Hi, welcome to the thread. I like to run RPs with a large degree of freedom of action, where players can see their actions steer the active plot of the thread in significant ways. How that tends to end up in practice is something similar to a sandbox with a suggested direction, where characters are free to forge and shape their own plots and aspirations in addition to the central narrative. In the case of Burning Away, it actually helps the main plot considerably if each character has a differing agenda. Below is the intro made for the thread, the ideal is that it gives enough background to start while leaving enough vague to explore in the thread, or for people to fill in while creating their characters. Of course, I'm happy to answer any questions you want to post here or PM me with. If you are interested in the thread, please let me know any way you please. The OOC/Signup will be going up soon, and this thread will link to it when it does. OOC/Signup Thread: Burning Away OOC/Signup Burning Away Estovet laid in turmoil. A vast, busy continent dominated by a mountain range separating its roughly triangular landmass. They ran from its 'point' facing south, into warm equatorial waters, far up into the frigid north, blanketed in indomitable ice. The fires of change had been lit in the west, a fertile expanse of grasslands divided between hundreds of small autocratic states clinging to ancient lineages and the allure of royal rule. A strong plurality of the realm's population and might, divided eternally into a myriad by feuds and small, intense wars. The rest of the continent marched to a different beat. The eastern seaboard, a sliver of land split from the world by the central mountains, had amassed into the proud and diverse empire of Arcartus. The south, crowded with ambitious lords, had burned brightly with war at first. Powerful countries had been built in proximity to each other, and they had come to tenuously coexist as opulent mercantile powers presiding over both sides of the sea. Between the two great blocs, the micro-nations of the northwest were picked away and added to the personal collections of the powerful almost at will. What had become a hundred year tradition of conquest had left the west bloodied and bitter, and with time the region congealed into a clot of anti-imperialist fervor. A nation named Tovasel was the first to put the continent's resentment to paper. The Edict of Tovasel, rapidly carried by horseback and carriage and even more swiftly signed support. The Edict defined the situation in simple terms that few among the uncountable states could disagree with, that was its primary strength. Half a continent bound by a simple phrase. All participant parties were to cooperate in the joint military opposition of imperial powers against member states. The West rose up together, and poised to strike indiscriminately. A throne of bayonets had been constructed, and the world had been invited to sit it. Rather than incite war, the newly formed league created absolute asylum for the once annexed lands that longed to return to their original state. Little flecks and particles of Arcartus broke away, taken in by the million hands of Tovasel and warded from the rage of the crumbling giant. Likewise, chunks of the south reclaimed their former national identity and walked out of quiet servitude into the waiting arms of the League. War seemed inevitable, held off only by the limit of embarrassment that either faction was willing to suffer. Embargoes and tensions mounted one by one, and with every political move the continent inched closer and closer to the time when one side would unsheathe the first sword. The Arcartis were the first to test the might of the Edict. The city state of Geltreis, a border to Arcartus and home to a military fort by the same name, was deemed necessary to reintegration after it broke away from the country. The local population, never traditionally Arcarti, rose up and cast away their government by destroying the city's branch office of the Arcartus House of Affairs. The Arcartis wanted their land back and their countrymen to bury, and sent a company of infantry to secure the city and reinstate order. Tovasel responded with a division of over a thousand men, raised in days. The city was encircled, and the Arcartis within executed under the terms of the Edict. The move was considered excessive, even within the League. However, it spelled out the conditions of the new relationship between Arcartus and the League in terms as simple and powerful as those on the Edict itself. Without committing to total war, there was little that the empire could do to reclaim, or even hold their frontier lands. The repercussions of each loss were felt most strongly in Arcartus' capital, where each embarrassment compounded atop the splitting dissent running rampant in the empire grown too large. The country had fallen on hard times. The city of Lieda, the bustling, beating heart of an empire. It rose, seemingly, out of the ocean on the ends of leviathan concrete harbors. Wooden and steel cranes dotted its coastline, presiding over the hollow shells of naval vessels in halted construction. Inland, the skyline became defined instead by sparsely placed water towers. Among them, only the arched, imposing roofs of government buildings, great halls, and ancient churches dared to rise higher. Below, multistory brick buildings as far as the eye could see, differentiated by color, size, and signage. Among them flowed the lifeblood of the city, thousands of people, of the many walks of life that drew aspiring and desperate souls to the capital. Many of them were the rejected, disused outflow of the capital machine, and they turned to other means of survival. Crime ran the depths of the town, a secret world locked away in back alleys by dedicated gendarmes. Where their society had failed them, they raised their own from the ashes. In the shadow of the government's central offices, temples of law and order, organized crime was birthed into a demanding world. Some still trusted in the words law and order and threw their stake in with the government. The rest laid their loyalties elsewhere. Their country had changed, began to fall apart at the seams, and now their city had to follow suit. Arcartus was weaker than it had ever been, and for the first time the talk of revolts and rebellions carried significant weight. There were almost as many agendas being worked in the city of Lieda as there were citizens, ranging from the benevolent to the occult. Some wished to see Arcartus fall, some ached for the time its people would stand up and strike back at the west which had demeaned their proud nation. Others still saw their chance to climb to power or wealth on backs of others, and their corpses if need be. The future of the country was uncertain, and the people of the capital began to rally around those they thought could lead them. The angry sought to bring change, and the downtrodden sought something to believe in.