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Third Dynasty in brief

--- I should note, that a lot of what originally went into Dynasty when I was first playing
it, came from my gamemaster at the time, Bert. He laid a lot of the groundwork, and
came up with a lot of the original concepts. However, I have been out of touch with him
for over a year now, and so I am putting more of my own spin on things here. Much of
what you’ll read is what I’ve made up from scratch, but I though I should credit Bert,
wherever he is. Among other things he was a superior gamemaster and I hope I do him
credit here.

Third Dynasty is an ancient Asian spiritual realm which during the second
possibility wars, entered into the conflict about a year after things really got going. It is a
realm dominated by spiritual power, and a great deal of magic as well. The highlord of
Dynasty is the Emperor, Ming.
Martial artists of any real power almost always have the faith and focus skill,
which allow them to learn miracles, which they use as techniques of a supernatural
variety. Most anime and many fighting games have examples of these kinds of powers.
A fireball or dragon punch from Street Fighter. The eight devils in Ninja Scroll. Many of
the maneuvers in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon are examples of these kinds of powers.
We decided that miracles of faith were more appropriate than magic as an
explanation for these kinds of powers for a number of reasons when we designed the
realm. Mostly, it is because ancient martial arts are deeply tied to religious philosophy,
and many of the original practitioners were monks. Martial Arts is considered to have
been born in the ancient Shao-Lyn temple. This also fits with the concept of chi focusing.
The tapping of spiritual energy, even if it comes from one’s self, still fits better as a
miracle of faith, than as an arcane knowledge as they are defined in the Torg rules.
Magic and Wizards however still have a place in this world, and are a force to be
reckoned with simply because magic allows for certain abilities that spiritual power does
not. More so than in Asyle, being a magician is a lifetime pursuit and so most wizards
will not be very powerful in hand to hand combat. Of course there will be dabblers both
ways, but in general wizards and warriors will be two very different types of people.
The primary invasion point of Dynasty is the Forbidden City, the maelstrom
bridge dropping just outside of it’s walls, and the Emperor using the city as his seat of
power in China. It is suspected that Dynasty has been to earth before, and may be
responsible for some of China’s ancient history.

I’ll try and include a map sometime of exactly where Dynasty invaded and where it’s
bridges and stelae are.

Here’s also a list of the other invaders during the second possibility wars. If things go
well with the Dynasty “sourcebook” I may try and post others as well.

Orrorsh - the land of horrors re-invaded in exactly the same spot it had before, but
managed to progress further south in to Australia and north towards china. The
northward expansion however was halted by the arrival of Dynasty.
Dark Avalon - this is a reality based on the Canterbury tales, but one where Arthur was
slain by his son Mordred, and Morgana became the highlord of Avalon. Dark Avalon
invaded in nearly the same place Asyle did, but also took Iceland, and extended slightly
further into the USSR. Brittan however quickly drove them out, having a number of
leftover spellcasters from Asyle’s invasion who adapted well to the similar axioms of
Dark Avalon

The Maze - this was a reality inspired by the movie Dark City, and by Clive Barker in
general. 1930's tech, grim and outwardly very similar to the early build up of German
forces before WW2, complete with Nazi soldiers and a new feura. Behind the scenes
however, the “beings” dark undead looking creatures manipulate everything. Able to
cause illusions and alter reality with their minds, the beings run The Maze like their own
personal puppet show. The invasion was most of central Europe, with the bridge
presumed somewhere in Germany.

Wasteland - the Wasteland was a post holocaust reality that invaded Texas and most of
the surrounding states. Wasteland invaded by first bombarding that region with
possibility charged meteors dropped from space. These meteors caused a reality wash
that turned the entire area into a mixed zone. They were actually not a part of the Gaunt
Man’s planed invasion. They unilaterally declared war on everyone of every country and
reality on earth and proceeded to be complete pricks to everyone. They blanketed a good
portion of earth with orbital particle beam satellites and were a general nuance to all
sides. Wasteland is what happens when a society has a very high tech axiom and a very
low social one.

Nile Empire - Dr. Mobius returned, having of course faked his own death at the end of
the first possibility wars. Carpet bombing strips of territory with reality bombs and then
moving in and setting up stelae, Dr. Mobius’s campaign was extremely successful. Of
course he had dozens of other mad schemes running, including a trip back in time to seize
the Gaunt Man’s earth stopping machine for himself.

Tharkold - With a new highlord, a woman who’s allegiance to the Gaunt Man was
unswerving, Tharkold invaded Russia as it had originally planed. It arrived with a large
quantity of gospog troops, much to surprise of everyone and it wasn’t until Dr. Hachi
Mara-Three arrived that it was discovered that Tharkold had spent it’s down time
successfully invading Kadandra and now had plenty of dead humans to plant gospog
fields. These new gospogs were somewhat different than before, because Tharkold’s new
highlord brought with her the Law of Fear which became a part of the already horrific
reality.

Third Dynasty - when Dynasty arrived, no one expected it. There had been no hints, save
one lone storm knight that everyone had dismissed as the product of some pocket reality
spawned by the Nippon invasion.
There was no visible reality wash. Instead, the axioms and world laws washed
gently but quickly over the land until they reached the boarder of the Emperor’s stelae.
There a reality storm did form around the border of Dynasty, encompassing most of
china. The border reached down into Vietnam and Burma. On the western front it went
north from Burma to the western tip of the Great Wall. It followed the Great Wall closely
from one end to the other, then turned north to encompass most of the northeastern tip of
China. The eastern border encompassed all of North and South Korea, the Yellow Sea,
the South China Sea, and part of Taiwan.
The fact that the northern border of Dynasty follows the Great Wall, indicates
why there was no storm during the reality wash of Dynasty’s invasion. The stelae for that
portion of the border are part of the Great Wall itself, not planted there just prior to the
invasion, but already part of the original design. The truth is that Dynasty had invaded
before, and a small part of that reality still lingered in china thousands of years later.
Society in Dynasty is ruled by the aristocracy. All the land in Dynasty is divided
among the ruling houses. Each house is ruled by a Lord, or in some rare cases a Lady or
a Regent until a male heir comes of age. The highest of these houses is the Emperor’s
royal house. The Emperor rules the empire as a whole, but also rules his own ancestral
lands and estates directly. There are eighty five other ruling houses, each belonging to
one of twelve clans. The head of each clan is determined through politics and infighting,
except in the case of the Emperor’s own clan which consists of only two other houses
aside from his own.
Land is owned by the individual houses. Peasants live on and work the land of
the various houses, and are officially allied to them, though most peasants care little for
the trappings of house loyalty, except where they are required to follow customs and laws
as defined by their rulers. There are no free cities in Dynasty, though the largest urban
areas have laws and customs allowing certain amounts of free trade, and property
easements in order to allow for a dynamic system of trade and a reasonably healthy
economy.
Peasants do not technically own anything that they produce, be it crops, tools,
clothing, or any other type of goods. They are however payed by their rulers for what
they produce at a rate that is usually determined by the markets, and are allowed to keep a
portion of their production to use or sell themselves as they wish. Because of this there
are actually very few taxes, because houses profit by selling what their peasants produce.
Soldiers are commoners who have been permitted, or sometimes conscripted, into
military service to their rulers. Common soldiers can potentially reach officers rank, but
this is rare. Most officers are somehow a part of the ruling family, even if only distantly
or through marriage.
Priests are drawn from royalty and the common man alike, though commoners
often miss the calling if it comes to them. Monks are also a mixed lot, but more likely to
be commoners than royalty. A person of royal standing who trains as a monk, is usually
still though of in terms of their noble position rather than their training or school.
Royalty that joins the priesthood must cast leave behind their royal offices, though they
may maintain their family ties as much as they can find time to.
Magicians are persons who have chosen to pursue magic as a career. Practicing
magic is independent of their social station. The son of a house lord can become a master
magician, and still eventually succeed his father as ruler of his family, while a commoner
who becomes a powerful and even famous wizard, will still always be a common man,
though he may find himself in the service of royalty.
There is a Japanese aspect to Dynasty. The island of Japan exists in Dynasty as
well, but is a conquered nation that is ruled by House Hahkenden, a member of the
Emperor’s Clan. Family names are the names of the founder of that house. The
Emperor’s family name is Ming, as that he is the founder of his own house. Korean,
Indian, and other martial arts traditions exist as well, though they are also part of
conquered and assimilated cultures.
The Emperor is thousands of years old. Most suspect that he has extended his life
through magical means. In fact it is his darkness device that has allowed him to live so
long. On earth, many storm knights believe he could rival the Gaunt Man in power. One
of the first things the Emperor did when Dynasty arrived, was send an ambassadorial
entourage to Ailment Manor in Gaia to meet the Lord Salisbury. When presented to Lord
Salisbury, the ambassador attempted to assassinate the Gaunt Man publicly with the aid
of a Demon from Dynasty, contracted for the task by the Emperor. The attempt of course
failed, but was no less impressive for the trying. No other highlord had ever been openly
hostile to the Gaunt Man before.
Dynasty is full of various types of magical and fantastic creatures. Dragons,
Wood Spirits, Demons, and other supernatural beings exist. Some dwell on higher
planes, some in the wild, and some in the service of ruling lords. Some are simply
natural creatures like the Yeti, others are magical in nature like the Ki-Rin and the
Dragon.
What disturbs most Storm Knights however, is the presence of Gospogs in
Dynasty. How did the Emperor manage to acquire gospog seeds? Was he once allied
with the Gaunt Man, or was he able somehow to steal them for his own uses?

Well, this was supposed to be a brief description of Third Dynasty, but instead it’s
turned into one long run-on essay. Still, I hope it gives you a good feel for what the
reality is like. I will continue to post “chapters” with specific information like a list of
creatures, list of martial arts schools and styles, a chapter on magic and on miracles and
“techniques, and try and group them the same way other sourcebooks did.
Feedback is encouraged, and please be as harsh as you want. I’ve played in this
realm quite a bit and it can be an excellent environment, but I want all the help I can get
on codifying it into a “sourcebook” for my own use and anyone else who wants it.
If the finished product goes well I may try and make a PDF file of it formatted
like other worldbooks.