Aqualon World Updates

  • Article Categories Implemented
    Oct 21, 2022

    The World Anvil article category widget is now correctly rendered in articles on this site. This makes the Encyclopedia Aqualonia article much more useful.

  • The Storm Winds of Glazglubin now on Bookshelf
    Oct 17, 2022

    With the new website up and running, "the Storm Winds of Glazglubin" has been added to the bookshelf. We are currently up to chapter 5 at over 50.000 words!

  • Significant Website Overhaul
    Oct 16, 2022

    While the design remains similar, the engine below this website's hood has been completely rebuilt from scratch. This platform no longer directs back and forth between itself and World Anvil, instead you can access almost all Aqualon World Anvil content right from here. Articles are regularily cached, meaning you can load articles fairly quickly and directly under the "Explore Aqualon" tab. The article search has been enhanced, there is a new "random article" feature and several style upgrades have also been implemented.

Featured Novel

The Storm Winds of Glazglubin


"There's a monster in every man, boy. Within me, there is a host, and one day, it'll be yours to command." Too often these days, Kenji's mind turns to the words of his accursed father. When he fled the Old Country, he thought he had left the monsters behind, but now he sees them every day in the eyes of his friend and mentor. His world is about to crumble in a spasm of eldritch magic, and though he can see the face of his undoing so clearly in his nightmares, deep down, he knows that the first blow has already been struck.
As the tendrils of a soul plague lay claim on Aqualon's oldest and most powerful magocracy, the Lord of Wind, Kenji Sokolow, is cast down from his high tower, pressed to rally whatever forces he can find. But first, he has to survive...

Featured Short Story

The Black Priest of Rastrowel


A gripping short story from the life of Lyn, a young girl in the care of two HJT Ferries, ships mages for hire, which operate from their office on the island of Rastrowel, the highly religious birth place of the Church of Pure Souls.

Faced with prejudice against mages every day, Lyn's winning personality and innocence keep her well within the good graces of her peers, until a Black Priest, an inquisitor of the Church takes notice of her...

Lore Articles and Maps

World Map

Gargantuan and already filled with many interesting map pins.

All Lore Articles
Sorted newest to oldest

Dunhearst Asylum


On the foggy Church island of Cromwell, there lies an old Sanatorium that has endured for over a thousand years. It's history is grim, but its secrets... they are grimmer.

The Keeper Weapons


These greatest of weapons bind the great elemental Ur-Souls to their Keepers, enabling them to perform impossible feats of elemental magic.

The Keepers


Mightier than mages, only five Keepers ever exist at a time, each exerting total dominion over one of the five magical elements.


A Synopsis of the World

Seventeen centuries of peace have allowed the people of Aqualon to flourish. Since the Great War, now known as the Age of Heroes, when the Old Gods rose up once more in vain, the world has become prosperous: powerful magocracies in the Middle Lands are going through a magical industrial revolution and rich tapestries of cultures flourish in the Yamato Mountain Range and the Seventeen Yonder Islands. These lie in the Corsic Ocean of the Ocean Belt beyond the 150 kilometer band of iron, the Iron Belt, which rings the planet around its equator.

And isolated from the rest: two technocracies so far beyond them that they could be thought to live in a world of their own. They are divided by their opposing views on integrating magic and technology, yet united in their quest for knowledge.

But who would have thought that none of these would start the next great war?

Browse Aqualon's countless lore articles below: Fantasy, Scifi, Horror, Mystery; there is enough to suit any palate and sate any appetite.

The Jô'oo Clan

The time for words has passed. Now there will be fire.
— Hestia Bygate before the march on Estverde, 108 AA1
The Age of Awakening, 5700 ARe - 5900 ARe.
(age 872
The average age for humans on Aqualon living in moderate conditions with access to health care is aroung 170 years thanks to the Great Clockwork's "Gift of Long Life"
)

Founder

Hestia
Character | Jul 30, 2020

Some people change the world for the better; but sometimes the way they do it is unsavory to say the least. (5556 Words)

"The Westerners hate the honored Lady Hestia, certainly, but not for her deeds at the Battle of Estverde, no.   It is their own propaganda from those old days they have swallowed like hapless koi, mouths hungry for any scraps they can swallow.   Did not the honored Lady Hestia bring the gift of flame to Yamato? Did she not draw maps of intricate detail and write poetry of subtle beauty? Did she not rule the Jô'oo province with diligence and great skill?   Jô'oo Hestia is one of the Kingdom's greatest heroes, and the blemish put on her great name by the political phlegm spat by lesser men disgusts me."
— Jô'oo Kyôma 門近凶真, 390 GE3
The Age of Gears and Elements, 6220 ARe (After the Reshaping) - Today.
 

Diverging Perspectives of History


A Modern Reexamination of the Jô'oo Clan

  Judging by classic historians' views, one may be inclined to think: "The Jô'oo Clan; surely they are a house of ruthless warriors and mages."   After all, what else might one expect from the Yamato clan founded by that most infamous military leader and mass murderer, Hestia Bygate? Well, to understand the Jô'oo, one must look to the entirety of Hestia's life. Before fleeing to the Yamato Kingdom, the former shrine maiden to the Bonfire Shrine had been a scholar, a teacher, even a member of the esteemed Firewatch, protecting the Middle Lands. Only when she brought the fire magic of the Tarkaal Region to the Yamato Emperor did her career as a military leader and instructor of fire mages begin.   She founded her house with the blessing and support of the Emperor, and to her successors she passed on a strong tradition of discipline, high education, spirituality, and powerful magic. The Jô'oo are often described as "fierce and clever" in the journals of Taira Takezô (ca. 185 AA) and "enlightened scholars" in the personal notes of Yoshitsune Hibiki (ca. 198 AA). Kumamoto Takeshi was cited by his peers to have called the Jô'oo "great warriors with the left hand of a mighty bear and the right hand of a clever fox" (ca. 22 AH4
The Age of Heroes, 5900 ARe - 6220 ARe, also known as "The Great War".
).   These varied accounts paint a much richer tapestry than the demonized image held in the mind of classical western historians. Indeed, the shadow cast by the Mad Magus Hestia on the Jô'oo Clan is often viewed more as a halo of light by the Yamato People, who generally see the destroyer of Estverde as admirable rather than despicable, citing her many achievements for the Kingdom.  
- Eric Jargon in "The Clans of Yamato", 1642 GE


The Founding of the Jô'oo Clan

  When Hestia Bygate was declared Daikan (Governor) of the Easternmost Provinces by emperor Taira Asshoumaru 平圧勝丸, she was permitted to found her own clan by imperial decree.
She accomplished this by marrying a captain of her own Ryûga Order, Yayoi Kennosuke, who belonged to a wealthy but politically insignificant house. She absorbed the Yayoi family under her new banner, the banner of Bygate, and arranged for a number of political marriages to consolidate a total of five families of minor to near-significant political standing, amassing an impressive household and various assets throughout the Kingdom, on the back of which she established an impressive clan, backed by the support of the powerful Taira Clan.   Within a mere two decades, Hestia had created a powerful Yamato clan out of nothing but prestige and ingenuity, hand-crafting a significant power in the ancient kingdom.  
- From "A History of the Ages - Vol. 4, The Age of Awakening"


Jô'oo the Ruthless

  The meteoric rise to power of the infamous Jô'oo Clan of the Yamato Kingdom during the Age of Awakening has baffled historians for centuries, considering the traditionally xenophobic nature of the Kingdom and the foreign founder of the clan. But if one examines the practices of Hestia and her successors more closely, a picture begins to form.   Through ruthless political campaigns, hostile takeovers, defamation campaigns, and character assassinations, Hestia elbowed her way into a delicate balance between venerable houses of an ancient kingdom. Using political tensions between these clans against them, she and her direct successors divided and conquered the political landscape of Yamato with ruthless efficiency.   Today they are growing ever closer to leveraging their way out of the Taira's control, and with their iron-fast grip on the now divided Yoshitsune Clan, their position in the modern power structure of the Yamato Kingdom grows ever more solidified and significant.   With the destructive and immoral tendencies of their founding mother ingrained in their creeds and their traditions, they pose a significant threat to the stability of the Kingdom and may yet lead to its downfall.  
- Taira Kenmu 平研武, 634 GE

 

Clan Structure and Assets

The Jô'oo Clan is comprised of a total of seven families, one core family, the Jô'oo family, and six branch families, which are the Hinamoto, Kaigen, Yamanori, Kawa'ake, Denkuro, and Zaigen.   The branch families swear absolute fealty to the core family and in turn enjoy the protection and auspices of the powerful Jô'oo Clan name. Though working closely together to secure the political standing of the clan, the different families have different iemoto (house arts and secrets), and specialize in various fields, garnering the clan with a versatile portfolio.  
The Jô'oo Clan Family Tree
Note: From top to bottom, the Family Symbols read "Gate", "Mountain", "Sea", "East", "South", "Rice Field", "River".
 
Jô'oo Family
The core family is situated in the Tenjôken5
The upper layer of the Yamato capital Yamaseki, where the wealthiest, noblest, and the imperial palace reside.
where they are mostly involved in the day-to-day dealings of the Yamato Court, taking care of the political dimensions of the clan domestically. They also produce some of the finest fire mages of the Kingdom.
  
Hinamoto Kaigen
The Hinamoto family used to be highly influential during the Age of the Iron Divide, going into decline in the latter decades of the period when the capital was moved from Tokuhara to Yamaseki. Today they are the Jô'oo's mouthpiece to the old nobility still remaining in Tokuhara. The Kaigen family is a family of old shipwrights and merchants, who were involved in the construction of the Rusty Shore port of Nankô and the Hagane no Michi, the Road of Steel, which connects the harbor and the main land across the vast Iron Belt.   Today, their good relations with the West Yamato Trading Company are invaluable to the finances of the Jô'oo clan and their relations with the nations of the Corsic Ocean.
Denkuro Zaigen
The Denkuro used to be farmers, who were turned into noble landowners during the early centuries of the Age of the Iron Divide. They possess vast tracts of land in the fertile Yamato Valley and control many villages and small towns there, which also garners them with a significant pool of potential conscripts in times of war, be it civil or other. The Zaigen family manages the remnants of the old Easternmost Provinces, which used to be overseen by Hestia directly during the Age of Awakening. Though reduced in size since the signing of the Null Concord in 156 AA, the provinces are still quite vast and mostly utilized for rice farming. As such, much like the Denkuro, the Zaigen have access to a significant amount of manpower and food-stuffs.
Yamanori Kawa'ake
The Yamanori live in the eastern mountains of the great Yamato Mountain Range, where they control several lucrative mining operations, extracting precious gold and gems. The incredible influx of wealth from the Yamanori has long secured the Jô'oo's position of power among the Clans of Yamato.
The Kawa'ake family was among the thirteen families, which first constructed the postal stations along the Daihakusen, the Great White River, which runs from Mt. Tenbashira all the way to the Rusty Shore. These stations would traditionally house a small number of runners. When people needed mail delivered quickly, runners would do a baton pass along the stations with the mailed envelope or package, until they arrived at the target destination.   While no longer in use that way, the postal stations and land surrounding them still belong, at least in part, to the Kawa'ake, and they have made magnificent resorts and inns out of them, leveraging them into the lucrative tourism sector. And as excellent getaways and places of relaxation, they have also served a purpose as diplomatic incentives for foreign diplomats, enticing them with lavish vacations and more.

西の炎は大光明 - "The Flame of the West is a Great Bright Beacon"

Founding Date
Year 72 of the Age of Awakening
Type
Geopolitical, Clan
Alternative Names
House Bygate, 門近氏族 (Jô'oo Shinzoku)
Demonym
門近の方 (Jô'oo no Kata)
Parent Organization
Notable Members

Yamato and her Clans

The Yamato Kingdom
Organization | Oct 16, 2022

The Yamato Kingdom is one of the oldest kingdoms of Aqualon and located in the great Yamato Mountain Range, the largest mountain range of the planet. ~ 2576 Words

Notable Clansmen of the Jô'oo

Jô'oo Meiji 門近明治

Jô'oo Meiji was born in the Eastern Prefectures in 35 AH and spent his youth there as a ward of the Zaigen Family. He died at the young age of 31 in 66 AH.   Meiji is to date one of the most famous members of the Jô'oo Clan, due to him being born a Keeper5
The Keepers of the Elements are the most powerful (pseudo-)mages of Aqualon. Their souls are directly linked with the ur-soul of their element and the ancestral weapon that completes this connection, giving them absolute dominion over their element.
. With the element of fire tied to his soul, his birth set the small town of Tôjiki 東直 ablaze. It quickly became clear to his peers that he had the incredible gift of a Keeper soul and they safeguarded him with extreme prejudice.   At the age of 5, he was brought back to the halls of the core family in the Tenjôken of Yamaseki, where his training with the Ryûga Order began at a very young age. His mastery of the element of fire was beyond talent and often described as a 'relationship' by his peers.   He rose through the ranks and became the general of the magus order within a mere ten years, becoming the youngest leader of the order in all of Yamato's history. He then led many campaigns against the relentlessly invading Nordmen and Old Gods, for the Age of Heroes was the age of the Great War.   The pride the clan held for Meiji was and still is immeasurable. With Hestia as their founding mother, the element of fire and fire magic have been a fable and object of worship within the families of the Clan and within the core family above all others since its earliest days. To them, in a way, Meiji was the second coming of Hestia, though many clockwork theologists have argued that the Keeper's powers are not a mantle that can be attached to different souls but souls in their own right, making such a thing impossible.   This, of course, will generally fall on deaf ears with the Jô'oo.   In 66 AH at the still young age of 31, Meiji fought his final battle, joining forces with the Middlish Margrave of the North-East and the Margrave of the North-West to fight off a mighty army of ten-thousand Kaltani and an elite unit of Valkyries led by Odin and his son Thor themselves.   The invading Nordmen forces could be repelled by the forces of the Jô'oo, the Taira, the Ryûga Order, the Middlish armies, and a last-minute cross-assault by the Ryoku'u moth riders. But the victory came at great cost, and Meiji perished, struck down by the mighty hammer of Thor.

Hinamoto Kanna 日南本神名

HinamotoKanna.jpg
Hinamoto Kanna was born in the Tokuhara Prefecture in 42 GE and died in 112 GE near the Anvil Islands.   Kanna was most famous for being chosen as one of the Guardians of Fire by the Lord of Fire of her time, Pavlov Muhan of Vechnaya Bramma in 68 GE.   To accomplish this incredible feat, she had to win the Grand Magus Tournament of Yamaseki in the same year. Kanna had been taken in by the core family, the Jô'oo, at the young age of 12 as a ward and had been trained rigorously in the art of murasaki moth grooming, ikebana6
The art of arranging flowers.
, mahôgi 7
A one-on-one board-game involving wooden or ceramic playing pieces representing various types of military units that is popular in the Yamato Kingdom.
, and of course fire magic.   Kanna decided against joining the prestigious Ryûga Order and initially tried to utilize her skills with fire magic as a performer, until she developed a taste for competition and participated in the Grand Magus Tournament on three occasions, winning first place in her third run, an act that brought much honor to her clan as the GMT is a highly prestigious event in the kingdom. When the bidding for contracting the winners ensued, Pavlov Muhan, Lord of Fire, offered her a position as a Guardian of Fire at his side, which she accepted without hesitation.   She performed her duties with great skill and diligence until she perished near the Anvil Islands on the Corsic Ocean in 68 GE while aiding the Commonwealth of Corsia in the pursuit of a dangerous animancer, at the time believed to be the Seacat.

Jô'oo Tôko 門近灯子

jô'oo tôko.jpg
Jô'oo Tôko was born in the Tokuhara Prefecture in 1363 GE and died in 1554 GE under suspicious circumstances surrounding a smelting accident in one of the factories of the Fulgrath Aluminum Guild while she was visiting the Yamato Embassy in Fulgrath.   Though significantly removed from the main inheriting line of the core family, Tôko was a shrewd negotiator, always on the lookout for new opportunities, allies, and weaknesses in enemies.   Her contributions were key in securing the unofficial retainership of the Yoshitsune Clan.

Jô'oo Kyôma 門近凶真

Jô'oo Kyôma was born in the Yamaseki Prefecture in 335 GE and died in 482 GE in the Tenjôken of Yamaseki.   Born into the core family of the Jô'oo Clan, he was the second son of the sôke, the head of house, Jô'oo Tatsuzaemon. A strict believer in classical ur-soulism and Yilik's teachings of Ri, Tatsuzaemon raised his sons to honor the traditions of the elemental shrines and to always be dutiful to their clan's needs.   While as a second son Kyôma was less likely to inherit the title of sôke after his father's passing, he nevertheless practiced his duties with great diligence and used his significant charisma to leverage his way through the entire upper stratum of the Yamato Court, acting as a sort of spy or "ear" for the family.   Kyôma exposed a plot by the Kumamoto Clan to incite civil war in the Tokuhara Prefecture. Using the resources of the Denkuro branch family, the rebellion could be quelled before it even started, earning Kyôma a high commendation from empress Taira Asahi in 362 GE.

Poetry on Aqualon

Short Poems

Voiced by Koray Birenheide

Short Stories

The Travelers Guide to Aqualon

Articles with Author's Audio Commentary
Listen to my varied ramblings about the context of this lore, how it came to be as well as various thoughts on the World of Aqualon and my writing process.

Schools of Elemental Magic


Of the various types of magic on Aqualon, elemental magic is the easiest to attain and the most prolific kind across the globe. There are five sub-types of elemental magic: Water, Fire, Lightning, Earth, and Wind, each with its own schools.

Codex Riccardium - A History of Magic


From chapter 1 of the Codex Riccardium: Magna Magia - Some thoughts on the origins of magic in society by Rickard Leeuw.

Articles with Additional Secret Lore
These articles have little extra paragraphs, tiny stories, or other extra bits of lore visible to patrons.

The Keeper Weapons


These greatest of weapons bind the great elemental Ur-Souls to their Keepers, enabling them to perform impossible feats of elemental magic.

The Keepers


Mightier than mages, only five Keepers ever exist at a time, each exerting total dominion over one of the five magical elements.

The Ur-Souls


Since the creation of the Great Clockwork, those most powerful souls often suspected of being deeply connected to that very creation have stood apart from the rest, commanding magic and a connection to the Great Clockwork few other souls can match.

The Hearthersfǫr - Days of Winterlight Angels


Far down north live the Kaltani, Skôts, and Gallians, as well as the Angel Saxons. Of the old Nordmen tribes, only the Angel Saxons remain truly mighty, and when the dark winters threaten their brethren below, the Journey of the Hearth begins...

Whetu Mohio


The Maoloaiya art of navigation, sometimes called pathfinding, with the help of which they used to travel hundreds of thousands of kilometers across the Corsic Ocean and Trans-Glaciatic Sea.

Faith


Clockwork theologists have a few things to say about faith. With relentless empirical study, they have uncovered the impressive power behind genuine faith and how it can bend and empower souls.

The Maoloaiya


The Maoloaiya inhabit the Trans-Glaciatic Sea, cut off from the rest of the world by the mighty Gastropnir Glacier, which separates them from the Great Land and the Corsic Ocean. They are skilled navigators and nomadic island dwellers. ~ 4702

Doubts About the Great Clockwork Arise in Jamphel Yeshe


In one final act, the Grand Sages settle around Jamphel Yeshe and turn to stone as they bannish the Great Clockwork from within the island.

The Eternal Flame of Lumina Aka is Lit


When the Angel Saxons and Kaltani druids gave the gift of flame to the men of Mt.Tarkaal, they enshrined it in a great bottle of glass.

Trade for Magics


In the 4th century of the Age of the Iron Divide, Angel Saxons and Kaltani druids traded the secrets of magic

The Founding of Jamphel Yeshe


The Five Sages cross the Iron Belt and the Corsic Ocean on foot to arrive at Whale Island, and they name it Jamphel Yeshe. It becomes a mecca of spirituality and philosphy.

The Yamato Surveys: Jamphel Yeshe


Yamato folk first survey Jamphel Yeshe, calling it "Kujira-tô" or Whale Island, owing to its shape that resembles a whale's head.

The Reshaping of the World


The Reshaping of the World was brought upon the Nine Realms after the War of the Reshaping and turned the shard world of Aqualon into a planet.

A History of Faith on Aqualon: The Old World


Before Aqualon was forged into a planet, it consisted of nine asteroids, floating around the sun, a rainbow river connecting them. Then, people put their faith in titans and gods, before they knew better.

Fulgrath


Fulgrath, the City of Lightning, is one of the Five Capital Cities of the Middle Lands.

Vinclav, the Master of Keys


Now games and wagers are the life / Of sailors, pirates, fisher′s wives; / But do beware the yellow eyes, / Don′t bet to serve, your soul, your life / Always beware the yellow eyes.

The Bonfire Shrine


A shrine dedicated to the Eternal Flame of Lumina Aka, and also a recognized magus academy of the Middle Lands.

Aerialis


One of the five great cities of the Middle Lands, home to the Rickard Leeuw Magistorium.

Aquaris


One of the five capitals of the Middle Lands, home to the Spire of Rahn.

Codex Riccardium - A History of Magic


From chapter 1 of the Codex Riccardium: Magna Magia - Some thoughts on the origins of magic in society by Rickard Leeuw.

Magic


The magic of Aqualon comes in several forms, but all of them share the same nature. ~ 1450

The Tower of Five


The Tower is the ruling house of the five Keepers, who are in charge of the Middle Lands.

The Middle Lands


The Middle Lands are the most powerful region of the Great Land, which encompasses most inhabital parts of the Southern Hemisphere of Aqualon.