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Cirrus January 6th, 2013 12:02 AM

l i t a n y :: an anthem of worlds. [PG-16, OOC / Sign-Up Thread]


(a.n.: Keep this in mind - if you feel confused at any part of the post, feel free to skip down to the Q & A part first to see if that helps. You really don't need to know all of the setting material - just get to know the parts that your character would be familiar with.)

When one of my friends suggested to me that I should write a roleplay, I was astounded by the idea. "I'm really busy!" I said, and thought about declining, but then I considered the idea for a little while and decided to go for it anyway. The result of my haphazard decision resulted in the first version of Litany, which you can find somewhere in the archives here; there were a number of fundamental flaws with the design of that roleplay, and that combined with real-life circumstances were the joint causes of its demise.

However, I have attempted to repair those previous flaws with this update, and without further ado, I would like to present to you: (with all-new graphics?!)


In an age before the memories of the modern races, before any of the present countries were established, there existed a girl who made her home in the lofty Aeminian Mountains. Her appearances were manifold and varied, but her existence was timeless; in solitude she lived, in solitude she died, and in solitude she was born anew. One day, a timid and idealistic young man came to train himself at the peak of the highest of the mountains, wishing to cease the wars on the continent below. The girl had never seen anyone from the outside world before, and so out of curiosity asked him to take her along on his journey. The young man, astounded by the girl’s very existence itself, readily agreed. The two travelled across the continent together, gathering companions and followers under the banner of the young man’s dreams of a peaceful world. A decade and a half later, after the dust from the long years of warfare had settled, the man had transformed from an incompetent adolescent into a warrior of legendary skill. His name was Helvenn, first Emperor of Helvenand. Thus the Empire was founded; the capital, Arianne, shares its name with the first empress.
- Tales of the Empire, page 3


All journeys begin with only a single step.

The plane of Khellius is but one of many in the infinite multiverse; upon first glance, it does not seem like anything other than yet another temperate, undeveloped world – magic vastly outpaces true technology, monsters still roam the countryside, and myriad horrors are hidden within the depths of the earth. The priorities of civilization, however, are slowly shifting. Legend and legacy are being forgotten in favor of advancement and progress. The ancient empire of Helvenand, encompassing the northeastern half of the landmass of Merindor, has grown to become the greatest superpower on the continent. To its southwest is the mercantile oligarchy of Perinth; its northwest, the republic of Suimeng; to the south, the tropical monarchy of Zalantira; and beyond that, to the southeast, is the theocracy of Teucrion.

More than a thousand years have passed since the age of the heroes, and their exploits have since passed into legend. Most famed among the band that travelled forth with Helvenn is, of course, Helvenn himself, a man whose courage has been admired even moreso at times than his prowess with a blade. At his side stands Arianne, a refined musician with great artistic ability and a harmonious, calming presence. Four of their companions gained great renown also: the grand gramarist Kyre, possessing intellect beyond compare and an unmatched mastery of gramarie that has since been lost to time; the silent protector, Marcell, acting in defense of his companions with unwavering steadfastness and loyalty; the unseen enforcer, Ciefe, criticized for his vigilantism but nevertheless meting out his own style of justice; and the eloquent diplomat, Weizi, whose rhetoric and seasoned discourse were unsurpassed.

The year is 1530. The continent, although it has had its share of conflicts, has been relatively peaceful, and both commerce and the study of magic have flourished. This long-standing peace, however, is broken very unexpectedly: during the festival of Caspenalia, foreign insurgents began a riot in the capital, and the city was set aflame; hundreds of civilians lost their lives in the aftermath of the fiery destruction that followed. The empire was understandably outraged, and with the preliminary discovery that the perpetrators were of Zalantiran and Perinthian origin, the peace between the nations has grown dangerously thin.

This particular story begins in Sylvaeris, 1531, a few months after the catastrophe, and accompanies a group of adventurers led by a young Helvan officer, the current objective of which is simply to adventure. As the story unfolds, however, one might find that perhaps the current political climate is not as simple as it seems…

The winds of change are upon the world. Only time will tell what the future holds.


Every horizon hides a new possibility.



Population: 40 percent nyre, 20 percent feiri, 15 percent maelrio, 15 percent yul, 10 percent aelos

The empire of Helvenand is governed by Emperor Terreus Menenius Agrippa, a man known for his kindness towards his own people if not for his wisdom; three generals serve as his main advisors, accompanied by a court of lesser officials. The empire is separated into four provinces: Raetia encompasses the Valian forest, and is known for its skilled biollurgists and numerous biostructures. Galatia contains a large section of the Iberian forest as well as the Florentian and the northern Cyrenaic mountains, and houses a large number of skilled craftsmen. Moesia is by far the largest province, spreading from the Iscan Plains to Magador Swamp, a large percentage of the population of which is composed of farmers. Illyria, located in the heartland of the empire, acts as a bustling centre of administration, commerce, and the exchange of knowledge.


Histria, fountain of life – capital of Raetia

Colorful and stunning to the point that it can be described as a work of art, the city of Histria is filled with life; many buildings are in fact simultaneously living, breathing organisms, and exotic flora and fauna of every variety crawl along the city streets. The city is dominated by the Tower of Altea – a hybrid between a biostructure and a geoccult pole – from which the specifics of the surrounding climate can be manipulated; the leader of the Raetian biollurgist guild, Enher Lyson, has a great deal of control over the city.


Placentia, heart of the Florentians – capital of Galatia

Built into the Florentian Mountains themselves, Placentia is most remarkable for its numerous towering spires and ancient statues. Well-protected by wards and magical constructs from natural disasters such as earthquakes, it is lighted by ardelyte, a special glowing crystal found in the nearby quarries in abundance. Placentia is also famous for its bustling subterranean town, in the deepest parts of which it is said there are wellsprings of puissance, and the city is currently the topic of intense study by leading arcanodynamicists.


Ticinum, land of intoxication – capital of Moesia

Built on the shore of the Lethion River, Ticinum is a sprawling city, a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets, interwoven into which is an intricate network of canals and aqueducts. It houses a host of secondary industries, largely involving the processing of agricultural goods, as well as the famous Ticinian Bazaar, a chain of marketplaces set up on the riverbank. Likely the provincial capital with the poorest law enforcement, the city’s streets are often the host to drunken brawls that take place at night.


Arianne, crown of the Empire – capital of Illyria

The capital of Helvenand, Arianne is well-defended, boasting three layers of ensorcelled marble as its walls and an active military. A consortium of guild masters, known as the Arianne Trade and Services Association, in charge of management of major topics regarding economics, is based here, and several major roads of the Empire converge at the city. The Collegium Magiae, the most prestigious school of gramarie in Helvenand, makes its main branch in the central district of Arianne, and the church of St. Elendra has a significant presence here. Other important buildings are the Forum Helveni, a large public square in which the court of the emperor often assembles for daily discussion of the nation’s affairs, and the Amphitheatrum Marcium, an ancient amphitheatre where dramatic plays as well as great games are held.


Corinium, arctic refuge

A small lumber outpost that became a bustling focal point of tourism overnight after the discovery of a number of natural springs with healing properties, Corinium has developed into a beautiful vacation town in the mountains over the years. The community's friendliness and no-questions-asked policy amongst its inhabitants have attracted many formerly prominent individuals who wish to live out the remainder of their lives in peace, and the pace of life here is very slow and relaxed.


Heraclea, lakeside outpost

Originally designed as a military camp that has since acquired a more sociable aspect, Heraclea is situated at the edge of Lake Sinope, and is home to a number of legions and their support personnel as well as merchants and service workers; as discharged veterans who were used to the locale decided to settle down, what once began as a grim border town flowered into a metropolis in its own right. Financially, the city is mainly maintained by commercial taxation as well as metalworking and carpentry.



Population: 40 percent nyre, 25 percent maelrio, 15 percent yul, 10 percent feiri, 10 percent aelos

The mercantile nation of Perinth is ruled by an oligarchy; a council consisting largely of wealthy merchants votes on resolutions, and the ones that pass become national decrees. As a nation, Perinth utilizes a justice system of trial by a jury of peers, instead of by civil authorities. Perinth holds freedom as a fundamentally important right; as long as the basic laws are obeyed, the nation’s citizens are free to do whatever they please, leading to a progeny of famous satirists and critics taking refuge in its borders, but also individuals less savory in their choice of professions. Perinth is known for its skilled imachinists, and takes pride in the intricate contraptions that its magical innovators design.


Tyrovion, civilization arisen – capital of Perinth

Sitting at the eastern edge of Lake Perytus, Tyrovion appears to the unlearned eye to be a city enclosed in strangely constructed walls of stone and iron in impossible formations. Hidden behind layers of imachinative defenses, the real capital is a glorious multi-layered tapestry of marble and crystal; the Feiroplasian Institute, renowned for its accomplished imachinist graduates, is an attraction for many novices of the art. Able to travel into the wider sea as well as Lake Sinope, it harbors a flourishing shipbuilding and shipping industry. The city is built on the site of an older civilization, and the ruins outside of Tyrovion’s walls have caused it to become a hub for gramarists, tourists, and treasure hunters alike.


Calis, jewel of the west

Located at the border of the Zephrian Forest and nearby the source of the Khemian River, the city of Calis is renowned for its numerous colleges dedicated to the study of the arts. Calis is home to the Academia Caliae, one of the most famous schools of fine arts, which possesses a long-standing rivalry with Haoyue University in Mingyang. The city itself is laid out in a grid-like fashion, and many of its buildings are constructed from large blocks of granite. Another defining feature of the city is its production of textiles of astounding craftsmanship, and Calian silks are among some of the most valued fabrics on the continent.


Narykos, calcified fragment

Shipping, fishing, and the mining of metals such as lead, tin, and platinum are all solidly part of the identity of the city of Narykos: its proximity to the coast cemented two of its dominant industries, and the discovery of a number of precious mines in the nearby Wastes of Kelcedos dictated the third. Due to its status as one of the premier mining cities on the continent, there is a large alchemeter presence. Although its scarred surroundings may be unappealing to many, others are captivated by the otherworldly beauty that the ochre landscape presents, and architecture in Narykos capitalizes on this; many of the buildings bear an extra, intentionally unfinished level, and sandstone is ubiquitously used.


Alben, alabaster keep

The second member of the border town triad, Alben was formerly a field hospital in the days before the founding of the Empire. After the conclusion of the war, the surgeons brought what remained of their families to live with them from the remnants of destroyed cities, and the medical profession has been handed down through the generations, gradually bringing the city great fame for the quality of their doctors. More than a thousand years later, what was once a small village has become a metropolis, but the aesculapian tradition has continued: Alben is home to tens of thousands of medical students at multiple institutes for higher education, the largest and most distinguished of which is the Castrenul College of Medical Science.



Population: 50 percent feiri, 20 percent yul, 15 percent nyre, 10 percent aelos, 5 percent maelrio

A republic situated in a more northern locale, Suimeng is essentially governed by its own people. Two prime ministers are voted on annually to represent the nation, and a senate of hundreds serves as the guiding political force of the state. A number of public service examinations are held annually, and as one's ability is proven through them, ascension to the ruling class is possible. A large part of the agriculture takes place in the southern part of the republic, and a number of geoccult poles are set up there to facilitate the farming of rice in a biome normally unsustainable for such an effort.


Reixue, shining snow – capital of Suimeng

A lavish city constructed out of living trees, Reixue is an example of a harmonious fusion between civilization and nature. Swinging bridges and vines link humongous platforms in the treetops to one another, and short-distance public teleportation circles exist, allowing convenient travel across large distances of the city. Although it is covered year-round in snow except during the summer months, Reixue is otherwise defended from the elements by a shimmering kaleidomantic forcefield fueled by stored solar energy. Known for its eloquent orators – taking after the footsteps of its founder, Weizi – Reixue is also a gathering-place for men and women from the entire continent to engage in the practice of rhetoric and debate. Ruizong Square, a meeting place for the Senate of Suimeng and a popular place in which to stage the aforementioned debates, is situated in the heart of the tallest tree in the centre of the city.


Mingyang, brilliant sun

Located at the edge of the Ophion Sea, Mingyang is a city dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. Lit by imported Helvan ardelyte and magical flame in equal parts, the city’s brilliance does not dim even with sunset – and indeed, some varieties of research must be conducted in the night-time. The city’s architecture is a jumbled, chaotic mixture of innumerable styles, and large quantities of gramarists make their homes in the city. Haoyue University, a renowned school of the arts, is a long-time competitor of the Academia Caliae, while its sister school, Suifeng College, places its focus more on academics. The city is especially well-known for its floating quarter, which is one of the reasons that the city is perpetually lit – the eldrikinetic engine powering the suspended sector requires light to function.


Tianyu, celestial rain

Extravagantly paved roads lead to this symmetrical city, built as a monument to the timelessness of traditional feiri architecture. The city walls enclose far more space than actually necessary, and as a result there is a lot of openness. Being in a temperate climate, Tianyu has inhabitants who fully enjoy this advantage – on a typical day, the streets are filled with street food stalls and performing artists, and the culturally rich city also features numerous lush public parks, museums, and opera houses. Trappings such as eldrikinetic mobiles and horse-drawn carriages are rare here, and carts utilizing manpower function as their replacement. Economically, Tianyu mainly exports porcelain, though it also dabbles in agriculture involving fruit plantations in the nearby hills.



Population: 40 percent maelrio, 20 percent nyre, 20 percent yul, 10 percent feiri, 10 percent aelos

A monarchical government presides over the tropical nation of Zalantira. Due to the higher temperatures here, headgear and generally lighter clothing is often worn by Zalantirans to provide comfort. Domed architecture is very popular in Zalantira, and the climate allows for the survival of unique species of life that would have developed differently under a colder environment. Though a large number of Zalantirans live in cities like the rest of the world, some tribes – mainly yulian and maelrian – choose to wander the desert of Gerasa, preferring to preserve the customs of their ancestors. Zalantira is a significant naval power, due to its possession of almost the entire Bay of Leucarim as well as a part of the Quessanian Gulf coastline, and its ships are unparalleled in their speed and maneuverability.


Estaren, ninefold bastion – capital of Zalantira

Walls of stone, spreading outwards in nine concentric rings, make up the layout of the city of Estaren. Located in the centre of the city is the royal palace, the paths to which are lined with trees of gold and silver; elaborate hanging gardens intermingled with key administrative buildings dominate the second ring. The third ring houses the residences of royal servants and viziers alike, and the fourth ring contains a multitude of shops and manufactoriums, providing, among other equally specialized items, Zalantira’s widely acclaimed teas and spices. The fifth and seventh rings are residential districts, while the sixth houses the service industry, including but not limited to schooling, health care, banking, and consultation services. The eighth ring, similar to the second, is also meant to be a location where leisure and relaxation can be found, and includes facilities which meet that end. The ninth is a ring relegated to the defense of the city, and furnishes Zalantiran troops stationed at Estaren with accommodations.


Velchis, town of mercenaries

A town at a fork of two rivers, Velchis has been distinguished for its military prowess since antiquity, and Velchian sellswords are some of the most coveted in the known world. Velchian blacksmiths hone their skills atop the volcanoes in the Asturican Mountains, learning the arts of bending the flame of the earth into flashing steel, and Velchian weapons are, if not necessarily the best in Merindor, at least highly prized. As for the town itself, the structure of the municipality, though it does not appear at first to be extraordinary, allows the citizens to quickly rush to its defense by creating locations on the rooftops and in the houses that allow defenders to strike at their assailants while being shielded from the brunt of the counterattack.


Raleno, drifting stronghold

The last of the border town triad, Raleno was founded when a military arcanodynamic experiment went awry at a nearby Zalantiran fort: the resulting flames lasted for half a year, during which the soldiers from that fort took shelter (and afterwards, lived) on a number of galleons that were present; the galleons were linked together into a uniform vessel, and a floating fortress was born. The city has grown into a truly colossal craft over time, and a smaller port was established on the Zalantiran lakeside to accommodate the docking of the city when it demands resources to be replenished or repairs to be made.



Population: 45 percent aelos, 20 percent nyre, 15 percent feiri, 10 percent yul, 10 percent maelrio

The theocracy of Teucrion is ruled by the church of St. Elendra; taking a very positive outlook on the world, it is unhesitant of accepting refugees from other countries, providing a safe haven provided that those who take shelter swear an oath to not harm others during their time in the country. Bishops and cardinals are religious leaders as well as public servants, and the Luminarch, Micaelis Reval, serves as the official head of state. Teucrion’s economy is mostly based on the processing of resources into various useful objects, and Teucrian herbal wine is valued for its medicinal properties.


Noviopolis, sanctuary of light – capital of Teucrion

Built around a core of brilliant corundum, shimmering in a multitude of colors, the city of Noviopolis is meticulously clean, and the urban poor that are usually present on the seedier districts of a city are conspicuously absent; even the city’s sewage system is abnormally free of detritus and dross. Exactly how the city is kept in such spotless condition is a secret that has been passed down through generations of Luminarchs, but it is widely rumoured to be the result of a blessing placed upon the locale by St. Elendra centuries ago. Needless to say, these feats are envied greatly by other nations. Being the religious capital of the church of St. Elendra, Noviopolis also draws uncountable pilgrims and tourists alike, and the city has been greatly enriched as a result. The Citadel of Light, where the Luminarch presides, is located on a hill in the northeastern part of the city, guarded by the Crucesignati, an elite faction of warrior-priests with the nickname of ‘the Fighting Arm of the church’.


Patavia, sacred haven

At the base of the Resaphan Mountains is the city of Patavia; featuring a spacious port, a burgeoning accessory industry, and paths to the gemstone mines in the mountains, Patavia is Teucrion’s main gateway to the rest of the world. A wall-less city, Patavia features vibrantly colored roofs, and windows are almost uniformly cut out of stained glass. The city’s Cereus Cathedral is a leading producer of religious music for Merindor, and its children’s choir is continentally celebrated.

The Church


Sidebar: The Church of St. Elendra


The main extant religion on the continent of Merindor is, of course, the church of Saint Elendra, whose font of holy power and object of worship is its namesake, a winged goddess of incredible purity and strength attended by three flights of angels; how she came to have the prefix of "Saint" before her name is a heated topic of debate within the church, with one part of it maintaining that she was initially mortal and the other, that it was a posthumous title affixed to her name. Regardless, however, Elendra's name is very well known everywhere on the continent.

A goddess of victory and cleansing with many titles such as the Merciful, the Healer, the Beautiful One, and the Champion, her divine symbol is a six-petaled flower, dyed alternately white and red. Although her wrath usually takes on the form of fire, it is not the same sort of flame that is usually found in life, being thousands of times higher in temperature and more powerful - even creatures normally immune to fire will take a severe beating from a flame strike channeled by a petitioner of St. Elendra. Though the force of her miracles are seen everywhere in the land, she usually only interacts physically with extremely accomplished members of her clergy.

Nobody is quite sure how the goddess came to exist; she has been a part of the races' memory since the dawn of recorded history. There are, once again, numerous theories about her - whether she is the greatest power on Lunicia, or there is someone mightier, as well as how she came into being.

The incentive for people to worship St. Elendra are twofold - first, it is evident that she has actual power, and the common people rely on a mixture of their faith and holy symbols to protect themselves in the occurrence of a monstrous attack; second, the concept of rewards after death exist, and if a follower is especially pious, there is the possibility of ascension into the ranks of her angels, which are separated into three flights (as is the church itself, somewhat), described below.

The Flight of the White Lotus
The flight of the White Lotus is associated with healing, light, sacred cleansing, barriers, and protection. Angels from this flight have wings of pure ivory and very light hair, and associated clergymen are often apothecaries, inventors, and healers, working for the benefit of the church as well as the wider world.

The Flight of the Crimson Lilium
The flight of the Crimson Lilium is associated with flame, righteous anger, struggle, and victory. Angels from this flight are more heavily armored and possess a more warlike bearing, and usually have wings tipped with a warm color, though this can range from light orange to deep carnelian. Associated clergymen are usually inquisitors and militant members of the church, actively seeking out and eliminating ancient sources of evil as well as darkness within.

The Flight of the Twin Fantasia
The flight of the Twin Fantasia is associated with joy, music, good news, and encouragement. Angels from this flight are often dark-haired, with cheerful expressions on their visages, and their wingtips are tinged with a pleasant blue. Associated clergymen are usually artistically gifted, and are accomplished writers, orators, preachers, and capable leaders and administrators of the church.

Hierarchy of the Church
The Luminarch holds the highest position in the church, and is elected by a council of archbishops and cardinals. Accompanying the Luminarch is a gathering of high-ranking members of the clergy, who serve as a source of valuable advice as well as the governing body. Below the archbishops and cardinals are the bishops, who act as municipal leaders in Teucrion and leaders of large congregations elsewhere, and below that are the priests and clerics who propagate the teachings of St. Elendra.

Special Divisions of the Church
The crucesignati (sing. crucesignatus) are an elite faction of priests, mostly from the flights of the Crimson Lilium and the White Lotus, who are skilled in warfare and are tasked with the defense of Noviopolis and Patavia as well as select important tasks around the continent. The exorcistati sancti (sing. exorcistatus sanctus) are a group of petitioners that act in the interests of the church as well as educate the members of the wider public in theurgy. The cognoscentes (sing. cognoscens) are the inquisitors, in charge of routing corruption from the ranks of the church and the keeping of laws.


The teachings of Saint Elendra are passed down in a few holy books, with little to no commentary attached; inspired by Saint Elendra, the books are a narrative of holy acts and struggles in ancient times, as well as her principles of faith. The religion's deadly sins include avarice, thoughtlessness, apathy, sloth, and irresponsibility, while the books extol the virtues of moderation, bravery, and temperance. The priesthood accepts members from every race and either gender, and theological study is not required, though it often occurs with potential clergymen. Worship includes, besides congregation in designated sacred buildings (i.e. churches), private meditation as well as solemn prayer.

The most important holidays are Caspenalia, during the winter solstice sometime in Dairmen, celebrating the goddess's sweeping away of the overpowering frost of winter; Sanctalia, on the eighth day of Eulis, commemorating the traditional date of when the goddess first came into full divinity; Viritalia, a holiday devoted to extolling the virtues of the goddess, on the twelfth of Zanatria; and Messalia, three days of thanksgiving between Meselo and Camasto to the goddess for the bountiful harvest and her continued protection.

Races & Cosmology

Left to right: nyre, maelrio, feiri, aelos, yul

If one were to think of each prime material plane in the multiverse as a star, the planes surrounding it would then be the star’s planets. The plane of Khellius has nine such planes orbiting it: Hafryn, the elemental plane of fire; Neihl, the elemental plane of water; Zerulf, the elemental plane of air; Vignidin, the elemental plane of earth; Belemen, the plane of aether; Inthraute, the plane of shadow; Aendith, the plane of light; Wiann, the plane of darkness; and Celosia, the domain of the goddess St. Elendra.

Perhaps there were humans inhabiting the continent of Merindor, many thousands of years ago, but a world rich with magic inevitably causes evolution in its inhabitants, and what was one race is now five discrete races (or subraces, if you’d like to think of them that way): the enigmatic nyres, the tempestuous maelrion, the empathic yuli, the dignified feiri, and the resourceful aeloi. Aside from the nyres, who have been affected instead by the two planes of aether and shadow, each of the races has taken on traits of one of the elemental planes, and their interests and natures have diverged accordingly.

Nyre (pl. nyres, ps. nyrean):
Though they resemble humans in a number of ways in their varied temperament and unmatched adaptability, all nyres possess the ability to alter aspects of their appearance at will to some degree, whether it is their hair color, skin color, or even body composition, though most are not talented enough to do so significantly; however, the color of their eyes, almost without exception, stays constant. As a result, nyres are typically distinguished from each other most easily by eye color (a fact especially reinforced by their tendency to vary greatly in richness and texture), but they do ordinarily exhibit a preferred mien of sorts so as not to cause too much chaos in their daily lives.

Feiri (pl. and ps. feiri):
Characterized by monochrome hair and a flowing, slightly delicate appearance, feiri are a race of philosophers in many ways. Examining all things under a lens of ambivalence and consideration, they place a lot of value on the traditions passed down by their ancestors, and many choose to view life as something that should be treated with care and finesse. True to the contrast provided by their guises, feiri tend towards absolutes in every discipline they involve themselves in, and their ideal of perfection is the effortless execution of the pinnacle of an art; because of this, many feiri have historically been exceptional writers and artists. Feiri are capable of breathing water and resisting cold environments.

Maelrio (pl. maelrion, ps. maelrian):
Brightly colored hair and a robust constitution accompany this race, their nature every bit as unrestrained as their hairstyles. Although their fiery countenance and impetuous disposition may make them seem menacing at first, the maelrion are often candidates for becoming one’s best of friends for the same reason; a hot-blooded and bold race, their passionate and candid manner make them well-received among company. Maelrian culture tends to emphasize and place great value on self-expression, and their single-mindedness and devotion make them excellent soldiers and guardians. Maelrion are able to withstand non-magical fire to a certain degree as well as resist hot environments.

Aelos (pl. aeloi, ps. aelian):
A winged race, the aeloi are masters of the air, and their hair color is as varied as the moods of the sky they take flight in. Physically fragile but sharp in perceptive senses compared to other races, aeloi make up the weakness in their bodies with their studiousness and intelligence; their fervent thirst for knowledge and admiration of tactics has bred a race of brilliant scholars and diplomats. While their exterior may seem angelic, they make dangerously Machiavellian enemies if provoked, and their ability to collect and process information is unparalleled.

Yul (pl. yuli, ps. yulian):
Legend has it that yuli were descended from the spirits of nature that roamed the earth eons ago; whether or not this is true, the race with pointed ears certainly possess a visual affinity with the land, the sea, and the natural world. Their skin, although not necessarily so, has the potentiality of being darker than the norm among the races, and their hair colors are usually also earthen in tone, ranging from brilliant yellow and green to dark brown. Intuitively empathic towards other living organisms, yuli have served as healers since the earliest days of history, and even today many are integrated into urban communities as medical personnel, innkeepers, and other such caretaking professions.


"What can't be done will be covered by others. That's what life is about."

You may remember the existence of three types of magic from the last edition of this ... well, that's gotten a significant revision. Frankly, in a world with both swords and magic, magic is usually overpowered, and glorious feats of physical achievement are not always as satisfying as they can be (also, who needs warriors when you can have entire battlemage battalions anyway? That didn't click too well with me...). There are still three 'types' of magic this time around, but two are drastically different.


"This is my world. It follows my rules."

Alternate Names: arcana
Expressions for Practitioners: gramarists, (colloquial) wizards, (colloquial) artificers

In a world as fabulous and frightening as we find ourselves, knowledge is a valuable commodity. Many marvels seem like magic to the uneducated, but the intellectual knows that all phenomena must follow certain rules and laws, even if we don't quite understand them, and even if they might potentially rip our faces off as they spawn tentacled horrors. Science is the great leveler, allowing for equalization between those people who can arbitrarily shoot laser beams out of their eyes and those who can't. The science of making use of magical principles inherent in the world is collectively known as gramarie, and thus one who learns the skills to do so is a gramarist. There are nine disciplines of gramarie, which neatly subdivide the art into specialized fields of magic.

Gramarie in the World: Gramarists are, in a sense, a hybrid between scientists and engineers. Gramarists are the people who are at the forefront of inventions, who maintain basic public conveniences, and so on and so forth, and many people dedicate their lives to the study of the intricate science that is gramarie. Though gramarists are not terrible at self-defense (worst comes to worst, the gramarist can throw pure magic at his adversaries - which is, to be fair, actually somewhat effective), they have a much better opportunity to display their skills given enough time to prepare.

Preparations: Though gramarists can utilize gramarie in familiar or fairly simple ways without any preparation – for example, a gramarist acquainted with fire can shape it in almost every way imaginable provided the amount of fire manipulated is small – both time and resources must be expended in the practice of advanced gramarie, called workings, typically exponentially related to the project’s complexity (since, you know, matter is three-dimensional). The verb related to creating a working is, obviously, ‘to prepare [a working]’.

Workings: Like everything else, workings take time, manpower, and sometimes resources to construct. The gramarist is able to supply himself with artificial time and manpower by drawing on spectral energy from the plane of aether; the exact amount of energy he is able to employ are limited each day, but as the gramarist gains a better grasp of the principles of the universe, the magnitude of the energy he has access to also increases, and gramarists working in conjunction with each other are able to speed up the progress of a mutual project by pooling their magical resources.

Disciplines: As previously mentioned, gramarie is separated into nine discrete disciplines.
  • Alchemetry is the study of matter. More specifically, it's about quantifying and exploring the empirical principles at work in commonplace alchemy. Alchemetry is all about transforming substances and tweaking their properties.
  • Arcanodynamics is the study of arcane power. Arcanodynamic principles explore the relationships between magical energy (commonly known as puissance) and more common forms of energy, such as heat and light.
  • Biollurgy is the study of life. It explores the distinction between the living and nonliving, and can walk the fine line between the two.
  • Eldrikinetics is the study of magical motion. The powers that propel magic vehicles, defy gravity, and generate momentum are the principal focus here.
  • Geoccultism is the study of the environment and ley lines. It deals with thaumaturgic poles which tweak and modify the world around them, sometimes to extreme lengths.
  • Heuristicism is the study of control systems and circuits. It allows the gramarist to link magic together in fascinating new ways.
  • Imachination is the study of the real and the nonreal. It explores the mechanics of generating false sensations and illusionary interactions.
  • Kaleidomantics is the study of the magical prismatism of light. Kaleidomantic filters are refracted curtains of colour which can be used to separate agents based on the nature of light.
  • Yggdratecture is the study of other worlds and dimensions, and using the malleable nature of the planes’ spatial fabrics to the gramarist’s favour.


"May the light of Saint Elendra guide you."

Alternate Names: miracles, divine magic – see also: nature magic, druidism, dark magic, rituals
Expressions for Practitioners: petitioners, clerics, priests, bishops (etc.) – other flavors: druids, shamans, ritualists, cultists

Unlike gramarie, theurgy draws its power from a divine source, most commonly St. Elendra. Commonly available theurgy tends to focus on healing and protection, and its destructive usage, though potent in its own right, is much less flashy in its dispatch. A very different sort of magic, originally practiced in the northern Umbric Forest in Suimeng and based on the whispers of nature, exists, but its capabilities are not much different from standard theurgy. A third variety, rumoured to stem from the forces of evil – demons, malevolent spirits, forgotten entities of great evil, and other such beings – also exists, though its utilization is largely forbidden; extremely destructive in design, it feeds off the very life of its wielder, and the great power it seems to offer is never without a hefty price.

Prayer: Since theurgy takes the source of its power from a supernatural source, no preparation is necessary before its usage. However, a petitioner still relies on his own pool of inner strength for its exchange into miracles, and the former has a limit, which by extension places a synthetic limit on the latter as well.

Components of Theurgy: Theurgy usually consists of a phrase from a hymn or a short verbal exultation, accompanied by a gesture of spiritual importance; the petitioner must also possess a symbol of faith, though the exact form this symbol takes is up to interpretation and widely variable. After a short interval of time (usually a second or so, though it can take up to three or four seconds), the miracle is made reality. Extremely powerful miracles that require more involvement may take up to ten minutes, but usually not beyond. Surprisingly, nature magic and dark magic do not differ very much from conventional theurgy in their framework of necessary parts, only in their actual form.

Theurgical Examples:
Depending on one's standing with one's divinity, the feats theurgy is able to accomplish may include anything from cleansing food and water, to consecrating objects, to channeling light so harsh it burns the skin of the petitioner's enemies, to healing near-fatal wounds or transforming into an avatar of the divinity one serves for a time. Understandably, miracles will not function if the petitioner's goals are separate from the divinity's.


"I am the sword, and the sword is me."

Alternate Names: martial arts, the sublime way
Expressions for Practitioners: martial adepts, followers of the sublime way

A good warrior knows how to swing a sword; a great warrior knows how to swing a sword in a way that reality doesn't quite expect, and thereby surpass – if only for a fleeting moment – some of the limitations the laws of physics impose upon them. Sublimity is the composite name for each and every fighting style that has managed to do so, and some of the founders of those styles have been legendary indeed. Rumoured to have first begun among feiri swordmasters in the northern reaches who were at the pinnacles of their art, sublimity has since spread to every corner of the continent. Rather than something that is learned, it can be said to be something that requires 'realization' – a type of understanding that is more than understanding, if that makes sense. Novice followers of the sublime way are not much different from mundane warriors, but masters of the art are able to spontaneously summon elemental energy, become invincible for a short duration, and even stop time itself.

Training: There is no specific path that transforms someone into a follower of the sublime way. Although years of tireless study at a temple dedicated to a specific discipline is fairly reliable at initiating the mundane into the world of sublimity, it could just as easily be a single night spent stargazing or one particularly strenuous training session; after all, the principle behind sublimity is moving with the world such that one becomes a part of it.

Precepts: A martial adept would be far too easily read by his opponent if he relied on the same sword swing every time he fought; thus, it has been a tradition since ancient times to combine a set of some number of weapon forms sharing similar characteristics into one precept. However, this is by no means compulsory: more modern scholars of sublimity have come to the conclusion that the forms in a precept actually represent, in aggregate, a single way to alter reality, and the form of one's attack is completely irrelevant in the execution of a precept.

Styles: Due to the amount of variation that sublimity encompasses, it is common practice to group a number of similar precepts together into a style – since sublimity is predisposed towards step-by-step edification of the adept, it makes a lot of sense to be taught the beginner-level precepts first, which allows one to gain an increased understanding of the style for any future lessons. There are nine widely known styles in Merindor at present:
  • Usually refined through intense meditation and solitude, Crescent Moon's adepts are in tune with the flows of the planes of aether and shadow, and use this to their advantage. As a style, Broken Moon emphasizes the emptiness of body and mind, and is very close to gramarie in some of its applications, granting to its practitioners the ability to teleport short distances, become incorporeal temporarily, and strike at the minds and souls of their enemies.
  • Well-circulated among war leaders, chieftains, and generals, Golden Lion is a style of great benefit to a dedicated commander. Adepts of this style are often the first to lead a charge, and their courage inspires great valor in their comrades in turn: as the size of the group increases, so too does the number of people who benefit from skilled leadership.
  • First practiced by Marcus Valerius, an aelian warrior-poet serving in Helvenand's court during the fifth century who was challenged to innumerable duels because of his myriad affairs, Jade Throne embodies a courtly sense of aristocratic elegance. Best suited for one-on-one combat, this style values the maintenance of one's composure throughout an engagement as well as unwavering focus on one's opponent.
  • The style known as Iron Tortoise rose up from the need to protect one's self and allies from harm during monstrous invasions. Through many years of information exchanged between hardened veterans, a style was born. Named due to its implacably stalwart nature, this style (which does not explicitly require a shield, though one is strongly encouraged) is capable of turning aside blades, arrows, and sometimes even gramarie.
  • Raging Storm is a style that is said to have arisen in the windswept Iscan Plains and the heights of the Cyrenaic Mountains, learned by ascetics who learned to listen and feel the wind by moving with it in harmony. Exemplifying power and deadliness hidden by a deceptive serenity, its adepts move without hindrance and strike with unrivaled precision and force, and masters of the style are able to harness the strength of hurricanes.
  • Another style that borders on gramarie, Riven Hourglass aims to impart an understanding of the laws governing time to its adepts. Through the cultivation of a superhuman state of mental clarity, the style coalesces the normally insubstantial essence of the temporal and unleashes the ravages of time upon unsuspecting opponents. Additionally, the lucidity that the style grants allows its adepts to selectively speed up, slow, or even stop time for brief instants.
  • A style designed for ranged combat, Solar Wind's adepts frequently hone their abilities in the windy Wastes of Kelcedos. Stressing the importance of accuracy and perceptiveness above all else, the style assists its adepts in sculpting the battlefield and controlling the strategies of the enemy through covering fire and rapid barrages of projectiles alike. Sufficiently advanced students are able to infuse a tinge of the supernatural into their missiles as well, causing hails of phantom arrows to rain down onto their adversaries from above.
  • The distillation of centuries of assassins' cunning, Steel Serpent is a stealthy and decisive style, using a mixture of alacrity and trickery to fell their targets. Its adepts are instructed in the usage of toxins, and gain a degree of control over their body such that they are able to infuse weapons with poisons without actually needing to apply any beforehand. Thus, knowledge of anatomy is acutely important to the style, as is familiarity with one's own energies.
  • An intensely acrobatic style, Thrashing Dragon is very demanding on the bodies of its adepts. Said to have been conceived through seven days and nights of melee with a mountain-dwelling dragon, the style's swift claw-like strikes and powerful kicks seek to emulate some of the beast's aspects. As its motions are often daring, it relies on the adept's natural agility to evade their opponent's possible counterattack.


"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

The continent of Merindor is not very technologically advanced in a purist sense. While ingenious mechanical devices powered by wind and water exist, many of the innovations in Merindor is powered by magic, from glass ‘firearms’ charged with elemental energy to advanced automatons, capable of comprehension of complex commands given by their creators. The following is a list of commonly found substances and inventions. Feel free to make up whatever you want (and then tell me about it so I can add it to this list ...) but please make sure it's reasonable.

Prevalent Substances

Aerelium – An extremely lightweight metal, aerelium is silvery-blue in hue in its natural state. While it is significantly lighter than steel and similarly tough (weaker or stronger depending on the quality of the metal), it is also soft, which renders it vulnerable to degradation (e.g. scratches) over time; quality products made out of aerelium are typically given a protective enchantment to prevent this.

Ardelyte – A mineral unique to the Florentian Mountains that possesses qualities similar to quartz, ardelyte is distinguished from its more common cousin by the presence of geological magic, which causes it to give off a faint glow, which is then amplified through special receptacles into much brighter illumination. Because ardelyte lasts a very long time – it is not uncommon for a typical stone’s magic to last a decade or two – the only things that are expensive about its application are transportation and receptacle costs. Understandably, then, ardelyte is used almost thoughtlessly around its place of production, Placentia, but rural communities distant from it choose to use crysiol instead.

Astrum – A hyper-translucent mineral with a surface covered in glittering stars, astrum crystals can be found all over the continent. According to the feiri, they form in places ‘where the laws of the world converge’, though they are represented as significant in the stories of the aeloi and yuli as well. Regardless of what their actual origins are, astrum is used in a variety of magical applications, being a material that possesses an affinity for abstract energy, and a sizeable amount is fashioned into crysteel (see below).

Crysiol – Commonly referred to as “coolfire”, crysiol is a dark green gel-like substance manufactured from the honey of the atramen bee; it is a recent invention, having been discovered only three centuries ago, but it is popular in rural communities and among travelers because the magical processes required to refine it are relatively simple – and, by extension, well-known, making the substance inexpensive. A cubic centimetre of crysiol lasts 24 hours, and illuminates as effectively as a medium-sized oil lantern.

Crysteel – As its name would indicate, crysteel is a magically reinforced alloy of astrum crystal, carbon, and iron. Capable of storing an amount of abstract energy exponentially proportional to the amount of material employed, crysteel is the preferred alloy of choice for gramarists and some martial adepts, serving as both a battery and magnifier (and a back-up armament or layer of protection as well, being just as strong if not moreso than steel).

Ferrelegni – Otherwise known as “ironwood”, ferrelegni is a type of wood found naturally in the boreal forests of the northern part of Merindor. Ferrelegni is fairly dense and heavy when compared among the various types of lumber, and for good reason: it matches iron in durability and is only a fraction of the metal’s weight, and is typically employed in lieu of other varieties of lumber in functions that do not mind the increase in weight.

Kesgellum – Synthesized from the grass of the same name (and sometimes appended with the word “paste” to differentiate the two), kesgellum is a thick paste that gives off a faintly salty odor. Depending on what climate the original plants used to make it are from, its color can vary from aquamarine to violet. When a small amount is ingested, the substance stimulates the user’s nerves and gives them a feeling of euphoria, invigorating the user for the next few hours (at the end of which the user becomes exhausted). If consumed in large amounts or repeatedly over a 24-hour period, kesgellum is highly toxic; overdose results in serious nausea and vomiting, and, if untreated, death.

Licria – An essence extracted from the whitish-purple eltiel flower, licria was first used by yulian healers during military excursions as a painkiller and anesthetic. Once the Helvan Empire realized the dangers of becoming addicted to the substance, licria was quickly outlawed, but the demand for this drug has not diminished. An iridescent, shimmering liquid, licria takes on the same flavor as the imbiber’s favourite beverage. While it causes only hallucinations in the short term, long-term usage of this drug may lead to a reduction in intelligence and an increase in incumbency, and overdose may result in paralysis, loss of sanity and death.

Q’yiri – Affectionately called “jinjiu” (gold wine) by the feiri, describing both the liquid’s golden-yellow color and its valuable effect, q’yiri was found serendipitously by a feiri gourmand who forgot about a jar of preserved sho’ara grapes, only to rediscover it as wine a year later. Upon first imbibing the liquid, q’yiri has a sweet and intoxicating taste, and waves of coolness wash through the drinker’s body for about half an hour afterwards. Concentrated q’yiri sees other uses as well; when applied to the eyes, it improves vision temporarily for the next hour or so, and it is also effective as a healing salve. Q’yiri requires an environment that is constantly supplied by magical frost under which to ferment, and gold flakes are used as an additive for higher-quality brews.

Zurine – A pitch-black, ultrahard metal, zurine is capable of sundering other metals with relative ease, provided (as in most cases of anyone using anything) that the user is competent. Dubbed "darkiron" by the maelrion, zurine also has the additional property of being able to slightly dampen gramarie, and it is favored among martial adepts because of this. Conversely, however, the metal is also more difficult to enchant, making ensorcelled zurine gear rarer on the market.

Prevalent Innovations

Flarerail – A transportation system that links the major cities on the continent to each other (including Teucrian cities, via a number of underwater tunnels), flarerails are a fairly recent invention, and employ astrum crystals as their power source, taking their name from the blazing trail of light they leave behind them. Able to reach speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour, flarerails are an affordable and convenient way to travel for the average person; the only reason they haven't been established more widely is because of repair costs associated with monster damage.

Ornithopters – Winged ships primarily powered by eldrikinetic engines or air elementals, ornithopters feature steering mechanisms that allow manpower to be added to the equation of the vessel's maneuverability and speed. Lower-end ornithopters are usually constructed in a tortoise-shell shape to protect its passengers, but more expensive thopters instead make use of kaleidomantic fields, and are built in the traditional form of a sailing ship to provide for a scenic view of the landscape below.

AutomatonsAutomatons can be constructed from a variety of materials, but are, in the main, mindless constructs that perform preprogrammed orders. Found for the most part in the employ of gramarists, automatons are used for tasks too hazardous for living entities to carry out, such as unmanned explorations of perilous locales, as well as menial labour. Various heuristicists have managed to successfully impart a limited sort of sentience to automatons, and although some of those experiments have ended in disaster for the gramarist, others have resulted in fully functional existences.

Glyph Seals – Repositories for magical energy, glyph seals are exactly that – astrum crystals embedded with heuristic circuits and engraved with glyphs. Due to the restrictive nature of the medium, it is impossible to imprint complex preparations inside the seals, but simpler gramaric workings (among which are tools which expedite visual and auditory transference) may be stored for future usage. One notable thing about glyph seals is that once stored, the working will not lose potency until the entire stone has been consumed, and thus the seal can be reused as necessary.

Wands and Staves – Sticks and poles of varying lengths which have been engraved with heuristic circuits, these serve as articles through which one is able to direct raw gramaric energy into a complete working within a matter of seconds. An invention of paramount importance for adventuring gramarists, who usually carry several different designs around on their person, these may be constructed out of any material, though the planetary metals (barring mercury) serve as the best conduits, and do not wear out easily if at all. Once again due to the nature of the medium, these are unable to hold complex workings.

Standards / Enlistment

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

There is always this inevitable section; better that it comes before the sign-up sheet than after, lest no one read it. The rules, then, are as follows:

- Please follow the rules of this forum. Obligatory line.

- Please be intelligent. Use your common sense first and foremost. This will help avert many of life's difficulties, and it is no less true when applied to this roleplay.

- Please listen to me. I am not out to get you or anything like that, and I'd really like it if everyone could get along, including me as the GM and you as the player.

- Please don't godmode or take control of others' characters without their permission. Life is never devoid of challenges. Roleplays shouldn't be, either. Plus, if every encounter was solved in an easy and painless manner, this roleplay would quickly become extremely boring. As for the second part ... try not to do it unless you've somehow made a complicated heuristic circuit and combined it with imachinery.

- Please don't ditch. Okay I know I'm being a hypocrite when I say this, but do it for the children. I'm sorry for ditching the last one guys ;______________;

- Please read my setting notes. (When applicable.) A roleplay is a co-operative enterprise, and while I encourage you to be creative, don't trample on my creations when you're doing so. Read Q8 of the FAQ for more details.

- Please do not be overly explicit. Since the roleplay is rated PG-16, there is a certain degree of freedom that one has. However, do not exceed the PG-16 rating with the severity of your writing, or everyone will get in trouble (including you ... I think).

- Please have fun. Unless you're on a quest to inflict as much misery on yourself as possible, I hope this isn't too much to ask.

Nota bene: Acceptance does not hinge on reservation or priority of signing up, but rather on strength of the application.

Sign-Up Sheet:

Race: See above; aelos, feiri, maelrio, nyre, or yul.
Personality: About 1 - 2 paragraphs as a minimum.

Appearance: About 2 - 3 paragraphs as a minimum.

Background: About 2 - 3 paragraphs as a minimum.

Talents: What things can your character do? A line or two (or maybe three if you're particularly verbose) should suffice, just to summarize what you mentioned in the background. I'd even be okay with point-form. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and "don't godmode" applies here.

Legend: One of five available choices; see below.
With the sign-up submission, each player will also select a legend; note that the legend’s characteristics do not have to correspond with the actual character in any way, though generally some sort of slight semblance will be useful ability-wise.

The legend you take means that you act as the incarnation of that initial role in this cycle of the story. You get to determine the personality of your legend as it was initially as well, since it will be very similar to your character's personality.

Choices are listed below:

Helvenn, Heroic Champion - this is mine. So it's not actually a choice but I'm listing it anyway. I realize this is mildly arbitrary.
Arianne, Exalted Muse
Kyre, Transcendent Archmage
Marcell, Stalwart Guardian
Weizi, Ardent Orator
Ciefe, Reticent Shadow

Roleplay Sample: Please give me a general idea of the style in which you write and the quality of your writing.


"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement."

Q1: What do I do? There's too much text.
A1: Yes, there is. If you've read the preface and introduction already, go to the World section, click on the big link to the map (Merindor, 1531 AF), then pick somewhere you think you'd like your character to be from. Not all of the World section is /mandatory/ reading, per se - just familiarize yourself with where you're from and you should be okay. Something else to help you along: the "Prevalent Substances" part is not mandatory reading either, but do read the "Prevalent Innovations" as that's much shorter.

Q2: What do these weird month names mean anyway?
A2: Um ... I really have no idea. I made them up though, so here's a handy cartouche on dates. (I have no misc section, so I'm dumping it here...)

Aquerin (mid-winter)
Dairmen (late winter)
Eulis (early spring)
Sylvaeris (mid-spring)
Panoris (late spring)
Itana (early summer)
Zanatria (mid-summer)
Rethica (late summer)
Thonoro (early autumn)
Meselo (mid-autumn)
Camasto (late autumn)
Viodion (early winter)

Months are not separated into weeks, and each month has only twenty-four days. In colloquial language the later days of the month are sometimes referred to by the number of days remaining until the next month, though this is never done in writing.

Q3: What's a plane? Is it plane as in airplane?
A3: While the thought would be amusing (nine airplanes flying around Merindor?), we already have ornithopters and- uh, anyway. When I wrote "plane" in the Races and Cosmology section, I meant plane as in plane of existence - basically like an alternate dimension that overlaps Khellius, but doesn't really affect it. This explanation might have confused you even more, so I will link you also to the Wikipedia article.

Q4: What are the races for? What if I want to play a rash aelos? What if my maelrio's hair is actually blue?
A4: To add color to the world. Mm ... it's really okay if something like that happens. The traits I listed are simply general trends, and after all the five races are all (secretly) human subraces; in fact, it is quite natural for, say, an aelos to marry a yul, and the children will have an equal chance of being either race. So you can basically do whatever, because being restrictive is kind of mean considering that I removed the basic human as being a race. Anything strange is probably genetic. (Aelos still have to have wings though, and maelrio still resist fire regardless ... you get the point. Yes, it's sometimes hard to identify the race of children, but that's a separate matter and it usually becomes quickly apparent with time - I mean, a child just casually playing with fire or changing the color of his / her hair is pretty alarming.)

Q5: How do I culture?
A5: How do you culture really? But in this case, Helvenand, Perinth, and Zalantira are somewhat Graeco-Roman (in this case Zalantira is more like the eastern empire), Suimeng is ancient China but with a sort-of-republican power structure instead of imperial rule, and Teucrion is a bit more like the standard Western fantasy kingdom (but it's a theocracy). Feel free to derive from those what you will. The answer to question 8 may also help you with this.

Q6: What is the point of this roleplay?
A6: It's a roleplay. The primary objective of this roleplay is to, ahem, one moment: experiment with transparent world-building, that the players can interact with, and creating a world in which they can take actions that have foreseeable repercussions. Yes, there is a primary plot. However, I am just as interested in helping your character(s) meet their goals as I am finishing the story. It's a bit like sandbox, I guess, except there's a beginning and an ending so it's not really sandbox.

Q7: You mention monsters a bunch of times in your descriptions. Where do these monsters come from anyway?
A7: (Long answer, hence spoiler)
Well, Merindor is a pretty big place (the continent is basically the size of Europe), and there are lots of unexplored niches even after 1500 years (for example, nobody goes into Magador Swamp without a good reason). Additionally, sometimes monsters just pop out of nowhere - yggdratects postulate that this is caused by matter overflow from the plane of shadow. Finally, once every few years, the plane of darkness becomes coterminous with Khellius, and monsters from that plane get the opportunity to basically rampage; thankfully, gramarists have developed countermeasures that are able to defend against this for the most part, but it does refill the aforementioned niches with more monsters. So there's really no end to monsters appearing out of nowhere, and that's basically that (aren't you thankful for civilization?). Small towns and villages have their own militias to deal with minor monsters, though, and really strong monsters are either dormant or hunted down by various organizations seeking to defend world peace, so it's not usually a huge deal, and life goes on even if a village or two gets ransacked occasionally. Yes, we will encounter a number of these on our travels, sometimes quite often.

Q8: There are so many things I want to know about! Can you tell me more?
A8: Instead of having me do that, you can make up more yourself! Hooray! Since I don't want to curb the players' freedom to create, you have the option of simply improvising for smaller details: things like organizations, small towns, substances, and so on. (If you have anything big, such as a secret group of big-time assassins or anything like that, please ask me - I'm usually easy to talk to so I'll say yes if it's reasonable, and if you get accepted, I'll add it to my opening post.) I'll read about it in your applications, and if there's anything out of line, you'll hear from me then. But if you really want to know more, you can ask me about specific details of a specific thing.

QB: How much free time do you have anyway? What the heck is this gigantic post, Cirrus?
AB: Clearly too much. Re: gigantic post, I don't know either.


"Giving credit where credit is due is a very rewarding habit to form. Its rewards are inestimable."

A few acknowledgements:

- A friend of mine who isn't registered with PokeCommunity, for giving me the idea for the myth.
- ProFantasy, for making the excellent Campaign Cartographer 3 that was used to make the map
- Various pixiv artists, whose work I acquired off of safebooru (...)
- Kellus, for his amazing homebrew of the gramarie magic system (for D&D 3.5), which you can find here. I basically lifted it over because I didn't want to increase the burden of knowledge on people with the mechanics... but it's really impressive.
- ErrantX, for all of the styles for Sublimity. I was going to grab the Tome of Battle's, but why WotC when you can ErrantX?
- Wizards of the Coast, for heavily inspiring theurgy and sublimity.
-, without which I would never have been able to get the fonts right
- And finally, me, for being the madman who dedicated many, many entire days' worth of free time to filling out all the associated content for this roleplay.

Enjoy the game.

Accepted Players

I. Helvenn's successor,
II. Arianne's successor,
III. Kyre's successor,
IV. Marcell's successor,
V. Weizi's successor,
VI. Ciefe's successor,

Karma January 7th, 2013 5:31 PM

This sounds... absolutely amazing. I can't resist! I simply cannot turn away now, and darn it I will make time out of thin air if I have to for this.

Consider this a place holder for my coming sign-up sheet. :)
 "Music expresses that which cannot be said, and on which it is impossible to be silent."
Name: Circel Vi Aldernam
(Pronunciation: ser-sel)

Age: Nineteen, 19
Gender: Male

Personality: About 1 - 2 paragraphs as a minimum.

Appearance: About 2 - 3 paragraphs as a minimum.

Background: Circel was born during the month of Meselo, in the beautiful city of Tyrovion. He was the illegitimate child of Ghandor, a well renowned Duke, and Elia, a servant who worked for the noble family. Though adultery committed by someone of Ghandor's stature would mostly be overlooked, they feared it could potentially cause distrust in his allies, so thus they kept the boy's birth a secret. Elia was paid handsomely for her silence and was sent away from the city, refrained from seeing her child again. Circel lived in the servants' quarters until he was the age of seven, posing as a kitchen boy when guests would visit, and for the most part was treated like one by all members of the noble family save for his father.

Circel was the only male heir to the Duke's estate, as his wife only bore three daughters. Halyn, the Duchess, was threatened by his existence as the heir. She despised him and wanted her eldest daughter to take the estate. Yet the only way their laws would allow such an absurdity would call for the death of the male heir. For the child's safety from the threats within the household, Ghandor sent him to live in Placentia with his brother Aldred, to learn and develop skills in Magic since Circel showed talents in theurgy.

Because of these events, Circel knew very little of his father and none of his biological mother. The only times during the seven years he lived there that he shared with the Duke were brief, but they were some of the fondest memories he shared. One memory in particular was Ghandor showing him how to wield a weapon (for his young inexperienced hands, an elegant stick posed as a staff.) Often, he would find himself wondering about his mother, and the question of why she gave up her rights for his custody without question plagued his mind.

Nonetheless, he spent most of his lifetime in Placentia. Aldred, his uncle, became like a second father to him. He would take time out of his duties as an arcanodynamicist to walk with Circel through the town, show him gramarie magic, or teach him diplomacy for his future as a Duke. Circel grew fonder of Aldred than he ever had his own father.

He had a more luxurious lifestyle here than in the Duke's estate, and lived in a grand mansion home where he was given the East Wing to reside in. Yet it was due to the harsh treatments of the servants’ quarters that Circel never took his fortunes for granted. For the most part, he was always quick to thank people for their generosity and give back in return. The servants of the mansion home were treated kindly by the young boy, as he once shared their position, and was cared for dearly by them all.

Though Placentia was mainly a place of gramarie magic, a retired theurgy master was appointed to his tutoring. Her name was Yvanne. She was moved into the mansion home and also had the duty of watching over him as a caretaker when Aldred was away. Circel had asked once her story, and why a woman of her middle age was retired. She gave him this simple reason: "There are some forms of magic one should not touch." To this day he still ponders the meaning of her words. She first taught him caution. It was his understanding that magic was like a pond. A small drop would create ripples that would smooth themselves out. A large rock would create waves, sent crashing against the shore. Her ominous history and push towards hesitance when wielding magic made him weary of it as well, and never pushed the boundaries.

Yvanne was not only a mentor, but the older sister he wished he had. Someone who watched over him and made sure he was safe. In Placentia, Circel actually felt that he had a family. A true family. He loved his life here and lived mostly with a happy smile upon his face.

At the age of twelve he discovered the beauty of music. Yvanne was singing a hymn of Saint Elendra in the study as he passed, readying to leave for the town. He was entranced by the melody and harmonious sound. From that moment he devoted his life half to theurgy, and the other half into the study of music. He learned to play many exotic instruments, and was often called on to play for the town of Placentia's entertainment. He became a refined musician, but still had much to learn of its ways.

There were times when Circel would go with Aldred or Yvanne to other cities and towns within Merindor, but never traveled too far from Placentia. On the journeys he accompanied his uncle, his task was to test his abilities in diplomacy or watch and listen as Aldred went about his own duties with councils and leaders. He saw how many cultures worked and strive, as well as the poorer lands that required the aid he was determined to give when in power as Duke. Yet it was Yvanne's trips he enjoyed the most. She would take him to less known places of interesting lore, and churches of St. Elendra to develop his theurgy further.

At the age of fifteen, he was given his first true weapon. A staff, an artifact Yvanne collected in her early years from her own mentor, was given to him to help concentrate his magic. When wielding it, it reminded him of his years training with his father using a stick. He grew incredibly fond of the staff and named it Orlais, after a legend he heard as a child. It never left his side if he could help it.

On the dawn of his nineteenth birthday, Yvanne took him up the Florentian Mountains to help find his connection to the divine source, outside the reaches of normal human contact. While traveling, they were ambushed by a group of thieves and Circel was forced into his first combat situation. He had never used his theurgy on anyone other than his mentor, and thus he was hesitant with its use against the enemies. Due to this, he was overpowered by a brute man who battered Orlais from his hands and cornered Circel. While fighting her own opponent, Yvanne saw his struggle and used her magic to shield the boy and send the attacker into a nearby tree. Fearing for his safety, Yvanne instructed him to run to safety in a nearby outpost. Though reluctantly, he did as his mentor bid and fled.

Upon reaching the outpost, Circel informed the two men on duty what had occurred and—after sending word to his uncle—returned to help. Unfortunately, he was too late. Yvanne was killed by the brute man's sword. Though Circel was taught to forgive and find peace in tragedies, this event broke his heart. He couldn't forget the damage that was done. He kept the image of a serpent tattoo on the man's arm in his mind and thought of it every night before he slept. Circel vowed that should he face the man again, revenge would be imminent.

From there, he decided to leave Placentia and continue his teachings in theurgy, while readying to inherit the title of peerage.

Talents: What things can your character do? A line or two (or maybe three if you're particularly verbose) should suffice, just to summarize what you mentioned in the background. I'd even be okay with point-form. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and "don't godmode" applies here.

Legend: Arianne, Exalted Muse

Roleplay Sample: From Red's Hawt Chibi Pelippers Monster Art Online as the character Mickie.

Specks of sunlight filtered through the dense brush of the forest as it bathed the luscious greens in a golden warmth. The fresh dew of morning slid deftly off the tall spines of grass and soaked the well trodden path of Route 30. It was a quiet day, save for the squishing sound of boots as their owner walked along with a lighthearted gait. At a glance, she looked to be another young trainer out for a battle. However, this one was different. She had a purpose. One particular purpose that involved an Egg and the promise of an older woman's appreciative smile. Mickie had left the comfort of Cherrygrove City just before dawn. Her mission was crucial. Well, only as crucial as she made it out to be, really. The mission was just something to do to get her back on her feet. Anyone could go fetch an Egg, but she accepted with no hesitation. This quest was something to do. A process to kick start her journey. Before, she was moping around the town. Playing it safe. It was Bishop who nudged her towards getting out there and take charge of her fate. Literally.

Mickie's first week in Johto was one of absolute awe and excitement, followed quickly by panic and fear. She was just at the end of Route 29 when the Lockdown happened. They were trapped. All of them. In a virtual world where reality was around every corner, inside every Pokéball, where your demise could be found. You die in the game and you body outside of it shuts down too. To say there was hysteria was only the half of it. She was practically stampeded by other players as they rushed into Cherrygrove to find sanctuary. She too went a little crazy as she bundled her new Houndour in her arms and huddled in a small corner in the Pokémon Center. It wasn't until the hype died down a little that she actually moved from her cozy little spot. By then, it was four days later.

Bishop, as she named the Houndour, was restless. He needed constant stimulation and he just couldn't take the waiting any longer. So, with a rather ungraceful running start, he slammed his trainer through the open doors of the Center and out into the (virtual) daylight. That push was all she needed. Mickie was back on her feet and decided to look on the bright side of this unusual predicament. This was a challenge. She was going to become the Champion and return home to her real body. As she was enlightened by this realization, a woman came up to her, the Mayor of Cherrygrove, and asked if she would deliver an Egg to her out on Route 30. Unable to refuse that kind face, she set off to find Mr. Pokémon.

That was exactly how Mickie found herself here trekking through the wet growth of the forest.

Bishop padded happily beside her. She had found that her friend was a rather curious little fellow. He would sniff every colorful bush and explore each mysterious hole in the ground. He even stared at a perfectly normal rock for ten minutes before Mickie put herself together enough to stop laughing at the faces he was making. The Houndour kept pace with her long strides as she rushed to find this Egg.

"I wish it wasn't so wet," Mickie said with a scrunched up nose. The bottom half of her skirt was soaked to the point of being a different color entirely. Though she walked on the dirt path the grass was just too thick and hung over the sides of the walkway. She would never encounter a problem like this in one of her other games. Heck, it wouldn't ever be her walking if it was anything else. She didn't mind much though. A little water never hurt. Mickie spared a glance down at her Pokémon. He was the average looking Houndour with jet black fur with a brown underbelly and muzzle. She particularly fancied the silver armor-like pieces that clung to his forehead and back, along with the ringlets on his paws made out of the same material. He wasn't as well kempt as most though. He had a habit of running through the mud. Still, he felt a little like family to her, despite how little she knew about him.

"I wonder what moves you know already."

In her other games, she never really played with a Houndour on her team. Sure she knew a little about his stats and his evolution process, but when it came to moves she was at a small disadvantage. Might as well use deduction to figure it out.

"Most fire types start out with Ember for their first type-advantage move, especially in the first few generations. You are also a dark type so the lowest level move I can come up with is Bite." She stopped walking and knelt down. "Maybe you could show me a few?"

She scratched behind his ear and smiled encouragingly. Bishop gave off a few barks in acknowledgement and backed away from his trainer. A deep grumbling sound came from his throat, and Mickie leaped toward the left as a stream of flames erupted from the Pokémon's mouth. "Guess I was right on that one," the girl laughed as she brushed herself off.

Yet the laughter quickly died as the bushes to her side began shaking, and she knew exactly what that meant. With a loud clicking sound a wild Spinarak crawled out onto the path. Mickie will deny that she ever screamed in such a girly fashion. The flames must've attracted it here. Before either the Trainer or her Pokémon could react the Spinarak had shot a line of string at Bishop, entangling his feet and tripping the Houndour. He gave off a surprised yip that shook Mickie from her moment of terror.

The Spinarak began circling its prey, clicking furiously, and the Houndour wiggled its way out of the sticky strings. "Time to test out how well those tricks of yours work," she said uneasily. "Bishop, use Ember!"

With the same grumbling sound from earlier, fire shot from his mouth toward the Spinarak, but it was too quick. It used its String Shot attack on the ground nearby to slingshot itself to safety. It spun around like the speed of light and its long tentacles shot out towards Bishop. The tentacles wrapped around his small figure and began to squeeze, constricting the Pokémon. Mickie cried out in fright as Bishop's health bar dropped, but it only made a small dent in the green.

"Bite it!" Mickie called. Bishop growled and clamped hard with his teeth onto the tentacles. This time it was the Spinarak who wailed. Its bar too dropped a few good points.

"Now use, uh, Smog!" That's right. If her memory served her right, Houndour should know enough for that attack. Bishop discharged a plume of purple gas that enveloped the enemy, making it harder to breath. The Spinarak clicked in frustration and Mickie could make out its health bar depleting into the yellow area. Good. Now they had the upper hand in this battle. That is, if she was paying enough attention. Smog was a poison type move, and the enemy also shared that type. The Spinarak was quick to adjust itself to the new polluted air, and with another String Shot attack it pulled Bishop into the fray.

"Oh no."

Neither she or her Pokémon could see through the growing Smog. Mickie could only make out the faint glow of their health bars, with one rapidly depleting. Terrified growls could be heard as the Houndour was at a loss of what to do. Everywhere he turned the Spinarak would shoot out from the purple thickness and use Constrict. She knew she had to do something quick. It was either win or lose. No in between. Losing meant whiting out, so that was definitely not an option.

"First real battle and already you are screwing it up," Mickie scolded herself. "You know better than this! You're a professional!"

Taking another look at the battlefield an idea began to bloom. Of course. Why didn't she think of it before? Mickie cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted into the Smog. "Bishop, I need you walk toward my voice." A whimper came in response. It just about broke her heart. "I know you're scared, but trust me. When I say the word I need you to take a big leap towards me and use that attack you showed me earlier. Aim at the Smog, okay?" This time the reply came in a health bar inching toward the red.

"Just follow my voice."

And so he did. Bishop slowly backed up to where her voice soothed him softly. She dropped into her 'mother' voice as she would call it. Soon the faint glow grew brighter and the Houndour was almost to the edge of the Smog. If there was ever a time she wished she was right, it was now. Just a few more steps... "Now!" With a mighty push on his back paws Bishop jumped backwards through the air and gave off a bright stream of flames as his Ember attack took effect. The moment the fire hit the billowing gasses it light up like a Christmas tree. Just like in her good old chemistry class. The Spinarak gave off a wailing clicking sound as it was caught in the raging fire. It didn't take long for its health bar to hit its end, and soon it glowed in raw data before whiting out completely. Wiped from existence.

Mickie couldn't help but feel instantly guilty, but that didn't stop her from pumping her fist in the air in triumph. "We did it!" She scooped up Bishop in her arms and nuzzled his furry neck. The dog barked happily and licked her cheek. The trainer giggled as she swung both herself and the Pokémon in circles. She wasn't even going to dwell on the fact that she had almost lost him and her life. That came later. For now, she was just so dang happy that they won. "Our first victory," Mickie said as she fought off the dog's assault of his wet tongue. "Good job, boy."

She set him down lightly. He was panting from the exertion of the battle and it occurred to her that he might be hungry. Pokémon probably burn a lot of calories when they use their moves. Or did they? She had to constantly remind herself that this was just a game. It all feels so real. Nonetheless, she would feed him and have a bite for herself as well. Mickie brushed a few stray stands of hair from her face before digging into her bag, retrieving a half-eaten granola bar. She pulled the oats a part and have half of the meal to Bishop while nibbling on her own.

"Now to get back to what we are really doing out here," she sighed. There was still an egg to find.

<Challenger> January 7th, 2013 6:01 PM

I'm thoroughly interested! If possible, could I have a reservation for Successor of Marcell?

Cirrus January 7th, 2013 6:05 PM

@heretostay123: There's no need to place a reservation; simply post your sign-up and it will be up for consideration =)


Nota bene: Acceptance does not hinge on reservation or priority of signing up, but rather on strength of the application.
Oh whoops I forgot I'm playing Helvenn's successor I'll note that now brb

Cirrus January 7th, 2013 6:11 PM

The appeal to play the main character is great, I know ... but I have to be able to guide the plot a little somehow right =( Sorry, guy.

<Challenger> January 7th, 2013 6:11 PM

Alpha Sign-Up Sheet:

Name: Danyu An
Race: Maelerio
Age: 17
Gender: Male

Personality: Danyu has a very fiery soul. He never, ever backs down from a fight, despite his race's tendency to be kind spirits....which he is. It's just not as visible as other Maelerians.

Appearance: About 2 - 3 paragraphs as a minimum.

Background: About 2 - 3 paragraphs as a minimum.

Talents: Danny is a warrior by heart. He is an skilled swords men, having ten years of training. He is also good at archery as well. He is in fact skilled with many forms of weapons, be it daggers or pole-axes. No matter what weapon he uses, he is good with it. However, he is not good at much else.

Legend: Marcell, Stalwart Guardian

Roleplay Sample: Please give me a general idea of the style in which you write and the quality of your writing.

Xlugon Pyro January 7th, 2013 6:27 PM


Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 7476648)
The appeal to play the main character is great, I know ... but I have to be able to guide the plot a little somehow right =( Sorry, guy.

If you're referring to me, you may want to clarify that then for the future so others who attempt to sign-up don't make the same mistake.

Looks like you caught that error and are fixing it, so disregard this post.

Cirrus January 7th, 2013 6:35 PM

Yeah, I sort of accidentally deleted that part when I copypasta'd some edited parts of the previous thread over ... apologies for the inconvenience.

<Challenger> January 7th, 2013 6:36 PM

I need a reference to a website so I can get a name. Haha :$

Jönne January 8th, 2013 10:34 AM

I'd love to be part of this RP again! I hope you will accept my old character, though a bit changed to fit the new details? Actually - I'd rather make a new one, and see how it goes.

Karma January 9th, 2013 10:42 PM

Just wanted to ask a few questions if you'd please. First, is it alright to have the incarnation of Arianne be a boy? Or do the gender of the first legends apply to those who we shall play as well? Second, what is the general age range you would like the character to stay within for these roles, if any?

This rp definitely needs more interest. SIGN-UP PEOPLE. It not only looks amazing, but sounds like it will be loads of fun too. -nudges onlookers- ;)

Xlugon Pyro January 10th, 2013 1:17 AM

I gave it another thought over and I thought about something I can do here so I'll give a sign-up a shot. 'Tis a shame because I like playing the hero character but I think I found something that'll work.

Name: Xoxaa Pyroley
Race: Aelos
Age: 17
Gender: Female
Personality: Awesomeness...

About 1 - 2 paragraphs as a minimum.

Appearance: Sexy with wings!

About 2 - 3 paragraphs as a minimum.

Background: Born somewhere in Suimeng...

About 2 - 3 paragraphs as a minimum.

Talents: Hybrid fighter of sorts...
What things can your character do? A line or two (or maybe three if you're particularly verbose) should suffice, just to summarize what you mentioned in the background. I'd even be okay with point-form. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and "don't godmode" applies here.

Legend: Ciefe, Reticent Shadow

Roleplay Sample: Please give me a general idea of the style in which you write and the quality of your writing.

Also, GM needs to show us his character. :P I wish I knew how to do that background thingy. It's cool. :(

I also looked into that link to the whole list of gramarie posts and it appears to be designed as a means to create rules for the use of magic in games like D&D. How close are we to follow those guidelines or are we only following what's written into this RP and the other info is more of a means to generate character ideas? It would suck to have to read through all of that to know what to do and not to do. :P

Cirrus January 10th, 2013 4:14 PM

There is, thankfully, no gender restriction on any of the roles. I guess I'm playing a female character

Re: Gramarie document: I only posted a link to that document to give credit to the creator of the system - not enforce that everyone read it (because you don't need to and probably shouldn't unless you're like super into D&D). I summarized for a reason, you know... =v We're only literally following what's been written in the intro post.

As for activity!

I'll write my SU sometime in the next few days. I'm honestly in no rush to start this, as I'd like to gather dedicated players, and even if the number that I do manage to gather isn't particularly large I can always write in another one or two characters, so. Quality over quantity!

Cirrus January 15th, 2013 11:26 PM

Justice not-bump - actually I just wanted a post so I could work on this at school or wherever.

To anyone casually strolling by: we're still recruiting.

Nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus.

Sign-up under construction, et cetera.

Name: Elena Lumines Remiri
Race: Feiri.
Age: 20
Gender: Female
Personality: TBA.

Appearance: TBA.

Background: ... TBA.

Talents: Lead a party or something. I dunno.

Legend: Helvenn, Heroic Champion

Roleplay Sample: This entire thread should suffice.

Garet January 17th, 2013 9:17 PM

...Okay, I'm sort of hooked now, after reading through that. Assuming that I don't take too long, I'll probably put up an SU for consideration.

A couple questions, though, just to make sure: Considering the Legends section of the SU, that means that there will be only one of each, right?

And...less seriously, where do you go for artwork?

Cirrus January 18th, 2013 12:34 AM

Re: artwork:

- Various pixiv artists, whose work I acquired off of safebooru (...)
Yup. Go ahead; take however long you need to write your SU (though hopefully, not too long; I haven't given deadlines to the others who expressed interest either, so yeah they're still working on them, and so am I). I don't really mind. If you have any questions, ask.

Yes, there is only one representative of each legend - I might not have been entirely clear about that, but that's why I have six acceptance slot things at the very bottom in which to put character names.

Jönne January 20th, 2013 2:27 AM

Name: Sakura Ieyasu
Race: Yul
Age: 24
Gender: Male

As an adolescent, Sakura was a passionate and stubborn rogue with guts, lots of curiosity and an unusual respect for the shadows and dark. Twisted as it may have seemed to his peers, his family was happy for this aspect of his, along with his natural prowess at combat. The path he was required to follow put him through exercise, both of the mind and body, and immense training in the arts of espionage, sabotage and assassination. His once passionate nature has become a cold and restrained one, and through the image he projects through his profession of an assassin, people often misunderstand him as harsh, or even heartless and unemotional. Though not many people came to know him fully, those who did could tell that this notion was not valid. In truth, he is sensitive and strives for a better world for everyone, regardless of their race, profession or social status.Instead of doing it for riches, personal gain or glory among his peers, he maintains a higher purpose... one that is not clear by his looks, but by his actions towards the innocent, the helpless and the unarmed ones. Though, his approach at things render him ruthless and cunning, thus bringing a dark tone to his illustration.

Sakura believes that helping people by any means possible is an obligation of his, not only a choice, as he never truly chose to be an assassin - rather, he was forced into it by his family. The training he received did not only touch him externally, like it does to most of his fellows, who tend to believe that a life is a simple, odd happening which they can snap with the sharp edge of a blade, or fade it away into another plane of existence with a few drops of poison. Over the years, he has developed a philosophy of his own, one that is that every life form, as small as it can be, can affect history, even has the possibility of changing the whole world. That would seem complicated, but it is the reason he refrains from taking lives relentlessly, considering them important, beautiful yet fragile like a maiden in her youth. At times, he stops and thinks, considering his studies upon his target, and questions the possibility of sparing them. He does that with the promise of them vanishing from the world, and his unreadable silence about their fates.

Over the years of his commitment to the duties of an assassin, he gained the immense respect of his inner family circle, and along with his accomplishments came his reputation of a deadly assassin. All that was left from his once overly stubborn spirit was an unshakable determination, a dedication to his tasks that made him unrivaled. The people he contacted had now gotten used to his constant seriousness and immense understanding of a situation, which he acquired through studying it. Once he had set his eyes on a target, he would be entirely focused to just that, and he would often be too absorbed by his studies on them to keep some time for himself. As for the way he treated people, it got him known as a tremendously calm and cold blooded person. That was true, to some extent - being calm had proven a great asset to his job, as he was easily able to improvise, despite an operation being a single misstep away from falling apart.

Sakura is a silent type of person. He speaks quickly and only when required to, while he puts thought into his brief speech. He is rather intense and realistic, his words are often as sharp as his blades and their effects as intoxicating as the poisons they are coated with. When around those he considers friends, he prefers to keep a distance as he is often not quite fond of company - he is always quiet and acts collected around them, while on constant guard. He can be deemed reticent; this trait he had ever since he was a child, and he was always mistaken for a bashful person, though he is not. In large companies, he often keeps a shadowy, subtle vigil, until he speaks his mind and reminds everyone of his presence.As he is by nature introvert, he shows little to no emotions to those who manage to see whatever portion of his face they can under his hood. Serious as he always is, he rarely laughs or exclaims; his voice isn't low, but intense, yet discreet. He generally treats a person discreetly, thinking whatever they do, whatever their beliefs are, whatever power they have assumed, is a personal characteristic of theirs, in which he has no access or right to judge, and therefore he will keep his thoughts and opinion about it to himself. He holds warriors, sorcerers and believers in high regard, as honor is something he values; despite him absolutely disregarding it when it comes to his own job.

Appearance: Under a ray of light, you are likely to see the lower part of his face. It is pale, despite being a Yul, whose skins are usually darker colored. A smile is not likely to be seen there, only a firm line of lips that seem to blend in with his pale face. If he was to remove his hood, you would see a tough face with a perfect nose, meaningful deep blue eyes.The intense eyebrows that add might to his expressions are crowned by his dark brown hair, which is shiny, dense and rich. His movements greatly reflect his personality; calm, discreet, subtle and quiet. They are the types of movement caught by the eye, but not by the mind, as they do not arouse any kind of suspicion in their perfect balance and grace - perfect for blending in with the crowd, or hiding the intentions, usually lethal, he ought to keep hidden.

Those who do lay their eyes on the seemingly unimportant, hooded figure of Sakura, see a monk, or a traveler, standing at around 5'8" feet high from the ground. When traversing through the streets, he is wearing a worn out, cloak that is torn at some points, leather boots that reach up to his knee, black trousers and gloves as well as a grey silk shirt. He wears one belt in which he holds all of his knives and daggers, and a sheath for his short, sharp blade, Penumbra.

The heirloom his family granted, their insignia, which is a dashing wolf, is sometimes tuckered on the middle of his belt, often causing suspicious questions about his creed or origins. Depending on the certain needs of a mission, he will often disguise himself in order to atone with it and become one with its details and environment so that he may accomplish his task. Under his every disguise, he has a body of strong yet agile build. He is particularly flexible and muscled, allowing him to run very fast and do what we call 'free running', be it trees or urban environment.


Sakura was born as Kutsune Watanobi in a family of Shingoku assassins, in Suimeng, Reixue. As one of the Shingoku, he was forced early into training to the art of assassination by his parents, so that he may one day join them and bring honor to their family. His parents, Ishikawa, a Yul, and Kunoichi, a Feiri, were like minded when it came to raising their only son - they intended to teach him things clearly and intensely, right from the start. A single purpose was on their mind: to make him the ultimate assassin that would eventually be in lead the Shingoku, just like his great grandfather Hatori. His father guided Sakura and directed him towards the mastery of the infamous style of Sublimity the Shingoku used - the Steel Serpent style, taught him how to read and write, as well as transferred some of his wisdom to him through life lessons. His mother tutored him on the ways of the Shingoku, the art of espionage, and disguise; additionally, she taught him how to hunt, skin and cook animals. Through all the animals Sakura had observed, dead or alive, he gained an interest in their anatomy and studied it further, comparing it to his own in the way. He learned of the vital points of each organism, such as pressure points, and practiced killing animals using only his fists and chops - and then, as the years passed, on his targets.

Sakura had proven to be a far more defiant child than his parants had expected - in his teenage years, he became a thief, a rogue, although his family had no need of anymore riches. When the Watanobi family found out it was him, he humbly apologized to all of them, claiming he studied his target first, in order to steal from the wicked ones, and give his earnings to the poor. His parents showed trust in him, even if they did not believe him, and Sakura acknowledged and valued that, along with the life lessons they taught him. Ishikawa taught him that all people in the people of the republic are equals, and when Sakura asked him who the Shingoku thought they were, claiming lives for gold, he responded, 'you are not equal to the dead before you.' Sakura didn't fully agree with his father's logic, but never sought to argue with him.

Eventually, he joined the Shingoku at the age of seventeen. He proved to be worthy, a clever and quick Shingoku that delivered swift death from the shadows. Despite his age, he gained respect among his close family members, that were also Shingoku, and as two years passed, all the Shingoku that operated in Reixue came to know him. All this, until his failure to assassinate a local warlord - which ended in his capture, because his escape route was somehow blocked. He still believes to this day that it was one of his own that betrayed him, but he had no proof. His parents postponed his public execution until he was able to squeeze through the enhanced tightened bars of his cell, although that is rumored to be nothing but a myth. After his escape, he was forced to flee from the hidden eyes of the Shingoku, eventually leaving the country. Having nowhere else to go, he decided to become a traveling mercenary, as that is how he believed he would help people the most - and that's the way he would vanish truly.

"I trust myself in shadow."


Sakura is a capable free runner, being able to climb almost anything, including trees. Being a yul, he has the ability to establish a higher communication with animals, whom he loves and pets. As he lived next to the forest where he did his early training, his mother taught him how to hunt and skin animals, thus learning a bit of their anatomy and studying his own from them as well. His parents trained him in the specifics of the Steel Serpent style, in assassination techniques, espionage, sabotage and disguise.

Legend: Ciefe, the Reticent Shadow

RP Sample: I've shown you before, no?

Xlugon Pyro January 20th, 2013 8:27 AM

I've decided to withdraw from the RP. I've come up short on character ideas. : / Good luck with the RP. :)

Karma January 25th, 2013 11:11 PM

Alright, so I have his background all written out, and before I proceed I wanted to know if it is alright? If there are any mistakes or whatnot you would like me to fix then I will gladly edit it. If not, then I will carry on to Personality and Appearance and Talents, and then it will be done. :)

Cirrus January 26th, 2013 7:12 AM

Minor nitpicks:

1st paragraph:

servants - missing an apostrophe (possessive?)
from all members of the noble family - by?
3rd paragraph:
inexperience - inexperienced?
8th paragraph:
refine - refined?

Also a general nitpick (though much less important) - gramarie / gramarist and theurgy are not proper nouns. So there you go.

Anyway, those aside - the raid ... probably wouldn't actually happen. Gramarists are pretty important to society in general. Try monstrous encounter (maybe during a hike in the mountains or something) instead. Otherwise history seems fine. Some small problems with the flow but those are unavoidable sometimes so I am not going to raise any concerns - though do clarify; "preparing for his role as Duke" means he's inheriting the title of peerage, right?

Karma January 26th, 2013 10:02 AM

Yeah, I was planning on going back over it to grammar check and fix it up a bit, as I wrote it late last night after a rather tedious math test. My apologies for the small errors.

I have a bad habit of capitalizing things I shouldn't. A habit I should really break. I will go through and fix the theurgy and gramarie words.

Hmm, alright, I will find another way to dispose of said character from the past. I do want it to be an encounter with other humans though, as it is crucial to Circel's past being the first time using his magic against a human enemy. Following along the idea of being up in the mountains, would a bandit (or whatever word would be proper for it) ambush be acceptable of some sort? On the note of his heritage: yes, that is indeed what I meant. I was trying not to get very technical with the terms and make the idea as simple as I could. I didn't mean to confuse on that point.

Cirrus January 26th, 2013 11:54 AM

Mm, a bandit is fine too.

(On a separate note, I should probably finish writing my SU. Yeah.)

Lilizuki January 27th, 2013 2:07 PM

Hmm, I think this seems very interesting. Expect my sheet to arrive later~

Lilizuki January 28th, 2013 11:13 AM

This is mostly done, but I need to finish the background. Hope everything so far is okay~


Nimael "Dust" Gryphus

Race: Feiri

Age: 27

Gender: Female

Personality: "None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me."

Dust is a woman recently enlightened, having broken away from years of servitude into a mind that she doesn't recognize, but has a myriad of experiences that she needs to get used to. She's used to all of the horrors of violence, and shared honor between a group of people, but has a somewhat immature view of the world as a result. She doesn't know how to separate lies from the truth, for the most part, or understand why a person would lie, which leaves her on the edge of sinking into cynicism or optimism, with need of somebody to guide her through to her own conclusion.

There is one constant that has been with her through all of her experiences, and that is combat. It's something that she can hold and understand immediately, which leaves her with an unwavering courage and something of a cocky attitude thanks to the company she has kept in the past. She won't claim to be right in any situation, intervene with anything involving tactics or moral quandaries, or even doubt a person's claims of their own skill. She is humble in all things but combat, and will accept it being pointed out, but if somebody attempts to diminish her role in something, she will prove them wrong with a swift defeat; but not murder. She doesn't trust herself to judge when most people should die.

Despite the issues that plague Dust, including her inability to decide for herself, there are some inherently good aspects about her person. She's capable of love, as it was the first thing she remembers acting upon. She's capable of intelligent understanding, as is inherent in most of her race. And she's loyal; she only has one true friend so far in life, but nothing can break the bond they share.

She only bathes when there is nobody around, which means she needs to head to a nearby river if she's currently in civilization.


Dust's is a face that would appear quite pleasant, were it not most often held in a slight sneer or simply expressionless, or framed by brunette hair not cut with a blade meant for killing. She wears no make-up or adornments other than those of her armor, adding to her simple appearance that can swiftly turn into a killing grimace. Soft curves make up her oval face, from the petite nose that sits above slightly pouty lips to the slender arch of her eyebrows that sit above similarly chestnut eyes. Even fewer scars or blemishes mark her olive-tinted skin, save for a stern gaze, for she's never allowed herself to be marked by blade, spike, or club. Some common ticks include flaring her nose when she's about to get angry, double-checking her stance and equipment, and tapping her fingers.

Dust's body is lean muscle all over, packing strength and flexibility across her lithe and feminine form. In addition to standing taller than most, at a lofty six foot, she possesses a swift movement and demeanor that can often intimidate those who just watch her movements. Everything has a purpose, as she was trained to possess, and although she doesn't want to intimidate those around her, her mien has a way of producing that effect. She moves in such a way because of her training in Sublimity, which is where her physical control truly shines. Those who have the honor of watching such a graceful combatant, especially her, will often either flee for their lives or be dead before they can talk about it.

The fine sheen of Zurine constantly adorns Dust's torso, layered in such a way as to provide protection for her center of mass and line the important parts of her limbs. Thick strands of Ferrelegni are wrapped around each other and woven beneath the Zurine, serving as a bolster to keep her armor attached and a second layer of protection to cover the third; some Aerelium male that can sometimes be seen through the second layer of protection. Besides that which serves as the main bulk of her armor, crimson Crysteel adornments can be seen layered upon her hips, shoulders, and other extremities she can easily twist into a defensive position. That which is not covered by Zurine is instead covered with the hide of a white Hydra, including in the space between her pauldrons and Zurine Gauntlets, and between her Crysteel hip-plates and Zurine boots.

Though she does not often need to travel, Dust will carry any equipment in packs wrapped around her waist, so as not to throw off her center of balance. However, she does carry a set of armor and weaponry maintenance kits in a sash around her waist, along with a fresh set of underclothes and a few days' worth of rations. Despite being trained in many forms of combat, she cannot carry all of them, and usually only takes out a few at a time, but recent events have caused her to constantly carry a couple of Zurine daggers, one a punch-dagger, strapped into her boots, a Zurine arming sword attached to her hip, and a Ferrrelegni
English Longbow strapped diagonally to her back. The ammunition, a few quivers of broadhead arrows, are held at the opposite hip to her sword. A collection of fieldpoint arrows are held with her other general equipment, for when she needs to practice, which is a lot of the time.

Background: Dust was born of a working woman, but put out to the streets once past the initial infancy, for Ms. Gryphus simply could not pay to the feed a child, and such interruptions one would provide for her line of work were far too crippling to the business as a whole. Although initially confused by the sudden change of environment, the watchful guild known as the Sand Hatchlings snatched her away before she could become a victim of the streets or starvation. But, only a guild in name, they were but one group of children and teenagers in a battle for food amongst many who had no parents to let them survive, often housing themselves in abandoned basements or half-ruined buildings where they wouldn't be kicked out for vagrancy. Whichever strong few survived into teenagehood were sometimes lucky enough to be picked up by one of the Velchis mercenary groups.

The Sand Hatchlings were perhaps not as vicious as some of the other desperate groups of children, seeking to find their coin by digging through the dirt or working for the blacksmiths, instead of killing other people robbed of all hope. Their hearts were perhaps a bit too golden for the life they lived, however, as the infants they took in proved too draining, and the attacks they suffered from in their little home on the outskirts of Velchis too damning to their stores. Somebody needed to help them get through, teach them how to protect themselves, and one such teenager came from another gang to do just that, calling herself Jab. Although she scared "Nim", as it was all she remembered of her name, this teenager helped them to become a group of violent children...but one that could survive nevertheless. Because of this, they were no longer allowed to stay in the basement of Ms. Gryphus' special hotel on particularly cold nights, despite how much she'd cared for them before. They'd survived, but were just like the others.

It saddened Dust immensely, that she might not get to see Ms. Gryphus again, but she had to protect her friends anyway, and quickly became the most competent member of the group. She hadn't killed anyone yet, but Jab had been hired by one of the mercenary groups and the Sand Hatchlings put Dust as their new guild leader. It didn't last for long, as tragedy struck Ms. Gryphus and her "family" thanks to a group of rowdy gentlemen that murdered the former where she stood. Dust was grief-stricken as soon as she heard, and devoted herself to something she had never considered before, the next night. Though Ms. Gryphus' house went on, and the men returned, the eight year old with a stolen knife was the last thing they expected to see.

Dust returned to the Sand Hatchlings covered in blood and bruises, but victorious, for whatever such a victory was worth. The guild members named her Dust for all those she left in it, but word of the deed soon spread around and a distinguished man of gleaming armor and rippling muscles soon visited their abode on the outskirts of Velchis, looking for the person responsible for the slaughter, and soon found Dust with the direction of her friends. He offered her the chance to get out of the life she'd been living, and harness the potential she possessed for something greater, so she could be greater herself. It was with much reluctance that she left with him, mind vulnerable from the act she'd committed, yet still loving of the other Sand Hatchlings.

[Placeholder: Dust trained in the Sublime Way with the man until she had matured into a woman, being indoctrinated into thinking she was a weapon to be used for battle, but he made the mistake of taking advantage of her state of mind and tried to command her into laying with him; she killed him, because weapons don't do such things. She found a mercenary group and joined with them, until another attempted to take advantage of her servant's mind and she killed all of them, too. It happened again twice, until she reached the age of 25 and an enlightened master of the Sublime Way saved her from that life with enlightenment and tutelage. He wasn't able to make her a person, but he did break the slave conditioning and sent her on a journey to discover herself and her true role in the world.]

Talents: Fighting is all Dust knows, and the extent of her abilities, for she does not possess social graces or any particular trade, save for maintaining equipment. She is very skilled with the Sublime Way, how to carry herself in battle, and constantly practices archery, but is nearly useless as a leader thanks to not understanding any tactics beyond what she alone can do.

Legend: Marcell, Stalwart Guardian

Garet January 29th, 2013 5:33 PM

(Testing. Does this show up?)
Here's my SU, which isn't finished yet.

It is done!

Name: Jared Ti'Hannan
Race: Aelos
Age: 22 years
Gender: Male

Personality: One of Jared's more notable characteristics is his exceptional intelligence. Jared comprehends gramarie at an advanced level uncommon to other gramarists. He won't hesitate to propose gramarie as a solution, assuming that he sees the problem as something that could be solved with such. After growing up with gramarie, Jared takes it for granted, and he often gets frustrated if one of his workings doesn't work. Regardless, Jared would welcome almost any challenge for his intellect.

However, despite his understanding of gramarie, Jared finds it difficult to teach another gramarist. He normally shies away from positions that smell of 'tutor' or 'mentor', believing that his impatience would scare off a potential student. Another side to this is that Jared doesn't feel like he can find the right words to explain what he knows to another person. Over the years, Jared acquired a tendency to not really try to explain anymore, especially when he knows that the other person isn't a gramarist.

Jared is generally polite and friendly around other people when he isn't preparing a working. Respect is something that he tries to show, but he has a problem with respecting someone who provokes him or interferes with one of his more important workings. If the offense is particularly bad, then Jared usually takes the time to get back at the offender in some way. He values honesty in himself and others, and his comments are often blunt or tactless. This has put a social distance between Jared and select other people, but he doesn't care to establish false friendships or alliances. Politics are better left to those suited for it, not for an aelian gramarist that feels more comfortable in preparing a working.

Gramarie isn't Jared's sole focus in life. He finds the prospect of venturing into the world attractive, even if all he does is travel to another location to assist other gramarists or research an area of gramarie in the field. Jared won't restrict himself to workrooms or libraries; doing so would leave him itching to take to the skies. Flying is often the only time Jared can find to leave his cares for a time and let his mind drift.

Appearance: If one were to speak casually, Jared could be called a shortie. He stands at about five feet, with a slim build that is fairly fragile when compared to other races. However, Jared is also an adept flyer and has comparatively strong muscles. It isn't difficult to read the emotions in Jared's amber eyes, no matter his expression. He keeps his stiff navy-blue hair a few inches long, to prevent it from growing into curls. His feathered wings, with a wingspan of nine feet, are also navy-blue. Jared's tanned skin is mostly clear except for a small linear scar under his left eye and several smaller scars on his hands and fingers.

Though he denies following a fashion sense, Jared's preferred color-scheme is blue and gray. On a day-to-day basis, he wears a dark-gray Calian silk shirt and trousers, a leather vest dyed light blue, and black leather boots and belt. Inside the vest is a layer of quality aerelium with a protective enchantment to prevent degradation; his shirt and vest have additional holes to allow for Jared's wings. Jared's belt holds two pouches, one on each side, that were modified by a yggdratect to hold up to 8 cubic feet worth of supplies and objects each, though they're not often full to the brim. When it's necessary, Jared has a case that can strap onto his back for carrying a few staves.

Background: On the winter solstice of 1508, Jared Ti'Hannan was born into the family of a Calian silk merchant, Kalden. Jared's elder brother was expected to take control of their father's business and was tutored accordingly, which should have meant that the fourth of six aeloi children could pursue almost anything he wished to. That was before Jared's mother, Mildred, discovered that he and his two-years-younger sister, Coren, were interested in the gramaric devices found in the mansion. Being a gramarist, Mildred began tutoring Jared and Coren in the basics of gramarie. At the same time, Jared found flying to be exhilarating, and he took several opportunities to escape the confines of his mother's supervision and fly above the surrounding city. When flying outside was impossible, or unappealing, Jared spent his free time exploring the family's mansion with Coren; there were several rooms that had been declared "off-limits."

At the age of thirteen, Jared found an advanced set of gramarie books in the mansion's library, which allowed him to look into each of the disciplines. He delved into arcanodynamics and heuristicism, while Coren took an exclusive interest in yggdratecture. They wanted to go beyond the pace at which Mildred taught them, but they would need a workroom of their own to do so. When they found an "off-limits" room that didn't appear to be used for anything other than storage, Jared and Coren began a few of their own experiments; naturally, there were minor accidents mixed with some burns and cuts. Half a year went by before Jared's ambitious project - creating his own automaton - fell apart and drew his father's attention. He had to take a few days off for recovery purposes, which gave Kalden enough time to seal off the makeshift workroom. Mildred later provided Jared and Coren with specialized mentors, since her only specialty was kaleidomantics.

As he grew older, Jared began attending social events, often because of Mildred's unwanted promptings. He didn't care much for politics where it concerned Kalden's mercantile business. Jared still preferred to fly over Calis and, sometimes, the Zephrian Forest. All the same, his mentor, Julian, often took Jared to several locations in Merindor as part of his teaching, where they observed or helped prepare various arcanodynamic and heuristic workings. Julian was of the opinion that Jared needed hands-on experience in order to be a competent gramarist.

Through social gatherings and his travels, Jared was able to become friends with other gramarists of his generation, some of which were sons of other merchants. It didn't take more than a couple years for Jared and Coren to begin collaborating with each other and their friends in conducting their own gramarist experiments and whatnot. They were more careful this time with choosing a workroom that wouldn't be easily discovered; Coren helped establish a few with her yggdratecture knowledge. Of course, Jared didn't have as much free time anymore, so his projects advanced at a gradual pace.

Jared was nineteen when he was enlisted in helping with Kalden's ornithopters, which were used for transporting his business' merchandise. It seemed that a few of the ornithopters had been damaged by natural factors and needed their heuristic circuits to be updated. In the month of Itana, Jared was aboard an ornithopter as it sailed to Tyrovion with a cargo-load of Calian silk, making sure the circuits were working, when a group of flying monsters attacked the ship. The monsters distracted many of the crewmembers, and Jared was left in the engine room. He was present when a 'worker' walked in and tried to sabotage the eldrikinetic engine. Jared kept him occupied with a brief fight long enough for others to come and subdue the saboteur, then was forced to submit to a healer's care. The gramarists on board kept the engine and circuits together long enough for the ornithopter to dock and get proper repairs.

A covert investigation revealed that the saboteur had been hired by another Calian merchant, Alden Leonhardt, though intentions were still unclear. Jared didn't care one whit for what any of this meant for Kalden, but he was requested to talk to one of his known friends, Viktor Leonhardt, to see if he knew anything of his father's plans. Even if Jared had agreed to do so, Viktor 'conveniently' disappeared before he could have been questioned. Ignoring the fuss over the attack on Kalden's ornithopter, Jared continued his own gradual project of building his personal automaton. Still, it was about this time that he began wearing vests with aerelium, in case he got into another fight.

The aerelium vest saved his life when a would-be assassin attacked Jared and his mentor one night in Mingyang, several months later. Julian's expertise had been requested for an arcanodynamic research project, and he had brought the twenty-year-old aelos along for the ride. The assassin slashed Julian with a dagger and attempted to do the same to Jared, but it glanced off his vest as Jared backed off. After retaliating with raw gramaric blasts, Jared and his mentor returned to the inn they were staying at; Julian died a few hours later due to a poisoned cut. The attacker, dead after Jared's retaliation, was identified as Viktor Leonhardt.

The shock of being attacked by one of his 'friends', combined with the death of his mentor and the fact that he'd killed a person, drove Jared into a state of depression. Though others attempted to fix this, Jared spent much of his time secluded in his workroom. About three months passed before he emerged with a new personal automaton at his side; it didn't take long after that for Jared to supposedly leave his depression behind. During the next year, Jared became more focused on gramarie and learning to fight with a staff, with plans to become an adventuring gramarist. Politics and the city life were now too much for Jared Ti'Hannan.

Talents: Being an aelos, Jared's senses are more perceptive than those of other races, and he is an adept flyer. He has basic knowledge of the gramarie disciplines in general, and his specialization is in arcanodynamics and heuristicism. Jared also knows, to a limited extent, how to fight with a staff; he's at least able to defend himself against normal, basic attacks.

Legend: Kyre, Transcendent Archmage

Roleplay Sample: From the roleplay The Children Are Hunted as the character Stryker.
Well. This was an interesting turn of events.

He'd been watching the main entrance to the technology division building, waiting for this man to come out. The human was known as one of the scientists for SRI's technology divisions, and he wasn't real remarkable if you considered his appearane alone. He was average height, average looks, straw-colored hair and glasses, seemed a little on the skinny side. From what Stryker had gathered, this human was particularly cruel with the few Pokemon under his command, even if those few were enough to indulge in the occasional battle and ward off past attempts on the man's life or possessions.

After learning that Stryker was hanging around near Menlo Park, some days ago, the local RDM had approached him with the task of...relieving this man of his Pokemon, with assistance available upon request. It was mostly after observing and, after a brief brush on the sidewalk, bugging the human that Stryker had learned about some interesting gadgets and technology in this particular division of SRI International. Of course, the priority was to liberate the human's Pokemon, but Stryker had expanded his reconnaissance to include tracking the man and learn what was inside the building.

It was night, a few hours after the sun had set, when Stryker spied his target leaving the building. He'd actually planned to act tonight, but he paused as he realized that...the human was arguing with another man who'd accompanied him outside.

"--sider doing such a thing! I thought you were smarter than that!" That was the second man, red in the face as he was shouting at the first, who followed almost like a loyal Houndour.

"Are you even listening to me, Travis?" the first, Stryker's target, shouted back. "The Knight I talked to had a very good point, and I didn't really need to keep any useless Pokemon around!" He trailed off with a comment that Stryker couldn't quite hear from his position.

Travis whirled around to glare at the other man in disgust, letting loose some words that Stryker winced at. "That's the problem, Zach!" he exploded. "Why anyone would release their Pokemon for money is beyond me! Especially when we work here!" The scientist through out an arm to point at the building the humans had just left. Travis then turned on his heel and marched away, fuming, while Zach shook his head and walked back inside. The man didn't bother to look up at the Noctowl, partially hidden in the tree's branches and shadows.

Interesting indeed. So someone of the Knights of Valor was around. Stryker turned his head to follow Travis for the next few seconds, confident that neither human would suspect his illusion. He'd been sitting in this tree for the past few hours, after all, and no one else had tried to bother him. Moments after both humans had disappeared from view, Stryker spoke to the Pidgey sitting above him. "Need ya to keep an eye on things while I'm inside that building. Once I'm out, report back to your superior that Mr. Zach has an accomplice, Mr. Travis, who might need to be watched."

"Yessir," the Pidgey answered, bobbing his head. Unlike the Noctowl that Stryker appeared to be, this was a real bird, and a less-experienced member of the RDM. The Pidgey then opened his wings and flew out of the tree, easily keeping an eye on Travis as he stalked away on the sidewalk. Stryker turned his attention to the building that represented one of SRI's main divisions on this campus, checking that no other human was coming out.

A brief wave of magenta energy flowed over the Noctowl as he left his branch; moments later, Travis the human was striding away from the tree, brushing off the sleeves of his brown overcoat. Stryker didn't understand what the scientist thought about wearing such a garment half the time he'd seen him, especially since it wasn't winter. Still, it was an excuse to hide his tail under the illusion of the coat...assuming that the tail had decided to be visible this time around. Stryker hadn't quite perfected hiding his tail in his illusions.

He pulled the door open and walked through, looking as if he was supposed to be there. The few humans in the building hardly glanced at him as he found his way to the elevator, where Zach was waiting for the doors to open. The human was openly surprised when he found Travis standing beside him. "Travis? Why're you back in here?" he asked, still a little angry.

"Forgot a couple things," 'Travis' answered in a grumpy tone, not looking at Zach. As the doors opened, and the two of them entered, he watched Zach press one of the buttons before asking, "Have you been feeling well lately?"

Zach blinked, surprised again. "I guess," he said, "but wh--" His eyes widened slightly before shutting as his legs gave out from under him. 'Travis' caught the human easily, hiding his Toxic claw underneath at the same time while it still glowed a deep purple. In the seconds before the elevator doors opened again, Stryker had grabbed Zach's ID card and forced a dose of antidote down the human's throat. He didn't need to leave dead, poisoned bodies lying around, and the human had seemingly released his Pokemon already...though someone had beaten Stryker to the punch.

It was a matter of minutes before he found the lab-room with all the technological stuff he was after. No one else was in the dark room. Stryker cast out an illusion over the room, mimicking the entire layout. He eased his backpack off his back and began grabbing what he needed, noting that his illusion held. The camera in the room would show 'Travis' stuffing objects into a backpack...yet those same objects appeared to be on the tables still.

Some of it looked interesting, some of it looked boring, and some of it looked like what a friend of his - another Pokemon - had been looking for. Stryker didn't feel any qualms about stealing from humans - stealing Pokemon's freedom and sentience was commonplace for them. Still, he didn't take more than what he would use himself or give to his friend. After doing his job, he nodded to himself before turning to stare directly at the camera, smirking as he let his appearance flicker, showing the Zoroark underneath for a half-second. It was surprisingly easy to leave the building as 'Travis'. The illusion that everything was still in the lab would remain for the next fifteen minutes before disappearing.

Some time later, in an abandoned house, Stryker was sorting through what he'd stolen when he heard a chirp from the broken window. Looking up, he saw the Pidgey, who said, "They wanna know your report."

"Just that my target was already persuaded to release his Pokemon," Stryker answered, standing and stretching. "Sounded like a Knight got to him first. They know about my target's accomplice?"

"Yes," the Pidgey chirped. "Message for you, too, from your own superiors. They have someone they need you to keep an eye on. Top priority."

Stryker frowned, his eyes narrowing. It wasn't often this happened. "Where?"

So...I'm pretty much assuming a few things about an aelos' wings. It seems like something that would fall under Question 8.
Okay, thanks for the tips.

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