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🎨 Creative Build me your Predecessor Civilizations

Hammel

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1) Once, Dwarves were ubiquitous on the Continent. Some say they even sailed the ocean and discovered new lands (though others say many merely became seagoing raiders). But as civilizations go sometimes, the Dwarves fell into corruption and began associating with infernal forces. Their infernal servants inevitably turned against them, ending Dwarven civilization but leaving many Dwarves' souls captive. Though some of the old ruins have been cleared out and their restless spirits helped, many ruins still remain that are both haunted by Dwarven ghosts and lorded over by infernal forces.
 

Kraus

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2) Long ago, the People used rune-carved boats to sail past the sunset to a new world: a vast ocean scattered with islands. Many great things were done then, but at last the magician-priests grew discontented, and overthrew the chiefs. Under the rule of the magician-priests many submitted (or were forced) into accepting changes to adapt them to their trades, and their children inherited both their changes and their trades, down through generations, becoming almost separate races. The magician-priests began to live separately themselves, becaming ever-more reclusive, and the Unchanged grew fewer and fewer.

In the trade agoras and longhouses, dwarven wrights mingle with elven navigators, halfling riggers, and the near-amphibious orcs. They swap tall tales about their sea voyages and visits to distant islands: uncanny experiences around ancient statues and rock carvings, encounters with mighty magicians, and strange tribes who may be, perhaps, the last of the humans.
 
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MoonHunter

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3) From the Waunder's Way Setting, which is the foundation for all the TransD World and the TransD City posts I have done.

The Others: A Great TransDimensional culture that was either one race of shapeshifters or a conglomeration of several species. They are responsible for D-Matrices and many other dispersed artifacts.

A race, or society of many races, from Otherwhen that built most of the available D-matrix technology. They were shifters of shape and could make minor adjustments in reality. They traveled the *Verse for years innumerable. Over the last 10 or so Millennium, there has been no contact between The Others and any other group. No one knows for certain what happened to them, if anything happened to them. All that is known is that their technology and artifacts have survived. It is only since the disappearance of the Others that any other cross *Verse organization have come into existence.

The Forerunner: A culture that may of been a splinter off The Others. They existed for a long time and made a mission of uplifting species and spheres, and sometimes cultures. They often transplanted elements of cultures to other worlds.

The Ancients: They are a society that existed before what Society recognizes as The Other. They could be an earlier alternate to The Others, existing existed through space and dimension through a mastery of many skills. By their end, they were extremely long lived.

Grand Species: The few great species that existed between The Era of The Others/ Forerunners/ Ancients and Society as it is.

And From 101 Worlds
From 101 Alien Species
Pentatrex (aka The Ancients but again, reality alterating, dimensionally sensitive, and shapeshifters, are in their portfolio. )

This is an ancient species that is no more. They, like other precursors, have left their mark and their artifacts (and litter) on worlds throughout the inner edge of our galactic arm and beyond. They are either proto-Crustacea or proto-Insecta, but they are definitively Arthropod. They are centered around a thick central abdominal core, nearly one meter in diameter and a bit more than a meter in height. At the bottom of the core is their orafice surrounded by five shorter legs. At the top is the capula, a muffin top of segmented plates. It contains five eyes of complex design and a ridge of sensory pits. Some of the sensory pits might also be used to produce sounds (possible echolocation). Under the capula are five, five segmented arms with complex grasping rings and some cillia for holding and manipulation. The three hearts, three lungs, five gill slots, and other organs are in the abdomen. For positioning, it varies. The legs are two to the front, two the slighly rear side, and one strong one in the rear. The arms have one in the front, two to the front sides and two to the side rears. The eyes match the arms in positioning.

The Pentatrex seem to have a wide variety of colors for ethnic or perhaps racial classes: purple red, orange brown, purple green, lighter versions of the above, but a pale blue and dark blue seems to exist and be of a superior/ important position.

They, like many Precursors, mastered the material and energetic universe. Perhaps augmented by technology we do not even recognize as technology, they seemed able to create and manipulate matter and energy with thoughts. They also have the ability to transmat across interstellar distances and perhaps across time and dimension.

As one could guess, Pentatrex leave behind ruins based on pentagons, with pentagonal doors (inset stone doors milled so precisely that they will move to the side at a touch, even after half a million standard years. Given continental drifts and atmospheric conditions, few of their sites still exist to be studied after a half million standard years or more since their apparent final abandonment.

They however left us a gift. Habitable planets. These are habitable planets that should not be habitable based on Ororan solar and system development, materials should not be spun and concentrated in the solar disks this way. The puzzle was solved by the Precursor/"Appleseed" hypothesis. Where they touched down, they created an ecosystem and all the material needed to support a greater one. By whole cloth, through their technology and will. Now their native environment would not be useful to most galactic species. (habitable but with filters and maybe light suits.) However, left alone to develop after many million or billions of years under attended, they have developed into a galactic standard.


Players should encounter places that have remains (ruins) or someone mentions this species. These would make a good introductions to the Precursors or something like the Precursors

43) Little do we know they have left a cache of eggs in stasis hidden in the main ruins of some planet that is being mined. The World should have the normal drama. It just needs to have a Crystal Team investigating the Ruins. If someone accidentally (or on purpose) beaches these stasis boxes, they will hatch soon. That they have a full racial memory at near birth means that these beings of immense power might someday reclaim their segment *verse and beyond... and there will be little we can do to stop them once they start.

Now keep in mind that these "kids" are chronicle changers.
 
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Nameless McGraw

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4.) In the time of the Ancestors, mighty kings ruled the land, and mighty works were done. Great walls were raised, and great tombs were carved, and greater still were the names of the God-Kings, those of Divine Blood, whose will caused it to be so. Magic and the Gods honored, and were honored in turn by, armies of priests and scribes, and the Mother River fed all with her bounty. But Ruin came to the Land, in the form of the Sea Peoples. What land they hailed from, no man could say, only that they were not men, as we know them. From the Sea they came, a mighty Horde, wise in the ways of war. Merenptah the God-King raised a mighty army and defeated the Sea Peoples, and raised a mighty Obelisk to give thanks. But the Sea Peoples were defeated, not destroyed. In the Time of the God-King User-maat-re Setep-en-re, they came again. Of the mighty realm and works of that God-King, only a broken statue stands, far greater than any we could create. At its shattered foot, an inscription: Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair... Nothing beside remains.
 

MoonHunter

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5) Aviontix
All the pieces related to this, and there are like six, are ... here.

Aviontix is designed to be an "ancient kingdon" to be plopped into a game world as history. However, you can make it a current game world, if you want.

Aviontix is templated off the Egyptians, with a different slant, so bare with me.

The key ideas:
The lands of Aviontix are mostly desert now, with several small rivers running through it. At the time of the Kingdom, it was naturally greener and lusher. This was enhanced by waterworks allowing canals, and irrigation. However, these massive waterworks have fallen to the weight of time since then.

Long ago they build great cities, and monuments, and water works. The Aviontix never seemed to do anything on a small scale. That is why so much of their society (via ruins) has survivied to the modern era.

Where once there was a thriving urban peoples, there are just nomadic herders, who are expert riders. The only link to the Aviontix, is that they are known far and wide as the best hunting bird tamers. Every male of age has one (if not more). Some people whisper of magic that allows them to be bound to their birds. They even call the land Aviansis, (wings of sand… referencing the wind).

In the land of Aviontix there are ruins. A lot of ruins. There are many sand buried cities, king’s tombs, and huge statuary. However, Aviontix was a kingdom so long ago, that everything has been looted. (Figure there has been a whole historical epoc or two since then) There might be a hidden tomb or something somewhere in the lands, but it is unlikely. This does not stop people from selling maps to them all the time.

They were the first humans to develop magic without the assistance of an elder race (like elves). They laid down the basics of magic still used today by Human peoples. They also created the sciences of mathematics, architecture, agriculture, and the written word.

Nothing comes directly from them. Their language has been lost of the sands of time, but many ancient texts reference their works as foundations.

They were a very religious people, focused upon their leaving to the afterlife. They associated magical spirits/ gods with birds. It is difficult to determine if this was metaphorical or actual. Their gods are shows as fully human, human with a bird head, or as large birds. In fact, the names for their Gods have become the "common name" for most birds.

Given their beliefs, bird motiffs are everywhere among Aviontix artifacts and ruins. If you find a really old magic item, it will have a bird motiff on it… given that it came from Aviontix. While Aviontix was a very magical place, very few of their items have survived the "sands of time". Many have been broken, but most are lost or unable to be recharged.

In addition, it seems that Rocs (huge birds) and Pheonixi/ Firebirds were either created by or bred to their present form, by the Aviontix.


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Now I forsee some reincarnating historical figures and a few NPCs with historical ties to Aviontix....

The Hawkstar: A hero that keeps coming back to undo Evil done by man in the world. He is a warrior that uses ancient weapons and can summon a pair of wings (if desired). Current manifestation has him fighting a corrupt theocracy....

Master Destini is one of the world mages, those who are responsible for sheparding the world. Destini is an Avatar of Divine Order. Destini became this avatar twelve centuries ago when he became the wielder of The Destiny Helm (Sort of a stylized Hawk's Beak, and flaring tops... more gryphon than bird). This artifact is the actual Avatar, granting the ability to perceive order and chaos, and shift wild chaos towards order and unyeilding order towards a gentle randomness.

Fate's Tower: Almost not a material location. Only those who have have a heroic destiny (Will be heroes, are heroes, or are heroes that have lost their way) can actually find it with any regularity. (It is impossible to see from the sky) It is a forty by forty foot square tower about 90 feet tall, with castly like ramparts at the top. There is no door, and only one window about 75 feet up. You will find it impossible to climb or enter it without permission from Destini.

Golvek: A master work golem that could ascend to Godhood if it wanted to. It was created to mimic any skill, power, or ability that came within 100 feet of it. It was designed to be the ultimate creation, then used in a bit of fury as an ultimate weapon. Golvek is now trying to determine its place in the universe.

Dove and Hawk: These spirits guide pairs who must maintain the balance between the violence and peace to maintain order. Those so endowed gain great strength and durrability.

The Raven: This one does not appear as a bird based villian/ hero. However, the god sends out avatars from time to time to create death and chaos for him to feed off of. Currently the Raven is a high Bishop in the Corrupted Theocracy, only a few steps from the HighOne.
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The Sarethians.

This is another early mostly human society. It was Stone, moving into the Bronze, age society. As with all early societies, it was harnessed under the yoke of religion, with temples being the central unifying focus. They built in adobe and clay, with only a minimum of stone. That is why few of their temples or cities survive.

The Sarethian's deities were serpentine in nature, as the Aviontix were avian. It was not an Evil Society, as most people assume snake worshipers are. It was a mixed back of good, kind of good, and kind of selfish dieties. There are more records of Sarethian society, as their written language formed the earliest foundation of written modern Human languages. That is not to say there is a lot of records, just some. Very little survives of their culture except for a few scrolls of exceptional poetry and magical theories, and their entire legal system (which was draconic at best - mercy not being a big quality for the Sarethians).

If one pays attention to those records, Sarethians were said to have immense healing powers and to have healthy long lives associated with it. They had skills in mind and illusion magics, but little else. Most of what they had was meditation based, with a few things stolen from the Aviontix.

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Aviansis

The wind blows out of the West. It is warm and gentle. It rolls over the rough terrain. A man is standing, one foot on the soft sandy ground, the other stepping on the ruin of a once great column. He has a hawk upon his outstretched gloved hand. It takes flight. This is Aviansis. This is the Wings of Sand.

This is the region that was the center of the mighty kingdom of Aviontix, long, long ago.

It was the first great Human kingdom. Aviontix was a grand land, full of cities, and great stone works, and canals that brought water into the dry lands. They mastered magic. They worshiped the fleeting spirits that they saw symbolized as birds.

That was a long time ago. Time has a way of catching up on a society. Perhaps they thought themselves so immune to the sands of time, so great that they were the beginning and end of all things, that time caught up with them. Their society lost its greatness, through the variety of mean one expects: war, disease, internal strife, refusal to see the need for change, and younger, more vigorous neighbors. The society did not end, it simply petered out. No one was able to maintain the great magics, or the universities, or the roads. It all slipped into the sand. Thus the great stone buildings, roads, and public works have all turned to rubble.

Where once there was a thriving urban peoples, there are just semi-nomadic herders. These are the descendents of those who moved out of the cities and estates to make a life for themselves when the water stopped flowing. Unable to farm, they turned to their beasts to eke out a living here.

They travel in clan groups, several related families working together. they run from groups of thirty to a hundred. At any one time, some herding, some crafting, some training, some are teaching, and some resting.
They are a literate people, having a tradition of words that goes back to the beginning of Human time. While they might not know their full history, they do keep track of their current times. Books are precious here.
These people are riders. Their horses are some of the finest in the world. They have the skills to match them. They use them to move their herds along the rocky and sandy hills looking for feed and water.

Yet while they are experts in horsecraft, they are known far and wide for their falconry. They are the masters of the craft, breeding and training the finest hunting birds in the world. They no longer worship the bird spirits like they once did, but they respect the animals and have an understanding of them unmatched anywhere in the world. Their hunting birds of all breeds have an intelligence unequalled by birds anywhere in the world.
Every male over the age of 13 has one bird companion. It is their symbol of adulthood. (Many females have them too, but they are not required at 13.) These nomads use them to hunt and to assist in herding. They carry messages. They are released from service upon the death of their companion, allowed to return to the wilds, if they choose.

There are rumors of mystic links between men and their flying companions. It may be magic, or just skill and experience beyond most people’s understanding, or some combination of both. Such links could explain their ability with horses as well.

These people have magic in their bloods. They all know minor charms and how to charge trinkets. There are no longer any great wizards among them, they were hunted down and killed in the End Times of the Aviontix. That great knowledge was lost. But pieces are left behind. And it is passed on to the young.

These people are known to be traders. They are able to cross the great expanse that is Aviansis. They do not have to “go around” the expanse, allowing trade east to west in a fraction of the time. They also enter the outer lands and trade there as well.

So when you see the people wearing their strange loose fitting clothes, with sand masks and odd felt hats, and you see the birds, you will know where they are from and the history that has birthed them.
 
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