Aristocracy Interest Check: Character Introduction
It is the year 2114. In the geographical centre of the city of Haven, the elite few of high-society share in the riches brought about by the success of their relatives before them. Andrew Green, son of Richard Green, the founder of the city, is hosting an extravagant party in the walls of his heavily guarded, even more heavily decorated mansion-fortress. Glasses of champagne and red wine tink together in the bustling halls of the mansion as its wealthy inhabitants exude their equally noxious personalities onto one another, each baring a smile in a vain but entertained attempt to hide their mutual contempt. Yet still, the greedy, conniving pseudo-nobility of the mansion pale in comparison to what can be found outside the walls of its neighbourhood. For beyond the limits of the gated community of Paradise lays the true essence of the city of Haven; once a thriving metropolis, now a decrepit above-ground sewer—half refugee camp and half ghetto. In the core of the city, murderous criminals mix in with their prey, both either born into the piss-heap or stranded in the community to escape the even worse conditions outside. Those rich enough to support themselves and their families in Haven consider themselves lucky to not be one of those who die on the streets each night from lack of food or the deadly whim of some crazed psychopath. The dog-eat-dog neighbourhood calls itself the Gritt, an insult of a name levied against it so often by its onlookers that it has been absorbed and taken upon by its citizens. Mirroring Paradise, Gritt is also surrounded on all sides by a massive wall, the affectionately named the Great Wall. Unlike Paradise Wall, the Great Wall (also called the Big Gate) is meant to keep out things much, much worse than rogues and cut-throats. Because as sad and depressing as the struggle for survival that the Gritt is, the ghetto is nothing compared to what shows its head beyond the razorwire, iron towers and barricades that protect it.
It is there, outside the Great Wall, staring at the battlements of Haven, that you find yourself. You stand far towards the back of an impossibly long line-up, the consequence of your prospective new home also being the new home of seemingly everyone else for hundreds of miles in either direction. Waiting with you are all manner of people, from men and women who look like they're going to fall over dead at any given moment from injury or sickness, to big, prosperous families, their parents shielding their children from the pickpockets also found prowling about, taking advantage of the clutter of people near the line to make their insidious living. Before you can consider the choice to stop wasting any more moments of your precious life inside what was supposed to be the line to haven but looks more line to hell, you are stopped by an armed man in a blue uniform with a very big gun. The brute aims his weapon at you—or at least at the segment of the line you're standing in—from the top of a tower entrenched nearby. Seconds after stalling from the weapon being aimed at you, you hear a voice echoing from the tops of the same tower the blue uniformed man is posted in. A gravely voice speaks to you from the tower, the voice of a sagely and wise man, speaking slowly and deliberately. It is the same message you have heard many times since joining the line, its words being methodically blared over the intercom system across all of the towers guarding the line's perimeter as propaganda. Yet with each new utterance, the meaning of the words spoken has yet to be lost on you. They are so infinitely, completely parallel to what life outside has taught you.
"Havenites" the voice begins, assuming that everyone in the gathered line will be allowed past the check-out at the Big Gate. It is a recorded message, yet has sounded slightly, almost unnaturally different and unique each of the many times you by now have heard it. "Whatever the price of your admission. Whatever the conditions you find inside my city. Whatever authority over yourself you surrender by entering the city's walls. You are making the right choice. You are bolstering the rebirth of humanity, the resurgence of charity and kindness, and the renewal of peace taken from all of you so many years ago. Each of you has a life, a spirit, a being and existence that is integrally valuable and worthy of cherishing. So too do all men, even those too far from Haven to heed its call. So wait. Wait patiently, remain orderly, and keep peaceful as the clock heralding the cure to mankind's sickness winds down. For in joining our community today, you have done your part to further the lives of all mankind tomorrow. Go forth, multiply, and prosper. Richard Green, bidding you a pleasant day."
Aristocracy Interest Check: Background Introduction
Welcome to Aristocracy.
Mankind is generations into the aftermath of a cataclysm that tore apart the fabric of society. A climactic war in 2032, fought between the great powers of the world at that time, has left most of the Earth devastated beyond repair. Entire cities and the whole of their populations were wiped off the map, and organized government fell into non-existence. It was only decades after the event that some semblance of it returned, in the form of Haven, a aristocratic society built out of a conglomeration of towns lucky enough to survive the war with most of their populations in tact. The Havenites took it upon themselves to fortify what the war and the decades of anarchy since had cost them, in both supplies and population, and so set out to construct the Paradise Wall. Within a matter of months, it was finished, albeit in much more humble form than it stands in the modern day. After Haven was fortified, and its inhabitants had scrounged what was left of the towns storehouses for supplies, the Havenites found themselves enclosed in a settlement meant for the sedentary without any of the sedentary's easy pickings. An armed force was in need of founding to search the countryside for either arable land or more settlements to scavenge. In this necessity, Haven gave birth to its first official guard, the Haven Expeditionaries. The Havenites found themselves surrounded by plenty of farm-ready land, as well as four more towns, each seemingly worse hit by the war than Haven's founding three. The populations of these towns had been run off by disease and raiders, leaving much of the resources of the towns behind. This farmland and the outlying towns of Haven would grow to become the Gritt, and the wall eventually built around them in turn called the Great Gate. With no less than two mighty walls now keeping them safe from the outside, the xenophobic Havenites surely had more defence than they could ever need from petty bandits in the surrounding land. Unbeknownst to them, though, there was a far more sinister threat lurking beyond their walls.
The Purists, a cult existing from back before the war, have constructed a number of forts in the land far outlying Haven and its nearby independent towns. Settlements in or near these forts have had their populations either run off or enslaved by the Purists, whom seem to grow in numbers with each passing day. The raids of the Purists compel more and more civilians each passing day to visit Haven in hope of finding refuge from the tyrannical cult. Those enslaved by the Purists are said to have inflicted upon them all manner of torture, forced labour and brainwashing at the hands of their new Masters. For reasons of both keeping their borders secure and stemming the tides of refugees, the Haven Expeditionaries have begun a war with the Purists, attempting to discourage their activity in the region and keep the peace. The Purists have responded with sporadic raids on outlying Havenite settlements, targets which they had before the Expeditionaries' declaration of war chosen to avoid. Haven itself has not yet been struck by the Purists, but rumours persist of infiltrators attempting to work their way inside as refugees, or wipe out the entire population of the city through some biological attack or other scourge. The paranoia, warranted as it may be, has brought about the closed entrances and exits into and out of Haven, and the tighter security around the Great Wall. It will be up to a select few to discover the mysteries of Haven and the Purist Cult alike, and put an end to the bloodshed and unrest that has turned the last known vestige of peace on Earth into a machine to fuel a deadly and destructive war.
...And there you have it. The characters of the story will be linked together in that they will be struck by a simultaneous set of circumstances in the line outside the Great Wall. There will be a level of free roam at certain points in the roleplay, but key events will be driving the plot's characters back together again.
Interest, questions, complaints?