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Old January 6th, 2013, 12:02 AM
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Cirrus
dreaming a transient dream.
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 風見学園
Gender: Male
Nature: Mild

Preamble


(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?!)




Preface


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


Introduction


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.


World


Every horizon hides a new possibility.


Helvenand

=-=-=-=-=-=
Spoiler:

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.

Perinth

=-=-=-=-=-=
Spoiler:

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.

Suimeng

=-=-=-=-=-=
Spoiler:

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.


Zalantira

=-=-=-=-=-=
Spoiler:

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.

Teucrion

=-=-=-=-=-=
Spoiler:

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

Spoiler:

Sidebar: The Church of St. Elendra


History


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.

Customs


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):
Spoiler:
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):
Spoiler:
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):
Spoiler:
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):
Spoiler:
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):
Spoiler:
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.


Magic


"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.

Gramarie


"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.

Specifics:
Spoiler:
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.


Theurgy


"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.

Specifics:
Spoiler:
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.


Sublimity


"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.

Specifics:
Spoiler:
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.


Technology


"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

Spoiler:
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

Spoiler:
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:

Spoiler:
- 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:


Name:
Race: See above; aelos, feiri, maelrio, nyre, or yul.
Age:
Gender:
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.
Spoiler:
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.



F.a.q.


"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...)

Calendar
Spoiler:
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)
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.

Credits


"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.
- Typechart.com, 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,


__________________

~あさきゆめみし君と~




さくらの色 いとしさの花 あさきゆめみし君と
そっとそっと口づけをして 涙あふれてく


pair · in tempore momenti · personal vloid playlist
d.c. ii art assets belong to circus. text: tororo.

Last edited by Cirrus; January 8th, 2013 at 05:21 PM.
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