Scarlet Sea [campaign storyline]

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Boldek
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by Boldek » January 24th, 2012, 2:25 am

Swiss_Army_Cheese wrote: Tip for making your story 'less "hammy"': Make sure every thing is kosher :D

:lol2:
Swiss_Army_Cheese wrote:- Any ideas for description of a grand city ruled by magi? My preliminary thought is a huge city over looking a vast plain, with some mountains to the east where protagonists overlook the city upon arrival. The city walls are pale and the buildings inside are made of stones and vibrant colored roofs. Tall towers at the center of the city stand erect over the rest of the city structures, with the tallest central ones piercing through the clouds. Outside the city walls are the slums of refugees, decaying in every way possible, melting into giant puddle of mush surrounding the city. Refugees swarm the city gates, and they would rob any new comers of their belongings.
Well, I may be influenced by BoL, but I think a mage university/hideout/community might be more likely to be in a mountainous valley, for seclusion from invaders and awesomeness and all that, as well as sort of invoking the image of a large monastery or stronghold were mages are likely to build their initial dwellings. As for a city? I dunno, I guess a plain is just as good as anywhere else. just my 2, nah, 1 cent.
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar » January 28th, 2012, 7:39 pm

older post
I came up with another idea for that city:
It sits on a ravaged land, littered with dried plants and animal bones. The city of mages, bright and lively, surrounded by refugee camps filled with death and decay. Inside the city, the buildings mainly consist of mage towers and monasteries that take on steam-punk characteristics. The scholars inside are not only masters of magic, but also masters of technology. Only within this city*, magic and machines melded together, with magic enhanced by machines, and machines powered by magic.

The city originated when a long-dead king had the goal of constructing the largest reservoir of knowledge in the world. He constructed a large library and ordered many scholars to settle around it to keep the books in order. Time passed and the king's successors built upon the original library so that it would be grander still. Not only the staff for the library grew, seekers of knowledge also were drawn there, both to learn and to contribute. Thus a city was founded, one inhabited by the noble, the skilled, and the knowledgeable. Eventually, the kingdom even merged its capital into the library city.

When the demons ravaged the surrounding lands, the current king ordered the library city be closed to outsiders except for anyone strong enough to be of use in the library's protection.

* To the city dweller's knowledge. There is another distant kingdom with an unique culture that displays melding between magic and technology. Even the city of knowledge can't know everything.

This:
Image
Any ideas for what a tower would look like, being located in an underground cavern, built by someone born in the heaven? (preferably with image examples) Thanks.

This is one idea that I have for what it would look like,
Image
Any thoughts?
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tr0ll
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by tr0ll » January 28th, 2012, 9:43 pm

someone born in the heavens might draw on divine powers to grow beautiful stalagmite and stalactite structures such as at
http://www.china-tour.cn/China-Pictures ... e_Cave.htm (cannot copy here due to ARR)
or at
http://freeaussiestock.com/free/New_Sou ... ations.htm
Image Image

interesting how the tower of pisa resembles some of those

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Boldek
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by Boldek » January 28th, 2012, 10:51 pm

If I was born in heaven, I would feel depressed at seeing a big roof over my head intsead of open sky and clouds, so maybe he would have tall towers with a false sky overhead, that hid the stalactites over the city? I can't find a pic, but something that would make the town have the appearence of a very airy, open, windy place, quite the opposite of an undergroung cavern.
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar » January 29th, 2012, 8:29 pm

Those are good ideas.
I would make the composition of the picture like the photo I found and make the tower look like a tall stalagmite then add in elements of stalagmites amongst buildings along with a statue of cherubin.

I plan to have the city placed on an open terrain.
This background is looking away from the city. There's a giant stalagmite sticking out and some ceiling stalagmites hidden in the "sky".
Image

Update: Here's a far away view of the city.
Image
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar » February 14th, 2012, 5:06 am

Subject to changes and suggestions.
A mountainous gryphon rider tribe, the Grycians
Summary: Elven female gryphon riding nomadic raider tribes.
• Geography:
Spoiler:
• Social structure:
Spoiler:
• Politics:
Spoiler:
• Culture:
Spoiler:

• Religion:
Spoiler:
• Architectures:
Spoiler:
• Productions:
Spoiler:
• Military:
Spoiler:

• Relation with Skloans:
Spoiler:

• Relation with others:
Spoiler:

Co-existing in the mountains is another culture, the Skloans
Summary: Highly cultured elven males with a nasty tradition of cannibalism
• Geography:
Spoiler:
• Social structure:
Spoiler:
• Politics:
Spoiler:

• Culture:
Spoiler:
• Religion:
Spoiler:

• Architectures:
Spoiler:
• Productions:
Spoiler:
• Military:
Spoiler:
• Relation with Skloans:
Spoiler:
• Relation with others:
Spoiler:
Last edited by battlestar on February 18th, 2012, 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
LUA: Llama Under Apprenticeship
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar » February 17th, 2012, 11:59 pm

Part 2:
The young boy’s name was Gaunam. His mother disappeared while he was very young, and his father was murdered by the bandits. He informed Valia and Skarbod that a grand city of wizards stood in the vicinity, where food and shelter could be found. The rural lands have already been obliterated by the impending but unseen evil. Refugees were streaming from every direction towards the city of wizards. Its walls rumored to be fortified with strong magic, guarded by warrior mages of the highest caliber. It was the lone beacon of hope in a land of despair.

Valia’s group camped with some refugees. Bright eyes filled the cloudless night sky, peered down curiously at the sufferings of mortals, emotionless. Under these blinking eyes, Valia drifted into a calm slumber.
Spoiler:

Valia jolted awake from her nightmare. Her soul trembled with terror and pleasure. Sweat washed down her face, revealing her pale skin and sparkling yellow iris. She noticed Skarbod awake, watching her.

Link for where they go in the story: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 9&start=17
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tr0ll
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by tr0ll » February 18th, 2012, 5:39 pm

i like that you are painting a comprehensive world picture for this.
i think there is a contradiction between, on one wing, the origin and religion and politics of the Grycians and, on the other wing, the ritual of becoming a gryphon rider.
Spoiler:
Last edited by tr0ll on February 18th, 2012, 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar » February 18th, 2012, 6:41 pm

That's a much better idea, thanks!
Spoiler:

On a similar subject, I've been stuck for a long time on two things and would love ideas and another perspective:
The Trip to Hell
Valia, her companions and her army would eventually journey down to hell through a series of dungeons in Diablo I style. It would make sense for them to encounter undead and various demonic races, but that seems very bland, especially that I intend these to be randomly generated maps including these layers (Dirt-cave (random gen)->Water->Stone-mineral->Graves (boss layer)->Heat-desert->Lava->Lava lvl 2->Catacomb->Final Catacomb (final boss). Few Ideas I have on this:

---> Two new factions, Enchanted (a variety of mythical creatures) and the Plague Swarm (worms and insects), plus utilizing some user-made factions: Wargs, Clockwork dwarves, Chaos, Nightmares
---> Incorporation of 18 Great Demon Kings (all of them need alternative names, because these are actual demon names) as owner of these various demonic forces Valia have to fight through. Since there are 9 layers, it could feature about 8 or 9 of these demon kings:
Spoiler:
No ending yet
I don't yet have a good idea of the ending. Would love some ideas and perspectives here. The current idea of mine:
Spoiler:
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Boldek
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by Boldek » February 23rd, 2012, 2:53 am

Maybe you could also have Valia find her father again? That's a big point to me, as her father was the starter of it all, and is the first victim of his wrongdoing, I somehow sympathize with him a lot more than Valia.
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar » February 25th, 2012, 2:11 am

Older reply to Boldek
That's a good idea. First half of the story has been also driven by the same motif of Valia seeking her "family".

There are many options for how she meets her father. In terms of duration, they could be reunited temporarily (briefly) vs a long time vs eternally. In terms of timing, the story could be told at the middle or end of the story, but the event can occur anytime before, middle, end, or after the story. In terms of physicality, it could be in memory (regaining of her lost memory), in spirit, in true body, etc.

Combinations that I'm thinking of are: being reunited temporarily in spirit, described at the middle of the story of an event at the middle of the story, but she will keep the memory of him; versus being reunited eternally as a memory at the end of the story.

I'm hoping to give a sense of being reunited yet still longing.

Then there's the question of how she finds him. The last time he was seen in my first version of story was when he was turned into a Necrophage at Valia's hands, and his animated corpse (without soul) helped her slaughter villagers in their village.
Chapter 2
Image
The city of wizards stood in the distance, its pale walls shone in the sunlight. Against its outer walls lay a vast stretch of decaying tents, a stark contrast to the vibrant stone buildings inside the city. The city gates are swarmed by massive amounts of refugees, seeking entrance.

A mob of refugees near the city walls noticed the new arrivals, and swooped down on them. The two groups of refugees intertwined and struggled. Any meager amount of food would mean survival, even if only for a brief moment longer.

Valia and Skarbod confronted the assailants and defended themselves. As they arrived at the city gate, a small side door opened to allow them passage inside. Nearby refugees dashed towards the entrance, but soon fell to a flurry of lightning bolts. Wounded and writhing on the ground, they found themselves in clutches of fellow refugees, mad with hunger, drooling. Unable to defend themselves, they resigned to a fate grimmer than death.

Link for where they go in the story: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 9&start=17
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tr0ll
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by tr0ll » February 25th, 2012, 3:05 am

battlestar wrote:Valia and Skarbod confronted the assailants and defended themselves. As they arrived at the city gate, a small side door opened to allow them passage inside. Nearby refugees dashed towards the entrance, but soon fell to a flurry of lightning bolts. Wounded and writhing on the ground, they found themselves in clutches of fellow refugees, mad with hunger, drooling. Unable to defend themselves, they resigned to a fate grimmer than death.
just to be clear:
the (bolded) they above is the refugees that didnt make it in the door? the way it is worded now there could be more refugees inside the gate attacking our heroes. the earlier (unbolded) they is clearly Valia and Skarbod. maybe add a phrase about Valia and/or Skarbod glancing back through the door grate

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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar » February 25th, 2012, 3:30 pm

older post to tr0ll
Good catch, thanks. How's this:

Valia and Skarbod confronted the assailants and defended themselves. As they arrived at the city gate, a small side door opened to allow them passage inside. Nearby refugees dashed towards the entrance, but were engulfed by a flurry of lightning bolts. As Valia glanced back through the gate, she saw the charred figures writing on the ground, wounded. The fallen soon fell into the clutches of fellow refugees, mad with hunger, drooling. Unable to defend themselves, they resigned to a fate grimmer than death.
Ah shoot, forgot about the boy, Gaunam. Well, this is what I can come up with that would allow him to enter the city as well (the logic isn't great, but passible):

Valia, Skarbod, and Gaunam confronted the assailants and defended themselves. As the trio arrived at the city gate, a small side door opened to allow them passage inside. Nearby refugees dashed towards the entrance, but were engulfed by a flurry of lightning bolts. As Valia glanced back through the gate, she saw the charred figures writing on the ground, wounded. The fallen soon fell into the clutches of fellow refugees, mad with hunger, drooling. Unable to defend themselves, they resigned to a fate grimmer than death.
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tr0ll
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by tr0ll » February 26th, 2012, 3:11 pm

it just hit me that you are writing cannibalism into the story! :doh: unless they are undead or under some spell or it is part of local culture, this would be implausible (despite the rare cases you hear in the news). if it is happening over a long period however, the refugees might form into groups for protection. this would make sneaking through much harder. not sure how to fix it, but also not sure why it is necessary to have the people outside the gates turn to cannibalism. the mages could be tossing out edible scraps and waste once in a while, and taking advantage of the situation to have them perform services.

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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar » February 28th, 2012, 6:11 pm

Reply to Tr0ll
Actually, cannibalism has happened a lot in cultures that normally doesn’t condone such behavior. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalis ... starvation only lists some of the more recent cases.

Although cannibalism doesn’t happen frequently, but in times of wide-spread famine that’s caused by war, natural disasters or other reasons, examples of cannibalism were numerous. In another page, Wiki records around 12 pages of cannibalism in Chinese history alone. One case of cannibalism took only 4 months of city siege to trigger. There were stories of people selling human meat, at a price far cheaper than meat from domesticated animals.

In the story here, the main casts surfaced into a world already in a state of famine, and worse yet, everyone crowded to a single place (the city) that doesn’t seem to provide much relief to them. I think the main problem in the story (both writing and drawing) was that I didn’t clearly describe the scale of the famine and that there’s a hoard of refugees outside the city walls.

Since the refugees come from far and wide, the number of refugees would be too great to be saved by a few scraps. The city had to conserve food, especially that the farmers have turned into refugees so very little food was being produced to replenish their storage. Hence, I imagined that no food was being provided to the refugees at all. I had actually thought about having rusty old weapons tossed over the walls, so the refugees could form a first line of defense when the demons attack.

Although it would be logical to form protection groups during cannibalism times, historical examples of wives eating husbands, husbands eating wives, and young children being eaten made me think otherwise.

Thanks for bringing up a part of the story that doesn't make a lot of sense so that it could be improved. Currently, my idea for improvement would be adding more camps to the picture, while having the main cast learn more about the severity of the famine from the refugees that they traveled with.

P.S. Here's another shocking behavior during famine: mud eating. This special type of mud (largely aluminum oxide) is a white substance that bears strong resemblance to flour, but it has no nutritional value at all. All it does is that it temporarily relieves the feeling of hunger. Also, if eaten in large quantities followed by drinking water, it would expand in the stomach to the point that it would result in lethal outcomes.

Famines are hell on earth.
How's this short story? I'm curious if anyone could understand what I'm trying to get at.

In the elven castle, Valia and her companions discovered a building with several mages inside. Several caged griffons were locked outside. A mage greets Valia and tells her that they were working on perfecting transformation spells, griffin form and lycanthropy. They are willing to teach you (Eleanor and Hogan can learn if they specialize in nature spells) for a very cheap price. After Eleanor/Hogan learns it from some books, he was asked to demonstrate it in the courtyard for the other mages to see. Before the demonstration began, the griffins in the cages made a ruckus. As Eleanor/Hogan successfully turns back into human form, the mages remarked on Eleanor/Hogan's talent for magic as few were able to achieve the two-way transformation successfully. They thank him for providing valuable data for their research.
LUA: Llama Under Apprenticeship
Hell faction: completed

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