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  1. So, who wants in on this shady cabal? In the meantime, I'm going to do some reading and get familiar with everyone's house and characters. Once the head count is going we can start planning the specifics of our devious plan.
  2. Crooked investments? Mmmm...yessss. I like where this is going.
  3. Ooo yea let’s do bugbears I like that.
  4. Hmm, well I'd say sort of a Darth Sidious kinda deal. Like a certain cabal of noble houses manipulates somebody to take some sort of aggressive action from behind the scenes. Then they can swoop in looking like the heroes. It'll leave a lot of room for cool spy stuff and shady dealings followed by some good old fashioned war which is always fun. That's all I have at the moment unfortunately.
  5. Splendid! Anyone want to try and orchestrate a local armed conflict in order to gain influence and power with our new overlords? Just brainstorming here.
  6. Anyone want to get in on some plotting after I get all my stuff canonized? 😃
  7. It was midday in the port city of Messina and a beautiful one at that. A cool tropical sea breeze came off the turquoise ocean and fluttered between the buildings, bringing cool relief to the citizens who were sweating in the blazing sun as they went about their day. The port, which consisted of an entrance canal and a ring, was not as full as it might have been. (picture of port) Since the fall of the tyrant king, trade was not as it once was and many local merchants were suffering as a result. One of these went by the name of Cicero. "Simply Cicero", as he told his business associates. The man was a dye trader, specializing in the color purple, which was the most sought after and expensive of them all due to how it was made. It was a painstaking process that involved harvesting the dessicated organs of a very specific sea snail,and an enormous number of snails were required to simply produce enough to cover a small section of fabric. Sure, he sold other colors, but it was purple that had made him a wealthy man. The problem with selling luxury goods is that in times of war or political turmoil, they are not sought after. Cicero had learned this the hard way in the past and was ready for it this time, making "arrangements" right before the fall of the tyrant king. He had a reputation as a cut throat businessman who did whatever it took to make his nut. So it was today, as he waited in the agora of Messina, nervously sitting on a bench. The square shaped central market was bustling today with socializing citizens. Socializing was pretty much all that was going on. The merchant stalls were noticeably bare, their downtrodden owners standing behind them with varying shades of misery on their faces. Cicero himself was a middle aged man with a thick head of short brown hair. He kept a well trimmed goatee which was sprinkled with salt and pepper. In his youth, the merchant was a soldier for ten years and it still showed. He was still in impeccable shape and rippling muscles could be seen underneath his fine purple tunic. He had a large scar on his right cheek, a memento from a past war. His hazel eyes kept scanning the crowd nervously, awaiting his contact. A group of guards walked by, a reminder that Messina was a police city despite its outward appearance. Cicero could be killed if we was caught doing what he was planning. The "arrangement" itself was an operation that the man had dabbled with in the past. The mentis communtata plant grew on a very specific island not far from Messina in deep jungles. When the roots of this plant were processed, powdered and consumed, it gave the user a profound mind altering experience they would not soon forget. It was quite popular in certain cults or religions, even among the seedy taverns and brothels of the city. Importing the mentis, as Cicero was attempting to do, was highly illegal under the rule of House Caro. Getting caught was not an option for him. His contact was late by five minutes. The mousy man finally appeared at the other end of the agora, eyeing Cicero warily. He quickly walked across the square, navigating the crowds and sitting on the bench next to the merchant. "You're late, fool.", grunted Cicero in annoyance. "You better have good news for me." "Relax.", replied the mousy man, whose name Cicero would never learn. "Your shipment is already in the port. Pick it up at five in the evening, dock six. The man to meet will be in a tattered dark yellow robe." "Very well, tell him I'll be there.", replied the merchant. The mousy man nodded and was off as quickly as he had come. Good, Cicero thought to himself. The die is cast. ........ The sun was now low in the sky when Cicero left his villa. The large house sat on the central hill of the city, where all of Messina's upper class resided. He brought with him two of his paid bodyguards, short swords hidden under their brown robes. They had all dressed this way so attention was not drawn to them. Down down down the hill they went along the main cobblestone way, passing luxurious villas, public fountains, beautifully tended gardens and squeaky clean marble pillars that lined the road. The city seemed less populated up here, with the occasional finely dressed citizen walking by with a curt nod. In about ten minutes the trio came to the arch of the city's aqueduct, which loomed over the road. This was the border. They passed through into the much larger part of the city, reserved for commoners. The streets here were cramped and crowded. A million odors assailed Cicero's nostrils at once, and he wrinkled his nose in distaste. After navigating through the alleys and streets of greater Messina, the three men reached the port at last. They walked along the outside of the circle towards dock six, careful not to fall off the edge. It was a substantial drop to the ocean below. When they arrived at the dock, Cicero could see the man in the yellow robe was waiting for them. "Be on guard.", he whispered to his men, and they nodded in understanding. He approached the yellow robed man. "Ah yes.", began yellow robe. "Right on time." He produced a wrapped burlap package from his robes and exchanged it for a pouch of gold that Cicero handed him. "Good then.", replied Cicero gruffly. "I'll be off." It was when he turned to go that he heard the sound of steel on flesh followed by pained grunts. He wheeled around to find spears protruding from the guts of his two men. They weapons were pulled out in a spray of blood and the men collapsed with death rattles. Holding the shafts were two praetorians in their distinctive red cloaks and segmented armor. Behind them were a contingent of regular city guards. Cicero wheeled on the yellow robed man with a look of malice. He responded with a shrug. "They would have killed me.", he said matter of factly. "My apologies." "They will still do that, fool.", replied Cicero with a hiss, clutching his new package tightly. It was then that one of the praetorians spoke. "Tsk tsk tsk, Cicero.", he said with a chuckle. "You do know that drugs will rot your brain, don't you? Perhaps we'll just take yours back to the barracks and have ourselves our own party while you lose your head. Seize them both." Many things then happened at once. The group of city guards surged forward. Cicero began moving instantly, his soldiers training coming back to him. He drew his sword in his right hand while clutching his package in the left for dear life. The first guard to reach him met his end, Cicero's sword plunging through his neck. He then pulled out the blade and parried the strike from the second guard in the procession. The deflected blow ran along the side of the package, spraying green powder into the air which got into the eyes of everyone in the vicinity. The guards and Cicero both. It stung at first, but then the pain was gone, melting away into a numb euphoria. It only took a few seconds for the powerful drug to take effect. The guards began to sway and their weapons dropped from their hands. They all sat down slowly and began to laugh uncontrollably. Cicero's world began to wave. Lights and strange objects that did not exist before began to fill the merchant's vision. He thought he could hear screaming behind him. The voices were slow and deep, not what a human's should sound like. He turned in slow motion to see that the two praetorians had been replaced by two great demons, wreathed in flame. Not humans indeed. The beasts began to move towards him. Cicero willed his legs to move, not an easy task. He ran along the side of the circular port wall, dodging what he assumed were once people but now took on the forms of various shapes and bright divine beings. Reality had slipped from him. The only thing that was now real was the urge to escape the two horrors that were chasing him. Then a thought came to him. The only way out. He stopped running and turned to the edge of the wall. Steeling himself, he slipped off the end, plunging down for what seemed like eternity into a world of bright swirling blue. Then darkness. ....... It was in the dead of night when Cicero came to on a beach, soaking wet and completely sober. He coughed salt water out of his lungs and sat up with a start. It took him a few minutes to piece together where he was and what had occurred. The merchant looked up at the lights of nearby Messina. He was now a wanted man and couldn't go back under pain of death. What would he do now? With a sigh, Cicero rose to his feet and began limping down the beach, trying to bring himself back to reality.
  8. Awesome, thanks. Gonna do some serious reading tonight. Once all my stuff gets approved I’ll hop on in with a post. I proposed a little city in the House Caro thread. Think basically Pompeii on the ocean. Main source of income is a private prison heh.
  9. Hey everyone, can someone give me a run down of the current political situation? Want to start easing my way in.
  10. Punx

    Newbie here

    Loving it so far. Thanks for the welcome everyone!
  11. Thanks for the add! Looking forward to all the scheming.
  12. Punx

    House Caro

    Work in progress! Designation: Name: House Caro Etymology: Named after a loyal general from the Draconic Wars. Heraldry: Red dragon on a field of gold Motto: Peace through order Hierarchy: Founder and current leader: Marius Caro Members: Gaius Caro, son, age 28 Headstrong, bold and arrogant, Gaius Caro is like his father in many ways, yet also unalike at the same time. He seems to live life by a different code than the rest of his family and is perhaps the kindest and most compassionate of his brood which naturally alienates him from the rest of his family to a certain extent. He is a self admitted family man, caring deeply for his wife and children. Their well being is his biggest motivation. If he has any aspirations to be head of house, he does not disclose them after what happened to his elder brother, Marcus, who was executed on the orders of his father five years ago after conspiring against him. -Lucius, son of Gaius, age 10 -Maria, daughter of Gaius, age 12 Octavian Caro, age 24 The youngest son, Octavian is a rather cruel man, yet is also known for being a bit foolish. At least that is the way he presents himself. He seems to be uncaring about politics, focusing instead on womanizing and drink. He is married, yet he only did so at the behest of his father and has little love for his wife. Marriage does not stop him from frequenting the brothels of Messina. He rarely displays emotions other than amusement or minor annoyance. Like all of the children of Marius, there is something just a little bit off about the man. Julia Caro, age 21 The youngest child, Julia, is the one most like her father. Ambitious and highly intelligent, she is a force to be reckoned with even in a world dominated by men. When her former husband hit her for the first time, he had dissappeared by the next day, never to be heard from again. Of all the children, she is the one who is the most skilled in the art of magic, practicing her craft every day. It was also whispered that it was she who exposed her brother Marcus' plot to her father. Strangely enough despite this, she named her son after him, perhaps to annoy Marius and remind him of his dark deed. If this is indeed the case, Marius shows no sign of it working. -Marcus, son of Julia, age 5 Cassius, captain of the praetorians, age 35 None know where Cassius came from, or anything about his past. The praetorian captain is a massive brute of a man who speaks little and will do anything he is ordered to do, even if the deed is horrid in nature. Sometimes he seems more automaton than man, yet he still commands the guard in a brutal and efficient manner. It is clear he is highly skilled in strategies of war and battle. General: Location: Southern tip of Corinth Affiliations: — Allies: TBD — Enemies: TBD — Neutral Parties: TBD Establishment: TBD Agenda: Operations: — Ongoing: — Completed: — Abandoned: Historical: Background: When Marius Caro first came to this world, trapped in his new human form, it took many years to adjust. These were long and hard years in which he was a beggar that used his magic to survive. Some time down the line, this disheveled vagabond got the attention of royalty with his displays of magic. He was taken in as a court mage to provide entertainment and wonder for the guests of the Queen Analea. However, it was only when he saved the life of one of the royal children, who was sick without hope of survival, that he was granted his lordship. The seat of the house, known as Brimstone Keep, sits nearly a mile outside of the small port city of Messina where the Caros hold sway. During the reign of the tyrant king, the town did not suffer the same fate as the others which were far from the capital. House Caro's close relationship to Damien ensured this, and the town flourished in trade since it had little competition. With this great influx of coin, House Caro built many public works to beautify the city, including large roads , buildings of marble and the so called Marian Aqueduct, a great stone structure that brings fresh water into a city that would otherwise be parched. Columns and statues line the streets of Messina and its library is renowned throughout the land for its collection of scrolls and its scholars. The Caros invest heavily in this library, for they value knowledge and know of its importance. The local populace enjoys the public works their lord brings to their hometown, but they also fear them for they know of the draconian laws which are enforced by House Caro. Offences considered small matters in other places are punished by methods many would consider cruel or extreme. This has had its desired effect. There are not many who would break the law in Messina and if they do, they are either ignorant, bold or stupid. Another source of income for House Caro is the private prison it owns on the outskirts of the city. They are paid by others to take prisoners who are not fit to be housed anywhere else and they are brutally efficient wardens. The Caros are also a militaristic house, ensuring all of the soldiers under them are professionally trained. Their personal guard, the praetorians, receive the most intensive of it. Since the fall of King Damien, they now strive to earn the trust and favor of the new Taen rulers. House Caro has a sinister reputation for dark sorcery and other unsavory things due to the agelessness of its members and the secrecy of their doings. All of Marius' brood are said to be adept in the art of fire magics like their father. Recent Events: TBD
  13. The hunting party made its way up the hill faster than it normally would have, yet it did not possess the sense of urgency that the current situation might have warranted. Five men rode on horseback, the great destriers snorting in their usual foul temperament. At the head of the procession rode the Lord Marius Caro, the head of his house, his jet black ponytail bobbing in unison with his horse's movements. His face was stone and did little to betray the thoughts on his mind. Flanking him were two of his red cloaked personal guards, known as praetorians. The one on his right flew the banner of his house: a red dragon on a field of gold. Behind these men rode Marius' two sons. His eldest, Gaius, pouted with a sneer on his face. His curly black hair resembled a bush and he sported a beard quite similar to his father's. On the back of his horse was slung a dead and bloody boar, the only creature that fell prey to the hunt on this particular day. The second and youngest son, Octavian, was clean shaven and had his straight black hair cropped short. His high cheekbones and delicate features made him quite attractive to the local women and he had a reputation for sleeping around to match this. His face held a slight smirk of amusement, as if the world was merely a sick game that possessed no real meaning. The children of Marius Caro did not possess the yellow eyes of their father, yet they aged at a noticeably slower pace than most people. Their mother, the Lady Servilia, had given birth to four. Each child seemed to sap more strength from her,until she had finally died after giving birth to the youngest, Julia. All of these things only added to the unsavory reputation of House Caro. Only those closest to the family knew the truth about Marius. Other than that, only wild stories and theories abounded. The first born son, Marcus, had supposedly died in a military exercise five years ago. Only those closest to the family knew the truth about that too, about how he had plotted to overthrow his seemingly ageless father. Because of this, Marius' living children both hated and respected him, out of fear. It was not long before Brimstone Keep came into view. The mid-sized castle was certainly not made to be pleasing to the eye. It was constructed of massive black blocks of stone. It was a castle both militaristic and practical and it served its purpose. The only adornment was the massive banner that hung above the portcullis, which was already open. Marius had sent a man ahead to ensure this as time was of the essence. It was in the middle of their hunting trip when the messenger had found them and informed them of the news: King Damien was dead. House Caro's authoritarian tendencies had endeared them to the former king. They would have company soon, so there was much to discuss in a short amount of time. Without a word, the party rode through the portcullis and dismounted, heading with haste to the Lord Marius' study. ....... The study itself was the most secure room in the castle, even more so than the dungeon. Locks and spells guarded the door for it was this room that held all of the lord's most valuable possessions. Ancient scrolls, magical artifacts and other items yet more strange were on display in the cozy room. Hanging on one wall were the dirtied rags Caro had been wearing when he had first appeared in a peasant's field nearly thirty years ago, in a blinding flash of light. He was nearly mad then, holding onto his sanity by a thread. A reminder of where he had started in this particular world and how far he had come. Yet it was not quite far enough in his mind. Caro and his four children sat around a circular table, in mid argument. His daughter, Julia had joined them. She was beautiful, possessing the high cheekbones and sleek black hair of her kin, yet black bags under her eyes gave her a world weary appearance. "...do you have no shame, father?", snapped Gaius. "Do you know nothing of loyalty? We should be doing all we can to fight of these invading dogs. To hell with the consequences." "On the contrary.", replied Marius calmly. "I know everything of loyalty. Loyalty to this house. Would you see it destroyed merely for "honor"? We have nothing to gain from fighting. Perhaps you do. You might be forgiven for following the foolish orders of your father, who would be executed as head of house. Perhaps you'd like the lordship?" The cold look on his father's face seemed to deflate Gaius, and his ire was extinguished. "N-no, father, I would never dream-" he began. "I should think not.", Marius said as he cut him off. He turned to Octavian, who had been noticeably silent. "Nothing to say?" "Just watching the circus unfold father.", replied Octavian with his usual smirk. "You know I care not for these dull matters." Marius turned from him with a look of disgust. "You're both fools.", cut in Julia, referring to her brothers. She spoke in a calm in collected matter, just like her father. "Father is correct. We must befriend the Taen. We will do it and survive, as we always have. We have enough enemies as it is. Who will cry for us? Who will avenge us? None, for none trust us." The brothers said nothing. Marius nodded in finality. It was another hour before a messenger announced the arrival of the expected company. "See them to the great hall.", ordered Marius. "And offer them food and drink." Marius greeted them there. Sitting at the table warily with two bodyguards was a richly dressed man in his middle years, with wispy thinning hair and a well kept goatee. "Greetings, Lord Caro.", he said courteously as Marius entered the great hall and joined him at the table. "I am Cornelius Sulla, ambassador of Taen. Thank you for your courtesy." "You are welcome to it.", said Marius coldly. "I obviously know the reason for this visit, but say your piece." "Very well.", said Cornelius with a sharp nod. "You have no doubt heard the news about your former king. The new king, Titus, knows of your close relationship with the old royal house. He is understandably concerned about rebellion from various houses, yours included. I'm sorry to be frank, but I'm a busy man. In these uncertain times, this changing of the guard, unfortunate circumstances can always occur. The new king only desires stability and requests you travel to the capital, to bend the knee." Marius regarded him for a moment, before speaking. "Consider it done. I will depart tomorrow." He followed this up with a smile, which was a fake and manufactured thing. It was more alien on his face than a polar bear in the tropics. Years ago, Marius would have bristled at the thought of bending the knee to anyone or anything, but he had come to realize it was a necessary indignity for now. One that would be paid back in spades, on the fateful day when his greatest wish was achieved. "Wonderful!", replied Cornelius with a clap of his hands. "I will leave immediately to inform the king of the good news." Whatever it takes, Caro thought to himself. No matter what the cost.
  14. Got a new minor house on the way, I’ll post details tonight.