- Surface area: ca 4,387,900 square km
- Length north to south: ca 1500 km
- Length west to east: ca 2000 km
The continent of Theuma is the stage for our game series.
It used to be covered with an abundance of sources of the six elements that gave birth to theumites, and full of the cities where they lived. After the arrival of the alenti and the ensuing war, most of the theumite civilization disappeared.The continent has become more uniform, although there are still pockets of hidden ruins and treasure.
The climate of Theuma is temperate, with some exceptions. In some places, the weather is the same all the time: these areas are sparsely populated, but the effects of a continuously same climate are closely monitored.
The landscape of the Empire and the Free Lands is quite different. The Empire occupies - at the moment - two thirds of the continent. Most of these lands are catalogued, organized, mapped and covered in a functioning road network that connects cities and settlements. The forests are all accounted for and wood may be cut only by quota. A large part of the territory is covered by farmland. Different cultures are planted in areas where their growth is optimal. Almost all of the real cities on the continent are located within the Empire.
In the Free Lands, forests span wider, although there is some agriculture. The local population is far more sparsely settled and less in number, only a third of the continent’s inhabitants. There are cities, but none as large as those in the Empire.
The mineral resources were and are plentiful. Although many apeiron deposits have been exhausted, more are found all the time, especially in the Free Lands. Besides apeiron, there are some other stones and metals with special properties.
Of special note are the sources, areas under the influence of elemental force, where the laws of nature are dictated by the elements. New theumites are born in those places. Most theumites spend their whole lives in a source of their element. They need a shell to exit, so that they don’t damage the land and other creatures with their power. The general locations of sources are known, but staying there long is dangerous and nearly fatal for the alenti. A shell that would allow them to persist in a source is yet to be invented.
To an extent, the laws of nature are also ignored near the temples, altars and other devoted areas of the gods. In some gods’ domain, all weapons rust, no candles go out, no wound takes to rot and everyone speaks the same language.
There are other inhabitants on Theuma besides the alenti and the theumites.
The alenti keep small pigs and goats as domestic animals, but there are cats, dogs and lizards as well. Horses exist, but not in great numbers (mostly used in warfare). Cattle is used for food and farming. Draft animals are usually animal-shaped serviles.
Most plants in the Empire are cultivated and grown in the necessary quantities. Some of the most important articles are pigment flowers used to colour cloth and other merchandise.
There are more wild plants in the borderlands and the Free Lands. Many of those are very useful, but many are also poisonous for the unwary. Plant gathering has become a separate profession and a careful herbalist can live very well.
Borderlands encompass an area of 10-25 km on both sides of the Empire-Free Lands border. The border is marked with the frontier posts of both sides. The approximate length of it from south to north is 1600 km.
The borderlands have a special status in both countries and many settlers have arrived from both. The laws haven’t quite caught up to the situation, but special addendums are used as a temporary measure. All people who aren’t wanted by the law are free to move around the borderlands as long as they have a permit.
A permit can be obtained from border officials. This process can be easier or harder, depending on access to representatives of both sides. It generally involves a short interview with an official and the signing of necessary documents. A border permit is generally required to join a caravan. Border officials also have the authority to handle first level offences.
The money of both countries is valid in the borderlands.
- 1 gold = 150 staurus
- 1 silver = 15 staurus
- 1 copper = 1.5 staurus
As elsewhere, violence towards others is prohibited. Tests of strength with witnesses are allowed and the extent of the trial is regulated (usually until the first serious wound). Having reached this point, the issue is considered resolved. This applies mostly to small quarrels.
This doesn’t mean the borderlands are completely safe. Travelling alone is usually not recommended due to the threat of robbers, who often take the lives of their victims in addition to their property. For this reason, the caravans are protected by guards and many veterans make a living escorting travellers.
Theuma has a common calendar and the same 365-day year as our world, with every fifth year being the leap year (the extra day being added to the end of the last month). One year has 12 months. One month has 30 days (January, March, May, July and September have 31). One week has eight days.
In the Empire, the months are called January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December.
In the Free Lands, the months are called First Month, Candle Month, Snow Month, Sap Month, Leaf Month, Summer Month, Hay Month, Harvest Month, Rain Month, Frost Month and Winter Month.
The names of week days are: wageday, secondday, thirdday, fourthday, vigorday, vigilday, foreday and restday.
In-game languages are Estonian and English. They represent two alenti dialects. The main in-game language is Estonian, English is used in case some of those present don’t speak Estonian.
There are other languages and alphabets that are not universally understood. Those are mentioned separately.
In the interest of simplicity, the game will use the metric system and real world units.
The population of Theuma: ca 34 million Alenti: ca 32 million Theumites: ca 2 million Different Alenti: ca 1,7 million Moroia: 387 000 Wulvers: 475 000 Lagars: 113 000 The Old Blood: ca 304 000 Serviles: ca 653 000
More detailed statistics on the Empire and the Free Lands can be found in their respective documents.
Although the Empire and the Free Lands are at peace, there are different mindsets among the population. Most people grew up during the war and though they are relieved that the fighting has ended, prejudices and rumors die hard. Yet for others the peace and the borderlands represent an opportunity to discover a foreign land.
Choose your attitude as befits your character.
Alenti - from Alentum
Alenti are a humanoid race from Alentum, descended from local lizards. Before leaving Alentum, they resembled their forebears considerably more, having skin-coloured scales and different eyes. After settling on Theuma, more and more children were born as the alenti are today. The few who still resemble the old alenti are called the Old Blood.
The alenti form a large majority (95%) of the population of Theuma. Their subspecies (the moroia, the lagars, the wulvers and the Old Blood) account for barely 5%. For more accurate statistics, see the description of Theuma.
Contrary to theumites, the alenti are not magical by birth. They can however use god magic, apeiromancy and the runic arts. They have high physical and mental resistance. During their lifetime they may turn into wulvers and after death into moroia or lagars. An alenti soul can be used to create a servile (more information in the Other Creatures article).
Some alenti are Old Blood by birth. This gives them a different appearance, a faster regenerative property and sometimes a few other qualities. They have a different social position compared to other changed alenti (more information in the Empire and Free Lands articles).
Cycle of life
The average lifespan of an alenti is about 100 years. The alenti remain strong for most of their lives, only starting to weaken in their 80s. The beginning of their life cycle is fairly similar to humans, but they only become mature at 16. There are cases of this happening earlier. By their early 20s, an alenti is fully physically developed. Fertility starts to decrease in the 60s, normally resulting simply in a failed conception.
The alenti do not have different sexes. All alenti have similar reproductive glands in their abdominal cavity, so they are all able to either give genetic material or receive it and carry the baby. Pregnancy usually lasts 10 months.
The process of birth is short, although uncomfortable. Only one child is born at a time. Infant alenti resemble lizards, they are hairless and their bodies and tails are covered in scales. Tradition dictates that both parents take turns carrying the newborn in a pouch, so their body heat can help continue the child’s development. The tail usually drops away during the first month. Scales recede during the first year by way of shedding.
The parents’ traits are passed on to the children. The child of two of the Old Blood also is Old Blood and the same goes for wulvers. The wulver beast form can also be inherited and will be apparent at birth. If only one of the parents carries a trait, there is a 50% possibility of passing it on.
The lagars and the moroia can no longer reproduce as their glands cannot produce genetic material. Long-serving priests also lose the capability and it is not socially acceptable anyway.
Differences from humans
The alenti are stronger and more difficult to kill. Their blood coagulates faster and they are more resistant to shock, so can remain in the fight longer. Their injuries heal faster than those of humans: small scratches and minor wounds disappear in a matter of hours. Bones heal in a few weeks. Even so, the alenti cannot regrow missing limbs. They are however able to recover from different brain traumas that would be irreversible for humans. It may take years, but is still possible.
The alenti have thicker skin than humans and cannot be stunned from behind. They may even survive having their throat cut, but only if healed shortly thereafter. They can recover from poisons and illnesses that would kill a human, and from magical attacks, although these leave scars that don’t usually heal.
The alenti are much more fertile than humans: most attempts to conceive are successful and miscarriages are rare.
The alenti also have higher psychological resistance than humans. Mental disorders and other problems are markedly more uncommon.
A normal alenti is indistinguishable from a human, except for skin-colour lizard scales in some cases. The Old Blood are more unique: they have different-coloured scales and their eyes can be very different.
Theumite – from Theuma
Theumites are originally native to Theuma, and they make up about 5% of the continent’s total population. They are born in the elemental sources and consist of pure elemental power. There are six theumite elements: fire, water, air, earth, light and shadow.
Theumites are sexless and and genderless, but in some dialects they use different pronouns to refer to themselves. (OG: players are welcome to choose which pronouns their character should be refered to with). All theumites know how to use their innate power to some degree, but a theumite’s skills depend on their talents, interests and respective training.
Theumites cannot swear themselves to a god or use the alenti magic arts. They also cannot turn into a moroia, a lagar or a vulver. They also have souls, but a theumite soul cannot be used to create a servile.
Current theumites are quite different from their ancestors. The arrival of the alenti ruined most of Theuma and the living places of theumites were hard hit. For this reason theumites alive today are much weaker in power than their forebears. Their lifespan has also shortened: theumites used to live up to 500 years in the past, but now they usually live up to 150 years at the most.
Because nearly all of Theuma is no longer in harmony with the elements, theumites need a shell when they wish to leave the source. The shell is an armor that both protects the theumite from the outside world and vice versa. It also helps the theumite to better use and direct their powers, since their element is not so easily accessible outside the source.
Theumites generally live up to 150 years. A theumite usually acquires a humanoid shape a few years after their appearance, and grows up in 15 years. They reach full adulthood usually around the 30 year mark. A theumite starts to diminish in power usually around 120 years of age. At the moment of death their body breaks apart and their power returns to the closest source of their element.
Theumites do not reproduce with one another, but they are born in the heart of the source as small sphere of elemental power. Often they are born in groups, up to 10 at a time. It is unknown what dictates the time of a theumite’s birth, or the number of them at the one time.
Without their shell, a theumite is a bright humanoid being made of energy. Their energy affects the world around them, usually with destructive consequences. That is why theumites wear a shell that covers their body completely. It can look like armor or a robe, or a mix of both. Even while wearing a shell, some of their energy shines, usually through the eyes.
Serviles or Constructs (a non-playable race)
A servile is a creature created with apeiromancy and apeiron by anchoring the spirit of an animal or an alenti to a metal or stone shell. A small amount of apeiron becomes the heart of the servile, enabling it to use the shell. The exact process of placing the soul within the shell is only known by few.
Although serviles are created with apeiron, they cannot use magic themselves. Their personality and mental capacity depends on the soul within them.
Serviles are generally in the service of someone specific, belonging to an establishment or a mage. Some mages rent out their serviles as a way to make a living. There are serviles who have left their post to travel the world.
Wulvers or Weres
A wulver is an alenti who is able to manifest the characteristics of an animal. When assuming beast form, the alenti develops some visual similarities to the animal. Normally a wulver can change back to alenti form, but some are forever stuck in beast shape. Interestingly, wulvers can assume the shape of all sorts of animals, even those not normally found on Theuma.
Legends claim that wulvers were created by the curse of the Free Lands god Nal-Mat, bestowed upon a squad of Imperial soldiers who desecrated the deity’s shrine. The curse started to spread and there was no stopping it. Because of this, the wulvers of the Empire are regulated by a special law demanding registration and limiting their lives in different ways.
Wulverism is spread through bite, although not all thus bitten will turn into wulvers. There is no cure. Those immune to wulverism include theumites, serviles, moroia, lagars, the Old Blood and priests.
A wulver has no special abilities in alenti form. In beast form they develop the animal’s characteristics, such as a coat of fur, longed fangs, claws or a tail. Although these qualities vary, they are always noticeable enough to betray the wulver’s nature. Physical abilities are also individual: some become faster, others stronger or tougher. The change itself occurs quickly (out-of-game, it depends how long it takes the player to attach the new elements to their costume).
A wulver in beast form can infect others. In a tense situation or the heat of battle, wulvers can lose control over their actions. Such an attack can sometimes end in retaining their bestial qualities for ever.
The moroia or undead/draugr
A moroia is an alenti whose soul did not leave the body upon death. The moroia never die of old age or wounds - even decapitated moroia can keep going when the head is reattached. They cannot have children, serve as a priest or turn into a wulver. A moroia’s soul cannot be placed inside a servile shell.
The moroia’s body can be restored to an extent, but only the priests of the gods of death possess such skills. When a moroia’s whole body is destroyed by elemental assault or some other explosive attack, they almost always turn into a raika.
Moroia created by accident are normally allowed to live on in society, although they are not recommended for most jobs. If the moroia was a magic user, they are quickly found and destroyed.
Freelanders call these creatures the draugr.
Raika or ghosts (a non-playable race)
Raika are disembodied spirits who haven’t moved on for some reason. Raika are usually all alenti, mostly those who had some unresolved issues in life. Raika cannot influence the living world very much - they may be able to move small objects, but that’s about it. They cannot affect living beings. The exceptions to this are places influenced by the gods of death, where the border between this world and the next is thinner. In such locations a raika could change the physical world, especially when confronted with strong emotions.
Lagars or bloodsuckers
A lagar is essentially a dead alenti. Lagars drink blood to use their myriad powers and heal their wounds. Similarly to moroia, they can’t die of old age, but they can be wounded with elements. Lagars are infertile, cannot change into wulvers nor serve the gods as priests. They dislike the sun, but it doesn’t burn them outright.
A lagar is capable of turning another alenti into his kind. This connection gives the creator some power over the created. Moroia, wulvers and Old Blood cannot be turned into a lagar. The law prohibits the creation of new lagars, but nevertheless the lagar population doesn’t seem to be diminishing.
Just like wulvers and moroia, the lagars of the Empire are obligated to register themselves and live with limitations.
The Old Blood
The Old Blood are a subrace of alenti. Historically all alenti were like them, but now they have become the exception. They can be distinguished from regular alenti by their often colorful scales. Their eyes can also resemble the eyes of lizards. Old Blood recover from injuries faster than regular alenti, but are susceptible to the cold. They are also different in behavior from other alenti, they are often socially awkward.
Leshy (non-playable race)
Leshy are forest creatures found in the Free Lands. They are created similarly to serviles, their bodies made by alenti but the souls summoned. Where these souls come from, is not exactly known. Leshy understand alenti languages and can communicate. Leshy are usually the size of a child, made of a plant material and prefer to do what they want rather than take orders from anyone. However, mages can receive great help from them and possess a special bond with leshy of their creation.
Other creatures (non-playable race)
Especially in the Free Lands there are beings, who are different from regular animals, plants or aforementioned beings. Either they have been affected by a passing elemental storm or a surprising shrine to a god, they are different. Some of them are capable of speaking in tongues, but not always such that can be easily understood. It can also happen that an animal stumbles upon a small deposit of apeiron, which can also change them.
In the Empire they are officially known as “non-civilized beings”, and unofficially as “wildlings”. In the Free Lands they are called with many different names, some of which are friendly, some of which are not.
Usually such creatures are dangerous to the lone traveler and harder to kill than usual animals. But there are also stories of such who can be talked to, and who can do something for the asker for a price.
Forest beings: Most of the changed beings can be found in the forests. They are usually bigger and stronger than usual forest denizens, and they can have surprising powers. Sometimes even the plants and trees can move and speak.
Mountain beings: Few go to the mountains, but there are stories of living mountains, who move to confuse a traveler. If there are affected beings in the mountains, they are usually giant birds who can fly harder and faster than usual birds.
Water beings: The largest affected beings live in the seas. There are fish as big as a man, and legendary creatures bigger than ships.
On Theuma and in this world in general, the so-called supernatural forces are a natural part of the world and nature. There is a spark of such forces in everything and everyone, even if they do not know how to use it.
One can use these forces to do many great things, either to wound or to heal, to create or to destroy. But every action has a consequence and these forces can never be fully controlled.
Apeiron is the original element, every other element comes from it. The world is made up of its more stable forms, and it is the fundamental component of all processes. The most complex display of apeiron is called the intelligent consciousness or the soul. The alenti have learned to use apeiron to manipulate the world around them.
Apeiron is present on every continent. It can affect the other natural forces, and allow certain beings like raika to affect the world more than they usually can. It often tends to happen on battlefields or other places where many have died.
There are many physical apeiron deposits on Theuma. Usually they are searched for with special tools and when some is found, mining begins. Usually apeiron crystals are in a stone shell like geodes, which is transported to refining factories, where mages open the cocoon and refine apeiron into an usable form. In its natural form, apeiron crystals radiate a force harmful to alenti, both the jobs of a miner and a refiner are somewhat hazardous.
Apart from apeiron there are other stones and metals with different traits, but none of them are this dangerous in their natural unrefined state. In addition to apeiron, light stones are also refined. These stones can gather light and reflect it.
The Free Lands term for apeiron is galdar.
Divine magic is one of the two types of magic that the alenti use.
Divine magic is the magic of priests and faith. It is a force given to the devoted servants of a god. Depending on the god the priest serves, this force can be used to help or to destroy. This sort of power fills ever sanctified temple and shrine and changes the laws of nature according to the will of the gods.
Temples are places dedicated to the gods. Shrines usually appear in different places and the will of the gods is also in effect around them. One can often hear disembodied voices and music around them. Desecrating a shrine will certainly bring the anger of the god in question. The effects of a shrine usually wear off after one leaves it, but there are exceptions to the rule.
Priests use divine magic through a symbol given to them. It is usually worn on the chest. In the Empire this symbol is called the aegis. In the Free Lands it is known as the symbol.
The Imperial pantheon
- Malakhim – order, organization. Things tend to order themselves in this god’s area of effect.
- Keteos – death, endings. The dying die immediately.
- Atrepe – knowledge, wisdom. Those in the area of effect feel smarter, and they may speak tongues they usually cannot speak.
- Parendi – travel, time. The sense of time is usually lost.
- Terhent – war, bravery. Even the most cowardly feel brave in the area, blunt weapons turn sharp.
- Sulenis – industry, creation. In the area of effect items maybe separate back to their starting materials or vice versa.
- Baruna – cities, civilization. All drink turns alcoholic in area of effect, no flame goes out, music can be heard.
- Darsilis – life, plenty. Food and drink never spoils, the tired feel energised, seeds may start to grow fast
The Free Lands pantheon
- Ban-Mawr – chaos, blood, oaths. Oaths given in area of effect bind the oathgivers.
- Lir-Neth – death, visions. One can receive visions or go instantly blind in the area of effect. The dying die immediately.
- Vael-Ser – night, tricks. The laws of probability can change in the area of effect.
- Rhen-Apa – forest, ancestors. All wooden items flower in the area of effect, one may hear their ancestors’ voices.
- Nal-Mat – hunting, rage. Wulvers in area of effect may take the beast form and go into rage.
- Arim-Wol – stability, plenty. Things may start to multiply in the area of effect and instruments can play by themselves.
- Zer-Nim – decay, destruction. All sorts of decay is hastened in the area, food spoils easily, wounds reopen. Defensive spells will fail and moroia start to break down visibly.
- Eil-Gann – movement, light. The area of effect is windy, no light goes out.
Blessings and curses are the province of divine magic. These are divine spells that have been cast on a place or people throughout the times. There are smaller blessings as well, which the priests cast in the name of their god on an item or an individual. These items can also be used by regular people, who do not use magic. One example are the Imperial signs of office, while they have been blessed by the priests of Malakhim, they are used by regular citizens.
The alenti believe that a soul departs to the gods after death. It depends on the life and experiences of the person which god they will go to. The souls of priests always go to the god they served in life.
Apeiromancy is a magical art invented by the mages of the Empire. It is the second type of magic that the alenti can use besides divine magic.
Apeiromancy is fueled and activated by apeiron and its effects are dictated by different magical formulae that the mages use to cast spells. It can be used to create serviles and to refine raw apeiron. There are many symbols and formulae, one needs excellent precision to use them. For more complex spells large machines with formulae carved on them are used. Simpler effects can also be employed while traveling, only a formulabook and a small amount of apeiron is needed.
One can do many things with apeiromancy, the actual limit is the amount of apeiron accessible to the particular caster. Using it too much can be detrimental to the mage’s health. In addition to this apeiromancy is a slow art, therefore it is rarely used in battle.
An user of apeiromancy is called a mage.
The runic arts are the equivalent of apeiromancy in the Free Lands.
The runic arts are similar to apeiromancy in how they are employed, only runes are used instead of formulae. The runic arts are also fueled by apeiron (called galdar in the Free Lands). The freelanders also use magical machines to refine apeiron and do other great things.
An user of the runic arts is called a caster.
A traveling caster has simpler spells with them and apeiron for fuel. Those spells are usually engraved on wooden or clay disks.
Unlike the alenti, theumites use their own power to cast spells. They do not need to channel their power through anything, but they cannot use as much of it while wearing a shell as opposed to being in their home source. They also vulnerable to their opposite element. They can cast simple spells or longer more complex magical rites. The latter can usually only be done in a source, with enough of elemental power to use. It also only possible to create theumite artifacts in a source.
Theumites have six elements:
Fire – Opposite element Water. Water - Opposite element Fire. Air - Opposite element Earth. Earth - Opposite element Air. Light - Opposite element Shadow. Shadow - Opposite element Light.
Supernatural forces in every day life
The people who encounter supernatural things in their lives the most are those who have dedicated their lives to using and understanding them.
In case of the theumites, the elements are always a part of them, and innate usage of them is simple. Every theumite knows how to use their element to some extent, even when very young. In that case the usage is usually led by instinct. For theumites that is the most peculiar thing about the alenti – that they are not innately magical and only few are dedicated enough to use such powers.
Alenti must make a choice to either serve a god as a priest or to learn the arts of using apeiron. There are quite few of both kinds of magic-users and it always takes dedication and practice.
Serving a god as a priest is quite similar in both the Empire and the Free Lands. An alenti is only given true power to use when they have proved to be worthy of it. Every god has their own domain and usually a priest can only affect their particular domain. Even though gods have stood opposite one another for years, similar powers can be found from both sides.
In the Empire apeiromancy is taught by the networked Mage Academy, whose schools are in every county capital city. They have other establishments elsewhere, with different aims for each. Most mages work with extracting and purifying apeiron, as those are the simplest but most time-consuming of mage jobs. The more talented and dedicated usually study different magical phenomena, create new spells and search for new sources of apeiron. There are many different schools of spellcasting, but usually a mage can only select a more specialised area of study after years of hard work in the academy.
In the Free Lands, the runic arts are taught by the members of the Casters Society to newly admitted members. Like in the Empire, the Casters are established in the bigger centers of the Free Lands and they are selective with their students. Teaching is done in small groups and the students are judged by their teachers.
Casters in the Free Lands use their arts similar to their counterparts in the Empire, mostly to mine and refine apeiron.
For the average person witnessing magical acts is fairly uncommon.
In the countryside a farmer can witness an elemental storm that can level their village or leave behind a more fertile land.
In the cities such things are much rarer. It can also be observed that there are more magical places and creatures in the Free Lands compared to the Empire. It can possibly be because freelanders are more tolerant of such things and prefer to live with nature instead of attempting to control it.
Magical beings can be met anywhere, but the bigger and the more different they are, the likelier it is that they prefer to stay in places where no one else lives.
Divine magic is a much more common sight as the priests of every god do their best to help out in their domain as they can.