There are two types of magic: that of Manifestation, and that granted by a divine being. All magic that is not divine is considered scientific.
Those born with magical abilities are known as Castors (they can be referred to by many different names like mage or sorcerer) and can tap into magical energy "wells", manifesting their will into reality. However, the magic that they produce is limited by the source that they use. Sources can be found naturally in the world, or they can be special objects enchanted with the ability to collect energy. Sources that have been depleted of magical energy take time to recover, and if one were to pull energy from a drained source, the source will "snap" and be permanently unable to recover its energy. Doing this grants a short burst of power to the user, but is seen as bad practice by Castors and is forbidden in many institutions. Every individual is born with a well of magical energy, which acts as an imprint of a person's essence after they die. To drain another person's well of energy, at any stage of life or death, requires special and very forbidden knowledge. To tap into one's own well is incredibly dangerous and looked down upon, but not necessarily prohibited. Once a person's well has "snapped" they do not take any physical damage, but they lose their "essence" and will be unrevivable if killed, and if they were a Castor they will be unable to Manifest.
Divine beings innately have deep wells of magical energy; they are "infinite" sources. They have the ability to draw energy from any source, including themselves. They can also imbue others with a portion of their energy, even non-Castors. Divine magic is often revered because when it is witnessed, it is the result of a blessing or a curse from a god. However, sometimes divine magic can be interpreted as demonic, but this is relative to the religious beliefs of the society that claims it.Religion
The two major gods worshiped in Umbranest are:
Moiante, God of Chaos, Rituals, Divination, and Individualism
Moiante's influence permeates the entirety of the island and its history. She is closely associated with the Karakhan, Elder Folk, and the Kubari.
Amon, God of the All Worlds, Bringer of Enlightenment and Unity
A relatively new god to the residents of Umbranest. Those that worship him call themselves Amonis. Amon is seen by his followers as the 'God of All Gods', so while they do not deny the existence of other gods, they find their influence to be trivial compared to Amon's.
Current Level of Technology
There are also several minor gods that have small followings:Onx: God of Strength, Power, and War Feuga: God of Art, Music, Dance, Passion, Beauty Angorab: God of Nature, Growth, Disease, Decay, and Rebirth Lthig: God of Fear, Death, the Unknown, Exploration and Curiosity Itifi: God of Blood, Family, Lineage, Loyalty Xetoph: God of the Skies, Weather, the Elements, Luck
While there is no electricity, no steam-powered inventions, there is coal and lumber and of course, magic. There are a few specialized factories in the city run by magical means, however almost everything is made by hand by skilled craftspeople. Some have rudimentary indoor plumbing while others employ the use of outhouses and water wells. The villages live in more medieval terms, while the Elder Folk live completely outdoors or use temporary shelters such as caves or large tree hollows.Monetary Currency in Umbranest
Umbranest had been exclusively operating on a bartering system until the Apollyons established a form of currency known as "Bone Tokens" which have official guild or faction seals burned into them. Despite the factions' rivalries with each other, most of their merchants accept any official seal on a bone token. Bone tokens are often referred to as "chalk", or simply just coins.Unique Monster
Deep in the Aberrant Lands live the Vikakarin, or "Vika", terrifying reptilian beasts whose speed and stealth match that of a mountain lion. They are few in number and extremely territorial. However, the Elder Folk have an understanding with the creatures. The Vika are known as Bog Watchers, and guard the land of the Elder Folk. They stalk their prey by exuding an aura of fear and causing the temperature to drop sharply. This disorients the prey making it more vulnerable to the Vika's attack. The creature's insides are fiery hot and can release steam to obscure an area. The creature will pounce upon its prey, and use its long tail to constrict its target. Its narrow, predatorial skull looks as if a sheet of skin was stretched over it. Without lips, its long sharp fangs protrude menacingly, while acidic poison drips down them. As an alchemical ingredient, its liver has potent healing properties, known to cure any ailment or stave off death for a time.Unique Drug
In the marshes of the island grows a rare plant with bulbous blue leaves and a thick verdant green stem. It stinks of rot, and if eaten raw, it causes horrible hallucinations and sometimes fatal illness. This plant is known as Myrtilia, and can be refined into a potent hallucinogenic drug called myrtle. When brewed by a skilled alchemist, the leaves can be cooked into a digestible wax which blocks pain in the user and causes hallucinations controllable by the user as though they were in a lucid dream. There are no known major health effects from taking it long term, other than dependence on it due to its high addictivity. If one were to take the drug long enough for their body to acclimatize to it, the withdrawal symptoms cause excruciating pain that can make the user go insane.Fantasy Races in Umbranest
The island is natively human (Karakhan/Elder Folk/majority of Umbranest), and there is a moderate presence of elves in the Araena faction. However, all kinds of people from lands overseas visit and live in Umbranest. Any fantasy race can be played in this world according to the desires of the player.Possible Plot Lines - What can YOU do in Umbranest?
Choose your origin: are you from the city? The Karakhan or Elder Folk? Maybe you're an outlander who's come to the city in search of a new life.
Join a faction! Use faction resources to hone your skills and rise through the ranks. Discover rival faction plots and advance your own faction's schemes.
Join a cult! Start a cult! Destroy a cult! All manner of divine beings, gods and demons alike, are worshiped in Umbranest. Succumb to the fervor, or use it to your advantage.
Start or join a gang! Challenge the reigning factions, fight for your place in Umbranest.
Delve into the science of magic! Research and create your own spells, grow your power to accomplish the impossible.
Discover hidden libraries of forbidden knowledge, use the power or destroy it forever.
Become a master of alchemy! Explore every inch of the island in search of dangerous beasts and rare ingredients.
Be a mercenary, a merchant, a minstrel! Make a name for yourself as a legendary professional for hire, or join an established guild!
Live in the world of subterfuge and sabotage. Be a double agent for rival factions. Where do your loyalties truly lie?
Become an infamous thief! Master the art of stealth, pull off a legendary heist.
Explore the depths of Umbranest, what remains of Vekron, and learn the truth about the Basileia and her origins.
Travel to the Karakhan villages. Uncover the secrets of Zygos. Study the magic of Albiden. Discover ancient prophecies in the caverns of Belem. Embrace your connection to nature in Griseus. Earn the trust of Igrum and witness the beauty of the blooming fields.
Restore the Old Ways, help the Elder Folk tear down Umbranest. Or work with the Kubari to bring back the age of Vekron.
Traverse the bogs, the mountains, the forests. Encounter terrifying creatures, isolated hermits, and ancient ruins.
Become an unstoppable force of power in Umbranest. Will you challenge the factions? Will you challenge... the Basileia?