Stories and Lore
What lies below are those stories and lore that suffuse the world of Age of Ashes, as well as changes to canon that have been specifically added by players with a Change Canon glory spend or a raffle ticket. This page updates often, so check back regularly.
The Traveler is a myth that pervades each culture in a unique way. Its forms are so varied from culture to culture that the only reason any scholar would think to link them is that it is always called by the same name, and exhibits similar behavior. Some theorize is it an ancient Malefic borne of the Calamity, and thus can never be truly given rest. It always wanders, never stopping in one spot for too long, in search of something perhaps even it does not remember. The Salgothic are awed by it, with some thinking it a visitation by an Angel or Saint bringing lost knowledge; the Gothic think of it as an ill omen; and the Seravian wonder curiously at it as a figment of a past nobody quite recalls. Whatever it is, the Traveler is a creature that may appear in any town, and is recognizable by its distinct anachronism. It frequently has small tasks it wishes to be performed, or delivers small, cryptic notes. It’s mostly regarded as benign, as it has not yet been seen to attack a human to anyone’s recollection.
Amongst the Gothic, its primary form is that of a staunch and easily annoyed farmer. Its distinctive features and full frame would represent a time where there was plenty and communities worked differently. Thus, they tend to avoid it as an unlucky sign of things that are not to be, and are quick to Knock on Stammtisch as soon as it is available to them when it is encountered.
Amongst the Salgothic people, it takes priestly forms, most often as a young priestess with an eyepatch bearing the sigil of Nuraniel. It is most likely to appear near the site of a Malefic, giving cryptic advice to those nearby. Many believe that it is extremely foolish to ignore such advice, even if it does not at first make sense.
Amongst the Seravian, it is always a knight. Clad in armor, it wears many different crests, but most often one of a ring of fire. It is frequently protective in Seravia and considered a sign of safety when noticed, as the Night Terrors are frequently kept at bay by its presence.
Amongst the Hesha, it is widely regarded to have two forms, the brother and the sister –the brother is frequently near treasure or adventure; and thus most Hesha consider him a good luck sign provided he is offered alcohol. It is believed that once the brother is sober, all fortune fades. The sister appears as a passenger on a ship, most often requesting an escort. She stays with the ship she has chosen from one destination to another, and it is considered bad luck to refuse her.
Amongst the Nemien, the Traveler has the guise of an old water magi; a tranquil figure who haunts the gardens and gives advice when asked. Some describe the experience of talking to it to be akin to communion with the purest form of oneself, giving glimpses into what one must do to achieve their own ascension.
Amongst the Outlanders, the Traveler is alien in its solitary stature; looking nothing like the cursed kin that have been raised in the Wastes. They describe the Traveler as wearing clothing that looks the part of a Gothic or Seravian thief. To assault or rob the Traveler brings deep misfortune, and so most bands have an initial wary reaction to a single person wandering in the sands, unsure if it’s a challenge or an omen.
Amongst the Forgotten Ones, the Traveler is considered a religious figure, and possibly even a shadowed avatar of Vecatra itself, as they ascribe three forms to it. Clad in Tartan and standing at well over six feet, the Male aspect of the Traveler is jovial and eager to challenge those it encounters. If he is somehow bested, it is a sign of great favor. The Female aspect is also tall, with long blond hair, an apron dress and furs, frequently found over the burial sites of loved ones when those marrying come to retrieve a buried weapon. It is considered to be a great honor to find the Traveler on this night, and if the beholder does as she asks, or answers her riddles truly, she will bless weapon upon her anvil, allowing it to take on new gifts. And then there is the Other–a figure that stalks the night in furs, whispering of long-dead secrets in languages as lost as the information. This form is sometimes perceived as an ill omen, but others maintain that it speaks of things that must be heard and endured.
Changes to Canon
Coat of Arms: A Black Fox holding a Gold coin in its mouth and a Sword in its tail, on a field of Purple and Salt
Maxim: All that’s Weak must Die
Unlike many of the Houses of the Hesha, Fortuna and the great ship Opportunity are an upstart group if ever there were any. Eldric Fortuna, the first of the House, is only 3 generations back, and won the ship in a gambling game with his Captain at the time. What ship it was before, and to whose house it owed allegiance, is a mixed tale, and one told differently every time by the crewmembers. Of course, there is a truth hidden in the mixed retellings of how the Opportunity came to exist. As the flagship under House Fortuna, the Opportunity never sinks. That is to say, the Opportunity always rises. When a ship is lost, the crew become landbound for a time, until they can steal another ship by whatever means necessary, often making enemies along the way.
House Fortuna’s Captain and leader of their small fleet is always a person whose name bears many ships captured, as they consider this the proper way to acquire a ship. And while Fortuna plays by the rules of the Code, it has a few additional rules that it keeps its own to as well. It is said there is no crew more closely knit than a crew under the Fortuna-but there is also no crew more motley. The Fortuna has beggars and stowaways who have become crew mates in droves, often from other cultures and keeps, because all that it takes for a ship under House Fortuna to love you is strength and loyalty, and god help you if the latter ever becomes questionable.
Vanessa Heideveld has a younger brother by the name of Evan Heideveld who is married to the Lady Corine Underwode. Evan and Corine hold titles as Viscount and Viscountess and have a sizable plot of land in Heideveld as well as a large manor. They are known for being dedicated to their land and people. Some believe that they truly do care, while others believe that they act out of fear of the Countess’ ire or because it preserves their overall comfort. Whatever the reason, their people aren’t in any kind of a bad way.
Viscount Evan is known as a capable tactician, while Viscountess Corine is known to be ruthless in the game of courtly intrigue. She’s a capable judge of value and character in people as well as goods. They have 3 sons and a daughter; Cyrus is the eldest, followed by Stephen, then Elizabeth, and lastly Tristan.
Lady Marsh is an elderly Magician of Air, presumably of elevated rank, though her advancement in the Guild stalled when she entered service with Lady Vanessa Heideveld. Having married Baron Marsh of Heideveld around the same time she joined Lady Vanessa’s research team, she has been under the protection of Lady Vanessa for many years. This has led to her isolation and now-cold relationship with the Air Guild due to the perception of conflicting loyalties.
Lady Marsh has family which includes her children and grandchildren, most of whom have remained in Heideveld, though a few have married into other noble families in Seravia.
As a tutor and lorthew, Lady Marsh comes across as distant and immersed in her research. She keeps students carefully away from anything overtly personal, while at the same time developing deep loyalties and pride in her favorites. Known as a polymath with diverse interests, her research embraces Archaeology, Alchemy, and languages. Her students are convinced she knows at least one or two Lost languages simply because she refuses to teach them, stating they are far too dangerous. Reputed to have traveled widely in her youth, Lady Marsh now spends most of her time in her “offices” – the top floors of a tower jutting off one corner of Unguarded Castle – or closeted with Lady Vanessa.
Lord Alessandro Montara has a sister by the name of Lady Chiara Montara, who had a child with Alejandro Rossi- a Hesha of unknown provenance and name beyond that of his mother ship- the Rossi. Lady Chiara met her final death in 303 after a lengthy struggle with a disease, and is survived by Cicero Montara- who is acknowledge as Lord Montara’s nephew.
Sacra Theodoric Sauber, the Chancellor of Lethia, is married to Anneliese Sauber, originally from House Agreste, a vassal house under House Eliseus in Aquila. It is rumored the woman Theodoric was originally arranged to be wed to did not return from her Vagary, and so, after Theodoric and Anneliese met at a formal gathering, there was a spark between them, and they were swiftly wed after their families gave approval. Theodoric and Anneliese have three children, the eldest and Heir Markus Sauber, middle son Claudius and youngest daughter, Eleanor.
Heredis Markus Sauber is married to Catelin Sauber, originally from House Soignar which is a vassal house under House Miranti in Aquila. They have three children together, Emelia, Anna and Theodor.
Claudius Sauber is married to Hellar Sauber, originally from House Valoda, a vassal house under House Forgia in Fenristadt. They have one child together, Lirim.
Eleanor Sauber, their youngest child, is currently unwed but is arranged to be wed upon her return from her Vagary.
House Agreste – is known for the structure and maintenance of beautiful butterfly gardens and bee keeping in Aquila. They are also very talented with decor and decorations for holidays, weddings and other celebrations.
Coat of arms: three butterflies surrounded by flowers
Maxim: Light wings rise
House Soignar is known for their ability to create healing salves that help resolve and prevent infections.
Coat of arms: a bandage wrapped firmly around a wounded arm
Maxim: to heal and hold
House Valoda is known for their linguist expertise and ability to translate many different languages. It is rumored children of House Valoda are expected to be trilingual before they reach 10 years of age.
Coat of arms: An open mouth with a smaller mouth inside of it, and a smaller mouth inside of that mouth
Maxim: language holds the past
Coat of Arms: Two serpents intertwined, black and white on a grey field.
Maxim: Built from Ruin
A house that dates before the Calamity, House Venari were originally plague doctors in a minor house. The methods of healing were seen as barbaric and were unpopular with the rest of Gothic culture. They also had already started growing mushrooms and exotic plans underground which helped research how to heal poisoned test subjects.
After the Calamity House Venari was instrumental to the survival of the Salgothic people. Early on when they had fled to the underground city, House Wolfram needed to find people who knew how to grow food, plants, herbs underground to survive. Varrick Venari volunteered to lead this huge task with the knowledge House Venari already had of growing different things underground. This made it possible for many salgothic houses to survive the initiate scarcity of food.
After food had become a more abundant resource House Venari presented House Wolfram with the plans to build what is now known as the Gardens of Fenristadt. With the Garden built Fenristadt became more self sufficient. This marked an important win to House Venari’s popularity as many houses started seeing them as leaders and providers.
Once the Garden was built, House Venari became one of the most respected houses, even more than House Wolfram by some people. This made House Wolfram realize that their Chancellor position in the Parliament was in jeopardy, knowing that many other houses wanted to vote for House Venari as Chancellor. In a private meeting House Wolfram ordered House Venari (who at that point had been loyal and dear friends to House Wolfram) to deny the chancellor position if they were voted into it, in return House Wolfram promised them a favored position in House Wolfram. House Venari promised to do so but later, when asked by others during a public meeting if they would accept the position if nominated they said they would. Wolfram managed to make sure that vote never happened, barely, but considered the answer a betrayal. This severed the very close relationship House Wolfram and House Venari had and from then on they had only been cordial.
Coat of arms: Gold fox with six tails on a teal background with green eyes
Keep: Songweavers Spire named for the structure built along the outside of the castle along the cliffs. When wind passes through it, it acts like a wind harp.
Ruling Lord: Aleksander Vosslyn
House Maxim: Resilience of heart and mind
What is known: While few speak of house Vosslyn, all the lords of Shadowvale have a fondness for the peculiar house. While it is unknown why Ascalon chooses to keep information on the house restricted, for generations members of house vosslyn have taken up many projects to improve the lives of the people throughout the region. Marrying a Vosslyn is a high honor as they are so close to house Ascalon and for their tendency to produce gifted heirs. Throughout the centuries, Vosslyn has been a precious resource producing great strategists, devout paladins, and other prodigies. Other than their helpfulness to Shadowvale, very little else is ever spoken of them.
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