Welcome to Messiah, an original semi-historical fantasy set in the western Free City of Luxerion, the city of light. Our lore is rather expansive, but we've done our best to limit the amount of information that's required to know in order to play here. One may make mistakes; don't be discouraged. The staff are more than happy to work with you to figure things out and make your experience with our site as enjoyable as possible.
If there are any questions, or one needs clarification on something, either of the staff can be messaged, or the site Discord is always available. The Off-Topic board is also always available. The only lore that is required to be read before starting a character is the races tab.
Our site is set in the Western Free City of Luxerion, also called the city of light. Luxerion rests at the base of a mountain range called Dragonscale, built over the top of a waterfall. The power of the falls lends hydro-energy to the city, and act as a natural defence for the city in times of invasion.
Luxerion is the youngest free city at present, being established only a handful of years ago, by the same house that now rules it, House Essair. Two years ago, the eldest Essair son, Kassander, became the king of Luxerion. He was formerly very active in Luxerion's defence, fighting in the military's ranks, but now stays within Luxerion's boundaries.
As Luxerion is built over a river, a lot of magic use went into its construction. The street lights are powered by auracite, huge deposits of which were found beneath the river's rushing waters, and through magic use, Luxerion mines these deposits and uses the auracite, and sells some. The city relies primarily on water-powered energy, and discovered hydroelectricity, but currently has little use for it. The architecture and design of the city is a combination of Macenian, Dalmascan, Saqqaran, Jihonese, and Galacese design and influence.
Due to the abundance of water, Luxerion is comprised of a multitude of bridges built over the water canals. Likewise, one can always find a ferry to take them to other parts of Luxerion. The city sprawls just slightly, but there is plenty of room for all of Luxerion's citizens.
The climate is mild and balmy in the winter, with spring and autumn seeing the most rainfall. In summer, it is warm and humid. Sometimes it will snow, but only for a very short time and it never accumulates. As Luxerion is home to a wide array of cultures, it has no one specific cultural identity in and of itself as of yet. Someday, surely it will, but for now it is home to the other Azaleonic cultures instead. There are temples to all the major gods, and no one order is given power over the others. However, despite its name being derived from a word meaning light, the two gods most prayed to in Luxerion are Dione, of earth, and Adona, of water.
Luxerion mints its own coinage, simply called gold, silver, or bronze, but it will and does accept the coinage of the other nations and cities. It trades with Macenia and Galace, but its top trade partners are Saqqara and Haradi.
One of the cultural things that has persisted from Dalmasca are the Blood Games. In Luxerion, however, as a free city, these games are not forced, and are not to the death, and has become something of a sport. Trainers teach their blood fighters how to fight in the games, as it is a combination of combat and showmanship, in return for a portion of their earnings. However, fighters can also enter the games solo. Spectators' entrance fees are pooled together and awarded to the participants based on their winnings, so even losers go home with something. It has become a popular means of making an income.
Aura is the mystical force that exists in the world of Azaleon, and magic is the art of turning that force into tangible effects. Aura comes from one of the five primal sources, natural forces that play a large part in the world's functioning, and manifests in the physical world as mage fire. The dragons and ilim, magical creatures, are born connected to one of these sources, and have certain powers and abilities based on their respective primal source, and the innate ability to use magic.
As humes are not born with a connection to a primal source, they rely on external sources of primal energy to cast spells. Many will use gemstones and regents in their magical work, and humes have proven able to eventually learn the arcanum of a primal source and connect with it, thereby using it innately, but this takes time and dedication. Blood magic, the usage of a magical creature's innate magical energy to create magical effects, has become more common among hume ranks than primal magic.
Magic can be passed down. All ilim and dragon lines are bloodborn, that is, born with the ability to use magic. Likewise, a hume lineage can become bloodborn if enough of the line starts using magic and passes it on. Only primal magic usage will make a hume lineage bloodborn, and this status makes it easier for members of the lineage to access and learn primal magic. The learning of an arcanum may be harder, as an arcanum isn't something that can be passed down. It is something the practitioner must learn to understand for themselves.
Among bloodborn lineages are magecrafters, mages that can generate their own mage fire rather than depending on that which is naturally occurring. In a sense, family lines that have instances of mages become stronger over time, as strength and knowledge is passed down from one's ancestors.
Wargs all eventually learn to use primal magic, as their being fused with the forest eventually grants them a connection to a primal source.
The five primal sources are the sun, the moon, the sky, the ocean, and the earth. All magic in the world comes from and draws on one of these sources. While magical creatures such as dragons and ilim are innately connected to these sources, they do not automatically understand them, and it takes many years of practice and learning to master one's primal, as well as to use that primal's magic at all, as not all creatures connected to a primal can deliberately use its magic. They can, however, learn other primals besides the one they were born with, and those that have learnt all primals and can use all five kinds of magic are called archmages (or archdragons, in the case of dragons). These are very few archmages in the world, and only a couple more archdragons.
Different nations have different tolerance levels of magic, and in a couple, is outright illegal.
Sun magic draws from the heat and energy of the sun. It is at its strongest when the sun is at its highest, and possesses a dual nature. It may conjure spells of light, growth, and nurturing, or call upon fire, heat, and destruction. Sun mages learn to master light and fire through strength of will, and some of the most powerful can use its light to heal and purify. Sun mages must remain in consistent and steady control of their emotions and impulses.
Creatures connected to the sun primal are often intense and make natural leaders.
Moon magic draws on the spirit and energy of the moon. The moon is cyclical in its strength, related to its phases, with its magic being strongest at the full moon. To master moon magic, moon mages just understand the true nature of the relationship between appearances and reality. The moon deals in creating illusions, concealment spells, and connecting with spirits. Moon mages are often illusionists, using their magic to befuddle and confuse an enemy's senses. More powerful mages can create illusions that are impossible to tell apart from reality, and moon mages understand that all shadows are born of light, and to reach for light is to cast a shadow.
Creatures connected to the moon primal can be private and secretive, and are very aware of the power of appearances.
Earth magic draws upon the strength and power of the earth itself. This source is at its strongest deep underground. Earth magic comes from two major domains: the stone, minerals, crystals, and gems of the land, and the flora and fauna of the living world. Gemstones can store aura within them, and certain gems can contain aura of a different type than earth, making them invaluable in the casting of magic.
Creatures connected to the earth primal are patient, sometimes quite stubborn, and care deeply about the balance of the natural world.
Sky magic draws on the vast sky, the energy and motion of the winds, and the power of thunderstorms. This source is at its strongest during a storm, and the secret to mastering it is understanding that the sky is everywhere, and that you are both within it and part of it. Sky mages can summon winds, lightning, ice, and fog, but their power is not limited to just weather. A talented sky mage can learn to magically enhance their movement, allowing bursts of speed and great leaps. Sky mages can also learn to transform their arms into wings and fly.
Creatures connected to the sky primal are quick and clever, and prize their freedom.
Ocean magic draws from the depths of the oceans and the movement of the tides, its power connected through rivers and lakes that flow back to it. This source is strongest at high tide. Besides water spells, it also includes ice magic. Ocean magic tends toward transformation, awareness, intuition and emotions, and works magic aligned to these things.
Creatures connected to the ocean primal forge strong connections with others, and have hidden depths.
Blood magic is a twisted form of magic that does not directly connect to the primal sources in order to work. Instead, it draws on the primal aura within magical creatures in order to fuel spells. To release this aura, the creature must frequently be killed, though for some spells, only a part of a very powerful magical creature is needed, such as ilim or dragon horns, or even saliva or snot. It is considered a cheap, fast, and easy way of casting magic, and always requires an act of destruction and consumption to accomplish.
All beings can use blood magic, but ancient humes created and spearheaded the practice many years ago due to their being unable to use primal magic. In many places across Azaleon, the usage of blood magic has been banned. Using blood magic prematurely ages humes and shortens their lifespan, but stronger blood mages learn to hide their ageing with more blood magic.
Spearheaded by the ilim and the Free Cities, auratech is the result of man-made machinery being combined with raw aura. Often, auratech is more stable than technology by itself, and tends to be a little cheaper to produce. Auratech now aides agriculture and textile production, thermal engines were made possible, lights and electricity, airships and cannons, sentry towers, and varying weapon and armour augmentations. Aura-powered hand-cannons were also created in Haradi.
Each country and its leaders have different ideas of how inherently dangerous, and thereby how legal, auratech is, and different types of auratech have different levels of legality. Thus, how common auratech is and what types of auratech is available in a given region is wildly variant. Dalmasca, for instance, makes great usage of aura-powered lighting, and bans everything else, but Galace uses auratech in near any application they can think of and Jihon has no tolerance of auratech whatsoever.
There are few unified nations on Azaleon, with much of the continent being comprised of the scattered Free Cities to the west. Each nation has a role to play, however, and while our characters may not be directly within these other nations, it is good to know of the other places they may be descended from (Luxerion is too young for one to be from the city).
Dalmasca is located on the southeast side of the continent. Bordered by Jihon to the east, and Macenia to the north. Dalmasca is a patriarchal monarchy, ruled by the Imperator. Dalmasca and Jihon tend to be allied in international conflict, and Dalmasca makes heavy usage of slavery. Likewise, it is also where the Blood Games originated, though the Blood Games are deadly and primarily between slaves in Dalmasca. Dalmascans are heavily religious, and mints its own currency, the hession, in the form of gemstone chips. Below the Imperator are the regional justicars, beneath whom are the warlords, military commanders that handle the Dalmascan army. The justicars and warlords tend to be in-fighting a good deal, so little gets done. Dalmasca believes that homosexuality is a natural thing that happens and don't think too terribly of it when it occurs. Even heads of house that are gay may adopt children and continue their house that way. Dalmasca has little tolerance of magic, but though it is semantically illegal, it's often not legally reinforced. Outside the law, on the other hand, is another story. Overall Dalmascans tend to fear magic.
The Dalmascan gods are: Adona, goddess of water; Dameus, god of fire; Dione, goddess of earth; Erus, god of destruction; Etiana, goddess of darkness; Iuna, goddess of Life; Oanke, goddess of order; Pyxna, goddess of chaos; Xitos, god of death; Ydon, god of air, Ydyan, god of creation; and Ytias, god of light. There are three others in historical text, but their names and functions have been lost.
Galace is the home nation of the ilim, originally spanning the entire continent and now pushed to the north. Galace is bordered by Macenia to the south, but are naturally separated from the rest of Azaleon by way of a series of mountain ranges. The Free Cities lie to the southwest. Galace almost always allies with Macenia, sometimes Highwind or Haradi, and are beginning to look favourably on Luxerion. Galace strangely has no gender leans, and simply favours people with a true concern for others. While a monarchy, Galace has had both emperors and empresses alike in equal numbers. As the ilim have always been mages, they understand aura and its properties much better, and believe that nothing is ever truly gone, simply becomes something else. In this way, the Galacese believe that all living things live forever, and death is not so much different, it only looks that way. Galace runs on barter-trade. The Galacese believe that love, sexuality, and gender expression are too complicated to place into boxes with labels, and thus do not seek to label or box them at all. As the Galacese are almost exclusively ilim, magic is in everything they do.
Jihon is an island nation located off the southeast coast of Dalmasca. To the north lies Macenia's Aesia Isle, which Jihon has been in conflict with before. Jihon is ruled by a series of regional lords, and these regional lords and their houses are almost always in conflict with each other for territory, and thus resources. It is very patriarchal, even more so than Dalmasca, its closest neighbour and traditional ally. Men carry on family lines, and women care for children. Religion is important in Jihon, and they are monotheistic, giving worship to Kirinyaga, a sun god. Slavery remains a rampant issue in Jihon, as the Jihonese lords are frugal and do not like to pay for things they can get for free. Over half of Jihon's population is estimated to be slave, but they are not ill-treated on the islands. No, Jihonese lords tend to simply act as if the slaves don't exist for the most part. Homosexuality is very ill-tolerated in Jihon, one of the few things Jihon and Dalmasca do not agree on. Jihon has absolutely no tolerance of magic whatsoever, nor auratech, and will execute for treason those found to use it anyway. Jihon mints the jin, plural jina, made of bronze and copper with high value pieces being silver plated. In Jihon, silver is worth more than gold, as gold as little use to them, so the least valuable jin piece is gold, then copper, bronze, and silver.
In east-central Azaleon is Macenia, sprawling plains and dense forests belonging to the Macenian tribes. Macenia is not really unified, as it is ruled by bands of roving tribes all functioning in different ways, but the tribes do unify to some extent against threats. To the north of Macenia is Galace, to the south, Dalmasca, and to the west, the Western Wilds the Free Cities have settled in. Some of the Macenian tribes are nomadic, but others are stationary, and have no gender lean. After all, in the Macenian plains, anyone can become someone respectable with hard work and effort. Every member of the tribe has a role to play, and it is not always the powerful, strong role, either. The Macenians do not worship the way other religious doctrines do. They pay homage and respect to those that have gone before them, and recognise that a greater being than they exists, but they believe they cannot understand this greater being, and that living is the greatest testament to its honour. Gender and sexuality are fluid to Macenians. They don't always understand them and they don't always need to. It is what it is and labelling it is pointless. Macenia is tolerant of magic, not feeling one way or another, but do tend to fear it overall and avoid it when possible.
The Free Cities
Also in the lineup are the western free cities. All Free Cities share a few unifying criteria: slavery is illegal within all of them; no Free City has laws against polyamory, polygamy, or homosexual relations or marriages; no Free City has a gender lean, all genders are equal and that equality is enforced. The other Free Cities are Durya, an agriculturally driven city on an island to the southwest of Azaleon called Amharan. Durya is perhaps a technocracy, with no single organised religion. Haradi, just outside of Dalmasca's borders at the foot of the Ivory Mountains. Haradi's riches are mineral and gemstone deposits in the mountains, has no single organised religion, and is a monarchy ruled by House Assad. Highwind, nestled in a valley between the forests of Anfail and the northern mountains. Highwind primarily makes its wealth through lumber and metallurgy, and is a republic, with no single organised religion. Finally, Saqqara, the oldest of the Free Cities, lies in the desert valley of Nashret, south of Haradi and north of Durya. Saqqara lies on a massive deposit of gold and gems, as well as a natural aquifer, runs as a democracy with a head of state (theoretically a monarchy) ruled by House Lucain since its founding, and also has no central organised religion. All Free Cities have generous views of magic and are where auratech was born.
Large quadripedal, scaled creatures with wings, dragons strike fear and awe into the hearts of those who see them. Well, most of them. To a particularly unscrupulous hume, they're nigh endless sources of magical energy, enough to power blood magic for years on end. In any case, the dragons are sentient, wise beings that make effort of guiding the other races. The ilim heed them easily, but the humes have been known to be a little more, how you say, defiant. Like the ilim, the dragons are born connected to a primal source. Thus, dragons connected to the sky, for instance, are called as storm dragons, sun dragons are called fire dragons, and so on. The dragons have never been involved in a power struggle before, but they are social creatures and often group together. No one can tell genders apart, but the ilim say they do not have any. Due to their vastly different biology, dragons cannot hybridise with humes or ilim. Certain dragons of certain primals can learn to create an illusory humanoid form, but it is not real. All dragons are known to be telepathic, but not until a certain age.
Not recommended as a first character.
The humes are the most populous race on Azaleon, and they were not originally inhabitants of Azaleon at all. Indeed, a few centuries before, the humes came across the sea in wooden boats, but seem to have mostly forgotten their origins by now. The ilim and the dragons remember, at least. Humes have become bold over the years, and they tend to do whatever it is they want, covering Azaleon in their settlements. Humes are not born with magic the way dragons and ilim are. Though they have shown to be capable of learning an arcanum and connecting to a primal source, it takes time and patience, neither of which humes are known to have. They're more often impetuous and impulsive, and while hume mages exist, the vast majority of them use gemstones charged with primal energy to use primal magic, or they simply use blood magic. Humes invented blood magic as a way of skipping all that training they need to learn primal magic, but it takes its toll, as all things do. Humes have no ethnic separations, especially not in Luxerion which is entirely comprised of immigrants from other nations and cities. Thus, anyone with any appearance can come from anywhere.
Wargs, a sub-race of humes, are more of a mutation than a race, created when the ilim fused the strength of the forest with their hume allies to give them an edge in battle. The wargs thus are in-tune with the forest in a similar way as the ilim are, but not quite as strongly. Wargs shift freely between a hume form and an animal one, and like ilim are born connected to a primal, albeit most don't realise what primal until they shift the first time. A young warg has trouble controlling themselves while shifted and will tend to behave much like their animal counterpart would in the wild. Over time however they learn to control this and remain aware while shifted. The vast majority of wargs live in Saqqara, though a handful are scattered around Azaleon and a few bloodlines remain in Galace. They are the least populous race on Azaleon as a huge number of them have been killed. Wargs can be created by a parent warg through biting.
Recommended first character.
Believed to be the native race of Azaleon, the ilim were here long before the humes were. The ilim are in-tune with the natural world in ways that humes are not, and cannot be, and are innately connected to a primal source. Which primal source varies, and tends to affect how an ilim appears. As ilim are not quite human, though they look mostly humanoid, they have pawed feet, making them move very quietly, and a pair of graceful horns. Most often, they also sport pointed ears. Ilim tend towards the shorter end of hume heights, and reach only 5' 5" at the tallest. Ilim have a unique ability to read the history of locations and objects made with natural materials, by connecting to the aura within these places and things. They make very good healers, and powerful mages, but not very powerful swordsmen. What they lack in physical strength they make up for in wit and speed. Ilim may be born with 'unnatural' hair and eye colours, such as pink and silver.
Not recommended as a first character.