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

Artwork by Joyce Maureira
Ok, today I am sharing the last part of the 10 main themes of my setting tookit for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells.

The Gods Have Left


The supernatural is real and feared. Demons stalk in the shadows and under old ruins. The gods, however, are silent and distant, if they exist at all. Religions still abound, promising salvation, blessings and refuge from chaos. Most of them give only an illusion of hope and explore their heard to fill their vaults with whatever they can pluck from the hands of the believers. There are very few who actually make an effort to give spiritual guidance and comfort to the flock. Most religions serve as a political organization that keep the masses under control and manipulate them to their interests. There are a few priests and holy man that wield supernatural powers but these doesn’t come from their gods for sure. Some, in their irrational zeal, may believe it does, but it is probably bestowed by a devious demon or other such chaotic being.

d12
Signs of Gods’ Abandon
1
An old ruined shrine overgrown with vines. The god’s image depicted in a mosaic over it isn’t like any known god.
2
A crazy old person with sacred vests of an old faith being humiliated by a small group of armed men and women.
3
The statues of three messiahs defaced with profane inscriptions and demonic symbols.
4
An opulent temple, with instruments of silver and gold, around where dozens of beggars implore for food and coins.
5
A priest from a corrupt church coming with three mercenaries to exact the punishments of their faith to the infidels.
6
A small travelling group of holy men and women selling the favor of their god to whoever has the money to pay for it.
7
A mob of ragged commoners following a priest and four armed soldiers carrying someone to be burned for witchcraft!
8
A burned out cathedral. Its doors and windows barred from outside. Skeletons can be seen around the place.
9
A former priest, now exiled, proclaiming the falsehoods that abound in his former religion.
10
A elder, wearing hags and dozens of different holy symbols screaming prophecies of incoming doom.
11
A mob of people throwing rocks and other debri at a priest and its small church.
12
A great statue of an old god toppled down and shattered into many pieces.

Heroes are Rare


Anttelius is an unforgiving world. Everyday, hundreds die for many different reasons, and no one seem to be making anything to change that. They are mostly busy trying to live another they themselves. Injustices abound, and power makes right. To stand up and fight all of this requires a great deal of courage, and more importantly, self-sacrifice. It takes a lot for someone to let go off their own ambitions and security to risk life, limb and soul to help others. Most adventurers when faced with a choice between their treasure, an artifact from the yore and the chance of saving someone by risking their lives, very few with pick the last option. Heroic deeds ar mostly the stuff of legends. However, the few brave souls that have the mental fortitude to accomplish heroic deeds are rarely forgotten, and rarely forgiven too.

d12
Signs of Egoism
1
A villager denouncing a neighbor for witchcraft in order to take up their lands.
2
A group of mercenaries offering their protection services to villagers who barely have enough to survive.
3
A family offering their children for coins, as they cannot sustain their whole family.
4
A trial by combat happening, where a peasant is facing a knight in service of a noble.
5
A noble demanding a group of peasants to denouncing one of them for stealing food. The criminal shall be executed.
6
A band of mercenaries hunting down a rebel who dared defy the orders of a corrupt noble, and breaking everything in their path.
7
A group of con-men who tricks villagers into paying them to save the village from themselves.
8
A bullet board with warrants to capture indentured peasants.
9
After a small rebellion, officials from the local government is offering gold coins to whoever turn in rebels to be executed.
10
Local tax collectors take whatever item of value they can from peasants and villagers in order to fill the noble’s coffers.
11
A crime lord from a City-State is threatening to execute q innocent everyday if his enemies are not delivered to him.
12
A statue of a legendary hero toppled down by current rulers of the land.

Fear of the Unknown


In a world of superstition, where knowledge is a privilege of the few, what is unknown and different is equally feared and hated. Anyone a little different from those around them is at least shunned, and sometimes may even be chased off, exiled or even hanged or burned alive for witchcraft! What is beyond the hills near the town, what are the customs of the people who live beyond the mountains, what land is there on the other side of the sea is unknown and feared. People would rather be left alone without contact or knowledge of what is different from what they know. And as sorcery and the forces of Chaos are real, this may very well be the safest choice. The reaction to sorcerers, ancient artifacts and other supernatural phenomena is, therefore, not the best.

d12
Signs of Ignorance
1
A pile of burning books surrounded by a cheering crowd.
2
When the characters arrive in a new community, the inhabitants hide in their homes and shun them.
3
An old library in ruins at the top of a hill. Locals consider it taboo.
4
An angry mob of peasants carrying a tied person to be hanged for witchcraft.
5
A group of foreigners being attacked by a gang of local bandits for bo reason beyond being outsiders.
6
Panicked villagers flaying themselves because of a comet hurtling through the sky.
7
On the nights of full moon, the people hide inside their houses and pray to rebuke the evil spirits.
8
Old scientific advancements of past civilizations is seens as sorcery and is reviled by most.
9
Scholars are seen as potential devil worshipers, as they delve into forbidden knowledge.
10
A priest preaching on the sins of the different and the necessity to be just like what their god want you to be.
11
The remains of a cottage, burned with everything inside. With a white graffiti, you can read “repent witches!”.
12
A purification ritual is being conducted by a group of monks in the middle of the street. People walk over hot coal, are flayed and suffer a variety of humiliating acts.

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