Link to IC | Link to Interest Check | TL;DR The Sword Seekers Mesym is an ancient world, long fostered by magic and the careful hands of its protectors. Nymphs and dryads protected the forests and cultivated the land, their very spirits connected to the flora and fauna that lived on Mesym's soil. The elves that lived within those deep forests and snow-capped peaks harnessed the power of their homelands and sang spells of bounty and wellness that rang throughout the world. Hearty man built mighty civilizations, forts with towering walls and castles of great architecture, and produced many forms of art to accompany their creations in the image of the beautiful world they were graced. Most importantly was the harmony and peace that all races and species lived with, man and animal and nature working in tandem for the survival of all. But as the years passed, man grew greedy. While the dryads and nymphs lived in the trees and rivers, and the elves lived in homes erected from discarded flora and natural structures, man continued to build their villages and towns. Eventually, they evolved into cities, with trade routes carved into the tamed dirt and gardens so massive in size they had become pure farmland. Stone blocked out the view of the sky. Nature was domesticated, its creatures bred as livestock. Mesym allowed this. But man still wanted. They plundered the earth for glittering gems and stole the craftsmanship of the elves, enslaving them as artisans and servants as they expanded their empires to cover most of Mesym's surface. But man still did not have the favor of the gods, even though they have proved their superiority to the magically-gifted elfen people. Many turned to praying, the common man's substitute for magic, and begged the gods for answers. Eventually, they answered. In order to earn their favor, the gods said, man must do their bidding. Man was willing. For the centuries that came, the people of the world became hyper-religious. Temples sprung up over night, the work of taxed elves and their magic. Services were held daily, and attendance was mandatory in most kingdoms. Under the worship of different deities, mankind split into several countries, and viciously conquered any yet to be seized land they encountered under the desire of the gods. The ultimate demand were the sacrifices, which came slowly at first, and then en masse. This was the tipping point of the Era of Ancients. The world only was able to give so many lives to the invisible rulers of the world before they began to rebel. Over the centuries, many people, man and elf alike, began to see a new light--people told stories of a new world, and how they collectively could make it a reality. The great goddess Nane was the epicenter of these stories, and her prophecies began the War of the Gods. Together, man and elf marched into battle to fight the all powerful beings that they had allowed to command their lives for so long. The elves, though their magic was greatly diminished over the years of distance between them and Mesym, created a circle of mages strong enough to summon the gods to the land. Then, they would attack. Quickly, the war went south. Petty magic and foot soldiers did little but irritate the gods. It was Nane's true gift that shifted the scales. Harnessing the essence of great spirits that roamed the lands, she helped seven young women construct the most powerful weapons ever known to man. It was with those blades that they marched to war, the Silver Strigines, and began to slay the gods one by one. With the souls they collected, they forged four more blades that were used to open the Rift into which the depths of which the gods were cast as they were felled. The mysterious women won the war for the people of Mesym. Their presence, however, soon disappeared afterwards. They became little more than legend as thousands of years passed. The world had been ravaged by the war, and civilization had to begin anew. Modern day Mesym has become a world of mostly peace. The elves, though still a repressed people, are no longer enslaved, and have their place in society. Those who are born with the ever-rare gift of magic are trained as mages and taught to work with the earth. They take their place among nature, working with crops and tending the forests and rivers. Four new kingdoms have formed since the end of the war, each in relative harmony with the other. That is, until villages and even mighty cities began to disappear. They were quelled by an unseen force, simply destroyed in a matter of minutes as though crushed by an invisible hand. Natural disasters of never before seen strength ravaged the land, hurricanes and tsunamis wrecking the coast and behemoth tornadoes picking even the strongest of fortresses apart stone by stone. Trade routes collapsed, merchants afraid of their luck placing them in the wrong city at the wrong time. It was in this way that over half the world's Circles were vanquished, and the balance of everything was destroyed. -- The art of the seer had long since vanished from Mesym. But you awake one night from a dream so vivid you couldn't believe it to be anything but real. In it, woman spoke to you, her voice achingly familiar and yet you could place no name. Atysus is rising, she said. The swords must reawaken. TL;DR The Silver Strigines The Gods Magic Playable Races Map Rules Characters Player stats FAQ Welcome to Mesym! In this story, you will play one of the heroes of the world of Mesym, either as a wielder of one of eleven great swords created by the female warriors of the Silver Strigines, or as a companion tasked with accompanying the wielders and defending them along their journey. Atysus, the King of Gods, has awoken from his slumber and risen from the Rift and now intends to continue his destruction of the world, starting with the eleven chosen and their companions. The swords must be recovered from their resting places before they can be used to return Atysus to his grave, but you must hurry before he destroys the land once more. Your character can be of elfen or human origin, and may/may not be a mage. Companions may also be of dryad/nymph origin if there is popular interest (please PM me or message me here concerning that, as I haven't written up any information on those two races). This section will cover both the Silver Strigines and their weapons, the Swords of Power. The Silver Strigines The Silver Strigines appeared from nowhere when Mesym needed help most. Seven young women were visited by Nane, goddess of prophecies and knowledge, and were brought together as a unified front. Nane helped them in forging their blades, and in acquiring the souls of those that would be enchanted into the weapons. It was ancient knowledge, long lost with the slavery of the elves, but the goddess brought it back. They used these blades to battle the gods, forcing them into dormant states of being where they could no longer influence mankind (or the elves, for that matter). Later, the seven women forged four more blades to be used in opening the Rift, an abyss into which they cast the souls of the slain gods so that they may never return to Mesym. Their existence has nearly faded completely, their story living solely in legend and bedtime stories. It is said that the Strigines remained for some time following the war, seemingly immortal; when one woman would die, another would take up her arms and replace the fallen. They eased tensions between the races, nurtured the lands, and assisted in restoring Mesym to a fraction of it's former glory before vanishing altogether. The Swords The Strigines, with the help of the goddess Nane, created the eleven Swords of Power by hand in the middle of the war against the gods. Each was made of celestial silver, the strongest of all metals on Mesym and the choice for the armor and weapons of the god. Each is decorated with gemstones (their color is that of the sword's name in the list below) and is inscribed with gold lettering in ancient languages. Enchanted not only with the spirits of powerful beings but also with ancient elven magic, the blades are the strongest weapons in Mesym, not only with magical capabilities but with extreme strength and durability. Of these blades, seven are classified as the Swords of War and four as the Swords of Ceremony. The former were designed to beat the gods into submission, while the latter were designed to open the Rift into which the gods were cast. Each one currently lies hidden and protected, and must be retrieved by their destined wielder before they can be used in battle. The following provides information on the abilities of each blade, its nature, and the spirit entombed inside. Swords of War The Swords of War were the blades that were created first. Made mostly from the spirits of nymphs, dryads, and men/women, their purpose is to fight the gods and protect the Swords of Ceremony. While these swords cannot be used to kill gods, they can damage gods to the point where they must enter a dormant, unconscious state while they heal. They can also be used to force gods into the Rift after it has been opened by the Swords of Ceremony. Swords of War can be used in battle by people other than Strigines, though the use of the blade's abilities are incredibly taxing on anybody other than the weapon's chosen wielder. Taliesin - Mistkeeper - Located in the Wimela Woods - TAKEN Taliesin is the only god of the Ancients who has been into a Sword of War. He allowed himself to be enchanted into the metal on his own terms, in order to assist Nane's efforts. He was the god secrecy and the guardian of the Shroud, an intangible entity that is used to hide things from the view of mortals. The Shroud cloaks all of the sword's locations, but Taliesin can allow its wielder to view through the Shroud's mist, revealing hidden secrets and locations. This is pivotal to locating the resting places of the other ten swords. Incredibly friendly in character, Taliesin frequently offers advice to his wielder, and seems to buzz or hum with life. This user can see through the Shroud, and can create their own cloak of invisibility (they cannot be seen, but can be heard/felt/smelled). Furthermore, the user can mask the senses of another (sight, scent, hearing, touch, taste) using a smaller form of the Shroud known as Mist, and can walk through the Shroud itself. Finally, they have the ability to disintegrate their body, allowing them to pass through solids; the longer the user uses this ability (the longer their body is disintegrated, separated), the more likely they are to either die, or never reintegrate. Namylia - Saintess - Located in the Sirione Mountains Namylia was a young nymph occupying the snowy regions of northern Mesym. She was a Saint in her time, offering charity to those who needed it, like a Santa Clause figure. She would provide meals, shelter, clothing, and guidance. Most nymphs avoid human and elf contact, but she assisted all who came to her. She offered herself up as a blade when the war began so that she could extend her love to the entire land. Legend says she is the abandoned daughter of the Goddess Tydea, who did not feel true love in her heart. While wielders of this blade cannot manipulate light magic itself, they can create mirages and illusions, and have stronger skills with air and water magic, regardless of whether or not they are a mage. The user of this blade will also have the ability of purification, which involves the cleansing of curses, infections, and taints of various kinds. The impurities will leave the victim and instead enter the body of the user. Unless expelled properly, this will eventually kill the wielder. Lastly, this user will be able to project calm and soothing feelings unto others, allowing themselves to come off as peaceful or as not being a threat. Esdite - Fury Fighter - Located in the deserts of Arersetr - TAKEN Esdite was a dryad of what was formerly a forest. During the war, however, the gods destroyed her forest and nearly all of the dryads living there perished, alongside their homes. Her own home, a sturdy oak tree that stood near the center of the forest, was decimated. It was her pure rage and hatred that kept her alive after the loss of her home, and she wandered the smoking ruins of the forest-turned-desert and haunted the land until the she was approached by the Strigines and turned into a sword in exchange for the chance to seek revenge. Never has there been a spirit so filled with anger and a need for revenge. The wielder of this sword will inherit Esdite's skill in battle; while fighting, they will become stronger, faster, and more agile, and their reflexes will increase. The blade itself grows stronger with each kill, able to hit harder, cut deeper, and will channel magic more efficiently. This user, whether or not they are a mage, will have an affinity with water and fire magic. Finally, this user can activate a temporary immunity to damage in battle. It will leave them drained of energy, but can be an effective tool when used appropriately. Kaphyrous - Pathfinder - Located in the Dark Feyr Kaphyrous is, according to legend, the Man of the River. In the beginning of time, he was cursed to ferry the souls of the dead across the Rift and to the Beyond. In his mortal life, he attempted to travel into the Beyond to retrieve the soul of his deceased wife and bring it back to her body. He succeeded, but was punished by the gods, his own soul removed from his body and chained to the ferryman's boat at the entrance to the Rift. He was slain by the Strigines to allow their usage of the Rift in trapping the gods. Knowing he was a dead man besides, Kaphyrous willingly allowed his soul to be used in the creation of a blade. This blade's notable ability is that of finding the way; the user, while carrying the blade, will see a silver line that will lead them to their destination. These directions will be marred by the presence of the Shroud, Mist, or by malevolent spirits. This user will, over time, learn every language that has ever been on Mesym (they will begin with an innate comprehension of any language they read, and will eventually learn to read and write). Additionally, this user has great navigational skills (useful for travel over water), and will know the patterns of the stars by heart. Lastly, the wielder of this blade can see souls stuck in limbo, ghosts per say, and can interact with lost souls (further explanation will appear IC). Marielye - World Walker - Located in the Fellmoor Peaks - TAKEN Marielye was a simple dryad, but a powerful one--she was the mother of dryads of the mountains, and lived for there many centuries before her tree was chopped down and built into a castle. It is believed this castle is where her sword is hidden now. Her tree, the largest of all and the most powerful, protected an ancient grove that surrounded the healing waters of Fellmoor. Once the tree fell, the pool's magic was compromised; it only still exists today through the efforts of Marielye's kin. The wielder of this blade will have an affinity with earth magic (even for those who are not mages), and will be able to 'speak' to flora and fauna. This wielder will often find themselves with a following of animals, sometimes even rare species of legend. They will rarely hunger (flora and fauna will guide them to food sources) or be alone in the wilds. Additionally, this user has healing powers. They can heal physical injuries, such as cuts, breaks, and wounds, as well as illness; however, this is a taxing ability, and will drain the user of their energy proportional to the injury/illness healed. Without practice, the use of this ability can kill the user. Pandora - Graceling - Located in Khola Pandora was from a line of mortal women tasked with the protection of a sealed jar. Inside the jar were spirits, malevolent and benevolent both, though she was not to open it, and nor was any human ever to open the jar. Pandora was never tempted to open the jar, and it sat in relative safety in her home; it was undisturbed until the day her eldest daughter opened the jar, her curiosity influenced by the ancient god, Micdia. The released spirits began to wreak havoc on the village in which they lived, and as it was Pandora's job to protect the jar, she took it upon herself to reclaim the spirits and stow them back into the thing. She lived for many years, adventuring and slowly placing the spirits back into the pot where they belonged, though she never finished the task before she died. In life, she was revered as a mortal goddess, her ability to seemingly control the spirits of the world amazing to primitive man. This blade grants the user an affinity with earth magic (even if they are not a mage). This blade's primary ability is summoning, in which the user can learn to summon the spirits from Pandora's box for use in battle. Extensive summoning will drain the user of energy until they fall unconscious. The user can also only summon spirits they have encountered; they cannot summon the spirit of Envy without having encountered it. This user also will develop innate agility, speed, and flexibility. The blade itself has the ability to morph into a dagger form. Ysarus - Messenger - Located in Thraton Ysarus is the spirit of an ancient seer, a servant of Nane centuries before the war. Born without eyesight, he learned to 'see' through the use of the Goddess' gift, and became a prophet. He read the stars and moons of the universe and used them to transcribe meaning to his visions--how he could see the cosmos has never been made clear. After his death, his spirit was reincarnated, a process that repeated until Nane's request for him to occupy a sword was made. Loyal to the Goddess, he accepted. Every wielder of this blade has been a reincarnation of Ysarus. Ysarus is Nane's messenger to the wielders, and this particular wielder will often experience their own visions, as though they too were a seer. These visions come at mostly at random, often times in the midst of battle, showing the user a brief glimpse of the future (for example, a blow that would strike them in the head, giving them the chance to duck). Over time, one can learn to induce the visions. Visions are, over time, damaging to the eyes; many of these wielders go blind with age. The user of this blade can hear thoughts and can communicate telepathically with the other Strigines (this wielder must open a mental 'channel' through which to communicate. Other Strigines cannot communicate this way with one another). Lastly, this user can hear things others cannot; spirits, the Shroud/Mist, portals into the Beyond, etc. Swords of Ceremony These blades were designed as the supplement to the Swords of War; while they still have fighting capabilities, they are designed to entomb gods in the Rift. When all four blades are together, they can kill gods, but it requires the unity of the blades, their wielders, and a rather intricate process that has been largely lost to time (for now, anyways). Historically, only mages have ever wielded these swords and lived for longer than their first battle. The blades amplify one's magic and grant the ability to use primordial magics: light and dark. The powers that come with these blades are draining, and can even take away from someones life with repeated and frequent use. The users of these swords tended to die young and be replaced quickly. As such, none other than the chosen wielders of these four swords may use them, with the exception of a companion (see magic tab). These swords are currently unavailable for player use. They are the most powerful swords in the universe, and so they'll only be given to dedicated players once the roleplay is rolling. Elysia - Dreamwalker - Located in the Beyond (accessible through the Elysian Sea) - TAKEN Elysia is the ancient goddess of dreams and of the afterlife. She resided primarily in the Beyond, the resting place for the deceased and a place the living visit only in their sleep (for those who try to visit the Beyond before their time, they will begin to literally wither away). This goddess was defeated in battle by the Strigines in one of their earliest conquests; since she guarded the Beyond and subsequently the Rift, the Strigines needed her gone in order to use the Rift themselves. The Strigines turned her into their first Sword of Ceremony. She scarcely communicates with her wielder except in the dreamworld or the Beyond. This blade grants the user the ability to dreamwalk (a process in which one can enter the dreams of others and manipulate the dream environment), a skill they can first only use while asleep but can learn to perform while conscious. This blade allows its user to sense the desires and wishes of others, and additionally allows the user to trek into the Beyond unscathed. Portals to the Beyond can be used as wormholes to travel across the world in minutes or hours as compared to weeks or months. Lastly, they can use darkness, a primordial element. Nyx - Reaper - Located in the Ravenwood Forest Nyx is the goddess of night and victory. Sister to the goddess of dreams and wife to the god of battle, she sits between both realms of power, bringing the dead to her sister's domain. She was the third Sword of Ceremony to be created, following Azrael, though has full loyalty to Nane and the Strigines (for they effectively conquered death itself in winning the battle). In Mesym, she is viewed as the grim reaper, arriving to take away the souls of the deceased to the Beyond; despite that, she rarely ever showed her form to mortals, and the only time she ever physically appeared on Mesym was the time she lost in battle to the Strigines. This blade permits the user to see the walking dead (ghosts, lingering spirits), communicate with those who have passed (they must summon spirits to speak with), and to use darkness, a primordial element. Additionally, this wielder is stronger at night, both physically and in their magic. Azreal - Timestopper - Located in Brynwich Azrael is the god of battle and combat. He has amazing fighting capabilities, perhaps the best among the gods, although this is partly attributed to his control over time. But still lost to the Strigines and he accepted his loss gracefully and pledged his loyalty, allowing himself to be crafted into a Sword of Ceremony. He was never truly loyal to Atysus to begin with, and as such was the first god Nane intended for the Strigines to encounter in battle. He whispers words of advice to his wielder, training them in ancient techniques and styles. This blade gives the user great fighting skill, transmuted directly from Azrael's spirit to the user's. This power is still limited by the user's physical form and ability; the user won't be able to pull off maneuvers they haven't practiced. Additionally, this user will be able to use lightness, a primordial element. Finally, the user of this blade will also have limited control over time: they can send their bodies forwards or backwards a few milliseconds (used in dodging/combat), can marginally slow/increase time (a minute can become only thirty seconds long), and with great exertion, can stop time for a period. Repeatedly sending the self back in time can eventually cause traumatic brain damage, and holding time still will cause a massive strain on the physical self. Users have been known to leave limbs behind as they travel through time, or have killed themselves by freezing time for too long. Talos - Faithhealer - Located in Bafeld Village Talos, god of reverence and faith, is perhaps the only Sword of Power that is not unerringly loyal to the Strigines. He was created by Atysus to serve as the medium between god and mortal man; the commands of the god were given to man through Talos. He grew to be a figure of obedience, as well, as he displayed the dissatisfaction of the ancients in forms of punishment. He was feared greatly by man, and was the very first god to go. He fought against being enchanted into a Sword of Ceremony; it wasn't until the other three had been created that the Strigines had the power to force Talos into one of their silver weapons. Even now, he fights to be released, truly believing in the superiority of the ancients. He, however, still has a soft spot for those of faith to the Pantheon, and will never decline help to one who needs it, a good Samaritan. This blade allows the user to use lightness, a primordial element. The user becomes a 'faithhealer', a type of healing that involves faith: the user can repair a damaged spirit, bring people back from the precipice of death, and revive victims from a coma (while unconscious in a coma, your spirit lives in the Beyond. The longer your exposure, the more damaged your spirit becomes). This type of healing, stronger than any other form, heals by taking from the user's own spirit, which over time will become so fragmented and broken that the person will lose their sanity and will be unable to pass to the Beyond after death. Additionally, this user can see auras (a visual representation of the spirit that betrays emotion through its coloring), and can bless others, using raw magic to temporarily grant somebody strength, will, healing, etc. (like a buff). Among the nymphs and dryads that defend the land of Mesym, there live(d) the gods, whose job was to create and maintain the planet and its life. The gods are divided into two categories, the Ancients, and the Pantheon. Most if not all of the Ancients have been slain by the Strigines, but a number of gods remain in the Pantheon, allowed to live and provide religious services to those of Mesym and nothing else. Their connection to the lifeblood of Mesym is severely limited compared to that of the Ancients. Today, those of the pantheon are often celebrated during holiday and festivals. The Ancients The Ancients of Mesym are the original gods that ruled of the lands from its birth. It is unknown how these gods were created, but for as long as man and elf have walked the earth, they have existed. Until man summoned their attention from their heavenly residences, these gods kept their presence quiet, scarcely interacting with man or elf. Once the mortal man had grabbed the notice of the gods, they began to use Mesym and its people not only for their own purposes (it can only be speculated what these purposes were, for they are largely beyond mortal comprehension), but for sheer amusement. This was the cause of the war that spawned the Silver Strigines. Not every god was malevolent or sided with Atysus, the king of the gods, but most did. Now, many are deceased, dormant, or simply forgotten. A few have become Swords of Ceremony, and lay dormant in their resting places. Atysus - King of Gods - Symbolized by a dragon - banished to the Rift, but has returned Nane - Goddess of Prophecy and Wisdom, Mother of the Strigines - Symbolized by an owl - Daughter of Atysus - Active Azrael - God of Battle - Symbolized by a bull - Son of Atysus - Blade of Power Nyx - Goddess of Night, Victory - Symbolized by a raven - Sister of Elysia - Blade of Power Elysia - Goddess of Dreams and the Afterlife - Sister of Taliesin - Blade of Power Ikhael - God of Tricks - Symbolized by a snake - Deceased Akir - God of Invention and Craft - Missing Talos - God of Communication, Guidance, and Reverence - Blade of Power Ecesis - God/Goddess of the Soul & Spirit - Missing Taliesin - God of the Shroud - Symbolized by a rabbit - Brother of Elysia - Blade of Power Intax - God of Learning - Killed by Atysus Tydea - Goddess of Life, Marriage, Creation - Symbolized by a dove - Wife to Atysus - Alive, in the Rift Seresis - God of Pain, Hatred, Sin - Symbolized by a wolf - Husband to Micdia - Dormant Micdia - Goddess of Temptation - Half sister to Elysia - Alive, in the Rift Pylreus - God of Chaos and Order - Symbolized by scales - Deceased The Pantheon The Pantheon consists of a sole six deities that maintain the balance. They fill the gaps the ancient gods left. In contrast to the ancients, however, these gods are largely fictional in that they were created by faith and belief; their existence is solely based on the strength of their following. If a time comes when nobody on Mesym worships and celebrates the gods of the Pantheon, they would fade away. Nearly any spirit of any race or type can grow to this sort of power through the extreme faith and respect of the people: Pandora is a prime example. Iena, Goddess of the Harvest Huldir, God of Union and Unity Menja, Goddess of Death Nehnus, God of Travelers Neone, Goddess of Rebirth Idite, God of Balance Magic is a broad topic in Mesym. This section will cover mages, Circles, the Rift, Mist, the Shroud, the Beyond, and companions. Mages Magic is essentially the manipulation and manifestation of the elements: there are the four primary elements (earth, air, water, fire) and the primordial elements, light and dark. Most mortal mages can only use the first four. Additionally, there is also raw magic, energy in it's most pure form. The simplistic of spells are simply manipulation, taking air and making it move, adding it to a flame to make it grow larger, redirecting the flow of water, etc. However, an understanding of raw magic when combined with a mastery of the elements allows for a person to perform more complex skills, such as teleportation, telekinesis, telepathy. It takes time for a mage to grow in proficiency, and its rare to see young mages able to perform such intricate spells such as those. Typically, these men and women stick to the range of elemental spells. A person, elf or man, can only be born with magic; they cannot learn magic if they aren't born with the innate talent. Humans are born mages less frequently, but in the modern day of Mesym, there is a very small magic population. Captivity and slavery has long since wrought the connection of the elves to nature and magic into near nothingness (all elves used to have magic capability). When a child begins to show signs of magic use, they are usually sent to live in a Circle, a group of established and skilled mages, often providing their services either to a kingdom's government, or for mercenary work. It is a prestigious thing, and having a mage in the family can boost status and class, particularly if the mage manages to get political or military rank. The Swords of Power offer major exceptions to these rules and also broaden some horizons. Nonmages who are bonded to particular blades can gain the ability to learn a certain element of magic, though they're confined to that one area and won't be able to learn greater spells (like teleportation). Additionally, the Swords of Power sometimes grant access to the Beyond, the Shroud, the Rift, or Mist, whereas only a handful of mages in Mesym's history have ever been able to do so on their own. The Beyond & the Rift The Beyond is the resting place for the dead, the place souls and spirits go after they've crossed the Rift. It's normally only accessible via one's dreams; if a person tries to visit it while awake, with their physical form, they'll eventually begin to wither away until they die, their soul trapped in limbo and never being able to settle peacefully. And that's if they manage to cross the Rift, a large empty expanse that can be best visualized by imagining a giant crack in the earth, covered by a shallow river. The ferryman, Kaphyrous, brings souls across the Rift to the Beyond. Underneath the surface of the Rift is a great abyss of nothingness. It is unknown if souls can even survive down there, unless they are protected by a godly form. Shroud & Mist The Shroud and Mist are similar to one another. The Shroud is a substance/entity that blocks things from mortal view and access. Entire islands and castles have gone missing due to the presence of the Shroud, which encapsulates the location or item with a mist. The outer edges of the mist, when walked through, will simply cause the person to slowly begin to forget why they were there, and will redirect them in the opposite direction. If one manages to make it further into the Shroud, their physical form will begin to collapse, atomizing almost into nothing, until the person seems to simply vanish from existence. They actually become a part of the Shroud, their soul included. Mist is a simpler and less dangerous form of the Shroud, and simply covers things to block them; one can cover the eyes of another, to prevent sight, or can place Mist over an object to make it appear like it's not there. Companions Companions are those who accompany the wielders of the Swords of Power on their journey, or in battle (similar, I suppose, to a squire in some ways). A sole designated companion is the only person who may carry or use a Sword of Ceremony other than it's bonded wielder, and only companions can carry Swords of War for lengthy periods of time (any human can use and carry a Sword of War, but the consequences are lessened for a companion). The companion of a Sword of Ceremony must be a mage. Additionally, companions can give their life to a wielder in order to allow that wielder to continue strenuous magic and blade power use (I.E one can give give up their own spirit to a faithhealer to permit the wielder to save their own spirit from damage in healing others). The presence of a companion is required in killing gods (though the details in this are lost in time). Here, I'll be writing some information on the humans, elves, dryads, and nymphs of Mesym. Man Man was created in the image of the gods. According to myth, humans were created from clay by the Goddess Tydea, and then were given life when the deity Ecesis breathed souls into their earthly bodies, providing them with an ethereal spirit. Man's primitive nature quickly evolved into the trademarks of civilization, a result of the direct influence of the Ancients over their lives and development. Hunter-gatherer groups soon settled as they learned how to farm, and then villages sprung up from the dirt and expanded into cities, and then kingdoms. Man, it seemed, had everything: intelligence, ability, and ingenuity. However, man was also created greedy, and wanted one thing that they did not easily have: the favor of the gods. Humans were scarcely born with magical talent, and they believed this was due to the anger of the Ancients. The elves, by contrast, were largely a magical community, even though they lived in ramshackle homes in the woods. Seeing this race as primitive and underdeveloped, man took advantage, and enslaved them. It was only when the War of the Gods began that equality began to come to the races of Mesym, and there still exists prejudice today. Humans appear much as they do in the real world. They are sturdy, strong beings, and rule most of Mesym's land and industry. Now, some humans try to foster the environment and attempt to bring magic back to the world, whereas others still hunger for the goods that Mesym offers. Elves The elves were a magical people. They originally lived among the flora and fauna of Mesym and in total harmony with the world itself. Their magic came from the earth and its energy, and this closeness made them into the best mages on the planet. Nearly every child was born with great magical talent, often used in celebrations and in tending the earth alongside the nymphs and dryads. Man's jealousy of this power contributed greatly to their hatred and enslavement of the elves, and to the eventual manipulation of the Ancients on man. Once torn from their natural homes, the elves began to lose their magic. While they maintained the vibrancy of their art and culture, centuries of distance severed their connection to natural magic. Now, like the humans, elves are only occasionally born with magical ability. Oppression makes it difficult for those born mages to ever receive training from a circle (most circles don't want anything to do with elves, particularly circles that are associated with racist kingdoms). Elves appear physically different from man but are humanoid. They have traditional pointed ears (those who have lived in the wilds and free from enslavement over the centuries have pointier ears and brighter eyes, and sire more children with magical connections) and eyes of stranger colors than humans; in addition to the usual colors, sometimes children are born with purple, amber, grey or black reddish eyes. They are shorter than humans, much more nimble and lithe in body, and tend to have darker skin tones as well as eyes with an slight upward tilt. Dryads/Nymphs Dryads and nymphs are both similar and different. Most notably they are, in essence, spirits, and must use magic to give themselves a physical form (they are usually in a translucent, humanoid, spirit form), and live in nature. Dryads live overland, often finding a home in trees, bushes, and sometimes even flowers or in fields (a collective area of grass). Nymphs live in those places as well, but also can live in bodies of water or can choose entire groves as their home. A dryad or nymph is born with a specific home--for example, a dryad is born and is gifted a sapling that it will care for and tend, and that sapling will grow to be their home--and cannot change/get a new one. That means once their home is destroyed, they are effectively homeless forever. With the expansion of man, dryad/nymph settlements have grown sparse. This also means that these creatures range from being very old (such as those who live in ancient trees) to living for shorter periods of time. When it comes to developing, dryads and nymphs will age alongside their home; a dryad born with a flower will grow to adulthood quickly, whereas one born to a tree will age much slower. Both nymphs and dryads have magical skill (and get extra stats for this, as well). This is passed on even to mixed race children, who almost always are born mages. Most dryads and nymphs keep away from civilization and man, living in reserved spaces (like a reserve), though some have blended into society, those that look more like man or elf. Dryads/nymphs can be born with a vastly different coloring than humans and elves can; green skin, blue hair, and purple eyes are common. Their appearance often reflects that of their home (someone whose home is a rose bush might have a pink-red hue hair). These traits can be passed on to their youth, though dissipate quickly with the mixing of blood. By the third generation, most of these traits are gone. Another notable difference is that nymphs are always female, whereas dryads are both male and female in sex. Nymphs can reproduce with dryads, but can also reproduce with each other, whereas dryads require a male and a female. This is due to the fact that nymphs can use their homes (their plants) to reproduce for them (for example, an oak tree will release an acorn that grows into both a tree and a nymph, the baby nymph spirit nurtured by its tree). As mentioned, nymphs and dryads are innately magical, and so they tend to be better skilled at magic than humans and elves. If you chose to play one of these races, you'll likely be playing a mixed race character. The map itself is TBA, but here are the brief descriptions of each kingdom and some major landmarks. Kingdoms Gundabiln Capital: Karnione King Garratt Tennesley 4 Circles This kingdom resides in the south east corner of the map, stretching upwards towards the central deserts and into part of the expansive northern forests. One of the smaller kingdoms, this one is largely mixed race, with peoples of all species finding this their home. They have a marvelous culture due to the patchwork of biomes their kingdom encompasses; part desert, part plains, part tundra, and part forest. Architecture styles vary across the kingdom, making it quite interesting for tourists. They also are known for their art, though it's not quite as amazing as the art that comes from the elven kingdom. Orin (The Orin Aristocracy) Capital: Haburn Eilvyre line 13 Circles The richest and most powerful kingdom of all is that of Orin, run by a upper class ruling family, the Eilvyre's. It is situated in the north west of the central deserts, it's capital in the midst of towering snow capped mountains. The only easy way through is a mountain pass, heavily guarded and defended by the nation's best. Its cities are surrounded by forests and snow, making it one of the coldest kingdoms. Most of their supplies are imported from the other kingdoms, and it's major export is ore. They have massive armies and massive coin. This kingdom was the last to release their elfish slaves, and still carries major prejudices. Thuaris Capital: Evrand Leilatha Thuaris vonReinach 10 Circles This is the last home of the elves. South of the great forests that was once their home, and west of the great deserts, they live in an mostly empty grasslands, primarily used for agriculture. Their capital is situated just north east of a large swamp. Easily the poorest of the kingdoms, they have few exports besides crops and import nearly nothing, self sufficient despite their luck. Few humans live here though many visit, drawn by the captivating art of the elves that decorates their empty and dull land. Their ruling queen is perhaps one of the most powerful mages of the time. Thonosea Capital: Khola Gilmor Bryphine 8 Circles Thonosea is the trade center of Mesym. Easily one of the largest kingdoms, their citizens live primarily in the central deserts. This kingdom boasts the largest naval forces, and the second largest army, though largely lack useful resources besides coal. There are many scattered military training schools around the expanse of this kingdom, filled with children from all five nations. Just north of this kingdom is Agrion, the world's seat of religious, and Thonosea has taken up arms to defend the tiny state from any potential dangers. Brundanya Capital: Norlyn Nelaeryn Calliwell 6 Circles Brundanya is best described as being the helping hand of the world. Just south of Thonosea and located in a very small area of land, this kingdom is known for their hospitality and intolerance of violence. Often they have come to Thuaris' aid when threatened by the Orin Aristocracy, and they work to restore the forests that used to cover the land to provide homes for the nymphs and dryads once more. Other Locations: Venrel Nymph/dryad reservation The Dark Feyr The abandoned capital of a once great kingdom before the war on the gods. Brynwich An ancient burial ground where the battle against Azrael took place. Thousands of lives were lost here. A summary of rules and expectations. Please abide by them; I won't hesitate to remove players for things like metagaming and godmodding. Rules 1. It should go without saying that all Iwaku's rules apply. 2. Two characters a person, as of now. 3. Please have good roleplay etiquette. No godmodding, powerplaying, etc. OP characters will suffer the consequences. 4. Read this thread before you post. Please. I'm happy to answer questions, especially if I wasn't clear, but I won't explain the entire magic system to you. 5. Please be respectful of others. 6. I reserve the right to maim characters if you don't seem to be upholding the honor system when it comes to dice and free injuries. I won't dictate how your characters get hurt, but if they always leave battle unscathed and don't have a series of perfect dice rolls, I will make them bleed. Things need to be fair for everyone. Expectations 1. Posting requirements: 3-5 paragraph post minimum, once a week. I don't mean two sentence paragraphs. If you can't figure out what to write about, poke around OOC, find interactions, ask questions if you're confused. I expect people to reread their posts for spelling and grammar checks, and I expect posts that propel the story. 2. I want to see characters that have had some thought put into them. They don't have to be perfect and for that matter shouldn't. Make them real. Real people have flaws and strengths both, have a backstory that defines them, have wants and fears and goals. A character without any internal motives doesn't belong here. 3. Plot-propelling posts. Yes, this roleplay has a plot, but players are still expected to help move along the story and to make decisions. I'll present situations, and you'll need to react. Side adventures are definitely welcome; supplement the main story line with appropriate side-conflicts. And don't end your post without leaving something for others to respond to. Otherwise, it makes it really difficult for others to, well, respond. 4. Be active in OOC. I'd like there to be some chemistry among the players. Enthusiastic and involved players make for well developed, active characters, and a driven plot. Make relationships between characters (especially when playing companions!), come up with shared backstories, etc.! Here is the basic character skeleton to be used for all characters. Some fields are only applicable to certain character types. Class refers to whether your character is a to-be sword wielder, or a companion character (see FAQ for special information on companion characters), and whether or not they are a mage (see magic section) or not. Everything here is required, though you may add extra fields if desired: profession, weapon(s), pets (within reason), etcetera. Companions can either begin with a relationship to a wielder, or may enter the group in some other way. They can be of any gender and human/elf. No more dryad/nymph characters will be accepted. Right now, the Swords of Ceremony are off limits. There are three unclaimed, and they'll stay that way for awhile. They're the most powerful of the blades, and they'll be given to players that show dedication to the roleplay. Remember, companions can be 'graduated' into Strigines, and you can have two characters (as of now). CHARACTER SKELETON: Name: Age:* Race: Homeland: Class: (wielder/companion/mage) Sword: Gender: Appearance: (required, image optional) Personality: Skills: Stats: Brief history:** Relationships: Other: *Keep all characters 12 or older. Wielders cannot be older than 40. **Your character might have a history with fighting (military, street life, etc.) or may have gone to a school to train and study. It might be beneficial to have a character begin with some knowledge of how to defend themselves, though it isn't required. Also note: Nobody starts with a sword. We will be finding them throughout the story. In major battles and political/social events as well as in solving puzzles, dice rolls and character stats will be used. Typical combat (fighting common enemies, per say) won't use dice rolls, nor will character-character or most character-NPC interactions. In boss battles and social situations involving NPCs of higher rank/importance to the plot, rolls will be used. The following information details the structure of stats and dice rolls. If you have any questions after reading this, please ask. Base Stats Every character will have the following base statistics, to be first established on their character sheet: Strength, dexterity, intelligence, will, and constitution. Strength is used in combat, and the damage your character deals to a boss will be determined using this stat and it's attributes. Dexterity is used in determining if your attack hits or misses. Intelligence can be used in intelligence checks, useful for finding clues to puzzles and getting hints from the GM when you're stuck. Will is used in combat for magical talent, and in tandem with constitution in regards to the Shroud, Mist, and the Beyond. Constitution is general health and well being of your character (endurance, pain tolerance, previous illness/injury). Damage taken will be primarily on the honor system. Use constitution as a guideline. You get to assign points to each stat, and your base stats can increase/decrease over the course of the game. Base stats max out at 10 points. The point values you begin with depends on your character and on the stat. Below, I'm going to do my best to write out the starting 'freebie' stat points for each character type. As always, if you have a question, please ask! Humans, non mage: Base of 2 for STR, DXT, INT, and WIL. Your CON begins at 5 (may be lowered*). Free +2 points for placement in any base stat. Humans, mage: Base of 2 for STR, DXT, and INT. Your WIL begins at 4. Your CON begins at 5 (may be lowered*). Elves, non mage: Base 2 for STR, DXT, and INT. Your WIL begins at 3. Your CON begins at 5 (may be lowered*). Free +1 bonus to either DXT or INT. Elves, mage: Base 2 for STR, DXT, and INT. Your WIL begins at 4. Your CON begins at 5 (may be lowered*). Nymphs/dryads: Base 2 for STR, DXT, and INT. Your WIL begins at 5. Your CON begins at 4 (may be lowered*). If desired, you may remove one point from WIL and place it in any other base stat. * Constitution can be lowered to a maximum point value of 2. The points you removed may be added to other base stats. From there, you get to freely assign 8 points to whatever base stat field you like. However, no base stat at this time may exceed 8 points in value. Feel free to not use your full 8 points for characters that lack experience, or are younger. Facing challenges head-on will reward you in this roleplay! Just don't go deliberately super-underpowering your character in seeking those rewards out. Examples: Green values come from your allotted 8 points. Red values are points deducted from starting stats. Blue values are class-specific additions (like + 2 will for mages). Purple are your 'freebie' stats. Example sheet (non-mage human, 8 free points to place, +2 for race bonus)- Strength: 2 + 2 + 1 = 5 Dexterity: 2 + 2 + 1 = 4 Intelligence: 2 + 3 = 5 Will: 2 = 2 Constitution: 5 + 1 = 6 Example sheet (mage human, 8 free points to place) Strength: 2 + 0 = 2 Dexterity: 2 + 1 = 3 Intelligence: 2 + 2 = 4 Will: 4 + 5 = 8 Constitution: 5 = 5 Example sheet (non-mage elf, 8 free points to place, +1 bonus) Strength: 2 + 5 = 7 Dexterity: 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 6 Intelligence: 2 + 1 = 3 Will: 3 = 3 Constitution: 5 - 1 = 4 Example sheet (mage elf, 8 free points to place) Strength: 2 + 3 = 5 Dexterity: 2 + 2 = 5 Intelligence: 2 + 1 = 3 Will: 4 + 1 + 2 = 7 Constitution: 5 - 1 = 4 Example sheet (nymph/dryad, 8 free points to place) Strength: 2 + 2 = 4 Dexterity: 2 + 2 = 5 Intelligence: 2 + 1 = 3 Will: 5 + 3 = 8 Constitution: 5 = 5 Skill Stats These stats accompany your base stats, but are more specific. You will be able to place points in things like fire magic and swordplay, and these stats will be added onto your base stats when determining roll success/failure. The points you are allotted depend on the value of your base stats, and cap out at ten points, though nobody will begin at a stat cap. These stats are essentially supplements and refine the use of your base stats. I'll go through each set of skill stats in order of base stats, and will explain how to assign points, as well give examples. If you have any questions, please ask! --Strength-- For Strength skill stats, you have three options: long blades, short blades, and ranged. If you have a weapon type you'd like to add that you don't feel fits in any of these categories, let me know, and I'll happily add it. This allows you to have skill in multiple different weapons, but when you roll for damage, you roll using the skill stat correlating to the weapon you are using. For example, if you're currently carrying a dagger, you roll your damage points using the 'short blades' point value. Strength skill stats cap at 15 points per skill stat (so long blades can't ever go higher than 15). For these categories, you may add the value of your STR stat + three. For example, if your STR stat is 8, then you get to place 11 points in your three skill stat categories. For non-mages that are 30 years old or older, you get an extra 2 points to place, so long as your character has a background in combat and weapons training/use. STR- 8 Available points: 11 (8+3) Long blades: 0 + 2 = 2 Short blades: 0 + 3 = 3 Ranged: 0 + 6 = 6 --Dexterity-- For Dexterity skill stats, you have two options: evasion, and aim+. Evasion will be used in dodging enemy attacks, a calculation automatically made for you by the GM in battles (after you roll for damage, I will respond for the enemy, including your automatic evasion roll. This way, you can include the evasion/lack thereof in your post). Aim+ will be used in determining if you hit or miss when attacking. Dexterity skill stats can never have more than 15 points of value per stat (so aim+ can never be higher than 15). To calculate the number of points you get to place, you will take your DXT stat value and divide it by 2. For DXT skill statys only, if your result is a decimal (say, 3/2 = 1.5), then you round up (2). Aim+ and evasion both start with a base of your DXT stat. For example: DXT- 5 Available points: 3 (5/2 = 2.5, round to 3) Evasion: 5 + 1 = 6 Aim+: 5 + 2 = 7 So, evasion and aim+ begin with 5 points (the equivalent of the DXT base stat value) and then there are 3 available points for the player to place at will. Another example: DXT-7 Available points: 4 (7/2 = 3.5, round to 4) Evasion: 7 + 2 = 9 Aim+: 7 + 2 = 9 --Intelligence-- Intelligence has no subsets. It will be used in its entirety when calculating intelligence checks. It's a broad category that covers perception, concrete knowledge (like history), and street smarts. If you want to get complicated with intelligence checks, I can definitely add skill stats to this, but it doesn't need to be particularly complicated. --Will-- Will has the most skill stats. There is one for each common element (fire, water, earth, air) and for raw magic, as well as a skill stat for resistance (to debuffs and curses, which bring your stats down when rolling) and for sword power. Sword power will start at 0 for everybody, and will be gained as Strigines practice with their weapons. Companions can also increase in this stat. Magic types will be capped at 15 points per skill (so fire magic can never be greater than 15), whereas resistance caps at 10. Sword power caps at 5. Allocating these stat points is a bit more complicated, as it depends on race and class (mage/non mage). I'll describe it in sections. Human/elf non-mages These characters get no stats for magic. As a result, they only have to fill resistance, and don't really have any points to work with. Instead, all of those points go to resistance. You will have a resistance stat of your will + whatever point value you put into it. This is a bit confusing, so here is an example: Let's refer back to this example sheet from earlier, tweaked just a little bit: Example sheet (non-mage human, 8 free points to place, +2 for race bonus)- Strength: 2 + 2 + 1 = 5 Dexterity: 2 + 2 + 1 = 4 Intelligence: 2 + 2 = 4 Will: 2 + 1 = 3 Constitution: 5 + 1 = 6 The Will stat is 3, and the player added one point from their 8 free points to it. This means that when calculating this character's resistance, they will take the will stat, 3, and add 1 to it. Resistance: 4 (3 + 1) Sword power: 0 Human/elf mages These guys get magic stats, which means they need a greater number of points to work with. You begin with a base of one point in each magic skill (fire through raw magic) and 2 in resistance. Then, you can work with the number of Will points you have. For characters older than 30 with a background in magical study (Circles, mostly), you can add 2 points to any elemental magic (so, no resistance). The only exception is that you cannot, yet, add any points to raw magic apart from the freebie solo point. For example: Base points: Fire magic: 1 Water magic: 1 Air magic: 1 Earth magic: 1 Raw magic: 1 Resistance: 2 Sword power: 0 Mage, 30+ y/o, magical backgound Will-8 Available points: 8 = 8 + 2 age bonus Fire magic: 1 + 4 = 5 Water magic: 1 + 2 + 1 = 4 Air magic: 1 + 1 = 2 Earth magic: 1 Raw magic: 1 Resistance: 2 + 2 = 4 <- (your +2 cannot go here) Sword power: 0 vs. Mage, under 30 y/o Will-8 Available points: 8 = 8 Fire magic: 1 + 3 = 4 Water magic: 1 + 2 = 3 Air magic: 1 Earth magic: 1 Raw magic: 1 Resistance: 2 + 3 = 5 Sword power: 0 When allotting these points, you want to keep in mind what you want your character to be able to do. Is it wise to give them basic skill in all the magic types, but not be practiced in any? What magic types, when combined, have an effect that you like? Water and earth might not be as effective as fire and air when paired together. You will also gain a skill points for magic during the roleplay. To calculate your raw magic skill, you will find the average of your elemental magic skills (fire, water, earth, air) and then round (for will skill stats, .25 & .5 are a round down, .75 is a round up). That, plus your starting 1 point, is your raw magic skill. Raw magic is considerably harder to gain skill in. For example 1, the raw magic skill would be 4. For example 2, it would be 3. Nymphs/Dryads Finally, nymphs/dryads have a bit of extra talent with magic. While they will not have a bonus to their elemental magic skills, their raw magic gets a species bonus. Calculate their elemental powers the same way as explained above, and then when you get to raw magic, add 2 free points to that stat only. Example: Base stats: Fire magic: 1 Water magic: 1 Air magic: 1 Earth magic: 1 Raw magic: 3 Resistance: 2 Sword power: 0 Will-8 Available points: 8 = 8 + 2 age bonus Fire magic: 1 + 3 = 4 Water magic: 1 + 2 + 1 = 4 Air magic: 1 + 1 = 3 Earth magic: 1 Raw magic: 1 + 2 = 3 Resistance: 2 + 3 = 5 Sword power: 0 Note: Due to the fact that all of our nymphs/dryads are going to be half breeds, and thus age like humans and elves do, the 30 y/o + 2 bonus still applies. --Constitution-- No skill stats here. What's with the female 'tradition' for Strigines? Mesym isn't terribly racist or sexist, but there's still gender roles. The fact that the Strigines were an all female group at the time and defeated literal gods was a huge deal. Hence, non-female Strigine characters are allowed, but in moderation. Companions can be of any gender. What's the fun in playing a companion? None of the characters will start the story out with their swords. They must recover them. As such, all characters begin on the same grounds. The companions are especially important; while it's not mentioned in the information above, it will be revealed IC that only the companions may wield the sword of another once the sword has bonded to a wielder. That is, each sword will 'bond' or connect to only one of the designated wielders. After that point, no other Strigine may carry that weapon. However, a companion can. The use of companions will expand during the story. Additionally, companions will be given the chance to be uncovered as wielders later in the story. If your character is developed well, and you've been active, when more slots open up, you can change your character's class. Why are you limiting spots for the wielders? It's incredibly unlikely that all eleven wielders would be in the same place at the same time; so, they'll encounter these characters along the way. If there's no spots left and you'd like a wielder, and not a companion, then you can let me know and I'll tag you when spots open. Or, you can play as a companion and when spots open, you can 'graduate' your character to a wielder (i.e. your character will discover they're a wielder). This is mostly to prevent people from having to wait until their character appears to roleplay. The swords 'talk'? Yes, the swords kind of do talk, in a sense. They don't tend to hold full conversations with their wielder, but their thoughts can sometimes be heard in the user's mind; this is often how a sword will give advice or make suggestions. For example, when facing a puzzle, the blade might give a hint. The user will just hear a whispery, probably kind of creepy voice in the back of their head, but they'll know it's their sword. After all, there are actual souls inside of those blads. So, what will we be actually roleplaying? The beginning half of this story basically entails the search for the swords and their recovery. Nobody starts with a sword. The challenges presented to players will get harder and harder, and there might even be some puzzles in the mix. After the swords have been recovered, the quest to defeat Atysus and the returning Ancients begins. I have a question on the stats system. Please ask me in a PM or put a message on the thread itself. I'm happy to answer any and all questions and to help you figure out the stats you want for your character.