Note that we are currently NOT accepting. If you ask for a character sheet or whether or not we're still open, you obviously have not read this.
"In this time of war, I ask of you but one favor. Just one. Save yourself, for I cannot."
"Where are we going?" It was an uncertain question, a meek whisper, barely audible in the dark shadows of a jostling caravan cart. "I-I want to go home." The voice continued. Light peered through the cracks in the cart, illuminating the speaker. It was a frightened child no older than ten. He shook as he spoke, his eyes watery as tears dripped unperturbed.
Several voices then spoke out at the same time, some curious ,some frightened, and some trying to calm the others. The cart jostled from side to side and the clacking of horses hooves resonated in the children's ears. "We're going somewhere safe.. We'll be safe, so.. so just try to be brave, okay?" One of the older children said reassuringly, as he took it upon himself to calm the frightened child. His eyes, hidden by the shadows glistened with the presence of tears, his throat feeling horribly dry as he tried to sound calm and sure when in reality all he felt like curling up into a tiny ball.
There was a soft sniffle. "Somewhere safe? Where is that?"
The older child felt his composure crumble, and he tried his best to keep himself calm. If one of the older children started crying it would doubtlessly cause the younger children to lose hope and he didn't want that. He wiped away at the tears that had welled up in his eyes and swallowed hard. War would consume the world soon enough, he didn't have to be an adult to know that. And when war came after them, no safe haven would be able to protect them. He didn't know where they were going, how long they were going to be on the road, or if they were even going to have a place to eat and sleep. "I.. I don't-" He paused, unsure of what to say. Ultimately, he decided it would be best if he just told a petty little lie instead. "I'm not quite sure," he said, his voice cracking, "but it'll be somewhere awesome, some place where the war won't reach us."
The child's face lit up. "Really?"
"Yes, really. Everything's going to be okay." he mumbled out as he bit down hard on his own lip and willed his own tears away. Tasting his own blood on his tongue, he breathed out deeply. He placed his hand on the child's head and gave it a pat. "Everything's going to be okay." he whispered again, no longer sure if he was trying to comfort the child, or himself.
That was the night you lost your home. You will likely never return.
"Aesteria will fall, the Nevermore will make sure of it. We will come for your kingdom, King Thaddeus. And after we have taken your kingdom, we will come after your people. Believe us when we say: we shall come, all shall burn. Your throne will be mine King Thaddeus. Your lands will be mine. All will be mine. Inferior beings, resistance is futile."
The messenger winced as he breathlessly read the ultimatum before the king. It had come thrice now, and each time a message came the house of Nevermore would always strike. They had attacked twice before and had retreated each time, every attack wearing down and battering the city's already faltering defenses. It wouldn't be long now until they sent their third wave of troops. King Thaddeus knew their walls wouldn't hold for much longer. He knew that it was only a matter of time before the city of Eden would fall.
"Sire, what do you think we should do?" The messenger asked, almost desperately.
"Eden is no longer safe, we lack men and we lack resources." The king paused before shaking his head. It was a hopeless situation "Gather everyone below the age of eighteen. Tell their parents we'll be taking their children somewhere safe and leave in the dead of night. Head towards Nimbus. Nimbus is our last remaining ally, we still have a few forts there, even a small garrison. We can't save the city... but we can at least save the children. Use as many caravans as you need and save as many children as you possibly can. To Nimbus, they'll be safe there."
"It's quite a journey, Nimbus is very far away."
"Far is good. That way they'll be kept far away from the empire's destructive hands." The king looked quite regretful as he clutched his scepter tight and frowned. "They won't go after them. Its Eden they want."
"Aye, but will Eden be able to keep them occupied long enough?"
"My good man, you underestimating us. We'll give those pointy-eared dogs a battle that will be sung about in taverns for centuries to come. Eden won't fall until Emperor Nevermore himself comes to fight me for my throne."
"And the princess, sire?"
At that the king's face contorted into one of pain, and for a few moment the great man looked almost lost. "Yes." he said bitterly, "Though it will destroy me and my queen, the remnants of our people will need a ruler."
The messenger bowed. "As you command sire. I'll deliver your words to the knights and they will have Caravan ready by tomorrow night."
"Good, I want you to save them."
"I promise, sire. They will be saved."
"Then let us waste not another moment."
Flavor text to set the mood! Now that thats all said and done, it is time to actually talk about what we'll be doing, so put your seatbelts back on, because driving without them is irresponsible, and prepare yourselves because we're getting to the good parts!
Welcome to Tales of Hope: Light and Darkness! This RP will revolve around the stories of a group of young teens and children, who have been uprooted from their homes and families and sent away in caravans to a faraway city to save themselves as the last remaining citizens of a kingdom known as the Kingdom of Aesteria. We will live through their struggles and difficulties as they adjust to life on the road, and the dangers that await them, as well as witness the realities and horrors of war. This RP will strive to contrast a generally light hearted feel with sudden pangs of surreal darkness and forboding as these young, impressionable individuals are faced with events that may or may not change their lives.
The Kingdom of Aesteria, is one of the last remaining major resistors of the dark and powerful Nevermore Empire, who dream of controlling the world. As the Nevermore swept across the continent, the neighboring kingdom of Aesteria was one of its first targets. As their sudden onslaught caught Aesteria off guard, the kingdom was unable to mount a proper defense until they lost a considerable amount of land. Even after a common defense was prepared, the Aesterian kingdom continued losing ground, prompting the King of Aesteria, King Thaddeus to send the remaining children of the capital city of Eden to the neighboring Kingdom of Nimbus. A longtime ally of Aesteria, Nimbus, due to its distance from the Nevermore Empire, has remained relatively untouched by warfare, and is accepting refugees from Aesteria and other falling nations with open arms.
Eventually, the children will reach Nimbus, where they will welcomed by an organization known as the Defenders of Hope and undergo learning in the way of the sword, magic, politics, or commerce. Eventually, the Nevermore will arrive on the doorsteps of Nimbus, and our young heroes, now equipped with knowledge and hardships, will lead the charge against the evil empire in an Epic to be remembered for generations. Throughout the course of this RP, we may experience time skips, anywhere from a few hours, a few weeks, to even a few years.
Races of the World
The world of Gæia is inhabited by many creatures and races, but the following are the major races of the world:
Numerous and adaptable, Humans are the most common race in the world. Short lived, and relatively unremarkable, humans are extremely adaptable and seem to be able to etch a living in any environment. Average in strength, average in speed, and average in magical potential, nothing really pops out as special with human beings. Their generalization and prolific nature however makes them dominant in most aspects of the world, and many kingdoms and nations in the world are human. Humans of Gæia are extremely diverse and have a wide range of hair and skin colors, as well as eye pigment.
Elves are a long lived, and ancient race, predating the humans by millenia. Many Elven researchers believe Humans to be a variation of elvenkind. When compared to humans, Elves are taller, faster, more dextrous, more magically inclined, stronger, more perceptive, and otherwise superior to the human race in almost every aspect. This perception often leads to arrogance on the part of the elves, many viewing humans as sub-elves, or lesser beings. This racism is in turn returned by the humans, and has been the cause of many wars. Like humans, elves of Gæia are also extremely diverse in their genetic appearance, with many types of shades and colors, though elves will always have pointed ears, and are almost always tall and slender.
Nevermore Elves: A special breed of elves, comprising the entirety of the Nevermore Empire. These elves, unlike their other Elvenkind always have stark white hair, pale skin, and amber or red eyes. These elves are as prolific as humans, and mature much faster than their other elven counterparts. Viewing themselves as the most superior of all the races in the world, even superior to other elves, the Nevermore Elves are condescending to all others outside of their race, often using the term 'Inferior Being' when speaking. Unlike other elves, Nevermore Elves can not only be tall and slender, but heavy set and powerful. Originally a species of snowy mountain elves, Nevermore Elves are resistant to cold temperatures and are hardier than most other elven species.
As the name would suggest, Half-Elves are half elf, and half human, and are granted the traits of both. Slightly longer lived than humans, with marginally stronger physical aspects, and more capable magic potential, Half-Elves are hated by both humans and elves alike. Elves view half-elves as bastardized mixes, their lesser powers a testament of their impurity. Humans on the other hand view half-elves as upstarts and abominations, granted extra abilities because of their blood. The concentration of their blood also determines how pointed their ears are. Many half-elves, if lucky can disguise themselves as humans. Elves however, can sense their impurity and immediately shoo them away.
There is a substance known as Ether which permeates the world. It is this ether that allows magic to be cast. It is in every creature, every object, and even in the air. Knowing how to utilize ether is what creates magic. Elves, the older of the two races, have perfected the ways of learning magic throughout the centuries, and almost all elves are proficient in magic. Humans and Half-elves on the other hand, are still just as capable of learning magic, though many elves profess that humans and half breeds will never be able to compete with the power of elves.
Magic is most commonly perceived as the control and conjuring of different elements. This elemental magic is also the easiest to learn. While elves are capable of controlling almost every element at a whim, most humans must force themselves to focus on a few elements in order to properly use magic. The major elements are Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, and Lightning.
Magic can also be perceived in the form of incorporeal spirits, many of which may grant mortals their strength in return for various prices in the form of pacts. The nature of these spirits are not always known, and many can be malevolent. As such, the usage of spirit magic and the making of spirit pacts is a very risky and almost taboo in most areas of the world.
The most powerful of magic however can be visualized as the elements of Light and Dark. Light Magic is capable of save people from the brink of death, shield them, and smite enemies in pure light. Darkness on the other hand can give one superhuman strength, return someone from the dead, and send enemies into the pits of darkness. Dark and Light is neither good nor evil, but specific actions may affect ones affinity to each type. Each of our characters will eventually become skilled in either Dark or Light magic, and depending on people's actions, I will be sending them little PM's notifying them that their affinity in which element is increasing.
A lanky and lithe youth, Hart bears the slim and athletic frame expected of a hunter, and is very dextrous and nimble. Standing in at 5'10", Hart stands at a rather average height, neither tall nor short, though with plenty of room to grow. His golden blonde hair gives contrast to his deep blue eyes, though his hair is usually dull in sheen and somewhat dirty due to the hours spent outdoors. His day to day outfit stays relatively the same, with only moderate variations. He wears a blue tunic over a black shirt, which is paired with a pair of plain linen pants tucked into a pair of brown leather riding boots, with soft ankles for ease of movement. Over his tunic, he often wears a leather shoulder guard, which attaches to his belt where he can sheath a shortsword. Across the opposite shoulder are straps for an arrow quiver, and he often wears leather vambraces over his forearms to protect his arms from his bow.
Name: Hart Wilder
Archery/Hunting: Hart is a skilled marksman relative to his age, a practical and useful skill to have. Archery is good for hunting, and allows one to take confrontations at a distance. The son of a hunter, Hart is a knowledgeable and capable sharpshooter, his half-elf's natural perception and dexterity giving him an edge when compared to others. He is knowledgeable on bow care, and is able to string bows and carve makeshift bows as well as arrows. Hart has only shot at animals and targets, he has never shot at another human or elf.
Swordsmanship/Bladework: A crude skill at best, Hart's skills with the blade are mostly self taught, and his actions are mostly mimicries of techniques he has seen before. His natural dexterity also plays into his technique as well, avoiding direct contact and standoffs, preferring to strike quickly and pull out of the way before a counterattack can be delivered. Hart has never truly fought another person, only sparred with wooden weapons or sticks for entertainment purposes. His skill with the blade is most applicable towards hunting, he is able to deftly skin and clean animals, and knows which cuts are the best to eat, as the better cuts typically sell for more.
Horseback Riding: Hart is able to ride horses. He is neither a skilled rider nor a capable lancer. Archery atop a horse has been attempted before, but is quite difficult, and as a result rarely happens. Horses are for riding, usually across open ground as a form of travel.
Fear/Shame: Ashamed and terrified of his identity as a Half-elf, Hart believes himself blessed to have rounded ears with only the slightest of points, which he is still self conscious of. Well aware of the racial stigma against half breeds, Hart keeps his identity as a half-elf secret to all but his closest friends. Even then, admitting to his heritage entails a great deal of trust. His fear of himself personifies itself in many aspects, and often leaves him feeling aloof and isolated from others.
Magic: Despite his potential for magic, especially with his half elven blood, Hart has refrained from learning any kind of magic, fearing that he may give himself away as not fully human if he embraced learning magic. Only capable of the most basic of fire and wind magic, small sparks of flame to light tinders, and small gusts of wind, Hart for the most part has refused to learn magic.
Isolation/Loneliness: Behind his warm personas and good intentions lie the soul of a loner, cast out by himself for fear of what his doubtlessly former friends will think of him when they figure out his secret. Often isolating himself in his own thoughts, Hart is occasionally detached from the world, brooding in his own forced isolation.
Warm hearted and kind, Hart is neither outspoken nor timid. With a very moderate nature, warm and patient, Hart works well with most people, younger children like his approachability and gentleness, while adults favor him for his politeness and level headedness. Creative, open minded and perceptive, Hart enjoys music and is a great listener, easily able to pick up on small cues and implied nuances. However, past all of his kindness and warm attitude, one can see the haunted shadows behind his eyes. He's aloof and absent minded much of the time, lost in his own thoughts and brooding. Despite his friendly exterior, his insecurity and shyness is subtly visible, hidden behind false facades of social activeness. He is loyal to his friends and gives the appearance of being very trusting, though his absolute trust is given only to those he has admitted his heritage to. Those with his absolute trust may find that he is drawn, and even attached to them, either for fear of losing them, or for fear of them revealing his secrets.
A half-elf born to a human mother and an unnamed elf, infant Hart was found with his dying mother lying by a riverbank in the wilderness of the forests outside of the city of Eden. She had been gravely wounded and was bleeding profusely, laying on the brink of death. It was the trail of blood that she left behind her that eventually led to her being found by Marcus Wilder, a hunter who had thought the blood trail belonged to a deer he was hunting. Bringing the two back to his home, Marcus Wilder nursed the child and his mother back to health with the help of a few of his neighbors. Though the woman he had saved refused to talk about where she came from, she was grateful for his help. Hart's mother Annalise and Marcus Wilder fell in love and were married a few years later.
Growing up the as the son of Marcus Wilder, Hart's mother never told him his blood was half elf instead of fully human, and hid that fact from his new father as well. Marcus, unaware of his new child's status as a half breed merely applauded Hart's incredible dexterity and perception as lucky genes and natural talent. Easily picking up the way of the bow, Hart soon found himself trailing along with his father during hunting trips, learning how to stomach and shoot at living animals, as well as how to skin and clean them and otherwise prepare them for eating. Though originally queasy and passionate about the animals, Hart nevertheless picked up and learned hunting skills exceptionally fast. Amazed with how quickly his child picked up archery and marksmanship, by age 12 Marcus had entered his son into a 'friendly' competitive archery tournament meant for juveniles.
In the tournament, Hart did exceptionally well, acing his targets and even managing to overtop the former child champion of the archery tournament who had won for the past 4 years straight, an elf. Exceptionally proud of his son for besting a 'pointy-eared dog', at the end of the tournament, Marcus took his son to the elven child and his family where he intended to have Hart congratulate the elves on second place and wish them well. It was at this moment that Hart's life as he knew it changed. The elves, smelling Hart's partial elf blood refused to speak to him, and called him a half-breed. The realization dawned on both Marcus and his son, and the two returned home.
Though he felt betrayed by both his wife and son, Marcus' forgiving nature wouldn't allow him to stay angry for more than a day and night, though Hart couldn't help but feel as though he had been lied to his entire life. At this point on, he took extreme caution to avoid elves and otherwise stopped himself from seeming to excel to much. He stopped trying to learn magic, and refused to learn it on the grounds that he might become to good at it and be recognized as a half elf. He grew his hair out longer, to shroud the bare tips of his ears, though his mother and father both tried to convince him they were round, and he found himself distancing himself from most others. To this day, he has only admitted his identity as a half-elf to three other people.
War came, and Marcus was conscripted and sent out to train archery recruits, leaving Hart and his mother alone at home. Hart would often go into the forests his father found him in, hunting animals to feed himself and his mother, as well as their neighbors who sometimes had not enough to eat. Times grew harder and harder, but eventually Hart's father returned home. Hart and his mother were happy, though it wouldn't last long. Soldiers came around saying that the children were being taken to safety and must leave the city.
As the third assault of the house Nevermore began to appear on the horizon, Hart Wilder, sixteen, was sent along with his family's wishes and his father's bow to journey to Nimbus on its fleeing refugee caravans.
Father's Hunting Bow - A short, recurved composite bow painstakingly crafted by Hart's Father, it comes with a leather case to store it.
Hunting Dagger - Closer to a shortsword, this weapon is too long to be a dagger, but too short to be a sword. It has a sheath that is located on Hart's back
Quiver - A plain quiver across his back, it hold's 20 arrows, each with white band painted on the shaft, so Hart can identify them.
The sound of warcries and screams could be heard as Hart sprinted through the city. He didn't know where he was or where he was heading, but all around him all he could hear were voices that blurred into one continuous roar. He could hear the whistle of arrows as they whizzed by him, the dirt and copple exploding around him as huge flaming stones launched from siege weapons crashed. He held a bow in one hand, blood covered his arm and armor. Was it his? He didn't know. The afternoon sky was dyed a fiery orange, smoke billowing from various fires and other sources. It was without a doubt a color to fit the mood of the battlefield all around him. The clash of metal against metal rang as swords parried one another and battleaxes tore into breastplates.
Hart's breath was ragged as he vaulted over a pile of rubble, unsure of what he was running from, or why he was running, but running all the same. Soldiers pushed past him, ran alongside him and ran this way and that, but he couldn't see any faces. All he saw were shadows cast by their helmets obscuring most if not all of their facial features. Maybe a mouth or a nose could be seen, as they screamed and yelled white noise that Hart couldn't comprehend. A man ran at Hart, yelling, an axe raised high above his head, ready to bring it down upon his skull. Hart outstretched his arm, pointing a bow at the man, with an arrow that had not been in his hand previously. He loosed the arrow and he saw it pierce the man's throat. Hart blinked and the man was gone, nothing but smoke and ash from the unceasing siege machines could be seen.
A man appeared next to him, brilliantly armored in silver, a blue cape trailing behind him, its blue and silver pattern marking him as a knight of Aesteria. Confronting the silver knight was a man in black armor, who seemed to glow red. The two clashed for a moment, their great swords bringing up sparks, neither capable of achieving the upper hand. The two men seemed to equally matched. The two knights traded blow for blow, neither capable of getting the upper hand on the other. For every blow one scored, the other scored one as well.
Another stone fell from the sky, sending soot and cobble flying all over the place, blinding Hart for a moment. When he could see again, he saw the black knight and the silver knight as well, both recovering from the sudden interruption. Hart let out a cry of disbelief as the black knight recovered first, charging into the silver knight and piercing him with a wicked blade. As the silver knight fell, the black knight turned to acknowledge Hart, pointing its blade at the half-elf.
Time seemed to slow down as Hart subconsciously raised his bow, again drawing back with an arrow that had not previously been in his hand. He loosed the arrow, making swirls in the clouds of soot as the arrow flew through it. The arrow thudded against the knight's armor, and Hart was aware of another arrow in his hand, already releasing it as his bowstring propelled it forward. A third arrow followed that, and it pierced through the center of the black knight, who disappeared in a swirl of soot. Gone. Confused, Hart found himself suddenly on the ground, scrabbling on all fours towards the silver knight that had fallen. This time he could see a face.
It was his father. His father was wearing silver armor and holding a great big sword instead of his bow and leathers. He was spluttering and coughing up blood. Reaching out, he grabbed Hart's hand and pulled the boy close. Their hands clasped, Hart look into his father's dying eyes. The knight coughed and blood splattered onto Hart's face. His father-knight murmured something unintelligible, and then gasped for breath as he choked on blood. He whispered something again. Hart leaned in close to hear his father's words.
"Tell me.." The older Wilder gasped.
Hart shook his head sadly, turning his head to meet his father's eyes. His father knew his time was coming as well. The man's proud voice was gone, replaced with a sad whimper.
"Tell me everything is going to be okay..." Hart closed his eyes and shook his head, for they both knew the answer to that.
"Tell me everything is going to be okay."
the voice had changed, Hart was confused.
He opened his eyes, he found himself staring into the eyes of a young girl. She was no older than 13, with long brown hair and fair skin. Her eyes were large and round and they glistened as she shook. The caravan wagon bounced and a single tear rolled down her face.
"Tell me everything is going to be okay." She asked again, on the verge of tears, the single tear about to turn into a fountain.
Hart cupped the girl's face in his hands and wiped a tear out of the girl's eye with his thumb. It seemed as though he was one of the older children here, and in his sleep the girl had gravitated towards him as a source of comfort.
"Yes." He said quietly, "Everything's going to be okay."
The tears returned to the girl's eyes and she buried her face in Hart's chest and shuddered as she sobbed. Hart breathed out deeply and swallowed his own tears, refusing to let the younger children see his. He gently patted the girl, like an older brother would his baby sister. He eventually fell asleep as the wagon made its way to Nimbus.