Project Saros

and various related projects.

It has been quite a long time since I have posted anything here.  I’ll start with a brief background of what has been happening.  Librium was going really well but as things continued I was coming to the conclusion that my game needed to be simplified significantly.  More and more I was realizing that any simplifications I could offer would bring the game significantly closer to what 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons is at that point.  I decided to trudge forward and try to fix the gaping flaws in the system of which my playtesters were happy to work.

Then I killed them.  Accidentally, somewhat.  I had them fighting some samurai golems, animated empty suits of armor that would attack them.  This went over rather terribly as the suits of armor were made out of half-plate.  Their armor was extremely high and though they were not difficult to actually hit it was nearly impossible to overcome the damage reduction.  It wasn’t the completely these golems that killed the players, however.  A water elemental in the temple they were exploring managed to possess one of them and turned it against their allies.  They were unable to figure out how to cure him and he dispatched all of them.  I decided to throw the hate in there.

The new plan wasn’t a complicated one.  I wasn’t giving up Librium completely and there is no way that I was giving up Saros.  I decided to purchase the essential books for 4th edition.  My players were willing to learn the system which didn’t take too long and we would play with their rules.  The rules which have been tested by thousands of players and gone through years of revision and adjustment.  I took a break from writing the story to give my mind a chance to cool off as bug fixing and story writing was overwhelming.  One of my friends took the DM hat and I settled down as a player so I could familiarize myself with the system.  The final intent is to turn Librium and Saros into a campaign setting much like Forgotten RealmsEberron, or Greyhawk.

I stopped updating the blog.  There was no news.  I was just a player and I was enjoying my relaxation.  A few months ago, however, I got my DM hat back.  I’ve been writing stories and experimenting with the system.  I’ve always felt that one should make the system their on.  Adjust it as you see fit because having fun is the most important aspect.  I’m now very settled into the system and writing my own rules and essentially doing as I please.  This brings us to now.

I’ve decided to start blogging again.  I have a lot of interesting things that I want to share and information that I want to make public.  I wanted a centralized location for it rather than allowing it to drown on some outsourced forum.  So things are now new.

I’ve spent the last week renovating this place.  I’ve updated the theme to something I believe is much, much prettier than previously.  I’ve enabled wordpress’ Site Network configuration in order to keep my blogs on topic, a major flaw that my blog lacked before.  This blog, the website you are on right now will still be dedicated to Saros.  I’ve also created Action Points for my DM and player tips.  A way for players and storytellers to really make the game their own and maximize enjoyment.  Extended Rest was actually born when I started as a 4e player.  The intent is to write stories from the perspective of the players or an entity watching the players.  I also decided to move my personal stuff to the Real Life blog (name change pending) so it would be easier to keep it private if I chose fit.  It also prevents me from flooding my other blogs, which I hope get significant visitors, with boring personal life stuff.

Since I’ve moved everything around there are obviously a lot of broken links, missing images, and loose wiring.  Unfortunately the images were all damaged by the movers and cannot be restored so anything before July 2010 is gone.  If you happen to find anything else that is broken please drop me a line.  Stay cool.

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I wanted to do the template I’ve been working on as my article of the week, but I figure you guys wouldn’t appreciate that.  Instead, I’ll just do Kobolds as the article of the week, again, since I think they’re awesome.

But I will show you a bit of the Template:Tooltip code, since it is so interesting!

{{#if:{{{slot|}}}|<li>{{#ifeq:{{lc:{{{slot|}}}}}|ranged|[[:Category:Ranged Weapons|Ranged] ]: {{{range|}}} ft|{{#ifeq:{{lc:{{#explode:{{{slot|}}}|-|1}}}}|hand|[[:Category:{{{slot|}}}ed {{{type|}}}s|{{{slot|}}}] ][[Category:{{{slot|}}}ed {{{type|}}}s] ]|[[:Category:{{{slot|}}}|{{{slot|}}}] ]}}}}}}
(more…)

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Busy busy week! I’ve been working hard over the weekend trying to get tooltips imported over from wowwiki. I think these will really help get Librium organized, since I’ll be able to have mobile, easy stat boxes for weapons, equipment, spells, abilities, and maybe even monsters. I definitely need a nice template for them.

The update schedule for the Main Page is: Tuesday: Article of the Week; Thursday: Did you know…; Saturday: Recent News. Microblog is updated on a whim, and likely updated Tuesday with the AotW.

This week will be a Librium week. Expect the updates on the main page to reflect work done on the game as I organize and fill in information. I intend to make a main page for Librium as well, or at least get it decently linked on this page. I’m considering splitting the main page into left/right and going from there. We’ll see what works!

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On top of this weeks Article of the Week, I’d like to point you to the new Main Page of the wiki.  I’ve improved it greatly from being a mere redirect to the Saros portal.  I intend to update it once a week when I update the article of the week.  It contains exciting facts, such as a short excerpt from the article of the week, several small factoids that aren’t posted on some pages, and a few tidbits of recently posted information as well as a small blurb from me about recent happenings.  Check it out!  Leave a comment on this post or use this form to let me know what you think!

Continuing from last week’s post, this will start the same but end differently, I promise!  I just finished it up.

Greater dragon

A Dragon is a large reptilian creature with covered in thick, bony scales with four powerful claws, two large wings, a long tail and a head. Dragons are creatures of the elements and every dragon is attuned to one or more element.

Dragons are the bridge between the elemental and physical world, acting as ambassadors between the two. The greatest dragons are responsible for shaping Saros and nearly all life on it. Greater Dragons are also known as True Dragons and all dragons have very similar traits, but they are divided into three categories based on their differences: Primal Dragons, greater dragons, and and lesser dragons. Any creature that is related to dragons, has draconic qualities such as elemental sense, or resembles characteristics of a dragon but is not truly a dragon is considered to be Dragonkin.

continue reading…

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From the Saros Main Page:

Welcome to the new main page for the Saros wiki! It’s been bothering me that my main page merely redirected to the Table of Contents for so long and that I don’t even use that page. I wanted something that would be visually appealing and could serve as a resource of information. So, I copied the format of the Wikipedia Main Page, changed some things and here is what you have!

What is the Saros Wiki? It is my personal world and universe that has been designed, revised, and edited since my very first tabletop roleplaying game 10 years ago. It serves as a repository of information for the world I have created, as well as the stories written in that world, such as Dragonhawk, Enveloping Shadows, and Turning the Gears. It also serves as the design and launch center of my own roleplaying game design: Librium. Enjoy!

Michael McElrath 14:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

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Gonna try to start the Article of the Week back up again.  For the next two weeks I’ll be posting about greater dragons!  This was, honestly, the one I was working on a LONG time ago.  It became a huge article and I never actually finished it, but I hope to finish it!  For now, I’ll just post the life cycle information, since that is, as far as I recall, complete.

continue reading…

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I’m posting this here because I can’t get myself to continue it. I definitely want to continue writing, but the closer I get to that edit box the more reluctant I am to put anything down.  I’ve even written out a lot of what is going to happen in my physical notebook, but I just can’t get it in the wiki.  Halp!

This occurs before Draconic Beginnings.  There are two chapters I have to write to catch up to Draconic Beginnings and this is the first one.

Update: I decided to break this up into several chapters.  This is the first chapter and the end has been cut off, so this chapter is complete

Testing Fate

Another restless night. Michael laid in bed staring at the ceiling while he mind wandered aimlessly. He felt fortunate that he had a decent job and a place to stay, even if most of his pay went to the school that trained him to be a guard. Ah, Alnara Reloryn. His job was to be her protector and, despite not ever having a terrible amount of extra coin in his pocket the job did come with a lot of perks. Alnara was a very nice girl and enjoyed having a good time, meaning she wanted her friends to enjoy themselves as well. Since Michael couldn’t afford her lifestyle, Alnara was generous enough to give him what she could and usually it was more than enough. He was in charge of her personal safety and needed to be with almost at all times, so he was enrolled in her classes as well. Michael had always wanted to go to one of the high elven schools but never thought he’d get the chance and knew he would never be able to afford it, but having employers in high places has its benefits.

Michael’s thoughts continued to wander; he knew he wasn’t going to get any sleep without clearing his mind. Throwing off his blankets he got up and got dressed. A short walk in the fresh autumn[1] air should help him relax so he can get some sleep. He headed downstairs, through the kitchen and out the back door.

“Where do you think you’re going?” came a perturbed voice. Captain Isilen stood outside eying Michael.

“I’m just going for a walk.”

“This late? What are you up to?”

“Nothing. I can’t sleep so I wanted to get some air.”

“Listen, chell, I’m watching you. You think just because you’ve won Alnara’s favor that you’re sitting pretty, but don’t rest easy. You’re going to screw up and I’ll be there to watch you drown.” he glared at Michael before walking off, continuing his rounds.

Captain Isilen has had it in for Michael since they first met. He was Alnara’s personal protector and had developed a bit of a crush on her as she grew up but her father didn’t feel it was appropriate. Michael was hired to replace Isilen as Alnara’s guard and Isilen was promoted to the Captain of the Guard. Publicly it was a promotion, but he loathed being further away from his love especially since he was replaced by a worthless human. Matters were only escalated a few months ago when the councilor changed Isilen’s orders based on Michael’s opinion. Isilen was losing influence and he didn’t like it.

Michael closed the door tightly behind him and walked through the garden, leaving out the back path of the house to the roads. It was very quiet this night save for the soft chirping of crickets. It was also especially dark, he noticed as he looked up to the sky. The thousands of visible stars did what they could to make up for dark shadows cast by the moons. It was just bright enough for him to see where he was going. With his hands in his pockets he rounded a corner.

“Mew” came a soft feline cry from an alley. Michael looked and saw a siamese cat licking its paws.

“Orion? How did you get out here?” he half expected an answer. “Lets see if we can’t get you back home.” He reached down to pick up the cat but it had no intentions of going with him, darting down the alley. “Orion!” He chased down looking for the feline.

Where did he get to? Michael thought to himself, scanning the for the feline. He caught glimpse of the cat’s black tail squeezed inside a nearby open door, creaking it slightly. He went over to the door and peeked through the door. “Come here, Orion,” he whispered. He hesitated about opening the door, knowing he shouldn’t enter an unattended store. But why was the door open? Michael notices that the lock has been jimmied open. Suddenly he heard the shattering of glass from inside. He creeps inside quietly, looking around the room when he spots a woman on the other side. She’s behind the counter going through alchemy supplies on the shelves.

“Damn it all” she whispers having dropped a small jar on the ground, its content spilling on her feet. She ignores it, tapping the powder off her shoes as she continues looking at the labels on various containers and tossing them in her bag.

“Hey! Stop right there!” calls out Michael. She looks up at him and brushes a few strands of her brown hair out of her face.

“I was sure I had at least three more minutes. Wait a sec,” she shines a light in his face from a glowing sphere, “you aren’t a guard, but you are kinda cute. You don’t see that many cute humans around this town.”

“Put down the bag and put your hands in the air.”

“But sir, this is my store. I’m just clearing out the expired products.”

“I’m not buying it.”

“Well if you’re not a customer then you shouldn’t be here at night. We close at 8:00.”

Michael hesitated for a moment, slightly confused. “You’re not getting out of here, put your hands up.”

“All right, all right, I’ll cooperate. But I’ll have you know I’m not robbing the place. I’m just… reallocating the inventory.” She sat the bag down on the counter and put her hands above her head. “So, What are you going to do to me? You don’t even have a weapon.” she grinned.

“We’ll see what happens when the guards get here. Come over here, slowly.” Michael looked around the room, finding a length of rope. She slowly walked towards him then stopped suddenly.

“Wait, how do I know you’re not just going to rob the place yourself? Hey! You’re just going to leave me here and take the goods for yourself, aren’t you?”

“What!? I would never do such a thing.”

“Why not? Alchemy supplies sell really well. Take this for example.” she tossed a large glass jar at him. Michael dropped the rope and reached up, catching it but stumbling backwards over a stool and falling down, landing on the cat’s tail. The screech from the cat could be heard throughout the neighborhood. Michael picked himself up off the ground.

“Don’t move! Put your hands up!” came a familiar voice from behind. The city guard had arrived. “Just going for a walk, huh?” said Captain Isilen. “I knew keeping an eye on you would pay off eventually.”

“Isilen, I’m not the one you’re after, it’s her.” He motioned towards the counter, but the girl was no where to be seen. “Look, there was a human girl here a second ago. I came in when I heard the ruckus.”

“So you had an accomplice? Search for her.” He signaled to the other guards. “As for you, you’re coming with me.” One of the guards took the jar Michael was holding as Isilen pulled his arms behind his back, binding him.

“You know you’re making a mistake, right?”

“No, chell. You made the mistake when you crossed me.”


Michael laid in bed staring at the ceiling while he mind wandered aimlessly. He couldn’t believe his luck; arrested for the crime he was trying to stop and forced to spend the night in a jail cell. He knew he would go on trial for it in a few days, but Isilen would likely push for it to be sooner. Perhaps Alnara could… no, it wouldn’t be right to ask Alnara to jepordize future to help him. In fact, it would be best if the Reloryns never learned about it at all. Not that Captain Isilen would allow that to happen. Michael turned on his side, facing the wall. Maybe he could get some sleep, for he would definitely have a long day tomorrow.

Michael slowly began to drift off to sleep, his mind somewhat clear of the haze of the previous day and the events of the night. Just as the cool refreshment of slumber entered his mind, the sound of metal slamming against stone jolted him awake. He could hear voices coming from down the hall, but barely make them out. It sounded like two guards yelling in High Elven and a girl screaming back at them in Common. Oh no… Michael sat up on his bed as the two guards brought the girl to his cell, opening the door and shoving her in and on to the floor. The guards slammed the door behind her, locking it tight, and went off.

The girl lie face down on the ground for a while, without moving. Michael sat up and looked over to her, expecting her to get up at any moment, but she didn’t. She was perfectly still. He sat up on his bed and continued to watch her. “You okay?” he asked. She said nothing. He stood up and began approaching her, but she began softly tittering. The tittering grew to chuckling as Michael watched, and she continued to laugh as she rolled onto her back. Michael was very confused by her behavior, but she really appeared to be enjoying herself. Her laughs continued until it was an outright guffaw. “What’s so funny?” He asked, confused.

“Ha ha ha! Oh man, I am such an idiot. I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming.” she snickered.

“See what coming?”

“I had a clean break and I was in the clear, but I had spilled something on my boots. I stopped to try to clean them off and that’s how the guards found me. They followed the trail of dust and there I was sitting just in a corner with one shoe off, trying to get that crap out of it. They dragged me here with just one shoe on.” She laughed as she picked herself off the ground, dusting the dirt off of her cloths and untying her remaining boot.

“I don’t see why that’s so funny. You got caught and now you’re going to be on trial in a few days. Serves you right.”

“Eh, it’s not so bad.” she went over to the other bed, unfurled the blanket and sat down. “I get a warm bed, a free meal, and someone to talk to for a few days. Living alone on the streets isn’t the glamorous lifestyle you read about. Just trying to get by. Never knowing where your next meal will come from. Fearing what will happen if you’re caught. Of course, sometimes when you’re caught your conditions just end up better, like now!” She placed her boot under the bed.

“That’s an interesting perspective, I suppose, but you still are going to pay for your crimes.”

“Eh, I’m not worried about it.” She lied down in the bed, wrapping the thin blanket over her. “You’re a hired guard, right? You were just doing you job; what you believed was the right thing to do. Looks like it got you into a mess of trouble though, huh?”

“Yeah. Captain Isilen really has it out for me. Hopefully this doesn’t get back to the Academy.”

“The Academy?”

Michael hesitated since he just met the girl. “Just a school I went to. Don’t worry about it”

Kismet looked over at him. The discontent was palpable. “Okay, I know I got you in a mess and you probably don’t like me for it, but we’re going to be cellmates for a couple days. Let’s just try to get along. You can go back to hating me once we’re out of here.”

He sighed. “Fine, whatever.”

“So you know the Guard Captain and he still threw you in jail?”

“He’s had it out for me for a while, since I replaced him.”

“These elves can be pretty uptight. Wait, you replaced him, doing what?”

He turned over on the bed, facing the wall. “He use to just be a bodyguard which apparently he was happy doing. When I arrived here he got promoted to Guard Captain, above a lot of the officers. It was a huge promotion, but he detested it. Anyway, it’s late. I want to try to get some sleep.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” she yawned. “Talk to you in the morning!”

Michael made himself as comfortable as he could in the bed. He wish he was at the Reloryn’s place in his normal bed. “My name is Michael, by the way.”

She turned over and face him with a smile. “You can call me Kismet. Nice to meet you!” She snuggled up in the blanket, closing her eyes.

“It’s too bad it wasn’t on better terms.”

“That’s Fate for you.”

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This was the one I said I was going to put up a while ago.  I don’t know if I ever actually finished it and I’m too out of it, right now, to read through it.  Hope it’s done.

Shadow Elf

From Saros Wiki

The Shae’ren[1] are shadow elves, also known as dark elves or drow. They are Wind Elves that have been infused with the dark souls of beings from the shadow realm.

History

As told from the books, the Shadow elves are twisted, evil mockeries of wind elves created by the Princess of Darkness Najena. It is said that long ago, before the Celesian Church had been founded, Celes and her older brother fought constantly over the rights of the sky and the land. Their war against each other waged through the skies for centuries, but ultimately Celes was victorious. She brought light and peace to the land, uniting those who would follow her into bliss, the wind elves among them. Her brother, being unsatisfied with defeat, instead lured hundreds of wind elves into his darkness, twisting and corrupting them over decades. They grew to despise Celes, their hearts filled with hatred. They left the surface world, hiding and waiting until they could strike against the light.

The date of origin of the dark elves is unclear, through stories will say they have been around since the beginning of the Elven Ankienen. They are ruthless and merciless in combat, killing any who may know of their home, or those that oppose their dark gods.

These rumors and stories are told not only by the high elves, but the dark elves as well. They wish to be left alone, and fear keeps their enemies at bay.

True Origin

Main Article: Enveloping Shadows (Story)

The shadow elves find their roots in the city of Shaena[2], a research town located in the Tranis Plains. The town was excavating an old battle site from The Conflict, researching the materials they found. Unfortunately, this site was also home to a band of Kobolds. The kobolds regularly attacked the excavation site and the town, but were regularly pushed back. The attacks became more violent and regular once an item known as Ma’at’s Torch was discovered. The town was overrun and the inhabitants forced to leave. They sought help from their other High Elven brethren, but none would come to their aid. In order to escape the kobolds they headed through the mountains hoping for assistance and refuge.

While traveling through the mountains the group happened upon the Shadow Crystal. The priests in this area began hearing voices and receiving instructions and forewarning. They followed these instructions and built their home, Shaena’ven[3] (Translation: New Shaena or City of Purified Shadow. ven can mean new or pure.) here as it proved to be a very safe location. They built a temple around tower and worshiped it. They lived here, feeling abandoned by not only their people, but their god.

Years later, human representatives of Eulin came to gather information on their whereabouts and why they were no longer reporting home. They found out about the artifacts they had found as well as this shadow crystal. Being Children of the Celes they invariably found the Shadow Crystal to be evil and attempted to destroy it with their magic. It was not strong enough, but Ma’at’s Torch was accidentally activated at the crystal, shattering it.

The effect was a shock wave of negative energy from the shadow realm which killed everyone in the town and revived them moments later. They found they were infused with this negative energy. They were now Shadow Elves.

Racial Traits

Shadows elves are tall, slender humanoids standing nearly as tall as humans but slightly thinner; males average 5’5 to 5″8 and 130-150 lbs while females are usually 5’2 to 5’5 and 100-120 lbs. A shadow elves’ hair color are usually pure white, have been known to be lighter blue, jet black, or various shades of purple. Their eyes are usually match their hair color and red eyes are not unheard of.

Shadows elves are biologically similar to humans and wind elves as well, reaching sexual and mental maturity around age 16, but they age more slowly than humans from this point. Shadow elves live an average of 250 years.

Shadow elves benefit from Darkvision, a natural ability that allows them to see just as well in the dark as they can in daylight. Darkvision functions much like normal vision in that it takes time to adjust. Sudden changes in lighting conditions renders a shadow elf unable to see clearly, and low light areas, such as those illuminated by a candle or a lantern, are difficult for the shadow elf to see. Darkvision appears perfectly clear to those that possess it, though artificial means may leave the new possessor confused. Colors seem inverted when viewed in darkvision and those that are not use to it may not be able to “read” what they see.

Dark elves have Dark souls. White magic and light based spells have detrimental effects on them, while Black magic and dark based spells have positive effects.

Society

Shadow elf society is a matriarchal theocracy. Women are in control of the church and dictate the important aspects of drow society. Bloodlines are quite literal: The woman gives her blood to the child during pregnancy and because of this they inherit her rights. Female children are necessary to continue the bloodlines and prized much higher than male children.

The highest positions of authority are in the church which is in direct control of shadow elf society. Most upper claw shadow elves belong to the church and they are appointed by higher members. It is impossible for a male dark elf to become a ranking member in the church.

Males are considered lesser creatures in the eyes of Najena. Their purpose is purely physical and the role they play usually pertains to manual labor, soldiers, and mates. They are trained to be strong so they they can protect their matrons and offspring even at the risk of their own death. A physically strong male is usually a prime candidate for marriage. Men close to high position women can have some influence in the decisions of the city, but occasionally a male will rise to power on their own. Male drow in positions of direct power are extremely highly regarded due to the difficulty of gaining such power.

References

  1. Shae’ren: Old Elvish Shae Darkness, Shadow +ren Child, Children of the Shadows
  2. Shaena: High Elvish Shae Darkness, Shadow, + na City, City of Darkness
  3. Shaena’ven High Elvish Shae Darkness, Shadow, + na City + ven New, Purified, City of Purified Darkness
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I have an idea for an article of the week that fits both Saros and Librium, since I’ve been working on my game lately.  I hope to have it posted by Wednesday afternoon.

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Oh man, I need to bookmark this page again.  When I used Avant Browser, I just had it as my homepage to remind me to post stuff every so often.  Since I switched over to Firefox I haven’t really thought about it.  Well, as Monday’s came and went I considered the whole Article of the Week, which is important to me.

A couple weeks ago I got together with some friends from high school and we played a tabletop game one of their friends had designed.  It was somewhat basic, but it really encouraged me to work on making Saros into a game system.  I still want to write stories for it, but a game system has always kinda been there.  I didn’t know if it was going to be an online game or a tabletop game or what, but I’ve since decided to target tabletop.  That’s what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks.  I think I have more of the dynamics worked out as this point and I just need to do a bunch of balancing.  I need people to play :o

I’ll post something soon, I promise!

Oh, I want to call the game Librium (like, equilibrium.)  Can I do that?  There is apparently already a drug called g:Librium.

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