Hiding in the open
The definition of what exactly constitutes a normal human being has always been subjective, but none the less a commonly accepted average has always existed. Anything that goes beyond the norm or handles things that the common human can not explain is for the most part shunned. And if they are different enough to be feared, measures are taken to remove the cause of that fear.
The year is 578 of the 2nd Era, and the fear of supernatural creatures is at its peak in the kingdom of Caelum. In the capital, Asticus, preparations are in full swing for the Festival of Spring. As such, more members of the Inquisition has begun to flood the streets, and they're more vigilant than ever in their search for things that surpass the ordinary. It is a very bad place to be when your powers begin to manifest, but it is also a good place to make some easy money. Whether that's by stealing it, or preventing other people from doing so.
The mountains to the north is an uninhabitable place where very few villages have managed to survive, and provides a wall against the northern sea and attacks from invading forces and pirates. Near the western edge they give way to the desert, which span the majority of the land towards the southern border, passing the capital by only a few miles. To the west, beyond the dessert, lies a great swamp through which very few have travelled and survived, and it provides a valuable border to the neighbouring countries. The lands surrounding the capital, and stretching to the south and east are a mix of farmland, forests and grassland, and provide the majority of the food and wood used in the cities. There are three major cities, of which Asticus is the largest, though outposts and villages can be found in all corners of the land.
Situated on a large hill, near the western edge of a great field and only a few miles east of the great dessert, Asticus is the capital of Caelum, and the place to be if you want to make your fortune.
The High Academy:
The university and school complex of the city. It offers courses such as architecture, law, theology and medicine. Members of the nobility have a reserved spot in there, while regular people have to submit for a test, on which just few are approved. The High Academy is also known for preparing the best fighters of the kingdom, great knights and soldiers. However, the government secretly also trains spies and supernaturals, what is hidden at a top secret level, for pressure by the church. There is also development of chemistry and alchemy in secrecy. The building is largest of the city, being consisted by a castle with many towers, that surrounds a grass field. It is even larger than The Royal Palace.
The Royal palace:
A luxurious building made of brass and gold in the highest point of the city. From there the king and his auxiliars have a perfect sight of what is happening underneath. It has more than 40 rooms and the family of the king occupies just six of them, while the others are reserved for officials, some employees, guests and for other purposes. There is a great library and a small church inside the palace. It is speculated that there are many secret passages that led to rooms in the basement. However they are just speculations and nobody even know if it is true or what they hide. The dining room supports 300 people and is regularly used for government meetings. A judge room exists for special cases. Outdoor there is a great garden with imported and unique species of flowers.
The Grand Cathedral:
Considering that Caelum is the most Catholic kingdom of the world, the Grand Cathedral, situated in its capital, Asticus, is also the largest religious building done by humans in the continent. However, there can be larger religious buildings from other species in some kingdoms... Its ceiling is 100 meters tall and its bells in the edge echoes for all Asticus every hour. There are not many details in the walls - they are just white, beige and light blue. The church itself is very rich, but its treasures are not shown to the people. It may be located in some place inside the Grand Cathedral complex.. The leader of the church, called the Great Bishop, has even more political powers than the king, and has its own troop, the Inquisitors. He meets the king constantly.
Though many squares and marketplaces exist in Asticus, the central one is the one that sees the most traffic. It is where festivals are held, and is situated right outside the grand cathedral, only a few blocks away from the walls surrounding the Royal palace.
The church has been around for almost 600 years at this point, and have almost completely managed to root out any remnant of other religions, though some may remain in remote locations or other countries. They worship the one God, and believe that they were created in his image. The Inquisition in the military branch of the church, and its knights are fearless in their hunts for enemies of the church. They are driven by their belief that they were created in the image of God, and that all other races are servants of the devil.
The church is lead by the Great Bishop, whose main place of residence is the Grand Cathedral in Asticus.
There was a time when humanity lived side by side with other races, though their greed and fear of the unknown began to put a stop to that long ago. It was not until the church worshipping the one God sprung into existence that people began to actively persecute the other races, and their numbers began to dwindle rapidly. All creatures that humanity cannot explain are assumed to be created by God's enemy, the devil, and as such it is a sacred act to kill them. Mutants are believed to be humans who've made deals with the devil and been given powers to do his work, a belief that holds firm despite many attempts to prove the truth. Humans are much more numerous in Caelum than in any other country, and as such it is the place the numbers of supernatural creatures have dwindled the most. In other parts of the continent one can still find villages consisting of only supernaturals, though those places have diminished over the years.
Race: Human – Mutant
Profession: She works in a bookstore near the gates to the city, just off the main road. She helps an elderly man who's owned the store since he was crippled in the war and couldn't fight anymore. Zillah takes care of whatever he needs help with, keeps the income book and stack books on the shelves.
Mutation/power: Zillah has the power to turn into a dark smoke-like substance that can slip through any space at will. Very few things can harm her when she is in that state, though she can't stay in it too long. And when she shifts, she has to change her whole body, she can't change only a single body-part. Her power has affected her physique in such a way that she's stopped ageing, though it has no effect on her healing rate. The transformation only takes a second. Animals can sense that there's something odd about her, and so they usually give her a wide berth.
Physical Appearance: She looks like she's in her late twenties, with shoulder-length dark brown hair and tanned skin. Zillah's got light grey eyes, an athletic build and an oval face. She usually keeps her hair tied back. Approximately 175 cm tall.
The second outfit from the right. When she travels she usually adds a pair of leather bracers and one of her two cloaks, as well as a leather pack. She's got one dark brown thinner cloak that's made of a rather water resistant material, and a thicker grey one made of fur.
Weapons of preference (if they use weapons): Recurve bow and arrows, though she doesn't carry them around all the time. She keeps a small stash of throwing knives in the folds of her clothing.
Miscellaneous: She always carries bandages, needle and thread with her in a small pouch attached to her belt. She also keeps a pouch of money in her boots in case she should loose the one on her belt.
Personality: She's kind and considerate to those she knows, though she's very melancholy in private. She usually seems quite cold around strangers, though she's a very good actor when she wants to be, and she has trouble trusting people. Zillah doesn't blame all of humanity for the way she's treated when people finds out about her, though she often feels as if though she should. Though her body might not show how old she is, it's apparent in the way she acts.
History: Zillah's parents were blacksmiths living in a small village in the border country, and until her powers began to manifest she didn't have many troubles in her life. She was twelve when she first turned to smoke and slipped through the cracks of a door. Luckily, no one else was around when it happened, and she managed to keep it a secret though she was shaken up for days afterwards. She was nineteen when raiders burned down the village, and her parents became casualties. She was forced to use her abilities to escape, which made her a target for the inquisition who'd arrived to try and save the village.
Zillah spent several years on the road, only barely escaping the Inquisition, until she finally managed to fake her death in a house fire. She discarded all of her belongings in the fire, which caused the trail to go cold for the knights of the Inquisition. At the age of 35, at which point it was obvious that she'd stopped ageing, she travelled to another city and joined a mercenary band, as she'd learned how to fight during her time on the run. She got along well with the other mercenaries, and against her better judgement she got romantically involved with one of them. This blew up in her face when they were hired by the Inquisition to aid in a mission, and one of the knights recognised Zillah. The knight attacked her, forcing her to use her powers, and in the resulting skirmish someone knocked over a lantern and the building burned down. Her partner was one of the casualties, and weighed down by guilt Zillah once again fled, and the knights pursued. It took a long time, and many close calls, before she managed to evade them yet again, and at the age of sixty the mutant settled down in the country's capital. There she took up work helping out in the bookshop, and she stays mostly by herself whilst avoiding the local chapter of the Inquisition, though she gets along well with the owner of the book store and his family.
Name: Ontrei Arnesson
Race: Human – Mutant
Profession: Guard. He works for the guard in the city, and is usually patrolling the outer walls or standing guard by one of the gates to the city.
Mutation/power: He is able to detect and escape dangerous situations without actually thinking of a way to do it. He's always been able to do that, but it isn't something that has actually registered in his mind as a power. Ontrei can also create optical illusions, though the larger and more detailed they are the more difficult they are for him to keep going, and prior to the beginning of the rp, he's never discovered that he has this ability.
Physical Appearance: Blonde, rather muscular man because of the regular sparring he does with the other soldiers. 170 cm tall, green eyes and light skin tone. He's got a square face with sharp features. His hair is usually cropped so that it doesn't get in his way or makes it difficult to put on his armour.
Clothing: For armour he uses what all the guards have; a chainmail hauberk and coif, as well as steel bracers over leather gloves, steel helmet, leather boots with steel shin guards and padded trousers. Over it he wears a surcoat with the city’s coat of arms. When not on duty he usually wears a white sleeved shirt, a vest/jacket of some kind, brown/black trousers and black boots. He also has a cloak for use in rough weather.
Weapons of preference (if they use weapons): A steel longsword and a shield, and though he can use a bow he's not very proficient with it.
Personality: He's a nice and intelligent guy, and is completely unable to lie. His main concern is his family, and he cares little for women. He has no patience for people who don't get straight to the point when they're talking, and he hates bullies, since they're the kind of people who's always looked down on his family. He likes animals, and sometimes feeds strays when he can afford it. He chose to become a guard because he wants to protect people, and tries to avoid violent confrontations whenever possible.
History: His parents were very old when they had him, and because his parents thought they'd never be able to have children, they were overjoyed when he was born. His father was crippled in the war, and so started up a book store when he moved into the city, the same one where Zillah has been working the last seven years. Like most boys, Ontrei grew up wanting to become an adventurer, but when his mother contracted an illness that affects her memory several years ago, he gave up that dream and instead joined the town guard so as to earn money to take home to his parents. Despite the tragedy that's befallen his family, he's lived a quiet life. He's barely spoken with Zillah, because he has very little interest in the book store, and he doesn't know anything about her except that she arrived in the city seven years ago.