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SmurfStormcrow
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« on: 15 January 2002, 00:55:00 »

I am VERY sorry for taking so long to post anything, but have been busy, and procrastiating, and so forth. So here's the first draft of Qel'tra'loh. I haven't worked on a couple sections yet, and there are quite a few additions and revisions to be made, but here it is. First draft. Whatever you want to call it. And someone please punish me severyely for waiting so long!!! (After telling me what you think about this whole thing)

Here goes:

Qel’tra’loh


Qel’tra’loh is an island country founded upon magic. Nearly the entire population uses magic, with varying proficiencies. Its army fights upon flying mounts and uses magical skyships. The capital of the country is called Corloth, and since this is its most famous city, the people are called Corlothans. Corlothans are a proud people, and one of the few for whom magic is an everyday thing and not mainly imagined as stories are told around warm fires. The leader of the city, the Skylord (or lady) has always been one of the most powerful wizards of the country. All of the businesses use magic in one form of another. Blacksmiths make use of runes and potions to imbue their weapons with beneficial characteristics. Farmers use magic to create crops that will grow faster and have better results. Architects reinforce their buildings with small spells, and can protect them against weather. Merchants use gates formed by rock arches enchanted with extremely powerful spells to travel long distances in short amounts of time. Magic is even taught in schools from a young age, and from there children can branch into any area they wish to.

GEOGRAPHY

When viewed from high above, the island of Qel’tra’loh has the unusual shape of an eye. It is arranged with a fairly round mass of land at the center. This is where the majority of the population lives, and also where the capital city is located. Just outside of this major isle are two long islands, the northern slightly longer than the other. Finally, there are scattered islets to the southeast of the main archipelago aptly named the Teardrop Isles. Seen by most as sacred ground, an area set aside for nature alone, these are visited infrequently.

Looking at the main island, where most of the activity takes place, you first see the three main mountain ranges which are arranged as circles set inside one another. Each one is taller than the last as you go inland, though all are quite large and forbidding. First of all, the Outer Rim is the outside slopes of the first mountain range, and all that can be seen from the sea. The actual mountains are called the Smokeshroud, a range of volcanically active volcanoes from which lava flows frequently. Fortunately, most of the eruptions go out towards the rocky coastline. Many also call this first range the Demonedge, for many demons inhabit the lakes of fire and deep rifts through which flow rivers of molten rock. These fiery streams flow down into the ocean, where plumes of steam and water mark their entrance to the waters. When lava flows do creep down into the valley, it creates new farmland, and the people there start over. It is a way of life, and they are content with it.

Continuing across this green valley, you come upon another set of higher mountains that jut out of the surrounding landscape at atrocious angles. These are scalable only by the most skilled and determined of mountaineers, and impervious to any large force. Instead of eternal fire and destruction, these peaks are covered with hoods of snow, and their flanks cloaked with forest. Still, the folds and cracks cannot be completely covered, and in many a place you can see a deep chasm that goes deep into the mountain, or a ridgeline so steep that not the hardiest of trees could hold tight to its sides. Home to a few types of dragons, they also provide living space for the Crag Eagle and many other cold-weather animals. Called the Deepfrost Crags, there are only a few passes through these rugged mountains, and they are watched carefully.

Finally, passing yet a deeper valley, you come upon some foothills that are nearly as tall as the Smokeshroud. But beyond these comparatively “gentle” hills are giant mountains easily two or three times the height of the Demonedge. They are called the Stormcrags, because of the constant turmoil the clouds seem to be in. The highest point to be found in all of Sorren can be seen here. On the top of the highest mountain is the Pinnacle, for it can be called by no other name. About 300 peds tall, it stands alone, the only point from which the sea can be seen not on the Outer Rim. These mysterious mountains are also home to many unknown species as well as the rare gemflower.

Next, if you continue on your flyby of the island of Qel’tra’loh, you come upon the deepest valley yet, ringed by steep cliffs and slopes down into a slightly oblong-shaped depression. It is almost as deep as it is wide, but refrains from this characteristic just barely. There are hundreds of waterfalls falling thousands of feet down amazing drops, on all sides of the valley. On the southeastern side of the valley, a deep canyon that is nearly level with the bottom of the valley exits into the surrounding lands. Only in two other locations are there places which can be used to gain entrance or escape from the Heartland Valley. This is home to nearly all of the complex craftsmen, and especially to the most famous of all, the airship builders. Yet there is still enough farmland in this area to withstand a siege for a long period of time.

The town of Windrider is located to the western side of the valley, near the Windblast Cliffs and the Rift. It is where the Skyships are designed and built. They then can be tested easily by moving them above the rift and sending them up. The Rift is one of the most amazing features of the island. Though never proven, it is said that a powerful mage trained extensively in the element of Air fought a brief but furious battle there. The man was set upon by a troupe of trained wizards who acted as assassins, and held nearly all off. He had destroyed all but one, but was exhausted from the fight. Just as he was about to be killed he threw himself and his enemy into the canyon, and they both died. After his death, an immense wind sprang up, and has been acting like that for as long as the country has existed. Though there are many other theories, it is certain that magic was involved in the creating of the pillar of wind.

The streams from all of the rivers in Heartland Valley exit it through the canyon at the east end of the valley. The canyon is called the Darkwall, and the river takes the same name. It exits the island in a large waterfall after collecting all water from the other two valley rings.

You fly over the vibrant fields, forests, and towns, and come to the most amazing sight on the island. It far surpasses even the depthless Rift, or the towering Pinnacle. In the center of the Heartland, far over the heads of anyone on the valley floor, is a glorious floating city. It is at about the height of the highest peaks of the surrounding mountains, but still has a temperate climate equivilent to the spring atmosphere of the lower parts of the valley. Still, in the winter, a light dusting to even a fourth ped falls occasionally, and the citizens look on this as a treat. And even in the dead of winter, while snow blankets the ground, colorful blossoms can be seen peeking out from beneath the white drifts.

The city itself, Corloth, with its tall towers and meandering avenues is a perfect blend of civilization and nature. A babbling brook is just as much at home as a busy avenue in the  middle of the city, and patches of forest both deciduous and evergreen pocket the landscape. The way the architecture accents the natural beauty is stunning to say the least. A park surrounds the central palace, and creeks flow out of the center of the city. Eventually all end up tumbling off the side in glorious waterfalls, only to dissipate along with their rainbows about halfway down. Some magic keeps this water clean and cycling.

Coming from the south of the city, you first come upon the houses on the edges of the city. These have wonderful views, but are not quite as luxurious as the dwelling places closer in. Further on, you see the more elaborate housing mixed with a scattering of shops and parks, mainly for families who have been living in the city for many years. Next, you come to a higher density of parks, and then to the food courts where most of the population dines. Passing the larger businesses and craftshops, you fly over the main park that was viewed from farther away. Finally, you reach the palace, the center of the city and an architectural masterpiece.

It is surrounded by a set of nine towers, each with large, white arches connecting them to the main palace. Then comes the circular set of walls that separate the park from the courtyard. Passing on, you go through a maze of streams, carefully tended gardens, waterfalls, and pathways, and end up at the main palace. It is a difficult to describe shape that is pleasing to the eye and quite effective as well. At the top of the actual building is the hatching grounds, where every day a small number of Gryphs, Griffons, and Rocs hatch every day to be led away by their companions. And above that floats the Chamber of Clouds, where the Skylord and Council meet to discuss the country’s affairs. It is quite an amazing construction, because the room gives the impression of being far above the island, and if clouds obscure the view, they appear as simply transparent. This image can be shifted to take a closer inspection of any part of the kingdom, but the natural state is an overview. In the center of the palace, on the ground floor, there is a large amphitheater where the people can watch and listen in on what is being said in the council. The Chamber of Clouds seems to hover in the middle of the room. Also, the Council and Skylord can choose to have the same illusion in the Chamber, only reversed. With the people an illusion, but still interacted with.

COAT OF ARMS

The Corlothan Coat of arms is on a basic shield shape, with clouds at the bottom, the sun in the upper right corner, and sky covering the top. In the center, a Gryph, Griffin, and Crag Eagle and circling each other, since those are the birds most used.

The symbol of the Corlothan army is simply a Gryph flying upwards, with the sun rising at the bottom, filling the sky with its rays. Only the top half of the Gryph is seen. A version of this is used on exported products as well.

GOVERNMENT

Corloth is ruled by the Skylords. A Secondary council, made up of six people, approve the decisions made by the Skylord. They also have jurisdiction over all of the parts not covered by the leader.  The Council also elects the lord if one dies, or goes missing. The Council members, in turn, are elected by the people whom they represent.

The Council and Skylord meet in the Chamber of Clouds, which is located in the palace in the center of Corloth. This room has the illusion of being above Corloth, and able to look all across the valley. This allows the Council to view the parts of the valley being discussed, simply as a visual aid. If there are clouds, they appear as transparent.

HISTORY

Corloth was founded in _____ by Gryph Skyhawk and a group of some of the most powerful mages in all of Sorren. This band of followers was made up of members of all the races, humans, elves, dwarves, and even a few of the less common races.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SOCIETY AND CULTURE

Edited by: SmurfStormcrow at: 1/24/03 1:08:14 am
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #1 on: 15 January 2002, 06:02:00 »

Impressive!!!

I couldn't read through all yet, just stumbled over a perhaps unclear sentence.

"When lava flows do creep down into the valley, it creates new farmland, and the people there start over"

Do you mean that farmland is destroyed first and the people just go on to farm it again years later when the soil is ready or what did you mean with  ..creates new farmland?

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« Reply #2 on: 15 January 2002, 07:20:00 »

Dunno, but I believe volcanic ashes are very fertile. But don't know if it's the same with lava...

"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune-they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."

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Capher
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« Reply #3 on: 15 January 2002, 10:50:00 »

Theo is this the place that was talked about so many months ago about flying ships and so forth?

I like the concept, had a hard time reading it though, too many runon sentences and no breakups of paragraphs. However for a first draft it is not bad.  Keep up the work.

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« Reply #4 on: 15 January 2002, 13:15:00 »

Dunno Capher, it might have occured before I joined. I'm only here since septembre and I don't seem to recall anything of such a discussion.

I've one question about the concept: If all those people are such powerfull mages. Have they tried to conquer other parts of the world? Because that wouldn't seem too difficult for them, now would it?

"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune-they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."

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Koldar Mondrakken
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« Reply #5 on: 15 January 2002, 14:16:00 »

Yes, that's the one. Is meant to be a a realm ruled by mages similar to Ximax but independant.

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SmurfStormcrow
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« Reply #6 on: 15 January 2002, 20:48:00 »

Good comments! Thank you. I will probably need help for town names, but those will not be in the main... article? But the central valley needs a name, as well as the outermost. Pretty much what I have here is geography, so I'll just finish up posting that section soo, and go on to the complete form of the others.

I'm fairly sure that lava itself is fertile after a while... perhaps that isn't too great a sentance after all. And ash would make more sense, thanks Theo. Or whatever you wish to be called. And believe me; this looks a lot better with much larger margins like it would appear on the site, not just on the forum. Also, I will revise and review all of this later, but after I finish the first draft completely: all of the sections.

As to conquering... I should probably make it much more clear that not everyone is a very powerful mage, but just that the founder collected a party of them when he started the island. Most people just use it for simple things. Like lighting up a room to find something for a minute. And all of the spells that are used in the city, the major ones, took a long time to develop.

The problem with this, is that I haven't finished reading the forum on magic, and I'm not sure how much magic people can have. And also, I'm not quite sure on the limitations that have been set so far. So once I read through the stuff, I'll get back to this question.

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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #7 on: 16 January 2002, 05:51:00 »

Another question: What happens to the people that are not capable of using magic? Do they become outcasts, are they assigned special jobs, or just treated normally?

"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune-they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."

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« Reply #8 on: 16 January 2002, 11:27:00 »

It is your entry, do as you please. I would think that they would be outcasts, interesting idea popped into my head. While answering your question.  How about there is supposed to be an heir to some important position in your lands, he is supposed to know and have magic born within him like all the rest of his kind, but he/she discovers that he/she does not have magic, he/she learns the art of illusion to decieve those around he/she until one day he/she is discovered. Then chaos erupts, especially since this heir was the only one and another family who wants the position is in line if a real heir is not found.

Anyway many possibilities for a story here, I think.

Capher, Tribes and Races Supervisor Moderator.Wisdom is given to those whom it knows.

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« Reply #9 on: 23 January 2002, 15:48:00 »

Well, I'm a little late with replying here (as always lately), but here are some comments:

Very nice work, Stormcrow! What we have now resembles the concept I had in mind about Quel'tra'loh in many ways. You did great landscape descriptions here as well, so if you have the time please try to finish the entry, cause it really longs for being on the site:)

I'd also propose that you open a paint program, sketch the outlines of the isle and place towns, mountains etc. there (and name them), then I have a sketch which I can use to work on the island map if I have time.

Also would emphasize the mentioned magic problem: People of Quel'tra'loh keep to themselves, they grow up with magic which is natural to them, and in general they never feel the need to conquer any other countries, this is all important part of the society.

Hope you're still around, Stormcrow, and have some time - at least it's over a week since you posted the entry...


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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #10 on: 24 January 2002, 02:40:00 »

Okay, that'll do Art. Let's just hope they don't get a blurred visioned capable of convincing large mobs about wrong things madman. Like a certain person back in 1936 or somewhere near there......
Oh, Solution: those madmen are born without magic!;)  

"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune-they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures."

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SmurfStormcrow
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« Reply #11 on: 26 January 2002, 15:46:00 »

And I might actually have time for once to work on it!!! Being sick does have its plusses. Although I felt too horrible yesterday to even think, today I'm up to it, and hope to make some progress on the other sections.

I'm not entirely clear how magic works, though. Are there some small kinds that can be learned by anyone with enough time and practice and experimentation? I would imagine that there are some with major talent, but shouldn't it be possible for anyone with enough perseverance to learn? This would make the concept of the country much easier to explain.

Also, I think that magic that is natural would go along family lines, with certain bloodlines having it much more stongly than others. So since nearly all of the founders had fairly strong magic, their descendants would also.

And if there was someone who did not have magic, I'm sure they would be accepted, but not quite so sure if they would be comfortable in an environment where amost everyone else did.

Not quite sure which part I'll work on next, but it'll be something. And possibly not quite so long as the first section.

Find more things that are wrong!!! I need more suggestions, peoples!!! Please!

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« Reply #12 on: 27 January 2002, 03:02:00 »

Take a look at the magic section and especially at the Forum about Magic. Some important things from there will move to the site this update.


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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« Reply #13 on: 27 January 2002, 14:45:00 »

Alright. Will do that. When I looked through it earlier, I wasn't looking for specific things like that. Thanks.

Stormcrow

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« Reply #14 on: 27 January 2002, 20:26:00 »

Are these people predisposed to any certain kind of magic? Each race, of course, is usually predisposed to their element, but if certain bloodlines always studied the same sort of magic, then their descendants would probably be better at that than anything else, simply because their blood is 'tainted' with it. Or maybe the people as a whole only study one sort of magic, so that even the least proficient in it are somewhat better than novices working on it in, say, Ximax.

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