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Twisted Confessional | Jastivad

What You Need To Know

Jastivad is a cold, barren world.

Its surface is frozen, air flows in rivers along it. The surfaces of the oceans are ice, though underneath are liquid, kept warm and bright by Nyx, the goddess of the waters.

It has no sun, no moon. Just stars, and the occasional planet. Most strikingly, directly overhead (no matter where you go), there is a blinking red source of light known as the Eye of Time. Its blinking is constant and consistent enough that it is used as a timekeeping standard throughout Jastivad. It blinks at about 6/5ths of a second.

The idea of a 'day' is outmoded in Jastivad because of the lack of a solar cycle. But it lasts due to two planets which are nicknamed the 'daystars.' One appears in the east in the "morning," and one appears in the west in the "evening." One cycle between the sightings of each of the stars is considered one day (when the other one is seen the 'evening' is considered to have started). Each circles the Eye of Time. Occasionally, they switch positions and directions - once every 91 days. This "opposition" marks the end of a 'season' and is always treated as a festival day (and creates a beautiful sight like the Northern Lights). One of the daystars is golden - its name is Valina, the other is blue - its name is Eluin. A year is defined as four seasons.

People survive due to the inadvertent side-effects of actions taken by some of the mad gods.

One of these gods, Cth Tholon, occasionally experiences strong bouts of hunger, and while feeding this hunger, digs furrows in the earth, canyons that rival the Grand Canyon, or occasionally dwarf them.

An incidental side-effect, the aura that the god leaves behind keeps the canyon warm and temperate. This effect stops at the rim of the canyon. Also incidentally, the divine powers of the gods of the land are "protected" from the waters, so whenever it meets the oceans, there is a large wall of water that is kept from falling by a seemingly invisible, impermeable-to-water force.

Another god, Yos Antahar, oozes through the earth, grazing, making caverns and tunnels. These passages are kept temperate and warm by the same side effect.

Gods are rarely worshipped in Jastivad, at least not publicly. The majority are seen as mad, only a minority are worshipped. Because they are powerful, many gods are respected. Only the desperate or the mad worship the majority of the pantheon. Only the middle hierarchy are considered safe.

The most powerful and respected religious organization in the Church of Nyx, the goddess of the waters. She is seen as benevolent, and sane, and potent. Her priests are able to navigate vessels through the under-oceans. They control most of the commerce between sea-ports.

Other gods whose priests are respected include Idevess, whose priests are rare - in order to become invested with this god's power, one must make a pilgrimage to the Prismatic City, whose location is shrouded in myth.

Finally, there is Moch Murgoi. His followers aren't hated, but aren't necessarily trusted or respected. They are seen as meddlesome tricksters. As a lot of his powers are about liberty and freedom, many of his followers are in rebellions against the elves.

There is also the Cult of the Dead God, secretive, hidden, working in the shadows. Somehow, they have power.

The myths tell us of three key humanoids (known as "the many guises"):

  • Elf - the elves are the incestuous, inbred children of dreams. They are magical, immune to aging, beautiful, and decadent. They often grow bored of life, and enjoy causing calamity for entertainment.
  • Orcs - the orcs are the results of broken dreams that were broken during the creation of the firmament.
  • Humans - humans are the results of a dream mixing with a broken dream.

Half-elves (Halflings) and half-orcs (Goblin) are a possibility. If an elf mixes with an orc, a human is produced. But if each mixes with a human, a half-breed is produced

There are also the youngest races, those of the land:

Occasionally, one of the many guises is caught in the confluence of the energies of Cth Tholon or Yos Antahar while that god is present. These result in the following:

  • Reyk Ai - the results of when an Elf is caught up in these confluences, a boulder with prehensile legs. They do not age, do not breathe. They have magical influence over the earth. They are considered 'monstrous' by the other races, and often choose to live on the surface.
  • Dwarf - the results when a Human is caught up in these confluences. Long-lived, they also have magical influence over the earth, though not as strong as the Reyk Ai.
  • Troll - the results when an Orc is caught up in these confluences

Each are capable of breeding, and making more of themselves. Dwarf/human crossbreeds exist, and are infertile, known as Muls. It seems nobody has tried with the Trolls. The Reyk Ai posses no genitalia, so it's thought to be impossible with them.

Also note these:

  • Gnomes - the result of when a Halfling is caught up in these confluences
  • Hobgoblins - the results of when a Goblin is caught up in these confluences

A digression on Fertility.

The Gran Kerilax is the largest settled canyon in the world. Where play will occur.