For this latest installment of the GM Interview we chatted Kadaeux and Sinistred about Nations Role Playing hoping to gain better insight into this style of Role Playing and the people who GM it. Kadaeux, who is currently working on a persistent world project here is well known for his use of systems in his RPs such as his Aliria Rises RP. Sinistred has quite a few nation RP's under his belt such as his Northern Kingdoms RP. Read what both of them have to say and see if such a Role Play might appeal to you.
We really appreciate all the time that the interviewees put into these interviews, be sure to let them know if you enjoyed it. Want to re-read one of these great interviews again? They are all put into this thread for easy locating.
We are actively looking for GM's to interview (the list is getting rather small) so if you know of one you'd love to see interviewed please PM their name to Lillian Thorne.
Role Playing NewsLillian How long were you role playing before you began to participate in Nations Role playing?
Kadaeux About four years? We were playing a normal campaign when I ended up king instead of rolling a new character we just rolled with it.
Sinistred About two years and a half. I first learned about the concept of Nation roleplays here on this site in fact. The first one I was in was a Classical Age one, ran by Elendra.
Lillian Do you have a preference for either?
Kadaeux Not really, but I enjoy the disposability of characters in NRPs. The story is oftentimes told from dozens to hundreds of perspectives instead of only a handful
Sinistred I must agree with Kad here. You're dealing with a plethora of characters in NRPs, but sometimes that's the same as in normal RP. Personally, I like to spice things up by playing multiple characters. I play and run NRPs because I like the mechanics and the politics participants engage in. Though I find NRPers are very competitive, which is something I'm not really a fan of. That's why there's regular rp: collaborative writing.
Lillian How would you explain a nations Role Play for someone who has never witnessed one?
Kadaeux How would I explain a nation RP? To use a clichéd title, it's a game of thrones. You're not part of a party throwing itself against unknown horrors. You are the ruler of hundreds of thousands you have few heroes and you must play the game of politics, intrigue assassination, and of course. War. Players often get attached to their characters in a normal RP. In a nation RP you have thousands of characters that you can create and discard as the situation requires. From creating a farmer just so he can watch your army passing by and describe it and never use that farmer again. To your ruler who you try to protect from foreign intrigue, or even internal strife.
Sinistred I think Kad covered it pretty much. Like I already mentioned in my former answer, NRPs can get very competitive. In the Game of Thrones, you win... or you die.
Lillian So how are interactions handled? In a normal RP it is character to character but with so many smaller characters do the players interact or simply react to each others posts?
Kadaeux There is really a wide range, at first it's a lot of in-nation business to describe their nations, how it runs, who runs it etc. As time goes on there is often a lot of talk between diplomats or nation leaders. In one Fantasy NRP I was involved in those of us who were "evil players" literally kept secret over 6 months (real time) plans and actions to start a global war against good. And pulled it off completely. The good players hadn't organized into an alliance of their own and had sent off a lot of their troops to help defend a "patsy" nation we were "threatening to invade” You learn quickly that interaction between nations has many steps. From leaders to thieves to merchants.
Sinistred I have yet to pull of such a hat-trick like Kad did. Usually it's very varied. Either players work things out in the OOC, which is easy to monitor in that case, or over pm. Then there are of course those who like to team up and write a collaboration. I myself often do this and use google docs as a medium.
Lillian Do you find them to be slower builds then?
Kadaeux Honestly no. But action is spread out more than normal. Politics and scheming is more important than battle.
Sinistred Sometimes. But that might be because I'm very strict on details.
Lillian So how are such things determined? Is the scheming then done off screen or is it done IC with people being careful not to use OOC knowledge of such things?
Kadaeux It really depends on the scale, the plan mentioned above was carefully not mentioned to any but one of the good players and done off-screen. It was the sort people wouldn't be able to help but metagame to discover. Hints were left all over the IC thread, but discussion of it was a tight secret. But pretty much anything smaller and they are expected to have it mentioned IC. If they want it secret my only condition is that I'm informed what it is when its planned so that, as GM, I can relegate whether it is discovered or not. Metagamers are typically punished by a disaster random event whose effect scales to the seriousness of the offense.
Sinistred Exactly. Metagamers are our worst enemy, and so are whiners. I've known metagamers who, as Kad mentioned, got punished or didn't have their way ragequit from RPs or start an entire flamewar. Those things can kill a roleplay. Therefore I usually check out the players, screen them if you will.
As far as the planning is concerned, I'm counting on the maturity of my participants. So it happens both on as off-screen, I just ask that I'm updated on everything important. If people turn out to shame that trust, I intervene.
Lillian Which brings me back to the construction of the Nations. How are "CS's" for nations determined?
Kadaeux My Nation RPs are build on the system I developed, a nation has so many points to spend on traits that then represent them. These can range from traits like "Loyalty" that make the people much more loyal than normal. Resulting thus in more loyal troops. And there are even flaws, such as Dangerous Cults. In this way I keep the nations balanced in accordance with their size. A player can be a larger nation, and field a much larger army, but the downside is much more territory to defend, more crime etc. A Large nation will spend a lot of time controlling their own borders where a small city-state (tiny nation) can control themselves much more easily, and will fall beneath political radars. (Enforced balance to keep larger nation powergamers from trying to conquer their smaller neighbors without damned good reason.)
Sinistred I don't really use a fixed system. I provide a template, setting and a fixed set of rules to counter OP and then allow everyone's creativity to flow. I carefully read every CS and weed out stuff I don't want in there. You might call that arbitrary, but so far it has worked decently enough.
Lillian How do other GM's handle nations and balance?
Kadaeux Honestly, I have no idea, my experience with other GMs for nation RPs (excepting those who've adopted my system) is that balance etc is very arbitrary. Not necessarily bad. But I couldn't do it that way. It's the structured approach that makes GMing them easier to my mind.
Sinistred The ones I've been in usually employ a trait system and a very narrow pattern. There are so many rules. And they're probably necessary, but I personally find they hamper my liberty, though that's just me. It's hard to just let everyone do what they want, you need to balance things out. Armies and military is always the number one issue I deal with, as there are a bunch of folks out there who want to play with a militaristic super power. But, where's the fun in that?
Lillian So have you done much Nations RPing under other GMs?
Kadaeux Not a great deal, but, maybe 1/3rd? The same lack of structure I mentioned keeps me wary as a player of joining. Those who use a structured approach like mine are more likely to keep my interest.
Sinistred I'm the opposite I guess. I find the entire adhering to an extremely tight structure cumbersome. And I always mess up one or two things.
Lillian How contentious do you find Nations RPing to be?
Kadaeux Hmm, if you mean how competitive, then honestly at times they feel more laid back, in a party environment there is often a sense of underlying one-upmanship in place. In a nation RP the nations are often so wildly different from one another that sense is much lower. But when a conflict starts it can grow to a very competitive environment. Which is why I regulate combat with dice. I take what people are using, what their plans are, and assign them value on a dice and let fate decide.
Sinistred I practically the same system. I listen to both sides ICly then either we decide who wins through discussion and if that doesn't work, I roll dice. Like I already covered in my previous answers, my experience is that competitiveness can kill nation roleplays.
Lillian Is there generally a goal for such RPs or are they open ended?
Kadaeux They're typically open ended, though i'll often throw in a "Big Bad" whose purpose is solely to mix it up.
Sinistred Again I have to agree with Kad. There are several NPC or GM-nations that I throw in my RP just to keep things moving and give me the necessary tools to intervene ICly. It does cause me to have a lot of work but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In my last rp for example I had a huge empire on the brink of going to war with the player-nations to see what they would do.
Lillian So how do you handle things if and when a player vanishes?
Kadaeux RAIDING PARTY! Basically if a player vanishes or leaves, their nation has a doormat to invasion and conquest laid out. Though if they had strong allies sometimes that nation would just be subdivided between said allies.
Sinistred That usually is decided in the OOC. Depends on what the nation was doing exactly. In most cases I'd just *assume direct control* (ME - reference).
Lillian lol, sounds like fun.
Kadaeux Not for that nation's citizens. I ran a Steampunk nations where that happened. A recurring joke of one of the players was a pair of looters carrying this couch they nicked throughout the whole invasion.
Kadaeux It was hilarious, every time her commander turned around, there were these two looters carrying the couch.
Lillian So are nations ever conquered while the player is still around, through game play?
Kadaeux It is possible, but has yet to happen. I typically regard nation-ending prospects as requiring the 'victim players' permission. A couple times when it was planned the RP didn't survive to see it happen unfortunately.
Lillian So what are some of the highlights of one of your more successful nations RP?
Kadaeux Well, there was the clusterf**k invasion mentioned above, that had something like 6 nations invading this one player who'd dropped to claim their slice of land. Another highlight was in a scifi nations I ran, the game basically was headed for a psychic vs non-psychic war. So much happens it's hard to pin highlights.
Sinistred Probably a massive backstabbing betrayal. I'm usually the rooter for the underdog. There was also this one time a player rp'ed as a nation of evil, whiskey-drinking hobbits/halflings.
Lillian What do you see as the best part of nations Role Playing?
Kadaeux The broad scope, you're not toying around with a character and those around him or her, you're defining the future of a nation, engaging in politics and war. You can (And I have) literally created characters just to throw their lives away. Everything is done on such a grand scale, and you're never limited to only a handful of perspectives of it. In a normal RP you're often caught being only able to describe things from the narrow perspective of a character or two. In a nation RP if you need to describe something from the perspective of a character you don't have to try and find someone who fits. You just create them on the spot.
Lillian So you are painting in broader strokes then it seems. Interesting.
Kadaeux Indeed. Often in a normal RP it feels to me that the rest of the world often is only as big as the players surroundings, when they move on the area they left ceases to be relevant. Working on a nation scale, there is none of that. Even your farmers are relevant.
Lillian So how would you suggest someone new to Nations Role playing get their foot in the door?
Kadaeux Sit down, think about what sort of nation you'd like to run, look at the rules, if need be speak to the GM, and then leap across the threshold with both feet forwards and hands tied behind your back.
Sinistred For new players I'd suggest to participate in a carefully planned NRP. So with a fixed template to follow, and a rule-set similar to Kad's with the trait-system. It provides an anchor-point to those new to the genre.
Lillian I think I might be tapped for questions. Anything you wanted to add?
Kadaeux Nothing much, just remember to talk with other players, political talks and that are what fuel a Nation NRP as its one of the limited interactions available between them.
Lillian Do you find the OOC is used more in a nations RP than in a typical one?
Kadaeux *Thinks* Yes, almost certainly. Oh... and don't buy snow globes from strange alien salesmen that appear in random events.
Sinistred I don't think so. It really depends on what rp you are in. For example I'm in one now as a co-GM that is somewhat of a nation-rp, but at the same time it's not and it has the most used OOC I've ever seen. Though I should add in general the OOC of a NRP is more crowded than a 'classic' RP.
Lillian is that a typical Nations Scenario?
Kadaeux It's a running (and gross) gag of mine for Scifi NRPs.
Lillianis afraid to ask
Kadaeux keeps quiet. Don't want to spoil it after all
Featured Interest checks
Title: What Lurks Beyond
Just an idea I've had floating around. Tried running it somewhere else but it didn't fly due to lack of interest, so I thought I'd give it a shot here. so don't sue me.
September 17, 2011: The Assati, in their quest to make art out of the space-time continuum, cause a portal 4.5 meters wide, and 3 meters high to appear 7 miles north of Oxford, England. It is discovered by some students on an afternoon trip, who decide to investigate the portal for science. They check into a local hospital several hours later for light chemical burns and industrial waste poisoning. This sets off alarm bells, and the news goes up the chain to the police. Investigating the location that was named by the students, the police officers find the portal. This immediately goes to the highest echelons of the government, and the British government, in a meeting of COBRA, decides to get NATO involved, since this could have global implications, and they are kinda out of their depth. The decision is made among NATO High Command to organize a research expedition to investigate the world beyond the portal and eventually colonize it, or to make contact with any intelligent life on the planet. It is a brave new world, and with it may come the future of our race.
This is the setting you enter. You must explore this world. Soldier-type people are restricted to NATO countries of origin. Scientists can be most of the world except for China, and should be near or at the top of their fields. Random base personnel are also from NATO, with high security clearance.
So there will be exploration, fighting, an alien world, fun for kids of all ages.
Title: The Town of Haverton
Welcome to the town of Haverton, Mass.
This small town on the Atlantic coast is a bit off the beaten track, but it has its charms. A rich variety of small boutiques and cafes line the main streets, and for those-in-the-know it's quite the hot spot for antiques. Here you will find no fast food joints or chain restaurants, no Walmarts or franchises; one of the oldest of town ordinances actually makes it mandatory that all business within the town must be owned and operated by residents!
Those interested in architecture will find houses and buildings dating back to the late 17th Century and early 18th Century. Willow Lane, just off the center of town, is lined with stately Victorian mansions. One of the country's oldest lighthouses stands atop the eastern most cliff, with tunnels that take you down to where the accompanying Life-Saving house once stood.
And the town is rich in history and legend! Pirates once carved steps into the cliffs so that they might reach the town to do their trading. British soldiers retreated through the town at the end of the Revolutionary War, leaving their mark. The remains of the burned out Victorian asylum still stand just on the edge of the town, surrounded by (heh) legends of mad doctors and rumors of ghosts. Those brave enough to dare the turbulent currents and jagged rocks of the coastline might find many a sunken ship that ignored the lighthouse's warnings. The industries of rope-making and glass-blowing which once made this town great have remained, albeit in a far more educational venue.
Speaking of education, it is thanks to the Hellenbach Academy for Young Ladies that the town continues to thrive in its own quiet way. A prestigious boarding school for girls ages 10-18, it has a great reputation for helping aspiring girls reach positions of great power. High upon its hill, its high walls loom over the town. While perhaps strict by modern standards (the color red is not allowed at all, for example, it being an "adulterous and scandalous color inflaming impure thoughts"), the material needs of the school and the students help to keep Haverton funded.
Sounds somewhat idyllic, does it not? Only the rumors of ghosts may not be just rumors. And there is something strange going on at the Academy; tales of hushed up suicides and strange mid-night gatherings are whispered about. Most recently legends of buried pirate treasure have been stirred up by someone, and the local cemeteries have been vandalized. And there seems to be a tension building in the autumn air...
I figure about 5-8 actors with at least once-a-day posting frequency. I would be assuming the role of Narrator and Extras as far as the overall plot, but "sandboxing" with one another is encouraged. Characters might include:
1) students (both from the town and from Hellenbachs)
2) regular townsfolk (no police officers or government officials)
3) tourists and history buffs
4) paranormal investigators
No paranormal or supernatural characters, please. The story would be about normal people dealing with things outside their normal paradigm. Adult language and situations as appropriate, although any "sexting" should remain private, thank you. Well written romance appreciated.
Criticisms of the constructive sort are encouraged!
Development and launch timing dependent upon interest and feedback.Title: Cult
This idea follows the members of a crime syndicate that is vaguely considered a form of cult that seem immune to the justice system. It is led by an extremely manipulative and sociopathic individual who receive contracts anonymously from “clients” which are handed down to the cult’s members who execute them. At times the members of the cult may seem inhuman, some of them rarely tire when they are tested physically, others seem to use firearms with pinpoint accuracy, and some appear to be able to shrug of injuries that would otherwise certainly stop a man from functioning. Where they acquire these seemingly inhuman attributes is only known to the members of the cult, presumably through some form of false religion or worship. Admission into the cult is very subtle, the leader will usually approach hand-picked people of various backgrounds and ask them to do a job; what the criteria for membership are is unknown.
The story follows a few individuals that are undergoing admission and being approached by the leader. As these new members delve deeper into the midst of this cult they will realize that cult’s influence on the world is more severe than anyone can imagine. But soon they will experience the horror of this never ending nightmare as the will of the cult begin to affect their lives in ways that will ultimately pin them against it.
The story is set in a dark, alternate version of a major east coast city of the United States, and the aim is to keep it as “real” and gritty as possible. I wouldn’t call it a dystopia, but perhaps a form of modern day regression where people are willing to go to extreme lengths for anything; furthermore, in a setting like this life would generally be quite graphic, referring to inappropriate violence and foul copulation.
Featured Role PlaysTitle: Eragon: Destiny of Souls
GM: Ace Riku
It has been over one thousand years since I overthrew those pathetic Dragon Riders, those pathetic fools that's mission was to "keep balance among all of Alagaesia." They were nothing but corrupt, evil hogs bent on keeping magical powers to themselves, using it to enslave the people. I am Obsidius, the current ruler of Alagaesia. Thanks to the destruction of nearly all dragon eggs, I am the only being in all the land with the powers to use magic, with the exception of those wretched elves. You see, magic has an innate power to corrupt, leading one to think themselves higher than all others, just like the elves. The elves believe themselves to be the superior race, I say that is not true. All races should have the same powers, I say magic should be restricted, if not eliminated completely. The poor dwarves, living in their mountains, are often looked down upon by the elves. Even the smelly Urgals, those filthy Minotaur-like warriors stand no chance against the elves. I am not a corrupt ruler, I am merely keeping balance in a way the riders never could. My resources tell me of a small group forming against me, they shall be crushed under my iron fist. I am Obsidius, and I will not be defeated.
Title:The Last of the Wilds
Rhyme of the Wilds
We are legend and lore,
Story and Secret,
Riddle and Rumor.
We are untamed and unique,
Brave and bold,
Tenacious and terrific.
We are free.
We are few.
We are the WILD.
Aye, the folks around here whisper a story, a legend if you will, about the Wilds. No one knows for sure if they still exist, but they are real. Come, sit, have a bit of brew, and listen to an old Irish man tell an old tale.
Long ago, in the deepest glens of Ireland, a group of magical beings lived in seclusion and were shielded by the legends of the land. They lived without worry nor woe, for they were part of the land. They lived for the land, used it, gave back to it, and made it their home. These beings were called the Wilds.
For many centuries, these beings lived without any knowledge of mankind besides the occasional traveler that would stumble upon their homes. They were always friendly to passersby, sharing their space and their food and occasionally trading items. Usually the visitors were friendly and equally willing to share.
Then Franklin O'Neal came.
Franklin O'Neal was a dirty greedy man whom wanted the land that the Wilds lived on. Without concern for the many Wild families or their community, Mr.O'Neal sent hundreds of men to drive the Wilds out and kill all who stayed or tried to fight. When O'Neal's men moved in, many fled deeper but were killed anyway, and only a handful of the Wilds survived.
It has been said that none of the Wilds survived. It has been said that every Wild died that day, now known as O'Neal's Genocide. But some still believe that a group of the Wilds are still living, spending their lives in the same wild way that they were raised with, their parents were raised with, and all the generations before.
Do you believe in the Wilds?
Title: Mystery of the Lavender Pit
Level: AdvancedStarted by MerlotBeauty and taken over but FallenReaper when MerlotBeauty could no longer continue, Fallen has kept the story going and brought her own delightful intensity to the tale. A model for smooth GM hand-offs
Mystery of the Lavender Pit
“This afternoon an entire tour group was found brutally murdered today in the Copper Queen mines. We take you live to the scene.”
“I have not been able to get close, the Bisbee Police have blocked the road and surrounding area a mile in every direction, but early reports say things inside the mines are like something out of a nightmare. Nine tourists entered the mine today, expecting to learn and experience the history of Arizona’s Copper Queen, and instead experienced what I can only imagine was utter horror.”
“Thank, you Bret. We now take you live to the County Courthouse where the Chief of Police Emilio Vasquez is issuing a statement.”
“Rest assured that the Police Department of Bisbee will be working around the clock to find the culprit, or culprits’ responsible for his heinous act of violence and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you.”
“We can now confirm that three of the tourists were, in fact, children.”
Whether by fate or chance, you find yourself in the small community of Bisbee, Arizona. It is a small town, and a cultural cluster-f-ck of hippies, conservatives, Mexicans and the everyday Joe just looking to make their way in a mundane life. Perhaps you have lived here your entire life, or perhaps you are new in town, or just passing through. Either way you find yourself in this town in the wake of a tragedy that has the entire town, county, even the state on the edge of panic; and with good reason.
You do not know it yet, but the world is about to end. It is an inevitable fate and the more you struggle the more you are sucked under. You are trapped. Confused. Helpless. You feel it coming, and though your blood stirs against the will of the Unseen, you suddenly realize that it's all over.
Make no mistake this story will have a theme of horror, very dark fantasy, and mystery. I realize on this site there are individuals of all ages, and while I will keep that in mind, there are some aspects where I will not pull any punches. You are forewarned.
Also, as with the theme of true horror, this isn't the kind of game that you should expect to "win" at the end. Of course, it's all a matter of perspective.
ArenaCongratulations to the Semi-finalists in the Way of the Warrior tournament, Lyzan vs. Melonhead and Guru vs. GrievousKhan. These four worked had to get where they are and have crafted some amazing combat RP to get to this point. Be sure to check out their matches as the talented warriors square off.
Off Topic News
Role Playing Discussion
Interesting discussions are always going on, come join in and chat about our mutual hobby
Antarctic Termite asks exactly what the title of the thread says. Do you ever find yourself with roleplay ideas and no time to bring them to fruition? Come here to discuss this has ever affected you and what you tend to do about it!
RPG has a lovely Gallery section that doesn’t see enough encouragement and attention. If you have some scribbles lying around or some art you’d like to share start up a gallery and show people what you can do outside of an RP! While you are there take a moment to offer some encouragement and insight in another user's gallery, maybe they will return the favor. If you'd like your gallery to be featured be sure to send a PM to either Lillian Thorne or Guru.
Art Gallery: Kaiga (Drawing)
gamerdran is an artist who'd a gallery to share some manga drawings with all. Check it out and be awed by them.
Writing Gallery: Looking for judgement
Ometh is, as the title states, looking for some critigues to their novel. An interesting piece of writing that requires your feedback so they could be better. Do share your thoughts.Official ContestsDon’t forget about RPG’s Official Monthly contests: Artists of the Month & Writer of the Month, the prize is a nifty colored user title not to mention the glory. The contestants work really hard and put out some outstanding work. Stop by and check it out and while you are there don’t forget to vote and comment on the contest entries. The more votes and comments, the more satisfying the victory is! The contests could always use more people. If you want to get involved and send in an entry, please see the Contest section of the site for rules and directions. Remember the more, the merrier!
July's Artist of the Month Winners with the Theme of Old School Disney or Gaming Characters were:
RayCaptain for Casual
Bela for Advanced
This Month's Writer of the Month winners were:
Overlordroo for Casual
The afternoon began so calm and serene as I positioned myself on my favorite chair, the same seat I had taken every time I had entered Kendra's room for the past ten years. Ten years, this quaint bedroom in the back of her attic had served as my second home, where Kendra and I had grown up together. Every inch of the room ignite deja vu, but despite the overwhelming nostalgia, I couldn't forget the reason I'd come back. I hadn't visited this room for what felt like an eternity, though her sudden invitation hadn't surprised me. We both knew why I had been called back. At least, that's what I thought...
"Taryn," She addressed me so cooly, just like any other day. "I'm sure you have alot on your mind. So much has gone on since you last dropped by. So much has changed." Her tone was so mellow, it seemed as if she was apathetic to all that was happening as she sipped from her teacup calmly. I gripped my own cup firmly, so much I half expected it to shatter in my hand. Hastily, I chugged down the tea and slammed the cup onto the vanity beside me, having no desire to fiddle around with the drink during such a crucial discussion. Kendra smirked, no doubt relishing on how brutish I must have seemed compared to how level headed she remained this entire time. A headache began to arise from my frustration.
"Cut the crap, Kendra. The only one who's changed here is you!" And like that my composure began to deteriorate. Not like it mattered; the house was empty save for me and this backstabber. "You and I were inseperable! What happened to you, me and Charlie?"
"Charlie?" She repeated, taken aback, though there was clearly no sincerity in her shock. "You mean my boyfriend?"
I just barely refrained from lunging at her for taunting me so callously. I shot daggers at Kendra as she sat there looking so ironically innocent. "I've had a crush on Charlie for years, Kendra. You knew that too damn well. All this time, I've been working up the courage to finally ask him...and you swoop in out of no where and steal him from me?! I DON'T EVEN-" I stopped before raising my voice any further, feeling the headache intensify. Gripping my forehead, I tried to calm myself. Meanwhile Kendra continued to sip at her tea, and while she tried to keep a straight face a victorious smile perked up upon her lips.
"You never bothered. I thought you might have given up on him. Honestly, did you plan to pursue him in secret forever?" Wincing as her piercing words struck, I found myself unable to fathom a response. Kendra had changed more than I thought. Every second I spent in this little inclosed room with her only magnified the hatred I felt towards my traitorous friend. The bedroom, brimming with childhood memories shifted into a battlefield as I glowered at her further. With a sigh it was clear Kendra disapproved of my rage, as if she had any right to dictate how I felt. Even as I was seeing red, I didn't move an inch from my seat. I was still confident. Justice would be mine.
"You still think you're going to desert all this don't you?"
The sense of conciet I'd been trying to conceal suddenly seemed to leave me. Kendra couldn't possibly know what I was planning. How could she? Everthing was going so smoothly. Keeping a cool head, I tried to look as disinterested as possible. "What are you getting at?"
Before I had even finished my response, Kendra had pulled out her cell and flipped through it, constantly glancing up from the screen to shoot me a look of pity. Enraged, I flinched under her gaze, absolutely infuriated by the seemingly arrogant way she acted. At no point had she given away even a glimpse of losing her cool. But I still had the upper-hand.
"By the time you read this letter, I will already be out of town." My entire being stiffened in alarm as Kendra flatly read from her cell. "Don't bother looking for me. I'm running away with Taryn so we can get a clean start, just the two of us...Oh, shall I go on?"
My mind was bombarded with an absolute blitzkrieg of questions. How had she found the letter? Charlie and I had just finished those last night...so how could she have known about our scheme? Did Charlie know we'd been found out? What could we do? My composure was quickly slipping, as Kendra stared coldly at me.
"You were going to leave me. You planned to steal him right out from under my nose and run off wi-"
"HE WAS NEVER YOUR'S TO BEGIN WITH!!!" We were both shocked by my sudden outburst. I had erupted so suddenly, I just couldn't help myself. My perfect plan was crumbling beneath me. My dream to escape with Charlie was deteriorating before my very eyes. Once Kendra alerted our parents, we'd be locked up for the next millenia. And Charlie would fall back into that backstabbing harpie's clutches. I frantically pillaged my mind for some sort of plan B, but the headache that had been building since I'd first sat down intensified. I flinched back as another sharp pain blasted through my skull. I must have been more overwhelmed than I realized.
Kendra, on the other hand was calmand collected as always. Staring at me with a look I could only discribe as bitter disappointment, she continued. "He was never your's either." She sounded truly irrate as she spoke. "You two would have never worked out. You were never meant to be with him. EVER." She sighed, giving herself a moment to return to her typical calm manner before continuing. "But none of that matters now. Now that Charlie's out of the picture. He can't troubke me anymore, now that he's dead."
I jolted up out of my seat in less than a second. This had to be some sick twisted joke. Why the hell was Kendra doing this? I gripped my pounding head, groaning softly as the pain forced me to take my seat once again.
"Don't stress yourself out! I was fairly quick about it, not messy at all. What's done is done, and you shouldn't let yourself get distraught over that silly, traitorous boy! Afterall, you really should be more concerned about yourself, Taryn."
Goddammit, why did she have to be so cryptic? As my head furiously pounded, I started to wobble, as if losing my balance. Was I going into shock? Had the news of Charlie's murder sent my head literally reeling? As much as I tried to get a grip on myself, my condition only worsened, making me more and more confused. I heard a soft giggle as I fell to my knees and collapsed. The headache had died down, but the dizziness had increased tenfold. My eyes widened as realization struck, and I glanced up at my empty, chipped glass. That where it had began.
"You really should be more concerned about yourself, Taryn."
My heart pounded in my chest as the room spun around me. I struggled to lift myself off the ground, but my limbs had gone to numb to bear my weight. Disoriented and paralyzed, I desperately searched for a way to escape. I hadn't even noticed her walk up beside me, and finding Kendra so close so suddenly left me speechless. Too terrified to even scream, I waited for the worst. Who knows what Kendra had done to Charlie, but I was certain my fate could only be worse. Tears whelled up in my eyes as she moved in closed yet.
Everything, even time itself, seemed to freeze in place as Kendra's lips pressed up against mine. With the drugs coursing through my system I was already discombobulated; what on earth was happening. As she pulled back, Kendra caressed my cheek in her palm. Dizzy as I was, I could make out the endearing gaze she gave me as she pulled my petrified body into her arms. "Don't you see, Taryn? Charlie was just in the way. With him around, I could never tell you how I really felt...about us." She leaned in to kiss my forehead as my vision blurred further. I was finding it difficult to remain awake, but even as I started to fade out of consciousness I could hear her voice clear as day. "I figured all I could do was keep him away from you...but when I found your letter, I leaped at the oppertunity! It's destiny, Taryn! When they read it, everybody will think you two ran off together! They'll never know you never left! They'll never find either of you! You can stay with me forever!" Pulling me into her breasts, I felt tears trickle down onto my face; I her lunacy, Kendra had begun to cry with joy, sobbing as she tugged me closer, burying my face into her chest. The lack of oxygen only made it more difficult to keep from finally giving into the drug. Still unable to muster a sound, I lie helpless in Kendra's arms as she gently rocked me back and forth. Slipping into the black that overtook my vision, Kendra's last words echoed in my mind.
"I love you, Taryn."
PlatinumSkink for Advanced
In a world, where nations crawl with swords, monsters and magic, there was a magical artifact. It was powerful enough to destroy all the opponents of the wielder. Entire nations bowed to its power. To wield the artifact, at least four people had to cooperate and gather their magical power. Five great nations, Umagaland, Resavile, Yllarivia, Avalice and Erapan, all aimed to claim this artifact for their own. Wars have been fought. People have suffered. Now, a solution is sought.
The five nations have decided that, to collect the artifact and move it somewhere safe, they would each send a single magician. I, Judge, have been hired as an overseer to make sure none of the five breaks the rules, for I am a member of none of their countries. I am a travelling magician, skilled in my art, and renowned for my teachings. I am a master of binding spells, which will be useful. Without the cooperation of three others, none of them can operate the artifact. I was chosen to make sure that the five follows their directions and do nothing suspicious. They will do the same for me. Spells will be placed to make sure there will only be us six in place. We are to take the artifact and store it in a temple protected by mighty magical defenses, only capable of being taken down should magicians from all five nations cooperate.
Problem, all countries are backstabbing bastards. Since I have planted binding-seals on each of them in order to bind them if they cause trouble, I have been confronted by each whom wants to betray the others.
Umagaland is a gigantic republic who holds more firepower than the rest, but could not be brought to win due to the others teaming up. Their pride has a tendency of getting the better of them. Their representative is a young sorcerer-prince called Emilion.
Resavile is a mediocre kingdom which is famous for the greed and treacherousness of their kings. The people starve to allow their nobles to live in luxury. Only way out of misery is military service. Their representative is a robed old magician called Korsel.
Yllarivia is a large and peaceful democracy, but it was forced to pick up arms out of fear of the others. Compared to the rest, Yllarivia is a very rich people with attractive soil, which has made them cautious. They sent their beautiful and revered maiden-witch, Valerina,
Avalice is a kingdom of great honor. Their knights and honorable warriors are their pride, but they have a distinct lack of resources due to earlier wars. This has made them rather edgy. They sent a young girl in armor. Illia is a top-graduate of their magic schools and their finest knight-mage.
The Erapan Empire is a mountain empire, filled with raiders and barbarians. They are savage, and yet their ferocious nature has brought them to be among these five. They sent a cackling and positively crazy shaman by the name of Goghi.
The six of us meet, and we walk towards the site of the artifact. We walk through a valley. Dark clouds bring a dreary atmosphere to our journey. The valley is crooked, and ages-old. Rocks and cliffs scour through it. Walking at the front is the Umaga prince, Emilion, as if it was the only place fit for him. He looks at the surroundings, princely smile shining and majestic cape flowing behind, as he opens his mouth maybe merely to keep control.
“We should hurry up. The destination is merely two miles ahead. We can get there before the rain comes if we move fast enough, but that might be cruel to you old men, wouldn’t it?” He calls backwards.
“You may set any pace you like. In the end, I’m the one incapable of getting tired.” Korsel, the old robed Resavile magician, smiles wryly in replies. On the side, the hunched half-naked and war-painted figure of Goghi the Erapan shaman bends laughing madly at this, as if it was hilarious. On the side the young girl from Avalice, almost two heads shorter than the rest, mutters in an annoyed manner.
“… We’re all powerful magic-users. A barrier to repel rain is about the most basic things anyone can do, since it has public use. There is no need to hurry for that with us here…” Talking silently on the side, Illia obviously found the subject of conversation stupid.
In the middle of the group walks the beautiful maiden-witch of Yllarivia. Valerina. Out-of-place in a beautiful white dress. The most famous individual here, she has been the subject of many a legend. That serene face of hers… she appears calm.
We walk, avoiding small-talk. Suddenly, all of us stop. We sense something.
“Additional humans have entered the artifact zone.” Emilion stated what we all already knew. There were charms to prevent that, but if helped by someone on the inside…
“Someone needs to explain themselves.” Illia murmur, hand of the knight seeking her sword.
I slowly step backwards. While Emilion, Valerina and Korsel look around for intruders, Illia turns her head towards me. Her eyes wonder what I am doing. I sigh. The magical bindings on the four of them awake. They fall powerless to the ground, surprise in their faces. Except Valerina, she’s just calm. A mad laugh is heard.
“Te atriact belong to da Erapan Empire!” The mad, disgusting eyes of the half-naked shaman turn to me. “Good work, Judgie! Yo sha get grante yo own tribe and lead the world by ou side wi te Erapan Empire!” From the top of the valley, many warriors of the Erapan Empire came charging down, all as naked as the shaman. The four all-powerful magic-users lie powerless at my feet, shifting looks at me and away at the warriors. Once again, I sigh.
“You know, Goghi…” I calmly speak. The mad shaman stared at me, still with crazy smile, but seemed to have been tainted with doubt all of a sudden.
“This half-naked stuff isn’t for me. I’m sorry, but I’ll pass.”
I release the seals on the four individuals. It didn’t even take four seconds.
The power output during those four seconds would make any magic-user swoon. None of them had any intentions of being killed by the Erapan soldiers. The destruction... was total.
After a moment, we are once again standing. The valley has been reduced to a plain, the cliffs on the sides had been completely destroyed. The bodies of the warriors lie splattered all around.
“So, your plan was to kill us all with the help of Judge, and then nab the artifact and head home with it so you could destroy us all?” Emilion glance down on the shaman with pity in his eyes.
“Yepp. That was pretty much it.” I nod, and confirm.
“As prince of Umagaland, I hold the authority to vanquish you from this treaty for violating your position, which is all in my strength to do, but…” The shaman fumble in panic as the prince speak. “… I think the humiliation is punishment enough. Come, shaman of Erapan. Your plan has failed, so you may continue to do the duty you were supposed to do on this mission. It really is the only thing you can do to save your Empire after this.” The panic in the shaman was reduced to mere despair. Korsel smiled at Emilion’s handling of the situation. Illia looked disgusted at the destruction. Valerina had already begun walking again. The prince lifts Goghi with a spell while I bind him and we’re on the way.
Old man Korsel steps up beside the shaman. He smiles, slightly amused. “Did you really think our Judge here was that evil?” Goghi could reply with nothing but a stare of despair. “You poor you…” Korsel patted the shaman as if he was a little kid who had just acted cutely stupid.
There it was. The shrine containing the artifact. It looks old. The magical readings are off the charts. And yet…
The magical traps on the building were taken down easily be the combination of five powerful magic-users. Emilion smiles happily as he looked at the group. “We make an awesome team. I don’t think as much power has ever been gathered for a single purpose.”
“Maybe we can arrange something, after we’re all at peace?” Old man Korsel gently suggest. Emilion grins towards him.
“Yeah, we’ll be a famous group! The ‘Sealers of the Artifact’! Most powerful group of sorcerers ever to walk the Earth! Solving trouble and beating baddies wherever we go!” Both the prince and the old man laughs heartily together.
The little girl knight-mage turns and stared intently at them.
“Oy. I never agreed to be part of that. I have a job. You’ll also have a trouble dragging the maiden-witch of Yllarivia with you on your plan…”
“I don’t mind.” The calm voice of Valerina leaves us all silent.
“WHAT” Illia and Emilion says in unison, chocked.
“Looks like this is happening after all! How about you, Goghi?” The prince glance over to where the half-naked man was floating in midair. The shaman cannot respond, bound and in midair beside the prince.
“So, how about you, Judge?” Asks Korsel, smiling at me.
“Uh…” Knowing all of them are planning on betraying each other before this is over, I find myself in a rather weird situation here. “… Sure, I don’t mind. All I’ve been doing is travelling anyway. If you’d have me, I’ll join.”
“Great!” Emilion sounds thoroughly happy. “And with you too, Illia, we’ll be a complete team!” He pointed at the little knight-mage. He’s met with… a blush?
“G-gee!” Illia blushes, turns and walks determinedly towards the shrine. “Don’t get your hopes up! We still have to consult our kings or otherwise leaders about it!” She isn’t against it? And she had blushed when Emilion had pointed at her? Oh… so that’s how it is.
“For our future cooperation, then.” Korsel holds to shake hands with the prince.
“Yes. For our future companionship.” Emilion smiles and takes the hand.
Over there, the girl-mage suddenly froze, and then spins around with genuine fear in her eyes…
“EMILION! DON’T!” Too late. The stunned prince could do nothing against the dark power entering his hand from the old magician. Illia sends a magic missile, but it is beaten aside. By me. I wave my hand and deflected the magic missile. Goghi falls to his feet as I release the bindings. The prince turns towards the two female members of our group. Yes, this was a part. Korsel is a manipulator, and a possessor. Emilion was just possessed. Goghi became possessed when Korsel had patted him. I became possessed when he met with me before the mission.
“There, I have four magicians. I can now operate the artifact. Four of the most powerful magicians in existence on my side. I… win.” Korsel extends his hands, as if feeling the power. Valerina slowly turns around towards us as she sense danger behind her. Illia, realizing what was going on, stares in terror at the scene before her.
Illia takes a step forward, gripping a hand on the sheeted sword on her side.
“R-release Emilion! Release them all!” Korsel just smiles at her.
“No, I cannot do that.” His plan was really simple. Possess enough magicians, take artifact.
“I have no more use of you two. Judge, bind them.”
There was it. The reason why to possess me. Well, not like I can resist. I wave my hand and… eh.
“Nah. Don’t wanna.”
The old man… startled, turns his head towards me.
“What… did you say!? You are thoroughly under my control…”
“I am a master at binding. I have bound your magical energy within me. I can let myself follow your command whenever I want, but I can also take back command. As simple as that.”
The old man stares at me for a moment… then… he chuckles.
“Be that as it may. You are barely keeping yourself under check. You cannot use your sealing on me in that condition. You’ll simply stay there as I bash two powerful magicians with three before turning to you.”
“Oh? You can sense that? Bravo. Though… Not that it really matters. You were doomed to fail from the very start.”
The old man looks at me, slightly hesitant. “What do you…”
He never finished the sentence. An amazing power overflow the area.
Valerina is powerful. By far, the most powerful here. Old man Korsel stares stunned at the amount of magical energy. He attempts to shield himself with shields. No use. With a vain scream, he is engulfed in pure light as he is purged from existence.
The possessions release. I immediately bind Goghi again, and he falls with a comical yelp. Valerina is already walking towards the shrine, as if nothing had happened. Emilion, slightly surprised, smiles again.
“Shall we?” With that, the slightly startled group follows Valerina…
We enter the shrine. It is a huge room, with wooden walls and roof. In the middle of the room, a single big, golden chest awaits. The artifact. The one we were to take out of here and seal. Well. That would have been the plan.
A large barrier stops us from proceeding. Most of us. Emilion, me, Illia and Goghi all hit our heads against the barrier. Valerina walked straight through.
“Valerina! What is the meaning of this!?” Emilion shouts. The maiden-witch of Yllarivia throws a single glance backwards before she tells her purpose.
“The artifact is too dangerous to exist, even sealed. I am to destroy it.” The decision by the cautious Yllarivian majority, and the will of their representative.
“That is against the treaty!” Emilion exclaims. “Judge, bind her!”
Yes, this is against the treaty. I swing my arms, intending to bind her. But… what? The bindings… are not there. The powerful woman… has gotten rid of my binding seals? Woah. As should be expected by the proclaimed deity. She follows no rules at all.
“I’m sorry, Emilion.” I say quietly, releasing all binds. “I can do nothing against her. We can only watch as she destroys the artifact…”
“… Wat, wat?” Suddenly, something behind me made noise. “Yo planni to destroy te artiact? Na, tha yo may not!” A flare of magical energy shot off. It takes me completely by surprise, despite my promises not to underestimate the shaman. Did I release his binds too? “AH NEED THA ARTIACT TO SAVE MA PEOPLE!!”
The shaman breaks through Valerina’s barrier. Riding a dragon of magical energy, the shaman charges the maiden-witch. I couldn’t do anything to stop it. Valerina draws a gigantic sword of pure magic, spins around and slices through the shaman and his dragon, the giant energy-sword burning the shaman to oblivion as his last mad laughter resound through the room...
Valerina is standing there, her earlier calm and serene look roughed up a bit. Her hair is in disarray, and her dress torn. The magical contest between Goghi and her must have been a closer match than I thought. She stares straight at me.
“I will destroy the artifact, and I will destroy anyone who stands in my way. Judge, bind the othe-”
… Well. How do I say this? I kind of knew what would happen.
There was a flash of movement.
There was the sound of flesh being pierced. A woman’s yelp of surprise and despair.
A small human was behind Valerina, and a sword was sticking out of the maiden-witch’s torso. It was well aimed, straight through the heart. Blood was dripping all over the floor. Valerina’s eyes were wide with pain and surprise. Illia had pierced Valerina. It sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But, I knew it would happen. After all… I heard all their plans. The honorable kingdom of Avalice… reduced to backstabbing. I did know about the bad state of the country, but for them to go this far…
“… How..?” Valerina’s weak voice asks.
“Cape of the Unsought. Your magic-senses couldn’t see me.”
“Sword of Avalice.” … Sword named after the nation. No, wait… “… Sword that neutralizes all magic in the individual or item it pierces.” … The nation was named after the sword. They really gave her everything for this trip, didn’t they..?
“… Oh...” It was clearly audible that the voice was on its last breaths. “… I… lost, didn’t I? I… died…”
“Yes… you did.” With that, Illia shrugs the woman off her sword. The mighty maiden-witch falls dead to the floor. Emilion, who had been completely unable to act lately, stares in chock. Illia looks towards me.
“Thank you, Judge, for your cooperation. I will now proceed with the plan to use the Ring of Cravings to absorb the magical energy of the artifact, so I can bring it home and be used as a power-source to restore Avalice from the brink of destruction.” … That’s her plan
“That’s… an awesome alternative!”
“Eh..?” A surprised Illia is approached by Emilion, who has a gleaming smile and excitement alight in his expression.
“What an idea! Artifact of doom as a power-source! It is brilliant! I thought it was weird when a pretty girl represented Avalice, but your determination makes everything make sense! You’re great!” Illia blushes at having herself be praised. Shyness arose within the girl.
“N-no… it is nothing… I’m just… following orders…”
The prince takes a grip on her armored shoulders. Illia is slightly startled. The prince now meets her eyes with a serious expression.
“Say. Would you like to have dinner with me sometime? I can arrange something. I am a prince, after all.” Emilion appears serious. Illia reddens considerably, her innocence emerging. As I if she had not just killed someone. After fumbling with words for a few moments, she manages…
“It… it would be improper to refuse such an… invitation… from someone as yourself…” Aw. You cute girl, you.
“Great! You’re the best~” Emilion says so and bends forward, kissing the reddened girl straight on the lips. He sure proceeds fast. The little girl’s eyes widen in surprise, and her mind goes blank. I look on as the young girl’s probably first kiss takes place. After having tensed up a bit, the young girl seemingly gives herself up to the kiss as her muscles loosen up and she closes her eyes…
… Little did she know Prince Charming here is married.
Next moment, she is gone. Emilion brushes the kiss from his lips. There is no sign that Illia was ever there.
“Teleported her, huh?” I state.
“Yes. She had no place here after this, after all.” Emilion smiles at me. The prince here is a capable teleporter. Illia could not predict this. Resisting the urge to ask where he teleported her, the two of us now walk to the golden chest in the middle of the room. With a smile, Emilion runs his hand along the surface of the artifact. He has a look of victory.
“The plan proceeds?” I ask, smiling at the victor. “You take the artifact back to Umagaland, where you will create world-peace by threatening to blast any war-monger to pieces and take responsibility not to abuse the ultimate power in your hands?”
“That’s the less noble version of it.” Emilion grins at me. “I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you. I’d have had a lot of trouble with Valerina had I not known Illia would kill her.” I smile at him.
“Oh, you shouldn’t thank me yet. Do you know why the artifact is an empty chest?” I open the chest with a heave. The golden chest is indeed empty. Emilion, not understanding, still smiles as he looks between the chest and me.
“We CAN activate it by using the combined powers of four magic-users. However, it can also be done by two. By sacrificing one inside the chest to die to power it.” Before Emilion have had any time to consider what I said, he falls into the chest, bound by my seals. I close the chest as the princeling has an expression of despair within it, he understood perfectly how played he is. I grin to myself. The reason I’m a travelling magic-user is because I was thrown out of my old country. Now, it is time for some revenge.
I power up the artifact. I feel how Emilion’s life is drained within the chest. I’ve won. The power of the chest radiates through the room as I take command of the powers…
… What is this? Oh, it appears there’s a spell on the chest in case someone tried to use it before he got home, as a final precaution. He didn’t even tell me about it. Emilion, you sonova…
A loud magical explosion destroys the chest as well as the shrine and ends my life in a flashy display of fire and light, not seen by anyone.
August's Writer of the Month theme is Travel log and the Artist of the month theme is Freestyle
Completed RP ArchiveFun NewsStormHaiku has started up a Completed RP Archive in the Articles Section as a place to store and read that rarest of beasts: The RP that lasted long enough to have an end! Go poke through and see the few that have made it there. Also, if you know of any or are in possession of some feel free to PM them to StormHaiku so that all may enjoy them.
A bit of fun orchestrated by our newest Comrade: Lyzan
RPGuild: by the ComradesSpoilerNo code has to be inserted here.
No code has to be inserted here.
No code has to be inserted here.
! ! !
No code has to be inserted here.
No code has to be inserted here.
No code has to be inserted here.
No code has to be inserted here.
No code has to be inserted here.
No code has to be inserted here.
All featured RPs and Linked threads have been chosen by random based on the number of responses to the thread and how active they are. If you'd like to have a IntChk, Roleplay, or Gallery featured in the next Newsletter, please send a message to Guru. Your thread may or may not be used, depending on the number of entries and random choice. We are also always looking for banners to top the newsletter.
This Newsletter is brought to you by your Comrades. Enjoy!
Guru, Lillian Thorne, Grif of Hearts, Lyzan
Next Guild News: August, 17th 2012