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Anttelius - A World of Warlocks & Barbarians - An Introduction - Part III

Today I am posting the third part of the 10 main characteristics that shape the world of Anttelius, the setting tookit I am writing for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells.

Knowledge is Lost


Knowledge is a privilege for the few. And even them don’t know the whole truth. What happened in the previous ages of this world has been forgotten, and the records of those times are lost and forgotten in ruined cities and buried temples. Most of the population is illiterate, and the knowledge of math and other sciences is as rare as a diamond. There are, however, a few orders of scholars how collect the lost tomes of previous ages and study the history of Anttelius. They guard these as an ancient wyrm protects its treasure, since knowledge is power in a world where very few have access to it.

d12
Signs of Lost Knowledge
1
The homeless making a small fire with old books they’ve found in the nearby ruins.
2
Statues of old kings that no one has records of.
3
Great tall towers no civilizations is capable of constructing again.
4
An individual with scientific knowledge being hunted and accused of witchcraft.
5
Mercenaries employed by an order of scholars raiding the homes of people in search for stolen tomes.
6
Great art pieces being torn apart to use its parts for other more practical objects.
7
A great bridge that has toppled down and can’t be repaired as no engineer today can fix it.
8
A great line in the local market, made so people can have their messages to distant relatives written or read to them.
9
A thief being executed for having tried to steal a book from a noble’s vault.
10
A great reward is being offered to whoever can explain the origins of old artifacts that have been found recently.
11
A strange looking individual trying to sell an old book he says he found in the ruins to the south.
12
Pillars of an older time with dozen of runes and scriptures carved into it. No one in the current age seem to be able to read it.

Sorcery is Inhuman


The laws of reality are not absolute, and the past civilizations knew how to alter it. But sorcery was not created by human beings, and wasn’t meant to be used by them. Entities of much greater power and mental endurance brought this strange art to Anttelius and taught it to the first sorcerers, who ended up becoming great Sorcerer Kings. But this power came with a steep price. Sorcery corrupts the body, the mind, and the soul of its users. Users, sooner or later, become deformed, insane or have part of their essence sold to demonic entities for power.

d12
Signs of Sorcery
1
Near the ruins of the tower of an old sorcerer, a great darkened area where nothing grows spreads out year by year.
2
The corpse of an individual completely drained of their vitality and marked with dozen of sinister looking sorcery symbols.
3
Inscribed on the ancient floor is a heptagram with demonic symbols around it. Old stains of dried blood mark the stone.
4
A babbling individual who saw a sorcerer summoning a demon. The person cannot quite express what they’ve seen.
5
An old structure which no one enters out of taboo. It’s said that a great sorcerer lived there. Or still lives there.
6
An exiled individual who was born with a birthmark that signifies propensity for sorcery.
7
An old circle of stones in which everyone but a few individuals feels extremely uneasy inside.
8
An area where all sources of light seem to be dampened and some even are extinguished right away.
9
On a mound, in a hanging tree, the corpse of a sorcerer, with many strange markings and symbols. Their skin seem like the scales of a snake.
10
The animals living in the surroundings of an area affected by sorcery seem strangely intelligent and malignant.
11
The oldest trees of an old and dark groove seem to have agonizing faces in their trunks.
12
Travelers on the vicinity of the tomb of an old sorcerer receive messages in their dream, encouraging them to open the doors to their crypt.

The Mystery of the Unknown


There are no unified and codified lore regarding the supernatural, sorcery, monster or, even science and history. Knowledge is mysterious in Anttelius, and many theories and legends try to explain what most can never comprehend. Places of learning are nearly nonexistent, the only few remaining are exclusive to the very few with enough privileges to attend them. Thus, the many strange and weird locations and events that exist in this world, as well as the mysteries the adventurers face, will have no ready explanation. They won’t know the exact powers of an artifact of yore, or the weakness of a demon. If they are lucky they may discover some rumors or legends that have some modicum of truth, but uncertain is the norm in this world.

d12
Signs of the Unknown
1
On the walls of an ancient ruined structure is depicted roughly humanoid creatures similar to the ones described by the nearby villagers.
2
Mysterious stars seem to change places randomly across the sky. No sage has yet discovered a pattern in their movements.
3
A strange and never before seen animal is found dead with no apparent cause.
4
A tower of dark greenish hue appears in a location it wasn’t before.
5
Strange shadowy figures are seen under the moonlight at the site of ruined old temples.
6
Half buried in the ground, a tablet of a strange and hot to the touch metal can be found. It contains alien symbols and images that change when nobody's looking at them.
7
Every hundreds of years a crimson large planet can be seen on the sky. No one knows where it comes from or what its purpose.
8
Some children are born with strange marks that are held to be a curse in many cultures. These marks, however, usually impart them with some sort of sinister knowledge from bygone ages.
9
A crazy old beggar that seems to mumble incoherently. They are in fact reciting old prophecies from past and wise civilizations.
10
Some people are having dreams of past lives in ancient times. They see themselves as their old ancestors and have a glimpse of upcoming dooms.
11
A statue made of an unknown stone depicts an old Sorcerer-King with the same exact face of someone the characters know.
12
Over an old burial mound, people sometimes view the image themselves with grevious and mortal wound uttering grave warnings of the future.
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