Mysterium

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Looking across the rich forests and terrain of the Kingdom of Angul and then up into the precipitous ridge that borders it on the east.
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Looking across the rich forests and terrain of the Kingdom of Angul and then up into the precipitous ridge that borders it on the east.

Contents

Characters

  • Timur Lang (Andy): A mounted archer from a nomadic tribe now acting as a caravan guard.
  • Commander Franz Helbrecht (Chris): A retired King's Watch soldier who served nearly 25 years.
  • Morgaine (Jon): A Myst retired to the forests after becoming disillusioned with the Mysterium.
  • Kara Helbrecht (Anna): Commander Franz Helbrect's daughter. Extremely well-trained in the art of war. Aiming to be recognized as a female soldier.

NPCs

  • King Taien Kaduar
  • High Myst Tasat Vesque
  • High Constable Oswald Rynsther
  • Prince Tyrwen Kaduar: The sole heir to the throne. Was kidnapped and recovered.
  • Worradi: Undiscovered magic user who's son was supposedly taken
  • Myst Georg Greene: A Myst who works in the Mysterium tower and mostly handles menial tasks and paperwork.

Events

  • Lost and Found: (8/24/2013) The prince and sole heir to the Kingdom of Angul goes missing and an unlikely set recruits are asked to recover him.
  • On the Prowl: (8/26/2013) A pride of lions from the king's private gardens escape and the Helbrects are asked to stop them.
  • The Mysterious Mysterium: (4/3/2016, 4/10/2016) Franz and Timur look into the allegations the the Mysterium may not be all good.

Setting

Geography

The Kingdom of Angul sits nestled in a large, hanging valley between a sharp, craggy ridge and a steep cliff dropping to the Leonhart Badlands. The ridge curves behind Angul on the west and rises up to the point that for much of the year it's peaks are shrouded in clouds. The huge glaciers sitting on the ridge combined with the fact that the valley funnels rain clouds up makes it lush with large forests and fertile farmland. The various streams that flow off the mountainous ridge and through the valley eventually come together to form a river that flows off the cliff to the to the badlands in a spectacular waterfall.

The kingdom itself stretches from the approximately 75-mile-long cliff face that separates it from the Leonhart Badlands and extends about 300 miles inward as it narrows before succumbing to the rocky terrain of the high ridge that encloses it to the west. The whole Kingdom measures roughly 13,000 square miles. (Slightly smaller than Switzerland.)

A watering hole in the Leonhart Badlands
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A watering hole in the Leonhart Badlands

The Leonhart Badlands form an almost-impossibly-flat Serengeti that stretches off to the horizon in all directions. Green for only a bit in the spring, it is typically a sprawling tan grassland interspersed with small groves of trees at larger watering holes. The watering holes usually provide enough water to satisfy a variety of small, semi-nomadic tribes that roam the area, but every 5–10 years droughts hit that make life much harder. In these times, the tribes sometimes come to seek water and food from the edge of the mountains including the base of the waterfall. Sometimes, the tribes even band together and try to climb the cliff and get into the bounty of Angul.

Angul Castle sits at the base of the valley built as an extension of the cliff face itself and constructed over the great waterfall. It sits nearly exactly at the center of the cliff face. Much smaller watch towers dot the cliff face every few miles to defend the kingdom and keep watch over it's only real border. The King's Watch is responsible for manning the castle and these towers and forms the bulk of Angul's formal military. Historically the tactical advantage of the cliff face has made the kingdom straightforward to defend and there is no record of a successful assault.

At the foot of this waterfall, a permanent lake flows out into the badlands where it gradually turns into a kind of dry delta as the water dissipates into the land long before reaching any other body of water. Four times a year, i.e., once per season, trade caravans come bringing in exotic goods including spices, art, intriguing new weapons and pretty much anything else. The caravans set up a tent city along the shores of the lake for a week during each such festival. The kingdom relies on these caravans for luxury goods and other exotic items and thus unofficially supports the caravans. This includes using contingents of the King's Watch to establish new routes and providing some personnel to act as caravan guards. The remainder of the guard are a mixed bag of semi-trusted nomads and people with no other hopes.

Organizations

Castle Angul
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Castle Angul

The Crown: Angul is currently ruled by King Taien Kaduar who is the latest in a long line of generally tolerant and good rulers, though they have typically had an easy time of things because of the bounty of the kingdom. He is assisted by the High Constable and High Myst. The High Constable takes responsibility for military affairs spanning the King's Watch, the Trade Guard and Grand Crusaders. The High Myst is in charge of the secretive Mysterium.

Mysterium: The kings of Angul have relied on a secretive order known as the Mysterium to help guide their decisions and enrich the kingdom for tens of generations. It consists of magicians, druids, other mystics and really anyone with powers that transcend current understandings. Some rumors say that they are actually running the kingdom and the king is just a figurehead. Others say that the king uses them to literally get away with murder and that they use their powers to hide his misdeeds. Despite this, the generally held belief is that the Mysterium acts in the kingdom's best interests including assisting the military with new weapons and providing the kingdom at large with warnings of upcoming problems.

Members of the Mysterium are known as Mysts and the leader of the Mysterium—the High Myst—acts as the king's right hand.

While there is magic outside of the Mysterium, it is viewed to some extent with suspicion. Those who show aptitude for the occult usually demonstrate it publicly enough during puberty that they are approached by the Mysterium to begin training as a Myst. Most accept, but there are those that do not and they are typically left alone as long as they don't cause disturbances. Rumors say that there are those who the Mysterium doesn't find as well. Some of those rumors even claim that there is an underground analog of the Mysterium that finds and trains talented individuals outside the purview of the crown.

King's Watch: The King's Watch forms the bulk of Angul's formal military and is responsible for manning Angul Castle and the other watch towers along the cliff face over the Leonhart Badlands. They are run as an organized military with lieutenants in charge of each tower, captains in charge of a handful of towers and a single field marshal oversees the whole King's Watch and is ostensible in charge of the day-to-day activities at Angul Castle.

Trade Guard: The Trade Guard is an unofficial arm of the Angul military which helps defend the caravans that span away from the lake at the foot of the cliffs. The guard consists of a mix of nomadic warriors looking for something different, citizens of Angul with little else to hope for and some official military members from the King's Watch. Being a caravan guard is tough work and arguably the most dangerous job in the kingdom. Brigands and nomadic tribes threaten the caravans and the guard's unofficial status ensures that it is usually understaffed and under-supplied. As a consequence, many of the most respected soldiers in the kingdom did at least a few years in the Trade Guard and many members of the King's Watch are dubious of leaders that didn't do their time.

Grand Crusaders: The Grand Crusaders is not a permanent group, but rather a general term referring to the various special groups formed to either establish new trade routes of to repatriate wealth from other lands. Each individual crusade is given a specific goal and military hierarchy under a commander reporting directly to the High Constable. Upon returning to Angul, the members return to their normal posts, but promotions are not uncommon after successful crusades. Participation in crusades is nearly completely voluntary.

Rules

  • Progress Level 3: Age of Reason. Clockwork and gunpowder exist. Artillery exists and is used to defend castles. Guns aren't common, but aren't uncommon either.
  • 60 points for abilities.
  • Any Magic/FX is allowed with GM approval.
  • Start at Level 3

Normal Alternity Medieval House Rules

  • Progress Level: These rules are designed for PL2 (Middle Ages) and PL3 (Age of Reason), but should work for any other setting looking for some medieval feel.
  • Broad Skills: You get animal handling instead of vehicle op.
  • Mounts: A normal horse with relevant gear costs 250 Cr. A warhorse with relevant gear costs 1000 Cr.
  • Good/Amazing Weapons/Armor: Weapons and armor can be of good or amazing quality. The listed items in the Player's Handbook are assumed to be ordinary quality. Good quality costs 5x normal gets one of the following bonuses. Amazing costs 10x normal and gets two. Note that you can't take the same bonus twice (e.g. getting accuracy -2).
    • accuracy by –1
    • actions by +1
    • damage by +1
    • hide by +1
    • range by +25%
    • reload rate improvement (2 actions => 1 action => load/fire as one action)
    • LI/HI/En rating by +1 (improved individually)
    • AP by –1
    • weight by –25% (can be bought twice for –50%)
    • Note: certain items, e.g., the katana, are already improved quality and thus are limited in how they can be improved.
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