Loremageddon 2019, Day Twenty-Two: The Fringe’s Continents, Seers, War Demons

Hello everyone, and welcome to Day Twenty-Two of Loremageddon! This time we’re starting with some more staid info before diving right into the mystical: the current continents of Creation’s Fringe (oh dear, unintended alliteration!), then Seers and the fact that most of them seem to be garbage. Lastly, war demons–why aren’t there any? Forward, and let’s find some answers!

***

Snippet #1: The Fringe’s Continents (World: Creation’s Fringe–though in its case, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking otherwise)

In ages long past, there were only two continents on Creation’s Fringe and a supplementary scrawl of archipelagos and loose islands for good measure–many of the latter hanging above or inside the planet’s core. And indeed, all the original pieces remain–now distributed over a much wider surface with a total of nine continents and who knows how many smaller scraps of matter. While the fact’s origins have been lost to history, it’s broadly agreed–historians never uniformly agree on anything–which continents the original two were.

There’s Tchior, a sharp-coasted landmass made sharper yet by three enormous bays of which the longest is more than half the continent’s total length. Called the Augur Bay for this reason, it contains the oldest, largest harbors on Creation’s Fringe. Such a huge natural nexus ensures that most travelers wind up on Tchior at some point, with the sprawling city of Inso-Rana playing host to many a storied group: the Adventurers’ Association of the Greater Fringe, the Watchers on the Ever-Rift, the Archmagerate Redeemers, and countless others.

Tchior lies on the western side of the Riven Sea, and now has much traffic with its newer neighbor Savber on the other side. Otherwise, there’s the huge continent called Bilan, which runs south to north across the most-solid portion of the Fringe and lies to the west of Savber with Tchior even further west past it. Bilan is almost split by several huge saltwater rivers, but a few natural causeways where the rivers run underground and the sheer size of the landmass help keep it a contiguous continent.

Bilan plays host to places as ancient as the isolated kingdom of Pirnab, and to the most recent of the Fringe’s newcomer nations, Yamakuri–a subject for its own article, perhaps. Otherwise, aside from Savber as mentioned earlier, the other continents are these: Epraga to the south of Savber with the main passage onto the Riven Sea between them, Shet nestled in between Epraga and Bilan in the south, Halvar on the northern side of Tchior, Magrol at the south pole of the Fringe, Antraed south of Tchior and almost touching Magrol, and Chruiikt sprouting from the Lynchpin on the north pole.

To describe the disparate elements these continents contain would require many words, and there are other topics to cover this day–sadly, the reader must be left wondering for now!

Snippet #2: Seers (Worlds: Any)

It’s a tempting prospect: hand over a few coins, always such a reasonable amount, and hear your future unveiled for you! Whether they call themselves prophets, fortune-tellers, or indeed simply “seers”, those claiming to possess the gift of foresight are common across many worlds, and appear among any species able to feel superstition. Obviously couching the discussion in these terms makes it impossible to offer intriguing details, however! Thus, a narrowing of focus to Creation’s Fringe.

The Fringe’s mixture of uncertain history, countless competing powers and mystic artifacts make seers especially endemic there. Worsening matters, a few people upon Creation’s Fringe truly can see the future–or at least, something close enough to it that it makes no difference to those seeking their counsel. Such figures include the Dismal Sin psionic, Bellic Orteth–so named for his unusual mix of high concept philosophy and relentless hedonism–several deities, and the Azure Queen, Caerlyn.

Orteth exemplifies a credible seer; he warns that the future isn’t fixed, no mortal mind can comprehend all possibilities, and misinterpreting his counsel may be the very thing which brings it to fruition. He’s known for giving especially long sessions in no small part to avert this possibility, sometimes seeing into the same person’s future several times. Orteth is quite expensive and offers his counsel only on matters of great import–adventures to deal with a rising threat, war-plans concerning the fate of distant nations, and so on.

For the same reason, Orteth often provides bitter truths which those listening to him are not ready to hear. When the famous Marrowscour commander Aktra Vogul came to him to ask whether she could negotiate with a construct-legion emerging without warning from a segment of the Marrow, Orteth was frank. He took many seeings over the course of three full days to be as certain as he could, and then at last he bid her sit alone with him and nurse a bottle of liquor to ease the truths he offered.

“While the constructs are sapient, and desire violence no more than you, I see that your motives and theirs are diametrically opposed,” Orteth said. “Neither side wants war. There is a slight chance negotiations might succeed, but slim enough I would almost call it impossible. I advise you do not waste time or lives on it; there’s some chance the constructs will defeat you should you delay, and the losses on both sides shall be catastrophic if you fight them on even terms; this last is inevitable. A preemptive strike will at least minimize your own losses.”

Vogul accepted his advice, and her armies destroyed the construct-legion to its last steely member with only moderate casualties. Many do not like such austere truths, but of the hundreds who have gone to Orteth for his insight, none have ever prospered by ignoring it.

Most Fringers cannot even find, let alone afford, the services of a true Seer such as Orteth, and fall prey to charlatans offering a bargain. The cleverest of these have learned how to manipulate the story in the aftermath so it appears they offered some vital kernel of truth. It’s easy enough to do so–there are true Seers and false prophets, but when no one is quite certain how foresight works, only trial and bitter error will show which are which.

Snippet #3: War Demons (Worlds: ???)

War demons do not exist, and that’s the problem. War is the true oldest profession, universal to every known sapient species. Many hate it more than others, and aside from a few warrior species such as humanity, most prefer to let others fight wars on their behalf rather than taking up arms themselves. Yet preferences be damned, wars happen. With life and countries and loved ones on the line, precious few events match the raw emotional intensity of an open war.

“So, where are the war demons?” This question was put forward by the human demonologist Bastian Berlesch of Kalinger, among their field’s best in the early 9th Era. In the thousand years since Bastian’s death of old age, neither their peers nor any others have found an answer to their troubling question. There are demons of power who align themselves with the particular emotions of warriors, and demons of destruction who tag along with an army on the march to war, but these entities feed on the emotional state of humans who happen to participate in war.

There are no demons who stride across the battlefield itself, laying waste and reaping slaughter, even though it’s amidst the carnage and ruin just before death takes them that mortals hit their emotional peak. A world like Creation’s Fringe, with myriad competing powers and intersecting planes, should be fertile ground for such demons–they could easily slake their bloodlust without end even while maintaining loyalty to a particular mortal power to ensure themselves legal protection. After all, more than a few mortals do just that!

The more scholars delve into the question, the more confusing–and perhaps even frightening–it becomes. “Perhaps we should be grateful? It’s as if reality will not allow such beings to exist,” Bastian wrote in their own closing notes. “Maybe there is some comfort to be found there.”

Bastian’s wife, Sophie, and husband, Holger, both described them as a sweet but shy person who preferred to cuddle and read rather than leave the house. It may not have occurred to them that if the Fringe shows anything, it’s that reality offers no defense against a sufficiently fearsome will.

***

As promised, a good range, I believe–I swear I’m not trying to end all of these entries on an ominous note, but then again, I do enjoy a good eldritch mystery. Do I have a good answer to it? Well, of course! Here’s an extra reward for you, my diligent readers–a hint: I never set out to write a mystery. I create the answer first, realize after the fact that it’s suited to a mystery, and reverse-engineer the clues. So, what’s the answer? Ha! That’s what you have to figure out.

Anyway, enough of my preening for now. Let me know your thoughts and theories in the comments (I mean, I’ll just coyly avoid a straight answer, but I still love hearing from you all), leave a like, and share this post wherever you think it’ll find favor. Otherwise, you could follow me on Twitter for extra hints!

One thought on “Loremageddon 2019, Day Twenty-Two: The Fringe’s Continents, Seers, War Demons

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