Friday, April 11, 2008

STRANGE EONS: Tethys Tidbits

"Thee gliding through the sea of form,
Like the lightning through the storm,
Somewhat not to be possessed,
Somewhat not to be caressed,
No feet so fleet could ever find,
No perfect form could ever bind.
-Ode To Beauty, R.W. Emerson


I will be posting additional information of the Strange Eons campaign setting soon. Focusing upon the world of Tethys (our Venus), its people, faiths, creatures and oddities. Discussing this one world of the far future is a big task, so I will be giving it in parts. Below are some tidbits about Tethys and a human racial variant that is fairly numerous in the forested interior of many of Tethys islands.

Conditions
Tethys is a hot world, averaging 90 degrees in the daytime, with 80-100% humidity with nights dropping to an average of 40 degrees. A day (and night) on Tethys is 243 Gaian (Earth) days in length. Fog and storms are frequent in the long evening hours as temperature and pressure drops quickly, creating severe to hurricane level winds, and thunderstorms (see Environmental dangers in the DMG or here).A large civilization of nomads exist on Tethys, following seagoing animals and harvesting edible plants during the long day and moving to island settlements during the night. Few of these travelling folk dwell permanently in the nightime communities though those who do must maintains these seasonal cities for the tribes return. All of these communities must be defensible, as many dread predators stalk the nightime forests and shorelines of Tethys.There are two jungle-covered continents on Tethys, both of whom sport civilizations to be detailed soon. Life in these lands is harsh, as there are many warring cultures and dangerous beasts.
Singers of Barnumbirr (Spellcaster Tradition)
Ancestor worshippers, who hold a (Gaian) week long festival in the long hours before the Tethys dawn, with the aid of a richly decorated "Morning Star Pole", the singers claim to be able to communicate with their dead loved ones, showing that they still love and remember them.
Cities of Glass and Air (Aerostat Habitats)
Orbiting Tethys every four Gaian days, these massive floating fortresses are now all but abandoned by human life. It is said that these flying cities were originally made to act as heat shields and atmospheric processors for the planet. They appear as though made of glass, and operated by ancient robots.
Sometimes a caretaker robot from one of the cities will come down to the surface for unknown reasons. Mostly these robotic beings avoid human contact, but sometimes they seek out humans to batter with strange questions or even to take away to their sky homes.
Greenfolk (Template)
These plant people were originally bred for labor and pleasure slaves, but now can be found living wild in many forested regions. Greenfolk appear as standard humans, though quite beautiful, with green skin, and white, green, yellow, or blue hair. Though possessing decidedly male and female forms, all greenfolk are Hermaphrodites, possessing both male and female reproductive organs. Green folk young spend their infant years as immobile plants called a homuncili root, arising as young adults after only four Gaian years.
The greenfolk of Tethys are called Oceanids, or Dryads, while on Gaia they are known as Nymphs or Nereids. Greenfolk are virtually unknown on other worlds.
Greenfolk are a friendly people, though given to strange flights of fancy. Though appearing to have the same emotional extremes as humans, greenfolk view sex and relationships in terms of “play” rather than long-standing bonds. This has fueled the prose of many tragic romances amongst love-besotted humans. Game-wise, greenfolk are the same as humans in every way save as follows:
  • Attributes: +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence.
  • Plant Type: Plants are immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and polymorphing. They are not subject to critical hits or mind-influencing effects.
  • Low-light Vision: Greenfolk can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Photosynthesis: Greenfolk require 1/2 the daily requirement of food as determined by their size if the character spends at least one hour in sunlight.
  • Skills: Greenfolk receive a +2 racial bonus to Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot checks.
  • Level Adjustment: +2.
Creatures of Tethys
The following creatures from the Monstrous Manual are fairly common on Tethys:Ankheg, Animal (aquatic and jungle types), Assasin Vine, Athach, Dinosaur (Any), Dire Animal (Any), Fungus, and all forms of Monstrous Vermin (including the Giant Dragonfly and Firefriend). Many other monsters do exist, particularly Elementals and the more nature or elementally-oriented Outsiders such as the Arrowhawk, Couatl, Leomarh, Lillend and Mudmen.In addition to the varieties mentioned in the Monstrous Manual, many other species of Dinosaurs and Dire Animals are common, and even domesticated on occasion.

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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan