Introduction to Theme

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A World of Fire and Water. A Moon forged of Iron...

Welcome to Tenebrae: Emblem of Ea Mux. We are a D&D 3.75/3.P (that is, Pathfinder) edition online role playing game set in a fantasy world of our own devising, the world of Gaea. Gaea is a world of swashbuckling action, epic adventure, larger-than-life characters and colorful cultures, nations and history. It is a crossroads of swords, sorcery and technology and home to many different species. Emblem of Ea is dedicated to providing interesting roleplay, adventure and atmosphere for online D&D play and we welcome any player willing to join our community and roleplay in our setting.

The Tone and Theme of Emblem of Ea

Emblem of Ea differs from most D&D worlds and what was once considered typical for fantasy worlds. Our goal with the world was "same but different," which basically means that we wanted high fantasy but wanted to add new concepts and comfortably introduce players to new tools, outlooks and perspectives on fantasy roleplay.

There are game elements inspired by the Lord of the Rings and the standard D&D format; however, equally inspirational, if not more so in some cases, are the contributions by overseas counterparts in the form of series like the Final Fantasy games and The Vision of Escaflowne. Our characters are meant to be more colorful, larger-than-life, legendary and imposing than the standard D&D character. The Emblem of Ea takes place during an age of commonplace magic, airships, epic heroics and great nations. This present world is a rebuilt one that emerged from the downfall and hubris of an ancient age that was shattered by cataclysm. Though society has stabilized, threats to peace and safety continue to abound. The present era, for example, has been rife with political conflicts and greater dangers. There is a great need for brave and daring exploits.

In this era, the adventuring community grows and thrives. Daring explorers and relic hunters dare the unexplored confines of the frontier in search of ruins, treasure, forgotten cities and lost secrets to bring back to the wealthy and the wise for study. Sky Pirates in both the literal and romantic sense prowl the sky-routes of the immense airships while devout priests proclaim the will of the gods and decipher the prophetic mysteries of the song of creation: the Eidolon Hymn.

Adventurers are rare in number but impact matters greatly. They face dangers that are inconceivable by the general populace and in some cases, their unique skills, talents and daring actions are the only things capable of standing up against creatures and things that would otherwise ravage and lay waste to society.

The central location for the game is the fabled city of Alexandria. With its skyscraper-like castle towers and walls, rich mines and regional resources, Alexandria has earned for itself the moniker of the city of airships and wonder. A metropolis, the city exists as a hub for trade, travel, political scheming and magical phenomena. Its temple plaza boasts great Temples to the Gaea's Divine Pantheon. Though it is a hub of activity, it exists as a pocket of civilization on the edge of the great wilds. Its location near the edges of the Frontier creates a rugged, adventurous and rustic attitude and way of life. It serves as our main setting piece and the story of its development is one of our main focuses.

The World of Gaea

The name of the world is Gaea. Gaea, as mentioned, is a crossroads of swords, sorcery and technology. Overall the level of technology and development on the world of Gaea can be compared to 14th through 16th century Earth but there are some references and inspirations drawn from an idealized version of the ancient world circa 1st through 3rd century C.E Mediterranean culture. These things serve as the conceptual inspiration but there are some severe differences that make Gaea more than a mere reflection of our own world. One such thing is magic and high sorcery.

Magical energy is extremely important to Gaea. The phenomenon known as mana is the source of magical power. It permeates the world, saturating it with its vast energies and mighty influences. In some places the influence of Mana is so strong that animals can be altered, airships cannot fly and standard magic goes wild. These Mana Rifts were created when the Great Sundering occurred at the end of the previous era and the ancient empire known as Kulthos fell. In recent days the means to allow airships, magical weaponry, spells and artifice to function in these zones has been found, prompting a rise in exploration contracts into these regions and to the lands beyond

Magic is so potent and commonplace that it has replaced the premise of electricity as a source of power for technology and machinery. The great cities of Gaea are not simply small D&D hamlets based after dark ages medieval Europe but can contain tall sweeping castle towers, vast bridges, and various types of magical conveniences. Steamwork and Clockwork mechanics serve as a secondary source of technological advancement. The art of creating magic-powered machines is known as Artifice. Artificers are at the forefront of those who study technomagical invention and are responsible for many present-day wonders. Because of this, some marvels that did not exist until the industrial era of the 1800's such as great cranes and lifts are not unheard of.

Although things are advanced many other things retain a sense of more archaic sensibilities and traditional mentalities. Firearms exist but have not replaced the bow and the arrow. Battles are fought with sword and steel as well as arcane fire and though airships are slowly diminishing overland travel and trade, putting one foot in front of the other or riding a trusty steed is still the most commonly accepted way of getting around. Mind you, enterprising Adventurers may find dozens of other more exotic methods of transportation such as steam bikes, custom airships, or even teleportation portals into and out of the depths of great ruins.

Despite these developments, much of the magical technology that exists today has been built off the back and the shattered remnants of fallen Kulthus. Kulthus was the great empire of the pre-historic world. It is said that the gods themselves brought about the downfall of Kulthus, smiting it with such ferocity and divine judgment that a cataclysm now dubbed The Sundering was triggered. The Sundering unleashed natural disasters across the globe, reshaped magic and set the world back a thousand years in development. In its aftermath, civilization has rebuilt itself, but the shadow of this ancient apocalypse remains and constant searches for details on it and the prehistoric ancient world are ongoing.

Gaea is a world of diverse nations and cultures as well as races and sub-races. Humanity is by far the most common race; however, when all the others are taken into account, humans make up only about a third of the world's population. Alexandria herself resembles an eclectic mix of a fantasy-castle town with a festive warm Mediterranean culture but player characters can come from nations all over the known world and different races abound. Not all races see eye to eye and even among humans, the diverse human cultures have many conflicts. One such conflict serves as the immediate past of the game theme. The two dominant human nations, the Myrddion and the Empire of Charn, have been warring incessantly back and forth for centuries with a recent conflict, known as the Crown Wars, having involved many other lands as well.

Alexandria herself fell under the sovereignty of Altima the witch who was in the employ of the Empire of Charn, and for decades she dominated things. She was ousted by both internal rebellion and the aid of the nation of Myrddion, and her reign was followed by a period of time wherein Myrddion aided Alexandria in recovery but assumed sovereignty over it. In recent years, Alexandria has regained its autonomy, but with its noble houses shattered, royal lineage scattered and resources still exposed and vulnerable, few can guess as to what the future will hold for it and its inhabitants.


Other Things You Need To Know

In conclusion of this brief theme introduction, here are things to remember about Emblem of Ea Mux and our campaign world.

  • Though we use new content and ideas, we are a D&D Mux: While our game world uses a number of different sources for inspiration, our goal is to provide online D&D play. We use the main "3.75" Pathfinder edition Core Books as our primary source of inspiration. We do not require you to have to buy' anything to play the game since the D20 PSRD is free and available online; you can play just by having access to that and our own theme files. However, we do import Prestige Classes and feats from other books from time to time, and if you want to use those you will need to get the information yourself since copyright prevents us from freely posting them on the net. We make it a point to review things on at least a quarterly basis and select additional content. If we don't approve something it's probably because of balance and flavor reasons.
  • Flavor and Tone: We are a high fantasy game devoted to providing swashbuckling action and epic adventure within the scope of the D20 rules. Our world combines aesthetics from both standard fantasy tropes such as Lord of the Rings with more pop culture-orientated fantasy as popularized in the Final Fantasy games, including Eberron and Warcraft and other appropriate and western literature and manga. We strive to allow elegant epic-fantasy play while also having room for down-to-earth social interplay and storytelling.
  • A World of Science and Sorcery: The setting supposes the development of civilization through the rise of the study of the arcane as a source of both mystery and scientific achievement.
  • A World of Adventure and Social Play: From the towering walls of Alexandria's Sky-Gate to the depths of the Desolation and the back alleys of Vandalheim--whether you are balancing atop a narrow beam while dueling sky pirates aboard an airship high in the clouds or struggling to get a leaky gnomish submersible vessel to an under-water Kulthian ruined city, adventure is our goal and purpose here. This does not mean Dungeon Master Plots are going to be the only thing you're doing; social scenes where you share information, interact with other characters, build rivalries and friendships, and so forth are going to be your focus as well. The combination of the two creates the Mu* Experience. We are looking for people to build interesting characters that are adventure-focused characters with goals, hopes and dreams.
  • War and Peace The backdrop for Emblem of Ea is a continent-wide series of battles known as the Crown Wars that was primarily fought between the nations of Myrddion and Charn but managed to involve many other nations in some capacity. This war ended just over ten years ago. Alexandria, the main IC location, was occupied for fifty years during this war by a great and evil witch known as Altima that was later defeated. The occupation of Alexandria by Altima may very well have affected the childhood of characters who grew up in the city or the countryside surrounding Alexandria. For human characters this means that you can use the war as a backdrop for your characters' families. For non-human characters with longer life spans and higher starting ages you may have even experienced part of the war. Remember that our characters start at level 2, so that assumes that they have had some sort of prior experience.
  • Deities and Demigods Gaea is a polytheistic world of gods, demons and celestial beings. The Holy Order of Ea, a dualistic pantheon system focusing on the war between the gods of light and darkness with neutral deities protecting their interests in between, is the dominant religion in western civilization. There is no such thing as atheism although there are many who may denounce the gods and claim to be masters of their own fate. The warring pantheons incite countless intrigues and holy fervor among the faithful is high.
  • Internationalism Gaea is a world of multiple cultures and colorful races. Most characters come from nations that have a real world template applied to them to give additional flavor and provide you with something to imagine when thinking about how people may look our sound. People don't use Thee and Thou as part of speech in the game world but may say things in a more archaic manner. Think about the real world counterpart of your nation and culture when posing your character and try and give a real sense of diversity and depth.
  • Custom Races Our races are not the standard variation of D&D races. From living machines known as war golems to the various families of halfling tribes, we have a custom spin on our offerings. In order to convey the game world properly, even humans underwent some alterations. In particular, Orcs are an accepted viable player character race. This does not mean that everybody likes Orcs, nor does it mean everybody dislikes them. It does mean that PC Orcs come from a civilization where Orcs are developed beings and not simply the cannon fodder-variety seen in the average tabletop game. Be prepared to explore our racial options.
  • Custom Options The Artificer is a class we have added into our game. In addition to them we have custom prestige classes that represent the game world, and house feats. We do quarterly updates to the game and add new content from published sources as well as house PrCs, feats, and more.

Places to Start Reading

Where is a good place to start reading? May we suggest: