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Original poster
This is more of an info dump than an actual premise! If you're interested, please check out the IC thread. It's a first response and tbh i could have dumped this info there but I didn't really want to make the thread any messier than it already was and this is legit like just a dump aaa.

Basic Background
It is the year 219 of the Empire. The Emperor lays dead, having been poisoned before his twilight years. Twelve people lay suspect of the cause; three have been silently tortured and slaughtered. The Empire is in the midst of both sorrow and festivity—a fortnight of both—yet there is a faint smell of chaos in the air. The Emperor's heir is not well liked and without his iron fist, the unseen cracks within the Empire are beginning to widen. The long winter has ended and the lions begin to rise.

Basic Plot
If you've read the IC, you'll probably have a good idea of the plot by now. I wanted the background to be rich but not necessarily the focus of this RP. Big events such as civil wars and succession rights will take place, but they will serve more as the backdrop for our characters to react to, rather then our characters being directly involved with them. The "scripted" part of the plot will be this: in some way or another, our characters will escape the prison. From then on, whatever our characters do is up to us.

Again, if you've already read the IC, you'll know that your character will be playing the part of a guard. If you don't want to play a guard and instead want to play another character, that's fine. I'll have to edit the opening IC post/you could RP the guard as a NPC until the prison break/etc. Know that as my character is currently a prisoner, you'll probably need to be a prisoner as well (if you don't wish to play the guard) so that we can actually interact.

Basic Lore
The Empire is made up of four major regions: Maercen, Ruskh, Khershan, and Selhmai. Numerous nations exist within these four, ever-changing their allegiances with the rise and fall of warlords and chieftains and shepherds alike. As a whole, the Empire is simply called the Empire. There exist other Empires, of course, but none dare refer to them as such—the Emperor used to despise the practice. This is the only Empire that matters, after all.

Muskets have been discovered but they have yet to take the battlefield by storm. Cannons, although a more common sight, are not widespread either. The world is in that strange balance where spears and bows and rifles coexist equally although perhaps not fairly. Already many warlords are discovering how easy it is to disrupt a cavalry charge with cannon-fire and the Emperor's personal guard have all been issued a musket. The trained regiments of archers have not died yet but as the years pass by, more and more enemies of the Empire are growing aware of the strength of firepower.

Although bartering and strange coins still exist in the far reaches of the Empire, most of the realm is united behind one currency. Stamped of fool's gold—there exist some rare pure ones—and bearing an Roc and the Emperor on opposite sides, many refer to them as "Rakhs". Denominations include coins cut from copper and false silver—these too, bear animals and other famous individuals, mostly cultural heroes.

Magic is not a rare sight in this world. Performers and fortune tellers mark every corner of every slum. True magic,
however, is something that has never been proven to exist. Mistress Ciin was often employed by the Emperor for her seemingly miraculous feats of weather. Her rituals would drown his enemies with rain, burn them with sun,
or blow them away with mighty winds. She is dead now—one of the three corpses out of the twelve prisoners. Magic is a subtle thing and its instructions can only be foreseen by trained Oracles. Prophecies are a dozen for a coin; reading them correctly is priceless. In some regions of the Empire, magic is an affront and actively rooted out of their communities.

Alchemy is the bane of magic. In striving to create elixirs, the alchemists have all but wiped out the true magic in this world—those found in the monsters of this world. "It's for the best," sailors will tell you. For wouldn't you like to know how many a man the Roc has devoured? Still, the few elders who remember will happily ramble on about the fish maidens of the Syran Channel and how beautiful they used to look—only from a distance, mind you—and what a shame it is that they've gone.

Officially, there is one true religion. It varies upon region how seriously this law is regulated. In the capital city, heretics are executed publicly. It is technically a monotheistic religion but there are many sects of hero-worship, which can range from treating these figures from men to Gods. This is not forbade but other pagan religions are actively sought out and destroyed.

I will update this later.

Things to Know
Nothing besides my character is set in stone. If you'd like to bring up the politics of the realm, then we can double characters or something. I'd really like to leave it as background that effects our characters though. If you dislike some elements of the plot/lore/etc or want to add in anything, feel free to PM me or introduce these things via your posts. If you want more lore/background, PM me. I'll be updating this thread with more lore/background/npcs/etc whenever I have time. This is all just a brief overview of the world that can be changed. Anyway, if you're interested feel free to post in the IC.
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