Notes > World of Mana notes
World of Mana notes
Blegh, hoped to put out more story posts before doing this—that whole bit about show-don’t-tell-- but I’m leaving for Boston tomorrow for about a week, and I hoped this might be useful enough to people interested in the story. (Also hopefully, this will be shorter than the wiki articles).
And, obviously, I’m all about fostering interactivity, so I’d be thrilled to have any other writers’ characters in Mana. (I even have room for more Ingrish principalities and Kracian cities.)
Will probably do something later on Lo-Xsia and Arad, but my thinking about the World of Mana is further along.
Obviously only intended to address my stuff, there’s already several elements in the World of Mana controlled by other writers.
Note on Technology
The World of Mana is a pretty low-tech place overall. Things like Ingrish chain mail, the Taznikanze longship, and the Kracian aqueduct are the big technological achievements. People crap in chamber pots, most people can’t read or write, and most power is provided by human and animal muscle. Plate mail exists only as an artifact made by dwarves, stirrups haven’t been invented,
Note on Magic
Go read the wiki article on Mana Elementalist Magic; this is the major magical tradition. Basically, Mana Elementalist Magic consists of working spells through one of twelve elementalist spirits believed to embody the forces of nature. (The Elementalist religion, the most common religion in the World of Mana, is based on the worship of the same spirits, meeting their sometimes strange demands, and imparting them for favors.)
The Taznikanze have their own magical tradition, called Runekasting, involving etching magical runes and activating them to have spell-like effects.
Magic is more common than in Proper, but it’s still Kind Of a Big Deal.
Racism and Sexism
It’s the ancient world, it’s a rough place. The humans don’t trust the non-human races (and vice versa), and women are typically second-class citizens.
Big exception in both regards are the Taznikanze, who include both humans and nekos, and regard women as more or less equal people. But the Ingrish and Kracians don’t really think of the Taznikanze as “human” at any rate.
Taznikanze is the World’s trade language, and any merchant anywhere would probably be able to speak it. A tutor in Krace was highly sought-after, and most nobles, wealthy merchants, and other “educated men” would be able to speak Kracian. Anyone native to the Euser continent would probably know a little Ingrish and Doric.
THE BIG PLAYERS
Like my Neo ‘mains’, these are the peoples and places I expect to spend the most time with. Although a Legends World of Mana map is forthcoming, try to bear in mind that there’s two major continental land masses: Euser and Woldheim. The Kracians (and the centaurs et al) are on Woldheim, most everyone else is on Euser.
A fairly well-established part of Kupopolis lore already. The Taznikanze are Viking-inspired; the combination of savvy trader and bloodthirsty warrior when added to traditions of representative government characterize these proto-Tasnicans.
They’re a seafaring people, and their longships are pretty impressive for their day, their skills and knowledge of seamanship and celestial navigation also contribute to giving them mastery over the World of Mana’s oceans. The Taznikanze are basically the only people who sail between the continents of Euser and Woldheim; anyone else who wants to make the passage has to hire some.
An important thing to remember about the Taznikanze are that the merchants and more stereotypical warriors exist side-by-side (they might even be the same person). Taznikanze in a plot could be looking for trade opportunities or plunder. Another important thing to remember is that the old religion of Aesimond, focused on the cruel God of War and the Seas Zahd, coexists alongside the more genteel Elementalism.
The Taznikanze have one big city (Taznikaport), and a bunch of smaller trading posts throughout the dimension. There’s also Taznikanze populations in most cities, either as slaves or traders.
The local assemblies of free men (Senates) are the closest thing the Taznikanze have to a government. There’s no king or nobility; the Taznikanze are all proudly freebooters. Additionally, there’s no real unified Taznikanze government.
Most of the rest of the world thinks of them as basically scum, stinky men of brine, and greedy and thuggish brutes.
Random ‘flavor’ details: The captain of a ship is “Hauptmann” (head man); most ships will have a skald on board (sort of like a bard or minstrel, a skald would know the Taznikanze sagas which comprise the oral history of the people.) Taznikanze have no surnames, and use “-son” or “-dottir” of their same-sex parent. (“Belgememnon Arinbjornson” or “Belgememnon, son of Arinbjorn” are equally appropriate.)
Closest to a classic medieval setting in a number of ways.
The Ingrish control a huge chunk of land in Euser. Unlike the Taznikanze, they have a strict feudalistic order. At the bottom are serfs, who work the land, who owe allegiance to a local lord, who himself is under a greater lord, to a major prince, up to the Imperator of the Ingrish Alliance. Courtly intrigue, wars for succession, and political marriage are the order of the day. Family and clan ties are very important in Ingrish society.
Currently, there’s no Imperator, but there’s plenty of people scheming to become Imperator (who would be one of the most powerful rulers in the World of Mana.) The Ingrish are quite alarmed about the rising power of the Pan Dora, and the prospect of a new Taznikanze warlord.
Centwerp deserves its own aside, as it’s a city built on water (a la Venice) at an important river junction. Since rivers are the highways of the ancient world, Centwerp is a valuable center of trade; although it’s under Ingrish rule, it has a significant Taznikanze population, as well. Its run more as a mercantile plutocracy than the strict feudal order of the rest of the Ingrish Alliance.
Still room for some more Ingrish principalities, if anyone’s interested.
Right about Neo, a ton of ancient Greek names started showing up in Tasnica, so I decided somewhere in ancient Mana there would be a place like ancient Greece. Krace, on the Woldheim continent, is that place.
The Kracians are older and in many ways more technologically sophisticated than the rest of the World of Mana. Their great cities of stone and marble, achievements in construction and engineering, and philosophy and science are virtually unmatched throughout the dimension. They were the first to investigate magic as a science, leading to the first Mana Mages (though Mana Priests have been around slinging magic for as long as anyone can remember).
The Kracians have fought a series of wars against various non-human species, the most famous of which was the War against the Centaurs. Many of these races have been enslaved. Although slavery exists throughout the World of Mana, in Krace much of the actual work is done by slaves. The Kracians are free to spend their time philosophizing, making art, and engaging in other cerebral pursuits.
The Kracian cities are ruled by an oligarchy. Although the titles vary, the oligarchs are philosopher-kings, in theory the wisest and most educated men in the city.
Although mostly Elementalists, recently a number of other cults have begun growing in Krace, including the Shining Path.
Basically, Aurora’s, but included here for completeness.
The disparate tribes of Pan Dora were united by a Sorceress Queen a few generations ago. Occupying some of the most fertile land in the whole World of Mana, the Pan Dora became very wealthy. Emulation of Kracian engineering and philosophy has brought the Pan Dora into a Golden Age.
Pan Dora is a highly matriarchal society; indeed, magic is only allowed to be practiced by women. Nonetheless, men are probably treated better here than women are treated in most other societies of the time.
The dominant religion is the worship of Chrystalis, although older versions of Elementalism are practiced by some tribes.
The capital is called Calimanjir, and the kingdom is divided into several other satrapies encompassing most of south-east Euser.
Other World of Mana Peoples
In other words, ideas I have that are nifty, but will probably not get the time to play around with as much as I want. Would definitely like to work with someone else to develop some of these ideas more.
The dwarves of Gaia’s navel have a vast underground empire, and they’re currently fighting a war against the Guften. Ruled by a triumvirate, consisting of a Master Smith, Jarl (war-leader), and Thane (head judge). The dwarfs are the greatest smiths of the World of Mana, capable of forging weapons of unsurpassed quality. Forging itself is sacred to the dwarfs; the Master Smiths are the only people allowed to call upon the Elemental spirits. There are, of course, dwarfs that break that rule, such as the Golem Crafters who claim that can use a combination of technical skill and magic to create life itself. Fighting a war with the Guften.
Because I like todos. The Ice Country is separate from either continental mass; combined with its inhospitable climate, its isolated. The todos eke out a leaving hunting seals and living in igloos. They do some trade with the Taznikanze.
I’ve always imagined Kakkara’s desert as something like the Australian outback. Individual tribes are ruled by Elemental Priests known as koradji. Some tribes have tamed the enormous spiders native to the desert and use them as mounts.
Because I like horse nomads; live in the Mandala Highlands.
Feral sprites, barely civilized but magically powerful, are a nuisance to any settlement in the Upperlands forest.
Because what’s a Heroic Adventure without beasties?
Everyone’s favorite four-armed rock demons, the Reklar, are sure to put an appearance at some point. Also from Taznikanze myth are Sirens, the daughters of the Goddess Heldrasil, who are seductresses and tricksters. Zahd’s daughters, the Valkyries, can show up as friend or foe.
Gigasae, elemental giants, sometimes serve the Elemental Spirits, but often they seem to have their own motives.
The Guften used to have a big empire of their own, but now they’ve been forced underground (where the dwarves have to deal with them). They’re serpentlike creatures that see with a form of sonar, and feed on blood and brains with fangs and membranes in their hands.
Crystal notes by – July 19th, 2008
World of Mana notes by – June 3rd, 2008