In my last post, I spoke briefly about the possibly of adjusting world history to accommodate 2 additional races. I just figured that I would take this post to clarify exactly how that happened in the world of Yzyrra. Truth be told, there are other races that will be encountered beyond the original nine and additional two designed by the Children of Elementia. We will be looking at how the additional two races, the Dunbir and the Lyarki came to be createded by the Child of Earth and Light respectively.
For anyone that may be interested in the original story of Yzyrra’s creation, you can find it here.
Elven Dissent Intensifies
As the history books indicate, the creator of the world, Judge Mother Elementia founded a cradle of civilization in a sprawling territory nestled in a sweeping valley called Ogari Sundura. This place was where she brought the Halfa and ultimately created the other eight original races. It was a glorious city that thrived on it’s diversity of ideas and beliefs. As with most things, some people got the itch to explore and see what was beyond the valley they resided in, especially after the population started to swell.
After Elementia finished her work creating the races in Ogari Sundura, she decided that it was time for her to take a break from things and enjoy the world that she created. She went on a sabbatical that was to last an undetermined length of time. When she was ready to get back to working, she would do so. Before she left, she told her Children that they were to maintain things while she was away and she gave them a set of rules to follow. After that, the Judge Mother went on her sabbatical.
Not long after Elementia’s leave of absence began. Sybas- The Child of Darkness began to look upon the people before him. Propagating, Replicating, Multiplying… He saw how they did such things. This made him jealous. He turned to his twin sister, Nus- The Child of Light and he convinced her that they should create a life together like the citizens of the world. This however was against the Judge Mother’s Rules. They were not to create any new lives, especially in the manner that they created new life.
Sybas’ seduction of his twin sister led to them producing a new life. As the new life gestated, things began to happen in the valley. Crops started behaving erratically. Seasons began to distort. People became sick, restless, and intolerant. As Nus’ pregnancy came to term, the problems intensified.
The day of their child’s birth, The Calamity happened. Natural disasters that should not have happened, all stacked on top of each other and wrought havoc upon the valley. Tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and waterspouts all fell upon the valley that, the birthday of their twins: Hoacs- The Child of Chaos & Arenji-The Child of Fortune.
The parents realized that they made a massive mistake breaking their mother’s rules. The devastation was intense and almost a third of the population was lost to The Calamity. Some believed that if it was not for Arenji’s birth, the devastation might have been much worse. Sybas and Nus immediately and irresponsibly, decided that they needed to fix everything before their mother returned and that they needed to hide the fact they broke one of their mother’s rules. The way they decided to hide their twins was to each take a child and go to the opposite ends of the world and leave them on the doorstep of an unassuming home that was without a child.
Elementia returns after much of the destruction was resolved, but the fact that there was a major drop in the population was harder to cover up. Upon learning about what befell her creation, followed by learning of her twins’ transgressions, Elementia decided what she was going to do. Elementia decided that the best way to teach her children the rules were there for a reason, was to banish their creations from Ogari Sundura for 100 years. Nus’ Elves and Sybas’ Velés were to leave the borders of the valley.
This naturally upset a lot of people, but the worst part was that it caused division, not only between the Elves and the Velés, but within the Elven & Veléjic (vel-ay-YICK) societies. Some elves dissented against Nus for allowing herself to be seduced by Sybas. Meanwhile others remained faithful to Nus and grew to become spiteful toward the Velés for their creator’s seduction. Conversely, some Velés turned their backs on Sybas for getting them kicked out, while the faithful decided such affairs were “beyond the scope of mortals”.
While the Elves left, the Velés that remained faithful to Sybas decided to move underground. They decided to move through Bra’xuud (brah-SHOED), the Undercity of Ogari Sundura, down to The Black Depths below. These Velés voluntarily tended to the Catacombs in Bra’xuud that housed those that passed in The Calamity, seeing it as a way of making penance for their creator’s transgression.
It is at this point that the “Dwarven Things” section (Below) happens leading to the advent of Thera’s other race, the Dunbir.
While the Elves were away trying to find their own way, Nus was upset that she didn’t have any creations in Ogari Sundura, so she begged Elementia to be granted another race so that she had representation. She pleaded with her mother that she be allowed to make a new race to show her new enlightenment. Elementia agreed. Thus came the dawn of the Lyarki.
Nus’ desire to keep her representation, led her to create the Lyarki to be similarly designed to the Elves except that they were infused with properties of the plant life. They were naturally on good terms with plant life making them able to move through dense flora without a problem. Instead of hair, they had leaves and fronds. They also had a strong devotion to Nus because of their ability to regenerate while in direct sunlight. Other saw this “devotion” as a built-in dependence upon Nus to lessen chances of further dissent.
As the word got out about the arrival of the Lyarki, there were some Elves that were none to pleased about the way things were being handled by Elementia and her Children. They felt as though they were replaced. When the Lyarki began learning more about the world and learned about the history of the world, the Lyarki had a clever idea. The Lyarki collectively agreed to reach out to the other races in Ogari Sundura to adjust language to make Lyarki & Elf synonymous. They did clarify Lyarki would translate to something akin to “Wood Elf”. The people agreed and they asked Elementia, “Since you agreed to allow the Lyarki to become part of Sunduran society, and Lyarki & Elf are seen as similar, should not the Elves be allowed to come back?”
Elementia saw a flaw in the argument but if the people were willing to come together for the betterment of one another, she would agree to lift the banishment on not only the Elves, but the Velés as well.
The Elves & Lyarki ended up gravitating into one of three groups. The Elves that remained faithful to Nus, rejoiced and immediately returned. These became known as the Solar Elves or Solar Lyarki. The Elves that converted, continued to blend in with the Velés society trying to continue mending fences. They became known as the Lunar. Some Elves who were bitter over the banishment, just wholesale dissented from the entirety of the Judge Mother and her Children and sought out their own pantheon. These became known as the Agnos.
The Dwarves generally found a place for themselves in Ogari Sundura mining, smithing, and building. For sake of convenience, they took up residence in the mountains that bordered the valley and created a sprawling underground metropolis they called “Bra’xuud” or “Undercity.” Their devotion to Thera- The Child of Earth was so great that they dug and dug, exploring the rocky expanse all around them. As they did so, they discovered a system of caverns beneath Bra’xuud. The caverns were quite expansive and ripe with minerals and desirable metals. The Dwarves began leading mining expeditions with the Velés and any other races that were capable of seeing in the dark. These expeditions were reasonably successful…
Then The Calamity happened…
The Calamity shook the very foundation of Ogari Sundura. The earthquakes jolted some key structural areas in Bra’xuud. The Dwarves did endeavor to work on repairing and bolstering the compromised areas. It was around this time that Elementia issued the decree to banish the Elves and Velés.
As the Velés had already established something of a working relationship with the Dwarves, and the Dwarves felt bad for the Velés’ situation. The Dwarves proposed the idea of helping the Velés settle into the caverns below Bra’xuud. This new settlement would be known as The Black Depths. A major contingency of the Dwarves in Bra’xuud descended with the Velés to help get things setttled.
Unfortunately, one day not too long after work had gotten under full swing, tragedy struck again. Part of Ogari Sundura had sunk as a result of the supports of Bra’xuud failing, and collapsing. Nearly half of the Dwarf population was either killed or trapped.
Thera- The Child of Earth immediately requested of Elementia to be granted a new race since a major portion of her people were killed in the aftermath of the cataclysm caused by Sybas & Nus. Elementia granted the request and Thera immediately formed a comparatively hulking being with rippling muscles. Elementia immediately breathed life into the sculpture and blinked… The sculpture immediately splintered into a legion of giant beings. Thera shouted, “Dunbir! Help dig your Dwarven brothers and sisters out! Now!” The air quivered as the Dunbir, the topside Dwarves, and everyone else that was present charged the rubble and tried to assist in the excavation rescue efforts.
The Dunbir dug with every fiber of their being moving massive rocks that would typically trouble their smaller counterparts. The rescue efforts continued on and most of the trapped Dwarves were able to be saved, but for many more it was already too late. The rescue efforts continued on through Bra’xuud, all the way down to The Black Depths. Everyone was relieved to discover how many people were still relatively safe down there.
Given the chaos that they endured, and coupling that with the advent of the Dunbirs, their size, and their fervent adoration of their Dwarven brethren, many Dwarves were put off by this. They had no idea who the Dunbir were, but they were suddenly indebted to the Dunbir for their efforts in their rescue. As the Velés were sitting in the same boat as the Dwarves, this further reinforced their bonds. At this point, the Velés were still banished from Ogari Sundura. The rescue efforts were appreciated, but prompted the Velés to double down on their efforts to make The Black Depths work. They felt they were still an important part of Ogari Sundura by keeping the ores and minerals coming.
It is at this point that Elementia decided that she was going to pull her children from the job of overseeing Ogari Sundura. While it was only two of the nine Children responsible for The Calamity. Elementia decided that it was time to let the people oversee themselves. She created the Elderguards, a council made up of one person from each race. Each of the Elderguards bore a unique sigil indicating that they were hand chosen by Elementia to represent the interests of their people.
This brings us to the point in the above section where Nus requested the ability to create the Lyarki.
So just what does this mean in terms of mechanics? The easy thing would have been for me to have just stated that Lyarki & Dunbir have the same everything as Elves & Dwarves. However, that feels like it might get viewed as “lazy”. That is not the intention, so it will require a full on workshop. Both Lyarki & Dunbir will be getting their own stat modifiers, chosen paths, racial traits, and evolution traits. As these races (in real time) have only been around for like the last 2 months in concept, they are far less fleshed out than the other 9. The decision to integrate the new races as their own thing (not as a replacement for an immediately recognizable race) was made slightly over a month ago. This blogpost is actually the first detailed explanation of how the new races came to be.
This means that I will have to go through the core text of Crosspath adding the new races into every place that they would be mentioned from racial description, to features, to stat table entries. It may slightly slow my progress down, but I think that it is a fair trade to give the player 11 races to choose from ranging from the familiar to the peculiar. That is where I am at this moment.
THE GRANDER SCALE
What are my long terms goals for the development of Crosspath? That mainly depends on how hard I am able to push myself, within reason. What do I have in mind for down the line? I have 3 new Paths in mind, but one of them may require a lot of work as it would involve adding a whole new way of performing magic spells, that still somehow meshes well with the current system that is used by Devotees, Priests, and so on. In addition to that, I would like to include a twelfth playable race of androids that were created by the Manacists, but became sentient. I will talk about their background before becoming sentient in a later post.
This will take design time because having 3 new paths means that I have to come up with 27 new path abilities that don’t make the previous 81 redundant. Some are a bit easier to concept, but I still have to write out the rules for them so that they aren’t over or underpowered.
This also means that I have to provide the story that integrates these new paths into the world history. Which races get the new paths as their Chosen Path? What are the names for the new resulting Crosspaths? The list goes on.
Ultimately, fleshing these new paths out will take time that I SHOULD be devoting to getting the core game done. What good is additional content for a game that isn’t able to be played, right?
During my time being mentored by Jacob Wood from Accessible Games, he would make sure to remind me that “Perfect is the enemy of good”. I agree with him, but my previous playtests lead me to believe that I might be doing some things right, yet I still have to get the core text completed so I am mutating the motto to “Perfection is the enemy of completion”. These new paths may or may not complete the gestation period, so I have to set them on the back burner so that I can keep as much momentum going as possible. And as a one-man design team working 6 days a week for a day job, I REALLY need to maximize my efficiency.
I just figured I’d share what is happening with Crosspath as I am aware that I haven’t posted in over a month. Things are still moving and I am trying to balance development, production, and social presence. I hope that these musings can help someone else realize if they are struggling trying to flesh out a whole game system, that they are not alone in the experience. It’s challenging, but I think that is what drives me to keep pushing forward to see it through.
If you have made it to this point, hopefully you have found something that has piqued your interests in Crosspath. If you have, and you would like to keep up to date on the game’s development, I would urge you to Subscribe. If you have any questions about the game, please feel free to comment! It just might provide me with the content for the next Crossing The Paths devblog post! If you know of anyone that you think might be interested in a game such as this, I ask that you please Share this with them.
Until next time, this is Darrick signing off…
Good Fortunes be with you!