"It hasn't been that long ago... do you still remember? How could you all have forgotten... " - Kera Care, 4th of the Holy Swords of Extalia In the eastern part of the continent, a kingdom spanned across forgotten aeons. The ancient land was called Extalia and the kingdom which formed there bore the same name. Despite the difficulties it caused, the land had remained covered in trees for the most part and each morning and evening a thick mist covered most of the place. Extalians were mostly hunters and gatherers, though several big cities spawned, where crafts flourished. Raxia didn't have much of a formal military in terms of raw numbers, although every man and most of the women knew how to use a knife and a bow. It was a strange place, as despite being a kingdom the centralised authority didn't seem to be very centralised as small communities lived away from each other and each one of them as well as each city seemed like a different island of civilisation in the see of trees. An ancient tale speaks of a rare type of beast that wonders these lands. For its long history, Extalia has formed a relationship with those lands their other inhabitants which has managed to helped it survive many conquer attempts. The once magnificent kingdom of Extalia had fallen, swept away from the face of the earth in the Zehi Empire's expansion. The last king of Extalia bent the knee twenty seven years ago and faced public execution at the hands of the Emperor's Holy inquisition, so as to preserve the lives of his subjects from a war that was deemed untenable to win. With Extalia's fall, the entirety of the continent was untied under the Empire's mighty fist. What begun as an era of terror and forced population movement quickly settled in a profitable peace, hence stomping most rebellion attempts dead in their tracks. Merchants and traders could travel freely from one side of the continent to another and the flow of goods never ceased to increase. The lush forests of Extalia begun to make space for garrisons and resorts for the endless armies of the Empire. The lumber was quickly utilised for the needs of the massive construction sites that spawned all across Raxia, beginning to terraform the land into cities and trade posts, just as the rest of the empire. The shamanistic traditions of Extalia were quickly outlawed and their band was strictly enforced by the Inquisition - a group of the best and most loyal imperial soldiers, responding directly to the imperial family. But too much good is never good, as the Extalians used to say. As it comes with all great empires, internal political struggles took root and the current emperor's three sons and two daughters each struggle to grab the throne for themselves after their father's demise. In this struggle the pawns are the ordinary people and the princes and princesses trade those mercilessly. In the wake of the political unrest, a new menace has spawned in the former Extalian territories - a cult of some sort that has managed to elude the Inquisition's sharp gaze and expand its influence. Not just elude, but also fight off, as not a single confirmed cultist was tortured, despite the Inquisition having doubled its efforts. The cult is something that Extalians refuse to talk about even when threatened with severe punishment, it is something of their country's past, something dark and sinister that they wish to leave buried under the forest floor of their predominantly mountainous kingdom, now a mere province. And here is where our story begins: The following information had been written over a scroll, a transcription of the dialogue with an Extalian hunter who is supposed to have been hiding sightings of the cult. "We know you have been keeping quiet on them, tell us why and we will be merciful." inquisitor Keerx speaks after having watched the man scream in pain as his freshly inflicted wounds were covered in salt and vinegar "You... you don't scare me any longer.... what I... what I have seen..." the man is in his fourties, a father of three, his body is bleeding and covered in scars, sweat and blood cover his chest and burrow, he is having trouble speaking "You may not be afraid of us, but you have a family. We could bring them here too. How do you think they would like the same treatment?" "What you can do to them... is nothing." the man looks deranged, as he stares back at inquisitor Keerx for the first time and begins to scream "YOU HEAR ME, INQUISITOR - N O T H I N G!!! I WOULD RATHER HAVE MY KIDS TORN APART BY YOUR DOGS, THAN WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO US ALL, IF I TELL ANYONE ABOUT THEM!!!" "Cease this foolishness!" a female inquisitor speaks, she had been silent so far. Her name is Grand Inquisitor Mae - the only female Grand Inqusitor in the organisation "We are the Holy Inquisition. We protect the citizens of the empire from corruption! The torture you are enduring is all because you are suspected of aiding an unholy force. Assist us, and we shall apprehend those cultists and protect your people! It is as simple as that, no harm could ever come to you as long as we keep watch!" she speaks in a soft, yet determined voice, attempting to reassure the beaten man Yet... he laughs. A dark and prolonged laugh that has not a single bit of joy in it, though a certain degree of shadenfreude. "You foolish morons" he looks at her dead in the eyes and laughs again "Your pitiful little organisation is powerless against the powers that have been unleashed. You were so happy to have gotten rid out our sovereignty... to have murdered our king... but through this victory... you have doomed yourselves. We were the keepers, the king and his men... they were the locks. With Extalia disbanded... YOU WILL ALL PERISH!!!" The man had died several moments later. Our chronists have traced the expression "the king's men" further than its general meaning - it also reffers to a distinct group of warriors, the Last King's inner circle of generals, called the Four Holy Swords. Each of them is believed to have a godlike power and to be an incarnation of a certain virtue and each of them carries that virtue as a second name. For some reason, though, not a word of them was heard during the impeding conflict between the kingdom and the empire. Some amongst us think they are nothing more than a local folklore. And yet... The Inqusition has made it its primary task to track down at least one of these people and discover their true purpose, as well as enlist their aid towards uncovering the cult's origins. The royal family's princes and princesses each have ties deep within the Inqusition and for this reason, their trusted servants tend to work alone, or in independent small groups, which further slows down the research speed. Nevertheless, speed is something that can be sacrificed in pursuit of this endeavour, as there are high chances that the one Royal, who manages to absolve the impending darkness and deal with the rumoured cult, is going to have a huge advantage in the bid for the Empire's crown. And now, you have caught one of the Four Sword's track... I will be taking the role of one of the Four Holy Swords, who retired to the most northern part of the empire, where winter last for longer and often the ocean freezes, allowing for a rumoured travels to a distant land on the other side of the world, that sailors yet to reach due to the constant sea storms surrounding most of the continent. As the winter is actually just beginning to take its hold over the entire Empire, your character is quite worried, as it is not unexpected that the man you are looking for may actually be planning on taking that dreaded journey to the end of the known world. After all, what would you expect from a man, whose second name, the one supposed to represent his prime vitue, is "Calamity"? ---------------------------------------------------------------You will be taking the role of either Inqusitor Kerx or Grand Inqusitor Mae. Each of them has secretly sworn their loyalty to a member of the royal family for a different reason. You are completely free to make up their stories, their second names and the type of relationship with the royalty. You are also free to depict how your character came up to catch mine's trail. My descriptions of this world have been deliberately vague, so as to allow worldbuilding space for both of us to work with. If you are interested, PM me the story and motivation of your character. Also, have worldbuilding skills and be willing to build, colour and create details in this world together with me and on your own!