An Introduction For centuries, life in Terlayne was stable, peaceful, and prosperous. Between the Emperor and the Mihra, there was no war amongst he varied kingdoms. The people, scarred by a past few knew of beyond the stories and legends, carried on into a new age. Traces, though, of what had once been lingered in their blood and bones. Talents, so rare and profound, were occasionally bestowed on an individual. The ability to manipulate the elements, fellow humans, or themselves. Once upon a time, it would have been known as magic... Centuries into the new age, there are signs that not all is well. Across the fertile fields and valleys, a drought has persisted. In previous years, the bounty of years before was enough to stave off the hard-times. The surplus nears its end and the weather shows little sign of breaking. Along the coasts, storms have ravaged the villages and towns. Entire communities have been lost to the relentless beating of waves and wind. The earth quakes, as if fearful of what is to come. In the tall, brilliantly white tower, the center of Order, home of the Mihra, there is no reassurance. The most powerful, save for the emperor - perhaps more than the emperor - group of people across all of Terlayne are silent. Perhaps in the ancient and dusty tomes there would be answers, but these heretical texts are death to any who dare crack their seals. Tales of the old gods, of Chaos, have no place in the new order of the world. Yet out there, hidden in small covens, taking refuge amongst the forests and mountains and deserts, those who follow the old ways can still be found. Word has spread, from lips to ears in hushed whispers and furtive glances. They return. They hunger for vengeance. They will have blood. A prison, older than the Empire and Mihra, inhabits an island nearly impossible to reach. The most dangerous heretics to Order are sent to live out the rest of their lives. Rumors abound regarding what takes place at the Eye, it's foreboding presence a curse, it is avoided at all costs excepting the elite Vigilants who guard and bring new prisoners. Here, it will begin. Here, it must begin. A Guide to the World of Terlayne World Map (Move your mouse to reveal the content) World Map (open) World Map (close) The Mihra (Move your mouse to reveal the content) The Mihra (open) The Mihra (close) Origins: Few outside of the Mihra know where they came from so many years ago. Stories and legends exist of a gallant people who arrived on these shores in the darkest hours when it seemed evil need only cast the final blow. From the east, some stories claim, others that they came from the south - forced out of their own lands. The Mihra themselves are quiet on the matter, whether it is because too many years have passed and they too have forgotten, or because it is just one more tightly held secret, is unknown except to those at the highest levels. If they ever were a different people, they have long since assimilated into the various cultures found in Terlayne. Structure: Jhae'Mihra The head of the Mihra, both spiritually and politically. The Jhae rarely travels outside of Ylavin, city of the Mihra. Few below the level of Nhae speak to or see the Jhae. Nhae'Mihra The ruling council of the Mihra. Consisting of 7 members, they are second only to the Jhae. They serve as the Jhae's advisers, as well as his (or her) eyes and ears on matters of the realm. The Nhae are the intermediaries between the head of the order and all those below - within the religious order and without. These are the individuals that go to the Emperor or influential client-kings when called up on. The Ral and some Val'Mihra serve this group. Ral'Mihra The Ral are individuals leading a specific study, or department, within the order. Val'Mihra The largest population of the Mihra. These are fully initiated members of the order - whatever their specialization or lack there of. Most of the Mihra ranks will reach no further than this level, as such, an unofficial hierarchy exists within the rank. Most Val spent anywhere from 5 to 10 years as a Sul before being allowed to take their vows and enter into service of the various Rals. Most Val are not found in Ylavin, but spread across all of Terlayne. Sul'Mihra The acolytes of the Mihra. Until they take their vows, they are known as the Sul and live heavily regulated lives. They come from all walks of life - street urchins to the daughters (and rarely, sons) of kings and emperors. It is rare for a Sul to leave the city unless it is to leave the Mihra - for good. Any who enter the order and leave before taking their vows are not allowed entry again. Once taking the vows, however, there is no turning back. Beliefs: They are first and foremost, a religious organization. Though the manner of "worship" invades all aspects of daily life, regardless of status. It is well known that there is a Mihra in every court of the land, and oft said that it is the Mihra who make the decisions, not the rulers nor emperor. In short, the Mihra embrace and worship all that is Order and cast off all that is is not. There is not so much a "god" of Order, no personification or bodily image of what is worshiped. Instead, it is an all-encompassing way of life. To worship anything else, any of the old ways or gods, is heresy and met with swift punishment and cleansing by the Mihra. It has been many years since the last large purge - although from time to time a cult must be taken care of. The Mihra have a tome that includes every sin against order - and is added to as needed. Although this tome is not used as the law of the land per se, it's influence in the political and judicial sphere cannot be denied. All in all, there are roughly 10,000 sins included, all succinctly described and defined in whatever degree warranted. Punishment for those in the ranks of the Mihra are detailed as well. These sins break down into three main types - sins against humanity (IE. theft, murder, assault...), sins against authority (IE. rebellion, treason, smuggling...), and moral sins (IE. slavery, homosexuality, consumption of banned substances...). Talents: The Mihra are the only group to teach and cultivate, the use of Talents - of magic.In fact, it is only within the confines of the Mihra that those who possess a Talent can live freely. Talents are rare among the population, but the Mihra seek them out with fervor. Those who think to escape their grasp either live a life of constant running or are killed - either by the Mihra or by scared townsfolk. Magic and talents are poorly understood outside of the Order, a fact that they do little to dissuade. It is better to have a people fearful of those who can manipulate the numerous facets of reality. It is rare to find a group willing to hide the apostates, unless they too are members of a cult. Most who have Talents then, find themselves at Ylavin long before adulthood. Talents typically present themselves around the age of 3, sometimes later, sometimes earlier depending on the Talent in question. Each person, at least as far back in recorded history as available, will have only one. Some range from the mundane - a perfect sense of direction, to the extreme - the manipulation of the mind or elements. Each person seems to be different in what they can do or how they do it. Much is not understood, even by the Mihra, as so much was lost following the events five centuries ago. What is known, or at least observed with great frequency, is that a Talent comes with a cost. The costs are as varied and unique as the Talents - some even deadly if the magic is misused. Study for those with Talents is far more rigorous than the talentless initiates, not only for the safety of that student, but for those around them as well. Courts of the Realm (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Courts of the Realm (open) Courts of the Realm (close) General information regarding the political/geographic bodies on the continent. Filling in information regarding the rest of the world will be done via collaboration, keep in mind the general feel of the world. Empire of Terlayne (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Empire of Terlayne (open) Empire of Terlayne (close) The Empire has existed for roughly five centuries. Born from the ashes of dead and dying kingdoms, with the aid of the Mihra it formed itself largely peacefully. The two hundred years' war had taken it's toll, entire generations had lived and died knowing only bloodshed and destruction. The peace that the Mihra and the first emperor, Bith'as, offered was not easily refused. Kingdoms weakened to near extinction submitted quickly. Of those who resisted, most were laid to complete ruin, others reluctantly bent their knees when it was clear it was that or certain death. The Bithom family, has ruled from Terlay without interruption since the last peace accord was signed. Terlay inheritances are rarely messy affairs. The family tree is carefully maintained and updated, the order of inheritance clearly dictated. Family strife has touched successions from time to time, but the Mihra advisers have always been able to quell the angst before word could spread far or have armies raised. Twenty-three years ago, the old emperor passed and his second eldest son succeeded him. The eldest had long been presumed dead after a mission to cross the great ocean in search of other lands and peoples. A fool's mission and a worrisome one to all aware of it. Should the elder return, it would be the gravest danger to Terlay's ruling stability in many years. It has been nearly forty years since the day he left port with one hundred and fifty men. His brother, undisturbed in his reign, has finally begun to relax. At 67 himself, his elder brother would be nearly 75, a rare likelihood that he would return home now - or that even should he, that he would be able to muster an army to take what was his. Terlay is the largest city of the empire. The outlying areas are fertile, hundreds of towns, villages, and hamlets feed the city and its population. It has thriving industries - textile, printing, jewelry - the artisan class does well for itself here and draws thousands of hopefuls from smaller cities and the rural areas. At it's heart, the imperial palace rises from a man-made hill. Walled off from the common city, the palace - a network of castles really - houses much of the imperial family, their retainers, and visiting dignitaries. The Court - Members of Importance: Emperor Lerrin, fourth of his name, Lord of Terlay, Protector of Terlayne, Order Blessed Empress Tanthia, Lady of Terlay, Order Blessed Imperial Prince, Marric, Heir Apparent and his family: Marric's wife, one son and three daughters Lerrin IV's two other sons remain in Terlay with their families, as well as a scattering of extended family members not given small holds of their own to maintain Ral Dondillo, Mihra adviser to the court with a retinue of five Val'Mihra Although the Terlayne Empire covers a vast continent, the peoples are not one assimilated culture. The client kingdoms pay their taxes and bend their knees, but beyond that, are largely left to their own devices to rule as they wish. The sole caveat being that Order must be followed. The kingdoms have retained their own customs and languages, although a common tongue exists and is used with frequency for the sake of trade, travel, and governance. Several outposts exist across the land, reminders of who the ultimate authority is, held by small battalions. Ylavin (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Ylavin (open) Ylavin (close) The capital city of the Mihra, and the second largest city in Terlayne. Whereas most cities, no matter the planning put into them, grow haphazardly, Ylavin is immaculate in its execution. At the direct center of the city rises a tall, slender tower of gleaming white. Concentric rings of roads emanate out of the central plaza, connected by the straightest roads found in the empire, like spokes on a wheel. Large as it may be, it is also widely regarded as the safest city in the land. Fear of sinning so closely to Mihra as well as rampant rumors on what sort of magic is done to violators keeps the petty, opportunistic criminals away. When crimes are committed, the city guards known as Vigilants, are swift to act and bring the perpetrator to justice. Nestled in the foothills of the Azhorhai Mountains and fed by cool streams, it is a prime location. The city was nearly entirely built up by the Mihra centuries ago after the war had ended. A city did exist in this location previously, reminders of its existence can be found in the sewers beneath the streets or sometimes in a cellar. Little is known about the city or the kingdom it belonged to. It had been one of the early losses in the war, nearly 200 years before the Mihra claimed it for themselves. The Court - Members of Importance: Jhae Nerito: 64 year old man, held the position of Jhae for 12 years. Elected by the Nhae from the rank of Ral, a position held for 24 years. It is said the Jhae has a Talent, an ability to shield physical blows at great detriment to his body. Rumors are that though his mind is as fit as in his youth, his body appears to be that of a man 30 years older - frail and decrepit. Nhae Melynea: 59 year old woman, held the position of Nhae for 6 years, appointed by her fellows upon the passing of her predecessor, after 15 years as a Ral serving the emperor in Terlay. No Talent. Nhae Donovar: 66 year old man, held the position of Nhae for 13 years. Previously lead the Mihra's efforts to purge any and all cults from the land. Oversaw at least a dozen small purges during his leadership. No Talent. Nhae Selles: 52 year old man and youngest of the Nhae. Appointed less than a year ago and coming straight from the ranks of the Val, his appointment ruffled some feathers. Previously worked with Donovar as well as many years spent in the "court" of the desert nomads. Nhae Kaenna: 76 year old woman, a member of the Nhae for 17 years. Frequently called to Terlay to speak for the Jhae. A distant cousin to the emperor. No Talent. Nhae Jaqarro: 63 year old man, a member of the Nhae for 4 years. Previously a member of the Ral that oversaw recruitment of the Sul and a longtime mentor to the Val. A common background for one member of the Nhae to hold - a connection to who is joining their Order. Nhae Mylle: 71 year old woman, a member of the Nhae for 9 years. Previously a member of the Ral that collected and organized information on all the current Mihra with Talents. Also possesses a Talent - the ability to sense a Talent in others, at cost to her own eyesight. Mylle lost all sense of sight a decade ago, her eyes then beginning to decay in their sockets until nothing remained and her Talent seemingly extinguished. Nhae Arnet: 65 year old man, a member of the Nhae for 7 years. Previously a member of the Ral, Mihra head of the Ylavin city Vigilants. No Talent. Myths (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Myths (open) Myths (close) Possibly relevant information and world flavor, take everything within with a grain of salt ICly How Magic Came to Be (Move your mouse to reveal the content) How Magic Came to Be (open) How Magic Came to Be (close) In the beginning was darkness and the void. Nothingness but from which a spark erupted, creating those that would become the gods. Their names and identities shifted and morphed over the long millenia. So too, did their creations, the humans, who rose up to build great cities and civilizations. The ancient empire, Pazhiq sought to prove their faith the greatest of those across any land. Their emperor, Qa’Noreen, subsisted on nought but honey and water for a year. Each day, he submitted himself to the will of the gods, that they should see his fervor and faith and bless him and his people beyond all others. At the end of the year, with his faith having stayed true even as his closest friends and allies turned on him and his empire beginning to crumble, the gods answered. Qa’Noreen, the first Diviner, the first of man to be gifted with magic. Given power over the elements, over the bodies and minds of men and creature, Qa’Noreen used his power to vanquish those that had become his enemies. It seemed that a new era of peace and prosperity was to begin. Yet as his empire grew, so did his dissatisfation. Where once he proclaimed himself an instrument of the gods, he now himself as an equal. The gift that the gods had given had soured in the hands of mere mortals. But rather than remove their gift from the world, the gods looked to teach both Qa’Noreen and humanity a lesson. The emperor’s daughter, Lasharae received the gods’ touch. The woman had become a priestess many years previous and had long felt ashamed by the monster her father had become. The gods had their champion, people flocked to Lasharae’s banner and open rebellion broke out. While men on both sides fought and died, father and daughter dueled for supremacy. The gods, however, had made it so neither had an advantage in power. Unaware of this, Lasharae and Qa’Noreen battled for a week straight, neither sleeping nor eating. As their armies began to falter and their own strength drained, they each went for a killing blow. Each succeeded, and an explosion the likes of which had never been seen marked the location for all eternity. Bawara, as it was called in ancient days, where the mortal gods did battle and died. A crater still marks the location. Magic did not die that day, however. Instead, it flourished. The explosion did not just kill, but sent the gods’ gift out in a wave, touching those with good hearts and true intentions. No man or woman could ever be as powerful or control so much as the first Diviners had. To use the powers, humanity would need to work together. The gods found this to be a grand joke, and left their creation to struggle on. The 200 Year War (Move your mouse to reveal the content) The 200 Year War (open) The 200 Year War (close) Little is known of the War itself, except for its ending the beginning of 500 years of relative peace and prosperity beneath the guiding hands of the Emperor and Mihra. What is known, is that before the Empire and before the War, there were no Mihra and many kingdoms claimed the land of Terlayne. Magic existed in ways no current Terlayners could dare imagine. Powerful mages rose up, without the deadly cost, without the limitations. Each kingdom handled magic and mages in their own way, some ruled by the mages, some subjugated them, others had something closer to a true alliance. The powers gained, it is said, came from ever increasing ties between the mages and the old gods. Varying from kingdom to kingdom, hundreds of gods were worshiped in these days. Wars were common, and mages were used sparingly in offensive matters. Until the uprising, as some believe was the original catalyst. A small kingdom that foreswore all magic and its use. Those born with an innate talent were exiled, sometimes killed. At the same time, there was an increasing movement across kingdom borders from the mages themselves. They were better than those without their talents, they were more powerful, they should rule. That small kingdom was the first to fall of many. If all of mage-dom had accepted those beliefs, the world might have had a chance. But there were those who disagreed, or those who came to disagree with who would lead the mages in their utopia. Cities were laid to waste, farmlands destroyed for generations to come, hundreds of thousands died in the battles, in the fallout, from disease and despair. The heightened lifestyle that magic had allowed for only brought the population lower when it was ripped out from under them. Nothing seemed able to end the vicious war. With each passing generation, rivalries and rebellions became more frequent in all sides. The world seemed set to rip itself asunder beneath the weight of death and destruction. Earthquakes rocked the earth, the shorelines were ravaged by intense storms, there were blizzards in the midst of heat waves. But no peace could be found, the war had gone too long, the destruction too much to set aside. Until the Mihra arrived. The stories say they locked away the old gods, that the magic had been tainted and turned its users mad, like a contagion infecting even those without any ability. They cleansed magic, but not without severely limiting it and its users. With the madness wiped away, peace was possible. The earth quieted in response and time came to rebuild. The history of life before the war was gone, completely or near enough. The history of the war is told in stories, the veracity of the stories highly questionable. The Mihra are said to keep an old tome that includes the few remaining histories and an accounting of the war, but none outside of the highest ranks are said to know its contents. OOC InformationThe TL;DR Version: The continent and empire is called Terlayne, it's capital city is Terlay, there are numerous smaller kingdoms with their own petty kings who bow to the emperor. The Mihra is the only recognized religion, any openly proclaiming otherwise are viewed with grave distrust and likely to be injured or killed. The religion worships Order, the closest analogue would be a religion such as Buddhism. Talents = magic, one per character and all Talents have a tangible/dangerous cost; extremely rare in the current world Where we begin: The Eye - a prison, much mythologized and nearly impossible to reach. Only the worst heretics of Order are sent here...or so the law is written. The Rules: Posting Expectations: a. Intermediate - Advanced, rounded it out at Adept b. Expecting typical posts to be around 4 paragraphs - description, reactions, interactions, and introspection as appropriate b.2. Well-rounded characters and character development c. Posting Frequency: 1-2 times a week. I will not enforce a strict posting order, so use common sense. If it looks like there's just two people going back and forth, I will ask that you write a post up in gdocs/pm/something and then post the collaboration instead. That said, I'd rather not get bogged down in too many people tied up in collabs. Mature themes - violence and language - are welcome. This is a serious world and should be treated as one. Romance between characters is welcome, but keep it PG-13. I do not see any need to have anything explicit in a group rp environment. Any issues or questions, please don't hesitate to ask or send me a PM. OOC conflicts, should they arise, will be dealt with in PMs. Character Sheets: I have been working on a different character sheet to use, something to help keep players (and myself) consistent with a character's personality. The end result is below, you will need to go to this site to make your selections from the list provided there. Blank App (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Blank App (open) Blank App (close) Appearance: Text or img. If an img, realistic, not cartoon-y/anime. I personally prefer images, great for a quick reference and more likely to be remembered in my opinion. Name: Former Profession: Talent: Not required, if the character has a Talent, you must include the cost to the talent as well. Personality: Fill in the details below using the options in the link given above. These are the terms that would most commonly (not always) be ascribed to the character. If one of the descriptors/synonyms sounds or feels better to use, please feel free to do so. Overview: Primary Motivator: Emotional Disposition: Moodiness: Core Traits: Outlook: Integrity: Impulsiveness: Boldness: Flexibility: Affinity: Comportment: Interactivity: Disclosure: Conformity: Religion & Spirituality: Keep in mind the world and the ever presence of the Mihra/Order. Most citizens will be at the very least distrustful of anyone claiming to follow a religion other than the Mihra. Adherence: Tolerance: Expression of Beliefs: Attitude: Minor Details: Choose 3-5 of the following. Quirks, Habits, and Oddities: Hobbies and Enjoyments: Background: Explain the circumstances that lead the character to be sentenced to the Eye. Include information on how long they have been prisoners, and the type of information or stories they would have shared with those around them. In short, use this to explain what the other characters already know - or think they know - about your character. GM NPCs (Move your mouse to reveal the content) GM NPCs (open) GM NPCs (close) Vanq (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Vanq (open) Vanq (close) Lelyanna (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Lelyanna (open) Lelyanna (close) A woman in her early thirties, a still largely youthful face, but with eyes that show the pains and tribulations of her life - not unlike most within the walls of the Eye. Name: Lelyanna Bithalom Former Profession: Val'Mihra, Mentor Talent: Passive - Visual auras from others that correspond to emotions and feelings. The stronger the emotion, the more vibrant the color. The color defines the emotion only for that specific person. The cost varies depending on the situation - how many people there are, how strong the emotions are, how focused Lelyanna is on interpreting the aura. Lelyanna's own emotions begin to feed off of those surrounding her. If the emotions are strong enough and persistent enough, they can overtake her own completely at an exponential amount in comparison - extreme despair, rage, giddiness, etc. She has begun to notice a dulling of her own emotions as well, perhaps as an extension of the immediate cost to the Talent. Personality: Overview: Primary Motivator: Tranquility Emotional Disposition: Ashamed Moodiness: Labile Core Traits: Outlook: Pessimistic Integrity: Conscientious Impulsiveness: Thougtful Boldness: Timid Flexibility: Adaptable Affinity: Empathic Comportment: Agreeable Interactivity: Reserved Disclosure: Evasive Conformity: Conventional Religion & Spirituality: Mihra, Order Adherence: Orthodox Adherent Tolerance: Intolerant Expression of Beliefs: Occasional Attitude: Humble Minor Details: Quirks, Habits, and Oddities: Needless apologizing, mumbling, humming, snoring Hobbies and Enjoyments: Horse riding, falconry, picnicking Background: Lelyanna is the newest addition to the Eye, having arrived just a month past. She had never really believed the mythologized place was real, had she, she surely would have chosen to at least flee Ylavin, or even take her own life. She has been despondent since her arrival, often heard sobbing herself to sleep at night. A week passed before she shared any words with those around her, seeming to recognize that sobbing would do little to help the situation or gain her allies within her confines. She has shared, as there has been much time to do so, the events that lead her to the Eye. The tale of the suspicious death of her love - a sin, but one that Lelyanna saw no point to hide anymore - Arriana, her pupil and dearest friend in the world. Arriana's days of mentorship were coming to a close, she expected to take her vows and join the ranks of the Val'Mihra in just a few short weeks. With the Sul's days ending, so too had that meant Lelyanna's days as a mentors were coming to end. After many years of teaching, and learning herself in controlling and honing her Talent, she was chosen to be part of a prestigious convoy destined for the capital, Terlay. With heavy hearts, both women seemed to sense the impending end to their relationship, years long in the making. Few at the Eye were without sin of some kind, and as Lelyanna shared herself with those around her, the weight of what had happened grew smaller, denser, into resolve. Into vengeance. On one of their last nights together, Lelyanna left Arriana's rooms late at night, under the guise of calming last minute nerves - common enough among the Sul entering the Val. A few hours later, still before the sun rose, she was woken by her lover. The woman barged into her chambers, her chest soaked in blood. "They are coming, they are returning, you must stop them, they won't! They won't in time!" She held her as she died, her life ebbing away in what had seemed to be bouts of hysteria. The woman spoke of gods breaking their chains, of Order that would not stop them, she pleaded with Lelyanna for a promise, a promise that she would ensure the Mihra would act. When all was said and done, Lelyanna was forced before a counsel of Rals, to explain the circumstances of Arriana's death. No signs of an intruder were found, no weapon left behind. The Ral labeled Arriana a heretic posthumously, and with the close ties between the women, and Lelyanna's grief filled rebuttals, so too was she branded. Such promising talent, wasted to heretical beliefs and sent to rot in the Eye. Cavoren (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Cavoren (open) Cavoren (close) Name: Cavoren Former Profession: Trapper, poacher, wanderer Talent: N/A Personality: Background: Cavoren has been a resident at the Eye for nearly twenty years, one of the longest term residents at the prison. While the time there has nearly broken both body and mind, he has survived, even if just barely at times. The stories of his incarceration are well known among the other inhabitants. There are countless tales of his attempts at escape, the way he tells it, he nearly succeeded a few times, were it not for some jealous, fellow prisoners who called loudly for the Vigilants. More so, he often speaks of his time before the Eye, when he was a young man, and arrogant. Often cackling as he retells these stories for the hundredth time, he speaks of the deer poached from the emperor's lands. Of his miraculous escapes until one time, his luck ran out. Few believe that a man would be sentenced to the Eye for the comparatively petty crime of poaching, though. Cavoren, usually so talkative, says little when pressed on the matter. Rumors abound that he was a leader of a band of cultists - nomads - who traveled the breadth of Terlayne, adding followers to their cause. It is whispered that Cavoren's cult was one of the last large groups the Mihra silenced, with a membership into the hundreds of adherents. Arterion (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Arterion (open) Arterion (close) Tayana (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Tayana (open) Tayana (close) Appearance: (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Appearance: (open) Appearance: (close) Name: Tayana Former Profession: None Talent: None Personality: Fill in the details below using the options in the link given above. These are the terms that would most commonly (not always) be ascribed to the character. If one of the descriptors/synonyms sounds or feels better to use, please feel free to do so. Overview: Primary Motivator: Discovery Emotional Disposition: Calm Moodiness: Even-tempered (bordering on labile) Core Traits: Outlook: Resigned Integrity: Pragmatic Impulsiveness: Rash Boldness: Daring Flexibility: Adaptable Affinity: Empathetic (if still somewhat harsh) Comportment: Sanctimonious Interactivity: Listener Disclosure: Cryptic Conformity: Exotic Religion & Spirituality: Keep in mind the world and the ever presence of the Mihra/Order. Most citizens will be at the very least distrustful of anyone claiming to follow a religion other than the Mihra. Adherence: Casual Adherence (to the beliefs of her home, not the Order) Tolerance: Inclusive Expression of Beliefs: Occasional Attitude: Somewhere along the judgmental-humble line Minor Details: Choose 3-5 of the following. Quirks, Habits, and Oddities: Singing, Snacking, Tree climbing. Hobbies and Enjoyments: Acrobatics, Dancing, Eating. Background: Very little is known by very few, even among the members of the Mihra assigned to the Eye, in regards to Tayana. A conundrum wrapped up in a mystery, no one can really place the talentless girl, with the skin of one of the native islanders, the straight in which the Eye sits. Those who do understand her presence, or at least seem to, are overly cautious in their bearing towards her. Whatever she may have done, there are those who fear her, and, often mutually, wish her dead simply out of risk management. Tayana is not anti-social, she simply does not expand on her past, or her reasons for being imprisoned, which has resulted in her being somewhat withdrawn. What little of her past that has arisen over the years is that she was, in fact, largely raised among the people she resembles, although she had a previously disjointed childhood, evidently running from something. Despite being barely into her 20s, Tayana is one of the longest remaining residents in the Eye, having been held within the halls of the prison since before the passing of her first decade and thus the young woman has connections across the complex, be it with wardens or prisoners, very few, beyond the individuals previously mentioned, have much of a problem with her. An easy prisoner, some would even consider her friendly with most, if somewhat standoffish. While generally fairly optimistic, or at least not down trodden by the situation in the Eye after all this time, discussing the wider state of the empire or the Mihra often either provokes or drives off Tayana. While on a human level she can handle pretty much anyone, it is clear the wider scope of things plagues on her. Beyond her social interactions with others, and the endless debate as to why she's actually in the prison, nothing further is known about Tayana, other than perhaps her occasional longing for the nature of the outside world, and a suitable meal. Accepted Characters (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Accepted Characters (open) Accepted Characters (close) Lyra by Dervish (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Lyra by Dervish (open) Lyra by Dervish (close) Lyra Appearance:A relatively short young woman of a fair, pale complexion who stands on the diminutive side at 5’04” on a slender frame with only the slightest bit of definition thanks to a semi-regular exercise routine. Her raven-black hair is kept short, tied back with a ribbon that just reaches her collar, and her bangs are parted to the side, reaching her cheeks. She is comely enough, with an oddly symmetrical face with complimentary features, but much like her mostly meek personality, she certainly does not stick out from a crowd. Perhaps her most striking feature are her pale-blue eyes, whose piercing gaze is often enough to catch people off guard. Name: Lyra Dundura Former Profession: Sul'Mihra Historian Apprentice Talent: Memory Alteration Talent Description (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Talent Description (open) Talent Description (close) Lyra’s Talent, called memory alteration, is an incredibly powerful talent that has a terrible cost to use. When Lyra touches another person, or at least their aura, she is capable of spilling into their minds and changing, removing, or even adding memories that are not the victim’s own, or even necessarily real, completely changing aspects of the victim, and perhaps completely damaging their lives in the process if a particularly malicious memory is planted. The potential of such a Talent is limited only by Lyra’s ambition, as she could use it to make someone think they owe her a favour, convince someone that they are lovers, walk past even the most vigilant guard, or turn someone who means her harm into an ally. However, the cost of this talent is substantial, and each time Lyra uses it, something changes within her own memory, and never of something of her choosing. Things she knows she should remember are lost forever, and many of the memories she has picked up from using her talent have become straight up contradictory to reality. While many of the false memories are benign, and other times traumatic experiences have disappeared from use of the Talent, there is a very real concern that continued use of the Talent will completely erase Lyra’s past, a prospect that terrifies her. Personality: Overview: Primary Motivator: Liberation Emotional Disposition: Anxious Moodiness: Even-Tempered Core Traits: Outlook: Distrustful Integrity: Meticulous Impulsiveness: Deliberate Boldness: Timid Flexibility: Adaptable Affinity: Stingy Comportment: Modest Interactivity: Shy Disclosure: Frank Conformity: Traditional Religion & Spirituality: Keep in mind the world and the ever presence of the Mihra/Order. Most citizens will be at the very least distrustful of anyone claiming to follow a religion other than the Mihra. Adherence: Casual Adherent Tolerance: Tolerant Expression of Beliefs: Occasional Attitude: Fearful Minor Details: Choose 3-5 of the following. Quirks, Habits, and Oddities: Daydreaming, Fingernail biting, Sleeping in Odd Places Hobbies and Enjoyments: Reading, Writing, Research, Bird Watching Background: ”I would love to be able to tell you about where I grew up, but frankly… I cannot recall.” Lyra, speaking to a friend in the Mirha While Lyra can’t remember exact details of her childhood, she did remember it being a happy time and somewhere much warmer than Ylavin. It isn’t something she speaks of often, and not because it brings back hard memories. She doesn’t speak of her past because she simply doesn’t remember a lot of it, along with many things in her life. Her Talent manifested early in life, forcing her family to give their daughter to the Mirha not only to follow the law, but to give Lyra the best chance she had at life. Regrettably, it would only take a few years before the last traces of the memories of her family were replaced with memories Lyra knew to be false or disappeared altogether. The true depth of the cost of Lyra’s talent were poorly understood by the Ral Mirha until it was too late; by encouraging and forcing Lyra to train her Talent, they were unwittingly erasing the few years of life the girl had already lived. By the time the Nhae'Mihra realized what was happening to the girl, Lyra’s only dependable memories in life were largely from when she arrived in Ylavin. It would become the only home she ever knew. She could have never have realized it, but her parents had tried to visit her a few years after giving her to the Mihra, but they were strangers by then, and had it not been inappropriate, she would have asked those strangers why they were crying. It wasn’t just her family that became strange to Lyra, but the world itself became a strange place that didn’t match up in her mind to what she saw around her, or read in her studies. Because of this, the young girl was largely kept isolated from her peers and only saw the same few tutors on a regular basis until they could figure out how best to deal with Lya’s unique situation. As with most good intentions, it proved to be detrimental as she was treated like an outsider at best, but more often than not her peers viewed her as a freak. The first ten years of Lyra’s life proved to be exceedingly lonely and terrifying. After several years and not pressured to develop her Talent, Lyra slowly began to develop an identity she knew to be her own and was reintegrated with other students, attending the same lectures and classes as them. It proved difficult initially, as one does not simply stop being viewed as a freak overnight. However, her kind personality and joy at being reintroduced to other students proved to be a boon as she gradually began to gain acceptance, and for the first time in her life, friends. Lyra’s Talent became less something that made her an abomination in her peer’s eyes and instead became something of an amusement or mischief. One night, Lyra’s friends had encouraged her to alter one of the Ral Mirha’s minds, something that was strictly prohibited, to convince the woman that they were given permission to make the trip to downtown Ylavin. While Lyra had humourously gained a false memory that the Jhae Mihra was in fact a cocker spaniel, the real trouble occurred when the group of friends decided to go to a tavern to drink for the first time. Most of the evening went off without a hitch and Lyra could even claim she was enjoying herself up until a particularly amorous young man tried to force himself on her, forcing her to react. She flooded the young man’s mind with terrible false memories of the tavern, and he quickly fled. Lyra’s friends quite enjoyed her quick thinking and in their attempt to congratulate her soon realized their mistake; Lyra couldn’t recognize one of them, Celia, even going so far as to being afraid of her. Lyra never said why, but until she was assured otherwise, she could have sworn Celia was a notorious serial killer. Even in the present, she still harbours fear of the girl, making the easy-going friendship they enjoyed impossible. Not long afterwards, Lyra was taken under a Ral Mihra named Favien, one of the order’s historians, as an apprentice. It was long decided it would be a good position for the now 16-year-old girl, as it would prove to be beneficial for someone who is never certain if her own memories are reliable accounts of reality. It was a stable environment, and Lyra took a fast love for the work and delving into stories of the past, learning of famous people, events, and places. Pacing the tedium of long-term study, achieving, and scripture writing, Lyra took up meditation to help sort and gather her thoughts, as well as a physical exercise routine that helped keep her body from deteriorating from the long hours in the archives. For the first time in a long while, she felt as if she had a good handle on a normal, relatively-sane life. It reached a point where she felt confident enough to begin to practice her Talent, again, taking precautions such as a several journals worth of information and her associates to ideally correct any wrong memories that would spring forth from her practices. For the most part this seemed to work, and a veritable pile of notes pinned to the walls around her work station let her know her relationships with other people and to try to trust whatever they had to say, an easier said than done task. Despite her precautions over the years, Lyra knew she was losing more and more of herself each time she practiced her Talent, growing more ambitious in what she’d attempted on willing subjects. Her instructors began to push her harder and forced her to attempt her memory alterations more frequently, becoming more than her precautions could possibly hope to correct. The woman, now in her early 20s, began to grow afraid that it would reach a point that none of the memories she’d possess were her own, and that the Ral Mihra and Nhae'Mihra would take advantage of the situation, forging her into a tool of their desires. Already her life was confined to the walls of the Mihra, a comfortable prison, but a prison none-the-less. For the first time in her life, Lyra began to look at escaping her life to find one better, one where she wouldn’t be controlled or forced to lose what little shreds of herself she still had. Having thought she timed an escape perfectly, Lyra had attempted a get away without drawing undue attention to herself and it had been her hope to slip away without confrontation. However, as she crossed the moonless courtyard, an all-too familiar voice called after her; Her mentor, Favien. She ran as hard as she could, but was soon cornered by the Ral Mihra that had took her under his wing years ago. Favien tried to coax her back inside where they could discuss matters, but Lyra had begun to panic; she had staked too much on her freedom and sanity to go back now. When she attempted to run once more, the older man grabbed her arm, unwittingly forcing Lyra into using her Talent to break free from his grasp, convincing the man they had never met and he was escorting her out of the premises. Unfortunately, her own memory had altered, convincing the young woman that the Mihra were trying to kill her via experimentation instead of forcing her to hone her Talent, and it became too much to bear; she tried to violently escape from Favien and her screams drew the attention of the guards, whom she greeted with horrified screams. After several panicked minutes, one of the Ral Mihra used her Talent to put Lyra to sleep. When she awoke, it was in a sealed carriage on the way to The Eye due to her unauthorized use of a Talent on a mentor, causing irrevocable damages, and being unsuited for a life in the Mihra. Of course, a woman with a Talent cannot be let to go free, so Lyra was banished to the only place the Mihra thought would be suitable for a troubled, and dangerous, girl like her. While she's only been in her new "home" for a bit over two months now, Lyra knows of the Eye's reputation and that it's only a matter of time before the wardens take a particular interest in her Talent, and when that happens, her identity is as good as gone forever. Armod by Jorick (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Armod by Jorick (open) Armod by Jorick (close) Appearance: Image shows pre-imprisonment Armod. Finding decent non-anime images of one-eyed guys is hard enough, never mind trying to find a simple portrait of such. Image (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Image (open) Image (close) Damned thing won't auto-resize if it's not in a spoiler for some reason. Image borrowed from Sky-Byte-Haiku on deviantart. Name: Armod Orthall Former Profession: Brigand/Thug/Highwayman as needed. Talent: Resurrection Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler Armod can bring dead things back to life with their mortal wounds healed by simply looking at the corpse and willing it back to life. This power of course comes with a steep price, and it comes in the most blunt form possible: direct physical harm inflicted on his body. Through cautious experimentation, Armod has found that the wound he takes for reviving a dead thing is vaguely proportional to the size (or perhaps complexity, he is not sure) of the creature he returns to life. There is a time limit to his Talent that seems to be about 24 hours; if the target has been dead for longer than a day, trying to resurrect it will still inflict the requisite damage on his body but the corpse will remain dead. In his few experiments Armod found that resurrecting a small beetle could cause anything from a fairly shallow gash two inches in length to a deep (not quite to the bone) cut up about four inches long, and they appear with no discernible pattern on different places on his body. When he revived a middling sized rat, the smallest finger of his left hand was immediately cut off. When he brought a cat back to life, his left eye was ripped violently from his head. Though he has never dared attempt it, Armod estimates that reviving a human could cost him anything from an entire limb to instant death. Personality: Overview: Primary Motivator: Acquisition and Balance Emotional Disposition: Melancholy Moodiness: Phlegmatic Core Traits: Outlook: Bleak Integrity: Pragmatic (which I would argue actually sits between conscientious and unscrupulous) Impulsiveness: Thoughtful Boldness: Cautious Flexibility: Flexible Affinity: Cold Comportment: Discordant Interactivity: Engaging Disclosure: Secretive Conformity: Freethinking Religion & Spirituality: Adherence: Agnostic Tolerance: Tolerant Expression of Beliefs: Occasional Attitude: Irreverent Minor Details: Quirks, Habits, and Oddities: Pacing, Beard stroking, Blade sharpening, Sleeping in odd places, Stealing Hobbies and Enjoyments: Cards, Dicing, Gambling, Eating, Drinking Background: Armod has been a resident of the Eye for five years, give or take a few weeks due to inaccurate mental timekeeping. Though he engaged in illegal activities like theft and assault to keep himself fed, the reasons he was sent to the Eye in specific were his Talent and his opinion that there should actually be a balance in the world rather than a tyranny of Order. The Mihra declared that his words and power were abominations against Order, for balance would mean the existence of chaos and the dead should stay dead, so he was thrown in with the other heretics. There are three things that are well known about Armod due to them being the only topics he tends to bother talking about. First, his thoughts on how the world should be balanced between the chaotic and orderly, rather than beholden to only one or the other. Second, his dreams of becoming disgustingly wealthy so he can live his life in comfort with no further effort required. Third, he blames his discovery and incarceration on the cat he brought back to life, for he had gone many years without the Mihra making any more effort to catch him than they did any average bandit, but some child saw him use his Talent to revive the cat and spoke of it, and then when he woke up after being knocked out by the pain of his eye being ripped out he was in chains. Other than that, Armod keeps his past to himself. He's willing to speak to others, but he gives almost nothing of himself away in doing so. Cedric by Cider (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Cedric by Cider (open) Cedric by Cider (close) Appearance (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Appearance (open) Appearance (close) While aging, Cedric retains a handsome if somewhat intimidating appearance, no doubt helping him in his efforts to sway others. He is tall and slimly built, with a confident posture and stern resting facial expression. Name: Cedric Korragan Former Profession: Apothecary and community leader. Talent: None. Personality: Overview: Primary Motivator: Liberation (struggled to choose which one of these, education and power that's primary). Emotional Disposition: Contemptuous. Moodiness: Even-tempered. Core Traits: Outlook: Bleak (yet idealistic and confident regarding the future). Integrity: Manipulative, deceitful. Impulsiveness: Controlled. Boldness: Vigilant. Flexibility: Tolerant. Affinity: Empathic, nurturing. Comportment: Cultured, courteous. Interactivity: Engaging. Disclosure: Mysterious (happy to tell stories, true or not). Conformity: Rebellious, freethinking. Religion & Spirituality: Adherence: Orthodox adherent. Tolerance: Intolerant. Expression of Beliefs: Occasional. Attitude: Judgmental. Minor Details: Quirks, Habits, and Oddities: Superstitious, humming, reciting poetry, substance use. Hobbies and Enjoyments: Calligraphy, reading, storytelling, drinking, research. Background: Cedric hails from a smaller (town-sized, barely), remote fishing society called Arles, where he supposedly spent his entire life up until being arrested and sent to the Eye two years ago. His parents ran a pharmacy in town, and as Cedric grew up it was only natural to become an apothecary himself, working in his parents' shop. The years went by and while his parents passed, Cedric himself came to be a respected man in the town, known for his kindness, empathic ways and confident personality. He took it upon himself to improve the life of the locals, often voicing his growing complacency with the local authority - the mayor and his council, much to these people's dismay. As time went on, Cedric's popularity rose while his personal views strayed further and further from those of Order. In secrecy, he started researching old belief systems, religions and lifestances alike, and took a particular liking to some of them, over time mending them to a belief system of his own. He took up responsibilities in the community, using his penetrating aura and personality to his advantage in gaining the locals' trust in tasking him with various missions and objectives, like restoring the local church, building new homes as well as holding ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and discussions regarding town politics. The mayor grew furious but practically incapable of doing anything about the situation as Cedric had the people with him, and soon enough Cedric felt secure and confident enough to start preaching his religion in relative secrecy. This proved to be a dire mistake. While he attained a small following, for some townspeople these controversial views proved too much, and eventually the mayor was informed, who in turn quickly made sure to pass on the information to the Mihra. The latter investigated the situation, decided that the accusations were true and promptly sent Cedric to the Eye, while his few followers were executed. Everything above is naturally merely what Cedric himself has claimed. Whether his story is true or not, Cedric's outlook and views have turned darker since being sent to the Eye. His dislike for the Mihra has become outright resentment, he has grown contemptuous and he fears for state of Terlayne in the hands of the Mihra. Where his primary motivation in his life had previously been beneficience and, later, education, more radical views have taken root, and Cedric knows many more must share his views. Since coming to the Eye, Cedric has selectively shared his views with other prisoners, attaining a small following of a handful people. Ermott by Blandman (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Ermott by Blandman (open) Ermott by Blandman (close) Appearance: Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler Name: Ermott Fernus Former Profession: Traveller and self-proclaimed Knowledge Seeker Talent: None Personality: Overview: Primary Motivator: Discovery and Understanding Emotional Disposition: Calm Moodiness: Even-Tempered Core Traits: Outlook: Cynical Integrity: Industrious Impulsiveness: Steady Boldness: Daring Flexibility: Relentless Affinity: Stingy Comportment: Gruff Interactivity: Taciturn/Listener Disclosure: Frank Conformity: Free-Thinking Religion & Spirituality: Adherence: Agnostic Tolerance: Tolerant Expression of Beliefs: None Attitude: Humble Minor Details: Quirks, Habits, and Oddities: Collects odd things, sleeping in odd places, smelling things, tree climbing Hobbies and Enjoyments: Reading, research, writing Background: Ermott has kept his cards close to his chest, and his past closer still. What he has chosen to talk about has been given very cautiously and in short answers. It is known that he's been in the Eye for at least a year, that he was caught somewhere he should not have been, that his knowledge of the world is more than most and that he has been branded thief for 'stealing knowledge'. Though he chooses not to tell anyone, Ermott is just a traveller and has long been fascinated with history, particularly history before the Mihra. Now a man of 37, Ermott has been wandering for well over 10-years, leading a solitary life of scholarly pursuit. For all those years he has explored the lost, the forgotten and the old places of Terlayne, delving deep down, climbing massive peaks and fording rivers. The knowledge he has gleamed from such travelling is invalueable, yet has mired his view of current affairs, made him a cynical man to what he sees around him, to this so called 'Order'. His solitude has led to him being socially inept, but he does not usually mean it in a bad way. He just doesn't see why people need to know things about him. Though quiet and gruff at first, Ermott is actually quite a pleasant person, disposed to being kind when he can. But just as his travelling has made him cynical of Order, it has made him cautious of people after one too many betrayals or close-calls with unscrupulous sorts. Such close scraps have given him a good all-round knowledge in the art of survival, however. What martial prowess he has with steel or bow has been self-taught and so his movements are unrefined. Ermott's true talents lie within world knowledge, hether it be geographical, political, religious or cultural. If Ermott has not been there, he has more often than not heard of it. He has even started using his experience to help draw more refined maps than are currently available, finding cartography particularly rewarding. But it was his very pursuit of knowledge that led to Ermott being locked away. Whilst exploring an old ruin in the north he uncovered a lockbox containing old pieces of parchment that detailed some of the old gods that region had once worshipped. Little did he know that a group of Val'Mihra, led by a Ral'Mihra known as Gelbaum, had been seeking out these very documents to place within the confines of their tower. Ermott, knowing his situation was an impossible one surrendered himself, yet was still branded a thief and potentially a heretic; one for taking that which did not belong to him, and two for having read heretical documents, the likes of which could corrupt minds. He has been enjoying the hospitality of the Eye ever since. Brant by Sini (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Brant by Sini (open) Brant by Sini (close) Appearance: Eye candy (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Eye candy (open) Eye candy (close) Name: Brantimokem “Brant” Former Profession: Ral’Mihra Talent: Pyromancy - “Think I fart fire?” Brant can manipulate the element of fire, ranging from a variety of ranged casting to heating things and spontaneous combustion. However, due to the volatile, unpredictable nature of fire, there is always risk of a sudden backlash, incinerating not only Brant but his immediate surroundings as well. The longer he goes without casting, the more powerful the spell due to the build-up of raw power. Even as a Ral’Mihra, Brantimokem gets burnt by his own power, the more the longer he uses it. Personality: Overview: Primary Motivator: Liberation, Rebellion and Understanding Emotional Disposition: Angry Moodiness: Labile Core Traits: Outlook: Pessimistic Integrity: Conscientious Impulsiveness: Controlled (though possible to lose it) Boldness: Intrepid Flexibility: Stubborn Affinity: Cold (ironically) Comportment: Discordant Interactivity: Doesn’t that vary? Disclosure: Candid Conformity: Heterodox Religion & Spirituality: Adherence: Casual adherent Tolerance: Inclusive Expression of Beliefs: minimal Attitude: impious Minor Details: Quirks, Habits, and Oddities: Constant grooming and beard stroking (he has such magnificent red hair, the moustache needs constant attention), Substance use (fond of the drink and ‘fire salts’, though he has had no access to them for years), mumbling (result of years of isolation) Hobbies and Enjoyments: Pipe smoking (either tobacco or crystals), Glassmaking (melting sand and making glass objects is a soothing form of therapy), Research, alchemy Background: Brant had been a rising star in the Mihra Order. However, in his ambition he reached too high and fell. Now, he is a shattered memory of his former self. His time of incarceration at the Eye has led him to develop bouts of hysteria, personality crises and mania. In short, he is a broken toy. It was not always so. A steady climb through the ranks of the Mihra saw him enfranchised as the leader of archeological pursuits. As Ral’Mihra, he spent his time between the capital, the Order’s headquarters and the excavations and projects in the field. It was there where he first got in contact with something that would change his life. An enigmatic artifact of unknown power was uncovered at a remote dig site. After preliminary inspection, Brant decided to study the object personally. Long nights of intensive research and experimentation followed. Nevertheless, the longer he dealt with the arcane item, the more erratic his behaviour became, until it translated on the use of his powers. A few fires later, Brant found comfort in a crystallised distillation of Toshroot. The drug helped him control his outburst and aided him in focusing so he might discover the secrets of the artifact. Due to the red colour of the crystals, Brant named the substance fire salts. However, the Mihra found out that he had been skimming the herb import carts from the A’Tosh swamps. Toshroot was used as a healing condiment and secondary (though only known to the Mihra) to calm talents, and the Mihra controlled its supply and distribution. At the moment of his arrest, a short confrontation between the Mihra agents and the former Ral took place. In the battle, a large portion of the residence went up in flame, and the artifact shattered in hundreds of tiny fragments, some of which were lodged beneath Brant’s skin due to the explosions. When he came to, he was covered in self-inflicted burns, had been restrained and was on a prisoner transport to the Eye. Without access to the soothing fire salts, Brant caused several minor fires in his time at the Eye, at one point even melting sheer rock in what seemed to be otherworldly rage. Nevertheless, further use of his talent was curtailed due to the rations of Toshroot the gaolors at the Eye mix in with his allowed drinks. Fortunately, the herb has considerable healing properties, which has allowed him to stay in shape in spite of being kept largely in isolation. Brant, oft kept in isolation, has had little contact with other inmates, though he is vaguely aware of their existence. Alternatively, he is a well-known prisoner due to his former rank and queer behaviour.