Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
Blackmoor: Post Cataclysmby John Calvin
The Blackmoor civilisation was the first civilisation to achieve spelljamming status inside of Mystaraspace. They did this by using a unique technology which was magic merged with the science of a race from an alternate plane of existence. The techno-magic was integrated into every aspect of the Blackmoorian's lives.
The Blackmoor spelljammers were able to travel great speeds and vast distances without draining their helmsmen of any magic. When the Arcane caught wind of these craft, they were not pleased. They began an intensive program to try and wean the Blackmoorians from their technology, and make them dependent upon Arcane helms.
All of their efforts were for naught. The Blackmoorians viewed themselves as the superiors of those who relied purely upon magic. The Blackmoorians viewed Arcane products as sub-standard, and would not buy them. The Arcane became more forceful about insisting that Blackmoor use Arcane goods, and finally Blackmoor expelled all Arcane, and their representatives, from within their borders.
The Arcane, angered by this treatment and the refusal of Blackmoor to use Arcane helms, slipped into one of Blackmoor's power storage facilities and tampered with the magical energies contained within. This tampering made the energies unstable, and very volatile. This is what caused the explosion, and the destruction of Blackmoor on Mystara.
When the outer colonies in Mystaraspace felt the disturbance caused by the explosion, they rushed back to their home world. To their surprise the immortals themselves were barring their passage. The Blackmoorians suspected that the Arcane had something to do with the disaster, and their clerics relayed this to their respective immortal patrons. The immortals however, would not listen to their pleas. Whether or not the Blackmoorians had caused the explosion was irrelevant, in the eyes of the immortals they were responsible.
The Blackmoorian fleets turned to leave Mystaraspace, and vowed to forsake the immortals who had forsaken them, but the immortals were not finished. The immortals could not afford to let an accident like this happen again. They attempted to destroy the Blackmoor fleet. The space fleet was more powerful than even the immortals expected, and a desperate war raged on. Mortal verses immortal.
Blackmoorian fleets fought their way out of Mystaraspace and sought refuge in nearby crystal spheres, but the immortals followed them still. In the ensuing battles most of the Blackmoorian fleets were destroyed, along with several immortals. It is rumoured that several crystal spheres were also destroyed. In the end the immortals relented, not willing for any more of their rank to fall, and the Blackmoorian fleets escaped to the far reaches of the multiverse.
Slowly, over 2000 years, Blackmoor built its civilisation back into its former glory. Along the way they have stopped to hunt down every Arcane and immortal or god that they come across.
The Blackmoor culture is an extremely complex one. There are two main aspects to Blackmoorian culture. They can be divided into those that live in space, and those that live planetside.
Blackmoorians in Space
Spacefaring culture is centred around the ship, not only because it provides the mode of transport, but because Blackmoorian ships are also the source of their techno-magical powers. Before discussing the social structure of Blackmoorians in space, it is first necessary to discuss their power source.
Blackmoorian magic is different from magic used by most other species and cultures in the multiverse. A Blackmoorian techno-mage must draw energy for his spells from an energy store. Blackmoorian ships all have a device which is referred to as a Chamber. This chamber generates and stores vast amounts of magical energy. Although it is possible for a Chamber to 'run dry' if used excessively, this rarely happens due to the enormous amounts of energy which the Chamber holds.
Chambers are semi intelligent, and most have a link with a single techno-mage, which allows that mage to use the energy freely. Other techno-mages who attempt to access the Chamber's power, must first wrest control from the linked techno-mage. Non Blackmoorian spell casters can access this power source, but they do so at great risk. Chamber energy is deadly to its wielder.
The linked techno-mage is usually the captain of the spelljamming ship, and depending upon his power level may have several subordinates. These subordinates may use the techno-mage's Chamber as a power source, or may have lesser Chambers as power sources of their own.
As the techno-mage gains experience, he can actually modify the structure of his Chamber to produce and contain more energy. This is the ultimate goal of every techno-mage. The following table lists techno-mage ranks, and the powers associated with attaining them.
Squire :This is the lowest level of techno-mage. These individuals are not linked to their own Chamber, but instead are granted powers by higher ranking techno-mages
Knight: Knights are often given control of their own spelljamming ships. However these ships do not have Chambers of their own. They draw their power from a larger mother ship, and thus can never travel far from it.
Knight Hunter: A Knight Hunter has proven himself in battle, and is allowed to construct and install a Chamber onto his ship. Although the chamber is a self contained power source, it still maintains links to a more powerful source. Knight Hunters are fully able to set out on their own, but rarely do so unless ordered by their superiors. A Knight Hunter may employ a few Squires.
Knight Destroyer: Knight Destroyers have slain super natural beings (Arcane included) and integrated their essences into their Chamber. This has the effect of making the Knight Destroyer less dependent on his former master. The Knight Destroyer still feels a form of loyalty/obedience for his former master, and will often perform certain tasks or quests for him. However a Knight Destroyer is just as likely to be on a mission of his own devising. Knight Destroyers may have several Squires and a few Knights in their employ.
Enlightened: One of the Enlightened is a former Knight Destroyer who has killed and integrated one deity or immortal being into his Chamber. After doing so, the Enlightened is physically changed, and is in essence, no longer a mortal being (at least as long as his Chamber is intact and functioning). The Enlightened may take on some attributes of the immortal entity which he has slain. An Enlightened seeks to have techno-mage subordinates, and will never be found without one. An Enlightened may have any of the four previous ranks under his command.
Paragon: Paragons are extremely rare entities, and this is fortunate for the deities of the multiverse, for a Paragon has managed to slay more than one god/immortal and integrate it into his Chamber. Paragons function much as one of the Enlightened, however in addition to having subordinate techno-mages, a Paragon may also grant limited clerical abilities to some of his followers. These types of clerics are the only ones which exist in Blackmoorian society.
Planetside society is a very transient thing. Very few permanent settlements exist (although some do). Most settlements are temporary and are designed to gather resources for their spacefaring brethren.
Several unique species of beings exist in Blackmoorian society. These beings are more commonly referred to as automatons or constructs. Although many constructs behave in a manner consistent with constructs throughout the multiverse (in a non intelligent way), many Blackmoorian versions of these creatures are actually sentient. Constructs can not reproduce as such, but sentient constructs do have the ability to create others of their kind if they so choose.
Cyborgs: These constructs were once completely biological beings. Now they have enhancing technological/mechanical devices integrated into their bodies. These machines can confer enhanced abilities, however in many cases these machines are required for the continued existence of the cyborg.
Androids: These are completely mechanical beings. They are not, nor have they ever been, biological creatures. These entities do not normally need the same kinds of sustenance that mortal beings require (food, water, air), and may function indefinitely without them. Most androids are powered by an energy source, either internal or external. Internal energy sources are most often mini-Chambers. External sources may include Chambers, magical energy, or solar power.
Stone Men: Stone men are very much like androids above. They can be powered by internal or external energy sources, and do not require the same resources that biological entities do in order to survive. Stone men are not mechanical in nature however. In appearance the resemble Golems and can be constructed from various stones and metals