The training goes well and the other knights are so focused and determined, I almost feel like I belong for once. I still haven't made any friends, but I am honored to serve our kingdom and it's continued survival. There have been reports from the northern frontier that we've pushed the blight further back and even gaining back the ancient city of Talius while towards the east, it seems my brothers and sisters have been having difficulties holding Fort Alagron. I miss you and mom so much and hope to be granted leave soon to visit, but tomorrow I travel east to set up post - my first real mission! Tell mom I love her and get well soon!
The Year is 103 of the 3rd Era, First month of Fall. Ever since anyone can remember, Darkspawn have threatened the very existence of the human race - creatures that are both demonic and alien, that are so blood-thirsty that even the most hardened men have grown wary of the never-ending war. The land focuses around the Capital of Jasiean and minor villages that outline the border and what little is considered safe anymore. The rest of the world has fallen to corrupt and the horde as the Knights fight back for the simple hope of survival - there are no tales of a villain or a god that has cursed the land or some obscure artifact. Just survival.
The humans do have one special advantage though, that brings hope that maybe one day their children will not have to fight and their grandchildren will not cower in fear - Marks. Just as vague and mysterious as the Dawkspawn, babes are born with runic pictures upon their skin that upon puberty blossom into full-fledged magical abilities. Different from the ability to Siphon, these marks provide these rare individuals with the power to summon energy that defies the laws of natural. To this end, The Knight's Academy set in the capital city has drawn upon a special class to help these powerful squires. The program is only ten years old, but people have a new found hope that hasn't been a part of their lives for centuries.
Plot: So here we are. ^^ The plot, without spoilers is this; everyone plays a Knight who bares a mark and attends the special class made for just them. It's meant to teach them how to harness their magic alongside normal knight training as well. Now I'm thinking we'll start after the first two weeks - so everyone knows each others names, but not really not much else (and we skip the whole intro stage and go right into training). Besides that, I've provided some information below for the world and the characters and a sheet you can fill out. Please feel free to comment or ask any questions. =D (And yes, there's more to the plot then just learning to fight Darkspawn - if you stick around!)
Jasiean, once the jewel of the northern plains has now become the beacon and only safe haven for the entire human race. Old stories and history books teach us that there used to be five kingdoms in total before the first Blight; Nevar, the Northern Wolves, Karti, the Eastern Dragons, Berik, the Southern Tigers, Gerlio, the Western Lions, and Jasiean, the Middle Eagles. However as time went by, each kingdom fell one right after the other until everyone relocated to the Jewel of Kingdoms and held their ground there. It has been centuries since those days, but Jasiean still keeps it's banner of the majestic eagle.
Back in the days when the five kingdoms were around and men only had to fight other men, knights were adorned in heavy armor with swords and shields, owned their own horses, and served the lords and ladies of courts. Today's Knights have become something entirely different, evolving to battle against this new threat. With the discovered power of Siphoning, these men and women no longer need to don heavy armor and bulky shields and are more akin to weapon masters of ages past then actual Knights of the forgotten centuries. However some still choose the protection of heavier armors and sacrificing mobility, so in truth Knights come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but there are divisions and ranks within the Order of the Eagle.
The Hawks are the division of warriors, those who are gifted in combat in one way or anything, whether it be from strength, skill with the blade, or the ability to Siphon exceptionally well. They serve as the main troops and combatants against the Darkspawn and often travel within groups beyond living lands into the corruption.
Th Sparrows are the scouts, serving anywhere from gathering enemy movement to heavy spots of Darkspawn. Though they usually work alone, they are often given skills of survival and specialized training that helps them most faster and react quicker to situations, forcing them to think and plan at a moment's notice out in the field.
The Owls are the scholars, the inventors and the physicians - often focusing on mental disciplines and studying anything related to the Darkspawn. They have brought forth light regarding some of the normal behaviors of the Darkspawn, the fact that they can think, and rather useful inventions to use against them - such a crossbows, basically a short bow that needs very little training to shoot.
Ranks Grandmaster (Red) - This individual serves as the King's military adviser and sole commander of the Order's Knights. Master (Orange) - There are three masters, one for each division that serve the Grandmaster in advising the king and issuing out orders and plans of attack. Experts (Yellow) - Nine in total - three for each master. They are equal to squadron commanders, able to lead a third of each division. Journeymen (Green) - Essentially serving as first line leaders, these men and women are most often the one spearheading field assignments, be it research groups or combatant ones. Apprentice (Aqua) - Knights at this level have been promoted to this status by experience in the field and giving a meaningful - even if small - resource to the resistance. Novice (Light Blue) - Most Knights are at this level. This is the rank that gives Knights the ability to venture out on real missions against the Darkspawn after graduating the Academy. Squire (Blue) - Those who've been accepted into the Academy proper, but at still attending classes and training to prepare them for field assignments.
Tradition of Ranks
The Knights are a diverse, multi-talented group and thus have no common uniform or armor they must wear - outside of an arm band. At least during times of duty or service, all Knights are required to wear arm bands corresponding to their rank (such as Squires wearing blue arm bands). They are made of a specially strong silk material that is as strong and durable as hardened leather to keep them from tearing so easily. Each division also has a picture of the bird that represents their division (unless they're a Squire). Normally you refer higher ranks as either [Division] Knight (Owl Knight) or [Division] [Rank] (Owl Master).
Siphoning is the only magic available to those who aren't born with marks and of course to those who have marks as well. The discovery turned the tides from total destruction to being given a chance to survive the oncoming blights. It's the ability to channel the spirit's energy into a physical manifestation, giving the user enhanced strength, agility, reflexes, and an assortment of physical abilities that make fighting the Darkspawn actually possible. A good example is saying that a novice at the skill is able to react just noticeably quicker then normal and swing just that much harder while a master is able to perform inhuman feats such as ten foot front flips without a running start and even reacting faster then any Darkspawn can.
Unlike the ability to Siphon, Marks are not given to just anyone. In fact, one must be born with this gift and it's exceedingly rare, but provides an extreme potential for power over Darkspawn. Marks take on the Aspect of an element, animal, or ability, such as Mark of the Wolf or Mark of Strength. Though even if two Marks share the same aspect doesn't always mean they give their users the same abilities.
No one is sure where this gift came from, but the first recorded use of a Mark is in Year 8 of the 3rd Era by Halcor Brass of the Sparrow Division. Since then, Marks have become more common, but are still extremely rare. Year 91 of the 3rd Era saw the first specialized class for those born with Marks in the Knight's Academy.
No one is sure where they come from or why they seek so much destruction, but these alien monster looking creatures have a myriad of recorded abilities. Notably they are faster, stronger, and more durable then humans by at least twice over, but also possess a basic human intelligence as they have been recorded ambushing Knight patrols and using dividing tactics to corner weaker opponents while using the most skill Darkspawn to deal with more deadly Knights. Indeed they seem to have varying skill levels just like humans do, but don't seem to be able to speak at all or choose not to. No one has been able to figure out how they communicate just yet, but they do follow basic troop movements and at times, Knights have sworn that one or two Darkspawn have been leaders of a particular group.
For the most part, Jasiean follows it's ancestors - swords, shields, armor, longbows, leather ... but some new inventions have come to light that have given the humans are noticeable advantage. Crossbows, an automatic bow that is easy to use and shoot and the discovery of unique clusters of crystals that serve as small, but powerful energy sources. This has given the castle warmth in the form of heaters and light sources that don't need to be ignited with fire. Most notably though the biggest crystals are often installed in one of the massive airships that survey the land from above, making five of them in total. They are propelled by giant fans and balloons to help them stay a float.
Work in Progress.
For the most part, the Heirarchy is straight-forward and simple. At the head is the royal family which includes the King, Queen, and any of their direct children while Duchess and Dukes are always extended family. Below them are the council members that form the King's Table normally referred to lords and ladies. Following them are the Knights of the Eagle Order, by rank and then finally commoners that etch out a living as best as they can - from blacksmiths to inn owners to street cleaners.
King Jacob Darius III - Much like his father, he is a kind and understanding man whom the people tend to love. Some question his soft-hearted nature and wonder if he could truly lead the Knights into victory without the Gransmaster, though the Grandmaster defends his majesty's honor with a quickness that keeps these rumors down to a minimum.
Grandmaster Viktor - Grandmaster of the Order of the Eagle, he is a strong, courageous figure that can still display acts of kindness for the sake of giving his people hope. Almost no one questions his leadership, making him akin to a mentor and father figure to a lot of younger knights. Viktor is a close friend of his majesty and defends him at any chance given.
Princess Taleia Darius - Only heir to the throne since the queen's passing, Taleia is a quite but strong girl that eagerly learns all she can in order to take the throne one day and keep the kingdom protected. Some worry she'll be like her father, but there is a sense of strength in her eyes that makes plenty of others defend her honor.
Master Hugo - Master of the Hawks, he is not only a gifted warrior, but tactician, having successfully warded off assaults of the Darkspawn when out numbered three to one. His right eye has been damaged beyond even those gifted in supernatural healing and sowed shut in such a way as to make it look like his eye is simply closed - a gash across the eye lid. This has given him the nickname as "One-eye Whirlwind" for his grace and skill with the bastard sword (a mix between a longsword and greatsword).
Master Nathen - Master of the Sparrows, he is as quick with his mind as he is with his feet. Able to see the bigger picture, he successfully divides the scouts into various regions and skill levels to minimize deaths even while sparrows go alone among the ranks of the Darkspawn. An expert wielder of the spear, he also wields the power of Siphoning with a mastery that is not often matched.
Master Jasmine - Master of the Owls, she is full of scholarly knowledge and leads most research teams into the origin and study of darkspawn. She was the one to discover that Darkspawn have a basic intelligence and aided in the evasion of an ambush in the Battle of Fort Alger. Though there is still many artifacts and questions to be answered, she has easily seen passed many answers to opening these strange objects and gaining insight to what the Darkspawn are.
Halcor Brass of the 3rd Era - The first user to ever display a mark and it's use. He used his Mark of the Flame to push back the Darkspawn like never before, though he died in the same battle as the entirety of the Darkspawn at Fort Wimel charged him. There is still a statue of him in the Main Hall and it was the first sign of hope beyond Siphoning in ages.
[b]Personality:[/b] (Describe anything you'd like to get a good view of your character and how they react to situations and others. Though it'd be good if they're not loners, as this'll be more or less a team/group RP.)
(Provide the character's background and history. I'd prefer at least 400 words to describe this.)
[b]Siphoning Ability:[/b] (This may be either novice or apprentice level.)
[b]Mark:[/b] (Explain what the aspect allows your character to do. You may choose two different abilities, but feel free to explain it's full potential in detail. Try not to make it overpowering though. Don't forget to name it!)
[b]Special Equipment:[/b] (Armor, blades, maces, whatever. They can have minor enchants if you want.)
The rewards system definitely needs work. The concept of a system that gives out advantages as rewards in a fluid system I think is inherently flawed, as it will inevitably lead to disputes over who gets what for what. Also, D&D style feats seem a bit arbitrary in a play-by-post setting. "Cleave" seems especially egregious, as when logic is applied to it, it results in, "Oh, I'm not skilled enough to swing my sword twice."
My suggestion: forgo the entire thing. It was a well-meaning idea but I personally don't think it bring any benefits to the RP.
That's a completely fair judgement call. ^^ Thank you for being honest and respectful.
I'll be working on a sheet soon enough ^^
As for the reward system, I could go either way with it. I usually tend to avoid things that make it too "game-y" but this doesn't seem that bad. Either way is fine by me I suppose.
Hi, what counts as an "overpowered" Mark? Could you give some examples of acceptable marks so I can scale the power for mine?
I'll get started on a character sheet! Everything looks awesome by the way.
As for the reward system, I'm in agreement with LJCOMICS. I don't think the system would benefit the roleplay and would lead to brief complications later on. I would think 'cleave' or any other skill or magic art can be learned as the roleplay progresses. However, this does place a great deal of responsibility on the player to not god mod.
My opinion anyway, Lydyn ^^!
Originally Posted by spitfire333
Hi, what counts as an "overpowered" Mark? Could you give some examples of acceptable marks so I can scale the power for mine?
Like trying to post a Mark of Time where they can stop time or with the Mark of Fire, being able to call firestorms from the start ... things of that nature. ^^
And the reward system is going away unless popular demand, uh.. demands it back. =P
Edit: Map link added! (It's big, lol.)
Great work so far Lydyn, there's plenty to dig into here. I'll be making a sheet pretty soon too.
Well, that's good ... at least two CS, maybe three. ^^
I've just had a chance to read through everything, everything looks great Lydyn! I'll have a character up today, probably within the next few hours but if not, it'll definitely be done tonight.