Scions of Karth

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IC Name: Yseult
Scions of Karth

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:55 pm   Subject: Re: Scions of Karth

The Scions of Karth

Country Name: Karth
Peoples Name: Scion, Scions; Karth, People of Karth (sing, plural, respectively)
Polity: Centralised Theocracy (identical in function to Centralised Monarchy)
Capital: Karth
Language: Lingua
Government: Theocratic Dictatorship
Gods: Zinnith, Sekis and Ko'ith.
Religion: "Cyclism:" joined polytheistic church.
Race: Human
Magic: Shadow & Death Paths
Currency: Skith (coins)
Goals: To sow change and acceptance of the natural order.
Motto: “No one escapes their fate."
Flag: A wilted rose on a green background.
Colours: Pale and dark greens, browns.
Architecture: Grand stone structures, overgrown with vines and untended plantlife.

The Scions of Karth are a people dedicated wholly to the belief that the natural Cycle of life and death is to be accepted from birth. Every moment one is alive, every breath one takes, is a step towards decay - a step towards one's own end. The people of Karth believe this is to be celebrated. After all, if we were not forever changing, and constantly decaying, we would never be alive in the first place.

The people of Karth look much like any other average humans, with no particular physical differences to any others. Pale of skin, and generally (though not exclusively) dark of hair, they are otherwise unremarkable.

Three constants exist - life, decay and death. Those who refuse to accept this do nothing but delude themselves. Any who accept the natural Cycle are to be cared for and nurtured, as they will grow and change in the care of Zinnith, fall apart under the gaze of Ko'ith, and pass on into the arms of Sekis when their time arrives - and all have an appointed time. To defy the natural order is the greatest insult to the philosophy of the Scions.

The Scions of Karth are ruled over by the Church of Cyclism, with their Grand Cleric as the ultimate leader of the nation. In essence, whatever the Church decides must be done, is done; whatever the Church decides is a crime is punished; and whatever the Church decides is to be accepted, is put up with. However, in practice, the Church allows most people to go about their lives, tending to punish actions only if they disrupt order or interfere with the Church's own interests.

Functionally, the Church acts as a great bureaucracy, with its high ranking Bishops and Clerics having power parallel to the Earls or Barons of other states. With power divided clearly between varying levels of the Church, a hierarchy exists. At the top sits the Grand Temple of Karth, run by the Grand Cleric himself. Below the capital city's most glaring feature sit various Cathedrals, Parishes, and Temples - each run by a Bishop, Cleric, or Priest, respectively, with the larger institutions having more of the lower ranks to fill out various required duties.

All governmental duties are carried out by functionaries of the Church, including tax collection, project and settlement planning, education, and city maintenance. To advance within the Church's ranks takes years of work, and clear dedication to both the ideals of Scion society, and to the tasks one has been assigned to date. That said, internally, the Church does function as a meritocracy, and all those who advance to the upper circles have climbed there from the very bottom - even the Grand Cleric. Consequently, acceptance into the Church's lower ranks is seen as very desirable by the Scions, as it means a consistent career of change and advancement, so long as one performs well.

Descending from a nation now long lost to time, Karth is a somewhat paradoxical nation. Legends of past necromantic armies, with hordes of undead with numbers beyond counting, survive in Scion society to this day. However, these tales are dismissed as just that - legends of times gone by. Modern Scions live in a relatively calm, peaceful society. Traders come and go from their markets, the government allows a great deal of freedom in exploration and vocation, and the average person lives a happy, normal life.

Largely pastoral, the Scions have always been a people of the foothills and low mountains. While they have built their capital, Karth, into a great city, much of the population still prefers to live in the wilds, making their living as a farmer or craftsman in smaller communities. Most often, citizens of Karth will be found living in small, dense villages, surrounded by a few farmer's fields worked together with their neighbours. A practical people, such settlements are commonly found on hilltops, near rivers, or close to other natural barriers, to make them more defensible.

Ultimately, on the surface, one could mistake a citizen of Karth for one of any other human nation. The differences between their society and that of others lies in their religion, and the fatalistic outlook it creates among the people of Karth.

The philosophical outlook of the Scions is strange to outsiders. Life is viewed as a Cycle: one is born, bringing change to the lives of one's parents, and to the world itself; declared an act of Zinnith. As one ages and grows up, one changes in appearance, attitude, and thought. One is always growing closer to death, fighting through sickness and infirmity along the way; this is seen as Zinnith and Ko'ith acting in concert to make their followers aware of their presence. When the moment of death comes, one's spirit passes on into the arms of Sekis, the Caretaker, while one's body stays in the mortal world, decaying as Ko'ith wills it to. Through this decay, one returns to the world, to fuel change in the lives of other people and animals - as Zinnith desires. All things, ultimately, fuel the great Cycle that the Scions believe the natural world belongs to.

To citizens of Karth, this Cycle is self-evident. The world is ever-changing, and nothing may persist beyond its time. They are a non-interventionist people, happy to keep out of the rise or fall of other nations, viewing such events as simply the will of their gods, played out on the world stage. Thus, unless Karth's own society is threatened, their armies are unlikely to appear beyond their borders.

While their merchants and traders, and some adventurous youth, will be seen the world over, they will rarely be accompanied by soldiers. And, even in such pursuits, they serve the Cycle of their gods. By finding trade, wealth, or causing other change in their own lives, they serve Zinnith. By allowing change and decay in their past connections or relations, they serve Ko'ith. Even in life, by simply living each day, they serve Sekis, because every day survived is one day closer to entering her embrace. Ultimately, this pervasive fatalism - the certainty that all things serve the Cycle - is the key feature of society and culture in Karth.

The Church of Cyclism
The Scions are devoted wholly to their belief in decay, and to the natural Cycle of life, death and rot, in all living things. Their national cult, known as "Cyclism," preaches the words of Zinnith, Sekis and Ko'ith jointly - these three gods are referred to as the Trinity. The cult believes that life is a process of constant change and evolution. This process leads to the slow decay of the person as they approach their death. Finally, when they breathe their last, they are interred in the ground to decay to nothing and fuel change in the environment they lived in. Through this Cycle, one is born through Zinnith, ages through Ko'ith and Zinnith, dies to join Sekis, and then rots to appease Ko'ith and fuel Zinnith's drive for change.

The principles this Cycle are present throughout the Scions' culture; animals for food are sacrificed carefully, selected for harvesting when their bodies have decayed due to disease or age; crops are cut down at the peak of their harvest to symbolise that even the healthy may fall to death and loss unexpectedly; the ill and decrepit are celebrated as those touched by the gods, as they near the full fruition of their personal Cycles.

When one becomes sick among the Scions, it is viewed as a gift from the Trinity, because it allows one to be closer to Ko'ith and approach Sekis, while bringing one's loved ones into the arms of Zinnith to cope with change as you pass on. Hospitals under the Scions are in fact viewed as temples, of a sort, due to the perception that all those within their walls have been touched by their gods. If one who has taken ill in Karth society dies of their illness, they are revered as having come as close as one can to all of their gods. They believe that their illness takes them into the joined arms of Ko'ith and Zinnith, while their death allows them to enter Sekis' halls.

The greatest affront one can offer to a follower of Cyclism is to suggest that their body will not be allowed to decay into the ground, to continue the cycle of decay that began with their birth. As such, they view cremation as the greatest affront to their religion imaginable - an unspeakable heresy, as it denies the entire Trinity their due.

The Great Cycle
There are whispers among those who have visited the great cathedrals of Karth of ancient rumours. Few speak openly of such things, but many in Karth believe that Zanzibar is occasionally "reformed," the great civilisations and peoples of the world destroyed and replaced by the new favoured of the Gods. This periodic apocalypse, too, is considered part of the Cycles of which the Scions speak; some have even referred to it, with reverence, as the "Great Cycle." In typical fashion for the population, this Cycle, too, is considered natural and unavoidable. Beyond that, however, Scions will say little about the matter - even to their own.

Karth, as a society, both embraces technology as the path to better lives, and views it with some skepticism. They see the heedless optimism of some nations regarding technological progress as unfounded. After all, while technology may be able to make one's life easier or better while you live it, nothing can escape the Cycle. At the same time, Scions do appreciate the benefits of progress; nicer, more comfortable buildings; greater understanding of the world around them; better tools, so that they can enjoy more time with family and friends; and so on. Overall, Scions view technology as what it is: a means to an end, and useful, but not the ultimate purpose of society.

Scions, despite dismissing the legends of their past necromantic power, are very familiar with the ways of death. Their magi and scholars are known throughout society for their intimate knowledge of the ways of darkness, decay, and rot - and for using this knowledge to protect the people. Somewhat insular, the magi of the Scions go about their cities without any citizens knowing, ever-present and genial, rarely showing their power. However, should they feel it necessary, no Scion Mage will have any hesitation when it comes to dispatching their foes. Death comes to those who cross the Scions, all the more quickly when the magi are involved... and it is a rare foe indeed who sees them coming.

The armies of Karth may go to war under tattered, decayed looking flags, but they are far more effective than their appearance may suggest. Professionally trained, well-led, and fearless due to their belief in the Cycle, the Scions' soldiers have been known to unnerve lesser organisations on the battlefield. The army is disciplined, and has never been known for striking without warning. In fact, no records of Scion aggression exist past the legends of their necromantic ancestors. However, the army has been known to fight defensive wars to the last, and Karth has rarely given quarter to any foes who have initiated a war against their people. In spite of this seeming hesitance to wage war, persistent rumours follow Scion dealings, suggesting that some officials who have stood in the way of their interests mysteriously disappear - but perhaps this is just the turning of the Cycle?

Diplomacy, to the Scions, is a realm that offers great possibilities. As a people who view themselves as the stewards of the Cycle of life and death, they wish to spread the word of Cyclism to other nations. Failing that, they will gladly offer to carry out funerary rites among other nations. To Scions, such duties allow them to be closer to the Trinity, even if those they are aiding are not believers in the Cycle. Though they will endeavour to involve the rites of the Trinity in any funeral they run, the people of Karth have been known to embrace - and even praise - the gods of other cultures when living among such people. As born-and-raised polytheists, few Scions on foreign land see this as an affront to the Trinity; instead, it is a mere acknowledgement and show of respect to other beings of power.

In this way, the Scions believe that they can best serve the purpose of Cyclism in other nations. They are often seen around hospitals and funeral homes, along with foreign temples, paying their respects to the Trinity, the Cycle, and local deities. To ensure the safety of their people, the government of Karth thus engages frequently in diplomatic measures, making trade agreements, treaties, and attending or hosting festivals in order to ensure its people are well-liked and treated with respect around the world. The only unforgivable affront, to the Scions, would be for a nation to disrupt the Cycle, somehow. As the people of Karth believe this to be impossible, by definition, they tend to be an agreeable folk.
Character: Grand Cleric Yseult.

Yes, my character this world is female.
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Posts: 1280
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:18 am
Location: Canada
IC Name: Yseult
Scions of Karth

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:45 am   Subject: Re: Scions of Karth

Profile: Grand Cleric Yseult

Player: Grimview
High concept: Theocratic Supreme Ruler of the Scions

Position: Grand Cleric of the Church of Cyclism
Residence: Grand Temple of Karth, at the heart of the city of Karth

Appearance: A tan woman in her late twenties, Yseult's lithe form and short, roughly chopped hair contrast with her soft, pleasant eyes and smiling face. Athletically built but thin, the Grand Cleric's average height makes her seem rather unremarkable amongst her people. Generally, Yseult is known for appearing to her people in practical, outdoor clothing - the leather and brigandine, and occasional fur, that befits the rolling hills and sprawling forests her people call home. Leather boots, pants, and a jerkin are the clothes her people most associate her with. However, she is not unaware of more feminine fashions, and has been known to surprise foreign dignitaries and Scion nobility alike when she chooses to demonstrate that knowledge.

Duties: Yseult's role as Grand Cleric is to lead the Church of Cyclism and, by extension, the entirety of her people. It is she who is ultimately responsible for the safety and security of Karth, as well as its foreign affairs, trade decisions, and religious observances. While she has a vast network of bureaucrats who ensure the day to day operations of the nation continue uninterrupted, she keeps close tabs on them, and ensures the path of the Scions is in line with Cyclism - as she is her people's direct conduit to the Gods.

In war: Yseult is a military commander, but no fool; while she has no fear of leading her people into battle, she is unlikely to put herself at risk directly in the front lines of combat. That said, she is more than capable of participating in combat - and does not believe in mercy on the field. As such, she is a formidable opponent; that said, she prefers the tools of peace to those of war.

Diplomacy: Yseult is a charismatic, if somewhat blunt, individual. She believes strongly in cooperation and lasting peace as the means to advance society - both that of the Scions, and of others. While she is relatively young, she has become known among her people for finding resolutions to conflicts where none had previously been forthcoming, and she brings this approach to international interactions and discussions. Whether for trade, knowledge, or safety, Yseult is open to diplomatic discussions with all.

Trouble: Bureaucratically Reliant

Magic: Yseult is a skilled mage - among the best, if not explicitly the best, in Karth. She views magic as a means to an end; a tool with many purposes. Whether using spells for religious ceremonies and solemn duties, or in battle, or to aid an ally or her people, she is rarely hesitant to show her power and skill with the Paths.
Character: Grand Cleric Yseult.

Yes, my character this world is female.

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