Just plain old me.
- Jan 11, 2017
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Dialga’s Gate – Time Rift Zone
The God of Time rages. Its Roar, furious and all-powerful, has ripped open the fabric of time, creating a rift in Fizzytopia where the chronological flow is unstable… Scientists are almost unanimous in their assessment that traversing this breach is highly dangerous, due to the unpredictability of the results - but as with all things forbidden, curiosity can be overpowering…
The tear is small, almost imperceptible to the naked eye – merely a single point in the outskirts of New Fizz City where reality waves unnaturally, as if one is seeing the landscape ahead through a glass of water. But for those who know how to find it, walking through that rift is like passing a door to a completely different world. One can never know exactly where – or, more importantly, when – they will find themselves, or if another rift will appear to allow them to return, but adventure unfailingly awaits the intrepid explorers every time! All they have to do is hurry, before Dialga calms down once again and the gate is lost…
An ancient land of sand and heat, home to some of the most incredible monuments in human history. The locals are as warm as the weather, inventive and resourceful, devout worshippers of all manner of Pokémon as godly avatars. Temples and shrines are erected in honour of many of these Pokémon, and gargantuan tombs – known as pyramids – are raised in honour of deceased Kings, seen as incarnations of Arceus itself. The current ruler, Osetep I, has already ordered his servants to begin construction on his own pyramid, despite being a healthy man in his early thirties.
Although the land is dry and scarce in wildlife, human settlements built by the water are bustling with all manner of activities, and some of the more ancient and imposing constructions house formidable secrets and treasures. Explore at your own risk, remember to stay hydrated at all times and be mindful of curses! (please reply in darkorange)
Town of Heroth: A settlement built on the margin of the land’s only river, relatively small in comparison to the bustling cities of Egya. The people are welcoming, and much more simple-minded than the scholars and artists of the capital; their concerns are those of mundane life: prosperous agriculture and pleasing the gods. Humans and Pokémon live alongside one another, in mutual respect and understanding – a close relationship that has been somewhat lost in the bigger cities. Travelers will find no shortage of people to help in Heroth, should they be inclined to do so; alternatively, they can visit the local market, where food and trinkets of all sorts can be haggled for – most of it is junk, but sometimes…
Library of Alexia: The capital of Egya is home to all sorts of great thinkers and men of politics. The Library of Alexia is home to the ancient world’s single largest collection of scrolls, both in hieroglyphics and hieratic, on all manner of subjects – including writings about the dead, magical arts and all kinds of other strange topics. Writers, philosophers and politicians from all over Egya gather at the Library to discuss new ideas, seek inspiration and ask for advice on matters of state.
The Great Lighthouse: One of the architectural prides of Alexia and a literal beacon of hope to all sailors traversing the open sea to the north of Egya, or even the land’s only river. The Lighthouse - the single tallest building in all of the land - has been casting its light with fire for centuries, but the scarcity of wood in Egya is a long-standing problem, and the capital’s greatest minds have been dedicating their efforts to finding viable alternatives. Because, no matter what, the light cannot go out, for the sake of every sailor making their way into, or out of, Alexia.
The Temple of Basti: A place of worship in the heart of Alexia, built by devoted followers of the Feline Goddess. Basti is said to heal and destroy with equal ease; her saving mercy is the wall between Man and the Afterlife as much as her damning anger is the path towards it; it is for this reason that Cat Pokémon are sacred in Egya. The temple is a large building of white stone, filled with offerings at the feet of a massive statue of Basti, and order is kept by the many priests who constantly strive to keep the goddess pleased - often requesting help from outsiders to do so...
The Pyramid of Tokeb: Egya is home to several impressive tombs, but none as large and architectonically perfect as the Pyramid of Tokeb. Built in honour of the eponymous King, its construction dates back over a century, and is said to be filled with both unspeakable treasures and infinite, maze-like tunnels that no man has ever walked out from. As such, there is nobody left alive who knows exactly how to traverse the tomb, or what truly lies inside…
The White Sands: If one chooses to ignore the settlements, and steps out into the desert, they will find themselves in the seemingly infinite White Sands – a blanket of eroded stone that burns as fiercely during the day as it freezes mercilessly during the night. It is said that the White Sands, having no life of their own, hungrily claim that of all who traverse them – and who knows what else they might have devoured and kept concealed…
The land of progress, democracy and idealism, the birthplace of philosophy and cradle of modern civilization. The natives are intensely curious about anything unknown to them, and are often prone to experimenting new things in all fields of existence, from science to love.
They are also a religious people, much like the Egyans, but unlike them, Grecans seem more motivated by fear of the gods rather than admiration. Pokémon are not seen as sacred in Greca, since their gods are depicted as human-like, but some particular species enjoy a place of considerable reverence as fabled companions to these gods.
Contrary to Egya, Greca places much more worth in the wonders of life than in the moment of death; also, the people’s focus in on sciences and arts much more than in big architectural achievements. As a result, most buildings in Greca are not particularly awe-inspiring or elaborate, but taking time to talk to the locals can reveal some immensely interesting characters. (please reply in springgreen)
The Agora: The closest thing to a city square, the Agora is where everything happens in Greca. The public meeting place of politicians, who discuss their visions among themselves to be presented at the Stone of Proclamation; the trading hub of Greca, where every wealthy merchant goes to sell rare goods; and the area with the greatest amount of artist studios, where the most prominent sculptors and pottery artists apply their craft.
Oracle of Meria: Located on the peak of the land’s highest mountain, where winds are merciless and rainfall perpetual, the Oracle of Meria is said to be a woman of unfathomable power among humans, and many wonder if she isn’t in fact a deity. Much like her immortal Pokémon companion, one of her eyes is said to see the past and the other the future – and were it not for the extremely inhospitable conditions of the area, many Grecans would flock to her for advice from the gods…
The Amphitheatre: The pride and joy of Greca’s entertainment business, all manner of spectacles take place in the Amphitheatre, and only the most talented of artists are selected to perform in front of the masses. The very best are said to make veritable fortunes if their performances meet the crowds’ lofty expectations, but if they don’t...
Temple of Golgades: Located in the heart of the mainland, this Temple is a famous place of worship dedicated to Golgades, God of Victory. It is said that pleasing this deity grants success in all life’s endeavours, which unfortunately lures many charlatans and non-believers looking for an easy solution to life’s problems. The path to the temple has a mysterious rock that has been infused with an electric current. Locals say that they have seen Pokemon become stuck together near the stone.
The Olympion: Those more inclined for sports will find plenty of competition in the great stadium of Greca, the renowned Olympion. All manner of competitions – speed, endurance and even body-to-body combat – are held here regularly, both for humans and Pokémon. Skill is handsomely rewarded, but only the elite athletes of each sport are invited to compete.
Isle of Cabrys: If one is looking to cast aside all worries, however briefly, this small southern isle is the place to go. A single settlement of fishermen exists here, and everyone lives blissfully unaware of the political commotion of mainland Greca. Life here is simple and straightforward, sun and sea abound, and the most trouble one might run into is a bad day for fishing or a wild Pokémon causing a bit of ruckus.
Order, Discipline, Power. The people of Romma have grown embedded in the three Virtues, and as a result have become a formidable nation. Rommans are composed, rigorous to a fault and often unapproachable, but it’s hard to refute their superiority.
Emperor Darius Agramas and his Phalanx – the chosen few hand-picked by Agramas to rule his people – are revered as the pillars of society and embodiments of the three Virtues. Their word is absolute, and Romma strives under their guidance.
Romman architecture is remarkable in scope and execution, and the whole capital is tailored to indulge the richest members of society. But particularly impressive is the nation’s military prowess, a flawlessly coordinated war machine where Pokémon are as vital (and well-trained) as human warriors, and the pride of all Romma. Combat is both a means of conquest and of entertainment in the ever-expanding empire, and the wealthiest patrons are known to spend considerable amounts of coin in fighting spectacles… (please reply in red)
The Aqueduct: One of the Empire’s most impressive architectural achievements, not only due to its colossal size, but also its ingenious purpose. In reality, the stone Aqueduct is still incomplete, but already runs for several kilometres; however, the engineers seem to be struggling to finish the magnificent construction…
The Colosseum: A gigantic circular construction with hundreds of stands surrounding a wide clay field. This is the ultimate arena, built from the ground-up with a single purpose: glorious combat in its purest form. The strongest combatants from around the world – Pokémon and human alike – long to fight in the Colosseum, hoping to showcase their skills in front of Darius Agramas himself.
Imperial Palace: The majestic residence of the Emperor, only those with a strong enough reputation on the streets of Romma are invited for an audience. And when the Emperor calls, one answers – there is no greater honour than serving the Phalanx, and the potential rewards are staggering. If one is caught trespassing, however…
Baths of Agramas: Romma’s most famous public bathhouse, it is actually only open to a particular kind of “public” – the richest members of Romman society. Politicians and high-ranking military officers come to discuss secret matters away from prying eyes and ears – despite this being a renowned bathhouse, some of the dirtiest secrets in Romma are laid bare in these meetings. Some people are willing to pay extremely well for even a snippet of these private conversations…
Circus Solemnus: Another aspect in which Romma loves to display its superiority is through the nation’s unparalleled mastery of horsemanship. Races of all kinds are held in the Circus, both chariot and horseback competitions, and the prizes for the victorious riders are comparable to the richest rewards of the Colosseum. Competitors are encouraged to bring their own Pokémon – thus showcasing not only their riding ability, but their raising talents as well – but the Circus has mounts available for those solely interested in racing.
Horti Agraminae: The largest public garden in all of Romma, located near the Imperial Palace; one of the palace’s balconies oversees the park, from where Darius Agramas occasionally graces visitors with a smile and hand wave. The garden is impeccably maintained at all times, and has a nice balance of grassy open spaces, dense woodland areas and flowery mazes filled with gorgeous topiaries. All kinds of Pokémon are drawn to this pleasant location, and people are encouraged to interact with them, since safety is ensured by the ever-present park watchers.
Perhaps no region is as steeped in tradition as Niha, on the eastern side of the world. Its people follow customs as old as the land itself, every single action seen as a tribute to their mighty gods.
Nihans are ritualistic in their everyday life, from the way they dress to the way they eat. They uphold the value of honour above all other qualities, and will go to any lengths necessary to ensure they are remembered only for their honourable actions – the severity of any punishment must always equal, if not surpass, that of the misdeed. As a result, Nihans can come across as distant and excessively formal, but their hearts are in the right place.
Niha is a land where human constructions are scarce and simple, and most buildings are erected to honour the local deities. The vast majority of the region remains claimed by nature, and Nihans have learned to make the most of the land without upsetting this balance. (please reply in plum)
Megami Shrine: Atop a small, isolated hill is a shrine dedicated to Megami, the goddess of many faces, mother to humans and Pokémon according to Nihan belief. People from all over the land come to pay their respects and make their requests to the goddess by leaving a small tribute. There are no chairs in the Shrine – both the main building and the small pagoda nearby have only a small number of cushions for kneeling prayers, yet this does not dissuade even the oldest of believers. Some say that there have been attempts at stealing the faithful’s donations…
Hiken Tower: Natives seeking to master the sacred art of battle enter this Tower at the age of six, and only come back out once they are branded warrior monks, a process that may take over twelve years for some. When they leave, these monks are then recruited to join the Shogun’s army as holy defenders of Niha. Only those with true potential are accepted inside Hiken Tower, but the doors are always open to outsiders looking to get a small taste of Nihan battle training; it is said most give up after three days.
Cherry-Blossom Garden: One of many sprawling fields of cherry trees, it is especially beautiful during blooming season – which can last anywhere from five days to one month in Niha. Locals do not maintain this garden as one would a public park; instead, they let nature run its course, and dare not tamper with the trees in any way, as that would be disrespecting the gods who created such natural perfection. Wild Pokémon abound in the garden, having long understood that human interference is minimal, although people are allowed to cross the fields and linger as long as they please. Deep in the garden rests a large boulder covered in moss... it is said to have an interesting effect on certain species of Pokémon.
Rice Fields: Most Nihans make a living in the rice fields by the water, working tirelessly to grow this precious grain that feeds the entire nation. It is a physically demanding job, but many locals work well into their elderly years since this is their only source of income. As a result, injuries are frequent, as are infections transmitted by waterborne insects that dwell in the pools where rice grows. Although a paradise for many different Pokemon species, the rice fields can be dangerous to humans, and while there’s always work to be done for any who want to try, it’s also not rare to find workers in need of medical assistance…
Shiro Castle: The black stone palace of Shogun Kenzo Kirihara, Niha’s highest military figure and de facto ruler of the nation. A man in his sixties but with strength and skill rumoured to be unparalleled in all the land, he surrounds himself with the finest warrior monks and Pokémon, making Shiro Castle an impenetrable fortress. It is from this castle that the Shogun dictates the laws of Niha, formulates battle plans against any invading forces – of which there are plenty in the current day – and selects the Hiken Tower graduates that will serve under him. To be granted an audience with Kenzo Kirihara is the absolute highest honour in the eyes of any Nihan.
Considered by many to be a land of brutal warriors and bloodthirsty warmongers, and no Scandian will ever deny it. This northern peninsula is home to some of the fiercest, most barbaric fighters in the world, whose strength in combat is only matched by their sailing skills.
From a very young age, Scandians are taught to handle three things: an axe, a Pokémon and a boat. Both the axe and the Pokémon stay with them their entire lives; boats are plundered, stolen and swapped as the need arises. They spend most of their lives at sea, sailing to any neighbouring lands yet to be explored, waging war with nations they deem worthy, pillaging and putting to the torch all the others.
Gods, too, are instruments in their warring ways – all of them said to be favoured by glorious combat and conquest. Scandians honour their deities with blood and victory, or valiant death in the face of a stronger foe. As a result, they fear nothing, living only for the thrill of battle, and that makes them all the more dangerous. (please reply in deepskyblue)
Borg Keep: Home to the Jarl of Scandia, Bernhardt Ivarson, a massive fortress of rock and ice that has never been conquered. Riches plundered from other lands are brought here, where the Jarl keeps the lion’s share and divides the remaining spoils between the warriors who claimed the most lives in the raid. Tasks Bernhardt needs taken care of, either within Scandia borders or across the sea, are issued here by the Jarl himself, who isn’t particular about the people he lets inside the Keep so long as they have any worth to him.
Valheim Port: The harbour from which every Scandian Warship departs, this is both the meeting point of great warriors and the prime spot for commerce in the entire land. Merchants carry some very interesting goods, both from the frozen grounds of Scandia and exotic goods pillaged from conquered lands that are “unaccounted for” and thus never make it to Borg Keep. There is good money to be made here, and in order to reach the open seas, one must inevitably pass by Valheim Port if they are to board one of the vessels.
”The Skall” Longship: The oldest ship in the Scandian fleet, and most would agree, the best. The Skall has travelled countless miles and reached a hundred different shores. The man who designed it has long since passed, and no other has been able to build a similarly magnificent warship. When a particularly large, profitable raid is in sight, The Skall is inevitably the ship that will make the journey – it carries only the strongest, most reliable of Bernhardt’s men, and being allowed aboard is a great honour.
Helga’s Tavern: It’s not that this is the only tavern in Scandia – it’s that Helga smites the competition with the best mead and the best placement: right in front of Valheim Port. Tired warriors come to regain their strengths, drink a glass or seven, and toast to the success of their latest raid. It’s the number one place to pick up some gossip, pick up a fight or pick up work if one’s looking for a quick buck. Scandian warriors aren’t exactly rich, but they always keep something extra for themselves whenever they pillage another region, and might be willing to part with the loot if they need a favour done.
The Titan’s Horn: Scandia is a region of tall, frozen mountains, and the Horn is the biggest of them all. Overlooking the entire coast, a small lookout has been constructed on the very peak, but it is said no soul has ever made it that high up and survived other than the very man who built the lookout. The weather conditions are unforgiving, subzero temperatures and gale-force winds making it impossible for just about any human to survive without exceptional preparation, and only the hardiest Pokémon can endure this extreme climate. Along the mountain's path rests a jagged stone that seems to have been completely frozen in ice. It seems to draw ice type Pokémon towards it.