The Beasts of Civilization "It is the opinion of this historian that the true nature of our political landscape first took shape when our ancestors foreswore the use of claws made of flesh and bone, and too up claws made of iron." -from 'Being a True History of Calabria' by Alysha Yenot The continent of Calabria, a rather large island centered in the important shipping lanes between the west and the east. Besides this, the nations of the world avoid and take the long route around the continent, rather than landing upon it and implementing a land route for shipping. The reason being are it's natives. The people of Calabria are animals. Or rather, some sort of evolution of animal. They walk on two legs, in the shape of man, speak in man's tongue, and display the virtues and vices of man... though, like the animals they resemble, even in their grand cities, with their talk of honor and diplomacy... the humans of the world still feel they act as animals. When they war, it is with not just with sword and tactic... but with fang and instinct as well. Their 'magic' is different than the elves' magic... their bodies are stranger than the bodies of humans... their wars are bloodier than the most vicious orc skirmish. They are the Calabrians, and they are currently without a ruler. King Malthus Rinaldi IV, scion of the ruling house of Rinaldi, and the bringer of an age of renaissance... died peacefully in his sleep, heirless. While there was an investigation of the middle age foxes' death, no foul play could be identified. He merely... passed away, his soul refusing to re-enter the body even under the guidance of the S'allumer church's miracle workers. After the period of mourning, the realization hit: the throne was up for grabs. While the petty warlords down below fight for the 'right to rule'... the true rulers fight from the courtrooms... and in the shadows. A warrior-king is good for a while, but the nobles know: What Calabria needs now is the nobility on the throne... which nobility, however, has yet to be decided... Will it be your lord? Will it be one of the squabbling warlords? Will a peasant rise to take the ranks? Will the head of one of the households take grasp of the throne...? Or maybe... it will be you. The Four Great Houses These four houses hold the most power. Except for the Rinaldi, which is in decline, all of the other houses hold two or more Lesser Houses in their control. Each is given with a little history on the house and the race. Personalities vary wildly among the people - disturbingly similar to humans. You don't have to be of a certain house to be a certain race, but it helps you get further up the ranks. Rinaldi, the House of Silver Foxes. House Rinaldi has ruled for generations, using their magic, sixth sense, and cleverness to rule Calabria justly and fairly. It will be a great tragedy to the peasantry to see their reign end. Avoirdupois, the House of Horses. They claim their house is the oldest and the proudest of all time. A house of honor and swordplay, they give their lives and their blades to the church of S'allumer, the largest religion in Calabria. Bisclavret, The House of Wolves. Inventive and family-minded, you cannot insult a Bisclavret without involving their entire extended household. They were the first to implement firearms into their warfare. Doloreaux, the House of Boars. Traditional and stubborn, they hold by 'the old ways'... spinning nature magic, farming, and the worship of the 'Great Mother'... a religion based on the earth and womanhood. The Minor Houses These houses serve the Great Houses with their own insight. These royal lines were put into their position by the Rinaldi kings of the past. Aoreilles: Rabbit. They serve the Avoidupois, guarding the homeland. Avinge: Shrew. They serve the Doloreaux, and are whalers. Blaireu: Badger. They serve the Bisclavret. Were once servants to the Rinaldi, then the Avoirdupois. Casque: Armadillo. They serve the Avoirdupois, but are notoriously disloyal. Chevernaise: Goats. They serve the Doloreaux as raiders in the mountains. Ecorcheaur: Rhino. They serve the Avoirdupois, who defeated them in war. Esclage: Hedgehog. They serve the Bisclavret. A declining house with delusions of grandeur. Originally slavers. Feocullan; Skunk. They serve no one. Swamp-dwelling raiders. Fiach: Raven. They serve no one. Unpredictable. Keylljeyder: Elk/Deer. They serve no one. Woodsy, mysterious. Lissemanteau: Ermine/Mink. They serve the Avoirdupois. Gained their lands and title through suspect means. Phelan: Wolf. They serve no one. Pseudo-celtic. Opposes civilization. Plessis: Wild Dog. They serve the Avoirdupois. Conquered, reduced to serfdom. Quennel: Squirrel. They serve the Doloreaux, who "crushed" them. Repense: Bat/Mouse. They serve the Bisclavret. Astrology-obsessed and strange. Screeberaugh: Wild Cat. They serve no one. They loathe the Phelan, and that loathing causes some tribes to join with the Bisclavret. Thierry: Bear. They serve the Doloreaux. None are allowed "within the walls of Calabria" for forgotten reasons. Triskellian: Various Races. While originally the name of a city dominated by House Rinaldi, it has been taken over by the merchants and their guilds, becoming a 'melting pot house'. Scoffed at by "true" nobility. Note: This is meant to be a game of political intrigue and dastardly behind-the-scenes behavior. Characters with no place within the walls of civilization, or characters built solely for combat, will NOT be accepted unless they are the bodyguard, servant, or other acceptable connection to another character. Use whatever character sheet you feel comfortable with. Humans and other races of "the world" will be accepted within reason - and backstory backing up WHY they'd be here.