Welcome to Lyra

Draft 2

 

Playing in the world of Lyra

Lyra is a science fantasy world of flying ships, exploration and epic heroes in the Age of Sail. Delve into ancient temples and uncharted jungles, forge your own kingdom, protect the world from the emerging threats of the Evernight, or liberate the oppressed of the old Empire as a sky pirate!

In Lyra, your Will can be realised as supernatural powers like telepathy, super-strength or the ability to guide musket bullets with your mind. You can drive massive Dreadplate powered armour, or grow wings, scales and other astonishing mutations.

The world of Lyra

While many aspects of Lyra work like our Earth, there are some significant differences:

Lyra has one Sun, Helianna the Everglowing Mother, and two moons - Verda and Aqua. Verda, the smaller, green moon, goes through a regular cycle of Flowering which casts mutagenic spores onto the planet’s surface. Exterminators scorch these in the Old World to prevent mutations. Wherever they are left to grow, life is mutated into extraordinary shapes.

In the Everflame, the north pole where the sun never sets, scorching deserts and vitrified mountains bake beneath eternal day. The edge of the Everflame is known as the Dawnbelt, where nights last just a few hours, and is home to the Innmyson.

The Evernight is a frozen stretch of eternal darkness in the south, inhabited by ravenous behemoths. Duskbelt settlements, on the edge of the Evernight, are being abandoned by the Daemkin, who flee North from the ever-growing threat of the warped horrors.

The great oceans are full of voracious leviathans which, along with the territorial and isolationist Tritons, make travel by ship impossibly dangerous. Little is known of the Tritons, although sailors speak of city spires peeking above the waves near shallow atolls.

The Thermin Sea - the “Old World”

The Old world, considered the cradle of civilisation, is a cluster of three continents around the Thermin Sea.

Diminutive Azun, the cinder continent, is a harsh, perilous land of active volcanoes. The fertile soil and rich mining opportunities make it a tempting but forbidding prospect, and successful endeavours are rare.

Idyllic, verdant Viliria is the homeland of the spiritual and industrious Vulpe. Centuries of squabbling kingdoms have fractured the peace of this once-united arcadia.

Thebia, the largest of the three continents, is a spent land, with exhausted mines, barren soil and razed forests. The once-glorious and ever-oppressive Theban Empire is fracturing, even as it grasps to replenish itself from the surrounding lands.

Nyria - the “New World”

50 years ago, the first flying ships in Thebia allowed travellers to cross the skies above the Aegean Ocean for the first time. They discovered the new world, Nyria. With fertile coasts and riotous jungle in the centre, this single continent stretches all the way from the Dawnbelt in the north to the Duskbelt in the south, inhabited by nations of mysterious and many-formed Elladrin.

For some this is an opportunity of discovery and exploration, whilst for others, it is a land of freedom and opportunity, a place to start a new life away from the oppressive Theban Empire. Others, such as the desperate powers of the Old World, hope to rejuvenate their dire prospects by harvesting this newfound wealth - and will remove anyone who gets in their way. Sidebar: Pla

The factions of the old world

The Theban Empire

One thousand years old, the Holy Theban Empire was a golden land of science and learning, a land of marble pillars and glass towers, of philosophy, poetry and art. This was built of the backs of serfs and, using Adium Crystals to suck their will, they powered their astonishing creations and enforced their feudal system.

 

Today, Will is still harvested from the lowly as taxes, but now it powers the vast order-enforcing Dreadplate of the Imperial Army. Crown authority is at an all-time low, as exhausted lands mean reduced military might behind the throne, and some Dukes, corporations (and other factions) are rushing to take advantage of this. The recent crackdowns to stabilise the Empire have only fractured the situation further, and rebels which once hid in the hills are now casting out in sky ships to leave their life of oppression behind.

The Powerful Dukes

In the chaos of this diminishing empire, many powerful Dukes are seizing the opportunity to horde taxes, claim land on distant shores, and even separate themselves - officially or unofficially - from the crown.

 

Life in different Dukedoms varies, and whilst some are harsher than the Empire, more enlightened minds once again patronise the arts, sciences and education, even amongst the lower classes.

The Corporations

Unscrupulous and profit-driven, the various Theban trading companies originally operated in the Thermin Sea under Imperial Charter, giving them independence and the right to bear arms, but not to hold land.

 

When the New World opened up, the impoverished Theban Throne relaxed this caveat, to create more wealth for the companies and more taxes for the throne. Now, the corporations are in a land grab to exploit as many trade ports and plantations on Nyria as they can.

The Rebels

There have always been some on the fringes of the Theban Empire’s power - escaped slaves and prisoners, serfs who reached the end of their rope, and sympathisers from the middle and noble classes.

 

Before skyships, these rebels found safety in the treacherous mountains of inland Thebia. Now, they take to the skies to regain their freedom, carving civilization and opportunity from the wild lands of the New World. Many turn to piracy as a way to oppose the Empire, and return stolen wealth to the people.

The Virilian Kingdoms

Revered abroad for their martial arts and psionic skills, the Vulpe of the Virilian Kingdoms are a philosophical, enlightened people. Their strict honour codes have led to centuries of war, as fractured kingdoms become locked in endless feuds, whilst friction with the expansionist Theban Empire is only growing more intense.

 

Once rarely glimpsed abroad outside of their prolific trading ships, in the last decades the Vulpe converted their entire merchant navy into flying ships and are now more commonly seen.

The Ymirsenn

The Ymmirson are a stalwart, sea-faring species, the only ones to brave the Tritons and leviathans of the ocean. Once fishermen and traders on the coasts of the northern desert, the last two centuries of climate change have turned them into raiders, reliant on pillaging and slaving coastal settlements on all major continents. Recently, the Theban Empire has hired some Ymmirsen ships as mercenaries or contractors in their fight to stabilize the Dukes.

Where we start our story: The Nyrian Archipelago

The Nyrian Archipelago, on the “new world” continent of Nyria, is a fertile land of lush jungles, studded with ancient temples. Newly discovered, the world’s powers are hungry for a piece of this unspoiled land.

   

To the Theban Empire and the Dukes, the Nyrian archipelago means prosperity and power, whilst the greedy corporations seek to hold ever-more land, wealth and that most precious commodity, Elladrin slaves. The many isolated islets and dense forests provide freedom and a new beginning for rebels, escaped convicts and indentured servants. In the north, new Ymmirson colonies seek diplomatic relations, and raid those who do not acquiesce. To the south, Daemkin are founding new colonies as they flee their destroyed Duskbelt cities.

But the land is as dangerous as it is bountiful. The Elladrin, the original inhabitants of the archipelago, do not cede quietly to these new interlopers, weaponising biomutations for themselves and their terrifying dragons. The jungle is swarming with dangers, from megafauna and dinosaurs, to the mysterious protectors of the past. And the encroaching terrors from the Evernight prowl ever closer.

Chronicler by Bob Kehl
 
Global Map
 
Genres

MagipunkBiopunkFlintlockSuper HeroicScience FantasyFlying ShipsPiracyHorrorExplorationCity Building

Difficulty

Gritty, Precise, Simulation

Lyra RPG System
  • Lyra has its own RPG system that’s simple to learn
  • It’s a skill-based system (classless and level-ess) that allows you to create whatever kind of character you can dream of!
  • You’ll need a character sheet, a set of polyhedral dice, and your imagination!
  • Playable Species
  • Anthros
  • Vulpe
  • Ymirsen
  • Deamkin
  • Eledhrim
  • Triton (restricted)
  • Technology and Will Power

    In Lyra, Will is the power behind everything from flying ships and mechanic armor, to psionics and bio-mutations.

     

    Adium Crystals are created by alchemists, and used to store and channel Will, which can focus and enhance psionic abilities and equipment. An adium crystal must be housed in a locket in the sternum. Some adium crystals extract Will, such as those used to control serfs; others, such as a lord’s crystal, supplement or enhance Will.

     

    Alchemists are crafters who can create adium crystals through careful chemical manipulation.

     

    Artificers are crafters who can create will-powered ships, armours, weapons and devices.

     

    Flying ships are based on the sailing ships of old. Propelled by wind power, they are kept aloft by Will power which charges the crystals within.

     

    Dreadplate is massive, impenetrable armour powered by Adium Cores (themselves powered by Adium Crystals), and worn by paladins of the Holy Theban Empire . As well as super strength, dreadplate can be imbued with abilities like forcefields and powered melee weapons.

     

    Psionics is the ability to harness one’s will and make it manifest in the world. Common psionic abilities include magical healing, pyrokinetics and telepathy. Only those who are attuned can use psionics.

     

    Philosophies are ways and paths to access psionics. Because of the personal nature of psionics, most people must learn through spiritual and philosophical enlightenment. Examples of philosophies include The Flame of the All-Mother, The Hallowed Hand, and The Strong and Subtle Paw. Very rarely, psionic skills come as a natural, self-discovered talent.

     

    Corporation prospectors have sent reports of biomutations as a manifestation of Will, amongst the Elladrin in the new world. Certain shamanic tribes apparently specialise in the creation of wings, extra arms and even defensive scales.

    Attunement

    There are six kinds of attunement which correspond to the six attributes - Strength, Agility, Constitution, Intelligence, Will and Personality. Attunement gives boosts to that attribute, and bonuses to related skills and abilities. All player characters in Lyra start as Attuned, a rare quality in the Old World.

    Choose your Access type
    Playtester

    Choosing Playtester will give you access to the articles required to create a character and play the game

      Gamemaster

    Warning Choosing Gamemaster will reveal to you secrets of the world and hooks that should only be read by people aiming to run games in Lyra, do not choose this if you wish to play as a player ar some point



    Cover image: Unknown by Unknown Artist

    Comments

    Please Login in order to comment!
    20 Jun, 2021 20:39

    Great overview of the world and already looking forward to reading more of it during summercamp! But the use of flying ships was already enough to convince me :p   I like that you also added some small info pieces about some important aspects of this world.

    Feel free to check out Worldember Overview if you want to see what I am up to!
    21 Jun, 2021 18:10

    Great setting and hook, I'm very much looking forward to reading more about Lyra. I like the mix of detail with high level description. Just enough to whet our appetite without wandering too deeply into the weeds. I'm also keen to learn some of the characters you have in mind and get more of a peek at your homebrew system. All round, just a very engaging introduction to an intriguing world!

    Sage KaijuKojin
    Kaiju Kojin
    27 Jun, 2021 19:38

    I plan to learn well from the forge master himself...

    Keep Calm and Kaiju On...
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