Gideon's Wake (Link to Discord Channel) An Intricate Letter Dear honored sir or madame, The Wilkes Merchant Family counts you among our most beloved of friends and most trusted of allies. As you have no doubt heard the greatly esteemed Sir Gideon Wilkes and his heroic expeditionary crew have been missing for nearly a year, having never returned from their journey into the Seared Lands. While we have not given up total hope for his survival in that dark place it is only pragmatic at this point to assume that Sir Gideon and those who traveled with him have tragically perished. While a wake and passing ceremony have already been performed some of our family members are concerned that the supernatural properties of the Seared Lands may be holding Sir Gideon's spirit to this plane. While we at The Wilkes Merchant Family do not formally endorse such beliefs it is only right to respect the will of our members who hold them. They have volunteered their own personal wealth to the finding and collection of Sir Gideon's remains. And that is where you, esteemed friend, come in. You have served our family well in the past and we are granting you a chance to serve again, this time on a journey like no other. A quest into the very heart of the Seared Lands itself to save the soul of an adventurer adored by all. We are aware of the great dangers such a task will entail and assure all to take up the quest will be rewarded handsomely. In both gold and whatever material goods you may desire. Should you not wish to take up the task we will not hold it against you. Such work is only suited for the truly heroic after all. If you have a heart of iron we look forward to your correspondence. From your friends at The Wilkes Merchant Family. Almost every mercenary, adventurer or explorer with a connection to the Wilkes Merchant Family has received an identical letter, the only difference between each one being the name on the outside. How these letters managed to be accurately distributed to men and women without permanent residences is a troubling implication of it's own, but ultimately not the point of our tale. No, the point is one of adventure and exploration. Plunder and loot. Battles and glory. Things bards sing about to half-pissed barflies across the continent and perhaps even beyond. Of course, this all assumes one has the gumption to even partake in such quests to begin with. A heart of iron as the letter above so eloquently puts it. As you have hopefully figured out by this point the ultimate goal of our little escapade is the retrieval of the remains of one Sir Gideon Wilkes. Simple enough in theory, but possibly disastrous in practice. The Seared Lands is not a place to be easily reckoned with. It is the place where the god Ardectes ascended and slew the pantheon of old. A place where the veil between heaven and earth is at it's thinnest, where the scattered ashes of the old gods are given form to monsters that could shatter the understanding of even the mightiest of dragons. A place where the wailing dead are among the least of your worries. Suffice to say, this is not a quest for the weak of arm, heart, or stomach. So, if you have the need for riches and the stomach for unrelenting struggle please join me on a little adventure following in Gideon's wake. Rules Magic and Technology Nations FAQ Character Sheet Player Characters Non-Player Characters Rules: (Shamelessly stolen borrowed from @Brovo's Legend of Renalta) No Godmoding: This should be obvious. An act of Godmoding is defined as creating a character who is essentially unkillable unless they are literally fighting a God. You can be a skilled warrior, or a wizened wizard, but please don't go so far off into the power curve that the only thing that could reasonably stop you would be a God. No Metagaming: This is more of a soft rule. This is essentially that you don't automatically know everything someone else knows. That's lame. How can you develop a relationship with someone if you can just assimilate their thoughts like you're a discount Facebook Borg collective? No Autohitting/Hijacking: DON'T write “I hit George.” DO write “I attempt to strike George.” Never assume what the other person will write for them. If you want to write a conversation or a quick set of actions, just do a collaborative post. If you don't know what those are, ask in the OOC. Be Mature: This roleplay features some pretty hardcore grey world stuff. If you can't handle someone disliking your character, or having your character lose some fights, this is not the role play for you. Seriously, Be Mature: If you have a problem with someone or something, voice it in the OOC. Aim for tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, and mutual understanding. If your response to a problem is to rip through the OOC screeching like a banshee and flinging shit, I'll drop kick your ass out of the RP. I don't have time to be your babysitter, neither does anyone else in this role play. The GM's Word Is Law: I'm basically the God above Gods in this role play. At any point, I can do whatever I want. I can break any of my own rules on a whim, as necessary to resolve a situation. If two players can't resolve a dispute, I will, and I have a reputation for murdering player characters by the bucketload, so you probably won't like my solutions. This is also so that I can throw obstacles at you that you will be forced to work around, rather than simply ignore all the time. (Again, only if necessary. If you take losses and failures yourself, I'll be less likely to act against you. This is mainly an anti-Mary Sue measure. If you write a good character that sometimes fucks up, I won't likely act against you much.) Magic and Technology: Magic and Technology, as different as these two concepts may seem, one is the bending of unnatural energies and the other the abuse of natural laws, they have found a tenuous balance in the world at large. It was with the assistance of magic that gunpowder was originally discovered and it played a large part in its refinement until a more mundane solution was found, opening black powder weapons to mass production. This is hardly the only example of such a symbiotic relationship, just perhaps the most significant. Other inventions such as the printing press, telescope, mechanical clock, vision-correcting lenses and even contemporary paints and dyes all originally arose as magical products, only to transfer to a more mundane nature in an attempt to reduce their cost. And reduce cost it did, as magic is inherently expensive to cast. Apprentice wizards often spend a decade or more just training their body and mind to cast the most basic of spells, and even when they do they have to learn complicated verbal and somatic companants for every spell they wish to learn. And, as a last kicker, all but the most simple spells require often expensive reagents to cast. This often leads casters to focus on a certain 'type' of magic, as spells with somewhat similar effects require somewhat similar ingredients. Despite all of this the path of the mage is one often pursued by academics as a truly powerful mage can bend the very fabric of reality to their will and render legions to ashes. (Of course, such power is out of scope of this RP and player mages will be somewhat limited.) Creatures with naturally occurring magical abilities are rare and usually the result of tampering by the old gods or overreaching mortals. In summary, technology is roughly that of the renaissance and was helped along by magic. Magic is complicated and expensive, but can be extraordinarily powerful. Nations, A Summary: Igros: A progressive nation of thinkers sitting on the East of the continent. A beacon of understanding that stands steadfast against the barbarous nations to the West. At least, that's what any scholar in Igros would have you believe. While it is the most technologically advanced Kingdom in the known world with some of the most progressive social and municipal policies, only the elite can really take advantage. The two major cities bare impossible architecture and the Artificer's Guild produces some of the greatest wonders of the age, but the outskirts and fields are still populated by subsistence farmers who see little progress outside of more constrained laws and higher taxes. Igros is where the Wilkes Merchant Family is established and where our journey will begin. Sciczia: The great Empire of Sciczia holds dominion over almost half of the continent, completely surrounding the Inner Sea and sharing a border with all but Mecrundyr. For centuries this mighty empire has waged a constant war against it's neighbors, it's seemingly endless legions and naval might crushing all nearby states, absorbing them into there ever increasing landmass. It wasn't until relatively recent advancements in warfare did The Empire start getting pushed back, the grueling war with Igros showing that their legions could not rely solely on numbers and martial prowess any longer. Modernization efforts have been slow however, a crumbling political landscape combined with botched logistics rendering the process almost impossible. Life for the common man in the Empire is simple, for the most part they are left alone to their own devises. At least until the threat of war looms. Mecrundyr: Nestled in the mountains for to the North-West lies the Kingdom of Mecrundyr. The oldest concurrently existing kingdom in all the known world, Mecrundren historians can trace their past up to two-thousand years. Despite this ancient heritage, Mecrundyr is perhaps the least advanced of all major powers, thoroughly stuck in a feudal era other nations find almost quaint. Though as antiquated it armies may be Mecrundyr has yet to be successfully invaded, thanks to it's isolated place in the mountains and the magical energies that permeate the land. Indeed, despite their primitive training regimen Mecrundyrn wizards are among the most powerful in the world, stumping the Scholar-Mages of Igros and Sciczia. Perhaps one of the strangest things about Mecrundyr is it's landscape, entire mountains carved into visages of long-dead kings while sallow-skinned peasants work in the shadow of the towering ruins of forgotten cities. Oemdyr: Lying just south of the mountains of Mecrundyr lies the great steppe of Oemdyr, extending all the way to the western sea. It is an odd nation formed purely out of convenience and and self protection. On the west coast lies the great port city of Cintru, former self-sufficient city state and now capital of an alliance with the native horse-lords of the steppe. Together they managed to hold off the Sciczian tide and even managed to claim some of the Empire's territory for themselves. However, now that Sciczia has stopped its expansionary attempts elements of both communities cry for independence, a motion heavily denied by leaders on both sides. Oemdyr is stronger together and no one can say when the alliance will pay off again. Cintru bares special mention as one of the few High-Elven cities on the continent, the other three all found within Sciczia. Hillhome: The newest nation to grace the continent, Hillhome is a heavily fortified city state that sits right on the border between Sciczia and Igros. A former Igrosian city Hillhome declared its independence during the Sciczian war, citing the immense losses and Igrosian aristocracy's lack of concern for commoner life. Though that war has been over for two decades the residents Hillhome still remembers what it calls the 'betrayal' of the high classes and stands to make itself a utopia for the common man. A place were your status is earned with hard work. Supplied by an independent dwarf mining clan Hillhome has branded itself as a city of forges and smokestacks. A giant of manufacturing capable of churning out an endless stream of military hardware that it sells to mercenaries without the oversight that other, more invasive, suppliers may demand. FAQ: This section will be expanded upon as questions are asked. Character Sheet: Name: (Your name, whatever it may be) Race: (Standard fantasy fair is present, though note that humanity is by far the most prevalent.) Age: (Your age in years. Note that for your character to have received a letter from the Wilkes Merchant Family they would of had to have worked for them in some capacity beforehand. As such some veterancy is assumed and it would be unlikely for characters to be under twenty years old.) Sex: (Male? Female? Something else entirely?) Origin: (Which of the nations do you originate from?) Appearance: (Simply how you appear. Picture, written description or both are fine.) Biography: (A summary of your character's history and personality. Include at least a couple paragraphs to help gauge your writing style.) Defining Strength: (Your major, defining strength that set you apart from everyone else.) Other Strengths: (Other strengths you may possess. Three is standard, but you may have as many as is reasonable.) ??? ??? ??? Great Weakness: (Your fatal flaw, something major and possibly glaring that limits and defines you.) Other Weaknesses: (Other weaknesses your character may possess. Three is standard, though you may have as many as you feel reasonable. Yes, I will be harshly judging your definition of 'reasonable'.) ??? ??? ??? Current: Gathran 'The Blood Seer' played by @Grothnor Morgana Balinor played by @BearEnthusiast Adrian Liadon played by @DeadAxl Hannelor Salander played by @HerziQuerzi Hendrik Gunderheist played by @Kadaeux Akra Shamash played by @Jorick Daro Omexra, Last of his name played by @LimeyPanda Seline Mith played by @Holmishire Camilia Marcellina played by @Brovo Dead: None. Inactive: None. Vernon Wilkes Joy Pisk Name: Vernon Wilkes. Race: Human. Age: Twenty-seven. Sex: Male. Origin: Igros. Appearance: Thin and extraordinarily tall, Vernon stands at 6'8" while only weighing 180 pounds. It seems nothing short of a miracle his lanky frame is able to support itself at all, let alone move with the sort of clumsy quickness the man generally conducts himself, his knees threatening to buckle with every step. He carries himself with a slouch, the apparent effect of having to stoop for most of his life. Overall, his build and posture could be best described as 'troll-like', unfortunate, as strong facial features would otherwise make him out to be quite handsome. Fair, unblemished skin and well kept black hair serve as a tribute to a gentle life, though forming stress lines attest that it may have not been as gentle as Vernon would have liked. Soft green eyes over a handsome roman nose are the dominating features of his face, though they don't detract too much attention from a well waxed mustache partnered with a pointed Goatee. His clothes are noticeably dark in colour, a departure from the usually bold and bright hues of the Igrosian aristocracy. In fact, most of his clothes are simply black, a black brimmed hat made of felt holds tightly on his head while a black jacket sits on his shoulders, heavy black traveling pound heavily wherever he walks. Of his normal attire all that isn't black is his leggings which are more of an earthy grey. Perhaps the most interesting bot of his attire is the silver signet on his left ring finger, the unmistakable insignia of the Artificer's Guild stamped upon. When danger rears it's ugly head Vernon generally dons a padded buffcoat and heavy-leather gloves. A basket-hilt broadsword is almost always found at his hip along with a pair of ornate pistols. These pistols are quite long, the barrels the length of an average man's forearm indicating they're built more for raw accuracy than practical use. Biography: A young man of the Wilkes family and member of the Artificer's Guild, apparently assigned to lead the search for Gideon. Defining Strength: Artillerist - Vernon knows all there is to know about contemporary artillery. Cannons, howitzers and mortars as well as some more experimental pieces such as simple rockets do not escape the understanding of the artillerist. Both functional sense and an engineering sense. Further more, Vernon brings with him a his own experimental piece from the Artificer's Guild: Simply referred to as The Frontiersman. Quite simply, a smallish chassis 'golem' with four spider-like legs with a four-pounder cannon mounted upon. The golem chassis is only magically programmed to follow Vernon around and listen to simple orders such as 'stay', 'brace' and 'move here'. The cannon is completely mundane and must be operated as such. Other Strengths: Artificer - Vernon is a ring-bearing member of the Artificer's Guild of Igros. This comes with the assumption of many skills, such as the latest knowledge in physics, chemistry as well as an extremely in depth understanding of engineering principles and magic theory. However, he is still unable to cast magic what so ever. Sport Shooter - Although Vernon has little to no experience in real combat, he has spent a good amount of his free time practicing with his dueling pistols, earning himself superb accuracy, if little else. Wilkes - Being born in one of the wealthiest families in Igros has its obvious advantages, notably personal knowledge of Gideon and some of the details of his expedition that others may have been left purposely ignorant of. ??? Unknown ??? Great Weakness: ??? Unknown ??? Other Weaknesses: Clumsy - Vernon's form is simply too gangly to maintain much balance. While he's learned well enough to conduct himself with a semblance of grace in normal situations, it's a whole other story in difficult terrain or times of stress; Both situations liable to have him literally trip up. Soft - Years spent sequestered in well groomed study halls and workshops of the Artificer's Guild has left Vernon ill prepared for the rigors of adventure. Partially Deaf - Spending a lifetime working with explosives has done little favor for Vernon's hearing. He can maintain normal conversation well enough, but has tenancy to speak too loudly and is generally unaware of his surroundings directly outside of his vision. ??? Unknown ??? Name: Joy Pisk. Race: Human. Age: Thirty-three. Sex: Female. Origin: Oemdyr. Appearance: A broadly built woman, Joy stands 5'10" and weighs about 190 pounds. Her heavy form is a testament to her rough lifestyle and the way she holds her chin a testament to her pride in that lifestyle. Her sun-tanned is scarred by both fire and claw, the most prominent coming down across the center of her face and down through her mouth, leaving her in permanent scowl. The rigors of her profession show in the deep stress lines rifting what remains otherwise unblemished. Her hair is cut short in proper military styling. Despite this a visage of femininity shows through on the structure of her face, though not a pretty one. She is almost never found without her dragon hide armor and shield, both clear signs of extreme pride of the woman. She takes great care in preserving the metallic luster of the pearl colored scales doesn't react kindly to those who touch without permission. A heavy pick-hammer hangs on her belt, while a longspear is found in hand, naturally topped off with a wicket dragon's tooth. Biography: This hardy looking dragon slayer looks just the type to take on a mad quest simply for the promise of gold, if anything it's remarkable there aren't more like her coming along. Defining Strength: Dragon Slayer - A born slayer of beasts, Joy has spent her entire life among some of the hardest men on the continent and has time and time again proven to be their equal. The rewards of this lifestyle have been many, gold beyond imagination, respect of the masses and, one of the most obvious, a set of dragon scale armor complete with matching scale encrusted shield. Aside from a toughness greater than that of mundane platemail this natural hide possesses an innate magical property, a great resistance to fire. Other Strengths: Hard - One of the so called tenets of dragon slayers is the endless strive to be hard; Of body, yes, but more important hard of mind. Dragon slaying is a dangerous profession and it is not uncommon to witness the sudden, violent death of comrades, friends and loved ones. To be truly hard is bare witness to such events and feel nothing, aside from maybe some hope to go out in similarly gruesome manner. Joy exemplifies this tenant and seems utterly incapable of showing fear, remorse or grief. Piker - Piker, or picker, is without a doubt the most dangerous role in an dragon slaying band. While most others enjoy the range granted to them by greatbows and bolt throwers, pikers have to close in, trying to pin the dragon down and made more precise attacks to their vulnerable areas. While Joy doesn't bring with her the thirty-foot pike she would usually wield to this expedition, the more common longspear she does bring is wielded with similar skill. Apothecary's Bouquet - The apothecaries who work among the slayers are among the most cruelly practical in the world. While historically brought on to provide healing salves and pin relievers to the wounded, it is the chemical weapons they've devised that truly show their worth to their employers. Throttle gas, Ardectes' fire, Marley's breath and the infamous fish grease are all the work of these moral free men and women. Of course, Joy brings with her a few samples of all of these. Great Weakness: ??? Unknown ??? Other Weaknesses: Slayer's Lung - The vile concoctions employed by the slayers aren't free of danger, repeated exposure to the dangerous chemicals has damaged Joy's breathing, leaving her breathless after almost any bout of physical activity. Not to mention the wispy rasp that taints her speech. ??? Unknown ???