Thursday, January 14, 2010

Civilizations of the Ancients Pt.1

Although many imagine the Aeons of the Ancients to be a golden age of man-gods with great technological and sorcerous wisdom, in reality there were multiple Ancient civilizations over a span of hundreds of thousands to possibly millions of years.

During this time, the Aeon of the Ancients, many civilizations arose, gained knowledge surpassing that of contemporary Algol or Earth Men, and than collapsed due to catastrophic wars, sorcerous disasters, inhuman interference, natural disasters and so forth, afterwords descending into savagery and barbarism before beginning the long, slow ascent of civilization again. This is known as "The Great Cycles" by sages.

At some point tens of thousands of years there was a planet-wide conflict involving multiple Ancient societies and inhuman forces. Terrible weapons, both magical and technological, ravaged the world and in the ensuing holocaust the societies of the Ancients fell, either reduced to barbarity or losing their knowledge in a long, slow descent into stagnation and degeneration. Some sages claim that this holocaust "broke" the Great Cycle and that the Men of Algol are trapped in an endless state of ignorance and decline until the world is devoured by Iajuxxu.

Not much concrete information about these Ancients remain, and most stories about them are fanciful legends and folktales. However some scraps of their histories survived and some of these known Ancient societies are detailed below:

The Flesh-Weavers
The Flesh-Weavers were scientists and masters of genetic manupulation. They used their arts to warp and create a wide variety of biological organisms to serve as everything from servants to tools and war machines. Many of the more strange creatures of Algol are presumed to be their creations.

The Vat Guild seems to be descended from the Flesh-Weavers as they produce biological products and synthetic beings from their algae-, yeast- and protein-vats. They are a secretive order who are very protective of their secrets and are always garbed in robes, bandages and goggles. They are given much sanction by the societies of Algol Men an account of being important food producers for many communities as well as providing medical services and synthetic beings.

The Lords of the Crystal Spires
There are ruins on Algol composed of clusters of towering crystal spires and artifacts of entirely crystalline construction are found as well. These artifacts tend to be very potent and seem to operate on a sub-atomic level. Surviving records from the Aeon of the Ancients refer to an mysterious, isolationist, psychic race possessing great scientific knowledge, "The Lords of the Crystal Spires."

The Necroveults
A civilization of powerful necromancers that served a terrible deity known as "Zharrghu the Corpse Worm," the Necroveults were masters of the undead using them for labour, warfare and pleasure. Although powerful in sorcery their were not very technologically inclined, preferring to used undead servitors and magic instead.

Vampires claim to be descended from the Necroveults, which seems reasonable as surviving Necroveult inscriptions are in a language very similar to Vampirish. Some scholars claim that while some of the Necroveults became Vampires other degenerated into Ghouls and were the ancestors of the Ghoulic races. The more scholarly inclined among the Ghouls scoff at that hyposthesis stating that they predate the Necroveults and that much of their sorcery was taught to them by Ghouls.


  1. I love post-apocalyptic background and the legacy factions!
    One thing worries me as a player is that the Flesh Masters are "important food producers"!
    Soylent Green is Zhermish men???
    Man, I really want to draw a Vat Guild technician
    after reading that (ala Invisble Man meets Dune).

  2. Algol has scholarly-inclined Ghouls - Mint !

  3. Via Wikipedia:

    The star Algol takes its name from the definite Arabic term الغول, "al-ghūl", "the ghoul"...

  4. @ B. Portly: You do remember the party trading a deceased party member to the Vat Guild for candles? Where do you think some of those funky food items come from, you ever see any farmers? I was well aware of Algol's Arabic meaning, thus the main start being "The Ghoul Queen"

    @ Sean: They're defiantly a minority located in the rare, isolated subterranean "civilized" ghoul communities. Pickman dude, Pickman...