Background: #fff
Foreground: #000
PrimaryPale: #8cf
PrimaryLight: #18f
PrimaryMid: #04b
PrimaryDark: #014
SecondaryPale: #ffc
SecondaryLight: #fe8
SecondaryMid: #db4
SecondaryDark: #841
TertiaryPale: #eee
TertiaryLight: #ccc
TertiaryMid: #999
TertiaryDark: #666
Error: #f88
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a {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
a:hover {background-color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]];}
a img {border:0;}

h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {color:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryDark]]; background:transparent;}
h1 {border-bottom:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}
h2,h3 {border-bottom:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}

.button {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::Background]];}
.button:hover {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; border-color:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]];}
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	border-left:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];
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.tabContents {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]]; border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}
.tabContents .button {border:0;}

#sidebar {}
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#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel {background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryPale]];}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel a {border:none;color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel a:hover {color:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel a:active {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]; background:[[ColorPalette::Background]];}

.wizard {background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryPale]]; border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
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.wizard h2 {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; border:none;}
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#messageArea {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}
#messageArea .button {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryPale]]; border:none;}

.popupTiddler {background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]]; border:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}

.popup {background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]]; color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]]; border-left:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]]; border-top:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]]; border-right:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]]; border-bottom:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}
.popup hr {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]]; border-bottom:1px;}
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.popup li a:hover {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; border: none;}
.popup li a:active {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryPale]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; border: none;}
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.title {color:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryDark]];}
.subtitle {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}

.toolbar {color:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
.toolbar a {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}
.selected .toolbar a {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}
.selected .toolbar a:hover {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}

.tagging, .tagged {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]]; background-color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryPale]];}
.selected .tagging, .selected .tagged {background-color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]]; border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}
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.tagging .button, .tagged .button {border:none;}

.footer {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}
.selected .footer {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}

.sparkline {background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryPale]]; border:0;}
.sparktick {background:[[ColorPalette::PrimaryDark]];}

.error, .errorButton {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; background:[[ColorPalette::Error]];}
.warning {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryPale]];}
.lowlight {background:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryLight]];}

.zoomer {background:none; color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]]; border:3px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}

.imageLink, #displayArea .imageLink {background:transparent;}

.annotation {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; border:2px solid [[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]];}

.viewer .listTitle {list-style-type:none; margin-left:-2em;}
.viewer .button {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]];}
.viewer blockquote {border-left:3px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}

table {border:2px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}
th, thead td {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryMid]]; border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]];}
td, tr {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}

.viewer pre {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryPale]];}
.viewer code {color:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryDark]];}
.viewer hr {border:0; border-top:dashed 1px [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]]; color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}

.highlight, .marked {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]];}

.editor input {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]];}
.editor textarea {border:1px solid [[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]; width:100%;}
.editorFooter {color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}

#backstageArea {background:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; color:[[ColorPalette::TertiaryMid]];}
#backstageArea a {background:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; border:none;}
#backstageArea a:hover {background:[[ColorPalette::SecondaryLight]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; }
#backstageArea a.backstageSelTab {background:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}
#backstageButton a {background:none; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; border:none;}
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#backstagePanel {background:[[ColorPalette::Background]]; border-color: [[ColorPalette::Background]] [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]] [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]] [[ColorPalette::TertiaryDark]];}
.backstagePanelFooter .button {border:none; color:[[ColorPalette::Background]];}
.backstagePanelFooter .button:hover {color:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]];}
#backstageCloak {background:[[ColorPalette::Foreground]]; opacity:0.6; filter:'alpha(opacity:60)';}
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h1,h2,h3 {padding-bottom:1px; margin-top:1.2em;margin-bottom:0.3em;}
h4,h5,h6 {margin-top:1em;}
h1 {font-size:1.35em;}
h2 {font-size:1.25em;}
h3 {font-size:1.1em;}
h4 {font-size:1em;}
h5 {font-size:.9em;}

hr {height:1px;}

a {text-decoration:none;}

dt {font-weight:bold;}

ol {list-style-type:decimal;}
ol ol {list-style-type:lower-alpha;}
ol ol ol {list-style-type:lower-roman;}
ol ol ol ol {list-style-type:decimal;}
ol ol ol ol ol {list-style-type:lower-alpha;}
ol ol ol ol ol ol {list-style-type:lower-roman;}
ol ol ol ol ol ol ol {list-style-type:decimal;}

.txtOptionInput {width:11em;}

#contentWrapper .chkOptionInput {border:0;}

.externalLink {text-decoration:underline;}

.indent {margin-left:3em;}
.outdent {margin-left:3em; text-indent:-3em;}
code.escaped {white-space:nowrap;}

.tiddlyLinkExisting {font-weight:bold;}
.tiddlyLinkNonExisting {font-style:italic;}

/* the 'a' is required for IE, otherwise it renders the whole tiddler in bold */
a.tiddlyLinkNonExisting.shadow {font-weight:bold;}

#mainMenu .tiddlyLinkExisting,
	#mainMenu .tiddlyLinkNonExisting,
	#sidebarTabs .tiddlyLinkNonExisting {font-weight:normal; font-style:normal;}
#sidebarTabs .tiddlyLinkExisting {font-weight:bold; font-style:normal;}

.header {position:relative;}
.header a:hover {background:transparent;}
.headerShadow {position:relative; padding:4.5em 0em 1em 1em; left:-1px; top:-1px;}
.headerForeground {position:absolute; padding:4.5em 0em 1em 1em; left:0px; top:0px;}

.siteTitle {font-size:3em;}
.siteSubtitle {font-size:1.2em;}

#mainMenu {position:absolute; left:0; width:10em; text-align:right; line-height:1.6em; padding:1.5em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; font-size:1.1em;}

#sidebar {position:absolute; right:3px; width:16em; font-size:.9em;}
#sidebarOptions {padding-top:0.3em;}
#sidebarOptions a {margin:0em 0.2em; padding:0.2em 0.3em; display:block;}
#sidebarOptions input {margin:0.4em 0.5em;}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel {margin-left:1em; padding:0.5em; font-size:.85em;}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel a {font-weight:bold; display:inline; padding:0;}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel input {margin:0 0 .3em 0;}
#sidebarTabs .tabContents {width:15em; overflow:hidden;}

.wizard {padding:0.1em 1em 0em 2em;}
.wizard h1 {font-size:2em; font-weight:bold; background:none; padding:0em 0em 0em 0em; margin:0.4em 0em 0.2em 0em;}
.wizard h2 {font-size:1.2em; font-weight:bold; background:none; padding:0em 0em 0em 0em; margin:0.4em 0em 0.2em 0em;}
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.wizardFooter {padding:0.8em 0.4em 0.8em 0em;}
.wizardFooter .status {padding:0em 0.4em 0em 0.4em; margin-left:1em;}
.wizard .button {padding:0.1em 0.2em 0.1em 0.2em;}

#messageArea {position:absolute; top:2em; right:0em; margin:0.5em; padding:0.5em; z-index:200;}
*[id='messageArea'] {position:fixed !important; z-index:200;}
.messageToolbar {display:block; text-align:right; padding:0.2em 0.2em 0.2em 0.2em;}
#messageArea a {text-decoration:underline;}

.tiddlerPopupButton {padding:0.2em 0.2em 0.2em 0.2em;}
.popupTiddler {position: absolute; z-index:300; padding:1em 1em 1em 1em; margin:0;}

.popup {position:absolute; z-index:300; font-size:.9em; padding:0; list-style:none; margin:0;}
.popup .popupMessage {padding:0.4em;}
.popup hr {display:block; height:1px; width:auto; padding:0; margin:0.2em 0em;}
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#splashScreen {display:none;}

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.toolbar {text-align:right; font-size:.9em;}

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.title {font-size:1.6em; font-weight:bold;}

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.subtitle {font-size:1.1em;}

.tiddler .button {padding:0.2em 0.4em;}

.tagging {margin:0.5em 0.5em 0.5em 0; float:left; display:none;}
.isTag .tagging {display:block;}
.tagged {margin:0.5em; float:right;}
.tagging, .tagged {font-size:0.9em; padding:0.25em;}
.tagging ul, .tagged ul {list-style:none; margin:0.25em; padding:0;}
.tagClear {clear:both;}

.footer {font-size:.9em;}
.footer li {display:inline;}

.annotation {padding:0.5em; margin:0.5em;}

* html .viewer pre {width:99%; padding:0 0 1em 0;}
.viewer {line-height:1.4em; padding-top:0.5em;}
.viewer .button {margin:0em 0.25em; padding:0em 0.25em;}
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table {border-collapse:collapse; margin:0.8em 1.0em;}
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.zoomer {font-size:1.1em; position:absolute; overflow:hidden;}
.zoomer div {padding:1em;}

* html #backstage {width:99%;}
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#backstageArea {display:none; position:relative; overflow: hidden; z-index:150; padding:0.3em 0.5em 0.3em 0.5em;}
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#backstageArea a {font-weight:bold; margin-left:0.5em; padding:0.3em 0.5em 0.3em 0.5em;}
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#backstageCloak {display:none; z-index:50; position:absolute; width:100%; height:100px;}

.whenBackstage {display:none;}
.backstageVisible .whenBackstage {display:block;}
StyleSheet for use when a translation requires any css style changes.
This StyleSheet can be used directly by languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean which use a logographic writing system and need larger font sizes.

body {font-size:0.8em;}

#sidebarOptions {font-size:1.05em;}
#sidebarOptions a {font-style:normal;}
#sidebarOptions .sliderPanel {font-size:0.95em;}

.subtitle {font-size:0.8em;}

.viewer table.listView {font-size:0.95em;}

.htmlarea .toolbarHA table {border:1px solid ButtonFace; margin:0em 0em;}
@media print {
#mainMenu, #sidebar, #messageArea, .toolbar {display: none ! important;}
#displayArea {margin: 1em 1em 0em 1em;}
/* Fixes a feature in Firefox where print preview displays the noscript content */
noscript {display:none;}
<div class='header' macro='gradient vert [[ColorPalette::PrimaryLight]] [[ColorPalette::PrimaryMid]]'>
<div class='headerShadow'>
<span class='siteTitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteTitle'></span>&nbsp;
<span class='siteSubtitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteSubtitle'></span>
<div class='headerForeground'>
<span class='siteTitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteTitle'></span>&nbsp;
<span class='siteSubtitle' refresh='content' tiddler='SiteSubtitle'></span>
<div id='mainMenu' refresh='content' tiddler='MainMenu'></div>
<div id='sidebar'>
<div id='sidebarOptions' refresh='content' tiddler='SideBarOptions'></div>
<div id='sidebarTabs' refresh='content' force='true' tiddler='SideBarTabs'></div>
<div id='displayArea'>
<div id='messageArea'></div>
<div id='tiddlerDisplay'></div>
<div class='toolbar' macro='toolbar closeTiddler closeOthers +editTiddler > fields syncing permalink references jump'></div>
<div class='title' macro='view title'></div>
<div class='subtitle'><span macro='view modifier link'></span>, <span macro='view modified date'></span> (<span macro='message views.wikified.createdPrompt'></span> <span macro='view created date'></span>)</div>
<div class='tagging' macro='tagging'></div>
<div class='tagged' macro='tags'></div>
<div class='viewer' macro='view text wikified'></div>
<div class='tagClear'></div>
<div class='toolbar' macro='toolbar +saveTiddler -cancelTiddler deleteTiddler'></div>
<div class='title' macro='view title'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit title'></div>
<div macro='annotations'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit text'></div>
<div class='editor' macro='edit tags'></div><div class='editorFooter'><span macro='message views.editor.tagPrompt'></span><span macro='tagChooser'></span></div>
To get started with this blank TiddlyWiki, you'll need to modify the following tiddlers:
* SiteTitle & SiteSubtitle: The title and subtitle of the site, as shown above (after saving, they will also appear in the browser title bar)
* MainMenu: The menu (usually on the left)
* DefaultTiddlers: Contains the names of the tiddlers that you want to appear when the TiddlyWiki is opened
You'll also need to enter your username for signing your edits: <<option txtUserName>>
These InterfaceOptions for customising TiddlyWiki are saved in your browser

Your username for signing your edits. Write it as a WikiWord (eg JoeBloggs)

<<option txtUserName>>
<<option chkSaveBackups>> SaveBackups
<<option chkAutoSave>> AutoSave
<<option chkRegExpSearch>> RegExpSearch
<<option chkCaseSensitiveSearch>> CaseSensitiveSearch
<<option chkAnimate>> EnableAnimations

Also see AdvancedOptions
I'm not sure what this does.  I'm reluctant to mess with it.
This comes courtesy of Chris Cooper.  For advice on integrating it into your game, check out [[Esoteric Disciplines for Sorcery]].

The caster understands the flow of magic to his spells. He can opt to force the magical energies faster and marginally speed up the casting of his spells.

Rushed Emphasis (1 point)
By removing one die from his sorcery pool the sorcerer can reduce a spell’s Slow casting time by one. The pool’s special die is always removed first. A spell with a casting time of Slow 0 becomes Combative.

Emphatic Releasing (3 points)
As with Rushed Emphasis except the caster can opt to lose more than one die out a pool and reduce the casting by the same amount.

Fleeting Perfection (5 points)
The sorcery can spend as many dice as he wants but he doesn’t have to lose his special die if he wishes.

One of the [[Ob-lob]] people's most marketable commodities is information about the future, garnered through visions discerned in pooled water.  A versatile style, Ob-lob oracles can foresee years into the future or (when necessarily) only a few moments.  Along with its utility at discovery is a secondary ability to confuse and confound magical visions of all styles.  It's described at greater deal in the supplement [[Owners of the Seas|]].
[img[queen serene.jpg|]][img[goatskull.jpg|]]
[img[not all attunement.tiff|]]
[img[black thirst.tiff|]]

Art from Chris Cooper


Art from Martin Nerurkar.
Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

Artful Filching uses the Coordination+Stealth pool for undetected sleight of hand actions such as purse-cutting, filching, picking pockets, slippin' in a Micky Finn, secreting small objects from view or any sort of delicate but shifty finger work. Great use for spies, assassins and hungry, market-haunting urchins.

Long Fingered (One point)
Get a +2 bonus when using Coordination+Stealth pool to perform a sleight action.

Quick Fingered (Two points)
Get a +1 Width bonus.

Clever Fingered (Three points)
If the thief fails to roll a set with a declared Coordination+Stealth roll - even if it's part of a multiple action - the player can choose to void that action retroactively. It is as if the character never even moved.

Twenty Fingered (Four points)
Any appropriate Coordination+Stealth set has its Height set to 10.

Sleight Fingered (Five points)
If your character rolls a successful set but your opponent’s Sense roll still manages to catch out your character, you can use the Clever-fingered rule and retroactively make the roll never happen.  You can't substitute a different action -- it's as if you did nothing at all.
An Asset is something specific to a Company that helps it out, but only in certain narrow circumstances.  A high [[Influence]] score means that the company is generally gifted in acquiring information and passing it on (usually in a favorably altered light).  An Influence Asset might be something like a mole inside a foreign court.  That spy is very helpful in learning about that particular country, but he's no good for finding the word on the street with your own citizens.

Assets are in explained in depth in Supplement #1, which [[you can download here|]].
This comes courtesy of Chris Cooper.  For advice on integrating it into your game, check out [[Esoteric Disciplines for Sorcery]].

For spells with a longer casting time the sorcerer can train his skills to narrow the gap between the spell’s difficulty and the length of casting time. As such Assured Wizardry only affects spells with casting time in minutes or hours.

Dedicated Casting (1 point)
The sorcerer can lower the spell’s Intensity by one to the low limit of Intensity 1.

Disciplined Casting (3 points)
The sorcerer can lower a spell’s Intensity by more than one but no more than his Sorcery Skill or its governing Stat, whichever is lower. No spell can be reduced below Intensity one.

Deft Casting (5 points)
Not only can the caster lower the Intensity by his sorcery skill or its governing stat, whichever is higher, but spells can be reduced to Intensity zero or less do not need to be rolled, simply assume a 2x1 basic success set.
Wider than the Anvil of Heaven, taller than Skytusk, Black Mountain rises above the plains and forests of eastern [[Heluso]] in solitary majesty.  Remarkable for more than its size and uniqueness, Black Mountain soil is rich and fertile.  On its lighted face it produces abundant wheat and rice, while its shadow is thick with the fungi, mosses and vines that thrive away from the sun's regard.

Black Mountain isn't a traditional nation or city, but an amalgam of both.  The entire mountain is settled, but only in certain areas -- the government district, the marketplace, the soldiers' quarter -- is the population dense enough to meet the expectations of 'city'.  It's spread out and sprawled with terraces and waterfalls and irrigation canals crisscrossing the mountain's gentle slopes.  Even where it's most chokingly populated, one only has to walk for an hour or ninety minutes to reach a farmer's field.  Indeed, one can walk through the soldiers' quarter and, in the middle of it, find the descendants of a stubborn farmer who refused to sell his land.  The one-acre farm is walled in on all sides by tall buildings, but it has simply switched to crops that thrive in darkness.

At the summit are the the pastures where the fabled Black Mountain sheep are grazed and tended and carefully watched.  Black Mountain can feed itself, but is surprisingly bereft of mineral wealth.  For trade, they offer instead their woven goods.  The looms on the lower slopes work white wool brought in from the area around, but the black sheep at the summit... their wool is reserved for the sorcerers who tend them and need them to produce fateskeins.

Fateskeins can only be hand-woven from the wool of a Black Mountain sheep, and they have the eagerly sought quality of drawing things to them.  Like destiny's driftnets, a properly-woven fateskein can draw wind into a ship's sails, or lure animals to a hunter's snare, or draw the blows of weapons away from the body and towards a shield.

They export fateskeins at fabulous prices, and every aggressor has been met with the threat of killing the mystic sheep, halving the province's value in a single stroke.  Holding their sheep ransom, as well as being a defensible position hat has sprouted many fortifications over the years, dissuades invasion of the fiercely proud mountain people.

Black Mountain is a member of the [[Heluso Confederacy]], but far more protective of their national identity than the other three Confederate nations.  The Free State is too small to support many noble houses, but it does possess two royal bloodlines.  There is the line of the King and the line of the Queen, which are forbidden by law to ever mix.  Every generation, rule is divided between the King, the Queen, and their spouses (who are expected to govern with the same wisdom and authority as the rulers by blood).  As one might imagine, an unmarried King or Queen is regarded with intense interest by anyone of marriageable age and appropriate gender.  The rewards for making such a match are tremendous, and with no second-tier nobility, the Queen could theoretically marry a beggar and give him the power of Queen's Consort in one stroke.  (This has never happened.)  The King and Queen have incentive to stay unmarried in order to keep their authority undiluted.  At the same time, the healthy and affectionate rivalry between the two royal families pushes them to ensure legitimate heirs as soon and safely as possible.
Initially, the [[Black Mountain]] Games were held every other year, and their exact purpose varied, depending on whom you asked.  Those whose views tended towards optimism, or Black Mountain loyalty, or towards accepting the simplest explanation, say that the games were founded as an opportunity for people from all over the [[Heluso Confederacy]] to come to Black Mountain and compete in sporting events, to the honor of their nations.  Others, more cynical or inimical to the nation of the black sheep, consider the Games a transparent sop by Black Mountain, intended to belie the notion of Black Mountain snobbishness while in fact only providing ample opportunity for its display.

Regardless of the original intent, the Games became very popular -- perhaps because they were held during the first week of Winterlock, which is just about the time that various ruling classes are beginning to lose patience with the small number of people they're caged with in their manor or castle.  Now they're held every third year, and have become a phenomenon followed far beyond the Confederacy's borders.  

Making the trek from (say) the far reaches of [[North Hold]] in the dead of winter is no easy task, and often it can take the better (well -- longer) part of a miserable month to make get there, and it's a similar journey back.  But often the pilgrims band together to carry trunks of supplies, pool their funds to hire [[Flame Dancers]] to melt their way, or import fire charms from the [[Ussient Forest]] to take the edge off the chill.

There is one main event for each of the Games' seven days.  [[Magic]], even to the extent of attuned competitors, is not permitted among the athletes.  The first day starts the long walk.  The second day lightens things up with the vertical foot race, and the ice chute competition on the third is always a crowd-pleaser.  The fourth day's event is a horse race around the mountain, followed by the fifth day's comical icicle duels.  On the sixth day, all feast, but none more than the competitors at the glutton's quest.  The seventh day ends the competition with the glorious winter war.

In more detail, the long walk is a brutally simple competition.  All who choose to participate are lined up at the same starting point, given the same woolen clothes and leather boots, and all set off on the same northern highway.  They are given neither food nor water, and the winner of the competition is the one who gets farthest without stopping, collapsing or giving up.  Speed doesn't matter, only stubborn endurance.  The long walk typically ends early in the third day, but has stretched as long as the fifth.  Typically, the group starts as a cluster but gradually stretches out.  It's usually noon on the second day when they cross the line of shadow, after which the race takes place in inky darkness.

The vertical foot race is more of a standard race, harsh and cruel in a different way.  All competitors start at the base of Black Mountain, and the first one to reach its summit is the winner.  Since the mountain is thickly populated, a route is charted through the city, and residents are forbidden to use those streets during the day.  Many competitors go off that track, however, pursuing shortcuts and seeking advantage.  The winner is almost always a mountain native, though the competition between two local rivals at the last race was so fierce that they hobbled each other and let an outsider beat them both.  (In fact, one local couldn't finish the race after a snare set the night before cracked his ankle bone.)  

From the bottom of the mount up, the competition then shifts to top down.  Starting with the first freeze, a winding but mostly-straight main drainage channel is carefully wet and smoothed, with layers of ice being lovingly polished by the lucky residents on its route until it's silky and high-gloss.  This ice chute gradually emerges at the mountain's base, pointing out over a broad, open field.  The object of the ice plunge is to start at the top, ride a device of whatever design down the ice (navigating some hair-whitening turns and arcs along the way) and come out at the bottom without a humiliating, injurious, or deadly crash.  (The difference between the three is usually down to whether it happens early, in the middle, or towards the end.)  There's no real way to time the event, so the winner is whoever travels the farthest across the field.  There is therefore much debate over whether it is better to have a light racer, who creates less drag and friction, or a heavy one who produces more inertia.

The horse race is simply a horse race, though often one enlivened by snow drifts, slick patches and other barriers natural or intentional.  

Icicle duels are by far the least hazardous of the Black Mountain Games.  (Though the gluttons' gorge has yet to produce a fatality.)  Hundreds of icicles are grown throughout the city, and competitors must choose their weapon in sight of an official.  (Again, there is some local advantage to being able to cultivate your own ice blade.)  Duels are fought in brackets, with each loser being forced out of the fight.  If one's icicle breaks, one is out.  If both competitors break their weapons, both lose.  Since striking someone with an icicle is a fine way to break it, the goal is not to hit the opponent's body.  Rather, it is to successfully catch a ring, roughly the size of a human eye, on your icicle's tip.  The rings are all constructed to exacting size tolerances, and all are hung by a short length of chain from the duelist's sword-hand elbow.  (Only one-handed fighting styles are permitted, to the great disgust of the [[Western Marches]].)  

Glutton's quest has been deemed "a grotesque and wanton gustatory rampage" by one revolted [[Ob-lob]] traveler who, nonetheless, conceded that it had "a certain compelling quality to its wasteful perversity."  It is quite simple.  Competitors are weighed, naked in public, at noon, and then set loose in a public banquet hall full of dense and varied viands.  (Only water is permitted as a drink, however.)  After four hours, a second naked weighing determines the winner, who is the person who has gained the most weight in the interim.  While it is always popular to watch, especially among those who've never seen it before, repeat viewings are few after the first chain reaction vomit.  This usually happens when one competitor goes too far and can't hold it in, after which it can spread to any nearby eaters.  It has very rarely gotten into the crowd, but once that happens, all the spectators' fun is definitely over.

Then there is winter war.  Teams of twenty are fielded by each nation, and by others outside the Confederacy -- for after the first few games, its reputation had spread abroad, with the Western Marches, [[Dindavara]], [[Uldholm]] and the [[Sunless Plains]] all, in time, sending a trickle and then a flood of competitors.  Each twenty-person team is given a fortress of four snow walls and a hill in the middle.  At the summit of the hill is placed a banner.  The instant an enemy touches your flag, your army is defeated and disbands.  The winning army is that one which either eliminates all competition, or is the first to set two enemy banners at the foot of its own.  Spells are forbidden, as are all weapons beyond snow, ice, and the banner staves.

With up to eight armies competing, victory is as often won through the alliances made in the first six days, often to be broken on the seventh.  Though there an advantage redounds on the Confederate teams who, despite their rivalry with each other, are rarely willing to let it interfere to the point that foreigners -- especially Imperial foreigners -- can prevail.  

The prizes for these events are crowns carved of ice.  In the past, a few have been preserved through enchantment, but there's an unspoken understanding that their fragile and temporary nature is part of the point.  Everyone ages, loses their strength and surety, until death and decay evaporate the body as surely as warmth melts the trophies.  But the victories won and the honor given are never as fragile as that award which vanishes when worn.
The bloodcutters were a school of sorcery developed in, and employed by, [[The Empire]] during its era of conquest.  They concerned themselves with family relations and the connections of blood, and their signature spell was one that let them stab a person and have the injury appear on one of their victim's relatives, no matter how far away that sister or cousin or father might be.  Once The Empire captured one member of a royal family, they could threaten all the others at will.  There was one demonstration of their ability and willingness to erase entire families, and the unfortunate victims were the royal line of [[Uldholm]].  

In time, the bloodcutters tired of being the means of enforcing Imperial authority, and they began taking a more direct role in the control of The Empire's client states.  The Empire had no tolerance for such a thing, and even appeared as the lesser evil when it sought its vassal nations' aid in destroying the treacherous mages.  The implement of the bloodcutters' doom was called The Orphan Army, composed entirely of those without family, and it succeeded in killing the renegade enchanters.  Or, at least, driving the survivors deep into hiding.

In every civilized nation, practice of bloodcutting is punishable by death, maiming or exile. 
This tribe of [[Truil]]s has suffered most from the incursions of the [[Uld]]s, since their tradition calls for meeting challenges with direct, [[kratig]]-fueled aggression.  Since that hasn't worked well for them, some are adopting Uldish ways and settling down, others are displaced into [[Mountain Rider]] and [[Night Hunter]] migratory paths, and still others have switched tactics and mount stealth raids against the newcomers.
Broadcutter's Path is laid out nicely in [[Supplement #2|]], and there's [[a podcast story about it too|]].  The text is reproduced below.

The Magistrate of Old Riverrun is the current holder of Broadcutter, a family relic from ancient times.  It’s not the most impressive of blades by modern standards: It’s old iron, man-tall and weighty.  It has no fancy decorations, no powerful enchantments.  A jeweled scabbard was produced for it as a wedding present three generations ago, but it actually looks a little effete next to the plain, worn hilt.

Broadcutter isn’t an exceptional weapon, but it is an exceptional symbol.  When Danifa was taken, its Riyan asked to be decapitated by Broadcutter.  When the Western Marches mobilized against the Pahar uprising, Broadcutter was carried at the front of the column to show their seriousness.  But perhaps its greatest fame is its prominent place in the story of  Rook and the Fadao twins Shai and Guai.

These techniques are used with Coordination + Sword, and unless otherwise noted must be used with a greatsword.  None of them can be part of any multiple action, unless otherwise stated.

Batter the Blade (1 point): Rook was known for attacking the enemy’s weapon, rather than defending himself from it.  This technique can be part of a multiple action.  If the attack hits, the target takes no damage but all his remaining attack or parry sets lose a die.  Batter the Blade can only be used against one opponent per round.  The Height of the blow does not matter.

Iron Breaking Blow (2 points): This is a curious twisting strike intended to auger into flesh while prying off armor.  The target of an Iron Breaking Blow takes only Width Shock at the location, but that location loses a point of Armor permanently.  This technique can be used with any type of sword and works against any type of permanent armor attached to a location.

Shield Riving (3 points): Rook felt that striking to cut through metal or wood was different than striking flesh, and that one who understood the difference could crack shields and breastplates more efficiently.  Shield Riving is the fruit of his studies.  When used, the target takes no damage, but that location permanently loses Armor equal to the Width of the set.

The Doom of Swords (4 points): This is an improved version of Batter the Blade and works the same way, except that that the attacker must make a called shot to a location that’s gripping the weapon, and the weapon’s damage bonus is permanently reduced by the Width of the hit.  (For the purposes of this, “Width” in the weapon’s damage rating is considered to be two.  Width is removed from a weapon last.)  This attack doesn’t take the usual –1d called shot penalty.  If the damage bonus hits zero, the weapon breaks.  (Any weapon of Milondese steel breaks automatically if hit with the Doom of Swords.)  

Example: Mark and Tud are fighting.  Mark has a greatsword and knows the Doom of Swords.  Tud is using a massive big club, which does Width+4 Shock damage.  Mark uses the Doom of Swords on it, setting one of his dice to 4 and rolling.  He doesn’t get a match for the four, but he does get a 2x9, which he can use as a normal attack to Tud’s stomach.  The next round, he tries again, setting the dice for location 6 this time.  He doesn’t roll a second six, but he does get a 3x4 match.  (Luck is funny stuff.)  Since that’s a location that holds the club, he does no damage to Tud, but the club is now manifestly less dangerous.  Mark’s 3x hit reduces its damage bonus from Width+4 to Width+1.  The next round he does it again, gets a match for his 6 and with a 2x6, damages the club further.  Since reducing the damage by two doesn’t really work when it’s Width+1, the club is reduced to doing only a single point of Shock damage when it hits.  Tud’s better off using his fists.

Buried in the Canyon (5 points): Just as Shield Riving teaches how best to cleave the inanimate, Buried in the Canyon demonstrates the lessons on bone and sinew.  The target permanently loses a wound box at the hit location.  That location permanently loses two points of Armor.  All adjoining locations take a point of Killing damage and permanently lose a point of Armor.  Typically, the person who got hit then cries.  Exceptionally strong willed individuals have been known to remain composed, however.
Broadland is one of the four nations in the [[Heluso Confederacy]] and among them is physically central, with [[Green River]] to the south, [[North Hold]] to the north, and the ocean coast to the east.  This situates them nicely as an importer of Milondese goods.  In fact, Broadland has allowed the [[Ob-lob]]s to establish a free and independent city on its coast to facilitate trade with far [[Milonda]].  It was something of a bitter pill to swallow, admitting that their own ships couldn't compete equally with the white tribes of the ocean, but the concession was worth it to match [[The Empire]] as a switching point for goods between the two continents.

Like North Hold, Broadland has both forests and fields, but unlike North Hold, much of their land lies in eternal shadow.  The Empire literally stands between the dark parts of Broadland and the sun, eclipsing it permanently.  All the forests of Broadland have their dangers, but the dark forests are particularly perilous and ill omened.  As for the plains of the dark, they're sparsely populated and desolate.  There are farmers scratching a living out of the unlit soil, but the land there scratches back.  

Broadland is the most liberal of the Confederate nations.  There's a noble class and a king, but they all govern much more easily when blessed by the [[Faceless Clergy]].  The Clergy, worshippers of the [[Secret Gods]], are influential but deliberately mysterious.  They intercede against tyranny and earn the love of the people, but also demand cryptic sacrifices and utter threats that, were they not phrased in religious terms, would sound an awful lot like a protection racket.  Broadland functions because, while the peasantry have no formal power, both the lords and the priests claim to be protecting them from each other.  Secretly, both the clergy and the gentry hope the peasants protect them as well.
Burai province is one of the five that comprise [[Dindavara]].  The westernmost part of the nation, the [[Meiren]] family lies to the east and the [[Xuedei]] to the south.  To the west of Burai lies a bleak and forbidding chain of mountains, which Burai province has relied on since time immemorial to provide coal, iron, silver and gold.  It is an appalling irony to them that they share the mountains with the small nation of Pluta, which adheres to the faith of the [[Ironbone Theocracy]].  Every Shu Riyan who has ruled form Gaozhang Burai has dreamed of invading Pluta, but it's a tactical challenge to give pause even to Dindavaran courage.  In olden times, fear of their own brethren kept the Burai from striking Pluta.  Now, they're bound by the oath that ended the war with [[The Empire]].  But when and if the terms of that oath are ever completed, Pluta will be a very worried nation.

Burai's other neighbors are the [[Truil]]s on the far side of the mountains.  There is some trade in Truilish moonstones and starstones, some herbs, rarely one of the legendary hornbows, even more rarely a dose of the sacred drug [[kratig]].  In return, the Dindavarans offer medicinal products of their own, superior steel tools, or weapons (though never, of course, their fine [[dinda]] blades).  Occasionally Burai has a good crop year and can sell some wheat or grain to the Truils, but Burai isn't known for rich farms and the problems of hauling loads of perishables through the mountains make it a risky business venture at best.

The other families tend to look down on Burai as a backwards, even bumpkinish province.  They acknowledge that the mountain-raised Burai fighters are tough in a scrap, especially when it takes place in their native hills, but no national treasure of song or dance has ever come from Burai.  Given the prejudice that has formed, it's unlikely one ever will.

The Burai family colors are black and red.
Center is, as the name might suggest, the core nation of [[The Empire]], embraced by the [[Western Marches]] to the west, [[Deerwood]] to the east, and having small borders with the [[Sunless Plains]] and the [[Nation of Pahar]] as well.  A land of fertile fields surrounding a great hills, Center has mineral wealth, but its own resources are dwarfed by the commerce that travels through it as the crossroads of the world.  Just the trade of the five Imperial nations would suffice to make a barren land rich, but Center also holds the most direct land route between [[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]].  Though war with the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]] has seriously reduced the caravans and trading expeditions, it's likely that no force in the world could halt them permanently.

At the middle of Center is Center City, the Imperial capitol.  It covers the largest hill like a blanket, and at the peak is the palace of the Empress.

This creature comes to you courtesy of RPG.NET's own Gyromancer.

A beast evolved in the Lightless Jungle, the chironian floater is a strange creature indeed: almost spherical and roughly four feet across, trailing four languid, boneless limbs beneath it, the floater drifts placidly and aimlessly through air and water, lighting the night with the gentle luminescence of the blue-green veins of its body. When flying the floater expands several airy, transparent flaps of flesh (far too small to actually carry it; experts suspect that the wings manipulate flows of magic to allow flight) - it also uses these as fins underwater. The floater can effortlessly transition between water and air, showing surprising speed beneath the waves.

The chironian floater is enveloped in several durable layers of skin, which in turn contain thick rolls of jelly-like substance - while this sweet, peppery substance is a nourishing Imperial delicacy, actually getting it can be tricky as the jelly also cushions blows against the creature, while the skin itself is devilishly hard to pierce with a blade. The floater possesses only a scant few semi-liquid organs which, while delicious when cooked into a broth, give few hints as to their purposes.

It should be noted that floater-hunting is not for beginners: floaters tend to move in packs, they drink blood, and are almost supernaturally capable at hiding themselves (their ability to turn almost transparent is a feat to respect). Worst of all, the stingers on its lengthy legs emit an anesthetic poison, so one may well not notice a floater feeding one oneself. Many an expedition has vanished into the jungles, drained dry of all vital fluids. Natives claim that the chalk-white corpses occasionally found have also been drained of their soul; who can say?

Would-be hunters should be aware that floaters are nocturnal. Finding one during the day can be an exercise in frustration, but this is also the period of time during which the chironian is weak and disoriented.  Despite the pitch blackness of their habitat, they always know when the sun is full, lending credence to the notion that they are magical creatures.

One last thing should be noted of the chironian floater: it is greatly attracted to shiny objects, and may even be dissuaded from an attack by suitable offerings. Floaters are drawn towards glass, mirrors, gems and polished metals alike, collecting them and hoarding them away in their nests (there is some evidence that the refraction of light upon reflective surfaces has something to do with their life cycles or breeding, but the details are unknown).

Many Ulds have attempted to keep chironian floaters in captivity -- the numbing venom alone has exciting medical possibilities, not to mention their beauty and delicate flavor -- but they won't reproduce when caged, and refuse to eat.  

Wounds and locations:
(10) HEAD 4 Wound Boxes, AR1
(9) WINGS 2 Wound Boxes
(5-8) TORSO 8 Wound Boxes, AR1
(1-4) LEGS 3 Wound Boxes

SENSE 2 (nocturnal, -1 during the day)

Fight 1 (waste dice in Shock)
Bite 2 (anesthetic and hard to notice)
Stealth 4+MD
Sight 1
Hear 1
Swim 1+MD
Fly 3

Chironian venom is Potency 8.  The minor effect is that the immediate area touche becomes numb.  The major effect is that the entire limb becomes numb.
A 'Company' is any group that has a goal and some way of working its will on other groups.  In REIGN, Companies are modeled with five [[Qualities]] -- [[Might]], [[Influence]], [[Treasure]], [[Sovereignty]] and [[Territory]].  Finer details are provided by [[Assets]], which give situational bonuses in narrow circumstances. Qualities and Assets determine whether the organization is big or small, mighty or puny, rich or poor, and whether its members are loyal and devoted or grumbling and shifty.  Companies can combine their Qualities in various ways to improve themselves, harm their neighbors, or combine both activities into a single roll.

The actions of individual characters in REIGN can have a huge impact on Company-scale actions.  On the level of the rules, this impact takes the form of dice penalties and dice bonuses.  Qualities tend to run out quickly, and a small Company may have minimal chances of success unless the main characters have set them up to succeed.  For example, let's suppose your characters are pirates and your Company is a pirate ship.  When trying to get smuggled goods into port, you're going to apply your Influence and some other Quality, depending on what exactly your methods and intentions are.  If the [[PCs]] go to town ahead of time and figure out which guards are stupid, and they then run a clever con game on the stupid guards so that they're actually HELPING haul in the goods -- clearly that's worth a big bonus.  On the other hand, if the characters go to town, get drunk, brag about their piratical wealth in order to impress the governor's daughter and leave an ugly scar on the chief magistrate's face... mm, they've probably earned themselves a penalty by tipping everyone wise and motivating their main enemy.  

A Company can be a church, a conspiracy, a gang of bandits, a troop of soldiers, a school of enchantment, a small village or a mighty empire.
Congma, the Hearth Mother, is the goddess most commonly worshiped in [[Dindavara]].  A soft-hearted figure credited with creating animals and most of the human race, she is fond of her children and is believed to answer prayers when appeased with sacrifices and devotions.  She is married to [[Dindakuan]].
A [[Pahar]] sect, the followers of this minor goddess of fertility and creation study disproportionately powerful magic.  In their sacred groves, they are able to bind pairs of creatures together, creating new prodigies that have traits of both sources.  Rumors insist that a debased offshoot practices human sacrifice, but the mainstream faith condemns such abhorrent devotions.

They are also colloquially known as "monster binders."
The Crimson Guard are few in number but large in reputation.  [[The Empire]] boasts these elite soldiers as the personal guard of its leader and ruler.  To even be considered for admission to the Guard, one must be an expert with both blade and sorcery.  The Crimson Guard are also loyal to the Empress, to the point of giving her the right and power to extinguish the life of a guard at any time.  Furthermore, the process of initiation involves hideous personal disfigurement.

Why do it?  Beyond the pride of being the best, the Guard are lavishly rewarded.  Rather than a salary, they are simply granted whatever they want that's within the considerable power of The Empire to grant.  The most beautiful, charming and accomplished men and women of The Empire are encouraged to apply to become companions to the Guard.  Being a companion earns one the same lavish rewards, and in return all one must do is marry a Guard, translate their language of gesture into speech, and sometimes chew their food for them.

Crimson Guard magic evokes blood spirits and is cast by waving bloody swords around.
(Culongs were introduced in Supplement #3, which is available [[as a free download|]].  The description and image are reproduced below.)
Culong are native to the Wuhra plains, so people native to the eastern side of The Empire have probably heard an accurate description of them, most people in the Maemeck Matriarchy have at least seen one, most people west of Center in The Empire have heard strange tales about them, and they’re unknown in Dindavara, Uldholm and most of the Confederacy.  The number of people who have seen a culong and one of the Truils’ Walking Mountains is exactly zero, so no one has noticed the remarkable similarities – tusks, trunk, body shape, proportions, four knees, floppy ears, tail, behavior and so on.  Anyone who’d seen both would think they were of a type, in the same way that a giant condor and a tiny finch are alike.
The differences are important, of course.  Culong are hairless and thrive in a warm climate, but most importantly they’re only the size of a small mountain lion or a very large wolf.

Culong are domesticated from the Wuhra tribes to Upunzi, though outside their native habitat they can be expensive to own and maintain.  They can pull small loads and fetch things with their trunks, but they’re rare as work animals outside the Wuhra nation.  Their intelligence and ability to manipulate objects make them prized pets everywhere they’re available, but only in Wuhra lands are they plentiful enough to be herded for meat, ivory and hides.
In [[Opetka]] the most common religion holds that the universe was created out of Greed, literally.  The god Greed ('Sahonst' in Opetkan) created all wonderful things in order to hoard them, and only made humanity and other gods that he might be envied.  (All the bad things in the world emerge from either Greed or one of the other gods spoiling things in order to spite one another.)  Through various tricks, Greed's three children -- Past, Present and Future -- steal most of the universe from him and then beat him into submission.  As he surrenders, Greed spitefully curses his three children that, should they ever all meet together again, he will arise and consume all that had ever been his.

Greed's children, fearful of this promise, gave up much of their godliness in order to hide among the souls of mankind.  Periodically, they are reincarnated, and recognized by the following signs.

Past always appears as a woman who is old before her time and never ages.
Present is always a man who is two men.
Future is always an unexpected man who is his own father.

People have been identified as these deities reborn numerous times throughout Opetkan history.  They justify claims of authority through varying interpretations of the prophecy -- one man who had taken his father's name and reclaimed his father's priestly appointment claimed to be Future reborn, while the current [[Kuklach]] Prime of the city Muhulc is adored as Present because he has two heads, four arms and three legs fused together at the trunk.  Although favor is believed to follow the gods reborn, the Opetkans aren't sentimental about killing them, as in the case of the Elder of [[Upunzi]] who claimed to be Past.  The destruction of the universe is just too great a risk, so whenever two reborn deities are identified, one gets killed -- often both.

This task typically falls to (or is claimed by) the Cult of Greed, a small sect with a hereditary priesthood and few worshippers.  There is a tie between the Cult of Greed and the [[Opetkan War Givers]], who seem to believe the Cult can absolve them of war crimes in exchange for respect for their waiting, envious master.
Danifa is one of the five provinces of [[Dindavara]], and the only one to border [[The Empire]].  The frontier is mountainous and difficult, but it's long, and the history of warfare between Danifa and The Empire's [[Western Marches]] precedes both The Empire's formation, and the unification of the five Dindavaran clans under one rule.  The rivalry between the Marches and Danifa found its fullest expression during The Empire's wars of expansion, when the capital of Danifa was captured -- the only Dindavaran capital to ever fall to an invader.  Eventually the Danifa Riyans recovered their city, but some of them feel they've never recovered their honor.

Danifa province has a narrow border with [[Uldholm]] to the south, [[Xingshao]] province to the north, and [[Meiren]] to the west.  The family colors of Danifa are blue and black.
[[Dindavara]]'s most lauded sorcerers really only practice one trick, though it is a very versatile one.  These master smiths cool fresh-forged blades in living creatures, thereby stealing part of that creature's power.  They can infuse a sword with the quickness of the cat or alerness of the hawk.  They can also capture skills from slain humans, or even entire personalities.  There are legal limits, however, on how many humans a Riyan may condemn to the forges in a year.  
The [[Deerwood]] native religion holds that a primordial deer and stag licked salt into the forms of [[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]], who then went on to birth all of humanity before falling into deep slumber.  In recognition of these acts of creation, the people of Deerwood celebrate the day of Deer's Gift on the first day of every Threemonth.

Deer's Gift is not a raucous celebration -- indeed, life goes on largely as usual, but at some point in the day it's tradition (if so moved) to give a gift to someone you know and who you'd like to know better.  The crafting of these gifts occurs beforehand.  Depending on personality and intentions, a deer gift may be a symbolic circlet of woven flowers made on the spur of the moment, or it could be an elaborate piece of craft taking months to create.

Often this is a prelude to romance (or seduction) but it isn't assumed to be.  Even if the gift is given between an unmarried woman and man, there isn't the automatic presumption of a sexual or amorous element.  In Deerwood, the notion that women and men can be close friends without that sort of undercurrent is more common than elsewhere.  That said, when a husband and wife exchange deer gifts, it's seen as a highly romantic gesture.
Deerwood is one of the five nations of [[The Empire]], bordering allied [[Center]] to the west, the friendly [[Nation of Pahar]] to the north and south, and the contentious mountains of the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]] (decidedly unfriendly) to the east.  Heavily forested, Deerwood is known for the woodcraft of its specialist forest soldiers, as well as [[The Way of the Wood]], sorcerers adept with the properties of plants.  

Deerwood exports lumber, the fundamental ingredient of a drink called barkwater, and is also a major source of the drug [[joude]].  The people there have no cultural taboo against nudity.
Dindakuan, the Sword Father, is the prime god of [[Dindavara]].  An austere figure that eschews worship, Dindakuan crafted the world in his forge and was quite content to leave it in unpopulated perfection.  It was only the meddling of his wife [[Congma]] that created the first men, whom she crafted from clay.  Seeing how haphazard and destructive humanity was, the two of them created a superior race with souls of shining steel, to subdue the mud-men and bring the blessings of order to the world.  Those people founded the five noble families of Dindavara.

Dindakuan's most fervent worshippers are an order of sorcerer-monks called the [[Stoneheart Guardians]].
Dindavara lies north of [[Uldholm]], west of the [[Western Marches]] in [[The Empire]] and to the northwest of the [[Heluso Confederacy]], all of whom it has attacked at one time or another.  It's a nation governed by an elite warrior class, and they take their obligations very seriously.  According to their religion, (which is administered by sorcerer/priests called the [[Stoneheart Guardians]]) their primary obligation is to conquer the rest of the world in order to bring the enlightenment of Dindavaran rule.  Fortunately, their religion also holds that their god, [[Dindakuan]] has no need of human worship, and there's no apocalypse story in their holy writ, so there's no sense of fanatical urgency to their plans for conquest.  They're taking their time.  

A "[[dinda]]" is a sword, "[[Dindakuan]]" means "sword father" and "Dindavara" means "the land of the people of the sword."  They are an unrepentant military culture, but not an unreconstructed one.  Culture flourishes in Dindavara, taking the form of music, painting, embroidery, sculpture and dance.  All these arts are yoked to serve and glorify the ruling class and their martial values, but that's taken as a matter of course.

Dindavara has five provinces, each with their own ruling family.  These are: [[Xingshao]], [[Meiren]], [[Burai]], [[Danifa]] and [[Xuedei]].  Above them is a single ruler, the Hai Riyan.  Currently, the Hai Riyan is from the Xingshao family, which causes no small resentment and plotting among the publicly loyal other families.

Underneath the noble crust is a second culture of peasants and commoners, who typically revere the goddess [[Congma]], the wife of [[Dindakuan]].  Unlike her aloof husband, Congma is believed to give her favor, in the form of good fortune, to those who are devout and pious in their praise of her.  Dindakuan, it is largely believed, cares nothing for worship.  Those who follow him, do so out of conviction that his plan for the world is right, not out of hope for any divine favor.
The Dindavaran language possesses its own alphabet, in which every symbol stands for a syllable in the word.  The central framework of the symbol is triangular, and indicates the vowel sound.  Above the vowel is a 'crown' symbol that, if present, shows what sound the syllable begins with.  In the middle of the triangular vowel is the 'core' symbol that, if present, shows what sound concludes the syllable.  Thus, if the syllable 'Din' was drawn, the D crown would be on top of the 'IH' symbol, with the core N symbol.  


Dindavaran words that have already been defined include...

Bo, 'small, lesser'
Caiba, a combined mouth/nose flute
Cong, 'hearth'
Dinda, 'sword'
Geguo, 'banner chief'
Guo, 'chief'
Hai, 'great, exalted'
Kuan, 'father'
Libei, 'ripping, tearing'
Ma, 'mother'
Nong, a five-stringed musical instrument
Riyan, 'leader' or 'commander'
Shijinghui, a musical instrument composed of hammered chimes
Shu, 'clan' OR 'province'
Zu, 'bird'
Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

Scum get around - often in haste - but how do scum of the street use the occasional, random techniques of secrets they may have learned? By mashing them up together. 

Rather than a true path, Disgraceful Melange is a “meta” path of techniques that allow characters to combine different martial path techniques from other disciplines and even Esoteric Disciplines - if they fit. 

It’s designed to use the lower level ranks of a few combat secrets rather than a steady specialization in one or two.

It is uses whatever pool is relevant, but the character cannot use any combination of ranks higher than his Coordination or Knowledge stat, whichever is lower. 

Handy In My Fist (One point)

The character can swap weapon types from one to another as long as they basically fit the original weapon’s size criteria, so staves can be swapped with spears, daggers with short swords, short swords with long swords, Unarmed Attacks can be used with daggers. Crossbows, however, cannot be swapped with bows. 

There are certain cases where compatibility issues are sensibly unavoidable like say using a punch attack for a two-handed sword path. Be sensible. 

The character gets to use his preferred weapon skill. 

Get Dirty Quickly (Three points)

The gutter melange is able to learn single techniques from Martial Paths on their own without paying for the previous techniques. This is invalidated if the chosen technique is a permutation, combination or adds onto one or more previous techniques. No more than five points worth of secrets may be learned this way.

Roughshod Violence (Five points)

If the street scum doesn’t have an appropriate weapon skill he may substitute his Fight skill instead. 
The eleventh day of Angermonth is celebrated in the [[Heluso Confederacy]] in remembrance of two events.  The first is the surrender of Imperial general Vigor Threadneedle after the his resounding defeat at the Battle of Broken Point.  Exactly twelve months after that, the three nations that had fought together to turn back [[The Empire]] bound themselves (along with the Kingdom of [[Green River]]) together into the Confederacy and agreed to break ground on the city of [[Meetpoint]].

The Double Anniversary is a time of drinking, excess, and intense competition.  Along the borders of member nations, this often takes the form of inter-country rivalry, "friendly" in theory if not always in practice.  Horse racing, tests of strength, jousts and other, more obscure contests fuel fierce wagering and loud, day-long celebration.

On one hill in Green River, three local communities have a yearly contest for possession of a bronze cup.  Elders from all three ensconce it at the summit, then carefully erect a fence around the hill's perimeter.  Any who wish to help battle for the cup surround this palisade (and any who breech it before the signal are handed over to strong men of the other towns for a thrashing).  At noon, the elders bang a great gong, at which point all are allowed to attack the fence in an attempt to reach the cup and bring it back to their home town.  Some shoving and jeering and the occasional elbow poke occur before the tocsin rings, but most save their strength for the actual climb and struggle.  No weapons, spells or animals are permitted.  It's dishonorable to strike someone who has one knee or more on the ground.  Other than that there are no restrictions on what strategies can come into play.

Another Double Anniversary tradition is followed in the city of Ash Grove, much to the disgust of outsiders.  Each year, the richest and most powerful of the townfolk are required to judge a "filthiest chamberpot" competition.  Moreover, the award isn't small: Every living person in town is bound by law to contribute a full coin of some size towards the purse.  Thus, the competition is fierce among those desperate enough to enter in the first place.  It has been noted by the shrewd that although Ash Grove is by no means a wealthy community, there are few families in the direst poverty because the chamber pot prize always seems to go to those most in need.

Double Anniversary is a varied and often coarse celebration, but no matter what form it takes there is always a strong element of loyalty and nationalism.  While loyalty to the Confederacy is a powerful theme, tones of patriotism to a particular country are often discords within it.  The [[Black Mountain Free State]]'s people disdain to compete with their neighbors, who grumble over it.  Green River distances itself from the ruder conflicts and is mocked for its fastidiousness.  But despite these strains, the Confederacy is a strong and compelling idea to its members, as any outsider who dares win a Double Anniversary contest is bound to discover.  
(Dunim were introduced in Supplement #3, which is available [[as a free download|]].  The description and image are reproduced below.)
Dunim were the Wuhra steed of choice before the horse was imported from Heluso.  A minority of Wuhra, perhaps a third, still prefer dunim mounts, and that proportion rises steadily as one gets closer to the desert.  A few have been taken to Heluso, but unlike horses they have not thrived abroad.  Dunimu are not constituted to survive cold winters.
In appearance, a dunim is akin to the turtle, the lobster, and the cricket.  Its dome body rests six feet above the ground on six gangly legs, while two small, weak claw-arms project in front to scoop food into its mouth.  It has antennae and eyes the size of dinner plates, eyes that look like rainbows woven into screens.  They are voiceless except for the clicking of their mandibles.  

The body of the beast is an oblong the width of a man’s arm span, with a length equal to his height.  Staying balanced on the curve without a saddle is difficult, unless one splays flat on it, belly-down.  Their riders typically kneel on a heavy pad, except when their mount is going to jump.  When a leap impends, they flop forward and grab a bar positioned for exactly that purpose.  Most dunimu are trained not to jump until they feel their rider go flat.  Dunimu are guided by leather traces that hook into the joints of their legs.  Pulling the line causes discomfort, like a horse’s reins, and the dunim moves away from it.  Some riders rig their traces across the top, so that pulling right causes the beast to move right.  Others thread them under its thorax, so that pulling right causes it to move left.  The really old-fashioned riders eschew reins altogether and control their mounts with hooks on poles, which they deftly insert in the leg joints from on top.

Unlike horses, which have various gaits at different speeds, the dunimu have only two ways of moving.  Usually, they walk.  They can walk about as fast as a human walks, and no faster.  When provoked to run away (or trained to do it as part of an attack) a dunim jumps.

The dunim’s jump is a Slow 1 action, meaning they spend one round gathering themselves, and jump the next.  They have to go a minimum of ten feet in the air.  They can jump in place.  (In fact, they can jump up, spin, and come down in the same place facing a different direction.)  The longest distance ever leaped by a dunim is thirty horizontal feet in one bound.  They can’t get much higher than twenty vertical feet.
Earthquake Drummers are highly sought by generals far and wide for their ability to bring a wall crashing down simply by tapping a rhythm on it with sticks.  Of course, the larger the structure they would destroy (or construct) the longer the drummer has to play, so the fantasy of bringing down a fortress in seconds is still only a commander's pipe dream.  Even with that limitation, they're useful, and just as much so to architects and city planners.  They can create from stone just as easily as they can destroy.
The cavalry of the [[Heluso Confederacy]] are already rightly feared for their skill and dedication.  Some horsewomen take their pursuit to the next step by pursuing mystic unity with the equine principle.  In this way, they gain powers of strength, endurance and easy travel.  Some of them go so far as to transform their bodies into half-horse forms.
Chris Cooper created the following esoteric paths for Sorcery.

[[Alacritous Casting]]
[[Assured Wizardry]]
[[Extenuating Sorcery]]
[[Sorcerous Wefting]]

Being a longtime REIGN player, Chris had some concerns that simply dropping these in and radically reworking the potential for magic would throw the game out of whack.  Consequently, he packaged his disciplines with options for limiting them.  His suggested limits follow.

The player must pay for the second and fourth 'blank' steps and not just the first, third, and fifth.

The player must choose which of his character’s spells are affected by the Esoteric Discipline’s effects. The player gets to include another spell with every new rank bought.

None of the Esoteric Disciplines stack with each other – whether beneficial or detrimental.

Chris writes

"Within the game environment, I would presume that these Disciplines would not be generally available to most magic schools, but maybe to a sub-faction or cult within them. They could also be used as levels of initiation for sorcerous societies, perhaps the select cabals within Supernal Brotherhood or the faculty elite from Turningford or the player character’s mentor only has access to one of these Disciplines."

Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

Expert: Grooming is a Knowledge Skill based on sartorial fashions, make-up, the architecture and execution thereof. It is the indispensable discipline of valets, viziers, coquettes and courtesans everywhere. Whether you call the skill Expert: Beautification, Grooming, Satorial Hygiene or Insidious Fashionista, this is the Esoteric Discipline that improves it.

Grooming uses: Knowledge + Expert: Grooming/Beautification but affects subsequent Charm + Fascinate or Graces pools.

With Money Comes Luxury (One point)
Even a little money, spent the right way, goes a long way. Every point of Wealth spent gives 1d to the Knowledge + Expert: Fashions pool. Remember than 1 Treasure buys 3d.

The Joy of Beauty (Two points)
Given some hours and a excellent valet, a person can come off looking a lot better .

A success can temporary buy the Beauty advantage for a number of hours equal to the Height of the roll. The rank of the Beauty advantage (1, 3 or 5) is equal to the Width of the roll, rounded down.

Standing in the Shadow of Fashion (Three points)
The valet can work a disguise that acts as a perpetually active Stealth set. By removing the disguise, the effect is lost but it may free the groomed from persecution for a time.  When the disguised person is trying to escape notice, he can use the Fashion set as a Stealth set.  This works a number of times equal to the Width of the roll.  Note that this Discipline assumes access to a variety of clothes, wigs, cosmetics and the like.

Rented Crowd (Four points)
By spending some money and pulling favors, or merely tarting up some smart men-at-arms (and using the Followers chart on REIGN 41), the valet can instill a modicum of etiquette and grace.

The cost of these Followers is equal to the Width of the Knowledge + Expert: Fashions pool.

The followers gain a different sort of Threat rating -- they are a mobile public relations platform, dropping hints and fluttering eyelids at the right people.

These rented crowds can roll to Fascinate, Intimidate, Plead and add +1 to an Influence roll once a month (or negate the temporary drop of 1 Influence point).

The suffer morale attacks if someone with higher Status than their Threat refutes their presence, if their client suffers an embarrassment or if they are attacked (they are considered Threat 1 regarding any sort of violent confrontation).

Fit for a King or Hetman (Five points)
By application of sartorial mores, the valet can groom someone to look important

This works like The Joy of Beauty except the groomed can buy a rank of Status equal to the Width of a roll. It also adds a temporary +1 to Sovereignty (or negates the temporary drop of 1 Sovereignty).  However, if the phony potentate attempts to speak, the illusion is ruined.

This comes courtesy of Chris Cooper.  For advice on integrating it into your game, check out [[Esoteric Disciplines for Sorcery]].

By careful application of the energies the sorcerer can push the spell past its duration limits. It cannot make a spell permanent and it cannot increase “automatically repeating effects” but it allows the caster to trigger the oncoming repeat within the extended duration.

Forced variability (1 point)
The sorcerer’s magic lasts one additional unit of time longer than average regardless if the duration is based on Width, Height, or a static duration. Spells of an instant duration are unaffected.

Extended effectiveness (3 points)
If the spell's duration is based on Width or Height, it lengthens to become based on the total of Width+Height. It doesn’t affect spells of an instant duration but it does combine with Forced variability.

Magnificently durable (5 points)
The spell’s duration is either double the Height +1 or Width +1, whichever is greater.
The Faceless Clergy of [[Broadland]] worship the [[Secret Gods]] and intercede on behalf of all mortals.  They are never seen in public without their featureless masks.  They all answer to "Priest" or "Priestess," having forsaken their names, possessions and titles once anointed by the deity they chose (or that chose them).  

Most Faceless seem educated, at least to some degree.  Many study the practical arts of medicine, and most seem learned in a set of ethical precepts that, while unexplained, tend to yield decent and just decisions when the priests are consulted for advice.  At the very least, they can make their wisdom palatable.

There are whispers that the Faceless practice some form of sorcery, and the name is more than an honorific.  There are those who claim that beneath their masks, they're charlatans no different from anyone else, others who say they have no features whatsoever, some who say they're impossibly beautiful and some who claim they're hideously scarred.  The truth is ambiguous.  

What is not ambiguous is their political power.  A lord who is condemned by the local clergy is going to encounter resistance from his people in ways subtle or overt, or both.  In the past, they've incited nationwide work stoppages, riots, and armed uprisings.  Every Broadland King takes the threat seriously when the Faceless tell him, 'We fear you are in danger of losing the favor of Heaven.'
What does a fan do?  It makes stuff cool.  So when you see this imprint on an entry...
[img[fanmadestamp.jpg|]] means one of REIGN's fans has made something cool.
Through vigorous, sinuous full-body dancing, these enchanters can control and conjure forth light, heat and flame.  They're native to [[Uldholm]] and are one reason that aggressive neighbors think twice before launching an invasion.
Fodandutikanitandu is the language of the Obotilobitanolonikututano, more commonly known as the [[Ob-lob]]s.  It is a strangue tongue, different from any other known on the two continents, and speculated to be entirely artificial -- perhaps a religious secret language that came to supplant its predecessor.

Whatever its source -- the Ob-lobs claim it was given to them by their god, for what that's worth -- Fodandutikanitandu has the curious property of assigning words importance by length.  The most important word in Fodandutikanitandu is the name of God, and it's sixteen syllables long.  The thirteen syllables in Obotilobitanolonikututano show that the concept of the race is more important than the language of the race, since the name of the language boasts only nine syllables.  That's still pretty impressive, since one can make it comfortably through a day of Ob-lob conversation without ever uttering a word of more than eight syllables.  

It also means that when an Ob-lob wants to emphasize the importance of something, she can simply repeat some of its syllables.  For instance, 'kotanitutami' is the seven-syllable word for 'sailor.'  If an Ob-lob was talking about a sailor who was, for some reason, very important, she might say 'kotanitututami' or 'kotantanitutami'.  Deciding which syllable to duplicate raises a string of implied meanings, from sarcasm to fear to awe.  Similarly, many words are shortened into informal terms, and the choice of which syllable to elide can indicate the hurried speech of an emergency ('kotan' is what you call a sailor when you're shouting him a warning during a storm), casual familiarity ('tanituma' is the  word for sailor used among close friends) or scorn and disrespect ('kotami,' if you're curious).  Raising any word to sixteen syllables is blasphemy.

Fodandutikanitandu (which, when used for informal and common communication is 'fodantukan') has its own alphabet which, like the spoken language, is both cumbersome but curiously consistent.  Every word is represented by a line (for mundane texts) or a spiral (for spiritual writing), with marks on the spiral for each syllable.  The more marks, the bigger the spiral or longer the line, and the more important the word.
Futai is the language spoken in the Seven Cities of the Great [[Milonda]] Desert.  It is rare to hear it spoken elsewhere.
It means 'game master' or 'game moderator,' depending on your proclivities.  In a typical roleplaying game, the GM is in a position of great authority.  While the other players each control one of the most important characters, and determine the course of the story, the GM adjudicates the rules and plays the reactions of the setting and its people.  I've got a whole big [[article about it|]] for the curious.
[[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]], two continents shaped like reclining lovers, can be hard to picture, but this might help.  It's a picture donated by the brilliant Martin Nerurkar.
Chris Cooper's drawings are also highly instructive.[img[HELUSO-EASTSIDE-2.jpg|]]
Green River is one of the four nations in the [[Heluso Confederacy]].  A nation of broad sweeping plains, amply watered by the river that gives the nation its name, Green River is known for its horsewomen.  Their cavalry evolved from the mounted tactics applied by cowgirls herding Green River's plentiful cattle.  It's a rare Green River citizen who can't ride, and a rare Green River woman who can't ride well.  The school of enchantment called Equine Unity is centered in Green River.  The nation is known for its fine steeds and cattle, both of which it exports from time to time.

It is ruled by a rowdy collection of horse-lords, with eight 'great families' and eleven 'subordinate families'.  There is a single ruler, the Horse Queen (or King), who serves for three years before being sacrificed to ensure the fertility of the herds.  When one ruler dies, the crown passes to another family.  The great families take turns, serving six out of every nine years.  Every third term, the crown goes to one of the subordinate families.  

To clarify: If we number the great families 1-8 and give the subordinates letters from A-K, the succession pattern looks something like this: 1,2,A,3,4,B,5,6,C,7,8,D,1,2,E,3,4,F,5,6,G,7,8,H,1,2,I,3,4,J,5,6,K,7,8,A and so on.  This means that each major family gets to rule once in every thirty-six years, while each subordinate gets the crown every ninety-six years.  It is possible to refuse the crown if there's no one who wants to die for three years of power, but in Green River's entire history, that's only happened once.
I wrote REIGN.  Also this wiki.  I'm also the big brain behind [[|]].  Hi.
This is one of two sets of [[Martial Techniques]] introduced in  [[Supplement #2|]].  It's also referenced in [[a podcast story|]].  The text is reproduced below.

The Dindavarans have ambiguous feelings about Guai Fadao, a famed warrior predating the first Hai Riyan.  On one hand, he was indisputably a fine and focussed student of the blade.  He reinvented [[Dindavara]]n dueling tactics against weapons of superior reach.  On the other hand, he lied, violated hospitality and soiled his family name over a woman, and a foreign woman at that.  His legacy persists as a cautionary tale and a set of bladework techniques.

Used with Coordination + Weapon: Sword, these techniques only work if the warrior is holding a short sword (typically a bo[[dinda]]) in each hand.

Cling Like a Lover (1 point): Guai’s Path emphasizes getting close to an opponent and remaining inches away, where the mobility of the short weapon is a great benefit and reach is irrelevant.  When using Cling Like a Lover, attack sets reduced to x1 Width still hit.

Long Running Strike (2 points): This technique uses more of the blade in a strike, whether cut or  thrust.  When using Long Running Strike, the short sword does damage like a long sword.  If it’s used with a Milondese short sword, it hits like a Milondese long sword.  Used with a bodinda, that weapon hits like a dinda. 

Share the Corpse’s Breath (3 points): Like the first technique, this emphasizes closeness – so near, in fact, that the warrior is supposed to feel his enemy’s breath upon his face.  Where Cling Like a Lover enhances attack, Share the Corpse’s Breath combines defense and attack.  
Share the Corpse’s Breath is used with a combined Parry/Attack.  First off, there is no multiple action penalty for combining one Parry and one strike.  If the Parry goes off first and the blow is against the person parried, the attack ignores 1AR.

Desperate Sacrifice (4 points): When the swordsman states that he’s using Desperate Sacrifice during the Declare phase of combat, it immediately starts an extra round outside the normal order of combat.  No one else acts during this round, not even to defend.  The round does not count towards preparation time for weapons, spells or other activities that have Slow ratings.  The swordsman cannot move or do anything other than throw one of his swords at one target.  This throw cannot be part of a multiple action.  Then the rest of the round occurs, during which the swordsman cannot attack.  He can take other actions, however (such as drawing a backup sword so that he can use Guai’s Path again).

There Is No (5 points): Outsiders find the name of this technique puzzling, if they ever hear it.  Those educated in the system know it stands for “There is no defense, there is no attack.”  There Is No eradicates the difference between striking and parrying.  There Is No must be used as a combined Parry/Attack with the short swords.  There is no multiple action penalty for taking these two actions, though additional actions accrue penalties as usual.  Any Gobble Die from parrying applied with There Is No also does a point of Killing damage to the location indicated by the Gobble Die’s Height.  This damage ignores up to three points of Armor.
Hell's Hooks were originally described in [[Supplement #4|]], and the text there is reproduced here.

A cargo hook (or “tuk” in Ob-lob language) is a simple tool, in common use for hauling and lifting loads too small to bother with a crane but too big to simply tuck under an arm.  A handle, metal or wood, forms the grip.  From the middle of the handle comes a finger-length metal strut, terminating in a hook about the radius of a fist.  Threaded between the first and second fingers, the hook can stick in bales of hay or straw, catch under belts or rope bindings, and give a solid grip where otherwise fingers would need to go.

The first use of a cargo hook as a weapon is lost in the ancient mists of history, but surely it followed its use as a tool by less than a year.  When a typical hook is used as a weapon, it does WS+1K and can be used with the Fight Skill.

Over the years, however, sailors refined their techniques for scratching, grabbing and piercing people with the hooks, and as they did they modified the tool to make it increasingly deadly.  Christened a “tukuywuyuk” in their native tongue, the weaponized tools are also known as hell hooks.  A typical hell hook is forearm-length, heavier (even though they’re made from steel instead of iron) and has a hook double the diameter of the tool.

Furthermore, this hook boasts sharpened edges along its interior and along thefirst ninety degrees of its exterior, starting from the tip.  Now it doesn’t just hook, it can catch and cut.  These weapons are likely to damage any cargo lifted with them or cut any bindings they catch, but they do WK+1S when used for their intended purpose.

The fighting techniques called “Hell’s Hooks” can be used with either a cargo hook or a hell hook.  Either way, the attacks enhanced must be made with Coordination+Weapon: Hook, and they must be used with a hook in each hand.

Hell Fishing (1 point): One of the most common moves arose from the accustomed gesture of hooking and lifting or pulling.  When it’s a sharp point going into someone’s calf or bicep, the pain can be dazzling.

If a hook is used as part of a successful Trip or Disarm, the target takes weapon damage in addition to the normal effects of the maneuver.

Cruel Cartage (2 points): If getting a hook in the arm or leg sounds bad, it’s nothing compared to getting one in the ribs or thighs, and then being lifted and dropped.

The hooks can be used with the Slam maneuver.  The attacker can choose, during the Declare phase, to either use this technique to ignore the Slam’s Difficulty and weight restriction, or to try and beat them, doing the hooks’ weapon damage in addition to the Slam’s effects.

Clicking Swift (3 points): Now the hook fighter has gotten confident and experienced enough to use both hands in a complimentary way, either simultaneous or alternating, prepping one to strike while the other is swinging, or hitting high and low with both at the same time.
When the hook fighter makes two attacks, instead of the usual -1d Multiple Action penalty, he gets a +1d bonus.  This cannot be combined with movement, a third attack, Dodge or Parry.

The Pull (4 points): If a strike misses going out, the Ob-lob using The Pull is adept at catching his target as he re-chambers his weapon for another try.  If he misses lashing out, he turns the hook and tries to hit something coming back.
Any miss is treated as a 2x5 Feint maneuver.

Entangled to Shreds (5 points): The ultimate expression of this style is  receptiveness to all opportunities.  To one using Entangled to Shreds, there is no mistake that can’t be turned into an opportunity, and many successes that can be modified into a greater success.  
In addition to all the advantages of Hell Fishing, an Ob-lob using Entangled to Shreds can, to a limited extent, change the effects of her strike after seeing her result.  This happens at the end of the Roll phase.  Specifically, if she gets a set of x1-2 Height, she may make it a Trip.  If it’s of x3-6 Height, she can make it a Disarm.  If it’s a x10 Height set, she can do a Disfiguring Strike instead of normal damage.
Heluso is the westernmost of the two charted continents.  It is generally colder than Milonda, with greater seasonal variation.  Politically, historically (and in some cases literally) it is overshadowed by [[The Empire]] but hosts many lively and developing nations, including warlike [[Dindavara]], industrious [[Uldholm]], the [[Ironbone Theocracy]] and the states of the [[Heluso Confederacy]].  In its far, cold western regions lies the [[Truil]] Wastes, home to the peculiar tribes that give those desolate lands their name.  It also boasts the [[Lightless Jungle]], a dense morass of violence, barbarism and brightly-colored birds.

Artwork by Chris Cooper [img[fanmadestamp.jpg|]]
Long ago, when [[The Empire]] was at its peak, it conquered a string of medium-sized nations in [[Heluso]], and its grip on them lasted for generations.  With the rebellion of the [[Bloodcutters]], Imperial control fragmented.  For a generation or so, The Empire maintained an illusion of control by steadily conceding power to the surviving nobles, but in the long run that policy just acted as the first steps of a transfer of power.  The four nations rebelled, subverted as many politicians and soldiers as they could, then killed or drove out the rest.

The four nations -- [[North Hold]], [[Green River]], [[Broadland]] and the [[Black Mountain Free State]] -- almost fell back into the pattern of constant warfare that had previously characterized their relations, but the renegade Imperial scholars and bureaucrats who'd abandoned the Empress succeeded at bringing the kings and leaders of the lands to a summit at the last minute.  Meeting free for the first time, they found that much of what The Empire had forced upon them -- a new language, adherence to the Imperial calendar, a couple generations of forced religious tolerance -- had inextricably glued itself to their native cultures.  They were no longer alien to one another.  They were different, still, but different like brother and sister instead of like sworn enemies.

At that famous meeting, the four nations bound themselves by oath to aid one another in the face of renewed Imperial aggression.  They founded a new city, called [[Meetpoint]], to commemorate their decision and Confederate business has been run out of Meetpoint ever since.

In time, the countries broadened their pact to include any outside attack.  While the four nations govern themselves separately, travel between them is open, tariffs are low and they often negotiate with foreigners as a single entity in order to increase their leverage.  The Confederacy isn't an Empire and will never use that hated name for itself.  But with every generation, the differences between three of the four nations become increasingly picayune, meaningless and petty.  
Art by Chris Cooper

The mighty hulgue is a creature of such vast and terrible size that it is more easily considered on the scale of a force of nature -- like a plague, a hurricane or a volcano.  Like those cruel features of the natural world, it's destructive to much that humans hold dear.  Unlike them, it can work its destruction over the course of decades.

In appearance, it resembles nothing so much as a large hill or small mountain.  But it is a living creature that sucks vitality and sustenance out of the land for miles around.  When it is sated, it jumps to a new location.

The impact of a such a creature landing can be heard for hundreds of miles around.
Imperial, once the language of [[The Empire]], spread across both continents, first on the lips of Imperial conquerors and later as a trade language between Imperial citizens, former client-states, and anyone else who didn't want to get left out.  It's not complicated to develop a pidgin command of Imperial, and its phonetic alphabet is the simplest and most efficient of the writing systems known on [[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]].
The ungoverned tribes of northern [Heluso] are coarse, short-mannered and often wear the label "barbarian" with a certain pride.  Known for prizing great size as the highest beauty of both women and men, they often scorn lengthy speech as a poor substitute for action.  The favored weapon of these peoples is the club, with the hammer and pick a close second.  While they cut trees only with reluctance, they are enthusiastic miners.  This, coupled with their proximity to the [[Ironebone Theocracy]], ensures their frequent opportunities to practice their war hammer skills.  The highest expression of these is the path of the Inexorable War Maul.  Foreigners have a hard time getting straight answers from these insular clannish groups about anything, and questions about their fighting practices prompt even greater excesses of taciturnity.  There seems to be some kind of martial brotherhood, or religion, or family connection that links even members of rival tribes.  But few outsiders have penetrated the heart of this mystery.  Those who have seem to have picked up the tribal habits of silence.

Inexorable War Maul is used with Coordination+Weapon (Bludgeon) or a similar Skill. 

Force of the Body (1 Point):  Through posture and timing, even the small can use the weapons of the great.  A character using Force of the Body can attack with a massive big club even with a Body score as low as 2.

Strike the Heart (2 Points): Students of this path learn how to direct the energy of a strike through the surface to points within.  When striking with a club or hammer, the character can ignore two points of armor. This can't be part of a multiple action.

Stone Exiled From Heaven (3 Points): Before learning this technique (or the later ones) the student must make a pilgrimage to a secret location where a stone that fell from the skies is enshrined.  War maul fighters believe that only those who have abased themselves to the stone can learn the deeper secrets of the path. 

If someone successfully parries a bludgeoning stroke with a Milondese steel blade or a makeshift object, it automatically breaks. Any other weapon has a 50% chance of being dropped. If a defender parries with a shield, there's no effect.  If a protected arm is used to block, it takes a point of damage even through armor, and if an unprotected arm is used, it takes an additional point of Shock damage.

Call of the Ground (4 Points): A surprising departure from the usual techniques of the path, Call of the Ground teaches how best to lever the back end of a club or hammer against a leg. 

Any time someone using Call of the Ground scores a hit with a club, any extra set he gets can be used for a Trip maneuver. He doesn't need to declare this or take a penalty. If someone declares a multiple action with a club strike and gets a second set, he can use it for the Trip instead of the other declared action.

Crush the Soul (5 Points):  To perform this blow, the character must shout at the top of his lungs.  If it hits, it ignores all mundane armor. This can be part of a multiple action, but only the first attack penetrates.  Crush the Soul produces a Morale Attack 5. 
Influence is a score representing how [[Companies]] get things done on the plane of discussion and belief and information.  It is one of the five [[Qualities]] that measure relative strength.  High Influence Companies have spies, diplomats, clever analysts and devious propagandists.  On the body of the Company, Influence is both the ears and the mouth.
The Inuan Islands are a string of four islands lying between [[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]].  One of them is ruled by the [[Ob-lob]]s, one is uninhabited and the remaining two are the property of natives who have been there since time immemorial.  The natives believe their land is an extension of Milonda under the water.
The Ironbone Theocracy is a mid-sized nation on the continent of [[Heluso]], governed by priests and priestesses who worship Heluso itself.  (Or, to hear them say it, 'himself'.)  They believe they live on the body of a resting god, from whose very flesh humanity arose (well -- dark skinned humanity, so [[Truil]]s and [[Ob-lob]]s don't count). 

The [[Ironbones]] (as the priests and priestesses of this faith are called) hold a near-total monopoly on a rune-based system of spells that can give ordinary materials the qualities of metal.  An ordinary human arm can be infused with the strength of a coiled steel spring, or a piece of paper made as durable as steel.  These spells are essential, since the most noteworthy element of Ironbone theology is an absolute and inflexible abhorrence of mining.

Since the ground is the body of their god, digging deep within it is profound sacrilege.  Blacksmithing is punishable by death in the Theocracy, and given the infrastructure needed for high-quality work, it's rarely practiced there.  Woodworking skill is highly refined there, but for arts and applications that require the strength or edge of metalwork, what are the citizens to do?

Apply to a priest, of course.

With their magic, the priests can give a wooden knife an edge sharp as a fresh-honed Milondese razor.  They can weave run armor as hard as iron but light as linen.  In addition, they can bless the land with fertility, and do so willingly... for those who adhere to their faith and don't make trouble.

The Theocracy is peaceful, prosperous, and utterly at the mercy of its ruling caste of sorcerers.  They monopolize the economic niches occupied by metalworkers of less devout lands.  They manifestly aid the nation's food production (and farmers who sin are quickly used as examples of what spurning their advice gets you).  They are the arbiters of religious law, and it is the only law.

Unsurprisingly, the religious route has always been the career path of choice for the ambitious in the Theocracy.  Since their Holy Writ is explicit about accepting for training any who wish to devote themselves to Heluso, many study at their seminaries.  To preserve their power and authority, the established priests are utterly unforgiving of their novitiates: Discipline is harsh and any failure whatsoever is likely to result in the candidate being unceremoniously ejected.  Despite the strictness, there is still a preponderance of priests, which let to the tradition of evangelism.

Most religions on Heluso and Milonda are not aggressive about traveling and seeking converts.  Only the [[Ironbones]] and the [[Cult of the Spider King]] do so in any organized fashion.  Every newly-attuned priest and priestess is required to spend at least a year in heathen lands, preaching the unpopular doctrine of the Evils of Metal.  (Naturally, those from prestigious families or with powerful patrons get their travel requirement 'delayed,' if not canceled outright.)  In some ages past, this took the form of "conversion by the sword."  Their religious war was fortunate enough (or 'destined' if you prefer) to coincide with the height of Imperial aggression.  In a less spiritual culture, this might have been interpreted as an opportunistic seizure of land from the back while their neighbors were occupied on another front.  Indeed, many of their neighbors are still resentful and claim they are the 'rightful' owners of several stretches of borderland.

With their swelling population and advanced abilities with light weaponry, the idea of another doctrinal invasion is gaining favor with some factions high up in the hierarchy.  This same faction is behind a recent, controversial and unpopular reading of religious law claiming that those who attune to Ironbone magic imperfectly are unfit for the blessings of the Perfect Land and should, therefore, be sent on indefinite journeys of evangelism: That they should, effectively, be exiled.  Since imperfectly attuned [[Ironbones]] are at least as common as the perfect variety, this has caused a great uproar in the magic academies that have accepted the ruling.  An exodus of dissatisfied enchanters at the same time as a possible theocratic invasion makes the Ironbone Theocracy an interesting place to be indeed.
The most distant, insular and provincial of the Seven Cities in the Great [[Milonda]] Desert.  It lies on the banks of the Nguzi River and has enough farmland to support a small population.  In addition to subsistence farming, Kininguvu is the sole supplier of several rare spices and desert plants considered great delicacies to refined palates as distant as [[Uldholm]].  Getting cargo to and from Kininguvu isn't easy, however.  

One options is to sail up the Nguzi, which is an unpredictable rocky torrent during the brief flood and rain season.  The rest of the year, it's a treacherous swamp full of alligators, foot-long leeches, razor swallows that live by stripping chunks off live animals and flying away to eat, and poisonous toads.  The most dangerous residents of the swamp, however, are doubtless the pirates, exiles and renegades that live there, many of whom consider a merchant barge a rare treat.  

The other option is to travel overland through [[Punga]], which means blistering heat, few sources of water, no sources of GOOD water, and more bandits.  No alligators though.  

No one can quite explain why Kininguvu is home to not one, but two schools of magic, including the world-famous [[Earthquake Drummers.]]
At one time, the Kuklach of [[Opetka]] were a typical noble class.  They claimed possession of the land and a divine mandate to rule, they adjudicated court cases, resolved conflicts and dispensed justice to lawbreakers.  The primary difference between a Kuklach Prime and a Duke or Earl is that Kuklach were forbidden by their holy writ from marrying anyone other than a peasant.  (In this case, that excludes all other Kuklach, [[Opetkan War Givers]] and members of the priesthood.)  Only the Kuklach spouse was elevated to high status -- siblings and parents and cousins remained in their old station.  Nevertheless, there were often material benefits to having a child or brother (or parent) catch the eye of one of the nobles.  Moreover, the Kuklach often were popular among the governed class because they moved among them (at least when unmarried) and were in any event only one generation removed from commonality themselves.

The system of Kuklach/peasant marriages may have worked too well.  The common people expected, practically insisted, that those married into high station lead lives of opulent luxury.  The rising demands of sumptuousness, coupled with natural human competitiveness on one hand and natural human laziness on the other, led to a nobility more and more concerned with spectacle, pleasure and ostentatious display of leisure.

As the generations rolled on, the nobles became increasingly feckless, foppish, and self-indulgent.  The priests took to organizing the tedious details of governance, initially in order to help the Kuklach, but eventually to supplant them.  The military became involved as well, relieving the noble class of the 'burden' of maintaining social order and squabbling with the priests over who would take over the courts.  (Currently, there's a smoldering stalemate on that front.  In practice, the military usually claims the right to try anyone they arrest for a crime, while the priests insist that anyone can come to them for justice and redress.  The priests get many voluntary requests for mediation, but asking a priest to come in and wrench you out of military jail is a much less certain endeavor.)  

Eventually, the Kuklach descended to the level they currently occupy: A wealthy, pampered, coddled class with practically no real authority.  The military and the priesthood keep them sedated with rich food, fine wines, and staggering entertainments.  In exchange, the Kuklach don't complain to the peasants, who would certainly rise up in their defense.  In the past, such uprisings have occurred, mostly expressed through work stoppages but sometimes with violence.
by Sunshaker
Created in the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]], the Lashing Steel Path was originally developed by the Matriarchy's famed Biauchrus riders, who carry long chains with barbed nets into battle against their foes (mostly members of the Imperial army, these days). While training with these weapons while on the ground, it occurred to some of the warriors that such chains might make effective weapons even when not riding giant war-birds. The lengthy chains were shortened from 30 feet to a more manageable 12, and the barbed net was replaced with an assortment of devices designed to crush, slice, or impale without unnecessarily entangling the weapon. Though both the weapon and the martial techniques are too complex to be taught to the entire army, the style has developed a small but dedicated following among certain Matriarchy warriors. Some of these warriors have been unfortunate enough to be captured in battle, and rather than be put to death were taken back to [[The Empire]]'s many gladiatorial arenas, where their unique skills could draw in the crowds. As a result, the techniques, though still uncommon, are beginning to propagate outside the Matriarchy.

Fighting chains can come in several different styles, with the ends sporting assorted weights, blades, hooks, spikes, and unpleasant combinations thereof. The two most common headpieces are heavy, blunt weights (Width + 1 Shock) and sharpened blades of a dagger's length (Width Killing). Some chains come with both ends capped with the same style of headpiece, while some feature a different design on each end for maximum versatility. If a technique utilizes both ends of the chain, or your chain has two different headpieces, you have to specify which end is going to do what. Fighting chains can be used to Trip.

The following techniques are used with Coordination + Fighting Chain

Fluid Strike (1 Point): Fighting chains are excellent weapons for striking from unexpected angles. As a warrior comes to understand this, she learns to use the chain's flexibility to her advantage. Any parries or dodges made against her strikes must have Height greater than the Height of her attack set.

Strength In Flexibility (2 Points): Once a warrior becomes comfortable with the chain, she discovers how truly versatile a weapon it is. The character may use her Coordination + Fighting Chain pool to perform any combat maneuver that could use Coordination + Grapple.

Lightning Strikes Twice (3 Points): Now the warrior sees the value of the chain as a double-ended weapon. The character may make a multiple action consisting of two of the following actions; attack, Slam, Feint, Disarm, or Trip. The character suffers no multiple action penalty for this set of actions. This technique cannot be combined with further actions.

Chains That Bind (4 Points): The character ignores the penalty for attempting to remain standing during a Pin. While maintaining a standing Pin using a chain, the character may continue to attack, parry, or even attempt other maneuvers that she is capable of performing with the other end of the chain (but not move or dodge). She suffers no multiple action penalty for maintaining the pin, but may not take further multiple actions or use other Martial Path abilities (except for those that take effect automatically) so long as she maintains the pin.

The Mailed Fist Closes (5 Points): As Chains That Bind, except the character may automatically subject the pinned foe to a Strangle maneuver with a Width equal to her Body at her discretion. This too causes no multiple action penalties.
     “When a poor man gathers money, he spends it upon food, shelter, perhaps a warm garment and if there is more?  He shares.  He helps those he knows in sorrow.  I tell you, humble fare satisfies a hungry peasant far more than all the Empress’ delicacies satisfy her.  His rough cloak brings a gratitude more profound what a nobleman feels at the gift of a dozen fine robes.  But finer than food to the hungry or shelter to the storm-driven is the chance to help another.

     “A rich man who has never known want cannot see what he has, but only what he lacks in comparison to those wealthier still.  Even if he is the richest man for a thousand miles, he will envy this man’s wife, that man’s skill, another man’s fortune at gambling.  Once needs are met, greater stores of wealth only burden your sense of completeness, they do not enhance it.  

     “With authority it is the same, but worse.  For a responsible man, it is a fountainhead of worry.  Even a callous tyrant takes two measures of resentment and jealousy in his left hand for every measure of power he gathers in his right.

     “Creating beauty is a greater joy than possessing it.  Helping others is a deeper happiness than being helped.  To know one’s needs and meet them is a far better thing than to endlessly feed wants and see them burgeon with unlimited growth.”

So said Bell Holdfast, the founder of Liberation Faith


	The Heldfasts are a landowning family of low title, little glory and modest history.  They owned farms outside Center City and worked them to raise rabbits, chickens and vegetables for the polis.  Over the generations their holdings grew (slowly, despite their name) until Bell’s father had a substantial farm, which he divided between Bell and her two siblings.

	Her oldest brother was ambitious, he made prominent friends, invested in cattle drives, expanded his business into leatherwork and tried with all his might to climb the long ladder that seemed to terminate at the heights of the palace.  He failed.  One deal after another turned sour until he was right back where he started—one-third owner of a prosperous farm.  After his taste of the finer life, he could only despise what he’d always known.  He fell ill, lingered for three years of complaining, then perished.

	Bell’s older sister had no similar aspirations.  She was happy to hang on her brother’s coat-tails, get into the good parties, and drink heavily.  It was, in fact, her alcohol-fueled death that derailed the brother’s grand plans.  He mourned and tried to hide his mourning, he was angry at his sister and couldn’t show it to her friends, whom he both resented (for dragging her down) and needed (because they were the same prominent citizens who were buying his goods).  In the end, all his quiet seething did him no good.  He tried to keep his emotions secret, but that very effort made him too tense and jittery to be around.  His high class pals gradually drifted away, leaving him with no investors to help him fund risky plans.  As described, he faded away.

	But before either of her siblings had died, Bell started getting headaches.  Initially, they were mild and intermittent—easily dismissed as tension or a head cold or the deviltry of mischievous spirits.  When her sister perished, they became worse and more frequent, but wouldn’t you expect that, with all the weeping and sorrow?  It was only after her brother died that the really strange symptoms began.  After his burial, the headache laid her out for a full day and night, and her vision was clouded by lights and colors, sounds rushed through her mind like foreign songs and every idea in her head became disordered.

	She recovered, but the dazzling attacks came more frequently.  The pain had… changed, though.  It was not only pain, but pain that bound together exhilaration and wonder and contentment and curiosity.  Her mind was coming apart and recombining in a new shape, and everything she’d always known was as new to her as if she were an infant once more.

	The nosebleeds made her think that this was something which would claim her life, and the healers who weren’t puzzled agreed.  As the strange sensations grew in duration, she found that the only thing that made sense in both worlds—the realm of the new pain and the everyday life of farm toil and money—was kindness.  Compassion could stretch a bridge between what she’d been and what she was becoming, and though she was no beauty, her face transformed when she spoke of it, illuminated by total belief.  She told her vassals and employees about the things that were true, she pulled aside the illusions of greed and envy and it was impossible to doubt her.

	Towards the end, her head was visibly swelling.  When she finally died, over a hundred devout followers were in attendance.  Their respect was so profound that the field in which she lay was silent except for their breathing.  The crack as her skull gave way from the pressure within was clear to hear.

	The tumor that had swelled her head until it burst open like a flower was reverently removed, preserved in clear liquor, and is an object of veneration by the Church of Liberation Faith.


	You want to join?  Go out to Heldfast farm—a name that looks increasingly ironic to tax assessors and land surveyors.  Bell left all her property in common to “The Church of Liberation Faith” which operates through a disorganized muddle of meetings and inspiration, with no one individual emerging to act as director.  The problem with an anarchic philosophy that reviles authority is, anyone who tries to organize anything is, pretty much by definition, an outsider.  If you prefer, a ‘corrupting influence.’

	If you’re poor and have nothing, Heldfast farm and Liberation Faith are great.  You go, you get a simple meal and a dry place to sleep.  But if you don’t work, you get condescending lectures, and even if you do work you get preached at all the time.  Maybe that’s fine.

	Interestingly, a number of people with actual wealth are finding their way to the farm and joining the Faith, throwing their property into the communal pot and living moment by moment without a care for the morrow.  This is easier said than done, of course, and for everyone who goes all in, there are a dozen on the fringes, donating a little here and there and wondering when the relief of their worries is going to occur.  (The orthodox Faith answer is, of course, ‘when you give up the rest of it.’)


	Right now, the Faith is a bunch of optimists on some fertile ground that’s had a few good years.  If they can get some kind of coherent decision process in place, they might be able to build on their momentum and become a stable philosophical monastery, able to trade for what it needs with the surrounding businesses and support a large and growing number of ascetic altruists.  In decades, who knows?  They could engulf the entire nation.  It’s not bloody likely, but people can be trained to live without selfishness.

	On the other hand, no one has introduced violence to this little enclave yet.  At some point, someone’s going to either decide they haven’t been given enough or they’re going to decide that self-interest sounds pretty good, even if it’s seized at another’s detriment.  Bell never addressed this in life.  The victim might decide “If he’s willing to knock me down for this corn, he clearly needs it pretty bad.”  On the other hand, someone watching might think, “My altruistic drive compels me to help the guy being knocked down and robbed.”  A lot of the Faithful are brawny farmworkers.  Beating a thief to death might not seem out of line with their principles: As long as they think of the person they’re saving as the recipient of kindness (and not the person they’re beating), it could pass muster, especially in the heat of a struggle.  (These aren’t trained theologians, remember.)  

	That’s without anyone justifying violence.  Right now, the Faith says it’s best to lead people to reject their false luxuries.  It does not say that forcefully stripping people of their property (or authority) is at all wrong.  There’s a power vacuum at the top, too.  A lot of adequately-fed people who sought out a new life-way are casting about for direction.  A cunning demagogue could turn them into his personal mob fairly quick.
The Lightless Jungle borders the [[Sunless Plains]], [[Uldholm]] and the [[Heluso Confederacy]], all of whom regard it with unease and trepidation, for very good reasons.

First off, it's dark in there.  Not merely the dim of the Plains, which have at least the wanly reflected light off the ocean during the day.  No, in the Jungle trees that can be as large as a hundred paces across soar unimaginably high, tangled in thick and bewildering profusion.  The ground, if you can even reach it, hasn't seen natural light in generations.

Secondly, the animals are strange and dangerous.  Of the nine most poisonous creatures known to Imperial scholars, all nine hail from the Lightless Jungle.  There are blind albino gorillas in there that find their way with a mysterious darksense, like bats.  There are two headed snakes twenty feet long and blood drinking dragonflies the size of eagles.

Worst of all?  The so-called 'people.'  There are humans in the Lightless Jungle, or at least entities that started out human.  Living in warring, primitive tribes, the Jungle tribesmen revere plant or animal totems and practice schools of magic based around their patrons and gods.  This magic is universal to everyone born there.  To become a full-fledged adult, a tribesman or tribeswoman must attempt an attunement ritual, many of them fatal if performed incorrectly.  The survivors are divided into two classes.  Those who attune perfectly are favored by the gods and rule.  Those who attune imperfectly are fit only to serve.  Refusing to attempt an attunement is typically punished with exile, which is usually a death sentence.
Lightless tribe culture has no concept of 'natural death'.  From their perspective, the only ways to die are (1) by violence, (2) by your own bungled magic, (3) by someone else's successful magic or (4) killed by an accident or natural creature.  They don't see sickness as anything other than bad enchantment, from one of the other tribes (because who else could?), only curable by war.  Dying of old age happens rarely, and when it is, it's a particularly bad spell.  Obviously, anything that could fell a powerful tribal elder without even being felt must be bad indeed.  

This isn't to say that the Ulds and Imperials and Confederates don't occasionally mount expeditions.  There's good stuff in there.  For one thing, those nine known poisons fetch a pretty penny from assassins of any class and nation.  There are monkeys whose brains are prized delicacies in [[Uldholm]], glowing giant butterflies to delight the children of nobles, rare medicinal plants, birds with brilliant plumage and, inevitably, rumors about dead [[Hulgue]], ancient mines full of gold, [[demons]] of great power, surviving members of the old royal Uldish lineage and similar wonders.  Certainly there is a dizzying array of magic systems in use by the inbred, barbaric and excessively violent tribes -- enough to make the fortunes of anyone who could learn them without incurring the wrath of their keepers.
[img[fanmadestamp.jpg|]] by Chris Cooper
The Long Wasp Technique is a series of techniques from around the Empire which ended up in the Western Marches with small groups of guerrilla archers teaching villagers to use traditional hunting or  short bows and arrows, in an attempt bolster defences against hostile Dindavara. Trained to spread out and camp rough, the Marches’ peasants sniped at Dindavarans who had wandered too far from home with arrows or Long Wasps.

The Long Wasp Technique uses the Coordination + Short Bow pool but requires a Sight score of one for every two ranks of the Long Wasp Technique. All the Long Wasp Techniques all stack unless it is impossible (like getting the short range shooting rate with the long range bonus).

The Archer’s Slow Eye (1 Point)
The short bow gains long range with a Slow 1 firing rate (this replaces one +1 aim die).

The Needle’s Biting Grip (2 Points)
The short bow’s damage still causes damage if the set’s Width is reduced to 1.

The Fast and Fletched Fang (3 Points)
The short bow’s arrow damage converts to W-1K+1S.

The Rain of Hasty Arrows (4 Points)
You can use every set you get as an attack, but it doesn't include any of the previous effects.

The Iron Tears from the Sky Devils (5 Points)
The archer can squish one set up or down by two.
The Maemeck Matriarchy is a mountainous nation that joins [[Milonda]] to [[The Empire]] and therefore to [[Heluso]].  It's a position that was greatly advantageous for trade in the past, but in recent decades Imperial aggression has reduced much of the trade travel to smuggling.  Some merchants can get permission from one nation to cross, some from the other, but very few can get papers from both, and most of those are immediately suspected of being spies.  Quite often, there's substance to the suspicions.

The Matriarchy has held off the mightiest army on two continents by virtue of three powerful defensive factors: Terrain, countermagic, and birds.  The terrain is mountainous, treacherous, and highly defensible.  Matriarchy 'quellers' are capable of blocking, negating, breaking or simply preventing most other forms of magic, which makes battles far more predictable for them.  Finally, the Matriarchy is the only nation that has the secret of taming the Biachri (singular: Biauchrus), giant birds of prey that can carry one human rider while picking up another human victim to be dropped on jagged rocks (or on his fellow soldiers).  Biauchri are native to the mountains of the Matriarchy and are extremely rare anywhere else.  The only other nation with as much control of the skies is [[Uldholm]] with its [[Wings of Words]].

The Matriarchy is a rigidly caste-based society.  It divides and subdivides its citizens, classifying them by the nature of their job (a class into which they're either born or must marry), by their qualifications for their job (rigorously tested, with requirements for certain tasks rigidly enforced), and by gender (with women considered the more wise, stable and insightful gender).  The interactions of these myriad factions can be puzzling, and it's difficult for an outsider to know at a glance if a female Fourth Degree laborer is more or less worth of respect than a First Degree judge who happens to be a man.  But the citizens know, and defer, and any who question the system are punished -- not just legally penalized, but often ostracized.

All the divisions, tests and qualifications are set down in the Book of Maemeck.  It started out as a religious text, but so much civil and legal material has been added to it over the decades that the religious part is now less than a fifth of the whole.
Magic is widely used in both [[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]], but there's a sharp decrease in use as the complexity and difficulty of spells rises.  In short, many people know an easy, useful, everyday spell or two.  Fewer people have put in the study needed to understand and harness greater power.  World-shaking enchantment is as rare as command of a world-shaking army.

There is no consensus, even among the learned, about what the force of magic actually IS.  But it is observed to flow through the world, influenced by the shapes and elements of the physical realm, and exerting power over them in turn.  To cast a spell, an enchanter draws in this power, shapes it in some fashion, and then releases it back into the world to make the desired change.  To cast a more powerful spell, the caster must draw in more energy.

All humans and some animals have the ability to naturally sense the flow of magic through the world.  In most people, this sense is stunted and undeveloped, but just as some are born with naturally keen eyesight, there are some who are natural prodigies at perceiving the silent sounds and unseen shapes of the arcane.  Using this eerie sense, it is possible even for the untrained to know when a sorcerer is drawing power.  Some spells harness so much energy that, for miles around, any but the most ignorant can feel it.

REIGN contains the following styles of magic:

The earth-magic that underlies the entire [[Ironbone Theocracy]]
[[Wings of Words]], a practice native to [[Uldholm]] that uses speech to control the elements of the air
[[Flame Dancers]], another school from [[Uldholm]], this one uses dance to evoke and master flame
The [[Death Forgers]] of [[Dindavara]] who capture the spirits of sacrificed animals (and humans) in expertly-made blades.
[[Equine Unity]], a set of spells practiced throughout the [[Heluso Confederacy]] that harness the speed and strength of horses
The [[Night Hunter's Art]], a [[Truil]] system based around their moon-goddess [[Raungmüt]] and her totem animal, the wolf
The [[Way of the Wood]], an Imperial practice that attunes casters to the strength and abilities of plants

Canonically released supplement styles include:

[[Shadowbinders]], methods for trafficking with spirits of darkness, taught and practiced mainly in the [[Sunless Plains]]
The practice of [[Aqueous Divination]], by which the [[Ob-lob]]s pull hints about the future from nothing but a bowl of water.
[[Stoneheart Guardians]], a Dindavaran religious order that pursues their goal of dispassionate religious devotion to the point of sorcery.
[[Smoke Sculptors]], a style hailing from the [[Western Marches]] who can build walls and wage war with the most fragile of tools.

Styles referred to but not covered include:

[[Bloodcutters]], a supposedly-extinct Imperial school devoted to detecting and exploiting family connections
The [[Crimson Guard]], Imperial soldiers who practice a combined discipline of magic and swordplay in dedicated defense of the Empress
[[What is REIGN?]]
[[The One Roll Engine]]
[[New Stuff!]]
Martial Techniques are sets of specialized maneuvers that allow a trained fighter to get more out of his weapon (or his body) than is possible for someone relying on brawn, weight and a nasty disposition.  Martial Techniques listed in the main book include the following:

The Path of Twin Fury -- An acrobatic hand-to-hand combat style that always requires a partner.
The Yielding Way -- Wrestling, slamming, and foot-sweeping, all done with a minimum of fuss.
The School of the Insouciant Monkey -- Dodging like crazy.  Literally.
Thunder Fist Techniques -- How to hit like a sledgehammer in five not-very-easy lessons.
Eye of Death -- Archery secrets practiced by a murder cult, among others.
Iron Tortoise Technique -- How to parry like you mean it.  A path from the [[Western Marches]].
Path of the Serpent's Fangs -- Nasty dagger fighting for nasty people.
Path of the Razor Heart -- Drawing and cutting, [[Dindavara]] style.
The Horsewoman's Course -- Mounted combat from the [[Heluso Confederacy]]
The Winnowing Axe -- This is how the [[Truil]]s deal with poor fighters when they're foolish enough to bunch up.

Canonical Martial Techniques include: 

[[The Black Thirst]], a style of berserk polearm-fighting hailing from the [[Sunless Plains]].
[[Broadcutter's Path]], greatsword fighting from the [[Western Marches]].
[[Guai's Path]], fighting with a short [[dinda]] in either hand.
[[Hell's Hooks]], by which a commonplace work tool is murderously repurposed.
[[Roloneepo]], a curious [[Ob-lob]] method of artfully putting boot to groin.

Fan written Martial Techniques include: 

[[Pit-Spear Fighting]], specialized maneuvers for gladiator fights
[[The Imperial Duelists]], formalized viciousness for young people of good breeding
[[The Peasant Staff]], ordinary people whaling away with walking sticks
[[The Noble Fan]], another means by which the upper crust express disgruntlement
[[Long Wasps]], an archery style that tries to make sure you die from something with an evocative name

Meetpoint is the capital of the [[Heluso Confederacy]], held in common by [[North Hold]], [[Green River]] and [[Broadland]].  The [[Black Mountain Free State]] saw no reason to invest its time, treasure and people in building a city to add more governance when they can already take care of themselves just fine.  Their refusal to invest in Meetpoint, beyond a few desultory gifts, has been a sore point since.

Meetpoint is actually located in Broadland, but the roads to it from North Hold and Green River are 'open,' meaning that Broadland has no legal tariffs on them and wields no formal authority to eject travelers from its allied nations.  On the other hand, North Hold and Green River aren't going to make a fuss if the Broadland army gives trouble to people of no consequence.  

Though not the biggest city in the Confederacy -- not even in the top three -- Meetpoint is an epicenter for government, diplomacy and business enterprises that involve all the allied nations.  
The Meiren family is the river family, and their colors are green and yellow.  In [[Dindavara]] their productive fields are rivaled only by their neighbors to the southwest, the [[Xuedei]], and even the Xuedei rarely surpass them.  Meiren province feeds the nation, and is the location of the Anvil of Heaven.  The priests of [[Dindakuan]] say that it was at that very spot that their god forged the five families of Dindavara, setting them above the lesser races to guide and rule them.  The capital of the nation is built on its slopes, and the Meiren never let anyone forget that the city on the hill is theirs.

Their reputation is an odd mix of the stodgy and the fanciful.  The arts have always flourished under Meiren Hai Riyans, and they are the most avid consumers of culture both foreign and domestic.  But in matters of politics and warfare, they are hard-headed realists.  Some of the more ambitious families say they are more cautious than is seemly for people of the sword.
Might is one of the five [[Qualities]] that measure the strength of [[Companies]].  It's the military Quality, representing armed soldiers, stern sergeants, brilliant generals and powerful sorcerers and tough fortifications.  If someone attacks you, you need Might.  If you want to attack someone, you also need Might.
One of the two known continents in REIGN, Milonda lies to the east.  Closest to the sun, it's a warmer, drier continent.  Nations there include the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]] and [[Opetka]].  One group of disparate tribes, the [[Wuhra]], have united and call themselves an Empire.  A great desert stretches through Milonda, broken up only by rare oases and a single fertile river, dotted with cities along its length like pearls on a string.  These cities include [[Upunzi]], [[Mwa]], and [[Kininguvu]].  The only other city in the desert is [[Punga]].  

Chris Cooper has contributed this fine map.

This path was created by Brad J. Murray

Milondese Staff Fighting can only be performed with a long walking staff, properly weighted. It is a very athletic discipline and benefits greatly from high levels of the Skills Dodge, Parry, and Weapon: Staff in order to get all of the synergistic effects. The intention of this path is to provide a very active, cinematic fight scene with plenty of multiple actions driving the narration. 

One High and One Low (1 point): A natural arc is described striking at the body or head and following around to sweep through the shins.

When performing multiple actions including a Trip, one multiple action penalty die is waived.

Both Ends are Dangerous (2 points): The staff has two good ends, and a well trained staffsman can strike with both blindingly fast.
When performing multiple strike actions one multiple action penalty die is waived.

Arc of the Serpent (3 points): Specialists in the staff are not only adept at sweeping their opponent's feet from beneath them, but also in taking immediate advantage to crush their skulls.
Strikes against a Downed opponent can do Killing damage instead of Shock.

Spinning Parry (4 points): The staff is whirled dizzyingly providing a near perfect barrier that could easily catch a weapon and hurl it far away.
A successful Parry is also treated as a successful Disarm.  Only one opponent can be disarmed in a turn, even if more than one is parried against.

Bone Breaking Lever (5 points): The staff wielder plants his staff firmly on his opponent's person and applies the full weight of his body to twist or crush. This maneuver not only escapes danger, but also tends to be lethal.
A successful dodge also does its Killing damage equal to the number of Gobble Dice applied.  The person being dodged decides which location takes the damage.

Note that One High and One Low and Both Ends are Dangerous combine to allow the declaration Strike + Strike + Trip to occur with no penalty. If the Trip happens before a Strike, Arc of the Serpent may be invoked.
One of the [[Truil]] tribes, the Mountain Riders are regarded as mere myths by many in [[Uldholm]], but the western provinces of [[Dindavara]] know the truth of it.  They know the Mountain Riders are real, and that their mounts dwarf the greatest horse or dunim.  In a cruel irony, most of the Dindavarans who've gained enough trust from the Mountain Riders to see their steeds are common folk, merchants who wouldn't appreciate the military potential of such beasts.  The nobles who have seen living mountains are rarely believed.
(Murgwarks were introduced in Supplement #3, which is available [[as a free download|]].  The description and image are reproduced below.)
“Wark” is Truilish for “rat” but lacking a word for “master” they had to make do with the Uldish “murg” which roughly means “masterful” and is what the Ulds use for “Imperial” when they don’t want to use the Imperial word for “Imperial.”

Ahem.  A murgwark, then, is an imperial rat.  The Truils don’t mean ‘imperial’ in the sense of terribly dangerous or impressive, as murkwarks are neither.  They’re big as typical rats, and fatter, and have heavier, softer fur.  If you ignore the wormlike tail and snouty face with black beady eyes, they’re kind of pretty.  Their fur comes in patterns of yellow, white, black and red, much like Truil hair, and murgwarks are found banded and mottled and spotted, as well as a few that are all one color.  (The Blue Faces believe that solid-color Murgwarks are good luck.)  

Murgwarks are very slow.  In fact, they can’t run.  In the wild, they trundle along chewing grass, eating carrion, digging insects out of trees and anthills and being ignored by predators because their flesh is poisonous.  It won’t kill a grown man or even a large eagle, but it’s a surefire ticket to cramps, vomiting, dizziness and general misery.

Unlike most rats, murgwarks are communal, like bees or ants.  They live in colonies of 8-12, led by a dominant female.  The female stays in the den all the time and the others bring her food.  (In fact, they chew it for her.  Upon becoming ‘Empress’ the rat’s teeth fall out.)  

Many Truils keep murgwark colonies in a position somewhere between a pet and a work animal.  They produce nothing but fur and body heat, but in the Truil Waste any source of warmth is welcome.  If you find a murgwark den and toss the Empress in a sack, come nightfall the rest of the colony sniffs her out and crawls into the sack to sleep.  If you keep your blanket in there, it’s pre-warmed at bedtime and you can put the sack under your feet to keep them warm.  Some Truils get familiar enough to their murgwarks that they become imbued with that rat family’s distinctive scent and are accepted as part of the colony.  When that happens, the murgwarks will groom the human, patiently pulling ticks and fleas out of his hair and off his skin.  More fastidious Truils find this habit repugnant.

Murgwarks have no Threat.  If eaten, their flesh is a Potency 4 poison.  The minor effect is the aforementioned puking, disorientation and distress.  This gives a –1d penalty to all actions for about an hour.  The major effect is to painfully lock the throat, jaw and stomach muscles for about three hours.  During that time, the victim can breathe and kind of moan, but can’t move his mouth or tongue to form words.  Nor can he eat or drink. 
Mwa is one of the Seven Cities of the Great [[Milonda]] Desert.  Lying midway between sophisticated [[Upunzi]] and far [[Kininguvu]], Mwa is a crossroads and a city of contradictions.  It lies along the Nguzi river, it is blessed with fairly manageable farmland in a river valley, and it has a reputation as both the most moralistic and most dissolute of the Seven.  It's moralistic by day, and the Concordance of All Faiths unites most of its churches in opposition to drinking, gambling, drugs, prostitution, suggestive dance and other vices.  (The churches that wouldn't join the Concordance were driven out, which should suggest just how politically powerful the Concordance has become.)  But by night, the criminal gangs that have gotten rich providing the forbidden delights at outrageous prices war with each other, with Concordance churches, with citizen militias, with bandit gangs trying to muscle in to the city and, on rare occasions, with the guards of the actual civil authorities.
A member of [[The Empire]], Pahar is culturally, racially and linguistically distinct from the other four Imperial nations.  The Pahar people show a far greater proportion of Milondese blood than is otherwise common.  They have their own religion, with few external converts and little ambition to gain them.  And while almost all Pahar speak the [[Imperial language]], many also speak their own [[Pahar language]].  

Perhaps what sets the Pahar most apart from their fellow Imperials is a history of elected representation, somewhat like [[Uldholm]] but older.  In its pre-Imperial past, the Kings of Pahar were served by wise counselors selected by the people.  This tradition continued when the nation joined The Empire, but after a failed Pahar rebellion the Kings were dethroned.  The Empress then ruling decided to allow the Pahar to keep their 'rulers by acclaim,' perhaps seeing them as a nonthreatening affectation.  In the years since, the Pahar Elector has often proven to be anything but ineffective.

Pahar borders the [[Sunless Plains]] which lie to the west, and [[Deerwood]] to the north and south.  There are two small provinces bordering [[Center]], and to the east is a desolate section of the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]].  Though The Empire has long struggled with the Matriarchy and is now at open war, the mountains between Maemeck territory and Pahar are so brutal, desolate, dark, forbidding and storm-wracked that no one has ever succeeded in taking an army through them, or even settling them.
Supplement #3 is the latest, available [[as a free download|]].  It contains lots of creatures, along with information on how to build your own magic styles, as exemplified by the [[Conjoining Priests of Setekesh]].
First time with roleplaying games?  First time with REIGN?  There's no shame in it, we were all newbies at one time or another.  Check the 'newbie' tagged entries to get a gentle entry to this brave new world.
Notorious for stealth and tracking, this [[Truil]] tribe is also the most reverent towards the race's patron goddess [[Raungmüt]].  The Night Hunters have been displaced from their normal nomadic routes by settlers from [[Uldholm]], though they haven't had as bad a time of it as the [[Blue Face]]s, who attempted a series of direct confrontations.  It is the Night Hunters, or more specifically the [[Night Hunter's Art]], that most frighten the [[Uld]]s.
This [[Truil]] practice is not just magical, it's religious.  By howling to their moon-mother [[Raungmüt]], Truilish enchanters gain insight, summon bloodlust and transform themselves (and others) into her patron creatures, the wolves.
Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

This is a specialized Sorcery Discipline created by a cult of warrior-priest [[Shadowbinders]] from the [[Sunless Plains]], variously known as Nightwalkers or Ghost Children. Unlike typical Sorcery disciplines, Nightwalking uses the influence of shadow magic to impact, influence and improve other mundane skills with quasi-magical effects.

Ghost children need to be permanently attuned, because they combine the power of a hosted shadow spirit with mundane skills of subterfuge.  

Long Fingers of Darkness (One point)
The adopted spirit of shadows lifts the footstep of the sorcerer as love lifts the spirits of other men. The Shadowbinder's minimum Height on his Athletics, Climb, Run and Stealth set is equal to his Sorcery skill.

Shadows’ Shallow Steps (Two points)
The sorcerer and the spirit glide together in a secret but perfect waltz of subterfuge. Any penalties from combining Athletics, Climb, Run and Stealth into multiple action pools are reduced by an amount equal to the Sorcery skill. Shadows’ Shallow Steps stacks with Long Fingers of Darkness.

Night's True Form (Three points)
The alien nature of the shadow elemental becomes second nature to the shadow sorcerer and he starts seeing things the spirit does. Add Sorcery to any Sense-based pool concerned with detecting things in the dark. This provides no aid in bright light.

Night's Long Reach (Four points) 
Like a voice from behind his ear, the seduction is almost complete and the two work as one. The human body isn't quite up to the demands of an intangible spirit, but they persevere.

A shadowbinder can combine two of the four skills from Shadow’s Shallow Steps into a single pool (usual penalties apply) but only any set can be used twice, once for each of the combined effects. This stacks with Shadow’s Shallow Steps.

A Glorious Sunless Tapestry (Five points)
The spirit and human form are nearly fused. The shadowbinder goes through another transformation – his blood turns as black as his eyes and his flesh becomes more like the darkness... 

Add the Shadowbinder’s Knowledge + Sorcery pool to his Body + Heal roll when he rests in perfect darkness. He can roll even if the pool exceeds 10 dice. Almost any sort of injury can safely healed unless a limb is completely severed.
North Hold is one of the member-states of the [[Heluso Confederacy]].  Bordering [[Dindavara]] to the northwest and [[Broadland]] to the southeast, North Hold is an incomplete feudal state.  It has Lords and Ladies, who own all the land, it has serfs who work it, but there is no king at the top to whom the gentry swear fealty.  Instead, the nobility meet in council once per season to pass laws, decide policy, and kill each other.

That last option doesn't happen every time, but it's a rare year when someone doesn't at least get maimed during discussions.  Most points of contention are solved by argument, bribery, persuasion, blackmail, seduction, shaming, appeals to fear or honor, coercion and bargaining, but when two or more just cannot agree, they settle things through personal combat.  These trials by combat are supposed to be fought to submission or unconsciousness but, well, sometimes a helmet cracks, and sometimes particularly oppositional fighters get the bits between their teeth and won't quit until there's only one.

In many North Hold fiefdoms, there's a yearly opportunity for commoners to challenge their masters to single combat if they feel particularly wronged by some ruling or action.  This almost never ends well for the commoners, since the North Hold nobles are warriors first and foremost.  With Dindavara on their doorstep, they need to be.

North Hold is a kingdom of forests and plains, with a short ridge of mountains extending from the Dindavaran ranges.  The mountains hold coal and iron, the prairies have crops, and the forests provide copious timber.  That last, lumber, is their most common export, sometimes in caravans reaching as far as the [[Ironbone Theocracy]] but more often selling to ship-building [[Ob-lob]]s.
The proper name for this race in [[Fodandutikanitandu]] (their language) is "Obotilobitanolonikututano," a thirteen-syllable mouthful that people of other races shortened to "Ob-lob," a contraction that has gained everyday use among the Obotilobitanolonikututano themselves, though given their language it is, by default, an unimportant designation, implying that the Obotilobitanolonikututano have no real regard for what foreigners call them.  This is just as well, since 'Ob-lob' is often the least insulting phrase used for these seafaring nomads and merchant princes.

The Ob-lobs hold a few coastal towns and even cities, they hold one of the [[Inuan Islands]], but their real homes are their ships.  And what ships they are!  [[Opetka]] has built a few pursuit ships that are as fast, which is less impressive when one realizes that the Ob-lobs don't build for speed.  The [[Heluso Confederacy]] has a few giant ships that carry more catapults, but they're unable to do anything beyond wallow along the coast.  By and large, any real competition to the Ob-lobs would come from merchant vessels, and given the Ob-lob advantage in all things nautical, their mercantile rivals are either slower, hold less cargo, or are weakly defended in comparison.  Typically, it's all three.  If you're a seagoing merchant, the Ob-lobs will outrun you and if they don't, they'll undersell you, and if they can't do that, they're as likely as not to seize your ship or sink it trying.

To call them 'competitive' is putting it mildly.  Their convoluted business/family/religious enterprises feud bitterly, until some outsider tries to take advantage, at which point they put their differences aside for exactly as long as it takes to deal with the outside threat.  

Unlike the people of [[Milonda]] or [[Heluso]], the Ob-lobs have colored eyes and hair that comes in shades beyond black, gray and white.  In this, they're clearly related to the [[Truil]]s, so much so that both races' myths make mention of the other.  But at the same time, their language seems to have nothing in common with Truilish, they're shorter, stockier and far more swarthy of skin.  Though of course, that last factor could be due to generations of greater exposure to the sun and/or far more opportunities for interbreeding with Helusans and Milondese.

They are the subject of the supplement [[Owners of the Seas|]].
Opetka is a coastal nation on the continent of [[Milonda]], sharing a slight border with the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]] and a much larger one with the [[Wuhra]] Empire.  Opetka has rich soil, a fairly large population, and a history of complete callousness in matters of war.  These factors, along with that damn tricky Opetkan mirror magic, keep the country relatively secure against the Wuhra, though raiding across the border is common enough that it barely causes diplomatic incidents any more.  

Opetkans are known for being melancholy and stoic, and for giving other people reasons to be melancholy and stoic.  They are the world's most refined glassblowers, and are equally admired for the quality of their glass flutes and for the haunting melodies their composers have written for them.
[[Opetka]] is a nation with a reputation for ruthlessness in the espionage of peace, as much as in the violence of armed conflict.  The deceptions of their mirror magi are so notorious (and feared) that many of Opetka's traditional targets for spying -- their [[Wuhra]] neighbors, the Seven Cities of the Ruhini Desert, the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]] and even [[The Empire]] -- have invested heavily in seers and sensitives who can feel the presence of enchantment, no matter how confusing.  These perceivers are, of course, no better than anyone else at finding the mundane Opetkan infiltrators, especially those who have been schooled in vanishing.

Unlike many Esoteric Disciplines, which develop uses from a particular practice, Opetkan Vanishing picked the most useful techniques from a number of experts and refined them into a course that spies could learn through brute repetition.  Of course, the very nature of espionage tends to attract some people who easily betray.  It should therefore come as no surprise that some agents, mourned as dead in their homeland, have traveled far and earned much by teaching these secrets far, far from Opetka.

All techniques in Opetkan Vanishing are used with Coordination+Stealth.

A Stance Outside the Self (1 point)
The outsider's stance was taught by an apostate apostle of the Thief God.  Initially, it was a form of meditation in which a robber monk sought to eliminate everything that made him unique, that his will and individualism might no longer wall him off from communion with his deity.  As an ancillary benefit, intense scrutiny of everything that makes one memorable -- appearance, word choice and tone, body shape, posture and mannerism -- can teach one to offset and suppress those traits.  

Using A Stance Outside the Self requires the spy to prepare for at least a few minutes unobserved, then roll his Stealth pool.  If he gets at least one set, strangers who see him for the next hour or so are unable to remember him well enough to identify him by face, voice or action.  Sometimes, this technique simply isn't feasible.  It can't be done in the middle of hot pursuit, and a Truil in an Uldish city would be hard pressed to pass as an Uld without some way of obscuring his skin.  But if the person chased can hide long enough to catch his breath, or that Truil can find a ragged hood and mud to daub on exposed flesh, the technique is possible.

Note that it doesn't help the person hide or alter any Stealth rolls to be spotted.  It just means that if he does get away, those who saw him won't recognize him later as the person they chased.  They remember only a vague, indistinct person, utterly ordinary and unremarkable.

A Series of Undifferentiated Occult Knacks (2 points)
Mechanical locks are rare in [[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]].  Only in [[Uldholm]] are they well known among wealthy citizens, and even there they're something of a curiosity.  They're beginning to see use in the Confederacy and the [[Sunless Plains]], but almost universally, the art of closing something up to keep someone out relies on either enchantment, or guards, barred doors and heavy weights.

Opetkan enchanters worked long and hard to develop a process that isn't even really a spell as much as a painful and unhealthy way to force your own energies to mingle with those of a magically locked box, door or other enclosure.  To use the Series, one must spill blood, enough to do a point of Shock damage, and smear it on the locked area.  A successful Coordination+Stealth roll opens the lock, but must be made against a Difficulty equal to the sealing spell's Intensity.

Close to the Madding Crowd (3 points) 
Another technique stolen from the Thief God (whose followers, to the great surprise of Opetka, don't seem terribly annoyed or vengeance-minded), this one builds on A Stance Outside the Self.  Instead of just erasing the qualities that comprise easy identity, Close to the Madding Crowd lets you absorb those common to a group.  If you're in a crowd and make a successful Coordination+Stealth roll, you fade into it like a snake into grass.  Normal folks don't even get a chance to spot you unless you leave the group.  There must be at least fifteen people around you to use this technique, however, and your clothes must be something that won't stand out.

Shadow Foot (4 points)
An intense awareness of every action is common to everyone trying to remain unseen, but Opetkan spies couple this with memory training.  When they leave an area, they can take ten to twenty minutes and, with a successful Stealth roll, either remove or obscure identifying traces of their passage.  What that really means depends on what they did.  If they were trying to be hidden the whole time, they can usually remove any clue of their presence.  If they got in a fight or dragged away a priceless statue, it means they create false trails and rework the genuine ones until they can't be followed.  

Mist's Vantage (5 points) 
The highest form of secrecy is to make it a part of everything you do, and make everything you do contribute to secrecy.  Those who can take Mist's Vantage have achieved that.  It cannot be used with any other Esoteric Discipline, but other than that, if a character using it rolls more than one set on a Stealth roll, he can apply that second set to a second action.  It's as if he retroactively declared a multiple action and got his multiple sets.  There is one restriction on use of the second set, however: It can only be applied to pools that are at least twice as large as the set's Width.  

For example, Tulaq uses Mist's Vantage to position himself in a garden while waiting for his wife's lover to meet her.  With an MD in Stealth and a big pool, he gets a 4x10 result.  Splitting that into two 2x10 results, he can use one to remain hidden and the other to spring out and bludgeon the adulterer with a Body+Fight pool -- as long as his Body+Fight pool is at least 4d.
The Opetkan military class is a meritocracy.  It is controlled, at each level, by those who either excel at killing or excel at getting others to defend them.

Thus, a typical Primary Leader's career would begin when he presented himself to the War Givers and asked to join.  Looking him over and seeing no obvious infirmities, the soldiers would then beat him.  Depending on how he took the beating, they'd either send him home with a curse or assign him to a squad.

Lowly squadders train with their gear (typically spear or axe, shield and helm) and get drilled in mindless obedience to their Squad Master.  At any time outside of war conditions, a squadder can take a swing at the Squad Master.  If he does, the Master fights him.  Depending on the actions of the other squadders the new recruit either gets beaten senseless (thus learning a healthy dose of fear for the boss) or triumphs, gaining the right to command.

For every five to twenty squads (depending on circumstance) there is a Field Master.  The Field Master gives orders to the Squad Masters and can only be challenged to single combat once per month.  If he overcomes the Squad Master, he retains his privileges, otherwise he's busted down to Squads again.  An officer may bounce between Squad and Field several times before the twice-yearly opportunity to challenge for the position of Assigner.

The Assigner divides up duties among five to ten Field Masters.  Defense of a large city or small province would be the job of a single Assigner.  When a Field Master challenges an Assigner, the Primary Leader himself has to countenance the challenge.  (Some have been carried out without approval.  If the troops are loyal enough, such oversights may be forgiven, if not forgotten).  The challenger and his troops go to a ritual battlefield in central Opetka, while the Assigner picks one other Field Master to bring his soldiers for the battle.  The troops are given wooden weapons, wooden shields and wooden helmets, but fatalities are still common.  (For one thing, it's not unusual for a squaddie to see a Squad Master injured and finish the job to advance his own career, and so on up the chain of command.)  The battle ends when either the challenger or the Assigner is captured, unconscious or dead.  

One route to authority, then, is to be aggressive, ambitious, and difficult to kill.  But the other route, just as common, is to be a clever builder of coalitions, friendships, debts and covert agreements.  The very finest -- Assigners who can, once every five years, challenge the Primary Leader -- are something of both.  To become Primary Leader, the Assigner must return to that same sacred battlefield and lead his entire corps of followers into battle.  The Primary Leader gets to field the exact same number of troops, but he can select them from any of the armies that any other Assigner controls.  If the challenger can overcome the best possible force the Primary Leader can assemble and capture the Primary Leader alive, the Assigner can seize the position.  (Displaced Primary Leaders typically retire to teach at war colleges, or to just go get some rest.)  

Challenges to the Primary are far from common, and successful ones desperately rare.  More Primaries have died in battle, in bed, from treachery or mischance, than have ever been removed from office through a formal challenge.  Every Primary is required, each month, to deliver each Assigner a sealed and signed order indicating who should succeed him if he dies or can no longer command.  These documents don't need to all contain the same name.  When the Primary fails, the Assigners open the orders.  Whichever set is most common is enacted.
[img[OTAMITANDEK.jpg|]]Otamitandek, is the legendary "Swimming City" of the [[Ob-lob]]s.  Ringed by peculiarly flat docks (because its surface rises gently out of the water, as if the ocean were only a lake, instead of emerging at right angles), Otamitandek has no fixed location.  Its citizens are absolutely certain that they are on the back of some terribly vast whale or turtle or similar creature.  Its surface above the water is about two miles across (though sometimes it lowers in storms, shrinking its available mass and shedding expensive docks).  A few twisted, hardy trees grow along its gentle, hilly contours, as do some scrubby grasses, but mostly the surface is just... surface.  It's a leathery, fleshy, grey and brown and greenish matter that feels like nothing so much as cold, tough leather.  If cut away, it comes to smell bad and rot, unless cured or smoked.  Smoked 'otamipublom' (which roughly means 'island flesh') has a texture and toughness similar to a turtle's shell, though perhaps a touch more supple.  Homes are made of otamipublom, which can be carefully mined since a plate cut from the soil can (in time) grow back -- though a round patch as far across as a man can reach takes about ten years to regrow.

The properties of otamipublom indicate that the city is built on a giant creature, as do several other features.  First off, it clearly moves, sometimes against the wind and the currents.  Secondly, it seems to excrete, at least based on the thick clouds of detritus-eating fish that follow its wake.

Thirdly, there's a blowhole.  A big pit the size of a courtyard, the hole pulls wind into it on odd-numbered days, and blows fetid warm air out on even days.  Every decade or so it seems to spasm and convulse, and sometimes it erupts in hundreds of gallons of waxy or gelatinous material.  This substance is sometimes yellow and mildly acidic, sometimes greyish and pungent.  Students of the properties of matter are fascinated by the stuff, but beyond distilling the yellow into a slightly stronger acid, they have found no uses for it.

The people of Otamitandek fish and farm.  They catch fish in most of the usual ways, throwing lines, casting nets, and setting out in boats.  Mostly they do this on the sides and rear of the city, since that's where the fish are most plentiful.  Farming is not quite the same, as the most easily cultivated crops are edible seaweeds that grow thickly in the island's wake.  One of these weeds can be dried, ground up in mills (of which there are several ringing the blowhole) and baked into bread.

Otamitandek is a floating port of all calls, and capable of hauling truly awe-inspiring quantities of material.  Much of the land at its crest is taken up with warehouses owned by the three great Ob-lob families.  They buy durable goods from any land Otamitandek passes near, store them for years while the city travels, and then sell the items where they're rare and exotic.  

For example, Otamitandek might pass near [[Opetka]], where its citizens would buy fine mirrors and store them.  Five years later, when the city has swum around to the Truil Wastes, the Ob-lobs can sell the mirrors for many times their original values, taking [[Truil]] gems in trade and hoarding them until they're back in the sunlit lands.  Sure, a cunning Ob-lob trader could make the same journey on a ship, with the same cargo and make the same exchanges.  But it's more profitable for Otamitandek because they can carry more (and, if necessary, flood the market to destroy any competition), carry it safer, and travel without the expenses and dangers of a shipboard voyage.

Otamitandek has its own exports as well, and it's not just fish.  Its people are also great whalers, having a slow-moving platform to butcher their catches without fear of depleting an entire region's pods.  More famously, the oysters that cling thickly to the island's side produce exquisite pearls, though diving form them is a hazardous trade requiring great stamina and intense training.  

In addition to importing trade goods to hoard, Otamitandek also imports some food, but more often wood and metal goods.  No matter how much they purchase and re-use, there's always demand for more.

Art kindly contributed by Chris Cooper, who loves his megafauna.[img[fanmadestamp.jpg|]]
Stands for 'player characters'.  In traditional roleplaying games (like REIGN) the main characters are the PCs, around whom the story is based.  Unless you're the [[GM]], the character you think of as 'your guy' is a PC.
The Nation of Pahar is one of the five states that comprise [[The Empire]].  Bordering the [[Sunless Plains]], [[Deerwood]] and [[Center]], along with a truly formidable geographical barrier to the east, Pahar is distinct from the rest of The Empire culturally and socially.  The Pahar people have their own language, customs and religion, all fiercely preserved and defended.  There has been an unavoidable degree of intermarriage between the Pahar  (who have the typical yellowish skin tones, angled eyes and straight hair of the Milondese) with the dark-skinned and curly-haired peoples of the rest of The Empire, but enough Pahar are provincial or racist (or simply fall in love with people who share their culture, values, language and appearance) that the 'Pahar look' remains fairly distinct.

Pahar culture stresses the intellectual, sometimes to the point of looking down on the physical or the practical.  It also puts a great deal of emphasis on the value of emotion, particularly the expression of emotion, even more particularly the passionate expression of emotion.  A typical resident of [[Deerwood]], to choose a phlegmatic example, is less dramatic when confronting an adulterous spouse than the average Pahar is with a neighbor who hasn't returned a borrowed tool promptly.

The Pahar religion is formidably complex.  This, combined with a language barrier and an active disinterest in evangelism, means that very few outside the the people practice it.  It revolves around a twelve-chapter epic in which the gods fight, procreate, switch duties, betray one another, have changes of hearts, have changes of gender, and create various elements of the natural world (often by accident or in passing).  Each chapter is associated with a particular month, and the entire thing is a closed cycle: There is no 'beginning' nor 'end' and something that happens in Plantingmonth can be the result of one thing from the Angermonth chapter while setting the stage for something else in a later Angermonth stage.  It gives outsiders headaches.
The tongue of the [[Nation of Pahar]] is refined, complicated, and increasingly uncommon in everyday speech.  The Pahar consider it their private cultural property and, as often as not, speak it only with one another.  It is the language of their religion, and the great twelve-part Pahar religious epic has only recently been translated into the [[Imperial language]] -- something many conservative Pahar nationalists consider a terrible affront, if not actual blasphemy.
by Sunshaker
The jungles of [[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]] are home to several species of big cats, which are viewed, depending on the person doing the viewing, as symbols of fortune both good and bad. Regardless of personal views, however, these creatures are universally respected as consummate stalkers and hunters.

So, it isn't entirely surprising that martial sages have, over time, developed a series of fighting techniques designed to emulate the movements and actions of these fearsome beasts. Those who are unfamiliar with the style find it rather awkward, seeing as fighters using it will eagerly throw themselves onto the ground to "invite the cat inside of themselves." Those who have it used against them learn to be more respectful rather quickly, as they discover that the style allows a trained fighter to bring his opponents down to his level...and keep them there.

The Path of the Stalking Cat is used with Coordination + Unarmed Strike.

Invite The Cat Inside (1 Point): The foundational principle of the Stalking Cat path is that, to fight as the cat fights, one must first learn to move as the cat moves. The student learns how to effectively move and maneuver while lying prone or crouched on all fours. The character no longer suffers any dice penalties for fighting in the Downed position. In addition, the character can move while Downed at half his movement rate, though it may be more difficult for her to cross certain kinds of terrain than someone on foot. Voluntarily moving into the Downed position works the same as the Stand maneuver, only in reverse.

Pouncing Tackle (2 Points): Many martial schools train their students how to make their falls softer. Students of the Stalking Cat path learn the opposite, training their falls to become harder and more forceful. This is less useful when landing on solid ground, but more useful when landing on an opponent. The character Tackles an opponent using Coordination + Unarmed Strike. If successful, her opponent suffers additional shock damage to the torso equal to the character's Body. If the attack generates no sets, or is successfully dodged or parried, the character takes a point of shock damage to both arms and is Downed.

Springing Tiger Attack (3 Points): Like a tiger leaping up from the grass to catch its prey, the fighter learns to spring unexpectedly from the ground and strike her opponents incredible force. From the Downed position, the character makes an attack against a standing opponent. If successful, the attack gains the benefits of a Charge maneuver and is considered 1 Width greater for timing purposes. Following this attack, the character may choose to remain Downed or land standing on her feet. This technique may only be used once each combat round, but can be combined with other actions.
An ancillary benefit of this level of training is that the character may now freely combine Standing with other actions without suffering the dice penalty.

Devastating Assault (4 Points): Against fiercer prey, tigers bring the full force of their might to bear, lashing out again and again to lay their quarry low and savaging them mercilessly. The character makes a single attack roll using Coordination + Unarmed Strike. If she does so from the Downed position, she receives a +1d bonus. Every set rolled may either be applied as a Slam maneuver or an attack against any combination of opponents within the character's range. Devastating Assault cannot be used in a multiple action.

For example, Leesha uses Devastating Assault against a group of thugs who have her surrounded. She rolls her dice pool of 8D, plus an additional die for being Downed, and ends up with 1,2,2,2,4,6,6,8,8, which gives her a 3x2, 2x6, and 2x8. She decides to apply the 3x2 as a Slam against one opponent, and the other two sets as attacks against two other opponents.

Later, Leesha is fighting the thugs' leader, and she decides to go all-out. Rolling, she gets 2,2,2,2,4,5,7,10,10, and she applies both rolls against the leader, using the 4x2 set as a Slam and the 2x10 set as an attack.

Tiger Consumes His Prey (5 Points): Any time that the character causes an opponent to become Downed, she may choose to automatically apply a Submission Hold to a limb of their choice at a width equal to her Body (applying this hold overrides any further actions the character may have been preparing to take). If the opponent can't (or doesn't try to) break free of the hold, instead of the normal damage they suffer the effects of an Area attack doing shock damage equal to the character's Coordination + Unarmed Strike pool at the beginning of each round until they escape. Wrenching free causes damage to the limb as normal.
[img[fanmadestamp.jpg|]] by Chris Cooper

Pit Spear Fighting is the remarkable discipline that formed with the spread of illegal pit-fighting in various cities around Heluso. This school of fighting developed slowly, with arduous trial and many errors of a hundred experts until it became begrudgingly recognised as a legitimate-which-means-effective combat tool. The benefit of the school is that it uses short spears, which are staffs with sharp, pointed metal caps affixed to them. It is best to realise that the wooden staff is the important weapon. The tip just happens to be there. 

Traditionally, Pit Spear Fighting is fought with proficient and two unarmoured opponents who appear to gouge and wrench each other bloody but in effect are practicing a delicate dance which looks vicious and creates a lot of shallow, bleeding wounds.  It's used with Coordination+Spear.


Casual Swat Parry (1 Point)
By declaring and rolling a Casual Swat Parry during a round, you may take one of your Wasted Die result and alter its rolled face value by one higher or one lower for that parry.

Example: Turenfel attacks Zerchentjie with a 3x2. Zerchentjie is using Casual Swap Parry and rolls 1, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3 – 2x3 and 2x4 but he has a 5 as part of his Waste Dice. By altering the 5 to 4 he has 3x4 and can parry Turenfel’s blow.

The Blindside Backhand (2 points)
If your Spear-fighter rolls two sets he may use the second if 1) the opponent attacks after the first set and 2) all the damage is set to W=S+1K. He may use this without declaring it first. Spear Fighters are notorious with slamming the butt-end of their spears into creeping back-stabbers or delivering a slap after parrying.

Sneak Offhand Parry Strike (3 Points)
By tipping the point of the spear at your enemy during a parry it will be in the way of any body part of your opponent that moves against you – like his weapon hand. This allows you to reverse the function of the attack and parry. That is, if your spear-parry is wider and faster than the attack’s width, the parry transforms into a potentially damaging attack and the opponent’s attack becomes Gobble Dice. The downside is the Height always matches the opponent’s current weapon arm.

Sublime Unification with the Dart (4 Points)
If the Spear Fighter has his Spear dice pool penalised he doesn’t lose his special die.

Rolling Wave of the Roasting Spit (5 Points)
All the Waste Dice can be adjusted one up or down if he uses Casual Swat Parry. 

North of [[Opetka]] and the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]] lie the Plains of the Winçu, a land of perpetual darkness.  At one time, they were a sparse grassland, peopled by cattle-herding nomads.  But 'Winçu' was not then the name of the land, nor was it ever the name of the people.

As the power and population of Opetka grew, they came in time to cast covetous glances on the lands of their neighbors.  Invasion followed.  It was a miserable war for the plainsmen, who were called the Inestari.  They were outnumbered.  Their weapons were inferior.  They were not organized behind a single plan, and they faced a callous and implacable enemy.  Defeat after defeat drove them further and further back, until the return of one woman turned the tide and eventually drove the foreigners out.  But 'Winçu' was not the name of that woman.

Annak had lost her sons and husband to the Opetkans and had fled to the east, to the Masterless Wilds.  She had, previously, been unexceptional, but when she returned she brought something with her.  There was a haunted look in her eyes, as if all her fear had been replaced with a dread, placid certainty.  She did not pause to speak with any of her old friends or remaining family.  She simply went to the biggest, closest encampment of Opetkans and said she had a message for their leader.  When she judged she was near enough to the center of the camp she said, "Now.  I fulfill my part of the bargain."  Then she started to sing.

What came next, was the Winçu.

It took the form of green fire, and a wind, and a groan like bending metal.  The fire rose, and spun, a twisting whirlwind of light and sound reaching taller and wider, spinning in place, engulfing the camp and consuming its soldiers.  Plainsmen and Opetkans alike were terrified by the inverted cone of light that could be seen for miles, reaching up into the clouds.  They were afraid and they remained afraid when they realized that the glowing tornado was not moving, was not dispersing, was simply circling in place.  

That Winçu, the first, is still there today and is still the largest.  But there are many more throughout the plains.  Some are only as tall as a tree, scarcely a hand's-breadth across at the base.  Others are vast enough to rival the first.  

Annak was the only one to emerge alive from that first Winçu and she taught others.  Soon the green columns were rising all over the plains, and where their light touched, weakness and despair could be called upon the invaders through sacrifice and song.  The Opetkans withdrew, fully expecting a counter-invasion that never came.  The Winçu stopped at the edge of the plains, and went no further.  

Since that time, nothing has been the same for the Inestari.  Plants that never could grow in the plains' darkness before flourished in the light of the Winçu.  Those who bound themselves to it could touch any Winçu and sense through all of them, sometimes even traveling from one to another in an eyeblink.  Messages, money and magic traveled the plains at rates unimaginable to most, and the population swelled to match Opetka.  Today, the plains are home to villages, towns and even castles.  Almost all of them lie within the radius of a Winçu's light, almost all the townsfolk sing to it, and periodically cut themselves to bleed for it, and make their yearly or monthly or weekly offering of an animal to it.

It is the followers of Annak, the only ones who can touch a Winçu without risking death, who insist that it is not a god.  It is they who beg or demand that towns be built in the dark, where the people cannot be seen and touched by the green power.  It is they who say they have spoken to the Winçu and that while they will deal with it, and accept its blessings, and offer their own, they will never worship it and never, ever trust it.

Punga is the smallest of the fabled Seven Cities of the Great [[Milonda]] Desert.  Unlike the other six cities, Punga doesn't lie along the Nguzi River but instead relies of a series of springs and wells, many of which are unreliable, barely palatable, or both.  It has a small population and a small army, but has never been seized and seldom attacked because Punga is home to the [[Sunwise Healers]], and for the Pungese army the cure to any wound is just a handful of sand away.

Punga is the closest settlement to the Mount of Rays, the spot on Milonda closest to the unmoving sun.  It is there, and only there, that people can attempt to become Sunwise Healers.  Only the sand of Punga and its environs can fuel Sunwise magic, and though the healers are few in number, the sand they require to heal others is in demand anywhere an aging monarch can afford the services of the greatest physicians known on two continents.  Its only other reason to exist is as a way station leading to the city of [[Kininguvu]] -- itself a desolate backwater attracting few visitors.

Like all the Seven Cities, the most common language is [[Futai]].
Purefast is a [[Pahar]] holiday celebrated the third week in Plantingmonth.  This is the rainy season in the Pahar Nation, and for the first six days of the week, people are somber and quiet.  They dress in dull colors and abstain from sweets, spices and liquors.  Traditionally, this is the time for making right their sins and errors of the year before -- atonement, but also making amends.  Asking forgiveness during the week of Purefast is more significant than doing so during ordinary time, and withholding forgiveness at Atanarhi is despicable behavior.  But tradition holds that the wronged one from whom forgiveness is requested may, by right, make forgiveness contingent on the completion of some task.  The greater the sin, the more momentous the task can be without rousing comment from the community.

The climax of Atanarhi week is its seventh day.  All toil is forbidden on the seventh day, with exceptions only for essential persons like physicians.  As soon as the rain begins, a clamor of drums, chimes and musical instruments arises from every home, and then the people rush out stark naked and yelling.  There is dancing in the street, the sharing of food and drink (particularly those that have been forbidden the previous days) and a great and wild celebration.  

If it does not rain on the seventh day of Atanarhi, it is a dire omen indeed.  If the rain is but light, that's regarded as a warning from the gods to mend sinful ways.  A torrential downpour, on the other hand, is divine favor.
Qualities are to [[Companies]] what Stats like Strength or Coordination are to [[PCs]].  They are boiled-down numerical values that represent how capable a Company is at getting things done, whether 'things' means keeping a lid on local crime, finding out about your neighbor's diplomatic plans, or building bridges and roads to improve your farm economy.  They're rated from 0 to 6, and translate into dice in a pool, which is rolled to figure out how well one's plans survive contact with the intentions of others.

The five Qualities are [[Might]], [[Influence]], [[Sovereignty]], [[Treasure]] and [[Territory]].
Type the text for 'Raungmüt'
Resplendent Willow Avoidance
by Sunshaker

The monks of the Resplendent Willow monastery practice a strange form of pacifistic self-defense which they claim helps center the mind and body. The monks say that excessive effort in one's actions degrades the self, and that one should strive to achieve a state of "effortless effort" in all things. Though the philosophy escapes many, the efficacy of the techniques is undeniable. Their regimen combines intense studies of body language and spatial awareness, meditative exercises, and the occasional surprise beating to train students to avoid blows by the barest of degrees. Practitioners learn to avoid strikes without the frantic capering of the Insouciant Monkey school, but instead through measured and well-timed avoidance, never moving more than they have to.

Resplendent Willow Avoidance is used with Coordination + Dodge.

Flowing Body (1 Point): In their training, students of this school practice to not only anticipate attacks but also hone their reflexes to roll with those blows that strike home. Any time a successful attack removes a die from one of the character's Dodge sets, the character may ignore one point of shock damage or convert one point of killing damage into shock.

Know, Then Evade (2 Points): Avoiding blows isn't just a matter of moving fast. The wise man reads his enemy's intentions and learns where his strikes will fall beforehand. All sets the character makes on his Dodge rolls have their Height increased by 2.

Storm Bows The Reed (3 Points): The monks teach that overcommitment of effort leads to one's downfall, and this technique allows them to provide an object lesson. Any time the character negates someone's melee attack with Gobble dice from a dodge, that opponent suffers the effects of a Trip, Disarm, or Redirect maneuver with a Width equal to the Width of their own attack.

Weave Between The Raindrops (4 Points): This cannot be used as a multiple action. If the character makes even a single success dodging, every attack directed against him that round has its Width reduced by 1. If this would reduce an attack to a single die, that attack fails. This reduction occurs before any other actions resolve. He may then apply his success as Gobble dice like normal.

Avoid Without Effort (5 Points): Before you declare your actions for the round, designate any one opponent that you can see. For the duration of the round, that opponent cannot hit you in combat. At all. No matter how well they roll or how many attacks they make, they miss. This technique is more difficult to use when confronting a mob; the character may choose to designate a group of Unworthy Opponents instead, and may then ignore any one attack that group directs against him. Area attacks and magical attacks that cannot be dodged are unaffected by this. This technique may be combined with others.
Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

This esoteric, alchemy-like discipline can be used with a variety of Knowledge skills (usually Student or Expert ) like Brewing, Herbalism, Poisons and even Healing. Also called the “alchemical skill” This is to represent the alchemical overlap all these skills have. Most of these abilities require a laboratory or workshop of some sort.

Although Rigorous Apothecary is solidly Knowledge based, it can be combined with Student or Expert skills in alchemistry, herbalism, animal handling and poisons. The only limit is that the Esoteric Discipline cannot be higher than the governing skill. So an apothecary with Student: Poisons 3 and Expert: Herbalism 2 is limited by his Esoteric Discipline ranks by 3 regarding poisons, and 2 with plants.

Some concoctions and poisons (see descriptions in REIGN 296 to 298) have secret methods of production like Opetkan Assassin Dust or Milk of the Gravedigger Queen. Knowledge of these drugs requires an additional secret (rank 1 to 2 should be sufficient) to be bought before the apothecary possesses the knowledge. Some even require specific levels of Wealth to manufacture. 

The Doctrine of Signatures (One point)
The knowledge of various flora and fauna, and the specific effects on the body, give the apothecary a +1 die bonus to identify various drugs and poisons safely or +2d if it relates directly to his alchemical skill. He can also milk the various liquid sources if he has a special kit (Possession 1: Alchemical tools).

Also, the apothecary can brew mixtures. This allows the apothecary to brew various poisons, potions and concoctions from a set of base ingredients. This can, less threateningly, be used to brew various beers (Possession 3: Brewery).

Distillation of Potions (Two points)
By boiling and condensing and tapping off the mixtures, the apothecary can improve a drug's Potency rating. To distill a more powerful version of a drug the apothecary must roll his Knowledge + Alchemy with the current Potency as the Difficulty. If he exceeds the Difficulty, the Potency is increased by +1. Potency can be raised any number of times but the 10 dice limit remains in affect.

A failed match means the entire batch is ruined.  A success under the Potency means no increase occurs.

A character with Distillation of Potions can distill spirit liquors like brandy, vodka or whiskey.

Acquired Tolerance (Three points)
Through constant exposure, the Apothecary gains limited resistance to the toxins in drugs. Add the apothecary’s Alchemical skill to his Body + Vigour roll. It does not stack with Accumulated Resistance but both can be used against the same drug or poison if permitted. 

Construct Antidote (Four points)
By using some of the original poison or drug and applying a rigorous set of principles and ingredients the apothecary can create an antidote. The antidote’s Potency works as Gobble Dice against the targeted drug’s Potency. If all the drug’s dice are Gobbled by the antidote, only the minor effect occurs.

Accumulated Resistance (Five points)
The apothecary has been so inured by various toxic compounds he has acquired an innate resistance to all forms of poisons and drugs. Simply deduct the Apothecary’s Body + Vigour off the drug’s Potency to find the remaining Potency. If the Potency is reduced to 0 or less, roll Potency anyway to see if the apothecary actually suffers minor effects. This does not stack with Acquired Tolerance but both can be used against the same drug.
[[Supplement #4|]] was the original source for Roloneepo, but the text is reproduced below.

Fighting on a ship at sea is challenging, and the wilder the seas, the harder it is to move upward, keep your footing, and resist falling.  These difficulties are compounded if the deck is wet, cluttered, or fouled with tangling lines.  But some clever sailors practiced accepting the movements of the sea, and viewing crowded objects as an opportunity instead of an obstacle.  This was the genesis of “roloneepo,” which is a conjoined word that means, “kicking sailor” in the fodandutikanitandu language.

A roloneepo fighter staggers, seeming to lurch randomly into any nearby wall, table, railing or curtain.  He then uses these props to haul himself up, conceal a strike, move away from an opponent or interpose something between himself and his foe.  It’s frustrating to fight someone who seems to flow like water, and more so when  he grabs a railing and swings both feet up into your gut.

Roloneepo is used with Coordination+Unarmed Strike.  Despite the name, it can be used with punches as well as kicks.
Sailor Foot (1 point): At sea, the sailor instinctively times his attacks to blend with the rhythm of the ocean’s swells, adding force just when his attacker is off balance.  If there’s anything nearby to climb on or swing from, roloneepo shows how to direct the energy of the movement into a strike.  If there’s something to jump off, push against, or temporarily support oneself with while both legs move, the sailor can take advantage.

Furthermore, since most sailors work barefoot when the temperature allows it, their feet are usually gnarled and tough.  If they’re shod, their kicks become even more vicious.

The sailor never takes a penalty for fighting on a moving surface or for combining the Climb skill with his Unarmed Strike roll.  Kicks do +1S if the attacker has sturdy shoes on.  

Sailor Foot can be used at any time, even in conjunction with one other Martial Technique or Esoteric Discipline.  However, it only helps if the character is making a Unarmed Strike roll.

Watch His Step (2 points): Trips and foot-sweeps are common in many fighting styles.  Roloneepo just does them with extra assertiveness.

Whenever the sailor succeeds at a Called Shot to locations 1 or 2, he does the damage for his strike and gets all the effects of a Trip.
Motion of the Ocean (3 points): When dodging and weaving, the Ob-lob astutely uses any ship movement or local objects to his greatest benefit.  Seemingly erratic and random, his stumbles and hops always incorporate a sly attack.

When combining an attack with a Dodge maneuver, the Ob-lob can’t be targeted by the Aim maneuver.  Any Called Shot is resolved as if its Height was 1 less (that is, an attack to location 4 hits location 3, a hit to location 10 hits the torso and not the head, while a hit to location 1 misses entirely).  These benefits take place even if the character rolls no sets.

Hit to Block (4 points): Beyond adding aggression to avoidance, there lies the trick of using aggression for avoidance.  Now the Ob-lob block also attacks, with tremendous strength and leverage.

When making a combined attack and Parry, all sets can be used for both.  That is, if more than one Gobble Die is used to ruin an attack, it’s also treated as a simultaneous attack against the person blocked.  Single Gobble Dice used to ruin sets aren’t given this advantage.

Spider Kick (5 points): The sailor grabs a rope or simply leans back against a convenient wall, table or stable person in order to plant a foot in his opponent’s belly -- and then walk up his torso with a series of follow-up kicks.

The character makes a Called Shot attack against location 7, with usual penalties.  This can be part of a multiple action, if the appropriate penalties are applied.  If the character hits location 7, he simultaneously makes hits at locations 8, 9 and 10.  These attacks do damage as if their Width was one less than the 7 set, but 1x sets still do damage.

Example: Molokutai leans back against the ship’s rail and executes a lovely Spider Kick against an aggressive fellow sailor.  Her Coordination+Unarmed Strike pool is 8.  She takes a die out for her multiple action, sets one to 7 and rolls the remaining 6d.  Getting 1,3,4,6,6,7,0, she hits with a 2x7.  If it’s not blocked or ruined, she does 2S to her opponent’s torso for the 2x7 (she’s barefoot) and then another 2 Shock (a 1x8 and 1x9) to the chest, plus one to the head.  

Later, the guy comes back for more punishment, she’s got shoes on and rolls a 2,2,4,5,7,7,8.  Now her 3x7 does 4S to the torso, and he immediately takes a 2x hit to each of his locations 8, 9 and 10.  That’s a total of 10S to the chest and 3S to the head.  He’s gasping and barely conscious.
The Secret Gods of [[Broadland]] are only worshiped directly by their masked servants, the politically powerful and astute [[Faceless Clergy]].  No one but the Faceless are permitted to know the names of the Secret Gods, what they control, or even how many of them there are.  The public is told that the Secret Gods care for all who act righteously and defend even the lowliest as much as the mightiest, but beyond that, the people of Broadland know nothing.  On occasion, a Faceless Priestess may ask (or demand) some task, sacrifice or ritual.  The requests of the Faceless range from the petty to the epic, the cryptic to the obvious.  The people of Broadland obey often enough that it's expected, and disobey often enough to keep the Faceless honest.

Shadowbinders are a school of magic presented in the first batch of REIGN supplementary material, and you can [[download the file on them here|]].  They're from the [[Sunless Plains]], one of the five kingdoms of [[The Empire]] and operate by inviting spirits of darkness to inhabit their bodies.  The spirits get to vicariously experience the world of the flesh.  The enchanters get powers over darkness, notably the ability to conjure forth still more dark spirits which can animate corpses, terrify  enemies, and bite people.
This [[Truil]] holiday is celebrated on the first new moon of Dyingmonth to observe the anniversary of [[Raungmüt]]'s adultery.  In the deepest darkness of the year, the Truils believe their goddess has her face so fully turned from the world that she cannot observe her children below.  Any sins committed on Kag Ungkrag are therefore held to no divine reckoning.

(Mortals, of course, hold their own grudges as they see fit.  But avenging a wrong done on the Shameless Day is believed to face the goddess' judgment as if it was performed upon an innocent.  Many such revenges are therefore saved up until the next Kag Ungkrag.)  

Wise Truils understand that you can understand much about a community by witnessing its Kag Ungkrag behavior.  When all engage in wildness and passionate sexual excesses, it indicates a group bound by trust.  When there is much violence and cruelty, it is a momentary symptom of an ongoing illness -- jealousy, resentment, and secret grudges can all burst into fruition during the Shameless Day.  If it's a day of caution when most hunker down and keep to themselves, it shows a community of no great closeness, but with general contentment.  Most groups, of course, have some violence, some caution and some libidinous outbursts.

Children born on the ninth full moon after Dyingmonth are blessed with a blameless conception and are often held to a higher moral standard than their peers.  But by the same token, as adults they may find it easier to find positions of authority if they are known for being sinless born.
Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

Silent Art of the Unseen
Also known as the Unseen Silence, it is a Stealth-based esoteric discipline developed by the School of Night Knives. It is a combination of guerrilla military tactics and urban sports used by cadres of these informal “thieves guilds." Some of the training has drifted into those whose careers are professionally criminal.

The Unseen Silence focuses in both moving silently while being unseen. It isn’t as powerful as a Discipline that just specialises on one or the other but it does work those instances when it would require multiple actions to do both.

This esoteric discipline uses Coordination + Stealth when moving silently and moving unseen at the same time – this is called Unseen Silence. The size of the Unseen Silence’s dice pool is referenced with some effects.

The Quickest Roach is Invisible (One point)
Add +1 to the Width of your Unseen Silence stealth set regarding timing effects. 

An Uncanny Sense of Being Catlike (Two Points)
The minimum Height of the Unseen Silence roll is equal to the Coordination + Stealth dice pool.

Example: Aadde Zarra has Coordination 3 and Stealth 3 so she would roll a pool of 6 dice. The Height of any set she rolled would be upgraded to 6 if she rolled lower than 6.

An Unspoken Word is Never Missed (Three Points)
You may add Hearing or Sight to the Width of the Unseen Silence’s set for timing purposes. It stacks with Quickest Roach.

Example: Aadde Zarra has Hearing 2 and Sight 3, so, add 3 (Quickest Roach and Hearing 2) to the Width of any Unseen Silence roll for timing purposes.

Like a Snake in Reeds (Four Points)
You can use the +1 timing Width from Quickest Roach to improve the timing of another Body or Coordination skill roll (most often Athletics, Climb, Dodge, Endurance, Fight, Parry, Run or Weapon).  The Body or Coordination action has to immediately follow the Stealth roll, and still needs to get a rolled set.

The Distance to the Eye of the Hawk (Five Points)
Any improvement to an Unseen Silence set or a set modified by Unseen Silence is considered a rolled Width, not just for timing.

Example: Aadde Zarra can add either +3 to the Width of any Unseen Silence set (from An Unspoken Word) or a +1 to the Width of a subsequent but related Body or Coordination set (from Snake in the Reeds).
a resource for the game by Greg Stolze

The Smoke Sculptors are a school of magic hailing from the [[Western Marches]] in [[The Empire]].  They concern themselves with giving smoke the qualities of solid matter, conjuring weapons, siege machinery, or pieces of art out of smoke using sinuous hand and body gestures.  They're detailed in the second supplement [[People of the Sword|]].
This comes courtesy of Chris Cooper.  For advice on integrating it into your game, check out [[Esoteric Disciplines for Sorcery]].

Sorcerous Wefting allows sorcerer’s to circumvent some spell casting restrictions. By aligning himself with techniques, the sorcerer can rely on greater magic utility without  specializing in the primal energy of magic.

Determined weaving (1 points)
If the sorcerer is struck during his casting, he may opt to raise the spell’s Intensity by +1 rather than lose a point of Width off his casting set.

Cunning magic (3 points)
The sorcerer can use sorcery as part of a multiple action provided the other action is not an attacking skill. Normal multiple actions conditions apply.

Multiple casting (5 points)
If a spell has a combative casting time, the sorcerer can try and cast it multiple times as long as it’s the same spell. If the sorcerer requires a Skill roll as part of the spell, each additional spell requires an additional set after the second. So, if a Flame Dancer requires a dance action for his spells, and he’s casting two fiery spheres, he needs a total of three sets, the quickest of which must be Dance.
Southport is a busy trading port for the [[Heluso Confederacy]], and particularly for [[Green River]].  Goods from across the sea and up and down the coast flow through its copious and unusual harbor, the [[underdocks]].

In addition to its economic value, Southport is a site of great religious significance to the primary faith of Green River, reverence for The Bull That Mounts The World.  In addition to the massive temple atop the walled-in capital hill, Southport hosts the Field of Holy Valor where, every three years, the ruler of Green River is sacrificed on the horns of a flawless white bull bred for killing viciousness.  When not used for this sacred purpose, the Field is used for more mundane sporting events, often displays of equine skill.
Sovereignty is one of the five [[Qualities]] that [[Companies]] possess.  It's one of the more abstract Qualities, as it measures loyalty and dedication and collective spirit... all elements that are hard to picture in and of themselves, but which have a way of coloring decisions and influencing action the way the more quantified Qualities don't.  Sovereignty is a measure of group identity.  If Sovereignty is strong, the members of the group might be willing to die for it.  If it's low, they're one grumble away from leaving in disgust, if not actively rebelling.
The Stoneheart Guardians are a religious order that reveres [[Dindakuan]], sacrificing human warmth and human weakness to better pursue their god's goal of subduing the peoples of the world under the five families of [[Dindavara]].  They never sleep.  They're detailed in the second supplement [[People of the Sword|]].
Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

The infamous blinded monks of the Beggar God wander the lands appearing as broken and wasted as their lay brethren -- often carrying a bowl and marked with the blindfold. It is said they do their god's secret work under his secret name, Justice. Some say they murder expertly for cold money. But everyone says the monks can walk in darkness and move blinded as the seeing can in daylight. They are known for having some sort of eye symbol - even highly abstracted or symbolised -- about them or drawing them constantly. Rumours say the monks are able to use these false eyes to see for them.

As an esoteric discipline, Sublime Blindness uses a variety of Sense skills.

As a rule, the blind suffer a 4 Difficulty to all actions which require sight and an additional 2d if the action involves distance. To learn Sublime Blindness, a character must (1) have a Sight skill of zero (2) Scrutinize and Direction of no more than 3, and (3) no Master Dice in any of those skills. Sublime Blindness does not work if the monk can see clearly.  However, once a technique has been learned, the monk can improve his Sight with experience points as usual.  But once Sight goes above zero, no further steps in the path can be learned unless the Sight skill drops to nothing again.

Invisible Radiance (One point)
The Sublime Blinded can still roll Sense-based skills (including Sight) in conditions of visual impairment and their sets have +1W better timing.

Gossamer Sensation (Two points)
The Blinded Monk's Sight skill reduces the difficulty from visual impairment on a point-for-point ratio.

The Silken Touch of Movement (Three points)
For every point the Blinded Monk chooses to reduce his Sense stat he can offset 1d in penalties for being visually impaired with his other skills. The monk can reduce up to 2d of penalties in this way.  Both the reduction in Sense and the reduction in penalties last about fifteen minutes.

Accuracy of the Perfectly Blind (Four points)
The blind monk's techniques are so refined that in non-combative actions her Direction and Scrutinize skills are no longer penalized for blindness.

The God's Unseen Eyes (Five points)
With training, the Blinded Monk awakens some sort of  sixth sense. The Blind Assassin (as they're called in street plays) can use his Sense+Sight pools when in visually impaired environments, but at a Slow 1 rate. The completely blind beggar monks can "see" colourless but sculpted silhouettes. At this stage they can buy MDs in the proscribed skills and thus even pick up the textures of colour and the patterns of writing.
Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

The [[Sunwise Healers]], also called sungazers by the dull and ignorant foreign masses, have unique magical skills that often take them far away to foreign lands - especially those who value independence and enterprise over the squabbling between the begging hordes, the Concordance's Church of the Sun Mother Resurgent, the orthodox Church of Sun Mother, the Supernal Fellowship and the Wronged. As such, they are forced to rely more and more upon the spirit that dwells within them. Through dedication they can improve this interaction with the sun spirit inside.

Ruhini sand can be bought outside the Ruhini desert. As a useful commodity, a sack of ten handfuls costs one wealth (or less depending on supply and taxation) outside the Ruhini. As the distance from [[Milonda]] increases, the handfuls diminish.  A merchant in the [[Truil]] wastes may charge one Wealth for one handful if it's available there at all.  Fortunately for Sunwise travelers, the spirit within them can easily recognize active sand from counterfeit. 

Night Hidden Sun (One point)

Through understanding or berating, the sorcerer convinces his spirit to dims its light, negating the typical sunwise glow in the dark. This is uncomfortable for the spirit and cannot be kept dim for long but good enough to negate the -1d Stealth penalty for a scene - enough to hide the healer from casual glances until a safe hideaway can be found.  He cannot use any spells while the light is dimmed, however.

Noon's Heat (Two points)

By willing the spirit to radiate its heat, the healer can focus a burst of energy to set fire to kindling or raise a small blister on exposed skin.  (It won't cause real injury.)  This technique can also stave off hypothermia for a number of hours equal to the Width of the roll, if it is done in an relatively small enclosure. 

Sungazing privation (Three points)  

If the Sunwise eats a handful of Ruhini sand he can either delay off the hungry spirit from consuming him if he lacks sunlight (for imperfectly Attuned) or he can ignore food and drink for a week (for flawless attunement or imperfectly attuned who get enough sun).  

Inviolate benevolence (Four points)

Just being in the presence of the sunwise's glow has a beneficial effect on the sick and maimed. Add the sunwise's Sorcery skill onto any Healing or Vigour roll while he is within touching distance. The healer also has this affect on himself.

Adulterer of the Ruhini (Five points)

Because the lack of Ruhini sand is a concern outside the desert, the Sunwise learn to get by adulterating their stores. By successfully rolling a Sunwise magic pool, each handful of sand can be watered down into a number of handfuls equal to the biggest of the set's Height or Width. No sets mean the sand cannot be adulterated or it has been already. Stacks with Sungazer privation. 
Hidden forever from the light of day, the Sunless Plains are one of the five kingdoms of [[The Empire]]. They share extremely short borders with [[Uldholm]] to the southwest and [[Dindavara]] to the northwest.  Due west, between those civilized lands, is the [[Lightless Jungle]] a place that, if not exactly a hell you can walk to, is close enough for any sensible person.  Their broadest borders by far are to the north and south, both connecting to their historical enemies, the [[Western Marches]].  To the east they border their fellow dark state, the [[Nation of Pahar]], and also the [[Center]] Kingdom.

In earlier days, their rivalry with the [[Western Marches]] took the form of direct, open and extremely zestful warfare.  Today, as states of The Empire, they behave like struggling siblings under a mother's watchful eye.  On the surface, one big happy family (and given the number of political marriages intended to settle things down, the disputants are often literally family, if distant), behind closed doors their relations are characterized by rudeness, disdain, malice, distrust, falsehood, entrapment and ruthless manipulation.

The Sunless soil is rich, and needs to be without direct sunlight.  The reflected light from the ocean in their sky is sufficient to see across the misty moors by day, but their primary crop is the godsthumb mushroom, a fungus with a pinkish, fleshy texture and an interesting bitter/beefy flavor.  Godsthumbs often grow as tall as six feet high, and under careful cultivation can reach nine tall, three feet thick.  Other cash crops include: Spotted frill mushrooms, which are distilled into a rich, potent wine that can, on good years, add an intensified sense of color to ordinary inebriation; Blackdrop mold, which is tricky to raise in quantities but much sought for its curative properties; and sweet spirals, finger-length toadstools shaped like drillbits, bright red with white spots and second in sweetness only to sugarcane.  

Some Sunless landowners have adopted the great [[munguth]] slugs from the [[Pahar]], though they don't grow as big in the Plains.  Their most commonly cultivated animals are a hand-sized insect called the waxlighter.  It's possible to eat them, if there's nothing else, but their value lies in illumination.  When they mate, waxlighters emit greenish yellowish flashes similar in intensity to a lit candle.  Keeping a dozen around the home can cut down on fuel costs when it's warm.  Their real value comes when they shed their skins, however.  The chrysalis of the waxlighter can be lit just like a taper, emitting about an hour of cold, blue-white light.  

The culture of the Sunless Plains blends an appreciation for the melodramatic and the blasé.  The well-to-do of the Plains are expected to be involved in passionate love affairs, treacherous political maneuvers and clandestine business activities as a matter of course.  At the same time, such a person is also expected to be casual and devil-may-care, when not blanketed in dark shrouds of hopelessness and despair.  (Peasants are typically sullen and long-suffering, but patient and dignified.)  Everyone wears a lot of black, preferably incorporating something -- a cloak, a coat, sleeves, a skirt -- that can be described as 'sweeping.'
Sunwise Healers are, to the best of most scholars' knowledge, the only magicians on either continent who can erase injury with magic power.  They harness the power of the life-giving sun to knit flesh and restore bone, but to do so for others they must mediate its power through the native sand near the desert city of [[Punga]].  That town is far nearer than any other to the Mount of Rays, which is the only place new Sunwise Healers can initiate themselves.

The process of becoming Sunwise is risky and harsh, but not complicated.  One simply climbs to the summit of the Mount of Rays (the hottest place on the hottest continent) and stares into the sun.  If the solar spirits are intrigued, one of them enters the adept's body and resides there until death, providing a pattern for reshaping the magic of light.  If the spirits aren't interested, one more blind seeker stumbles back to Punga.  (Many of them then travel on to [[Upunzi]].)  

It's not hard to imagine that people who are loved, respected, fortunate, sane, happy and well-educated rarely gamble their eyes to gain magic healing powers.  Far more commonly, the Sunwise are people who had nothing to lose, and people with nothing to lose are often very pushy when they have something to gain.
A suuldru looks like a manta ray, with a pair of stout, rending arms underneath, flanking a round toothy maw like an eel.  In the wild, suuldru hunt in groups of seven to fifteen, surrounding schools of fish to so they can’t escape, ganging up on small whales or even attacking large sharks.  

The Sh’vani tribes have domesticated Suuldru for riding.  For more information, read [[Supplement #6|]]. 

Suuldru Hit Locations


Location          Roll Height          Number of Wound Boxes
Head               10                      5
Body               7-9                     8
Right Claw       6                        5
Left Claw         5                        5
Right Wing       3-4                     7
Left Wing         1-2                     7

Body 3-5               Coordination 2-4               Sense 3
          Swim MD               Grab 2-3                    Hear 3
          Fight 2-4                                                 Sight 3

Trainability: 2-4
Tricks: 3-6
Special: AR1 on hit locations 5, 6 and 10
Move: 10' per round in the water, plus an additional 5' for each point of Width in a Swim set.
Attacks: Claws do W+1K
For a [[Company]], the Territory Quality measures not just raw land mass, but also the value and usefulness of the Company's holdings.  A one-acre farm that's fertile and has a small tool shop and cider house on it could be worth more in Territory terms than a hundred miles of bleak and barren desert.  It doesn't have to be land, either.  A fleet with no landholdings still has a Territory score, representing the resources it brings to bear on long term growth.  In modern parlance, this is 'infrastructure'.
[img[black thirst.tiff|]]
The Black Thirst is an official Martial Path for REIGN.  You can download [[a nicely formatted .pdf of it here|]] in Supplement #1, but the text of that follows here.

The polearm fighters of the Sunless Plains are characterized by a curious nihilistic flair and by a taste for death (both their own and their enemies’) chased with flamboyant recklessness.  “The Black Thirst” refers to an exhilarated, ecstatic state of bloody viciousness in which one’s own safety not only ceases to be a concern, but actually loses coherence as a concept.
Those who cultivate this battle-madness practice it with Coordination + Polearm.

Reckless Abandon (1 point): By flinging himself heedlessly into the fray, the warrior adds +2d to his attack.  However, if anyone declares a physical attack on him on a round in which he uses Reckless Abandon, that enemy gets a +1d bonus (even if the attack is made with Fight or a missile weapon).  The enemy gets this advantage even if he stated his attack before Reckless Abandon was declared.  Reckless Abandon cannot be used as part of a multiple action.

The Strength of Madness (2 points): The typical man of the Sunless Plains is a slender specimen, often with an unhealthy complexion.  They’re not known for physical prowess. Unless, of course, they’re attacking with bloody froth spraying from their mouths where they bit through their own lips in excitement.  That doesn’t happen every time the Strength of Madness is invoked, but people who fight them get used to seeing it.

Anyone struck by a blow backed with the Strength of Madness loses two dice from sets instead of one.  This technique doesn’t work on Unworthy Opponents. 

Passionate Assault (3 points): A Passionate Assault adds a +3d bonus to the attacker’s Polearm pool (or offsets up to three dice of penalties).   The next person who strikes the Plainsman using Passionate Assault does two extra points of damage (Shock or Killing, according to the weapon used), as long as he strikes the round that Passionate Assault was used, or the round after.  Passionate Assault cannot be combined with any defensive maneuver.

Black Slaking (4 points): Every time the character kills someone, he adds +1 Killing damage to all his polearm attacks for the remainder of the combat.  It’s cumulative.  If he kills someone on the first round, he gets a +1 damage bonus on the second round.  If he kills two people that round, he gets a +3 damage bonus thereafter and so on.  This bonus can never exceed +10.

Dying to Kill (5 points): The mad warrior adds +4d to her next attack and produces a Morale Attack equal to 4+ her Command Stat.  All attacks that hit her the round she declared she’s Dying to Kill do an additional point of damage (Shock or Killing, depending on the weapon).
[img[Ciovla_rock.jpg|]]At least three nations in [[Milonda]] claim to be the homeland of Ciovla, the goddess of healing and kindness.  Ciovla wrestled the Gravedigger Queen (or, in variations of the story, other funerary deities) into submission at the very gates of the deadworld to save the soul of a beggar girl whose life was taken in error.  Her temples are widespread in many nations where varied religions are tolerated (meaning they thrive in [[The Empire]] and [[Upunzi]], less so in the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]]).

The center of the Ciovla religion is its temples, all of which are as lavishly decorated as circumstances permit.  A typical temple has an open area where any can come and talk to a priest or priestess (but not touch: The clergy are not permitted to touch the unclean except in emergency circumstances).  Adjacent to this is a public bath where people can confide their minor sins and illnesses to the holy people, wash themselves, and then be forgiven.  Once washed, touching the ministers is permitted, as is admission to the Inner Temple.  

The Inner Temple is a small chamber (or a series of them in more opulent churches) where the faithful can be assigned penances for more serious sins, or consult on more grievous wounds and illnesses.  For the most horrible of faults, admission to the Holiest Presence is required.

The Holiest Presence is the most secure room of the temple, often small but dominated by a statue of the goddess with an altar before it.  In large temples, this room is constantly being cleaned: Every hour, a different novice enters to wash it, sometimes in different ways and chanting hymns specific to that time of day.  In small temples, it's simply cleaned thoroughly each day.  Those who are most wounded in body or spirit are brought here.  The physically wounded are subjected to the secret skills of Ciovla, while epic sinners receive epic tasks to mitigate their guilt.

Some who follow Ciovla's teachings never leave the temple, but this is not required of every priestess and priest.  Those who travel outside are, however, expected to cleanse themselves before entering the Inner Temple.

The healers of Ciovla are taught techniques for mending the human body with tools and implements, many of which appear fearsome or cruel to the uninitiated.  To learn the higher reaches (the four and five point Disciplines) the priest must visit a House of Death.  Houses of Death are sort of anti-temples where bodies are brought for shriving before burial.  However, the bodies are cut open and explored before burial, in rituals that seek the fatal injury or cause of death, and it is by seeing the inner workings of the body laid bare that the greatest skill is attained.  (After studying at the House of Death, the Ciovla worshipper must cleanse himself through a two-week fast and purification ceremony before once more passing into a temple.)  

(Working in a House of Death handling corpses is a frequent punishment meted out in the Inner Temple.  Houses of Death are administered by defrocked Ciovla Priests, those who have committed the gravest sins, such as betraying the faith or taking a human life.  These fallen who serve in the Houses of Death can only be forgiven when they, themselves, perish.)  

The Blessings of Ciovla are used with the Healing Skill and, except where noted, require expensive and specialized tools and materials with which to cut, clean, bless and sew up wounds.

In the Presence (1 Point): Working in a temple, the holy energy of Ciovla fills the surgeon with goodwill and peace.  Or maybe it's just easier to heal someone when you're in a quiet, clean and familiar place with capable assistants.  In any event, a Ciovla holy man who makes a Healing roll in Inner Temple can add a +1d bonus to his pool.

Cruel Mercy (2 Points): These techniques can be used outside the Temple.  Indeed, they were perfected by Saint Mogantiu who took Ciovla's words to the battlefield, saving the lives of the wounded on both sides of the conflict.  They are crude, but effective, using fire to cauterize wounds.  

With a successful Healing roll, Cruel Mercy can remove up to the roll's Height in Killing damage from a hit location, replacing it with twice as much Shock damage.

Before the Goddess (3 Points): The priest's knowledge of healing extends to encompass his understanding of history, nature, and human belief.  As long as he's operating in a Temple, a Width bonus equal to his Lore Skill can be added to any Healing success for treating injuries or trauma.

Mogantiu's Service of the All (4 Points):  The same woman who used hot coals to save lives was noted for using whatever came to hand as a splint, cast, or (in dire circumstances) scalpel.  (Mogantiu was martyred in an Opetkan prison, if you're curious.)  Like Cruel Mercy, the ability to whip up makeshift surgical implements doesn't require a Temple for use.  With Mogantiu's Service of the All, a successful Heal roll gives bonus dice equal to its Width to someone's Vigor roll to overcome injury.  It doesn't help with illness.

Defy the Gates of Death (5 Points):  The holiest, most secret techniques aren't used lightly, as deals with death always have consequences, and they most often fall on the person saved.  But for the desperate, someone who has died of an injury can get carried to the Temple and possibly walk out under his own power.

A priest who decides to Defy the Gates of Death takes a -1d penalty to his Healing roll for every hour that patient has been dead.  If the roll succeeds, the patient lives again, but at cost.  The resurrected loses a point of Knowledge and one Wound Box from his torso location.
Imperial culture exalts some carefully selected aspects of the eternal female.  Beauty and fertility are celebrated, often in the person of the Empress.  Other traits, such as kindness and understanding get less play, but the notion of ‘soft power’—pursuing goals through persuasion and personal connection, rather than an authority’s dictum—is alive and well and gleefully pursued.

Not everyone is comfortable with touchy-feely personal organization, however.  For one thing, it’s high maintenance.  If you’re not constantly maintaining alliances, the risk of losing your companionship seems less pressing when you finally ask for a favor.  Plus, some people are just bad at it.

A backlash is forming.  Some men in the Center City have banded together to stand against back-room dealing in [[The Empire]]’s jungle of conflicting, overlapping demesnes, provinces, regency wards, dominions and judicial districts.


This clique has, however, conflated one goal (“simplify and streamline governance until it’s clear who does what and who answers to whom”) with a gender grudge.  They feel that, because The Empire is not and can never be ruled by a man, there is an inherent social bias against men wielding power.  Their “Civic Brotherhood” is meant as an antidote, an arrangement whereby men can support each other without getting entangled in the morass of inferred obligation and oblique duty.  Many of the Brothers are retired from the military, where the hierarchy is, if not exactly clear, at least less baroque.

The system is, at bottom, very simple.  Admission into the Civic Brotherhood is by invitation only.  When you join, you pledge your personal allegiance to the person who recruited you and the person directly above him.  These people are respectively referred to as your “Proctor” and your “Primogenitor.”  They, in turn, answer to Proctors and Primogenitors of their own, all the way up to the Arch–Primogenitor, a retired Quartermaster General from the [[Western Marches]] named Rugose Readywing.  The first layer he recruited are “First Brothers.”  Those brought into the group by First Brothers are known as “Second Brothers” and so on all the way down.  

The Arch–Primogenitor knows the names of every Brother (though not by heart—a large part of the reason he started the Brotherhood is that he’s not good at the one-on-one, and that includes a terrible memory for names.  He has an elaborate, coded descent chart in his basement.)  First Brothers are permitted to know the identities of as many other Brothers as they wish, but are only allowed to write down the Second Brothers they recruited (and the Third Brothers their Seconds recruited, and so on down the line).  

A Proctor, of whatever level, can’t just take it onto himself to invite in one of his friends.  He’s not even supposed to tell anyone about the Brotherhood until he’s gotten permission to issue that person an invitation.  Before that happens, he has to present a case that the candidate is worthy of admission to his own Proctor and Primogenitor, and each of them has to get someone of their own rank (that is, a Third Brother Primogenitor needs another Third Brother to give a go-ahead, or a Fifth Brother Proctcor needs another Fifth Brother).  With five Brothers testifying to a man’s quality, he can be admitted.  

There are guidelines for admission, of course.  Invitations are, in theory, extended only to men who meet the following criteria.

	-Over the age of 16 years.
	-Of good birth.  (This has recently been clarified to mean either titled nobility or untitled men with no identified criminal relatives within two generations.)
	-Of good character.  No one who has been convicted of an Imperial crime is admissible, nor is anyone whose spouse or children have been so convicted unless that relative was repudiated (i.e. divorced or disowned).  Indiscreet concubinage is also frowned upon.
	-Fiscally responsible.  Impoverished gentlemen can look elsewhere.  Their type are not welcome in the Civic Brotherhood.

	Once admitted, a new Brother is told of his generation.  (That is, how far he is from the Arch–Primogenitor.  Currently, the most distant are the Sixth Brothers.)  He is introduced to the four superiors who accredited his admission (his Proctor, his Primogenitor, and the two Brothers who share their generation) and to any other Brothers of his generation that the Proctor sees fit.  He is permitted to know Brothers of his generation, no matter who invited them in, but he’s not supposed to know anyone above his Primogenitor’s level, and only two equal to that level (and two of his Proctor’s level).  

	So far this is all rather complicated and fiddly.  Other than judge one another and join, what does the Brotherhood do?  The answer is clear.  They help one another.  The privileges and prerogatives of membership boil down to two possibilities.

	1) Brothers can ask for specific aid from any Brother they know.  The Brother is under no obligation to help, but if he doesn’t, he must give a concise, respectful and clear explanation of why not.
	2) Brothers can command any Brother to whom they are Proctor or Primogenitor.  Refusing a direct command from someone in that position is grounds for immediate ejection from the Brotherhood, with no appeal.  

	This is the sort of thing that gives a thinking man pause.  Fortunately, there are limits—clearly stated limits!—to the commands that can be issued.  Are you ready for a list?  Here’s the list.

	1) Personal matters are off limits.  You can’t ask for help meeting a woman or with your marital problems or require an underling to talk sense into your wayward son.
	2) No lawbreaking.  The Civic Brotherhood is strongly pro-law and insists that its members remain as upright as when they were admitted.
	3) No treason against nation, Empire or family.  
	4) Nothing sexual.
	5) Nothing that necessitates personal injury, or which is overwhelmingly likely to result in personal injury.
	6) Nothing that requires the loss or risk of more than a tenth of the Brother’s current monetary value.

	Other than that, anything goes.

	Joining offers access to four higher-placed ‘men of quality,’ each of whom may have more Brothers at his beck and call.  But it also obligates the new member to obey two of those men, regardless of personal feelings, inconvenience or reasonableness.  If your Primogenitor says “Drop everything, ride deep into Uldholm, bring me a stone from the steps of the Sulderholm governor’s mansion, and bring it back here as soon as possible,” you’re expected to do it. 

	The remarkable thing about the Civic Brotherhood is that it works at all.  The degree of trust required is pretty remarkable.  But the Arch–Primogenitor was either lucky or skillful in his initial picks.  He selected men who weren’t powerless or abusive.  They don’t need the Brothers to get what they want: They fall back on the Brotherhood to make things easier, when they’d otherwise be difficult.  They, in turn, drew in other men like themselves.

	The Brotherhood is, therefore, full of men who regard it as a convenience, not a necessity.  It’s new (it was founded only a year and a half ago) so nobody is relying on it yet.  As long as there’s a sense that “I could be asked for so much, but they request so little” married to “I could get so much, if I really needed it,” the men within feel more and more loyal to it.  Plus, at the bottom, having a power that’s off limits to women is an unspoken lure.


	The Civic Brotherhood started out with a heavy proportion of ex-military and Western Marchers, and while those majorities have thinned, they’re still present.  More of the Brothers of later generation are still serving in one military or another, and their loyalty has been to their comrades more than their countrymen, which means people of Deerwood and Center are more common in the Brotherhood at lower levels.  So far, the effort to stay restricted to respectable men of means has worked, but with every generation the standards get imperceptibly looser as the Brothers become increasingly eager to obtain the prerogatives of Proctorhood. 


	The Brotherhood is currently all good times, hale fellowship, the pleasure of shared discretion and useful favors now and then.  This can’t last.  At some point, someone with an unethical bent is going to enter the group, or someone in the group is going to face a crisis that bends his ethics.  When sketchy orders start flowing downward, the point of decision is going to either corrupt a lot of members, leaving them guilty and resentful towards the Brotherhood, or it’s going to get them ejected.  (In company terms, they may have to choose between Territory and Sovereignty.)  

	Once people get ejected, the question of who they tell and how they tell it is crucial.  One description of the Brotherhood makes it sound like a harmless old-boy network.  Another makes it sound like a dangerous conspiracy.  How is a group of self-righteous soldiers going to deal with a threat to their honor and their secrecy—especially a threat who was once one of their trusted members?  What are the chances someone flies off the handle?  What are the chances that an ambiguous order like “Take care of him” might get interpreted as “Gut him in his own cathedral”?  Only the GM knows.
The Empire is the largest and most powerful political entity known in the setting.  Monopolizing the only land route charted between [[Heluso]] and [[Milonda]], it consists of five nations, distinct but governed by a dizzying array of intermarried, consanguineous and viciously competitive noble families.  On top of it all sits The Empress, a title which is handed from eldest daughter to eldest daughter down through the generations.  There is no Emperor: Instead, The Empress typically establishes a stable of consorts, who vie for her attention, vend what influence they have, and engage in a multitude of petty, conniving acts of palace one-upmanship.
[img[queen serene.jpg|]]
The Empire consists of five nations: [[Deerwood]], [[Center]], the [[Western Marches]], the [[Nation of Pahar]] and the [[Sunless Plains]].  Each has its own native culture, but the cultures of the nations have become as entangled as the bloodlines of the ruling families.

Great though it is, The Empire is much reduced from the days of its greatest glory.  At one time, The Empire had subdued [[Uldholm]], subsumed all but one of the nations that would one eventually form the [[Heluso Confederacy]], conquered the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]], occupied much land now held by the [[Wuhra]] and were in the process of pacifying [[Opetka]].  Of all the nations that currently border The Empire, only [[Dindavara]] held out against being overrun, and even they lost part of [[Danifa]] in the process.

The Empire was able to hold such vast territories during its conquest through the agency of sorcerers known as the [[Bloodcutters]].  Other Imperial schools of enchantment include [[The Way of the Wood]], [[Shadowbinders]], [[Smoke Sculptors]] and The Empress' personal defenders, the [[Crimson Guard]].

Long, long ago, a stranger came to the [[Ussient Forest]].  He had skin of an unwholesome color and strange, flat features, and he said he was a king dethroned.  He and his followers demanded hospitality of the Nuruss tree's ground farmers, not believing their stories of the mighty civilization in the branches above.  This foreign king made use of force against the forest people and abused both their persons and their property, causing them to cry out for relief from the heroes above them.  

Their cries were heard by an ambitious warrior of the middle branches, who stepped forth that very night and sang an elaborate brag-song of the apologies he would wring from the ungracious alien's throat, or else stop it of breath forever.

The onetime king would not apologize and seemed unable to understand the very idea, and so he was killed.  But before his death, there was a battle, and the king's magic warclub made as powerful an impression on the Ussient warrior's mind as upon his flesh.  After killing the king, the warrior claimed the club as his prize and used it to rise to the position of war-leader for the entire Nuruss tree.  The weapon, known as the Heavy-Light club, has been handed down to the every battle champion of Nuruss since.

The curious enchantment of the weapon is this: To he who holds and swings it, it seems as light and responsive as a willow switch.  But to the one who blocks or suffers its blows, it falls with the weight of a leaden bar.

(In game terms, this club does W+3S, 1K and can be wielded one-handed.  Any attack or parry with the Heavy-Light club is timed as if its Width was two greater.)  
	Sir Vow Alterward was a knight, a middle-ranked officer in the [[Deerwood]] army sent to the front with the [[Maemeck Matriarchy]].  He served in sidesaddle infantry—ground troops who rode horses to position, but fought on foot in heavy armor with tower shields.  On a mission to find a pass through foothills he saw the squads on his left and right devastated by Maemeck biauchris, but his commanders refused to order a retreat, even though he’d made it clear that there was no route forward.  No, the generals at the back sent two messengers (the first of whom died en route) to reiterate the order to scout in force for a way through the hills.  So Alterward and his men pushed on, only to return at nightfall with a quarter of his men injured and three dead, to state as a solid fact that there was no way through—just as he’d thought that morning, when his comrades were alive.

	He was disciplined for insubordination and then, when the commanders back in [[Center]] demanded to know why so many soldiers had been lost in fruitless scouting, he was blamed.  Luckily for Altarward, he had a friend in the scribe corps who tipped him off, and he was able to desert, steal a horse, and flee to [[Pahar]] lands.

	It was there that he got his first taste of democracy and he found it unbelievably sweet.


	The family that hid Vow was very courteous and sympathetic, and he’d heard Pahar in his unit talking about how superior it was to pick leaders instead of having to follow any fool who got born right.  That, combined with his resentment towards his officers, made the spectacle of Pahar screaming invective at candidates, ridiculing them and threatening them with bodily harm (all of which are traditional) look wonderful.  Finally, he’d found a system where the leaders were accountable!

	Having developed the convert’s fervor, he grew a nice full beard, forged some travel papers (he’s “Vow Deerleg” now) and headed towards Center City to start the revolution.  That was three years ago.  The interim has been spent working as a bouncer and cook at a variety of taverns.  He didn’t stay at any one too long, just enough time to meet the regulars, find a few who hated their bosses, feel them out about this ‘democracy’ idea (which, he discovered, often sounds better to Deerwood and Eastern Marchers coming from him than it would from an exotic Pahar) and invite them to weekly meetings.  Nothing too formal (at first), just a place to discuss their grievances and try to figure out a better way.

	A few things set Vow apart from other pseudonymous firebrands who want to tear down the unjust system and replace it with one that has a much peachier place for themselves.  For one, he’s a veteran.  He knows how to lead, how to bluster and (should it become necessary) how to take a mule kick to the chest.  For another thing, he’s a real believer in a system that works and has a practical track record he can point to.  He’s a shrewd judge of character and this let him spot the secret police who infiltrated his gang of malcontents.  But perhaps most importantly, he’s lucky enough that he converted those selfsame undercover police spies.  They’ve officially labeled him a harmless crank, systematically underreported attendance at his meetings, and advised him on how to avoid attention from their colleagues.

	Vow’s days of cruising bars on behalf of representative government are over anyhow.  He’s got enough members in his organization that they’re recruiting the people they trust and running meetings of their own.  He’s concentrating on organizing his cells of would-be representatives and voters.  And on keeping his head down.

	This burgeoning political movement calls itself “The Human Earthquake.”  To Vow’s way of thinking, power should come up from underneath instead of falling down like rain and lightning.  He foresees a day when Imperial authority dries up and blows away, and the reliable ground of the People’s Will supports firm new structures in its place.  On that day, the earthquake becomes calm.  Until that day, they may need to knock some buildings down.


	Getting in is a matter of knowing someone who’s already in, but by and large people are just dragging their friends to meetings where people talk up the “Pahar experiment” and ask why only a fifth of [[The Empire]] gets the luxury of government that’s bound to respond to them, instead of the other way around?  Vow is the most persuasive speaker, but he’s gotten a few other passionate rabble rousers and articulate intellectuals in his fold, and they ply their methods as well.  

	To Vow’s surprise, he hasn’t gotten a lot of attention from the farmers and blacksmiths and barrel-staff-carvers.  Instead, most of his followers are educated people looking for opportunity.  Well-tutored but disgraced or disillusioned nobles like himself, low-power mages, merchants who get more money than respect—they all see themselves as people who could thrive if only the well-named and better-connected weren’t insulated from the consequences of bad behavior.

	(There aren’t many Pahar in The Human Earthquake, either.  A few, but there are already Pahar democratic insurgent conspiracies to join.  Not many Pahar who get to Center City are anxious to rock the boat, and Vow’s advisors have encouraged him to make a clean break.  It wasn’t too long ago that the Pahar were chanting slogans and marching in the streets, and police operatives tend to view with suspicion any meeting where too many Pahar language syllables are heard.)

	Once someone shows up, the assumption is that she pays attention and asks her friends about the next event.  Word of mouth gathers the disorganized and disgruntled to be ranted at or reasoned with.  So far, nothing treasonous has been said in public, but there is a second tier of meetings.  As people make friends and gain the trust of the speakers, these familiar faces get into one-on-one conversations.  Those who can mouth the right platitudes find themselves invited to come help organize.  If they want to speak, they can set their own agendas (though Vow and his bent cops carefully coach them on what can and cannot be said in public).  If they have other skills… well, Vow makes a note of that and asks them to stand by.


The Empire has habitually suppressed anti-Empress movements before they have the chance to do anything too damaging, but The Human Earthquake has already grown past the point of being easily squashed.  It’s too numerous, too diffuse, too passionate, too chaotic.  Killing Vow would be a great first step, if it could be done deniably, or in the middle of some public disgrace.  But killing him after a show trial would have the opposite of the desired effect: A man who watched his friends die for The Empire would make stirring speeches from the top of the death pillars, getting more attention as a martyr than he is as a leader.  On the other hand, having him disappear wouldn’t work very well either.  Against the official Empire story that he just abandoned his democratic comrades when he got bored, The Human Earthquake would present a narrative of Vow being alive, in hiding, a living symbol of The Empire’s real frailty.  How fearsome can the [[Crimson Guard]] really be if they can’t find one man?  If that story gains traction, The Empire is really in a bind.  They can’t prove he’s dead without demonstrating their fondness for extrajudicial killings (and of a titled noble, no less!) and, rather directly, supporting his central thesis that Imperial oligarchy is unjust and vicious.  On the other hand, letting his legend grow does them no favors either.  So even if they find out who he is and how large his movement has become, letting him live might be their best option.

Assuming Vow’s continued leadership, and continuing discretion on the part of his police minders, things reach a crisis point in about eight months.  That’s when The Human Earthquake gets enough members that it can no longer hide, just as many of those members start getting fed up with talk and clamor for action.  Depending on leadership decisions they might start a campaign of sabotage and work-stoppages until their demands of representation are met.  They might seize an armory by force and attempt a bloody insurrection.  Or they might strike by night, trying to assassinate the Empress herself.  (Hey, it worked on the last one.)
[img[fanmadestamp.jpg|]]by Jeffrey Straszheim

Scattered throughout the Empire’s Central kingdom are a collection of fencing schools run by well paid sword masters. These schools are popular with various rakes, petty nobles, and other ne’er-do-wells. They teach skill with the great sword and long sword. Frequently, they duel. A code of honor forbids them from wearing armor, and the fights are typically to the first blood.

These techniques use the Coordination + Weapon: Sword pool. (Characters who study this can wear armor, if they choose, although to do so is considered dishonorable in a formal duel.)
Stop Stroke (1 point)
If you choose, you can reduce the damage of your own sword attack to 1 point killing and no shock. You can apply this limit anytime you do damage with your sword, but cannot use it to increase the amount of damage you do.

Intricate Devices (2 points)
When you do a sword based action, you can also do a feint without adding a multiple action penalty to it. This only applies to one feint per round.

Deflecting Blow (3 points)
You can add a parry to any sword attack or feint with no penalty. Also, this parry uses your Coordination + Weapon: Sword skill. Only one can be so added, any further parries use the standard pool and standard multiple action rules. This can be combine with a standard feint, but not with Intricate Devices.

Counterstroke (4 points)
Roll your Sword pool and treat a set as gobble dice, much like a parry. However, you can only remove dice from one single attack made against you. If you spoil that attack, your original set then counts as an attack. It is timed to match the blow you spoiled. If no attacks are made against you, or none succeed to get a match, or you otherwise fail to spoil a match, your counter is wasted. You can combine this with Stop Stroke and Intricate Devices, but not Deflecting Blow.

Masterstroke (5 points)
When you attack with your sword, add 1 width (both for speed and damage) to your set, and remove two dice (instead of one) from your opponent. This cannot be combined with Counterstroke, but can combine with either Intricate Devices or Deflecting blow (but not, of course, both). As with any damaging blow, Stop Stroke can be used with this.
[img[fanmadestamp.jpg|]]by Neal Dalton
Numerous assassination attempts upon Imperial nobles have led to many households restricting the possession of weapons to the house guard and residing nobles.  In response, the nobility, ever fearful of treachery, has developed styles of fighting with so-called "courtly weapons."   Such weapons include apparel and accessories that would be allowed within a household, such as a rope belt, a cane, and even a collapsible fan.
The Noble Fan Style is an exacting martial path.   Those that study it learn to wield it with strong, quick strikes to specific locations for greater effect.  In response to its use as a weapon, the fan has changed over time.  The frames are often made of strong, light woods or even light metals.   When closed, the range in length from 10 to 12 inches and are often as thick and heavy as a small baton (Width +1 Shock).  The frame may also hide small blades at the end so that when an open fan is raked across the skin, it will cut the victim (Width in Shock + 1 Killing).   Nobles often place blinding dust or other powdered poisons within the cloth of the fan so that a quick flourish will release the poison into the air.

(To deliver poison or blinding powder with the fan and no particularly refined technique, make a called shot to the head with the normal penalties.  If it succeeds, the fan does no damage, but the substance takes effect on the next round.  It is possible to use this maneuver with just the Fight skill.)

Fans are wielded with Coordination + Fan.

The Fan Is Mightier Than The Sword (1):   Students of this style learn early on to block weapons with strong flicks of the closed fan.  This enables them to block or parry against weapons that one would not ordinarily think would be stopped by a fan.   This technique allows the wielder to block or parry most melee weapons that require a certain amount of finesse to wield.  Weapons that rely on brute strength (a two-handed cugel or greatsword) are not parried by this weapon.   Common sense should be used when adjudicating this technique.

The Demure Strike (2): During this technique, the wielder obscures the actions of his other hand, which lashes out suddenly to strike the opponent.   Instead of taking a multiple action penalty for combining the fan attack with a Coordination+Unarmed Strike attack, the attacker instead gets a +1d bonus to the pool.

The Flutter (3): The wielder of the fan makes as though he is slapping the face of his opponent with the fan.  Just before the moment of impact, the fan flicks open and rakes across his face.  

The fan holder makes a called shot to the head.  If it hits, in addition to its normal damage the attack takes two dice out of the defenders' sets instead of just one.  If the fan has blades attached, the attacker can use this with the Disfiguring Strike maneuver instead of a normal attack.  If poison or blinding powder is hidden in the fan, it can be delivered as part of this attack as well, without penalty.

The Sudden Stop (4):  This technique requires the wielder to thrust at the throat or the solar plexus of an approaching attacker.   This requires a called shot to the head or chest, with the normal penalty.  If the Sudden Stop succeeds, it's timed to coincide with the attack, even if that attack was quicker or slower.  If it succeeds, then the opponent takes damage as normal, and his sets are reduced by the Width of the strike in addition to the damage of the attack.  The Sudden Stop cannot be used to break weapons.

The Numbing Strike (5): This strike is aimed at the nerves clusters of the opponent's limb and requires a called shot.  A successful attack numbs the targeted limb.   If successful, that limb becomes useless for Width rounds.  Arms and hands are unable to hold or grasp anything.   Legs are unable to provide support.
The One Roll Engine (ORE for short) is a set of rules that governs whether events succeed or fail in the course of a REIGN game.  It uses a handful of ten-sided-dice (also known as d10s) to generate information about a character's action -- how well it succeeded, how quickly it was done and so forth.  Most roleplaying games have a mechanic to determine whether an event happens or not.  ORE is designed to reduce handling time by pulling as much detail as possible out of a single roll.  

There's a free version of ORE available online.  It's called [[NEMESIS|]] and it's optimized for modern-day horror, as opposed to REIGN's fantasy, but it explains the core mechanics and saves me from typing the whole thing in here.
This was created by Kai Tave on RPG.NET.

Created in the Maemeck Matriarchy, the Lashing Steel Path was originally developed by the Matriarchy's famed Briachri riders, who carry long chains with barbed nets into battle against their foes (mostly members of the Imperial army, these days). While practicing with blunted chains on the ground, some warriors experimented with using them solely as dismounted weapons.  The lengthy chains were shortened from 30 feet to a more manageable 12, and the barbed net was replaced with an assortment of devices designed to crush, slice, or impale without unnecessarily entangling the weapon. Though both the weapon and the martial techniques are too complex to be taught to the entire army, the style has developed a small but dedicated following among certain Matriarchy warriors. Some of these warriors have been unfortunate enough to be captured in battle, and rather than be put to death were taken back to the Empire's many gladiatorial arenas, where their unique skills could draw in the crowds. As a result, the techniques, though still uncommon, are beginning to propagate outside the Matriarchy.

Fighting chains can come in several different styles, with the ends sporting assorted weights, blades, hooks, spikes, and unpleasant combinations thereof. The two most common headpieces are heavy, blunt weights (Width + 1 Shock) and sharpened blades of a dagger's length (Width Killing). Some chains come with both ends capped with the same style of headpiece, while some feature a different design on each end for maximum versatility. If a technique utilizes both ends of the chain, or your chain has two different headpieces, you have to specify which end is going to do what. Fighting chains can be used to Trip.

The following techniques are used with Coordination + Fighting Chain

Fluid Strike (1 Point): Fighting chains are excellent weapons for striking from unexpected angles. As a warrior comes to understand this, she learns use the chain's flexibility to her advantage. Any parries or dodges made against her strikes have their Height reduced by 1.

Strength In Flexibility (2 Points): Once a warrior becomes comfortable with the chain, she discovers how truly versatile a weapon it is. The character may use her Coordination + Fighting Chain pool to perform any combat maneuver that could use Coordination + Grapple.

Lightning Strikes Twice (3 Points): Now the warrior sees the value of the chain as a double-ended weapon. The character may make a multiple action consisting of two of the following actions; attack, Slam, Feint, Disarm, or Trip. The character suffers no multiple action penalty for this set of actions. This technique cannot be combined with further actions.

Chains That Bind (4 Points): The character ignores the penalty for attempting to remain standing during a Pin. While maintaining a standing Pin using a chain, the character may continue to attack, parry, or even attempt other maneuvers that she is capable of performing with the other end of the chain (but she may not move or dodge). She suffers no multiple action penalty for maintaining the pin, but may not take further multiple actions or use other Martial Path abilities (except for those that take effect automatically) so long as she maintains the pin.

The Mailed Fist Closes (5 Points): As Chains That Bind, except the character may automatically subject the pinned foe to a Strangle maneuver with a Width equal to her Body at her discretion. This too causes no multiple action penalties.
This was created by Kai Tave on RPG.NET.

The jungles of Heluso and Milonda are home to several species of big cats, which are viewed, depending on the person doing the viewing, as symbols of fortune both good and bad. Regardless of personal views, however, these creatures are universally respected as consummate stalkers and hunters.

So, it isn't entirely surprising that martial sages have, over time, developed a series of fighting techniques designed to emulate the movements and actions of these fearsome beasts. Those who are unfamiliar with the style find it rather awkward, seeing as fighters using it will eagerly throw themselves onto the ground to "invite the cat inside of themselves." Those who have it used against them learn to be more respectful rather quickly, as they discover that the style allows a trained fighter to bring his opponents down to his level… and keep them there.

The Path of the Stalking Cat is used with Coordination + Unarmed Strike.

Invite The Cat Inside (1 Point): The foundational principle of the Stalking Cat path is that, to fight as the cat fights, one must first learn to move as the cat moves. The student learns how to effectively move and maneuver while lying prone or crouched on all fours. The character no longer suffers any dice penalties for fighting in the Downed position. In addition, the character can move while Downed at half his movement rate, though it may be more difficult for her to cross certain kinds of terrain than someone on foot. Voluntarily moving into the Downed position works the same as the Stand maneuver, only in reverse.

Pouncing Tackle (2 Points): Many martial schools train their students how to make their falls softer. Students of the Stalking Cat path learn the opposite, training their falls to become harder and more forceful. This is less useful when landing on solid ground, but more useful when landing on an opponent. The character Tackles an opponent using Coordination + Unarmed Strike. If successful, her opponent suffers additional Shock damage to the torso equal to the character's Body. If the attack generates no sets, or is successfully dodged or parried, the character takes a point of Shock damage to both arms and is Downed.

Springing Tiger Attack (3 Points): Like a tiger leaping up from the grass to catch its prey, the fighter learns to spring unexpectedly from the ground and strike her opponents. From the Downed position, the character makes an attack against a standing opponent. If successful, the attack is considered 1 Width higher for timing purposes. Following this attack, the character may choose to remain Downed or land standing on her feet. This technique may only be used once each combat round, but can be combined with other actions.
An ancillary benefit of this level of training is that the character may now freely combine Standing with other actions without suffering the dice penalty.

Devastating Assault (4 Points): Against fiercer prey, tigers bring the full force of their might to bear, lashing out again and again to lay their quarry low and savaging them mercilessly. The character makes a single attack roll using Coordination + Unarmed Strike. If she does so from the Downed position, she receives a +1d bonus. Every set rolled may either be applied as a Slam maneuver or an attack against one combination of opponents within the character's range. Devastating Assault cannot be used in a multiple action.

For example, Leesha uses Devastating Assault against a group of thugs who have her surrounded. She rolls her dice pool of 8D, plus an additional die for being Downed, and ends up with 1,2,2,2,4,6,6,8,8, which gives her a 3x2, 2x6, and 2x8. She decides to apply the 3x2 as a Slam against one opponent, and the other two sets as attacks against two other opponents.

Later, Leesha is fighting the thugs' leader, and she decides to go all-out. Rolling, she gets 2,2,2,2,4,5,7,10,10, and she applies both rolls against the leader, using the 4x2 set as a Slam and the 2x10 set as an attack.

Tiger Consumes His Prey (5 Points): Any time that the character causes an opponent to become Downed, she may choose to automatically apply a Submission Hold to a limb of their choice at a Width equal to her Body (applying this hold overrides any further actions the character may have been preparing to take). If the opponent can't (or doesn't try to) break free of the hold, instead of the normal damage they suffer the effects of an Area attack doing shock damage equal to the attacker's Coordination + Unarmed Strike pool at the beginning of each round until they escape. Wrenching free causes damage to the limb as normal.
[img[fanmadestamp.jpg|]]by Neal Dalton
Dindavaran commoners are forbidden from possessing and using martial weapons.  In light of this, the peasants have developed a number of unarmed fighting styles, as well as fighting styles that use everyday tools and items, to protect themselves from bandits and thugs.  One such style involves the shafts of rakes and shovels.  Over time, these shafts have evolved into staves that commoner's often use for "walking" or "hiking."  Dindavaran staves often follow very precise measurement, usually being an inch or two taller than the peasant that owns it. 

This martial path uses Coordination + Staff for its dice pool.

The Warding Step (1 Point): The wielder takes a turning double step in any direction while at the same time, spinning the staff above their head or about their waist.  This technique is a Morale Attack equal to the width of the result as opponents scatter to avoid being hit. 

The Warding Strike (2 Points):  This technique begins in the same way as the Warding Step but end in a powerful strike against an opponent.  In addition to the Morale Attack of the former technique, the strike receives a +1 in Shock damage. 

Vaulting Kick (3 Points):  The wielder plants one end of the staff in the ground at a slight angle, turning aside an attack.  He then uses the staff to vault forward in a powerful kick.  This technique allows the wielder to Defend and Attack without the multiple action penalty.  If the defense fails then so does the attack.  The kick causes Width + 1 in Shock. 

Sweeping the Floor (4 Points):  The wielder steps forward and lets his grip slide to the end of the staff while turning and dropping into a crouch.  The goal is to sweep the legs out from under multiple opponents.  The wielder must make a called shot to locations 1 or 2.  If successful, the wielder makes a Trip attack against the roll's Width in opponents that are in range of the technique.  Normal Trip results apply as found on page 213 of the REIGN core book.  This technique may only be combined with a single Dodge at the normal penalty. 

Sacrifice Thrust (5 Points):  This technique is often used as an opening move from a standing position.  The wielder takes a single step forward and extends the arm that holds the staff forward, allowing the staff to thrust straight out end first.  This technique has been known to shatter stone.  This attack causes Width + 1 in Killing Damage.  If the location has mundane, physical armor, it reduces the damage of the attack as usual, but the location loses 2AR permanently.  If the location is protected by supernatural armor, the strike ignores two points of it.  This maneuver can't be part of a multiple action but it may be used with a called shot.
Another Chris Cooper Discipline.  

This esoteric discipline uses Body+Athletics for long or high jumping and leaping. All the techniques stack. There is no limit to how many times a windfoot may jump around, but each consecutive jump adds a Slow 1 to the time before the next leap can take place. Excessive use may also prompt Endurance rolls.

The actual length of the standing jump is a number of feet equal to the the number of dice in the Body+Athletics pool. The azimuth’s height is half the length.

The Gazelle’s Leap (One point)

Any Body + Athletics roll used for jumping has its Width increased by +1 for timing only.

Surefooted like a Leaping Spider (Two points)

The windfoot can add Climb, Run or Stealth into his Body + Athletics pool when it’s used for jumping. It counts as a single action, so no multiple action penalties are applied. The pool is no longer limited to 10 dice.

Cricket’s Launch (Three points)

The length of a jump is Height added to Width. The height is half that. The windfoot can never suffering impact injury from his own jumps unless the place he leaps from would cause a falling injury; if so, add the height of the leap on top of the height of the fall to determine damage.

Jumping Hare (Four points)

The character can leap upwards, vertically, at the same height as length.

A Bird Without Wings (Five points)

Distance jumped is, instead, either Height times four, or Width+Height multiplied by two. 
The vast forests of [[Deerwood]] are the origin of the Way of the Wood, a rustic sorcerous practice that focuses on putting the desirable qualities of plants under human control.  Under its influence, human bodies can have the durability of hardened wood, human muscles the stone-splitting strength of a patient root, and human armpits the inoffensive odor of a spring flower.  (That last spell -- the one that removes offensive aromas -- is the most widely known spell on two continents.)  
Treasure is one of the [[Qualities]] that all [[Companies]] possess.  As one might expect, it measures how much money the group has, but more than that, it's also that Company's ability to use its money effectively.  A Company that objectively has massive stacks of silver bars in its treasury might have a poor Treasure score because of corruption, inefficiency or bureaucracy.  Similarly, a Company that has few resources but leverages them effectively might have a higher Treasure score than you'd expect from its size.
The Truil tribes are a collection of four loose family groups, three of whom are nomadic.  They reside in the Truil Waste in [[Heluso]].  The Waste is a cold, dark and inhospitable land that borders [[Dindavara]] and [[Uldholm]].  While the three nomadic tribes are distinct, their migratory routes have long overlapped, and fostering children with one another to improve relations is a long-honored practice.  

They worship the moon-goddess [[Raungmüt]], revering her as the mother of their race, but also reviling her for being unfaithful to her husband.  Their ambiguity towards their patron deity colors their attitudes towards sexuality.  They often regard all things sexual as necessary evils, though this varies among individuals and clearly doesn't keep them from marrying and having children.

Priests and priestesses of [[Raungmüt]] often practice a type of magic known as [#].  The [[Night Hunter]] tribe is most known for piety, nocturnal hunting, and the practice of this sorcery.

Another tribe is known as the [[Blue Face]] Truils, a name derived from their use of a drug they consider sacred, [[kratig]].  Their traditions are less pious than the [[Night Hunter]]s and they're more likely to prize valor in combat -- sometimes valor to the point of self-destruction.  This predilection for face-to-face violence has left them with the greatest share of suffering at the hands of the encroaching [[Uld]]s.

The third nomad tribe, by contrast, has yet to encounter the [[Uld]]s.  They've felt the effects of Uldish colonization in the form of displaced [[Blue Face]]s and [[Night Hunter]]s pushing into their turf.  This tribe is the [[Mountain Rider]]s, named for the hairy behemoths they ride.  Mountain Riders monopolize the mountain passes that reach the fourth tribe, so they serve as a bottleneck each way for commerce.

One thing all Truil tribes have in common is the ritual practice of cannibalism.  Living in the resource-scarce Waste, they don't often leave meat behind.  When a Truil dies, his family and clanmates prepare his flesh and consume it.  This contrasts with the reviled practice of biting a dead enemy's corpse to prevent his spirit from resting easily.  In between the sacred and the profane lies the tactic of biting in battle with sharpened teeth.  That's regarded as just a matter of preference and practicality.

The great challenge facing the Truils is the [[Uld]]s, their neighbors to the southeast.  In recent decades, the [[Uld]]s have experienced a boom in both culture and population.  The pressure of numbers is forcing them west into the Waste, where they attempt to farm the land which the Truils have traditionally roamed.  This has, of course, resulted in far more violence and resentment than fruitful cultural exchange.  The frontier between them has become a smoldering, low-level battlefield between the [[Uld]]s, who are numerous and advanced, and the native Truils, who know the territory and are increasingly feeling cornered.  Some Truils have abandoned their folkways and are attempting to mimic the Ulds' settled ways.  Some have even intermarried, though they and their offspring ('hob-Truils') are typically distrusted or even persecuted by both sides.  It's far less common for an Uld to cross over and join the 'savages,' but it does happen.
Type the text for 'Uld'
Uldholm is a large and prosperous Helusan nation lying south of [[Dindavara]], east of the [[Truil]] Wastes and west of the [[Heluso Confederacy]].  It has small frontiers with the [[Lightless Jungle]] and the [[Sunless Plains]] as well.

Ulds (as its people are known) are assumed to be clever, hardworking, and promiscuous.  In actual fact, they possess these qualities in no greater proportion than any other people, but their society rewards cleverness and hard work more than other cultures tend to, because Uldholm has no rulers-by-blood.

At one time, Uldholm was a typical kingdom, but when [[The Empire]] invaded, the noble houses were devastated by the Imperial [[Bloodcutters]], and the royal family was, to the best of anyone's knowledge, completely eradicated.  Without the traditional ruling structure in place, the only remaining authorities stepped in to fill the gap -- and, to everyone's surprise (including their own) they did a fine job of running things.  

These authorities were secular guildsmasters, organizing peasant industry in order to teach techniques and bargain collectively with the nobility.  The collective bargaining actually hadn't gone too well, but the point was moot after the nobility were scraped off the country like mud off a boot.  The guilds established courts, legislature, a ruling council and have been running the place ever since.

Guild rule isn't necessarily any kinder or gentler than the old way.  In fact, some peasants long for the days when paternal nobles guided and protected and thought for them.  Guildsmen tend to feel that anyone who's poor is lazy, and there's no sense of 'noblesse oblige'.  But it is more open.  Fools aren't tolerated gladly, position is transitory and there's always someone ambitious from a rival guild angling for your job, your house, and possibly your spouse if you're spending too much time on national business.

Which brings us back to the Uldish reputation as a nation of libertines.  Certainly, they're sexually open in comparison to their prudish neighbors to the west, but the perception of insatiable appetite has formed by outsiders who notice how common children are Uldish cities and how large Uldish families tend to be.  This isn't because they're making love any more frequently.  It's because their children die less often.  That, in turn, is due to their extensive use of aqueducts -- they figured out the technology, they had a lot of cities to rebuild after the Imperial war, and they incorporated a system to get fresh water in and get sewage out.  Outsiders think they're fastidious, but they often privately appreciate the reduced stench in Uldish cities.

Uldholm is known for its sorcerers, whose prowess has deterred Dindavaran aggression since time immemorial.  Two of the more renowned practices are the [[Flame Dancers]] and a system called [[Wings of Words]].
Sailing towards the [[Green River]] city of [[Southport]], the approach looks much like any other Helusan coastal town.  The city and land rise from the water as a curtain, the hills and fields spread out to the left and right.  But at the bottom of this city, at the join of hill and sea, there is a black gap.  Aiming the ship towards it, one can sail beneath the city like a mouse creeping under a tapestry.  This cavern leads to the spacious Southport underdocks.

Immediately above a sailor's head is a series of fortified firing positions, leading up into the basement of the watching fortress above.  Crisscrossing the ceiling are staircases and catwalks, periodically interrupted by great stone columns where ships can be moored.  The underdocks are indisputably an excellent shield against storms.

Approaching the underdocks on foot, from the city above, presents a different perspective.  To one in the grip of the land, the underdocks feel like a cliff face, with the surface of the water parallel to it.  One can watch the boats sliding down its surface while leaning against the wall that is, to the sailors, a ceiling.  

From either perspective, the underdocks are deep and dark.  There are pockets and wells down there that are unexplored by the ordinary townsfolk.  Perhaps the soldiers of the fortress have a complete map of those dark places.  Perhaps not.

One corner of the underdocks is the largest known settlement of [[White Pahar]].  They keep to themselves, rarely emerging to the surface and engaging in most of their trade with the fishermen and merchants who base their enterprise from the shared darkness.
Upunzi is a desert city in [[Milonda]].  An independent city-state, Upunzi is ruled by a council of eleven Elders.  When an Elder dies, the remaining ten pick a replacement and, if that candidate successfully attunes to their vision-magic, he joins the council.  

The attunement transformation of the Elders of Upunzi is extreme.  Among other effects, they grow a second mouth somewhere on their person, their skin becomes scaly, and they develop an extreme intolerance for sunlight.  Most notably, Elders do not age or sicken as long as they consume the vitreous fluid of one living human one time per month.  The most senior of the Elders has been ruling her city for over 450 years.  

In addition to immortality, their enchantments allow them to penetrate illusion, see at a distance and give their favored servants visual blessings.  The city's motto is "No One Defies/The All-Seeing Eyes."
To the north of [[Dindavara]], up and down great slopes and in a vast valley plain, travelers are often amazed to find that the descriptions of Ussient trees aren't exaggerated.  Hearing of branches thick enough to support a mansion, trunks with diameters the size of a family farm, and bark so thick that cozy dwellings are built within its folds and knotholes… who'd be blamed for suspecting a tall tale?  

But it's all true.

The Ussient people look like shorter, thinner Dindavarans, though their arms and legs tend to be a bit longer in proportion to their bodies.  Almost all of them are, of course, excellent climbers.  Some spend their entire lives in the trees, walking the branches, swinging on transport ropes, netting birds and crossing from tree to tree on rope bridges so high that the ground beneath is lost in a green canopy.  There are farms around the bases of the trees, but groundlings are the butt of jokes among those who live on high.
Typically, each trunk has its separate tribe, but there's a great deal of skirmishing between them out on the tips, where the branches interlace like fingers.  Full scale invasions reaching to the homes that gird the boles are vanishingly rare, but tough competition for bird eggs and hunting areas is expected even between friendly neighbors.  When two tribes go to war, the trick is to sneak close enough to the foe to steal stores or destroy them, often through perilous underside travel.  

In Ussient history, there have only been two cases of full conquest.  The first, the invasion of the Arb tree two hundred years ago, was a special case.  At that time, a powerful blight sorceress ruled the Arb, threatening the adjoining Kulia, Marn and Iylem tribes.  Unable to assassinate the enchanter through normal means, the three neighbors joined forces on a risky assault from base to top.  They never did catch the magician, but they claimed enough territory to shatter her political power.  Since that time, Arb has been a vassal state to its neighbors, paying them yearly tribute.   Though pure-blood Arb folk form an underclass, Arb is (ironically) the most prosperous of the four, and extensive intermarriage has left servant Arbs rare.  The other three bicker about control of Arb, but most of the conflicts on the bark are political proxy battles (because Marn, for example, doesn't want to unify Kulia and Iyelm against it by damaging Arb).  Any actual bloodletting takes place on the frontiers between Kulia, Marn and Iyelm, each of which is essentially a corner of a triangle surrounding Arb.  

The other invasion took place on the northern border seventy years back.  Trunk Ulbrock converted to the faith of the [[Ironbone Theocracy]] and, backed by priestly magic and foreign troops, they invaded and conquered their neighbors on trunk Breiss.  The victory was hard, and the occupation proved impossible.  The Breiss wouldn't give up their native pantheon and, like all Ussient warriors, were more comfortable with secretive raids than mass engagements.  The Ironbone troops could hold individual villages, but at the cost of constant vigilance, always watching the natives who smiled and nodded and sabotaged and poisoned.  The Ulbrock invaders' skills matched the Breiss' at arboreal hit-and-run combat, but the Breiss troops knew every twig and knothole on the bole.  The native resistance fighters also had help from all those Breiss who were polite to the occupying troops' faces, while putting insects in their beds and weaving thorns into their climbing ropes.  

Ultimately, too many Ulbrock found themselves in sympathy with the Breiss, who spoke their language and shared their culture.  Even with the Ironbone faith, they were unwilling to watch foreigners punish and threaten their Ussient brethren.  Five years into the occupation, the Ulbrock quietly stopped pursuing the Breiss loyalists, making only a token effort.  With the Breiss out of check and redoubling their attacks on the Ironbone troops, the northerners cut their losses and withdrew, telling the Ulbrock to contain their neighbors, if they really wanted to.  The Ulbrock didn't really want to, given the extensive raids their home branches were suffering from neighbors because their best fighters were pinned down in Breiss.

Two generations have passed since Ulbrock's withdrawal.  Tensions have eased, but there's still a lot of animosity, and almost a third of the raids from Breiss to Ulbrock end with someone dead.  Ulbrock and the Ironbone Theocracy despise one another, despite sharing the faith.  Each blames the other for either dragging them into a war that couldn't be won, or for losing the war through cowardice and ineptitude. 

There are trade routes through Ussient lands.  Tree-tribes along those roads take tribute and offer protection, while those off the road sometimes send long-ranging squads to raid and steal the metal goods and cloth flowing north from Dindavara and the Confederacy, or the foodstuffs moving south.  

The massive Ussient trees bear equally massive fruit, ranging from boulder to haystack size.   Ussient fruit ripens from the outside in, so it's possible for the exterior to rot while the core is still unripe.  It has a sweet, tangy flesh, and while the skin can be eaten, in the Ussient lands it's more likely to be dried, cured and made into clothes that have the texture of fine-grained leather.  The seeds can be roasted until they crack open, and the matter inside swells out like popcorn.  Some grain and corn is grown locally, but more is imported.
Just as a normal oak may have moss on its moonward side, trees in the [[Ussient Forest]] are covered with parasitic fungi, edible mushrooms, creepers at the base and mold colonies on the undersides of the sail-sized top leaves.  The tribes have Ussient fruit as a staple, but they've have spent generations finding anything else edible in their environment.  

Additionally, the constant frontier-branch skirmishes led to battlefield healing lore, based on the properties of local mosses and herbs.  Many Ussient herbalists have traveled far from their towering homes seeking foreign plant lore, and some have brought home shrubs and grasses with medicinal properties.  Tribesfolk have traveled as far as [[Deerwood]] and the [[Lightless Jungle]] in this pursuit.

Ussient Herbalism is used with the Expert: Herbalism Skill.

Potions and Poultices (1 Point): If the herbalist has access to plants common in the Ussient forest, he can make purifying salves and medicinal concoctions.  In the Ussient forest, they can be gathered with a Direction roll, or purchased.  These plants have Cost 1 at any Ussient tree, and Cost 2-3 in adjoining countries.  Farther afield than that, the Cost could be low or high, or familiar plants might not be available at all.

With the right plants, the tribesman can make a Herbalism roll.  If it succeeds, he can immediately attempt a Healing roll and, if that succeeds, raise its Height or Width by the Width of the Herbalism set.

Example: Nonik is trying to set his friend's broken arm.  He knows that purifying the wound and partially numbing the flesh is going to make this easier, so he makes a Herbalism roll, getting a 2x1 success.  Good enough.  Making a Healing roll with a 2x4 he can either make it into a 2x6 or a 4x4.

If the Healing roll fails, the medicine is wasted.  At this level, the herbalist doesn't know how to preserve the virtues of his concoctions.

Find the Forgotten Flower (2 Points): The herbalist can make a roll to find the particular plants needed for her art.  In the Ussient forest, she can roll Herbalism or Direction, whichever is greater.  Outside the forest, it's a Direction roll.  Far, far from home or in an unfamiliar environment, this roll might have a Difficulty.  

Each failed roll indicates five hours of fruitless search.  When a roll succeeds, it took five hours less the Width of the roll.  With a 5x roll, the herbalist finds what she's looking for right underfoot.

Brew Vigor Wine (3 Points): The recipe for this tonic is closely guarded.  In fact, there are several recipes, with no one ingredient in common other than the obvious wine.  Different recipes have varied results, ranging from (but not limited to) jittery nerves, itching, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and unpredictable sexual arousal.  But those effects typically fade within a half hour, along with pain, stiffness and swelling from bruises and cuts.  As with Potions and Poultices, vigor wine doesn't keep: If not consumed within ten minutes of its brewing, it loses its effect and just becomes wine with flecks in it.

If the Herbalism roll succeeds, the drink gives the drinker's next Vigor roll a bonus  equal to the Width of the Herbalism success.

Example: Nonik gets a 3x2 brewing his vigor wine and gives it to a friend who's going to handle poisonous insects as part of a judicial test in the aptly-named Unwelcoming Lands.  When his pal gets bitten and makes a Vigor roll to resist the poison, he gets +3d to his Vigor pool.  If his friend got beaten instead of bitten, his Vigor roll the next morning would have the bonus.

Nightlong Draught (4 Points):  This potion has only one recipe, and while it's an admirable stool-hardener, that's a side-effect compared to the steady burn of alertness and energy it provides for about four hours.  During that time, the first Endurance roll the character makes has a die pool bonus equal to the Herbalism set rolled to produce the Nightlong Draught.  (It's just like vigor wine, only with Endurance instead of Vigor.)  It's only good for one roll, but unlike vigor wine, nightlong draughts retain their potency for about a year after being brewed.  Someone who has this Discipline, has access to the requisite ingredients and lives outside the Ussient lands can reliably get Cost 2-3 for the stuff.

A Jungle of Healing (5 Points): A herbalist with this level of ability has hand-copied "A Jungle of Healing," a lengthy text with elaborate drawings culled from the journals and sketches of many traveling Ussient healers.  Many versions of the text exist, and while it's a valuable item, the real virtue of copying it comes from the deep study of the pictures and descriptions of foreign plants, their properties and explanations.  A student advanced enough to copy the Jungle also gets to see her instructor's private notes and collection of foreign herbs.  So, to be clear: The book is the symbol of the knowledge, but it's not the knowledge.  Having it is useful if you can read Ussient, but someone with this Discipline doesn't need the scroll to use it, and the scroll is only useful to others as a pretext to spend XP on herbalism or healing related things.

With this Discipline, the herbalist can roll to improve a Healing roll, adding dice equal to the Width of the Herbalism set, just like vigor wine does for Vigor rolls.  In addition, she can squish the resulting roll by three degrees in any direction.    
(Waxlighters were introduced in Supplement #3, which is available [[as a free download|]].  The description and image are reproduced below.)
Waxlighters are a significant export of the Sunless Plains.  A few Pahar manage to raise some, but never in the numbers that the waxlight ranches of the Plains can manage.

A waxlighter is shaped like a large preying mantis, about the length of a man’s hand from wrist to finger-tip.  Its outer shell is white and very slightly transparent.  When they mate, their rear thorax glows with a green or yellow light.  They mate frequently.  

Many people of the Plains keep a dozen waxlighters or so around the hut as illumination, but their commercial value arises when they molt.  Their shed skins can be lit like a candle wick, and they burn with a bright blue flame.  These natural tapers are known as “sheds” as in “it shed its skin.”  (This is a source of frequent confusion among foreign visitors who aren’t quite good enough at the Imperial language to figure out from context if a speaker means a little flammable insect shell, or an outbuilding where tools are kept.  This double meaning is also the source of much feeble humor.)  

A shed burns brighter than a candle, and about half as long, but the light is cold and stark.  The Plains nobility prefer it because it’s so dramatic.  Waxlighters have no Threat.
Type the text for 'Way of the Wood'

This Wiki is meant as a tool for me to keep REIGN material up to date.  As you may or may not know, all supplements for REIGN are going to be delivered over the internet, for free, once they've been subsidized by the fans.  (Hopefully, that's you.)

Unlike Wikipedia, this Wiki is not open to user editing.  There are several reasons for this.  First off, I fear spam.  Secondly, I fear installing something called a "back end server" to make that possible.  Thirdly, this way I'll be able to look over entries and, one hopes, file them according to some sort of sensible structure.

Poke buttons.  Look around.  Have fun.  If you have any questions -- or, better yet, material you want to add to the Wiki -- email me at gregstolze AT comcast DOT net.
Lying between [[Center]] and [[Dindavara]], the Western Marches have always been [[The Empire]]'s shield against Dindavaran aggression.  Before coming into The Empire, the Western Marches had been longtime rivals (and often outright enemies) of the [[Sunless Plains]], which border them on both the north and south.  Belonging to the same political entity has eased their mutual distrust and contempt, but only to a point.  

While the culture of the Marches exalts the ideal of the gruff and muscular warrior, its greatest contribution to The Empire is its vast and fertile farmlands.  While the other nations have farms, grain and corn from the Western Marches are fundamental foodstuffs for almost every Imperial city of size.  

The magicians known as the [[Smoke Sculptors]] originated in the Western Marches.
REIGN is a roleplaying game.  If you don't know what that means, let me offer [[this article|]], which represents my thinking boiled down into an accessible form.

Specifically, REIGN is a fantasy game, meaning it takes place in an imaginary world that bears only a passing resemblance to our own.  Some trappings familiar to fantasy fiction are: Sorcerers with heavy white eyebrows, thuggish but good hearted swordsmen, and lovely nobles who are impeccably witty and impeccably deadly in equal measure.  

REIGN is different, however, in that it has an emphasis on politics, social pressure, and the interactions of large groups.  In a lot of fantasy, the characters are feckless and footloose, restless and rootless.  REIGN is meant to put characters more firmly into the setting by tying them to groups who help them, support them, follow them... but expect (or demand!) leadership in return.

You can [[buy REIGN online|]] or [[read a review of it here|]] or [[here|]] or [[one in Spanish here|]].
The so-called 'white Pahar' are a race apart, whose origins are ancient and subject to much disputed scholarship.  The agreed-upon outline of their history is as follows: Many years ago, before [[The Empire]]'s formation, there arose a group of [[Pahar]] whose skin was papery pale, who were born with white hair and whose eyes were an eerie red.  Not all of these prodigies bred true, but if two of them had children, those children were almost invariably colorless as well.

One of the [[Conjoining Priests of Setekesh]] declared that the white Pahar were favored of the goddess and destined to tend her groves.  (He, himself, was one of the whites.)  Many white Pahar flocked to his banner and they soon became a powerful faction within the church.  Their power rose so quickly and so greatly, in fact, that the church cracked under the strain.  The white Pahar priests endorsed increasingly bizarre conjoining and often incorporated non-white humans into their fusions.  This abhorrent practice turned the people, the nobles and the government against the white priests, who were exiled from the Pahar nation forever.  Even today, henpecked Pahar mommies threaten their children that the whites will come for them if they aren't good.  (This has caused no end of unpleasantness for honest [[Ob-lob]] traders who made the long overland trek to The Empire.)  

As for the persecuted dissidents, their problems were just beginning.  They fled to the [[Sunless Plains]], where their curious creations were welcomed but they, themselves, were just tolerated.  In time, the Sunless King came to believe the strange foreigners could extend his life beyond its normal span and, when they refused (or were unable) they were driven into the Lightless Jungle.

None but the white Pahar themselves know what befell them in those deadly confines, but emerging into [[North Hold]] their numbers were reduced and their attitudes rather queer and insular.  Hearing of the Ob-lobs, they migrated towards the coast, where they were as accepted as any impoverished foreigners of outlandish appearance could be.  

Many of the white Pahar intermarried with Ob-lobs, or with cosmopolitan Confederates, but a few intermarried within the same strains and maintained the same religious practices -- including, quite possibly, human sacrifice.  An accusation of kidnapping children for abominable experiments led to their expulsion from the normally accepting city of Darkport twenty years ago.  Currently, the largest known concentration of white Pahar live in the [[Southport]] [[Underdocks]].
This powerful school of enchantment is native to [[Uldholm]], and its most learned adherents are still Ulds, but the ability to calm winds or summon them simply with speech was too useful for the [[Ob-lob]] sailors to resist and, once they'd learned it, it spread far and wide.  The enchanters (sometimes called 'stormtongues') use words to control wind, lightning and weather.  They also fly.
At one time the Wuhra were simply desert nomads, tribes loyal only to kinfolk and united only by their language, their mastery of the [[dunim]], and by a habit of solving their problems with a fast-drawn arc of razor-sharp steel.

The Helusans changed all that.

People of [[Heluso]] brought [[horses]] to the Wuhra Plains, to which many Wuhra quickly adapted.  It brought trade, and since some of that trade passed through the plains, it encouraged some tribes to stop fighting each other in order to better tax (or raid) the foreigners.  Eventually, it brought invasion.

Had the Wuhra resisted [[The Empire]] individually, they would have been individually consumed and digested, but a small band of visionaries, hermit enchanters, and at least one known confidence trickster managed to convince the tribes of the peril and persuade them to resist as a united force.  They did not beat The Empire as resoundingly as some Wuhra partisans would tell it, and they did not suffer the greatest losses of honor, land and dignity (as some who still resent The Empire would have it), but they lost land and lost soldiers.  They did not lose everything, however, and after the Imperial withdrawal they remained united and vigilant against renewed aggression.  In this, they made a great gain.

The Wuhra plains are now dotted with cities, and if many tribesmen still travel the desolate regions, others have settled to apply irrigation methods learned from [[Mwa]] or [[Upunzi]], creating farmland where before there was only scrub.  Communication with those cities only came, of course, once the Wuhra had horses, and could ride them without fear of assault from their tribal neighbors.

The united Wuhra are the first people to call themselves an 'empire' since the The Empire's aggression receded.
The current Hai Riyan, ruler of [[Dindavara]], is Jibu Xingshao.  While he has taken pains to show no favoritism to his home province, the perception of favoritism is, perhaps, inevitable.  The people of Xingshao preen, smug in the knowledge that their man is on the throne, and the other four families grumble.  

But to hear the Xingshao tell it, it is their lot in life to be envied.  Xingshao is called 'the home of heroes' -- sometimes even by people who don't live there.  Their tactical school is unsurpassed in Dindavara (which is to say, unsurpassed anywhere) and they have always been characterized by boldness, surprise tactics, and what can only be deemed 'style'.  

For all that, Xingshao is the poorest of the five Dindavaran provinces.  There is some iron and some coal in the mountains that separate them from the [[Heluso Confederacy]] and [[The Empire]], but it lies deep and is stubborn to mine.  They don't have the sprawling fields of [[Xuedei]] or [[Meiren]], nor the trade routes that [[Danifa]], ironically enough, gained when [[The Empire]] built roads and bridges to march its army there.  Their colors are red and green, their smirks are arrogant, and their blades are deadly swift.
The Xuedei family rules Xuedei province in [[Dindavara]], bordered by [[Burai]] and [[Meiren]] to the northwest and northeast, [[Uldholm]] to the south, and a thick mountain band containing several small nations to the west.  Unlike Burai, they have no mountain pass leading directly to the [[Truil]] Wastes.  The rare traveler between Xuedei and the Wastes must do so by boat.  Going downstream from Dindavara to the Wastes is exciting enough, involving a trip through the deadly black rapids and through lands notorious for their schenvemlig infestation.  Coming back against the hard current is so difficult that it's rarely tried and almost never tried successfully.

The Xuedei are more interested in the Ulds than the Truils in any event.  Attacking past the great Skytusk mountain is daunting, but historically they've tried it three times.  The first time they captured Rulfoun, the second time they were called back to quell a plague-spurred insurrection, and the third time they laid waste to Dorin's Hold.  Each time, they've eventually been forced out, but the old Uldish kings were generous enough in their bribes that later generations of Xuedei always considered an Uldish invasion worth contemplating at least.  Now that the old kings are gone, the Xuedei Riyans and guo are curious about fighting the nation of guilds.

Among their countrymen, the Xuedei are regarded as clever -- too clever for their own honor, perhaps.  They cluck their tongues and knowingly refer to the influence of the wily and sensuous Ulds, while the Xuedei deny and scoff and, as always, scheme and plot.  Their family colors are black and white.

The current Hai Riyan had a Xuedei mother.

The dinda is more than a weapon to the people whose race and nation bear its name.  It's a symbol.  It's a promise.  It's a cultural destiny.

But when one's sliding towards your guts with the speed that earned them the nickname "frog tongue swords" in [[The Empire]], it's primarily a weapon.  Dindas come in three main varieties.

The bodinda or 'subordinate sword' is, like all dindas, single-edged.  It has a slightly broader cross-section and wider proportions, giving it more heft inch for inch than the others.  With a blade the length of a forearm, it needs all the heft it can get.  Its handle is long to counterbalance it.  Both the [[Xuedei]] and [[Xingshao]] families claim to have pioneered use of the bodinda as a throwing weapon, and most are forged today with that consideration in mind.  A Xudei throw is underhanded and sends the point directly at the target, like a dart.  The Xingshao method is overhand, and the blade cartwheels end over end.

The plain dinda (very rarely called a 'shu dinda' when it's necessary to distinguish it from some other type) is a long, slender blade with a needle tip and a slight curve to both the edge and the back.  It's ideally as long as it's wielder's arm from shoulder to fingertip.  The handle starts out with a curve that continues the arc of the blade, but is often straightened to give a second hand a stronger grip.  The dinda is most often used with both hands, and commonly in an attempt to make a sliding cut with the far third of the blade.  That said, [[Dindavara]] is a nation full of people trying to make a name for themselves through swordplay, and through the ages styles and techniques that stab, use the close end, or grip the sword one-handed have all known use.

Swinging a haidinda -- literally 'supreme sword' -- with one hand would require more-than-human strength.  From the tip to the pommel's end, a haidinda battle sword is often as tall as the man using it.  Curved like its smaller and more common cousin, it's thicker across to keep it from breaking under its own weight or under the force of the impact it can generate.  The handle curves like a cat's tail at the end, providing a more natural off-hand grip and providing more purchase for movements that extend or withdraw it in order to slice.
Dunim are large beasts of burden used by the [[Wuhra]] tribes.  Each dunim can carry the weight of four or five small people.
Horses are native to [[Heluso]], and are most common on the plains of the [[Heluso Confederacy]].  They have spread across both continents, however, and are common beasts of burden nearly everywhere.  [[North Hold]] is famed for its massive war-chargers, while the [[Wuhra]] have bred their steeds for speed and endurance.

It is a belief of timeless age that if a man rides astride, he loses all sexual potency.  This belief started in the nations of [[Broadland]], North Hold and [[Green River]], and as horses have spread across the lands, this article of absolute faith has traveled with them.  Thus, the best cavalry troops are women or, far less commonly, eunuchs. 
The plant joude was native to the forests of [[North Hold]], but it was only when transplanted to [[Deerwood]] that it became anything other than a mild agent of wakefulness for watchmen and late-night scholars.  People of North Hold had chewed the sap of the joude fern for generations, enjoying its invigorating properties.  In Deerwood, the plant grew thicker, larger and far more potent.  In Deerwood, too, began the practice of boiling the sap down and drinking the resulting distillate, often mixed with liquor or barkwater.

Unadulterated joude sap simply reduces weariness, with the Deerwood variety producing a more pronounced effect.  When concentrated into a drug, it fills every muscle with jumping energy and fires the nerves with feelings of immense physical potency.  At the same time, these very qualities lead its users not only to overconfidence, but to clumsiness and misjudgment.  Every gesture, while quicker, is exaggerated to the point of oafishness.  It is, nonetheless, a popular substance with the ailing, the violent and aficionados of aphrodisiacs.  

Mechanically, North Hold joude lasts for about ten minutes, while the Deerwood variety is good for half an hour.  While in effect, the drug adds a +1 bonus to Body, but gives a -1 penalty to Coordination.  After the positive sensations end, both versions penalize Body and Coordination by -1 for about twenty minutes.
Type the text for 'kratig'
The munguth is a food animal raised in the [[Nation of Pahar]] and the [[Sunless Plains]].  It was a Pahar animal first, and the biggest munguth still hail from there.  

Munguthi are slugs, very large yellow slugs with yellow or green spots.  (The more greenish the spots, the more sour the meat is.)  The Pahar munguthi can grow to be as large as a man's thigh, while the Sunless variety are more the size of a forearm or calf.