Ozrum (Orizon Supplement)
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Ozrum is mostly characterized by warm weather, with a mix of deserts, jungles and forests, and huge stretches of plains that expand across the continent. The absolute southern region of Ozrum is temperate, but most of the continent is warm and hot.
Following the godswar and the destruction of the breaking, much of the god’s power and their servants were lost. Where they once commanded legions the ancient gods were left with a single solar archangel under their command. Following the imprisonment of Incancatus its archangel, Caelesterial decided she would continue her master’s quest. Caelesterial descended upon Ozrum and began to assemble a host so that they could slaughter everyone who stood on the continent, then move on to the next.
Caelesterial led a hoard of demons and devils behind them, sweeping across the continent and killing many. Heroes and armies stood against this hoard, veterans of the godswar and new recruits desperate to defend their homes. But these armies were gradually pushed further and further back. With the destruction of the godswar, the other ancient gods were not able to mount a defense against Caelesterial and defend the plane as a whole at the same time. The gods gave what aid and advice they could, but the champions of Ozrum were left on their own.
With the constant advance of the archangel, Ozrum became a dark continent with only a few hold-fasts against the host. But those hold-fasts had been building their strength, they had been learning. A small federation of powerful mages had developed a cage, made up of thick walls, powerful spells both divine and arcane, and what remnants of old world technology could be pieced together.
The surviving armies of Ozrum led the angel’s forces into their trap, deep within the first great pyramid of Ramesier’s desert. The greatest heroes of Ozrum bound the angel with heavy chains, the mages sprung their trap and the angel was imprisoned, along with those brave heroes. The pyramids that are built in Ramesier are built in honor of this as much as they are built to honor the noble dead of the Ramesian kings. But the new pyramids have one other purpose, to obfuscate the true purpose of the grand pyramid, now believed by almost all to be the tomb of the first great king of Ramesier.
Following the imprisonment of Caelesterial, the various peoples of the continent were able to mop up the remainders of the Angel’s army, without them there was little fight behind the armies. Gradually the dark continent became relit as the people spread themselves back out across the spaces they left abandoned and rebuilt what they had lost. Fortunately the angel was not concerned with the destruction of property, just life, and there were places they were able to rebuild upon.
Unfortunately, in imitating the construction of Incancatus’ prison they inadvertently made the seal around Caelesterial one of the keys to free its master. The rise of Caelesterial would be a clear sign that Incancatus’ freedom is near.
Ruled by Imris, the paragon of Bol, this king took a warrior tribe that once were primarily devoted to herding their cattle and wrangling wild bulls and turned them into an army. The army of Izulu managed to sweep out and gradually subjugate almost the entire southern peninsula.
Izulu’s armies converted many of the barges they once used to transport grazing cattle from skyland to skyland to transport soldiers. First to secure new grazing lands for their cattle, then to secure their kingdom. The nations defeated by the Izulu were either integrated into the kingdom or became raiders trying to strike against their enemy.
Izulu has developed a fairly advanced air navy in anticipation of the other nations responding to their expansion. Their navy has a mixed focus of patrolling the grasslands in times of peace, hunting out guerrilla raiders; and in times of war they protect the barges carrying Izulu soldiers.
The current great focus of the Izulu Empire, a focus great enough to halt the empire’s expansion, is a man by the name of Jammon. Jammon was a former general under Imris that abandoned the king, Jammon’s son was sent to the front lines and died in war. Jammon believes that his son’s death was a deliberate action on the king’s part and now works to oppose Imris. Jammon is trying to unite the scattered raiders into an army, hoping to either take control of the Izulu empire or simply shatter it into pieces.
Cattle are an image that feature strongly into much of the Izulu art and culture. The powerful members of the kingdom each own herds, both as a display of wealth and to honor the god of wealth, Tharsias. Leather and hide are both popular fabrics on Izulu clothing and furniture.
The nation of Ramesier was the final hold-fast against Caelesterial, when the angel finally fell it was the only nation with a population more than huddled survivors. As a consequence of this history, they began their life in the new world after the breaking as a firmly established nation, with some of the strongest and canniest men and women at their disposal.
Though the nation’s power has slipped in recent years, nowhere near matching the strength of the old dynasty that crushed Caelesterial, but their Pharoes still command tremendous strength. The major focus on their military is in arcane might, using ships to rapidly transport what functionally amounts to arcane artillery. The Ramesian religious leaders view all magic as the same, arcane magic and divine magic, as they all derive from the same source. The priests work to incorporate both aspects of that magic in their practices.
The pharoes of Ramesier have been trained in a mixture of divine magic and a form of necromancy to commune with and manipulate spirits, making them powerful enough to be compared to demigods. Because of this communion, there is a great cultural insistence on “repaying” and honoring these potent spirits. The people of Ramesier consider the kings to truly be a long line of demigods, who intercede with the gods after their passing.
To encourage and ease this intercession, the kings are entombed with riches and supplies for the journey that awaits them in the afterlife. All of it is buried in huge pyramid tombs out in the southern desert, etched with the secret Ramesian magic to further empower these king’s souls. In truth the magic binds the kings to the plane so they can use a part of their afterlife reinforcing the seal around Caelesterial until a new king dies to take their place.
The kingdom of Ramesier once occupied the entire northern region of the continent, but the defenses they engineered did not expand far enough for the nation to hold, especially as people began leaving to settle their lost lands. Ramesier has since shrunk to controlling the region of their protective desert and the fertile territory to the north of it.
Beyond the mountains to the east of the desert of Ramesier, there are the Ethai people. Their territory was a casualty of the war against the angel. Although in the past the angel ignored the structures of mortals, the war cost this region as the fighting peaked at the close. Fortunately, once the war crossed over the hills, it left this broken place alone. Ever since, the tall mountains have kept the region relatively safe.
The Ethai people have taken advantage of this security, as well as the rainfall the mountains keep from the desert, to tend their fertile region and settle down into agrarianism. Since they primarily live within these high altitude regions, they also tend animals that can well handle these altitudes, like goats.
The Ethai also train gryffions and hippogriffs, using them the hunt the herds that roam the plains beneath them. They are not exceptionally skilled with these flying mounts as a people, but they care for them well and feed them generously.
The Ethai society is structured by their generations. The older you are among the Ethai, the more power you hold. This was originally confused when elves and dwarves integrated into the society, but a concept of relative age was quickly established to settle that. The Ethai are ruled over by a stern council of elders that spends a great deal of time deliberating over each major decision before the Ethai people take any major action. They model this on treants, which are highly respected in their culture.
Because of these deliberations of their elders and the domination they have over culture, the Ethai are slow to distance themselves from any long held traditions. Most outsiders think of the Ethai as hide-bound goat herders and dismiss them. But they are strong in their security and their warriors are experts with bows and slings, as well as hooks and lines.
To the east, beneath the mountains of the Ethai is a broad savanna where the grass grows so tall that the peaks of the skylands almost seem to move and sway. Great herds of grazing beasts wander the grasses and the land is lush. Occupying these grasses are the Cantum, a group of semi-nomadic herders and skilled sailors of the broad longboat airships used to move their herds from skyland to skyland or collect the spoils of a hunt on the ground.
There are very few cities of the Cantum. They spend the majority of their time in portable yurts that they pack into their longboats and assemble as a family at their next grazing destination for their herds. The Cantum are very skilled at piloting these longships, but they are also conservative with them, landing on the ground rather than brave storms or dangers.
The Cantum are also skilled trainers and riders of flying mounts, using them to scout out ahead of the longships and find fresh grazing land for the herds. The mounts are also used to hunt for any herd beasts that may have wandered off, or to ride to meet any threats that may have moved into old grazing lands.
There is a special terror among the Cantum for dragons, as there is no protection from the flying terrors for the people amid the savanna. The drifting grass is a bounty for the herds, but offers little places to hide.
The Cantum’s grazing lands occupy the same region as the villages and expanding farmlands as the Heliud. This clash of culture and common need for the same space has caused many physical clashes between the two groups. Though there is overlap of the two people in some of the region’s few established cities, these ancestral rivalries often nearly come to blows.
The savannas and the rich soils of the region to the southeast of the mountains have made for a wealth of farmland. The Heliud have ripped up swathes of the grasses and planted their crops where they once were. Their small towns and villages dot the savanna and they have fought tooth and nail to defend their farms against the grassland’s predators, from lions to griffons.
The towns and villages of the Heliud are generally small, centered around a few close families that work the surrounding land. They grow crops and ranch smaller animals and generally convert the grasslands into faming territory. The airships of the Cantum are much more developed than those of the Heliud, used to transport goods and people more than just beasts, and they sail them further out of their territory for trade.
The hunters of Cantum that ride down to hunt the beasts and predators of the fields hold a high position among the Heliud, everyone of a certain age is expected to have participated in at least one hunt. And accomplishing a great hunt is a mark of special pride.
The argument could be made that the Cantum and the Heliud are two distinct branches of the same overarching culture, almost amounting to a single great nation, but the rivalries between the two have prevented any meaningful correlation. And the two groups would each object just as vehemently against anyone trying to group them together. Still, the two groups do remain civil enough that they are able to keep occupying the same territory despite the two occasional bumping into each other.
At the north-west regions of the continent, the rivers and the heat have lent to the growth of a tremendous rainforest. Deep inside of the rainforest, spread throughout the jungle, are the villages of the Saam.
Deeper still in the jungle, old and mysterious even to the Saam that live in them, are the great stone cities. A combination of temple complex and city, these cities stand both above and beneath the skylands, mortared securely to the stone. The stone cities of the Saam were the first bulwark against Caelesterial then were abandoned and forgotten, left to be reclaimed by the jungle, after the angel’s slaughter. There are secrets from the fallout age and old weapons that were to be turned against the angel still hidden away within the stone ramparts.
The other villages of the Saam are built in the jungle. Constructed elevated on sticks and suspended on thick hammock-like rope structures, and wired to the trees and skylands. With the development of these rope networks, the Saam have easy access both to the jungle floor and to the tree canopy, and can make sure that they can make it difficult for most things to get to their villages if they so choose.
There are a few small Saam farms built into clearings in the jungle, usually a short distance away from the villages, but the majority of the Saam subsist by simply collecting the bounty of the forest. The stone villages also act as trade hubs where the Saam and traders from distant lands can trade supplies.
The Saam are experts with their slender spears and in using the supplies, plants and animals, of the jungle. Making unique medicines, drugs, and poisons. Getting struck with a Saam spear is a dangerous prospect given the myriad drugs and poisons it could be coated in.
The Ashanni people are primarily focused on trade, and it is a talent they have become very skilled with. Ashanni trading ships can be found all across the continent and their traders can even be found in the far flung coastal ports of distant continents. The symbol of the Ashanni merchant marines is a recognizable sight across Orizon. The Ashanni traders do especially good, if carefully conducted, business with the dragons of Quanun.
Because of their skill at traveling across the oceans, the Ashanni have a very close relationship with the merfolk of Orizon, and often make gifts to merfolk kingdoms in exchange for protection while sailing the seas.
The foundations of the Ashanni trading empire are deposits of gold ore within the regions they control. This wealth of supply went to the foundation of ships, making the new merchant princes wealthy beyond belief, and powerful enough to supplant the old monarchy. Now the Ashanni people are controlled by the Merchant Monopoly, a small group of people that control the majority of their people’s trade and their plutocratic government.
There is a massive gap between the classes in Ashanni and there is a huge population of slaved at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, nearly as many as under one of the dragon lords of Quanun. The Ashanni plutocrats are some of the most prolific slave traders in Orizon.
Many members of the Ashanni lower classes seek their fortunes through piracy, seizing airships and roaming across the continent, or stalking the coasts and striking trading ships. These pirates also operate as slavers, taking people along with goods in their raids to be sold in the Ashanni markets. Defending against these pirates is one of the main military focuses of cities nearby their territory and any pirate that trades in an Ashanni port is immediately declared a sworn enemy of the Knights of Roads.
The Buroor are known as the people of clay. They live along the banks of rivers and creeks, taking the wet clay mud from the soil. They use this clay to construct great buildings and intricate ceramic works. Their great brick ziggurats are beautiful spectacles sitting atop the skylands and their pottery is celebrated across the world. Because of their need for clay though, the Buroor artisans and their suppliers must spend a great deal of time on the ground digging up the raw mud.
There are frequent grand expeditions conducted by the Buroor into the jungles to the north. They cut down entire swathes of the forest to fuel the great kilns for their ceramics. The heat from their larger projects is said to be enough to scald a dragon. Buroor mages have also bound various elementals to their service to help in the process of infusing magic into their ceramic works.
The magic claymasters have crafted magnificent ceramic works, even matching the old stone cities in the northern jungles with clay imitations, constructing them along the bottoms of the skylands in their territory. Buroor clayworks, properly made and enchanted, are strong enough to rival steel and half the weight.
The Buroor enjoy an old culture, even despite the devastation by the angel’s war. Their cities were abandoned, but when the survivors returned, they managed to uncover some precious few old world relics trapped under mud and clay, enough that they could reassemble an understanding of their history and build fresh. Buroor clay tablets are sketched out and fired to mark the events of the past year and preserve them in perpetuity, far longer than flimsy paper could last.
There are thick swamps beneath the mountains of the jungles. Deep and wet, choked with creeping vines, it is as lush as the rainforests, as full of life but much less hospitable. The Wudoov have moved themselves into this niche though. Like the Saam, they have propped their homes up on thick stilts and wired them to the bases of skylands. Wudoov homes tend to shift in strong winds, but they have little to worry from the rainy seasons in the swamp. The suspension also means they are mostly protected from the creepy-crawlies in the swamps.
The mages of the Wudoov swamps practice an offshoot of the Ramesian magics and manipulate the myriad spirits of the swamp. Their magics have been improved by teachings from a small coven of swamp hags that live even deeper in the swamps. With these skills Wudoov witch doctors can control numerous of spirits at a time, the most powerful can maintain control over hundreds of lesser spirits.
Unlike the priests of the Ramesier, the shaman of the Wudoov don’t have the same relationship with the spirits under their control. They control much weaker entities, common spirits of the land, and simply exploit them rather than revere them.
The Wudoov take advantage of the large amounts of life in the deep swamps and make an inventive use of spices for flavor. They have become incredibly adept at traveling through the swamps, constructing airships that use a mix of floatwood and ordinary timber to hang low over the water and skim along while they hunt.
Groups and Organizations
The Knights of Roads
A group of nobility from various nations of Ozrum that dedicate themselves to traveling trade routes and roadways and protecting the flow of travel between the civilized world. This organization isn’t affiliated with any nation’s government, instead occupying the loosely controlled and wild regions where they can best carry out the duties they’ve taken upon themselves.
Knights of roads are expected to be strong, strong enough to handle just about any threat they come across with only a small amount of assistance as they very rarely have a government to turn to for reinforcements.
The knights of roads also manage a small number of flying fortresses, massive warships designed to act as mounting platforms and rest stops for their sky knights to rest and recuperate in their travels.
The Masked Ones
Founded in the madness a simple farmer suffered when she witnessed a dead god in a dream, she began carving a mask to hide herself away and hunted for hidden truths. She has abandoned her old identity and no one has ever seen her true face since her revelation.
The masked ones are a mysterious order, they wander the continent seeking out “truth,” some seek out eruptions of wild magic, hoping to find some semblance of reason or understanding in them, others hunt for portals, looking for revelation beyond their material world.
The higher positioned leaders of the masked ones will pay a hefty sum for artifacts of the old world.
The Pyramid Keepers
The great desert of Ramesier is filled with the bodies of those who fell against the angel in ages past, along with those who sought to invade the kingdom or simply perished in the heat. The pyramid keepers are a host of necromancers that exploit this bounty of bodies to act, ostensibly, in the defense of Ramesier. In secret this cabal also works in defense of the great pyramid that keeps Caelesterial sealed away.
These necromancers also exploit their skill and understanding of the world after death to enabling themselves to wander the ethereal plane and the afterlife, using the pyramids as anchors in the world of life.
The methods of the pyramid keepers are despised by the god of death and peace, Bern. He strives to keep the pyramid keepers in check, continuously sending champions against them, even despite their true purpose.
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