Thursday, January 24, 2008

More About the Diamond Grey Legion

In my prior post I mentioned the Diamond Legion.

To be precise, the current name is the Diamond Grey Legion. The prior incarnation - the Diamond Red Legion - fell to an assault by the forces of Chaos, known informally as the Blue (due to their apparent acquisition of control over the Blue from the Fey).

The ruling warders of the Diamond Grey Legion, like most members, are formally known by their shard names first, personal names second.

Therefore, a formal introduction of my character would be something like:
I am the Essential Savant of Bone, mounting Mantius
I am M. Mantius (M being short for Mount), mounted by the Essential Savant of Bone

The position of the ruling warders of Diamond Grey are as follows:
  • the Diamond Silver Sallet Warder (in charge of Oversight)
  • the Diamond Ash Gorget Warder (in charge of Strategy)
  • the Diamond Midnight Cloak Warder (in charge of Operations)
  • the Diamond Smoke Vambrace Warder (in charge of Communications)
  • the Diamond Shadow Bevor Warder (in charge of Intelligence)
  • the Diamond Coal Greave Warder (in charge of Recruitment and Training)
  • the Diamond Obsidian Couter Warder (in charge of Finance)
For each Warder's name, the Diamond comes from the name of the Legion, the color is meant to be a shade of the color of the legion (Grey in this case), and the accoutrement is related to the position's role.

The Diamond Legion is known for many things. It is known for its warders, whose ability seems to center around allowing, disallowing, or combining the abilities from various shards. It is known for Hazard shards. It is also known as the Legion handling Special Operations in the Shard Army
's war against the Blue.

Here are two more shards (drawn by Andrew Drilon as well) from the Diamond Grey Legion:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shards from "Isle: Imperium"

Up until recently, my wife and I were involved in Dean Alfar's RPG campaign titled Isle, now on its 9th "season". It's a very rich and complex universe involving generation-long plots and schemes, and tour de force exploration of unusual magical systems such as crafts and... as illustrated below... shards.

Shards are semi-cylindrical fragments of stone that impart ultra-normal abilities (and distinctive costumes) to those who can bear them. Using other semi-mystical shards called Brightlight, bearers can "purchase" abilities of the shard, unlocking more abilities and sometimes triggering changes in the shard's nature. Interestingly, it is possible (in general) for shard bearers to use abilities that they have from other shards provided they have sufficient attributes and "slots" in their ultra-normal forms to access them, leading to strange and sometimes powerful mixes of abilities and the occasional nasty surprise for those who tend to judge based on appearance.

What separates these shards from being mere tools of power is that there are sentiences behind the abilities. Hints of their leanings appear in dreams and sometimes emotional responses to events (or other shards). There are rivalries and allegiances between shards that sometimes color the way mounts perceive events. A few have been known to withhold abilities from mounts they did not like or trust. It is argued that the shards find ways to manipulate their bearers or further their own agendas.

Furthermore, each shard has a history in the long-standing war with chaos - most having sworn allegiance to one or more of the legions in the Army of Shards in their century-long careers. These histories are oftentimes associated with the bearers, resulting in prejudice, fear, or fondness from other shard-bearers (as well as from the enemies of the Legions - the Blue-infested Chaos Courts).

This is the Essential Savant of Bone, as worn by my character Mantius (a former slave and gladiator in the Roman-inspired Aeternum Empire).

Ossis Potior (the latin flavor text that accompanies the shard) was one of the earliest shards borne by our group. It was known then as Bone Collector, but after Mantius mastered the shard it became the Accomplished Bone Collector and then finally Ossis Potior Excelsis - the Essential Savant of Bone.

Mr. Potior (as he has become known to our group) has a reputation for being hunted by the mysterious Bone Legion, hated by one of Mantius' other favored shards (the Renegade Warder), and has been known to sacrifice greatly in order to safeguard the well-being of our group.

Mantius and Mr. Potior are currently working for the head of the Diamond Legion's intelligence operations.

Other shards currently in use by the group (all art done by Andrew Drilon, by the way) include: