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 Post subject: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:10 am
Posts: 22
I'm living in China teaching English right now, and I've got a tabletop group here that's been playing Shadowrun and Pathfinder. I have a couple of other people who are interesting in getting into tabletops, but have little or no experience, so I want to start up another game with them, and was looking towards doing an Arcanis home game using the new system (not D&D), which I love. Thing is, it looks like most people do living campaigns, and it sounds like most of the lore of this very lore-heavy settings. Even if I could afford to pick up all of the adventures, I like home games because I can tailor them to the PCs characters, and I was hoping I could pick the brains of this board on filling in some of the holes in my knowledge. I have a buddy who introduced me to this game, and it looks cool as hell, but I've only ever played in one 3rd ed battle interactive and one game with this new system at GenCon, so please consider me a neophyte. What I have to work with is the Core Rulebook, the 3rd edition setting book (the lore seemed to be layed out in a more approachable manner) the Bestiary, the Codex of Heroes, and the Blessed Lands Sourcebook (picked up yesterday, still piecing it together). I could MAYBE afford to pick up one more on Drive-Thru RPG if there is an important one I'm missing. I've done my best to piece the state of things together, but there like a 40 or 50 year time skip between the old 3rd ed sourcebook and the new one, and I do not have the benefit of having played in the last living campaign, so I was hoping you could help me fill in some of the holes? Here is what I THINK I have put together, and some questions I've got.

It looks like there was a Civil War in the Coryan Empire at some point (and I imagine this was the focal point of the last living campaign?), but I'm not sure what it was over, how it ended, or what the major consequences were. Was it a power struggle between Calsestus and Menisis? I remember reading something about Calsestus killed the Patriarch, and I'm guessing that that was what caused the collapse of the Wall of the Gods (how long ago was that, btw?). It seems like he was being led on by a rogue Valinor, who I think was Manetus, and then said Valinor ended up killing Menisis. Was this before or after the founding of Almeric? What happened to that Valinor? Looks like some dude named Scipio is emperor now, but I can't tell much beyond that. What's his agenda, and what kind of man is he?

Speaking of wars, what about the whole thing with Altheria, the Ellori, and Ssethregore? The main book is a little sparse with the details - it feels like a hell of a lot happened and was then compressed into a few pages. How long ago were each of those wars, and how big were they in the scheme of the last living campaign?

I've also noticed that some weird stuff is happening with the Val'Inares, but exactly what that is seems kind of vague. Are they turning into Ss'ressen? And why has this only been happening recently? I'm guessing something is up with Anshar. It seems like they're finding a home of some sort in the Abessian Dominion, and I noticed when reading through the Blessed Lands sourcebook that she seemed really smug, and that was not long after I noticed one of Yig's titles is "the Deceiver," so was Anshar Yig all along? And how many people know about this thing with the Val'Inares? What do they think about it?

Is there anywhere I can get more information about the Khitani? All I know is that they are another distant human empire that view a Valinor as their emperor and they've been fighting against Coryan for a long freakin' time. Are the Khitani ever found in the Known Lands in a non-hostile capacity? Could there be a PC Khitani? What is their culture like?

Is there any connection between the Altherians and the Kio? They both have legends of flying cities in their past, which seems pretty conspicuous.

Almeric seems interesting, but most of it's entry seems to be about the history of the Val'Tensin family and their plight, and I was wondering if there was anything out there that went into a little more detail on daily life there - how the cultures of Morotavia and Ulfia have been intermingling, person of note, major city-states, that sort of thing. I'm still pretty unclear on how large it is as a nation, or how much interaction the cities have with one another.

Which begs another question - I'm a little unclear on the relative size and difference of, like, EVERYTHING. Is there a map of Onara anywhere out there?

Also, Ssethregore is one of my absolute favorite threats, but I was a little dissapointed in the lack of diversity in monsters for them. I'm guessing there will be more once Coils of the Serpent comes out, but are there any stats out there for typical Ss'ressen grunts, or should I just make Black Talon NPCs and reskin them?

Speaking of threats, I notice mention of orcs and goblins in the 3rd edition sourcebook, but none whatsoever in the newer book. Have they been retconned out of the game?

At what point in history did the Celestial Giants and their curse come onto the scene? Before the creation of the Val? Before the Time of Terror? They seem conspicuously absent from all of the histories that aren't dwarven. Was this intentional?

Finally, how does the Mother Church and the Orthodox Milandric Church feel about Sarish, Nier, and Neroth in the modern age (the gods themselves, not the Church of the Dark Triumvirate). Are they officially part of the pantheon, or still ostracized?

Sorry, I know that's a lot, but I'm trying to get more into the setting with the resources I have.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:12 pm
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For a neophyte, I would highly suggest getting Codex Arcanis from DriveThruRPG - it should be free. It was a D&D-era sourcebook but is mostly setting info (just ignore the mechanics).

If you do want to look at the modules from the living campaign, they are also free from the campaign site (you just need to register and create one event and then download whatever modules you want).

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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:05 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:10 am
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Yeah, I've got that one, and it's been extremely helpful. Most of the holes in my knowledge stem from the fact that it seems to be set around the start of the living campaign, and the new rulebook picks up a few decades after the end.

I wasn't aware the modules were free though. Thanks for the tip!

EDIT: Ah, but it looks like I need to create events to be able to view them.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:08 am
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Hello Lorebane,

Just sent you an email with the old Known Lands map.

I hope that helps.

Welcome to Arcanis!

<<but there like a 40 or 50 year time skip between the old 3rd ed sourcebook and the new one>>

You note that you have the Arcanis RPG Rulebook. If you look at the first section where the nations are expained, you'll see that each section has a boxed text entitled 1071 I.C. There is where I fill in the gap of what happened in the intervening 40 years between the end of the 3rd edition Living Arcanis campaign and the start of the ARG Legends of Arcanis campaign.

That should bring you up to speed.

Enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:53 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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Location: Michigan
Lorebane wrote:
I'm living in China teaching English right now, and I've got a tabletop group here that's been playing Shadowrun and Pathfinder. I have a couple of other people who are interesting in getting into tabletops, but have little or no experience, so I want to start up another game with them, and was looking towards doing an Arcanis home game using the new system (not D&D), which I love. Thing is, it looks like most people do living campaigns, and it sounds like most of the lore of this very lore-heavy settings. Even if I could afford to pick up all of the adventures, I like home games because I can tailor them to the PCs characters, and I was hoping I could pick the brains of this board on filling in some of the holes in my knowledge. I have a buddy who introduced me to this game, and it looks cool as hell, but I've only ever played in one 3rd ed battle interactive and one game with this new system at GenCon, so please consider me a neophyte. What I have to work with is the Core Rulebook, the 3rd edition setting book (the lore seemed to be layed out in a more approachable manner) the Bestiary, the Codex of Heroes, and the Blessed Lands Sourcebook (picked up yesterday, still piecing it together). I could MAYBE afford to pick up one more on Drive-Thru RPG if there is an important one I'm missing. I've done my best to piece the state of things together, but there like a 40 or 50 year time skip between the old 3rd ed sourcebook and the new one, and I do not have the benefit of having played in the last living campaign, so I was hoping you could help me fill in some of the holes? Here is what I THINK I have put together, and some questions I've got.

It looks like there was a Civil War in the Coryan Empire at some point (and I imagine this was the focal point of the last living campaign?), but I'm not sure what it was over, how it ended, or what the major consequences were. Was it a power struggle between Calsestus and Menisis? I remember reading something about Calsestus killed the Patriarch, and I'm guessing that that was what caused the collapse of the Wall of the Gods (how long ago was that, btw?). It seems like he was being led on by a rogue Valinor, who I think was Manetus, and then said Valinor ended up killing Menisis. Was this before or after the founding of Almeric? What happened to that Valinor? Looks like some dude named Scipio is emperor now, but I can't tell much beyond that. What's his agenda, and what kind of man is he?


First off, welcome to the forums. That's a lot of questions, so I don't know if you'll get all your answers, but I'm sure many will chime in to answer some. Some questions might still be unanswered. I know some of what you feel, because I came late to the campaign as well and had to learn a lot that seemed obvious to many playing now. I can't imagine dealing with that from China! For books, the absolute must to have is the Codex Arcanis (available for free at http://www.serinus.us/cowbell/dnd/Codex.pdf or is that the 3rd edition setting book you mention?) That will give you a great feel for the world and different regions. But.... That was written back at the beginning of the large campaign, and thus before (in game) a major civil war and "the heroes of light," and the approximately 40 years between the end of that war (Campaign) and the start of the current "troubles." (new campaign). The Codex Arcanis section of the new ARG book covers most of what happened between the last campaign and now, but that leaves a lot of holes about what happened during the civil war, because that was the last campaign, and thus there are always spoiler concerns for anyone who might want to play/run that campaign.

So spoilers follow!...




Ok, so essentially the last campaign really picked up steam when the emperor killed the patriarch after accusing him of treason for trying to unite the churches of the time, and declared himself patriarch. Some people didn't like that, and Menisis, the baddest-ass general and honorable man eventually rebelled. Players could be on either side of the rebellion, because it wasn't clear which side was right. Over time, it was learned that the emperor was being led by a fallen valinor known as Manetas, "The Pride of Illiir," and that this would lead to very bad things. The war got very ugly. Early in the campaign characters found the eggs of a psionic hive-mind race long thought wiped out by the Elorii (one of the 13 races they wiped out, I think) and forgave them for using humans as hosts, and let them live. They escaped into the lavender way, and eventually somehow the emperor (Calcestus) struck up a deal with them and gave them an entire legion he thought was disloyal to host their eggs (as well as homeless children, etc) in return for them fighting on his behalf in a major battle. In the final fight Menisis (who had been assassinated and been brought back from the dead by the heroes) and the heroes went to fight Manetas, and were actually joined by Calcestus in the fight agaist Manetas, (as he had essentially been a prisoner in his own palace for an unknown amount of time. Manetas had a host of other evil Valinor working for him, and while the heroes went to the palace to fight him, Valinor waged a war in the heavens and armies on the ground. Eventually, a ritual went off that bound Manetas and all his fallen Valinor followers away somewhere probably not so nice. Both Calcestus and Menisis died in the fight against Manetas. Calcestus's brother (Scipio) was chosen as the new emperor, and is the one on the throne at the start of the new campaign (in the new book). Calcestus's bastard son Calmemnon was an heir to the throne, but only behind any children Scipio might have. What happened with him is covered in the new campaign book.

Scipio appears in general to be a pretty good emperor without too much imperial ambition. the 40 years under him has generally as peaceful as he could make it, and there was a lot to heal from when he became emperor. Most of the stuff that happened during his reign happened "off screen" (i.e. as described in the books but not from activities in a campaign) The creation of Almeric is one such thing that occurred in the last 40 years.

Lorebane wrote:
Speaking of wars, what about the whole thing with Altheria, the Ellori, and Ssethregore? The main book is a little sparse with the details - it feels like a hell of a lot happened and was then compressed into a few pages. How long ago were each of those wars, and how big were they in the scheme of the last living campaign?


The Elorii of Fellglade (Malfeans) are in an unalterable state of war with pretty much everyone but the other Elorii (who they tolerate). The are constantly fighting with Ssethregore, and occasionally with Altheria (who has the misfortune to border them) and the Coryani empire. Ssethregore also borders Altheria, and thus invade them from time to time, because, why not? During the actual last campaign, there were only a few "probing" attacks on the Altherans by Ssethregore, most notable once or twice at Semar where many heroics were performed to prevent a Ssethregoran break-through. Since then, though apparenely things really heated up, and things got bad enough that Altheria made a deal with the Elorii of Seramas for help, but once the war with the Ssethregorans was over, they wanted out of the deal and thus fought a war with the Elorii who had been their allies just a few years earlier. That all comes out of the current book, and happened in the time between campaigns.

Lorebane wrote:
I've also noticed that some weird stuff is happening with the Val'Inares, but exactly what that is seems kind of vague. Are they turning into Ss'ressen? And why has this only been happening recently? I'm guessing something is up with Anshar. It seems like they're finding a home of some sort in the Abessian Dominion, and I noticed when reading through the Blessed Lands sourcebook that she seemed really smug, and that was not long after I noticed one of Yig's titles is "the Deceiver," so was Anshar Yig all along? And how many people know about this thing with the Val'Inares? What do they think about it?


During the last campaign it was indeed found that Yig=Anshar, and Fire Dragon = good aspect of Kassegore. Both of these are not widely known. New belief is that the Val'Inares were crafted by Yig herself, and when they get old enough they start to change. In the Codex of the last campaign, you will see reference to an illness they suffer, that is actually that change starting. After it goes on awhile, they instinctively enter an Ansharan gate and go...somewhere to complete their change. It turns out that they went to Abessios and that there were Yiggites there that essentially killed them when they came out of the gate, because the existing children of Yig feared what the val'Inares might become if allowed to mature. (something their goddess would love more then them?) Heroes put a stop to this, so the first val'Inares were allowed to actually start this... transformation. What happens now no one knows yet. So very select people in the val'Inares family and the church know things, but the common val'Inares or Ansharan does not know that they are worshipping a snake god or that they may change into a snake-man when they get older.

Lorebane wrote:
Is there anywhere I can get more information about the Khitani? All I know is that they are another distant human empire that view a Valinor as their emperor and they've been fighting against Coryan for a long freakin' time. Are the Khitani ever found in the Known Lands in a non-hostile capacity? Could there be a PC Khitani? What is their culture like?


The new blessed lands book has a bunch of new information about the Khitani, but not enough to really play there. They are largely still an oriental type "mysterious people" culture in the campaign. They are "ruled" by a valinor called the sleeping emperor because he is normally asleep. While he sleeps (sometimes for years) the bureaucracy rules. But he sometimes awakes, mutters a few commands and goes back to sleep, and his commands are obeyed, even if often misunderstood.

They have fought two fairly brief wars with the Coryani, and could probably beat them, but have made peace both times. The two nations are currently at peace (and have been for I think at least 100 years) so trade and travel are allowed, but because of cultural and language difficulties, that means that generally there are only specialized traders and and the first city is used as a hub of trade between the two.

As a GM, you could of course have a Khitani PC, but there are no rules for anything special from their culture out yet.

Lorebane wrote:
Is there any connection between the Altherians and the Kio? They both have legends of flying cities in their past, which seems pretty conspicuous.


Much is secret about the history of both, but they generally appear to have different types of flying cities with the Altherians using "science" and the Kio using some unknown magic from their mysterious homeland. Since the ancient pure Kio weren't even human, we don't have any idea where they came from. Lots of unknowns still here.

Lorebane wrote:
Almeric seems interesting, but most of it's entry seems to be about the history of the Val'Tensin family and their plight, and I was wondering if there was anything out there that went into a little more detail on daily life there - how the cultures of Morotavia and Ulfia have been intermingling, person of note, major city-states, that sort of thing. I'm still pretty unclear on how large it is as a nation, or how much interaction the cities have with one another.


Almeric is the land of city States and civil war for a campaign to be set in now. If you want to start low level characters somewhere where they will face human threats and politics and a small skilled group can make a huge difference, Almeric is the place to do it. It is probably left intentionally vague in some of those aspects to allow a GM latitude to build the important people of their choice. As for the cultures/people, its a mix of the germanic teutonic former Milandesians and the Coryani.

Lorebane wrote:
Which begs another question - I'm a little unclear on the relative size and difference of, like, EVERYTHING. Is there a map of Onara anywhere out there?


There is no perfect map. There is an old map at https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?76 ... is-lacking, but it doesn't reflect the changes since the last campaign, like the creation of Almeric. There is also a less informative, but bigger map at http://coryanicenturion.blogspot.com/ to give some perspective.

Lorebane wrote:
Also, Ssethregore is one of my absolute favorite threats, but I was a little dissapointed in the lack of diversity in monsters for them. I'm guessing there will be more once Coils of the Serpent comes out, but are there any stats out there for typical Ss'ressen grunts, or should I just make Black Talon NPCs and reskin them?


Yes, you will have to make your own Ssethregoran threats until the new Ssethregoran book comes out.

Lorebane wrote:
Speaking of threats, I notice mention of orcs and goblins in the 3rd edition sourcebook, but none whatsoever in the newer book. Have they been retconned out of the game?


Yes, there is lots of confusion about monster still existing and not existing with the change away from the open gaming license. I am no one special, so I really can't speak to officially what is what, but it appears the orcs and goblins have generally been lumped into one primitive type humanoid known as a Gar. Obviously, as more is learned about Gar and if we ever explore Gar occupied territories, more differentiation may occur.

Lorebane wrote:
At what point in history did the Celestial Giants and their curse come onto the scene? Before the creation of the Val? Before the Time of Terror? They seem conspicuously absent from all of the histories that aren't dwarven. Was this intentional?


History is written by people with biases and incomplete understanding of events (especially in the shadowed age), so reported times etc can sometimes be inaccurate and vague, or even not mention things that were unimportant to the author. The celestial giants/dwarves rarely leave their homes, so they go relatively unmentioned by non-celestial giant/dwarves. It is believed that they came into the scene very early after the start of the shadowed age, long before the Time of Terror, but that could be wrong.

Lorebane wrote:
Finally, how does the Mother Church and the Orthodox Milandric Church feel about Sarish, Nier, and Neroth in the modern age (the gods themselves, not the Church of the Dark Triumvirate). Are they officially part of the pantheon, or still ostracized?


Officially both churches except them all. In reality, the Mother Church excepts certain aspects about them, but not all the dark stuff the dark triumvirate does. The Milandric Church also officially accepts them, but there is much more distrust of them, and they are officially "minor gods" in their teachings. Even to the point that while their symbols are still on the official church holy symbol, they are on the part covered by the hands when it is being held, which goes a long way to show how they feel about them...

Like I said, I'm no one special, so I may have some little points wrong, but this is my general understanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:01 pm 
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Hi Lorebane. I'll try to cover your questions. But these are sometimes only my opinions. And we are covering a lot of ground...

As you surmise the "spine" of the first living campaign was a civil war in the Coryani Empire that ended up changing most of the known world. Calcestus Val Assante became the Emperor and was seen as a partying dilettante who was turning a blind eye to corruption within the Empire. The Defender of the Empire (High General) was Menisis Val Tensen. The two of them came into conflict despite being personally close. At heart of it was the return of a valinor which made demands of Calcestus. That valinor turned out to be Manetas, a fallen angel. Other valinor and divine events appeared "in the wings" supporting the rebels. In the end Menisis and the Rebels breached the walls of Grand Coryan for the first time in history. As valinor of divided loyalties fought in the sky, heroes made it to the palace and enacted a ritual devised by Loshnek that imprissoned Manetas and his rebel valinor in some extra planar prison. Calcestus and Menisis died in the fighting. Calcestus' younger brother Scipio eventually succeeded him.

Scipio has been a competent emperor and has focused generally on stability and rebuilding. He's a decent man who usually tries to do the right thing. But he's also been grimly determined to stop the Empires relative slide compared to other powers. He's essentially conservative and has policies that are inward looking. In the time of this campaign he is very old.

A side show in all this had been the fighting in Altheria. It's has the misfortune to share a southern border with Ssethregore & Malfelia. So there were several battles at the city of Semar. In response to one of the wars (at a LARP) Altheria became a protectorate of the elorii nation of Entaris (Capitol is Seremas...sometimes used interchangeably). In the short term this was great for Altheria & elorii players were excited to flex their muscles. However Altheria and Seremas fit together like oil and water so the situation eventually blew up in the Seremasi War. Altheria pretty much got whipped.

Anshar is secretly Yig. Only a few people know this. Yig has no valinor so she made the val'Inares herself. Their serpentman nature manifests as they get older. Around the time they hit 60 the valInares get an urge to travel via Gate to a special place. The Ssanu have been afraid of being usurped and have been assassinating them while disoriented for centuries or millennia. This practice stopped about 40 years ago. The mature serpentman Inares are wild cards...no one yet knows what impact they are going to play in the world. They live in Abessios.

The Khitani split off at the fall of the fall of the First Imperium. They are vaguely Chinese but are largely undeveloped. They have a slightly different variation of the Mother Church called the Kahlindrul which focuses on a regimented society where most people can't change their station much. They don't worship Anshar. They have Val analogues called the Uls (which means Blessed in the Khitani tongue). Ul Wei are from the valinor of Altheres, ul Jaya come from valinor of Illiir, ul Tang (Nier), ul Zheng (Hurrian), ul Shi (Larissa)...etc etc. the Khitani Empire is ultimately ruled by the Sleeping Emperor, a valinor (secretly the Dreams of Larissa) that occasionally wakes and makes cryptic pronouncements.

There is no known major connections between the Kio & the Altherians. There is at least one other group that is implied to have flying cities.

Ssethregore has *piles* of different critters. You either need Coils or you need to download (free) modules from the website. Into the Blessed Lands, Gleams of Fire & Visions of Lives Past all have stat blocks that would be of use to you.

Orcs and Goblins are gone. They have been replaced by a pseudo "caveman" called the Gar. They live in the edges of the world and are not currently major players in the world.

If you google (if you can where you are in China) you can find the map of the old Codex. I agree the lack of a map in the ARPG is its largest oversight.

After the first Imperium collapsed there was a Shadowed Age. The Val's were created at the dawn of the First Imperium. The Celestial Giants were recruited shortly after the end. The founding of the Coryani Empire ended the Shadowec Ages (and time of Terror).

This gets into opinion. MC accepts and respects all 12 Dieties. MC Nerothians are generally anti-undead. MOC has declared Nier, Sarish & Neroth to be minor gods who are lesser than the other 9. They are officially part of the pantheon AND they are ostracized.

Whew...hope that helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:03 pm 
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Lorebane wrote:

It looks like there was a Civil War in the Coryan Empire at some point (and I imagine this was the focal point of the last living campaign?), but I'm not sure what it was over, how it ended, or what the major consequences were. Was it a power struggle between Calsestus and Menisis? I remember reading something about Calsestus killed the Patriarch, and I'm guessing that that was what caused the collapse of the Wall of the Gods (how long ago was that, btw?). It seems like he was being led on by a rogue Valinor, who I think was Manetus, and then said Valinor ended up killing Menisis. Was this before or after the founding of Almeric? What happened to that Valinor? Looks like some dude named Scipio is emperor now, but I can't tell much beyond that. What's his agenda, and what kind of man is he?


This was the plot of the original 5 year storyline, and yes it principly was between Calsestus val'Assante' (the Emperor) and Menisis val'Tensen (the Defender of the Empire). The bigger plot was the manipulation of events by Manetas, the Pride of Illiir. Calsestus killed the Felician val'Mehan (Patriarch), because of hubris the Wall fell (or had very good timing), it happened in something like 1023 (we're at 1075 in the current arc), neither Menisis nor Calsestus survived.

Almeric was formed some years after these events, and almost instantly degenerated into civil war. The Valinor was bound. . . somewhere (partially through the actions of Loshnek, the Cunning of Sarish), Scipio is was the brother of Calsestus and was decided to take the Alabaster throne by a group of adventurers (the GM's of the appropriate Origins BI). He seems to be a reasonably good Emperor, keeping Coryan out of a major war for 50 years (side trip down in the Western Lands, however).

Quote:
Speaking of wars, what about the whole thing with Altheria, the Ellori, and Ssethregore? The main book is a little sparse with the details - it feels like a hell of a lot happened and was then compressed into a few pages. How long ago were each of those wars, and how big were they in the scheme of the last living campaign?


This timeline is little explained, but basically: Ssethregore and the Malfelans were breathing down Altheria's neck, the Entarans came in and put it under a protectorship status. When the Altherians felt the threat had abated, they tried to get out of the protectorship, the elorii said no, so they fought a war. Entaris was winning until Ssethregore (stupidly) attacked them, meaning that the Altherians and Entarans had to work together. End point was all sides were too exhausted to keep fighting, and they all slunk back into their own corners. Timeline is somewhere in the 1030's or 1040's.

Quote:
I've also noticed that some weird stuff is happening with the Val'Inares, but exactly what that is seems kind of vague. Are they turning into Ss'ressen? And why has this only been happening recently? I'm guessing something is up with Anshar. It seems like they're finding a home of some sort in the Abessian Dominion, and I noticed when reading through the Blessed Lands sourcebook that she seemed really smug, and that was not long after I noticed one of Yig's titles is "the Deceiver," so was Anshar Yig all along? And how many people know about this thing with the Val'Inares? What do they think about it?


No they aren't turning into ss'ressen, it has been happening probably for thousands of years now (remember, the Time of Terror which lasted between the Fall of the First Imperium and the rise of Coryan destroyed almost all past records) and it seems that at least the Khitani have some knowledge of this as they distrust Ansharans and the val'Inares. It was basically revealed in the original story that Anshar = Yig, and basically nobody knows about this as the val'Inares and the Mother Church have a vested interest in keeping this close to the chest.

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Is there anywhere I can get more information about the Khitani? All I know is that they are another distant human empire that view a Valinor as their emperor and they've been fighting against Coryan for a long freakin' time. Are the Khitani ever found in the Known Lands in a non-hostile capacity? Could there be a PC Khitani? What is their culture like?


The Khitani are slowly being expanded in universe in the now completed Coming of the Destroyer Storyarch. There is no official Khitani document so all we have in canon is bits and pieces. They have fought 2 wars with Coryan and have had something of an antagonistic relationship as the two biggest political powers on the continent are wont to do. They are officially led by the Sleeping Emperor, perported to be the Dreaming of Larissa, but this is not substantiated. They pop up occasionally (like House Zhuan in Censure), but generally are not common. Their culture is heavily Chinese based, but there are elements of other asian cultures (such as Vedic India).

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Is there any connection between the Altherians and the Kio? They both have legends of flying cities in their past, which seems pretty conspicuous.


None expanded at this time.

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Almeric seems interesting, but most of it's entry seems to be about the history of the Val'Tensin family and their plight, and I was wondering if there was anything out there that went into a little more detail on daily life there - how the cultures of Morotavia and Ulfia have been intermingling, person of note, major city-states, that sort of thing. I'm still pretty unclear on how large it is as a nation, or how much interaction the cities have with one another.


PCI is building a map of the world that has been delayed by various scheduling conflicts and other issues, but overall Almeric is about the size of Milandir and is a big blob stratling the opening to the Blessed Lands. I think a good way to look at it would be to look at Renaissance Italy or the Holy Roman Empire, with various smaller lords and cities fighting for dominance.

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Which begs another question - I'm a little unclear on the relative size and difference of, like, EVERYTHING. Is there a map of Onara anywhere out there?
The original Codex Arcanis had scraps of Map which you could put together, and there is an unofficial map out there which you may find by googling "Arcanis Map" and looking at the Images.

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Also, Ssethregore is one of my absolute favorite threats, but I was a little dissapointed in the lack of diversity in monsters for them. I'm guessing there will be more once Coils of the Serpent comes out, but are there any stats out there for typical Ss'ressen grunts, or should I just make Black Talon NPCs and reskin them?


It will be expanded when the book written to expand them comes out. There is also the original 3.5 version of the book out there which can be scooped up for a reasonable price through various sources to give you a bit more inspiration to fiddle with them until the official book comes out.

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Speaking of threats, I notice mention of orcs and goblins in the 3rd edition sourcebook, but none whatsoever in the newer book. Have they been retconned out of the game?


Simple answer: Yes. Longer answer: The closest equivalent of the Orcs and Goblins are the Gar, a more neanderthal-like race of primative humanoids which focus more on Shamanism than anything else. They have not appeared in a current product in any but the most tangential fashion, but from what we know they tend to live in the spaces between human civilization, such as the vast forests and mountains where the humans barely hold sway, even deep in the borders of their empires.

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At what point in history did the Celestial Giants and their curse come onto the scene? Before the creation of the Val? Before the Time of Terror? They seem conspicuously absent from all of the histories that aren't dwarven. Was this intentional?


The Giants were cursed a generation after the fall of the First Imperium for failing in Illiir's charge to protect humanity in this troubled time (read: enslaving them). This happenEd CENTURIES after the Vals, right at the start of the Time of Terror. The nature of the Time of Terror and the intervening 2800 years since then have left most records destroyed in the Known Lands, which probably accounts for much of the lost history.

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Finally, how does the Mother Church and the Orthodox Milandric Church feel about Sarish, Nier, and Neroth in the modern age (the gods themselves, not the Church of the Dark Triumvirate). Are they officially part of the pantheon, or still ostracized?


They are officially part of the pantheon as All Gods Must Be Given Their Due, but the Milandisian religious practices is notably. . . circumscript when it comes to these three. After the Crusade Sarish regained much of His prominence, but the other two are only acknowledge fearfully and rarely. Milandir primarily worships Yarris, Saluwe', and Illiir (Hurrianic worship is strong, but failing following the formation of Almeric).

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Legends of Arcanis Campaign Staff
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Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
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Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:08 am
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Have I mentioned how great you guys are?

Arcanis has the best and most helpful players around - bar none!

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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:14 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:10 am
Posts: 22
Thank you so much! You guys have been incredibly helpful. I'm pouring over the Blessed Lands book now, and will probably try to run a campaign there - this is easily one of the coolest campaigns I've ever come across. I kind of wish there was a living campaign group here in Tianjin, because I'm getting oodles of character ideas as I read through this stuff, and even though it was just the one, that BI I played in was ludicrously awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you help me understand the setting better?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:31 am 

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:10 am
Posts: 22
Also, is it just me, or in the earliest histories does the Pantheon of Man come off as a group of dicks and bullies? My understanding went something like this.

There was this dude called the Other who took some of their power, so they chased him away, but that wasn't enough, so made their subjects leave their homes and come with them to another continent so they could punish him more, then they found these people who thought he actually wasn't that bad a guy.

One of the gods of the Elorri goes missing, and the other is blamed (it didn't seem like she had been harmed at all when she was eventually found), and then they couldn't beat him in their war of aggression, so they ate the gods of their new allies and then told the people who had been helping them in this war to gtfo, because they were going to give their capitol city to their own followers.

To me it smacks heavily of revisionist history written by the victors, and I catch shades of this in the Codex Arcanis's section on the Coryani Empire. I'm not saying that the Sorcerer-King sounds like a nice guy, but he did have an agreement with the Coryani that the Imperial family seemed happy to abide by, but when a harvester asked for the royal children (in accordance with their agreement), the Empresses decided the best thing to do would be to kill what was essentially an Ymadnragore diplomat and then was like "Yo, people of the empire, I know I've been letting these guys take your children from you, but I don't want to give them mine, so I need you to fight a war against them now."

I'm sure that this is not remotely close to what the creators had planned, but hey, it's going to be a home game, so I had been thinking about doing something where the party discovers that the Other was the first human or something like that, and that the gods are simply powerful beings, akin to the Elemental Lords, and that rather than some sort of cosmic imperative to honor the gods, it was always just a "because we're the toughest and we say so" arrangement. The Other, being the first to realize this, learned to siphon small portions of their divine power to become immortal, with the intent on sharing this power with the rest of humankind so their destiny could be more self-determined. Thoughts?


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