• The Mist

    The ever-expanding Mist looms over the Asteanic World. As long as humans remember, it has always been there – albeit a bit smaller than now. The Mist expands by around 1km per year at present – but its growth is not consistent, seeming to accelerate as it enlarges. Nonetheless, the process is slow enough that amidst their internal conflicts, and the rise and fall of empires, people do not pay it too much attention. Thus, inhabitants of the Asteanic World find themselves in a situation today where a giant spot of emptiness stares back from the map – nearly as vast as Thefna Archipelago – yet surprisingly little is known about its nature and origins. In terms of the Asteanic cultural sphere, the Mist is distant – it has only reached the Ocean, traversed by Asteanic merchant ships, within the turbulent past few centuries. Consequently, Asteans allocate relatively little time and resources to its exploration – the nations and lands getting shrouded into the Mist are distant and inconsequential to them.

    In the early 16th century, the Mist engulfed the small Forestside tsardom in Tserkeššia. Adventurous Asteans from Nileen conducted the evacuation of the Forestside people, but they had their own more sinister motives. Subsequently, the Forestside tsar and his warriors were drawn into the La Mepho-Delagrua’n Asteanic Empire’s civil war as mercenaries, while the remaining populace was abandoned in the outskirts of Ehnation – expanding one of its slums – Strugglefield, as a result.

    The Mist – What Do We Know?

    However, not everything is entirely mysterious, and the peoples around the Mist actually know quite a bit about its workings and how to avoid it – to be fair, it’s not that difficult – just don’t walk into it.

    The Mist merges the Otherworld and the human world into one; in areas covered with Mist, there is no separate Otherworld, and astral travellers cannot journey there. In the rest of the world, there exists some form of Otherworld everywhere, but not in Mist-covered areas. Just as the Mist consumes the human world, it also devours pockets of the Otherworld – melding them with the human realm or erasing them completely. This has a side effect – areas surrounding the Mist are teeming with all sorts of Otherworldlings, as they too must retreat from the Mist.

    As the Mist is essentially the Otherworld, the laws of the Otherworld apply there too – nature cannot thrive in the Otherworld. Plants wither upon contact with the Mist, gradually replaced by Otherworldly flora over time – a grotesque distortion of the natural world, in which fruits neither nourish nor quench thirst. This makes navigating the vast area filled with the Creatures of the Mist and poor visibility (due to the mist!) even more challenging, as all provisions must be brought along.

    Those who perish in the Mist meet a dreadful fate – since their souls have nowhere to go (no separate Otherworld!), they remain trapped in the Mist and transform into terrifying Creatures of the Mist that loathe all living beings.

    With Mist, the boundary between the human world and the Otherworld is clearly visible to the naked eye – a colossal wall of mist. Like the Otherworld, it also contains the creatures within itself. It is impossible for the Creatures of the Mist to simply walk out from it – they will only end up on the other side of the Mist or in another smaller Mist pocket. The Mist and its pockets are akin to a separate plane of existence – but only for the creatures of the Otherworld. Humans and animals can traverse this otherworldly border at will.

    If a Mistdruid summons a pocket of Mist, they can call Mist creatures into it, even if the real Mist is hundreds or thousands of kilometres away. Only when such a temporary Mist created by a Mistdruid dissipates can Creatures of Mist enter the human world, as they do not disperse anywhere.

    The Mist and the Taurics

    Tauric people have always lived next to the Mist and have lost countless kingdoms to it over centuries. Therefore, the Mist has a significant influence on Tauric culture.

    Taurics understand very clearly that the Mist expands and there is nothing to stop it. This means that inevitably, at one moment, the Mist will cover the entire world, and the entire human world, as well as the Otherworld, will come to an end – only the Mist will remain.

    This inevitable predestination makes Tauric culture highly fatalistic, and Taurics believe in predestination in other aspects of the world as well. In the Tauric religion, there is also a significant role for the end-of-the-world gods, aka the Mist Gods – deities who, according to the Taurics, reside within the Mist and have become Mist deities because their Otherworldly domains have fallen under the influence of the Mist. These Mist Gods grant their Mistdruids the ability to summon Mist wherever they please, thereby calling forth Creatures of Mist – a hazardous power – even for the Mistdruids themselves.

    The Mist Gods are revered for their other aspects:

    • Lugh is the god of divination and the weaver of fate.
    • Maat is the ruler of the Otherworld and the commander of banshees – clan spirits that can warn against misfortune.
    • Only Grybrog, the god of winter, death, and all things evil, generally finds no worshippers among anyone, unless someone truly wishes evil upon another.

    The next among the gods destined to fall under the Mist is the war goddess Morrigan, upsetting the balance as Mist Gods outnumber the benevolent ones. This sets the world on a path towards its end, with the Mist rapidly expanding across the land, unleashing all the terrifying creatures hidden within.

    Although the Mist Gods are somewhat revered, Mistdruids are not – they are feared and seen as a cult of doom-bringers who physically invoke it. This fear has grown into paranoia. In Ehnaiton – the northernmost metropolis of the Asteans, whose inhabitants are largely Taurics – a plethora of conspiracy theories circulate about how Mistdruids are behind all the evil that happens – a scapegoat that even PCs may find useful or, conversely, they are accused of being Mistdruids themselves.

  • Just had a very enjoyable interview about SAKE with Mildra The Monk

  • EXP System

    EXP System
    Click to download the Character Sheet

    SAKE is a (levelless, classless) point-buy system, all Skill Ranks, Abilities, Spells, etc are bought with EXP. So where does the EXP come from, for that let’s go to character creation. When creating a character, the player chooses personality traits, principles and goals of the PC. Pacts with lesser gods and madnesses – we come back later.

    At the end of each game session players journal every encounter/event/scene that was played through. Evaluate, whether was it dangerous for them, did they discovered something new, did it tested their skill and so on, getting 1 EXP from each tick. They also write down, did any of their personality traits came up in the scene, and did they move closer to achieving their goals (also 1 EXP).

    This simple journal serves two purposes:

    1. It is the way to get EXP.
    2. SAKE, as a medium crunch system, is meant for longer campaigns. Campaigns sometimes have pauses, and people just forget things that happened half a year ago. So, the journal’s purpose is also – a journal.

    Coming back to Madnesses and Pacts with Lesser Gods. When a character wants to use spells powered by a lesser god, they must at first form a pact with the god. As part of the pact, they must embrace a taboo or conviction. Depending on god, it can be something simple like protecting forests from over-forestation or more complicated like never fleeing from battle.

    At the same time, mages studying magic, have to deal with unseen forces of the Otherworld that can change their Soul and personality. Every time a character learns a new spell, there is a chance that they have to take a new madness. These madnesses, named after the gods of the Asteanic World are serious business for two reasons. First, they come with penalties, second, they start to clutter the personality traits section of the Character Sheet. So, the mage runs a risk of having to delete their personality traits to replace them with madnesses.

Recent Posts