Plot & Story
The game of Aurum is a deep, lore-rich setting taking place on a world called Sha'uru: a place of dying magic and budding technology populated by a variety of unique cultures and species each with a history of their own to portray or explore. While much of the future of Sha'uru will be influenced by the characters players bring to life, there is a wealth of lore, culture, and history which has shaped the present.
Players are welcome to come into game knowing as much or as little about the world of Sha'uru as they wish, and are encouraged to utilize these pages as a resource for creating character backstories, and inspiring interesting roleplay and nuance for their characters at events.
Click the links below to learn more about the geography, culture, and lifestyles of the denizens of Sha'uru:
The world of Sha'uru was once like many typical fantasy realms. The species you commonly associate with fantasy—humans, elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs—existed semi-independently in their own homelands, utilizing medieval technology and dying magical arts to go about their lives. All of that changed when the dwarves—the Dur—discovered the mineral colloquially known as Aurum. Initially used to craft explosive devices, it was soon discovered that it could also be burned as a fuel source. Eventually, the first Aurm-fueled steam-powered machines were invented. Though much cruder than contemporary steam-powered technology, this laid the groundwork for the rise of a merchant class among the Durren clans and pushed the world from one that relied on magic to one that relied on technology and machines. At around the same time, the Afsla Nisse—the elven culture most steeped in magic—noticed that the magical leylines around the world were in terrible flux. Without knowing the cause of this change, the Nisse established a world-wide network of arcane schools to better monitor and document this phenomenon (and, unknown to outsiders, a means to amass ancient relics and solidify their waning status in an increasingly magic-less world).
In the present day, we are at a time most of the monstrous species of fantasy—orcs, ogres, trolls, dragons—have been hunted to near-extinction; of these, only the Goblins survived due to their shrewd business acumen and relationship with the Human governments. The Durren clans no longer exist in their original fashion and are now the Durren Corporate Interests: merchant households that wield the power formerly held by nobility but is now controlled through mercantile prowess. The Nisse continue to cling to their ancient cultures and ways, even as their numbers and power dwindle. Humans proliferated throughout the world and traded freely between the Dur, Nisse, and Goblins. Increased technology lead to greater demand for Aurum, but as fruitful mines became harder to find, the Durren trading companies began sending expeditions into the wilderness to tract new sources.
In the in-game year of 1863, one exploratory mission took a wrong turn and found the westernmost shore of an undiscovered continent to the south of the Old World continents. The first to land there called it Antioch, after an ancient city that was a favorite subject of a scholar aboard the discovering vessel. The Durren Trading Companies and the Goblin Syndicates quickly mobilized to capitalize on this new source of Aurum and to expand into this new frontier.
"Old World" Continents Map
Click to open map
Story Enhancement Templates (or “SETs”) are unique character “upgrades” which take the form of drastic in-game alterations to a character’s physical appearance, abilities, and even personality. The degree of change can vary depending on which Template a character takes on—however, once a character has purchased a SET, they may never purchase another for that character.
A character of any Class and Species combination can choose any Story Enhancement Template they desire so long as they have the SP to purchase it, and there are no specific skill prerequisites needed for any SET. SETs are acquired through a combination of two things: in-game roleplay, and spending Service Points/RP Chits. The player is then required to costume and roleplay their SET appropriately according to the flavor and requirements listed in the SET description.
Additionally, each Template is broken into two tiers of costuming intensity:
Basic Level—This tier requires the minimal costuming and/or roleplay requirements of the SET and players are granted the standard skills/abilities for their chosen SET once the SET has been acquired in-game.
Signature Level—This tier requires advanced costuming and/or roleplay appropriate for the SET and is only awarded at staff discretion. In return, Signature Level characters receive additional skills/benefits from their chosen SET.
The full description of a Story Enhancement Template is only revealed upon purchase of the SET. To enquire about purchase costs and other requirements about SETs, contact a member of the senior plot staff. However, a brief overview of each currently SET is listed below:
“Reality is a prison, and Will is a door. And the thing you need to remember about doors...(chuckles)...the thing about doors is that once they're opened, things can pass through in BOTH directions.”
The Alienist has touched one of the fonts of power that lie outside the physical world. They have glimpsed, touched, been touched by, or made pacts with the unknowable and illimitable forces that surround the comforting illusion of the physical world. And in so doing, has become infused with a fraction of that force—Aetheric, Occult, among others—bound to it body and soul.
The Alienist becomes one, in a manner of speaking, with the force they are infused with, and can manipulate it to a much greater degree than a normal person, and with much greater control/precision.
No one else is as steeped in the force of an Alienist as they are themselves. It is as much a part of them as the air in their lungs, or the blood in their veins.
Makeup around the left eye (of a color determined by which force they have become entwined with), running in a stripe at least 1.25 inches wide, down to the jawline (to denote light and power showing through cracks in the physical form). Other themed makeup such as an appropriately colored contact lens in the left eye, a streak of the appropriate color in the hair, or scars tinged with that color. Must always roleplay being slightly distracted, as if listening to voices no-one else can hear.
A deep and pervading knowledge of the chosen force, regardless of the character's previous skills or class.
Affinity with the chosen force will yield better Marshal results when using skills associated with that force. Same goes for SDAs.
Resistance against their chosen force, in the form of Armor, Tough, or invokable defenses against the appropriate abilities/attacks.