A Brief Introduction to Tyrra

By Dan Comstock

 

NERO takes place on a world called Tyrra and a continent called Avalon. The people of Avalon are numerous and varied. There are dozens of kingdoms, with millions and millions of people living in them. There are also monsters, ranging from the weak though numerous Goblins, to the honorable Minotaur herds, to the powerful and terrible undead, such as Death Knights, Liches, and Vampires.

 

Of Laws and Nobility

Law in Avalon is maintained by a caste of nobility. The nobles of Avalon are sworn to uphold the laws of their lands, and the code of chivalry. The code of chivalry is held in high status amongst nobility and commoner alike. The eight components of the code are as follows:

 

1.      Thou shalt respect the weak and constitute thyself the defender of them.
2.      Thou shalt love the country to which thou hast sworn fealty.

3.      Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.

4.      Thou shalt make war against evil without cessation.

5.      Thou shalt scrupulously perform thy noble duties be they not contrary to the laws of the land.

6.      Thou shalt never lie and thou shalt remain faithful to thy word.

7.      Thou shalt be generous and thou shalt give freely to everyone.

8.      Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the right and the good against injustice.

 

There are two ways to become a noble – by birth or by virtue. Some nobles are borne into noble lines, and titles will pass from adult to child when the adult dies. Some commoners, however, are recognized by nobles as being virtuous and chivalrous, and may be selected to be a squire candidate. Eventually, from a number of squire candidates, a commoner may become a squire. Squires have no ability to enforce the law, but they are given respect as they represent the noble that squired them.

            After sufficient training, a squire may become a Knight. Above knights are Barons, Dukes, and the King. The King of Evendarr, the largest kingdom of Avalon, is a human man named Mykel.

            Nobles are given utmost respect, as their word is the law. They have the legal ability to pass judgment and punish those who break their law. It is traditional (and good etiquette) to kneel when in the presence of a noble, until the noble tells you to rise.

 

The Planes of Existence, and Higher Beings

            Other than Tyrra, there are several planes of existence. The Elemental Planes are composed of the very fabric of matter and the spirit: There are planes of Flame, Earth, Air, and Water. There are also planes which represent more metaphysical concepts in the universe and effect the world by their presence. There are planes of Light, Darkness, Order, Chaos, Life, Death, Dream, Reason, and Time. Beyond this, there is a void of corruption that perverts and twists whatever enters it. Strange beings called Elementals live on these planes and carry out the will of their Icons. Each plane is ruled by an Icon, an unbelievably powerful being said to be the personification of that plane itself.

            Elementals come to Tyrra to battle their opposites. Fire battles Water, Order battles Chaos, and Time seeks to hold universal balance but is opposed by the Void. Elementals sometimes interact with the Tyrrans, hoping to spread their influence and thereby the power of their plane.

            Past the Elemental Icons, there are no real higher beings of Tyrra. There are no Gods and no church. Sometimes people will follow an Element as if it is their religion, but beings on Tyrra have no sense of a higher power that directly governs them.

 

Of Life and Undeath

            There are two types of magic – the Celestial school, and the school of the Earth. The Celestial School is skilled in offensive magics – With a few words, a celestial caster can conjure forth lightning bolts, blasts of flame, and chilling storms of ice or sharp bolts of stone. The Earth casters specialize in healing and necromancy.

Most spells that an earth caster may cast are reversible. They can be cast as a healing spell or a necromantic attack spell. An earth caster will either cast “I call upon the earth to purify your blood”, but can just as easily incant “I call upon chaos to taint your blood”. Necromancy causes great atrocities when cast on living beings, but will heal undead. Necromancy can also allow an earth caster to control or create undead.

Necromancy is seen by many as the bane of Tyrra. Necromancy perverts nature, causing crops to wither and die, trees to be struck by horrible blights, and the dead to rise up from their grave. No spells need be cast specifically to do this, merely casting necromancy causes a taint on the land in which it is cast.

As such, necromancy is one of the highest crimes in Avalon. Necromancers are sought out and executed, seen as traitors to the very land they live in.

 

            A Tyrran can die multiple times. After someone dies, his or her spirit will leave their body, causing the body to dissipate or turn to dust. The spirit will travel to an Earth Circle of Power where Healers will perform a ceremony for the spirit, allowing it to form a body again. There is a chance, however, that the spirit will not survive resurrection – that final death will occur. The average person can die anywhere between three and thirteen times before they suffer their final death. As it’s said, dead men tell tales.

 

Adventure!

            There is a growing need in Avalon for adventurers. As the monstrous population grows, and the Elementals mass up for their next great war on each other, Tyrra is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. Some commoners take it upon themselves to fix many of the problems that plague Avalon, and will set off on the road to experience an exciting and dangerous life of adventurer.

            There are great risks but great rewards to adventuring. Some adventurers amass legendary hordes of gold and silver, but some end up dying poor deaths on the battlefield. Some become heroes renowned throughout the kingdoms of Avalon. Among the adventurers are also villains, cowards, leaders, and nobility. What path will you take?