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Contest 27: Map Contest of Thrones (Thursday, June 18th - Monday, June 29th)
- Make a map of a fantasy world undergoing an age of strife. Think Game of Thrones, or Lord of the Rings.
World of Grion (LightningLynx89)
Grion is entering her third century after the fall of the once mighty and noble Sun Empire and Moon Empire. After the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, and Moon God, Tsukuyomi, were forced to use their power to lead their armies to battle to push back Orochi and his dark army. During the battle Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi were forced to use large portions of their power to in prison Orochi for all eternity on an island surrounded by the Gods' best guard. Though with the Gods power nearly gone, they were forced to head home and rest in their temples until their power was fully returned. Though as soon as the gods entered their temples to sleep they fell into a near eternal sleep. Nothing seemed to bring the Gods out of their sleep and without their guidance, their empires would crumble around them. Excluding their home islands off the main continent.
Now after three centuries without the Sun and Moon Empires to corral the various races and factions, the only forms of government or society are along the coastlines. The Shogunates of Humanity are various kingdoms ruled by various Shoguns and Daimyos. Though they do not care for outside races, they serve to protect and expand humanity across Grion. Humanity's border near the Kitsune have put tensions between the two races, as the Shogunates believe the Kitsune are in the way of their progress and expansion across the continent.
The Kitsune are a very tricky race to study and understand. Natural born tricksters, they are ever difficult to understand if they're being serious or joking. However, if you ever earn a Kitsune's trust, you'll see their true transformation from Fox, to a Fox-Humanoid hybrid. Spend enough time with a Kitsune and you may end up marrying one and earning one's love forever. To the south the Kitsune have taken to tricking and harassing Shogunate expansion in any means possible, to deter them from expanding further, though the Humans are pretty stubborn. Though their is one group of humanity the Kitsune trust enough to even marry if they do find the one.
The Protectorate of the Shinigami. The Kitsune are able to transform after the magic that was left behind my Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi lingered long enough to inhabit the inhabitants of Grion. The Shinigami are descendants of the advanced guard left behind by the Gods, after many years of marrying various Humans and Kitsune. The Protectorate are ruled by a central organization and kept with the task as their forefathers were tasked with. Keep the world safe from corruption and darkness that Orochi and his forces left behind. The Protectorate have great relations and are very open with all the various races that inhabit Grion; from the slow and passive Kappa, to the tricky and loving Kitsune, to the wary Tengu, and even to the aggressive Oni. The Protectorate is seen as a safe haven for all those who wish to live in Grion. Though their is trouble growing near their eastern border.
The forests to the east of the Protectorate have seen a large growing problem. They are infested with the angry and corrupted spirits left behind and or murdered by Orochi. They have been left alone to long in this realm to pass on or blessings to live on in peace. They are angry and violent spirits that are running rampant across the eastern peninsula. In preparation the Shinigami have set up large outposts to kill and cleanse any Yokai that intrude past the make shift border. Though they are increasing in number and are becoming actively aggressive.
The Tengu, Oni, and Kappa are some of the original children of the world along with the Kitsune. The Tengu once a very seclusionary race have grown more open with the other races, specifically on the mainland. Meanwhile those who want nothing to do with the other races have flown northwards to a string of islands north of Grion. The Oni have come long way since being servants of Orochi, but they still have a large amount of prejudice against them, due to their ancestors actions in the past. The Kappa being as passive as ever have found a nice place to call home in the west, far away from many of the other races, sans a nation of Tengu who want nothing to due with Humanity. On a northern peninsula in Grion, just south of the Kingdom of the Moon lies a safe haven for the Yurei. The Yurei are the passive spirits that have earned the blessings of priests and priestesses to remain in the world of the living and have no fear of turning into a Yokai. In remaining portions of the land lie small pockets of civilizations, but no large towns or cities exist, due to the dragons coming out of their hiding holes and claiming back their land, due to the Gods absences.
The islands that house the Gods' homes and temples have gone untouched by the outside world. Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi still sleep to this day, and their advisors are wondering when they will ever awake. As they've noticed something dire. The island that is currently housing Orochi has gone dark, and the chains and magic holding the demon their have weaken they fear it is only a matter of time before the demon reawakens and frees himself from his prison to wreak havoc on the world.
Stronk & Ludicrous (Scraw)
In the year 312, after being forced from their home by the Dan creatures, the Gurka Sajan arrived at the Shen Islands. With 100,000 Purple riders at his back, he defeated the Shen people and established the first unified kingdom in the region. Things were generally peaceful during his reign, although Koir raiders from the northwest frequently attacked the eastern shores of the new Purple Kingdom. After Sajan's death, he separated his kingdom between his descendants. The western half (the Red Shen) were given to his son Lekas and his descendants, while the eastern half (Green Shen) went to his grandson Bharbo. The peace was kept between Lekas and Bharbo, as well as their sons, but when Bharbo's son died, his only heir was his exiled and disinherited brother Jovan. Jovan recruited the Koir, promising to give them vast domains in the Green Shen states. Lekas' grandson Hynerd decided that he was the rightful heir to the Green Kingdom. Hynerd arrived in the Green capital of El-dar and was supported by the family of Bharbo's daughter, the Owans. However, the Owans are unpopular since they are an upjumped Shen family and not one of the original 27 Purple families. The 11 Green families elect Yuvar the Pink Gurka as the King, since he was the head of government during the reign of Jifu (Bharbo's son).
Yuvar met Hynerd in the battlefield with a small and outnumbered army. Yuvar was defeated and his forces retreated into the mountains. While Hynerd was away from El-dar, Jovan arrived in the city and captured it with relative ease since most of the fighting men were away at war. Jovan held Hynerd's family hostage while Hynerd laid siege to the city. Hynerd's brother Mirtas led a secret expedition of twenty good men and snuck into the city from a postern gate. Mirtas managed to open the gates of the city, but died in the process. The two sides began fighting in the streets, resulting in a bloody and chaotic affair later known as the Slaughter at El-dar. Jovan and what remained of his Koir army after the attack holed up in the Purple Citadel. The Siege of the Citadel lasted for three months. At the end of each month, Jovan executed a member of Hynerd's family (his brother, his wife and his son, respectively), until Hynerd gave in. Hynerd's third brother Pak led their men out of city while Hynerd surrendered himself to Jovan in exchange for the lives of his remaining children. Hynerd was publicly executed three days after his forces left the city. However, his armies were immediately slaughtered by the resurgent Yuvar. Yuvar captured Pak and Valko, Hynerd's son. Yuvar's brother, Isab, commanded the Second Siege of El-dar while Yuvar led a campaign across the Purple Islands to remove the Koir invaders from the human lands.
Yuvar returned after six months at war to find that his brother had died from an unknown plague that eliminated most of the siege army. Yuvar, in a desperate effort to gain the support of the Red families, married Valko's sister Rane to his son and heir Qolgat. 9 of the Red families responded and crossed the Sea of Eternal Brotherhood to help Yuvar. Yuvar and his new armies took the war to the Pink City, Un-dil-as, Yuvar's home. Yuvar died in battle, but he won the battle anyway. His son Qolgat was crowned as king, and the Brown Gurka Helmar commanded his armies. In the year 119 AS (After Sajan's Conquest), the joint Red and Pink armies took the Purple City and Qolgat became the first King of the Reunited Purple Kingdom.
However, the peace was short lived as the Dan creatures gained the ability to cross great bodies of water on ships. They arrived on the shores of the Great Shen Island in 127. They overran the countryside and the great families retreated into their cities and castles and hoped they would survive the onslaught. Qolgat finally took military action in 128 and fought the Dan outside Grad-mir. Qolgat found that the Dan were hard to kill. The Koir creatures were the best at killing Dan, so Qolgat began recruiting all the Koir left behind by Jovan to fight the Dan. The Koir responded to his call, and great armies of Koir were formed. The Koir Legions managed to defeat the Dan, and for this they were welcomed into the human society. The Koir began to coexist with the people, and it seemed peace was at hand, but there is always another threat coming.
Hopeless Masquerade/Blood Fire War Hate -Seiga
In this timeline, magic exists across the planet and was around since the beginning of humans. Various creatures from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indian mythologies also exist, such as the Chinese dragon, Jiang Shi, Kappa, etc.
Due to the various creatures that fought against humans constantly, the first nation didn't actually form until 1500BCE in China, with the creation of the Xia Dynasty that was centered around the newly established religion of Taoism. With the Taoist magic, the Chinese were able to tame the Chinese dragons and was able to fight against other powerful enemies such as the Jiang Shi easier. Soon however, the Jiang Shi, the Yaoguai, and some other Chinese monsters on the side of evil created their own nation in Siberia, and managed to prevent Chinese expansion there.
In India, the Maurya Empire had managed to take form, though was somewhat weaker than OTL due to the Hindu evil spirits and Asuras that kept constantly clashing against them. It soon fell apart a century later into five separate nations, though established a goal to unify again eventually after they manage to gain control of the subcontinent. By 850, the continent was unified under a new dynasty, the Rashtrakuta, though the Hindu evil spirits and Asutras formed a state on their own in the Himalayas, causing havoc to both India and China. Meanwhile, Hinduism would spread quickly into Southern Arabia and Eastern Africa and many fights against the native religions had ensured, with the Hindus having an easier time. In Persia, a large empire had formed based around Zoroastrianism, and had managed to fight off the Hindus along with pushing as far as OTL Afghanistan.
In Japan, the various Youkai made it difficult for Japan to ever unify, though the Mononobe and Soga clans soon emerged and with using their own magic (using Shintoist and Buddhist magic respectively), they managed to gain some ground and slowly pushed their way into Japan in a temporary alliance before reaching a stalemate in Tōhoku. However, many of the Youkai soon spread outside of Japan, and into Siberia and some eventually found their way into the Americas and established several nations. As they advanced down south however, they soon run into the Aztecs. After several clashes, the Aztecs and their magic had managed to push them out of OTL Central Mexico, though was not able to advance any farther.
In Korea, a similar fate was seen similar to Japan, but with Korean mythological monsters causing problems with the Koreans. However, with the adoption of Taoism and Buddhism, the Koreans had a somewhat easier time creating a unified state. Goguryeo soon managed to become a regional power, though faced constant clashes by the Youkai from Northern Japan and the Jiang Shi from Siberia. Fortunately, the Koreans established an alliance with the Chinese and the Mononobe Clan to help them out.
In Amazonia, the Inca Empire formed earlier and with the use of Incan magic, they managed to take control about 50% of Amazonia until the late 1400s, when they faced invasions by the Chinese, Indians, and Iberians. Despite losing some land, they managed to remain a powerful empire, and had prevented their attempts to advance any farther.
In Europe, chaos had ensured. The Roman Empire still took form, but never managed to become as large as OTL due to the Greeks and the Persian empires successfully beating them with their own magic and prevented from expanding much in the east. However, the empire had managed to last longer than the OTL Western Roman Empire until 730, when the Vikings kicked them out of the British Isles, other Germanic tribes fighting them using the more powerful black magic, and the Iberian rebellions which reduced their power and vastly weakened them. Though they managed to avoid a complete collapse, the Roman Empire (later known as Italia) would continue to be a shadow of its former self and became overshadowed by more powerful empires.
In the North, the Vikings formed a large powerful empire and later discovered Vinland by 1000, and soon came into contact with the Youkai that had already reached the continent. Both sides would be in a constant state of war, with the Vikings pushing them back towards the OTL Mississippi River though was unable to advance any farther. The constant war would eventually come to an end around the 1450s when the Scandinavian held Finland, Germany, and Netherlands successfully revolted and ceded. During that time, the Youkai created a buffer state called Mizūri that was populated by mostly ghosts, Tsukumogami, and poltergeists. When the Vikings try to make another advancement westward in 1628, they ended up being heavily defeated by the Missourian forces and retreated back. While minor skirmishes continued, neither side would try to advance.
In Eastern Europe, the Slavic tribes had a hard time and were constantly clashing against the other groups of tribes that tried to advance towards them. Although eventually they built up the strength and founded their own empire centered OTL Zaporizhia, and soon managed to slowly push out the rival nations out of parts of Eastern Europe. They also attempted to expand across Siberia, but later ran into the Siberian State that was filled with Jiang Shi and other Chinese monsters. After suffering a major loss, the Zaporizhia Empire (Later renamed the Russian Empire) decided to stop expanding and focus on militarising the border with them. Later, when the Vikings suffered massive rebellions in the 1450s, the Russians managed to take over OTL Latvia and Lithuania and successfully defeated the Vikings who tried to defend the area.
In Africa, empires such as Songhai and the Congo took form and over time, managed to conquer large areas of lands from other rival tribes. However, they soon came into contact with the Ethiopian and Kenyan Empires, both of which followed Hinduism and aligned with India and Srivijaya, and attempted to fight them. It resulted in a heavy loss for Songhai and Congo and a peace treaty was signed. In other parts of Africa, the North was invaded and held by Iberia, Italy, Greece, and Persia and in the South, various tribes unified and formed South Africa, which would become a regional power and successfully fend off both the Congolese and Hindu invasions.
By modern day, the main superpowers are China, India, and Scandinavia. Taoism, Hinduism, and Shinto are the dominant religions, along with various pagan religions and Zoroastrianism. The Abrahamic religions also never took form and do not exist in TTL. Technology levels are around OTL levels, though it is not widespread due to the presence of magic. The planet remains plagued with wars, but not as severe as in the past.
The main characters of the Touhou Project are Hata no Kokoro, Koishi Komeiji, Raiko Horikawa, and Toyosatomimi no Miko.
A World Away (Upvoteanthology)
Ever since the old gods created the world of Ueîlü over four thousand years ago, there were two warring species; the Humans, from the grasslands in the north, and the Greenskins, from the hellfire in the south. The Greenskins were created by Yralla, god of fire, while the Humans were created by Eíralu, god of peace (the water god created the Ice Runners in the north, while the god of war created the Screaming Souls in the west). For years, the humans had the upper hand, keeping them in prisons of iron and steel. For all of history, the humans didn't have the ability to venture into the heartland of the Greenskins; it was simply too hot for them, which kept them from collapsing it from the inside.
The gods of peace and water rewarded the humans for keeping this evil at bay, giving them weapons and knowledge. However, this knowledge soon divided the humans. Some believed that they should stay dependent on the gods, while others believed to cut ties with them completely. This caused humanity to split up into warring tribes, or major nations. The incessant god-worshipers were mostly in the far south, near the lakes of heaven (the two small lakes on the huge south continent). The Knowledgeable Ones kept to themselves in the north and far east, with some moving so far northwards, they began to interbreed with the Ice Runners. The state of Âløbra was one of these knowledgeable tribes. They cut ties with most nations, and ceased construction of all temples (then used to trade with the gods).
Meanwhile, in the far south, the Greenskins were planning their takeover. The god of fire kept them in the dark, yet provided them with weapons of mass destruction. All the nations that came out of this were simply due to the states growing too large, not because they were politically divided. Over a thousand years after the first division, the Greenskins attacked. Over a period of three hundred years, they systematically attacked, genocidally removed, or exiled the humans. Religious states founded small settlements on the islands to the north, hoping to be accepted and ignored. Cultured began to mix in the northern islands, with the final pockets of surviving human interaction being up there. The gods stopped responding to human worship. Seemingly, the heavens were in a war just as threatening as the one on Ueîlü.
While the war was still technically going on after the human exile, the Greenskins decided to focus on their continent. Small pockets of surviving humans interacted with the terrible Screaming Souls of the west, while others attempted to survive on the cliff side of the lakes of heaven. The Greenskins near that region were a bit nicer towards the Humans, as they received actual knowledge from the libraries in the region. However, most were being murdered at an insane rate.
Today, the only surviving areas of humanity rest in those northern islands. Will they put aside their religious difference to fight back against the encroaching south? Only time will tell.
Of Mana and Gunpowder (Fallacyman)
Normally when we think of a fantasy world, a medieval setting comes to mind. Magic and swords dominate the battlefield, and technology seems to be in stagnation since 10th century levels. However, in Elradia, this is not the case.
Behind the Mountains (CourageousLife)First, let’s cover the mechanics of the world of Behind the Mountains. Magic exists in this world and can be harnessed by mortal men. The gods that these men pray to may or may not exist, but the manna and magic they sacrifice to them are. The entire world has magic energy, most of it sprouting from nature itself. While early people thought of magic as a wild and random force, more recent scholars started to realize that magic runs on a set of complex rules, able to be calculated and controlled. One of these rules was that magic manifested itself along lines between strong anchor points. These lines are called ley lines. The energy here makes magic more potent and malleable, which is why many major cities are built along or at intersections of major ley lines. In the world of Behind the Mountains, the most powerful ley line is formed by the Kars Mountains, the magic anchoring itself along its great peaks. The second most powerful line is formed by the line of the Indivar Mountains and the Camaxtli Islands. Though the Indivar Mountains are significantly smaller than their western cousins, the diversified power drawn from the water and the land increases the magical energy, centering on the Southern Tkalti capitol of Altsoba. Ley lines are also key in shipping lanes between the lands. Because of the lack of ley lines to the outside world, the region pictured on the map is relatively isolated from the rest of the world.
Next, the people of the world of Behind the Mountains. First, there are the Keto remnants (pictured in yellow on the map). The Keto are the descended from a high magical culture’s attempt to colonize that part of the world. Because they have high magic, they are much more advanced than the indigenous people. However, they didn’t have enough supplies or resources to expand. As a result, they were left stranded in the islands by their homeland. They did have limited contact with the Sterre and Tkalti people, but this interaction resulted in those peoples quarantining the islands. No outsiders visit the islands, and no outsiders leave. Relatively little is known about the people themselves, except for their physical appearance. Their skin is almost pitch black, for which the natives nicknamed them the ‘nightskins’. They keep almost no hair on their bodies, and both the men and women wear long, loose fitting tunics and trousers, suggesting that men and women are thought of as equals in their society.
The Tkalti (pictured in purple on the map) are quite the opposite. They are tall and broad people with skin so fair that the natives call them ‘paleskins’. The men wear their hair in shoulder-length braids, and the women almost never cut their hair (except when they get married). The men usually go bare-chested, while the women use ornate jewelry to cover their chests, and customarily wear long cloaks around their shoulders. Several generations ago, the Tkalti lands used to be united under one kingdom. As the legend goes, the old king died, survived by his three children, his eldest daughter and two twin sons. Since Tkalti women were not eligible to inherit the throne, the elder son was to succeed his father. However, his brother contested him for the right to be king. Their sister also momentarily fought for the right for the throne, but ultimately conceded to the elder twin. From there, the younger twin fled north, and established a new capitol in the city of Maconaquea. Today, the Tkalti kingdoms still claim that they control all their lands, but in actuality control their respective sides of the Toltecatl Mountains, between which lies a no-man’s-land south of the Kineks River and north of the Ishedus River.
The Sterre (pictured in blue on the map) were the last cultural group to migrate into the region thousands of years ago. They physically resemble the Tkalti, though they are darker both in skin and hair. They are known by the natives as the ‘brownskins’, though their skin is closer to pink than brown. Both men and women cover most of their exposed skins, men wearing long sleeves and trousers, and women wearing wraps and shawls, leaving only their faces and hands exposed. Stiff collars and bodices are in style. All Sterrish lands are technically ruled by one emperor king, who rules from his capitol at Torguny, but are actually divided among fifteen rival houses. The ‘Big Five’, with their capitols at Eirney, Gefion, Iiona, Loa, and Maj, are the most powerful of the fifteen, controlling most of the magic, men, and manna of the region.
The Tahnvir (pictured in orange on the map) are culturally the most ancient group in the region. Called the ‘redskins’ by the natives, their skin is varying shades of a striking red color. Both men and women wear long flowing robes that are both concealing and easy to move in. The Tahnvir people used to control much of the southwestern portion of the region, stretching across the vast Nerys Plains and to their south and west, into the unknown. Like the Tkalti and the Sterre, the Tahnvir were a magic using people, not quite as advanced as the Keto, but not ignorant of it like the Dywn. Their land was once ruled by a single emperor. However, the dynasty was shattered with the arrival of the Dywn from the south, who overwhelmed the Tahnvir nation with sheer numbers. While the Sterre and Tkalti abandoned their lands and retreated behind their mountains, the Tahnvir were trapped on the wrong side. The dynasty splintered into many small kingdoms, duchies, and earldoms along the edges of the Dywn horde. The two most powerful remaining states are Vasundhar, whose capitol is the city of the same name, and the capitol city of Gaurav and its surrounding lands, which sits at the mouth of the Bhanva river. Vasundhar still retains all of its territory that it held previous to the Dywn invasion. Most of the remainder of the Tahnvir nation has moved into the abandoned Sterre and Tkalti land.
The Dywn (pictured in green on the map) are a savage barbarian people from the south. They are genetically closely related to the Sterre, but are culturally juxtaposed. They are also called ‘yellowskins’ by the natives for their jaundice skin. The men and women generally have less boundaries and structured rules as the other cultures. They have no kings, only leaders of individual hordes, which could range from a few dozen fighters to several thousand. The reason for their northern expansion is unclear, but what they lack in magic they make up for in manpower. In fact, they are superstitious in regards to magic, and think the people of the north witches.
More to come ...
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