(NO LONGER ACCEPTING CHARACTERS)
Hi, everyone! I'm LJ, and welcome to The Last Embers-- an RP set in a cold, brutal and unforgiving fictional world.
The story of Embers is set in a steam-punk influenced dark fantasy setting where gods and goddesses are as real and tangible as the people living across the street from you. The themes of religion and persecution will be explored in this story, but the real focus of the RP will be on our characters, a group of young war priests and soldiers sent on a perilous journey across a dead world brimming with demons, preternatural storms, and rogue gods. Those of you who've RPed with me before know that I tend to focus more on character interactions and that I don't really go for the 'gamey aspects' of some fantasy/science-fiction RPs. This RP will be no different. The Last Embers will revolve more around our characters and how the dark journey that they embark on will change them as opposed to us counting skill points and things like that (not that there's anything wrong with that style of RPing!, mind you ).
When it comes to world-building, I favor having an extremely collaborative approach. I love it when my players come up with their own ideas and create their own facets of the world. Now, I won't automatically agree to every single idea you have, but we'll all have an opportunity to brainstorm together and flesh out the finer details of this world. There are big parts of the storyline that I am hoping we can collaborate on together-- like the magic system, for instance.
Now, without further ado, on to the world info!
The First War
Long ago, before the death of the old world, a divine war shook the earth and tore through the heavens.
Two celestial Titans, one borne of Fire and one borne of Ice, clashed for seven days and seven nights.
The millions of devoted men, women and children who worshiped and adored the two Titans perished as their divine conflict brought ruin to the world.
Not one thing mattered to each of the two Titans but absolute victory over the other.
At the end of the seventh night, Ice dealt a mortal blow to Fire, and in its hubris, the cold God stood and laughed as its hated foe's death throes began to resonate throughout the ruined earth. Before its final flame was extinguished, the burning god summoned all of its remaining might and dealt a terrifying blow to Ice.
Letting out a terrible scream which spread to the furthest frontiers of the world, Ice was shattered into twelve great remnants, each of them falling to separate corners of the land. It was then and only then that Fire allowed itself to die.
With Fire extinguished, and the divine countenance of Ice shattered, the world began to take on a cataclysmic change as the great elements were thrown out of their delicate balance.
The fathomless oceans of the world rose up and swallowed the earth, plunging all but the tallest mountains and towers deep beneath the sea. Precious few survived the deluge, and those who did live through this oblivion would in turn face an even greater punishment.
A preternatural winter unlike any before it consumed the already dying world, turning the great flooded oceans and the silent cities beneath them to ice. The last humans and animals left alive fought on bravely in the face of this unholy winter, but in time they too died out.
The world was left a frozen husk, with nothing to remain of the billions of lives that once lived and flourished in it but the ruins of derelict ships half-buried in the ice and the lonely spires of the great towers that once reached toward the sky poking up from the frozen earth.
The divine war between the two titans brought an end to the previous world, and in this frozen and boundless emptiness did it remain until many thousands of lifetimes later, when the Twelve Remnants of the Titan of Ice, now lying spread throughout the regions of the world, suddenly awakened with wills of their own...
The Broken Pantheon
When the Twelve Remnants of the dead god became sentient, they awoke with both a blessing and curse.
The scattered pieces of the Ice Titan, upon drawing breath, discovered that they had inherited certain traits of the all-powerful being who's destruction brought about their birth.
Each of the Remnants found themselves powerful beyond imagining in their own specific sphere of influence, able to bend the fabric of existence to their will (to a certain degree). They first used this power to change their broken and jagged shapes into less damaged-looking forms. Not soon after this however, the Remnants discovered something terrible.
On the first eve of their awakening, the Remnants were afflicted with a torturous and unending pain. Waves of agony swept through their newly-created bodies, and they could do nothing but endure it. The Remnants then remembered that they were not truly whole beings, but only imperfect pieces of a greater collective.
Each came to the dreaded realization that as long as the Remnants remained free and independent of one another, they would suffer from the existential agony of being incomplete and imperfect, and thus it became the ravenous desire for each of the Twelve Remnants to seek out and devour the other eleven. And so, the twelve lesser gods wandered far and wide through the frozen earth, each on an odyssey to find, kill, and eat the ones who remained.
To do this however, they would require outside help.
As the first two Remnants discovered upon finding one another after years of wandering, they could not wound each other directly, as they were both parts of the same whole. No matter how many blows they dealt to each other, not a scratch would appear on either Remnant. This 'divine rule' would change the Remnants' methods of warring against each other and would in turn lead them to a far nobler destiny than any of them could have imagined.
Using their inherited divinity, the Remnants first revived the ancient apex beasts and animals of the old world and set them on each other. Colossal dragons and massive ice krakens all sprung into existence at the cost of the Remnants' own power, every one of them reborn with the intent to kill the opposing lesser gods and their respective forces. This first step in the war between the Remnants did not work out as intended, for animals and beasts, as fierce and powerful as they are, lack the all-important components that make them truly dangerous-- intelligence and ambition.
And so, the Remnants looked back on the history of this dead world, and found one species of animal that would suit their needs.
Thus, on a day forgotten by time, human beings were reborn. Men, women, and children rose from their icy graves, suddenly populating the once lifeless husk of this world. As they stood there bewildered, the Remnants spoke, and told them of their new purpose.
Humans were to serve as the devoted crusaders of the gods who revived them. Blessed by the Remnants and gifted with a divine flame that would burn in their souls and protect them from the dark cold that froze everything around them, the reborn humans set out to erect great kingdoms while their Remnant lords fashioned themselves the emperors, kings and queens of these civilizations. The Remnants fostered the growth of their devoted followers and granted them succor and power, so that in time, human beings could wage the Remnants' wars in their place.
These first men and women, reborn and given life by their gods, were our ancestors, and they lived only to serve the patron deity who blessed their frozen souls with the fire to endure the cold of this world.
Since that day, eons have passed, nations have risen and fallen, Gods have devoured and have been eaten in turn-- but the Purpose remains the same. Every boy and girl born in this frozen world is raised to serve their country and fight in the name of their patron deity.
On every nation of this world is this truth perpetuated.
A New World
Human civilization is thought to only exist on the three Known Continents. These massive landmasses have been kept separated by the icy maelstroms that have stormed over the frozen oceans for eons beyond number. On the continents, the deadly ice storms are kept at bay by the Gods of the Broken Pantheon (as the Remnants are known by humanity). so that their flock can serve them without fear of freezing to death.
Life on the continents is hard, but considerably less dangerous than on the open sea. In modern times, great cities of steam sprawl over the snows, filling the sky with soot and ash. Out on the iced-over oceans, the blizzards can kill a human being within minutes, and if they don't, the horrible beasts and unholy demons that haunt the frontiers will likely finish the job.
Because of the unbearable cold and the conditions out in the ice fields, travel between the three different continents is unheard of, and thus there has been little if any contact between the civilizations existing on the separate landmasses.
The story of The Last Embers will begin in the Empire of Varya, located on the western-most continent-- a colossal landmass with a long and blood-stained history.
On this continent, the borders were once split between four independent kingdoms-- T'sarae, Omestris, Muraad, and Varya. Each of these great and powerful countries was founded by a god or goddess of the Broken Pantheon, and for as long as anyone could remember, the four kingdoms existed in an uneasy ceasefire, each biding their time to strike.
Two-hundred years ago however, the nation of Varya launched a massive invasion of the continent and after a century of fighting, the god-kings of T'sarae, Omestris, and Muraad were captured and brought back to Varya, where to this day they lie imprisoned in the Varyan capital city, their divine blood being slowly sucked out by the Lord Varya's arcane machines.
Varya, now an immense empire after staking a claim on the entire continent, then turned its attention towards the mighty Queendom of Lanostre located on the subcontinent to the south of the Varyan landmass.
Lanostre, a land famed for its deadly soldiers, was a small but powerful nation ruled by their beloved goddess. The ensuing war between Varya and Lanostre was short and bloody, with both sides suffering massive casualties. Still, despite the immense size of Varya's armies, it lost more soldiers in the long and violent campaign than their Lanostran enemies, as the skill of the small kingdom's army military was unrivaled.
After three years of war, Lanostre finally surrendered after its Goddess appeared in the Varyan capital one fateful day and did something unheard of throughout the history of the world--she willingly offered herself to Lord Varya. It is not clear why she did this or if Lord Varya devoured the Lady Lanostre, but after that day, the Lanostran Queendom willingly surrendered its sovereignty to the Varyan empire. Its people-- the men and women who were feared throughout the battlefields for their strength and valour, were then accepted into Varyan society.
The War Against the East
Having conquered and imprisoned the four gods of the Western Lands, Lord Varya turned His eye to the East-- an unknown frontier hidden by ice storms that no Westerner had ever survived in.
There had always been fantastical tales abou the East. Children were told bedtime stories of the Wild Gods that ruled over the Eastern Folk and of the evil demons and black dragons that prowled those untamed lands. To every boy and girl growing up in Varya or Lanostre, the lands beyond the eastern ice storms were an exotic fantasy, a frontier of adventure and mystery. Thus, when Lord Varya declared to His flock that the empire's greatest engineers had built a fleet of powerful steam arks to carry a great legion of soldiers across the frozen sea to invade the wild and untamed eastern lands, all of Varya celebrated.
Nothing was known of the Eastern Lands, only that there were two continents located across the sea and that on these mysterious landmasses the remaining sevenn gods of the Broken Pantheon ruled. Furthermore, it was not known if there were even seven gods left. Had any of them been devoured? What manner of gods were they? What kind of people worshiped these gods?
The citizens of Varya had long dreamed of the answers to these questions.
A great army comprised of many of Varya and Lanostre's greatest soldiers, along with an army of slaves from Omestris and Muraad, was formed to establish a foothold on one of the Eastern continents for a possible invasion. This grand legion boarded a great fleet of powerful steam arks (highly-advanced transportation vessels that could withstand the ice storms) and at once set out to face their fate across the eastern sea.
It took many months for the First Armada to reach the mysterious continent which would become known as 'El'. After sending many garbled transmissions back to Varya telling the High Command of their many victories against the Elurian enemy, the messages from the warfront mysteriously stopped coming.
After weeks of silence, the Varyan High Command began to grow restless.
For the all-powerful Varyan legion to suddenly end their communication with home was worrying indeed. Had they been defeated? Did the Wild Gods of the eastern lands convert them? The High Command could not know, for they were separated from the legion by thousands of miles of frozen ocean.
It was then that the High Command sent an emergency transmission to two lone steam arks currently making the perilous journey to the Elurian continent. One of these steam arks carried in its hold a group of young war priests sent on a missionary expedition to the mysterious eastern continent, while the other steam ark contained the priests' military support.
The transmission contained new orders for the priests. Instead of their missionary work, they were now to uncover the shadowy whereabouts of the Varyan legion and inform the High Command of whatever knowledge they could manage to gather.
This transmission, unbeknownst to both the officers of the High Command, the young priests, and the company of soldiers accompanying the clergy on this dark odyssey, will change them all and will set in motion events that will bring a cataclysmic change to the world.
All humans are born with a substance known as 'ether' coursing within them. Throughout history, 'ether' has been called a variety of names by many different kinds of people-- Divine fire, soul warmth, the inner light, ect-- but in this modern era, where science and technology have taken center stage in society, the term 'ether' is more widely used.
Ether is a gift given to human beings by the gods. It is an unquantifiable substance which exists within a person's blood, cloaking the body and its organs from the preternatural cold which permeates the world. It allows regular people to live their lives without fear of freezing to death.
This 'protection' from the cold only pertains to the continents, which are shielded in a paling of heat by the gods. This has allowed for some small measure of life to return to the continents-- small snow-covered forests and half-frozen rivers dot the landscape outside of the cities, with animals and birds existing peacefully in the revived ecosystems. These naturalistic areas are typically only available to the very wealthy and are typically used as sites for their mansions and palaces.
When leaving the aegis of warmth that surrounds and covers the landmasses, the frozen oceans await, and upon them rage the dark blizzards where the ether in one's blood proves useless against the cold. The storms that dance chaotically over the iced oceans are not natural, and are said to be ancient echoes from the cataclysmic battle between the two titans. It is said that they exist only to steal the heat from the world.
An Unlikely Power Source
Apart from supplying extra warmth, ether is also an incredibly potent power source that is commonly used to fuel the massive machines that help in operating the colossal cities of the modern age as well as military vehicles and ordnance. Ether also acts as the sole catalyst which allows the few individuals of the world who've been blessed with the gift of magic to cast their arcane miracles.
Ether can only be harvested by special machines or by magical means. Once a person has lost their ether, they will freeze to death if they haven't died already.
A small volume of ether is enough to power an entire household, and during prior times in history, it was enough for ether to be collected from a dying or elderly family member in order to heat a homestead. However, as technology has grown more sophisticated and massive cities have been erected upon the snows to shelter humanity, the use of ether to power these monolithic urban sprawls has increased.
The Broken Pantheon & their Flock
When the Ice Titan's form was shattered into Twelve Remnants by the Titan of Fire, each of those wayward pieces fell to different regions of the world. Four of the Remnants fell on the Western Continent, and upon gaining sentience, they set out to carve their own power bases in order to eventually consume each other. The other seven remnants' whereabouts are currently unknown, though it is believed that they fell to the East, a frontier shrouded in mystery to the western civilizations.
As each of the Remnants was once a specific body part of the Ice Titan, it is believed that each of the lesser gods has inherited certain traits of the Ice Titan. For example, the goddess Lanostre was once the Ice Titan's trident, and so She is more powerful than other Remnants in matters of war. These "genetic" gifts also spread down to the people, as the ether gifted to human beings is different depending on which patron deity one is born under.
Currently, only five gods of the Broken Pantheon are known to the western humans.
Varya : (VAH-ree-uh)
'The Ravenous Lord'
A Remnant of the Titan of Ice, Lord Varya fell to the northern-most region of the Western continent upon the Ice Titan's breaking by the Titan of Fire. There, Lord Varya went on to found the powerful and industrial nation which now carries his name-sake.
Lord Varya was once a remnant composed of the Ice Titan's stomach, but like all of the lesser gods, He has taken different forms throughout the ages. For the past several centuries, Varya has veiled Himself in a human-like form, that of a middle-aged dark-haired man with a prominent beard, which his people have now adopted as his defacto appearance.
Owing to His prior existence as a remnant composed of the Ice Titan's stomach, Lord Varya is eternally hungry, and exists to devour and conquer. Due to his constitution, the Varyan Empire has evolved as a militaristic super-power since its founding.
Long ago, the Varyan empire conquered the nation of T'sarae, a country founded by the Remnant of the Ice Titan's skull. T'sarae's people were great scientists and engineers, and their annexation transformed Varya into a technologically-advanced empire. The Varyan capital city, now a sprawling metropolis of steam and steel, shows the fruits of the T'saraen people's scientific acumen.
Native Varyans are pale-skinned with fair features and grow to be above average in height. They are a deeply patriotic race, and common Varyan folk known to be quite boisterous, loud, and gregarious. When it comes to battle they are brave and unyielding and are known to be the best marksmen in all the Western continent.
*The people and society of the Varyan Empire are loosely based on historical Russia, so names for Varyan characters should be Slavic-sounding-- EX: Mikhail, Vitaly, Sven, Anastasia, Emilya
**Varya is the only country that I've really spent a lot of time creating. The other four nations, T'sarae, Muraad, Omestris and La Nostre, are less complete in their creation. I am hoping that we can all brainstorm ideas about these other kingdoms and their people together and have their creation be more collaborative.
T'sarae : (Tah-SAH-ray)
'The Lord of Knowledge & Creation'
Lord T'sarae once existed as a Remnant composed of the Ice Titan's skull, and thus He inherited the dead god's intelligence and curiousity. Falling upon the eastern edge of the Western Continent, Lord T'sarae founded a small kingdom whose people evolved to become heralded thinkers and scientists.
Owing to this origin, T'sarae was unlike other Remnants, and instead of seeking war against His brethren, He instead focused his divine will on creating a tranquil land where His people could grow and evolve so that one day, they might heal the world through peaceful means.
This dream could not continue, for the other Remnants were filled with an animalistic hunger to be whole again, and that meant that the law of this world would be written in blood.
T'sarae was the first of Varya's conquests, and now His people have chosen a new God. The newer generation of T'saraens have a high position in Varyan society, as it is their mechanical creations that have allowed Varya's society and military to grow exponentially. Few T'saraens remember the god of their ancestors, who know lays imprisoned somewhere in Varya, His divine blood being slowly drained by Lord Varya.
After Varya conquered T'sarae and brought its people into their fold, the engineers and scientists of that nation discovered that they could use ether as a power-source to fuel machines as well as magic. As ether exists as a finite pool which flows within all human beings, the Varyans realized that they would need a *very* substantial amount of the resource in order for their civilization to continue its technological ascent. That's when Varya cast its eye on Omestris, a country peopled by hedonistic and depraved heretics, and set out to invade the kingdom, so that the native Omestri may be harvested for their ether.
In the end, that's exactly what came to be. The Omestri are now a slave race, the lowest-caste in all of Varyan society, and are treated with all the grace of farm animals. Omestri are bred for their ether, and that is the only reason they are allowed to live.
In modern times, humanitarian organizations have cropped up to speak up against the treatment of the Omestri, but their campaigns never truly gain any traction, as the people of Varya have grown used to their comfortable new lifestyles, which only ether can sustain.
A nation which lies in the northernmost regions of the continent, Muraad is a largely rural land where the people live in isolated villages and towns. Known by the other nations as a wild and untamed land, the people of Muraad are a tough and resilient folk. Lord Muraad is said to have been once the Heart of the Ice Titan.
"The Lady of the Trident"
Lanostre, a powerful Remnant that once existed as the Ice Titan's trident, fell to a subcontinent south across the sea from the Western landmass after the Fire Titan's final, desperate attack. Like all of her brethren, Lady Lanostre abandoned the jagged remnant of ice that was her original physical form and has adopted different appearances throughout the ages. When she was last seen surrendering to Lord Varya, Lady Lanostre had taken on the form of a human woman armoured in azure plate, and this visage is how she has been remembered ever since.
Before its annexation by the Varyan Empire, the Queendom of Lanostre was a nation of warriors who lived and breathed fighting. Lanostran children, boy and girl alike, were trained from an early age in the ways of war, and its men and women were known throughout Varya as a dangerous sort not to be trifled with.
The reason why the people of Lanostre spent their whole lives training themselves for battle was because the Queendom had long fought a series of wars against a race of ice demons which regularly attacked their borders. The origin of these ice demons is a mystery, but it is believed that they are the rogue aspects of one of the Western Gods.
After being invaded by the Varyan Empire, Lanostrans were welcomed by their former foes with open arms into Varya's social umbrella. These days, the people of Lanostre live peacefully next alongside their Varyan comrades in the capital of Varya and are known as fierce and powerful soldiers in the Empire's legions.
The Western Continent & the Metropolis of Magnagrad
(For visual references, click here: http://roleplayerguild.com/showthrea...=1#post9899929)
The Western Continent, home to the Varyan empire, is a colossal landmass which is about the size of South America. In past ages, before the rise of Varya and the construction of Magnagrad, its monolithic capital city, the continent was a mostly desolate land of snow-covered valleys and mountains, with the population centers of the five separate nations occupying the margins of the continent.
Upon the advent of Varya as a powerful militaristic nation and its conquering of T'sarae, the foundations of Magnagrad-- a great city unlike any seen before it-- began to be erected in the westernmost part of the continent. As the Varyan Empire grew in power and annexed its neighbors, so did the metropolis grow, spreading to the once snow-covered lands of T'sarae and Omestris. In the modern era, Magnagrad has spread all the way to the eastern Omestri coastline, burying the ruins of that nation under the steel and steam of the monstrous city.
The metropolis itself is home to hundreds of sectors, with millions of humans spending their lives living and working in the great spread of industry which makes up much of the city. In the western shores of the continent, where the kingdom of Varya was first erected, native Varyans live in comfortable splendor in comparison to those who live further in-land. Here, giant public squares and monolithic buildings dot the landscape, with colossal statues of Lord Varya stretching towards the sky.
Muraad and Lanostre, the most recent kingdoms to be annexed by Varya, are still relatively untouched and remain the non-industrialized kingdoms that they've been throughout history, though they are now considered Varyan colonies and are home to Varyan buildings. In a hundred years however, the lands of Muraad and Lanostre will most likely be consumed by the spread of the metropolis as well.
When the Broken Pantheon revived humanity, the layers of ice which had covered the continents due to the freezing of the flooded-over oceans were melted down, revealing the pristine land beneath. On this land is where humanity first built their kingdoms in service to the gods, and in return, the gods blessed the continents by providing an all-powerful 'shield' against the dark blizzards that rage over the frozen oceans.
This shield, or the Aegis, as it is known, keeps all life that exists within the coastal borders of the continents from being snuffed out by the preternatural cold that permeates the world. It can be seen as a feint golden dome which encapsulates the land, and it is a sight that for many centuries, has only reaffirmed the faith of the people in their gods. For without it, even the ether burning within them could not save human beings from the cold.
The Aegis is not a physical barrier, but a magical shield that keeps the strange, unnatural cold of the world from penetration into the continental landmass itself. Despite this, the continents are still incredibly cold, and most people can easily die of exposure if they are not careful. Snow is eternally falling on the Western Continent, making the sight of grass and dirt rare.
In modern times, the nation of Varya has developed powerful Arks that are capable of navigating outside of the Aegis, both on the ice fields and underwater. In order for the crew, as well as the machinery of the arks themselves to withstand the intense cold outside the Aegis, the vessels have been outfitted with powerful generators capable of deploying magical 'ether barriers' which provide the same protection as the Aegis, but on a smaller scale. These barriers require a monumental amount of ether to work, as do the Ark's engines as well.
The Arks, which were developed for the military invasions of the eastern continents, travel through the chaotic and deadly ice fields, which are made up of countless titanic glaciers constantly grinding and shifting against one another, creating a frozen hell for those attempting to journey through them. In order to navigate through the ice, Arks use 'ether torches'-- arrays of mechanical coils located on the Ark's stern, bow, port and starboard side that blast highly-concentrated plumes of ether-infused steam hot enough to burn and melt through the glaciers. Besides the ether torches, the Arks are also outfitted with powerful mechanical hulls which can break through the rare weaker ice.
Arks are manned by the highly skilled sailors of the Varyan Armada, a recently created arm of the military who's servicemen have been trained for close to a decade to specifically operate the Arks.
Two highly-advanced Arks, the Tigress and the Dullahan, have been constructed specifically for use by the 1st Elurian Mission and their military support during their journey to the continent of El.
In all the kingdoms and nations of the world, the clergy are an extremely important cog in the machinations of society. They are the holy soldiers and clerics who answer directly to a country's God or Goddess, and are thus blessed with a miniscule fraction of their patron deity's power to supplement their limited human potential.
In the Western Continent, the Holy Orders who serve the whims of their Gods are given a large spectrum of duties-- they can be cardinals who work in the ruling government of a kingdom, leaders who act as spiritual priests to the common folk, and inquisitors who's purpose is to hunt demons, convert foreign people to their religion, or to simply aid regular soldiers during wartime.
Inquisitors are by far the most feared and respected of all priests. Less spiritual leaders and more elite warriors, they are trained from a very young age in religious doctrine, magic, physical combat, and war strategy until they reach an elevated plateau of skill and knowledge that regular soldiers rarely attain.
An Inquisitor's training is brutal and uncompromising-- so much so that few of the trainees survive it.
In Varya, the Red Seminary is where Inquisitors are trained, and in these halls many have suffered in their path to priesthood. Despite this, the Inquisitors of the Red Seminary are known as the most potent in their skill, surpassing even the Priests of Lanostre.
For more information on the history of the Red Seminary, click here: http://roleplayerguild.com/showthrea...=1#post9892577
every human is born with a set amount of ether that keeps them alive. If they lose a significant amount of it, they will undergo a harrowing change in which their bodies basically begin to slowly freeze over, leading to organ failure and death. If for some reason a person loses a lot of their ether and are on the brink of death, they can obtain an 'ether infusion' which will save them. Ether infusions are incredibly costly though, and any number of side affects might occur, like the body not accepting the ether and so forth. So, basically, ether infusions are only for the very richand very desperate and are incredibly risky.
'Magic', as we know it, is basically the practice of 'manipulating' ether (a divine substance) to alter one's self or the outside forces of the world around them. Normal people, the commoners on the streets, the factory workers, ect are not taught how to manipulate ether. Only specialized soldiers, like the elite knights of the military as well as the priesthood, are trained on how to perform this miraculous feat. Regular rank and file soldiers are not trained on how to manipulate ether, as the process is very intensive and costly.
Manipulating ether, or 'magic' as it is most widely known, comes in two forms. 'Passive magic' and 'Active magic'.
Passive manipulation is a difficult but basic-level ability that all higher-level soldiers are trained to master. Passive manipulation uses one's own ether and is most commonly used to increase one's own natural capabilities. For example, all soldiers are expected to master the basic passive magical technique of increasing the natural protection against the cold provided by one's own ether, so that they may survive even outside of the continents, where the preternatural cold is even more deadly. Other soldiers might use passive ether talents that increase their natural strength or their perception to that of a level above normal humans.
'Active magic' is different, and is an incredibly difficult and dangerous class of ether manipulation to learn. Active magic can be incredibly powerful, but is used sparingly, as a significant amount of ether is needed to conjure it. Active magic comes in the form of arcane 'miracles' that are gifted to the priesthood (and certain highly-specialized soldiers of the Imperial Army) by the gods themselves. Upon being ordained, a priest of Varya is allowed audience with the Lord himself, but is only allowed to glimpse Him through a protective veil. In this fateful meeting, Lord Varya makes contact with the priest and blesses them with a small fraction of his divinity.
The resulting power that a priest finds themselves with is said to be completely random, but is usually a very powerful magical ability. Some believe that Lord Varya does not truly blesses his priests with these divine abilities, but instead "awakens" a part of their ether that was long asleep. It is not known which of the two beliefs is true.
The arcane miracles that inquisitors can cast are truly powerful indeed, but they come at a great cost to their own ether. Due to this deficit, inquisitors carry with them several extra vials of ether (typically harvested from the enslaved Omestri people) within their persons to cast these miracles without using their own and thus endangering themselves. Although ether is not exactly in limited supply during the modern era, it is still ingrained within inquisitors to only use their 'active magic' when it is necessary. Furthermore, it will be very difficult to harvest ether while on their expedition, so the inquisitors are doubly aware to only use their most powerful magic when they absolutely need to.
Demons & Beasts
Even though this is a world where gods and magic exist, there should be tangible rules that both of those concepts should follow in order to keep things from going absolutely crazy. One of the rules is that Gods cannot actually *create* intelligent life or control freewill. They can alter life and resurrect the dead at great cost to their own reservoirs of power (as they did when they revived the human race), but when it comes to creating an actual living being from scratch, it is extraordinarily difficult for them, as the Broken Pantheon aren't actual gods that exist to rule and to nurture life, but are only scattered remnants who's ultimate goal is to become whole again.
Before the Gods revived humanity, they attempted to create intelligent life forms to act as their respective fighting forces, and here is where many historians claim the gods erred. The beings who resulted from the gods' attempt at creation were twisted and malformed creatures with a distorted sentience. Some were loyal to the gods' cause and actually fought for them, but most seemed to take after the darker aspects of the gods-- the feelings of torment, emptiness, hatred, and worst of all, hunger that eternally plague the gods.
These monsters soon turned on the gods and rebelled, and thus the gods had no choice but to destroy them. Most of the demons were culled, but many managed to escape and disappear into the shrouded frontiers, where to this day, they are believed to exist.
Most humans are safe from demonkind, as the protective aegis that the gods have erected around the continents forbid demons from entering. However, the Queendom of Lanostre actively allowed a lesser race of demons, the Vestria, into their lands in order for their people to blood themselves and keep their army from growing weak. This practice of fighting against the Vestria became something of a cultural pillar for the Lanostran people, and many throughout the empire believe that it is the reason for their legendary battle acumen.
Still, despite the Lanostrans many victories against the Vestria that prowl the southern seas surrounding their nation, it is believed that further out in the frontiers, even more terrifying demons exist. Tales of these deadly 'Greater Demons' captivate the Varyan people, and children everywhere throughout the empire have grown up with the legends of these dark beasts.
A genus of massive insect-like demons, the Vestria possess stand at close to 10 feet tall and are a deadly foe against any inexperienced soldier. Their blade-sharp leg appendages can easily tear through armour. Furthermore, their blade appendages secrete a deadly poison which can kill a human being within an hour if the proper cure is not administered. the Vestria are covered in a hardened ice-like carapace which can withstand regular blows from human weapons, but are most vulnerable from their bottom side. The Vestria are not intelligent like other demons and it is believed that they spawn in massive colonies beneath the ice south of Lanostre. Besides being the historical enemy of the Lanostrans, the Vestria have also been used by the bishops at the Red Seminary as training obstacles for young aspirants.
About Varyan worship
In this society, which was basically created in due part to the Ice Titan's remnants reviving humanity, the Fire Titan is basically the most taboo and unspoken subject known to man. Speaking of the Fire Titan or anything regarding him in an open space can lead to the priesthood 'taking you in for questioning' (which, as you can guess, isn't akin to a trip to Disneyland). The reason for this is church scripture which states that if the Fire Titan had won the war instead of the Ice Titan, the world would've been covered in flames instead of frost. Fire means chaos and death, Ice means peace and stability. Furthermore, in Varyan society, there is an old adage that the people of the empire oft repeat.
"Varya vidiš. Varya vypočuť. Varya vedomosť."
Translated from the Varyan language, it means: "Varya sees. Varya hears. Varya knows."
This means that it is believed by the general populace that Lord Varya can peer inside people's hearts and see the dark things they hide within it. It's not proven that this is true, but given the devotion that people have to their Lord, most don't wish to test if this claim is in fact real or not. In any case, most people have subconsciously learned to banish any thoughts of religious rebellion as soon as it enters their brain. After all, most Varyans are just regular people, trying to endure from day to day.
More on magic
Ether manipulation abilities are considered "magical" in the way that normal people don't have access to them, and they come in two forms: passive and active. They aren't "skills" that can be trained by people outside of the elite forces of the military. For instance, someone can be a super skillful human street fighter who's trained every day of his life to attain a Bruce Lee level of martial arts mastery and that person would still be easily defeated in a fight against someone who's been trained to manipulate their ether. Aside from the clergy, only elite Varyan soldiers who've shown really good talent as well as a history of unshaken devotion to the Faith are taught this ability. Remember, these elite soldiers are the ones who are expected to go up against foreign inquisitors and demons as well as be able to withstand the conditions out in the blizzards.
Passive ether abilities are an increase in one's natural attributes, something that puts them on a higher level than normal folks. I'm not sure if anyone has ever seen Dragon Ball Z, but it's similar to how Goku and his friends are just plain more powerful than regular people and they're the only ones who can handle all of the crazy stuff that threatens the world. Or for those who aren't into anime, they're like the Spartan soldiers of the Halo universe-- trained extensively through unnatural means to be more powerful than regular human beings.
Active abilities are the actual supernatural magic skills, like throwing fireballs and what have you which require a lot of excess ether to use. I know some of you guys have gone with having active skills that lean more towards the less fantastical side (like having short burst of true super strength or summoning defensive barriers), and that's totally fine with me, but you created those skills before we set up the magic system, so if you want I encourage you guys to change things around.
EDIT: I just thought of a good comparison for active magic. It's like the X-Men and their powers. You guys will have a single powerful active magic ability which will grow in strength as the story progresses.
EDIT2: I drew this for visual reference.
(Played by the Dark Man)
SpoilerName: Boris Assonov.
Age: 21 years.
Height/Weight: Six-foot-one inches in height. Weighs in at precisely two-hundred-forty-nine pounds (while not bulky in stature, Boris is outfitted with various mechanical appendages and artificial prosthetics).
Appearance: Boris was, at one time, tall and lithe, rippling with muscle; a true athlete and powerhouse. After an accident in training involving a large tank of industrial acid, Boris lost the majority of his limbs and muscle structure. However, after long and intensive hours under surgery, Assonov emerged clad in new steam powered prosthetics, a powerful fire for Varya still in his heart. His current robotic enhancements are as follows: Two mechanical arms with cast iron shields covering a complex system of cogs and hydraulic joints; Two mechanical legs, similar to the ones above, albeit with large boots and light magnetism in the soles; a brass covered chestpiece that protects his organs and holds an array of small exhaust pipes in place; A small gas mask connected to his lungs via a system of tubes. [File Attached]
Skills/Abilities: Boris is a skilled technician, having a natural (or perhaps unatural?) affinity with machines and moving parts. He can take apart, construct, and repair machines, including himself, quickly and efficiently, more so than his counterparts. He is a gifted interrogator (perhaps aided in the torture sessions by his imposing metal attire?), and a skilled magic user (abilities tbd). He can shoot strait and accurately with his steam powered arms, can hit harder than all but the most powerful bruisers, but is slow to run and rather clumsy in combat. Assonov's pain and cold threshold have been tested to be higher than that of the normal recruit. Note: do not rely on him in combat scenarios.
Personality: Cold, calculating, brutal. Eccentricity runs through Assonov almost as much as steam and ether does. Assonov's devotion to Varya and the Inquisition, while powerful and rigid, seems at times questionable; his interest in machines and further augmentations of his body is extensive, and borderline heretical in some cases. Boris is known to do whatever it takes to achieve victory for the inquisition, and on few occasions, his own needs and desires. Note: keep him under surveillance.
Background: Recruited into the inquisition at a young age, Boris Assonov was born and Orphan, a rather healthy and Olympian one at that. He excelled in his training, proving himself to be devout in his studies and a true warrior on the range and in the pits. However, in the midst of a grueling obstacle course designed to test balance, speed, and decisive action, Boris slipped from a ledge and fell into a vat of industrial acid. Your typical failure- most recruits would have be completely consumed by the corrosive substance, but Assonov survived the acid bath, allegedly by grappling onto the vat's edge and pulling himself out before dissolving. Despite his rapid and calculated decision under intense pressure and agony, most of him did not survive. Both of his legs had dissolved, along with his left arm and a good portion of his lower torso and surface tissue. What was left of his right arm had to be amputated.
Afterwards, Boris was administered psychological and mental stress tests, which revealed that he was scared and altered by the event, turning from a dashing extrovert into a nightmare plagued introvert. He did, however, still held a burning devotion for Varya and the inquisition. Assonov was outfitted with proper robotic prosthetics and a more mobile breathing unit for his scared lungs, and sent to rehabilitation. Within a year, he was back into the normal routine of training, and had picked up a passion for machines and engineering.
Since his release from the Academy, Boris Assonov has proved himself to be a wonderful interrogator, mechanist, and investigator. Due to this, and his high thresholds against pain and the cold, he is recommended with a seventy-eight percent confidence level to attend the expedition to El.
Quote: “Mmm, yes, your flesh is quite strong, my friend. My, just look at the size of those tissue groups. But tell me, what is your strength in comparison to a hydraulic joint?” -Boris, bored while speaking to one of his fellow inquisitors.
(Played by Orion)
SpoilerName: Mal'Chik (Literal translation from Russian is Boy) also known as Father Mal or Mal for short within the group.
Weight: 11.2 Stones, 64kg, 143lbs
Height: 6ft 1in, 184cm
Appearance: Mal is a tall and willowy young man, he looks like a man that is in the need of a good hearty meal. Mal always tries to stand straight but when he isn't paying attention he stand with a slight stoop and tends to bounce on his heels. His arms and legs are long and he has fine delicate hands and fingers, an asset that he often puts to good use when doing his coin tricks. His thin frame may leave him lacking in overall physical strength but he more than makes up for it in balance and dexterity.
Mal has steel grey eyes and dark, almost black, curly hair. He keeps his hair just short of shoulder length but often past his ears. Mal is also not fond of using a razor and so will often let his beard grow out, using scissors or a sharp knife to keep to trimmed. His eyes have a knowing look and a cheekiness in them, this coupled with his smile make him a generally likeable person, even if it is only initially based on his appearance.
He keeps his clothing neat but it is often warn and old, a childhood on the streets has made him reluctant to throw away clothing that is still wearable. This sometimes gives people the idea that he is poor and can annoy some priests that feel he should make more of an effort on his general appearance. However he is incredibly proud of his uniform, as it is only one of a few items that he truly believes belong to him. Mal keeps his armor well maintained and his cloth free from tears or cuts.
Personality: Mal is a very likeable person, he always tries to lighten the mood with a joke or a humorous observation. There are very few types of people that Mal does not get along with, he tried not to judge a person by their appearance, age, race, gender or status. However, Mal does dislike people that hold onto their air of nobility, people that feel entitled to certain things and are happy to walk over the 'little people' or 'commoners' to get it. Mal will often find himself being openly hostile to people like this and it has been noted by several of his tutors that he has an almost open contempt for authority because of it.
One of Mal's major flaws is that he often opens his mouth first and then thinks about the consequence later, if he believes something to be wrong or unjust he will say so. This attitude of trying to stand up for his fellow students when he feels that they are being hard done by has often earned him the same punishment, or sometimes the whole class, as the person being disciplined. As such he has made a few friends and more than a few enemies because of it. Another of Mal's flaws is that he considers himself to be something of a ladies man and can be a hideous flirt with the female priests and the ladies in the villages, towns and cities that they visit, again his tutors believes this stems back to some sort of open contempt of authority.
As a priest Mal believes in the Gods and is well versed in the scripture and lore that surrounds the church, but he is more keen on the practical sides of the priesthood. Mal believes that as priests they should be doing more for the common people, perhaps putting them before the overall needs of the church but he is not stupid as to believe that the church is not needed. Mal is always in two minds about dealing with a heretic or rebel, he can understand both sides of the coin being a priest but also holding certain sentiments about authority and how powerless a person can feel when trying to stand up against it.
Physical abilities: Mal is well trained in all of the standard martial skills that they are taught as a battle priest, although he is somewhat hampered by his tall willowy frame. Mal has tried to focus on those weapons that require dexterity over sheer brute strength, he is skilled with all types of knife and dagger, as well as other small bladed items. Mal has a keen eye, so is comfortable with all types of ranged weapon from the bows to firearms. All of these abilities are Mal's last course of action as he will often try and talk his way out of fight and will only use force when he absolutely has too.
Passive: Mal's passive abilities grant him greater dexterity and balance. Mal can move almost cat like through most combat situation and although this does not make him the strongest fighter, with his street honed cunning he can still be a match for the more skilled inquisitors. Mal's real strength is as a forward scout, being able to pick his way through the worst terrain with relative easy, and using his light feet, getting close to the enemy for either recon or a stealth attack.
Active ability: Mal's main active ability has been sealed by the church and is something he will only consider using in the direst of situations, instead he only uses its secondary ability to raise and lower a persons base line abilities. Mal's secondary skill can be used on an individual or a group although the more people affected means the overall increase/decrease is lowered. As an example Mal could increase one of his colleagues passive abilities or generally increase their fighting power or he could slow down a group of attackers by sapping their strength, giving them an advantage in combat or a chance to flee. A down side to this is that while Mal is using the technique he is not able to move, the level of concentration required to affect another person is too great, so he is an easy target and must be protected while using his ability.
As a side note Mal also knows a number of card and coin tricks, the tricks are not magical but do require a large amount of skill to perform these sleights of hand well. These do not require the use of any power but he has honed the talent since he was a child, Mal has always had the belief that you should have a trade to fall back on.
Background: Mal didn't know his parents, he was just one of the many orphans that occupied the capital city's streets, unloved and unwanted. He was raised like a pet by a group of children, this was quite common amongst the groups, they needed some amusement and baby often provided this. Also a baby was a useful tool for begging, people would often give more too a young girl holding a babe in arms with some story of abusive parents or just looking lost. Once the babe gets old enough to walk and talk it is old enough to work, Mal would be used as a distraction or too scream at people until they gave him some money. When he was old enough to run, he was old enough to steal and Mal was very good at this. Even as a child Mal was quick with his hands and quicker on his feet, he became a terror of the markets and bazaars that dotted the city.
The children would often mix with the older vagrants and homeless of the city, although it was always safer to sleep with the other children, the adults had strange ideas and twisted passions; however it was from an old man that Mal discovered his talent for card tricks and feats of dexterity. Now with new found skills he turned away from stealing and turned to hustling, there were many people that thought that they could cheat a seven year old out of his money, while he kept them mesmerized other children went to work lightening the patrons purses.
The one constant in his early years was Father Upovat', he ran a small mission amongst the slums and trash that made up the lower city. He was a meek man and gave what little he had to those that had nothing. It was often from his offerings that the orphans of the city managed to survive at all, he recycled old clothes and gave out what food he could, Mal was saved from starvation more than once by the charity of Father Upovat'. The only thing that the Father asked was that the children attended the church and learned of Lord Varya, who one day would be able to deliver the from the living hell that they were surely going through living rough on the streets. Father Upovat did what he could for the people and the people did what they could for him, he walked freely down the worst streets in the city and people always gave to him what they could, he became the sort of man that Mal wanted to become.
Mal had no idea how much impact Father Upovat' would have on his life, as well as giving charity to the orphans Upovat' was looking for any talents that these children might have with Ether. Upovat' had always been interested in Mal, he was likeable and had a way with words that was far beyond the education he had been given, but the signs were that he could control the power of Ether. Father Upovat' noted how Mal was stronger than other children, he was faster and he could go longer without food, however the real indicator was his ability to seemingly 'revive' children with a touch. Once Opovat' had made his assessments he sent his report to the Bishop and he knew it was only going to be a matter of time before the Bishop's men came for Mal.
When they did come there was nothing that Mal could do to stop them. The Father explained what they would be able to do for him, the education he would get and the chance he would have to work directly for Lord Varya. Mal was reticent and angry at the Father for betraying his abilities, he loved his friends and had never cursed the life he had been given but he had only heard about the horrors inflicted upon those that were sent to be the inquisitors for Lord Varya. In time Mal would forgive Father Uptovat' but the old priest would die before he had a chance to apologize, it would be a mistake that Mal finds difficult to live with.
Quote: "The horse may be noble, the owl might be wise but only the rat lives like a King!"
Father Mal & Mother Kassandra(Played by 101 Scout1):These two have a strange relationship… As Motya, one of Mal’s close friends, is Kass’ most common sparring partner and a good friend (though they aren’t extremely close, they are on rather good terms – as joking friends). Mal and Kass tend to argue and make pointed statements toward one another, having something of a “rivalry” with one another, they keep their tongues sharpened whenever they are near one another.
Father Mal & Father Elias(Played by Orion86): Butt heads often, usually over Mal's cockiness. Mal enjoys taunting Elias, especially when Elias is in the presence of Kassandra.
Father Mal & Father Moyta(Played by Avery Calhoun): Mal and Motya are very close friends en-spite of the fact that Motya is also good friends with Kassandra. Mal feels something of a kinship with Motya given their equally rough upbringings, so Mal feels that Motya understands what it is like to have suffered under the lash of their 'betters'. They are something of a little and large duo and if their is some sort of mischief these two are usually at the centre of it, Motya often being dragged into the situations by Mal.
Father Mal & Father Eldvanar(Played by Desert Zephyr): Mal and Eldvanar share a thinly veiled contempt for one another. Although Mal snipes at both Elias and Kassandra he actually dislikes Van and he is not exactly sure why, but he tries to keep his distance and hopes that their encounters don't boil over into an actual fight.
Father Mal & Father Boris(Played by the Dark Man): Mal and Boris's relationship is similar to everyone elses relationship with Boris, they do not really have one. Boris prefers his machines over people and Mal finds it hard to get any sort of reaction out of the technophile. (This is assumed as I haven't actually mentioned this to DarkMan but in a previous post he outlined Boris's relationship with almost everyone in the group)
Father Mal & Mother Misha(Played by Maze): Mal and Misha are friends with a shared past in the Red Seminary, they have often trained together and built up a strong relationship. In public Mal often teases Misha about their past and some of her more embarrassing moments, at times this borders on being humorous and hurtful, however in private Mal is much more considerate about Misha's feelings.
Father Mal & Father Maksimylian(Played by Nightbringer): The pair are good friends as long as they can stay off the subject of religion, which is difficult given their upbringings. Mal and Max share very different views about the way the church should operate and on some of the articles of faith that make up the religion, these arguments can get quite heated and have turned into physical fights from time to time. Despite these difference the pair enjoy each others company and always return to being friends in the end.
Father Mal & Mother Ottilie(Played by Kathichan1): Ottilie and Mal are good friends sharing a laugh and a joke but Ottilie often scolds Mal for being too argumentative within the group. Ottilie has made an effort to befriend Mal despite his own prejudices about people from noble families and they now share a bond as they both care quite deeply for the welfare of the group, although they go about it in very different ways.
Father Mal & Mother Alina(Played by Fox of Spades): Alina, Mal, Motya and Misha are all friends and seemed to have formed a little social group around their shared bonds. Mal often talks to Alina about Misha to try and find out what she is thinking and how she feels about him. Mal trusts Alina implicitly and will do almost anything to protect her and their little friendship group.
(Played by Avery Calhoun)
SpoilerName: Motya Bratva “Father Motya” or more formally “Father Bratva”
*Note: Motya means a man with bad luck but good sense and Bratva is the term for the Russian mob. I thought Bratva would translate well as "slave brotherhood" in Varyan dialect, a sort of generic name all slaves use.
Height/Weight: 5’8” and 230 pounds
Appearance: Motya is a brute of a young man. Compared to most of his peers he is shorter, compact, and he is often called the little bear by the people that know him well enough to get away with such a practice. The young brawler’s arms are slabs of muscle attached to shoulders that have born the weight of harsh labor and his hands show the trauma of scarring and multiple finger breaks. His legs, built from years of slave labor and inquisitorial training, are just short of being small tree trunks and they need to be in order to hold up the man’s rotund belly and barrel chest torso. Motya keeps his head clean shaven and his cheeks and chin are covered in a neatly trimmed, long and tapered beard in the style of most Varyan men. His eyes are a deep chocolate brown color and shadowed under a heavy set brow. Both his nose and ears are just slightly large, the former looking to have been misaligned by force, the later pierced through with brass rings. The most distinguishing feature of Motya’s countenance is the large stylized “H shaped” tattoo that covers his face, a mark placed on him by the slave masters of the Harayatva mine he was born in, marking him as a slave born child. Various priests have offered to remove it through mechanical or magical means but Motya has refused, in fact as he has grown he has maintained the tattooed mark. He not only sees it as a symbol of how far he has risen but as a way to identify with his favored flock, the poor and the slaves, showing that even they and those like them can rise through Varya's will.
Motya has risen from those beginnings though and now being an ordained Inquisitor, wears the trappings of his office over the hap-shod armor pieces he tends to favor. Under the armor or when not wearing it, Motya wears the simple fur and cloth clothing of the lower caste of Varyan society with the monastic inquisitorial robe over those to denote his station. His armor is an amalgamation of steel, brass, clockwork, and leather that was cobbled together by a tinkerer at the Seminary, a gift after he was ordained. During Motya's last year as a Neophyte he was assigned, as all Neophytes are, to an Instructor Cadre in order to mentor young Initiates preparing for the demon year. During this time Motya learned that one of the Initiates was a nephew to one of the armor markers and experimental tinkerers in the small town square in the Seminary. Motya as a good natured favor did the best he could to ensure that the man's nephew was prepared and in return the tinkerer made him his armor. Heavy shoulder plates cover his shoulders, the right containing a bauble filled with earth from the mine he grew up in, a brass face guard chipped and pocked by weapons practice covers hos lower face, leather gauntlets banded with razor edged steel strips, plated and spiked knuckles, arms lined with small pistons, boots and greaves studded with steel posts and pointed edges, all wrapped in a tabard of supple black fabric trimmed in red and bearing the phoenix of Varyan priesthood. Around his waist he keeps two belts one holding a pouch of ten shots for a slightly outdated pistol, in case he ever needs to engage an enemy at range. The other belt contains various pouches for survival gear and places for Ether vials.
Personality: Motya’s time as a slave has been the single largest shaping factor of his personality except his time at the Red Seminary. He is industrious and focused, almost bullishly so, always training or maintaining whatever skills he possesses. Above all he maintains a fervent and unshakable faith. For Motya, his faith and his connection with Varya is personal and not just theological, it was an inquisitorial priestess that saved him from the mines, elevated him from a life of slavery, and set him upon the path of serving, what he sees, as the greatest of Gods. While being serious about his faith Motya believes that all people should revel in the gift of life the God Varya provides, while it exists, in this harsh world. He is fond of food, drink, music, and women and good natured simplistic, often physical, competition. Coming up in the Seminary Motya, with great excitement, looked forward to the Conclave Games in which he took many awards for hand-to-hand combat and wrestling. Motya is a man that sees every moment as a gift, either to be spent in prayer and religious study or gregarious celebration, for him there is little middle ground between those two.
Despite his zealous faith and nearly hedonistic abandon Motya is a tempest defined when angered. His anger is quick to rise and normally quick to fade and terrible to behold, he thinks little of correcting a slight, real or perceived, with physical force and this may have been what has driven a feud between him and father Eldvanar for longer than any can remember. His bouts of rage, especially in the first years of his training were often rumored to be the thing that would see his time in the Red Seminary ended prematurely. His violent temper is something he struggles to maintain through faith and the companionship of Fathers Mal and Maksimylian and Mother Alina.
Talents/Abilities: Motya is a brawler first and foremost, capable of reaping a devastating toll with just his hands, feet, and body even without the passive or active use of Ether. Most of the close physical combat disciplines taught at the Red Seminary came easily to Motya and he excelled and even reveled in the lessons, despite the fact the many of the first lessons nearly killed him. The key to this talent is Motya’s ability to channel Ether within himself, lending his movements, strikes, and abilities an enhancement over natural physical abilities, even slightly more so than the passive abilities of most trained elites. His favored tactic is closing with an enemy, disarming them, and then pulverizing their resistance with physical blows or grappling, which ends up very bloody due to the nature of his armor. The cost for this is not only Motya’s reckless disregard for his own safety, something amplified when he channels the Ether but his comparative lack of refined social skills or mastery of the more academic subjects.
Actively Motya has learned to channel Ether to fortify his biological systems and he uses this in many creative ways. His training at the Red Seminary taught him how to channel the Ether just under his skin at vulnerable points that were about to be struck with a killing blow, warding off the deadly damage and leaving only lighter bruising or lacerations. Motya was also taught by Cadre Instructors how to actively augment his metabolic systems fueling his body to endure longer, fight faster, and react quicker on an active level. The cost of Ether for this active ability is steep and the side effects of its use on Motya's metabolism are what drive him to sometimes consume enough food and drink for three men and still ask for more. Finally after being Ordained Motya was granted an audience with Lord Varya and during this limited but very spiritual contact another active use of Ether was bestowed upon him by his Lord. Varya saw Motya's dedication to hand-to-hand combat and wanted to give him a further edge over those using weapons (this is how Motya sees the reasoning behind it). So when actively channeling Ether in this manner Motya can land blows with his body that can crumple armor and break bones, the Ether reinforcing his own bones and muscles in order to deliver the force. It is a power that drains much of the Ether Motya carries besides his own natural supply but it is an edge he may have to use in the coming years.
Background: Motya was born a slave to a slave mother and father that he has never known; the name "Bratva" means slave born or slave brotherhood and is a generic family name of all slaves born in the mines. The Harayatva mine was his home for his infancy and early childhood and he was marked as a child of slaves before he was a year old. What Motya did not know is that his parents were Omestri slaves that had escaped the Ether draining process and had passed themselves off as common Varyan criminal slaves, condemned to forever expand and maintain the very machinery that drained their people of Ether so that the Varyan Empire could prosper. The fact that he is of Omestri blood is something unknown to Motya to this day. The Harayatva mines were run by a wealthy Varyan Industrialist who disbelieved in much of the new technology appearing and held to the idea of “breeding” a workforce. For years this idea was socially detestable but the wealth and influence of the Industrialist insulated him from open sanction of this practice. That was before Mother Oksana. Mother Oksana was a young Inquisition Priestess that had been ordained only a few short years before and began her career by taking on the corrupt Industrialist. She preached that Varya would never condone the enslavement of children into a life of meaningless labor and toil when it could be these children that rise up to carry out his will in the future. Her message took hold with the people and before long, soldiers were raiding the holdings of this Industrialist and freeing the people he enslaved, especially the children. Motya was freed with all the other common slaves, as all involved thought he was nothing more than a common slave child. However, as has always been, the Omestri were not freed but deemed too vile, debauched, decadent, and corrupt and were left enslaved so that their Ether could be used to fuel Varyan interests. Motya, then a child of seven, was delivered to the Red Seminary by Mother Oksana and was soon on the path to becoming an inquisitor. To this day when she returns to the Red Seminary she treats Motya as she would a son and Motya treats Mother Oksana like she were his actual mother and that bond between the two in nigh unshakable.
His time at the Seminary was brutal but when compared to what his life had been in the mines, it was his only chance. His courses in academia were a struggle and had it not been for some of his colleagues like Mothers Kassandra and Ottilie he would have never been ordained. On the bright side the punishing discipline enforced by the instructors for his academic failures only hardened his body and mind for what he excelled at, physical and theological training. Motya found peace, not only in the ceaseless combat drills which he took part in at every opportunity he could but also in the silent vigils and theological discussions that filled the mornings and evenings. Years spent training reinforced his faith, giving him the will and if necessary the physical ability to spread the faith and fight the enemies of the faith wherever they may be, something Motya is now eager to do.
Quote: “Do you think, because you are poor, obscure, plain and little, that you are soulless and heartless? No, you are the most divine of all subjects.”
The Nature of Motya's Relationships...
Father Motya & Father Mal (Played by Orion86): Motya considers Mal one of his closest friends even if the nature of Motya's overly optimistic & misguided attempt at a relationship with Kassandra causes friction. Having been a slave child Motya can identify with Mal more so than many of the other Inquisitors and finds common ground with Mal against the "ruling class" even if most of it remains harmless. Being the less cunning of the pair Motya sometimes gets involved in situations that he never saw coming, a sort of Loki leading Thor to mischief scenario but in the end neither are typically worse for wear.
Father Motya & Mother Kassandra (Played by 101 Scout1): Motya has been fighting Kassandra since the first weeks at the Red Seminary not as adversaries but as possibly the longest standing sparring partners to ever be ordained. The two have grown somewhat close through mutual respect and though they hold no more significance than a couple of old, nostalgic friends Motya may have optimistic and misguided notions of something else, no matter how doomed his effort may be. Kassandra has earned the loyalty of Motya over their time at the Seminary to the degree that few others have. Though others have earned his respect, loyalty, and friendship… Maksimylian, for his power and level headed approach; Mal, for being the good natured mischievous brother, and Alina for being the healing stability to his controlled chaos, it may be Kassandra he regards the highest because of their constant competition.
Father Motya & Father Elias (Played by Guru): These two maintain a friendly relationship, after all they survived the Red Seminary together but for the most part it is a loose acquaintance. Neither really knows much about the other and though they converse from time to time or take part in a shared event with other Inquisitors the relationship remains casual.
Father Motya & Father Motya (Played by Avery Calhoun): Motya has a profound and deep love for himself and all things that touch his life; especially if those things are wine, women, song, drink, food, violence, etc… there is nothing else to it.
Father Motya & Father Eldvanar (Played by Desert Zephyr): These two Inquisitors compose what is possibly the greatest feud that the Red Seminary has yet to see that has not resulted in the death of a student. When their time at the Seminary began Eldvanar and Motya were fast friends, their initial bond was something akin to family or long lost brothers, they trained together and attended courses together, and as a team were nigh indomitable when it came to combat challenges. However sometime in the training cycle an offense occurred and the rest is, as they say, “history”. If you ask one of them what the cause of the feud was a furious back and forth will begin, one will name a slight, then the other will name one that happened before that, and then the other a next, and so on and so forth until the argument degenerates into a brawl or devious plots of retribution. In truth it is unlikely the first slight is remembered by anyone and the feud now perpetuates itself, neither willing to give ground, much like the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s (for a modern reference). The battle has never turned deadly violent and the two can still work together for the Inquisition but outside their duty to Varya there is no friendly connection between these two.
Father Motya & Father Boris (Played by the Dark Man): Father Boris is someone or something that Motya understands little about and has never made much of an effort to understand further. He has worked and trained with Boris when required to and has done so without reservation, Motya just makes no effort to pry. Father Boris clearly wants to be left alone and if isolation is his desire Motya will not interfere.
Father Motya & Mother Misha (Played by Maze): Motya is inherently good, something Misha can see and try to understand in Motya. However, due to his chaotic nature and unpredictable whims, Motya doesn’t exactly help his cause with Misha. Though friendly their opposing natures tends to keep their interaction professional for the Inquisition or casual in social situations.
Father Motya & Father Maksimylian (Played by Night bringer): Motya respects Father Maksimylian; he is a man that matches Motya's intensity when it comes to overpowering combat techniques. This common ground has been the one thing that erodes much of the resentment Motya often expresses when dealing with people from nobler walks of life. During their time at the Red Seminary it was Maksimylian that was often called upon, especially during their training as Aspirants, to restrain him when Motya’s anger got out of control because Maksimylian was the only one capable of matching Motya physical prowess. Between the capable physical restraint of Maksimylian, the humor & wit of Mal, and the kindness and reason of Alina, Motya has been able to master the most volatile aspects of his temperament.
Father Motya & Mother Ottilie (Played by Kathichan1): Ottilie first approached Motya to offer to help him with the more bookish aspects of Seminary life because it was plain to see that early on Motya was about as bright as a bag of rocks. In exchange Motya trained with Ottilie which was easy because even in the beginning they both focused less on weapons and more on hands on combat. Motya gave her all the tools she needed to move fast and strike hard and she did what she could to teach the rock to reason. He was skeptical at first, Kassandra having set the bar high as far as sparring partners go, but soon he came to consider Ottilie a friend and capable fighter and over time he has roughened her noble edge with a lot of colloquial language and curses that her upbringing deprived her of.
Father Motya & Mother Alina (Played by Fox of Spades): Motya is a whirlwind of unbridled emotion, hedonistic indulgence, unmitigated risk taking, and optimistic celebration and had it not been for these pursuits leading to injury then Alina may have never registered on his radar. However, his frequent requirement for healing meant he and Alina became close friends over their time at the Red Seminary and he considers her with the same respect he has for Maksimylian, the same level of friendship he has for Mal & Kassandra, and a level of kind affection reserved for the person that “puts all the pieces back together again” as he says. Motya constantly tries to get Alina to open up and will take any opportunity to drag her into the closest raucous or celebration he can find. For her part she serves as the voice of sanity for Motya, often bringing him to his senses long before Mal’s humor or Maksimylian’s restraint is required.
(Played by Maze)
Mother Misha Zhukovski
Age: Nineteen Eternal winters
Height & weight: 5 ft 1 & 105 lb
Appearance: Misha is like a young Fawn. Small and fragile. Innocent looking with youthful features and large brown eyes that betray her trustworthiness and naivety.
From her head flows wavy hair – that is the colour of a starless midnight -which curls and dances down to the tips that just reach her bosom. Hair that accentuates her heart-shaped face and light skin that knows little of the sun’s touch. When she finds the weather particularly cold, the bridge of her nose turns red – a notable manifestation that the other priests around her have not missed, “If Misha’s nose is red; then it’s only getting colder.” One saying amongst other weather predicting comments – ignoring her interest with baubles and trinkets that the women of upper society Varyan liked to adorn themselves with. Misha maintains her dress-code close to her family background and inquisitional raising. Simple, neat and practical. Hardy fur coats and boots when travelling outdoors and her priestly garments when conducting business in matters of the faith. The one similar feature throughout all of her stages of clothing is her ushanka – brown fur and woolly, always leaving the flaps down covering her ears and it is as clean as the day she received it – catching her without it on is a rare.
Personality: Before her arrival at the Red Seminary, Misha was a happy child. Her early life was humble and ultimately, a kind one. She was talkative and inquisitive, borderline hyperactive. As a Priest, she is dutiful as a member of the clergy, polite and caring, never questioning what has been asked of her and always carrying out the objectives set for her. Misha could be perceived as being a fine example of a young inquisitor, except, she isn’t. Far from it.
Her shyness and insecurities that developed after she was taken from her home, leaves her seen as a figure of an obedient lapdog. She lacks the authority in order to command her fellow brothers and sisters and she lacks the iron will to act upon the decisions with heavy burdens and consequences. As such, she remains very much a team-player (or more disparaging, a sheep) letting others lead and make the choices. A great shame as Misha is gifted in what she does and far more quick thinking than what the others around her believe her to be. Maybe if she made her mouth louder than her mind, her brothers and sisters might start discovering just how intelligent she really is.
As a person and not as a member of the inquisition, Misha largely remains unchanged. She possess a keen interest in the world, its peoples and cultures that fill it. She is also captivated by the jewels and wealth of the upper hierarchy of society. A piece of culture shock she received once she arrived at the capital from her humble background as a village steppe girl.
In matters of the faith; she is confused. Philosophical and doctrine debates with herself are common. And with the certain despicable aspects of the inquisition she has seen, she’s developed a rather nihilistic view of the gods. A regular argument with herself is “If the gods loved us so much? Why do they not directly intervene?” to which she counters, “If the gods aided humanity every time they needed help. Humans would do nothing for themselves.”
Abilities: Misha believes she was only able to be survive long enough to become an inquisitor was solely because of her gifted skills of healing and defensive powers.
Her ability to conjure magical shields and wards is a valuable assist and her knowledge of healing; both magic wise and herbal wise. Is a well-needed skillset for a profession that usually requires those to be able to confront heretics and demons with faith and fire. Due to this, she was spared some of the more intense “studying” aspects than what her other brothers and sisters had to endure, receiving a specific tuition about demons and exorcisms – medical subjects and the human body. Understanding of such matters came in handy when she was bruised and bloody from the training she couldn’t escape.
In order to heal. Misha needs to have contact with the person in question to be able to provide sufficient healing, she also requires a clear picture of what she needs to do and a great understanding of the human anatomy less she falter. She has to create a mental picture of the injury or aliment. Using that picture, she takes control of the body’s natural healing process and defensive capabilities; mixed with her own magic abilities, she performs what could be described as "psychic surgery". Simple things such as bruises and bust lips can be easily repaired on a whim, broken bones take more but are easily easily treated. More difficult situations like drawing out a serious illnesses can be performed, if she has enough understanding of how to combat it, though such operations require a large amount of time and patience in order to be successful.
Her projection of defensive abilities is less understood. Though is it theorised that her defensive powers developed as a result of will. A desire to protect and shield herself from the world as she arrived at the Seminary. Frightened and alone. Her secondary powers developed, and were honed, to be employed by the inquisition. However, her agility with these abilities are not perfect. As Misha must tap into and control other people's bodily functions in order to heal them, Misha appears to tap into her own body's defences, transferring that into the manifestation of external powers. Thus, the creation of barriers and defensive spheres to shield her fellow brother and sisters from harm. Unfortunately, the usage of such powers is incredibly taxing on her. Prologue exposure with maintaining such spells causes a detrimental affect on her body. At the very worst of what she has experienced so far, severe nosebleeds and black-outs out have been the extent.
Though most students within the Red Seminary are versed in all manner of weaponry. Misha has displayed a particular talented with firearms, rifles mainly, as long as she doesn’t engage in direct hand-to-hand with any foe. She’ll be fine.
History: Before she knew about the sprawling cities of Vayra, with the dark clouds that would blanket the skyline made from their factories and metallic behemoths that people used to travel. And the high-rising building that people also lived in, so tall that they made her dizzy when she used to look up at them. Before all of that, she knew only of small huts, of horses and snow dogs that pulled sleds and carriages. And grey and white clouds and on the special days, maybe see the blue sky and even the sun.
Misha was born in Vayra, amongst the outlaying steppe villages. “Primitive and backwater,” the city folk would say, and they would be right. For it was a primitive and backwater life, but it was simple and Misha was happy and ignorant of the world and of its wars and its troubles.
She was always on the run as a child within her small village, thirsting for adventure. She would explore the woods without leafs with the other children, go to the rivers and if they were frozen over, they would run and slide over the ice.
Her mother taught her needlework, how to maintain the home and stay warm, to wash her clothes and prevent them from icing over. But her favourite lessons were learning how to cook. (“Your father might bring home the food, but he does not know how to cook, I shall teach you and you won’t eat leather. Which we would, if your father cooked for us.”) But as an only child, Misha received the benefit of going with her father on the hunts and fishing trips. She fired her first rifle – she missed the musk deer – at the age of eight.
She was ten was she successfully managed to kill on a rabbit. Largely due down to luck. The hare was clean shot, straight through the neck but upon making contact with the animal, it sprung back to life, albeit, briefly. Though she has yet to resurrect another life, this was the first manifestation of her powers.
Like a moth to a flame. Members of the priesthood arrived two weeks after. Be it someone had saw her, if they had sensed it, just pure luck or fate of the gods. She did not know. But they came to her father, to their little hunt under the white clouds and asked her questions, “how is your life? Do you enjoy living here?” “What do you like to do?” Just simple questions. They went away for a while, talked amongst each other, and then returned. Deciding to take Misha with them to the capital.
It was the last time she saw her parents. Her last reminder is her Ushanka, to which she has remained fiercely defensive of since.
When they arrived at the capital, the girl of ten was overwhelmed by the size and the people. The culture shock of the hustle and bustle of city life hit her hard and the usually socially active girl began to regress into a more timid creature. Only retreating more into herself once she arrived at Red Seminary.
Misha had originally thought she was to be raised as a priest. Yet she found herself at the school of the Inquisitors. A factoid she found hard to understand, all of these new places and people only coming to existence in such a short space of time. Due to her being a steppe Varyan, she did not speak the language that was commonly found in the cities. Hers was a more crude form of the mother’s tongue which Led to an extension of bullying as she was thrown into this new world.
She picked up the common tongue quickly though and spoke it with natural grace as if she was raised in high-buildings of the capital itself and the years soon began to pass and she matured; but never stepped out of the timid shell that had formed once she had arrived in this new world.
As she began to become a woman, she became a popular target for many of the adolescent males. Some would be more gentlemanly about it, some would try and catch glimpses of her bathing – “Just to see if you wore that hat everywhere.” One of them said in defence. Before another asked if she’d fuck with it on also – Situations like that left her with little to say and so she buried herself in study and a desperate yearning to go home. But the years passed, and she matured. As the training became more brutal, Misha’s potency with healing ailments expanded. She could fix sprained ankles and broken noses on a simple whim. Then she was able to tend to broken arms and infected wounds that her brothers and sisters had neglected. In this she found some confidence in herself, she told herself it’s why she survived on the path to becoming an inquisitor.
“Surviving is what our people do.” Her father told her once.
But there is still a long road to go yet.
(Played by Nightbringer)
Maksimylian (Max or Maxi) Markov
The first thing people usually see about Max is his frame; standing at 6'5", with a robust yet toned physique give him the stereotypical build of a soldier. Of late he has taken to wearing his hair, the colour of a dark umber, longer than the picture above shows, if only to shelter his ears from the cold and the rough winds. The second thing they tend to notice is his eyes, deep set and as icy-blue as the frozen oceans that surrounded Varya. Aside from that there isn't anything else particularly unusual about him. As a younger boy he was mocked for the size of his nose - it showed good breeding, his mother had always said - but as he aged, he grew into it, developing a prominent brow line adorned with two thick, dark brows. Though he allows his hair to grow, he keeps any trace of facial hair well-groomed, as his father always told him that it "wasn't fitting for a man of the cloth to have all that untidy fluff on his face".
When not fully-clad in his inquisitorial garb Maxi prefers a tunic and tabard combination, with leather boots and gloves. Given the rough colds of course, while outside he adorns himself in furs. As well as this, he wears a rosary around his neck at all times; an heirloom given to him by his father, representing the everlasting faith of the Markov family.
Max is a determined sort. He will strive to get a task done, although he will insist on getting it done the way he wishes. Some people have said he was "blinkered by his own arrogance", while others say it is a sign of a strong will and good leadership. Either way, it's the way he has always been, and "if it's got you this far, it can't be that bad now, can it?". Max is also very loyal to his faith. He has been tempted by other members of his order to follow a path that may have been "easier", but he is a firm believer that "nothing good comes easily", and so sticks by his faith and his duties, following them by the book; while others may deviate from the original plan to potentially get things done with less effort, Max prefers to do what his faith has guided him to do which is normally also what he has been ordered to do, no matter whether others see it as the right or wrong thing to do.
As a person, Maxi is hard to break into. With people he doesn't know so well he tends to act cold and indifferent, but when one gets to know him well enough, he is a loyal and warm friend. Max loves to read; whether it be fiction, history books, books on tactical warfare, swordplay, smithing or anything else, if you name a book, Maxi has probably read it. His bookishness has left him with a wealth of historical knowledge, and vast lexicon of stories to be told if ever he and some friends were say, sat around a fire with nothing to listen to but the wind rushing past their ears. It has also left him with a very acute tactical mind. Because of this, as well as his "get things done my way" attitude, many see him as a potential leader in the future. Max takes this praise humbly though, preferring to focus on the present.
Max is also very jumpy; something that his friends have often taken advantage of.
Being a 6'5", 278lb man has its advantages as far as fighting is concerned. Maxi favours blunt weapons, usually a morning-star. His swings have been known to decapitate a man. However, because of his strength, and the ease with which he can overpower most opponents, he is not the most cautious fighter, often overswinging and leaving himself open, only just managing to get his shield up at the last second. Since becoming an Inquisitor he has been more acutely trained though, so he is less prone to do it these days, but against a smaller, more technical fighter he may struggle.
Born in Varya, raised in Varya, to Varyan parents. A father that was an Inquisitor before him, and deeply religious mother made Maxi a stalwart follower of the eponymous deity. His parents had many friends from the church (Church? Temple? I can edit this), some of them fanatical followers of Varya. This deeply patriotic and religious attitude that his parents passed down left Maxi a bit xenophobic. He would not immediately reject anyone who was not Varyan, but he was slower to warm to them. With many people from Muraad and Lanostre inhabiting Varya nowadays, his attitudes have softened somewhat, but he was always more comfortable with people of his own kind.
His father being an Inquisitor, many said he was destined to follow in his father's footsteps. He began the training at the Red Seminary with aplomb, excelling through both the physical and mental toils. As he grew, however, Maxi began to question the faith which had been forced upon him. He began to associate with less pious individuals, when his days training was complete, he would even go so far as to take part in underground fighting rings amongst boys his ages. One fateful night, due to his mammoth frame - standing at six foot at fourteen years old - he beat another boy to death in one of these fighting rings. Though he was horrified by his actions, it didn't stop him, and he continued to stray from the righteous path, until his father was struck down with flux. His father was a tall, powerful man himself, the illness tore through him as though he were frail and old. His mother too, from tending to his father was stricken with this disease. It was then that Maxi knew that this was his divine punishment. He sat as his mother's bedside day and night. He prayed to Varya ceaselessly. He vowed to devote his life, his body, his soul to Varya if he could find the mercy to forgive his sins and to let his mother live. She did, and from then on there was never a doubt in Max's mind.
"A sinner saved a believer makes. For only when one sees Varya's terror can one truly feel his mercy."
Max and Kassandra: - Maxi and Kassandra have some romantic history. They were together for a time, but Kassandra broke it off unexpectedly. Since then they have remained friends, but they have become distanced. Max still holds some feelings for Kassandra but would never dare to act on them after what happened, preferring just to stay “friends”.
Max and Motya: - Normally Motya wouldn’t be the sort that Max would choose to be his friend, but since they were young, Maxi and Motya have been similar in size and strength, and whenever Motya went into one of his rages, Max would be the one called upon to restrain him, not only with his physical strength, but with his voice of reason. Because of this, he and Motya have grown into something of a friendship, but more of a mutual respect.
Max and Eldvanar: - Max knows of Van, but as he is from Muraad, Maxi, given his slightly xenophobic nature has made no effort to get to know him. They know of each other, but have never spoken in a one-on-one situation.
Max and Boris: - Max doesn’t know Boris very well at all, likely given to Boris’s disdain for all natural beings. Max doesn’t feel any real dislike towards him, but he is indifferent.
Max and Misha: - Max and Misha have spoken before but don’t know each other very well, likely due to Misha’s quiet nature.
Max and Mal: - The pair are good friends as long as they can stay off the subject of religion, which is difficult given their upbringings. Mal and Max share very different views about the way the church should operate and on some of the articles of faith that make up the religion, these arguments can get quite heated and have turned into physical fights from time to time. Despite these difference the pair enjoy each others company and always return to being friends in the end. Yes, I did just copy this from Orion’s post, but I couldn’t have added anything.)
Max and Ottilie: - The two know each other, and both having been avid explorers of the Red Seminary’s famous libraries, but they have never taken the time to get to know each other properly. Maxi respects Ottilie’s smarts but in fact knows very little else about her.
Max and Alina: - Much like Ottilie, Alina and Maxi only know each other through their love of literature, but the pair have never really got anywhere past being friendly acquaintances.
Max and Elias: - The two get on well; they respect and trust each other on the battlefield and in the war room, as they share an inclination to follow the rules to a T. However, given Maxi’s devout beliefs and Elias’s treacherous presence in the Red Seminary, their friendship seems destined to end badly.
(Played by Desert Zephyr)
SpoilerName: Eldvanar Skölgrimm is his birth name but is more commonly known as Van the Frostborn
Height/Weight: 5’10’’ or 1.78 meters tall, 155 lbs or 70.3 kg.
Appearance: A wiry five foot ten inches, Van is short for the people of Muraad and has yet to fill out. He also doesn’t quite match the complexion and build of his nearest neighbors. He has unruly dark red-auburn hard, and slightly hooded ice blue eyes. They have a tendency to develop dark bags when sleep deprived. Van possesses an aquiline profile, with a slightly hooked nose and pointed chin with slow but full growing beard. Van has abnormally pointed canines, and an old white scar running along just under his left cheekbone. Slightly hooded eyes, with a frequent tendency to get dark bags under his eyes when more than slightly sleep deprived.
Van has long slender fingers, with significant calluses on knuckles pads, and palms. He has large heavily muscled forearms, dotted with molten metal burn scars from crafting, smithing and archery. Consequently, he has large heavily built shoulders despite his wiry frame and has a bite scar on upper left bicep from a wolf. Another bite scar is on his right thigh. There are several more scars from light slashes across his chest, back and stomach.
Following the old traditions of Muraad, male children are tattooed at a young age as a rite of passage to adult life. Usually done by the village head or another wise figure blessed by extraordinary sight, the tattoo is not only a representative of an adult but their path through life. Instead of the traditional age of twelve, Eldvanar was tattooed by his adopted father En Skøld at the age of 6. Despite the amount of growing left, Skøld was able to tattoo the young boy with such skill that only at full growth will all the images be revealed. The tattoo is an intricate blue and black geometric tattoo with assorted scenes embedded within it. The tattoo covers from the right bicep to left pectoral and shoulder blade, and from join of right shoulder to neck down to right hip.
Only three scenes are currently visible in the tattoo. The first is a serpent dragon fighting a giant wolf with a great hawk overhead waiting to strike on the right pectoral. The second is a ruined mountain top in the middle of lightning storm. Two giant figures, one of light from the store, and one of fire on the ruined mountain clash with a god of ice preparing for combat from a surrounding fjord. It is located on the side of the right shoulder on the deltoid. The last is still too small to be clearly seen, but appears to be a raging sea scene.
Personality: Van is bitter, haunted by past memories and ideologies, and broods frequently. He is ruthless and ambitious with a mercurial temper with a tendency to hold grudges. His revenge tends to be inventively brutal, and he prefers to permanently end threats. Van is usually arrogant and brash, and will be impulsive if his emotions are running hot. Van is independent, cynical and untrusting. He also is usually clever rather than wise. Past experiences has created a revulsion to drunkenness.
Van struggles with faith to Varya. Not only was he not raised to the faith of Varya, but the idea of god that is less than supreme with other equals causes problems. Nonetheless, the power demonstrated by Varya presents a conundrum. Van is extremely well-versed in scripture, given his training in memorization, and can debate cleverly. However, the doctrine and dogma mean nothing to him on a spiritual level, as dictates of men seem irrelevant with a living breathing god. Sometimes it can be a comforting routine, but is normally a minor irritation for having to go through the motions. He does feel loyalty to the Order however, and in conjunction then to Varya.
Physical Abilities: While well versed in the theory of a wide variety of weapons, the only three he displays any talent in are the bow, the spear, and the rifle. While skilled in unarmed combat, his slight build and size reduce his capabilities to just better than average, and he is clumsy with a sword. Van excels in endurance. Not only do most bitterly cold environments cause no discomfort, he can hike and port far more than might be expected. The counterpoint is that he lacks a certain raw, explosive strength.
Magical Abilities: Another area was Van is skilled in theory and poor in practice. While he can comprehend most of abilities, he cannot consciously perform more than the minimum required basics. He continues to practice and improve, if very slowly. He possesses two magical skills that he uses unconsciously at times. The first seems to derive from gods, and is shaping and creation of ice. The energy taken away is transferred to Van. While somewhat addicting, it is both random and has stubbornly refused all conscious control.
Van’s sole well-performed magical skill has been performed from birth. He very efficiently converts ether into physical endurance and energy. It sustains and regenerates his body so as long as the initial wounds or a serious infection doesn’t kill him and he has a supply of energy or ether to draw on, he will eventually heal, and a rate between 10% and 20% faster than anyone else.
Background (Ended up being long, so I separated it into two sections in hiders)
Eldvanar Skölgrimm was found by his adopted father in the Ice Wastes as he prospected for lead sands and blood vine. The infant was found in swaddling clothes covered in frozen blood on a frozen slick of red ice. Despite what might have been a day of exposure in one of the harshest places on the continent, the young boy was still alive. Skøld scouted around the area for clues to his past, but other than generic traces of a fight and scavenging from animals. Had Skøld been of the Muraad, he would have left the boy alone in the wastes to die. Infants who survived the Wastes for more than a night were Frostborn, loved by the gods of ice with hearts just as cold. Skøld saw the boy’s fringe of red hair and took it as portents to other things, and retrieved the boy to live with him for his own ends.
Old En Skøld was a foreigner to the small rural town of Arvska, home of a well-known but small crystal works. The one-eyed gray haired man had arrived five years earlier and had quickly and quietly made himself indispensable as a tinker, a craftsman, a smith, and a tattoo artist. Brilliant but mad, old Skøld was a master with his long clever fingers and fever-bright eyes that could clearly see into the heart of things. Prone to uttering heresy when drunk, bringing home a cursed infant did little to change their opinion of the man. Too rural to be able to afford to get rid of the probable T’saraen and his vital skills and inventions, they settled for a grudging respect, a subdued hate and fearful awe.
Skøld couldn’t care less, hiring a prostitute to take care of the boy he named Eldvanar for a year during the day and provide him enough milk until he could be weaned. During the intervening time, he continued to prospect and eventually found a new source of lead for the crystal works. The deposit revitalized the works and made the old man rich enough to continue with his experiments, with his percentage of earnings supplemented with the occasional bloodvine harvest. The color made from a brilliant red dye preferred by the church, the sap a powerful and controlled narcotic, and the fiber tough and insulating fabric. After the first year, Skøld took the young boy everywhere with him, and when he turned four, Skøld began expecting the young boy to begin learning and punishing him for failure. The beatings were the most severe for failing to remember the Skøld’s tales of gods and religion, like the man with fire for eyes, or the one-handed fighter with a sword for justice. The latter was in strict contrast to the old man’s bitter words and the back of his hand for failure.
Once Van could memorize a new tale a day, Skøld began his tattoo. Unlike the work of the rest of the Muraad had to reveal their heart’s truth, Van’s was to form a truth and a path. Beginning when Van was six years old until he was eight, the intricate working was Skøld’s masterpiece. At the time, the detailed scenes were not yet visible, and the completion represented the height of Van’s belief in the harsh old man. It also marked the beginning of some independence for the young boy. Allowed to visit the town, Van was not only ridiculed, but also beaten by some of the village boys. While Skøld began training the boy to fight, the doubt began to creep into Van’s mind. To the young boy, even Skøld’s harsh training and burgeoning skills couldn’t armor him from the attitudes and ideas of the villagers.
As the questioning began, the beatings grew worse. Skøld began to drink more and his work began to slip more, exacerbating the issue. As Van began to take over more the duties, crafting and hunting, Van lost faith in old Skøld. Even the spear training, of which the old man had peerless skill, was another excuse to break Van’s will and mold him into the mad dreams of the heretic. The grand ambitions to steal all the ether from the gods, tame the raging ice storms in the same way, and create gods out of men lost their appeal. If Skøld’s dreams of gods solely for humanity existed at all, why the world was covered in ice and only fractured gods of the titan of ice remaining? What proof was there for a titan of fire, and how could Skøld rekindle his essence at all? Other inconsistencies widened the cracks, and Skøld’s permission for solo hunting missions gave time for the young boy to brood sullenly. The final straw came when Skøld came home barely coherent from booze after a poor visitation to a local prostitute and began beating the boy in a black rage. Van was beaten so badly he couldn’t move for days, and in the coherent periods between the hazy periods of pain, he decide to run away. It took him six months to gather all the materials, craft the necessary goods, and cache it all away from the increasingly brutal and suspicious old man.
Van ran away at twelve during the waning of a brutal blizzard. Half his caches were lost but the stubborn youth refused to concede defeat. During the next three months he trekked towards what he thought was a large town to sell his skills. Unfortunately, his cartography was poor in comparison to his survival skills and become hopelessly lost. Half-starving, Van made the mistake straying into the expanding territory of a dire wolf pack. Luckily, the pack had also drawn the ire of the local monastery and a party of inquisitors were sent out to quell the threat. Drawn by the noise of Van defending himself, they rescued the boy from being savaged by a wounded wolf, with two dead pack members not far off.
The head of the party, Father Tovio Rolvson ordered to the boy to be treated and held at their camp for investigation. In a simple test of endurance to the cold, the simple brutal father ordered the bandaged youth exposed to the elements for the night to have Varya judge him for trespassing on their lord’s lands, even inadvertently. It would also conveniently save on paperwork if the boy died, as they could just report finding the youth frozen. Proving the Muraad legend true once again, Van managed to hang on through a mild storm with no more than a few minor cases frostbite. Father Tovio considered the sign versus the commensurate paper work and deemed that if truly was frostborn and loved by the gods, Varya would keep him alive through the rest of the hunt. Tovio outlined his plan simply, if Van managed to survive the hunt while essentially being bait, Tovio would overlook his offense, treat him, and would foster him.
Van soon realized that he had traded his old master for an even more brutal one. While he managed to barely survive the hunt, the brief three month stint at the monastery was less than pleasant. Food was still low, and Van was fed barely enough to survive in the icy halls. They worked him mercilessly doing scut work and instructing him for half a year in the tenets of Varya. Despite his extremely deficient starting point, the memorization ability drilled into Van by Skøld allowed him to catch up with ease. Soon Father Tovio decided to both ease his logistics concerns and garner points for a talented disciple and sent Van off to the Red Seminary.
Already inured to brutal conditions, the physical and mental training of the seminary was less of an issue to him with a few exceptions. Weak in the classical grounding most candidates imbibed from their families, Van struggled to initially excel. Similarly, his slight build and late growth spurt made training in most weapons painful, and Van concentrated on archery, the spear and the rifle in comparison to all else. The most difficult aspect of the seminary was neither of these things, but rather the social interaction and arts required to fit in. Frequent clashes with bullies, a tendency towards sullen brooding and a crippling issue with trust cause Van to struggle with making comrades. The few he does possess he defends with ruthless vigor.
Quote: Knowledge without power is useless. Power without knowledge is wasted. The only man to fear is one who possesses both.
(Played by Kathichan1)
Name: Ottilie Rosendorn
Height/Weight: 5’4” and 137lb
Having been born into a noble family where keeping up appearances is one of the most important things to be aware of, Ottilie has been constantly reminded to take care of her looks. Therefore, no matter what circumstances she is in she will always attempt to keep her silky platinum blonde hair neatly combed and plaited tightly, and her clothes neat and unwrinkled. It is a difficult task, especially when travelling or training, but a multitude of hairpins and sewing supplies kept perpetually on her self aids in that task. Kind amber eyes coupled with the gentle smile usually present on her face brings a sense of warmth in an otherwise frozen land.
Don’t be fooled by her rather harmless appearance- harsh training as an Inquisitor has allowed her to gain a lithe and powerful body, capable of hard heavy hits. It is littered with countless small pale scars, none of which are particularly eye catching.
Ottilie takes great pride in the Inquisitor coat, for it represents both her capability as a person and identity as a member of the Priesthood. It is the article of clothing she takes most care of by patching up any rips or fraying seams, and if anyone is to sully it on purpose they would most certainly be on the receiving end of her rage. Underneath the coat are a simple cotton blouse and a pair of sturdy but warm pants, both durable and easy to clean. Accessories include a small but well-crafted hair pin emblazoned with the crest of her house as well as two simple rings on the middle finger of each hand, which serve as focus points for her ability.
Personality: Ottilie is quite the prideful woman. Not necessarily as in the haughty and better-than-thou context, but more pride of who she is and her abilities. She is proud of her noble family name and her having become an Inquisitor, and because of this pride she is fiercely loyal and will always work her hardest to represent both her house and what she thinks of as her extended family in the best ways possible. This pride does not stop her from aiding her friends- in fact, she takes great joy in helping others with anything they might need an extra hand in. She likes to think of herself as someone easy to approach, and tries her best to balance graceful dignity and warm-hearted enthusiasm as to support her team wholeheartedly.
This loyalty, coupled with her strong sense of protectiveness of her extended family makes her the regular mother hen of the group. At the end of the day she always ends up fretting over the smallest of things; from making sure everyone’s got enough to eat to attempting to patching up holes in clothing (perhaps even when said article of clothing is still being worn), she’ll be flitting to and fro in order to make sure everyone is in tip-top condition. She means well, but some do get annoyed by this behaviour as being overly fussy and trivial compared to other matters at hand.
Her perfectionistic ways also mean that she’s very against taking risks. Rather pessimistic by nature, Ottilie will usually assume the worst and become agitated if things don’t go the way they were planned. Risks are a road to possible failure, and while she understands that failures are impossible to avoid completely she would rather take the safe route than jeopardizing safety or sullying the names so dear to her.
Talents/Abilities: Ottilie’s ability is the physical materialization of ether. Usually it is an intangible substance that protects the body from the bitter cold of the world, but in this case Ottilie is able to manifest the ether into a tangible material. It becomes a translucent, glowing substance that can be molded into armor and weapons. Since Ottilie is still inexperienced with this power she needs the help of the two rings on each of her hands to act as a focus point to materialize the ether around her hands in the shape of simple gauntlets and armor that extend up to her shoulders. As a fighter who prefers hand to hand combat, the gauntlets act both as a power booster for her punches and as a way of blocking blows without heavy armor weighing her down.
Background: Born as the third child in a high ranking noble family, Ottilie had an easy and carefree first few years in the household. During this period, her parents scrutinized her carefully, unsure of how they should put their youngest child to use in improving the family name. Their oldest son would inherit the family name and manage the estate, while their second daughter was engaged to a man of high standing as to increase the family influence. They could potentially marry off Ottilie as well, but arranged marriages were rather tricky things with finding a suitable husband and all the dowries to be discussed. The idea hit them one day while watching the young child romp around in the nursery. Why not send her to join the priesthood? Members of the clergy are highly respected members of society, and to have a family member as one of them would no doubt raise their family standing.
Of course, if Ottilie was to join the priesthood she would have to be in nothing less than the top tiers, so plans were made to send her off to the Red Seminary. They knew the training was tough and it was possible that the girl may not even survive- but it was for the good of the household name and therefore worth it. Tutors were hired immediately to prepare the very young child for what was to come. When the time came to ship her off, the girl was well versed in the basics of strategy, magic, and etiquette, and her parents were sure she would be well prepared for what was to come.
Life at the Red Seminary was harsh, and many times Ottilie wrote home begging her parents to take her home, only to be told that she must persevere and bring honor to her family. It wasn’t the academics she could not keep up with, but rather the combat aspect of the training. Physical labor was never required at home and therefore she could barely even lift the lightest of swords so swinging one around was nigh impossible. She focused on hand to hand combat instead but her punches were weak and during the first few years she always lagged behind during sparring sessions, more often dodging and running from her opponent than landing futile hits. How she survived the first few years was much attributed to the speed she was forced to attain and pure dumb luck. It was not until her ability in materializing ether manifested until she was able to start improving the effectiveness of her physical attacks, and coupled with her agility made her a fast but heavy hitter.
Quote: "I will do my best to stay in top condition to represent the Inquisitors as an elite group, one which people can look up to and respect. You, as a fellow representative, need to keep an impeccable appearance as well, so please just stay still and let me mend your shirt!"
(Played by Guru)
Father Elias & Mother Kassandra(Played by 101 Scout1): Friendly to one another, often on an awkward level where one might think there is 'something going on'.
Father Elias & Father Mal(Played by Orion86): Butt heads often, usually over Mal's cockiness.
Father Elias & Father Moyta(Played by Avery Calhoun): Friendly, though usually very indifferent to one another.
Father Elias & Father Eldvanar(Played by Desert Zephyr): Share an interesting relationship due to philosophy in which they both were raised. They like and respect one another, though not particularly close. Possible close friendship though if their attitudes become mutually known.
Father Elias & Father Boris(Played by the Dark Man): Elias does not like, nor trust Father Boris at all. However, he does tolerate him simply out of necessity.
Father Elias & Mother Misha(Played by Maze): Elias is rather oblivious to Maze and her attraction to him. He thinks of her a a good comrade, but not much more than that.
Father Elias & Father Maksimylian(Played by Nightbringer): Good friends, that trust each other completely on the battlefield due to their strict nature in following the rules. However, a friendship destined to be ripped apart by differing views toward the Gods.
Father Elias & Mother Ottilie(Played by Kathichan1): They are good acquaintances, due to their families high status, but not much more than that.
Father Elias & Mother Alina(Played by Fox of Spades): They have a mentor/student type relationship. Due to Alina's bookiness, Elias is drawn to her and seeks to help her, often asking her advice on strategies and such. However, it extends further than that as Elias seeks to bring the coldness out of her heart. He looks at her as a excellent inquisitor, but worries about her humanity.
(Played by 101Scout)
SpoilerName: “Mother” Kassandra Xenos
Weight: 142 lbs
Appearance: Kassandra has a rather sharp build to her. Her hair has always been short to maintain her modesty as well as practicality. It is smooth and has a silvered tinge to it – a trait she received from her mother’s side of the family. She covers herself as well, even when not in uniform, she dresses in clothing very similar to the common apparel of a priest. Her weight is distributed as lean muscle throughout her body, but she isn’t a brute by any means, relying more on speed than pure strength. Her hazel eyes are soft and her cheeks are rather flush when compared to her lighter skin and hair.
Note: I couldn’t really find a “real” image to use and I really wanted to avoid using a picture with modern clothing.
Personality: Kassandra has a sharp tongue and a cold attitude, or at least that’s the impression she gives to most. Those who she actually shares a bond with, like quite a few of her fellow priests/priestesses, know that she is loyal and even, to some degree, caring. However, when in battle, focused on a mission, or around those she is not very familiar with, her cold, calculating attitude returns. Despite her slightly below-average height, she is confident and protective, despite being quiet in unfamiliar situations.
Kassandra wasn’t an ambitious youth, nor would one consider her to be as such while an adult. However, due to her circumstances, she has never shirked on her duty and strives to be the absolute best at whatever she is tasked with. Of course, this is still not to be confused with ambition – her entire life has been spent with having this idea of being the best drilled into her. Kassandra did not have a natural desire to climb the ladder of success, it was merely that her entire life has revolved around being the most respected, strongest figure she could be.
The priestess uses her faith and focus to avoid confronting any conflicts within herself that may go against her beliefs… Not only the temptations of drink or other pleasures, but those desires buried even deeper. By focusing on her work, she will never have to face the fear she holds – the fear of those desires being true. She’s found herself never able to connect beyond friendship with any man… And only has she felt attraction toward other women; these thoughts are the ones that she buries the deepest in her soul, locking them away so that not even she knows of them.
Talents/Abilities:Active: Kassandra's "active" ability is the creation of force-fields that vary quite greatly in their size and strength. She manipulates the space in front of her using ether in order to create a physical shield, which cannot protect against ether-based attacks, in order to really bolster her combative strength. She's a close-quarters combat expert and prefers to give others very little time to create a space for magical combat, so she trained this aspect to bolster her strength in that field. It will often be used in conjunction with her deflective bracer, in case an attack is too powerful for her and too quick to really dodge. Typically, she'll only make it as large as absolutely necessary and hold it for the moment of impact alone, so many barely even notice that she's used it if not for the fact that it feels like they just struck a wall with their weapon. It's rather taxing on ether-usage, so she tries to avoid using it (as the vials they carry are of course very helpful, but at they same time they are limited) as much as possible. Her focus in training is going toward using it to defend others as well, but so far she can't make it go much farther out than a few feet in front of her, let alone concentrate it in front of somebody else. Lately, she's been wondering if she can use her own ether supply to do it, but channel it through another's - perhaps that's the trick? She's not one to ask for help and prefers to learn through experience, so really, she has no idea.
Passive: Kassandra's passive ability lies in her reflexes and speed. This aide in combat actually makes things seem to move slower around her, though only slightly, and gives her time to process exactly what her next move should be. Her ability to catch small movements and read opponents is extremely sharp and her ether only provides her the means to improve it at critical moments of a fight. It helps her to catch blades with her own at the right moment and, more commonly, know exactly when to raise her bracer and use it to help aid her in an evasive move. This also gives her the pseudo-active ability of being able to make a very fast dash in an initial movement. It has the mechanics of an active ability, but works like a slightly more powerful passive one. The "active" part being that it takes a moment to ready, in that she really has to focus and channel her ether into her legs and ready her positioning (this has become almost second nature before a fight, however) before using the stored strength to blast from the ground forward in a high-speed movement solely for the initial connection to the fight. The first time she used it, it caused her opponent to lose in the first move, as she had been practicing it after-hours while nobody was around for a long time before allowing it to make it's debut in one of the school's annual tournaments. The other boy lost as her falchion pressed softly to the flesh of his throat before being sheathed. She was announced the winner after a lot of deliberation - as many thought she had cheated with it, but iwas finally decided as an official "passive ability" and was allowed. After a few years of using it, many expect and prepare for it before fighting her - especially Motya, who was the only one to know of it before the competition - but it is a very handy advantage that she gains when fighting an opponent that does not know her.
Background: Kassandra was never able to meet her biological mother. Her father rarely spoke of it before his own death, and her family is always very quiet whenever she would ask. However, the very little information she was able to collect told her that when she was young, her mother was actually kidnapped while alone in a nearby city and sold into human trafficking for a high price. Being of a lower noble family in La Nostre, as well as being rather attractive, she fetched a high price. The family, while esteemed in their small area, was not well-known throughout La Nostre and they were unable to pool the resources to look into what happened or retrieve her… It is likely that, by now, her body has been worn down into a laboring slave.
Mr. Xenos, Kassandra’s father, passed when she was young as well, but she was almost ten, so she can still clearly remember the man… He was kind and always warm-hearted. However, her memory does not serve her well always; there were nights where he would come home and not even acknowledge her presence… He smelled of spirits and would saunter to his study, lock the door, and not come out for hours… sometimes he would spend nearly two whole days in that room – coming out for perhaps a meal or two, or to search the cupboards for a fresh bottle. He never hit her, but Kassandra remembers having to care for herself on those days. He died in that office of what was later considered as some form of alcoholic overdose.
Life after that was much sterner, and Kassandra changed completely. She moved in with her grandmother and aunt. While her grandmother, Megaera, was not always capable of caring for herself and Kassandra’s aunt would help her, it seemed that the elderly woman held some form of disdain for her own daughter. Kassandra did not understand, but assumed it was because her aunt did not marry, despite being a grown woman. After Megaera’s death, Kassandra noticed that one of her aunt’s friends seemed to come to the house far more often, though perhaps it was just to help care for the young girl.
Her entire family had been instilling patriotism for La Nostre and the goddess that once guided them all… Even when she was young, she was resilient and steadfast in her own opinions, which were molded by her family, and her affinity for physical battle, she believes, comes from her devotion to that goddess. Of course, because of the time that had passed, no matter how short, it was undeniable that Varyan society had mixed with that of La Nostre, and so she still believed in the strength of Lord Varya.
It was more her aunt’s decision for her to go to the Red Seminary, but she was also told of the glory and the strength of character that came with becoming a priestess… Though Kassandra never told her aunt about the thoughts that had slowly been becoming part of her mind, she honestly believed that by becoming a priestess, she would be cleansed and could find herself… “fix” that part that she so desperately fought and locked away. Besides that,she knew that by becoming stronger, she would never be cursed with the fate that her mother was… The harder she worked, the farther she went, the stronger she became… All of these things would protect her, and more importantly, those around her… She couldn’t let somebody else be taken due to their own weakness. This was a burden she brought on herself after her mother’s death; her father’s passing as well, when he gave in to the temptations of alcohol and wallowing in his own depression; and finally, her grandmother, a bitter old woman who passed full of regrets which she could never express as well as a disdain for her daughter which, ultimately, caused the woman to stop taking such close care of her… All fates that were caused by weakness and which she had been powerless to stop. Never again would the priestess feel so weak and unable to control that which tore her family apart.
Quote: Weakness lies not in the mind, but in the soul. In order to crush it, you have to strengthen every part of your being.
Father Boris: Kassandra has no true resentment for Boris, but he seems to have something against her, though he seems to act that way to quite a few people – he’s rude, blunt, and a bit arrogant, so she just doesn’t really go near him often.
Father Mal: These two have a strange relationship… As Motya, one of Mal’s close friends, is Kass’ most common sparring partner and a good friend (though they aren’t extremely close, they are on rather good terms – as joking friends). Mal and Kass tend to argue and make pointed statements toward one another, having something of a “rivalry” with one another, they keep their tongues sharpened whenever they are near one another.
Father Motya: Being one of Kassandra longest standing sparring partners, Motya and she have grown somewhat close, though they hold no more significance than a couple of old, nostalgic friends. The two prefer to keep their discussions short and focus on the fights that they have very often. Their opposing styles and completely different body-builds make them an interesting round to watch. They commonly break even in their combat, constantly learning and observing how to fight another so different from themselves.
Mother Misha: For some reason, Kassandra never liked Misha. Perhaps it was the fact that they weren’t close early on in their priesthood, so there is no room in her heart for the softness that she believes she sees in the other girl, or perhaps it’s just one of “those things” that will never be explained… But, regardless of why she holds disdain for the other girl, it clearly exists. However, it seems rather one-sided, as Kass often gives her the cold shoulder and makes no attempt to hide her annoyance in dealing with the other priestess.
Father Maksimylian: Max and Kassandra have a history that only a few really know about, as it never truly got far. Sometime during their training, Kassandra wanted so desperately to prove to herself that, mentally, she was normal, and so she decided that, to prove this to herself, she would say yes when Maxi asked to be an item… It was more of a spur-of-the-moment thing for her, and they got as far as the first kiss before she left and, in her first moment alone, had her breakdown. To this day, she has managed to convince herself that she just felt nothing and would never feel anything for anybody. Life moved on, and while things between them may seem awkward at first, Kass holds no strangeness for their history and only hopes that Max has left it behind. They aren’t as close as good friends, but they aren’t on negative terms either.
Father Eldvanar: Kass and Eldvanar have been at one another’s throats for years now… Though not in a hateful way – their rivalry has become something of a tradition, and it’s a very comical relationship. It started during a mix-up several years ago, when somebody told Kass that he had been peeping on her… After she bloodied his nose, he explained that it couldn’t have been him. The two of them found the one who had framed him and gotten in a large amount of trouble for the beating they promptly delivered. The other boy was kicked from the school and reassigned, much to his dismay. The two became slightly acquainted friends during their punishment, but Kassandra never apologized for lashing out at him, and so their relationship became a series of “one-ups” on each other, almost like mischievous pranking. How they found the time for something like this is beyond me, but they did, and sometimes they really go out of their way to “get” one another. Max seems to be trying to get even, but Kassandra plays to win.
Mother Ottilie: Kassandra and Ottilie were roommates fairly early on, being assigned to one another. Ottilie always seemed so frail to Kassandra, who would work harder than even most of the others in the school – stuffing extra hours into her combat skills and working to hone her reflexes and stamina. Of course, she had to find ample time to pass her magical classes… Ottilie is Kass’ second closest friend, after Mother Alina, which to most would be strange, but they bonded during one of Ottilie’s early-year breakdowns while she was writing to her parents for release. Kassandra took her under her own confident, priest-bound wing to teach her more about fighting. She helped Ottilie to hone herself (at least a little better) emotionally for the trials of the Red Seminary. In exchange, Ottilie would help Kassandra with whatever she needed in regards to learning about her ether. The two of them, with Alina, are rather closely knitted, and in the end, Kass would do anything for Ottilie if she was in danger.
Father Elias: Kass and Elias are not extremely close, but the two of them click rather well. Him being married and her having absolutely no chance of being in a relationship makes them a rather awkward pair, but they have a somewhat funny relationship as well. The two flirt, but only because there is absolutely no sincerity behind it. While Kassandra has never been a happy-go-lucky or joking type of person, for some reason, around Elias, she feels comfortable enough to break away from that comfort zone if only for a bit. Of course, she isn’t always fun around him, it just happens that she often shows traits uncharacteristic of herself while they are in conversation.
Mother Alina: These two are like sisters. Alina and Kassandra met in the very first days at the Red Seminary – during the orientation stage, while everybody was still learning the schedule. They clicked well and the two have been pillars of support throughout all of their training. They tell each other everything (though, still, nobody knows of Kassandra’s attractions) and know just about all there is to know about one another. Despite their friendship, the two rarely spar, they prefer to just enjoy their time together as friends, and Kassandra has enough people to spar on a daily basis, as her strange falchion & bracer combo attracts a bit of attention in the ring (as many will underestimates her efficiency with the weapons).
(Played by Fox of Spades)
SpoilerName: Alina Alkaev
Height/Weight: 5'5 and 140lbs
A rather plain girl, the first thing people usually notice about Alina are her grey eyes that somehow resemble stained glass. Usually, it seems as if she's looking through someone instead of at them, making her seem distant. The girl has shoulder length black hair, with floppy bangs she keeps swiped to the side and tucked behind her ears. Sometimes the cold weather tempts her to grow her hair out, but she cuts it anyway, believing that the longer it is, the more likely it will hinder her in a fight. Alina has a lean and firm build, she's not soft or vulnerable looking, but is in no way intimidating either. In fact, the girl is just average, someone easily forgotten.
Alina has utmost respect for their uniform and tries to keep herself as presentable as possible when wearing it, but it is a rather daunting task considering all the snow and the fact that healers will get their hands dirty.
First and foremost, Alina is calm, reliable, and maybe even apathetic. She does her responsibilities with determination and initiative, opting to finish what she can as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The young woman is a very dedicated person, often pushing herself to her limits in pursuit of perfection. If Alina thinks she can do better, she will try to do better. The girl refuses to give anything but her best and takes pride in her ability to notice minute details and mistakes. She has a good head on her shoulders and a thirst for knowledge. Often, Alina learns from observation and imitation. When trying something new, she will repeat the same activity over and over again until she is either too tired to continue or finally satisfied with the results of her training.
Alina is rather harsh on herself. However, when it comes to dealing with her companions, she is the opposite. The girl expects them to give things their all, but is understanding and kind. Alina isn't very affectionate and is not the sort of person that radiates cheer and joy, but she's always willing to lend a helping hand, and is always there to offer a shoulder to lean on. The young woman does her best to be a pillar of support during tough times. Often giving encouraging nudges or smiles when things look bleak. She isn't easy to faze, and has a strong grip on her emotions.
In the midst of battle Alina becomes a cold and apathetic healer, unflinching as she patches up the grizzly rips and tears in her companion's flesh, calm as she runs her fingers over the gash in her fellow priest's arm, and unyielding as she tries her darnedest to save lives. Alina takes her role as healer very seriously. It is a role that requires a level head, the ability to make split second decisions and emotional stability - needed in order to whisper words of comfort in a dying person's ear. Alina has grown numb to the sight of the dying, and makes it her job to ease their suffering, even just a little bit. She hates it when people suffer, which is why she'll do whatever she can to help keep them alive.
The girl buries her own fears and worries, becoming a pillar for those who need something to lean on. Sometimes she feels as if her emotions will eventually resurface and strangle her. Watching people take their last breaths has never been easy, but Alina copes for the sake of others.
Outside of missions she lowers her walls. The apathy crumbles and Alina becomes less detached. The girl keeps to herself and can be a bit distant, but when approached she will never turn anyone away. The girl likes seeing people happy, and as a result finds herself drawn to cheerful optimists despite her reserved nature.
The frozen world needs all the warmth it can get after all, and she needs some of that warmth too.
She feels the energy draining from her fingertips as her hands press hard against the gash on her friend's side. Slowly, the torn muscles begin to mend, staunching the flow of crimson. Alina feels as if she's burning, the pain growing more intense by the second. The girl lets out a huff, pouring more of her energy into her companion's wound. The flesh comes together, turning a blotchy pink, the blood ceasing completely.
Alina's talents lie not in weaponry or the sword, but in the art of healing. She works best as a supporter, but is a formidable foe when it comes down to hand to hand fighting. Alina's hands are deadly, and what she can heal she can also deconstruct. However, her specialty lies in healing people with her ether. Destroying muscle tissues or causing skin to tear takes a lot out of Alina and it's just painful and not a pretty sight, so she doesn't resort to it and has never really used it. In fact, realizing she could also cause suffering with her healing abilities was an accident and had happened when she was still rather inexperienced. Alina trained even harder and as a result learned to keep the more dangerous aspects of her ability under control.
The girl isn't very strong, but she's swift and precise. When not healing her injured comrades, Alina is usually playing as bait, luring enemies away and distracting them before swiftly trying to knock them out. The girl is mediocre at most weapons, but does know how to fight hand to hand. As a healer, she has knowledge on the human anatomy and uses this to her advantage, often aiming for pressure points or weak spots in order to temporarily gain the upper hand on bigger foes.
However, in battles that rely on brute strength Alina would be pretty much doomed.
The only daughter of a tinkerer and an apothecary. Alina's family was in no way rich, but they got by. Her dad made a variety of weird little doohickeys, ranging from portable heaters to toy trains of cogs and gears. More often than not his serious inventions would fail and fall apart. To be honest, Alina's father was more of a toy maker than an inventor. The children of Varya loved his wacky new ideas and the would often go out of their way to visit her father when he wasn't busy. It only made Alina adore her dad even more.
The girl was always closer to her father, since he worked in the attic. Her mom on the other hand ran a small shop on the other side of town, selling homemade remedies and different kinds of herbs. Sometimes her mom would disappear for days, opting to stay at her aunt's house instead of taking the long walk back on chilly nights. Rarely did she spend time with her mother, but when they did spend time together it was always memorable for Alina.
Life was good to the girl and she was happy.
It didn't last though and one day her mother got sick. At first it was just coughing and few fevers, but the coughing grew into fits of hacking and soon the woman was spitting up blood. She always tried to shrug it off, but finally decided to visit a real doctor. None of her herbs had worked and she just kept getting worse and worse. The woman needed help, but that wasn't something the doctors were able to give her.
The doctors said it was tuberculosis and that they couldn't do a thing about it. Slowly, Alina's mom began to get worse and worse.
Her dad fell into depression and spent most of his days locked in the attic, tinkering with his mechanical trains and cogs.
Alina on the other hand scavenged around the house for every medical book her mother had. Greedily, she read book after book. Absorbing new information in hopes of finding something that could help save her mother. The information within the books were far too great for a nine-year-old and soon she too began to lose hope. Alina spent most days in the library, searching for something within the books labeled 'healing'.
That was where Alina met Mother Nadia.
The woman had a fondness for books and was usually at the library. Several times she had run into the distraught Alina, and the sad-looking child had piqued Mother Nadia's curiosity. She began to question Alina, eventually learning more about the girl each time she came to the library. Alina never told the woman about her mother's sickness though and Mother Nadia never found out until one Thursday afternoon when the girl walked into the library sniffling and wiping away at tears. Mother Nadia coaxed the girl into telling her what was wrong and the nine-year-old cracked, revealing everything. From her mother's recent death to her father's descent into depression. Alina even including her failed attempts at dabbling in medicine.
Alina's father only got worse, his depression turning him into an unresponsive recluse. Alina always told Mother Nadia everything and one day the woman came to a solution. She asked the nine-year-old if she wanted to learn more about medicine and help people.
The girl said yes.
Mother Nadia then asked her if she wanted to go to the Red Seminary, stating that if she trained under the Holy Order she would be able to save lives.
Alina had nowhere else to go, so with a determined nod of the head, she agreed.
Quote: "Physical wounds can be healed, the worst injuries are the ones that do not bleed."
An aspirant who trained alongside the inquisitors who would go on to be chosen for the 1st Elurian Mission, Father Dara is a zealot who's devotion to the Varyan faith, along with his prodigal skill in magic, is nigh unparalleled among the current generation of trainees.
Hailing from an unknown region of Lanostre, Dara is a pale young man with a somewhat uncommon appearance. At 5'1, he is shorter than most boys within the Seminary, with a strange, almost-feminine softness to his features and a nervous chaos in his pale blue eyes. His pale-blonde hair, the same bleached shade as his skin, is always kept short, though this does little in making him appear more masculine.
Throughout his years at the seminary, Dara demonstrated a keen intellect in matters of faith and war. Even though Dara was amongst the most renowned of the aspirants in terms of his magical skill, he was a deathly quiet boy known for his refusal to speak unless it was absolutely necessary. His absolute silence and seemingly lack of any social skills, alongside his eery pale appearance, resulted in his fellow aspirants nicknaming him 'The Little Ghost'. Many aspirants tried to befriend as well as help him, as they felt sorry for the small boy, but Dara refused to accept any form of companionship or aid during the monstrous 'trials' which he was subject to within the Red Seminary,
Despite his incredible power, which manifested itself a mere twelve months after his arrival at the Seminary, Dara was a victim of cruel bullying throughout his years there, mostly due to his appearance and his meek and unimposing personality. Despite being subject to emotional and physical abuse from some of his fellow aspirants, Dara never once defended himself, as he viewed the cruel hazing as just another form of training that he had to endure. Left unspoken was Dara's fear that should he fight back, he could easily kill his fellow aspirants if he was not careful.
Some say that Dara's tormentors did what they did because they were jealous of how easily Dara's power came to him, others say that it was because of a revelation that Dara had been trying to conceal his entire life-- that Dara was not born male a female-- but a hybrid of the two genders.
People like Dara are almost unheard of in the Varyan empire, and when their existence is made public, they are seen as monstrous mistakes, an affront to the Gods. Most intersex children, upon discovery of their nature, would've been disposed of, but somehow, Dara was able to survive this cruel fate until his arrival at the Red Seminary, where his talents were fostered through many painful years, years which many of his tormentors did not survive.
Upon his ordainment, Father Dara was heralded as the most powerful among the ten most recent inquisitors who survived Matriarch Bryndis' instruction. Despite this, he was not chosen to be part of the 1st Elurian Mission, and was instead given a different mission.
Magical ability: Dara's passive ether manipulation is on a threshold above most of the Inquisitors in his class. He is able to conjure powerful shields which have proven nigh impenetrable against other forms of magic, though when it comes to physical shields, Dara's ability suffers, and thus he is most vulnerable to physical attacks. Most of his physical training throughout his years at the Red Seminary has been focused on increasing his speed and reflexes, and the endless days of constant physical exercises have turned Dara into a perpetually moving blur within battle. It is incredibly difficult to catch Dara physically, but if you do, it would spell his end.
Dara's active magic gives him the extraordinary ability to summon demons and command them to a certain degree. Thus far, he has only mastered the ability to summon and give orders to Vestria demons, but it is said that his knowledge of summoning magic increases day after day.
A legendary Varyan inquisitor, Matriarch Bryndis has been the head instructor at the Red Seminary for many decades. Hailing from the wild lands of Muraad, Bryndis is ruthless and uncompromising in her training methods, and it is said that every child who has passed through the scarlet halls of the Red Seminary has seen the pale-haired woman in their nightmares. Despite the fear she commands from her pupils, Bryndis is highly respected by most of the aspirant populace, as she has been responsible for the training of many of the empire's most powerful inquisitors throughout her career.
In her younger years, Bryndis was a heralded crusader who's exploits during the war against Lanostre were legendary among both the military and the priesthood. It is rumoured that Bryndis stepped down as a field inquisitor and dedicated herself to the Red Seminary after she was mortally wounded (and later healed) by Lady Lanostre herself.
Matriarch Bryndis has been blessed with the magical ability of summoning powerful lightning storms, a special skill which the has famously used in disciplining some of her more wayward students.
- No godmodding.
- This is the Advanced section, so I think everyone will appreciate at least a passable grasp on grammar and spelling.
- If you are to be absent for a while or plan to quit the RP altogether, please tell us on the OOC so we'll be prepared.
- Read all of the posts in the IC. If you don't know what's going on because you don't read it, then that's on you.
- You must keep up with the discussion in the OOC. Try to read everything so you don't get left behind.
- Try to be sociable and post in the OOC if possible. If you're a complete ghost in the OOC and are never around for discussions, people not might not want to interact with your character.
- Be friendly and cool. Don't be a douchebag. Everyone is here to have fun.
- Please pay attention to what other people write in order to maintain continuity and flow. If there are any errors or miscommunication, we'll discuss it in the OOC and go back and edit whatever needs fixing.
- Side-stories are welcome, as long as they are discussed in the OOC first.
That's about it! Thanks for reading through all of that (I know it's quite a lot). If you have any questions or anything, don't hesitate to ask!