: the sacred color for the druids was the white, and this was the color of their tunics. They wore too a great staff with singular shape. A druid could be identified by the shape of his staff.
  • Powers: the druids could communicate with Torcan through the material shapes of his thoughts: mountains, plants, animals… This gave to them a privileged knowledge of the nature and the future. Besides, they could prepare magic elixirs.

Rituals

Coming of age

This king of rituals were related to the skills for survival. The candidates to the coming of age were abandoned by themselves far from the tribe camp. They had to survived during some time, then find the way home.

Funeral rituals

The woodmen didn’t bury their dead, nor burn them. They built small wood altars, and let the nature consume the corpses. When only the bones remained, they were taken apart and another corpse occupied the altar.

Matrimony

The druid choose the couples that had to be married, and blessed the union. A couple could be divorced if the conditions weren’t respected of there was mistreatment.

Worship rituals

The sacrifices were common on the worship ceremonies. Normally, animals o enemies of the tribe were sacrificed. The sacrifices were offered to Torcan as a contribution to the balance. The death had to be, then, justified.

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Houses of Laplana: Capcer, Vavassor of Mir

In this post we will describe one of the houses of the Earldom of Mir. If you want to see the tools used to create a noble house, read the entrey about how to create a noble house.

  • Feudal Rank: Vavassor of Mir.
  • Lands: the vavassoury of Capcer, in the earldom of Mir.
  • Background: founded the YK 280.
  • Ethnics: it belongs to the archaic ethnics.
  • Name: Capcer: “Peak”.
  • Personality:
    • Primary: imaginative (high imagination).
    • Secundary: self indulgent (low discipline), insecure (high aprehension).
  • Coat of Arms: Pily of 3 argent and sanguine (ved las imágenes debajo).
  • Motto: “The head on the clouds and the feet on the ground”.
  • Emblem:the emblem of Capcer was a compass always pointing the direction of the house’s lands. The head of the house could use the compass to communicate with his ancestors doing simple questions, responded by pointing at one of the four cardinal points. The compass helped answering the correct questions, but always according to the house personality traits.
Coat of Arms of the House of Capcer

Coat of Arms of the House of Capcer

Their Lords and Vassals used the colors, without the charge:

Coat of Arms of the vassals of Capcer

Coat of Arms of the vassals of Capcer

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Religions of Laplana (I): Abstract

This entry briefly explain Laplana religions. First, one should not confuse religion with the church. The latter is explained in posts about dioceses and the religious orders.

The religions of Laplana: The Lighthouse and the Fountain, the Eternal Balance, the Vitalism, the Path and the Witchcraft

The religions of Laplana: The Lighthouse and the Fountain, the Eternal Balance, the Vitalism, the Path and the Witchcraft

The original religions

The Lighthouse and the Fountain

It was the original religion of archaic, created when they were still poor fugitives hiding in caves for protection against demons for the big night.

It was a shamanistic religion based on the belief that everything in the world is possessed by spirits. Shamans, their priests, could communicate with these spirits, which gave them great power. The purpose of religion was to explain the world and protect the men from the dangers of nature and demons.

When the Archaic Empire was founded it became the religion of the masses, while the aristocracy became vitalist. In Laplana it lived for a time with other religions, but in the   262 YK died the last lightfountist priest and the religions disappeared in Laplana.

The Vitalism

The origins of vitalism were in the religion of the Lighthouse and the Fountain, but unlike this establishes two opposite poles in the spiritual world: good and evil, in a constant struggle. It was a mainly urban religion based on the study and knowledge, which aimed to contribute to the triumph of good over evil.

Vitalism eventually became the official religion of Archaic Empire, and his priests held important positions in the civil service hierarchy.

In Laplana, the vitalist church was established as an institution independent from the authority, but they worked closely. Their rituals for solemn oaths and creating emblems helped shape Laplana feudalism.

Finally, this religion was displaced by the church of the four orders on the third century, and early sixth was declared a heresy and their members were persecuted. That meant the end of the creation of new emblems.

The Eternal Balance

This was a pantheistic religion type, which preached that all that existed was a part of God, who was called Torcan. Therefore, through introspection and observation one could get to know Torcan.

The Eternal Balance was the original religion of the Woodmen of Central Archery before reached by the archaic. Their priests were Druids. These were similar to the shaman, but instead of talking to the spirits communicated with Torcan.

The new religions

When the archaic reached Central Archery brought with them vitalist and lightfountain religions. These collided with the religion of the woodmen, the eternal balance. This meeting led to new religious movements, between the woodmen as between archaic.

Witchcraft

The mixture of pantheism of the eternal equilibrium with the archaic concepts of light and darkness and good and evil formed the witchcraft. The basics of witchcraft were a mixture of pantheistic and dualist values. That is, all was part of God, but God had a dual nature.
The priests were called warlocks and witches. They copied the techniques used by shamans, druids and vitalists, but following established recipes without understanding  the basics.

Witchcraft was not a religion in itself. It was considered a superstition or a form of magic, and coexisted with other religions.

The Path

The impact of the Druids in the spirituality of the archaic generated the figure of hermits, men seeking wisdom or divine illumination alone. Some of these men managed to reach a higher state of wisdom, and became holy men. Afterwards, they were the creators of rural religious orders.

Taking the theoretical basis of lightfountain and vitalism, the path established that holy men were those who had the most pure soul, and became saints when getting a purity level such that integrate with God and served as a guide for the rest of men, marking the path to holiness. All holy men were vitalists.

The four major religious orders of Laplana were founded by holy men:

  • San Prius: Order of Verists or The Mirror;
  • Santa Minala: Order of the Pilgrims or The Stars;
  • San Geto: Order of Admonoms or Administrative Apostolic Church; and
  • Santa Collatera: Order of Agronomists or Agrostic Rural Church.

Hence the church was known as the Church of the Holy Men or, later, as the Tetrarchy.

There were other religious orders, but they were not part of church government. They were especially monastic or military orders.

Other religious cults

In addition to the major religions there were local cults, which could be more or less tolerated, but from the sixth century most were declared heresy. Some of these cults were demonic ones, originating in the big night; others were apocryphal, based on saints not recognized by the official church; and others were cults of foreign nations.

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