Terra Cina. The Land of Ash. Once known as Marthador, back in an age where Elves were lords and Men were low creatures. But that age is long past, and the golden age of men is also drawing to a close, ushered in by the HellFire Plague.More specifically, this will be taking place in Smurr's Bluff, a port city located in the kingdom of Eutharre. Smurr's Bluff is separated into five districts: Vintage Hills, where the wealthy live; The Twining, where the middle class resides; The Blackwater Slum; The Sirloin, where the finer shops are located; God's Thumb, where the temples and houses of business reside. CURRENT EVENTS The main problem affecting the known world is the HellFire Plague. It is a terrible illness, eating its victims alive with a combination of magic and disease. For a better summary, please click here. Another social issue is taking place in Blackwater. For years, the two main criminal organizations have been Mail Fists, which specializes in brutality, and The Velvet, which specializes in more subtle jobs. Now, however, a third group has recently displaced both of them. It is known as Smoke, and is a grassroots organization that involves a huge number of individuals. Prostitutes, thugs, thieves, beggars, orphans, fences, pickpockets... everyone is welcome in Smoke, and Smoke cares for it's own. The Lady of Thieves leads Smoke, and she has every intention of turning the city upside down, seeking prosperity for "her people". On the opposite side of the law, a new Captain of the Guard has been selected. On his way up in another city, he got on the wrong side of a powerful baron and was sent to Smurr's Bluff as a punishment disguised as a promotion. The City Guard is a blasphemously corrupt organization that has done anything but enforce the law for the past decade, and now it's his job to get it back in order... one way or another. He has never seen corruption like this, and only wants to give Smurr's Bluff the peace and order it deserves. Meanwhile in Vintage Hills, a young merchant is turning heads. He's made his fortune in the chaos of HellFire, selling tonics and cures (all fakes), selling precious commodities for exorbitant prices, and generally setting a ruthless business model. Now rich enough to retire, he is starting to experience the first traces of doubt and regret. What he has done cannot be undone, but perhaps it can be... atoned for. He certainly has the resources and power to make it happen, if he only knew what it was. Even in the religious order, there is upheaval. When the old High Priestess contracted the Plague, the Head of the Church immediately declared the church corrupt and sinful, for no pure soul contracts HellFire. In a panic, she has appointed a new High Priestess fresh out of her schooling, still young and untried, but with an eager mind and generous heart. She wishes to wipe the disease from the face of the world, and restore faith and morality to her newly appointed flock, no matter how rough and wild they may currently be. PLOT All four influential figures mentioned above have just received mysterious letters. Letters from an unnamed source, left on their beds while they sleep, stating that there is a way for them to end their problems. They will meet three old friends one Tuesday morning at a small pub in The Twining, three old friends that can help them with all their problems.Indeed, coincidence upon coincidence, all four figures were children together, in the same apartment complex in the capital city of Eutharre. They played together for years, forming a tight group they swore would never be split by anything.Well, anything except the HellFire plague. All four were forced to move, but in a remarkable twist of fate, all four have wound up in Smurr's Bluff. It's been sixteen years, and they've all become very different people. Not too different to help each other, though... hopefully. REGULATIONS Ok, guys. Don't be stupid. This should cover just about everything. There isn't a character form you must follow, but don't just slop it together, since I will be determining whether or not you get the position based on your form. Speaking of positions, right now I have claimed the Lady of Smoke. The Captain of the Guard, The High Priestess, and the Merchant are all taken, so you have freedom to play whatever (relevant) character you can come up with. The level of tech is somewhere between medieval and steampunk. No gunpowder and no electricity, but city planning and medicine have taken leaps and bounds. Healing and other minor forms of magic are acceptable, but rare. Non-humans will be permitted on a case-by-case basis only. Elves and halflings are not permitted. Demons and Angels are plausible but you must convince me you will not use them to violate # one. Sex, Drugs, and Rock'N'Roll may happen. HOWEVER, be aware of Iwaku's restrictions and do not use this board to violate any of them. No sexual activity may be written out here, though it may be implied. Death and violence will probably occur. If you have any triggers, please make them public. I'd hate to bring up dead babies or drug use or something and cause anyone distress. Please write posts that are easy to reply to. I don't care if it's three sentences or five paragraphs, but if it isn't useful, why bother? It's the responsibility of every person here to move the plot along. Introduce a new romance or rivalry. Random event? Sure. I can't keep the ball rolling all by myself, after all.