The Grey King

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Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici
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Every being has darkness in their hearts, as it what gives them their power.

Long ago, this continent was separated into two ever-warring regions, the White Faction and the Black Principality. The two became separate based on the levels of darkness in their hearts, but do not misinterpret; for the level in one’s heart does not determine their disposition, only the nature of their powers. While there are some races that are innately have these powers, there are some who had the power to change the darkness within themselves and align themselves to wherever they wished, namely humans. Each was ruled by one who epitomized their powers, the White Pontifex and the Black Warlord, who sought to destroy their foe. In time this was forged into a cycle, wherein each side continually failed to have their foe assassinated and killed war after war after war. To many it was a pointless and ethereal existence as the wars never ended... until one fateful day. In the middle of a great battlefield there emerged a single man wearing a grey robe, who in one hand utilized powerful White Magic and in the other Black Magic, bringing the battle to a stop. He ended the cycle as he slew the White Pontifex and the Black Warlord, and was to be forever known as the Grey Sorcerer, the First King and the Grand Unifier.

And thus, the Grey Kingdom was born, ruled by the first of a bloodline known as the Grey Kings, taking upon that line the surname of “Grey.” The two lands united, and in the meantime the successors to the positions of the Black Warlord and the White Pontifex were permitted to ascend to their positions, but only after swearing a great fealty to the Grey King and to his house. They were made equivalent to dukes, nobles directly below the Royal House, holding the authority of lords. The land was carved into the Thirteen Provinces, with each of the pair having one in their direct domain as ten of the others were placed of newly-appointed noble families. The Thirteen Province, Arul-Sur, housed the capital city of Tanis within which was held the Parliament, the Great Court, and on the outskirts of the city was Erebos, the Royal Palace, carved into the side of the great Mount Raj’ul. The Grey King himself had four main advisors; the Prime Minister who lead the Parliament and the Tribunal who governed the Great Court. The Tribunal was lead by the three most powerful wizards and scholars, one of each of the Three Paths. In other words, the Tribunal consisted of the Black Sage, the Grey Sage, and the White Sage. In due time the surrounding kingdoms acknowledged the Grey King as the sovereign of this newly formed land, sparking the illuminated path to their combined futures.

There, however, are various rules regarding who may ascend to the mantle and become the Grey King or Grey Queen. The primary candidate, as with all monarchies, is the firstborn child. If they are naturally born with a grey heart they begin their training as soon as possible. If they are born with a white or black heart, they must overcome the existing nature of their heart and attain a grey heart; if they fail they are no longer worthy of the throne and next eldest child of the monarch shall be named the primary candidate. To even be among those considered for candidacy, the child must be at least half human. This is in regards to the belief that wisdom is greater when achieved in a mortal form as opposed to an immortal form. The candidate must go through the a rite called “The Grey Mantle,” wherein the individual is tested on various physical, magical, and psychological levels over a period of time that usually amounts to three days. There has never been a ruler of the Grey Kingdom who failed to meet these requirements.

We now come to the life of the current king, the thirteenth in the direct succession of the Grey House, His Majesty Ichabod Thasius Grey, the current Grey King. An only child, Ichabod’s mother died shortly after he gave birth to him and his father died in combat during his sixth year, leading to an odd situation where he was the Grey King in all but name from a young age, passing laws and ruling over the country. For when the Grey Kingdom was founded the Grey King still wielded absolute authority, but the legislature and the courts, on both national and provincial levels, were separated from him to aid in perfecting the focus of the Grey King’s administration. He himself sought solace in the writings of the Grey Sage, as he walked the Grey Path by himself, his experience with the Grey Mantle administered by the current Prime Minister, Tribunal, White Pontifex and Black Warlord, along with the spirit of the Grey Sorcerer himself. But that did not matter, as he had done what no human had ever done: he had conquered the most of the known world.

As he grew, he rarely had circumstances where he experienced a moment where his emotions were on the brighter side of things, growing to be a person devoid of the loving-kindness many people cherish within themselves. Since his sixth year he proved himself to be a ruthless and stern general and tactician, his strategies simplistic at the time now evolved in full conquest. All the nations who saw the opportunity to take land from the Grey Kingdom and its child ruler usually found themselves conquered and annexed, with the Grey Kingdom controlling the entirety of the Northern Continent, Atlas, as well as most of the Central Continent, Nexus, along with sizable chunks of the other three continents; Tulos to the east, Phaios to the west, and Renas to the south. There were various other countries on these other continents, though three of them (one on each continent) were of great size and strength. As time passed Ichabod reluctantly agreed to a treaty that split Nexus four ways between the major nations, relinquishing two-thirds of his territory solely on Nexus (while retaining the greatest amount of territory throughout the known world) because he acted in the interest of the Grey Kingdom. The most unstable relationship for the Grey Kingdom was the Oronil Empire on the continent of Renas. Oronil could not match the Grey Kingdom for might, but the people of that empire had an ancient magic that allowed them to control the weather and the winds, allowing them to live primarily in an isolation wherein their culture was protected. Eventually Oronil permitted for the Grey Kingdom to establish an embassy on Oronil’s soil, the Ambassador to Oronil charged with finding a peaceful solution to ease the stirring conflict between the two nations. The solution was an arranged marriage between one of the daughters of Oronil’s Empress to the Grey King, who, despite being in his twenty-second year, was still unmarried nor had ever taken upon himself a harem of tributed concubines. He did not openly seek a wife, not preferring the company of sentients as he sought for himself isolation and privacy when he was not working with the other branches of government or attending to ambassadors or his enormous and efficient military. He, however, did not object to this arranged marriage as he considered it a duty to his kingdom and show his faith in the Ambassador appointed by himself and by the National Parliament.

It was now ten days after the agreement to the arranged marriage as informed to him by his scryers, which are mages training the art of scrying that allows for long distance communications such as between the Ambassador and the Grey King. Ichabod had been walking through the unoccupied, natural caverns of Mount Raj’ul where wildlife often went to hibernate in the harsh winters of the temperate taiga upon which the Thirteenth Province rested. Ichabod had often been beseeched to remove the animals from their home but he chose not to, as he (on various occasions) favored animals to sentients and saw no issue as they tended to leave Erebos alone. He now stood at the entrance at one of them, looking at the end of the taiga and the beginning of the grasslands that emerged and lead to the southern provinces on this continent. He chuckled and shrugged, then beginning to walk down the artificial path back to Erebos’ interior as he donned the hood of his grey robes to cover his light brown hair. At his side rested an ornate yet deadly longsword that he used to behead a traitor who openly rebelled against him in his throne room no more than two years ago. The robe itself signified his rank, but it also covered the many scars of warfare. He lead both on the battlefield and away from it, inspiring his soldiers and sailors and stirring their loyalty to him. He preferred not wear a crown or circlet of any kind, believing it be a rather useless piece of jewelry. Underneath the hood were two pale blue eyes that adorned his noble yet somber face, typically aiding in usually serious expression it wore. He came inside and removed his hood and his black gloves, revealing the Great Sigil, which is the ring proves his kingship, resting on his right ring finger. The gem was fastened in a circular cut (the gem itself is a grey quartz) and was mounted on white gold, the arrangement itself having some great symbolism that was lost to the ages long ago. Soon after he entered his home he was alerted that his fiancée was to arrive in a few minutes and would be escorted to the throne room. The young man sighed and nodded, moving to his throne, the larger of the two which stood side-by-side and carved from pure marble and gilded with obsidian and silver, and taking a seat. The throne room itself was large enough to hold a ball, and contained various tapestries and portraits commissioned or recovered in the reign of the previous monarchs.The main entrance consisted of double that together formed a shape akin to that of a steeple, and were carved to depict various legends that reflected one another. Soon enough his bride-to-be was let in and he stood up, approaching her with a neutral expression before he spoke, “I welcome you, Princess of Oronil, to my kingdom and to my home of Erebos. I am the current Grey King, Ichabod Thasius Grey. It is a pleasure to meet you.” He took her hand and kissed it, being gentlemanly as he rose up again for their eyes to meet as the Grey King stood taller than the princess.
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Love the amount of detail you put into the background/history.

However, what is the direct backstory? Who would our characters be, what would be their goal in this -- is it simply a sandbox, or is there an overarching plot line?
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