Author Topic: The Factions of Talera  (Read 17457 times)

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Kardiophylax

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The Factions of Talera
« on: January 20, 2009, 04:54:49 AM »
Release is soon, so read on and pick your side in advance!  If you'd like to comment, please feel free to do so in another thread.  This one will be locked for future use and to keep it clean.


The Major Factions of Talera
(info on these factions is also available in the in-game lorebook)


The Kingdom of Asaleth & the Hill-Clans


Politics and Leadership

Asaleth is led by the young Prince Adyunn.  Having taken over after his father's demise, Adyunn still lacks experience in the political side of leadership.  Adyunn had a youth sheltered from the political world, instead spending time away from home at military training camps from a young age.  He has become a proficient expert with the lance and horse, and commands great field presence and tactical skill.  He is also a shrewd merchant, demanding more for less out of his purchases.   

Culture and Life:

Asaleth is a kingdom built around the theory that money is power.  From their bustling cities to their extravagent lifestyles, their people celebrate all that money can buy and all that life has to offer.  If you were to ask a noble, or a member of the upper-middle class, they would tell you there is no better place in Talera to live then within the confines of the Asaleth Kingdom.  The peasantry, by far the vast majority of Asaleth's population, would be unlikely to agree.

The economic differences between the haves and the have-nots are vast.  The Asaleth nobility, the wealth landowners and army leaders that they are, care little for their peasantry unless they are needed. For a lucky few of these peasants, their are opportunities to become craftsman and to sell goods inside the market squares of cities such as Urlintar and Asaleth City.  If you are looking for something exceptional, or something illegal, you'd probably find yourself in the right place to look.  For most of the peasants though, life is hard, and many turn to a life of brigandry in order to escape the slums of the cities or the hardships of farm life. 

Morality, Ethics, and Honestly are all nice virtues, but in Asaleth, they often do not exist.  Crime is a way of life for many of its citizens.  For the rich, it is because they feel entitled, and for their own selfish gains.  For the poor, it is often for the preservation of themselves and their families.  Whatever the reason, Asaleth is an unforgiving place for the naive.  Be it by tongue or by hand, one always risks losing a few coins if caught unprepared.

The Armies of Asaleth

Asaleth armies, like the kingdom itself, relies on its vast wealth to fuel its success.  It seeks the best of all worlds to help it conquer its foes, be it by horse, by arrow, or by foot.  While not being the best of any particular type in Talera, they succeed admirably in being a very effective and well rounded military machine.

The lords of Asaleth, their sons, and their close family members, make up the Asaleth cavalry.  This is partly due to the fact that they were the only ones with the funds to afford a full set of equipment, a horse, and riding gear.  It was also partly due to the fact that they do not work and  have the time to learn proper fighting techniques and horse riding techniques.

Asaleth learned early on that for the most part its peasantry were incapable of fighting effectively.  Asaleth nobles attribute this to a diminished brain capacity, but in actuality they simply lacked the formal training of their impatient lords.  Asaleth decided to use its peasantry primarily as archers, since they required less equipment and were considered expendable should their front line get penetrated.  Often, Asaleth uses them as expendable human shields, a delay tactic used to allow its lords and nobles a chance to retreat from a losing battle.

Seeing a gap in their army composition, Asaleth sought out and acquired the aid of the neighboring Hill-Clan.  The people of the Hill-Clan, strong even at birth and brought up to fight, were a perfect fit to fill the front line footmen gap that they lacked.  Clan-Lord Longbeard, leader of the Hill-Clan, lacking the finances to keep his kingdom's infrastructure in tact, accepted their offer in exchange for the funds necessary to keep the Hill-Clan culture alive.  The Hill-Clan ground troops, known for their fierce fighting techniques and great strength, are some of the most dangerous troops one can face.




The Kingdom of Illoriaon


Politics and Leadership

Illoriaon is a nation run by Lord-General Garenathos.  A competent commander, a pillar of morality, and devoted follower of the Illoriaon gods, he strives daily to be a exemplary role model for what every Illoriaon citizen should strive to be.  His lords, hand selected for their high morale fiber, are both his champions and friends.  Forever bound to follow the teachings of the gods, Iloriaon's current leadership sometimes must make unwise or even foolish decisions if to avoid them would require an unclean, selfish, or prideful act.


Culture and Life


In stark contrast to Asaleth, the Illoriaon people care little for material possessions.  They do not follow a caste or economic social structure, and therefore treat all as equals as long as they follow the law of the gods.  The principles of honesty, integrity, modesty, humility, and piety are strongly encouraged and celebrated.  While some find it difficult to resist all temptations, and commit an unrighteous act, it is up to the others around them to band together to help them achieve forgiveness and to repent.   

Illoriaon life consists of a cooperative effort of its people.  While economic equality is not strictly enforced, it is considered proper behavior for business owners to donate some of their proceeds to those in need.

Despite their piety, most Illoriaons, and indeed Garenathos himself, believe it is not their place to enforce their virtues upon others outside their kingdom.  They know that man, and indeed all living things, are prone to succumb to temptations, and they understand that it would not be this way if the gods had not intended it.  This has allowed them to assist the neighboring Planelord and Asaleth kingdoms in the wars against the true evils, despite their shortcomings.  Indeed, the immorality of Asaleth has caused Illoriaon to confront them in battle in the past, and their recent political alliance, born from necessity, teeters dangerous close to collapse day by day, hour by hour.

One branch of the Illoriaons, led by the High Inquisitor, feels that Lord-General Garenathos, while well intentioned, has let the gods down by stopping short of their true quest: to eliminate or convert all those sinners who fail to devote themselves to the gods.  They seek to dominate all other kingdoms, even their fellow men in Asaleth, in order to spread their word and devotion to the gods.  Far from a peaceful movement, they are ready and willing to use violence in order to achieve their goals.  After all, if war and violence were considered wrong, why then would their be a god devoted to it, Melathar, the god of war.  While not in agreement with the extremism of the inquisitors, Garenathos turns a blind eye to their activities.  He secretly appreciates their strength in the fight against evil, but publicly refuses to allow them in his lords' armies.


The Armies of Illoriaon


The Illoriaon army is the most heavily decorated, both in style and pure weight, of all of Talera's armies.  Due to their reliance on heavy armor and large shields, they feature a army whose strongest followers ride heavy horses.  Their foot troops, quite capable of fighting effectively, suffer from exhaustion and fatigue quickly due their burden, and so move very slowly around the field of battle.  Before each battle, a common prayer is said amongst the soldiers of Illoriaon, to appease and, should it be his will, bring victory to their forces.

The strongest of all Illoriaon's troops, and possibly all of Talera's troops, is the Paladin.  Dressed in ornately decorated armor and wielding swords carved in gold, it is hard to miss an Illoriaon Paladin in battle.  Only the most experienced and most devout of the Illoriaon Crusaders live to become Paladins.

The Illoriaon foot troops, led by the Vindicators, are very defensive and slow in nature.  Brandishing large swords and shields, they seek patience in battle and attempt to strike only when their opponent leaves an opening uncovered.   

The Illoriaon archers, provided by Everwatch, are a mercenary force used only to soften the enemy lines as they advance.  Their marine experiences offers them a fine mix of ranged and melee damage.

The Illoriaon Inquistors, a band of the most zealous and fanatical Illoriaon members, fight without the support of typical Illoriaon forces.  What they lack in military discipline they make up for in their zealous pursuit of heavenly justice.




The Planelords


Politics and Leadership

Ranger-Lord Haelthn is leader of the combined Planelord forces of the Marilion Gladeborn & Shalerion Planelords.  His commanders, an eclectic mix of rangers and druids, are among the most skilled in their associated fields.  Prefering to stay to themselves, they resisted joining the combined Asaleth and Illoriaon forces against the Feron, and later the Blighted Plague, for as long as they could.  When the Feron Tribe and Blighted Plague threatened to destroy both nations of men, Haelthn felt it was necessary to act.  Not to save man, but instead to prevent the further expansion of these great evils.   


Culture and Lifestyle:

The Planelords are the oldest of races in Talera, though not true natives of it. They arrived eons ago from another distant landmass.   Today, they maintain the disciplines and traditions that kept their nations standing through the long and tumultuous ages. Theirs is a culture both foreign and familiar to the other civilizations of Talera. The only true word to describe a Planelord is “Althar”- the Shalerion word for “Fire”. For the Planelords are, as a race and culture, beautiful to behold as they dance through misty forests. But, like fire, they may burn with a fury unmatched. Their armies are organized and disciplined, and their soldiers devout and, at times, ferocious.

 Within their souls burns a fiery passion for all things in life. They love art, music, harmony and grace, and hate war, and all vile creations in Talera. An old Taleran saying is very appropriate: “You can trust a forest dweller to never be trusted”. A Planelord would just as soon leave you to die in his slumbering forests as he would bring you into his hometree.

Originally, the Planelords lived as one with the forest; they dwelled high up in the branches of ancient sentinels, seeking refuge from Talera’s wild beasts. But, as their strength grew, they moved to sleek, palatial cities, both beautiful and practical.

Some Planelords have a violet-tinted complexion. They are mainly located on the continent of Perilia, although years of trade and peace have mixed the two ethnic groups. Others have pale, almost human-skin. They are of similar stature, which leads many to believe that Planelords, humans, and even the Feron might have all originated from the same race on the Central Continent.


The Armies of the Planelords:

The Planelord army is highly trained and very skilled.  This is out of necessity as much as talent, as they lack the smiths to craft heavy armors and their natural skin is quite frail.  It is only through their mastery of the bow and the sword that they have managed to survive the wars that have threatened to destroy their culture time and time again.  They rely on the natural terrain to offer protection, prefering to fight amongst the trees then to fight in the open field.

The most powerful element of the Planelord army consists of the Gladeborns of Malerion.  Trained to shoot a bow from birth, they possess unmatched range, accuracy, and speed.  To charge a Gladeborn while on foot is to welcome death with open arms.   

The core of the Planelord army consists of the their talented and highly trained swordsmen.  Though lacking in strong armor or thick skin, they make up for this with tremendous swordsmanship.  With a quick flick on their wrists, they have been known to be able to execute a man before he even drew his weapon off his hip.  Not content to charge forth into the fray, they frequently stand back amongst the archers, firing bows of their own, and picking off any of the stragglers the Gladeborn leave behind.  Once engaged, they are fast, agile, and deadly with their blades.

Though all the Planelord troops are skilled in the deadly arts of war, the Druids of Shalerion represent the pinnacle of fighting skill. Armed only with their staffs, and dressed in old robes, one would be gravely mistaken to take them for mere wise men.  Light as a feather, they float through the air as if if in control of wind itself.  In the blink of an eye, an opponent caught unaware will find themself dropped to the ground, having received several rapid blows of a staff to the head.  In addition to their great skill, the Druids rely on their powerful connection to nature to produce magics unlike anything seen in the world of men.  Many a man has "killed" a druid only to find that very same druid, directly behind him, ready to deliver a fatal blow to his skull.  How they achieve this, no one knows, but one wise in war would be leary of the Shaldeorian Druids.  When it comes to them, what you see with your eyes is often just a part of the whole picture.   




The Feron Tribe


Leadership and Politics

The Feron Tribe are led by the intimidating Warchief Krug.  The largest and darkest of any in the tribe, it is believed he has brought the end of over 1000 men by his own hand alone.  Setting up his base at Ferontar, he feels that Talera, and all it contains, is their for the taking.  Lacking respect or awareness of established boundaries, he will allow nothing to stop him from settling all the land, from mountain to sea, as territory for the Feron Tribe to inhabit.  Even if this includes having to kill every man and kingdom that dares stand in his way.

After his initial successes, the nations of Talera began to rise up against his raiding forces.  Facing many enemies on all fronts, his Tribe began to fight many stalemates and even began losing ground.  Blaming his Tribe's losses on the failure of the tribal spirits they had worshiped, he was advised that the answer lay in abandoning those believes.  Subsequently, he has recently begun worshiping the dark gods in an effort to revitalize his people and turn the tides of war back in his favor.

Despite his viciousness in battle, he is known to be a forgiving and generally pleasant ruler to his people, and to exhibit fairness in resolving tribal affairs amongst his chiefs.  He believes in providing a high quality of life for all his people, free from worry, and will obliterate all in his way to provide it.


Culture and Life:

The Feron Tribe typically lives a nomadic life, frequently changing locations in order to accommodate their food supply.  They eat primarily meat, although it is not unknown for them to forage in the rocky crevices of their valleys for food.  They are not a picky population, and are pleased with the little things in life.

To many, the Feron are viewed as nothing more then ferocious, bloodthirsty, and violent barbarians.  While all those things are somewhat true, especially in battle, over the centuries they have actually formed a complex and intricate social system.  Men play a dominant role in society and are responsible for labour intensive work. They seldom use long-standing structures, relying on wood to construct new buildings, or old buildings of past, conquered foes.  They lack many skilled engineers or craftsmen, but excel in weapon making and armor crafting, making some of the most dangerous blades, and most unique armor in existence. 

Though most have adopted the new dark gods for their religious guidance, some are not so quick to abandoned the tribal spirits that have guided them for so long.  Longgaze the Shaman, former adviser to Warchief Krug, is one such individual.  Taking a stand against the change, feeling it would lead to their demise, Krug had no choice but to dismiss him from his post, but int he end he let him live.  Longgaze has since gathered some followers who support the old tribal spirits to his cause.


The Armies of the Feron

It is in times of war that the true brutality of the Feron comes to light.  Their culture prides itself on its fearlessness, viciousness, and bloodthirst, and all of these are evident when their armies charge forth.  Wielding huge axes, and throwing caution to the wind, these warriors gladly fight and die for their Tribe without question.  There is no greater glory then to fill the dark gods hunger for blood, and be it the enemies or their own, they know they are doing what they must.

The Feron army consists primarily of lightly armored infantry designed to reach the enemy lines and begin slashing armor and faces to shreds.  They are strong and athletic, and can outrun almost any armored foe to deliver a finishing blow.

Each Feron Chieftain is given personal guards that represent the elite of the elite.  These guards, much like the tribal chiefs, wield huge glaives that prove useful for pulling enemies down from horseback.

Long range combat for the Feron is primarily there to distract enemies away from the real threat, the approaching melee.  Their archers are generally inexperienced, and are kept off the front line by using bows.  Given the opportunity, they will gladly switch to their one handed axe and move in for the kill.

In addition, the Feron have a branch of their army that is specifically trained in the use of throwing axes for short ranged combat.  When an enemy approaches with his shield held down, the Feron Savages and Berserkers will gladly remind him just how bad an idea that is (with a throwing axe to the face!).  While all Feron are enraged in combat, the Feron Berserkers are a particularly unstable band of warriors.  It is said that often times after battle they become so enraged that their thirst for blood becomes unquentable.  Pity those that are forced to face them next.





The Blighted Plague


Politics and Leadership


The Blighted Plague are led by one man, the Dread Sovereign.  A powerful necromancer, skilled politician, and talented warrior, he is a man of many talents and much mystery.  Little is known about his past, or even his real identity.  His lords, necromancers as well, though of lesser talent, are eager to please him out of fear.  It is said that he once had many more lords then he does today, but after hearing wind of a plan to kill him, he quickly disposed of them and made better use of their powers.


Culture and Life


The Blighted Plague are a faction made up of necromancers, undead, and human citizens.  Life, or unlife in the case of the Undead, is generally goal-oriented and lacks the social substance typical of other nations.  The Necromancers choose to spend most of their time apart, almost out of fear of one another, and besides the time they spend testing apprentices, spend much of their time locked away performing rituals or raising followers.

The human denizens come from a variety of sources, including heretics, the down-trodden, the apprentices, and the slaves. No matter the reason, the Plague rely heavily on these men to provide the armaments and supplies needed by their armies.  Those that stay of their own free will, do so for many reasons, but primarily because they want change.  Tired of being mistreated in their homelands, they find a home amongst the Plague and feel protected by the Undead guards.  A place where they aren't persecuted for their beliefs, a place where they aren't forced to do excess labor, and a place where they are respected.  In many ways, the socially inept and bullied feel very much at ease amongst the cloistered Necromancers and the emptiness of the Undead, and many seek to become Necromancers themselves.  As a reward for their work and dedication, it is a general rule that the ruling Necromancer will attempt to train his citizens and should any show potential, take them under their wing.  Due to jealousy or paranoia, these individuals are often killed in secret by the ruling Necromancer.

The undead mainly exist in the cities and castles to guard them from enemies and to keep the humans in line.  Should a human attempt to leave the town, they are met by a guard who keeps them inside.  Though many walk in of their own free will, they do not walk out unless authorized by the Necromancer in charge.  Some of the undead, those of the highest military skill, serve as personal advisors or strategists to their ruling Necromancer lord.


The Armies of the Blighted Plague

The Blighted Plague armies are comprised of fallen foes, and by citizens who volunteer to be killed and revived.  Unless lacking in size, most Necromancers do not force citizens to be put to death to serve in their armies.

The core of the army is made up of undead shielded spearmen.  These are generally made up of men who were weak and unskilled in life.  Their equipment has been chosen specifically to align with their stengths, or lack thereof.  The shield, huge and requiring little movement, allows them time to advance slowly towards their targets.  The spear, chosen for its lack of complexity, offers them good range and the ability to penetrate even heavy armor.

The damage dealers of the Plague are the line of Fallen Warriors.  These men, once fierce and respected combatants in life, are revived in order to serve a darker purpose.  Wielding two weapons, they show little concern for their own well being and seek only the glory of combat.

Seeking a use for the captured horses of their enemies, the Necromancers of the Blighted Plague have incoporated a line of headless horseman into their armies.  It is unknown exactly how they have reanimated these unholy creations, but one would suspect that the soul of a knight who has fallen is made to be infused within its armor.  Though headless, they track with great ease, allowing their soul's spirit to guide them using its own navigation system.