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The Supernatural

In the setting of Uruk, most cultures have a very real belief in things supernatural.  Gods are not just lifeless icons rendered in stone and mortar -- they are powers at variance, powers that take a very tangible hand in the lives of their devoted worshipers.  They put the wheel of life into motion, watch the gears grind and shift, and bestow blessings and curses.  If there is a bountiful harvest, Ishtar be praised.  If the crops wither and die, surely some dark power has taken root.  Men beggar themselves for the favor of their chosen god while others blacken their soul through heinous rites to appease more insidious deities.  Gods loom large in the world where Uruk exists and few dare defy them within their spheres of influence.

Most of these supernatural forces will be wrestled down to existing only in the form of superstition in Uruk for the sake of proper balance, but superstition itself is a very powerful force.  If the belief is real, the belief can be taken advantage of by clever people meaning to turn it into a sword against their enemies, or to turn a coin for their own profit for that matter.

Magic, in Uruk, is a real thing and we will allow it to be used in a limited capacity.  You can't blast anyone with spells, as the magic in this world is a much more subtle thing (most of the time), but if you would like your character to practice the arcane arts in a very limited and tasteful measure, it's fine.  The golden rule as it pertains to magic on our sim is that you cannot use it in a way that forces negative consequences on another player.  In all cases where magic affects another character directly, you are going to need the FULL CONSENT of that player.  Magic in this world is not typically a flashy thing -- it is subtle, often arriving in forms such as hypnotism and suggestion where the intended target's own beliefs very strongly influence its effectiveness.

If you want to play a magician of some kind, you're going to need admin approval just because such a thing would be so uncommon in a city like Uruk.  You'll need to have a fine story worked up for it and your magic will still need to follow the rules outlined above.  But there are other options that might, ultimately, be just as effective.  Read on.

Many men throughout the larger world are whispered of as sorcerers and practitioners of the dark arts when in reality, their power is merely an intricate series of illusions, sleight of hand, and extremely effective means of gathering intelligence on their enemies.  Such a man might set complicated traps using levers and pulleys, might produce flashes and puffs of smoke using basic alchemy and knowledge of chemical reactions, or rely on information from a broad spy network to gain a foreknowledge of events which he relays as prophecy.  But on the other hand, there are very real and deadly practitioners in mysterious lands and forgotten places.  All fear the fell powers of the Stygians and the Khitai, lands almost entirely under the thrall of their priesthoods and magicians.  That type of magic will not take a hand in Uruk but rumor of it alone is often enough to weaken the nerve of even the bravest of warriors.

Monsters are real.  They exist.  There are eldritch horrors lurking in the dark and forsaken places of the larger world that would blast the sanity of even the most skeptical of Nemedian intellectuals.  You can't play these monsters, though, and they will almost certainly never appear in such a large and flourishing city as Uruk.  Their abodes are the empty places; the crumbling ruin and the lightless pit where human footsteps have long since ceased their falling.  But even so, superstition still exerts power enough to inspire a tangible fear of darkness.  The staff might bring such unspeakable abominations to bear occasionally just for fun.

There are, of course, cultures where belief in things supernatural has dimmed considerably but these are the exception rather than the rule.  The western powers (Aquilonia and Nemedia chiefly) consider themselves and humanity as a whole to be masters of the world.  There is an arrogant pride in the collective intellect of these great cultures which has rendered the dark little more than an absence of light, which has softened primal fear with the blunt instruments of logic and reason.  These nations are renowned for their skeptics but, even so, they are (for the larger part) greatly devoted to the deity Mitra.  Most of their great thinkers doubt the god's existence in earnest but still hold to its tenets nonetheless for their cultural benefits.

This is a primordial world; a land where myths and legends live and breathe.  Powers walk among you.  Bear them in mind and tread carefully, wayfarer.