Author Topic: Lore of the Ancestries of Norbayne and Surrounding Lands  (Read 4421 times)

Phoenixguard09

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Lore of the Ancestries of Norbayne and Surrounding Lands
« on: February 02, 2023, 11:11:40 AM »
Good evening all.

The game of Norbayne has been in development now for a truly obscene amount of time. In that time, we have seen a massive amount of content developed, however finding and consuming this content has not always been particularly easy.

This is the first step in attempting to rectify this.

Please join us for a detailed deep dive into the lore and inspiration of the various peoples of Norbayne and its surrounding lands. This will be illustrated as best we can with miniatures created on HeroForge, as while our development team is blessed with a great range of assets and abilities, free time is sadly not one of them.

First, we shall be exploring the various people who make up the lineage known broadly as Midlanders, however in time we will see all the playable peoples available in the game, some who will not be playable upon release but we expect to provide support for down the track and perhaps, even some peoples we have no immediate playable plans for. Who knows what the future may hold?

Well, I do. The immediate future holds Midlanders.
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: Lore of the Ancestries of Norbayne and Surrounding Lands
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2023, 01:01:12 PM »
MIDLANDERS

Basic Genealogy
To an extent, the base heritage of most of the various sapient species of the world are usually shrouded in myth. The coming of the Aen'Cead saw significantly increased levels and complexity in both the evolutionary and cultural development of many of the extant species of the world at large, an uplifting of sorts which saw sapient life grow prevalent across the world.

The Midlanders were no different. Somewhere far west of the modern-day continent of Norbayne, large primates descended from the trees and developed into a bipedal, terrestrial species. When this occurred, relative to the coming of the Aen'Cead, is unknown. Relatively hardy and adaptable to all manner of environmental conditions, these proto-Midlanders were very successful. We know not what their early cultures were like, nor even what they called themselves, however Midlander myths in the modern era tell of the so-called 'Green Land', where their people first came into being. These myths are scarce on detail, painting an idyllic picture of bountiful land, free of war and strife. The truth of this cannot be discerned, however it is unlikely, for the Midlanders of the modern era are descended from those who left this 'Green Land', undertaking a particularly difficult and dangerous voyage over The Apeiron Ocean.

In appearance, Midlanders in the current era look much like you and I. They are essentially humans as we know them, in all the shapes, sizes and appearances you would be familiar with.

General History
The very early history of the Midlanders is lost to the mists of time and the devastation which overtook the far side of the planet upon the coming of the Formoraigh and the fall of the Aen'Cead. We do know they came from over western waves, settling the lands they found in between their point of origin, the so-called 'Green Land' and their final destination, the western shores of Norbayne itself.

This initial contact with the Midlanders on Norbayne is now referred to as the Midland Settling, whereupon the newly-arrived Midlanders began to carve out a region of this new continent for themselves, particularly driving conflict between them and the endemic Fyrst-Dynion peoples. The Fyrst-Dynion Valleyfolk were wiped out in this conflict, caught between the newly arrived Midlanders and the sweeping advance of the Swallowed Wrothdar of the tained Sidhe, Maudh. Further details on these events will be disclosed in our Fyrst-Dynion and Wrothdar entries in the future.

In the modern era, there are four main branches of the Midlander lineage which remain in the world, each relatively distinct, in some cases by appearance, but largely by culture and influence.

HIGHLANDERS

History & Religion
Upon arriving on the shores of Norbayne, the Midlanders spread swiftly, able to adapt easily to all manner of conditions to be found on the continent. Many made their home in the northern expanses of the continent, in the lands between the Deighlas Mountains and the mighty Wardenfells, warring against the Fyrst-Dynion Valleyfolk and Woodsmen, the Swallowed, the dispossessed Dwarves of fallen Nyjarnverk and even the northern Danann clans of the Gheimridhe in equal measure.

It is usually quite cold north of the Neck, windswept, snowy and not particularly fertile and as such the Highlanders never became quite as populous as their kin to the south and further west over the seas.

At the time of the rise of Maudh, the northern highlands became a particularly dangerous place to attempt to eke out an existence, with both the fauna of the region and even the weather driven to extremes by the terrible influence of the tainted Sidhe. The Swallowed Wrothdar tribes of the Deighlas were whipped into a frenzy by the selfsame entity and they poured south, driving all manner of peoples before them. The fractious nature of the highland kingdoms left alliances thin on the ground, and as no individual king or warlord could stand against the fell power of the north, death and destruction reigned across the hills and valleys in the shadows of the Deighlas Mountains.

Upon the arrival of the Bosavir and the establishment of the Bovus Empire, many of the northern highland kingdoms were subjugated and made vassals of the Empire. Those which were not brought into the fold were by and large destroyed by this new, powerful and militaristic state.

Despite the political power the Bosavir held across the breadth of the majority of the continent, they have never been a particularly numerous people, outnumbered significantly by the Midlanders and as such, when the Empire did eventually fall nearly four hundred years later, the northern highlands reverted back to the dominance of Highlander rule. These lands were split between kingdoms both newly established in the aftermath of the Empire's fall, and old, tracing back to before the arrival of the Bosavir, which had managed to survive, usually through shrewd diplomacy before rising in open revolt in the final days of Bovus hegemony.

While Highlanders are currently found predominantly in the northern climes of Norbayne, many of their kingdoms having sprung up in the shadow of the Deighlas Mountains, they are not an uncommon sight on the southern coasts of the continent of Unterguardt, and the various islands which make up the Norstrand and even the Mystrand, though it should be noted they are rarer there.

By the current timeframe of our games played to date (largely between 1650CE-1750CE), many of the northern cities are less populated and fewer in number as compared to their contemporaries, and as such, as far as general technology is concerned at least, circa ~1650CE, the Highlands of Norbayne are not as advanced as more southern realms.

Language and Cultural Real-World Influences
The Highlanders of Norbayne have found their culture influenced in part by the Indalt-speaking peoples of the far north, endemic to the northern continent of Unterguardt. As such, while they largely speak a legible dialect of the Common Tongue (itself now simply an evolution of the historical Midlander language), often with an admittedly thick accent, there are often many loan words from Indalt and Cainte language groups which have become a common part of Highlander parlance.

It is fair to say, from the perspective of a player, the Highlanders have a strong Scottish influence. Your best approximation of a Scottish accent is a great start.

Physical Appearance
Highlanders do not diverge significantly from the standard physiology of the Midlanders as a rule. The north has a well-founded reputation for breeding strong and hardy people. As such, they tend towards a comparatively heavy, powerful build. They do tend, at least in stereotype, towards a pale skin tone and reddish or dark hair, though blonde and brown hair is not exactly uncommon.

Signature Fashion and Armaments
At home in the cold north, furs, hides and thick leathers are the choice of the day, the better to ward off the biting wind and chill snow.

At war, formations of infantry clad in chain with long kite shields and spears remain the bulk of any force. Cavalry tend to make up the elite. Knightly orders are rare in the north, but do exist, and heavy cavalry clad in half-plate and chain, armed with lances and mounted on hardy garrons are a staple of the military in most northern kingdoms.

The targe is a uniquely highland weapon, a roundshield of moderate size, fitted with a spike protruding from the boss, which in some cases can be quite prodigious. In this way, the targe provides an additional point of attack.

Iconic personal weapons include broad-bladed daggers, called dirks, straight-bladed cruciform arming swords and large, two handed claymore greatswords. These weapons are rarely seen as primary weapons on the battlefield, but are commonly carried by the general populace in the case of the first, and as secondary sidearms by military and other martial sorts in the case of the latter two.

Military Notes
The highland realms are, by and large, feudal, and so armies are individually raised, equipped and supplied by the lords, all of which fight under the king's banner, or at least the standard of whichever local lord is drawing up the force. Casters are a well-established part of most highland militaries, and have a long history of being utilised in warfare, often as skirmishers.

Sample Characters
Angus McFyfe
We have seen a few Highlander characters over the course of our games to date. The first of these was Duke Dev's Highlander Shaman from the Great Maw campaign, Angus McFyfe.

Spoiler: Angus McFyfe (click to show/hide)

Originally hailing from the northern kingdom of Crowpeak, the realm which rules the Spur of the North and the Norstrand islands which are almost scattered across the ocean to the west, Angus was a scion of a house which once was royalty in its own right, but has now found itself consigned to merely minor nobility.

As for Angus himself, after a Krona incursion on one of the islands of his home, he joined the Seekers of the Flame and took ship to the Kandsza Islands, where he properly joined the war effort against the bestial threat. There, on Zariste, the largest of the Kandsza Islands, Angus was integral to the efforts of the Seekers, eventually forming a pact with a Formoraigh sleeping under the great lake in the centre of the island, at great cost to himself.

Angus, along with the Dunscarth, Mathlynn Cild-Aillith, was responsible for the creation of the Oilleann Aisling, the Island Dream, one of the greatest magical workings of the current era, which was then used as bait to lure the extraplanar entity which had crash-landed far to the west of Zariste. This all came to a swift end however when the Maw arrived. Angus sacrificed himself in the ensuing carnage, giving his allies the best chance he could to survive.

As for Angus himself, his fate remains largely unknown, however rumours abound of his shade surviving in some form or another, joined with the conglomeration of Sidhe now lost under the waves.

As we can see, despite the almost tropical environment on the Kandsza Isles, Angus is still dressed fairly traditionally for his people, with warm clothes, made predominantly of wool and leathers.

If you would like to read Angus' adventures more fully, the majority of the Great Maw campaign has been written, with the last few episodes soon to be uploaded.

Please follow this link to read the Great Maw campaign as it currently stands.

Michael McFyfe
The next Highlander we see as a player character is one which again, belongs to Duke Dev, his Highlander Berserker from Seven Stones and a Pale Shadow, Michael McFyfe, Angus' nephew.

Spoiler: Michael McFyfe (click to show/hide)

A mercenary from the north, Michael arrived in Stonebridge hungry, tired and looking for work. He had been walking for weeks at that point, making his way south, being guided only by a vague sense he was indeed going the right way.

It was there, in the Pallid Mare Inn of Stonebridge, Michael met the Leathe, Ailbhe Blackrose and the course of his life was irrevocably altered.

While we have in essence only completed the first two arcs of Seven Stones and a Pale Shadow, Michael has become almost a surrogate father-figure for most of the company. A generally well-meaning, if somewhat neglectful father-figure, who is trying his best but is largely under-equipped for the task.

The last we saw Michael, he was renting a small house on the western edge of the town, where he lives with Ailbhe. He has been trying to teach her to sail or at least navigate watercraft, but the Leathe has, as yet, proven to be a slow learner. Michael has found himself drenched in the water of the Adhainn River more than once due to Ailbhe's propensity to overturn all manner of boats.

Michael is a pretty good example of what your typical Highlander mercenary would look like. His shield in game is actually a targe, and as such should replace the central boss with an approximately eight inch long spike. HeroForge still has the occasional limitation sadly.

Keen-eyed readers may note the hilt of a large claymore slung over Michael's shoulder.

Michael's adventures can be read in the Seven Stones and a Pale Shadow campaign write-ups, which can be viewed via this link to the write-ups on Exilian.

Gwynevere McAilleanach
Our final character for this evening, Gwynevere was played by Ladyhawk95 during LaPimpDaddy's The Arcana campaign, which is currently on hiatus.

Spoiler: Gwynevere McAilleanach (click to show/hide)

A proud, wilful young woman from the modest town of Dornoch, Gwynevere was born the daughter of Douglas and Bridgit McAilleanach, two wealthy landowners of a storied highland clan. Their firstborn, William, was strong and hale, ten years Gwyn's elder and the pride of the family. When Gwynevere was born, however, she was small, weak and sickly. Thanks to skilled healer in Dornoch, Gwyn's life was saved and she matured, however she never did become to healthy and hearty daughter her parents expected and wished her to be.

She was strange as a child and events stranger still began to occur around her. Objects would levitate or even disappear, fires would start without flint or tinder and they would find her in the oddest locations, unable to determine how and when she had managed to get there. It did not take long for Douglas and Bridgit to realise Gwynevere was capable of harnessing magic.

Years passed, Gwyn's powers progressed and eventually she was forced to leave home, seeking tutelage in the academy of the Brilliant Towers of Drell. It is there the story of The Arcana picks up, but for now, the rest of Gwynevere McAilleanach's story remains untold.
The Norbayne Campaign Instagram page. Give us a cheeky follow if you like. :)
By the power of Ga'haarr I command you to vanish! VANISH!
I CANNOT BE KILLED BUT WITH FIRE!
(\__/)
(='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your
(")_(") signature to help him gain world domination

Crazier than a crack-head cat and here to make sticky treats out of your vital organs.