"Life's not worth living without some suffering.
...Also, I found it funny."
-An accurate summary of the comic's core.
The Descended takes place in the World of Soano, a fantasy world governed by a built-from-scratch RPG system and the gods' bad sense of humor. (Note that Brianna is the god of all gods, and thus, is not doing her job if hilarity does not ensue.) It more specifically follows the adventures of three groups: The Elementals, The Latens, and (primarily) The Outcasts, and you can find details on them in the cast page. The remainder of this page details the background and setting behind The Descended, and by extent, the World of Soano as a whole.
About The Author:
Hello, I was born (and have thus used for my art) with the name Brian David Lewis, though here I now prefer Brianna D. Lewis, Bree for short. You can also call me Ranger, thanks to my full screen name of Ranger_Brianna_New. (I have also used Ranger_Brian2 in the past, though that name has been discontinued.) I am the author and artist of The Descended. I currently reside between the small towns of Snohomish and Monroe, in the wonderful state of Western Washington. (Since I was born here, I really don't mind the weather.) I've been drawing art for pretty much my entire life, but I didn't begin to seriously get into art until the 2006-2008 range, when I first began experimenting with digital art. Since then, I have refined my craft, tracking down tutorials and taking a few classes, asking around and doing some searching to help improve my skills.
I've been an author for just as long as I've been an artist, owing to my overactive imagination, and my rise into the world of writing began at around the same time my rise into art did, in the 2006-2008 range. I found that I had a fairly natural (albeit highly unrefined at the time) talent for writing, with my words having great meaning and my style coming across as almost poetic. I never really trained myself in writing the way I have in art, although I have received plenty of help from others.
Webcomics have held an interest for me since I first discovered them (around 2004 or so), and it made sense that I eventually moved into them, for the simple reason that they combine my two "hobbies" (I prefer the word 'passions', as I consider them to be far more than just a mere hobby) into a single package, as even gag-a-day requires good writing (albeit of a different nature). It wasn't until recently, however, that I obtained my focus, and when I did, I decided that The Descended was the project I most wanted to work on, because out of all my webcomics, it was the only one which also incorporated a third hobby into it--gaming. Since I grew up playing video games, I always wanted to do something more with them, which the World of Soano which The Descended is set in allows for me to do so.
Currently, I mostly do my drawings for the comic in GIMP (because I eventually want to own a tablet and use it in my art), but previously, my comic was drawn in Paint.NET for its layers and transparency and I continue to use it for both of those functions, among others. I still make extremely heavy use of Windows 7 Paint (especially for things which I don't need layers for) and whenever I can, MSPaint, the program the original comic was created in. All three of the Paints can do incredible things if you know how. I'm not even close to being good enough for me to do incredible things in any program (yet alone, MSPaint, Windows 7 Paint, or even Paint.NET :P), but I can always hope that eventually with enough practice I will be. Though I hope to eventually get faster, it takes me about a week to produce each comic, working on it approximately three hours a day, for ~21 hours/week.
There's not much more I can really say, here. If there's anything else you want to know, feel free to ask. Drop a comment and I'll respond. If you have an account, send a PM and I'll answer. If you wish to do neither of these, I do have an firstname.lastname@example.org. Be warned, I don't check there often, so a comment or a PM will be a far faster way to receive an answer from me.
About The Setting (Mechanics):
The Descended is a webcomic set in the World of Soano (Something or Another), a fictional (and somewhat typical Heroic Fantasy) world I created specifically for the webcomic while on Christmas Vacation of 2009, taking inspiration from previous projects and Order of the Stick lookalikes (among many others). It was one of my first attempts to make a comic which would stick, but fell through for a while until I decided that it should once more be the webcomic I should devote myself to.
Originally just a generic system with rules made up as I was going along, the world of Soano quickly developed into a full-blown RPG in its own right, with many unique ideas and complicated rules incorporated into it from its many inspirations. The cast originally so poorly thought out for essentially gag-a-day comics slowly evolved with time into a distinctive set of many characters each with a level of personal detail enough to make them truly feel alive, now equally as expanded as the world they were in with a rich past, present, and future in mind. With this gaming world I created as the setting for The Descended alongside the new updated cast, it would allow me to combine all of my interests into one: Gaming, Writing, and Drawing into a single project, more ambitious than any other I have ever undertaken.
While the Webcomic currently follows the adventures of three groups--The Elementals, The Latens, and The Outcasts--the extensive mechanics have grown to take a life of their own. You can find out more about The Characters and Their Inspiration by checking out the appropriate pages, but as for the World of Soano as we know it and the mechanics governing this gaming world, there is no other page dedicated to that: and so, for the remainder of this page, I will go into the details of the mechanics governing Soano.
When I made The World of Soano to work on gaming rules, I knew I needed to keep it as simple as I could during character creation, because too much to manage would mean I never could create the RPG by myself. As such, the world is governed by three base Classes--Warrior, Rogue, and Mage, along with their combinations (Warrior-Rouge=Martial Artist, Warrior-Mage=Paladin, Rogue-Mage=Woodsman, and All=Joat), for a grand total of seven possible classes--but instead of having seven Ability tech trees, there are only three, with the combinations having access to both but growing at a significantly slower pace to compensate. Warriors have Skills, Rogues have Techniques, and Mages have Spells. They do much as you would expect them to do: Warriors specialize in melee, Mages in magic, and Rogues in the leftovers, ranged weaponry and underhand moves.
Going hand-in-hand with classes, I knew from the start that I wanted to include Elements into the world, and decided to go with the classic eight: Fire, Ice, Energy, Earth, Wind, Water, Light, and Darkness, which I eventually created an extended rock-paper-scissors format for: Energy->Water->Fire->Ice->Light->Darkness->Wind->Earth->Energy. Like with classes, combinations of two (but not three or four or five or six...) elements exist, as does all (called "Master"), creating a total of thirty-seven element possibilities. Each Element has three Ability tech trees, one for each of the three base classes, making a surprisingly-large 24 tech trees, but this is a huge improvement over the 259 tech trees originally envisioned. Each Elemental tech tree is unique, making every class's take on the element different, but universally, Fire, Ice, Energy, and Earth are offensive-based elements, and the other four are not offense-based.
Between the two, I decided there would be both AP and EP, to spend on Abilities and Elemental Abilities, earned in battle...and added in some slightly more advanced concepts, such as gaining more AP/EP by using Abilities/Elemental Abilities, Elemental Abilities needing to be used a certain number of times to level up, creating the tech tree, etc.
Once I got how class-element combos would work down, I needed to give stats for each class to make use of--after brainstorming what stats I've seen and how they have been used, I came up with ten stats, and decided that there would therefore be ten stats given per level. The stats are Intelligence, Wisdom, Instinct, Dexterity, Nimbleness, Reflex, Luck, Charisma, Strength, and Endurance.
So I had character classes, as well as the stats needed. I didn't need to work on items, because I knew they would be a wildcard. (In-universe, there are over 42 item slots. For the sake of the RPG, I'm simplifying it to Seven--Armor, Helm, R Hand, L Hand, and three Accessory slots.) Those were the essentials for making a player, but I needed one final thing to make a character: an alignment system. The standard nine system from Lawful Good to Lawful Neutral to Neutral Good to Chaotic Good to True Neutral to Chaotic Neutral to Lawful Evil to Neutral Evil to Chaotic Evil seemed like a good place to start, but it didn't quite match what my characters needed, having a slight flaw in that no human truly fits in purely one category (they're called YMMV on TVTropes for a reason)...so I evolved it, modifying it by adding in a third axis: idealism. This modification creates a total of 27 possible alignments, with the lines between each becoming somewhat blurry: adding in a sense of realism to characters, as few can truly define a person as belonging strictly to a single alignment.
And as a finishing touch for an RPG system, I also needed to give Adventurers some kind of goal, an ultimate prize to be rewarded: Ascension, gained at Level 900, where a character becomes a god and joins other deities above.
With these basics in mind, I had what I needed to create characters.
-Intelligence: The raw brainpower of an individual, intelligence is put bluntly how smart someone is.
Every point in Intelligence gives approximately 10 MP. 1 point is 10, 2 is 20, 10 is ~100, and so on. Each point in Int gives .1 points to Reflex as well, since the smarter you are, the faster you can formulate plans to react. Intelligence also gives bonuses to Abilities, in particular, Spells, whenever they are used/cast. It's the primary stat used to boost Magic Attack, also giving a slight boost to Magic Defense.
-Wisdom: The gaming equivalent to real-life experience, Wisdom is how knowledgeable the character is--you can be incredibly smart (high Int) and be naive (low Wis), just as you can be pretty dumb (low Int) yet still figure things out from your experiences (high Wis). It might not seem like the stat has much of an impact compared to Int, but anyone who thinks Int is more important than Wisdom won't live for very long.
Wisdom also gives bonuses to Abilities, but its main bonus is to Elemental Abilities, something Intelligence does not give. Additionally, Int focuses mainly on attack and defense abilities, such as casting a fireball or healing an ally--wisdom focuses on the things not covered by Int, such as giving bonuses to the chance for a status ailment to work. It equally boosts Magic Attack and Magic Defense.
-Instinct: Acting by Feel, Instinct is a person's gut--and at high levels, instinct is so good it becomes a sixth sense. This stat is how much in-tune a person is with their world, allowing for acting without conscious thought.
As such, Instinct offers .2 Reflex per point in Instinct, stacking with the Int bonus, and every point in both Int and Ins will also give a .05 point to Wisdom (1Int+1Ins=.05Wis). Instinct is the primary stat boosting Magic Defense. Additionally, Instinct is the main stat used to counter all status effects, especially the mental ones--and this bonus also applies to the senses, so Instinct is the bane of those dealing in deception. Furthermore, Instinct is the main stat to help detect someone sneaking up on you, making it the counter to unexpected attack.
-Dexterity: Hand coordination skill, dealing with arm speed and control.
Dexterity is the main stat dealing with Accuracy, even for Mages, and also is the main stat used for parrying. It significantly amplifies all abilities dealing with the hands, making it excellent for Warriors and Rogues alike, though Rogues get a far larger bonus for techniques such as pickpocketing. It's the main stat used in determining Ranged-weapon damage. It's also essential to keep high in order to dual-wield, use a sword-and-shield combo to its most effective, using two-handed weapons, and handling ranged weaponry. As Dexterity deals somewhat with speed, it gives .125 Reflex for every point in Dexterity.
-Nimbleness: Foot speed and grace, dealing with control of the legs.
Nimbleness does many things for a character--first and foremost, it is the main stat used to dodge attacks, and the main stat calculating a character's ability to sneak up on someone. It also gives users a balance bonus, making it harder for them to be knocked down. Another bonus granted by Nim is that any Ability utilizing the legs (such as a simple kick) gets a bonus from Nim, be it an attack or defense (or even running away). And as Nimbleness covers leg speed, it is the largest boost to Reflex there is, with each point in Nim giving .3 Reflex.
-Reflex: Reaction speed--quickness, both mental and physical. Put simply, it's your speed in battle, how fast you act and react to situations. You go faster, you run faster, you think quicker...reflex is the stat for them all. As you can tell by four stats boosting it, it's pretty much one of the most important stats for any class, though Rogues of course receive the most benefit from having it.
Reflex is the main stat for Evading attacks, and Evade takes bonuses from both Dodge and Parry roles--but unlike Dodge and Parry, Evade also covers magical attacks. However, most importantly, it also determines order in combat because it's the stat which boosts speed--so in general, the character with the most reflex acts first, the character with the least reflex acts last.
-Luck: How fortunate a character is; High luck increases your chances of survival. Want a Deus ex machina? It's not going to happen unless Luck's your strongest stat. No matter how good your other stats are, if you have bad luck, you're bound to fail--and to some extent, it works the other way, as no matter how abysmally bad your other stats are, good luck can save your life through contrived coincidences.
Luck affects ALL roles, no matter their nature--whatever you're doing, it has a chance to succeed or fail, determined by luck. With more luck than the obstacles you face, you get a pretty decent bonus to your roles. If your luck is about equal to your obstacles, well, it depends on the gamemaster's mood (Benevolent, average, or Sadistic), but in general they cancel out. However, if you're idiotic enough to make this your dump-stat, be warned: if what you're facing has significantly more luck than you do, they not only get a bonus, but YOU GET A PENALTY. Effectively doubling the gap and making your life that much harder. The most common way to observe Luck in combat is to look at how often an enemy misses: if your luck is good, it will be often. If your luck is bad, they'll hit you even when by all rights they shouldn't. It's one of the most important stats to have, because while it doesn't do anything specifically noticeable, it does more work than any other stat in the long-run.
-Charisma: How charming and convincing you can be, your smoothness and also your attractiveness. The more charisma you have, the more persuasive you can be. While this is pretty much next-to-worthless when it comes to battle, it's probably the most important skill out-of-battle: NPCs are more easily swayed, allowing for better prices and barters, also making it easier for them to do what you say if they're part of your adventuring party.
It's not entirely worthless when it comes to adventuring, though--Characters with high Charisma receive more share of the loot and experience gained in battle than the normal proportion, regardless of how much fighting they did in the battle. Certain abilities dealing with manipulation and convincing also take a charisma bonus.
-Strength: Physical power, it's how strong and mighty you are.
Strength is primarily a Warrior stat, but it is useful for all classes with its many features. First and foremost, Strength is the primary stat used to boost Attack, and also gives a slight boost to Accuracy. If a weapon being used is a melee weapon, it receives an incredible bonus from strength, and if a weapon is ranged or magical, it receives a slight bonus from strength, making it good for unexpected combat scenarios. To top that off, it also gives a .3 bonus per point to Endurance. Emotions (such as rage) become stronger with Strength, and Limit Bars charge slightly faster. To top it all off, Fire Abilities (regardless of Magic, Melee, or Ranged in nature) get a slight bonus from Strength.
-Endurance: Both physical and mental, Endurance is how tough someone is. Mentally, you can think of this as their Willpower. Physically, it's their tolerance level.
Endurance is one of the most important stats to a player, because it not only controls how much damage you can take (max HP), but also how much you actually do take, as it's the stat used to boost Defense. Endurance is also the primary stat used to shake off physical status effects. Furthermore, Endurance is the stat which determines how badly something effects you--physical or mental trauma, whatever trial you have, Endurance is the stat used to counter it, influencing how fast you recover.
(SECTION NEEDS FINISHING TOUCH--How much HP/Endurance Point is given? I also need a note of how much HP is gained naturally, since HP--unlike MP--grows without stats.)
Note: Luck and Charisma are about equally useful for every class, as even the best adventurer can be felled by foul fortunes, and being able to charm people is a skill which helps all classes.
Warriors are the fighters of Soano, those who specialize in combat. They are the mighty powerhouses and ultimate walls when it comes to fighting. They deal with almost all aspects of the Melee, both dishing out damage and being quite capable of taking a ton of it as well. Their preferred weapons are the typical weapons of war: swords, axes, bludgeons, flails, spears, and the like, sometimes dual-wielding, or often-times protecting themselves with a shield. Their armor is typically the heaviest of the classes, but in exchange offers the best overall protection. When it comes to one-on-one fights, there are few instances where the Warrior would not win. While no stat is useless to a Warrior, the stats which they find the most useful are Strength, Endurance, and Instinct; the stats which they typically do not require are Intelligence, Wisdom, and Nimbleness.
All Warriors have the ability to chain some of their skills--what this means is that they can use multiple skills on the same turn, for free. As an example, an Energy Warrior can use arc, arc, and chain strike on the same turn. They could also do arc, arc, and circuit, though in this case they must use some (additional) MP because they finish the "combo" with something from a different skill tree. Note that only certain skills can be combo'd, and generally, it's only around half of the offensive ones.
Warriors' summons are summoned for a massive powerup, granting them bonuses to quickly end the fight.
Rogues are the indirect combatants of Soano, those who specialize in taking out opponents safely, be it by backstab, surprise attacks, stealth, from a distance, or with their tongue. Rogues cover the gaps which Warriors and Mages tend to leave when it comes to combat--mainly, they deal with speed and stealthy maneuvers. They are also the class which deals in Ranged attacks (such as bows, throwing knives, shurikens, and guns), while also being responsible for the underhand tactics which Warriors typically avoid. They're not exactly capable of taking much damage compared to a Warrior (though have a higher survival rate than Mages), but with a little cunning, they can maneuver themselves into a position where the challenge is being able to hit them in the first place, striking and retreating just out of range. Though they have less armor than a Warrior, their great agility and mobility grants them the stealth and speed they need to perform their tasks. While each class is unique, offering incredible variety, many perceive Rogues to be the "balanced" class between Warriors and Mages, due to their flexibility. While no stat is useless to a Rogue, the stats which they find the most useful are Dexterity, Nimbleness, and Reflexes; the stats which they typically do not require are Instinct and Strength.
Mages are the magicians of Soano, those who specialize in casting magic of various types. Being the only magical class, they have more variety in their elements (and are quite good at exploiting elemental weaknesses) than the other two classes as magic is a far more broad subject. In general, they can't take much of a hit, but their spells are strong enough to turn the tide of battle so that their team can dish out more damage than they take. Their weapons of choice are staves and wands, with the occasional scroll. When it comes to one-on-one fights, Mages (while far from useless) are almost always at the disadvantage, as their strength typically lies in dealing with groups of enemies. While no stat is useless to a Mage, the stats which they find the most useful are Intelligence, Wisdom, and Instinct; the stats which they typically do not require are Strength, Endurance, and Nimbleness.
Mages' summons are summoned to perform a single powerful attack, similar to your typical Final Fantasy game.
Mages of all elements have the following spells available to their arsenal with enough AP points invested into them. (DETAILS PENDING.)
Tree Branch 1--Long Weapon Mastery (passive): Ideally, the mage's long weapon of choice is a staff, simple or elegant not really mattering. However, mages often find themselves in less than ideal situations, and this skill permits them to use other long weapons (such as Spears and Rifles) as if they were staves. Each level makes the weapon progressively stronger and increases the mage's proficiency in using it during melee.
Tree Branch 2--Short Weapon Mastery (passive): Ideally, the mage's short weapon of choice is a wand. However, mages often find themselves in less than ideal situations, and this skill permits them to use other short weapons (such as Daggers and Pistols) as if they were wands. Each level makes the weapon progressively stronger and increases the mage's proficiency in using it during melee.
Tree Branch 3--Misc. Weapon Mastery (passive): Ideally, the mage's miscellaneous weapon of choice is scrolls of various kinds. However, mages often require a certain variety in their method of attack which scrolls do not offer, and this skill permits them to use other items (such as Rings and Pendants) as focus points for magic, just like scrolls. Each level makes the items used progressively stronger and increases the mage's flexibility with their weapon.
Tree Branch 1--Magic Mover: Non-elemental magic moves an object of the caster's choice; each level increases the number and size of objects capable of being moved.
Tree Branch 2--Helping Hand: Non-elemental magic creates an invisible magical "hand" which grants the caster an extra helper, capable of doing everything a normal hand can, e.g. pouring a cup of coffee, lifting a crate, holding a weapon; each level increases strength and range of the hand, and levels 3, 4, and 5 add the capability of another hand for four total when this ability is maxed.
Tree Branch 3--Push/Pull, Accelerate/Decelerate: Non-elemental magic which pushes or pulls an object (or subject) or accelerates/decelerates an object (or subject) already moving (the two can be combined to push/pull an object and then accelerate it, for instance). Each level increases the force and control available to the caster.
Tree Branch 1--Magic Aura (buff): Caster creates non-elemental aura surrounding themselves/their weapon (choose one) which increases their defensive/offensive capabilities; level increases the effect and bonuses received from doing so.
Tree Branch 2--Ki Blast: Caster creates non-elemental magic focused into their hands to launch a close-ranged magical blast to decimate their opponent; each level increases the power of the attack and decreases the charge time.
Tree Branch 3--Channel Chi: Caster creates non-elemental magic focused into an object they possess of their choosing (frequently, an accessory of some kind) and can unleash the energy within as they see fit, for close/middle/far-ranged offense, defense, or somewhere in-between; each level increases the variety available in both objects capable of being focused on and what the objects can do.
Tree Branch 1--Mystic Shield: Caster creates a shield around target which protects against melee attacks; level increases amount of protection and defensive bonuses received.
Tree Branch 2--Magic Shield: Caster creates a shield around target which protects against melee and ranged attacks; level increases amount of protection.
Tree Branch 3--Multi-Shield: Caster creates a shield around target which protects against all non-elemental attacks, be it melee, range, or magic; each level increases the amount of elemental protection also given by this spell.
Tree Branch 1--Elemental Resistance: Target receives resistance to one element (between Water/Wind/Light/Darkness); each level unlocks a new element that can have resistance cast against—ergo, starting at level 1, it can only be cast against Darkness, level 2 unlocks the choice of Light, 3 unlocks Wind, and 4 unlocks Water (user chooses which order); Level 5 gives an upgrade to the ability, allowing for the simultaneous casting of all four rather than just one.
Tree Branch 2--Elemental Immunity: Target receives immunity to one element (between Water/Wind/Light/Darkness); each level unlocks a new element that can have immunity cast against; Level 5 upgrades this ability, allowing for the simultaneous casting of two elements rather than just one.
Tree Branch 3--Elemental Absorption: Target temporarily absorbs one element (between Water/Wind/Light/Darkness); each level unlocks a new element that can have absorption cast on; Level 5 upgrades this ability, granting the target resistance to negative status ailments aligned with specified element and a corresponding bonus to positive status effects aligned with the specified element.
Tree Branch 1--Rest: Caster rests to recover MP, becoming more vulnerable to damage until their next turn; each level increases the amount of MP replenished.
Tree Branch 2--Recover: Caster gives up their turn to recover MP; each level increases the amount of MP replenished.
Tree Branch 3--Meditate: Caster gives up their turn to recover MP and becomes 20% less vulnerable to all forms of damage until their next turn; each level increases the amount of MP replenished.
Basic Magic Attacks:
Tree Branch 1--Magic Missile: Non-elemental magical attack to target; each level increases the amount of damage.
Tree Branch 2--Magic Blast: Non-elemental magical attack to single target (strong) or group (weak); each level increases the amount of damage.
Tree Branch 3--Magic Massacre: Non-elemental magical attack to target group (strong) or all enemies (weak); each level increases the amount of damage.
Tree Branch 1--Mana Pulse: Damage dealt is to target's MP rather than HP. Each level increases the amount of damage; level 5 gets upgraded and does 10% normal damage to HP as well.
Tree Branch 2--Life Reserve: Caster exchanges HP for an immediate significant boost in MP. Each level decreases the amount of HP sacrificed while increasing the amount of MP gained; level 5 gets upgraded and does 20% normal damage to a target as well.
Tree Branch 3--Desperate Drain: Simultaneously casts Mana Pulse and Life Reserve; each level increases all effects (MP damage, MP gained, decrease in HP lost, amount of HP damage dealt to target) by 5%, for a maximum of 25%.
For Massive Damage:
Tree Branch 1--Critical Situation (buff): All ally attacks (caster excluded) have an increased chance of being critical for a time; each level increases the number of turns this effect lasts (starting at 1) and the chance of the critical (starting at 50%) occurring.
Tree Branch 2--Focus Strength (buff): Next attack by caster will be a critical hit; each level increases the percentage of the crit (starting at 100%). (NOTE: Crits default to double damage, which is 100%. Crits with higher percentages do a higher amount of damage, and vice versa--a 50% crit is 150% damage, a 200% crit is 300% damage.)
Tree Branch 3--Final Strike: Non-elemental magical attack which crits instantly; each level increases the base damage of the attack (starting at 75%).
Tree Branch 1--Laser Pointer (buff): All ally attacks have increased accuracy for a time; each level increases the number of turns this effect lasts (starting at 1) and the amount accuracy is boosted (starting at 50%).
Tree Branch 2--Lock On (buff): Next attack by caster will be a guaranteed hit; each level increases the base accuracy (starting at 100%). (NOTE: 'guaranteed hit' isn't actually guaranteed, with a number of factors coming into play—if the target has cast a spell greatly improving their chance of dodging/parrying/blocking/being missed by an attack, and/or cast a spell greatly reducing the accuracy of someone, and/or stats are distributed in a way to leave them very likely to be missed, then things guaranteed to hit…aren't guaranteed to hit. 'base accuracy' also increases 'guaranteed damage' if it connects, something 'base damage'* does not increase.)
Tree Branch 3--Sure Strike: Non-magical attack guaranteed to hit; each level increases the base damage of the attack (starting at 75%).
*Base damage is how much the attack does, without factoring in bonuses for the attacker and penalties due to the defender. For instance, an attack with a base damage of 10 can do more with stat increases to, say, 20, but be decreased down to, say, 15 due to the target's stats. Or in a more severe case where the attacker is outclassed, the base damage of 10 which SHOULD do 20 damage after stat increases ends up only doing 5 because the target's stats reduce it by that much. This means it doesn't influence the minimum amount of damage an attack can inflict, merely being how much damage an attack would normally do with all other factors removed.
Tree Branch 1--Magical Supplement (buff): Target's next attack is augmented with non-elemental magical damage in addition to their normal damage. Each level increases the amount of damage given by this spell.
Tree Branch 2--Magical Augmentation (buff): Target weapon is augmented with non-elemental magical damage in addition to their normal damage. Each level increases the amount of damage given by this spell.
Tree Branch 3--Magical Enchantment: Target weapon is permanently given a non-elemental magical damage in addition to their normal damage; Each level increases the power of the augmentation, with level 5 allowing for elemental augmentation.
Tree Branch 1--Elemental Attack: A weak magical attack of an element the caster chooses. Each level increases the amount of damage from this spell.
Tree Branch 2--Elemental Blast: A slightly stronger magical attack of an element the caster chooses. Each level increases the amount of damage from this spell, and also increases the chance of an elemental special effect.
Tree Branch 3--Elemental Barrage: Caster unleashes an elemental barrage, attacking eight times, once of each element. Each level increases the amount of damage from each attack.
Tree Branch 1--Direct Magic: Deal a fixed-damage attack, which is not reduced by enemy stats but not increased by caster's own stats. Each level increases damage; level 5 grants a bonus based on caster's level.
Tree Branch 2--Absolute Magic: Deals a fixed-damage attack which is not reduced by enemy stats nor increased by caster's stats. Additionally, spell ignores any magical resistance the enemy may possess. Each level increases damage.
Tree Branch 3--Magic Bypass: Deals a non-elemental attack which is not reduced by enemy stats, but gains a bonus from the caster's stats. Each level increases the percentage of the caster's stats used (starting at 5%).
Anything But Futile:
Tree Branch 1--Magic Resistance (passive): Grants magical resistance; Each level increases the resistance given.
Tree Branch 2--Damage Resistance (passive): Grants melee and range resistance; Each level increases the resistance given.
Tree Branch 3--Elemental Resistance (passive): Grants elemental resistance to all elements; Each level increases the resistance given.
Tree Branch 1--Mana Store (passive): Grants an extra store of mana. Each level increases the amount stored.
Tree Branch 2--Iron Glass (passive): Grants an extra boost to HP (among other things). Each level increases the boost.
Tree Branch 3--Mana Battery (passive): Regenerate a small amount of MP automatically; each level increases the amount restored.
Tree Branch 1--Phase Door: Caster magically shifts a short distance. Each level decreases the cast time and increases the control over where the caster lands.
Tree Branch 2--Teleport: Caster magically shifts a long distance, or caster's party (self included) shifts a short distance; each level decreases the cast time and increases control.
Tree Branch 3--Runic Return: Caster magically shifts self and party to a town or an uncleared dungeon the caster has been to; level increases the number of casts allowed per day (starting at 1). (Note: Cannot be used inside of combat.)
Who Needs A Crystal Ball?:
Tree Branch 1--Detect: Caster uses magic to sense the nature of surroundings or a target subject; levels increase the range and sensitivity of the detection.
Tree Branch 2--Scan: Caster uses magic to sense for something specific, e.g. monsters, items, traps, alignment; levels increase the range and accuracy of the scan.
Tree Branch 3--Scry: Caster uses magic to peek at a remote location or person; levels increase the details gleaned from scrying.
Tree Branch 1--Telepathy: Caster creates a mental link, enabling the sharing of thoughts mentally; each level increases the amount of people capable of sharing the link with, along with the distance allowed with level 5 permitting unlimited distance.
Tree Branch 2--Closed Mind: Caster renders themselves immune to being read. This protection extends to other forms of spells, techniques, and skills as well; level increases how resistant the caster becomes.
Tree Branch 3--Mindreader: Caster reads the mind of target individual, learning their next course of action; level increases the success rate of gathering useful information.
IMPORTANT: THIS ABILITY IS LOCKED FROM WOODSMAN AND PALADINS UNTIL LEVEL 300! IT IS LOCKED FROM JOATS UNTIL 600!
Tree Branch 1--Mana Generator (passive): A small amount of mana is generated at the end of a caster's turn. Level increases the amount of mana gained; stacks with Mana Battery (which generates mana at the beginning of a turn).
Tree Branch 2--Materia Morpher (passive): AP and EP gain during battles is slightly increased; level increases the amount increased.
Tree Branch 3--Sage's Secret (passive): EXP gain is slightly increased; level increases amount.
Tree Branch 1--Star Strength (passive): Mage gains bonuses to stats depending on the terrain; level increases the amount gained.
Tree Branch 2--Star Power (passive): The mage's party (but not the mage themselves) gets bonuses to stats depending on the terrain; level increases the amount gained.
Tree Branch 3--Star's Wisdom (passive): Enemies who do not have the benefit of star strength or star power receive a penalty to stats depending on the terrain; level increases the penalty inflicted on them.
Why We Travel In Numbers:
Tree Branch 1--Area Control (passive): mage's area-of-effect spells are amplified; level increases the amount of the increase.
Tree Branch 2--Party Power (passive): mage's multiple-target spells are amplified; level increases the amount of the increase.
Tree Branch 3--Protection Pact (passive): mage gains significant boosts to all stats when traveling as an adventuring party with others. (Disclaimer: only works if there is at least one member of the party who has warrior as one of their classes; a party of all-mages/all-woodsmen would not receive this bonus. Level 5 allows this bonus to take effect if there is a pure rogue in the party, and grants a slight bonus if there's also a warrior present.)
Melee, Range, and Magic attacks have more depth to them than just being melee, ranged, and magic attacks.
Read it here in more detail. Page separated because it's a slightly different tone and style from the rest of this page and it's a bit on the long side.
Soano is governed by a basic eight-element system. At their core, most things possess some elemental affiliation. Including the classes, the foundations for adventurers. As such, each class has an elemental tech tree to go along with their element. However, while there are eight base elements, the elements can be combined with any other base element. The combination elements are:
Light+Wind=Monk (formerly: Priest)
Darkness+Energy=S.Order (formerly: Black Lightning)
Darkness+Water=Cunning (formerly: Clever)
Darkness+Fire=Purge (formerly: Black Fire)
Earth+Ice=Diamond (formerly: Spike)
There is also a balance between the elements.
Energy electrocutes Water, Water extinguishes Fire, Fire melts Ice, Ice deflects Light, Light vanquishes Darkness, Darkness consumes Wind, Wind tears Earth, and Earth beats Energy.
There are four elements which focus on offense (with each offensive element having its own special trait), and four elements which focus on more specialized areas.
Offensive element of, well, energy, dealing with strength and determination, stubbornness to the end, where users are battling with their wills; matches are often not decided by outmaneuvering or overpowering opponents, but rather, outlasting them.
-Divine Bolt/Divine Bolt/Divine Strike: 1/2/3. A Shock/Shock/Bolt spell, which instead of being cast from the user, comes down from the heavens.
-Shockwave/Shockwave/Blast: 1/2/3. A wave of energy emitted from the user which hits all targets and does equal damage to each; has double the stun chance of a normal spell.
-Kame/Hame/Hadoken: 1/2/3. A ball of energy charged in both hands and shot out. When as a Hadoken, is a solid wave instead of just a ball.
-Shot/Shot/Beam: 1/2/3. Energy bolts shoot out of the eyes; a more precise ability than any other energy mage spell, it’s meant to target specific areas rather than specific targets.
*9: Summon—EnerDragon Rames: Thunderstrike/Quickening Overload Steed: Thundaja Burst/Linaarch: Lithium Wire Trip.
*10: Limit Break—Endless Spectacle/Endless Spirit/Unending Strike; 1/2/3.
LB Special Trait: Can continue to be fueled by MP, and up to 50% of current HP; Unending Strike drains MP during main attack.
-Drain/Drain/Drain: 1/2/3. Drains HP/MP/EXP, at the cost of MP/HP/MP+HP.
-Overcharge/Overcharge/Supercharge: 1/2/3. Next energy spell/spell/ability is given additional strength.
-Deflect/Deflect/Reflect: 1/2/3. Blocks an incoming energy spell/spell/ability and shoots it out/sends back towards attacker/is channeled to target location.
-Channel/Channel/Absorb: 1/2/3. Boosts Energy Resistance/Nullifies Energy Attacks/Absorbs Energy Attacks temporarily.
-Arc/Arc/Chain Strike: 1/2/3. A single electrified swing of the weapon; chain strike hits multiple foes.
-Jolt/Jolt/Circuit: 1/2/3. A single electrified jab of the weapon; circuit hits multiple foes.
-Charged Swing/Charged Swing/Cutting Strike: 1/2/3. User does a single spin around, charging the weapon; cutting strike hits multiple foes.
-Split Approach/Split Approach/Deadly Current: 1/2/3. A series of electrified jabs of the weapon; deadly current hits multiple foes.
-Charged Throw/Charged Throw/Overcharged Sling: 1/2/3. User electrifies their weapon and flings it at target; overcharged sling can pierce multiple foes on trajectory.
-Area Flow/Area Flow/Power Flow: 1/2/3. User gains control of an area; any enemies within the area are electrified; power flow makes the entire enemy’s current position automatically part of user’s area.
-Initial Jump/Initial Jump/Final Charge: 1/2/3. User charges enemies in a defensive stance; final charge trades the defensive stance for pure offense.
-Rebound/Rebound/Counter-strike: 1/2/3. User takes defensive stance; any attacks on user will be met by a retaliatory attack free of charge.
-Divine Might/Divine Might/Power of Grayskull: 1/2/3. User raises weapon above head; lightning bolt hits weapon, charging the user; they refill a significant amount of their MP and any enemy standing right next to them is instantly fried.
-Fighting Spirit/Fighting Spirit/Eternal Spirit: 1/2/3. User recovers some HP, gains a speed boost, and has their next attack be significantly increased.
-Bolstered Challenge/Bolstered Challenge/Suicidal Overconfidence: 1/2/3. User issues a challenge to all enemies; enemies are required to target the user and the user only. User gains significant defensive bonus, except with suicidal overconfidence which changes it to an MP bonus.
-Rubber Gloves/Inverted Current/Battle Energy: 1/2/3. Energy attacks are nullified/absorbed; Battle Energy gives resistance to all elements, but double resistance to energy.
Offensive element of power and directness, users are strong and frequently stubborn. Battles are not often settled by the wits, atrophy, or speed, with a typical match between users decided by who strikes hardest.
-Smoke/Ash/Flame: 1/2/3. Flames erupt from the ground at target location.
-Lava/Blaze/Hellfire: 1/2/3. Flames flow from the user along the ground, burning all they touch; doubles potential burn damage.
-Pyre/Pillar/Stream: 1/2/3. A solid stream of fire shot from both hands.
-H. Ray/H. Ray/H. Wave: 1/2/3. Laser Eye power; it is meant to be the fire precision spell, to target specific areas.
*9: Summon—Rames Dungeon Wyvern: Destructive Firebreath/Striker Ivaria: Chaotic Ballflame Spark/Sarphyre: Catastrophic Mars Flare.
*10: Limit Break—Firewheel/Flame Barrage/Heat Death; 1/2/3.
LB Special Trait: Desperation Bar is set to 75/50/25% rather than 0; Heat Death drains HP from enemy.
-Rage/Rage/Fury: 1/2/3. Greatly increases the Desperation Bar fill rate; Fury gives an instant boost to it as well.
-Burning Passion/Infernal Soul/Pyromaniac: 1/2/3. Next fire spell is given strength proportional to HP already lost; Pyromaniac offers the chance to sacrifice HP to increase the given strength.
-Convert/Convert/Combust: 1/2/3. Incoming fire spells/spells/abilities are reduced in damage, and grant a speed bonus.
-Counter/Cancel/Consume: 1/2/3. Boosts Fire Resistance/Nullifies Fire Attacks/Absorbs Fire Attacks temporarily.
-Spark/Spark/Fire Wave: 1/2/3. A single blazed swing of the weapon; Fire Wave hits multiple foes.
-Lance/Lance/Melt: 1/2/3. A single blazed jab of the weapon; Melt hits multiple foes.
-Fueled Flame/Fueled Flame/Fierce Blow: 1/2/3. User spins around, heating weapon; Fierce Blow hits multiple foes.
-Spinning Flame/Spinning Flame/Wheel of Death: 1/2/3. A circle of blazed jabs with the weapon; Wheel of Death hits multiple foes.
-Fast Pitch/Fast Pitch/Curveball: 1/2/3. User emblazes their weapon and flings it at high speeds at target; curveball adds a spin to the weapon’s swing, hitting all foes who come in contact with it.
-Circle of Flame/Circle of Flame/Ring of Combat: 1/2/3. User gains control of an area; any enemies within the area are burned, and can only attack those inside of the area; Ring of Combat makes entire enemy’s current position automatically part of user’s area.
-Rising Star/Rising Star/Blaze of Glory: 1/2/3. User charges enemies in an offensive stance; Blaze of Glory converts any defensive capability into pure offense.
-Greek Fire/Greek Fire/Devil’s Damage: 1/2/3. User takes a cautious stance; any attacks on user or adjacent allies will be met by a retaliatory attack free of charge.
*9: Summon—Dungeon Wyvern/Striker Ivaria/Sarphyre.
-Bloodlust/Bloodlust/Berserk: 1/2/3. User holds weapon out, inviting harm while laughing it away. They are engulfed in flames and recover all their HP, frying any enemy foolish enough to have gotten inside their circle of death. User then gains a considerable boost to all offense-related stats and becomes immune to all negative status ailments, but can only use the standard attack until this status is cured. Berserk grants a speed boost and cures all status ailments as well.
-Battle Hound/Battle Hound/Glorious Death: 1/2/3. User’s next (few) attack(s) will be a guaranteed critical. All enemies attacking will have significantly reduced damage when targeting the user, and when the user’s next attack hits, the target of the attack will take a permanent damage penalty. Furthermore, the more HP which the user has lost, the stronger this skill becomes. Glorious Death offers the chance to sacrifice HP, along with also granting the critical bonus for multiple turns rather than just one.
-Battle Chant/Battle Chant/War Cry: 1/2/3. User utters a cry which buffs all allies and debuffs all enemies. As a side-effect, enemies have a significantly increased chance of targeting the user. Every time they do target the user, the user gains a speed boost and significant spike in offensive power.
-Flamesuit/Burning Desire/Infernal Strength: 1/2/3. Fire attacks on user are nullified/absorbed; Infernal Strength gives resistance to all elements, with doubled resistance to Fire.
Offensive element of speed; users tend to act quickly, emphasizing fastness in their attacks. Many Ice attacks slow or stop a target, because if you can’t act quickly in battle, then you can’t win. Battles between users are not typically won by wits, strength, or endurance, but rather, who strikes first.
-Spike/Spike/Icicle: 1/2/3. Beginning spell; shoots an ice spike.
-Frost/Frost/Freeze: 1/2/3. Continuous bombardment of ice.
-Ice/Prism/Burst: 1/2/3. The stereotypical Ice spell cast in a game.
-Snow/Snow/Bliz: 1/2/3. Continuous version of Frost/Frost/Freeze.
-Fall/Fall/Hail: 1/2/3. Ice falls from the sky.
-Cold Breeze/Cold Snap/Winter Storm: 1/2/3. A wave of cold air sweeps across the field, damaging all it touches; doubles chance of slow; triples chance of freeze.
-Snowball/Iceball/Avalanche: 1/2/3. Throws a ball of snow—it grows as an Iceball and as an Avalanche transforms into a solid wave of snow.
-Cold Hand/Cold Hand/Frozen Fingernails: 1/2/3. A fine stream of ice from the fingers, meant as the precision ice spell.
*9: Summon—Ruler Chivu: Shivering Matriarch/Narve Rixia: Chilling Frostwave/Shyrūsanzer Kelum: Antarctic Sting.
*10: Limit Break—Glacier/Icefall/Absolute Zero; 1/2/3.
LB Special Trait: User regains all MP; in Absolute Zero, enemies lose all MP as well.
-Store/Surplus/Siphon: 1/2/3. MP use reduced/MP use eliminated/Boosts MP if your opponent has extra MP (though it doesn’t steal it from them).
-Fission Finger/Hailstone Hand/Arctic Arm: 1/2/3. Next ice spell/ice attack/attack is cast twice/three times/four times (at reduced strength).
-Exaggerate/Expel/Exhaust: 1/2/3. Incoming ice spells/spells/abilities cost the user extra MP to cast; Exhaust bleeds HP as well.
-Alter/Abstain/Abolish: 1/2/3. Boosts Ice Resistance/Nullifies Ice Attacks/Absorbs Ice Attacks temporarily.
-Strike/Strike/Swipe: 1/2/3. A single frosted swing of the weapon; swipe hits multiple foes.
-Snap/Snap/Clamp: 1/2/3. A single frosted quick jab of the weapon; clamp hits multiple foes and doubles their chance of being frozen.
-Skate/Trap/Shutdown: 1/2/3. Skate—User spins around, chilling the weapon; Trap—user flairs weapon, chilling it while countering any enemy’s weapon before the slash; Shutdown—a combination of Skate then Trap, which hits multiple foes.
-Spring/Spring/Blitzkrieg: 1/2/3. A series of frosted jabs of the weapon; blitzkrieg hits multiple foes, tripling their chance of being frozen, doubling their chance of being slowed.
-Mint Breath/Mint Breath/Chilled Breath: 1/2/3. User chills weapon and flings it at target, ignoring all defenses; chilled breath speeds up the attack and allows it to pass through obstacles on the way to its target.
-Igloo Area/Igloo Area/Winter Fort: 1/2/3. User gains control of an area; any enemies within the area are instantly chilled, slowed, and have their resistance to freezing if present set to zero (and if none is present, have it significantly below zero, increasing their chance of being frozen drastically), and the user gains a significant bonus to defense; Winter Fort puts all enemies automatically contained within the area.
-White Blanket/White Blanket/Ambush: 1/2/3. User charges enemies at blazing speeds, significantly reducing enemy’s chances of successfully defending against the charge; ambush sacrifices user’s defense to increase the damage of the offense.
-Readiness/Readiness/Expedition: 1/2/3. User takes a stance preparing to pounce at any enemies who get near; any attacks within user’s range will have a chance of being intercepted; expedition grants a significant increase in this skill’s range.
*9: Summon—Ruler Chivu/Narve Rixia/Shyrūsanzer Kelum.
-Arctic Wind/Arctic Wind/Antarctic Wind: 1/2/3. User swings weapon around their head, summoning the frosty winds which bombard any enemy within their circle of death, freezing them. User gains a significant boost to their speed, while slowing down all enemies and giving them a slight penalty to their defense. Antarctic Wind causes a penalty to the user’s defense, in exchange for a significant reduction in MP cost and a boost in speed proportional to the defense lost.
-Foolhardy Fighter/Hellfrozen Fighter/Ardent Explorer: 1/2/3. User sacrifices HP for an increase in defense and significant increase in speed; all skills which can be combo’d now attack an extra time. Hellfrozen Fighter has less of a speed increase but restores some MP. Ardent Explorer changes the HP loss into MP drained, in exchange for a significant increase in damage.
-Icy Idol/Icy Idol/Winter Warrior: 1/2/3. User becomes the sole target of all enemies. As a side-effect, all enemies begin losing MP when attacking. Winter Warrior adds in HP loss as well.
-Polar Skin/Frozen Heart/Icy Spirit: 1/2/3. Ice attacks on user are nullified/absorbed; Icy Spirit gives resistance to all elements, with doubled resistance to Ice.
Offensive element of patience—users are slow, but win battles by outmaneuvering opponents. Earth has the status ailments Stun, Poison, and Petrify for this reason; each comes in handy when trying to win battles with wits.
-Dirt/Dirt/Mud: 1/2/3. Beginning spell; user flings dirt/dirt/mud.
-Pellet/Pellet/Seed: 1/2/3. Continuous bombardment via pellets/pellets/seeds, like dirt/dirt/mud but not stopping.
-Split/Tremor/Fissure: 1/2/3. The ground splits open/collapses/becomes one huge gap, and deals massive damage to all enemies.
-Earth/Shake/Quake: 1/2/3. Continuous split/tremor/fissure; enemies are dealt wave after wave of damage.
-Stalagmite/Stalagmite/Stalactite: 1/2/3. Spikes shoot from the ground; in Stalactite, they additionally fall from the sky.
-Pillar/Platform/Wall: 1/2/3. Pillars of Rock/a solid platform/a series of walls shoot out from the ground, dealing significant damage to all enemies—with a significant chance to poison/stun/petrify, while boosting caster’s defense as well.
-Stone/Boulder/Rockslide: 1/2/3. Throws a rock—it’s a large rock as a boulder, and as a Rockslide transforms into a solid bombardment of rocks.
-Earth Strike/Terra Finger/Gaia’s Hand: 1/2/3. Strikes at a precise location/creates a finger from the earth/creates a hand from the earth to do specific tasks.
*9: Summon—Tonhecmal the Titan: Mountain Crush/Fenris: Land Swallow/Taia Gyr: Crumbling Midgar.
*10: Limit Break—Earthen Impact/Catatonic Cavein/Terrestrial Terror; 1/2/3.
LB Special Trait: All enemies are left with a guaranteed stun/poison/petrify, unless an enemy has resistance, in which case, they receive a second/two more/three additional attack(s).
-Ivy Snare/Tangled Branch/Grounding Vine: 1/2/3. Immobilizes target; saps MP/HP/EXP from them; has a higher chance of casting petrify/stun/poison.
-Blunt Force/Traumatic Toxin/Poisonous Paralyzer: 1/2/3. Next attack has a significantly increased chance of causing stun/poison/petrify, a higher chance of casting petrify/stun/poison, and a slight increase in the chance of poison/petrify/stun.
-Dust/Quicksand/Sandstorm: 1/2/3. Incoming earth spells/spells/abilities have a chance of being deflected/being deflected or fading out/being deflected, fading out, or rebounding; in the case of a rebound, target may receive stun, poison, or petrify.
-Leaf Me Alone/Unbreakable Iron/Rock You: 1/2/3. Boosts Earth Resistance/Nullifies Earth Attacks/Absorbs Earth Attacks temporarily.
-Gash/Gash/Fling: 1/2/3. A single swing of the weapon empowered by the earth; Fling hits multiple foes and can send them flying.
-Sting/Sting/Bite: 1/2/3. A single jab of the weapon empowered by the earth with poison imbued in the weapon; Bite hits multiple foes and adds chance of petrifaction.
-Skull Splitter/Terrific Tumor/Foe Fracture: 1/2/3. A gigantic swing of the weapon empowered by the earth; Foe Fracture hits multiple foes, sends them flying, and causes guaranteed stun.
-Ivy Strike/Leafblade Leap/Fourth Flora: 1/2/3. A series of strikes with the weapon enhanced by the power of nature to have significantly increases chances of status effects; Leafblade Leap is faster and stronger at the cost of having less chance of inflicting the status effects; Fourth Flora hits multiple foes with full damage and an increased chance of status effects, guaranteeing at least one will be inflicted on all the skill touches.
-Hammer Throw/Axe Swing/Target Toss: 1/2/3. User throws their weapon up at an angle to hit their target, bypassing any ground-level defenses at the cost of accuracy; when hit, the weapon explodes, sending (status-inflicting) debris everywhere. Target Toss guarantees a hit on the target and adds in mulch to the debris for additional chance of damage and status ailments.
-Wisher’s Wall/High Heresy/Terra Temple: 1/2/3. User creates a zone of control, where they are the master. Any enemies within this area automatically have any resistance to status ailments removed, and any status ailments they were not resistant to they are now more susceptible to. Enemies take significant speed, defense, and offensive penalties as well. Furthermore, they automatically take some earth damage when entering and extreme earth damage if they attempt to leave. Terra Temple puts all enemies automatically in this zone. (NOTE: Unlike most skills, for this earth ability it takes two turns to complete.)
-Stone Wall/Tortoise Shell/Rock On: 1/2/3. User gains significant defense and offense bonus while charging an enemy; Rock On sacrifices defense while granting an HP bonus and a significant increase in both speed and offense.
-Power Poison/Stunning Strength/Boulder Barrier: 1/2/3. User takes a cautious stance; any enemies entering within striking range will automatically receive a status ailment from the user at no cost, and the user gains a significant increase in defense and offense. Boulder Barrier grants a significant chance of a second status ailment, while giving a slight increase in speed and range of this skill.
*9: Summon—Tonhecmal the Titan/Fenris/Taia Gyr.
-Nature Network/Gaia’s Ground/Teutonic Transfer: 1/2/3. Nature Network—user gains a significant increase in speed, while simultaneously beginning to leech the speed of enemies. Gaia’s Ground—user gains a significant increase in defense, while simultaneously any enemies within range lose all of theirs. Teutonic Transfer—user gains a significant increase in offensive capabilities, and simultaneously all enemies begin to start suffering from status ailments.
-Single Choice/Sadistic Switch/Precious Plan: 1/2/3. User sacrifices their ability to combo attacks—in exchange, they are granted significant increases in HP, defense, and offense, with a great increase in speed. Sadistic Switch grants less of a speed bonus, but allows for the ability to combo non-offensive moves. Precious plan can increase the boost of HP, defense, offense, and speed by sacrificing MP, and if cast after Sadistic Switch, offers the chance (but not requirement) to switch back to being able to combo attacks but not non-offensive skills at the cost of all remaining MP.
-Temporary Truce/True Target/Injury Immune: 1/2/3. Temporary Truce—prevents everyone (enemies and allies alike) from causing any harm (damage) to each other for a short period of time. True Target—forces everyone (enemies and allies alike) to target user. Injury Immune—user may only receive beneficial things and rejects any negatives such as status ailments for a time.
-Rocky Start/Earthen Impact/Natural Selection: 1/2/3. User gains resistance to earth and if this is the first skill used by the user in battle, user takes a speed penalty in exchange for a massive increase in defense and HP. Earthen Impact negates the speed penalty of Rocky Start, grants immunity to earth, and significantly increases offense and MP. Natural Selection increases everything, grants resistance to all elements, and if Rocky Start/Earthen Impact were both cast before this skill, immunity to status ailments and doubles resistance to all elements.
Everyone has their own little definitions of what alignments are, with a great deal of variety in what can be chosen. I'm no different--while I of course wanted to keep it relatively simple and stuck to the classic nine-element system, I found it slightly inadequate and in need of a...modification. And this upgrade is what makes my definitions a little bit...unusual.
But let's start with the basics.
Law: It's important to note that there are two types of Law--Codes, and Rules. Codes are personal laws, which apply to the person. Rules are universal laws, which apply to everyone. Laws of the universe, laws of a country; both fall under Rules. Because Law covers two completely different ideas, and the two often conflict (personal codes of a soldier versus the codes of a nation the soldier works for, for instance), it makes it a little bit hard to draw a line between them. You can have a person who hates the rules, but who has a strict code; is that any more or less lawful as a person who obeys the rules relentlessly but has no code of their own? As you can tell, they're neither mutually exclusive nor inclusive, as someone can be one but not the other, both, or neither--and you can be any of the combos regardless of good or evil.
Chaos: Chaos, like with Law, can be divided into multiple types--for me, I go with Freedom-seekers and Rulebreakers. It's a bit difficult for me to describe the concept, but think of it is basically being the difference between a freedom-fighter and an anarchist. You can want freedom, and you can want to disrupt the established order, to mess with the system. You can be one, both, or neither, and no combo is by nature good or evil.
Good and Evil are pretty self-explanatory. Note that perspective can skew things a little--a person doing a heroic act which thinks it is evil can still get rewarded evil points for committing the act, and a person doing a villainous act which thinks it's for a good cause can still get rewarded good points for going after the greater good and performing a necessary evil. However, this only works on the principle of "Your Mind Makes It Real"--if anyone else calls them out on it, "What The H, Hero?!?" (or Villain), then the results are reversed to what they should be and they are punished.
(This looks like it has a hole, in that if a hero does something they see as good, but another character sees as evil, that with neither side having more support, who'd be right? The general answer is that most actions are kinda clear and it's obvious who's right and who's wrong in this setting, the World of Soano. If the actions aren't clear, then the moral ambiguity would mean that there are no consequences, but there are no rewards, either.)
Lawful Good: General description--Characters who believe in doing what's right by following codes/laws. Beyond that, there's not much I can say which isn't specific to a kind of Lawful Good.
Idealist: Not only does the character have a strong code of conduct, but they also believe in the law as being just and true. If a law is wrong, they'll try to fix it so that it's right--as that's what laws are supposed to be for: the wellbeing of everyone. The laws exist for the single purpose of furthering Good, and laws which don't shouldn't remain laws. They are the people who stay to the heart and soul of the alignment as I see it, aiming to keep up the standards of everything. (And by extent, they're therefore the hardest to pull off.)
Typical: The character follows the alignment to the letter, but not to the spirit. What this means is that they never bend the laws, regardless of the circumstances, placing Law higher than Good. This doesn't necessarily make them incompetent, though--if the Law they follow is Codes, it simply means they're stubborn and unmoving in their devotion to what they believe, such as sparing the villain to enforce a self-imposed "Thou Shalt Not Kill" policy: nothing to be hated, and actually incredibly noble, just not necessarily the smartest move. If the Law they follow is Rules, it depends on what Rules are being used. In a good system which works 95% of the time, they might be perfect people, except when the other 5% comes up, as no matter how well-written a system is, there is never going to be a completely foolproof law. If the Rules which they follow are less effective than that (or even contradictory), then things start to get messy with them.
Cynic: The opposite of Typical, these characters place the focus more on the Good than the Law, believing Lawful Good is more of a…Guideline…than actual rule. Like typical Lawful Good, they don't necessarily follow the spirit of the alignment, though for the most part, they follow the letter. These characters are the best for following the Rules half, as bending the rules for when the system doesn't work is a trait typical Lawful Good characters lack. Those following the Code half, on the other hand...In general, they are highly pragmatic in their approach, to say the least. They follow their code whenever at all possible, but when circumstances force them to break it, they are willing to do so.
Neutral Good: General description--Characters who believe in doing the right thing, regardless of what the rules say.
Idealist: A person who tries their hardest to do the best they can at being good. Everything they do is driven by believing they're following the right path. They may have a code, but it's not required and they'd never let themselves be held to it if they thought they needed to break it to do the right thing. They're indifferent about laws, not really caring about them one way or another--if the law's doing what's right, fine. If the law's doing something wrong, screw the law! Do what's right!
Typical: The simplest way to describe them is that they're basically a nice person, doing whatever they feel is right. But it's not a strong drive of theirs to do so. They don't really have a code (though they may have some general principles they follow often), and don't really care about the law. They'll help out whenever they can, but if it's extremely inconvenient (or illogical) for them to do so, they have the capability to not help out.
Cynic: While they help others out (and it may even be a compulsion of theirs to do so), they certainly don't enjoy the job. They'll do it, anyway, helping out whenever they can, but they're not exactly happy about it, and often will be quite vocal about this fact. They'll still assist regardless (that's just the kind of person they are), but they'll probably whine about it, are very rarely nice, and often are quite merciless. As such, they pretty much never have anything even so much as resembling a code of conduct, and are completely indifferent about the law. They're there to help, but it doesn't matter how they do help, so long as they do.
Chaotic Good: General description--Characters who value morals, but dislike the restrictions that they are often faced with.
Idealist: Not necessarily disliking the laws themselves, these people simply don't like to be restricted by them. As such, their belief basically boils down to believing that any rules should be self-imposed. This means they get along quite well with the Code half, but the thing which makes them not Neutral/Lawful Good is that they don't have any Codes, either, as once more, codes can be limiting on doing what is right. Strong advocates of personal freedom, they do what they passionately believe to be right, and while they recognize codes can be useful, they don't live by them.
Typical: These people do dislike the laws themselves, thinking they get in the way of living freely. Freedom is the most important factor here, and so they also dislike codes, as codes are restrictive: they believe in freedom above all else, and choose to do the right thing because they think they should, not because they were told to or because they must.
Cynic: Blurring the line between Typical Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral, cynics hate the laws and if they had their way would destroy them, living in a state of anarchy (read: government-free, the original definition of anarchy) without rules to restrict them. Their distaste for codes is stronger than typical, as they think they get in the way: one should do what's right, and not let a silly code get in the way of performing that duty.
Lawful Neutral: General description--Characters who believe that Laws hold the key to perfect lives, and are willing to devote themselves to their beliefs. The difference lies in Rules versus Codes.
Idealist: These people believe strong, solid laws to guide society are the things to be upheld, binding themselves to always follow them. They're not idiots, though--if they see a law which doesn't work, they know they need to change it so that it does work. They hold the belief that--while there's nothing wrong with having a personal code of conduct--that the law of the nation should still take priority over any personal code.
Typical: While not necessarily stupid, the typical Lawful Neutral character follows the law to the letter, unwilling to change them. (So if the Law is stupid, so are they, but otherwise, they're fine.) Unlike Idealists, the typical Lawful Neutral character actually does recognize codes of conducts, and seeing them as being important, the smarter ones will even recognize actions taken under them. They're therefore willing to compromise on judgments made when at all possible, but should a solution be unreachable, it will be the Rules which win over the Code.
Cynic: The easiest Lawful Neutral to be, they believe that laws act as a guide, but that one's personal code of conduct should take priority--laws of a nation, no matter how well-written, can't possibly apply to every individual in every situation; there will always be holes, there will always be exceptions which need to be made, and in those situations, it should be the code of the individual which is used.
True Neutral: General description--Characters who don't like picking a side on the alignment chart.
Idealist: Good, bad, it doesn't matter; code, rule, not important. These people do whatever the heck they feel like doing. They don't care about alignment at all.
Truest Neutral: These people believe in a balance between the alignments. They do not side with chaos (lest order be overwhelmed), they do not side with order (for that would be equally as bad for the world, since no law is absolute and chaos is a necessity in the world), they do not side with evil (as that would be very bad), they do not side with good (since without evil, there cannot be good). They don't take a side; they're in the middle. They can still help out people of those alignments--even adventure with them!--but they do not let themselves show bias and are equally open to all.
Cynic: These people believe that the passive approach to balance shown by Truest Neutrals isn't good enough to get the job done, and so they take things into their own hands--they'll actively try to restore balance if it has been upset. Whereas Truest Neutrals and Idealists live their lifestyle as a choice, Some Cynics actively try to force others to comply. Not all of them are that extreme, but they're all still a little on the ridiculous side; these are the kind of true neutral characters who will switch sides in the middle of a battle to even things out.
Chaotic Neutral: General description--Characters that don't care about good or evil, but have a strong distaste for law.
Idealist: The ultimate advocates of personal freedom, idealistic Chaotic Neutrals simply do not like the restrictions of law, and see being defined as Good or Evil as an extension of that--a restriction best removed, allowing for the freedom to act however they please, not limited by the expectations of morality. They're fine as long as they have the power of choice, the free will to do as they wish.
Typical: These people simply hate laws. They won't force others to live by this standard (as that'd be a little hypocritical), but they certainly don't want to live any other way. This also applies to codes: they think that a code of conduct simply gets in the way, and that doing what you want should always take precedence over doing what should be done.
Cynic: Becoming more extreme than the typical chaotic neutral, these people actively try to destroy laws, believing they shouldn't exist at all. No rules should govern them. This is also applied to codes of conduct--people should act naturally, following their instincts, not following some mental book of theirs.
Lawful Evil: General description--Characters that fit the typical Evil Overlord model. They're evil, but at least they're predictably evil; they follow rules, no matter how loosely, and at least to some level are bound to honor them.
Idealist: The best you'd want to meet, these characters are Noble Demons, the ones who have strong codes of conduct, who don't really care that much for the laws of a nation. They take pleasure in being evil and will take the evil option most of the time (unless in violation of their code), but most of them won't actively seek out evil deeds to do; they do the evil when it's natural, not really forcing it. It's the most fun that way, to act evil when it feels good, as to them, actively seeking out evil becomes tedious and therefore no longer fun, removing the point of being evil in the first place. They're not only cooperative when necessary, they're also predictable; what more can a hero ask for?
Typical: What most people expect of Lawful Evil. These people are the totalarian ruthless dictators, commanding iron fists and absolute obedience. They're in it for the power (and the money), and they know that in order to get it done, they need strict rules to be enforced relentlessly. However, they don't do evil just for the sake of doing evil; they'll leave you alone if you give them no trouble. Only if you are in the way of their goals will they antagonize you, meaning that they're generally likeable people if you stay on their better side.
Cynic: A little more extreme and paranoid than typical Lawful Evil, these people take everything above a little further. If anyone doesn't follow their rules (which they make, of course...and which can be subject to change when convenient to do so), they die. All obstacles to their goal must be eradicated. Even if someone's not a threat at the moment, if there's a chance they will become one, they need to die. They never compromise, pushing their agenda at all times.
Neutral Evil: General description--Characters motivated for the evulz. They don't care one way or another about order or chaos; what's important is that they're bad guys, and they know it!
Idealist: These people live to do evil, finding it to be quite fun. Despite being evil, however, they are not necessarily bad people--they are not insane, and are therefore capable of using reason from time to time, and that 'weakness' allows for Loophole Abuse: they can be convinced to do acts of good if it's described in a way which sounds evil.
Typical: Similar to idealists, typical Neutral Evil characters live for the evulz, performing acts of Evil whenever possible. Unlike idealists, however, they cannot be convinced to do good--they recognize that actions taken are between a lesser evil and a greater evil, and so will take the greater evil. While this doesn't necessarily entirely rule them out, most of them are smart enough to be able to figure out which is which, preventing almost all of them from performing heroic acts.
Cynic: The ultimate evil-seekers, they take what is typical to the next level, believing there's never enough evil to go around. Idealistic and even Typical Neutral Evil characters do Evil whenever possible, but don't actively seek to do it. Cynics do. They can't stop being evil, often feeling a compulsion to hunt down and ruin good. They torture, they kill, they are in it all for the thrill, they maim, they destroy, thriving off of the Evil until the day they die.
Chaotic Evil: General description--Characters who are against law and good.
Idealist: These people barely qualify as Chaotic Evil. Needless to say, most of them have had rough lives, and pretty much nobody becomes idealistic Chaotic Evil by choice. Characters who are idealistically Chaotic Evil believe that everyone has evil within their hearts, and all actions people can do are simply a choice of which evil to undertake, for what is a miserable life other than evil torture? They believe that no action undertaken can ever be truly noble, so why bother trying? That said, it works both ways--since whatever they do is an evil of some kind, they don't actively seek out to do evil, since in their eyes, they already are doing evil. They have the choice of being evil when they wish to be, and therein enters the other half: for them, it's the choice which is important. They hate the restriction of laws (but might even have a personal code themselves; it is not forbidden, so long as the code is just a guideline and not absolute), and wish to be freed from their oppression.
Typical: The instigators of what most people consider to be anarchy. They want to introduce it into the system, disrupting the established order. They hate laws, hate restrictions, thriving on evil. They don't hesitate to do evil, and are even often charismatic about convincing others to accept evil--some are better at deconstructing the idea of being good, others are simply good at convincing people that evil is the right course, but the fact remains that most of them still create chillingly good cases which make people want to not think the Chaotic Evil person is wrong. They are the ones who thrive on both halves of the alignment, rather than focusing on chaos (Idealist) or evil (cynic). While it's not unheard of for them to follow their own set of rules (codes), it's extremely rare and even those that do don't do so strictly. In general, these people are considered to be the greatest threat of all alignments, simply because they are effective, and run the very real risk of winning.
Cynic: The worst evil of the worst evils. They are the ones who show no reason at all. They don't believe in laws, they don't follow any codes. They have no rules at all. They are almost all insane omnicidal maniacs, out to destroy (or at least severely damage) the world, simply for their personal amusement. To them, the world is a pathetic piece of trash, and might as well be their personal playground. Because the world to them is little more than a toy, to them everything is disposable, and can be gotten rid of whenever they feel like it. They destroy not just laws, not just the concept of good, but everything--after all, toys can be replaced; there will always be more to go around, so why be gentle? They have no conscience, and are often the one alignment nobody wants to be up against, as the only thing predictable about them is that they are completely and totally unpredictable.
The Ultimate Prize:
While the motives of all character are diverse, and every single adventurer is different in what they hope to achieve, there is a task which most eventually set their sights upon. While they typically never think of it at level 1, or even level 100, when someone gets into the upper-hundreds (~600+), the thought begins to cross their mind that they've become too powerful for the mortal plane. Even if they themselves do not think about it, others certainly do, and sooner or later it is brought to their attention. And with all this focus on how strong they have become, the question remains on what to do with that strength, and what comes after reaching that--the answer: Godhood.
At a certain point, despite all best attempts, things don't quite scale up, and there's nothing left to challenge the adventurers. And reaching that point, that tier, is what eventually drives all adventurers to keep on going, to get to the God Tier and Ascend to the higher plane. Regardless of good or evil, chaos or order, cynic or idealist, the overall goal for adventures will eventually shift to Ascension--to rise up and become a God, joining other Deities in the upper realm.
Achieved at Level 900, it is not an easy task to reach that far, and 98% of people who try will ultimately fail to reach that high-standard bar. Therefore, when it is actually accomplished, it is the ultimate testament of raw skill, down-right stubbornness, and sheer dumb luck.
It certainly has a draw to it, as anyone who actually gets it instantly has the bragging rights to say that they have done what only a few others have accomplished, persevering where others had failed. It is the goal that drives the central plot of The Descended, as it is the ultimate reward the World of Soano has to give.
About The Setting (World):
Soano is designed as a World meant to be around the size of Earth, which means there is an endless amount of diversity and possibilities existing--basically, anyone is free to make anything in Soano, and it'd likely not be out of place. That said, however, there are some details about Soano, be it trivia or just general things which I think readers will enjoy knowing. (At the moment, they are highly disorganized; forgive the mess. I am currently in the process of organizing them.)
*There are multiple human-like races, and there are different cultures based off of elements, race, and countries. Monsters are common throughout the land. Soano was created with life on it, but nobody remembers who was the one to create them, as all they know is that they are governed by what the gods call the "COSMOS".
*Countries are typically loosely defined, and therefore their size varies greatly. For instance, Faragawa had 80,000 people at its peak. Helopia started with 50,000, but by its peak was up to 100,000--fairly large for a country, as most countries have around 30,000 at most. World population for humans is around 50 million, though this is just a guess. A village is typically made up of less than 50-100 people. A town is typically made up of less than 200-500 people. A city is anything larger than that, with metropolises going up to 10,000.
*Magic comes from everything. The personal energy store of the caster (MP) is the most common, cast as either their element or not using an element, but it can come from objects, from the surrounding world (with elemental magic being dependent on the element being present), and even the heavens. The further the source is from the caster, though, the more dangerous it is. Magic has cosmetic consequences, changing the appearance of the user to reflect what magic they are using. Other than that, its only impact is that people at higher levels live longer. There are two types of magic, however. Elemental magic is the magic of the eight elements: Fire, Ice, Energy, Earth, Darkness, Light, Wind, and Water. Non-elemental magic is all magic which has no element.
*There are non-humans of many kinds. Featured in my story are ghosts, goblins, demons, and vampires as of this time, but there are many more. They're each about as common as their lifespans in respect to humans--there are more goblins than humans because goblins have half the lifespan of a human, there are fewer vampires than humans because vampires have an average lifespan double that of a human, but are technically immortal. (It's just most die within that timeframe.)
*As mentioned above, Soano is roughly the same size as Earth, though my setting is only on a small fraction of it, on parts of two continents which combined are slightly larger than Europe. There's slightly more land than on Earth, with it being closer to 40% land (though this is just a guess), but still a lot of water with multiple oceans. Most of the land in Soano is habitable--any land not suitable to one kind of life is generally available to another, after all.
*Soano has one sun and one moon. However, there are magical influences. (NEED TO WORK THEM OUT, THOUGH.)
*Soano has slightly longer hours than on earth--typically, there's 16 hours of usable daylight.
(I'll need to look into the science of things to find out if there's a way to make there be only 8-hour nights, as that'd be my preference.)
Seasons exist, but each season is shorter than on earth, lasting approximately 50 days each, making a year ~200 days.
*Few countries exist where humans are not the dominant life-form. They are the most common worldwide race on Soano, and basically the default life-form. While some species have greater numbers, they are more confined than humans are. There are a few countries which are more specific to certain races, however. It's just that few of them close their boarders off (doing so is fairly suicidal), and so most contain humans, anyway.
*The Descended takes place partially in the continent where Helopia was located, and partially in the continent where Hidenva is located. They're some distance away from each other.
*Magic (particularly, Elemental Magic) use over the course of centuries has slowly morphed the landscape, with many places blending relatively quickly from one type of terrain to another. Tundra can be close to a desert, for instance. However, this is typically only true for areas which are heavier populated, as that's where the most action will be.
*Resources tend to be associated with an element, and are therefore plentiful typically in areas which support that element. For instance, many metals are associated with earth and fire, so can be found in places with both, such as mountains.
*Conflict is typically not over resources, and trade is fairly frequent. Conflict is typically political, religious, and/or racial in nature.
*Soano has been around for at least a few thousand years, but because writing (at least, historical writing) is fairly scarce, oral stories morph into myths, and those old enough to remember have their memories distorted, so Soano's exact age is impossible to determine.
Stories tend to last a few hundred years, before they are replaced by newer stories. (This partially has to do with the fact that--sometimes--the people the stories are about are still around and might be contributing to them for those few hundred years before they die and their reputation fades.)
*People tend to believe most stories they're told, as with Soano's massive diversity, most of the times, it certainly *would* be possible. However, people typically tend to at least take some skepticism in the tales, in that they're fully aware people often embellish their tales, exaggerating the facts in them to be larger than life. So, they acknowledge it probably happened, but that it wasn't as grand as is being told. (Which is unimportant, as the story is more important than the facts behind it. An in-universe Willing Suspension of Disbelief, you could say.)
*Countries typically are created through the drive of smaller forces. Countries can be formed through all sorts of different methods, but the most common type of country is a country made up of city-states, powerful cities where one of the cities is the most prominent, dominating over the others. Said city is typically the capital and namesake of the country.
The cities which grow to be influential frequently do so via a famous hero hailing from said city, and through their might the city grew to be famous. While cities are more than capable of prospering without the aid of heroes, c'mon, this is a fantasy world; heroes are going to play a large part in how said world has been shaped, and that includes the political atmosphere--heroes are the ones who make the difference between a pitiful town and a mighty empire.
Gods play a part in this, mainly via the fact that 99% of the gods known were once mortals, all having ascended to the higher plane of existence, where they now rule. In the higher plane, their influence over the mortal realm of Soano is somewhat limited. They can send spirits to do their bidding, they can project themselves into the dreams of another, but they can't actually take much physical action--unless they're being supervised by eight other gods. In other words, a god can only influence it with the consent of eight other gods, meaning gods all across the alignment chart have to be in agreement to do anything.
While this can still happen from time to time, it's fairly rare to happen. (It most commonly happens when, say, a town is under invasion. If said town has been home to MANY adventurers who ended up ascending, and in fact has enough gods to cover the whole alignment spectrum, then they all have a common interest: not letting their town fall. So they work together and can instantly turn the tide to the town's favor.)
*Soano is for the most part an open world, in that most countries boarders are open to another, trade is frequent, and adventurers frequently travel between countries. This has influenced the way the world works considerably. For instance, typically the only countries which make war are the ones who were founded by heroes attached to said country. This naturally creates rivalries, and those tensions typically rise to wars. However, while bitterness can span generations and war can erupt somewhere down the line, they'll still typically be open to each other, offering trade and keeping their open boarders.
*The most recent wars in the history of Soano have all been in the same place: Helopia. It was the center of attention for the mortal realm--under a different name, it fought a mysterious enemy and had a pyrrhic victory, losing their central city. When reformed as Helopia, they had to deal with a demonic invasion, and won, with the result leading to a decrease in demonic activity worldwide for years. Helopia fought a nasty war with their neighbor, Aqiria, and while they won, expanding their boarders, their nation was left dangerously vulnerable. When the mysterious force returned, Helopia suffered pyrrhic victory after pyrrhic victory--the end result being that the invading force was destroyed, but so was Helopia and most of its major cities, leaving a dead country and a corrupted wasteland.
*Humans are seen as the most civilized and technologically advanced overall. While there is a ton of variety in human civilization, they didn't become the dominant lifeform on Soano for nothing, and are designed to spread out further and further. This also applies for magic--most gods are ex-human, and it's been speculated to be a self-feeding loop: the human gods encourage the growth of humans, so more humans become gods.
*Time is measured, and people universally mark the passing of days, weeks, months, seasons, and years. However, while Soano has a universal way of dividing time, it's up to individual countries to slap dates on things. One of the most common calendar types is to based the calendar off of how many years it's been since the country's foundation.
Think of it this way--a country founded on July 1st, 2000 by our calendar would be celebrating its 12th anniversary on July 1st, 2012. But the calendar doesn't start on July 1st. It'd start the same way every other calendar does, on January 1st. So while the years might be different, the months and days are universal. It's June 1st everywhere on the same day, to give an example.
*The default language in Soano is English. No, I'm not disguising it as "Commontongue" as typical in fantasy. It's English. The people in the world don't know *why* the language is called English, but it is. Not too unrealistic, really. How many people these days actually know why their language is called what it is? Yeah, not many. It's something which we can find out fairly easily, but it's not something everyone knows. Multiply that by a lot in a fantasy world, and you can see why it'd get lost with time.
There are other racial languages, but it's fairly rare to see them. People mainly speak English, and all races (whether they speak it or not) at least understand it. Since most also speak it, very few communication barriers exist. There is a dead language, in that there used to be a language for magic, but nobody knows how to speak it properly anymore, yet alone, read it. They can BS their way through it with a pseudo-magical-language, but said psuedo-magical-language is extremely inconsistent, varying from region to region and person to person, as a personal taste. It's not even required to do anything, as magic works just fine in English. (Hence one of the reasons it went extinct.)
*Helopia is marked by mountains to the west, the ocean to the east, tundra to the north, and has a bottom boarder with a friendly nation. (Never worked it out.) Helopia has multiple nations on its boarder, most notably Aqiria to the northwest--Aqiria wanted to conquer the weakened Helopia, and almost succeeded. They were hoping to at least take away Helopia's northern section, but ended up extending Helopia's boarders to be slightly beyond the mountains and the tundra. Helopia was first settled because it had natural resources tied to four elements--air, water, fire, and earth. As such, it didn't take long for people attracted to those elements to settle in those areas, centering in one city. Soon, the young country's boarders began to form, and it didn't take long for the other four elements to become ingrained as part of the society there. The four elements remained Helopia's main drawing point, and most of their famous heroes in their history have been tied to those four elements.
*Helopia has rather advanced weaponry, but only in certain areas. The city of Lejus was at the center of technological development, while W'tyr Lake Village was the center of magical development. Revan was the center of military development, but the Syr Volcano Village was the center of warfare development. Yeras Wharf had a stockpile of weaponry as well. Because of this, Helopia's northern boarders were quite solidly defended, but their interior was quite vulnerable. The balance of power rested in their hands, but if anyone got through their outer defenses, then Helopia would be at the disadvantage.
*Helopia's rival nation was Aqiria. Aqiria was smaller, but despite that, was extremely militarized and therefore on equal standing with Helopia.
*Helopia's most recent heroes are The Elementals, consisting of Sanik Archer Ronado, Tyra, Sarge Spark Shovexo, M, Kinas Zachary Ronado, Sinaer, Nathan Betrax, Enlecar, and honorary members Voss, David Smith, and Ian Oman. The latter three are also known as heroes, largely retired in old age.
Helopia has of course had many more heroes, but as this world is run on heroes, there's not really much point in listing them all. (Spoilers would be involved.)
The heroes of Helopia say that we are strongest when we are united--each a force to be reckoned with as an individual, but an unstoppable titan as a team. This is reflected in Helopia's internal politics as well--made up of multiple city-states, the country is really only united in times of war. They never fight with each other, and an attack on any of them is an attack on all of them, but they for the most part live isolated from each other.
*Helopia's population was largely moving slightly further south, due to the main city also being moved south to Helops from its previous center. Because of this, and the south's relatively-more-openness than the north, Helopia became more rural with time, but with the influence of The Elementals and a capital city focused on trade, Helopia moved a lot closer to being more city-based again.
*Laws tend to be very lose worldwide. Few nations have a truly strong central government, and again, the majority of the world has the cities effectively be self-governed except when it comes time to band together. (Helopia being no exception.) Largely, the world instead works on an individual karma system--you do good deeds, the world rewards you and you have a good life. This is why adventurers span across the whole alignment chart: because it's the easiest way to live, offering the most profit. If you do bad things (such as needlessly killing things), bad things happen. There are less people around to do business with (you keep killing them!), people are less open to doing business with you (they don't want to die!), and if you kill someone that someone cares about, you make said someone into your enemy. (For instance, killing a town leader is a very good way to get town guards sent against you.)
*Gold is the universal currency.
*Helopia is made up approximately 34% by plains and farmland, 20% by mountains, 17% by water, 9% forest, 9% desert, and 11% tundra. (Just a guess, however.)
*Most citizens make their living depending on the city they are closest to--whatever that city specializes in, they're more likely to have a living related to it. Overall, farming, trading, and adventuring are probably the most common lifestyles.
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This section proved to be too large, and therefore warranted its own sub-page.
About The Setting (Inspiration):
Due to the many inspirations I've had over the years, this is itself very long, and so, it has its own page.