“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand. And Eternity in an hour.” ― William Blake
In a world where Warlords reign supreme and are in charge of vast empires, power is but a passing glance that comes and goes just as the changing streetlights. A mostly derelict city, hundreds of miles wide, lay in the center of a vast desert. But the desert or its location is unimportant, all of the action happens within this skyscraper-riddled city. In this world, power of all sorts is a commodity, which is to be traded for under-the-table deals or taken by force from your enemy's hand. The city's name is Metro-33 and it is a bio-dome of epic proportions, housing approximately 1 billion citizens under it's crystalline roof.
The glass dome surrounding the city keeps visitors out and those wishing to leave in. Life in Metro-33 is not-quite-dystopian, but the denizens of the city would claim that dystopia is right around the corner. The city is ruled by Dons, essentially mob bosses and warlords who hold quite a great deal of sway in the functioning and puppeteer-ing over Metro-33. Built in 1 A.C., 10 major investing Houses contributed the funds necessary to build the Metro-30 BioDome. Since then, Metro-30 has undergone a Reconstruction thrice. Only 4 great "Houses" remain from the construction of Metro-33, the others were either consumed or subsumed or merged or immolated.
Out of the 10 original Houses, only 4 remain and have complete political and economic control over the city. A small surface-government has been established since the construction of Metro-33, however the real "shadow government" comprised of the 4 Houses operates behind the scenes. In a city plagued with as much corruption as this one, any legitimate government presence is negligible.
The city complex is rife with all manner of problems, socioeconomic, political and cultural in nature. Traveling between the territories of the 4 Houses (Downtown, Uptown, East Side and West Side) requires extensive background checks and opens travelers up to search or seizure. Rather than outright invading territories, most of the Houses attack each other covertly through political blackmail, forming alliances, intimidation and assassination attempts. But Metro-33 holds a darker secret than the quarreling delegates of the wasteland that is their city. The original terms on which Metro-33 was built were themselves classified documents, but rumors around the city circulate that the city may house a powerful artifact capable of generating near-infinite clean energy and food. Underneath the grime and warring factions, Metro-33 is more than just a lone and decrepit city in the desert.
Will you reign over your enemies before they reign over you?
[Metro-30, 31, 32 & 33:]
The origins of Metro-33 and its predecessors Metro-30, 31 and 32 are shrouded in mystery (well, more so a lack of proper documentation.) From what intel we have managed to gather, Metro-30 was built after the 10 original Dons held a council which enacted the financial initiative necessary to fund Metro-30’s construction. Construction of the original bio-dome #30 ended in 1 A.C.
Although digital records of the event have been wiped in 100 A.C., the year of Metro-33's reconstruction, a massive gang war broke out. Tensions between the 10 original Houses boiled over into one major cataclysm - the so-called Night of Embers. Perched atop their manor in the most northern and highest part of the city, the Vorgados of Antebellum Heights reigned supreme. For a century, House Vorgado (1 A.C. - 100 A.C.) ran Metro-30, 31 and 32's finances and black market firearms trade.
The Night of Embers (100 A.C.) was a joint arson effort perpetuated by 5 of the 10 great Houses which resulted in the destruction of several of the Houses within a single night. The now-defunct House Tolstoyev collaborated with Houses Bordeaux, Madhistana, Shen and Martine to target the richest and most influential family of The 10 - the Vorgados of Antebellum Heights. They hatched a plot to take down House Vorgado, but in the event of both failure or success, the fallback and possible retribution to their conspiracy would be immense.
House Bordeaux and Shen would provide the funds necessary for the incendiary devices (manufactured by House Martine,) while Houses Madhistana and Martine planted the flammables. During the arson, House Tolstoyev, the brains behind the plot, would create a diversion to draw House Vorgados out of Antebellum Heights and kidnap the Don for ransom (or more.) Don Tolstoyev's hatched the idea to torch the Manor once House Vorgado was safely out of Uptown. This would allow House Tolstoyev to swoop in pre-arson and empty the Vorgado's coffers. A popular rumor circulating during this time was that House Vorgado's immense wealth was not the result of business-savvy deals and black market trading, but something far more supernatural. Tracing the rumor at this point is impossible.
However, like all good plans, sometimes they backfire. The Vorgado Manor, cast in polished jet black steel and plastic, was in essence a military facility as the Houses of Tolstoyev, Madhistana, Shen and Martine would soon learn. The self-lockdown mechanism was tripped by several members of House Madhistana & Martine, trapping 4 Dons (Don Vorgado, Tolstoyev, Martine and Madhistana) in the Vorgado compound. An S.O.S. signal was transmitted via radio frequency to one of the Vorgado's allies - House Weiss.
House Shen and Bordeaux had to think quickly on their feet to salvage the arson and kidnapping attempt. Or did they?
Don Shen and Donna Bordeaux saw and seized the opportunity of a lifetime - 4 of their competitors stuck in one very volatile location. Without much hesitation, Donna Bordeaux remotely detonated the incendiary devices placed in and around the manor grounds while Don Shen closed all traffic going through the Quadra-Bridge (but not before House Weiss's goons passed the toll checkpoint. From only a mile or two away, House Weiss had front row seats to a horrifying and malicious fireworks show and a key to Antebellum heights.
Not knowing of Don Tolstoyev's full plan to search the Vorgado Manor, they (Shen and Bordeaux) assumed that any spoils would have gone up in smoke and so they remained in their comfortable seats in the West and East sides of town, respectively. Out of the remnants of House Madhistana and Martine, House Martell was formed in 101 A.C. Shortly thereafter, what few living Tolstoyev and Vorgado members there were, they got absorbed House Weiss.
But all that's in the past...
To be in a House is to be closer than brothers. Blood is thicker than water, but everyone in the Houses swears a blood-oath of loyalty. Those bound by blood have destinies intertwined. They are thicker than blood.
[Uptown & House Weiss of Antebellum Heights]
Primary Export: Weapons & Firearms, automobiles, pharmaceuticals
Locations: Antebellum Heights/Weiss HQ, Metro-Overpass (skyway)
The most ancient of the 4 remaining Houses, House Weiss has stood the test of time and proven themselves to be a worthy adversary, all without getting blood on their hands Among the spoils of war, they inherited the Vorgado Manor or what was left of it. Even in ruin, the facility seemed so appealing to Don Weiss that he ordered the headquarters of his House to be build directly over the charred cremains of 4 great Houses. 99.9% of firearms within the city of Metro-33 are manufactured by House Weiss and money made from gun sales always trickles down as profit for Don Weiss. All firearms, even black market weapons, are marked with a digital tag and any time the weapon changes hands, a tax surcharge is levied on the user's personal electrobiochemical ID and money is instantly drawn out of their (legitimate) bank account. They have a penchant for expensive wine, while mulling over countless financial statements and spreadsheets. Even in the futuristic society of 102 A.C., this is a job that a human is better equipped for than a robot. The large majority of hoverboard, hovercar and hoverbike parts are also developed in the research labs of Weiss. House Weiss values privacy and they're known for being just as uptight as House Bordeaux, without all the snooty French mannerisms. However, their elusive nature and secrecy has not gotten them any love from the other 3 Houses.
What they found among the remnants of Antebellum Heights, if anything, is still unknown.
[East Side & House Bordeaux-le'Palais XXII]
Turf: East Side
Primary Export: Ice, wine, sex, entertainment/media
Locations: Cat District: Cat's Paw Brothel, Le Chateau Royale Casino
Where the elite go to party. The East Side territories sport posh Parisian-inspired streets lined with palm trees and freshly paved streets, highways and skyways. When House Vorgado sat atop Antebellum Heights, the Bordeaux bank was almost as large as House Vorgados.
They run the Cat's Paw Brothel which is chock full of horny men and plastic-silicone girls. In this case, the girls really are plastic and silicon; prostitution was outlawed and deemed punishable by death in 2 A.C., but the law did not extend to cyborgs (60% or more cybernetic implant/replacement) or androids. Using androids manufactured cross-town by House Shen on the West Side, the Bordeaux and Shens have always seemingly enjoyed a subtle, but unofficial, truce for mutual benefit.
[West Side & House Shen Turf]
Turf: West Side
Primary Export: Androids, cyborgs, industry, bridges/tolls
Locations: Bonsai Botanical Gardens, Mt. Fukurama Country Club/Golf Course, C-FOOD Factory
The serpent coiled before you: House Shen acquired a lot of blood on their hands over the years. The stain/gold star on their reputation was House Shen's ruthless actions perpetuated during the NoE. Their most notable invention is the SchematoForm(TM), which is essentially a factory-in-a-box. With the press of a button (several buttons actually), a factory is self-constructed by a complex computer program built into the building parts and androids therein. House Shen is in an interesting position because they control the terrestrial bridges and skyhighways of Metro-33 and due to this, they collect a small digital tax on everyone passing through their bridges or highways-in-the-sky. The 4 "corners" of the bio-dome are connected by a massive bridge in the center of the city - Quadra-Bridge.
House Shen goes back almost as far as House Weiss and has a fiery temperament to boot. Before the Weiss family moved out of the West Side, House Shen had to share some territory. The rolling green-and-purple pastures of grass are enough to convince one that they've escaped Metro-33 and are in paradise, until they're reminded the probable bloodshed that went into paying for that non-artificial patch of grass. They enjoy a steady truce with the Bordeaux House for as long as they keep purchasing android prosti-bots from Don Shen's factories.
[Downtown and House Martell
Primary Export: Cybernetic Implants, Ice
Locations: Briarwood Park, Lower West Side, Club X (HQ of House Martell)
Out of the 10 original Houses, House Martell is nowhere on that list of 10. They are the “new kids on the block” but they’ve shown themselves adversaries that can play with the big names. House Martell was formed in 101 A.C. post-Night of Embers and has been operating for approximately 1 year.
Their biggest breakthrough, in essence their formation, came when the predecessor Houses started dabbling in a new designer drug known as "ICE." The psychedelic stimulant has properties of dissociatives and sedatives, while inducing intense euphoria, but also delirium and occasionally manic behavior. Inhibition is only slightly lowered on ICE, but a greater cause of concern than taking-your-clothes-off-faster-than-usual is the fact that users on ICE become quite gullible and easy to manipulate. Dabbling in the drug is still one of the few taboos left in this time period. Users usually go back to mostly-normal after they quit use or the drug leaves their system. ICE is notoriously addictive, cheap to manufacture, but unlike traditional stimulants or psychedelics, ICE is easy to overdose on. Entire lines of overdose'd users are found waiting outside clubs they wouldn't have gotten into even if they lived. Erratic behavior and severe psychological changes can and do occur on ICE, and coupled with its hypnotic powers make it a tool that House Weiss and Shen do not utilize, since it seems to do more harm than good.
House Martell, surprisingly, utilizes this vice to their benefit and have thus far remained intact and the organization hasn't imploded. Several other Houses had a foray into selling ICE that was cut short and recognized as a stupid idea because it was killing off their own Housemates, who were dipping into the cookie jar. Ultimately, it's almost never a profitable venture, but the Martell's have managed to make it work.
[Cult of Soma]
-Location: Soma Temple, City Center
Metro-33's most common religion and stable institution. You didn't think that religion died in the future, did you? Even in Metro-33, people cling to hope desperately and submit themselves to the Divine Flow. Their numbers are relatively small, but new followers are always initiated when tragedy strikes the heart of man and he seeks knowledge beyond that which man can provide. It is the "Source" to which the Cult of Soma prays and worships in ecstasy. And like the Christians of our world, they partake in the divine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharist#Ritual_and_liturgy]Eucharist- the cult members drink a mystical beverage known only to non-followers as Soma. They believe the Soma, combined with intense prayer and meditation, leads to salvation of the spirit and immortality.
The Cult of Soma do not pray to each and every various deity that exists, but rather view all of the Elements as comprising parts of a whole - they view the numerous deities as multiple aspects of a single creation-Source.
NOTE: You can not pick the Cult of Soma as your House.
City Hall/Judicial Court
The seat of the legitimate government. Self-explanatory
Museum of Antiquities
Relics and artifacts from ages long past.
On display at the museum are all manner of queer technologies and sundries used by primitive people.
NOW ON DISPLAY: iPod Exhibit
Unlike the small nanomachines we all have since birth, which directly receive and transmit auditory stimuli (sound i.e. music) into the small bones of the ear, the iPod was an auditory-based torture devices. These primitive and clunky devices were injected into the ear canal where noise was blasted directly into the brains of the victim. We also believe that these music-squares were used to self-impose exile from society by becoming so anti-social, you're unaware of anything happening around you.
[Magick, Technology, Religion, Deities & Combat:]
The technology level in this world is slightly above that of modern era (2013,) so iron, steel, wood, mortar, stone, plastics and carbon-based polymers are the primary building materials. However, magic can be used as a power source and a building material, but to construct such objects requires a great degree of complexity, knowledge and wealth; 3 things that are lacking in Metro-33.
Plasma-based weaponry exists in the form of everything from plasma pistols to plasma sniper rifles. However, traditional gunpowder still remains very popular. Plasma-based weaponry is notorious for overheating, which can turn one into a sitting duck in the middle of a gunfight. Gunpowder-based bullets are commonplace, although many still opt for a tried-and-true wooden bat or a fire spell.
Travel is done mostly on foot, hoverboard, hovercar, skytrain, subway, but the occasional donkey or horse is still seen once in a blue moon. An intricate system of gondola-like sky-elevators used to take citizens from one part of town to the other, but they have been shut down by House Shen for almost 2 years now, since the NoE.
Magic is granted to the citizens of Metro-33 by the various Elemental Deities that keep the elements of this world in harmony. As shocking as it might seem, these deities manage to keep some of the balance that is constantly under chaos in the city. By paying homage and tribute to the Deities, the various peoples receive the Gods' blessing and a portion of their power, hopefully to utilize these sacred powers to harmonize our existence with the entire planet. There are 5 Elements in the world of Metro-33, although only 4 of these are in use currently. The 5th Element has been lost to the sands of time.
Mother Gaia grants us the ability to control the ground, soil, trees, plants and all that keeps us grounded in this life. The earth is her womb and we are her children, living inside her.
Carried upon the gales of wind are whispers of the God of Judgment's teachings. Pascal's hidden secrets and messages are carried through the air rapidly and interact with the ground and sky to keep the wheels and cycles of nature turning. The wind forces Gaia's seeds to travel around the world and establish new life in every corner.
Ignis the Fire God grants us this gift to better all of society and to shape whatever our imagination desires. Using the fires of creation, we protect ourselves by designing steel swords, shields and bricks. Fire burns down the shrubs, weeds and grasses, returning the energy and vitality back to the soil and starting the cycle of life anew. Ignis, as Guardian of the Sacred Fire, shares a dual responsibility as arbiter of the Sun.
Luna, the Goddess in the Sky and sister to Pascal, she controls the essences of life. Without her, the seas would be motionless and unable to carry information downstream. The tides which flood annually bring rich aquatic minerals and compassion to the root systems of all plants and nourish all animals, allowing life to spring forth whenever the tide rises and recedes. Luna is also the guardian of the Moon.
The Forbidden Magicks of yore, long lost to the ages. Prana is that which governs us all, including the Gods. Prana is the very life-energy that keeps all systems in this world turning. Prana is ALL, but at the same time it is NONE. It is all 4 elements and it is none of the elements, rather it brings everything full circle into harmonious existence and like glue, binds our spiritual souls together with the material world. Prana is capable of giving life and it is capable of taking it away, Prana is past, present and future rolled up into one, for it has no limits and no boundaries as we understand them. It is the ultimate embodiment of Consciousness and the One Truth. It is said that when all beings die, their Prana returns to Divine Source, from where it all came. To possess Prana is to possess all of the power of the universe, and it is a power that is too great for any one being to handle.
Magic will be freeform in terms of combat. Magic in this RP will work much like studying for a test or trying to do math problems in your head in the real world. Magical incantations will require mental prowess and concentration proportionate to the strength of the magical spell. The stronger the spell, the more mental capability and concentration it will require. You will not be able to summon a meteor from the sky unless your character is incredibly intelligent and is able to hold his/her concentration for long enough to conjure up such an object. Even the slightest shove or break in focus is enough to cancel a spell. Eons ago, mages were often placed on the back-lines of combat so that their spellcasting would not be interrupted, although in many cases, the stress of being in a war would be enough to mess up magical spells.
A raindrop hitting a magic wielder on the nose is often times enough to completely mess with their focus and conjuration abilities. For example, if you wanted to utilize an ice spell, your character would create a vision of a snowball in their mind in order to bring the object into the material world. Once the object is conjured, the magic user then must visualize the spell moving towards its intended target. Intention and focus are everything to a mage.
Example: Quieting his mind, the Seer placed his hands together in prayer position. He heard the clash of steel upon steel around him and the arrows whizzing overhead, almost kissing his ear. Amidst the noise of battle, the Seer closes his eyes and drowns out the sounds of battle. He quiets his mind and enters his own headspace, where he can conjure any image he wishes to.
“GODDAMN IT! WE NEED MORE ARCHERS” a gruff and grating voice shouts nearby, breaking the Seers concentration. Without getting upset, he closes his eyes once more and enters his own brain. He silences the screams around him. He focuses on his breathing and heartbeat, slowing it down. Slower. Still, his heartbeat slows until he hears nothing but a low “thud” every few seconds in his ears. His breathing is motionless and silent and his body is completely still. To anyone observing the Seer on the battlefield, they would think he died standing up. All the Seers worries are now disappearing, almost as if a dark blanket was covering them and pushing them out of the Seer's brain. His inner-vision now generates a small orange spark. A flame smaller and more pathetic than any candle he's ever seen is burning clearly even as his eyes are closed. He focuses on the flame to ensure it does not extinguish. He draws the flame closer to his body from the black depths of his mind's eye.
(“I can almost feel the warmth of the reddish-orange spherical spark,” he thinks to himself.)
The flame comes closer and closer to the Seer and with each movement towards him, the flame grows larger and more intense. Within seconds, he can feel his body becoming warm, not uncomfortably so, but it felt as though he was sitting outside on a sunny day. He feels the fire become so massive that it BURSTS from within his head with a painless, but loud “pop.” In both hands, the Seer holds two hovering balls of raging flames, which burn so brightly they seem otherworldly. It feels as though the Seer is holding two apples in his hand, although the flame hovers slightly above his palms. The white-hot intensity of the fireballs roars, begging to be used. The pyromancer snaps his fingers and like heat-seeking missiles, the two fireballs are launched from his hand and into a large group of infantrymen, setting fire to the horses and men as if they were dry wood. The men scream in anguish as their flesh melts off their skin and the fire spreads from soldier to soldier. The fireballs hit the men's horses and the flames spread, like water being spilled across a floor, engulfing a row of about 4 majestic horses in a cloud of gray smoke.
-Name/Alias: Isa Martell
-Hair Color: Dark brown
-Eye Color: Green
-Personality: Isa has a stoic, hard and elusive demeanor that is slightly offset and balanced by periodic friendliness and profound compassion. She can be as anti-social as she is personable. With an eternal thirst for knowledge, Isa is the ultimate busybody. She seeks all information, regardless of origin. In the face of danger, Isa is cool and collected. Many of her actions are not her own; Isa is in many ways shackled and caged as the daughter of Don Martell. She treats her goons ruthlessly and is of the firm belief that it is better to be feared than loved. She suffers from an inferiority complex and was born into a world that is run by men. Dame Martell was, in her mind, supposed to be born a man. She is generally an excellent strategist and tactician and people gravitate towards her. Isa possesses the ability to get others riled up, for better or for worse. Abhors taking the scenic route. Isa would much rather rush through any given task as quick as possible, so she can get back to laying on the couch. Given the opportunity, Gary will always take the quickest route possible. She is also not the most proficient in hand-to-hand combat.
-Criminal expertise?: The daughter of the notorious Don Martell has a few tricks up her sleeve. She is a master of kidnappings and espionage. Having infiltrated two of the other Houses as a mole, her intel gathering is noteworthy. Amateur demolitions expertise. Enough to rig a localized bomb or set projectiles on fire. However, she is substantially better at shooting a gun.
-Name/Alias: Alfredrick "Don" Martell
-Hair Color: Black and gray
-Eye Color: Green
-Personality: More than anything, Don Martell is a learned person. The business and criminal acumen he has amassed throughout his life is vast, as evidenced by his promotion to the head of Incendiares and Explosives Dept. during his stay in House Martine. Alfredrick has a thirst for knowledge, which he has evidently passed onto his daughter. Don Martell's life is run by numbers and probability; his slightly OCD-tendencies towards number crunching spill over into real life. Organization is key for Martell and he is physiologically unable to handle a cluttered desk or a messy room. When things go well for House Martell, Don Martell is a content man, if not aloof and detached from human contact. In the emotion department, Alfredrick swings between extreme ambivalence and extreme anger. When he's happy, you wouldn't really know it because Alfredrick doesn't display such emotions on his face. The only time you can gauge his emotions is when he's upset and only then do you know he's upset. His interests include making money and biting his nails. Slightly neurotic by default, Alfredrick scorns anyone who uses ICE, but is not above selling the drug to turn a profit. His strictly-business-only attitude ensures he's one of the few people in Metro-33 who can turn ICE into money.
More cold and calculated than his daughter, who still has some youthful wanderlust and spirituality left in her, Don Martell has no qualms about selling ICE. It was only a coincidence that his nickname during his House Martine years eventually became a popular street narcotic. Whereas his daughter has a soft spot for the downtrodden underdog, animals, other women, and even androids, Don Martell is a crude womanizer by nature and has no soft spots. He is all chiseled and lifeless steel. Even towards his daughter, whom he loves more than money itself, Alfredrick seems to be somewhat unloving. His philosophy on child raising is that showing affection will only spoil the child and spoiled children become complacent. Complacent individuals won't turn a profit for Don Martell, thus his true line of thinking is revealed.
-Criminal expertise?: Since Metro-32 (84 A.C.), Don Martell has been biding his time. Rising through the ranks as a footsoldier, he was quickly transformed into one of the robber barons of House Martine. The Don Martell has quite an impressive list of gang-war campaigns and felonies under his belt and is an alumni of one of the 10 original Houses. It was Don Martell, then known only as Alfredrick "Ice" Martell for his frigid demeanor. It was Don Martell who was Project Manager in charge of the Incendiaries and Explosives Department at House Martine's research laboratory. The incendiary and demolition devices, detonator and all, were Martine products. On the Night of Embers, Don Martell was fortunately not in the Vorgado compound atop Antebellum Heights. When the opportunity to place his stamp on Metro-33 came, Don Martell, along with his only daughter and goons formed their own House in the Downtown seat left empty by House Madhistana's untimely demise.
2.)Name/Alias:[/SIZE] Xavier Hyakinthos - He has no 'Alias' as of yet, not requiring one as his line of work doesn't necessarily generally requires discretion more than being known, however his friends have made a habit of calling him 'Xav' or 'Hyak', depending on preference.
5 feet and 11 inches (1.8 meters).
172 pounds (78 kilograms).
Deep Ocean Blue (Dyed) - Brunette (Natural).
Deep Ocean Blue.
I want you to imagine something for me. Imagine that one co-worker at work, or that one classmate at school or university, who reminds you of a temperamental diesel engine. That one guy or girl who cares more about the casual drink with his or her friends rather than that essay due in the next day, the one who just shrugs you off and advises you to 'relax', quote on quote, stating that 'they'll be fine'. The one who's a pain in the ass to get going if it's something that doesn't directly benefit them or they don't enjoy it. But, much like the diesel engine, once you get them going or - even better, especially in this line of work - yes is answered to any of those two questions, bugger me they go at it, they go at it hard and they won't settle for anything less than perfect.
Now, get that personality, shunt it onto a political assassin of sorts in a cyberpunk/fantasy setting and hey, you got Xavier. Don't forget to include the hair!
An excellent way to describe Xavier's expertise would be 'tieng loose ends'; political assassinations, whether it be a no-name street hoodlum that could be taken out with a drive-by without anybody blinking an eye or one of the Lord's of the Great Houses requiring an awful coincidental accident inside a very, very secure place. He's an enthusiast of modern firearms and pyrotechnics alike and an expert in short-length conventional infiltration - so, in comparison to undercover operations going for months, if not, years at a time, he specializes in sneaking past any forms of security, doing what he needs to do and sneaking out without being detected within, typically, 10-12 hours at the very most; an effective comparison would be the classic 'Splinter Cell' titles, per say, the original, 'Pandora Tomorrow' and 'Chaos Theory'