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The metropolis of Krart

AragmarFeb 17, 2018, 10:18:51 PM
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This is an intro to my fantasy universe of Krart. I have a great many numbers of notes and conceptualized characters with multiple overarching storylines to write a dozen books. This venture would require a lot of time and effort to complete and the success of my first published book. You can support my work by purchasing the book already available on Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079K62S78

The metropolis of Krart and the lands around it are home to ancient ruins, leftovers from ages long past beyond anybody’s memories, even those of the undead and dragons. Old, forgotten kingdoms and rulers all turned to dust, tried holding the tide against an ever-encroaching horde of monsters who crawl up from a huge abyss, or The Rift as it is known these days. Every one and a half year, when enough of the horrific and deformed creatures amass, a great horde ravages the lands and then storms Krart’s city walls. Built by use of arcane powers and genius intellect, their impressive size and height are almost always a guarantee that the mindless creatures won’t ravage the city proper. Huddled behind those huge, protected by magic walls are the citizens of Krart. They are of many races – high orcs, goblins, humans, elves and other strange sentients, some even no longer alive, but still, all are committed to the defense of their city.

Even worse, the lands are locked in a tide of ever-changing extreme weather. The Frost kills all, but the sturdiest of creatures with its devastatingly cold gale winds and low temperatures. Of the nineteen month-long year, or a Turn as it is known to the locals – eleven are the dreaded months of deadly cold when the “frost weaves white death”. Only those who have extraordinarily strong magical protection can survive. The walls of Krart and imbued with protective arcane enchantments that increase the temperature ever so slightly so people can survive inside the city. They need shelter and wood to warm themselves, otherwise when the Warmth comes their frozen solid corpses would be found either on the streets outside or huddled around some long frozen house's fireplace. Food also is a scares resource, since it cannot be fashioned by arcane, but only normal means. Farmers are mostly dwarves, who during the Frost live in underground bunkers and immediately when the Warmth comes, begin tilling the land and herd their precious livestock. Without them, the population is lost and food, together with those who grow and cook it, are held in the utmost regard in Krartian society.

There are two major festivities in Krart. One is called the “Festival of Life” and is celebrated after the Frost is gone in the beginning of the Warmth, the other “Mourning of the future Dead” is a solemn occasion and people are holding it before the weave of Frost. During the latter, priests of Goddess Mara and her son Iroh, Sun god and associated with fire – give blessed wooden fuel and try reinforcing the populace’s faith in its own will to survive the ordeal to come. Mara’s priesthood is only volunteer men of all races, fathers of many who are willing to patrol Krart’s streets during Frost’s horrid cold and save those lost outside at the risk of their very own lives. Iroh’s priesthood gives their blessings and fuel only to those, whom they deem to be in dire need of it. After the ordeal has passed and during the Festival of life, honored undead from the city’s Eternal quarter and priests of Kan, god of life and death, visit those who had lost dear friends, or family and give gifts of magic candy. The entire city is celebrating and everyone who has any food reserves left gladly gives them away so that the festivities can go on for as long as possible.

During these festive days, many young and adventurous youths are competing in the Adventurer’s Guild heroic race. Entrances to the dungeons and catacombs below are opened and Victory cups are hidden in many a dangerous location. Those risking life and limb below are monitored by elders of the Guild and any who backstab their comrades are then exiled from the city. No matter what your alignment is, citizens single treacherous person to spell doom for hundreds and even thousands of others.

There are many groups within the city, who often vie for control of the limited space during the Warmth, but when Frost weaves they all put any differences aside and try surviving the horrors:

Alley people are citizens who lost their homes in one way or another, orphans and others without families or friends. They band together in certain alleys and live in intricately built hovels, feeding themselves by scavenging and repairing everyday items, clothes, shoes and whatever they can find. The youngest of them are often working as runners, taking the role of a quick and efficient package and message delivery service. With their knowledge of almost all the nooks and crannies of Krart’s streets, one can be assured of their confidentiality too. Alley people are experts in scavenging, tumble and gather information. They are knowledgeable in any local matters.

Citizens are those who are in possession of their own homes and enough resources to keep them in between Turns. They are often part of local city block communities, who form their own relief organizations and guard militias. Blocks have their own elected elders, who keep things together and organize everybody during hard times and any other crisis that might arise. Citizens are characterized by their strong sense of communal duty and skills in craft building, woodworking, and cooking. They are knowledgeable in city’s architecture.

Nobles are few, but yet they still exist even after the farmer’s revolt and the death of their last queen “Mad Eliza”. Even now some yet hold considerable power and try to restore whatever possessions they’ve lost by means of political and economic might. The worst of them were killed off, their assets and mansions sold in public auctions to compensate the farmer’s families who lost relatives and family members. They plunge themselves into business ventures and quite a lot of their young choose to join the Adventurer’s Guild. They are knowledgeable in royalty and nobility.

Wizards and sorcerers are all divided into many colleges and houses. They always vie for power between themselves but are kept in check by “Spell drinkers”, warriors who volunteer to protect ordinary citizens from horrors of the arcane. One of them, wearing their signature silver engraved plate suits of armor, is always present when wizards meet sorcerers. Both their suit and blood are infused with the anti-arcane ore called Sveg, mined from within the Rift itself. A devastating arcane war almost killed off the entire population of Krart and what survivors were left vowed to never let anything like that happen again. The nature of arcane power is different from any other realm since it’s ever flowing around and inside almost every living being. Therefore sorcerers even create some amount of power within their blood and both them and the wizards can draw upon free arcana and weave any magic spell they know. Among them, those who had decided to train both in martial and magiks are regarded as the Elite and called Knights Arcanum. Possessing limited spell pools, but able to fight in metal armor, those knights are often some of the most knowledgeable and powerful adventurers. Those magically infused citizens are able to craft magical items, scribe scrolls and enchant. They are knowledgeable in the ways of Arcana.

Living in the Eternal quarter are those whom Kan had returned back to the world of the living. The honored Undead are many and arise either in the flesh or skeletal form, being then able to evolve into a higher type of undead. Nobody can command the undead except great Kan, he himself bestows them with part of his arcane energy. Being a god able to use both positive and negative energy, many of that undead are either his priests, paladins or become such as they awake. Below the Eternal quarter lies the Corpse road, a trail throughout few levels of under city dungeons, leading to the Catacombs of Krart. There the dead lie, their tombs protected by the priesthood, temple warriors and such until the day they either crumble to dust or arise by the will of Kan to achieve whatever purpose they failed in life. For an undead or Kan’s priesthood, it is a crime most vile to steal from the dead or destroy their remains. Undead in the city work besides the living but never live together with them. They have their own nourishment called spirit food, useless for anyone yet alive, but a source of negative energy for them and also imitating the pleasure of eating and drinking too. Undead are skilled in crafting all types of sweets and cakes, clothes and are expert jewelers. They possess great knowledge in History since most of them were alive when things of importance happened.

Inside the Temple, quarter live those who belong to Krart’s priesthood and their employees. Those people are able to support the Three temples and aid any citizen they could. Kannites lead those who recently awake and protect the remnants of the dead. They also vigorously protect children and fanatically trail anyone whom they know is guilty of harming them. Their great temple has one the largest orphanages in Krart. They are one of the humblest amongst the three god’s priests and wear only clothes and armor that are gifted, or taken from the dusted dead. Irohans stock firewood and bless it throughout the Warmth and are responsible for commanding the armies of Krart when the hordes arrive before its walls. Expert commanders and somewhat vain, their priesthood is always trying to look as flashy as possible. Marrites are responsible for the protection of pregnant women and are expert doula’s helping in all children’s birth around the city. Even though priests can be only old fathers of many children, for all other church positions anybody can apply. There are plenty of female paladins, who are called old mothers since nobody who hadn’t yet given birth and raised at least two to three children can be accepted by the Goddess. Those who live within are expert craftsmen of any type of adventuring gear, like backpacks, ropes etc. They are knowledgeable in the ways of Religion.

Inside the Worker’s quarter, a very special group of citizens live. They are called the Red Hoods and known for their vigilante ways. All of them pray upon those who dare exploit the weakest and poorest of citizens. They are ruthless and merciless and nobody for whom it is known, beyond any shadow of a doubt that has harmed an innocent can evade a most sticky end. Currently, the leader of the Red Hoods is a well-known vigilante called The Crimson Avenger. Their skill is with crafting locks, traps also any other roguish gear. Red Hoods are knowledgeable in secrets long forgotten and use them to further their goals.

Living inside the Shogun Citadel are the Samurai and their retainers. Comprised of all races living within Krart, those mighty warriors are split into noble clans led by Daimyo, competing with each other for their Shogun's favor. Nobody knows where they initially came from, but the samurai and their ways have planted firm roots in Krart's society and culture. When the abominable hordes of monsters reach Krart, all Samurai young and old rush to the city walls and defend them with their lives. The life of a samurai is duty and devotion to their lord and any command given are obeyed without question. Those who live within the Citadel spend their times exclusively crafting traditional samurai weapons, armor, and other items specific to their culture. Many also are expert animal trainers and breeders. Among the samurai also exists a hidden sect called shinobi, or ninja. Those samurais are actually trained to be expert spies and perform many secret operations against their rivals clans. Not exclusively trained in assassinations, the ninja can perform such acts if their Daimyo orders them to. During monster invasions, they are tasked with almost suicidal missions in the enemies 'rear". Very few return, but those who do are considered masters of their craft.

Surviving outside the city of Krart is not something that anyone can achieve on their own. Except for the dwarven farming villages, who spend the entire Frost underground in their well built and supplied bunkers, there are others who manage to survive without the protection of Krart's city walls. Those are the forest peoples or the Clans. Comprised mostly of forest elves, although many other races are present there also, Clans survive by herding some of the giant hundred feet tall trees together. They build camps below the roots of the trees and spend the Forst there. During the Warmth, Clan hunters (scouts&rangers) gather food and other materials needed for their families survival, while their warriors and berserkers protect them by slaying any forest monsters who come close. The Old Forest is a deadly place, where even the horrid abominations who crawl out from the Rift, rarely dare enter. Simple forest rabbits are large, ten feet long creatures, who would gladly kill and eat anything in their way. Therefore the hunt itself is more akin to waging a war, both against the terrain and multiple animals who prey on each other. Forest denizens are specialized in crafting tasty cured meats and are one of the best chefs on Krart. Their knowledge of local geography and monsters is unparalleled. Among the clans exist the few Shamans (druids) who are exclusively ork and protect the ancient knowledge from before the fall of their once grand civilization. During monster invasions, all forest clans gather their hunters and warriors and pull smaller critters away, deeper into the forest. This way the abominations are unable to pray for smaller animals and grow, but the larger predators remain and attack. This always costs dearly to forest dwellers, but clans pay the price gladly, lest abominations root themselves in the forest and grow out of control...