While this is a premeditated one on one with @Kreska, it is also a prequel RP; at a certain point in the plot, I'll open it as a group RP. So for now, if you're interested in this setting, I encourage you to follow it until it opens to more people. ~ Megethos. A continent caught in the stride of progess. In the years 1453, called the Year of Doors, an accentric scholar by the name of Darrius discovered a set of writings while exploring previously-buried ancient ruins. They were supposedly manuscripts of magic; details on how to bind a Dimension to yourself and gain the ability to cast spells. While these were more specific than other such finds, they were nothing unusual. Many ancient works had such claims. Darrius, however, was obsessed with the idea of a power out of this world. As he always did, he followed the instructions contained in the writings by performing the Ritual described. And found himself transported to another Dimension. Darrius soon found himself the most powerful person on the planet. Able to bend reality to his will (albeit in a very limited fashion at first), he spread news of his abilities across the continent and changed his name to Magus. At first, only the most gullible believed his wild claims. But as his powers grew, he visited large cities and performed undeniable feats of magic. The world realized that this madman had stumbled on something very revolutionary. While Magus himself refused to divulge the Ritual's secrets, his copies of the original manuscript were stolen soon after his abilities were confirmed. At first, governments hoarded them as the most valuable things in the world. Kings, politicians, and elite soldiers becoming mages over the coming two years. Then, an unknown thief infiltrated a secure Royal magical academy and copied the process, releasing it to the public. The difficulty and cost of the Ritual was the only thing that stopped everyone on Megethos from becoming mages practically overnight. As it was, a great many learned the secret and over a year various magical institutions and schools sprung up like weds. There was nothing anyone could have done to stop it, and soon the conversion was complete. Megethos would never be the same. A world of magic: Megethos is a medieval fantasy world composed of five nations and a contested area where many smaller groups reside in splintered land. Alixies: Laying in the temperate south, Alixies is called the Silver Capital of the World. Its king was one of the first mage after Magus, and it was the first nation to build magical colleges, leading to a high rate of magical literacy. It thrives on trade, bordering Arandland, Estillia, and Velaria. It is a monarchy, the position of king passed down the bloodline. The mages of Alixies tend to learn simple practical spells, or illusions for use in entertainment. The national currency is the silver Talent, an ornate and fanciful coin accepted almost everywhere. A quirk of the southern Ailixien mountain ranges is that they run full with gold but silver is rare, leading to the latter being more valuable in the nation. Bronze and gold Talents exist, but gold coins are mostly used for trade with other nations and is worth even less than bronze in Alixies. The current king is a power hungry man named Marlin. Arandland: On the eastern edge of the continent is Arandland, the oldest nation of Megethos. The legends say it was founded by a powerful warrior-king named Arand. Of course, due to recent events, the history books have been rewritten to claim that Arand was the first Spellknight. Such is the fickle nature of events gone by. The nation is a monarchy heavily based on tradition. Some would call it a tyranny based on how absolute the word of the king is. The Arandish currency is the Crown, made from gold, silver or bronze. The Arandish are a stoic, hardy people, known across Megethos for their strength, even if their intelligence may be called into question. The current ruler is a scholar named Everett who defies the stereotype (and the norm) by being more of a mage-king than a warrior. Kosma: Standing proudly in the north, Kosma is the newest nation to vie for international power in Megethos. In 1462, the entire magically active population of northern Velaria rose up and rebelled in one fell sweep. The official government was ousted quickly and a new one established. Newly formed Kosma is a magocracy, which has two projound impacts on the nation: It has the highest portion of magically capable citizens, and its leadership changes very often, sometimes multiple times in a year. Whoever can defeat the current High Archmage in a magical duel is crowned, regardless of gender, race, nationality, or any other factor. Most of the time the old ruler is killed in said duel. Originally, anyone could challenge the current ruler at any time. However, the High Archmage would never have time to rule because they were spending all their time fighting. Nowadays, a massive tournament is held every three months, and the winner earns the right to challenge the High Archmage. The Kosman currency is the unique Tear. Tears are tiny, carefully carved blue gemstones that are abundant across the nation's mines. Before, the expense of refining them made them an impractical currency, but magic offers an easy way to mass-craft them. The current High Archmage of Kosma is an enigmatic woman named Noir. Velaria: Velaria is a tiny stretch of land caught between Alixies and Kosma. It is a crippled nation currently caught in a fight for succession. It used to be much, much larger, but the rebellion of the Kosmos shattered it. The previous, childless, queen committed suicide in 1468, and in the two years since every person even distantly related to her has gathered their own privat armies and attempted to lay claim to the throne, starting a bloody civil war shows no signs of abating. The Velarian currency is the Shekel, barely refined (but carefully weighted) bits of precious metal. Estilia: West of Velaria is Estillia, a nation founded on war and ruled with blood. Created in 1203 when the warrior Zarath raised an army and forcefully united the divided city states of the land, it is constantly embroiled in conflict with itself and other nations. Today, it is the greatest center of war magic in the world, with entire academies scattered across the country dedicated to it. The mages of Estillia are known for the Order of the Blue Sword, a cult of spellknights with an almost religious loyalty to the king that wield incredibly powerful combat magic. The Estillian currency is a heavy gold coin called the Daric. The current ruler is an eccentric man named Fen that has taken personal control of the Blue Knights, leading them himself. The Fragments: To the far west past Estilia lies a huge stretch of land that has no central government. It was formerly a nation named Mageia that once ruled the continent until many nations banded together in 1134 and felled it. The legends say that Mageia knew the secret of magic, but it was lost in its destruction. Previously dismissed as a fairy tale, scholars are now re-evaluating the old stories with a sneaking suspicion. Now, many kings and would be conquerers claim to own the Fragmens, but none hold very much of the territory, and it is considered a dangerous no-man's land by sensible people. Planar Magic: The Revolution In 1453, Magus changed the world when he was the first in centuries to tap into another plane of existence and bend its power to his will. When the secret became public, magic swept across the world. The Ritual: Everyone who wishes to practice magic must perform a magical process called simply the Ritual. It involves using a specific mixture of ink to draw a pattern on a large plate of pure silver, then burning logs from a rare tree and laying them around the glyph. The caster then stands in the middle with the desired Focus in hand (or otherwise on their person) and chants a specific incantation that takes roughly thirty minutes to recite due to length. Any pause more than around thirty seconds disrupts the magic and requires the caster to start over. When the final word is spoken, all components (except the Focus) are consumed and the caster is transported to another unclaimed plane of existence. A link between them and that dimension is formed, laying the basis for spellcasting and allowing them to instantly transmit themselves to that dimension no matter where they are on the Material Plane. Any other mage nearby, however, can piggyback on the translocation with a thought, and follow them. Foci: To cast magic, a mage must have the Focus they specified in the Ritual. It is irrevocably tied to them and their dimension. It can be anything from a necklace to a dagger. The one restriction is size; the exact dimensions haven't been accurately recorded, but in practice anything larger than an average shortsword doesn't work. Most mages choose something small for ease of transportation, regardless. The Focus is physically indestructible, but ceases to exist if the bonded Mage dies. Connection and Sound: The strength of a mage's connection with their dimension varies, ranging from weak to very strong. Connection does not influence the power of spells cast, but rather the energy expended to cast them. The act of reaching across dimensions to draw power is physically tiring, and the stronger a Mage's connection the less so. However, stronger connections have a downside--every time a Mage casts a spell, it emits a magical "sound" that other mages around them can hear. While it isn't physical and is merely felt rather than heard, it is still unmistakeable. Every Dimension has its own "sound" that the connected Mage shares, and the stronger their Connection, the "louder" their spells are, alerting other mages in a larger radius. While the differences in sounds are subtle, if one hears the same Mage cast spells enough it is easy to be familiar with their sound and recognize it later. When in a Dimension, there is a perpetual magical "buzz" of its sound, masking the Dimension's owner's spellcasting. The Dimensional Framework: Every dimension is connected in some way, but such connections are hard to utilize and hard to see normally. The Framework is a network of Dimensions willingly connected by their Mage or creator so that anyone in one can see any others connected and travel to them instantly. This is extremely useful for Anchored Dimensions (Artificial Dimensions created by powerful mages tied to a point in space in the material plane through which one can enter and exit it), which are used to cross great distances effortlessly. The advantage of conecting your dimension to the framework is being able to access Anchored Dimensions for teleportation near-instantly, but the disadvantage is any other skilled mage being able to find your Dimension and follow it to you easily. Ritual Spells and Essence: Certain powerful spells are Ritual spells, and have a set of additional requirements and take time to cast. Most Ritual spells must be performed in the caster's own dimension, require special material components at hand, and take at least ten minutes to cast. Ritual spells include: Dimensional divinations (simple divinations such as detecting nearby living creatures are not Rituals, but any that involve looking through the dimensions are). Lingering enchantments (while simple spells will suffice to create a magical effect around something for a few moments, enchantments lasting much more must be Rituals). Dimensional manipulation (while the manipulation of a Dimension while you are in it varies, to change the dimensional framework or affect a foreign dimension, you must cast a Ritual). Mass spells (Mass spells are akin to normal spells except that they affect huge areas. They can be cast anywhere, but are incredibly draining and will exhaust even a mage with a very strong connection. Only the most powerful of mages can cast mass spells). Essence is the inherent trait of a dimension that represents how fast it produces magic. While all dimensions produce magic fast enough that Essence doesn't matter to normal spells, Ritual spells use so much that it does matter. Essence ranges from Weak to Very Strong and determines how long their owner's Ritual spells take. Note that Rituals cast outside of the caster's own plane (those that even can be) take much longer. Malleability: Dimensions can be altered physically as the material plane (usually) but they can also be altered magically, as determined by how malleable they are. The terrain of Thought dimensions can be altered by simply envisioning the change in your mind. Word dimensions can be altered by firmly describing the change out loud, Spell dimensions can be altered by casting a very simple dimensional spell, and Ritual dimensions can only be altered by powerful, long incantations. Only the terrain of dimensions can be altered this way; living creatures and inherent traits such as gravity cannot be. Now, the year is 1470. The continent is torn by strife as wars erupt. Arandland attacked Kosma, saying that they "violated the ancient ways," and Estilia attacked Alixies for a reason noöne remembers anymore. Combat magic tears the earth asunder on the fields of battle, and the common people are not safe. Magus, now one of the most powerful mages, has emerged from a ten year long disappearance and called a council of mages in a remote corner of the Fragments. He did not disclose the topic of discussion, but who dares refuse a summon from one such as he? Any mage that can survive to reach the place is invited. You and your partner are mages who have answered his call and struck out through the Fragments. If you live long enough to see his tower, you are promised a meeting with the father of magic--and a hand in whatever grand plans he has. Characters: Vansalon: Name: Laurelle Mary-Anne Gender: Female Age: 28 Focus: Tattoos Nation: Arandland Connection: Weak Appearance: Laurelle is short and slim, with a lithe, graceful frame that makes up for what it lacks in direct strength with wiry agility. Her skin is fair and pale, a result of her usual hooded guise. Her hair is long, golden-blonde, and curly, falling past her shoulders. Her eyes are a bright, sharp, emerald green that perpetually flicker here and there, watching everything around them. Her most notable physical trait are the tattoos that cover her entire body, which she inscribed herself. These include but are not limited to: A pair of bright blue floral patterns that curl up from her chin to loop around her eyes to frame her face, contrasting with her green eyes. A purple feather-winged snake entwining each arm, stretching all the way from her shoulders to her wrists. A minimalistic black sun on the palm of each hand. A stylized red tiger's claw on the back of her left hand. A lavender longsword with the handguard replaced by a pair of majestic, incredibly detailed wings, on the back of her right hand. A violet wave pattern just above her breasts. For everday purposes, Laurelle wears a black traveling dress beneath a slightly-too-large-for-her cloak. Her cloak is plain white on the inside, but covered in a spiral of rainbow patterns on the outside. When executing a heist or expecting combat, she wears an extremely tight outfit consisting of a black top that leaves her midriff bare, black pants with a pair of long, curved daggers sheathed on each side, and ties her hair into a ponytail. The outfit is designed to be minimalistic and restrict her movement as little as possible. In Prismsphere, she appears much the same, but her hair floats upwards slightly (a result of the lowered gravity) and shines in rainbow colors. Personality: Laurelle is quiet and attentive. She rarely raises her voice or lifts much more than a hand to cast a spell. She is gentle most of the time, but displays a surprising apathy for the suffering, generally not caring enough to aid a stranger in need unless she thinks she can get something out of it. She has a dry sense of humor, but rarely laughs, usually just smiling. She is rather materialistic even though she carries very little and can become visibly excited at the prospect of a good heist. She seems to totally ignore any injuries she sustains if they're not pointed out to her, but she regularly sits down and carefully examines herself, looking for wounds and binding them if she finds any. Despite a talent for combat and skill with a knife, Laurelle adamantly refuses to kill in any circumstance. She is by no means a pacifist, however; her combat style involves judicious use of pain to disable an opponent, and she has a vengeful nature. If she is especially wronged or defeats someone she considers vile, she will beat them to an inch of their life and permanently cripple them before depositing them at some nearby village or the like. She dislikes using her knives and usually only uses them for intimidation, only resorting to them in combat if she is otherwise overpowered; even then, she will make quick, concise, nonlethal cuts to down an enemy without killing them. She is constantly aware of the danger she is in fighting other mages, and tends to try and talk her way past combat, if at all possible. Backstory: Laurelle was born just before the discovery of magic, growing up during the arcane's formative years. Her parents were Arandish nobles who saw the new trend quickly engulfing the continent as evil witchcraft, outlawing it on penalty of death in their duchy. Laurelle grew up in a harsh, political environment, rarely being allowed to see visitors or socialize. Locked in her room most of the time, she passed the time by taking up art, something her parents could actually appreciate. Her paintings weren't very good at first, but weeks with little else to do honed her skill, and she quickly became quite proficient. When she was ten, a traveling mage and performer arrived at the palace to ply his trade. He had not been informed of the ban on magic, and Laurelle's parents had no knowledge of the fact that he was more than a minstrel. It was one of the few times she had been allowed to see a visitor, but she wished she hadn't been. The show began innocuously enough, but things got dark when he cast an illusion to augment the visuals. Laurelle's mother coldly ordered him executed him on the spot, and Laurelle watched horrified as a guard stepped up and sunk his sword into the man's chest. Scarred, she avoided her parents after that, becoming even more reclusive and spending most of her time painting. When she was fifteen, she made a decision. One night while her father was out carousing and her mother slept, she went to her parent's door and pretended that there was an emergency, convincing a guard to wake her mother up and let Laurelle in. As soon as her mother's back was turned and the door was closed, the girl used a candlestick to knock her mother unconscious. She took the key she always carried from her and used it to unlock the noble's personal savings that were set aside from luxuries. Stuffing the gold in a sack, she hid the sack in her cloak and left the room, stepping quickly past the guards to get away before they suspected anything. She then went to the kitchen and packed a store of food, and soon she was gone. She made her way to Velaria, putting as much distance as possible between herself and her parents. Realizing she didn't know what she would do when her money ran out, she took to thievery, targetting mundane shopkeepers who couldn't ward their valuables with magic, and within a year she was so adept at larceny that she had found ways to bypass basic magical wards, stealing more and more valuable objects. Eventually, she was caught by an old magician who lived in a medium sized manor in northern Velaria. While she had bypassed his wards, she hadn't managed to discover the Alarm spell left on the safe, and he came running when she opened it. Having no other way to go but through the old man, she gritted her teeth and drew her knife, knowing she wouldn't be able to defeat a seasoned magician when he already knew she was there. Surprisingly, instead of attacking her, he just laughed and said that he hadn't seen a thief so brave--or foolish--in years. He asked Laurelle if she was even a mage. She thought about bluffing but ultimately admitted she wasn't. The man suggested (with a mischevious smile) that she owed him for trying to steal for him, so she could apprentice herself under him and work for him. In return, he would teach her magic. Tempted by the offer, Laurelle finally accepted, but her education wasn't quite what she expected. Instead of talking about magic, he spent almost two years lecturing her on larceny--the best techniques, magical defenses to watch for, equipment to carry, and so on. He honed her lockpicking skills, taught her tricks to deceive shopkeepers, the works. Laurelle came to have a sneaking suspicion, but she never voiced it. Finally, he taught her the Ritual, mentioning how certain...alternative Foci were possible. He explained that the biggest obstacle to stealing a well protected object from a gallery or the like was smuggling a Focus in. Noticing her artistic skills, he told her that dye on the skin (if there was enough of it) could serve as a Focus as well as a jewel. When Laurelle performed the Ritual when she was eighteen, she painted patterns all across her skin and then bound them to her as her Focus. While the tattoos didn't make her skin invulnerable under them, they couldn't be washed out and would reäppear, if cut, when the skin healed. By carrying an object like an expensive necklace or a fancy looking cloak, she could deposit that as her "Focus" when attending an event she wished to steal from, and retain her use of magic. Now that she could cast spells, Laurelle already knew what her first magically-assisted heist would be. She journeyed back to her homeland, finding her way to her parent's duchy. Once she arrived at her old home, she used magic to sneak in, bleed them completely dry by emptying their entire store of wealth, and leave undetected. She left a note on the floor of the treasury with the words "Thanks for nothing" and enchanted the text to glow in rainbow colors. By the time she had made her way back to Velaria, it had largely become Kosma. Unable to find her old master, Laurelle settled in as a part time artist, but continued her thievery in her free time, confident she could break into anything. While she could have used her impressive magical talents to advance far in the Kosman hierarchy, she preferred a nonchalant life in the shadows, and became wealthy without a display of magical skill. She was wealthier than most nobles and living like a king when she heard of Magus' call. Having not been truly challenged in years, she set off for the Fragments, her curiosity too strong to resist. Other Info: Laurelle is ambidextorous and skilled in magically assisted first aid. Dimension sheet: Name: Prismsphere Description: Prismsphere is a colorful place, enclosed in a massive orb of clear crystal. It is permeated by a cloud-like substance that shines in rainbow colors, which is sometimes thick enough to support a human's weight. This substance is more common the closer you get to the crystal walls, being so thick as to obscure sight completely within around fifty yards of a wall. It is impossible to break the crystal walls, but a reflection of the plane in negative colors can be seen through it. The terrain is much like that of the material plane, but the colors are all different. Flora is pink or white, wood is ebony, rocks are red or yellow, etc. The dimension is separated at unmarked borders into various distinct sections of terrain. The central area is largely open plains of tall white grass stretching on for miles in any direction. The only animal Laurelle has found in this area is a pink-furred feline creature with two long tufts of fur stretching out from their cheeks (like a bobcat) and facial features that give it the appearance of a perpetual grin. Laurelle never gave them a name and simply calls them cats, and they roam alone or in groups of two or three through the plains. Laurelle once witnessed one carefully cutting down strands of grass with a claw, holding them in its mouth, and then carrying them away somewhere. Curious, Laurelle followed it, to discover it returning to a patch where the grass had been neatly mowed down to only a couple of inches in size, and a bed woven from hundreds of little blades sitting in the clearing. She watched the cat drop the strands it had gathered and then perform a delicate job of weaving them in with the rest, something she would have thought impossible for such tiny paws. Since then, she has paid attention and found many of these nests, which serve as a place that the cats give birth and raise their family in. Once, when Laurelle wondered what they ate with no other wildlife in the plains, she stalked a mother and watched her pick several of the purple flowers that populated the field, carrying them back to her nest and feeding them to her kittens. To the "south" (Prismsphere has no true cardinal directions, but Laurelle named it as such because it was behind the place she appeared on her first visit) is a great forest at least as large as the plains, thicker the farther "north" you are until there are only a few trees dotted here and there by the wall. The trees appear to all be of the same kind; tall, wide, and blooming with blue flowers that pop out amidst the black trunks and white leaves. A number of paths are carved in the dirt among the forest, but their origin is unknown. The only animal that populates the south is a bright blue bird, smaller than a human hand, that hides among the leaves and eats the flowers. Laurelle was startled by their appearance; she had seen them, but failed to notice they were not flowers, blending in amidst the blossoms. She calls the birds blues. The blues spend most of their day eating, but Laurelle has noticed them weaving nests out of sticks and particularly large flowers before. To the north lies a steep mountain range of dark blue stone. Laurelle doesn't venture there often, because even besides the difficult terrain, it is populated by groups of bears that share a color with the rock, blending in in groups of five to ten, seemingly for no other purpose than to ambush who any other living creature that enters their domain. While Laurelle had no trouble fending them off by manipulating the terrain when she first encountered them, she still prefers not to dwell there. To the west is a great lake of sparkling dark red water, dotted with small, loose islands of purple dirt that actually float on the surface and can't support a human's weight. Manipulating the terrain to create stable landbridges, Laurelle has traversed the lake. Its only inhabitant is a single huge orange fish that dwells at the center of the huge lake. When Laurelle reached its abode, it rose out of the water and simply stared at her until she left. As far as she can tell, it needs no sustenance and can survive indefinitely in air. While it never leaves a radius of about of a hundred yards at the center of the lake, it still makes her uncomfortable, so she rarely visits it. Laurelle has roped off a part of the lake at the eastern edge of the lake and thoroughly cleaned and purified the water, and she uses this pool to bathe. To the east there is a barren wasteland of purple dirt, the only truly monochrome area in Prismsphere. Nothing grows there, and Laurelle hasn't found any wildlife there. She customarily avoids the place, there being nothing worth seeing. Wildlife besides each district's unique species is nonexistent, but the animals have never seemed particularly bothered if taken to another area, although they do attempt to return to theirs eventually. The only artificial structure in Prismsphere is a huge tower, a full three hundred feet wide, that stands in the exact center. Called the Spire, Laurelle built it to serve as her home, and it contains rooms upon rooms of storage--the fruits of her heists. Her living quarters are located on the top floor, and several basic rooms (such as kitchens) are repeated throughout the structure so that Laurelle can easily get what she needs no matter where she is. Essence: Strong Malleability: Thought Notable Traits: Low gravity (about six tenths that of the Material Plane), dark magic does not function, light magic is amplified and appears in rainbow colors. Note: This profile is in the process of being rewritten; the information that follows is subject to change. Name: Skye Falkenrath Gender: Female Age: 20 Focus: An ornate, oversized gauntlet. Nation: Estillia Connection: Very Strong Appearance: Skye stands at about average height, five foot three inches. Her hair is long, straight, and deep black colored. Her frame is small but athletic and sturdy. Her expression is a constantly shifting storm; usually varying from a bright, hopeful, but wary look, a violent, angry gaze, and a dejected, depressed appearance. For everyday purposes, she wears an elaborate outfit designed to look like glittery fine chainmail (although it's just cloth with silver woven in), and a white cloak. The outfit is designed to look like armor so that her Focus doesn't look too out of place. Her actual armor consists of a chainmail shirt beneath an overly silver breastplate with black engravings of wings over the breasts and birds just beneath. Her angular pauldrons are silvered in the same way and are designed minimalistically to stay out of her way. Her suit only has one normal gauntlet. Instead of a second, she wears her Focus on her right, off, hand. Her Focus is much larger than a standard gauntlet and designed to be used like a shield in combat. It is incredibly ornate and set with sapphires and amethysts. The rest of her armor bears the same style as the breastplate, with patterns etched in the silver surface. Her unique longsword is well made and durable. Its guard is shaped like stylized wings and set with a sapphire. In Zephyrhome, she appears much the same, except her hair is a glittery white color and she bears two large white wings that stretch out from her back. Personality: Skye is a mess of shifting emotions. As a general rule, she's friendly, compassionate, and willing to give people a chance. However, her mood varies wildly. She's cheerful, optimistic, and trusting one day, then depressed, pessimistic, and paranoid the next. She's still naïve and unaware of the true dangers of the world, but she still feels the sting of her first betrayal, so she's in a paradox of not understanding the harsh reality yet always expecting the worst. Even on her good days, she's paranoid, but it's also easy to gain her trust. So long as you initially defy her negative expectations, she takes to people quickly. She's perhaps overfond of strong drink and a little raucous and vulgar. She has little tolerance to pain and a weak stomach, blood and gore upsetting her. She's loyal and protective, quickly lashing out at anyone who'd hurt her, her friends, or her country. Backstory: Skye is the latest heir of the Falkenrath family, an esteemed Estillian noble house centered in the small city of Mikra. As an only child, her father fawned over her outrageously when she was younger. She received the best education and luxuries money could buy, but she grew up sheltered, the only people her age she was really allowed to meet being potential future suitors of other noble houses. Her lack of social interaction left her time to study, and her private tutors helped hone her intelligence to fine degree (even if most people don't realize it because of her somewhat crude exterior). Her father instilled a sense of innocent self importance in her that caused problems for her later in life. She wasn't really arrogant, but she was raised under the belief that she could have anything she wanted. Her father granting her request to perform the Ritual at age sixteen, she discovered her windtorn plane of Zephyrhome and her aptitude for air magic. After she became a mage, she decided to become a soldier, almost on a whim. The next several years were spent apprenticed to various knights, learning battle magicks and the way of the sword. On her twentieth birthday, her father threw his weight around to get her accepted into the Order of the Blue Sword. Skye was intelligent and a natural mage, but her youth and lack of real qualification for being accepted so quickly caused some of the other Knights to regard her with distrust and dislike. Her first expedition as a Blue Knight was to journey into the Fragments under the Knight Commander Brandt to put down a bandit that was preying on the Estillian border. However, Brandt betrayed her as soon as they engaged the enemy, blasting her off her horse and turning her over to the enemy. Although several other Knights in the company voiced objections, they were silenced quickly. Now Keyer is ransoming her back to Estillia for a hefty fee--If he survives long enough to collect it, that is. Other Info: Dimension sheet: Name: Zephyrhome Description: Zephyrhome is a collection of platforms suspended in an endless sky that resemble clouds, but are as firm as soil. Embedded into these cloud islands are deposits of a deep black, shiny stone that resembles obsidian but is far less brittle. The islands seem to extend as far as the eye can see, but in reality only go a few hundred miles before you loop back to your original position. Strong winds constantly plague Zephyrhome, threatening to knock visitors off of the islands. The only out of place feature is a huge stone structure carved into the rough shape of a humanoid, hollow on the inside, that serves as Skye's home in the plane. It's equipped with everything that her room back at Estillia is and has a storage room / arsenal where she stores clothing, weapons, and armor. Essence: Very Strong Malleability: Spell, but the wind currents can be altered with thought. Notable Traits: Gravity is much stronger per mass than on the material plane, but the platforms aren't massive enough to generate as much as the material plane, so every platform is its gravitational field. Air magic is greatly amplified, even small spells producing winds strong enough to blast someone off a platform. Kreska: Note: This profile is in the process of being rewritten; the information that follows is subject to change. Name: Demi Sviatla Gender: Female Age: 20 Focus: A bright yellow necklace or scarf, being large enough to fit snugly around Demi's neck and shoulders several times. The actual Focus is an ovular purplish gem, which seems to slightly shimmer, embedded in the scarf. Nation: Estilia Connection: Strong Appearance: Demi has yellowy skin, dark blue hair, and blue eyes to match. She is of average height, but more than knows how to occupy a room if she needs to take a stand. Her clothing consists of a sleeveless light green robe cut at the sides, which would normally be very loose but is bound tightly to her (along with her scarf) by various belts and straps (which also serve to hold her trusty pack). Her hair is tied back loosely by purple bands. A pair of fingerless gloves, leather boots, a blue undershirt and brown shorts, and thigh stockings complete her outfit. When in Vada, Demi's eyes and hair become bright blue, she emits a faint aura of light, and her hair perks up freely. Personality: Due to the events of her life, Demi tries to remain wary of any circumstance. However, her materialistic nature almost always ends up in her putting more weight on reward rather than risk. She is normally easy-going, but panics if her possessions are in jeopardy, a common knee-jerk reäction being to hold on to her scarf as if it might blow away. Backstory: Demi was born to a well-to-do Estilian couple, but Estilia is not where she considers herself to be from. That "honor" belongs to Zemlia, the dimension to which her mother was linked. It was a place of endless yellow fields, some of the stalks of grass growing as large and tall as bamboo to brush against islands of earth that drifted lazily through the sky. She spent many hours, days, months even with her mother and father in the sanctuary that they had built there, and always sought to return to Zemlia when she finished her work at the academy that she attended back in Estilia. On the day when Demi finally became eligible to participate in the coming-of-age Ritual, she received a wonderful amulet from her father. He instructed her to use the embellished, orange-tinted gem as her Focus, and to keep it safe and close to her no matter what happened. Demi readily accepted. Her father began to sprint away as soon as he thought that he was out of Demi's field of vision. Catching a glimpse of him and wondering what had happened, Demi wandered down the hallway from whence her father had come. Her mother was on the floor sobbing. She explained to Demi that her father had taken both of their Foci and thrown them into the sea. The truth was that her parents weren't ever supposed to be together. They had gone against tradition and honor to marry each other and have a child, and went to Zemlia so often to escape the pointing fingers of accusation that always surrounded them in the "real" world... which became less and less real to them. Over fifteen years they lived an isolated but satisfactory life as their acquaintances and families drifted away from them and lost contact. They had been living in a dream, said her father, and he felt that it was time for the dream to end. They would almost certainly never go to Zemlia again. After she had done her share of crying and attempted in vain to console her mother, Demi set off the perform the Ritual at last and was reprimanded by everyone present for being so late. Nonetheless, Demi performed the Ritual to the letter, and it sent her into what appeared at first to be the opposite of Zemlia: a nightmare, not a dream. It was a clammy, craggy place full of bizarre creatures. The stone structures resembling ruins dotting the landscape everywhere didn't help, only serving to remind her of what she and her mother had lost. As she left Vada to return to the material plane for the first time, Demi resolved to make it into a beautiful place, one that Zemlia would pale in comparison to. While she was there, she learned that she would have to use dimensional spells to change the landscape at all: it would be a lot of work. She soon had her amulet bound to a scarf, a large necklace crafted from the most durable material possible and as yellow as it could get (which really wasn't nearly yellow enough) to match the earthy meadows of Zemlia. The amulet's gem had become bluish after the ritual, and the watery glow of Vada seemed to contrast starkly with the golden memory of Zemlia. Years passed. Demi's mother sank into a deep, lonesome depression, and her health declined into death quickly. Demi never made Vada into the extravagant palace that she promised herself she would after realizing that her mother would not live to see what she created. But she eventually found more beauty than she had bargained for in the place, and she found herself relaxing by the springs and eating the bitter fruit that grew natively there— she even came to terms with the existence of the uncanny, tufted eared lizards as she explored more and more of the hollow stone structures that had seemed so unwelcoming before. One day, Demi resolved to climb the tallest tower that she could find in Vada to see what lay at the top, above the omnipresent clouds of mist that filled the sky. The gravity increased with every step she took up the spiraling rock steps, and eventually she was crawling. The clouds were so close, she could almost reach out and touch them. She felt herself bristling with energy, and the soft light that surrounded her grew brighter as she became convinced that above the clouds, perfection awaited, somehow. Out of breath, Demi found herself completely pinned against the rocks. She had climbed so far that gravity had rendered her immobile. The clouds seemed to whisper to her, teasing her for not being strong enough as tendrils of mist licked at her body. She felt herself fainting and her vision grew dark... as someone began dragging her back down the tower. The red-headed young man who had saved Demi's life explained to her that he had followed her into Vada by means of a divination spell: he had done it innocently, wanting to test out the method without getting himself into danger, or so he claimed. Demi later found out that the boy was an apprentice spell-warrior named Taras. Later, they often practiced magic together in Vada or Iceflow, Taras's dimension of paradoxically-cold lava floes, as they became familiar with each others' dimensions and learned to detect the dimensional links. About a month later, Demi visited Brice, a raggedy-faced local sage. Or at least, he claimed to be a sage: he didn't seem to have any of the documents of certification that the other local sages seemed so proud to put on display. She explained to him how she had met Taras, and went on to tell Brice that she worried he had originally followed her because he fancied her. She besought the sage to help her cut ties with the hot-headed apprentice warrior, afraid of what he would do when he surely thought that she owed him her life and she didn't share his feelings. Brice quickly prescribed Demi a repertoire of obscure and bizarre-sounding warding incantations to practice, but above all he told her that isolation was key. If Taras could not find Demi in the first place, he would have quite a bit more trouble following her about, dimensional connection or no. Whether or not anything the dubious sage told her was true, Demi took it all to heart and thanked him before setting out. She filled her pack full of things: things that would help her on her journey ahead or that simply held sentiment. In honor of her parents, she would protect her possessions at all costs. And she would answer the summons of Magus. If she could do that, then surely she would be strong enough to climb the tower. Other Info: Dimension sheet: Name: Vada Description: Vada earns its name from the word "water" in the language that Demi's family claims heritage with. At first glance, Vada has the appearance of a mix of cliffscape and light stone landforms with the appearance of ancient ruins. It is pockmarked with hot springs almost all around, their edges eroded into milky-colored shoals. Flora consists of dark-leafed, vine-like plants that grow from the springs, climbing the stone structures toward the sky, which is filled with clouds of the mist that emanates from the springs. The most unique animal in the area can only be described as a cross between a rabbit and some sort of reptile. They presumably feed on either the small, tawny birds that fly here and there looking for the reddish fruit that the highest plants sometimes drop, but it is unknown how they actually get to the birds fast enough to eat them or if they even eat at all. The "razards" (as Demi lovingly dubbed them) seem mostly content to bask by the springs most of the time, only having been caught doing anything else (swimming, bashing their heads together, or perking up and scurrying away from some invisible force) several times. Despite the razards' and birds' propensity to stay above the water, they both seem to have amphibious characteristics. Tiny fishes and sand critters exist, but they are never found in Vada's main body of water; only in isolated pools or streams. Fossils embedded in the stone become abundant closer to the main body of water, so perhaps they were eaten by razards or driven out by the same unseen forces that the razards are so wary of. The most notable trait of Vada is its shape: the world is a mostly-hollow disc of unknown width, with about ten meters (~30ft) between each side filled with water as well as a sparse lattice of stalagmite-like structures connecting the sides of the disc. This is the source of most of the hot springs, although there are also streams and rivers that are propelled by inertia provided by gravity, with the water falling off the disc and looping back to the other side. The warm mist emitted by Vada's hot springs is imbued with a certain energy that is a tell-tale sign of the dimension's essence, which ironically amplifies fire magic and electric magic. It eventually floats up and collects into clouds that cover the entire sky, which is occasionally penetrated by only the tallest of the stone towers. The native life seems to thrive on the mist, with the razards fleeing at the slightest breeze that blows it away and the vines climbing the stone towers to reach toward the clouds. In spite of this, the middle of the disc (the source of the steam) is conspicuously devoid of permanent life, with only the occasional surface animal swimming through it to travel to the other side of the disc. A shared will to climb toward the sky seems to be shared by the wildlife's characteristics— in addition to the razards, even the fish, sand fleas, and birds all appear to have small ears or horns pointing upward. Any person who stays in the dimension for more than a moment finds their hair perking up on either side into a form that uncannily resembles downy ears unless it is held down tightly. Gravity on Vada is almost inverse to that of the material plane, being nil at the very middle of the watery center, slightly less than that of the material plane at ground level, and intensifying as one travels skyward. Near cloud level, it is over double the gravity of the material plane. The light level is predictably akin to the material plane on a cloudy day, although the water coming from the middle of the disc continually shimmers as if it was a sunny day. Because of this, the hot springs emit a warm light, which the razards often bask in. Essence: Moderate Malleability: Spell Notable Traits: Disc shape; inverse gravity; mist limits visibility at long distance unless it is particularly windy; heat-centric (fire electricity etc) magic is amplified; light magic does not function. Razards are normally docile but are drawn to magic, sometimes becoming hostile when faced with large amounts of it. Name: Taras Ashur Gender: Male Age: 24 Focus: Technically a short sword, with a large curved blade similar in shape (not size) to a podao's. The weapon is weighted and the handle (pommel? shaft?) long enough that it can be carried with one hand but used for fighting with both hands. It was initially questioned by Taras's cohorts for not being light enough to maneuver quickly or straight enough to stab, but it makes up for this by being formidable against armor. There is a faint motif of roses etched in the middle of the blade, a trademark of the Velarian smith from whom it was commissioned. Nation: Estillia Connection: Moderate Appearance: Taras is not naturally muscular, but has a fair bit of bulk and a wide stance due to rigorous training anyway. Red hair, grey eyes. A dark blue jacket, black pants, and brown boots and gloves make up what part of his normal clothing is visible: above it is a set of dark and sturdy scale armor, which rarely comes off. Personality: Composed at best, hotheaded at worst, Taras almost never lets anything other than determination show on the surface. Each thing he does is made to seem as deliberate and full of intent as possible. That being said, his tendency to obsess over whatever he does often gets the best of him, leading him to go to extreme lengths to solve basic problems, some of which may be better off left unsolved. Backstory: Taras was born the son of an esteemed Estillian strategist, his family not otherwise sticking out as rich or prestigious. The family name was barely starting to gain traction with his father's victories, but it was a disappointment to everyone involved with them that the son apparently had no gift for strategy. Taras simply found the gifted command classes that he was ferried into to be boring. At first, he did seem to show promise— but when his parents refused to let him become a knight's apprentice instead, he began failing tests intentionally. He also began putting on muscle as he trained himself rigorously in whatever way he could. Eventually, he showed up to a mock battle between knights-in-training uninvited and delivered victory to the losing side using surprise attacks. Taras was lauded by almost everyone present as the undisputed victor until the senior knight who was overseeing the mock battle identified him as an outsider and not an actual knight apprentice. It only made his performance seem more impressive to everyone else. He was sent home and his actions referred to his father. Realising Taras's passion for battle in general, not just the equations that went on behind it, he told his son that he would finally be allowed to become an apprentice knight if he swore an oath to him to be the best possible in whatever he did. For indeed it was around this time that Taras was becoming interested in magic and the possibility of one day performing the Ritual. He accepted and their deal was done through a "ritual", which supposedly was one that made oaths unforgettable and drove the target person to seek retribution at all costs if they failed to fulfil their promises. Whether it actually worked or was simply done through trickery to impose upon Taras that his father was putting a huge amount of trust in him to let him veer away from a life of writing strategies behind closed doors, Taras had no clue. It was the first ritual he had taken part in. Taras's second ritual was to be the Ritual— the one that would let him use magic and truly begin on the path to knighthood in the Order of the Blue Sword. His focus: an ornate and well-made sword that he and his father both had put much of their money into making sure it was the best possible weapon. It stretched the size guidelines for foci, and those present were surprised that a weapon so large was capable of becoming a focus at all. Although Taras became proficient at using magic to improvise weapons and augment his existing, now-unbreakable one, he still wasn't as naturally good as it as he would have liked. Because of this, and also because he was fast growing from an adolescent into a young adult, he resolved to find a partner to practice with. There was someone in the knight academy already seeking his presence frequently, but he decided that it wouldn't do. No, he would need to befriend someone from a more purely magically-inclined academy. That was how Taras eventually came to follow a young woman, Demi, into her own dimension and eventually save her from her own curiosity. It was a creepy thing to do, following someone into their own slice of space and time, but Taras decided not to dwell on that as he and Demi became fast friends, practicing magic in each others' dimensions where various types were at their strongest. He offered to teach her some basic facets of physical combat, but Demi was visibly scared by just the idea, so it ended up that he lectured her on strategy when they weren't talking about their daily lives or practicing spells. Strategy— the thing that Taras had initially shied away from but later turned out to deliver him exactly into the places where he wanted to go. It was why he paid no mind to Demi's sudden disappearance at first: there was surely a reason that he would eventually uncover. He realised when he joined up with a platoon of knights who were set to defend the Estillian border from bandits of the Fragments— she had surely gone into the Fragments to answer Magus's call, which had been issued a few days prior. Taras decided to put duty first— until one of his very superiors within the knights committed an act of supreme dishonor. He could barely believe his eyes when he saw the commander knock a fellow knight helpless— and then order a retreat when the knights could have achieved victory then and there. It was all so contradictory, and Taras's pride would not let the commander's actions go unseen— or so he thought as he challenged Brandt to a duel. The commander led him on to think that he would win, causing great spectacle among the whole platoon. But it just meant that everyone witnessed Taras's humiliating defeat as Brandt made an easy comeback and embarrassed the "traitor" sorely. Somehow, Taras escaped into the Fragments... but he was so much worse for wear that it pained him to even think about it. Was he, as a knight, supposed to help the dastard who had driven him out cover up an act of complete evil? He didn't believe so, but he knew that only more humiliation— and probably imprisonment— awaited if he returned to the Estillia. The only thing he could do was set out into the Fragments to answer the call of Magus— despite not being a prolific mage. He recalled the ritual oath that he had made to his father years ago. In accordance with the oath, Taras would do his best at whatever he set his sights on. And he decided that he was meant to be far more than a simple knight. Other Info: There are probably better examples of weapons to say that a sword's blade has the rough shape of than a podao, but I'm not a buff, so oh well. Also, no more lolPozhar for dimension name - Dimension sheet: Name: Iceflow Description: Iceflow seems to be a hellish volcano-scape at first, until one looks around for a moment. Streams of lava, usually cyan-colored, lazily trail down the slopes and into some unseen reservoir— but the lava is freezing cold to the touch. What at first appears to be soot clouding the sky is actually a dusty snow made of the same substance as the lava. Vegetation consists of yellowy lava-weed that sprouts up in the streams' wake as well as needly evergreen trees. There are also structures of a reddish metal that resemble trees and grow out from areas near the lava, which has magnetically-repellant properties. The lava repels metal so well, in fact, that someone in armor could jump over and end up floating over any pool of it that collects at the bottom of the mountains' slopes. Notable lifeforms are huge horned beetles with wings larger than buzzards' (to cope with the gravity), as well as snakes which mostly congregate in the pools of cold-lava as the substance sits and thaws out before disappearing into the earth. Gravity on Iceflow in a nutshell is noticeably greater than the material plane, but that wouldn't truly describe it. Instead, any exertion of force is magnified. People jump higher and land harder, the beetles flying above send gusts groundward with the flapping of their wings, and of course a simple magic incantation can produce more than just a simple spell. Essence: Strong Malleability: Ritual Notable Traits: Cold-centric (ice wind etc) magic is amplified more than other types of magic; fire magic is not amplified at all. Laws of physics are amplified as well. Slightly higher gravity than the material plane's.