|White City of Alustra|
AN INTRODUCTION TO FULCRUM
Fuclrum is land of many peoples and many ideas, but few gods. The gods of Fulcrum, the Five, each represented a different and foul desire; The Red King of Wrath, The White Lady of Pride, The Black Knight of Envy, The Green Maiden of Lust, and The Blue Baron of Gluttony. In other planes, the gods are worshipped, but not in Fulcrum; the gods are despised and the only prayers the people speak are to their own ability to overcome these gods.
These attitude has led to no people in Fulcrum allowing themselves to be conquered, for very long. A nation may rise and a nation may fall, but the people of a nation never bend at the knee by force.
One being attempted to conquer the land and call himself a god; Iolo the Great-Serpent, a being from another world that almost conquered all of Fulcrum in an attempt to attract the attention of these gods. He then left, without an explanation, but those who can see into the either sense something coming.
Soon the gods of Fulcrum will fall
ABOUT THE WORLD
There are ten principle nations, empires, and regions of Fulcrum that are worthy of discussion and have managed to carve out a distinctive culture. The nations of Fulcrum are in a constant game of give and take, war and peace, and rivalry is fairly common.
The metropolis of Alustra is the center of the Great Continent. The entire nation is surrounded by a great wall, and a series of walls that break the territory into sections, that has stood for millennia; the White Walls of Alustra. The Great White Wall, the most outer wall on the border, is protected by ancient magic that has kept out skeletal armies, demonic gargantua, and even the Great Serpent Iolo was stopped by the magic that guards this nation. The only way past the walls is at one of the series of heavily manned gates. Each gate is manned by the White Wall Guards, an ancient order that has protected their state as long as the walls have stood. And the walls do more than protect the state from foreign threats; they also separate the counties of Alustra, restricting trade and travel, to be controlled by the wealthy priests, mages, nobles, and aristocrats that rule over the land.
Each county in Alustra is ruled by a magistrate, someone of the upper class, and everything is taxed. The taxes all eventually trickle back to the center capital, where the monarchy lives in wealthy splendor, and, in exchange, the nobles swear their lives to the protection and stability of Alustra.
Despite its feudal nature, Alustra is generally considered the safest place in all of Fulcrum, and has never submitted to foreign forces. Alustra’s most natural allies are Pacea, The Free Merchants, and, often surprisingly, their biggest rival in stability, Lacrozia.
At the beginning of the timeline, Alustra has declared a golden age under the hand of the white knight Sir Zakarias.
The Free-Merchant States(Blue-Red)
|Free-Nations Capital Port|
The only law of the craggy fjords and mountains of The Free-Merchant States is the law of the coin. Everything and everyone has a price in The Free-Merchant States and the only thing you can trust is contract; and even then you better get it written in blood and sealed with a magical seal. Few places are better suited and better equipped for a trade; a capitalist paradise of wealthy merchants, money-hungry mercenaries, and the hidden hand that guides the market. The owner of “The Hidden Hand” is the merchant-king, Strelos.
Strelos is a member of a race that is commonly found throughout The Free-Merchant States and has a reputation for cunning, charm, and guile—as well as a keen hand at magic. The Malakites have many origins. Some call them “Fiend-Blooded”, some call them “cursed”, and the Malakites argue that their simply the natives of these lands. Regardless, these clever humanoids can be found twisting the economy in their favor; and many think they all answer to Strelos.
Iolo conquered many of The Free-Merchant States, but failed to ever conquer it entirely, having to deal with rebellion in every nook and cranny. The members of this state believe in working with anyone if its profitable and most often butt-heads with each other.
In the beginning of the timeline, the Free Merchant States are getting back to business with the scaly claw of Iolo removed.
The Fire-Jungle of Nor (Red-Green)
|Fire-Mountain of Nor|
Wild jungles, thick rainforests, and fuming mountains of vulcan fire make up the land known as The Fire-Jungle of Nor and the Tribes of Nor popular these lands.
The Tribes are wild elves and orgs that, when they’re not fighting giant reptilian abominations or each other, are guarding their lands jealously from the invasion of would-be profiteers. After all, Nor was once a great empire and there are many temples filled with treasures and ancient cities that the tribesmen have made their homes.
The peoples of Nor believed Iolo to be the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy and were of the first nations to submit to the will of the Great Serpent. They await their gods return; unaware that they’re to be the first nation under siege in the coming war.
Guluk-Naar Nations (White-Red)
|Mesas of Guluk Naar|
Rolling plains and burning deserts fill the area between the mountains of fire and the mountains of death; and in a land where might is right and revenge is righteous, wars between warbands of orgs and barbarians drench the sands in blood from time to time. But the land is not completely wild.
There is no single government and there is no single law; there is only the code of honor that all of these men live by. Many men of this code have built small cities; trading posts for the nomadic tribesmen to participate in fair trade and build strong bonds.
The tribes were in the death grip of the coils of Iolo and have resumed their lifestyle, now that Iolo is gone, but much of the balance they enjoyed is still in danger.
The Ever-Lasting State of Lacrozia (Black-White)
|A Lacrozian hamlet|
Death is only a temporary encumbrance in the mountains of Lacrozia. A land where ancient vampires and powerful lich lords battle for control amongst armies of mindless death, amongst cities that only come alive at night, and small villages where only a full doesn’t bar his door. Yet, despite all the undead horrors lurking in the mountains, there is a relative peace.
In fact, those willing to work within the unsavory society built by the vampires live a pleasant and long life. Sure they have to donate a little blood and life-force, here and there, but the vampires provide them protection from the ghastlier fiends who wait around every corner. It is the “Lacrozians” the elder vampire lords who rule over the land and the only threat to their rule is political backstabbing, usually with a wooden stake, in their heart.
The land of living dead was among the first to bow down to Iolo’s might; after all, the trick to maintaining order in Lacrozia is fear and even the vampire lords know to respect the power of beings greater than themselves. Now that Iolo is gone, things returned to how they have been, and, to the belief of the vampires, how they shall be forever more.
Pacean Kingdoms (White-Green)
|A Pacean village.|
A land of fairy tales; from castles with towers that reach into the clouds above, fields of wild flowers, and humble farm folk working the land. This is the most pleasant place in all of Fulcrum; famine and pestilence are unheard of, orphans can always find a welcome place, and everyone is merry—most of the time. Even paradise has problems but, luckily, there is a hero for every villain in Pacea.
From humble priests who turn the good-will of the people into weapons against their foes to courageous knights who shield the people from harm to even the little folk, the Nymbles, there is always a hero ready to stand against the villains that would ruin the land by invading from the south.
Pacea fought hardily against the domination of Iolo, but, discovering the alternative of living their live under his will or living their lives in a constant war against his armies, they finally submitted. Now that they are free, with the help of the Allustrans, they have regained their peaceful ways.
The Wurmwood (Green-Black)
Every Pacean child is told to stay as far away from the edge of the woods, mostly at the threat of witches and other monsters. Yet, the most feared representation of this childhood fear, a single being, goes by many names; the Paceans call him the “Devil of the Wood”, but he calls himself “The Prince of the Rot”.
The Wurmwood is a dangerous place; a place where life is consumed by death and the dead are consumed by the living. This cycle is called “The Rot”. All who walk near those woods have felt its presence, the leering scratching eyes of an ever-dying eldritch being, and all who walk into those woods are rarely heard from again. Giant wurms slither through the undergrowth like fish through the sea, swarms of insects pick the bones of all dead clean, and nothing is allowed to escape the stinging grip of death. Some say they’ve seen The Prince of the Rot and lived to tell the tale; shaped like a sickly man, made of the very same material that embodies the wood, and its laughter shattering the dull hum of the wood.
Iolo conquered The Wurmwood, or so he claimed, after all, no one would challenge him for the wood—except perhaps the Prince.
The Witch Marshes (Black-Red)
The sacrifice of a thousand men and the saying of a thousand words have made The Witch Marsh a land where no man walks. It is land where cruel women have ruled for centuries, free from the tyranny of men to enjoy their own, and living in, at most, covens of three; The Maiden, The Mother, and The Hag.
No mortal man can walk the Marshes without the protection of a witch’s fancy and men are often drawn in to play part in some witch’s scheme for power. Few places are more revered for its horror. Yet, many women still hear the call of the Marshes to escape from an unwanted marriage or a broken heart. Every witch wants to call themselves a queen, but all who attract such attention are doomed to fall.
The witches of the Marsh joined Iolo quickly for the chance to get revenge on the world of men and, since his disappearance, have returned their Marshes to await there next opportunity.
Hexellian Empire (Blue-Black)
A vast underwater empire that stretches across all the coeans between Allustria and the shallow shoals of the Great Ring, Hexellia is dominated by the Hexellian race of merfolk. Hexellia is ruled by a magocratic class that dwells in the lowest depths of the ocean’s floating cities. The leaders of the magocracy, the Council of Nine, make all major decisions for the entire empire. Beneath the mage caste, there is a complex caste system that picks one’s life occupation based on their family traits. This caste system is instantly visible as, depending on a Hexellian’s duty, their body’s color and the shape of their decorative fins are different than those of the other castes. The only enemies of Hexellian Empire are sailors and the occasional Nullnaut King. Hexellians only make their presence known to “Land-Walkers” if their territories are threatened by over-fishing or pollutants.
Generally, they are content and there has never been rebellion led by a lower caste, although there have been several coups led by mages in the Council of Nine to take control of the order. They are a proud and secretive culture. Their empire has only ever been conquered by the Great Serpent Iolo, who threatened their seas with great storms, and forced them into submission. At the beginning of the timeline, they’re relieved that Iolo has been missing for some time, and are back to their ordinary business.
The Great Ring Isle (Green-Blue)
|One of thousands of islands that make up the Great Ring|
Free from the interference of any governments, besides perhaps those they choose to follow, the free nations of the Great Ring are made up of pirates and mad men seeking fortune at the edge of the world. In a place with no laws, even the laws of nature can be defied.
The pirates of the Great Ring raid the coasts and ships of the main continent, fight wars against each other, and ignore the wrath of all who would challenge them. The most legendary of these pirates will often form great fleets, but these days are long gone. The pirates challenged Iolo and their ships were sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
Since Iolo’s retreat, the remaining pirates have slowly began retaking their old home and the alchemists, scientists, and mages that call the tropics home have created more designs against natural law than ever before. The Great Ring is a strange place and only time will tell how these free people will play their part in the coming age.