Moiety of Opia
Opian Tea - A refresher in all things MoA.
Oi! whats the big idea?!
Opia, as a world, should be considered a ‘high magic/high fantasy’ setting – however! the campaign takes place on the fledging fragment continent of “Cynosure” that exists as a lost lone landmass following divine event known as “the sundering” – following which Cynosure’s cultural and self proclaimed capital “Halcyon” ushered in the ‘Age of reason’; doing away with the its now shunned magical crotch and charges boldly toward its future investing in steam-pressure and man-made technologies. Cynosure is a ‘steam & clockwork’ setting, featuring elements of uncivil and forbidden arcane magic.
No, the Sundering. A horrifying doomsday’esc event that occurred to climax the “Gods War”; where the entire Pantheon of Gods turned on each-other in catastrophic combat following countless innocent losses during “The War of the Scale”; a cluster-fuck of draconic proportions that saw an organized rebellion of until-then secret Dragon armies retaliating against the ‘Age of Adventure’, which; at the time was seen to be the most prosperous and profitable time in all of humanities history.
That is stupid-hectic! So why isn’t this high-fantasy?
Arcane & Divine magics are widely shunned as they are considered to have provoked and enraged the spiteful Gods and tyrannical Dragons of former Opia so much to have brought about its destruction. Magic in Opia functions as it does in other settings: arcane (wizards/magicians/mages), divine (clerics/monks/priests), and primal (druids, shamans, and other assorted mystics) – however:
- Arcane Magic is now seen to be an abusive misuse of a once coverted gift entrusted to only the most moral and ethical superiors of Opia. Magical institutions, Arcane Academies and traveling magicians that lead to the mainstreaming of ‘common magic’ are accused of popularizing and bastardizing a toolset that through the crooked lens of human imperfection heated former Opia to its boiling point. In Halcyon, magic conjured by the hands of common man is seen to be unwieldy, unsafe, and uncontrollable by a legally governing body, and thus, has been strictly and thoroughly taxed and/or outlawed.
- Primal magic users are closely monitored and harshly punished for using their bloodline talents within city walls, and are black listed from owning or operating any business that could benefit from their innate abilities – there are many outspoken unions on both sides who deal with the politics of this.
- Divine Magic is considered ‘old hat’ and clerics are rarely sort for blessings, or divine intervention, but are instead thought of as historians, heritage care-takers, and personal advisers in the realms of their gods specialty. Crunch-wise the divine rules are unchanged, but all divine powers, blessings, banes, ect are remembered to be much more potent pre-sundering, and seem to be having less and less effect as time goes on.
That’s pretty bogus, who decided that bullshit?
During the sundering former Opia was ripped apart, landmasses sunk, drifted, erupted, splintered; you name it, it ruined your day. During this time Leaders did what they could to protect their people, hide and survive. No one was better equipped for this than the Mountain and Mine dwelling Dwarven Clans, who not only had protection for their people, but their culture, their vaults, and more than enough room to offer sanctuary to surrounding Human settlements… a favor they will not soon let the Humans forget. When the dust settled, and the silence returned; the survivors emerged to discover the decimated, flame licked, wasteland they would now call home.
The Dwarves were quick to assert their dominance over the devastated the new world, taking charge with haste, establishing a new empire on the still cooling stones of the last. The homelands of the Elves, Gnomes and Halflings exist only in the minds of those left behind. Drifted out, pulled beneath and otherwise separated by chaotic and un-chartable seas, the fate of the displaced races rests in the hands of those who are willing to fight for their share.
The Dwarves and the Humans have the run of things now, they founded Halcyon and decided this was how it was going to be.
So what? It’s like the Dwarves and Humans living side by side in peace and harmony?
Nah what fun would that be. The Dwarves wanted their kingdoms back to themselves as quickly as possible, and the forward-thinking highly-strategic King at the time knew that the best way to do that was give the displaced races somewhere to go. Halcyon was built on the remains of the largest destroyed Human kingdom on Cynosure, not only did this act as a unifying step forward for rebuilding humanity, it acted as a major power move cementing the dwarves steak in the new world.
So they like, rebuilt, and… went home? That seems… unlikely.
Correct. You’re a smart guy. Handsome too. After who-can-say how long, a system of government was established that fell somewhere between the Dwarven clan system of and Human noble hierarchy – where matters would be voted upon by the wisest, and decisions made by those with most knowledge in the area in question. These wisemen were chosen based on merit, validity, and skill. Halcyon, the first “Meritocratic Kritarchy.”
Meritocracy is a political philosophy that holds power should be vested in individuals according to merit. Advancement in such a system is based on perceived intellectual talent measured through examination and/or demonstrated achievement in the field where it is implemented.
Kritarchy refers to the rule of Judges, who arbitrate on social and legal disputes, then meet as a council to decide and direct matters of policy and law.
A high court meets to discus matters, and although the arbitrating Judge has final decision he/she must hear out and respect all other Judges. These court meetings are open events, where citizens have equal opportunity to voice their opinion. This system seen to be honest and fair.
And how’s it all going?
Depends who you ask, but on the whole its been a flourishing success.
So it’s a Capital City, built by the Dwarves, lived in by the mixed race survivors of ‘The Sundering’, run by a council of Judges who argue in a public court to avoid corruption, and who have outlawed magic to keep everyone safe in some sort of steam punk utopia… and its all going great?
Yes… just ask them.
So if I ask, not them?
They would say it’s a racist, classist, cyclone of rampant corruption that thrives on segregation, capitalism, and an unquenchable thirst for gold, all secretly controlled to further some mastermind Dwarven addenda hidden behind a smiling inclusive mask of unity…. and outlaw magic.
Holy shit! Is that true.
Just a rumor, except for the magic bit.
So what about Elves? The Dwarves still hate them?
Elves tend to stick together, but no map will tell you where. Most Elves would live nomadically or huddled somewhere. There is a presence of particularly ill and ego broken Elves in the slums of Halcyon, outside city walls. They are very much looked upon as scum.
I bet the Dwarves love that.
Say no more. So what’s the deal with this 5.0 session?
You can play as whomever you want, as long as you are level 3, and are within Halcyon as either a resident or a traveler on a day of a huge market festival. Remember that all magical items need to be run past the DM and cost x2.5 more than the book says (even mundane ones).
If you are from Halcyon consider your profession, as its all about your job, and never about ’being an adventurer… which is so passe. Yuck.
I have more questions!
Ask me on Facebook jerk.