Key (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Key (open) Key (close) Welcome, traveler… No matter from whence you have come, perhaps an exotic adventurer from across one of the Four Seas, perhaps a wealthy merchant selling to the desperate in these parts, perhaps a lowly beggar boy come to flee the beatings of your father; here you will find it a hundred times worse. Our land is ravaged and broken, our waters drown in tar and our skies weep acid, our mountains vomit fire and our earth shakes with a terrible sickness. Our nights are so black the stars have fled from the heaven's embrace, and the wind so hot and dry that rivers run to hide underground and once fertile soil is turning to desert and our crops to dust. Our shattered island was once a grand continent called Elysia … our government was the world's most righteous Republic, our wares were traded far and wide for thrice their worth, our people basked in wealth and vast amounts of property. Our medicinal knowledge unparalleled and all food fresh and healthy, so did become the Elysians of old, growing tall and lithe and wise and full of vitality, known to be the most beautiful people in the world. And the downfall of this just, this joyful, this flawless utopia… …was none but a mortal woman. Humankind – and all other kinds – struggle to rebuild some semblance of order in the tattered remains that the cataclysm left behind it: a war to end all wars, a battle between men and gods and land and sea and sky so terrible that all were broken in the end. Our shining cities have sunken beneath the bitter oceans, and on land collapsed ruins serve graves to piles of skeletons lying on earth still shriveled and red with blood. Slowly the surviving gods are returning, finding ways to empower the crushed residue of the once proud races that walked these lands fearlessly and never ill. Slowly small organized communities form and collapse and form again, waiting for one to succeed. Slowly the planet reclaims its violated flesh and heals the gaping wounds, but too often the process is sabotaged by the poison of a hundred divine curses putrefying the land. By the time you join our story, it has been millennia since Elysia was destroyed, and from the ashes two leaders manage to arise from opposite sides of our continent, with one neutral party literally caught in between. Yet the two competitors represent the original factions that tore Elysia apart so many centuries ago. As they amass their supporters and begin the gradual journey towards each other, the river Future is shredded into a timeless delta of possibilities, some hopeful, some bottomless in their darkness. Will these powers, already competing, clash? Will one find the upper hand and claim supremacy? Can they find middle ground and join forces, saving the land from certain conflict? Or will this confrontation plunge our world into yet another apocalypse? This is the cursed and sundered world of SUNNEPHEIA – and every hand that can help must in these dark times. Choose your side, traveler, and pray that Fate has forgiven us for the crimes of Elysia. THE SCORCHED LAND In the idyllic Elysia, the Eastern gods ruled here. Now in the Scorched Land of Kausteira the sunsets are awash with flame and the air is thick and hot and smelling of the ashes that fill the sky anew each day, as volcanic activity turns Kausteira into a barren desert wasteland. Still there are those who hang on to the hope that the curses on the sand, fire and stone might be lifted … but the black, belching anathemas can only be satisfied with a sacrifice of warm blood. Map (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Map (open) Map (close) Major Cities (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Major Cities (open) Major Cities (close) Zirash The southernmost city of Kausteira and certainly its hottest, Zirash was in Elysian times a thriving sea port on a small tropical island. As sea levels dropped dramatically in Kausteira due to catastrophic climate change, the city was abandoned, along with the deep well on the island used to obtain freshwater from underground man-made reservoirs. As centuries passed and the land slowly began to recover, the site was remembered and re-explored. It was discovered that the reservoirs had developed into a large network of underground freshwater aquifers where rivers had drained into the soil of the Kausteiran desert. The well was rebuilt and ever since then Zirash has been a haven of Kausteira, the crucial resting place for all travelers in a desert with no surface water. There are rumors of a dark place of magic not far to the north of it, but these doubtful rumors have never been confirmed. Dun The Red King was born very close to Dun. An eastern seaside city, Dun is very ancient, closely connected with eastern Kausteira's history of mining and stoneworking. Here it had always been hot, rocky and generally unpleasant, so Kausteira's transformation did not affect the population there as much. In the centuries following the Cataclysm, resources remained in high demand as ungifted individuals sought desperately craftsmen to supply them with much-needed possessions and people who banded together required construction material for shelter and settlement, the stonemasons and forgers of Dun never went out of business for long. Dunish metal is traded far and wide throughout Sunnepheia. Avarath Avarath is a recent city that formed long post-Cataclysm, although there have always been settlements on the well-situated land bridge between Kausteira and Zmaragdos ever since changing sea levels created it. When the city of Host, then known as Hosrel, was invaded by Eastern nomads, settlers poured in to claim new land, partake in the more hospitable climate, and take advantage of natural resources unknown to Kausteiran lands. Even after Host was reclaimed by the Zmaragdosi government, established trade routes between the East and West flourished. A major center of trade and resting point for travelers (going the longer way through the mountains is a laughable, if not fatal, alternative to most), it is the main source of Kausteiran wealth and has developed into a huge, bustling city inhabited by an amazing variety of people. THE FROZEN LAND In the idyllic Elysia, the Northern gods ruled here. Now in the Frozen Land of Pégulis the earth is covered in a bone-chilling glacier and the wind blows ice and snow so bitterly cold that every rattling breath feels like shattered glass pressing into the lungs. The only colors here are white and gray – the sky is always overcast, the igloos in which sentientkind huddle for warmth empty of furniture or decoration, besides sleeping bundles made hypothermic through special spells. Yet these rare resources are falling apart, the magic fades, and there are precious few who know how to enchant them; and every night, another person grows chilly and deathly silent forever. Still there are those who hang on to the hope that the curses on the ice, clouds and stone might be lifted … but the bitter, paralyzing anathemas can only be satisfied with the awakening of an ancient god, known to the histories in different times and regions as Libras, Libretas, Liber and Literos. Many legends surround him, but all that is certain is that he was mortally wounded in a decisive divine battle and fled the known world to recover. He has not been heard or seen of since, and some Pégulians despair of ever finding him, if even they believe he ever really existed. Map (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Map (open) Map (close) Major Cities (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Major Cities (open) Major Cities (close) Taevak The easternmost Pégulian city, Taevak is located in a bitter-cold evergreen forest behind the mountain range separating Kausteira from Pégulis. In the ancient days, before the Cataclysm, Pégulis was a flourishing forest and grassland with a pleasantly cool mountain range in the north and seven proud cities, each with their own representative animal, but all have fallen except for Taevak and Ald. Its symbol is the Bear, and its inhabitants have always been fierce wintry hunters; many Forest Kin there have bloodlines more ancient than anywhere else in the world. It is built of stones from the nearby mountains. Barval Barval is the newest Pégulian city, erected by the Blue President herself. In the old tradition, Pahkné also gave it an animal symbol: the Osprey, same as her aenigma Murkahal. The homes are a cleverly constructed array of largely natural and partially man-made tunnels and cave systems inside the mountain that can be kept toasty and safe even as blizzards and predators roam outside. The diet consists largely of seafood, especially during winter, as there is very little vegetation available, but in the summers the temperature can drop to a pleasant coolness and all sorts of small game can be hunted, especially migratory birds and herbivorous herds. Originally a death trap for travelers who sought to cross the mountains but got lost, Pahkné used her magic and survival skills to protect wanderers who would otherwise have been lost, attracting them to warmth and food with the pulsing violet light glowing from her staff, which, being magical, could shine purely through snow and sleet. Soon she had enough citizens to make a real city, and after securely founding Barval, she claimed meager border territory to the south and repopulated Taevak and Ald. Besides plenty of Zmaragdosi who know about Ald and a handful of nomads familiar with Taevak, Barval and the Pégulian nation have remained secret. In return for shelter at Barval, travelers must become citizens if they want to have the freedom to stay as long as they like and be taught the secret tunnel and subterranean passages that can lead them to Zmaragdos or Kausteira safely. If they should refuse, they are expelled from the city and left to fend for themselves in the arctic wild. So far that has happened rarely and no reports of any survivors on such occasions have reached the public ear. All citizens must swear never to divulge the secret of Pégulis, and everyone knows that you should never break an oath to a sorcerer, especially a powerful and clever one…. On maps the frigid northern mountains are simply labeled "uncharted territory", and Pahkné intends to keep it that way … until revealing herself will be convenient. Ald The westernmost Pégulian city, Ald is perhaps the oldest city in Sunnepheia. Even when, after the Cataclysm, Zmaragdosi citizens moved very far northwards and claimed the cold city of Quelt and others near it, Ald was left well alone: the Forest Kin of Zmaragdos have never forgotten that a terrible event of obscure but peerlessly horrific nature occurred there, and in their superstition avoid it as much as possible. The government is aware that some people live there, but they are dismissed as ignorant travelers seeking temporary shelter. Few Zmaragdosi have ever overcome the hostility of their elders to discover that Ald is a restored, bustling city, Pégulis's largest and most successful, full of trade and even libraries. Still, its history is dark. Its symbol is the Cedar Tree, and indeed, in Elysian times it was the capital city of the land that now is called Pégulis. The city was once built around the oldest, largest, most magnificent tree in the world, but its name has been lost to time. As the Pégulians know, it was made of and exuded a powerful magic, though what that magic was for is forgotten. In any case, it came about one way or another that some mighty deity (or deities) struck it down with fire, poison or lightning, or perhaps a holy combination of them all; and its destruction left a scorched crater where once the heart of the western jungle had been. THE POISONED LAND In the idyllic Elysia, what is now Zmaragdos and most of the ocean surrounding it was actually two separate countries: Agdos and Zmara, watched over by the Western and Southern gods, respectively. Now in the Poisoned Land of Zmaragdos enormous meat-eating flowers burgeon forth from sickly green moss permeated with parasites, and giant poisonous flowers spread their infectious pollen. Though these and the endless array of poisonous snakes that slither slowly across the forest floor, perfectly camouflaged, may be avoided at nighttime, that is when the huge bloodsucking insects reign the night, spreading diseased blood from victim to victim. Still there are those who hang on to the hope that the curses on the soil, plants and animals might be lifted … but the toxic, corrosive anathemas can only be satisfied with the restoration of the D'la, an ancient and mysterious arcane object of a mysterious nature that was destroyed during the Cataclysm and had preserved the western world's fragile ecosystem through magical means … until it was burnt to ashes at the hands of gods who did not wish any force of man or nature more powerful than the divine. Map (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Map (open) Map (close) Major Cities (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Major Cities (open) Major Cities (close) Quelt Quelt is the newest Zmaragdosi city and a somewhat shifty and liberal one, an unusual thing in the traditional and conservative Zmaragdosi culture. Bohemian artists, musicians, actors, atheists, courtesans, and people of peculiar and rare spiritual persuasions thrive in the Queltish community. Called by traders and travelers as the "Last Stop", it borders the northern mountains closely, and few venture there who do not intend to stay. As such its population is very diverse and home to many nomads who wander, stay somewhere a couple years, and then set off again, and its government, though imposed by Zmaragdosi regulations, does exist and keep it from becoming the criminal hotspot it might be without such laws, none of the officials are entirely reputable, and Quelt has all kinds of illicit parts of town tucked away where a guard patrol rarely strays. Gambling, prostitution, and the black market are all found here. For obvious reasons, the noble and refined have made a point of staying well away from the cold city of Quelt. Host Host is a major trade city, very old, with a colorful history and a dozen names, populations and allegiances peppering its past. Originally it was known as Hosrel and was constructed along with Yessel as an Aquarial city perhaps 350 years post-Cataclysm. Its history and exact dates are easy to discern because of the giant waste disposal pit in the forest to the west of it, where many layers of different style and quality pottery, abandoned clothing, coins, broken musical instruments, cooking utensils and the like are often explored by curious historians. Together with Yessel, Hosrel monopolized the naval passage through the heart of Zmaragdos and almost to the edge of its western side, an area which has always been rich in trade routes and natural resources. The Aquarial city-states joined in an alliance probably quite early in the cities' history and became an independent nation modest in size and extravagant in affluence and quality of life. This lasted many hundreds of years and made the "Prosperos River", as the passage was called, a site of many important cultures, revolutions and political events. Yet the great nation and the Aquarial's rising monopoly of the west was destroyed when, without warning and completely catching the peaceful Hosrel by surprise, eastern nomads from the desert land that is now Kausteira invaded the Aquarial nation Hosrel-Yessel with peerless ferocity. The savages, seeking more stable climes, massacred the elite citizenry, and Aquarials fled northern Zmaragdos in vast numbers, seeking shelter in the south and building an army. The Easterners, however, were disinterested in further military conquest: they had found their land of plenty. From about 750 to 880 years post-Cataclysm they dominated the large port city, renamed Hoskilla. Without exclusive control of access to internal Zmaragdos, Yessel entered a long period of poverty and unstable government. Even as Hoskilla and Yessel suffered, a new city developed where the Prosperos River ended: Edel in the farthest west of Zmaragdos, causing the Forest Kin to become the major racial representatives of Zmaragdos as they had been in Elyria. Edel quickly became the vast nation of Zmaragdos as it is known today, and spread north, south and east to envelop what had once been the Hosrel-Yessel territory. As soon as they were able, they invaded the struggling Hoskilla and took back the city, renaming it Host. Once more joined with Yessel, both cities grew prosperous again as they became major centers of trade, but, subservient to the Zmaragdosi government, their monopoly serves a larger nation. Still, the Eastern influences in Host are impossible to escape: traces remain in art, music, architecture, customs, fashion, and, most notably, Host's populace. It was the nomadic invaders and the Eastern settlers that followed them who introduced new races to the west, among them the Felleons and the Drakes. Edel Dominated by the Forest Kin, Edel is Zmaragdos's capital city and a major trading point. Erected before the waterfall that the Prosperos River culminates in, Edel is a marvel of engineering, a beautiful city home to Zmaragdos's elite. Aristocrats with ancient noble bloodlines and wealthy merchants, architects, artists, writers and scholars all make their home here, at the heart of what, no more than a century ago, was Sunnepheia's most powerful nation. Yet even as southernmost Zmaragdos slowly begins to recover and eastern Sunnepheia grows more and more hospitable, the thick forest and rainforest covering most of Zmaragdos seems to grow sicker every day. Divine curses slowly leech out of the earth as it purifies itself, but some deep poison is unable to leave the land in the same way. Yessel Largely an Aquarial city, Yessel was founded along with Host around 650 years ago. Together with Host, then called Hosrel, Yessel monopolized the naval passage through the heart of Zmaragdos and almost to the edge of its western side, an area which has always been rich in trade routes and natural resources. The Aquarial city-states joined in an alliance probably quite early in the cities' history and became an independent nation modest in size and extravagant in affluence and quality of life. However, about 250 years ago, Eastern invaders conquered Hosrel, renaming it Hoskilla, and the prosperous trading nation the Aquarials had built up collapsed. Yessel became a shady city of poverty and corruption. When the capital city, Edel, rose in the east, and promised Yessel that they would recapture Hoskilla if the two cities swore allegiance to Zmaragdos, the Yessel government eagerly agreed and once Hoskilla had been taken back from the Eastern foreigners and renamed Host, both major port cities were absorbed into the Zmaragdosi nation. The shelter of Aquarial survivors of Hosrel when the Eastern savages plundered, raped and murdered hundreds of the wealthy, ruling elite, Yessel has always been a strong symbol of terrestrial Aquarial culture. Full of broad canals and public fountains, it is famed for its aquatic beauty. Canoes shaped like white and black birds, called a swan boat in the Common Tongue or gondola, meaning swan in the language of the Aquarial, transport citizens throughout Yessel. The elite Aquarial noble families who live in this expensive city are supported by the elitist system of the Zmaragdosi government founded by western Forest Kin, but few of them are much convinced of the Green Lord Brention's Zoën religion, preferring their own aquatic deities. Ooma Ooma, far to the southeast of Zmaragdos, in the turbid swamps to the north of the Mossy Gulf, is home of the Unguis. Their race has presided there since the dawn of their evolution among the murky marshland they have adapted to. After the Cataclysm, the temperature changed from stiflingly hot and humid to breezy, slightly moist and in winter, even frosty. Vast amounts of plant species, unable to tolerate the new climate, went extinct, even as spells and curses which polluted the land mutated the animals resident here, turning them into unrecognizable monsters: among them massive three-headed pythons nigh three feet long and nigh fifteen times as wide; red-tongued lizards the size of crocodiles, wart-ridden and sharp-toothed; and giant disease-carrying insects. Still, below the surface of the water things remained somewhat tolerable, and certainly not that drastic compared to what had happened to the rest of Elysia; but even as the horrific mutations began to fade as the corrosive magic tainting them gradually lifted from the land naturally, the unguis left their habitat for millennia in large groups, seeking shelter elsewhere in Zmaragdos. Today Ooma is known as the home of the unguis, and with a more stable climate many are content to live there in peace, secluded from the rest of the world. Riven The birthplace of the Green Lord Brention, Riven provides the exotic recluse of the southwestern rainforest which draws in not only curious tourists but also the unguis who prefer a warmer climate than that afflicting their eastern marsh, as well as Edelian aristocrats who seek a peaceful retreat from the busy, politically incendiary Zmaragdosi capital city. With Brention's dramatic rise to power, Riven has become Zmaragdos's religious center, as he has erected most of his churches there, and indeed lives more in his private home in Riven than the elaborate palace erected for him in Edel. Brention teaches of a Nature Spirit called Zoë who is the soul, breath and beating heart of all life. She may not embody our motives but can be found sleeping in the depths of our consciousness, waiting to be awakened. Once the world is seen through Her neutral eyes, an enlightened individual can begin to appreciate the simple, natural beauty of things, and grows aware of how everything is connected. While Zoë has always been a cult goddess of Forest Kin nobility, it wasn't until recently that She became a public fascination. Her monotheistic religion has spread like wildfire and many have high hopes that She is the answer to curing the Zmaragdosi land of its impurity. THE RED KING The autocratic ruler of the Scorched Land of Kausteira, the Red King Aukhmos is infamous for his hot temper and bloothirst. Followers are drawn to his courage and dauntlessness – he laughs in the face of the sobering horrors the Cataclysm has left behind, and this recklessness imbues others with the power to persevere and remain confident in themselves even when times seem bleaker than ever. An accomplished warrior, Aukhmos personally executes the ritual sacrifices to please the curses of the Scorched Land, but has taught his people to see this duty as a weakness. He hates the Cataclysm and all its consequences with a passion and refuses to let its considerable obstacles daunt him. He is determined to achieve supreme rulership in the land with his people free to roam the lands of Sunnepheia safely and fearlessly as they once had those of Elysia. Portrait (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Portrait (open) Portrait (close) CS (Move your mouse to reveal the content) CS (open) CS (close) Name: Aukhmos Title: Red King Gender: Male Race: Nocturne Age: 29 Nationality: Kausteiran Occupation: Red King of Kausteira Appearance The finest warrior in Kausteira, Aukhmos is powerfully built, with a muscular physique and the ghostly skin of his race. Accompanying his brawn is an almost cat-like stealth and the ever balanced posture of a master swordsman. His step is silent and his armor is carefully designed to remain remarkably soundless, free of the metallic clanking that so often betrays an armored opponent in battle. His eyes, true glowing Nocturne eyes, are a piercing cerulean shade that have unnerved many an adversary. His straight sable hair grows unkempt and his harsh facial features, accompanied by the thick dark brows and grim mouth, often make him appear quite intimidating, and he uses this to his advantage. Personality Aukhmos, leader of the Scorched Land of Kausteira, believes in glory, wealth, power, and adrenaline rushes. He has organized the government as an autocracy yet is an unlikely dictator: he sees worth in all those who mark themselves strong warriors, whether they are stableboys or kings is no matter to him. The finest warrior in the land himself, Aukhmos believes that every man should have the right to whatever he wants if he has the power to go through with it, even if this collides with others' freedoms. His vision of Sunnepheia's future is brilliant, and yet chaotic, with everyone in constant conflict for power and no space for things that interfere with survival, such as art, music, the humanities, scholarly work, all things for which Aukhmos cares very little for. Aukhmos's followers, inspired by his message of strength and total free will for all only within the limits of their physical capacity, would have urged Pandora to stop running like a girl and take up arms against the king along with a group of other rebels, or perhaps let herself be captured and then slaughter him in his sleep. Whichever was riskier. Skills Swordplay With an extensive understanding of all kinds of weapons and their most efficient uses, Aukhmos is a master swordsman. The culture he leads believes in proving one's mettle completely irregardless of social status or cleverness by skill in combat alone, and his position as king is reinforced by his amazing prowess in battle. There are some who claim that he is the best swordsman in the world, although even the best, with exhaustion and ill enough luck, can be defeated on occasion. Stealth A natural attribute of his race, Aukhmos can move with near-total silence. Forging Growing up in a town nearby the world's forging central, Dun, Aukhmos comes from a family of forgers and was taught the art himself. He specializes in unique armor that preserves vital areas particularly well with the minimum amount of extra weight. Charisma Aukhmos gets along easily with others and possesses a rock-solid inner confidence; coupled with his liberal views of radical equality and his tolerance of everyone regardless of race, social class and personal background, provided they're handy with a weapon, has made him enormously popular among the roguish people of his country. Strength Aukhmos is very physically brawny and engages in athletic activity intensely throughout every day, giving him an extraordinarily fit physique. Weaknesses Slow When equipped with the best armor and the largest, most destructive weapons, Aukhmos's senses of sight and hearing may be impaired and his movements are hampered. Tactless Aukhmos is frank and never afraid to voice his opinion bluntly. This has soured many relationships with more sensitive kinds of people. In battle he is similarly scrupleless: he will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means taking foolish risks. Brash While his boldness can be exciting and infectious, there's a thin line between fearlessness and foolishness and Aukhmos tends to err in the latter direction. Strategy bores him and his fighting style (and fighters, for that matter) are undisciplined and often unprepared. When meeting forces greater than his Aukhmos's typical strategy is a combination of surprise and fanaticism. Illiterate A product of the poor working class, Aukhmos never learned to read or write. Cannot swim Having grown up and spent his entire adult life in the middle of the desert, Aukhmos has never learned how to swim. Shahirazad: Female Scout Lioness Shahirazad is an enormous lioness, the size of Aukhmos himself, and perhaps even more fearsome. Rippling with muscle and constantly alert and tense, she is ready to spring into action at any moment. Her fur, a fiery blend of sandy-yellow and sunset-orange hues, gleams with gold as if ablaze. Feral copper-red eyes regard the world with an intensity rivaling those of her lopos, and a vivid cyrulean aura flickers across her flaming pelt. Sexual Orientation: heterosexual Relationship: none History Aukhmos grew up in a small mountain village named Iskar near Dun. It specialized in mining but his parents were forgers and this was the trade that Aukhmos learned. When an earthquake destroyed his home and his family while he was fetching water from a faraway, unpolluted spring, he traveled to Dun and became an apprentice forger there, but the nightmare of his family's fate never ceased to haunt him. He made the long and perilous journey to Zirash where he discovered ancient scrolls in the library explaining the ancient curse that caused earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and desert conditions in Kausteira. He trained as a guard to defend Zirash against invading nomadic tribes and eventually, at the tender age of 22, became the leader of the Zirash guard. When, four years later, he rallied other cities' forces to win a large war against a large tribe of Draken savages from the northern mountains, he became the unofficial leader of Kausteira's armed forces, and when politicians and other fine swordsmen gravitated to him sensing a potential unifier of Kausteira, it took little more than a year to crown him king. Still, Kausteira is a barren land, and the West overflows with plenty of natural resources; urged by advisers, Aukhmos seeks to try to conquer some territory in the Western lands as his ancestors once did with Hosrel. THE BLUE PRESIDENT An accomplished politician and brilliant strategist, the Blue President Pahkné of Pégulis is an opportunistic spellcaster who saw a chance for facilitating some real change when she stumbled upon a group of shivering outlaws hiding in mountain caves high in the north of Sunnepheia. She organized search parties and soon most of those who got lost in blizzards or the endless flat landscape of the glacier and the winding mountain paths saw a pulsing violet light in the distance, and, drawn to it, was brought to President Pahkné holding it aloft to lead wanderers to safety. It was not long before hers was an established community, and from the beginning Pahkné took brilliant steps that resulted in a flawlessly organized, crime-free, constructive collective that learned more and more about survival in their environment and, most importantly, magic. While other factions squabble and fight or daydream and dance, President Pahkné's people can work quietly in the necessary isolation of Pégulis, unlocking a new enchantment to aid sentientkind in the desperate struggle for survival against the elements every day. Yet as the two primary factions, the Red King Aukhmos of Kausteira, and the Green Lord Brention of Zmaragdos, gradually approach the Pélugian hideout, their careful isolation and detachment from outside affairs is threatened. Portrait (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Portrait (open) Portrait (close) CS (Move your mouse to reveal the content) CS (open) CS (close) Name: Pahkné Title: Blue President Gender: Female Race: Human Age: 24 Nationality: Pégulian Occupation: Blue President of Pégulis Appearance While athletic and hardy, Pahkné is of a petite and curvy build, with long, wavy black hair that falls to her waist and is usually kept in a thick braid for convenience. With broad cheekbones and an arching brow, her face might be cold were it not for the dark chocolate brown eyes which reflect real warmth. Her skin is a rich copper and her voice is unexpectedly deep for a woman. She carries herself with confidence yet distance, and there is a sense of deliberation in her movements. Personality Pahkné, leader of the Frozen Land of Pégulis, is first and foremost an opportunist. While at heart she does believe in a version of democracy, she is unwilling to compromise security or power for its sake. Different from both Aukhmos and Brention, she would never consider dying for her cause. She uses her cause to survive. Currently Pahkné is an elected leader, and intends to maintain a democratic system because, being intelligent and politically very sharp, she feels that this middle way – peace with controlled conflict, avoiding both war and stagnation – is the only way to return Sunnepheia to the former glory of Elysia. Her views are extremely popular among the people who are sick of gods, kings and nature dominating their lives and choices, but they underestimate her potential for swiftly changing her views. Pahkné is a politician at heart, and she believes that subterfuge and corruption are necessary to keep a democracy functional, lest too much power slide into the hands of one faction out of pure happenstance, or, worse, a faction that is weak and unable to retaliate against a real enemy, such as a hostile foreign country. Pahkné would have dismissed the ideas of the Zmaragdosi and the Kausteiran culture's expectations of Pandora's behavior. Had Pahkné been Pandora, she would never have made a big fuss of her affection for the stableboy, would smilingly marry the king, ingratiate herself in court, inconspicuously poison her husband, take control of the realm, raise the stableboy to kinght or duke or somesuch, and either marry him or use him as her consort, whichever garnered her the most political advantage. Skills Strategy Pahkné is a politician and gifted strategist. Whether her ideas concern crime prevention systems in countries or a battle tactic, they are well thought out and very efficient. Persuasion Articulate, precise, with the ability to inflect her voice and subtly control the expression of her face, Pahkné is a master debater and can play devil's advocate just as passionately. If she wants to she can be remarkably persuasive, cleverly playing with words to turn them into alternate meanings. Healing When she set out as a very young woman to travel the world, she became the apprentice of a minor wizard and healer who taught her knowledge of herbs and medicines. When she started traveling independently she kept exploring her environment and learning from it. She is a very qualified healer, though most of her treatments require a touch of magic. Magic Pahkné is a very powerful sorceress. She can summon and trap artificial light and heat, crack apart stone and ice, and use some minor healing spells. Weaknesses Opportunistic Pahkné will abandon the most solemn promises and the most valued decencies if it means getting into a position of greater power and getting what she wants. This doesn't make her especially trustworthy and sometimes she overreaches herself. Diminutive Pahkné's petite physique results in frequent disadvantages in daily life and it can cause major problems for her in combat situations. Magic-dependent Incompetent with physical weapons, Pahkné is dependent on her agility, small size and magical powers to succeed in battle, but it is always quite dangerous for her to fight a physically powerful opponent. Murkahal: Male Advisor Osprey Twice as large as a regular osprey, Murkahal is a fierce snow osprey, with flashing lavender eyes and a deep chocolate brown aura. His feathers are mostly grey and white with black stripes splicing across his considerable wingspan and fanned tail feathers. A coruscating silver sheen makes his plumage sparkle like snow crystals catching the light, and his thick black talons are sharpened to a vicious point. Sexual Orientation: heterosexual Relationship: none History Pahkné grew up in the colorful Avarath as the fatherless daughter of a middle-class prostitute. Her mother did the best she could to take good care of the child and shelter her, but remained distant both physically and emotionally. After a fire ravaged a shady district where her mother had been working one night, Pahkné's mother never returned home and she was presumed dead. Pahkné realized she had three choices: try to find an eligible, well-to-do man and start a family, find a job to pay the rent and stay, or move out and travel the world. An independent and adventurous spirit with a great thirst for knowledge, she chose the latter, and at 15 set out on her own. It wasn't long until she realized the whole affair was a complete disaster: she had no idea how to protect herself and survive in the wild. When she encountered a passing healer on the road to Quelt, she befriended the elderly man, Horn, and he taught her some small healing spells he knew, as well as his considerable knowledge of healing and medicine using plants. Gradually her remarkable affinity for sorcery became evident, and when they finally parted ways four years later, Pahkné became a charismatic traveler learning as much as possible about her craft. After 10-15 years of such traveling she decided to put her true skill to the test by crossing over the mountainous land bridge between Zmaragdos and Kausteira, and upon successfully completing this journey many times she came upon the abandoned rebel caves of Balvar. THE GREEN LORD A handsome nobleman and experienced forest ranger, the Green Lord Brention is the chosen political representative of the Poisoned Land of Zmaragdos. Followers are drawn to his charisma and strong religious beliefs; through his faith, many have found new purpose and enthusiasm in their life. Believing that the Forest Spirit is the greatest god and ever on their side, their zeal and close-knit community has engulfed practically all of Zmaragdos. Brention gains especial popularity with his generous funding of the arts and the attempts of scholars to learn more about Sunnepheia's scattered history. His people are utterly, some even blindly, devoted to him and believe him to be the prophet of the Forest Spirit Zoë. Portrait (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Portrait (open) Portrait (close) CS (Move your mouse to reveal the content) CS (open) CS (close) Name: Brention Title: Green Lord Gender: Male Race: Forest Kin Age: 31 Nationality: Zmaragdosi Occupation: Green Lord of Zmaragdos Appearance Brention is a pure-blooded Forest Kin, with the classic pointed ears, lithe stature and narrow, angular, fine-boned facial features. His long, straight, shining white hair is often let open but usually kept in a ponytail when he travels. Light brown skin would blend into the forest shadows anywhere, and his quiet, dark gray eyes reflect the new moon. His voice is gentle and lilting, and a fearsome thing to behold when he invests real emotion in it. Remarkably tall, Brention's persona is undeniably that of the aristocracy. Personality Brention, leader of the Poisoned Land of Zmaragdos, believes in tradition, wisdom, and the importance of culture. Learned scholars, his council of elders advises him and while he has the last word this may be overridden by the council with a majority vote. Zmagardos follows a strict social hierarchy that enables little social climbing besides being appointed a lofty position as advisor to the state based on scholarly or philosophical work. Brention's vision of Sunnepheia's future is peaceful, yet bland, with little space for personal freedom and an elitist system where a select council governs over all. The Zmaragdosi believe in setting personal squabbles aside for the greater good. They would have expected Pandora to dismiss her feelings for the stableboy and marry the king as she was promised, anything to avoid conflict and war. They consider her recklessness to blame for the Cataclysm. Skills Education Brention's impeccable education has given him a wide scope of understanding in all topics ranging from arithmetic and science to history and literature. Knowledge Brention is highly knowledgeable of Sunnepheia and the history of the Cataclysm, the races, and the world's major cities. His awesome comprehension of world lore has allowed him to reach remarkably accurate conclusions concerning the nations' curses… Archery Ever since Brention could grip he was holding a bow. A master archer, Brention is rumored never to miss a shot. Sharp Eyesight Like most of his race, Brention has the eyes of a hawk and the benefit of night vision. Weaknesses Honor Brention will do anything to uphold his honor, even if it should compromise his position and endanger himself and those he cares about. Elitism A member of the upper class born into a very wealthy aristocratic family, Brention may occasionally be an insufferable snob. His pride can turn him blind to his own faults and the strict hierarchical elitism that perpetuates his government. Low Endurance Brention is more of a bookish stay-at-home type, and going on long hikes on perilous terrain is not exactly his forté. He would also be prone to choosing the wrong type of attire for the occasion. Without regular exercise, while far from overweight Brention is not travel-hardy either, and tires easily. Susceptible to Magic Brention is particularly vulnerable to magic. Just as mages are simply born into their craft, so others can simply be born to be unusually susceptible to magic. Felurain: Male Empath Stag Felurain is a handsome honey-colored stag, twice as small as a regular deer and delicately built. His hide scintillates with a bronze sheen and exudes a calming dark gray aura. Slender and nimble, Felurain can reach incredible speeds. His dark emerald eyes are quiet and contemplative; his name means Forest Dreamer in the Ancient Sylvan tongue of the Forest Kin, and a fitting name it is. Sexual Orientation: homosexual Relationship: none History Brention is the seventh son of an eminent aristocratic Zmaragdosi household that has held immense political power even before the Cataclysm. Brought up in comparative wealth and educated by the highest standards, Brention has yet to step outside a lifestyle of privilege. It was clear since his birth that he would be a high-ranking politician or scholar. His father was one of the Council's most esteemed members. Quickly proving his political worth and gaining popular attention because of his religious views, Brention was elected to become a Justice Official at 24 and, upon completing his five-year term, the Council elected him as the new political representative of Zmaragdos, a position to last for life. He has only been ruling for two years but it has been an enormously successful lordship and his Council continues to have high hopes that he might be the Lord to "conquer the savage East".