War Council of Rask - A Fantastical Fantasy Exploration of Fortification and Social Management

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Snakey, May 31, 2016.

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  1. On normal days the criers would be considered little more than an annoyance by the population of Rask, their before-dawn schedule and bells neatly engineered to be as unmistakably obnoxious as possible did little to win over the town's population of wary travelers and tradesfolk. But today, on an otherwise uneventful dawn, the criers found themselves mobbed by a mortified populace. "Igros invaded!" They called out, "Unknown enemy said to have come from the Seared Lands, perhaps directly from the Abyss itself! State of War declared! His Highness, King Nostro's First Royal Legion has already been dispatched to meet this otherworldly force! May Ardectes' luminescence shine upon these men and bring a quick end to this war!" They continued repeating this message, the gathered crowds waxing and waning with the start and end of each repetition.

    This continued uninterrupted until noon in which the familiar gallop a courier's courser rang through the crags, rider in panic and horse in exhaustion. The man unrolled his scroll, but only stammering erupted from his lips, requiring a crier to tear the parchment from his hands to read for himself, his face quickly paling in terror as his eyes scanned the contents, "Citizens of Rask," he started, just holding back the stammering that afflicted the courier, "The King's First Royal Legion has been defeated and the remnants have retreated back to the capital to protect His Highness. The enemy's army is innumerable in number and endless in constitution and has split to assault the whole of the Kingdom. War Councils are to be put in practice and all men have been granted the right of arms and should prepare to fight for Igros and its King. May Ardectes' luminescence shine upon thee."

    The crier looked up, expecting terror to grip the mob only to be met with wary silence. War, whether against man or celestial, was hardly unfamiliar.


    In War Council of Rask players are members of, well, the War Council of Rask, a group of heroes, local leaders and other influential members of the town. Together you will do your best to prepare for an invasion of otherworldly beings, most likely without any relief or back up. How you go about this is more or less up to you, whether leading in the front lines or staying behind making decisions and maintaining social order. Or maybe you just want to make out with as much power and/or cash as possible.

    The town of Rask itself is a moderately sized town lying between the crags of a mountain pass often used by traders and overlooking a valley that's home to various farmers and herdsmen. It's location and trade based economy has lent it a cosmopolitan populace consisting of a diverse mix of races, though humanity still dominates. Other than that many of the aspects of the town itself will be decided later by GM and players both.

    World Info:

    Technology is somewhat advanced for a fantasy affair, with the most comparable time in human history being the Renaissance. Of course that's only an approximation, but it tells enough. Firearms are common, but have not completely dominated warfare, bows, crossbows, swords and the whole lot of stabbing instruments still see use even in the most modernized of professional armies. Not to mention things like the printing press and not-insane medical practices exist as well.

    Magic has been around for as long as written history, otherwise not much is known despite the efforts of magicians and, more recently, natural philosophers. Magic users are uncommon, though not necessarily rare, and are considered eccentric by nature. It takes a lot of time to learn even the basics of magic use and only those apprentices from a very young age will ever be able to call themselves a wizard before their late 20's. Of course, this only applies to humans. Other races and certain creatures may be more or less attuned to magic and the longevity of those like elves means that all but the most dimwitted or stubborn learn magic to some capacity.

    Speaking of races, most of your common fantasy fair is present. Many with minimal changes to fit the setting, some tweaked a bit. The specifics of available races and there quirks ill be address in full when/if it becomes relevant.

    Other info such as nations and possible geography will be added if this interest check takes off.
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  2. I rarely get to join an RP in this style. I'm interested.
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  3. Well then, welcome aboard. Any pressing questions that need answering?
  4. What would the extent of an old wizard's power be? Thematically, what other works is magic in Rask similar to? I'm interested in playing a young-ish noble, or an experienced and worldly old mage.
  5. Thematically, magic is loosely based on D&D style Vancian magic. Spells often require a predetermined set of actions and or materials to cast, with the general rule being more complicated the action and more expensive the material the more powerful the spell. Of course, for the sake of the RP this material limitation purely thematic... Unless You're constantly casting a spell that requires ludicrously rare materials, then I might say something. As for power, well, continuing on the D&D comparison I'd say an old wizard would be the equivalent to a 9th-12th level wizard. You can cast simple spells like fireball pretty willy-nilly and you can cast 'battlefield' changing spells with decent effort. Unlike D&D how many spells your character can cast is only limited by 'exhaustion' and that really only comes in effect if you cast spells at the limit of your power.

    With all that said, the magic system is a work in progress and I'll work with you to create a balanced character should you go the wizard route.
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  6. This pleases me.
  7. Well, this seems fun.
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  8. Anyone else feeling a short grubby footman named Herald? Herald is feeling Herald.
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  9. I might try this. gotta think of an appropriate character but that can come in time. also I think for alternate races they should all be individually made. some races we all come together and build instead of predetermined. it lets us individualise our characters and what we can do.
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  10. Sounds like a good idea. Certainly not a common one. In terms of character, I'm thinking of playing the leader of a division of an elite paladin organisation that has positioned itself in Rask? They'd be mainly reserve soldiers who were left behind when the more proficient ones left to defeat the army, so only the leader would possess any significant ability.
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  11. The world itself it already established to a degree, including the common or otherwise significant races. I just didn't go into great detail in the original post I didn't think it too important for the overall plot concept. In the OOC and Sign-up thread there will be a more information on these 'important' races. If someone wants a character that is not one of these races they can just ask me first to see if it's appropriate for the setting, no reason to bog down the OOC with a bunch of random information that might have no bearing on the story at hand.
    That sounds good. Thanks for your interest.
  12. where is the ooc and sign up page?
  13. There isn't one yet. This is just the Interest Check. Most interest checks don't get an OOC/Signups until a certain number of players are gained to be worth writing it all out.
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  14. This is correct, the idea isn't exactly a popular one on Iwaku and I thought it best to throw out a quick interest check before risking writing out the most likely somewhat long OOC/Signup thread. I wouldn't worry too much about this not getting off the ground though, it seems that there is a decent amount of interest so I'll be putting up the OOC/Signup thread here sometime soon(tm). I'll make sure to keep you all informed.
  15. I've been watching this for a bit and battling with my conscious on whether or not to commit to it, mainly because I didn't have a good character thought up but now that I have an idea I like I'll swing it through here.

    So a religious head of some sort, of the town or from the capital. And he's crazy, at least to an extent because "God is punishing us, with an army of the Divine! The hellfire that will spread across the lands will cleanse all of Sin and brinjg about a new age under His watchful hand!"

    Or something like that, still trying to figure out how to flesh it out.

  16. While religion is an important element of the world and RP in general, such a character would be unlikely to exist and if he did he wouldn't be let on the War Council. To give a brief breakdown of the religious situation in the world: For the last five (or so) centuries there has only been a single god, Ardectes. A benevolent, if somewhat impotent being whose existence and motivations are unquestioned. Even those who do not directly worship him acknowledge his existence. Of course, it wasn't always this way. Ardectes was originally a man, a well liked and powerful king of what was once Curiklund, now known simply as the Seared Lands. Believing the gods were corrupt, heartless beings he set out to attain ascension in order to put them down and free the world of their cold rule. One harrowing, nigh-century long quest later Ardectes manages to ascend and slays the gods, taking their place in the heavens. The gods got the last laugh though as the force of Ardectes ascension destroyed Curiklund in a maelstrom of divine fire.

    There also exists 'Small Gods', powerful beings such as spirits or elder dragons that command a great amount of respect and may have large followings. However, such 'gods' are essentially unheard of in more advanced societies such as Igros outside of underground cults.

    So... Yeah, keep this in mind when considering a character.
    #16 Snakey, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  17. Well shit. I guess I'll keep thinking, consider my interest to be on the edge now .-. But I've got questions now that you've given off a bit of information.

    So then, what purpose does a priest or some religious figure serve in a world where everyone knows the God to be real?

    Are they vastly different from the priests of today? How does this religion even work, they preach of his ascension... Or his harrowing quest? How exactly do they worship him?

    I'm having trouble grasping this on a level with reality albeit this is a fantasy so I get that gods and such in this story from what you just said are more of solidified proven beings than say any God of today.

    You don't really have to put in the work to explain all this especially because even going back and reading this I'm confusing myself.

    So Ardectes is worshipped like The Empra from 40K except he's no longer on the "normal" realm(maybe plane?) of existence?
    #17 FrostedCaramel, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  18. Very good questions.

    Priests serve a similar purpose as their real counterparts, they perform rites, preach sermons and otherwise act as community leaders. How Ardectes is worshiped is up for contention, he didn't exactly leave a guide book before he was ascended so multiple sects have been formed, each interpreting his will differently. For example, one may stress his message of self actuation and suffering in order to become more than you what you born with. This explanation doesn't sit well with certain tiered societies so they may instead focus on Ardectes' self sacrifice for the greater good of mankind, stressing a collectivist message. These are only a couple more broad examples, essentially a priest can twist almost whatever message they want from his life.

    Another big reason why people would worship him is the afterlife. Most people do not believe in a guaranteed afterlife, they believe that if Ardectes does not accept them into the heavens their souls are simply lost to the abyss.

    Also, keep in mind that people don't know he exists because he actively interferes in the affairs of man, they only 'know' he exists because evidence points to him existing. Books were written about his life, many during the time he was still a man, there's a wasteland where Curiklund was supposed to exist and, most importantly, there are long-lived beings from his time that testify of his existence. The only divine evidence pointing to his existence

    I think I answered what you asking.

    EDIT: Also, keep in mind the religious aspect, like almost everything else, is still a work in progress and may be changed before the OOC goes up.
    #18 Snakey, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
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  19. Well, there are considerable amounts of literature evidence for many modern religions, which still exist side by side. Personally, I think it a little unrealistic that there be only a single religion that is 'definitely' true. I think these long-lived beings with eye-witness accounts of him would be viewed in many different ways by many different people. After all, very few people would consider something outside their religion to be true and would try to find other explanations for the phenomena it relies on. So, the eye-witness accounts would likely be dismissed in a similar way to eye-witness accounts of God are in the modern day; hallucinations created by a desire to believe it's true. The firestorm that consumed Curiklund could be explained as a powerful spell that went out of control.

    Expositionary rant, feel free to skip these 2 paragraphs:

    When I'm trying to make religions realistic (since world building, especially religion, is very important to me - if done right, religion can either see a setting become legendary or see it reduced to dust), I tend to think along the lines of motivation. Why would people convert to a new religion? People convert because they're unsatisfied by their current beliefs and the new belief offers much more pleasant terms. This can be seen most easily with Judaism and Christianity. Judaism became popular because it was aimed at a group of people who had been forced out of their homes, and thus left to feel very isolated. The Judaic god offered a feeling of "You may be facing hardships now, but you're better than everyone else and one day your hard work will pay off." Christianity gained popularity especially in Europe because it was this all-inclusive religion. It had a god that would accept you no matter who you were. Had the various paganistic and polytheistic religions in Europe been more tolerant towards others, Christianity would have never left the middle east. Without Christianity, the Judaic god would have remained an 'insider' religion designed to cater to its chosen people, which is why it never spread beyond Israel and why very few people ever convert to Judaism.

    An opposite effect can be seen with Atenism, a cult-like religion started by Akhenaten just before the time of Tutankhamun (who was originally named Tutankhaten to honour Aten). Atenism was a branch of Egyptian mythology designed by Akhenaten, who worshipped only Aten, the Sun Disc, and dismissed all other gods (although it originally accepted several of them, but that's another phenomena not worth explaining). The reason that Atenism never gained ground was because like Judaism, it was very exclusive, but it didn't have a group of vulnerable homeless to give hope to, and after the death of Akhenaten the old religion was restored in a matter of a few years, despite Atenism being declared the official religion of Egypt during his reign.

    So, back to the plot. Unusually, Ardectes gives us an opportunity to explore a young religion - normally, fantasy roleplays come with many ancient religions (and usually use gods that are "real" too, which I feel is always a mistake). If people are still around who remember Ardectes though, even with extended life span, the religion itself can only be a couple of centuries old at best. What I propose is the following:

    • In the Curiklands, and several other regions, there used to be a polytheistic religion that was the main faith, which worshipped the sun as its primary deity and had the gods of war, moons, stars and all other gods as that god's children. However, the Curiklands and the surrounding regions were in a state of conflict. Not full on war, but political tension, and due to a series of droughts, food was scarce. These combined to create a sense of doubt about the power and benevolence of the gods. "Surely, if they really possessed power and cared about us, they could end this famine?"
    • Curikland was hit the worst by this, and hoping to save his people, the king Ardectes set out on a journey to the heavens to question the gods. (over time though, the story was changed to one of conquest)
    • A firestorm enveloped Curikland after about a decade of Ardectes' questing (people would have forgotten him after a century, so no religion would really start if that long gap is given, and thus I reduced it to a decade). No one knows the true origin of the firestorm because it killed many of the people (I suggest limiting the scale to just the capital and surrounding farmlands - you need some people alive to actually found the religion in the first place, since non-Curiklanders would just be skeptical about it). Those of the religion believe this firestorm was Ardectes ascending since he was never seen since, while those who don't belong to the religion think it was simply a spell that went out of control - the reason Ardectes hasn't been seen since is because he died in the fire.
    • Shortly after the fire, the conditions the Curiklanders were living it significantly improved despite the lack of a capital, and many people remembered the king Ardectes and thought "Maybe he really did defeat the gods?" and decided to put their faith in him.
    • This religion spread over time to the neighbouring nations who were also suffering, however, it failed to take hold of the middle and upper classes since they could afford to live in relative luxury even during the times of drought. This leaves the religious proportion at 95% for Curiklanders, while about 70% of the population of neighbouring regions worship or at least believe in Ardectes. The other 30% would be higher classes who remain faithful to the old gods. The other 5% Curiklanders are those few nobles who lived in cities besides the capital.
    • Out of the Seared Lands (now limited to the capital city and its surrounding land, instead of all Curikland) comes an army of monsters who slaughter many of the Curiklanders and even crush the armies of the surrounding nations. Many people notice the correlation between the origin of the monsters and the origin of Ardectes, and in a time of uncertainty, many new prophets who claim to know the truth are created, and the religion splits into many different cults, most notably: Cult One, which believes in Ardectes but believes he only managed to stall the old gods, who are exerting their vengeance. They mainly worship the old gods in an attempt to appease them. Cult Two, which believes Ardectes has himself become corrupt. This is an end-times cult who believe their leader will bring them to 'true' salvation. They worship their leader and no one else. Cult Three, which believes that this event is Ardectes cleansing the world Revelations-style, who obsessively revere Ardectes in hopes of making the final cut.
    • Of course, there are many people who see this is Ardectes having failed completely and not being worthy of acknowledgment all together, who are reverting back to the old deities.
    Anyway that's just my take on what would be the best model to use for the religion. Feel free to use it or discard it, I don't mind. The Paladins will worship their own deity anyway so it doesn't affect them :P
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  20. That's what I was going for with the character idea, I was just sitting at a computer doing mind numbing online courses for almost nine hours today and found it very hard to put my thoughts together properly. But I definitely see how that would be a character not likely on the war council, but that leads me to another path to take with this character (If it's somehow possible @Snakey ).

    Now imagine the war council toiling day and night. Fortifying the city, training hosts of levies from the surrounding lands, building engines of war in sprawling camps, the smithing tents that would dominate whole patches of these camps, and all the while there is a group of anywhere from a handful of people to a group of a hundred or more sneaking around the camps and causing various amounts of chaos and throwing the whole strategy off if only for a small amount of time. But when time is so short, every second counts no?

    Enter Cult Three, the insider threat to the council, who will do anything to slow and ultimately halt the progress of the war council in order to be granted their ascension to Ardectes Kingdom.

    Also just imagine the Paladins finding out and fighting a bunch of poorly armed, unarmored, and untrained fanatical cultists. It'd be an interesting bloodbath to say the least.

    But you're the GM and I'll admit this idea is really pushing the limits of your original idea so I won't take any offense at you simply denying this. Fanatical cult or no, this RP has some serious potential.
    #20 FrostedCaramel, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
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