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  1. 23 points

    Bloodwatch Base OOC

    "United we stand, divided we will fall." Interest check: Roll12 rules Post summary to track things To keep easy track of things, write a summary at the bottom of your post. An example would be: (*Note: Monster players, do this for each of your monsters too! Name them as well, e.g. xxx A, xxx B, so it would not be confusing.) Posting order You can post multiple times, but you can only roll dice once per round. Extra posts can be used for narrative purposes. But don't put up spitfire posts! The round ends when everyone has posted, or when reasonable time has passed. You can post before the first monster post too, but that would be a narrative post, and you will still need to post again later for your attack. IC thread: Summary of everyone's positions and statuses: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1w6oi2m7C7JDcY1iJE6R31ukrGqhX_Tsj8ZvqX46Pcao/edit?usp=sharing
  2. 21 points

    The Valucre Photo Album

    So, I didn't just want only generic wedding photos. We took the photos ourselves (using a tripod and self-timer, lol!), and I edited them myself! Some are actual locations shot at parks, and some are studio shots. It was a lot of effort, and I'm proud of the results. It's a cosplay of our Val characters, Dawen and Dyloceus ?(they're not a couple IC though haha) I knew @sorainvoked before I joined Val, but I still want to thank the Val community for giving us a chance to play with you all!
  3. 19 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    Fidelitas looked over at the bustle of activity with some satisfaction. Finally, the severely limited defenders in Inns'th were saved from the brink of annihilation. It had been a month since Chastity returned from Ursa Madeum, after signing the alliance with the Allied Nations of Terrenus. With it came the promise of troops and resources. Sure enough, men started arriving from Ursa Madeum under the flag of Uldwar, and another sizable force arrived from Norkotia in a separate arrangement. Dried provisions were provided by Patia to support the growing community. The megacity had also transported stone and lumber for the Order of the White Hand's upcoming venture. Additional funding from the Taen empire had allowed them to put up calls for warriors all over Terrenus who lived on risking their lives for gold. The paladin pulled on the rope securing food and building tools onto one of the wagons, ensuring that its integrity. A group of warriors had been chosen to be the first to set off towards the Furthest Point. These warriors, led by Fidelitas, would lay the foundation for the rest of the defenders to follow. A smaller force was more agile and speedier than if they brought everyone along. What the Order of the White Hand had also strategized, but had not shared with the rest, was that the smaller numbers meant that if their minds were overcome by the corruption of Yh'mi, the rest of the majority who were defending Inn'th could hunt and strike them down. No force so large had been sent in before, and the Order had to take precautions. Especially after the corruption of Remissio, who many of the paladins had looked up to as a role model. He had been turned against them with devastating effect. Fidelitas, his full armour glinting in the morning sun, strode to the front of the line. He raised his battle hammer to catch everyone's attention. "Today, we take the first step into Yh'mi. Tomorrow, we take the whole blasted land!" The rallying cry was meant to unite those who were setting off with him; thirty fighters with various backgrounds, and with four wagons in tow. The gates of Yh'mi swung open. The vast rocky plains lay in front of them, fraught with unseen dangers. Fidelitas set off in a straight-line march towards the Furthest Point, a hill easily visible in the distance, a full day's march from their location. They proceeded in a square formation, ready for threats that might strike from any direction. - [OOC: At the bottom of your post, please choose which position your character is taking within the square formation: top left, top right, bottom left or bottom right.]
  4. 19 points
    Do you want to die? Do you want everyone to die? If you answered "No!", then you should probably attend a round-table to discuss surviving the inevitable apocalypse. The Terran Empire is calling on citizens and their allies who have the means and the wits to discuss solutions for problems facing the modern Terran: the Unnatural Dilemma, the Body Snatching Menace, the Genius Loco, and more. Join us at SAD today, or you'll be really sad tomorrow! If there is a tomorrow. SAD will be held at the First Temple in Ignatz. All high-ranking members of the clergy and military will be present to observe the conference. IC Link: Symposium Against Doom. Thread has started and is closed on a case-by-case basis to future attendees. Hi everyone. ? I'm looking for characters that might be able to help solve many of the crises facing Terrenus today: diplomats, scientists, engineers, wizards, soldiers, neutral foreign nationals who want to survive, etc. SAD will be a dialogue driven thread. Since dialogue should keep moving, we're going to follow brevity rules (300 word max, 3 day turnaround) and characters should have something to say about the topic on every turn. The Terrenus government will implement sweeping changes based on the points raised at the Symposium. The way I imagine it proceeding: a Terrenus official will open with the ?dire? facts of life in Terrenus, and we'll circle through the round-table to present experiences, theories, thoughts, concerns, questions and most importantly how to deal with it all. Be prepared to be famous or infamous depending on what solutions you suggest. Disclaimer: any hostile or evil creatures that come within 10 miles of Ignatz during SAD will be destroyed. Attendance List: 1. Grubbistch - Elsera Elludoria (Diplomat - Terrenus) 2. Lilium - Capria Belvardi (Diplomat - Terrenus) 3. Ataraxy - Saturn (Reporter) 4. Tenkai Matsumoto - Tenkai (Order of Force Majeure) 5. Deus ex Aizen - Raveena (Regent - Hyperion) 6. supernal - Evelyn DeLamprey (Engineer - Handymen) 7. Paroxysm - Renata (Peace Keeper - Terrenus) 8. Grimmholt - Audric (Count - Grey County)
  5. 18 points

    A Csl & Vielle Christmas Card

    I and @vielle go to universities on opposite ends of our country, so when I went home for the holidays we decided to take an IRL pic of ourselves and make a Christmas card for the fine people of Valucre because it seemed like a cool idea. So yes. From these two Asian college students who've been using this lovely site to keep in touch and help get through the torture suffering challenges of our first semester in higher education: Merry Christmas! ❤️ ?
  6. 18 points

    Lilith Reiter, Commander of Death

    Lilith Reiter || The Unsung Horror || [BASICS] First name: Lilith Surname: Reiter Nicknames: The Unsung Horror | Commander of Death Alignment: Neutral Evil Race: Marzanna Profession: Witch | Necromancer Affiliation: The Cult of Power Hometown: A small, unknown village in the Wilds of Terrenus Gender: Female Age: 28 | 29 | 30 [PHYSICAL] Voice: Smooth with a rolling accent Eyes: Blood red Complexion: Unnaturally pale Height: 6' 0" Build: A very fit hour glass shape Hair: Milk chocolate brown; Let loose, goes down to an inch above her shoulders Scars: There is a scar line going through the crescent moon and another going down her right eye Mark: There's a mark of a crescent moon on her forehead [MENTAL] Demeanor: Cold and self serving Hopes: Hopes are for the weak and the sleeping Fears: Not likely Likes: Power and absolute obedience Dislikes: People obstructing her way [GEAR] Top: Light weight, fit to form material Bottom: Leather wrapped in runic clothes [WEAPONS] DeathBringer: When this sword delivers the finishing blow or is near when the character dies, it traps their soul in the blade. The more souls in the sword, the more powerful it becomes. At the same time, the captured souls become slaves to Lilith so that when she plants the stolen soul into a corpse, the being will rise once more but this time they'll be chained to Lilith forever. Soul is how Lilith refers to it but what is being stolen is more like life essence. Deathbringer, while shaped like a sword, can be transformed into a staff upon Lilith's command. The staff itself shifts appearance depending on its specific usage or will of Lilith. Approximate Canon Souls Absorbed (through her own kill count and that of her immediate followers. Numbers are estimates and not meant to be exact): 18,160+ 5,000 in Casper by Lilith and Ankou 250 in Dramfort by Lilith 300 in Mork'Outh village by Venus 30 in MoonShatter Town by Ankou and Zuruk 50 in Casper by the plague's initial spreading and by Lilith killing Casper law enforcement officers 30 in Random Town by Ziva 400 in the Forbidding Hills by Lilith and her Paragons 2,000 in Everrun by Lilith and Shane 10,000 in Tia by Lilith, her Zombies, and the Church of Three's trap Zengi's Right Gauntlet: Obtained in Chasing Zengi's Gauntlet - This is an S-Class Terrenus Artifact which acts as an extremely potent necromantic foci. It's use in combination with her own power has been shown to overwhelm even Terrenus Peacekeepers, especially in 1 on 1 battles. Heartbane: Obtained in To Command Despair - This is an S-Class Terrenus Artifact, a spadroon type sword, that exudes an aura of corrosive empathy. Each cut and injury by this sword causes a specific type of internal horror in its victim. Handed off to Samael in Breaking An Egg To Make An Omelette [Everrun]. [SKILLS] Necromancy: The ability for Lilith to commune and control the depths of death and life themselves. Raising of the Undead - This ability is rather cliche and self explanatory. As a necromancer Lilith can reanimate corpses. One form of reanimation is that of mindless, zombie like creatures that have feral and uncontrollable temperaments. They think nothing, feel nothing, and are nothing but the remains of the deceased wishing desperately to end their own pain but not knowing how to. So instead they attack anything in sight with the hopes of final death. Undead Servants - Like a puppet master, Lilith reanimates the dead and controls their every movement. This can be done by either shifting her senses into the Undead by giving it mental/ verbal commands. These servants can have a will of their own, to an extent allowed by Lilith. Power Sourcing - When Lilith reanimates the dead, she can also bestow upon it its full potential that it could have attained while alive. This usually means that upon being reanimated by Lilith, the undead becomes many times more powerful than it had been during its lifetime. Life Energy - Similar to what some may consider as a "soul," life energy is something innate to all living creatures. Lilith has the power to draw out the life energy of her victims and store it within DeathBringer. Later that life energy can be entered into any corpse she desires, be it beast or person. Chains of Life and Death - Anything being that is reanimated by Lilith or that has had their life energy captured by her and reentered into a corpse, is bound to Lilith. They can't disobey or lie. They can only follow. With a snap of her fingers she can release the chains, leading to the instant collapse and annihilation of the Undead. Raw Necromantic Energy - Being a powerful necromancer by nature, Lilith has the ability to utilize the most pure form of necromancy and wield it as raw energy. Although it would take a massive amount of this energy to culminate into a grand blast of sorts, it can create shields and an extremely oppressing pressure around her. Loyalty Brand - When Lilith makes a "contract" with another living being, that being is then marked with a Crescent Moon on some part of their body thus tying them to Lilith. Through the contract, the other entity will experience a massive increase in power as their potential is amplified and unlocked by Lilith's own. In return for that power increase, the other is unable to physically or otherwise harm Lilith. Although it does not guarantee complete obedience, it does form something akin to a master-follower link. Melody of Despair - The souls trapped by Lilith and those brought back to life can be forced to sing a melody, so incredibly haunting that it strikes fear and despair into the deepest parts of a man's heart. Those not strong enough will easily succumb to the sung, drowning in their own horrors. The longer one listens, the more one is affected. The effect is exponential. Lunar Empowerment: During the night, especially those of full moons, Lilith's power experiences a sudden surge. Due to her status as a Lunar Daughter, Lilith was actually born of moon rays colliding together over a large amounts of wild necromantic energies. Therefore, with half her being having been constructed by moon rays, she is able to absorb the rays with various results. Lunar Healing - The moon's rays is able to heal Lilith's physical wounds in little overall time. The more of the moon is out, the quicker and more efficiently Lilith is able to heal. Enhanced Condition - Lilith's physical abilities increase, allowing her more speed, strength, and durability. Lunar Empowerment - When under the moon Lilith's other inherent powers also increase in effectiveness, namely her ability as a necromancer. Lunar Manipulation - When the moon's rays are shining on her without obstruction, Lilith can draw on them in order launch a powerful blast of lunar energy. Such a blast would have various impact results, depending on the phase of the moon, but so long as a bit of rays are occurring it would have enough power to knock a fully armor man a couple meters back. At its strongest, ripping through the armored man like a knife in hot butter. Lunar Daughter - Being not just a daughter of the moon but also a daughter of necromancy has resulted in Lilith' being born as a Marzanna. She is a being that is bound to always linger in the limbo of life and death, always in both and never in one. She cannot die for you cannot kill something that is not alive or undead. Even if she was hacked into a million pieces, the moon's rays would eventually heal her, albeit over perhaps hundreds of years if at a natural pace. To permanently stop Lilith, one would be required to capture her indefinitely. [HISTORY] When Lilith's being was first birthed, the moon's lunar rays shun on an area radically corrupted by large amounts of powerful necromantic energies. It's rumored that this area was were Zengi was killed by Jason of Lions, thus explaining why Lilith's necromancy is so powerful. This, however, is simple speculation among the Cult of Power's Paragons. Found by an elderly woman, Lilith was brought back and raised in a backwater orphanage. Since she was young, Lilith has always struggled with normal human emotions like empathy and compassion, love and sympathy. The emotions were there, certainly, but it wasn't always obvious. At the very least they were buried under other, more violent emotions like rage and a desire to be indomitable. This, in turn, has caused Lilith to find herself in many dangerous situations that generally involved local authorities. Before Lilith turned eighteen, she had very limited access to her Lunar powers and had no a single lick of necromancy. It was hidden away, deep, deep within her. So, at most, her childhood was filled with average powers, though she honed them quite skillfully thanks to the whispers of her past lives: the previous Lunar Daughters. The moment she turned eighteen and came of age was when everything changed. The raw power within her exploded and what had been more akin to a small puddle roared into a giant oceans- perhaps something even larger. The power was overwhelming and suffocating. And suddenly the whispers of the past Lunar Daughters were no longer whispers but screams, drowning her own thoughts and twisting her mind into something darker. More sinister. Thus Lilith Reiter, the Commander of Death, was truly awakened. It wasn't long before bodies began to drop in her wake. She used those bodies to experiment with her new powers, sometimes bringing them back as full Risens. Other times mindless zombies. Her first act was to burn down the town that had raised her. No one could know about her from before the awakening. And so the little town went up in flames. Just as Lilith was about to leave the area, she ran into a powerful man who tried to recruit her for some organization called the Cabal. She fought him for the insult of believing himself superior to her. But he was someone powerful enough to give a permanent scar to her right eye- one that not even regeneration could fix, and she was inexperienced. Young. One day she would get revenge against him. After that she continued to wander around Terrenus. It took a while for her to start really grasping the full extent of her abilities. She couldn't die when stabbed, poisoned, or shot. In fact, Lilith wasn't able to find a single method of dying. Pain would still be felt, but even that was more of a tingling sensation in the damage area than true pain. Some call her a vampire. Some call her a lich. Most just call her an Undead. But the truth, is that Lilith is a Marzanna- a being that is always to linger in between the realms of life and death, always in both but never only in one. [PERSONALITY] Those in the know about powerful necromancers wandering Valucre will have probably heard of Lilith at some point. Her infamy is rather deep in certain circles. Rumors of Lilith pin her as the the Commander, the Witch-Queen, the Desolator, or the Lunar Daughter; but those that truly know of the horror that is she, they know of the infamous Lilith Reiter. Unlike most of her creed, she has little wish for a massive following or to spread her name. Lilith's only interest is in doing whatever she wants and having enough power to crush those that are in her way. This lust for power has proven to be contagious, however. And despite Lilith having no desire to have her name spread or to garner followers, her spread of power to those who seek it has down exactly that. Eventually forming the Cult of Power. When confronted with those who don't seek power or are not Paragons within her cult, Lilith kills nearly all she meets unless they show absolute obedience. Towns and villages have been reduced to rumble and corpses in her wake. Though Lilith is only 30, as a Marzanna she retains memories of all the daughters before her. In essence, making her a young woman with centuries old knowledge to further her own enormous power. Lilith does not set out to kill others. It is not her intention to murder. This would imply that there are lives important enough to warrant her attention. The squashing of a sentient life, to Lilith, is akin to stepping on an insect. Not worth her time and barely even a minor inconvenience. [FAMILY] Lilith is a Lunar Daughter. Thus, she was born of energy cast down to Valucre from the moon. She has no family or relatives. [THREADS] Chasing Zengi's Gauntlet [S-Class Artifact] - Completed (Obtained S-Class Artifact Zengi's Right Gauntlet) To Command Despair [S-Class Artifact] - Completed (Obtained S-Class Artifact Heartbane) To Grab a Ghostship - Completed (Obtained a Ghostship) A Great Plague Comes to Casper - Completed (Let loose a very fatal and contagious plague in Casper) A Levee to Stop the Flow - Ongoing (Fighting Peacekeepers over powerful relic Odin's Circlet) Steeped in Moonlight (Artifact) - Completed (Helped obtain S-Class Artifact Lunar Scythe for Ankou) Destruction des Morts - Completed (Tracking down where Zengi's Armor is, finding Zengi's chest plate, discovered new about Reno artifact Crown of Asteria) When a Cult Absorbs the Fallen - Completed (The Cult of Power absorbs an organization called the Heralds of the Fall) From Nothing We Start; To Ash We End [Everrun] - Ongoing (Lilith and co. burn down the city of Everrun in order to summon an ancient relic) Breaking An Egg To Make An Omelette [Everrun] - Completed (Lilith breaks Samael down to rebuild him into a true warrior) Mr Stark I don't feel so good [Relic Quest] - Ongoing (Lilith and multiple Cult members travel to the Bloodstone Marsh of Genesaris to get the Soul Cornerstone) kick names, take ass [Airship] - Ongoing (Lilith and Winter track down the ancient and enigmatic Genesaris Airship Clockwork Grind) The Crown of Asteria [Relic Quest] - Ongoing (Lilith and other Paragons investigating/ searching for the Renovation Artifact Crown of Asteria, Circe joins the cult) (ARTIFACT) A Master of Space and Self - Ongoing (Lilith leads Circe and Ankou on a hunt for the space stone against James and the Order of Force Majeure) dread it, run from it, destiny arrives all the same - Ongoing (Lilith and her Cult declare war on and invade the province of Nu Martyr for the Crown of Asteria) bunch of jackasses, standing in a circle [CoP Hub] - Ongoing (Hub thread)
  7. 18 points
    Elendaron’s genius loci has perished in spiritual warfare against the rest of Tellus Mater in its bid for dominance. This catastrophic event manifests in the following ways: Aesthetic Elendaron bleeds color and slides towards grayscale Elendaron has physically fractured into the spirit world. Part of it remains visible, but more of it is being consumed by black and gray vortexes pockmarking the landscape These vortexes do not draw matter in but any matter which passes through their event horizon fails to return Environment The floating islands of Athentha are pushed into Renovatio airspace Spontaneous, intense, and long-lived natural disasters: tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes rampage the countryside Crops wither and buildings erode with no apparent cause Effects Magically induced mutations - Infants and the elderly are the most affected. Effects range from the odd and relatively benign, horns and transparent skin, to the dangerous, spontaneous combustion, uncontrollable teleportation, and an outpouring of prophets so seized with the power of their visions they go comatose Spontaneous animism - everyday objects come g to life. People are killed by hordes of scarecrows, eaten by their houses, and giant amalgamations of metal equipment roam the countryside Major Arcs Is this another world
  8. 17 points

    Destruction des morts

    Thickly gauzed between wake and sleep, Tia tossed in tense slumber. In the way one does the night before their death sentence, in the way an insect does on the spider's axis, it turned. Leather gloves groaned over thick hands and in bands around bridles and the horse’s quiet blow. Some smatterings of dusty shops and barns on the outskirts of Tia formed a desolate ghost town in the advent of its war. All that traveled here were scavengers and those in a hurry to get out. From afar, the village could be assumed haunted with the specters of future and present. Venture closer in the silent dusk, within a grey barn, and a specter from the past could be found. Clouds of dirt strayed from one of many paths to Tia and lurked among the bobbing cattails; among the buildings; among the Dead. Within the barn there were four carriages, black shawls concealing the eight heads of their steeds. One carriage would be a little cramped. The others, not so much. Cain was wearing a black jumper with several loops and pockets and had two backpacks strung over each shoulder, but no mask. Tossing back half of a potion and slipping its vial into a pocket, he turned to address the Dead. Had he become something less human yet, in the span of a million stolen experiences? More? Times like this, when pins and needles danced down his desensitized spine, made him wonder. He unshouldered the bags and placed them before him, appraising all the masked figures before him with a subtly pleased expression. All of the masked figures had a black circular sticker planted somewhere on their bodies which allowed telepathic communication between the circles. The doors to a carriage behind Cain swung open to reveal the barrels from nights before. “The fact that they don't know we're coming does not make you impervious. The masks are important. Concealing your identity is important. Victory, is important. Each bag has a Maleficence antidote in a syringe for each of you, one faux-ton pair and one MAL bomb. Hope you’re not scared of needles. Inject like so,” he stabbed a needle into his forearm and squeezed in the plunger with his thumb, throwing the needle aside. "We're the only ones with this antidote, so the waterborne illness won't get you. The plant's pheromone is stronger though; it will start to affect you after a few hours. Make you crazy. “Remember, plant one half of your faux-ton receiver at the shaft control center when you first arrive. Descend to the negative fifth level and find the incision vent to secure your charge to. When you receive the signal that Schrei and I have unloaded our barrels into the WAK irrigator, you get back to the elevator shaft, faux-ton yourself back up to the control center and get the hell out of there. If for some reason we fail, I will tell you, in which case we’ll make a scene at the WAK so you can still get into the shafts where security is minimal. I’ll remotely blow your charges when everyone is clear or they’ll blow themselves after a three minute timer. Make sure you beat that. Any problems are to be reported immediately, as I will you, though if we get off two of the charges we’ll still meet quota.” Members of the respective teams had been shown diagrams of the shafts they would infiltrate, so with rigorous studying their knowledge of entry and exit would be about two-thirds as thorough as a shaft employee. The features of the red-haired First Officer began to warp as he spoke via telepathic connection, gesturing in odd quiet at this and that. They never stopped warping, causing his face to become a constantly shifting anomaly. Eye color, jaw shape, nose, always different than the prior moment, turned from the line of individuals. “Schrei, you’re with me. We’ll go on ahead, the rest of you should leave in five minutes.” He paused while getting into his carriage, looking back on all of them. Though his features were in a constant state of melding into something else, one thing was uniform across all of the features. Concern. “Today is a terrible day. Be cautious.” In a black tower outside of Tia, where fateful happenings had once unseated Cain, sat a jagged throne of animal horns and hides. Upon it sat the Patriarch of Tia, Serafino Dolos. Some twenty-four feet to his left sat a giant cage embedded into the wall. Inside that, on a scraggly tweed chair, sat a perfect likeness of Cain; Nica Sero, the self-aware clone he’d once used to lord over Tia. Serafino didn’t sweat; his stomach didn’t churn; but he felt off. Aside from the dress, which could be reasonably mistaken for part of a funeral procession or just some emo, horsedrawn carriages without drivers were quite common in Tia. As a matter of fact, some high-faluters used mechanical horses powered by steam to drive their vehicles. As their two-horse carriage pulled into Tia amid the waking yawn of the kingdom, the Cain of many faces looked at a masked Schrei. “Are you ready?” he asked as the carriage rolled along with eerie smoothness down the WAK avenue. There were two other masked figures in the carriage who sat silently.
  9. 16 points
    Die Shize

    The Cyberpunk City

    "Cyberpunk is a Speculative Fiction genre centered around the transformative effects of advanced science, information technology, computers and networks ("cyber") coupled with a breakdown or radical change in the social order ("punk")" —TV Tropes ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A Martial Town Terrenus roleplay project Where the neon lights are as bright as the hope for the future is dim. "The key pillars of the cyberpunk genre are advanced technology, dystopian society, and trenchcoats." —Jane Douglas, Outside Xbox Profoundly Discriminating Reading Theme "I never asked for this. They say they saved me, but I'm not sure 'saved' is the right word." —Adam Jensen, Deus Ex: Human Revolution "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain." —Roy Betty, Blade Runner "Welcome to the desert of the real." —Morpheus, The Matrix Shall we plug our minds into the machine and wander this world together? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Martial Town. A city that never sleeps, and a city that never sleeps never really wakes. During the day, Martial Town looks as dry as it feels, with a sprawling mess of mismatched buildings alongside street lamps locked in a lattice, like the twisted limbs of barbed wire. Against a bustling backdrop that suffers no silence lingers a blur of smoking vehicles and pedestrians lost in a fog of drudgery as they grind themselves into the grave. Laundry is thrown over the power lines, hungry dogs bark in the alleys at the cats that stalk the rats, workers toil for the corporate crown and crawl the streets like ants without a colony. Cyber cafes pulse with energy, shopping malls thrum with activity beneath the drums of greed that beat consumer desire into their hearts, while the harlots join the denizens in the drug dens to prepare themselves for the night's lust. Shining over it all, as though laughing from a throne so impossibly far removed from the tiny clutter beneath it, the warm sun bathes the boiler as a golden liar that hoards the gold from the poor. At night, however, when the sun goes down and the moon rises to replace it, the city of Martial Town takes on a brighter light—but perhaps a far less hopeful one. The dry and drab buildings are overshadowed by the glow of a myriad of brilliant colors. Neon lights transform the city into a whole new world, illuminating the streets amid lamps suddenly alive with vigor and the need to shine. Corporate advertisements are painted with smiling faces, their voices echoing into the alleys, as though the gods of the galaxy had been erected to remind the citizens that they were not alone. It is all a lie. A marketing deception to keep those citizens under the thumb of the true rulers of the night: Dystopia and Moral Myopia. The arcades and the bars and the clubs pulsate with a million drums of music. The drug barons and the body-sellers and the body-snatchers stalk the darkness for their next victims. The criminal organizations seek to assert their organized crime on the populace, and the black market opens after the shopping malls close, selling a cybernetic limb to the worker who lost his first one in the factory, and a pair of eyes to a thief who just wanted to replace his good ones with ones that could see in the dark. The skyline of Martial Town is lined with stone structures between metallic towers that scrape the sky. These are the constructs cast off from a dying Palgard that refused to stay down, and that serve all hours as a creeping reminder of the city's dichotomy. In the day or the night, the center of Martial Town, called the Core, is its own town within the city; a military district where the music of marching boots join the chorus of piercing whistles in a symphony of security. This protection, however, comes with a price. As far as the arms of the armed can extend, the eyes of the all-seeing can see, and the biggest threat comes from the defenders themselves. Like a mini-police state, living in the Core of Martial Town means spending many moments wondering if there might be a knock on your door, and if the people who knock on your door might just inform you that they are there for your safety and the security of the city and they will now show you this personally if you will please come with them and ask no questions. The outskirts of the city, meanwhile, are like lava surrounding a volcano. Where the thumb of the military can press down and press hard, so hard that it may as well be a boot stamping on a face forever, the gangs and clans and tribes in the peripheral parts, in the slums and the neighborhoods and the forgotten gutters, are their own power and authority. In the corporate towers that loom over the city from its core, conversely, the outer rim of the crooked circle is claimed by crime like a cancer. However, the disease is slowly spreading all over the city, seeping forward like a black ooze each time the armed forces clash with the outlaw elements. In Martial Town, nowhere is really safe, and no network is really secure. The question is, then, is there a cure? Will you find out? Will you adventure through the day? Will you journey into the night? Will you pull yourself from your familiar lands and your known realities and enter the virtual space of the Cyberpunk City? Will you plug your mind into the machine and wander within this world? The choice is yours. All you have to do is make it. Like a decision between a red pill and a blue pill. All you have to do is swallow it. But you can only swallow one. As you contemplate this choice, then, heed the words of Morpheus: "You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." The choice is yours. Choose. "The future is already here—it's just not very evenly distributed." —William Gibson The Cyberpunk City is a roleplay project currently underway for Martial Town, located aside from Palgard, Southern Terrenus. This is a "roleplay project" in the sense that it is in its early development stage, with potential updates to the lore page of Martial Town itself alongside IC canon/non-canon growth and progress. To begin this cyberpunk adventure, one and all are welcome to join me in what will serve as a 'hub' setting of sorts. Shown below, but not limited to this scope, are a small handful of locales that you can, effective immediately, participate in. Set up stories and write those stories out to your heart's content. Maybe your character is a cyber ninja. Go jack their brain into a plug in the CyberFunk Cafe! Just be home in time for dinner or mama will spank you for turning your brain into jelly. Or is your character a private detective, and you're seeking some hardboiled film noir? If you heard that the MTPD was only employing its own officers, then somebody doesn't want freelancers like you investigating them! Perhaps outside of the law is a better fit for your criminal ways. Pal's Guard is something of a private retreat for scum of all kinds, and you're sure to pick up a beer and a lucrative job there, assuming that you make it out alive... Feeling jazzy-funky-dancy-wunky? Better skip the CyberFunk Cafe. You'll find all manner of wild partying in The Purple Penguin, but don't take the wrong pill or else you might see a purple that you didn't know existed, before you pass out and never wake up again. Sometimes, however, things do go wrong and a little too crazy. You might wake up from a drunken stupor to find that your hand was chopped off by a Bessho-kai corporate samurai. Have no fear! Visit a GRAFT clinic, open 24/7, and just get a new one! Then again, your character might prefer to don suit jackets over trenchcoats. A business type, eh? A corrupt corporate executive, maybe? Well, you won't find any company headquarters listed right now, but that's awesome, because you can make one and add it to the hub! YAY! You can view the hub here. IC thread(s) listed below! 1. [MTPD] Tears in the Rain Stay tuned, folks. Turn on your telescreens, flip out your AR phones, switch on your VR housewife, put your earphones on and listen to that deep AI manly voice, because sooner or later Martial Town, The Cyberpunk City, will be hosting its very first public event! The black market, every criminal's favorite trade show, every crime fighter's biggest headache. When it comes to the government and certain corporations, they might fall somewhere in between. No place in the world seems totally free from a black market's plague but, when it comes to Martial Town, illegal commodities are booming. For the right price, a customer can get the right weapon. More than that, they can get a whole new right arm without having to go through GRAFT paperwork. They can even get a new brain. Some, however, go through a whole transformation that calls into question whether they still exist as an entity of flesh and bones and, if so, one with the same soul. Cyborgs are a growing force within Martial Town, and "force" is a correct term here. Mechanical augmentations usually make you stronger, faster and tougher in a number of ways. And not everyone likes that. More to come.
  10. 15 points

    September 20, WTA 597

  11. 15 points

    The Official Aleksei Fan Club

    So I had a brief conversation with a friend (@DarkHorse) in kind about a certain roleplayer on the site, in which I had no idea she had written with her before, and it dawned on me just how many folks have experienced and love the hell out of @Aleksei! So I says to her, "wanna start a fan club?", and she responded that she thought it was a great idea, and that Aleksei might enjoy it. And so here it is folks! The Official Aleksei Fan Club! This thread is open to any and all players that had had the pleasure of meeting, talking to, and/or playing with Aleksei and have an undying love for her like we do. Join us in the act of recounting the wonderful times we've had with her, as well as swelling her hubris with compliments!
  12. 15 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    The group was truly diverse. There were some proper soldiers from Ursa Madeum. They were decently equipped, even if some of them were rowdy. These were the people that Fidelitas had high hopes about; something different from the gold grabbers that the White Hand had been using for a while. Those unloyal bastards had run at the first major sign of trouble. If they had stayed and helped, Diligence might still be alive now. But the Order couldn’t get rid of mercenaries just yet. This was evidenced by the jolly group behind him to his left. Women… and children, dressed inappropriately for travel. Who let them in anyway? He heard someone congratulating a “god-killer” among them. He knew that you couldn’t really judge by appearances, but this was bordering on ridiculous. They would have been warned about the dangers of Yh’mi though, so it was their choice if they didn’t heed it. He wasn’t going to mother over anyone. There were two people he recognized. Gormaric, whose role in repairing the wall was significant. There was no doubt about his fighting prowess, as he led forces to fend enemies away while the repair was ongoing. Fidelitas respected the dark knight and his willingness to continue to join them in this fight. The other was Aryssin, the healer who had helped in the aftermath of Remissio’s attack. He hadn’t interacted much with her, but her skills would be useful indeed in the coming months. He also knew there was a Knight from the formidable Force Majeure, but he couldn’t identify him or her within the group. The one that Fidelitas was truly doubtful about was the presence of the journalist. Chastity had allowed him to join them, saying that it was time for the world to see the true threat of Yh’mi. But Fidelitas never trusted the media and their selective truth. The man had better not get in their way, or he couldn’t be responsible for what happened to him. Going forward at a steady pace, the walls bordering Yh’mi gradually became a fixture in the distance. And yet nothing had happened yet. “Keep your alert up!” Fidelitas addressed everyone. “The enemy can hear us. They can come from any side!”
  13. 15 points

    House Hildebrand of Ursa Madeum

    i. overview ii. members iii. estate iv. the hinode clan v. house kinclaith vi. house ciervo vii. house penderyn viii. vassal houses ix. the arborum x. threads
  14. 15 points

    The Battle for Last Chance promo

    Battle of Last Chance Introducing for all of you haven’t heard of the us. Legion, aka The Legion of Doom!! So a month or so ago I dropped a thread that said “I am here to burn your world.” Now when I say something, I mean it. SO! Allow me to drop Legion’s first macro level thread. The sacking and burning of Last Chance. We here at Legion have decided for our first foray into the larger parts of the game is to be a raid. Rather than the large and intense three part invasion to take the city, which lets be honest. Sounds exhausting. We want to deliver a more intimate and character driven thread than the large scale chess and tactics game that detracts from a good story. We want to keep our focus on the characters rather than the battle itself. How will this work? The thread itself will have various objectives and storylines laid out for people to join or to simply do their own thing. All of which will be laid out in the official OOC thread when it drops this weekend. All characters are encouraged to join an objective and work together to weave a story that will not only be a great read, but will allow yourself and your opponents to have fun. While you can go off and do your own thing around the battlefield, we do recommend working with your fellow writer. Also anyone is allowed to join. You don’t need to a part of the factions who are fighting. Combat & Troop Movements So as far as macro level troop maneuvering goes, all of that will be background noise which will be decided by faction leadership. This is to provide everyone with a fluid sense of a shifting battlefield and setting from an official source rather than five different guys with thousands of troops between them all doing different things. We want to provide a very seamless and cinematic experience when it comes to the macro combat for the thread. Characters will be allowed to command two squads of NPCs each for flavor and fun. Rules 1: Wheaton’s Law aka don’t be a dick 2: Treat your opponent with respect 3: All OOC squabbles need to be settled via a pm. Don’t drag your drama to the OOC thread 4: If an agreement can not be reached then faction leadership will decide. 5: If faction leadership can’t reach an agreement then and ONLY then will site staff will be involved. These people have better things to do than deal with our disputes. 6: No writing damage, character death, or mass NPC death in your post as a fact without the express permission and consent of the other writer 7: Doing a power move that can violate the Mild Powers ceilings is fine. We all love a dramatic moment. But doing so needs to come at a cost. Losing all your strength, injury, death of comrades, etc etc. pay to play baby. 8: All are welcome to partake 9: Really, just please don’t be a dick. Details We will be dropping all the official OOC thread this weekend and possibly the actual thread as well. Faction leadership will be working together to create the best experience for everyone.
  15. 14 points

    A gateway to infinity - world change

    Note: the portal can deposit you anywhere in the planet and not just nearby itself Late last year I announced Elendaron's spiritual death, or "Spirit Wars" (coined by @Mickey Flash) which is much more fun to say, and how this physically manifests: https://www.valucre.com/topic/40860-elendaron-changes-a-spiritual-death/ Elendaron has been open for play since this announcement with those canon changes in mind, but I also intended to run a series of GM'd threads in parallel. I GM'd the first one, which concluded just this week: https://www.valucre.com/topic/40970-what-do-you-know-closed/ There are more in the pipe, but with the first one completed comes with what I think is the most interesting and exciting development - a permanent gateway into the "spirit world" If you visit the world article you will now see Elendaron replaced with a portal graphic (thanks to @jaistlyn!) and Elendaron removed from the body of the article as well: https://www.valucre.com/lore.html/world/valucre-overview/ So what does this mean? My intention is to have the portal as an in-character, lore-backed plot device through which people can enter and exit the Valucre setting, so as to have whacky and zany adventures of all sorts in Alternative: https://www.valucre.com/forum/75-alternative/ I'm playing hardball with the Many Worlds Theory here and basically saying that this is a gateway into infinity, into any number of settings a user may want which Valucre doesn't support. This already exists with Alternative but now characters can travel back and forth between the worlds and have a rationale for it To enhance the play setting and give people options, I even made a thread encouraging members to create settings people can take and run with, which is a still open initiative: https://www.valucre.com/topic/41469-persistent-alternative-settings/ If leveraging one of these persistent settings it's important to note your character(s) should still conform to its limits. If you bring your divine character to Valucre they adhere to mild powers - if you bring them to a reality-based setting, then same thing But the best thing about this whole infinity concept is that you don't have to use someone else's setting and can make your own, and do whatever you want with it (adhering to the code of conduct naturally). You can even take a persistent setting and go "okay that + supernatural" and have a situation where your divine character can do divine things in Detroit, or whatever I'll be adding tags for specific settings as they develop but for now have added a "spirit world" tag to Alternative basically mean that you're taking advantage of this plot device Okay have fun discussion thread
  16. 14 points
    one thousand posts! ? truly a personal benchmark! perhaps this means that I am here to stay for good. ❤️
  17. 14 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    Once the Norkotian squad ceased their nonsense and started to pay attention to those in their column, the presence of two attractive female knights became quite evident to the band of ruffians. A couple of old school wolf whistles were heard as Sheryl approached, while a couple men adjusted their hats to get a better look. The mix of reactions probably seemed outdated and chauvinistic to the two lady knights, but these men were not sophisticated city slickers who'd grown up in a world of social sensibility and liberated thinking. These men were old-fashioned rednecks who'd lived and thrived in the semi-arid rural wilderness that surrounded Norkotia, so expecting them to know better than to be inappropriate or offensive was wishful thinking. "We'yall, the scenery in this 'ere expedition juss got a whole lot better." one of the men remarked. "Ah'll say." Murray agreed, "You ladies are in for a treat when you get to see us at work! The major picked us for this here excursion because even an stiff with a stick up his ass like him knows real talent when he sees it! Yeah, I reckon he's back there in the camp, preparing his speech for when he decorates us all with medals! Hell, seeing as our army doesn't even have any medals yet, he's probably making plans to name medals after us!" Meanwhile, in the Norkotian encampment... "The expedition is moving through the gate now, sir." Krieger stepped away from the tents so he could get a view of the coalition force as it left the safety of the walls and entered the hellish landscape beyond. His face remained ever hardened as he watched the Ranger squad trot out the gate on their horses, none of the men seeming to be taking this situation seriously. "Those fools are going to embarrass the homeland with their undisciplined nonsense." the captain continued. "Perhaps, but they will serve as an adequate gauge of the enemy's strength. If they die, they will serve as an example to the rest of the men what fate befalls those who forget their training. If any survive, they will provide us with the important intelligence for when our main force enters wilderness." He paused as both men watched the White Hand guards close the gates behind the expedition, cutting off visual contact between the column and those within the walls. "However, I do not anticipate their survival." Even with the additions of the other armored knights, the Norkotians showed little sign of shaping up. Though, some of their horses (and even a few of the men) were made restless by the massive wyvern that Gormaric had brought into their section. That didn't mean they were totally put-off by it, however. "Whoa-ho. Nice mount ya got 'dare." one of the Rangers, a scrawny man with a baseball cap instead of a cowboy hat, and an inner-city accent instead of cowboy-like ones most of his comrades had, "Can I pet it? It ain't gonna bite my hand off, is it?" Between all the yammering, it was perhaps surprising that at least a couple men did have the sense to pay attention to the ebon knight as he attempted to brief the section on the nature of their foes. Despite his bluster, Murray was one of the only men present who had seen the supernatural in action, and while he was confident in his abilities to adapt to whatever it threw at him, he also knew it was capable of things unfathomable to minds of people never exposed to it. While it wasn't that these monsters were supernatural, this whole region seemed to be intoxicated with a haunting, otherworldly presence. The further from the safety of the wall they went, the more it became apparent. "The rest...?" Murray began to question as the Gormaric trailed-off. The sound of a distant rumble was now becoming more prominent, drawing the attention of not only Murray, but the others in his squad as well. "Heeey, what da heck is that?" the baseball cap Ranger blurted. "Shut it!" Murray barked, trying to listen to the approaching thunder. The sound was rapidly getting louder, while a murmur went through the column. That murmur suddenly erupted into a series of shouts and cries as the two creatures that looked like bizarre, oversized deer came crashing into the formation. Norkotia had a fair number of deer and antelope species that roamed the highland plains, as well as some bison and big-horned sheep in certain areas as well. Thus, nether the creatures, nor their behavior, seemed particularly abnormal or unheard of to the Rangers. The difference here was that these beasts were way faster than a charging bull, yet seemingly much heavier and more powerful than a common ram. Even so, these babies looked like potentially wondrous trophies to adorn somebody's cabin back home. "Weapons out, boys!" Murray barked, "Get ready!" "Ha ha! The man who delivers the killing shot gets the head for mounting!" another man, a rather overzealous former big game hunter (who had been put in prison for repeated pouching and other hunting law violations), proclaimed, "And that man is me!" With that, he spurred his horse forward toward the squabble, his lever-action rifle ready to fire. A couple more men, their competitive nature inflamed by the hunter's words, quickly took-off after him. Murray suddenly found his squad fracturing at the first sign of contact with the enemy, something he had apparently not anticipated. "You men, get back here!" he shouted after them, but was not heeded, "Shit! The rest of you stay together! We hit as a group!" Abandoning their quadrant, which was relatively well-defended at the least, the Rangers were soon riding full-speed into the battle zone. Focusing on one of the two creatures, the Norkotians readied their weapons to join the already impressive roar of gunfire from Challara and the Uldwar forces. Ironically, every single one of them was using Norkotian ammunition. The Homeland would be proud.
  18. 14 points
    A commercial airship braved the journey from Hell’s Gate to just outside the border of Yh’mi, containing the donations of sympathetic Terrans of dried fruits and meats along with other shows of support in the forms of letters as well. As the airship touched down, several volunteer workers began unloading several crates worth of items that would be delivered to Inns’th on behalf of the Terran people through the vehicle that was the Daily Weekly. A gruff looking male could be seen talking to the airship pilot, covered in a silver cloak and adorned with armor that looked weathered from experience. Greyed beard and hair decorated his face but did little to harden the jovial expression that was present or the extroverted gesticulations that even forced the airship pilot to smile from time to time. What they spoke of would not become public record. A small floating device hovered around him, clearly housing a camera of sorts that moved autonomously. There would also be a slight flicker in his right eye that suggested some sort of bio-augmentation but could only be distinguished by those who were observant enough and close enough to him to witness the expert craftsmanship. Boots fell on Yh’mi soil for the first time, marveling at the darkness that blanketed the area as he adjusted his concealed weaponry rather hastily before beginning his work. He had arrived here well before the departure time and had begun recording their preparations and conducting impromptu interviews that many strongly rejected as they claimed they were too busy to deal with what they deemed were worthless questions. Even his warm smile and obvious charisma did little to pierce through the sense of duty that was present within the Order or the acute focus that the importance of each task that led to this expedition held for everyone here. Given this severe lack of dialogue at this time, Soryn turned to the device that hovered behind him, adjusting himself in minor shifts until he felt he had a perfect view of the wagons being setup and the Furthest Point in the distance. Clearing his throat, he began what would be the first of many recordings throughout this journey. “Soryn Savedo here, reporting in Inns’th as the Order’s paladins make preparations for the large endeavor of claiming new land that will aid them in the fight against Yhmi’s horrors. As you can see behind me, several volunteers have come to offer their weapons, ideas, and lives to see this mission to success…” The camera caught sight of Noah and Dan in the distance. “As you can see, even children have taken upon the call, defying expectations. No one knows what fate awaits them outside of the gates but that hill you see far into the distance must be claimed if Yh’mi has any hope of being redeemed. Soon, these brave men, women, and children will depart, possibly placing the fate of Yh’mi on their shoulders and perhaps even the fate of Terrans everywhere.” Fidelitas’ armor glint caused the camera to shift once again and zoom in on the paladin. “It looks like they are ready to depart. Let’s get a closer look.” Soryn moved swiftly into the bottom right, placing himself directly beside Selena as Fidelitas began his rallying cry. “Today, we take the first step into Yh’mi. Tomorrow, we take the whole blasted land!” Soryn absorbed all of the hype that the rally brought in and gleefully continued his recording right next to Selena, the camera doing a wide pan of the entire party before settling back on Soryn with Selena clearly in frame. “There you have it my fellow Terrans. Yours truly will be joining this brave group of volunteers where you will witness the truth behind the Order of the White Hand’s efforts, Yh’mi’s shadowy mysteries, and more. Stay tuned for interviews, detailed accounts, and more groundbreaking discoveries all thanks to your efforts and your continued support toward obtaining truth. See you again soon!.” The hovering camera lowered itself into his hand where he pocketed it and then began looking around. His eyes fell upon Selena first and offered an endearing smile before he turned to Vlad and gave the man a good nod of acknowledgment. Lastly he looked at the Dermont group and offered the same. Aryssin had gone about greeting folks and just barely missed his attentions as he situated himself right near Selena. He was an experienced man with a muscular build that suggested he could take care of himself but that never meant he’d be prepared for the complexities that awaited them. Anticipation mingled with fearful expectation but one would never be able to tell from the constant smile on his face. He was here to uncover truths and the threat of death was worth the prize he sought. @P.N.See @SelenaNichole @sorainvoked @Moon Owl Brief Mention: @ChaosLord @HollowCipher [Bottom Right]
  19. 14 points
    Are you bored? Don't answer that question, it's rhetorical. You're on an internet role playing forum, of course you're bored! But luckily for you, I, Danzilla3, have seen fit to descend from my throne of pizza boxes and ammo cans, to bring you the solution to your existential enui! It's called TAEN Right now you may be asking yourself, "What is Taen?" Well if you would stop interrupting me with your thoughts; I'll tell you! Taen is a sub board of Terrenus; but far cooler and sexier than any of the other sub boards, and if anyone says different, their lying. But what is it that makes us so cool and so very, very, sexy? Our setting for one thing. You see, though Taen is technically a part of Terrenus, it isn't strictly speaking IN Terrenus, nor is it really in the same dimension! Taen is located in a pocket dimension that can only be accessed via portals, primarily the ones located in the Blue Hills region. Practically, this allows us to do things in Taen, without worrying too much about meshing with the rest of Terrenus. We have a rather laid back policy with regards to cannonization that can basically be summed up by saying if you put in the work, we'll probably let you do it. As long as your not directly contradicting existing canon, we're pretty cool with you doing what you want. And I would know! Taen was were I cut my teeth on this site, and to date, I've created an entire city, two different species, a budding criminal empire, and have characters in important positions all over the place! Whats more, the setting is still very much developing, allowing for you to help flesh it out however you wish! But maybe you prefer to join in on someone else's thing rather then start your own. In that case, we still got you covered fam! *Flashes white boy gang signs* We have a number of quests available to be undertaken by interested parties. In fact, right now the Crime Lord of my afformentioned Criminal Empire is having a huge party to celebrate his return from a business trip/ to make new business partners. Whether you want to join the festivties, or make a criminal connection, everyone is welcome! So come on down and join us in Taen! You want to be cool and sexy right?! https://www.valucre.com/forum/83-taen/ @Csl @Ataraxy
  20. 14 points

    House Mythal

    'May the Dred Wolf take you.' Sigil An elaborate lining of a wolf with ten red eyes surrounded by a hallo of white lines and dots with a gray-blue background. The House Mythal is represented by a dark wolf created by a variety of elaborate lining which looks like branches reaching out. The symbolism represents the Mythal's outreach, their need to expand and express themselves to others. By doing so, they are spreading knowledge to those that would otherwise be deprived of it. Red eyes tell the story about the Mythal's ever persuasiveness. They've eyes everywhere, they see much and ignore very little. The House has no reason to carry elaborate colors; the black, white, blue, and red paint the picture they represent through their actions. Actions come in a variety of colors; words will always confuse description; simple representation ensures all will know who they are upon sight. Words 'May the Dred Wolf take you.' The saying was made during Alistair's earlier years of silent conquest. His ability to sway even the most stubborn mind was something to admire, and his ways only got more calculated with age. The words have a few meanings depending on the person: May you be welcome in the house of Mythal or May you be taken by the house of Mythal. Brief The House of Mythal is known for its ability to withstand turbulent change and constant political debauchery. They are outliers, preferring to use their logic and understanding on their home than half-truths and toxic political play. Often too honest for their own good, it has earned them few friends and many enemies. Such issues do not affect the family much, for they are far more concerned about the state of their home than anything else. A strong sense of self, the Mythals think of themselves before considering the thoughts of others. Hard to budge but eager to learn and teach, there has been many who've flocked to the domain of Mythal for leadership. Their self-centeredness has preserved not only their family but also those who wish to understand the elves logic. They simply wish to treat themselves with high regard that is earned and deserved, and in turn, they will share this graciousness with others - if they are not thwarted. There is no room for backstabbing in this family. They do not appreciate being treated like puppets or stopped from spreading their teachings to others. Whatever the way, they will follow the path that fixes their home for the better; even if that means bloodshed, death, and any other variation of loss. A few must die for the better to succeed; House Mythal has already lost much in the tyrannical rule of the previous King and will not waste the memory of their fallen by being stagnant. King Damien saw the House as a threat to his power and had initially stripped the entire family of their name, marking them as traitors to be killed. Soleil and Emery were his victims to the King's decree, their deaths were made a point for any who dared to go against the tyrant's rule. Alistair was not moved to bend knee, instead, he continued to fight for the people of Ursa Madeum, with his wife and children at his side. Quotes 'The world is bigger than I, even bigger than you. It laughs at all we think we know.' - Alistair to the Tyrant King before the King stripped the house of its titles. 'We stand upon the precipice of change.' - Final words of Soleil. 'I might take their lives, but I cannot take back from them what has been taken from you.' - Milorian to Marina after Soleil's death. 'Justice is a funny concept. It'll drive a man to perform noblest deeds. As well as the worst atrocities. Justice is a blade that draws blood from the innocent and wicked alike. And raised high, it can lead to a change that changes the world forever.' - Ronan to the people of Ursa Madeum in an attempt to start a revolution against their Tyrant King. 'For those who value survival, sentimentality is not an option.' - Austere to Cassia during the burial of his wife and child. 'Stand your ground; the dawn will come. The Dred Wolf sees!' - Final words of Emery. 'Anger is stronger than any pain.' - Cassia to Alistair after the loss of Soleil and Emery. Family & Titles Alistair Mythal ∾ Cassia Yarrow ┌──────┴──────┐ Ronan Mythal ∾ Terra Ames — Gawyne Mythal — Soleil Mythal ∾ Marina Haron — Austere Mythal ∾ Emery Cohen — Milorian Mythal ┌──┴──┐ ┌──┴── ┌──┴──┐ Sebastian Mythal — Whitaker Mythal Anson Mythal -- Easton Mythal Lord of House Mythal: Milorian Mythal. The head of House Mythal Milo was the primary motivator behind every action during the Tyrant King's rule; he was the loudest voice, the biggest pusher for change and stood the firmest against the face of adversity. His brother Soleil had been flogged and quartered for doing precisely what Milorian was doing; his sister-in-law Emery died protecting her young children (twin boys), unfortunately, only one child survived the attack. The Tyrant King felt threatened, seeing that the family was not going to budge and discontinue their attempts to overthrow him, he soon stripped the Mythal's of their titles. Once their name was denounced, Milorian persuaded the remainder of his family to go underground long enough to make plans to spread their word - an attempt of a revolution. Their silence bought them just enough time to gather their forces (small groups of wanna-be-revolutionists) and attack the heart of the problems within their home. Still wanted by the King, the Mythal's were seen on the streets passing out pamphlets, making significant attempts to persuade others to see the side of reason, but too often they were faced by the fearful unsure how to follow without getting killed. It's was an understandable position to have, and they did not think too harshly on the cowardly. At this point, their heads were already on the chopping block, and they weren't going to back down from a challenge. Their hard work paid off when Taen's forces came through. Milorian and his brothers were quick to assist in the siege by offering what little resources they had at the time. House Mythal is for the Taen's rule and believes the people shouldn't thwart such an opportunity. Lady of House Mythal: -- Wife of the head of House Mythal. Steward of the Free Marches: Austere Mythal. Governor of the household and estate of the Lord of House Mythal. Typically, the steward is also regent of House Mythal's lands and its seat during the absence, incapacitation or otherwise delegation of its lord. Castellan of the Free Marches: Ronan Mythal. The overseer of the Free Marches and reports directly to the Steward. Sentinel of the Crossroads: -- Captain of the guard of Crossroads, the Mythal's towers. Grand Master of the Order of the Seekers: Delaney Vulpine. Leader to the Order of the Seekers, created to protect the Free Marches and its people. Knight Commander of the Seekers: Gawyne Mythal. Second-in-command to the Order of the Seekers. Typically charged with leading militant action, such as commanding the Knights from the front, on behalf of the Grand Master, who governs the order from its headquarters at Crossroads. Location The Free Marches is the entirety of the Mythal's estate, which is located on the coast of Island Corinth, just southwest of the capital Andelusia. It is a lush area that is slowly growing back to its active roots now that the Mythal House has returned to a normal state. Boundless amounts of trade happen in the Free Marches; ships can often be seen docked on the coast, an open market's banners populate the sky, and a variety of conversations pollute the air. The House of Mythal has their hands in trades of all kind and are open to creating productive relationships with anyone wanting to sell their goods in the Free Marches. Any member of the house can be seen wandering about Eluvian and its shores, speaking with familiar and new faces to better know the people occupying their estate and to build proper relationships to continue their expansive reach. Crossroads (the Mythal home) is a large bridge that connects the small island (Eluvian) to inland. The quarters are built into the two massive towers that occupy the middle of the bridge; elaborate rooms fit for royalty and a library that can be accessed to the public make up a majority of Crossroads. There are passages that lead beneath the bridge, where there are pillows and blankets for the weary who seek shelter during their travels; often, women from the villages freckled around the Free Marches will provide food and drink here. Celebrations are often held on the bridge as it is an open resource for anyone to use. The Mythal's enjoy seeing their people enjoy the simple pleasures of life and try to promote the freedom as much as they possibly can. Milorian ensures the safety of his people and wanderers alike by keeping guards shifting around the bridge without disrupting the lives of those passing through. There are angry mountains on both ends of Crossroads, but there are countless paths and roads that will lead you to the bridge safely and without interruption. Affiliations Activity SEPTEMBER 3rd 28 AO || Tyrant King Dead. NOVEMBER MARCH 3rd 29 AO || Reclaiming rice fields and woolybug herds. APRIL 1st 29 AO || Wyne Returns 25th 29 AO || Reclaiming the Emerald Graves MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST 1st 29 AO || House Dali Pre-Nuptial Celebration (Anson Mythal x Seldi Dali) 2nd 29 AO || Confrontation & minor reconciliation (House Uldwar vs. House Mythal) 2nd 29 AO || A.N.T. 6th 29 AO || Trade claims with Stonehaven SEPTEMBER 3rd 29 AO || Engagement Agreement (Birdy Tankred x Milorian Mythal) 18th 29 AO || Free Marches Celebration 20th 29 AO || Engagement Agreement (Odelia Carthrage x Austere Mythal)
  21. 13 points

    Summarized results from RP Survey

    Let me start off by thanking everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. Thank you Internally we're still discussing some of the finer points of the data, and I've separated the long form text responses into a separate discussion which involves more standardization so as to make the data anonymous (or near enough) as well as easily digestible (more signal, less noise) You'll see more updates on that, and the graphs for the below will be released separately to increase engagement, but here are the summarized results to share a great deal of the data in a fashion (I think) conducive to conversation (without the burden of expectation to engage in conversation) Based off 42 responses Most people (41%) take 30 minutes to post; the second largest group (26%) takes 1 hour Most people (29%) come here for the IC (a 1); the second largest group (21%) come more for the IC but also lean OOC (a 4) Most people (50%) access the site on PC; the second largest group (45%) on mobile Most people (98%) think Valucre loads quickly (according to their subjective experience) Most people (62%) find Valucre's lore has the answers but requires effort to get to those answers; the second largest group (38%) finds the answers easily Most people (52%) think Valucre's lore is unique; the second largest group (38%) think Valucre's lore is familiar but uncommon Most people (60%) like to read fantasy; the second largest (14%) like to read sci-fi Most people (62%) like to write fantasy; the second largest (12%) like to write sci-fi Most people (67%) prefer groups 3-5 in size; the second largest (26%) prefer one-on-one Most people (75%) have roleplayed on forums/bulletin boards for more than 2 years; the second largest (10%) for 1-2 years Most people (52%) have roleplayed on Valucre for more than 2 years; the second largest (16.7%) for 1-2 years Most people (69%) prefer collaborative combat; the second largest group (24%) prefer turn-based combat Most people (83%) enjoy character interaction the most; the second largest (14%) prefer exploration Most people (36%) heard about valucre through word of mouth; the second largest groups tie at 26% and are Search Engine and Topsite list
  22. 13 points
    I’m craving for some storywriting that has nothing to do with canon (or too trivial to be canon), starts with a lighthearted adventure, has no posting order, and no particular plot planned or anyone driving the story. No restrictions on character, or who introduces NPCs or challenges. Just a simple one step, one post at a time in a continue-the-story writing, and see where it goes. I’m not looking for chat RP though, so at least a paragraph or two, or longer. Really depends on what you want to write in your post! No particular posting speed, but I’m not a super fast writer, depending on how long the posts are, I can take anywhere from 2 days to a week to reply. But anyone can post anytime though, so you don’t have to wait for me! No rules meaning nothing is disallowed. You can have a monster that shows up and blows up the planet, and I can have a god that resurrects everyone, if you and I so wanted during our turns. Not that it’s what I’m going for, but just saying that it can happen. There’s no storyteller, no one to moderate anything written. Lol I know it’s a strange interest check, but anyone wants to join me for this? It’s non-canon for sure, we can use Alternative or any readymade lore areas on Val. Looking for a small group of 2-6 people so that things don’t grow too crazy lol.
  23. 13 points

    Csl's Art Box

    In the rare moments between the drudgery of college requirements and frantic post/lore writing, I, Csl, do art. Here is a thread for me to stack them all up and display to the Valucre community. Might do commissions in the future if people are interested ^_^ House C'zirqonia Family Portraits Finished the base drawings in the blessed school-less days of Christmas break, cleaned up and added backgrounds this week. Krita + Photoshop. 2-3 hours each for the base drawings. Base drawings Final output Carina and Friends
  24. 13 points

    Ogre Assault Mechs

    Overview Ogre Assault Mechs, traditionally known as Ogres, are heavy armour robots primarily deployed by the Terrenus Military. On average, they stand at about 20 feet tall, and possess roughly humanoid proportions to a varying degree. All units, with some exceptions, are powered by a single Exalta core, typically secreted away in the spine or somewhere along the back. They are piloted from a cockpit housed in a fortified torso, with an ejection mechanism installed to save pilots from an emergency. Pilots are outfitted with a specialized suit that establishes a direct neural interface with the mech. This link enhances their spatial awareness to match the Ogre’s bulk, in addition to lending an intuitive sense of how to operate its systems. A supporting AI permits Ogres to behave autonomously, though its true purpose is to facilitate information transfer between the pilot’s brain and the machine. Should excessive data feedback occur, pilots can suffer permanent brain damage. Profuse nosebleeds and muscle paralysis are reported as common symptoms. All Ogres, as a rule, trace their roots back to the original OAM-N (Neutral) Frame. This is to ensure equipment compatibility throughout generational development. As a result, most Ogre technology can be equipped interchangeably, with exceptions based on frame-specific requirements. Base Frames Ogres usually come equipped with a primary and secondary weapon, followed by an optional melee weapon. Sensor arrays are located on the chest, shoulders, and in head-like devices, which offer a variety of vision options, including thermal and infrared. Further equipment customization is solely dependent on personal preference. AI personalities can be modified to suit the pilot's needs. They range from vocal to silent, and anything in between. Limited Victory ASI modules provide supplementary functions. These include logistics management, communication assistance, biometric monitoring, and remote telemetry. OAM-W (Warrior): The Warrior is by far the most prolific design to have ever been produced. It is flexible in its armaments, a jack-of-all-trades, and is both sturdy and agile without excelling in either department. The frame stands at 24 feet, boasts a pair of twin auxiliary thrusters, and is a respectable choice for any aspiring pilot who aims for versatility above all else. OAM-S (Scout): As its names implies, the Scout specializes in speed and stealth. It is one of the smallest frames available, in both height and mass, peaking at 18 feet with thin, lightweight limbs. It sacrifices protection and firepower in pursuit of unparalleled mobility, frequently compensating for its frailty with auxiliary thrusters. In battle, the Scout is best suited to hit-and-run tactics, with a strong preference for medium to long-range weaponry. On the same token, more daring pilots will take advantage of its mobility to engage in close quarters. This is somewhat of a rarity, since many consider the tactic an unnecessary risk. OAM-T (Titan): Heavy, large, slow, cumbersome, the Titan was built to take a beating and give an even bigger one in return. Standing at a menacing height of 28 feet, its thickly armoured frame towers over every other model, with excessively destructive munitions being the bread and butter of its design. The Titan actually requires two Exalta Cores to operate, and can even be manned by two pilots simultaneously: one as its gunner, the other as its primary operator. Its function as an artillery unit makes it an invaluable asset on the field, but it can fill a variety of roles depending on its overall kit. OAM-C (Caster): The Caster is one of the rarer frames currently in service due to the steep production costs of its advanced magitech systems. It is best defined as a 21-foot-tall arcane artillery unit, relying on destructive spells in lieu of ballistic weaponry. It comes equipped with light armour to keep it mobile and to minimize overall energy consumption. Older models tended to deplete Exalta Cores very quickly, so engineers were forced to repurpose the majority of its energy systems. Now, the Caster is rarely a front-line unit, preferring distance where it can safely dish out damage. OAM-J (Javelin): The Javelin is similar to the Scout, in the sense that it’s small and lightweight. It reaches 18 feet on average, but a select few frames have undergone alterations to their base build. Every inch of its body has been streamlined for aerial combat, featuring stability thrusters in its hands and feet, the main engine being located on its back. The biggest draw of the Javelin is its ability to transform into a high-speed aircraft. Most frames take the form of a fighter jet, leaving bombers and helicopters in a very niche minority. External weapons, such as rifles, are not compatible with the Javelin’s transformable nature. As a consequence, its offensive capabilities are limited to built-in machine guns, rockets, and retractable blades. With flying being a vastly different experience from ordinary Ogre functions, military pilots must first graduate from flight school before enlisting in the Javelin’s unique training program. OAM-E (Experimental): Experimental frames are exactly that: experimental. There is no baseline for their design. Each frame’s properties are unique to themselves, almost always in the goal of testing new capabilities. Hybrids are not uncommon. As are non-humanoid prototypes. In terms of experiencing live-fire combat, however, Experimentals rarely see the light of day. For one, they are expensive to fabricate. Two, they are rarely suitable for practical application. There is also the investment of their singular design, which may be difficult to replicate should the frame be destroyed. Many Experimentals seen on the field are, in fact, previously retired units. They’re usually deployed during emergencies, or the common case of a pilot begging to be special. Pilots Thanks to the Ogres' neural interface, extensive knowledge is not required to effectively operate a frame. In spite of this, a year-long training program is mandatory in the Terran Military. This program will see participants spend 1000 hours in a simulated cockpit, then an additional 500 hours in a variety of basic training mechs. Once a pilot has graduated with their full certifications, they will be awarded an official callsign, as well as the opportunity to pair with an Ogre of their choosing. They retain any rank held prior to graduation, and may continue to work in their assigned department. Outside of the military, very few private companies manufacture their own Ogre frames.
  25. 13 points
    2/28 - Since we now have what seems to be three ARGs, supernal has kindly given us a club to puzzle things out. Check the ARG Club for future updates! *dons deerstalker hat* VALUCRE HAS AN ARG Y'ALL First off: what's an ARG? Well for those who don't know, and ARG is an alternate reality game. According to Wikipedia: I kept close track of the Overwatch Sombra ARG (despite never playing the game). Since then I've loved them and am thrilled to see one pop up on my favorite site. So far I haven't seen much public discussion about this aside from status updates. I figured I'd post a thread detailing everything we know so far, also to catch up whatever newbies might be interested. I might not include all the info because I arrived pretty late to the game and I'm writing this late at night when I'm supposed to be sleeping, but feel free to point out any things I missed to fill in the blanks! WHEN DID IT ALL START? This thread: An account named @Grand Mainframe joined Valucre earlier this week and posted that cryptic interest check in the Watercooler. It seems to be acting as an AI/robot/computer program. In the watercooler post, it linked two things: a website called desecrator.me/ and another account named @OBELUS DESECRATOR.ME OBELUS I'm not a cipher person but following all this has been super interesting. Personal observations: GM seems to be mostly involved with Terrenus, referencing bits of Terran lore like the Saint-King Odin, Zengi the Witch-King, the Desecrators, and the magitech pioneer Eustace Monroe. Its theme seems to be more along the lines of AI, computers, technology/magitech, and such. More of the story's probably going to show up once the countdown on desecrator.me ends in... around six days, as I write this. OBELUS seems to be running a different ARG altogether, and Mainframe's confirmed they're not working together. It's reference Elendaron, and it's zeitgeist in the west hidden message seems to reference Genesaris, so it may take place in a different place than Mainframe's story/plot/whatever. It also has something like a deadline on it's About Me page: May 2019. I guess there's not much to do but wait and watch artificer and the rest of the Mainframe Access Gang try to solve its puzzles (you're doing great, dude) Anyway, that's all for now! I hope this caught up those people out of the loop and I hope we as a community can band together and... solve whatever puzzles these two mysterious individuals throw at us ❤️ Or we can sit by and relax and eat popcorn, as I myself have mostly been doing. Again, feel free to point out stuff I may not have included in this list. The game is on! UPDATES @Ampersand has decoded the file name of the OBELUS image to be "thekeyisdeath" @elixir used the word "death" as the key in a Playfair cipher to decode the text in the source code of the gif in the original status. It reads: "ti me to wa ke up" Grand Mainframe has replied to @Fierach's status with "WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU ASKED YOUR MAGITECH DEVICE FOR CONSENT?" This phrase also shows up in the alt text of the image in its reply to my status here OBELUS Diary Entries Pictures so far:
  26. 13 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    A toothless old guardsman was mesmerizing Vlad's travelling outfit, poking at each leather patch of the jacket with his bony fingers. Nassar's instincts urged him to scare away that creepy bag-o'-bones. But the folks he arrived to Yh'mi with advised not to do that. The Order is extremely strict when it comes to conflicts with the locals. Vlad sighed and clenched his teeth as the guardsman had proceeded to check his boots. Finally, with a deafened creak he stood up and stared at Vlad's unshaven face. He had been squinting and clicking with his tongue for about a minute. Then he spat out grumpily "Three minutes" and marched toward the next newcomer in the batch. "Three minutes?" - Vlad asked his neighbor, a tall man in a smoky coat. - "Is that how he measures how long we'll last behind these gates?" "Nah." - the man responded with a chuckle. - "It's how long it takes to shoot ya between the eyes from the wall before you get completely kooky. One local told me about him - one hell of a sharpshooter, they say..." "Really? Well... that's... sounds encouraging." Vlad readjusted his backpack and looked around the encampment - perhaps for the last time. He had arrived along with a volunteer group consisted of people of various facilities: builders, cooks, technicians. In other words - those who can help Inns'th's cause not with their guts, but wits. They aren't quite polite and skillful, some of them might even be mere criminals hiding from the long hand of the law. At least, they had some sort of enthusiasm (probably due to riches being promised to them) and didn't mind for a good talk. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said about the inhabitants of Inns'th. As soon as the group had entered the encampment, Vlad felt the gaze of dozens of eyes. Guards, knights, clerics, even the lowly citizens - everyone was watching after a newcomer, inspecting his uniform unnaturally clean for this dirty place. At some point, Vlad understood the concern in the minds of townsmen. To them, he was just another mercenary, putting his interests way above the common cause, ready as ever to cut and run once things suddenly go south. And, truth be told, they were partially right. A habit to travel between the cities of Terrenus changed Vlad a lot since he had left his relatively comfy dwelling in Patia. He had lost a few pounds and got fit enough to sustain long-distance walk. Having left his stuffy workshop, he had been taking countless jobs for a sufficient price in hopes to get involved in something worthy of his skills. However, the current nation-wide crisis and some events in Tia better left unmentioned left him with a few choices - and a couple of bloodlusting thugs to have a few words with him. Yh'mi happened to be the only solace from old troubles... and the source for new ones, which are much, much worse. Vlad's trail of thoughts was interrupted when the fully armored paladin called everyone gathered near the entrance, encouraging to conquer the land unknown just behind him. Words full of zeal barely affected him and his "comrades". There was the subtle feeling among the men that the whole expedition was doomed from the very beginning and by the end of the day they would all bite the dust and no one in this hole would ever mourn for them. A fleeting thought of running away had invaded Vlad's mind. But once the gate had opened wide, the thought had disappeared without any sensible trace. They were in the same boat from now on. "Well..." - the man in a coat spoke, adjusting his cap. - "Time to find a proper place for a grave." Vlad gazed upon the barren nothingness behind the wall's arc. He knew that in this god-forsaken land lied the source of his headaches and nightmares. The unearthly spires, the mind-boggling mists... and the unfathomable force that had been calling him during several sleepless nights. He raised his right hand with a glove on it. The stone encrusted inside it shone at him, revealing his face from many of its sporadic reflection. It is unlikely that this particular stone, Cain Rose's gift, would originate from this place. But, if they succeed on establishing an outpost, it would be worth to find out more about it. If he stays sane and alive, that is. [BOTTOM RIGHT]
  27. 13 points
    Moon Owl

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    --- There they stood firmly at the edges of civilization, watching over the walls and into the untamed wilderness with vigilant gazes for the evil that supposedly lurked inside. The four individuals nodded to each other with determination and begun to make their way towards the carriage that would be their ward on their journey to the furthest point. When Cedric Dermont passed his beloved wife Nevaeh and their beautiful daughter Brianna he made sure to withhold the urge to depart from his family with a loving embrace, much to their apparent despair. Instead he imparted a simple farewell with the solemn promise of his return. For if the rumors were true, there were no room such emotions or sentiments where they were headed. “Make sure to take care of our daughter until I return.” He spoke then fell into silence as he set his eyes upon Brianna a final time before turning away from them. For only the hardened would stand to hope to conquer the land reaching beyond the walls. And only the strong would stand a chance to live to tale about the horrors of Yh'mi. And he intended to ensure that he would stand as one of them. The party gathered together before reporting to Fidelitas, the man that were leading this expedition on the behalf of the Order of the White Hand. From how he understood it, it was this organization that had been fighting these beasts and monsters. They were the only ones that actually had some previous experience dealing with the infamous rumors of horrors that they would surely find skulking about as they would attempt to colonize the land. The rest would be wise to adhere to their command, lest they would risk finding themselves in an early grave. Joining up with the rest of the expedition forces, Cedric could not deny his personal discontent upon the realization of the slim number of able hands that had been assigned for their journey. The Order of the White hand had claimed that a smaller force would allow them much needed flexibility if ambushed and would allow them to travel much more inconspicuously as to not draw unwanted attention to themselves. However as they began to make their way towards their destination with heavy steps, he could not shake the feeling that perhaps they were sent out to their deaths. But it didn’t matter much even if that was the truth of it, for he knew better than most that every living creature, graced with a free will can choose to be the master of their own fate. Taking their position at the rear of the caravan, Cedric turned to his fellow comrades. It was himself, his cousin Ezekiel Dermont, the younger brother to his wife Zacharias Farran and their older brother Isaac Farran. They looked at each other with grim expressions painted to their faces and allowed their gazes bounce within the group in silence for a full minute before they would burst out laughing as to cut the tension in the air. “Make sure to watch each other’s back out here, alright? If we get attacked, the cowardly and weak will be the first ones first to fall." He paused and allowed the grim reality of his words to sink in while a brisk gust of air swept over them. "Make sure that you're not one of them.” Cedric instructed as they pressed on. [Bottom Right]
  28. 13 points

    The Andelusian High Tea Society

    ► NAME The Andelusian High Tea Society ► LOCATION Andelusia, Ursa Madeum, Terrenus ► DESIGNATION A teahouse in Andelusia that caters to all walks of life, including the noble elite to which they provide seclusion and luxury within the city. Despite being a friend and partner of House Hildebrand (in particular, as the house provides uncommon herbs and plants for the teahouse’s special brews), the Andelusian High Tea Society is ultimately considered neutral ground, where commoners and adventurers can enjoy a little of that magic liquid goodness, and where the nobles can meet with each other somewhere they are considered equals. ► AFFILIATIONS Small local businesses in Andelusia House Hildebrand // business partner ► HISTORY The Andelusian High Tea Society originated from humble beginnings: the dream of a once-young mechanic who fell in love with the green things of the earth, the way that water and leaves come together to blend in luscious harmony, the magic that sparks through living things. Thus, the teahouse has passed down the Chamelis family for generations, from the prosperity of the Queendom to the rise of Damien Gillick. After the teahouse was forced to shut down during the rule of the Tyrant King, the Andelusian High Tea Society is now reopening with bigger, better, and more elaborate facilities—thus, they'll be needing new baristas to replace those who have relocated to foreign countries when the teahouse shut down. Under the direction of Dahlia Chamelis, the teahouse opens its doors once more to the general public, ready to usher in a new rebirth through the power of tea and pastries, no matter the occasion. ► HUB THREAD | HERE | i. current staff ii. the establishment iii. teahouse menu iv. special items + requests v. quests
  29. 13 points
    Let me bring you down a particular street in Andelusia. It’s out of the way, it’s secluded, and the stone tiles crackle under your footfalls, smooth and sun-warmed. You hear the birds chirping in the air, the breeze rustling through the prismatic leaves of the trees, the distant sounds of laughter and civilization just over the edge of the buildings. Can you picture it? You’re good? Now, you see that white door over there? It’s on the left, the building with the barred windows, the shards of painted glass on the ground (don’t mind those; they’ll sweep them up soon). The signage isn’t readable from this distance, so come on, let’s take a closer look. There’s—wait, there’s a woman coming out. She’s placing a colorful sign on the door; can you see it? Oh, look, see what it says: BARISTAS WANTED (we're reopening, dearest citizens! we need baristas: love for tea required! see the manager for more information) Hello all! Vielle here ? I've a new project coming up in Ursa Madeum: welcome to The Andelusian High Tea Society hub! A teahouse in Andelusia that caters to all walks of life, including the noble elite to which they provide seclusion and luxury within the city. Despite being a friend and partner of House Hildebrand (in particular, as the house provides uncommon herbs and plants for the teahouse’s special brews), the Andelusian High Tea Society is ultimately considered neutral ground, where commoners and adventurers can enjoy a little of that magic liquid goodness, and where the nobles can meet with each other somewhere they are considered equals. Now, this is a unique teahouse. The baristas are good listeners to people's problems, as well as good people readers, and if permitted, will serve customers the tea that they believe suits them best (they usually get it right ?). The owner is a tea specialist and a herbalist, also a personal friend of Nairne Hildebrand, and can, for a certain price, weave magic into brewing the tea, which fuses the brew with magical effects. For example: need a dash of courage to propose to your loved one? The owner will brew you a blend that fills you with a little bit of that needed push to do it. After getting shut down during the rule of the Tyrant King, they're now reopening with bigger, better, and more elaborate facilities—thus, they'll be needing new baristas to replace those who have relocated to foreign countries when the teahouse shut down. What does this mean for you, dear reader? ? If you'd like to take up the call and become a tea sommelier for the Tea Society, look upon the information below: First, you'll need a barista character! When you've made one, please post your barista's profile on the Tea Society's organization thread. As the teahouse will be a hub thread, any time customers come in, you may be asked to serve them if you are requested to do so. Deep character interaction is one of the founding pillars of the Tea Society, so let's make it so! ? I imagine the hub to have a fairly lighthearted atmosphere unless the overarching story calls for it, so if you'd enjoy a little slice of life or casual chats with other characters, this is the place for you. ❤️ Aside from looking for baristas, let me all invite you to The Andelusian High Tea Society's Grand Reopening as well! Every noble house in Ursa Madeum is invited to come celebrate with us, and of course, this event will no doubt allow for social interaction between the houses and so forth. The letters are to be sent soon, stamped with an icon of an ornate tea cup and scented with the faintest hint of mint and lavender. We look forward to seeing you there. ? Adventurers and so forth are also invited to come! Now, don’t be late; tea’s at four. ❤️
  30. 13 points
    “Who cares?” Milo gave Lady Cassandra a weary look, knowing that dealing with Oscar must be difficult when he was in his element. This conversation is doing little to quell the friction between husband and wife. His outburst on Dali estates further proved his incompetence of being a person with good judgement. The good Lord had struck his wife, fracturing an already sour relationship and had threatened Milorian. None of those transgressions would be mentioned here for a variety of reasons. His voice rose high above the heads of those at the table. The elf waited for an answer from Uldwar; he wants to know what this all has to do with just one person, why he must pick the Lady of Patia out of the crowd for no other reason than to fulfill his strange agenda. Right now is not the time to pick at scabs and open old wounds. “Ethics we try to live for? You speak boldly for those you share little kinship towards.” He painted the entirety of Terrenus with the same brush used on Ursa Madeum. The collection of islands have had their problems, but slowly and steadily the people are struggling back into the light, out of the Tyrant King’s shadow. There is fear in their hearts as worry hangs heavily upon them. The wounds have yet to fully heal and here is Uldwar making sure they all feel it. While it is obnoxious that he is so free with his opinions, it doesn't make him entirely wrong. “What does their marriage, or lack of, have to do with anything? What does your marriage have to do with anything?” The man will probably make a snide comment about Milorian’s lack of marriage vows. If so, it only punctuates Uldwar’s ineptitude. “The Lord and Lady of Patia did not come here to have their timeline aired before us.” He looked at the Lady of Patia, offering her a look of kindness. In a way he understood what it was like to be the odd one out. The Tyrant King of Ursa Madeum tried his damndest to purge the islands of … nonhumans. “Refugees who can learn and teach. People, Lord Uldwar, who can be beneficial to Terrenus. Unless you've turned soothsayer and know all things, it is perhaps best you don't cross bridges before they've even been built.” Why worry about something that could already be happening? If he was truly worried, wouldn't he already have the proof? There hasn't been any mention of Terrenus turning its shoulder to travelers and wanderers, no law or rule forbidding those different to stay out. He asked if they had forgotten, the overall answer is probably an astonishing ‘no’. If the Carmine Empire decides to edge its way across the waters, Terrenus will not be at a complete disadvantage considering a multitude of individuals would fight to keep their home safe. Whatever the case, putting worry on an issue that has yet to be irritated does nothing for the current situation that has been presented by Chastity. The current, fresh threats were those the man had spoken about. “Ser Chastity has the floor now and he has boasted a most urgent need for assistance. Lady Gabriela has spoken on the behalf of her rule, as has many others. Just because she has her toes in two lands and wears multiple titles, doesn't make the Lady’s offerings inefficient.” Has Uldwar forgotten the powers that have given him his title?
  31. 13 points
    Long Summary: “Peace” would not be a term without war. Without the polarity against which to set harmony, it would just be the way things always were. That unchallenged way would inevitably give way to sloth and greed, which inevitably birth evil. So it is that, from time to time, evil must loom its ugly head so that the powers of good can become better. So that sloth and greed are fought off by a compensatory desire to protect peace. For it is not evil that needs fostering; that has all the sustenance it needs in the abundant good that be. As such, the devil that loomed its head was Dredge. He amassed a gathering of kobolds, goblins, orcs, and other races of all imaginable ilk under the banner of the victim. No more, he told them, would they be treated as undeserving threshes of grass to be razed by the sword of the protagonist from whose status they were supposedly barred. Naming the ensemble the Legion of Doom (LoD), he led them to raid a small wildlands village called Tormo. Wholesale slaughter of the innocent resulted in the town’s being wiped from the map and a bolstering in men for the Legion of Doom. Dredge hosted an event with the citizen gore of Tormo as decoration. Raucous celebration for the murders they had committed occurred at this event called the Red Festival, cementing the fact that Dredge’s cause had snowballed from one of proclaimed defense against unjust killing to a relishing of villainous aspects including but not limited to just that. His loud and unhidden diatribe, aimed at enlarging his forces with showman-like skill and crywolf monologues of victimization, had garnished him quite a legion. His words about nobody standing up in response to his throwing down of the gauntlet, though, were more heeded than he thought. In response to the Legion’s attacks on small towns, the Terran military planted a mole in the Red Festival who reported information back to Central and Peacekeeper No. 5, Michael Commager. Initial intel from this mole supplemented by GPS tracking of the large force of which it was part that Dredge had amassed led the military to a discovery the the Legion of Doom would move on Last Chance from about a hundred miles north. Establishing a military base north of the city, PK 5 issued a call to allies in the southeastern quadrant of Terrenus. His hail was well met by other capable military officials including Hana Alenko, Delistair Paige, Itylra Yurieshanyaar, and Moira Pembroke. More surprisingly was the ensemble of other people who came to the aid of Last Chance. The Order of Force Majeure turned out, headed by James Eredas, Jinsoku Hayabusa, and Tenkai Matsumoto. Their contributions were immense in the defense of the city and repelling of singular large scale threats such as dragons and fiery warmongers. Additionally was the contracting of help from Marigold with Anima Imperium up in Ashville. All these defenders mobilized to the southern coast of Last Chance in wait for the Legion that thought itself impervious to defense. The morning of the attack, Dredge’s forces loomed over the horizon. He and all the followers he had mustered, Break, Feurerkönig, Perestroika, Mayumi, the Black Spear Cartel, Evanjalin, Ochigo, and swathes of vindictive evildoers swarmed the beaches of Last Chance. Overhead, there flew dragons equipped with drop pods towards a prison in the city’s southern reaches. War waged on the beach and in the courtyard of the prison as prisoners were broken free and the innocent fled the area. A healing area was established on the southern end of the beach near the wall around the city, headed by a gracious healer of third party origins named Shanti. While the battle raged on, an individual known as Agony observed on behalf of the Abaddon Triumvirate and another flying by dragon swooped in to drop a sword that seemed to be of wartime value to Jinsoku.As Terran forces organized around the clusters of Legion of Doomers who had gathered on the beach and at the prison, the Legion began to deteriorate. Mechanized weapons of war had routed most of the dragons in the area either into the dirt or out of the area; individualized defenses had overcome their quarries on a unanimous level to the point where pursuit was more common than direct conflict. After a full day of battle, the occupation of Last Chance was deemed impossible and Legion forces fled into the sea in order to save their skin. As they fled, Terran forces along with the Anima Imperium and the Order battered their enemy off the coast. They were joined there and supplemented most heavily by a military contractor named Caeceila Glasmann. Michael, after being saved by the healer Shanti, has found himself bound by blood and hatred to one person, while it is blood and love that has bound him to another. Perestroika, Evanjalin, and Mayumi were all taken prisoners. The others, while taken note of and deemed worthy of a special file for this hellacious day for intel gathering, were allowed to escape. What the Legion of Doom lost was roughly half its forces and every vessel they originally rode in on. This amounts to 3,400 dead. Furthermore, their escape was tracked and their possible locations documented by Central to be pursued by Terran military with relative haste. What they acquired was a swatch of high profile prisoners and a fleet of civilian ships. What the Terrans lost was a staggering total of 899 and a good chunk of city infrastructure. While very little on the face of the battle, the weight of this toll is only added to by the loss of Tormo and the love held for every personnel lost on the beach that day. This day is remembered by Last Chancers somberly as both an honor and a reminder that evil can always strike and good must always be ready. The seeds of many allegiances and future rivalries have been planted here to be grown in the threads that follow. Short Summary: Dredge and the Legion of Doom attacked Last Chance with several allies, including Feurerkönig and the Black Spear Cartel. Peacekeeper Michael Commager headed the defense of the city with Terran military, the Anima Imperium, and the Order of Force Majeure at his side. After a day-long battle on the beach and fringes of the city, the Legion of Doom escaped badly beaten, but with the supplies they had come in hopes for: some max security prisoners and a small fleet of civilian ships stolen from the docks. Perestroika, Evanjalin, and Mayumi were all taken prisoner for interrogation. The death toll for the Legion of Doom sat at ~3,400 while the Terrans suffered a loss of around 900. Submarine divisions have tracked the Legion off the southern coast of Terrenus, prisoners are being pressed for all the information and allegiance they can provide, and allies are being staged for debriefing and commendations for their participation in the event.
  32. 13 points

    Dice System - Roll 12

    Rules Roll 1d12 1-5 (41.67%) – Choose one option. 6-10 (41.67%) – Choose two options. 11 or higher (16.67%) – Choose three options. Options • Attack! Deal 1 damage. • Heal. Undo 1 damage. • Avoid or defend against the next attack attack. Negate 1 incoming damage for yourself or another. • Enhance yourself or an ally. Add a +1 bonus to a future roll. • Enfeeble an enemy. Inflict a -1 penalty to a future roll. • Improve your situation or an ally's situation. • Worsen an enemy’s situation. When choosing options, you can apply each choice to a different target. Additionally, you can choose the same option more than once. Bonuses and penalties can stack up to +3 or -3. The entire bonus or penalty is consumed when used on a future roll. You have 5 hit points (HP). Each point of health subtracted represents increasingly severe injuries. At 0 HP, you are critically wounded beyond healing and can only choose 1 option regardless of roll. When dealt damage past 0 HP, you are incapacitated or dying. It's your choice whether you resolve that outcome with death. Healing has no effect on an undamaged character. Generally, enemies will follow the same rules as player characters, but may have additional features and differ in the amount of damage they can take. Rank F enemies can withstand 1 damage. Rank D enemies can withstand 2 damage. Rank C enemies can withstand 3 damage. Rank B enemies can withstand 4 damage. Rank A enemies can withstand 5 damage. Rank S enemies can take more than 5 damage. Changelog 4.12.2019 Changed over to using hit points based on feedback that HP is more intuitive. 9.1.2018 Buffs and debuffs can be used on any future roll instead of only the next roll. Added options Improve your situation and Worsen an enemy's situation. Various improvements to organization and word choice. 8.30.2018 System reference document created. Feedback thread created. Clarified rule on avoiding or defending against attacks. Avoiding or defending is specific to preventing damage. Clarified rule on healing when at 0 damage and full health. No effect.
  33. 13 points

    Varda Hildebrand

    VARDA HILDEBRAND the lights go out, i am all alone; all the trees outside are buried in the snow ♦ ► R O O T S age: 33 race: human occupation: lady headship of house hildebrand birthplace: ursa madeum chosen flower: white rose [ purity, innocence, sympathy ] ► S T E M S height: 5’9” weight: 142 lbs gender: female hair: light brown eyes: glassy grey, sometimes ice blue in the right light voice: smooth and soft-spoken note: looks younger than actual age; it’s all in the genes ► F L O W E R S temperament: melancholic alignment: lawful good traits: a child at heart, shy, genuine, gullible, somewhat ignorant, kind likes: warm soil, seeds, and summer showers dislikes: socializing, politics, and immoral acts ► L E A V E S skills; ♦ managing the house ♦ proper etiquette, befitting a noble ♦ horseback riding ♦ gardening ♦ extensive agricultural knowledge ♦ extensive plant knowledge ► F R U I T S relationships; ♦ jasper ♥♥♥♥ ♦ aspen ♥♥♥♥♥ ♦ nairne ♥♥♥♥♥ ♦ esme ♥♥♥♥♥ ♦ merel ♥♥♥♥♥ ♦ kalika ♥♥♥ ♦ suri ♥♥♥♥ ► S E E D S threads; ♦ the blood we share ♦ the spokes of a crown ♦ a rose grows in concrete [dali] ♦ a.n.t. main thread 1: the arrivals ♦ a.n.t. main thread 2: the treaty of 597 ♦ a funeral with no tears [pluto x hildebrand] ♦ nothing comes from nothing [tankred] ♦ ah, me? ♦ courtesy visit ♦ penumbra ♦ 'tis the golden hour ♦ contemporary movement ♦ the reverie ball ♦ more lands 'till sheathe happens "if these are the cards fate has dealt me, then so be it."
  34. 13 points

    House Hildebrand of Ursa Madeum

    i. overview ► NAME House Hildebrand, the Queen’s Chalice ► CREED “For Peace and Plenty” ► HERALDRY A silver chalice entangled with ivy leaves. The silver chalice represents House Hildebrand's control over Ursa Madeum's food supply, and the bountiful trade that flourishes under their watchful eye. The ivy leaves represent eternity, fidelity, and strong affectionate attachment, as well as the strength to survive and thrive in even the harshest environment. ► ORGANIZATION House Hildebrand is an intimate sort of family: to be included in the hierarchy of power, one has to marry into the family and take up the Hildebrand name. Very rarely do Hildebrands marry into other families or houses, as these matches are usually for love or for desperate alliances. The House only takes a select number of foreign families into their fold, and these families in turn serve the Hildebrand family for generations upon generations as branch houses under their noble liege. ► AFFILIATIONS Allies: the royal court, the merchants and farmers of Ursa Madeum House Dali, House Tankred, House Uldwar, House Karradeen, House Senaria, House Mythal, House Singlance Enemies: N/A Neutral Parties: House Kholin ► BACKGROUND/HISTORY Since its formation from the ruins of a war-broken family, House Hildebrand has been loyal to the Queendom and the people of Ursa Madeum, enjoying their prosperity under the rule of Queen Analea. With the disappearance of the Queen and the rise of Damien Gillick, however, the House had no choice but to bend to the will of the king in order to survive. Despite their best efforts to smuggle provisions to the starving population, most of Ursa Madeum's food supply made their way onto the opulent tables and lavish dinner parties of the royal court. House Hildebrand rejoiced with the people as the Veluriyam Empire overthrew the old regime, embracing the idea of a new foreign ruler over their tyrannical king. With the downfall of King Damien, the House is poised to help guide Ursa Madeum to another era of peace and plenty. However, a few shadowy members within the House may yet have plans to take Ursa Madeum's throne into their own hands.
  35. 12 points
    Original interest check Mechanics 1) Health Points (HP) When a character suffers physical damage, their HP is lowered. At tip top condition, they are able to perform 3 actions in a turn. As they get injured, their movements slow and they get less and less actions. Your number of actions for the turn is based on your HP at the start of your turn. You don't immediately gain an extra action after healing, only on the next turn. Every character starts with 5 HP. 2) Sanity Sanity affects your character's state of mind. The less sane you are, the more likely you are to miss or damage yourself, or even attack your team mates. I leave it to each of you as to what low sanity means for your character. Sanity rolls are applied per action, so if you use your first action to increase your sanity, you can use the improved sanity for the next action. Characters who participated in the first arc starts from sanity of 4 due to mental exhaustion from the previous failure and prolonged stay in Yh'mi. Fresh characters start with sanity of 5. 3) Skills Unlike the previous round, your character has a set of skills that they draw from, which differs from character to character. Each character will choose a set of skills from the skills list below. This will form the list of actions that your character gets to choose from every turn. Everyone will get 3 normal skills. On top of that, characters from the first thread will get 3 special skills, and new characters only get 2 special skill. The extra 1 special skill represents the characters gaining experience from the last battle and being able to form a better strategy for this fight. Movement does not require an action, but the distance you can move per turn should make narrative sense. Choose the actions that fit your character's fighting style the most! Support characters (heal, buff etc) could be as useful as offensive characters. Normal skills (choose 3 for your character) - Has no usage limit. Can be stacked in that turn (e.g. attack 3 times). You can delay 1 action over to the next turn (e.g. if you have 3 actions, you can delay 1 action so you have 4 the next turn). Special skills (existing characters choose 3, new characters choose 2) - Each one of these actions can only be used 3 times throughout the thread. These actions are still affected by sanity, but if they miss or backfire, then they are not considered to be used. Use them wisely! Q: Can I choose an action not on the list when building my character's skills? A: Yes, but run your idea by me for approval please! Q: Can I change my skills halfway through the thread? A: I have no plans to allow for that right now, but if we find any of the skills problematic later on, I may allow a change. Put your characters here!: IC thread:
  36. 12 points
    The Official Event Thread is Open! Darkness and Havoc A truly unfortunate union has taken place in Orisia, as Tenebre and Havoc have joined forces for the sake of causing the most amount of damage as well as claiming the maximum number of lives. In a sweeping move, the likes of which have never been seen in Valucre before, these two ancient and powerful deities have pulled and twisted the very fabric of reality in order to introduce the physical manifestation of another landmass in order to literally drop it atop of an already existing location, without the slightest regard for any living being. Ceyana is under attack, and there isn’t a warlord alive or enough mystic magic to stop the impending doom. As a new reality is forced to push and shove its way into Valucre’s existence, pockets of empty space have begun to open, sucking in and tearing apart anything and everything that happens to fall into them. There are clouds of darkness, like a dense black smoke, rolling across the newly forming countryside, choking and suffocating whoever gets caught breathing it. With no hope of salvation, all that is left for those who are able bodied and mentally strong enough to endure the horrors that will unfold all around them, is to try and escape. Come and join our open event, play a brash and selfless hero who tries to save as many souls as possible, or look out for number one, and make sure you get yourself the hell off the island before it’s too late. Setting While the events that are currently destroying a huge portion of Ceyana take place all over the island, for the sake of our event we will be concentrating on Antigua, the biggest city under the jurisdiction of the Black Queen. Antigua skirts the edge of one of the most robust and gorgeous rain forests of the island, and the city streets melt seamlessly from civilization to lush and totally wild greenery. People here seem to live harmoniously with nature and all that it has to offer. Some streets are paved, and still many more are open canals that flow naturally through the cityscape. The city is densely populated, which means it will be in a total state of anarchy and chaos as more than two hundred thousand people try to find a way to escape. Transportation will be near impossible to come by, so if you’re planning to survive, you’ll have to get crafty or sneaky. City Map City Key A. Evaton Castle B. Lowlands -- Primarily a transportation hub for people and goods, this area of the city is mostly defined by high industry sectors, densely crowded residential blocks, and a distinct lack of recreational locations such as parks, gardens, or plazas. C. High Gardens -- A residential area for up and coming middle class citizens, High Gardens is recognizable by its wide streets, plethora of green open spaces, and beautiful mid sized homes. D. Tranquil Heights -- Three distinct areas located on the highest parts of the city grounds, Tranquil Heights is home to the richest citizens of the Antigua. Houses here are palatial, with huge amounts of space dividing each along with ample country roads. E. Garden Groves -- Fruit tree groves, primarily avocado, apple, orange, lemons and limes. F. River’s Crossing Financial District -- Home to open air markets, stores of all kinds, and artisans of nearly every discipline. G. Arena of Thorns (inside the walls) -- The place where Antiguan’s go to de-stress and be social. A literal melting pot, where rich and poor come together to cheer on their favorite champions. Dangerous creatures are housed here, expect them to go free and roam the city streets once the event gets going. G. The Ancient’s Cemetery (outside the walls) -- A strange, massive mound of earth with tombstone-like protrusions. No one really knows what this place is, but legend has it that the dragon’s once buried their dead here. H. The Bread Basket -- An area of heavy agriculture, where the less visually appealing crops are grown and where livestock is raised. Objectives Evacuate the citizens of Antigua or save yourself. Tend to the wounded, if so inclined. Fight off the dark creatures that will emerge from the random pockets scattered around Ceyana. The tougher creatures may drop sweet sweet loot. (List of creatures to come) Bonus: Attempt to find and confront Havoc and Darkness to stop prevent further loss by engaging them. This will not stop the success of this catastrophic event but it could modify how or make things worse. They are hidden deep within the rainforest. Good luck! Rules -Open event, anyone and everyone is welcome. -No posting order outside of established individuals that are obviously interacting with each other. -Completely cooperative role play. Feel free to discuss with others what you would like to happen to your character. If you decide to kill off your character, it doesn’t necessarily mean they succumb to either Havoc or Darkness. They could just as easily be killed by someone or die as a result of any number of things, be creative! -Combat with lesser creatures does not have to be DM’ed by anyone though we may introduce elite level monsters that will require collaborative effort to take down. Be stylish and descriptive with how you deal with them. Come together to save innocent lives! -This event’s ending has already been established. There is no saving Antigua, or the rest of the affected areas within Ceyana. However, the size of the affected area can be lessened should the bonus be completed. -@Dolor Aeternumand I have final say in what occurs should any conflicts arise or any resolution is needed. PM for serious conflicts or concerns. Who Can You Play? While you are free to play whatever character with whatever background you like, I thought it would be fun to include a little list of common species that might be found around these parts -- just in case you want to create a brand new character for the event. -Orisian Human -Illyrian Human (you'll have to PM @Dolor Aeternum for more details). -Vampire (not to be confused with Orisian Vampyre) -Dragon Folk ( while Solum Irae is one of the few areas that will not be affected by the event, it is not far-fetched to say that there may be some dragon folk visiting Antigua while this is all going down). -Rainforest dwelling Elf -Any foreign visitor
  37. 12 points
    Inside the cover is written this: "Hello, dear readers! My name is Doctor Azros, and this here shall be the first in many volumes detailing some of the more special minerals and herbs that can be found all across the world. I am writing this so that it may help doctors and adventurers alike, and so that the average explorer might be able to make use of some of the more exotic and unusual traits listed within. Within each volume, there will be a large array of chapters, each with information taht could save your life, or give you information that will let you pass your tests. So read carefully, and dont mistake an Oak Tree with a Hexen Tree!" Flareroot: This plant can often be found in caves in tall mountains, or in calmer praries mainly, though it can also be found in the forest and even be mistaken for normal weeds and such. Appearing to have an orange bob at the top, connected to a green stem with some leaves near the ground where the roots spread from, Flareroot has a most interesting quality. After it is uprooted, if it not treated carefully while exposed to oxygen or refined, it will combust, and rather violently. Samples should be treated carefully, and certainly should not be brought into battle unless you plan to use it as a grenade of some kind, rolling it up and making it into a solid sphere shape that when thrown and impacts the ground, or any surface really, would do just that. It can be refined into a less violent powder. This powder wont ignite unless in a large quantity, but it will produce sufficient heat to help steralize a wound or tool, and if applied improperly (or properly), would leave burns. It is also effective as a medicine to deal with hypothermia if ingested, restoring warmth to one's body rapidly but not too rapidly. It can also make a good fireplace starter, and has various practical uses. Tangleweed: Although benign at first glance, appearing as if some rather swirly vines, these vines change when actively receiving water. They will begin to spread out and entangle everything, and more specifically, everyone near them. It will entangle someone curling underneath their clothes and armor, and often growing outward and removing it all if allowed to continue through nonstop application of water. Due to its nature, those with knowledge in it could manipulate it purposefully to capture or restrain individual targets. A famous assassin even found ways to make it grow to choke out those who get entangled. Shockra: A rather strange and unique type of plant, it naturally produces and emits an electrical current from it. Although it is unlikely to be strong enough to do long term harm, it is enough to temporarily stun and even incapacitate people. It appears to be a yellow flower, but with yellow stem and leaves instead of green. The electric current will even last after it was plucked for some time, especially if allowed to keep in sunlight and given water. If turned into a powder, while it does not produce electricity on its own as much as before, it is a great conductor of electricity. If breathed in, you will find it hard to move if not outright paralyzed. And you will probably give anyone you touch a bit of a static shock. Psirose: This special type of Rose is purple instead of red, but dont let yourself be fooled that it is the only change. This special herb also has the ability to, as some people might call it, "enhance intelligence". However, in truth, once inhaled to a minor degree, or ingested to a major degree, this rose lets one boost their ability to recall information and experiences, and improves their problem solving ability. Additionally, it will also enhance the abilities of those who possess psionic powers. However, like any brain booster, once it wears off the user will be induced with headaches and disorientation relative to the amount taken in the first place. It should be noted that while lacking the actual addictive properties of heroin and nicotine, the feeling of the raised brainpower that people experience under the Psirose could be something that people get addicted to alone, and so caution should be advised. Florenite: This is an exceptionally valuable mineral to doctors and medics alike, especially those that work in the field, due to its unique quality. While it does not cover all diseases in general, Florenite has the ability to decrease the power and effectiveness of viral agents. Its only limited to its local area, or anything coated in the mineral dust, but Florenite seems to contain elements that viral agents dont like. For people with weakened immune systems in a hospital, they are often required to take special mineral baths and showers while observed by doctors to ensure their body is properly treated, and then examined afterwards with tests performed to ensure it has taken hold. Often, people who get sick a lot are given gifts or charms made of Florenite, as even in ancient times it was believed the stones had healing powers, although it was attributed to magic, and not science.
  38. 12 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    The Advocacy was there as always, wither to search and root out any possible threat to their king, but to also and often, deliver direct orders from the king. Glorified messengers it would seem. Watching as one of the Advocacy’s ships lift off, leaving both Azytzeen and his horse quite dissatisfied with the turn of events that transpired. The new apprentice stepped off the airship, looking all self important and smug, handed him a letter and simply said ‘read it’. It was obvious the man had a distaste in dealing with Azytzeen. It couldn’t be that it was because he gave a resounding ‘no’ when asked to join. No, it had to be making these poor sods fly out and deliver a message. Better things to do and all that. Yeah, that had to be it, couldn’t be that he told that exact snobbish prick to shove their request for him to join up his arse. It was months ago. “I’m getting too old,” with a defeated sigh he patted his old companion. With a derisive snort the horse maintained a glare on its flat and quite ugly face. Azytzeen was certain the horse probably thought of very rude things. Rude indeed. The horse was far to intelligent for its own good. Though it did often give the Psyker a reason to punch the bastard in the head. The smoke blue horse seemed to shudder. “Well, let’s see what our gracious king commands of us.” Of course he never would receive letters from old friends, most were dead and well, the other is a floating head. The latter not being the best to have much conversation with. After all, it's quite the startling experience. Folding the letter back up he gives a heavy sigh. Patting his trusty and unfriendly steed he couldn’t help but wonder if he was getting too old. To Yh’mi we go,” the big man gave with a chuckle . When he arrived to Yh’mi the first two things most noticed about him was his armor, and his size. He himself had set aside his laurels, and his full plate, and even the barding of his steed. He wore simple half-plate, leather and a cloak, and had a hauberk of good chain. Should normal folk and even soldiers come upon him in the driving rain, they would certainly mistake him for a brigand or even a sell-sword. It was with this unseemly disguise he set out on his King’s request. All in order to perform his duty. In his right hand, shod in articulated steel were the reins to his horse. A smoke blue warhorse, massive in size and muscle. Complementing its rider. Azytzeen’s bigness wasn’t that of the flesh. It was of corded well tempered muscle and ropey tendons. Broad shouldered and powerfully built, the very essence of a native to the Shawnee. Though he was a knight, or should he more aptly say once was? No matter. No doubt indeed he looked more the mercenary than one with Knightly discipline. He certainly wasn’t a handsome man, mayhaps once but no more. If not for the hideous scars that marred his face. An ornate eyepatch covered the ruined flesh that was his left eye, sadly it did not cover the scars that wreathed his face. Like snakes those scars twisted themselves from his left eye to above and under his right. When he smiled, it caused those very scars to slither as if alive. Though he did have the smile of a brigand up to no good rather than that of a man of honor. Not that the armor helped. He did have to say, that the tension was just like any battlefield. The kind of tension you don't get fighting simple armies. No, monsters are certainly the only ones capable of of making his left eye itch. Incessantly. Especially when he looked at the bottom left quadrant. “Let’s make the best of this Faran,” patting the horse he tapped his flanks with his heels and set off toward the group. Switching the reins to his left, he pulling the sword from the baldric strapped on the left of his saddle. The sword of war was ten pounds of sharpened steel, polished and resting comfortably against his shoulder. Passing Eri, the horse Faran brought the heavy bastard riding him as close as he possibly could to Gormaric. Well, close enough as to where Faran’s flat ugly face viciously stared at the ebon knight. Faran, being the beast it was thought this would and truly agitate Azytzeen. With a final derisive snort, almost as if it was looking down on the world turned the situation over too Azytzeen. “Sorry ‘bout that, he’s a bit temperamental. Might want to step to the side a bit more though, he has been known to bite people. ‘Damn horse, I ought to beat you senseless.’ Though he tried to be as polite as the Shawnee barbarian in him would allow, he doubted Faran would make him many friends on this trip. Though he would like to kill the horse, it was the best damn steed he ever had. To his chagrin. As much as he would have like to punch his horse a few times, in this situation he could only bull the reins and give Faran his most fearsome one eyed stare, “The name is Azytzeen, here on request.” he gave each one a good try at an amiable smile, sadly he certainly failed at it. “This unruly beast is Faran, he’s a rude bastard but you watch and see he has his uses. Truly he more than likely would have chosen this group to begin with, after all they were certainly interesting. Especially the woman dressed like a priestess. He came here to fight monsters, and make connections. Why not do both? “Ser, I have faced monsters before, but I am told the ones here are quite something else.” He turned his focus back to Gormaric. “I certainly would listen to any information on how to properly kill the nasty bastards.” He gave another hideous smile. @Fierach @EpicRome23 @Tyler @A Most Sovereign Lady [Bottom Left]
  39. 12 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    @Tyler @A Most Sovereign Lady The armored knightess and the rambunctious Norkortian soldiers would behold a strange sight joining them. The Order of Force Majeure only spared one warrior to the White Hand for now, and that warrior would naturally partake in the first wave as was her duty as Knight. Bright-blue-eyed and ever smiling, Sheryl Wainwright was the picture of refinement as she strode across the forsaken earth, but it was her garb that would attract the most attention. Whereas Astride was clad in mail and the Norkortians in their battle dress, Sheryl was clad only in an outfit that might have more been suited to that of a temple or military parade. She bore no visible weapons either, only a large backpack, and a small book tied around her waist. It would not be wrong for anybody to think this woman was utterly mad to be venturing into Yh'mi so completely unarmed and unarmored, yet that would not be so far from the truth. All Knights of the Order of Force Majeure were mad in their own way. Only the White Hand surpassed their knowledge of Yh'mi and its dangers, having adventured and explored the dark lands before, and Sheryl Wainwright was as trusted and capable an individual as their leader James Eredas had set a task to. Stopping briefly before Astride, Sheryl pulled back her hood to reveal lengthy and beautiful blonde hair, and clasped her hands together in polite salute. "Greetings, I am Sheryl Wainwright, Knight of the Order of Force Majeure. Pleased to make your acquaintance." She would repeat the same before Sergeant Murray. After all, the pleasantries must be observed. [Bottom Left]
  40. 12 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    "Major Krieger!" an officer in a captain's uniform jogged over to the Norkotian command tent, where the men in charge of the 1st Battalion were directing the unit as it arrived in Yh'mi. Major Randolph Krieger, the ranking officer for the 1st Battalion, looked up from the map laid out on the table before him, his steely eyes and serious expression unflinching as the younger captain delivered his report. Few people could doubt the resolve of the blond-haired, middle-aged major, who had left Norkotia to serve in the Terran Empire's Military, only to return to his homeland after his enlistment expired so he could join newly formed Norkotian Army. Soldiering was his life, and as one of the few Norkotians who had true military experience prior to the formation of their military, he automatically garnered a great deal of respect from most of men under his command. "Proceed, captain." Krieger saluted the man, prompting the captain to do the same, as he had forgotten in the rush of the moment. "I've got word from the White Hand commander, he wants no more than one squad from us for this first excursion. Evidently he wants to keep the forces limited to maximize their mobility." the captain reported. "Or he wishes to gauge the strength of our opposition, and doesn't wish to risk the bulk of our forces." Krieger noted, putting his hands behind his back and pacing slightly, "We'll send a Ranger squad." He stepped out of the command tent and gazed over the Norkotian assembly, which was located just outside the limits of Inns'th. Not far away would be House Uldwar's encampment, separate from the Norkotians to avoid organizational confusion, but still close-by so their commanders could confer easily when needed. House Karradeen had a minor presence, with a few of their own vehicles (though these were also Norkotian in origin) and horse-drawn wagons present to unload supplies. The Karradeens intended to leave as soon as possible however, none of them being keen on engaging the horrors that lie deeper within this nightmare land. The Norkotian soldiers though, had no choice. After weeks of grueling training at the hands of Uldwar's Dogs of War, the 1st Battalion was redeployed to Yh'mi on orders from Grand Executor Joseph Tynes, who wished to see Norkotian participating in the Yh'mi campaign. Of course, while the Norkotian regulars, most of whom were bright-eyed young men just seeking adventure or service to their country, had been broken and disciplined with relative easy by Uldwar, the Ranger units had been a bit more resistant. Most of these men were older and more experienced, consisting of everything from former mining surveyors and big game hunters, to private security contractors and even bandits and gunslingers. They were already a stubborn, independent lot, and while the efforts of the Uldwar Knights had improved their overall discipline and organization immensely, they were still a much harder rabble to control. But what they lacked in discipline, they gained in practical knowledge, particularly in survival situations. Most were adapt horse riders, crack shots, and more than used to living off limited resources in the wilds. They were perfect for the Yh'mi operations, presuming insubordination didn't do them in. "Sergeant Olafson's squad performed best in the trials back on Misral, sir." the captain suggested, "Should I notify him, or do you wish the platoon leaders to each submit a candidate?" Krieger did not respond, instead he gazed across the camp at one particularly rag-tag Ranger squad, who were loafing around on one of the Norkotian armored cars, arguing with a bunch of MPs over something or another. "No, call up Sergeant Murray's unit. They'll be our contribution to the first excursion." Krieger stated. "Murray? That idiot?" the captain blurted incredulously. "His squad performed third best in the trials, and they've shown they are perhaps the most adaptable group within the whole company. I suspect they'll be better suited for an operation with minimal support." Krieger explained, his eyes briefly flicking over to the captain, then back to the loitering Rangers across the camp, "But more importantly, he and his men are perhaps the worst soldiers in this whole battalion. I would rather not sacrifice our best men for what may be a calculated suicide mission." "Oh, understood, sir." the captain nodded, understanding Krieger's reasoning now. "Order them to gather their equipment and saddle their horses. We will not be committing any motorized support until Karradeen delivers those fuel drums. Until then, all operations outside the wall will be mounted cavalry only." Krieger directed, "Get to it, soldier." Exchanging another salute, the captain rushed off to deliver his message to Murray and his men, who just so happened to be the loafers Krieger had been eying moments before... Some time later, Sergeant Jack Murray and his squad were mounted up and joining up with the column. A former bandit operating on the Norkotian plateau, Murray had been forced to join the military after being arrested and sentenced to service, while many of the men in his squad had similar rough histories. Some were criminals, some not, but they were among the most rowdy within the Ranger company. "A'right boys, first into the fray, first to glory, ain't that right?" Murray called-out to his squad after Fidelitas delivered his speech. "Heyall yeah!" his corporal blurted. The rest of the Rangers pumped their firsts and shouted similar hoots of agreement. With over half of them being of the criminal or mercenary variety, the prospect of fame and fortune was naturally the driving motivation. Perhaps the fools did not yet realize how much more dangerous the wilds of Yh'mi were to the semi-arid plains of the Norkotian Highlands, or perhaps they did and they just overestimated their own capabilities, but either way, the men seemed eager for the mission to begin. One of them men even drew his revolver was about to fire a couple shots in the air, before his comrade grabbed his arm and forced it down. "Keep it down, guys. Wait until we're far away from the major and the other boot-lickers in the camp." the lone level-headed man suggested. "Eh, I reckon' he's right." Murray reluctantly agreed, "Guns down 'till we're out in the field, boys." It was a little disappointing to the men, but they did as requested. The wide variety of weapons in use by the squad, consisting of lever and pump-action rifles, pump-action and double-barrelled shotguns, various revolvers, and even a submachingun, were all restored to their holsters or slung back over shoulders. For now, they'd have to be patient, but at least they wouldn't have to be for long... [Bottom Left]
  41. 12 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    Noah stared at a piece of paper as he sat down, his back against some wall, and he sighed. It was a bill, something that indicated he owed money to something. The whole reason he was here in this region was because he needed a surefire way to make money, lots of it, quickly. And this was the best plan he could come up with. In retrospect though, it was not like Noah was a mastermind. Either way, Noah Bell found himself here to make some money and maybe build some connections with other people. He looked back at his own weapons, and cycled through the types of explosive "sparks" they could produce. He wanted to train a little, but he had to consider the likelihood that they could get attacked at any moment. "...I just hope when we get a base camp set up, they remember to set up some sort of bathing or shower area first. It would be bad if people got covered in blood and had to stay like that the whole time after all". He spoke to himself out loud while checking out his weapons. The white haired boy probably stood out a little among the rest of the mercenaries there, but his red eyes had a certain.....feeling they gave, of pain and experience. Anyone worth their salt could tell from his body language and expressions he had been through a lot, and if anyone had ever managed to see him with his clothes off, they would see his body was covered in scars and abuse. Frankly speaking, it might be a challange even for Yh'mi itself to do anything to him that would be worse then what he already endured. He could actually feel like Yh'mi was....repulsing him, if that made any sense. Or maybe he was repulsing it? Noah was not quite sure what this meant, but he believed it indicated about just how dangerous this place was, and how cautious he should be. That said, he was surrounded by new people...they should be his co-workers and allies, but Noah kept distant from all of them....a boy like him should probably be eager, not so withdrawn, so without knowing it, it was practically like he was inviting others to ask about him, to investigate what would drive someone like him to appear here, and to act the way he did... Noah himself put some headphones into his ears and began listening to music though, but they were not the kind of headphones that really isolated himself from hearing other sounds. He figured that would help, while he also rechecked his medical supplies. This was probably going to be a long day. ------------------------------------------ Top Left
  42. 12 points

    Claiming the Furthest Point

    It was peaceful, quiet morning in the bunker that day. Zack and Tracey were in the kitchen, eating cereal and watching the news provided by one of Hell's Gate's anchormen. They didn't really care much for the news, only watching it to make sure no one scary had put a bounty on either of them. Zack was always the tense one during these mornings, worried that he'd have to put off jobs in order to save his own hide, but this morning there was none of that. It was just the news. Until Charlie came in that is. "Yo'." he said with a shady grin as he walked into the kitchen, holding a rolled up parchment in under his arm. Zack nodded at him, but Tracey merely leered at him as she ate her cereal. "So...remember that drug joint we hit last week for Mr. Funches?" "I just wanna eat my cereal man." replied Zack with a mouthful of cereal as he shook his head. "Well, before we handed their ring-leader over to the fed's, I snagged this," Charlie held out the rolled parchment and shook it. "Out of his jacket." Zack looked at the parchment blankly before swallowing his food. "Remember what I said about stealing stuff off'a criminals?" said Zack. "Sure." shrugged Charlie. "I've only heard you say it a thousand times. By now you should realize that my response to that request is f*** you." "Right, right." said Zack before shaking his head and resuming his meal. "As usual." "Anyway," said Charlie before opening the parchment and placing ti on the table. "Apparently those guys were doing more than just drugs. They were mercenaries." "Really?" said Zack sarcastically. "What gave ya that idea? Was it the pulse rifles? Or was it the big laser cannons they kept shooting at us?" "I need you to take you're remarks and shove them WAY up your a** okay?" rebutted Charlie, motioning upwards with his finger. "Just like that time when you shoved the end of that rifle up that one guys a**." "He mooned me." said Zack, furrowing his eyebrows. "Now, get to the point! I got maybe six minutes before Mikey sends me to training and I wanna savor this meal in case I die this time." "Getting there. Shut the f*** up." said Charlie irritably."I was trying to say that they were onto a job. Apparently a group of paladins need some guns for hire to escort some carriages." "Through what?" said zack, raising an eyebrow in suspicion. Charlie opened his mouth to reply, but nothing came out since he didn't know the answer. Holding up a finger, he looked down at the parchment in search of the details he didn't bother to read at the bottom of the page. "Says here that it's...Yh'mi?" said Charlie, still reading. "We'll be under the command of some guy named Fidelitas. Say...haven't I heard you mention Yh'mi befo-" Charlie looked up, but Zack wasn't there. He whipped his head around the kitchen in search of him, but he was gone. Moments later, he heard Zack's bedroom door slam shut down the hallway, the sound of locks moving into place and boards being hammered onto the door echoing throughout the bunker. "The f***?" mumbled Charlie, visible confusion adorning his face. He looked back at Tracey to see that she was now giving him an annoyed look, her hands placed flat on the table. "...What?" After getting confirmation from Mikey, it wasn't long before Charlie was on his way. He found it strange that Mikey didn't urge him to bring Zack along, but that didn't bother him at all. Zack was always killing his vibe and costing him ample opportunities to swoon a lady or spend the night with one. He'd always berate him and tell him stories about people that had died by getting in bed with paid assassins and general men-hating psychopaths. Charlie didn't believe any of these stories because Zack was extremely paranoid and in a constant state of alertness. A leaf could fall near him and Zack would examine it and keep his distance in case it was a magical head-hunter using a cloaking spell. I mean...that had actually happened before, but Charlie still didn't get it. He never did really. He'd gotten a guy in Hell's Gate to fly him to Yh'mi's border to avoid missing the meet up. The guys name was Goober, and he hated Charlie, but when he found out that he wanted to go to Yh'mi, he offered to take him there for free. He acted like it was because Charlie was a "friend" of Zacks, but the real reason was pretty obvious given the number of people that had visited Yh'mi and come back to tell about it. He figured Zack wouldn't be as mad if it was an indirect murder. Charlie made the ride there as interesting as he could, telling Goober stories of his "fame and fortune". Each and every one would end with him saving some incredibly hot woman's life and getting lucky with her that very night, something Goober pleaded with him not to get too detailed about. He also did a lot of complaining about Zack, saying that he was a wimp and that he had to constantly save his life on each and every job. This of course was the furthest thing from the truth, but Charlie would never admit that. As Charlie carried on bragging about how smart, brave, strong, and sexy he was, Goober was regretting his choice more and more. He had a gun stashed in his jacket and was thinking about putting a bullet through Charlie's head to save him the remainder of the trip, but if there was any chance of Zack figuring out that he'd directly killed his partner, it wasn't worth it. It had become a mantra to most outlaws. Sun shines, birds fly, grass grows... You don't piss off Zack and walk again. After a few more hours that seemed like weeks to Goober, they finally reached their destination. "OKAY!" yelled Goober, interrupting Charlies latest tale of wonder. "We're here." "Nice!" said charlie before standing up and looking at the border way off in the distance. "Can't you get a little closer? That looks like a mile away." "Hell no!" said Goober. "This is as close as I get. Place is WAY too dangerous." "I thought you said Yh'mi wasn't dangerous at all?" said Charlie, remembering how Goober had told him this job would be a piece of cake. "W-well it ISN'T for guys like you." said Goober, smiling and thinking quick. "Normal guys like me don't stand a chance tangling with the things in there, but you? You're Charlie. THE Charlie. The amazing, spectacular, SENSATIONAL Charlie! You'll be fine." Charlie puffed out his chest, his ego somehow getting even larger than it already was as he put his hands on his hips and looked off into the distance at the border. "Yeah." Charlie nodded. "Yeah, I am pretty great. That reminds me, do you wanna hear about the time when-" "NO! Just get the f-..." Goober pursed his lips. "Just, please get off. I gotta get back home to my family." "You have a family?" said Charlie as he hopped off the hover-car. "Yeah." Goober lied. "I never introduced you to em'?" "No." said Charlie thoughtfully. "Well, maybe we can catch a few drinks after I'm done with this. Properly meet them and all that." Goober stared down at Charlie with a blank expression. " *wheeze* HAAAAAAAhahahahahahaaaa!" laughed Goober before speeding away, his mirth resounding throughout the trees. "Hmph." grunted Charlie before taking Goober's wallet out of his pocket and tossing it into the air before catching it again. "Won't be laughing so hard when he gets home." Charlie caught up with the caravan just in front of the gate leading to Yh'mi. The doors looked imposing, as if imbued with ancient magic founded to keep the forces of the apocalypse at bay, but Charlie wasn't fazed in the slightest. The compliments he'd gotten earlier had left him high on his own ego. Shortly after his arrival, a man in shining armor walked to the front of the group and held up a large, heavy looking battle hammer before giving a brief, but rousing speech. Charlie immediately pegged him for another overzealous knight and was already plotting up ways to use this zeal to his advantage later when he'd steal that hammer. Something he'd likely die trying to do. "Yeah!" shouted Charlie with smirk as he shot a flaming fist into the air. "For loot! Glory! And the LADIES! Speaking of which..." Charlie looked around him with a nefarious smirk, his hat hiding his perverse gaze as he checked out any women around him. Zack wasn't around this time, so there was no way he was coming home without a woman hanging on each arm. He truly was a sad example of life. Top-Right!
  43. 12 points
    Entries and Guidelines Welcome to this year's Spinal Chills contest! The Spinal Chills contest has two BIG requirements for entry: submit on time and make sure it's spine chilling! Here's the rest: The word limit is about 2,000 words at maximum. You can exceed it by a small amount (my judgment), but not in excess. Entries must be original, unused work. Do not plagiarize others nor yourself! You cannot tell others what you entered. Only two people should know who an entry belongs to--the author and me, the coordinator. Entries have no specific restriction other than it must be written. Submit anything that fits that requirement. Participants may enter only one piece per person. Revisions are accepted up to the due date. Proper formatting is on you, I will not fix submissions. Entries are due October 19th, 11:59 pacific time. There will be NO extensions. You are getting 30 days to have your stuff turned in- don't procrastinate. ? Entries are submitted via PM. Please put "Spinal Chills Entry" in the subject line. I confirm entries within a few days (usually less than 24hrs)-- please give me 72 hours to respond. I will not accept entries any earlier than October 3rd; please spend the next two weeks crafting your future masterpiece. Prizes are based on number of participants. Posting and Voting All stories will be posted in a random order on October 22nd. I will not accept votes until starting 72 hours after they are posted. I ask that all would be voters PLEASE take the time to read ALL entries at least once before voting. You will have until 11:59pm pst Tuesday, the 30th to get your votes in. The results will go up on Halloween. Here are the voting guidelines and requirements: One vote per person. A vote consists of up to three choices that you MUST rank from first choice through last choice. You must rank them, or else I assume the order you post them in is the order you intended (1st through 3rd). You can vote for less than 3. Votes are weighted, with your first choice worth three points, and each choice after worth one point less. In order to vote, you must have been registered on the site prior to October 15th. If you submitted to the contest, you do NOT get to vote . You either participate as a reader/voter, or a contributor. Pick one or the other. All votes coming from new accounts (or any other account suspected of being a duplicate) will be IP address cross checked- so don't even think about trying to cheat. Votes are submitted via PM to me. You need to put "Spinal Chills Vote" in the subject line. I will respond to you before Halloween to confirm I got the vote. Prizes! Prizes this year is dependent on the number of people who submit entries. The more entries, the better the prize. Five or fewer participants 1st place: A free, thorough critique of your Spinal Chills Entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less. [My credentials: I have a BA in Writing] Five to nine participants 2nd place: A free, light critique of your Spinal Chills entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less. 1st place: A free, thorough critique of your Spinal Chills Entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less. Ten to fourteen participants 3rd place: A free, light critique of your Spinal Chills entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less OR a $10 Amazon Gift Card* 2nd place: A free, moderate critique of your Spinal Chills entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less OR a $15 Amazon Gift Card* 1st place: A free, thorough critique of your Spinal Chills Entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less OR a $25 Amazon Gift Card* Fifteen or more participants 3rd place: A free, light critique of your Spinal Chills entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less OR a $20 Amazon Gift Card* 2nd place: A free, moderate critique of your Spinal Chills entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less OR a $30 Amazon Gift Card* 1st place: A free, thorough critique of your Spinal Chills Entry or an equivalent work of 2kish word length or less OR a $50 Amazon Gift Card* *e-gift cards require a valid email address, so please be prepared to give us one. Let's see who has the most chilling story this year! Good luck!
  44. 12 points

    Destruction des morts

    Belladonna is, despite all signs to the contrary, in a rather blissful state of nerve-wracking anxiety. Goes to show she is not the same woman, deep down, as three years ago before her return to the nest, thanks for nothing, Mother Crow. Her fingers brush against the circle hidden on the skin of her upper thigh, then caress the needle with the Maleficence antidote. She places the sharp point against her skin, injects it, and sighs as the formula pools itself into her veins, protecting her from the worse of the dastardly effects of the catastrophe they are about to unleash on the unsuspecting townsfolk. Sweeter than any kind of high. The carriage comes to a stop earlier than she had expected it to. Her fingers dispose of the syringe and come up to fix her hair in an artful manner, then straighten her dark mask. Deep breath in—one, two, three, always three, Bella, wait no no, don’t think about them—deep breath out. She digs her nails deep into her thigh and grits her teeth against the pain, all unnecessary thoughts flying out the window of her mind. Belladonna cannot afford any distractions today, not if she wants to make it out alive. She supposes it may be a sort of test, or perhaps a show of faith, to be sent in alone without a fellow operative by her side, when everyone else seems to have one at their back. Of course, she is most effective working by herself, but the thought of it stings, a bit. Just a little. She’s a professional, for Gaia’s sake. She is about to leave when the stream of new information about the Kriegsreise filters in through the telepathic channels. A new threat? Well, she won’t even have to come face to face with it if she does her job swiftly and silently. It is all that matters. Belladonna steps out of the carriage, the smile on her face sensual, the sway of her hips calculated. The moonlight casts shadows against her features, the tilt of her red lips, the auburn locks spilling over her little black dress. The darkness is comforting. It’s enough for her to change her strategy, just a little. Instead of going in guns blazing, she stumbles into the control center, the picture-perfect image of a drunk partygoer, and takes note of the two surprised men standing guard. Her giggles sound breathless even to her own ears. The first man splutters as she collapses into his arms, tries to push her away. “Gimme a kiss, sweetie,” she begs, before forcing him to lock lips with her, poison bleeding into his mouth. As he falls down, the other—clearly the less experienced one; Belladonna almost feels pity—fumbles with one hand on his radio and the other hand going for his gun. “Oh no, you don’t.” She kicks the radio out of the man’s hand, swivels to draw her knife from her thigh, and slams her body into his bulk, sending them hurtling to the ground. She comes out of the scuffle on top, of course. Belladonna crouches with the blade pressed against the man’s throat, watching the trickle of blood from his crimson mouth with faint interest when the radio bursts to life. “Ramesses Control, check in.” The guard hesitates, prompting another query from the comms. “Tell them it’s alright, darling,” she breathes, the knife pressing harder but not yet enough to break skin, and the man keens wordlessly, his pale hand reaching for the radio and tightening against it before responding. “This is Ramesses Control.” He gives her a shaky glance and continues, “all is well.” Belladonna smiles. “Very good.” She runs a comforting hand through his hair before jabbing the blade straight into the base of his skull, holding the body still as the life bleeds out of the man’s eyes, his head slumping down lifeless. “I’m sorry.” Empty words, but they make something in her unclench all the same. She throws the corpses down the dark shaft, installs the first faux-ton receiver, then turns towards the elevator, her steps liquid and controlled. All things considering, her anxiety is gone, replaced by an unsettling sense of satisfaction. A glass of wine will be most appreciated after this. @Dolor Aeternum @Zashiii
  45. 12 points

    Destruction des morts

    Several minutes before... A man in a trench coat and fedora casually strolled down the dark, lonely streets of Tia, a large briefcase held at his side. There were few souls to accost him at this time of night, yet the man still occasionally glanced around to make sure he wasn't being followed. Between the Terran authorities and vampire extremists, there was plenty for a man in his position to be paranoid about. Although the riots and violence hadn't been as severe earlier in the day, there was a thicker tension in the air this night than any night previous. Despite this, the man arrived at his destination, a decrepit apartment complex a few blocks from the Gaian Church. The building was dimly-lit, to save on power, but the man knew it well enough that he didn't need the aid of bright illumination to navigate its halls. At least he reached one of the suites, where he roomed with two other men. One was seated on an easy chair, snoring and with a lever-action rifle across his lap. The other was awake, seated at the table with a half-disassembled radio transmitter in front of him. The man in the trench coat stepped over to the table and set down the briefcase, opening it to reveal batteries, a couple small radio parts, a few boxes of ammunition, some audio tapes, and a pair of newspapers. "Evening, Mort." the man in the trench coat addressed the fellow working on the radio. "Good evening, Mr. Weber." the radioman replied in a dispassionate tone, "Did they provide the components I requested?" Weber picked out the radio parts and slid them over to Mort, who nodded subtly in gratitude as he grabbed them. The noise caused the man in the chair to stir and eventually awaken, the movement causing his rifle sliding off his lap and hit the floor with a thud. Grumbling incoherently, he stood up stiffly and recovered the weapon from the floor, only then noticing Weber's presence. "Oh, Kurt, when'd ya get back?" the man, an middle-aged gun expert named George Beck, asked drowsily. "Just now. I have the shipment." Weber noted, "Parts and batteries for the radios, spare ammunition, and some news from home." He picked up the newspaper bundle and tossed it over to Beck, who caught the them and sat back down. It only took him a couple seconds to undo the bundle and unfurl the first paper to read the headline. "An assassination attempt on the chairman?" he read it aloud, "Ah'll be. Seems we missed a lot." "Hopefully we'll be kept up-to-date better when they complete the relay stations, but for now, we continue to use the written messages. Speaking of which, we have new orders as well." Weber stated, flicking out an envelope from within his coat, "Sounds like there's some organization shifts going on with the government, and once those are complete they have a big operation planned for here. You two can read this, then destroy it." He slapped the envelope on the table near Mort, who didn't look up from his work. Beck did look over and nod, though he seemed to prefer to read the news articles first. Leaving those two to their own devices, Weber put his hat on the rack and made for his bedroom. "Oh, and George, be sure to--" He abruptly stopped, as explosions sounding in the distance reached his ears. The other two men also stopped what they were doing and raised their heads to listen. More distant reports came forth, one of the larger ones even causing a slight rattle in the building their were occupying. "What tha hell is that?" Beck questioned. "Whatever it is, we need to know." Weber returned to the rack and removed his hat again, "Get that radio back up, Mort; I want to be able to report to you directly." Plucking one of the batteries from the briefcase, he replaced the pack in the back of a handheld radio he kept in his coat, then restored the device to its hidden pocket. With that done, he made for the door again to leave, though Beck intercepted him. "That's some serious ordinance out thar'." he said, "Ya ain't checkin' it out without me." "They get your jacket and let's go." Weber nodded, "Mort, watch the store." The radioman nodded without a word, though neither Weber nor Beck were worried about the lack of response. Mort was a Vulk, a member of logic-devoted elvish race native to their common homeland of Norkotia, and he was not one to show emotion nor waste time on unnecessary words. Thus they left their apartment in his capable hands and headed out into the night, planning to investigate the explosions and gather information on them, though from a distance. All three men were agents working on behalf of the Norkotian government, but their task was mainly surveillance and intelligence gathering at the current time. As such, they had no intention of interfering in the events that were taking place, though they had no way of knowing those events would soon affect every soul in this city whether they liked it or not... Near the Gaian Church... Unaware of her countrymen just a few blocks away, another Norkotian was stalking the streets of Tia on an entirely different mission. Mara Mercer was no government agent, but rather a bounty hunter on the trail of several wanted criminals thought to be hiding-out in this city. She was only passing by the church by happenstance, but it turned out to be a fortuitous coincidence, as her technologically-enhanced eyes allowed her to spot a shady figure trying to slip out of the church in an apparent hurry. Though Venus may have been able to evade detection by the average mortal eye, she could not escape the infrared vision possessed by the cyborg bounty hunter. "What have we here?" she softly asked herself, flicking her custom-made revolver from its holster and hugging the wall of a nearby building to cloak her own presence. The figure was certainly trying to avoid detection, and the sound of alarms ringing out a few seconds later only confirmed that something was awry here. Setting aside her prior purpose for the moment, Mara trailed the escaping figure, managing to witness part of the guard's murder despite the darkness. Now knowing his individual was up to no good, Mara prepared herself for confrontation, finding to her glee that the murderer actually planned to return to the church. Rather than allow the killer to make it there, Mara waited until Venus had passed her position, then emerged from cover behind her, revolver trained at the assassin's back. "HALT! Throw down your weapon or I will open fire!" she barked. Despite her words, she hoped Venus would not comply; it was far more fun when her prey resisted. @Ataraxy @Metty @Twitterpated
  46. 12 points

    [A.N.T] Main Thread 1: The Arrivals

    Players and Characters Participating in Stage 1 OOC Rules and Regulations: In order for this to progress and flow smoothly forward, there will be some limitations. With a thread of 14 people a laissez faire approach is bound to result in a fairly chaotic thread with most people having no idea what's going on. That being said, it won't be too hard or cumbersome. Just a few basic guidelines to follow and we should be good to go! Everyone has to post at least once a week (which is a round). If you don't post for 2 rounds, it will be taken as your character has left so the story can move forward. There will be a chance to return in the second phase for domestic characters. This rule is here cause 14 people, three day rule limit = around 42 days for a single round if everyone takes their three days. I think we all agree that wouldn't be a good route to take. No fighting is allowed in the main thread. You're free to take physical altercations out front to the Courtyard or the Terrace, but you have to create a new thread. Angry retorts, threats, or "word" fights are allowed. Though if it gets to long, refer to Rule #3. No killing is involved, that includes of NPCs. This isn't the thread for that. You will be asked to leave the event if you decide to start a random killing spree. Assassination attempts are allowed from Domestic RSVPs, but afterward your character will lose their seat in A.N.T. Fast posters who want to have a detailed 1 on 1 conversation should do so in a separate thread. Personal interactions are encouraged, but if you and your partner are posting 3-4 times a day just on that conversation, just move over to a different one for the time being. Less crowded and brings even more attention to my board >:) Under this I've created/ edited a floor plan for the castle. Rooms with a green dot are playable areas and rooms with a red dot are not playable. The New Castle of Andelusia At exactly 6 p.m. on August 2, 597 the entrance leading into Andelusia Castle was opened for its guests with the gentle fluidity of a newly constructed gate. To either side of the opened gate stood two guards, both covered military armor equal to that of the Terran government. If asked by a guest if their own guards could come inside, the Taen guards would apologize and tell them that the guards could not enter. They would have to wait outside- by the gate if they so desired. Once inside the gates, a guest would be welcomed by the sight of the recently finished castle of Andelusia. A small moat had been built on around the castle and filled with a large assortment of aquatic animals. The moat itself was connected to the Andelusia river that led back out to the South Sea. Before reaching the castle's entrance, guests would be able to pause in the Royal Courtyard for however long they wished. Paid servants had set up a long table in the courtyard so that the incoming guests would not feel rushed to enter, though entering first to pay respect to the hosts may be the more polite route. At the castle's entrance stood a man and a woman dressed well, but not overtly so. They were the head butler and the head maid, stationed in the entrance to help guests with questions or wants. Inside the castle guests could choose from a variety of different rooms to sit or stand in while socializing with other guests. Every room would contain different drinks and food. They would, however, be asked to remain in the central areas of the castle. Such socializing would continue until the final guest arrived and settled in. Only then would the negotiations move to the conference room.
  47. 12 points
    TOP SECRET Security Intelligence Manual for Communications Personnel Note that the Communications department is multi-faceted, and the below only applies to the information collection aspect of our work. 1. Operational Intelligence 1.1. Operational intelligence deals with data that informs the military's day-to-day operations, including where resources and manpower should be allocated, identification of areas at risk of security threats, and also the identification of targets for more in-depth surveillance. Data collection is split into two types - passive and active. 1.2. Passive collection includes - Mass information from comms devices, for instances where the network technology providers are either co-owned by the government, or are partners Footage from military-owned image capturing devices Divination Net performed/renewed by Recon personnel, covering major cities and other areas of perceived threat where surveillance infrastructure is not feasible Access to public records (documents submitted to the government) Images and data from orbital satellites in geosynchronous orbit to Terrenus - with the notable exception of Hidden Valley, and with increasing amount of inaccuracies the more granular the satellites try to get. 1.3. Active collection includes - Targeted collection of messages from comms devices, either from specific persons identified as current/potential threats or their associates, or about a specific topic. Watch-listed areas where divination ops are carried out. Implantation of hidden surveillance tech and spyware in high-threat areas. Exchange of information with allies and partners, mainly through the work of Diplomats. Field investigations and routine/crisis patrols by FIST and Rangers. 1.4. Passive data is passed through automated analyses to identify trends and predict threats. Active data is closely watched by analysts for any red flags. At any time, Communications personnel can access stored information (up to their security clearance level) in order to help them identify targets to watch, or to gather existing background information whenever they acquire a new target. 1.5. Some information collected may be encrypted. These would be sent to the Codebreakers unit for analysis and development of decryption algorithms. 2. Strategic Intelligence 2.1 Strategic intelligence is mainly provided by analysts going through and making sense of data collected on a daily basis. They gather clues and evidence of new threats and present them to decision-makers, in order to inform strategic operations throughout the various departments of the military. 2.2. The analysts also perform trend analysis and projections, to aid in the development of long-term strategies. This is to plan for the resources needed to protect against and mitigate current and future threats. 3. Tactical Intelligence 3.1. Communications personnel also provide real-time support for military operations. These include providing and outfitting Operations soldiers and/or locations with surveillance equipment and magic, feeding them with real-time information, spotting precise locations of the enemy, etc. Whenever necessary, Communications personnel may also be required to enter battle zones in order to implant and/or secure surveillance equipment. 4. Rules for active collection 4.1. Active collection is only to be done on legitimate targets, i.e. those who are threats, suspected to be threats or their associates. Targeting someone for personal interest and/or personal gain is strictly disallowed. 4.2. Targeting of military officers, Ascending and Realized clergy members, regents, and other persons of leadership is not allowed, unless there is significant suspicion of threat. 4.3. Targeting of the military's undercover field agents and spies is not allowed. Written by Delistair Paige, Sergeant, Recon Cleared by Draga Vincent, Major, Recon Approved by Director, Communications
  48. 12 points

    Narrative Damage System

    The purpose of this system is to serve as a tool by which a player can randomize the amount of damage, or loss, a character incurs for any given storyline The needs of the story will always provide the best guidance for when, what kind, and how much damage a character or characters should take for a plot arc. When a plot has these clear parameters and the player has no question or want to randomize, then the system serves no need. But in the spirit of trying to retain elements of surprise for myself in a game where the variables can be modified at my discretion, I said to myself, I said, "lemme throw some dice at it!" So here's what I have so far. You roll using our dice roller and incorporate the damage on your character/group/etc accordingly Table Aesthetic Aesthetic Aesthetic Standard Standard Standard Standard Critical Critical Lethal Definitions Aesthetic: Scratches and bruises. Generally speaking this level of damage is mostly superficial and not of great concern. I'll emphasize again that this is just generally speaking. If, for the purposes of a plot twist or something along those lines, a minor wound leads to a greater one, that's both perfectly valid (and awesome plot engineering) and also outside of the purview of this table. There's also potential here for appearance modifications, such as scars, which can trigger memories or even PTSD episodes for your character later on Standard: As the name of 'standard' might lead you to guess, this level embodies the largest range of possible types of damage. Twisted ankles, broken wrist, severed tendon, etc and so on. At this level, the damage causes pain and impairment and is something to incorporate as a character struggle, but does not prevent you from continuing or winning the fight. Again, this is speaking generally - the right kind of severed tendon in the right kind of character can completely incapacitate them. Long term damage from a severed tendon causing a character to get surgery, or have to undergo physical therapy, are great examples of future plot engineering Critical: Damage at this level tends to be a turning point in the conflict. Losing a hand isn't a guaranteed kill, and sometimes opens up other narrative venues to explore like dialogue heavy scenes, but without medical attention or a healer, death is a very real possibility for your character. Your character can still win their conflict after receiving a critical wound, and likewise the villain might overturn your hero after receiving one themselves, but generally speaking this is a "the battle is lost, live to fight another day" scenario. For characters using NDS in a situation they’re stealing (such as materials acquisition) this means your character. Lethal: A showstopper. There is no longer a question of victory. Your character has lost. This lethal blow does not have to be the result of direct damage. Falling off a bridge can be one part of a multi-part conflict, or it can completely remove your character from the story. If you want to raise the stakes even more, use this in conjunctions with a d100 to determine if your character dies - roll a 71 or above and they do. You can deal with death by becoming a ghost, becoming undead, being resurrected, etc and so on, but now you have to incorporate that death and justify their presence after death, as a result of this system changelog 2018-11-18: capture mechanic for thieves added to critical and applies to lethal too
  49. 12 points
    I've been thinking about what I'm going to write here all day. What I should say, how much detail I should go into, etc. I never really came to a close with the awesome voice of Red in my head, so I'm just going to write what feels right. I'm just hoping to explain myself and my absence well enough, I miss you guys. I have been pretty absent the past year, not AFV status but you'll see me pop in and write a post or an interest check, or maybe even a status telling you all that I'm alive and that I'm going to be back full force soon. And if you haven't been able to tell, I haven't came back hardly much at all. I guess to start off I want to make sure anyone who cares knows, it's not you, Valucre. I have my baby, Predators Keep and the other cities I've been trying to work on, and this amazing community of writers to work with. It's not the site or the people, and with that I guess I will let you all know why I've been so absent. Some of you already know what has been going on IRL with me, my amazing friends that have been there when I hit rock bottom just recently and also have helped throughout the last year. My husband and I are getting a divorce. We officially separated March 12th, and I've been on my own since then. I've been struggling for several years to be happy in my marriage, and no matter the fact that I do love the guy and this does completely suck, it's something that has been building since before I came back to Valucre. You know, it's completely true what they say about getting married young. You're young, dumb, no responsibilities, you don't really have to worry about anything but that love that you fell so deep and furious into. It's when you sprout your wings and leave the nest, start taking on bills and responsibilities; And even then everything is so new and exciting it doesn't really hit you how difficult it really is. That bliss doesn't always last, and that love you share so deeply with your partner sometimes cannot make up for the differences that begin to show as you get older. I'm not going to throw all the blame at my husband, that's not right and that wouldn't be true. It was as simple a thing as I started to realize years back that we couldn't keep living carelessly, that adulthood fricken sucks and we had to step up to the plate in order to stay on top of finances and jobs and everything else. While I had started that step forward, I was leaving my husband behind in the dust while he was still stuck in the ways we were in. Careless, credit doesn't matter, bonfires, friends, spending money freely like it grew on trees. All the while he struggled to keep a job, and while I did at first as well, I ended up at shitty Subway for three years because I knew even if it was a shit job, I couldn't slack off and get fired. Up until I started at Subway I was still so optimistic about us, you know we can do everything even though we're broke all the time, we can be happy without money (lord I wish this was as true as all the country songs make it). Well, it's not true. Stress comes with hardships of the wallet. Bills pile up. Debt collectors begin calling. I'm juggling all of these things, and eventually it just got so bad that I dropped it all and said Fuck it. I'll deal with it when we can afford it. That was my mistake, and I contribute my unwillingness to deal with the growing pile of debt because it was overwhelming as one of the issues that lead to this today. Still, through it all, I couldn't get him to really take on responsibility. It was always hunting or fishing, bonfires, all the stuff you want and can do when you have a solid foundation under you. His spending habits were/are atrocious, and I started to feel like I was more his mother than his wife. I'd ask him to do something and he would say 'I'll do it later', and never do it. Just this past year (2017) I started to really take into account our ages. I was 25, he was 28. We should have a better grasp on this adulthood thing by now, but the only one that seemed to act on that grasp was me. And with that came frustration on my part. He was going to be 29 by the end of the year, and he still was acting like he was 18. His magical fix was supposed to be a baby. As soon as we had a baby he would be better and act like an adult. He always said that, and always told me he doesn't want to be old when we have kids. I'd had two miscarriages by that point since we got together in '10. I have to have doctors visits, scans, medication, treatment, the whole nine yards to be able to get to the point I can carry a child. With our already gigantic pile of debt that I was still ignoring? No way in hell was I accruing more debt in the hopes he would do a 180. And that was something that put a dent in our marriage there. I began to get more stern, angry, frustrated at him, hell I left to my best friends for so many weekends and stayed at my parents thinking he would get the hint that I need more help then he is giving me. I should have tried harder, been more patient, but I couldn't be his wife/mother/secretary/maid/ect. I was doing everything. I really started to get hit with that realization when I started going to the gym after work early last year. My day was work, gym, cook, clean, and then have an hour or two to unwind before bed. And then I was the bad guy for wanting to play games or wanting to watch my show alone during the week. The weekends were ours, unless it was hunting season. Then he was gone all weekend anyways no matter what I said. I should probably point out that he didn't clean or cook, ever. I would ask for help cleaning and he'd moan and groan and do all those things and I would still have to go behind him and redo anything he did, which was always minimal. I don't know how many ducks and geese I would find in the bed of the truck or on our porch that had been left because 'he was too tired' to clean them and properly store the meat after he got home. I love the guy, I don't want to make him sound like a dick, he had made some steps to getting better, but it was never enough. So the fighting got worse, I stayed away more. He made attempts since we had grown so differently. He knows I write, and he tried to get into it for my benefit. It was more weird then anything, and that fell away pretty quickly. I was always just so angry in my head, I probably couldn't see what he was actually doing to help me out, I began to get depressed towards the end of the year. I started drinking. Of course through that whole year my activity here waded substantially. He didn't like me playing games with friends because I wasn't hanging out with him. He didn't like me writing because I write for a couple hours and I wouldn't be hanging out with him. So I kept drinking. I kept virtually ignoring him. I wasn't happy. He couldn't make me happy. He was annoying. His attempts to make me smile rarely worked. I was deep down in this rabbit hole and he couldn't get me out. Work was a reprieve from it all, I love my job and the people there, although it didn't help I drive for a good seven hours and talk to only vendors I pick parts up with during that time, and when I'm up at the farm I don't do much talking because I have inventory to put away and papers to receive and file. So I wasn't talking, and I was in my own head hard. That's where I started to snuggle into that rabbit hole, it was what I thought was my happy place. Now looking back, I know driving and being alone only worsened the situation. That's what boiled over in March. It was just bad, I was done being unhappy, and I wanted to take a break. I figured a month or so, see where we were at. Went to my friends for the weekend, came back with the understanding he was going to go stay somewhere during that time only to have him there. Alright, I thought we would talk. Well we talked. He dropped the Divorce bomb. All was oddly dandy, he was right. We were unhappy and we shouldn't force this, we would be better without each other. Friends. We can be friends. Then I left for work the next day and I fell apart. Even though for months, a year, maybe more...I couldn't get the word divorce out of my head. The reality settled in. I stayed at my parents, he was going to handle the apartment. A few days past, my heart still hurt but I was doing okay. Then he texts me and says we need to rehome the cats because he can't afford the bills. What. I crunched numbers. He makes more than I do. I can pay the bills. But whatever. So he moves out and I move back. I ain't getting rid of my kitties. I am now the crazy cat lady. So within the last few months I've lived on my own for the first time ever (he moved in right away when we started dating). I am alone. I've only ever had long ass relationships. There was a month between my husband and my ex of three years. I'm adjusting. Budgeting is fun. Not. I'm still working on that. I'm still depressed, but it's a different kind. It's like there is this weight off my shoulders. Nobody relies on me. I'm nobodies wifemother. I have had a ridiculously amazing support system on Discord though. So many of you guys have been there for me when things were hard. I mean...I had a huge breakdown mid chat over my computer a few weeks ago. (It really shouldn't have been that bad, but I just hit another rock bottom with dealing with these changes.) I had friends rally to me, help me out. Be my support when I couldn't support myself. Yet I still find myself staring at a blank reply box here. Every day it's the same thing. During the day at work I feel this urge to get some writing done. Play games. But I get home and all I want to do is lay my fat ass on the couch and watch Netflix. I mean it varies, but mostly that's it. I can't grasp that motivation I feel at work and keep it until I get home. Shit, this is the most typing I have done in like forever, and I'm sure it's a lot of babble and nonsense that nobody will read lol. So Valucre. I'm trying. I'm not abandoning you. I'm picking up the pieces of my broken self and elmers gluing them back in place. Things will get better, and honestly I can only thank the people on Discord for that. Without them I don't know where I would be mentally, I know I'm not in a good spot yet but it could be way worse. I can't really express how thankful I am. I'm terrible at this. I had this grand image of thanking each person individually here, but I think I've wasted enough space. You know who you all are.
  50. 12 points

    The Islands of Ursa Madeum

    Geography Ursa Madeum is a small archipelago off the south coast of Terrenus. It’s three main islands – Corinth, Misral, and Thraece - are set in a vaguely triangular formation, with several islets located in between. Corinth, the largest island at approximately 4,000 mi­2. It is in the west and holds the capital city Andelusia. It remains the most populated island of the three, as most of the noble houses’ estates are located here. Most of the cities in the center of the island, however, are deserted. Thraece, the second-largest island at 2,200 mi2, is in the southeast. Only a few coastal towns on its eastern coastline remain inhabited, with the population barely reaching a thousand. The presence of House Senaria’s Port Kyros has helped bolster Thraece’s fading economy, though the western parts of the island remain largely unexplored. It is rumored that a city of pirates and bandits exist in the far west. Misral, northeast of Corinth, is the smallest of the three islands. The smoldering peak of the volcano, Mount Egon dominates Misral’s landscape. Despite its harsh, mountainous terrain, Misral is rich in mineral resources and is home to a healthy metalworking industry. Cityscape The once-populous kingdom has been reduced to a scattering of settlements clustered around the estates of the Noble Houses. Most of Ursa Madeum's population began migrating to the areas surrounding the nobility’s domains, seeking the stability and protection provided by swearing fealty to a Noble House. These estates are now the emerging centers of trade and commerce, especially those located along the coastlines. The areas in the middle of the islands, however, are dotted with empty villages and ghost towns. Nature is slowly reclaiming these ruins at a rapid rate, boosted by the strange life magic from Taen that now permeates Ursa Madeum. Travelling between cities is dangerous, especially since the gangs of thieves and bandits that flourished during the Tyrant King’s reign remain numerous. Climate Ursa Madeum experiences a subtropical climate due to its location near Valucre's equator. The weather is fair year-long, the temperature peaking during the new year (June). There tends to be heavier rainfall from November to April and a dry season from May to October. Or is there more to it? Since the disappearance of Queen Decamron, the already hot temperature has steadily increased to sweltering levels Notable Locations Corinth City of Andelusia – Ursa Madeum’s capital city and current seat of the Veluriyam Empire Decamron Academy – a school for children aged 13 to 19 on the outskirts of Andelusia Dermont Estate – the residence of House Dermont Dali Estate – House Dali’s estate Gold Harbor – a port town, House Karradeen’s estate Hildebrand Estate – the residence, farmlands, and woods of House Hildebrand The Free Marshes – House Mythal’s estate Thraece Pirate’s Cove – a city of bandits and pirates, center for smuggling and illegal activities in Ursa Madeum. Port Thea – House Senaria’s estate and international trade port Misral Mount Egon – a massive volcano located on the western coast of Misral Port Mars – the thriving port city that houses House Uldwar’s estate Tankred Estate – House Tankred’s homestead, castle, and observatory Government Ursa Madeum is an aristocratic monarchy under the authority of the Veluriyam Empire. As there is currently no ruling monarch or royal family, Emperor Titus Demetrius and Empress Rozharon Paralios stand in as the Royal House. Ranked directly under the royalty are the Noble Houses - a class of prominent, influential families in Ursa Madeum who hold considerable land and authority. Most of the Houses are old and deeply rooted in the kingdom's history. Many attained nobility through wealth, power, or military strength, though there have been cases where nobility is honorary and bestowed by the royalty, as is the case with House Singlance and House Senaria. There are two ranks of nobility – Major Houses and Minor Houses. Major Houses are those who have the most authority as recognized by Veluriyam. They are seen as representatives of the people, allowed a say in national matters, and are given considerable freedom in ruling their territories. Minor Noble Houses are ranked lower than the Major Houses. While still allowed to own land and authority over their estates, they are subject to direct rule from the Royal House and not allowed representation in national gatherings. The heads of Major Noble Houses hold the titles of Duke and Duchess while Minor Houses, Count and Countess. Titles vary between Houses, though, with Lord and Lady used more commonly to refer to nobility. While not nobility, there are also prominent families that hold significant social and economic power, usually in the form of land. These compose the Aristocracy, a social class directly below the Nobility. The heads of Aristocratic Families hold the title of Baron and Baroness. In some cases, a family of the Aristocracy will choose to pay homage to one of the Noble Houses, swearing loyalty to them and them alone. These are referred to as Vassals. After Queen Decamron's disappearance, many Houses turned to support the Tyrant King and the abuses under his rule in desperation to retain their status. These Houses were either exiled or executed after the Veluriyam Empire overthrew Damien. Shortly after, the Veluriyam Empire granted noble status to two foreign houses: House Singlance, and House Senaria. Ursa Madeum’s Noble Houses and their vassals are as follows: Major Noble Houses House Uldwar House Mythal House Hildebrand The Taira Clan House Suffolk House De’Laire House Sheathe House Dali House Senaria House Singlance Minor Noble Houses House Karradeen House Tankred House Kholin OPEN Aristocratic Families Dermont Family History In the days of old, Ursa Madeum flourished under the rule of Queen Analea Decamron. Ursa Madeum prided itself on its culture heritage and education exemplified in institutions such as the Andelusian Opera House and the Metropolitan Library. Despite the existence of occasional internal conflicts between the noble houses, Queen Decamron kept peace between parties. Alas, the golden age of the islands did not last. In the year 591, Queen Decamron vanished. Without a head, the royal house was thrown in turmoil, and what peace the queen had brought to the islands was quick to crumble. Too soon, the throne was seized by Damien Gillick with his army of black-armored knights. These figures wielded weapons far advanced than any the kingdom had previously seen, and it was with this force King Damien took the islands under his full control. These would eventually be known as the Black Knights The following six years were the darkest for Ursa Madeum. King Damien quickly gained the moniker of the Tyrant King, exacting heavy taxes on the people, implementing forced labor, and demanding a share of all goods be turned over to the government. The once-prosperous kingdom became destitute. Many of the noble houses sided with the King, gaining his favor, riches, and avoiding the abuses inflicted on the commoners. The few that chose to fight suffered. Many became victims of the countless public executions that the Tyrant King was so fond of. Still, the Tyrant King’s hunger for power remained unsated. Despite his iron grip on the islands, he remained paranoid that an outside nation would put a stop to his madness. A year after his coronation, a Damien sent the Black Knights to round up every non-human on the islands – elves, pereds, and shifters – and sacrificed them in a magic ritual. This created a nearly-unbreakable blood barrier that enclosed Ursa Madeum, preventing anyone from getting in or getting out. Despite various efforts from the outside world, none could enter the islands to put a stop to the Tyrant King’s madness. However, rumors tell of the Suujali, smugglers who used a rare material to help refugees escape through the blood barrier and to Terrenus mainland. But not all refugees made their way to freedom: some were sold underground slave rings as part of human trafficking operations. In the year 595, the blood barrier weakened when the pocket dimension of Taen anchored itself to Terrenus. The interdimensional nature of its portals destabilized the blood barrier, allowing a group of refugees to escape. Once Emperor Titus of Taen received word of Ursa Madeum’s situation, he led his army to the islands, found the barrier weakened, and shattered it. In 596 WTA, the Taen military entered Corinth in secret and began invading the island. After a six-month campaign, Taen broke into Andelusia, overwhelming the Black Knights, and charged for the castle. The Tyrant King learned of Taen’s presence too late; he was decapitated by a Taen general and burned to ashes. The Taen Empire took control of Ursa Madeum, immediately distributing resources to the commoners and sending an influx of citizens from Lunaris to help rehabilitate the kingdom. The land of Taen’s influence began seeping into Ursa Madeum as well. The islands’ wildlife seems to grow supernaturally fast, resulting in bountiful harvests and empty cities growing into forests. Blue worldrift portals began appearing, tearing holes into other worlds, only to vanish as soon as they arrived. The Taen military’s Argonaut 002 now also protects Ursa Madeum, keeping the peace. Recent History // Canon The events below are arranged from oldest to most recent. To see the full canonized history of Ursa Madeum, see the Ursa Madeum Timeline The Veluriyam Empire, then known as the Taen Empire, takes over Ursa Madeum Emperor Titus Demetrius hosts the first meeting of the Allied Nations of Terrenus in Ursa Madeum’s capital, Andelusia The Veluriyam Empire holds its first Reverie celebration in Andelusia Ursa Madeum is a territory of the Veluriyam Empire Taen | Port Sun *Based on original UM lore written by @broken wings *Rewritten work of @Ataraxy's revamped UM lore *Credit for writing and organizing this goes to @Csl *Edited (slightly) by Ataraxy
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