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Green Dragon

Green Dragon's Cosmbooks

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CHAPTER TWO

RULES

 

Character Creation

All characters may take Magic skills without taking the Magic Advantage. Not all characters will possess Magic, but it is commonplace. For specific advantages and disadvantages see the Bloodshadows Worldbook. Otherwise use standard character creation rules.

 

Racial Packages

These are some of the most common races in Nolava – that are suitable for player characters.

 

Ghoul (6 points)

- STR+3/13, Claws (STR+2/15), Teeth (STR+3/16), 1 point of additional Horror Powers

- Nutritional Requirement:Human Flesh (2), Prejudice:Ghoul (3), many have Rot or Stench

 

Gris (1 points)

- Omnivorousness (1)

- Prejudice (1+)

 

Hugor (2 points)

- STR and END +1/14

- Symbiosis:Life-Mate (Lose 1 point from STR and END for every 100m separated max. -4; -4 if mate killed)

 

Succubus/Incubus (6 points)

- CHA+3/16, Life Drain (Mental Attribute, SPI+15)

- Nutritional Requirement:Sexual Energy (2), Prejudice:Demon (3), Nymphomania (1+)

 

Vampire (8 points)

- STR+3/16, Life Drain (SPI+15), Fangs (STR+2/18), 2 points of additional Horror Powers

- Infection (SPI+5), Nutritional Requirement:Blood (2), Prejudice:Vampire (3)

 

Werewolf (8 points)

- Shapechange Skill, Resistance to Normal Weapons, Nightvision, Claws (STR+3), Teeth (Damage Bonus = Shapechange adds)

- Infection (SPI+5), Vulnerability:Silver (3), Secret or Prejudice:Werewolf (2)

 

Skills

The following skills are new to Nolava, or function under these altered rules. Note: all skills operate under the TORG rules and not Masterbook. Skills not found in TORG, and not listed here, are not available. Martial Arts is not available, as it violates the Social axiom, characters are limited to Unarmed Combat.

Endurance

Resist Shock – is available to some races.

Perception

Language – the dominant language of Eln is virtually identical to Earth English, but numerous ancient tongues and regional dialects exist.

Research – as the Orrorsh skill, Research is used to gather information from books and other records.

Scholar:Nolava Lore – characters must take a focus in a specific city. They may take more than one Nolava Lore, other cities are standard skills.

Regions (such as the Pendar Mountains, Dirak Desrt, Alerios Jungle, Boiling Swamps, and Grand Eaton) may be taken (by those who travel the

wilderness) but these are considered Difficult skills due to their extensive nature.

Spirit

Shapeshifting – as the Orrorsh skill, requires the Shapeshifting advantage.

 

Magic

Two new Magic skills were discussed in Bloodshadows. Summoning is to be considered a form of Conjuration. Cantrips simply utilize the standard four skills, but the skill total requirements are so low that most characters need only a single add in the skill and relevant arcane knowledge to cast. Speaking of Arcane Knowledges, spells will have required skill totals just like in other TORG settings.

 

Feedback

Spellcasting functions slightly different than in other cosms. A skill total using the magic skill (with appropriate focus) is applied vs. the Difficulty Number of the spell (Arcane Knowledge adds are not added to this value). The Result Points are subtracted from the Feedback Value. If the spell has an Alignment, the caster subtracts (or adds) his Alignment Adds as appropriate. The results are read on the Damage Column. If a wound occurs roll on the Feedback chart. Add +10 per wound result. The GM rolls a D100 roll, plus any results from extra wounds. Note: Shock, KO, and Knockdown are suffered normally.

This system replaces Backlash for foreign spellcasters, in addition to their magic probably being contradictory.

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CHAPTER THREE

MARL AND THE REALM

 

On the world of Marl, the Possibility Wars are spoken of as the Godwar. A conflict between Order and Chaos, fought across many worlds, from the dawn of time, until the inevitable end.

The Godwar came to Marl many thousands of years ago. Though what records of the time exist on that world are sketchy and often contradictory, there is an account – possibly apocryphal – that claims it began when a bridge of lost souls writhing in agony dropped from a hole in the sky. A gaunt man, dressed in black, lead an army of undead, shapeshifters, and other monsters. Then he began recruiting the most promising agents of Chaos to his cause. Chief among these was Basjas, a Spider-Demon.

Though, Orrorsh did in fact destroy the cosm, the Gaunt Man had Heketon recreate it as a Pocket Dimension. Which was in turn reinvigorated by the World Storm caused by the Gaunt Man's death at the Nexus of Reality.

From the perspective of the people of Marl, their world has always existed. They have stories of the devastation of the Godwar. But they believe it ended inconclusively.

Since that time, the survivors have mostly lived in a handful of cities. Each isolated, and surrounded by a blasted, broken land, filled with dangers. Agents of Chaos and Order returned to daily life. Some passing down their responsibilities to descendants, while those with longer lifespans hid their true selves, becoming unassuming figures.

Now, the Godwar has returned to Marl, even as Basjas has brought he followers to Earth at the advice of Heketon.

 

Sidebar:Marl vs. Nolava

Nolava is the name of the Cosm, including all its attendant neighboring dimensions – home to various demons and other creatures. Marl is the name of the world that is the largest part of the cosm. Natives will tend to refer to their cosm as Marl, other than those who work directly for Basjas. The realm on Earth is referred to as Nolava.

Confused yet? So are most of the people of the cosm when trying to comprehend the Possibility Wars as described by outsiders.

The Continent of Eln

Eln is a very large continent, and has little contact with the rest of Marl. Eln is divided into five major regions, from north to south: Pendar Mountains, Dirak Desert, Alerios Jungle, Boiling Swamps, Flendar Mountains, and Grand Eaton. (see Wilderness for details).

The Pendar Mountain region has three major cities Guildsport (see the Fifth Horseman), Dela, and Galitia (see Galitia Citybook). Southwest of the mountains lies the Dirak Desert, where the mining town of Selastos was founded (see World of Bloodshadows). Heading west across the Choking Sea leads into the Alerios Jungle, and from there to the Boiling Swamps. The southern coastal region is the rare imperial power Grand Eaton, which includes the titular city and several satraps, notably Gwalior (see Blood of Tarrian). Northwest of the Boiling Swamps is the Flendar Mountains, which house Albredura (see Mean Streets) and the port city of Tarik.

 

Races of Eln

The humans of Eln bear close resemblance to those of Earth's Europe, with pale white skin common in Guildport, and a swarthy olive coloration common in the south. However, these are not the only races to be found. There are also humans resembling the natives of Asia, Africa, and the Americas – presumably from more distant continents. Such peoples tend to congregate in communities of their own, but are better regarded than most Unnaturals. Some have fragmentary legends of their ancestral homelands, but these tales are from the time before the Godwar, and likely bear little bearing on the present reality.

 

The Godwar vs. the Possibility Wars

The gods of Chaos are aspects of the Nameless One – at least from an Akashan perspective. And the gods of Order, are likewise aspects of Apeiros. However, the two conflicts are not entirely the same. Forces were aligned to one side or the other long before the coming of the Gaunt Man. And they would have fought a cataclysmic war – blamed on the gods – inevitably.

But the Gaunt Man was renowned for keeping his word, something more appropriate to a servant of Order. In fact it was the devastating chaos of the Nolava invasion that helped guide him to the orderly Fear Colony plan that he enacted on Gaea and Earth. It would be more accurate to say that the Gaunt Man found the agents of Chaos to be useful pawns and servants in his invasion.

He found Basjas, and others, to be useful. But ultimately, most were discarded once Nolava had fallen to Orrorsh.

After the last stelae was planted, and the armies and kingdoms of old destroyed, He chose to preserve a fragment of the world as a pocket dimension – a gift to Basjas for her service. Or perhaps a reminder of the destruction her betrayal help make happen.

To the people of the Pocket Dimension, the Godwar moved on to another plane. (True, both because their gods turned their backs on the devastated world, and because the Gaunt Man had turned his attention on the next step in his eventual journey back to Earth.) They had no concept of what had truly happened. How could they understand that their reality had been destroyed? That their world was cobbled together from the remains?

When the Gaunt Man died, Heketon conceived a new plan to spread Fear using multiple Pocket Dimensions and splinter realities, each lead by a member of the Hellion Court. It granted Nolava a second chance as Basjas domain to lunch an invasion of Earth from.

On Marl, at the same time, the leaders of Order and Chaos were given word from their patrons – or so they told their followers – that the Godwar was returning to Marl. Agents who had been in hiding for centuries returned to duty. And plots to turn whole cities to one cause or another were put in motion.

Though Basjas has brought those who would follow her to Earth – twice – most of the cosm is unaware of the invasion of Earth. Or considers it to be none of their concern.

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Basjas, High Lord of Nolava

Basjas is a giant, intelligent spider. She stands about three meters high and her body is about four meters in radius. She has the ability to shapeshift into a human form, and does so when traveling amidst humans suits her purposes. She has two human forms available to her - a young girl about five years old, and a tall, attractive woman in her early thirties.

Like many women, she was – and still is – in love with the Gaunt Man. And therein lies the reason for the conflict between Nolava and Lereholm. Despite the Gaunt Man having no feelings for either Basjas or Sabathine, they have carried on a conflict for centuries. This culminated in an actual war on Earth before the Gaunt Man's death. Heketon made both swear to put it aside when it made them High Lords for the renewed invasion – but of course, both lied.

Beyond proving herself over Sabathine, Basjas has another goal – find a way to restore her love from True Death. Heketon has encouraged this, suggesting that if she were to gain the destructive energy needed to become Torg, she could use it to resurrect him.

Basjas does not work well with many members of the Hellion Court. In addition to her feud with Sabathine, she is suspicious of Manwaring – as a vampire, she assumes he will always side with Sabathine. Her initial realm in Texas prompted conflict with Heketon's Aztec High Lord, Cartzantovatli, and both are at best neutral now. She has little contact with the High Lords created for the Lost Worlds and Magna Verita, but her past history with Thratchen and current occupation of former Tharkold territory has made her a new enemy.

She is on passing good terms with Uthorion and Skutharka, but knows better than to trust such ruthless monsters.

Basjas was surprised that Heketon allowed her to claim a realm so close to the place the Gaunt Man died. She knows that he was there because of the proximity of the Nexus of Reality, and has made it a priority to find it.

It is uncertain where Basjas will expand her realm. West into the mixed zone still under Kanawa protection. North into the Western Land. Or into Core Earth territory toward Denver or Phoenix.

 

Sidebar: Maelstrom Bridge, Stelae, and Gospog

Nolava borrows quite a bit from Orrorsh. As in, Basjas barely made any changes to the Gaunt Man's original designs.

The Maelstrom bridge is paved of cobblestones the color of dried blood, with bone white cement.

Stelae are arcane relics, imbued with Sorcery magic. This does two things. First, Nolava stelae are harder to locate than any others (reduce the level of success on Stelae Sense, or similar ability by one level). Second, if a mage, skilled in Apportation:Sorcery, and appointed by Basjas is within range (their Apportation skill value in meters) they may relocate the stelae to prevent its destruction. The actual shape of the stelae varies (like Orrorshan stelae) but it is always some form magical artifact. Some may also have individual powers, making them valuable if not destroyed.

Note: Heketon modified the stelae used in all its new realms. These stelae will form a link to any available stelae within range, so long as the other stelae has not already connected to six others.

Nolava Gospog use the same designs as Orrorsh with the following exceptions:

Second Plantings are armed with Gelvash Thunderer Shotguns rather than blunderbusses.

Third Plantings are Werespiders, their statistics are in the Creatures section.

First Plantings, Fourth Plantings (Scarabus), and Fifth Plantings (Wraiths) are unchanged. However, most Fourth Plantings are taken by Heketon for its own reasons, and are rarely seen in the realm.

 

Texas Failure

When Heketon planned this second phase of the Possibility Wars, it thought that targeting areas previous claimed by other High Lords, with similar realities would give it a strong population of those willing to accept the new reality.

This plan would work when creating an altered Magna Verita reality, or bringing Arachnidia to Takta Ker. But on Earth, it failed. When given a choice between two similar realities, the Power of Hope allowed the natives to turn away from the Grimdark choice.

The affect on the Nolava realm was immediately noticeable. Basjas planted six Stelae to form a triangle around the Nile zone in Texas. Despite being inside Nolava reality, the original zone remained a stable mixed zone of Earth-Nile reality. Within six months, the Dominant Zones to the east and south had turned to Mixed Zones – violently shifting between Nolava, Nile, and Earth reality. And the Pure zone to the west had been reduced to Dominant.

Knowing her realm was failing, and that Heketon would not easily forgive failure, Basjas formed a plan. She sent a Succubus to New Orleans – without the knowledge of that realm's ruler, Baron Victor Manwaring. Her agent assumed the dual role of housekeeper and muse to Dr. Terrence Daniels, an Occult Scientist who had some luck in capturing and imprisoning the Wicked Souls of Horrors. She persuaded the Doctor to turn his attention to saving the world from the Lereholm realm's threat to the Yellowstone Caldera. He proceeded to build a device which functioned like the Stelae Sense power, but which only detected a key, central stelae in the Lereholm realm.

Basjas then allowed agents of Order to learn of this – with the belief it could be used in fighting Chaos. This lead to the death of Dr. Daniels, and Storm Knights gaining his last invention. What she hadn't known was that Lereholm's realm was already reverting to the Western Land. But the Knights succeeded in uprooting the stelae, and with it six zones. The rest of the realm followed shortly thereafter. With her attention on the invasion of Marketplace – which was going much more successfully – Sabathine is unlikely to seek a return to Earth soon.

But the Vampyress suspects her old enemy to be involved in the matter, and has dispatched agents to investigate.

By this time, spring of 1998, Basjas was forced to destroy the Maelstrom Bridge between San Antonio and the Pendar Mountains west of Galitia. If she hadn't, the backlash caused by the zone failing, would have devastated Nolava – much like Tharkold was wracked by the destruction of the stelae outside Moscow at the start of the war. This might well have destroyed the Pocket Dimension.

 

Second Try

Basjas had already been granted seven additional stelae, which had been presumed to have been planted as back-ups for the Texas realm. She had planted these to form a wheel covering much of Nevada, and parts of Utah, Arizona, and southern California. Faced with the need to keep Earth's Storm Knights off balance, and continue the spread of Fear, the Darkness Device needed to grant the Spider-Demon another Maelstrom Bridge. And a realm that claimed two of the former Nippon-Tech zones, as well as much of the region 3327 shared with Tharkold.

Basjas was surprised that the Obsidian Heart was willing to grant her a realm so close to the Nexus without complaint, but pleased that her plan had succeeded.

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The Realm

Basjas established a common stelae wheel. And gained two mixed zones as a bonus – both created from the region once divided between Nippon-Tech and Tharkold. She recruited a Chaos cult from Khufal, and refugees from Gwalior, including remnants of the Red Hand cult. And to ensure sufficient strength for the invasion, she gated the entire city of Khufal as well.

Khufal, is – or rather was – a port city northeast of Gwalior, and like that devastated settlement, a satrap of Grand Eaton. The former kingdom was left without leadership at the end of the Godwar, and eventually came under Grand Eaton's protection. During the war, the city was home to the Grand Temple of Beraie. Her congregation was mostly killed in a final battle, and her worship outlawed by the Grand Eaton Governor.

But hatred of the invaders swelled the ranks of the Cult of Beraie. When events in Gwalior prompted Eaton to send forces there, Khufal rose up and overthrew the satrapy. And the satrapy represented the forces of Order in the city.

Basjas arrived at the pivotal moment of the uprising, claiming to the rabble to be last descendant of the royal family that ruled before Grand Eaton – and a High Priestess of Beraie. She helped to fan the flames and get the bulk of the city to rise up. Effectively ending any opposition to her faction in the process. Even many Oathbreakers, seeing the writing on the wall, returned to the fold while they could.

With her new followers readied, Basjas began the invasion. She had Heketon use a massive Dimthread and Occult magic to relocate the populace, and portions of the city with them, merging them with Las Vegas, Nevada. Simultaneously, she dropped a Maelstrom Bridge from the site of the now empty ruins into the Hoover Dam.

The massive dam was an obvious, and dangerous, hardpoint. The Bridge caused considerable damage, weakening the dam for what came next. The arrival of Nolava's reality impacted the San Andreas Fault, striking Southern California, and much of the realm with a massive Earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale. Then entire region was changed in moments, becoming almost unrecognizable in places, as quake and axiom wash transformed the realm into a piece of Nolava.

The quake utterly destroyed Hoover Dam, taking with it the electricity and water supply for much of the American southwest. Yamaguchi Energy has come to the aid of Los Angeles, and NorCal (Northern California) with Solar Power Plants and desalinization plants. Consumers in these regions are however faced with 167% increases in the bills.

 

The Cult of Beraie

Beraie is the goddess of the moon, chaos, fortune (both luck and wealth – especially silver) and transformation or change. The cult includes many shapeshifters, breeds, and mages specializing in Alteration, Photmancy, and Sorcery. She is also the traditional patron of Khufal, which made her a rallying force for the city's liberation.

Basjas has claimed a past association with the cult. Though it is a lie, her sheer power convinced most of the leadership to accept her. Those that didn't met with spider-related deaths.

 

Entering the Realm

Air travel is technically possible. The tech axiom supports Nile/Early-20th Century aircraft. However the storms along the border are quite severe. In addition to Reality values of 15-19, the wind sheer and weather necessitate Vehicle Piloting:Air difficulties of 18 or more (generate a bonus number, any value less than +1 is treated as 18).

Most of the roads have been totally destroyed, and those that haven't likely are missing bridges or have sufficient damage to make then unsuitable for anything but offroad vehicles, mounts or foot travel. Interstate 15 from Los Angeles and I-93 from Arizona remain viable routes to Las Vegas, though the military may soon change the fact. Many Realm Runners and Prospectors use these routes to head to the city, and its reported Sapphire Mines. The roads from Reno enter the realm but do not pass through the Great Sand Lake. The same is true of the highways from Salt Lake City.

A wide variety of mountainous and desert wilderness creatures and other dangers can be found along the way for those foolish enough to brave the realm.

 

Bakersfield (Southwest, Dominant)

This zone matches the southernmost zone of the former Nippon-Tech realm, and the city benefits technologically from that past occupation (when it works). The quake, as well as the appearance of various wilderness creatures, has cut off this city of 350,000 from the outside world. Fortunately the city has oil production and refining, as well as agricultural and food processing resources. This has left the city in good stead for the time being, though walls are being erected to keep out the creatures. At present, the police, and volunteers are patrolling the city to round up monsters that have already entered.

Of particular fear is a species of parasitic larval worms which tend to crawl into living organisms for protection while they finish gestating into their adult form. Their eventual exit tends to cause severe injury – especially if they were residing inside the ear canals of human hosts.

Several hundred people have been transformed into Gris, and their unsavory appetites are proving another threat to the city as well.

Edwards Air Force Base also lies within this zone, a testing ground for the Predator UAV, and one of the landing fields for NASA's newest orbital spaceplane, a Mitiya Low Orbital intended to replace the aging Space Shuttles. The base is under a hardpoint of Earth reality which allows the modern technology to function normally.

Fresno (Northwest, Dominant)

Fresno is also an agricultural center, and houses elements of all four branches of the US military, the California National Guard and Reserves. While many of these forces had previously been transferred to the borders of Tharkold, or the Western Land, only token forces remain since the World Storm rendered those realms largely under control.

That has allowed the military to focus on rooting out the forces of the Demon Lord Drortuli of Tharkold. Unfortunately, both sides now find themselves faced with a Relkazar infestation.

Great Sand Lake (North, Dominant)

Central Nevada has become a massive quicksand lake, which effectively cuts off any travel through this region. And those who come close are faced with Sandsharks.

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The Realm

Basjas established a common stelae wheel. And gained two mixed zones as a bonus – both created from the region once divided between Nippon-Tech and Tharkold. She recruited a Chaos cult from Khufal, and refugees from Gwalior, including remnants of the Red Hand cult. And to ensure sufficient strength for the invasion, she gated the entire city of Khufal as well.

Khufal, is – or rather was – a port city northeast of Gwalior, and like that devastated settlement, a satrap of Grand Eaton. The former kingdom was left without leadership at the end of the Godwar, and eventually came under Grand Eaton's protection. During the war, the city was home to the Grand Temple of Beraie. Her congregation was mostly killed in a final battle, and her worship outlawed by the Grand Eaton Governor.

But hatred of the invaders swelled the ranks of the Cult of Beraie. When events in Gwalior prompted Eaton to send forces there, Khufal rose up and overthrew the satrapy. And the satrapy represented the forces of Order in the city.

Basjas arrived at the pivotal moment of the uprising, claiming to the rabble to be last descendant of the royal family that ruled before Grand Eaton – and a High Priestess of Beraie. She helped to fan the flames and get the bulk of the city to rise up. Effectively ending any opposition to her faction in the process. Even many Oathbreakers, seeing the writing on the wall, returned to the fold while they could.

With her new followers readied, Basjas began the invasion. She had Heketon use a massive Dimthread and Occult magic to relocate the populace, and portions of the city with them, merging them with Las Vegas, Nevada. Simultaneously, she dropped a Maelstrom Bridge from the site of the now empty ruins into the Hoover Dam.

The massive dam was an obvious, and dangerous, hardpoint. The Bridge caused considerable damage, weakening the dam for what came next. The arrival of Nolava's reality impacted the San Andreas Fault, striking Southern California, and much of the realm with a massive Earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale. Then entire region was changed in moments, becoming almost unrecognizable in places, as quake and axiom wash transformed the realm into a piece of Nolava.

The quake utterly destroyed Hoover Dam, taking with it the electricity and water supply for much of the American southwest. Yamaguchi Energy has come to the aid of Los Angeles, and NorCal (Northern California) with Solar Power Plants and desalinization plants. Consumers in these regions are however faced with 167% increases in the bills.

 

The Cult of Beraie

Beraie is the goddess of the moon, chaos, fortune (both luck and wealth – especially silver) and transformation or change. The cult includes many shapeshifters, breeds, and mages specializing in Alteration, Photmancy, and Sorcery. She is also the traditional patron of Khufal, which made her a rallying force for the city's liberation.

Basjas has claimed a past association with the cult. Though it is a lie, her sheer power convinced most of the leadership to accept her. Those that didn't met with spider-related deaths.

 

Entering the Realm

Air travel is technically possible. The tech axiom supports Nile/Early-20th Century aircraft. However the storms along the border are quite severe. In addition to Reality values of 15-19, the wind sheer and weather necessitate Vehicle Piloting:Air difficulties of 18 or more (generate a bonus number, any value less than +1 is treated as 18).

Most of the roads have been totally destroyed, and those that haven't likely are missing bridges or have sufficient damage to make then unsuitable for anything but offroad vehicles, mounts or foot travel. Interstate 15 from Los Angeles and I-93 from Arizona remain viable routes to Las Vegas, though the military may soon change the fact. Many Realm Runners and Prospectors use these routes to head to the city, and its reported Sapphire Mines. The roads from Reno enter the realm but do not pass through the Great Sand Lake. The same is true of the highways from Salt Lake City.

A wide variety of mountainous and desert wilderness creatures and other dangers can be found along the way for those foolish enough to brave the realm.

 

Bakersfield (Southwest, Dominant)

This zone matches the southernmost zone of the former Nippon-Tech realm, and the city benefits technologically from that past occupation (when it works). The quake, as well as the appearance of various wilderness creatures, has cut off this city of 350,000 from the outside world. Fortunately the city has oil production and refining, as well as agricultural and food processing resources. This has left the city in good stead for the time being, though walls are being erected to keep out the creatures. At present, the police, and volunteers are patrolling the city to round up monsters that have already entered.

Of particular fear is a species of parasitic larval worms which tend to crawl into living organisms for protection while they finish gestating into their adult form. Their eventual exit tends to cause severe injury – especially if they were residing inside the ear canals of human hosts.

Several hundred people have been transformed into Gris, and their unsavory appetites are proving another threat to the city as well.

Edwards Air Force Base also lies within this zone, a testing ground for the Predator UAV, and one of the landing fields for NASA's newest orbital spaceplane, a Mitiya Low Orbital intended to replace the aging Space Shuttles. The base is under a hardpoint of Earth reality which allows the modern technology to function normally.

Fresno (Northwest, Dominant)

Fresno is also an agricultural center, and houses elements of all four branches of the US military, the California National Guard and Reserves. While many of these forces had previously been transferred to the borders of Tharkold, or the Western Land, only token forces remain since the World Storm rendered those realms largely under control.

That has allowed the military to focus on rooting out the forces of the Demon Lord Drortuli of Tharkold. Unfortunately, both sides now find themselves faced with a Relkazar infestation.

Great Sand Lake (North, Dominant)

Central Nevada has become a massive quicksand lake, which effectively cuts off any travel through this region. And those who come close are faced with Sandsharks.

Sidebar:Desert Hazards

[snip] This section is nearly a word for word reprint of the desert rules from Wilderness. [/snip]

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The Realm

Basjas established a common stelae wheel. And gained two mixed zones as a bonus – both created from the region once divided between Nippon-Tech and Tharkold. She recruited a Chaos cult from Khufal, and refugees from Gwalior, including remnants of the Red Hand cult. And to ensure sufficient strength for the invasion, she gated the entire city of Khufal as well.

Khufal, is – or rather was – a port city northeast of Gwalior, and like that devastated settlement, a satrap of Grand Eaton. The former kingdom was left without leadership at the end of the Godwar, and eventually came under Grand Eaton's protection. During the war, the city was home to the Grand Temple of Beraie. Her congregation was mostly killed in a final battle, and her worship outlawed by the Grand Eaton Governor.

But hatred of the invaders swelled the ranks of the Cult of Beraie. When events in Gwalior prompted Eaton to send forces there, Khufal rose up and overthrew the satrapy. And the satrapy represented the forces of Order in the city.

Basjas arrived at the pivotal moment of the uprising, claiming to the rabble to be last descendant of the royal family that ruled before Grand Eaton – and a High Priestess of Beraie. She helped to fan the flames and get the bulk of the city to rise up. Effectively ending any opposition to her faction in the process. Even many Oathbreakers, seeing the writing on the wall, returned to the fold while they could.

With her new followers readied, Basjas began the invasion. She had Heketon use a massive Dimthread and Occult magic to relocate the populace, and portions of the city with them, merging them with Las Vegas, Nevada. Simultaneously, she dropped a Maelstrom Bridge from the site of the now empty ruins into the Hoover Dam.

The massive dam was an obvious, and dangerous, hardpoint. The Bridge caused considerable damage, weakening the dam for what came next. The arrival of Nolava's reality impacted the San Andreas Fault, striking Southern California, and much of the realm with a massive Earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale. Then entire region was changed in moments, becoming almost unrecognizable in places, as quake and axiom wash transformed the realm into a piece of Nolava.

The quake utterly destroyed Hoover Dam, taking with it the electricity and water supply for much of the American southwest. Yamaguchi Energy has come to the aid of Los Angeles, and NorCal (Northern California) with Solar Power Plants and desalinization plants. Consumers in these regions are however faced with 167% increases in the bills.

 

The Cult of Beraie

Beraie is the goddess of the moon, chaos, fortune (both luck and wealth – especially silver) and transformation or change. The cult includes many shapeshifters, breeds, and mages specializing in Alteration, Photmancy, and Sorcery. She is also the traditional patron of Khufal, which made her a rallying force for the city's liberation.

Basjas has claimed a past association with the cult. Though it is a lie, her sheer power convinced most of the leadership to accept her. Those that didn't met with spider-related deaths.

 

Entering the Realm

Air travel is technically possible. The tech axiom supports Nile/Early-20th Century aircraft. However the storms along the border are quite severe. In addition to Reality values of 15-19, the wind sheer and weather necessitate Vehicle Piloting:Air difficulties of 18 or more (generate a bonus number, any value less than +1 is treated as 18).

Most of the roads have been totally destroyed, and those that haven't likely are missing bridges or have sufficient damage to make then unsuitable for anything but offroad vehicles, mounts or foot travel. Interstate 15 from Los Angeles and I-93 from Arizona remain viable routes to Las Vegas, though the military may soon change the fact. Many Realm Runners and Prospectors use these routes to head to the city, and its reported Sapphire Mines. The roads from Reno enter the realm but do not pass through the Great Sand Lake. The same is true of the highways from Salt Lake City.

A wide variety of mountainous and desert wilderness creatures and other dangers can be found along the way for those foolish enough to brave the realm.

 

Bakersfield (Southwest, Dominant)

This zone matches the southernmost zone of the former Nippon-Tech realm, and the city benefits technologically from that past occupation (when it works). The quake, as well as the appearance of various wilderness creatures, has cut off this city of 350,000 from the outside world. Fortunately the city has oil production and refining, as well as agricultural and food processing resources. This has left the city in good stead for the time being, though walls are being erected to keep out the creatures. At present, the police, and volunteers are patrolling the city to round up monsters that have already entered.

Of particular fear is a species of parasitic larval worms which tend to crawl into living organisms for protection while they finish gestating into their adult form. Their eventual exit tends to cause severe injury – especially if they were residing inside the ear canals of human hosts.

Several hundred people have been transformed into Gris, and their unsavory appetites are proving another threat to the city as well.

Edwards Air Force Base also lies within this zone, a testing ground for the Predator UAV, and one of the landing fields for NASA's newest orbital spaceplane, a Mitiya Low Orbital intended to replace the aging Space Shuttles. The base is under a hardpoint of Earth reality which allows the modern technology to function normally.

Fresno (Northwest, Dominant)

Fresno is also an agricultural center, and houses elements of all four branches of the US military, the California National Guard and Reserves. While many of these forces had previously been transferred to the borders of Tharkold, or the Western Land, only token forces remain since the World Storm rendered those realms largely under control.

That has allowed the military to focus on rooting out the forces of the Demon Lord Drortuli of Tharkold. Unfortunately, both sides now find themselves faced with a Relkazar infestation.

Great Sand Lake (North, Dominant)

Central Nevada has become a massive quicksand lake, which effectively cuts off any travel through this region. And those who come close are faced with Sandsharks.

Sidebar: Desert Hazards

[snip] This section is nearly a word for word reprint of the desert rules from Wilderness. [/snip]

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Utah (Northeast, Dominant)

Most of this zone is empty desert, with Salt Lake City and Provo outside the realm. Only a few small cities in the southwest corner of the state existed before the invasion, all of which now face great danger from Qweskworms.

 

Grand Canyon (Southeast, Dominant)

The Grand Canyon, and the entire northwest corner of Arizona are inside the realm, with Flagstaff just beyond the border. The Canyon is now home to hordes of Slashtors.

 

Palm Springs (South, Mixed-Tharkold)

Part of one of the former Nippon-Tech/Tharkold Mixed Zones. The city, renowned as a tourist destination has been infested with undead, notably ghouls and vampires. Throaths prowl the wilds beyond the city, as well as many of the former attractions.

 

Santa Barbara (Southwest, Mixed-Nippon-Tech)

Also part of a former Mixed NT/TH zone, as well as a tourist destination. Modern technology functions normally, and Earth's defenders consider the zone relatively secure. This is of little comfort since the region was practically flattened by the earthquake and drowned by the subsequent tidal waves.

 

Beyond the Realm

Los Angeles (and its suburbs within the Tharkold Mixed Zone) has been badly damaged by the quake. Demon Lord Orcantur and his pride have used this to resolidify their their hold on Bellflower. And Boruzai Construction, Yamaguchi Energy, and Ichi Entertainment are all making great advances in the region. Despite the devastation, the San Diego Naval Station, Miramar Naval Air Station, and Camp Pendleton are all still in operation.

San Francisco and Sacramento have been less badly affected, and were mostly recovered within a month. The Sacramento office of Team Omega – the American Intelligence Agency, which still uses Storm Knights extensively – has deployed most of its agents to perform reconnaissance of the Nolava realm.

East of the San Andreas Fault, and outside the realm, the quake was less severe, causing little significant damage.

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Las Vegas (South, Pure)

Las Vegas has faced both Nippon-Tech Yakuza, and Tharkoldu Techno-Demons. The mixed zone, and presence of universally high axioms values, made the city a popular destination for other non-Earth folk looking to get away from their home reality for whatever reason. Following the end of the war, and with 3327 no longer providing active support to the Yakuza, and Sterret too busy in the cosm to offer much support to its submissive, Demon Lord Ataz, Earth's military, law enforcement, corporate interests, and organized crime largely regained prominence over the city.

Some of said organizations had flipped to Marketplace reality, but were not allied with the former invaders. Overt Tharkold elements were eliminated, forcing the demons into hiding.

In short, the city was almost fully recovered.

And then Nolava arrived on April 1st, 1998. The Maelstrom Bridge destroyed the Hoover Dam cutting off power to much of the city for days. Earthquakes caused little damage to the city itself, but cut off roads, and exposed new dangers and opportunities in the desert. At the same time portions of Khufal were merged with the city - or the city altered in places to appear that way, in the end the results were the same.

Basjas, as leader of the invaders, assumed a de facto position of control. She opted however to grant some districts self-governance, provided the city law (such as it is) was enforced.

The city as a whole – not counting districts claimed by other cosms - has no actual government. But a massive bureaucracy is in place. A complicated, often contradictory bureaucracy, that leaves both Khufali and Vegan confused and often in trouble. For example, property taxes are paid monthly. They must be paid on the date specified, not before or after. But the specified date for some citizens is on the weekend, when the Tax Assessor's office is closed. The solution is to go on a day prior, wait through long lines, fill out many complicated forms, and offer the Assessor a bribe to accept early payment. Or pay the even greater penalty for delinquency – which also necessitates complicated paperwork.

LVPD remains in operation, and is expected to enforce city laws. However, there is no single book (or series of books) defining the city laws under Nolava occuption. Forcing the Police to use their own judgment. Which may not always be correct.

Many police officers have joined the Resistance.

A cornerstone law is that all citizens, residents, and transients must be able to pay all debts immediately. Anyone unable to do so – be it a hotel guest who goes broke at a casino, or a jaywalker who doesn't have their wallet on them – is considered to be in violation. First offenders may have someone else pay their debt, and fines, and be set free. Repeat offenders are sent to Public Works Projects as manual labor. There are three chief projects at the moment.

The first is construction of a new dam, which will convert hydraulic pressure into power via Inanimate Forces and Technomancy. (A small portion has been finished and provides power for the Strip). The second is building walls around the entire city – though district walls are also being erected as well. The third is the city-owned claims in the new Sapphire fields and Silver Mines in Red Rock Canyon.

The city still operates on Core Earth Dollars – though other currencies may be used in some districts, and exchanges are made by banks and casinos - though at rates that favor the house. Khufali prefer silver or a silver standard. Coinage (dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars) is minted locally, and local greenbacks ($1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100) are all backed by silver.

 

What Follows is an overview of the city's districts, working counterclockwise from the northwest.

 

Sun City

A retirement community in the northwest corner of the city. Predations by Yakuza and Tharkoldu are a thing of the past. Shadowers have largely wiped out the elderly, forcing the survivors to flee into better protected parts of the city.

 

Summerlin

A large area, subdivided into several planned communities. The main portion is nominally populated by Core Earth natives.

 

Canyon Gate

A subdivision of Summerlin, now home to the wealthiest of the Khufali. Imram Abujamal is one of the wealthiest of these. Though opposed to Grand Eaton, he is no ally to Chaos. Owner of several major industrial concerns, he employs perhaps 5% of the population.

 

The Lakes

Father Gerard Paget, a Cyberprotestant has turned a former wedding chapel on the edge of the Strip into a Cyberchurch. He has converted a former cybergang to followers, and charged them with the protection of his district. Demon Lord Ataz has agents in the region, stealing cybernetics, and power cells to maintain their own equipment.

The church is a hardpoint (about 100m), and contains a small fusion plant, which provides power for the district. Father Gerard views magic as the Devil's work, but still trades with Summerlin South for food for his people.

Though not all the residents of The Lakes are members of his congregation, Father Gerard at least is tolerant of other Christian denominations.

 

Summerlin South

Lady Priscilla Bendes holds this western district for Aysle. Elementalist mages have found they have only minor trouble with magic, and are able to provide both water and agriculture. These feed the locals, and the surplus is traded with The Lakes and Spring Valley for other resources.

A number of Breeds have flocked to the district, where a temple of Celay has taken them in. Temples of Areel and Darsot are also found in the district.

 

Spring Valley

The Tarot Gang makes their headquarters in the Luxor, but they have also laid claim to the southwest corner of the city. They operate an Eternium Power Plant, and trade power to the Bendes (who don't have much use for it themselves, though their subjects do) for food and water.

The Tarot Gang maintains 40 squads of shocktroopers uniformed in the manner of the Lesser Arcana, 10 Squads per Suit. Coins act as security for the Luxor. Cups guard the district's resources, and take in money for the sale thereof. Swords man the border, and keep out both wilderness creatures, and undesirables – meaning anyone the Tarot Gang considers trouble. And Staves act as a Protection Racket masquerading as a police force.

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Green Valley

South of the Strip, and technically a suburb of Henderson. This district is predominantly under Nolava control.

 

Henderson

Site of the work on the new Dam, this district is mixed Earth/Nolava. The majority of the cities' Elementalists are employed in constructing and operating the city utilities – water and power. A goodly number of the rest are presently building walls to protect the city from Wilderness Creatures.

 

Winchester

East of the Strip, a former middle-class district, now under the control of Ataz and the Tharkoldu. The Tharkoldu raid other districts for whatever they need. This is permitted due to a deal, and hefty bribes offered to, the temple of Beraie.

 

North Las Vegas

This middle-class district is home to residential, commercial, and industrial concerns – run by Khufali, Marketplace, and Core Earth concerns. Alchemist's Row is in this district, home to both apothecaries and physicians.

 

Nellis

Formerly an Air Force Base, crushed by the Tharkoldu. Yamaguchi Energy has bought a portion of the land, and was building a solar power plant. The facility is shut down for the moment, and considered under threat by Qweskworms. It serves as a secret base for Marsec, Police, and Mob forces – allied for the moment against the invaders. The air fields are still operable and some covert flights are capable of running the storm to provide needed weapons and supplies.

The surviving Grand Eaton soldiers in Khufal have allied with the Core Earth resistance – though they believe they should be in charge due to their greater experience and the fact their leader Colonel Yorick Eban Harlan-Fletcher is a ranking member of the forces of Order.

There are also refugees from Lereholm hiding among the ruins of the district. A small tribe lead by a priestess named Witha who enjoy the warm weather and relative safety found outside their own reality.

 

Paradise

Also known as The Strip. This district continues to operate essentially unchanged. Casinos are treated as temples – and Nolavan run casinos maintain a shrine to Beraie – and are exempt from certain secular laws, and are largely sovereign territories. The strip has (mainly because they can afford it) power, food, water, and anything else needed to keep a steady stream of business.

At the very south is MacCarron International Airport, which is technically open, though few pilots are willing to risk the storms. A Cyberpapal cathedral was located just north of the airport, but Fra St-Pierre and the clergy of Our Lady of the Electronic Salvation was slaughtered on the first night of the invasion. A pack of werewolves just didn't like the place. A GodNet uplink, and several secure datafiles remain in the ruined building.

The Luxor is under the control of the Tarot Gang, a group of Nile Empire villains. They have built a shrine to Bes, god of luck, in order to take advantage of the religious laws of the city. The High Priest is at a serious disadvantage due to the low Spiritual Axiom.

An Ogre named Golug has taken charge of a gang of Hugors, and in turn – while using a Facade spell to appear human – he has taken over the Excalibur. He has established a shrine to Kalim, though there are no formal priests.

A consortium of Core Earth and Marketplace casino owners retain control of Tropicana, the Palms, Flamingo, The Mirage, Riviera, Sahara and the Convention Center (the latter serves mainly as a supply depot). Unfortunately the Law of Intrigue works against them, Yamauchi Hikaru has fallen in with the invaders, and provides regular reports on the plans of the resistance forces. For now, Basjas lets them scheme, but she knows right where to strike to eliminate their weapons caches.

Caesar's Palace is now owned by Rais Hussan, a vampire. A skilled necromancer, he uses zuvembies as guards in the vault and counting rooms.

The Golden Palace, a former yakuza stronghold, is now the Silver Palace, temple of Beraie, and home to Basjas, and her chief Sorcerer, Dalri Blackstorm. The latter monitors the realm's stelae, and may utilize spells to relocate them if they become threatened.

The same werewolves who destroyed the Cybercathedral infected key personnel at the Circus Circus, which they renamed Cirque de Lune. Benjamin Ajam, the alpha maintains his rule through brute strength, and by allowing his pack to run wild periodically – slaughtering denizens of a foreign reality.

Many of the casinos employ Photomancers as entertainers. Esmond Adair, an incubus, is head of the Association of Waitresses, Showgirls and Whores, and has his offices at the corner of Flamingo and Paradise. Anyone practicing any of these professions must be a member of this guild. Male counterparts in the entertainment industry have a separate guild. And men in the other two professions need not belong to a guild at all.

 

Red Rock Canyon

West of the city is the former national park. Since the discovery of sapphires and silver in the hills, mining has begun. The Temple of Beraie, and other organizations connected to the city, own the largest and most productive claims. But independent prospectors hold small claims throughout the region. Sadly, ownership of these claims is hard to prove. Many false papers are issued by the unscrupulous. Worse, there are three different offices associated with the city that have the right to issue claims, there is no cooperation between them. So multiple claimants may have equal rights to the same plot.

Miners – specifically the unfortunate slave labor – claim to have felt a chill presence in the depths. They are frightened of certain tunnels, and refuse to enter them. It has gotten worse since the bodies. Miners' bodies, dead, without a mark on them. The mine supervisors need some brave, skilled souls to go down and find the cause.

 

Ravagons

A flock of Ravagons has taken up residence in the desert outside Vegas, preying on newfound stormers, and visiting Storm Knights.

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That's about it for now. I'm still fighting with myself between Magna Verita and Terra as my next book. (The latter will prove tricky to post, since the rules for Super Powers in the Silver Age are drawn from D6 Powers). After those comes Khem/Nile Empire. Then Gaea, and whatever Heketon backed realities I haven't already done mini-books for like this one.

After that comes TORG 2000, a tenth year Infiniverse Update, that will make my Year 7 update look small and incomplete (this is going to take a while).

And eventually, the Star Sphere.

 

I could actually use some constructive criticism on Nolava, so that I can better portray it in the future.

 

Edit: having mulled, I know the first thing I need to do is establish more motivations and personality for the NPCs mentioned. Then add some more for some of the other factions. And make something happening in the other districts. I may do a revised version in the near future.

 

Edit, the Second: Added a personalities section.

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Personalities of Vegas

 

Aysle

Lady Priscilla Bendes – Though somewhat young, only in her early thirties, Lady Priscilla has gained considerable power. And she is quite proud of her success. Though not directly involved in the war brewing on Aysle, she has made herself a vital part of the efforts of her House to regain all that was lost to the Tancreds. The resources gained from control of Summerlin South, are being sent home to finance the families' intrigues.

Priscilla is sympathetic to the Khufali who merely want self rule, free of Grand Eaton. And she is sympathetic to the people of Core Earth, who are fighting to save their very reality. As such, her knights and mages may be allowed to give aid to people or factions on both sides of the conflict in the realm.

 

Golug – an opportunist who has been in the right place at the right time. Sick of the racists of Aysle claiming his kind are Lesser Folk, he enjoys the – almost literal – worship of the Hugors. He has no grand scheme, simply to run his casino, become rich, and lord his success over the Ayslish.

 

Core Earth

Robert Moretti - An Italian-descended American, in his mid-fifties. Handsome, with graying hair. Owns the Riviera, the Tropicana, and is building a third casino.

Robert's grandfather built Vegas. His father was a close personal friend of Sinatra. Vegas is his city. And he will take it back.

The Yakuza, who once tried to take it from him, are now reduced to not quite lackeys, but not truly allies. The Tharkoldu have fallen from near masters of the city to scavengers. The Nolavans will be working for him in a few years.

Drawing on the lessons of the past, he has become an ally to any Storm Knights who seem capable, a friend and patron to the people, and a seemingly legitimate businessman. But when his soldiers strike, they do so without mercy.

 

Ben Chou - The Chinese-descended CEO of the Mirage, seems like the consummate Marketplace Corporate. Money is all that matters to him. He supports the Resistance because tourists equals dollars, and the current state of affairs has limited the tourist trade.

The Mirage is scheduled to host the Miss Cosmverse Pageant in a few months, and the possibility of losing that influx of guests is unconscionable.

 

Maxine Cousins and Dean Fletcher, Team Omega – Maxine is a Houston native lounge singer, who went undercover in the harem of the Field Marshal of Super Battlegroup Mobius, in order to keep tabs on him for the US. A doe-eyed blonde, seemingly frail and helpless, but with a strong right hook, and a crack shot with a pistol.

Dean was an exchange student in France when the war broke out, and studied technomancy, before returning home to try and save his Iowa home. His skill at stage magic, as well as the real thing, has proven useful in his work for the government.

The two were assigned by the Sacramento office to infiltrate the city, and gather intelligence, so that later teams may be able to liberate it. Both have taken gigs at Caesar's and are already learning a lot about the leaders of the Chaos Cults.

 

Cyberpapacy

Father Gerard Paget – Born on Magna Verita, and raised on the doctrines of the Avignon church. On Earth he preaches a mixture of Roman Catholicism, Martyred Hospitaller Jean LeClair – a Storm Knight who died defending Earth from Malraux and his High Lord peers. Though technically a part of the CyberReformation, his sermons bear little resemblance to Earth Protestantism. As such he is often mistrusted by Storm Knights. It does not help that he employs former Tharkold Gangslaves – who seem more like criminals than the police force they are supposed to represent.

 

Lost Worlds

Witha – An elder, at the ripe age of 38. A priestess of Vassen, and leader of a tribe of about eight hundred. Despite being the spiritual leader of her tribe, she has come to face her mortality. And realized that vampirism could be an answer.

Sabathine suspects that Basjas is involved in the fall of her realm on Earth. She has suggested to the priestess that finding proof could get her what she wants.

 

Elvis the Edeinos – The ever-popular Edeinos Elvis Impersonator is still performing at the Sahara. The influx of Nolavans, who have never heard of Elvis Presley, or Edeinos, has given him a whole new audience. Making him one of the most popular performers in Las Vegas today.

 

Marketplace

Yamauchi Hikaru – A former lieutenant of Izumi Shinano, Oyabun of Las Vegas. Izumi-sama died in the fall of the Golden Palace to the Cult of Beraie. What no one knows is that he was shot in the back. Hikaru cut a deal with Basjas. He serves as acting Oyabun, and a spy within the resistance. Hikaru will be well rewarded once the resistance, and the realm's Storm Knight defenders, are dead. Basjas has promised him control of all Organized Crime in the city. For now he makes due with running the Palms.

 

4940 – Head of MarSec for Las Vegas. She is nominally loyal to 7710 of Kanawa Enterprises, as the chief Marketplace CEO, and Triad member on Earth. However, fighting the Nolava invasion, and defending corporate interests in Vegas is just a paycheck. Succeed or fail, she is due for reassignment in a little over a year.

Not that it matters since her home in Donglin is gone.

During her spare time, 4940 goes prospecting in the Canyon – hoping to strike it rich, and have enough to retire someplace nicer than a single room apartment on Marketplace.

 

Nile Empire

The Emperor – Loves his new found power, and wants to expand. He has no greater goal, and despite himself – and the money, women, and other perks – he is becoming a responsible community leader.

 

The High Priest – has made it his ambition to become the next Imperial High Priest to Doctor Mobius. To that end, he serves as an agent of Janya Peterksi, watching Basjas and her plans. In the course of his activities, he might even aid Storm Knights.

 

The Hierophant and The Fool – while the other half of the gang are busy with their own schemes, these two are searching for the Nexus of Realities. When they find it, they plan to pull the ultimate heist – and become High Lords of their own cosms.

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Tharkold

Demon Lord Ataz – This subordinate of Prince Sterret can not admit defeat. Its decision to kowtow to Basjas has brought treachery and rebellion from the rest the pride. Which has required the visceral execution of several Tharkoldu.

Ataz is shifting to Order. It has conceived a plan to kill Basjas, and take her place – bringing all of the Nolava Realm under Its Domination.

Tz'Ravok

Diwarza – Chief Tzullat of the Grand Canyon Tribe. Several thousand Ravagons from Kth'Geddo migrated to the region, at the behest of Parok, migrated to the region. A fact unknown to Basjas when she established her realm. Diwarza has been tasked by Heketon to relocate the Nexus -which does not appear to be where it was. He is to guard it, and keep everyone out.

Diwarza has noticed that the tribe has faced an increased birth rate, but the cubs are weaker – lacking the connection to Tz'Ravok reality, and not faced with the same deadly dangers that Ravagons should experience. Continued life on Earth will make the Ravagons no longer Ravagons. And this fact is the heresy the Denyers warned of.

 

Nolava

Chaos

Dalri Blackstorm – A powerfully built man, with jet black hair – which is often wildly arrayed. A master sorcerer, he has cast spells connecting him to the stelae of the realm. Should any become endangered, Dalri will sense it almost simultaneously with Heketon. And even if Storm Knights block the Darkness Device, he can project spells through the stelae – even teleporting it to a new location if necessary.

Dalri is not entirely stable. He once accessed some other realm – either a dimension of Nolava, or perhaps another cosm entirely – and his main concern is to find his way back. What he saw there, and why he wants to go back, he will not say.

 

Rais Hussan – The Vampire owner of Caesar's Palace. Rais has been a Vampire since the later days of the godwar, when he was conscripted by the forces of Chaos. When he awoke from his transformation, he tried to go home – and saw his wife – he felt uncontrollable hunger, and killed her.

For over a thousand years, Rais has only desired to reclaim his true love. And every generation, Chaos taunts him. A woman, who resembles his love appears, he tries to win her – and inevitably something happens and she dies.

Most recently he encountered Julia Blaise, a Galitia born woman. He wooed her, setting her up in luxury in the Hotel Penthouse. And when she learned he was a Vampire, she hurled herself from the balcony. This time, Rais turned her even as she was dying. And she is still striving to end her existence.

In the casino vault, Rais keeps a treasure trove of magical artifacts, many of which are reputed to restore the dead, transfer souls, or otherwise aid in Rais efforts regain the love he lost. Rais is only loyal to Chaos, and Basjas, because it is the only way to regain his Love. If Order, or anyone else, had ever given him an option, he might have turned. But he has come to accept that Chaos is his only option.

 

Benjamin Ajam – Where Rais is a tortured figure, who hates what he has become, Benjamin Ajam is a Werewolf – and proud of it. He is a strong, powerfully built figure, notable for excessive body hair, a unibrow, and his third and fourth fingers are the same length. Despite this, he has animal magnetism, that makes men fear him and women desire him.

Ajam has made a pack of followers, and anyone who he deems strong and skilled enough is added to the pack. Eventually, there will come a recruit strong enough to defeat Benjamin, and that individual will be the next pack alpha.

For now, Benjamin rules the Cirque de Lune, and the presence of werewolves is made a part of the casino's charm. Shifters are part of the stage show, and lycanthropes patrol the game floor.

 

Simon Reuter – Commissioner of the Department of Water and Power. With limited energy production, he runs a lottery. Every district – except Paradise – gets power for the day, only if they win the lottery. With six districts, and not enough power to go around, that means a lot of people go without several days a week.

There have been numerous businessmen who have tried to bribe Reuter for power. He keeps the money, and has them arrested – and sent to work on the dam.

Reuter is obsessed with chance and gambling. Many fear that even when the dam is finished, and there is enough power to go around – he will still run a lottery.

 

Desiree Roux – Basjas' Succubus agent, responsible for setting plans in motion to destroy the Lereholm realm, leading to the current Nolava realm. For her efforts, she now has a mansion in Canyon Gate, and a suite at the Silver Palace, as well as more money than she can spend. But if anyone were to connect her to those events, she is evidence that could destroy Basjas.

And Desiree knows this. She is looking for a way to get back to Dela, where she can disappear. If she gets wind that Storm Knights could help her, she will reveal all she knows about Basjas, Heketon, and the rest of the High Lords.

 

Oathbreaker-Chaos

Sanya Anush – Preta High Priestess of the Orthodox Church of Beraie. Sanya was High Priestess of the Cult for centuries – starting before her death. When the godwar returned, she began agitating for Khufali independence – as a prelude to the subjugation of Eaton by the native population of the region.

And then Basjas stole her cult out from under her. And stole the city of Khufal, merging it with Las Vegas, and off Marl.

So now, Sanya has split from the cult, established her own sect. And stands in opposition to Basjas, and the cult she founded. The Orthodox Church has its temple in North Las Vegas, and Basjas would love to shut it down. But Sanya knows the truth about Basjas, and the source of her power. If Basjas moves directly against the Oathbreakers, both will burn. Sanya has a number of volunteers who provide her with the use of their bodies. Even without them, she can steal another body if needed. So Basjas can not be certain to eliminate her rival before it was too late.

 

Esmond Adair – as noted above, Adair is the head of the Association of Waitresses, Showgirls, and Whores. As an Incubus, this job allows him to constantly surround himself with women. Which is a lot like a fat kid running a candy store. Esmond doesn't abuse his power greatly, but that does not mean he doesn't.

Despite rumors, he does not force waitresses and showgirls into prostitution if they do not sleep with him. He doesn't need to. All he needs, is to get his prospective meal in the same room, and his magical talents do the rest. Nor does he kill – unless he has a reason to do so.

His power and position provide for his survival. They do not give him a reason to live. Esmond is bored. He may take an interest in any intrigue he discovers – either getting involved for a cut, or thwarting it for a favor. And he knows that the change in Khufal is a part of something big.

 

5847 – A Marketplace native, transformed to Nolava. 5847, owns the Sahara, and is a member of the resistance. He has sworn vengeance on the Demon Lord Ataz. He is currently studying Nolavan Technomancy, with an eye toward the death of his enemy, and – of course – profit.

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So, I have ever more appreciation for professional fiction writers. The last two posts were written over the last three days. And they are really starting to get repetitive. I need to find more vices and ambitions than sex, money, and power. Order, Ob-O, and Unaligneds will probably be a few days as I take a break and come up with some motivations. Looking at about 7-8 more entries, about half unaligned.

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Oathbreaker-Order

Elijah Atteberry – Preacher for the Cult of He Who Is Called I Am, a Pro-Magic sect of Christianity based in North Las Vegas, just outside Paradise. He has lead his church for decades, guiding the faithful through the invasions of Yakuza and Tharkoldu. The existence of other realities has forced Elijah to re-examine the bible. He has reconsidered old, deeply held beliefs – and has deemed that magic must have been a part of God's plan.

With the arrival of Nolava, and neighbors that many believe have always lived here, Elijah believes that God has called him to spread the Word to the people of Nolava. He has even found new believers. And since Divine power does not flow naturally in the realm, he has been fortunate indeed, that many Vitomancers have joined his flock.

The Cult also runs the only Bloodline in the city. Elijah asks for blood donations from the congregation, as well as the few homeless that have avoided being press-ganged (he pays them with food, shelter, and when he can a little cash from the offering plates). There are those that resent this. Those who feel the undead should be eradicated. And those among the undead who feel that the bloodline is demeaning – that vampires should hunt for their food.

Elijah, and his church are not formally aligned with Order, though they serve the cause in their own way.

 

Malachai Sokolof – The head of Illusion Studios, now based in Henderson. The studio makes Conjurevids, as well as performances for the crystal sets. (The Core Earth natives in the city have taken to calling it “DM Radio”, DM for Divination Magic).

Malachai locks his stars into long-term contracts. Though paid almost meagerly by the standards of the cosm, they are also given nice houses, cars, clothes, and other luxuries. All of which belong to the studio, and if an actor wants to quit – they must relinquish all these perks, and pay for the months or years they have been using them for free. Needless to say, his stars don't quit lightly, and those in the know fear being fired.

Malachai is nominally an agent of Akar. However, he has refused to answer the call from Colonel Harlan-Fletcher or Prelate Cyrilla. His efforts could easily have turned the tide, preventing Beraie from taking control of the city. Instead he opted to not to take either side. But his news broadcasts, and editorials did limit the riots and revolution to removal of government officials, and some property damage. And once it was over, most of the general public went back to worrying about paying the mortgage.

 

Order

Police Chief Kendall Malloy – A Las Vegas native, Kendall has transformed to Nolava reality. To maintain the police force he has had to implement changes. In lieu of taxation, he has persuaded community leaders to finance the police directly. He has also gained assistance from Core Earth government officials outside the realm, since his force serves as a resistance. He has also begun employing Forensic Mages, and purchasing runeslugs and other arcane tools.

While the police are becoming an organized resistance, Kendall's personal life has suffered. His son, Patrick, has dropped out of school, and has been spending time in the company of known Beriae cultists.

 

Colonel Yorick Eban Harlan-Fletcher – Descended from ancient Eaton Nobility. He truly believes that he is destined to lead, and that if he can rally the city, he can make everything right, and return Khufal to its proper place on Marl. He is a good leader, and skilled at both administration and strategy. But his arrogance makes it hard for anyone not born in Grand Eaton to find common cause with him.

Though facing the middle age spread, Yorick is still a muscular man, who insists on keeping his attire and person immaculately groomed. Though he has been forced to put away his uniforms for secrecy, he still wears crisp, well tailored suits.

Yorick has tried to rally the Yakuza, Syndicate, and Police under his leadership – but while they respect his experience, the leaders of the other factions refuse to give him direct command of their own people.

 

Prelate Cyrilla Tamsyn – Another Grand Eaton expatriate. The local head of the Order of Akar, and direct subordinate to the Pontifex. She was also nearly killed multiple times during the revolt. Even now, Benjamin Ajam's pack are hunting for her.

Having suffered such a humiliating defeat, followed by the cities' transformation, Cyrilla is suffering from depression. And her faith has been shattered.

 

Unaligned

Imram Abujamal – This industrialist is aged and sick. Despite his vast fortune, he is dying. And desperation has lead to a plan. First he hired Private Detective Toni Blaise to follow his young, third wife. Blaise proved his wife was cheating on him, and he then implicated Blaise in his wife's death. With her dead, Imram has no heirs – except the one he intends to create.

He has learned that Rais Hussan has an artifact in his vault. One which can transfer a person's soul into a new body. He plans to force a group to steal it – inviting Hussan's wrath. And then use the artifact to take over a chosen, young, healthy, body.

 

Lou Nichols - A small, scraggly-haired man in his early thirties. He runs a pawnshop on the edge of Sun City. A pawnshop that serves as a front for scavengers in the district, as well as a variety of black market sales. Lou is also a wererat, which makes a great many potential customers leery if they find out.

 

Pascal Zacharias – This Shipping Magnate appears to all eyes to be a legitimate businessman. Except nothing about him is true. Firstly, he isn't human. He is a Gris, born Psishaj Zhatsoghoz, using a Facade spell. He began as a street pusher, and worked his way up to bootlegging Tarik liquor. With the transmigration, he lost most of his fleet. He has invested in smaller ships to bring goods in along the Colorado River, and has hired technomancers to invent a device used by Core Earthers – the airplane.

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Still don't feel like this really did Bloodshadows justice. But I think the cast of characters was an improvement. I gotta admit, Noir is not my strong suit. I'd love to know what others think.

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