Arcana: Iron and Magic

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Ether - magical power and knowledge
Force - magical application
Life - trade/diplomacy and personal development
Matter - order/bureaucracy
Void - exploration and sea/skymanship

The World

Map Outline. Thule is top-right, continents proceed clockwise.

Arcana: Threads of Religions
Arcana: Schools of Magic
Arcana: The Alfar Empire

The Continents of Arcana


The smallest continent of Arcana, Thule is a cold, windswept land dominated by rugged landscapes and boreal forests. Only visited by the Alfar during the Late Imperial period, it was never truly conquered and many small 'barbarian' kingdoms here were never exposed to the advances of Alfar civilization. During the Succession War many raiding bands set out from Thule to both trade and pillage in equal opportunity; most of these fell on the northern shores of Lemuria, though a few reached Mu.

More recently, Thule became the seat of last holdouts from the Necromantic War. Their summoned ice giants and Jotun armies easily swept the local defenders before them and decades later, as the tide turned against them the necromancer-lords of Thule set their defenses for an invasion that ultimately never came. With the necromantic powerbase already shattered and the so-called Alliance of Light splintering after years of grinding advance, the Council of Lothlorian could not pull together the needed forces to force more than a token invasion and in 5203 the Alliance officially disbanded.

As a result, Thule remains under the control of several necromancer-lords to this day, though as they conspire against each other and whatever paranoid delusions they increasingly harbour, their grip on Thule loosens. As for the inhabitants of Thule, surprisingly little has changed. Lacking the powerful defenses and armies of Lemuria or Atlantis, they were walked over with few scuffles and soon began paying taxes to the distant sorcerors that they now called Lord. Many other small kingdoms simply surrendered, and to this day more than half of Thule's 'civilized' land remains in the hands of these princes and kinglets who have began to learn from and conspire with the necromancer-lords.


The largest and most populous continent of Arcana, Lemuria has a varied climate, ranging from torrential chaos jungle fringing the far north-west to warm and dry 'mediteranean' along the western and northern coasts, with the inland ranging from grassy plains to savannah to outright desert, climatically seperated from the northern coast by a range of mountains. The southern coast is often dry and the eastern continent tends towards hilly or mountainous, with misty forests and sharp winters. The island of Oyvind is almost entirely submerged in the Great Roar and is continually wracked by devatating storms and high winds.

Conquered by successive Alfar rulers during the Early Imperial period, Lemusia is rich and cosmopolitan and believed to be the origin point for a number of races, including the Midgar and Uruk. It enjoyed millenia of civilization and as a consequence even the notoriously barbarian Uruk that hail from Lemuria tend to be urbane and polished. Unfortunately, the Succession War hit Lemuria hard and the former Imperial Provinces fall into dissaray, spawning dozens of major nations and hundreds (if not thousands) of lesser ones. Lemuria was also the site of the largest number of battles during the Necromantic War, and many areas are still poisoned or irradiated by the bizzare and terrifying weapons of the war.


The origin of the Alfar Empire, Mu is a sinious continent covered in rugged jungle in the north-east, fading to the perfectly-manicured Alfar forests that make up much of the south. Ancient cities dot this, built and maintained in aesthetic harmony with nature. Belowground the vast warforges of the Alfar lie, banished out of sight but ready to once again produce the myriad technomagical weapons of the Imperial troops.

The Imperial Provinces of Mu were never broken up like those of Lemuria; it remains too close to the capital on the shores of the Mare Veris. The lords of Mu continue their centuries-old schemes and conspiracies to put their favored candidate on the vacant Imperial Throne, broken only by the fifty-year Necromantic War.


The 'Dark Continent', Rutas was originally visited during the Early Imperial period, though it was only truly conquered during the Late Imperial. Geographically it has vast expanses of jungle and swamp in the center of the continent; while host to potentially lucrative expeditions for the strange plants and animals here, the native life is very dangerous. To add to the draw, the center of the continent is also home to many ancient ruins that predate the Alfar Empire. Even today these jungles have been poorly explored and the inhabitants of Rutas generally live on the uplands that wind around the outer edge of the continent where the climate is far more agreeable.

The Rules

To start, all nations have a total of 200 points to spend exclusively on Domains and a further 200 points to be spent on any area of their choosing, such as races, extra domains and military forces. Military forces are purchased at 1 point = 250 Gold. For this purpose consider 1 Mana or 1 Adamantium to be equal to 1 gold, 1 Books to be 5 gold, 1 Horses or Beasts to be 10 Gold and 1 Levistone to be equal to 25 Gold.

Record of Changes - Things that have been changed that are probably important.

Races of Arcana

The cost in points is to unlock a given race; normally one per nation, though Highborn races can have additional Baseborn races at a cost of +10 points per race. They may then be assigned to any domain as desired.

The ancient Alfar had names for most of the races they encountered, while these have either fallen out of use or undergone permutation, they are still widely used. The Alfar term is in brackets.

Baseborn Races

Humans (Midgar)

The generic
Racial Alignment: None

Orks (Uruk)

Originally tribal, some are now civilized. Can be green, brown or red.
Racial Alignment: Matter
Infantry units are tougher
Mage units are weaker

Goblins (Ruk-Tai)

Surface ones are mostly in isolated regions, underground ones are angry.
Racial Alignment: Void
+1 to all Drafts
Infantry units are weaker

Dwarves (Devgar)

Short guys that like beer and live in underground halls.
Cost: 20
Underdark Race
Racial Alignment: Force
Infantry units are tougher
+25% to all Mine output
-1 Common draft


Catgirls and furries, oh my!
Cost: 5-20
Racial Alignment: Void
May chose one Beast ability at 5 points, 2 at 12 or 3 at 20.


Primitive reptilian humanoids that come from the deep deserts far from civilization.
Cost: 5
Racial Alignment: Life
Infantry units are faster
May buy Lizard Wastes
Immune to attritionary effects of Wastes and Lizard Wastes
May not build Mechanical units


Primitive reptilian humanoids that come from the deep deserts far from civilization.
Cost: 10
Racial Alignment: Life
Infantry units are faster
Immune to attritionary effects of Marshy Wastes
Marshy Wastes produce +1 food, and +2 Common Draft
May not build Mechanical units

Highborn Races

Noble races can 'buy' Common race Domains to represent feudal (or enslaved) underclasses.

Elves (Alfar)

Fuck'n pointy-ears
Cost: 20
Racial Alignment: Ether
Ranged and Mage units are more powerful
Wilds generate +1 Food and +10 Mana
May buy Elven Wilds
All Common draft halved

Dark Elves (Dokkar)

Underground Elves
Cost: 20
Underdark Race
Racial Alignment: Ether
Ranged and Mage units are more powerful
All Noble and Mage units reduce Mana upkeep by 5
All Common draft halved

God-Blooded (Asgar)

Humans with a touch of ancient god in their bloodline
Cost: 25
Racial Alignment: Life
Infantry and Mage units are stronger and tougher
All Noble and Mage units reduce Mana upkeep by 10
All Common draft halved

Monster Races

Monster races require GM approval to play. All Monster races cost double to raise and upkeep (discounting equipment)


Mutated dragon eggs, one of the more unpleasant by-blows of the Necromantic War. They're angry
Cost: 40
Racial Alignment: Matter
All non-mechanical units are tougher, breathe fire and fly
May not use Horses

Trolls (Jotnar)

Big green regenerating guys
Cost: 40
Racial Alignment: Void
All non-mechanical units are much stronger and tougher
All non-mechanical units regenerate
May not buy Cities
All drafts halved


Half-plant, half-human physical tree spirits. Insular.
Cost: 40
Racial Alignment: Life
All non-mechanical units are much stronger and tougher
All mechanical units are grown at Wood Nodes, not built (see below)
Wilds generate +1 Food and +20 Mana
May buy Elven Wilds
May not buy Countryside
All drafts halved

Iron Dryads

What happens when you put a Dryad grove in an iron smelter
Cost: 40
Racial Alignment: Force
All non-mechanical units are much stronger and tougher
All mechanical units are grown at Fire Nodes, not built (see below)
All units reduce Mana upkeep by 5
Wilds generate +25 Mana
May not buy Countryside
All drafts halved


Self-willed undead from the Necro War. May not look like zombies or skeletons.
Cost: 25
Racial Alignment: Void
All non-mechanical units are tougher
All units have certain magical resistances/immunities

Dryad growth rules: As almost everything Dryads make is grown and sculped from living trees, they do not need the raw materiels or manufacturing sites that other races do. They may pay Adamantium costs in Mana and can construct mechanical devices at the appropriate node - normally Life-aligned, but Iron Dryads use a Force-Essence permutation.


Arcana Domain Customization

Domains are what make up your nation, the real estate so to speak. They are where your people live and work and have a very real effect on your national character.

Domain Limits
A nation may have up to 12 domains without any problem, however past that there is a surcharge of +10 points per additional domain. In the turbulent times after the Necromantic War, few large states exist. A Domain can have at maximum two mines/quarries and one of every other type of site. As such a Mountain domain can have a Keep, a Town and two Gold Mines, but not a Keep, a Town, a Gold Mine, a Levistone Quarry and an Adamantium Mine.


Cultivated fields interspersed with small forests, creeks, etc.
10 points
Produces 2 Food and 100 Gold
3 Common Draft


Deeper forests of virgin oaks and old-growth cedar.
5 points
Produces 50 Gold
1 Common Draft
Somewhat defensible


Rolling hills, often with small woodcutting or ranching operations. A popular site for gold mines, both collapsed and non-collapsed.
10 points
Produces 150 Gold
1 Common Draft
Adamantium, Gold


Tall, snow-capped peaks with the occasional high pass and raging river.
5 points
Produces 50 Gold
Very defensible
Adamantium, Levistone, Gold


Deserts, swamps or tundras. Not nice places to be, but they make great borders.
1 point


20 points
Produces 1 Food, 100 Gold and 250 Mana
Adamantium, Levistone


15 points
Produces 1 Food, 50 Gold and 125 Mana
1 Common Draft
Adamantium, Gold
Very Defensible
Is associated with another Domain

Underdark Lightfield

20 points
Produces 3 Food, 50 Gold and 125 Mana
2 Common Draft
Adamantium, Gold
Is associated with another Domain


25 points
Produces 50 Gold and 375 Mana
Adamantium, Gold
Very Defensible
Is associated with another Domain


Sites are geographical entities that are relatively small; cities, castles, nodes, etc. They must be placed in a Domain.


Many militarized borders have large walls, or else frontier fortifications. The practice has waxed and waned over the millenia, but dates back to the early expansion of the Alfar Empire.
10 points
Must be seized and captured before the associated Domain can be conquered.


Large fortified castles, complete with forges, smithies, bowyers, enchanters, ridiculously giant cannons, early-warning scrying pools and a rickety wizard's castle.
30 points
Requires 1 Food and 100 gold
Produces 250 Mana and 10 Books
2 Noble Draft
Must be seized and captured before the associated Domain can be conquered.
Maintains 25 gold/month of units free of charge, so long as they remain in the Domain.


Vital cogs in a nation's economy, Towns are home to thousands of people. Like Keeps, they are home to various craftspeople and specialists.
10 points
Requires 1 Food
Produces 200 Gold and 10 Books
2 Common Draft


Much larger than Towns, Cities are centers of commerce and production. It is in Cities that the most powerful and amazing weapons and magics are crafted.
50 points
Requires 5 Food
Produces 1000 Gold, 250 Mana and 30 Books
6 Common Draft, 1 Noble Draft
Production sites for all Mechanical units.


Even the denizens of the Underdark build cities, vast halls full of the myriad different tasks of civilization.
50 points
Requires 4 Food
Produces 700 Gold, 500 Mana and 30 Books
5 Common Draft, 1 Noble Draft
Production sites for all Mechanical units.
Must be sited in an Underdark Domain.


A proper site for rearing and keeping horses that typically includes stable buildings and fenced-in lands. Also tends to be a hub for experts in matters of training and equipment.
10 points
Requires 1 Food
Produces 30 Horses


A fortress-like site with well-built walls and enclosures intended to keep dangerous or simply huge creatures which are brought in from the wilds to be trained or otherwise conditioned. Naturally it is a focal point for hunters, trackers and woodsmen. The occasional escape tends to motivate average folks to keep well away, though.
10 points
Requires 1 Food, -1 Common Draft to the domain it is in
Produces 25 Beasts

Wizard's Tower

Large, tall, possibly crooked and glows a faint greenish-yellow-purple at night.
10 points
Produces 50 Books

Gold Mine

Gold (or other similar precious materiels like silver and gems) need to be laboriously extracted from the earth to enrich the local lord.
10 points
Produces 250 Gold

Adamantium Mine

The reddish, incredibly tough metal known as Adamantium is prized across Arcana. While it makes excellent armor and weapons, it is one of the few substances (and by far the most available) that can be used to construct the frames of Guymelefs.
10 points
Produces 250 Adamantium

Levistone Quarry

Levistones are chunks of Arcana's rock that have become so infused with mana that they can ignore the grip of gravity. In some select areas these can be quarried and then floated to the shipyards where they become the keel of skyships.
10 points
Produces 10 Levistones


Air Node

Often the sites of continual lightning, rain, snow and other more unusual atmospheric phenomenon. A flare at an Air Node can send storms across a continent, providing much-needed rain - or ruining crops.
50 points
Each Air Node provides 1250 Mana
Increases non-Node mana by 5%

Fire Node

Archetypically a bubbling volcano, though vast fields of bubbling mud or geysers is not uncommon. More rarely, Fire Nodes can be twisted spires of rocks, dispersing raw energy into the air - or those venturing unwisely close.
50 points
Each Fire Node provides 1250 Mana
Reduces Mana cost of Constructs by 10%

Wood Node

The vibrant energy of a Wood Node imbues the local forests with unnatural vitality, turning them into vegetative battlegrounds of constantly-growing trees, creepers and other flora.
50 points
Each Wood Node provides 1250 Mana
Increases Wilds and Marshy Wastes draft by +1

Earth Node

Often taking the form of ridiculously rugged mountains that are fairly bursting with precious gems and ores, Earth Nodes are the foci of the geomantic forces of Earth magic.
50 points
Each Earth Node provides 1250 Mana
Increase Gold income by 5%

Water Node

Endless fonts of crystal-clear water that fades to the deepest indigo above their unknown depths, Water Nodes are sources of pure water, even when they are found in an ocean.
50 points
Each Water Node provides 1250 Mana
Increases City and Keep drafts by +1 each

Spirit Node

It is difficult to define a Spirit Node with any certainty, save that those who unknowingly travel through them will find fires not shedding heat, no animals to hunt and enigmatic dreams that can never be properly recalled.
50 points
Each Spirit Node provides 1250 Mana
Unique Nodes

The Sun

Ether/Force aligned

The Clouds

Force/Life aligned


Life/Matter aligned

The Core

Matter/Void aligned

The Skies

Void/Ether aligned

The Sea of Chaos

Ether/Life aligned

The Heartsforge

Force/Matter aligned

World's End

Life/Void aligned

The Font of Creation

Matter/Ether aligned

The Grand Flow

Void/Force aligned


Warhorses, in specific. Needed to equip any unit with Warhorses.
A crucual component in making Guymelefs.
What keeps skyships in the air.
Mages need books.
Common Draft
Commoners are the bulk of any military, coming from various lower classes.
Noble Draft
The nobles are the priviledged few of titled birth, typically forming the hard core of a Lord's military.

Military Units

Arcana: Unit Design


Arcana: Mages and Magic