|Author||Tevish Szat and Sam KeeperofManyNames|
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Check #Expansion Needed to expand this part of the Multiverse.
Ikass is a bit more calm and rustic than your usual plane. The people of Ikass have known no great war amongst each other, and civilization has reached a point where the settled lands are more or less tamed. Of course, there will always be the places that have "here there be dragons" writ not for a lack of knowledge but for the sake of accuracy, but largely your average native lives a pretty peaceful life (of course, most stories aren't written about the *average* native, now are they?). It does have more than enough space for strangeness, but tends to not be violent or in-your-face about the parts that are strange.
Ikass is also largely unexplored by its natives. There are communities of settled land and between them or beyond them? Between them is where things get interesting...
Ikass is intended to begin as mostly a blank map, and to some extent stay that way: While the edges may be continually filled in by additions from other authors, there are ALWAYS more blank edges waiting to be filled.
Ikass, the Main Continent
- The Adjectival form of Ikass is Ikassian
- Races of Ikass include Centaurs, Gargoyles, Kor, and Humans. These are described races that have a significant impact on Known Ikass. These are described or referenced in entries below.
- Ikass is also home to Faeries, Orcs, and Dwarves, which receive a short description below.
- Ikass was once home to a Lost Civilization, that built the now-ruined Cathedral of Nisk. While the Cathedral city is currently populated and active, it is possible other ruins may be found throughout Ikass
- Ikass is *not* home to Goblins or Elves. At least, not known Ikass, so if they are present they're minor players or removed from the known edges of the world.
- Ikass is probably home to merfolk of some description. These, and any other race (Homarids? Vedalken? Ratfolk?) are left as a blank edge to be filled at a later date, by whoever wishes to explore such a border.
- The current scale of Known Ikass contains a large plain, settled lands, a mountain chain at its borders, some forests, an assortment of rivers and streams. It might or might not have a coastline (this has not been filled in). As such, there's plenty of wild world outside what the natives and right now we the writers know.
Kor and the Mysteries of Ikass
Ikass is a plane of many hidden wonders. As with many other worlds the exploration of it has been a daunting task for the natives, not to mention traveling Planeswalkers that just happen to stop over for a fortnight. Of special interest, though, to those who would better understand the lay of the land and hidden features of Ikass are its itinerant Kor.
Once, the Kor of Ikass wandered the plains in much the same way as their cousins do on any number of other planes, proud and spiritual nomads. However, in the last thousand years or so the world changed, and the Kor changed with it: as the territory of the Kiral Centaurs expanded and humanity began to raise more and more cities turning other stretches of plain into stretches of fields, the hunters found themselves in a losing battle: their choice either to face slow extinction as their territory declined or else embrace the march of civilization. On Ikass, at least, the Kor chose the latter.
The Kor still crave something of the open, wild places that were known to their ancestors, and have thus become consummate traders and explorers. Unwilling to stay in one place for very long, Kor caravans travel from city to city in search of survival while lone Kor (or sometimes small bands) forage off into the mountains, looking for treasures and trade routes in lands uncharted to the regions of their home
The unity that once kept the Kor alive and well in their old nomadic lives has resulted in their culture becoming highly insular in the civilized lands of Ikass. They are untrusted, and trust no one that is not another Kor. The mistrust of the Kor, at least, is for good reason, as the gypsy bands of Kor have earned their reputation for attempting to swindle those they trade with if they get a chance. Still, they travel so far and in such large numbers that locals will simply keep one hand on their purse when dealing with Kor traders, and discount fanciful stories of the rarity and value of untested goods.
Shiftless wanderers and sellers of snake oil, the Ikassian Kor would at first glance seem to be poor allies for even the most clever of Planeswalkers. While it is true that they lack the martial and spiritual traditions present in the Kor of planes like Dominaria and Zendikar, the Ikassian Kor still have quite a lot to offer as long as you know what you’re being sold. They have forsaken all that usually associates their people with white mana, and can be summoned primarily with red and black mana, some of the more mercantile dipping into thoughtful blue. Still, the Ikassian Kor yet possess the Kor unity, and what baneful spells they know will spare other Kor.
Ikassian humans are little different than most other breeds of humanity throughout the multiverse, save for how their world has shaped their culture and outlook. Here on Ikass, the spread of humanity has not been one to build large cities, but instead many cities and small townships in a great web across the face of the world. Humanity's population is lower here than it might be on other planes that have reached, and its population density much lower.
Individual townships come together in communities of communities for major events such as seasonal holidays, the most important of which are held in spring and fall, around the time of planting and harvest, though one would suppose that people, being rational, would take any excuse for a day or two of drunken revelry out of the year. Society is largeley agrarian, with most of the population dedicated to food production, whether through farms, ranches, or hunting. A smaller number of Ikassian humans are skilled craftsmen: Weavers, potters, blacksmiths, and other tradesmen with few shortcuts for work done by hand. Almost none travel beyond their local group of towns on a regular basis, leaving trading with distant regions to the Kor that move among them. Of course, some few will take the path of the merchant themselves, or be bitten by the exploration bug and head for lands uncharted.
Of certain note is that the Ikassian humans practice a system of superstition and folk medicine that is both oddly consistant between different groups of towns, and somewhat similar to the superstitions of the kithkin of Lorwyn/Shadowmoor.
Dellity, the Arivan Continent
- This continent is less fertile and more hostile than the Ikassian, composed primarily of tundras to the North, a great spanning desert across the middle of the continent framed by mountain ranges to the West, dissolving out into a vast network of salt flats and marshes in the lower end of the continent.
- Dellity is relatively close to the Ikassian continent, although it is not connected (on its Northern edge, at least, where the currently explored span of the Ikassian continent comes nearest to Dellity) by any kind of land bridge.
- Between the two continents lie the Glass Isles, which are not particularly hospitable to travelers, but can serve as a needed stepping stone between the two continents.
- There is not much movement of humans between the two continents, but some seafaring Orcs and Kor have built trading settlements on the harsh cliffs of Ikass's mountain ranges that allow movement back and forth, and legend has it that a hidden town lies at the other end of the Winding Way, but this has not been verified.
- The adjectival form of Dellity is Dellit (also sometimes Dellitsman or Dellitswoman).
- The continent is sometimes referred to in Kor accounts as "The Arivan Continent" after the great city that once stood on the Eastern coast.
Ariva and the Sition Distortion
No discussion of Dellity can go without a discussion of Ariva, the City of Wonders, the former capital of the world. This city, founded centuries ago by a powerful man who, it is said, stepped out of the sky to tame the chaotic nature of the world's tribes, once was the grandest city in all the world. And, although few on Ikass knew it, it was one of the greatest cities of the Multiverse, and the center of a vast, plane-spanning empire.
Ariva, however, was not without enemies. The Orcs of Dellity, in particular, resented the strict rule of the city and, armed with powerful and allegedly cursed artifacts, burning with the desire to avenge the plundering of their secrets far in the nearly forgotten past, plotted insurrection as they slaved away in the city's mines. Soon, their chance for vengeance came when the lord of Ariva, the powerful planeswalker Vasilias, returned to his home in defeat:
The Mending had taken his great powers from him, and now, an old man with dwindling mana, his empire was falling to pieces. Ikass was, as his first conquest, the world that remained the most independent of his control, and he returned to discover that the very core of his empire had grown soft and vulnerable even as he spread his steel grasp out through Dominia. His regional commanders had little loyalty to their emperor, and his enemies had grown strong.
It was not long before an army of orcs had stormed Ariva itself.
And then, the legends say that with a rending howl Ariva was torn from the world, leaving a chaotic void in its wake, and scattering the orcs back to their mountains.
Vasilias, in a last desperate attempt to retain his life and his dream of domination, had turned himself into a Lich, and made Ariva itself, and everyone in it, into the phylactery for his soul. In the process, the city was broken free of Ikass and became a pocket plane orbiting its former world.
The void where Ariva once was became a region of mirage and uncertainty known as the Sition Disruption. Its strange influences roll out on the hot desert winds into the rest of Dellity, and out into the sea. Few are brave enough to challenge those waves of distortion, and fewer still are hardy enough to survive them.
The second largest city after Ariva, and now the largest city upon the continent, is the cliff city of Osopospents. More populous than any city on Ikass's main continent, the city is built at the head of the mountains, beside a stream that brings water to the many crops that sustain the city. While relatively peaceful, and a city of thriving craft (the area is known for its ceramics guild--most of the bricks of Hooses are traded there from Osopospents in return for the rich clay of the marshes) the city has also gained a reputation among the humans and orcs of the continent as a city plagued by hauntings. On the scorching winds from the south mirages blow in, shimmering rifts in reality that seem to emanate from the now feared former city of Ariva. Furthermore, from the north in winter a chill fog rolls down from the mountains and steppes, bringing with it strange tidings, strange happenings, and occasionally strange bands of kor and humans trading in goods unlike any from the lower region. To the humans and orcs that live in Osopospents these occurences are taken as simply another simple fact of life, and for the most part they are content to labor under the relatively stable group of feudal lords that controls the city.
The king of Osopospents is a woman named Sha Menetice II, who has introduced a number of reforms much welcomed by the people but disliked by some of the lords pledged to her service in the city. It is said, however, that Menetice has curried favor with the Hellions, and so her power has thus far remained unchallenged, regardless of how dubious such claims might be.
Ikass has only one short story set on it. If you have an idea for a story featuring Ikass, post your idea in a new thread in the M:EM forums.