Bestiary : Though players are welcome to visit Nibiru, Kingu (Earth's moon) or even Lahmu (Mars), most of the adventures that characters will be going on in ANKUR, will take place on Ki (Earth). The wild life of Ki is very rich and varied. Much of the planet is unspoiled wilderness with the industrial centers mainly focused near rich mineral deposits or in plains; where food is plentiful. As mentioned earlier, some pre-historic creatures still exist on Ki, even after the great flood. The Lu-ki use many of these "dinosaurs" as beasts of burden, and sometimes as food. Outside the influence of the cities, the wilderness is full of predatory creatures competing for survival, and is no place for a "city-dweller". Here are some of the more noteworthy creatures one may find on Ki.
Quagga: Named for the distinctive sound they make (Quaaa-ga-ga-ga!), Quagga are a robust sub-species of Zebra. They have white legs and bellies, brown upper bodies and a series of white stripes around their neck and head. They are wild, lively and can be found in great numbers roaming the plains in search of tall grasses and grains. The inhabitants of Ki have domesticated thousands of them, and they can be seen in every city as a common mode of transport.
Amsi-gal: Translated as "Great Elephant", the Amsi-gal are Wooly Mammoths. These monsters stand some 12-15 feet tall and can weigh in at 8-10 tons! They have large curved tusks and long shaggy wool covering their bodies. Amsi-gal can be found in rather large herds on every continent on Ki. Some of them have been domesticated, and its not uncommon to see a few in larger cities being used to haul heavy loads. A few Soldier's guilds also employ them in combat. They are herbivores, and will not eat people, but they are very territorial in the wild and will charge to defend the herd.
Ul-Ti: Meaning "Terror bird", the Ul-Ti certainly live up to their name. Looking a bit like a giant, ill-tempered Osterich, the Terror bird is a flightless bird that stands between 9-10 feet tall, has an eagle-like beak, large taloned feet and can reach running speeds exceeding 30mph. They are cunning man-eating carnivores who usually hunt in packs of three. Their feathers are prized as trophies by many nomadic tribes. There have been rumors of some tribes that use them as mounts.
Sirrush: These are a rare species of giant reptile about as tall as a horse. The males have horned crests on top of their heads. Two of the horns curve and curl around the sides of the head, a third horn grows straight out the top of the head, giving it the silhouette of a unicorn. The skin of the Sirrush consists of round, non-overlapping scales of various iridescent colors ranging from greens and yellows to orange. Sirrush are carnivores, but although they have been known to attack creatures smaller than themselves.....including Ki-lu-ene......they tend to feed on carrion. This is another of the creatures that has been domesticated to some extent and many can be seen, particularly in out-lying areas, being used as mounts.
Shukin-warrakin: Its name means "Kneel before the moon reaper!" These beasts are a species of large canine that resembles a giant, shaggy, black-haired wolf with a hump back and a long, slender muzzle full of back-curved teeth. They are roughly one and a half times as large as a regular wolf and frequently prey on them. They have been known to attack villages and carry off children. They often travel in packs but even when encountered alone, they show no fear and will not hesitate to attack creatures larger than themselves. They are rarely known to leave a fight and will typically fight to the death.
Yarraba: Yarraba means "Marine creature that destroys boats". These aptly named creatures are remnants of a species of plesiosaur. They inhabit the many lakes and rivers of Shinar and Mush-kur. They are aquatic creatures with large thick torsos, four flippers and a long, slender neck and tail. Their skin is thick and smooth like that of a porpoise. They have relatively small heads but lots of sharp teeth. They are carnivores, and though they feed mainly on fish, the occasional fisherman is a welcome snack. If provoked they can be very aggressive. They have been known to turn over sailing vessels in search of a meal.
Arkab-zarah: This creature's name translates to "Bat-stork". Its in reference to the creature's giant crane-like body and leathery, bat-like wings. Arkab-zarah are winged pterosaurs.They have long necks and large pointy beaks with rows of tiny sharp teeth. They have on average a 30-60 foot wing span and can easily carry a rider. They are carnivores and feed on a variety of fish, birds and small game. Those that have been domesticated as aerial mounts, have been trained to attack in combat. Though most city dwellers use Vimana to travel the skies, Arkab-zarah riders are still a common sight.
Umamlu: Umamlu means "Beast-man". It goes without saying that with all the genetic experiments that went on to produce the Ki-lu slave races, there was bound to be a fair share of "failed" or "undesirable" outcomes. During the time of the great flood, the Nibru-ene abandoned Ki, assuming that nature would do their dirty work and erase their failures. Truly, many of the earlier races did perish in a watery grave, but a few made it to the safety of the mountains and survived. In the time since the flood, these creatures have bred and flourished. Most of them live feral lives, having never known those who claim to be their masters. They band together in war-like, nomadic tribes and are generally hostile to city dwellers. Because they are a collection of failed cross-breeding experiments, these "Beast-men" can come in any combination of forms; Minotaurs, Centaurs, Cat-people, Wolf-men etc. They tend (25%) to have one or more debilitative birth defects; i.e. hunch back, lame limb, cleft lip etc. This only adds to their anger and gruesome form.
Mushlu: "Mush-lu" is a Nibru-ene word meaning "Snake-man". Mush-lu are a race of intelligent serpents with humanoid arms and heads. They were actually not created by the gods, rather, they are the last of an indigenous species of reptiles that ruled Ki (Earth) in a prior age. They call themselves the "Sarissyr". Their highly advanced culture was centered in the Chixalube region of Central America during the time of the dinosaurs. A cataclysm utterly destroyed their civilization and put them in the stone age. The coming of the flood again dealt them a crippling blow. Though their numbers are now greater, when the Nibru-ene came, the Sarissyr were barely clinging to life. Their race is in decline and most are all too eager to enjoy the civilization of the visiting Nibru-ene in exchange for their loyal service. There are those however, who are jealous of the outsiders who are "stealing their world". Several militant factions of Sarissyr have taken over the swamps and river country of Mush-kur. Tensions are high, but for now there is an uneasy peace.
"The Gods" : The "gods" of ANKUR are simply highly advanced Alien beings from another planet called Nibir. Nibir has 4 small moons in orbit around it. The collective name for this system is Nibiru. The shortened/slang term for Nibiru is "Nibru". The collective name for all beings originating from Nibir or any of its moons is "Nibru-ene". Nibir proper has two large continents occupying the northern and southern hemispheres and an ocean at it's equator. Millions of years of blood feuds and clan warfare have narrowed down the population into two distinct nations; Aza-hiem in the north and Vana-hiem in the south. A person of Aza-hiem is known as an "Azir" (progeny of Az; the originator of their clan). The plural form of Azir is "Aza". They are an albino race of humanoid appearance with eyes that glow with a pale blue light. They are renowned warriors and their capital city "Az-gardu" means "the guardian of Az". A single person of Vana-hiem is called a "Vanir" (progeny of Van; the originator of their clan), the plural form of Vanir is "Vana". The Vana generally range from olive to dark brown complexion and usually have black hair. They are renowned for their psionic and spiritual pursuits.
600,000 years ago, Aza-hiem won a decisive victory and Vana-hiem sued for peace. Both nations gathered on an Island located on the equator between the two land masses to discuss terms. It was agreed that the people of Nibiru should be united as one people if further wars were to be averted. A vote by lots was held. It was decided that a powerful Azir general named "AN" would be proclaimed Emperor of all Nibiru and that he would take a wife of Vana-hiem. He was wed to a beautiful southern warrior princess named "Antu". A magnificent new Capital city was built on the island were the two nations made peace. It was called "Agade" ; meaning: "to create/shape the crown".
The people of Nibiru, aka: Nibru-ene, also call themselves "Dingir"; which means "the Divine and mighty people". All other sentient beings from other worlds are referred to as "Udug" or "Cosmic foreigners". There are nine realms within Nibiru and four other species. There is Jotun-hiem, who's capital is Ut-gardu. It is located on one of Nibir's moons and has less gravity, making its inhabitants of "giant" stature. They are called Tashkarin (the tall ones) or Neph-ilim (strong men of brilliance). There are the Baza, who are albino dwarves of Aza stock. They are renowned smiths and tinkers, and can be found in their subterranean city Nidavellir. There is a highly advanced, cunning species of fair-skinned, horned beings who live in an area of arboreal forests on Nibir. They are called the Lu-si-phar. They live at one with nature and are masters of crystal & orgonite technology. They speak a dialect of the common tongue called "eme-sal" or "fine tongue"; which is spoken in a higher pitch than normal and the melodious words roll together like song. A branch of their species that became their antithesis many millennia ago are the Lu-kana-urun (clever grey ones). The Lu-kana-urun occupy one of Nibir's moons and live in a completely industrialized society full of smoke and machines. They do however make the best Vimanas in all of Nibiru. Though they are arguably the most technologically advanced species of Nibiru (at the expense of their environment), they are equally well known for their exploitive business practices and less than ethical genetic research of the Lu-ki.
All Nibru-ene have very long lifespans by Ki standards. Average inhabitants of Nibiru can live to be 300,000 to 500,000 years old, making them seem "immortal". One reason for this, aside from their planet's torsion field, is their consumption of Manna. Manna is mono-atomic mineral powder obtained by exposing pure, noble metals to an electric arc. The result produces a powder that can be consumed in water or bread. There are two types used in the ANKUR game; gold manna and silver manna. Gold manna increases intelligence and intuition aptitude scores, while silver manna increases vitality, making characters nearly immune to disease and poison. Both types of manna extend longevity. Silver manna, when consumed for long periods, turns the user's skin blue in color. A single dose of manna will only produce bonus effects for a limited time. Mana must be taken every day in small doses to become a "God". Overdoses of manna can also occur and are fatal. However, this is not always an un-desirable effect. The use of manna increases the spiritual energy of an individual. Some have been known to purposefully overdose on manna simply to become powerful spiritual beings! It is for these reasons, combined with manna's uses in Nibir's atmosphere, that manna is the most valuable and expensive substance in the solar system.
ANKUR - Kingdom of the gods is a table top roleplaying game based loosely on ancient Sumerian mythology and the alien astronaut theory. Further inspiration was taken from authors like; Maurice Chatelain, H.P. Lovecraft, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and Zacharia Sitchin. Its a fantastical world where the line between physics and meta-physics is blurred to say the least. The scope of the ANKUR game world goes far beyond this world and reaches into outer space; exploring alien worlds, other dimensions, and even time travel!
The game focuses on two worlds; Nibiru (the collective name of the planet Nibir and its 4 moons) and Ki (Earth). They are forever linked by ancient cataclysmic events that shaped both worlds. Nibir, a wandering planetoid originally from the "Bow star" Sirius, entered our system and collided with Ki nearly 4 billion years ago. This event created the asteroid belt, and gave Ki it's current axial tilt and rate of spin. Due to this mingling, Ki was left with two moons and assumed its current orbit around the sun (Nuru-Zal). Nibir was sent hurtling into the void along a 3,600 year elliptical orbit around both suns of this binary "Zalar" system; Nuru-Zal & Etu-Zal. Yes, like most star systems, our sun also has a counterpart called Etu-Zal. It is a brown dwarf about 539 AU from Nuru-Zal and is virtually invisible from Ki (Earth). Both worlds developed life sustaining properties but every 3,600 years they would once again come near one another; causing planetary upsets. Approximately 1 million years ago, Nibir's planetary core started to slow its rate of spin and Nibir's magnetic field began to wane. It's thick atmosphere began to disperse, giving the planet the appearance of having fiery wings. The once active volcanism and geothermal activity which sustained life on the planet began to calm. It was discovered that Manna (mono-atomic gold powder), if dispersed into the upper atmosphere, could generate the magnetic field necessary and insulate the planet. The beings of Nibiru (known as Nibru-ene) found gold very plentiful on Ki, and established several mining colonies for its extraction and conversion into Manna. The Nibru-ene workers began to notice changes while on Ki. Differences between the torsion fields of the two planets, generated by each planet's magnetic core, caused Nibru-ene workers who spent long periods of time on Ki to experience shortened life spans. This combined with the back-breaking work of gold extraction, caused the workers of Nibiru to revolt. It was decided to genetically create a species of slaves to do the labor using primitive hominids existing on Ki. Thus the Lu-ki (Earth-men) were born! 30,000 years ago, Ki's second and smallest moon, drifted out of orbit causing cataclysmic floods worldwide. The presence of two moons had kept the sea level around the equator over 400 feet higher than today. Once the gravitational force of the second moon was lost, a tsunami of water washed over the entire planet. It was known as the Great flood or the Deluge. Though much was destroyed, the Lords of Nibiru have since rebuilt great cities on Ki and have once again resumed mining operations. As for the original slaves, few survived the flood. However, though Lu-ki life cycles are short, they breed quickly. In the five thousand years since the flood, mankind has become plentiful once more.
The Nibru-ene created beings of great variety in order to accommodate different tasks. There are five player character species and many more non-playable NPC species to discover. ANKUR is a world where Yeti porters and pigmy nomads walk the streets among Neanderthal soldiers and cone-headed scribes. ANKUR is a melting pot of species and ideas. The "gods" of antiquity are real and lead the populace from their fortress-like Ziggurats. Prehistoric animals, remnants of the time before the great flood, still roam the countryside. Seen everywhere in the ANKUR game world is the duality of life. Stark contrasts exist between the primitive and the high tech. Warriors clad in animal skins sit astride pre-historic creatures, while carrying ray guns. Scribes may use an abacas to tally market sales and then broadcast the results via wireless radio. Air travel, though expensive, is common and incorporate a strange and wonderful variety of Vimanas to shuttle people and cargo from city to city. A system of "wire-less energy" is transmitted by pyramids located in all major cities. Any electronic device, including airships, will function within their radius. This obviously increases the desirability and power of the city-states that control them. The people of Ki entertain themselves in many ways including: games of chance, music, dancing, gladiatorial matches, acrobatic circuses but the number one obsession is a ball game called: "Ulama". A vast amount of time and money are diverted to this distraction. During festivals the patriotism of entire cities is galvanized by these games. Once per year, during the festival of "Gan-gane' ", Ulama players are comprised of condemned criminals and the losing team is executed!
Religion & the Spirit world: The characters of ANKUR have a deeper understanding of meta-physics than we do today. They view the paranormal as observable aspects of reality. Though the creators of the Lu-ki are referred to as "gods", they are not divine. In fact, there is no "magic" in ANKUR. Aliens and even human kind, may have psionic abilities and use highly advanced technology that to primitive peoples are seen as magic, but everything has a logical, worldly explanation. The characters of ANKUR may be required to produce gold for the "gods", or tithe to them, some may even show appreciation in the form of offerings, but there is no organized religion as we know it today. Most are aware, through psionic and technological observations, of a "spirit world". It is generally believed this realm of light is a dimension that exists simultaneously yet ethereally with this one. It surrounds our universe and is in contact with every point in time and space at once. All "souls" originate from there and return there in death. In this realm exists only light, and in this light is stored the sum of all knowledge; past, present, and future. When you are asleep, in a meditative trance or near death, your brain waves change to a frequency very near that of the ethereal world and the veil becomes thin. Psionicists attain their "powers" by tapping into this collective hive mind of souls. The beings of Nibiru believe that if there is a "god" (known to them only as the great spirit), it is this collective consciousness. In a sense, they believe that god "IS" the universe and we are all physical manifestations of that universe created in an attempt to understand itself. Pretty deep stuff, but whatever your character chooses to believe, psionic powers, ghosts and other forms of dangerous intelligent entities do exist in the ANKUR game world. In fact, its even possible upon character death to continue playing as a ghost, zombie or vampire!