It's important to note as you read the following that if it's not explained in this note card or in any of the race description note cards or in the sim rules that it is probably up for player interpretation. We don't want players to feel lost as to what they can and cannot RP. If it's not explained in a note card anywhere how a certain thing is, it's up for player interpretation. If we catch anything we missed, we'll respectfully correct the players role-playing an idea that doesn't fit with our overall vision and correct ourselves and add the aspect we missed to the note cards for the future. Never be afraid to use your imaginations within the setting we've described. We'll not hold you accountable for simply role-playing an idea you think fits in the setting that isn't covered by what we've described that we ultimately decide doesn't fit. We'll do our best to help you retro the idea to better fit with the sim direction and add more information to the note cards. No harm done. Have fun, spread your creative wings. Magic is the exception. No interpretation there. How it works is very specifically spelled out in the race cards and that is the only way it works. It's how we keep things fair. The rest of the stuff, though, fill in the blanks with imagination! The Back Story: Tanagier is a tiny island on the planet of Aphynno'Tal. It is part of a small archipelago, a cluster of islands called T'zelfar (pronounced zehlfar with a bit of a t sound at the beginning). Until very recent years on Aphynno'Tal, the T'zelfar archipelago was lost to time. It is, in fact, STILL lost, for it can only be found by accident. All attempts to purposely seek it out have failed. There were legends of this famous archipelago, but no one believed them. Three years ago, though, these legends were given more credence when a prince thought lost at sea returned to his homeland with tales of islands where magic existed. His stories were corroborated by his general, soldiers and servants who returned with him. However, what really convinced people were the demonstrations of the magic. The prince and his men all wore a special necklace or bracelet which they seemed to channel their magic through. The prince noticed, though, that his powers had weakened since leaving the islands and that they grew weaker still as more and more time was spent in his homeland, away from the T'Zelfar islands. Eventually, he all but lost his powers completely and he set out to find the T'zelfar archipelago once more. Of course, before he even noticed his powers fading there had been a plethora of campaigns and voyages by his people to find the islands, their excitement and drive fueled by the tales of the prince and his men. Attempts were made to stop his people from venturing forth to find the islands, for he feared them overrun, but all measures to stop them were futile. Everyone wanted the power the islands promised. Most of these adventurers returned having never found the islands. When the prince returned from his third voyage to try and rediscover the islands, stories that the islands must have sunk under the sea started to be circulated. Still others ventured forth to try and find the T'zelfar archipelago. Most returned disappointed but some were never seen or heard from again. Perhaps they found it when they'd given up all hope of doing so or perhaps they were drowned at sea. No one knows. OOC Explanation: Unbeknownst to the prince and his people were the properties of the area the islands were located in. It can be compared to the strange phenomenas that occur in the Bermuda Triangle on Earth, only perhaps even stranger. These strange magnetic fields and bizarre weather patterns are most concentrated in a ring surrounding the islands in the archipelago of T'Zelfar. Compasses do not work. Even the stars become strangely distorted in unpredictable ways in the skies, fields warping them, yet one cannot tell they've been warped. The sun seems to travel a wobbly path that also cannot be trusted. All methods of guidance become disrupted or terribly skewed. You cannot trust the migration patterns of birds, dolphins or whales, nothing that would normally guide you over the oceans. In the waters around the islands, a few miles off the coasts of the outer islands, the sand and silt is strangely stirred up in an indistinguishable cloud for miles and miles beyond that, the same ring of area that effects the above water properties around the islands. The sea bed is constantly shifting in these silt stirred waters so that landmarks just do not exist. Even the aquatics cannot find these islands simply for the seeking of them. They too can only find them by accident. The islands themselves, however, seem to be in this strange eye of a never ending magnetic storm. Though in the eye, they are not without their own strange properties. The sun's path and stars and other things, which are effected in the areas that surround the islands, all SEEM to behave normally on the island. It is what happens to the people that venture to the islands which sets the islands apart from other ordinary islands. The World of Aphynno'Tal: The world of Aphynno'Tal is a very rich and beautiful world with giant trees and deep canyons and insanely tall mountains. It is peopled with several different humanoid species as well as one or two only vaguely humanoid species. It's animals are like that of earth for the most part (maybe with different markings and colors here and there), but they also have non-sentient (ruled by instincts) creatures like dragons, griffins and giant spiders, etc. The technological level of Aphynnoans is that of a steampunk level and variety. However, this technology is fueled by these energy crystals called Kayzar crystals that exist in generous quantities. They burn clean and last a very long time. You'll see air ships that look a mix of works by Davinchi and steampunk with tremendous fantasy flair. For weapons, bows and arrows are used as much as pistols and other steampunk fantasy contraptions. Though, the bows and arrows are often enhanced by steampunk age tech. Electricity is available, but powered by steampunk means. The architectures and fashions of the people range greatly, depending on the culture, but most closely resemble earth architecture and fashions in the middle ages and renaissance time periods, NOT the Victorian eras most often associated with steampunk. Still, this is a different planet and is fiction. Just please, NO top hats or Victorian waist coats or bustles in the back of the skirts. We'd rather see more all out fantasy mixed into it than Victorian age or later architecture or fashions. Steampunk is just the kind of technology they use. It doesn't mean this world follows all of the usual steampunk conventions. Cool leather corsets with lots of straps and buckles are good, though, and goggles and rusted or brass pipes coming out of the side of things and gears and clockwork as a jewelry design, etc. You can have a lot of fun mixing and matching your steampunk era stuff with your medieval/renaissance/fantasy genre stuff to get a lot of cool looks that fit in this setting. Just because we want to steer away from Victorian doesn't mean we're not highly versatile. The usual forms of governments are monarchies and feudal systems, some races lean more toward tribes and clans. There might be an empire or two on the planet as well. So, it's much like the governments during the middle ages and early renaissance time periods on earth. Beyond that guidance and the guidance found in the race cards, make up your own kingdoms that your characters are from! Have fun with it! Slavery is a very common thing in most of the cultures on the planet. Different cultures practice slavery in different ways. A couple cultures abhor slavery, a few just tolerate it or practice it lightly, but most cultures just consider the practice normal. Some cultures or persons will treat a slave like cattle. Others will treat a slave like a cherished best friend or trusted household overseer. Some slaves are set as governors or governesses over royal persons until the royal reaches a certain age, these slaves having almost full governance over the royal person's life and affairs, but with the penalty of a horrible death should they lead their royal charge to disaster or harm. It depends on the culture or the person or often what societal class they are as to how they practice slavery. Just get out of the mind set made popular over much of SL in regards to slavery and explore the story possibilities. Remember, this is a mature rated set of sims, not adult rated. Religions vary on Aphynno'Tal as much as they vary on earth, however no religion on Aphynno'Tal too closely resembles any religion on earth. A cross is just a cool design on Aphynno'Tal, as is a six pointed star, etc. (That doesn't mean go intentionally putting crosses and six pointed stars and other religious symbols on things and saying "hey look, cool design!") Just because a religion on earth is more obscure, don't go borrowing names and terms from that religion as a shortcut to your imagination. Make up new terms and names and iconic designs. Most of the races have brief descriptions of some of their religions already described for you to build on. We do this out of respect for the different religions of earth and our caution to not have any members from them feel their real-life religion is being misrepresented by innocent role-play. Religion can be a great story tool, though, so we encourage characters practicing fictional religions.