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Seven

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#1Jyu 

Seven Empty Wed Feb 23, 2022 7:12 pm

Jyu

Seven



The caprice of the gods, the destined hero, the great journey, the untamed wilds beyond the city walls, the raging sea, the birth of civilization, temples and burnt offerings, hoplites and phalanxes, hydras, gorgons, minotaurs, sacred and profane rites and rituals, great thinkers, enlightened despots, revels in the woods, the power of belief—Seven is a plane filled with magic and monstrous danger, where heroes are born and where legends are made.

It is a region where barbaric, cave-dwelling minotaurs descend on wayward travelers. Giants stalk the land, drawing strength from the terrain on which they tread. At sea, massive krakens prowl its depths, and sirens lure its sailors to their demise. Yet amid such colossal perils, mortals have found a way to endure, and it is here that the hero's mantle is raised highest. Not only have the mortals endured, they have managed to thrive, for Seven is also a region where civilization is protected behind the walls of great poleis, each city-state a bulwark against the raging monsters that roam the more savage places of Seven.

Anthea, the polis of learning, progress, magic, and devotion to the gods, is a testament to the achievements of civilized humanity. It is hemmed in by vast golden wheat fields and the Siren Sea, and defended by the Reverent Army. In the polis of Madinthos, martial prowess is held in the highest esteem. Madinthian warriors have reached near-mythic status throughout Seven. The imposing cliff-top fortress of Madintos lies at the center of a network of outposts that serve to protect the rest of Seven, a fact that comforts many Sevenese. Themiscyra, the isolated polis surrounded by concentric rings of forest, is fiercely independent. Strong bonds connect its inhabitants, and all in Themiscyra share a veneration of nature.

Culture


Languages: Sevenese (Greek).

Religion: Hellenis.

Religion Equivalent: Ancient Greek.

Physique: Olive-skinned, fair-skinned.

Politics


Government System: Varies per polis.

Polis


Polis: The citizens of Seven embody the spirit of carving out a place for civilization from the wilds. Although other, smaller settlements exist, the majority of humans are associated with one of the major poleis.

Arthanes


General: Arthanes is the polis of learning, magic, and progress. It is a city-state of progressive thinkers, pious thaumaturges, and wise oracles. Arthanes was born from the defeat of tyranny, and to this day it retains a spirit of the triumph of free thought over brutish force. Arthanian pride themselves on their great temples to the gods, their thaumaturgical academy, their great works of architecture, and their Storm Guard. Arthanians are very concerned with the actions of the gods.

Outskirts: Arthanes sits on the coast, surrounded by rivers and vast, stepped grasslands. Fields of a cultivated type of barley provide sustenance to Arthanians and their animals. Branches of rivers splay out across the landscape, bringing fresh water and trade from distant villages.

Temples: The great temples of Arthanes are testaments to the achievements of civilized humanity. Almost every street of Arthanes bears a temple, from simple, one-room neighborhood shrines to six-story temples held up by phalanxes of marble columns. Every god has a temple in Anthea, and many temples are devoted to multiple gods. Artisans continually improve the temples in Arthanes, swapping out broken marble or crumbling sculptures with fresh materials, and painting over grand friezes with even grander ones.

Signs of architectural and academic achievement are everywhere. Even the streets of Arthanes are formed of bricks of interlocking geometric shapes, demonstrating mathematical and mystical principles. The wildlands of Seven feel distant, almost mythical, from inside the city's bounds. Anthea does suffer attacks from sirens, tritons, and larger monsters, but many citizens of Arthanes have never seen in person any monster bigger or more exotic than a centaur.

Storm Guard: Arthanes is defended by the Storm Guard, religiously trained soldiers who fight monsters and exalt the gods. Storm Guards are not as fierce as Madinthians nor as sturdy as Themiscyrians, but they are clever and resourceful, and they believe their superior piety for Seven's pantheon leads them to more success in battle. They are trained to manipulate the battlefield primarily through tactics rather than through physical strength. Their hoplites use clever ruses, unusual or rapidly changing troop formations, and even outright deception to score victories. It's said that every Arthanian soldier knows at least one spell. That may be an exaggeration that Arthanians allow to circulate, but it is true that many Arthanian hoplites could be considered low-level mages. Spells of healing, endurance augmentation, and battlefield trickery are often taught during soldier training.

Madinthos


General: The mountains that surround the mighty polis of Madinthos serve as shields between its holdings and the rest of Seven. The Madinthians are half-mythical even within their own time. They are known to be the most feared warriors of Seven. They have lived and died by the spear in the name of countless kings, hardening their armies generation after generation by fostering a culture that revolves around perfecting the body and the mind for combat. Because of their warrior culture and discipline, games and tournaments are held every year in the withering heat of the summer to weed out pretenders and to allow only the hardiest of athletes to prevail. The central podium where athletes receive awards is also a temple.

Polis: The central fortress and seat of Madinthian power is the Sparda, a huge, many-tiered structure perched on a cliff. Within its thick stone walls the Madinthian people worship, train, and conduct their lives. At the innermost part of the Sparda rests the hall of the Madinthian king. Here, scouts and couriers give reports from outposts that stretch to the furthest reaches of the Madinthian territories.

Athough the center of Madinthian culture is located within the great walls of the Sparda, the main body of the population consists of wandering bands of warriors that make up the Madinthian army: the Sidons. These warrior bands are entirely self-sufficient, relying on hunting and plunder to feed their numbers and to train the young soldiers in the field. The Sidons are tasked with scouring the countryside for monsters that have strayed from their domains seeking to attack merchants and traders who travel the roads between poleis.

Scattered throughout Madinthos are several outposts—staging grounds for Sidons to venture out and seek plunder or patrol for monsters and invaders.

Sidons: Madinthian Sidons are split in three categories: Sanguine Wolves, Stygian Wolves, and Alabaster Wolves. Sanguine Wolves are the forces that are always on the move about the borders of the kingdom of Madinthos. They are tough and rugged warriors armed for speed, so they can move and strike without warning. They are the forces who find new domains for conquering. Meanwhile, the Stygian Wolves are the elite of the Madinthian forces called in after the Sanguine Wolves have spotted a target and have begun attacking it in their guerrilla-style of assault. The Stygian Wolves march in and take over the village, capturing slaves to haul plunder back to the Sparda. Lastly, the Alabaster Wolves are the forces that never stray far from the Sparda, protecting the fortress from invaders. The Alabaster Wolves also keep the large population of serfs in check while the main part of the Madinthian army is away for long periods of time.

Temples: There are a few temples in Madinthos dedicated to the major gods, but due to the Sidon duties of many Madinthians, the major temples are located afield, in mountainous places.

Outskirts: The outskirts are the badlands of the Madinthian region. It is the line of demarcation between relative safety and certain peril. Encampments of Sidons are always stationed here on the border between the human regions and those beyond. They're relieved every month or so by a fresh cadre of troops, who inevitably hear terrifying stories of marauding leonin, flesh-eating minotaurs, and enormous cyclops. The borderland between the badlands and Madinthos is long and rugged, and the Sidons are kept in wandering groups, patrolling the whole of the Madinthian frontier.

Penthesilea


General: Penthesilea is populated mainly by women and children. There is no marriage and property is held communally. Ancestors are traced matrilineally. For the inhabitants of Penthesilea, the welfare of children is paramount. There are men in Penthesilea, but most live near the Hedessa, a menagerie at the edge of the polis. At a young age, men are encouraged to "peregrinate," a practice of wandering the world and seeking a home beyond that of their mothers. It is believed that women become heroes through martial training, while men become heroes by finding their own way in the world.

Polis: From a bird's-eye view, Penthesilea's layout resembles the rings of a tree, which radiate outward from the Seasons Shrine at its heart. Swaths of forest alternate with family dwellings and other civic structures. Penthesilea encompasses a sprawling area on the border between the Nistos Forest and the open chaparral. Roads are winding and narrow and usually not wide enough to accommodate a cart. Rope bridges provide easy foot travel through the wild spaces.

To the south, Penthesilea is bordered by a high ridge whose inhabitants have carved it into "shelves" for terrace farming and orchards, as well as digging warren-like dwellings inside the ridge itself. These defensible locations are used for protection when the city is attacked. Secret tunnels lead out into the forest.

Penthesilea's outermost ring is a dense circle of trees and vegetation that functions as a natural wall against outsiders. The trees have platforms for archers and the wall is constantly guarded. Penthesilea's warrior-priests monitor who enters and exits the city. Although the people of Penthesilea value community and treat each other as family, outsiders are not readily welcomed.

There is a giant, open-air market just inside the main gate of Penthesilea. Outsiders are allowed to use the market on certain days but are prohibited from roaming the polis at large. For Penthesileans, the market is open every day, year round. Currency is not common, although foreign sellers sometimes accept coin. For Penthesileans, all commerce is done in trade. Fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, fish, meat, nuts, seeds, and spices are all plentiful.

Hedessa: Hedessa is a safe haven and training ground for a diverse range of animals. These creatures occupy an honored place in society. The Hedessa encompasses a large region of forest and grassland at the edge of Penthesilea. There are extensive stables for horses and combat training grounds for warriors and animals alike. Karametra values animals as natural protectors. Pegasuses, wolves, and even lions are all trained to accompany warriors in combat. They also wander freely through the polis, serving as free-ranging guards. Men who remain in Hedessa take care of the animals and help train horses, falcons, and other animals.

Birds of Prey: Penthiseleans warriors are divided among the Birds of Prey to fulfill specific tasks. Falcons are occupied by falconers and scouts, while the Osprey watches for interlopers who enter the region without permission. Wood Elves, however, are welcomed by the Osprey and spend extended periods of time living among the ancient trees. During their training, they focus on archery and guerrilla warfare. Owls on the other hand serve as spies who travel incognito to gather information. They search out routes for "peregrinations," including sympathetic households who will mentor young men at the beginning of their journeys. Owls also seek lost and abandoned children and bring them back to Penthesilea. It is said that more Birds of Prey groups exist within Penthesilea.

Shrines: Penthesilea has a shrine honoring each of the seasons and the accompanying Penthesilean planting rituals. There are no temples to other gods in Penthesilea, but offerings to any god may be placed at these holy sites. As conduits to the various gods, the shrines are a source of enchantment magic in this region. This phenomenon is called the Nyxian Shroud. In Penthesilea, oracles can decipher the Nyxian Shroud. It has been described as a misty starfield that flows across the land. Inside the starfield are images that resemble constellations. These tell stories of the gods and can be used to predict the future.

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