Seldori'ath is an antique fantasy setting, which is strongly centered around the themes of evolution, what is natural vs what is unnatural. If you have not come here by way of the website for Serenai, you may want to take a moment to read this.
- The Background -
When the Galactic rupture hit Seldori'ath, only three Keepers were present on the installation - Keepers Hoanalea, Rikkithir and Wendellenar (all translated from their mother tongues). The installation was in the middle of a personnel change, and the three Keepers present were going through plans for the final alterations to the worlds ecosystem before the development of sentient species would begin.
But the moment all their equipment shut down, they realized that something was terribly wrong. At first they were cautious, thinking that whatever had happened would soon be under control. But this was not the case, and panic soon began to take hold. However, no matter what they attempted, they received no response from the galactic network, and they had to accept themselves as stranded on the installation. They spent a long time trying to figure out what to do, and in the end they came to a controversial conclusion.
They would abandon their posts, as they had nowhere near the right education to keep the world going according to the original plan - but before they left their station to wander the world until help arrived (if it would ever do so) they activated an automated system which would begin the process of developing a sentient species according to a pre-designed template. Their final act, however, was to give these beings power over life and its evolution. Only then they left their assignment behind, with the hope that something beautiful would grow out of it all.
Thousands of years passed, and civilization has taken hold as the inhabitants of the world have spread across Seldori'ath. But most of the planet is still unexplored, and though the abundance of land and resources have kept larger armed conflicts, ideological conflicts are deepening as humanity on Seldori'ath is struggling to understand their own gifts.
When you wield power over life itself - can you discern and decide what is right and wrong?
- Those that walk the path of life -
The power over life itself
When talking of the inhabitants of Seldori'ath, it is necessary to first mention their gifts. Every individual has one of four gifts, which hold power
over living things and when combined these gifts can give life not only to a small number of beings, but with time entire species can be brought into existence.
The Spark - those that awake the dead
Those that carry the gift of the spark are the ones who can bless dead things with the spark of life, and fill them with the essence of existence itself. They can also communicate on an intuitive level with all living things, though the level of complexity depends entirely upon the life form. The most powerful part of the spark, however, is the ability to take dead matter and change it so fundamentally, that it can be molded into an organic form.
The Mind - those that bring reason to madness
Those who carry the gift of the mind are the ones who give the fledgling life form a mind, a capability to think and reason for itself. With the gift of the mind, you can communicate with beings similar to how those with the spark do, but at a higher level of complexity.
Attentive readers might have noticed that this division indeed denotes the thought as something separate from the brain. To clarify this, it is indeed so that the body is separate from the thinking, reasoning part of a being. This higher consciousness should not be considered a "soul" as per the traditional concept, but raw life force, which can be elevated to a more conscious state.
The Body - those that mold the form
Those who carry the gift of the body are said to be the most powerful, and not without reason. It is they who can change the body of living things, and give form to that which once was dead. By causing genetic mutations, and continually promoting these, they can change the face of entire species.
The Spirit - those that kindle the heart
All these gifts, however, results in nothing more than a savage beast or unfeeling monster if those that carry the gift of the spirit do not intervene. It is they that gift a being with empathy and compassion.
We, the people
Now, you might think that the people on Seldori'ath formed nations and alliances, striving for dominance all along the way. But so is not the case - instead, civilization is shaped around ideologies about how the humanity's gift should be used. There are five main creeds spread around the continent of Ostaga, though smaller ones exist too. Though they have their own territories, they cannot be called nations as such. Each creed is ruled by Philosopher Superiors, which make the ultimate decision in conflicts, though exactly how each creed functions on a smaller level differs between every creed.
The Andaronika - Those that converse with beasts
The Andaronika regard it as wrong to use their gifts on anything but animals and themselves, as they try to bring mankind and animals closer to each other. To take on animalistic traits and features is traditional, and very few abstain from it. As the Iroceos, they strive for a certain balance in the world, but focus on animals rather than forests and meadows.
The Golarata - Those that wield their gift as a divine right
Where the other creeds use their gifts for a certain end with caution, the Golarata use their gifts with reckless abandon. They experiment with all manner of beasts and mutations to dissect exactly how the world works, and see the world as their possession to use as they please to attain knowledge of the world and how it works.
The Iroceos - Those that dwell among the trees
The Iroceos feel that it is wrong to use their gifts on any living animal or beast (beside oneself, should one choose to). Instead, they cultivate forests and gardens, and raise creatures from their roots, which serve alongside them. More than anything else, the Iroceos strive for harmony and balance in the world, often trying to mediate in conflicts.
The Paxatoria - Those that seek the meaning of truth and beauty
The Paxatoria see the world as their charge - something to nurture and tend to. They strive to find what they see as the divine quality - the thing that makes good things great. In all things they value beauty, not only for it's looks, but for the mystery it represents. They wish to know what beauty is, and why there is beauty in the world to begin with.
The Tychonean - Those that would make Gods of themselves
The Tychonean have chosen to use the gifts that humanity has been given for one single purpose; to strive for divinity. They aspire to true greatness in every aspect humanity could possibly imagine, and already consider themselves greater than any other being that walks the face of Seldori'ath. The natural body is seen as a clean and primitive slate, one which must be tempered and conditioned. Generation by generation they grow further and further from their origins - and many wonder if divinity is truly where they are headed...
Other factions and groups
The Cult of Eudemos
A small faction which, until recently, had only existed in rumors. It was said that the group used their gifts to breed beasts and abominations for ill purposes. This proved to be all too true when the Cult attacked the Iroceos. Though most of the attackers are slain, it is feared that many more hide in the wilderness, plotting new attacks...
The Order of Parothea (named so after it's founder Parothea the humble)
An order of men and women who have sworn to see to it that all unnatural life is eradicated by any means necessary. Their reasoning is that as man is flawed, so must his creation be - and much more so. Not until mankind has truly reached divine virtue is she ready to design progeny. In recent times the Order of Parothea has become more popular and seen an influx of new members, as people have reacted to the attack by the Cult of Eudemos.
Children of the Golden Sun
Where The order of Parothea seeks to eradicate the progeny created by man, The Children of the Golden Sun seek to find enlightenment through man's creation. They agree that man is flawed, but argue that man's progeny may indeed become more than their creators. Thus, they care for wayward lifeforms and try to teach them to be all that which mankind aspires to be, but always falls short of.
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- The lay of the land -
Though Seldori'ath is vast, only a small part of it is populated by sentient beings (humans, as they will be called from here on). They have spread across the majority of a landmass which they have dubbed Ostaga. Some attempts have been made to move beyond the borders of the continent, but strong currents rip ships to shreds, and so far no human has made it across (as far as history tells, at least). Nonetheless, the continent is large, and resources abundant (thanks in no small part to the intervention of the three Keepers), so there has been little reason for armed conflict.
But in recent years this peace has been challenged, as a large attack by the Cult of Eudemos was carried out against the largest city of the Iroceos, using beasts and abominations they had created from all manner of things as assault troops. The attack was defeated, but at a high price. Much of the city laid in ruins, and would perhaps never be the same again. The largest consequence, however was that it called attention to the possibility of raising armies to fight battles and even wars - an abominable act, but a possible one nonetheless. Beasts had been used before as soldiers, but never before had someone been able to amass such a force made up of only progeny. In wake of this brutal attack there is a great uneasiness, and distrust is growing between creeds...
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- The purpose of Seldori'ath -
While Menidi'ath is an all-purpose setting meant for mixed media expression with an emphasis on interactivity and games, and Telloni'ath is mainly intended for written fiction, Seldori'ath is something in-between.
While the main focus of Seldori'ath will be written fiction and comics, there is also a lot of room for tabletop roleplaying, as Seldori'ath is a world where the reach of civilization is quite short indeed. But this type of game would not focus so much on exploration - instead it would focus on building the world. Laying the foundation of cities, awakening new life forms (or annihilating entire species), changing the face of nations (quite literally), and whatever else the heart desires.
It is a world where the surprises don't lie beyond the next corner, but inside the imagination of players. When you have power to awake life by mere will, and reconstruct the human race - what do you do with it?
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