Sunday, June 21, 2020

Oasis Kingdoms (Sunless Horizon)

A Sudden Turn

The Oasis Kingdoms are named for their placement - each one stands atop a resource, whether it's water, power, farmland, or rare metals.

Before the Retreat dragged the Navigator Houses to their door, the Oasis Kingdoms were unquestioned in their dominance. Everything they could see was their domain, and they had peace.

Their golden age has lasted for centuries, but with the death of their last ruler, Grand Patron Hetu, and the arrival of the violent, expansionist Houses, the decline has begun. 

One Long Bright Day

The Golden Age of the Kingdoms was marked by an intense focus on scholarship, philosophy, and the arts. The government sponsored painters, writers, and sculptors, built schools, and starting the Record - a full written history of the Oasis Kingdoms.

During the Golden Age, even the poorest farmer owned sculptures and paintings.
Trade between the Kingdoms was lucrative and constant. The literacy rate had spiked.

But all days end. 


The death of Grand Patron Hetu is accepted as the start of the decline of the Kingdoms. As the Houses arrived and the new Grand Patron took office, the imperious nature of the Kingdoms was shaken.

They watched the Houses become a new power - far from the slow, peaceful Kingdoms, the Navigator Houses expanded violently, clearing land of threats before sealing themselves in walled cities and sending their armies out into the worldship.

The mood in the Kingdoms has started to change. While life is still good, and people still have food, art, and learning, the government's eye has shifted toward a darker pursuit - war.

War has been absent in the Kingdoms for centuries. The last remnants of the army are ceremonial, armed with long ribbon-covered spears and armored in thin, shining gold and copper. The leaders of the Kingdoms are desperate to move forwards, replacing their aging cavalry with modern machines.

Until then, the Kingdoms trade with the Navigators, giving away their wealth and art for guns and peace.

The Beliefs of the Kingdoms

The Kingdoms say all things are made of the 3 Perfect Shapes.

  • The Cube, which is solid, unchanging, and unmoving. The metal walls of Ein Sof are made of the Cube.
  • The Sphere, which is mercurial, agile, and distracted. Water dancing in the pipes that cross the ship are made of the Sphere.
  • The Tetrahedron, which is destructive, energetic, and consuming. Fire is made of the Tetrahedron, but so is electricity.
Most things are made of combinations of the shapes. Animals are made of the Tetrahedron and the Sphere, while Disciples are made of the Cube and Tetrahedron.

Only people are made of all 3 Perfect Shapes, and in them, the Shapes must be kept in balance. If you are made out of the Cube, you will become a hermit, never leaving your home or changing your ways. If you are made out of the Sphere, you will never be able to focus, and die early as your blood races in all directions. If you are made out of the Tetrahedron, you will be consumed by it, becoming violent.

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