segunda-feira, 5 de outubro de 2009


And now, I give you a special treat, thanks to Kerrah: a profile on the ancient wizard Halshim, straight from Umbra's most secretive archives. Hope you enjoy it and keep checking back for new updates!


Character profile:

Halshim [birth name unknown], or 'Magus', as he was called in Ancient Greece, may be one of the earliest mortal wizards. His exact age is unknown, though his land of origin has been confirmed to be Mesopotamia. Though written records actually quoting him are exceedingly rare, one of the few existing has him claiming to have been the court wizard of 'the great king' of his home kingdom. Potential candidates for his original benefactor include Gilgamesh of Uruk, Sargon of Akkad, Hammurabi of Babylon and Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria.

Before the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, credible records of Halshim's life existed starting from around one thousand years BC. One of these stories claimed the great prophet Zarathustra, also known as Zoroaster, was Magus' last student before he gave up on such things in favour of self-perfection. It was also hinted that Zarathustra's patron meta-entity Ahura Mazda [dead, killed by the Sealing] may have been a partner in Magus' studies of the Arcane.

Until the months before the Sealing, it was unknown how Halshim lived for centuries without aging a day. Persistent rumours among the wizards of the day spoke of the Philosopher's Stone, sometimes citing his work with Egyptian alchemists. Other stories that existed among the lost scrolls of Alexandria claimed he was one third a god (meta-entity) by heritage. Magus himself spent his extended life travelling the known world of the day, meeting wizards and mortal-minded meta-entities and sharing his extensive knowledge with them to gain more information and power himself.

Come the age the Archmage lived in, Halshim had grown seemingly desperate, enough so that when the idea of sealing magic came about, he accepted it. The Archmage and her apprentices, who would later form the Umbra, were suspicious, since Magus thought his magic defined him and would never give it up unless there was no other option. When questioned about his motives, he shared the story behind his immortality, which is one of the few records that has been preserved to this day instead of being destroyed by special orders from the High Council:

"In the day and age when I was a mortal, born from a mother and brought up over many a year, I saw my father grow old and die a white-haired, toothless man. I could not accept his destiny to myself, and so I travelled to the desert to die a young man, with my grace and power intact. In the hour of my death, a figure approached me, tall and grim. It spoke to me with a booming voice and said I had a power within me, a force greater than that of anyone I had ever known.

It said it could help me use the power if only I promised I would give myself to it when I passed away. I refused, asking what good this power was if it would only last my fleeting human life, and the thing stared at me for a while. Then it told me that in my defiance, my worth to it had increased, and promised I would live the duration of many a human lives if I accepted. After I had worded my agreement, I asked its name and it told me it was Pazuzu
[fate unknown, presumed dead]. I woke up the next morning in my home city, fully healthy and awakened to my gift of magic.

I travelled the world for many years, growing more powerful and more knowledgeable, but never older. And yet, everywhere I went, I saw people doomed to die, which reminded me of my own deal and its limited duration. As wizards grew more numerous and some of the Gods came to openly communicate with them, I asked in many places of Pazuzu and eventually heard of it. They told me it had claimed the very souls of many a human and God alike, selling some service in exchange for their core being and magic capabilities. I was horrified at the fate this revelation presented to me, and sought to find a way to slay a powerful demon such as Pazuzu so I could save myself.

Many a year I have sought and I have found nothing, for Pazuzu is impossible to find unless it wills to be found. But then I ran into something useful: there was a claim that Pazuzu himself had grown too old to live naturally anymore, and was seeking the souls of others to keep itself alive. Your sealing may not kill it directly, but it will lose its sustenance and die the unthinkable death of old age which I seek to avoid."

Halshim revealed that Tiamat, the Great Mother of the meta-entities of Mesopotamia [dead, killed by another meta-entity in 722 BC], had taught him the secrets of the Astral Plain, which meant that his knowledge was essential if one was to ever seal magic. While the Archmage's magic alone was enough to cover the corporeal world, Magus' would be needed to prevent meta-entities from circumventing the block through this alternate plane of existence. The plan was agreed to and the preparations were made.

Ever since the Sealing [see full details in chapter two], Halshim has been trapped under the island of Atlantis, presumably still unable to die but yet incapable of using magic to escape (certain supporters of the Law of Magodynamics claim that the spell keeping him alive must have ended by now, but it has been scientifically proven that magic cast by powerful meta-entities works on its own rules). All knowledge currently held points at Pazuzu dying from the sealing, as Magus has predicted.
— Umbra's Lexicon of Magic and Notable Wizards
chapter unchanged since year 1795

ADDENDUM FROM YEAR 2014: Two wizards were sent to study the site of Atlantis under orders from the High Council. The ruins have exploded from within. Investigation on the possible return of Halshim pending...

quarta-feira, 23 de setembro de 2009

Klaus Lange-Jauch

To show that we're actually still working on this, here comes a character profile written by Kerrah on one of the new additions to the setting, Klaus Lange-Jauch, corporate tycoon and all around philantropist.


Character profile:
Klaus Lange-Jauch

Klaus Lange-Jauch is commonly seen as a prime example of the opportunities presented by the Age of Magic. In a decade, he has risen from an unemployed wanderer to being the CEO of the world's largest business empire, Lohengrin.

Born in Munich, Germany in 1989, Lange-Jauch's childhood was marked by spectacular school reports and personal trauma. His parents died in a car accident when he was 16, and he soon after left his home city without warning. There isn't an official record on where he spent the next six years of his life, but in 2012 he was working for a small oil company in Norway. The boy managed to gather together a small sum of money and spent it buying stocks from his employers, who were on the verge of going bankrupt at the time.

Klaus got immensely lucky when the firm he worked for found a new oil well [is this the correct term?] shortly after his investments. With oil prices skyrocketing, his stocks sold for millions and he quit his job, moving back to Germany to found his own business. Before he could decide his next move, however, the Great Unsealing took place and wizards started discovering extraordinary powers they'd always had but never been able to use. While Klaus himself wasn't able to use magic, some of the friends he'd made since returning to Germany were. Immediately fascinated by these supernatural powers, he founded his company, Lohengrin, and hired a team of five magicians to study possible uses for their magic.

Half a year later the six young men had a breakthrough, managing to greatly boost the growth and productivity of crops and trees with simple spells. With Klaus' direction, the wizards created ten new plant breeds, all over twice faster and easier to grow than anything made with science. The fruit of their labours was trademarked as Lohencrops and distributed, revolutionarising food production everywhere. In less than half a decade, Lohengrin became the wealthiest foodstuffs company in Europe while Klaus founded smaller businesses on other industries as well.

During this time, the European Union started adapting to the existence of magic, stepping ahead to create laws for it. One among them was the increased taxation of all magic-based business. The Union and Lohengrin quickly got into disagreements on whether the sales of magic-enhanced products counted as a magic-based business, and when the law was reworded to specifically include cases such as these, Klaus chose to move his company.

With the world in a state of constant unbalance, Lohengrin's operations were moved into the one place which didn't seem to be reacting to the surfacing of magic in any radical way: Australia. Four of the members of the original research team stayed in Europe, so the remaining wizard was given a team of newly hired magicians to work under her and Klaus to create the company's second revolutionary invention.

In 2019, the Lohengrin Arcane Research Wing published their new discovery: magical means to turn desert into fertile terrain. In the day before this publication, the company bought a wide strip of Australian desert, turning into into a Lohencrops field in two months. The newly founded African League of Nations led by Ethiopia immediately showed interest in this discovery, gaining Lohengrin its biggest yearly customer.

In the years since, the company has spread its influence and market area into the whole world. Even the United States, despite refusing to grow magically-enhanced crops on its soil, is highly dependent on Lohencrops to feed its people. Lohengrin's subsidiaries include foundries, factories, banks, hospitals and supermarkets, all utilising magic in some way to enhance their productivity. Rumours persist of their third major invention, which is yet to come, being a new energy source to challenge the Ethiopian hamranite trade (or alternately the Africans paying a hefty bribe each year to keep the company's interest away from such an idea).

Klaus Lange-Jauch, despite his busy schedule in working with his research team, has managed to make himself a household name and a world celebrity. When marrying the head of his research team, he held the largest wedding in the history of the planet. He donates a billion dollars each year into varied charity foundations and personally gave a staggeringly large loan to the government of China when it faced financial troubles. Despite repeated demands, he refuses to enter the world of politics in his homeland of Australia, insisting he's not a good leader.

The business tycoon has for years been rumoured to be a closet wizard, a claim he and his wife have denied at every opportunity. "I consider myself the proof that you don't need to have magic in order to understand it. People have dreamed of all the possible uses magic would have for centuries before the Unsealing," he said when questioned on the matter for the first time in 2016.

quarta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2009

Political Map

Here it is, just as promised.

Since that is out of the way, we're now working on how the different factions interact with eachother. Expect more updates in the coming days and please post any comments, suggestions or criticism you have either here or on the thread at SoL.


segunda-feira, 10 de agosto de 2009


Like most of us, I've always had plenty of fantastic ideas in my mind, always thinking "I'll create a world of my own one of these days!" So, when the RP craze hit Scrolls of Lore (a fantastic forum I frequent, link here), I was idly talking to my friend Kerrah about what an Urban Fantasy RP would be like. We started talking with Tim and Zula (other two great friends of mine, also from SoL), had some ideas, but then pretty much stopped.

Until some weeks ago, when we had a bunch of crazy ideas about a war scene (mostly about European wizards fighting Japanese robots and American clone troopers - this last one got scrapped from the final project) and then thought "Let's add this to our setting!". After a long time of creating concepts, characters, a mildly coherent history and political scene we came up with this (I hope) brilliant piece that'll shed light on atleast the core tenets of the setting.


When the Earth was young and yet untouched by the hand of man, a race of beings known to later generations as meta-entities thrived. With the birth of mankind, these beings saw them as potential servants and, using their greater knowledge of the magical arts, tricked the humans into submission and worship. While in time humans came to wield magic as well, they were still under the command of their "gods", waging great wars in their name. Nearly three millenia ago, two powerful wizards known only as The Archmage and Halshim joined forces in the great city of Atlantis, with the intent of sealing magic away. The Archmage saw the sealing as necessary to free humanity from the thrall of the metas and to stop the humans themselves from abusing its great power. Halshim, on the other hand, wanted to retain his soul, which he owed to an ancient being that would be killed by the seal. After all preparations for the ritual had been dealt with, the two great magi started weaving their spell. Halshim, however, soon realized something was wrong. The Archmage, disgusted by his selfish reasons, was weaving her spell in such a way that it would seal Halshim along with magic. Afraid of the catastrophic causes interrupting such a complex spell as the seal would cause, Halshim continued channeling the seal while trying to counteract the Archmage’s spell, but she steadily maintained the upper hand. This stalemate remained until they neared the conclusion of the seal, when a desperate Halshim pulled back from the seal and directly attacked the Archmage. Enduring his attack, the Archmage managed to conclude the spell on her own, leaving her attacker powerless. It was then that Halshim realized her true trickery: the Archmage had prepared a loophole in the seal, keeping magic as if hidden in a vault of which she possessed the combination. Looking at the great city being destroyed by the disruption caused by Halshim's premature retreat from the spell, the Archmage summoned all the power she still retained and blasted the entire island into the depths of the sea, killing herself but forever imprisoning the immortal Halshim underneath the sunken ruins of Atlantis.

Centuries passed and more and more meta-entities vanished. Some died slowly from having their magics locked away, while many more were killed by Umbra, a group of magi formed by the apprentices of the late Archmage. The Umbra used the same method as she did to continue their use of magic for the cause of wiping the meta-entities off the face of Earth. Come the third century before Christ, the additional mission of sealing away all credible records of magic and magical beings was also taken up by them. As a consequence, magic turned into myth and superstition over the millennia.

However, there were times when the Umbra faltered and failed, as well as meta-entities who hid and survived. The greatest shame of the magi was the Great Leak, when one of their leading wizards, disillusioned by their great task, stole a large amount of papyrus scrolls from their largest storage, the Great Library of Alexandria. He rode north for several days and hid the hoard underground somewhere in the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, enchanting the vault to be indiscoverable by anyone capable of using magic. Afterwards, he sailed west and told everyone about his exploits. Even though he was eventually taken down, his actions spawned hundreds of years' worth of conquest seeking to uncover the secret.

Even though no "leak" was as large as the great one, there were others. Throughout the Medieval period, hundreds of magi either left Umbra to practise magic in secret on their own or took apprentices behind the organisation's back. All who were discovered were killed, most of the time stealthily. It was soon noticed, though, that the masses hated these "witches" just as much as much as the Umbra did, and hunting for them was made a public sport.

Come the New Age, Umbra spread its influence throughout the globe and plucked out the supernatural where ever it was found, and ultimately even the learned and studious would not believe in it. Even the amount of rogue wizards went down; in the secular world, anything out of the ordinary started sticking out. Places not under Umbra's watchful eye grew rare. It seemed they had won.

Then, just as the world had entered the twenty-first century, all hell broke loose. The seal created by the Archmage and Halshim was rupturing as a consequence of the latter's rash actions during the procedure. In 21.6.2013, despite the Umbra's best attempts to avoid it, the cornerstone their organisation had been built on collapsed. Over months, supernatural events took place all across the world, and there was no way to hide it any more. Magic had returned.

A period of great unrest followed. Some people saw magic as a discovery that would greatly benefit humanity as a whole and encouraged its study. Others saw it as unnatural, dangerous and something that should be forbidden. All around the world, magic caused debates, protests, riots. Soon, the entire world was engulfed in conflict. Laws were passed, alliances were made, wars were fought. The world had been changed forever, in ways nobody could have seen coming...

In this new age marked by strife, wondrous magics and exciting new technologies, the political map is dominated by the following factions:

The United States of America – Following an election, the new President quickly passes laws that outlaw magic, AI development and many applications of genetics (mostly regarding genetic manipulation on humans), receiving cheerful support from a large part of the population. The government also insitutes universal military service, in order to ”better protect America from the horrors abroad”. Following disputes with the Canadian government, the USA invade their northern neighbours and quickly take control of the unsuspecting nation, forcing many Canadians to flee the country en masse and leaving the whole of North America under the control of the USA.

South America – In response to what they perceive to be totalitarian and warlike movements by the USA, most South American countries unite under the SOL ("Sudamerica Organizada para la Liberacion" - South America Organized for Liberation), currently undergoing a process of abolishing capitalism and instituting a fully functional communist system. Meanwhile, discoveries of ancient nature magics left by ancient civilizations pushes the SOL to greatly focus on this brand of magic and attempting to create eco-friendly technology.

Europe – The different countries of the European Union realize they need to become more united to face the international threats arising. The European Parliament becomes an authority above the individual governments, with the different countries surrendering their militaries to the control of the Parliament to ensure equality and avoid inner conflicts. Seeing great potential in scientific applications and studies of magic, the EU is the faction that most employs both magic and technology, being the prime user of magitech.

Japan – A great breakthrough in the field of robotics is achieved and a race of sentient and intelligent machines is created as a result. These beings are dubbed ARCS (short for ARtificial Computerized Sentience). After initial turmoil between ARCS and humans, the two races eventually manage to coexist in harmony. To maintain equality, it is decided that magic should be restricted to the humans, to compensate for the ARCS' superior intelligence and military capabilities, leading to magitech being forbidden. Manual labor and most military operations are carried over by non-sentient robots, with powered armor becoming standard issue for any human or ARCS soldier, while officers lead their troops from heavily armored mechas.

Korea – A few short years after the Great Unsealing, North Korea strikes its southern neighbour out of the blue. The armies of the People's Republic are now boasting beastlike supersoldiers which are massive, deadly, subservient and showcase magical qualities. It takes a month for South Korea to fall, and by that time all foreign states interested in the conflict have realised that North's new soldier breed are too dangerous to tackle without further intel. In the coming months, the Communist Party makes sure to show the power of its minions at every opportunity. No one has yet been able to determine the origin of the creatures, though a likely clue was discovered recently: the budget of the nation's genetic engineering studies has quintupled since the unsealing.

China - With their economic growth, which is almost entirely credited to free market, mainland China gives up communism and grows a strong traditionalistic streak instead. As magic returns, dragons are discovered in the Himalayas and the nation immediately begins a breeding program to bring life to the dying species. In another display of traditionalism, the military also begins training their soldiers in using a brand of magic that complements their physical abilities. As a result, they develop superior speed, strength and accuracy and some even manage to generate the so called "ki attacks".

Middle East – After metas have become public knowledge, Allah reveals himself to the population. The Islamic countries rejoin once again as a new Caliphate, with Allah deciding to remain distant so people don't depend on him, but offering occasional advice to the Caliph and even to the whole world through his speeches. As its answer to the many radical changes around the world, the Caliphate invests large quantities of money into teleportation magitech, enabling them to create assembly lines that instantly warp the components into the finalized product, be it machinery, weaponry or even entire buildings.

India – After the discovery of meta-entities, worldwide reactions are mixed. While some nations simply remain neutral towards them, nations such as the USA and Korea declare them abominations to be destroyed. Seeking refuge, most of the still remaining meta population concentrates in India, one of the few places where a wide meta pantheon still has some influence. In cooperation with some of the oldest metas and capitalizing on the importance meditation already has in their society, a group of magi creates the ”Nirvana”, a mystical link connecting the minds of the people, allowing them to constantly share their surface thoughts and emotions with eachother, in an attempt to achieve better understanding and unity. The military also does its spin on the idea, training certain units to employ the Nirvana to the point of their sensory information melding, allowing them to work with an incredible synchronization rate.

Russia – After ancient spellbooks written by Grigori Rasputin are unearthed and the magic within tested, the Russian magi quickly take to the brand of magic detailed within: necromancy. The major political and economical leaders are turned into liches, with Vladimir Putin himself becoming the Immortal Leader. Necromancy also starts being used medically, mainly to reanimate dead tissue for a short timespan of up to two years. After death, people's bodies are reanimated to serve as free manual labour (mainly as zombies, though the military does employ more exotic types of undead) while their souls are collected and sent through a refinement process that turns them into energy.

Ethiopia – A team of alchemists discover a method of creating a highly energetic resource, then named hamranite. Since oil has pretty much run out by this point, most of the world (except Russia) quickly becomes highly dependant on Ethiopian exports of hamranite. The government refuses to share the secret of how to syntethize it and threatens to destroy their entire stock and their production plants in case any foreign nation attempts to obtain it by force. As a result, Ethiopia becomes a tremendously rich country and devotes its wealth to improve living conditions all throughout Africa. Alchemy quicly becomes ubiquitous in Ethiopian life, from allowing easier production of many substances to weapons research (from super-napalm to heat-absorbing bullets). All the while, seemingly random mishaps plague the collecting of what oil there is left and the research of alternate sources of energy. Conspiracy theorists blame the Ethiopian government for this, but nobody can prove a thing.


So, read that and post any comments of questions you have. Criticism is always appreciated, whether good or bad.

I'll post some extra stuff soon, including a political map of the entire Earth. Keep watching!

PS.: You can find some discussion on UFS in this Scrolls of Lore thread. Have fun!