The Circle

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The Circle

Post by Ishilar's Ego on Tue May 15, 2012 2:32 am



Circle
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The Circle

A symbol of time. Of fate. Of rebirth

There are no beginnings or endings to a circle. Time flows into itself endlessly. People, places, conflicts, killed and reborn in time's eternal cycle, walking the same paths to the same inevitable destinations again and again without end.

The Circle

A symbol of stagnation. Of damnation. Of imprisonment.

The Last Dragon E'Narath scowled at those thoughts roiling in his mind. Not the first time. Not the last. But as with all other times, after a moment, he smiled coldly. Nothing lasted forever. Not even time. All of the necessary pieces were on the board and in motion.

He would break the Circle, crush fate into pieces, and free the world from its shackles.

The First Circle: Of the History and Creation of the Circle:


Does a Circle have a beginning? Something must have started it. It can't simply have always been there.

It has taken remarkable effort to gain the trust of the Radiants. However, my perseverance has been rewarded at last. I spoke with one Eliris Amelior who spoke at length on the inherent memory of the Radiants, albeit reluctantly.

"It all begins with the Well," she said softly, "the fount of power at the center of the world from which all magic is derived, the power that drives time itself. There are two entities...physical beings isn't quite right, they are more...forces of nature in our memories. Battling and colliding in the endless nether until one was victorious. The aftermath of those two forces colliding and the two opposing energies gathering and concentrating at a singular point. It was this that spawned the Well and first turned time's wheel.

From within the primordial Well's churning depths emerged the triad of forces of our world: life, time, and the spirit."

Life and time melded together, two dancers in perfect harmony with one another, to birth the Living Realm - the physical plane that all living things exist upon.

Spirit twisted and warped by time intertwined with one another formed the Unseen Realm. The Realm of Possibilities. What if you had decided to wear red instead of blue today? What if we all had four legs instead of two? What if the demons overran and conquered Tyldrasia? All things that might have been exist in the Unseen Realm.

Life and Spirit drifted side by side, gently pressing against one another, and their union gave way to the Realm of Dreams, where souls await rebirth and hapless fools venture seeking the Aspects. Anyone who happens upon the Realm of Dreams has the ability to change anything about it with a thought, including wavering or absent thoughts. Battles in the Dream Realm are often clashes of will, one wishing change, another rejecting it.
Be warned, the Aspects have the strongest wills of all.

Thus was the First Circle created."

Eliris paused, looking suddenly apprehensive just then. She shook her head and murmured apologies and stated she had said too much. I have not seen her since, but what she did tell me has made its way into this history of the world.

~From the writings of
Jachen Timeweaver,
Chronicler of Callistae





The Second Circle: Of Magic and the Unnatural:


From the Well, spawned the three triad forces. From those forces, came the realms and magic. Each force birthed one Primal magic, and from each of those Primal magicks, two Lessers were derived. Each and every person born onto Tyldrasia is gifted with either one Primal magic or two of the Lessers.

Magicks of Life



Holy (PRIMAL): The purest of magicks. Those gifted with Holy magic will find themselves able to heal even the most fatal of wounds with the Light. Be warned, however, that once death has taken hold, no power can heal it, and any attempt to do so will result in the healer losing their life as well. Holy practitioners can also wrap others in powerful illusions affecting anywhere from one or all of the senses. It takes a very keen mind to break free of a master's illusion.

Elemental: Those gifted with powers over the Elemental find themselves able to command fire, earth, air, and water in all of their forms. However, nobody can create something from nothing, and so in order to manipulate a given element, that element must already exist nearby.

Arcane: The powers of the Arcane are many and varying, for those with the Gift for it command a very volatile energy, fashioning it into many things. Weapons of pure energy, magical barriers all but the strongest of magicks will not penetrate, and the ability to store and retrieve objects through the use of arcane vacuoles.


Magicks of Spirit


Aspect (PRIMAL): The art of summoning the Aspects from the Dream Realm is within the power of one Gifted with the magic of the Aspects. Summoners must form pacts with a respective Aspect before it can be summoned into the Living Realm, of course. This is done by entering the Dream World and locating an Aspect and requesting a pact. Be warned, an Aspect may or may not choose to test a summoner before agreeing to a pact. Summon pacts are binding and to break a pact is to forever earn the ire and wrath of all offended Aspects. There is no peace for pactbreakers, even in death, for the souls of the dead reside in the Dream Realm, which the Aspects rule. The strain of bringing forth Aspects into the Living Realm is tremendous, and no summoner has ever had more than one Aspect active in the Living Realm at any time, regardless of how many pacts they have.

However, if a summoner manages to make the proper pacts with the appropriate Aspects, they gain control over near demi-gods that rule over any number of things.

The duration of a summon is heavily dependent on the mage's own magical strength, and even the strongest Summoner can only maintain the link that allows an Aspect to exist in the Living Realm for five minutes.

Animism: Students of this art draw heavily on the energies of the Dream Realm to take the shape of an animal of their choosing. However, a very strong mind is required for shapeshifting. One must know not only the animal they mean to change into, but they must know themselves just as well in both body and mind if they are ever to return to human form. A wrong step can lead to being stuck as an animal forever.
Additionally, Animists have the unique ability to speak and understand the language of animals.

Dream: People gifted with the magic of Dreams are most unfortunately stigmatized by society, for it is the magic most favored by assassins. The average person, when they sleep, dreams things conceived by their minds, flitting on the very edge of the Dream Realm. People with this magic - Dreamers - however, can enter the Dream Realm completely and pull other sleeping individuals into it. What happens in the Dream Realm is very real, and Dreamers take advantage of this, dragging their victims into the Dream Realm for torture, interrogation, or murder while they sleep soundly in their beds.
On the brighter side of the issue, Dreamers may also communicate nigh-instantly with any person anywhere on the continent by speaking to them in their dreams.
The only true protection against a Dreamer is another Dreamer capable of crafting wards around dreams to prevent others from being snatched away.


Magicks of Time



Void (PRIMAL): As you all know, or at least I hope, the Void is a part of the Dream Realm, where our souls go after our deaths to await the time the Circle spins our lives out once more. There are very rare individuals who never quite leave the Void completely when they are born again. These people are those Gifted with the magic of the Void. Like Dreamers, those of the Void are despised by many, being seen as omens of death to come.

Those who are born with this cursed power are destined for a life of battle. But not with other enemies. With themselves. Void users battle a fierce addiction, for in order to harness the Void's power, it demands a personal sacrifice. One's organs, blood, the senses, a loved one, family...and in return, Void users gain access to death itself, able to raise the dead as mindless fiends, forging obsidian weapons soaked in the essence of death that can kill with a scratch. Some can even drag people into the Void itself. With each sacrifice, Void users become stronger and stronger. The worst cases become nigh-immortal, able to regenerate flesh unless their heads are severed, but at what cost? Those who travel down the path that far were emotionless husks. Their families dead. Their blood and internal organs gone. Some still had their sight, some saved their hearing, but to what end? That is the question. How far are you willing to go for power? One's own addiction is the Void user's worst enemy.

Warp: Warpers are those with a degree of control over time itself. Those gifted with this magic are able to speed up or slow down the passage of time around non-living objects. Warpers are very potent, able to stop any projectile in its tracks or give speed to an arrow. However, they can only affect one object at a time. Bear in mind, Warpers cannot stop the swing of a sword or the thrust of a spear.

Shadow: Finally, those gifted with the manipulation of shadows are able to melt into shadows completely and travel along them in a very rudimentary form of teleportation, moving from shadow to shadow at high speeds and can also appear out of another person's shadow for stealth attacks. They are also able to create a single duplicate of themselves with their own shadow that is of a mind with its original. However, the shadow copy cannot use any magic the original might possess, including Shadow magic."


~Lord Tensan Aleron
Grand Magus of Baeleon,
Class Lecture


The Third Circle: Of the Races of Tyldrasia:


The Well churns endlessly, the very essence of magicks colliding and with one another. Chance, or perhaps the very fate of the Well, gave birth to life. Three came forth to dominate the Living Realm.

Radiants: The Primordials. The Firsts. Over the Circle's turnings, they have been called many names. Among themselves, they are simply the Radiants, humanoid beings who make the sky their domain on wings of pure light and craft great floating cities to ward away demons.

Radiants were the first beings to emerge from the Well, and they have since been a bastion for humanity and all life against the constant threat of the Dragon-spawned demons.

Of particular note, Radiants are born with an inherent memory of the history of the events that have passed in the Circle's turning, stretching back to the Well's creation. Using this knowledge, Radiants guide humanity from on high, acting as something akin to a religion as well.
However, they know not what is to come.

Dragons: As if in response to the light and goodness of the Radiants, the serpentine Dragons raged forth from the Well and darkened the sky beneath their obsidian wings, and in their wake, they spawned the demons that now rule the lands outside of the cities. Intelligent, ruthless, and able to take the shape of humans, they set Tyldrasia ablaze in black fire. For thousands of years, the Radiants fought valiantly against the Dragons and their demonic hordes. It is only in recent years that, we suspect, Dragons have begun to die out. To the best of humanity's knowledge, there is only one Dragon who still lives, and none know of his whereabouts. But the legacy of the Dragons - the demons - live on.

To kill a Dragon is the greatest and most honored feat among both Humans and Radiants. Those who do so are granted peerage among the ruling classes in all countries, and hailed as heroes. They are the Dragonslayers. To date, however, there are only four Dragonslayers who still live.


Humans: There are many questions asked about humanity. If the Radiants are Light and Order personified, Dragons Darkness and Chaos, what, then, are Humans? Many philosophers dedicated to the study of the Circle believe that Humans act as a balance in the endless war between the Radiants and the Dragons. To join one side is to tip the scale in that faction's favor. In the current turning of the Circle, this has led to the near-eradication of the dragons, but some postulate that in other turnings of the Circle, humans sided with the dragons and cast the world into madness. There are always those who lust for the power.

To date, none know the origin of humans. They are not born of the Well. This, the Radiants tell us. Myths in some areas speak of Humans being the spawn of the Radiants, just as the demons are born from the Dragons. Other myths tell of the unholy union of a Dragon and a Radiant spawning human life. Philosophers argue these two myths and every other inbetween.

Aspects: While Radiants, Dragons, and Humans fight bitterly for control of the Living World, the Aspects rule unquestionably in the Dream World. In the Dream World, the power of the Aspects is limitless, and when Summoned into the Living World, their power is still formidable. The wrath of the Aspects is, perhaps, the one thing Dragons truly fear.



Addendums

The Summoning of Aspects:



The art of Summoning the Aspects out of the Dream World into the Living is one only those gifted with the Primal Spirit Magic of Summoning can perform. The means of summoning an Aspect involve song, dance, or both in some cases, performed by the Summoner. The necessary knowledge will be imparted upon making the pact with the appropriate Aspect. Upon entering the Living World, a link is established between the Aspect and Summoner, granting the mage enhanced abilities in addition to the Aspect's own power. Aspects killed in the Living Realm merely return to the Dream Realm unharmed. Only by killing an Aspect in the Dream Realm, is it possible to truly kill an Aspect. Listed here, are all known Aspects with which pacts have been established.

Ithris, the Infernal Beast – the Aspect of Fire is a four legged beast the height of full-grown men and shrouded entirely in flames hotter than any other material in existence. The fires of Ithris can melt steel. When summoned Ithris may control any flames already present. If there is no fire present, Ithris’s own footsteps leave a small fire in its wake roughly the size of small campfires. Ithris’ boon grants his summoner the ability to control the temperature of the air around them to devastatingly high or chillingly low. The summoner will not be affected by excessive heat or cold.

Venia, the Tempest – the Aspect of Wind is a woman with a body of cloud and air with complete control of the atmosphere. She is capable of calling down lightning and raising howling tempests. Her most sought after ability, however, is that to form thick shields of air that no force can penetrate save for the Primal magics. Venia’s boon grants her summoner the ability to pass through walls and solid surfaces at will, though magical barriers will still prove impassable.

Aquir, the Maelstrom – the Aspect of Water is a creature with the torso of a man, but beneath the waist, becomes a creature of the sea. Aquir is lord of all things water, including ice, and his soothing waters are the only other source of magical means of healing besides Holy magic. Aquir’s boon gives his summoner the ability to change his or her body’s composition to water, such that physical attacks simply cause him/her to splash to the ground in a puddle and coalesce back into a physical being. This must be used at will and is not continuous.

Nymth, the Green Lady – the Aspect of Earth is a woman who could easily be mistaken as a Tree Golem at first glance. Her hair is woven from the greenest grasses, and her body shaped from the finest bark and dirt. Vines and flowers grown all about her body. Her power over Earth is unrivaled. She can bury entire cities in avalanches or send them into the depths of the earth by splitting the ground itself with powerful earthquakes. She also controls the growth of plants, able to cause them to sprout anywhere, even on living flesh. Nymth’s boon gives her summoner skin of stone, making them nearly impenetrable by all but Primal magics.

Lokior, the Trickster - The Aspect of Deceit takes the form of a snow white seven-tailed fox about half the height of an average person. Lokior fights indirectly through trickery and illusions - making an ally appear as an enemy or disguising one object as another. Lokior's boon grants his summoner the ability to have any word they speak taken as truth as long as those who listen have not seen Lokior himself.

Moghedien, the Spider - The Aspect of Poisons is a massive black spider standing roughly twelve feet tall with venomous barbed legs. Her entire body is slicked in a slow-acting flesh-eating venom that takes only the slightest of contact with bared skin to spread. She also excretes a purple mist that completely numbs, and eventually paralyzes any who breath it in for continuous amounts of time. The boon granted to Moghedien's summoner is complete immunity to all poisons and the ability to cleanse any person of impurities such as the obvious poisons, but also alcohol and drugs as well.

Nyx, Daughter of the Night - The Aspect of the Night is a pale-skinned blind woman shrouded in wisps of blackness itself with long, stringy black hair. When summoned, Nyx casts the entire world around her into complete darkness, rendering all physical senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste, and feeling - useless until the darkness is lifted. Only the summoner and other Aspects remain unharmed, and even the Aspects cannot disperse the darkness. Nyx's boon grants the summoner temporary invisibility, even from other Aspects.

Gemini, the Siblings - The Aspect of Mimicry is a pair of children appearing to be roughly ten years of age, one boy and one girl. Both siblings have brown hair and dress in very simple white robes. The boy has a hazel right eye and blue left eye whereas the girl has a hazel left eye and blue right. Though Gemini appears as two individuals, it is only one entity. Both siblings have the same thoughts, and speak in unison at all times. When summoned, the boy will take the form and powers (including magicks) of whomever he sets eyes on first whereas the girl will take the form of the summoner and act as a second summoner. The Siblings cannot be more than two hundred meters away from each other or they will return to the Dream Realm.
As a boon of the Aspect, the summoner is able to transfer all of their injuries to the female part of Gemini.

Charona, the Spirit Guide - the Aspect of Souls is a hairless, faceless woman clad in a tattered grey robe standing taller than any mortal and carrying a large scythe. When summoned, Charona is able to reap the souls of people with her scythe. Attacks that would harm, but not kill, render the body part that was sliced numb and useless. Fatal blows from Charona's scythe temporarily force her victims to the edge of the Dream Realm where Charona is far more powerful and dangerous. Receiving another fatal blow in the Dream Realm kills completely. Those caught in the Dream Realm must either touch Charona's face (or rather, the lack of one) or wait for the summoning to end in order to escape.
Those who summon Charona gain the ability to become ghosts, able to possess the physical body of anybody reaped by Charona.

Deliora, the Minstrel - the Aspect of Music is a man with chestnut hair with the lower body of a horse and the upper torso, head, and arms of a man with the antlers of a stag on his head. Deliora carries a seven-stringed lyre which serves as the source of his abilities. Deliora's music has the ability to influence emotions, from happiness to sadness, anger to regret, invigoration to demoralization, and everything inbetween. As a boon, the mage that summons him is able to sense the emotions of others down to the subconscious level.


Other Aspects

The following Aspects refuse to make pacts with summoners, though most of them are at the very least willing to meet and talk with people in the Dream Realm.

Fey, the Endless Dreamer - the Aspect of Dreams is a tall, red-haired woman who sleeps constantly, communicating telepathically with any she wishes to speak to. Fey controls the dreams of mortals, conjuring them from the dreamers' minds and memories when they touch the Dream Realm in sleep. While it is not concretely proven, Fey is commonly regarded as the leader of the Aspects, as all of the other Aspects seem to defer to her when she gives a command. Certainly, she is the most powerful of all of the Aspects while in the Dream Realm, possessing complete control and awareness of all that occurs within it. Some philosophers believe that Dream Realm itself as well as the Aspects within it, are mere manifestations of Fey's own Great Dream and will.

Ouroboros, the Time Consumer - the Aspect of Time is a massive serpent with jade scales and deep-set, ruby red eyes. It is said that it is Ouroboros, constantly in chase of his own tail, is the one that resets the Circle and begins time's cycle anew every time he manage to devour his tail.

Bahamut, the Imprisoned - the Aspect and king of the Dragons. In all turnings of the Circle, the arrogant Dragon King challenged the Aspects themselves to battle, and now suffers eternally for his loss. The Aspects turned him into one of their own and sealed him away in the depths of the Dream Realm, forbidding him to make a pact with anyone. It is very rare for any to lay eyes on him, but he is known to be a gargantuan dragon with a wingspan larger than entire cities with sleek black flesh that seems more akin to steel than skin. Massive chains wrapped around his neck, arms, and legs stretch endlessly into the Dream Realm, binding him to some unknown location.
He is the only known entity to have ever killed an Aspect.

Ba'el, the Deathbringer - The Aspect of Death is largely an enigma. All that is known of him is learned by asking other Aspects. Ba'el has no known true form, instead taking the form of that which will most terrify those who behold him. He rules the part of the Dream World known as the Void, where the souls of the dead await rebirth. No Summoner has ever made a pact with him nor has any person ever made contact with him and lived, those who have attempted have all died. Some believe that they are - literally - scared to death. However, a common theory believed in most circles of Magical Study is that Void Mages make a pact of their own with Ba'el and it is this which grants them their powers over death.


Runology:


Runology is without a doubt, the most tightly guarded secret in the small island country of Saeth. It is what gives them their advantage in their war for independence against the vastly larger Baeleon.

Runology is the art of inscribing a magical glyph onto an object to give it a particular property, or multiple properties. In Saeth's army, mystical armor that is almost impossible to penetrate by all but the most powerful of spells, yet is light as a feather is crafted. Swords, axes, and spears that never break or need sharpened are forged.

There is a drawback to Runology, however. The technique is still very new, both to Saeth and to the world, and in crafting armor and weaponry that draw in magic through the glyphs, it becomes impossible for a mage to use their magic while touching anything inscribed with an active runological glyph. The most that has been managed to remedy this is the ability to activate and deactivate glyphs with a touch.

Other runologists experiment with inscribing magical effects into weapons themselves to take the place of magic, such as conjuring jets of flame from a staff, or rending the earth with the swipe of a sword. At the moment, like the rest of the developments, this is still very new, and these weapons have limited uses before they become simple steel once more and must be recharged with the branch of magic the glyph draws power from.


Demonspawn:


Golems - Golems are shapeshifters and come in two types. Tree Golems are able to shapeshift into any inanimate object they choose - rocks, trees, plateaus, rivers, a flower, etc. On the other hand, Stone Golems are able to shift into any person they have devoured. While shifted, however, a Stone Golem is unable to meet a real person's eyes, and that is the easiest way to tell a Stone Golem from a person. In their original forms, both Golems are similarly built: they are nine to twelve feet tall masses of treework or stonework depending with milk white eyes and possess a row of sharp teeth capable of tearing through steel. They are also stupendously strong and much faster than their bulkiness would suggest.
Golems are remarkably resilient creatures and can only be killed by the elements of nature. Other magicks are deflected off of their skin harmlessly. Tree Golems are susceptible to Fire and Earth where as Stone Golems are weakened by Air and Water.

Dragkar - Vampiric beings vaguely human in shape save for their draconic wings that they fold around themselves like a cloak. Dragkar sing a crooning song that entrances any who hear it into something nearing rapture. The Dragkar then enjoy their victims thoroughly, performing sexual acts that end with the victims soul being sucked out, either through the mouth or a person's more sensitive places. While Dragkar live off of the souls they devour, they also enjoy blood, often times coating an enraptured victim in it before engaging in the soul-devouring. To this end, they possess extremely sharp clawed hands used for tearing limbs off to great effect, especially in situations where there isn't time to claim a person's soul.
An enraptured person can still be saved if the Dragkar is killed quickly enough, but once a person has known the Dragkar's kiss, they will be mere husks in a vegetative state forever. There is no saving a person whose soul is eaten.
Dragkar are most formidable at night, where they are completely invisible save for their shadows. In the light of day, they are weak, unable to perform their song, and an easy kill.

In the overall scheme of the Demonic horde, Dragkar function primarily as spies, following targets overhead in the skies at night and leading the other demons to them through shrill cries.

Shades - Shades are humanoid demonspawn that fight with steel forged in the black fires of the Dragons' breath. Those killed by a Shade are the luckiest. A cut from Shadesteel will turn any who survive the encounter and the wounds into a Shade themselves after ten days. Shades' heights vary based on the person they were created from, but all Shades possess the white pallor of death and have blank, white eyes. What makes Shades formidable is there strange ability to bend their bodies somewhat like a snake. A 230lb Shade can fit underneath the crack of a door with ease, for instance. In battle, they exhibit similar abilities, bending their bodies like rubber out of the way of a swordstroke or a fireball, though their bodies are still very much flesh and susceptible to all forms of harm if one manages to land a blow.
They are extremely agile, but are about as physically strong as the average human.

In organized raids, Shades are the standard foot soldier in the Demonic hordes. They are numerous, but relatively easy to kill.

Ryorg - Giant armored bears. That is what comes to mind when trying to describe the Ryorg. Ryorg are about twelve feet tall on all fours and clad in heavy plated armor. Ryorg have three eyes arranged in an upside-down triangular fashion. Ryorg have one-track minds. When they see a victim, they will give chase and will not stop. Ever. Not until their victim is in their jaws or they are killed. They barrel through trees, stones, and walls with laughable ease, and can only be killed either by blinding all three eyes or exploiting their unarmored underbellies.

In organized raids, Shades will often ride Ryorg as mounts while other Ryorg as used as battering rams as well as the more typical bear things like tearing people's faces off.

A Note from Ish: No, I will not be allowing anybody to domesticate giant armored bears and ride one, no matter how fucking badass that would be. Sorry. <3

Drakonid: The direct offspring of the Dragons. Drakonid are reptilian creatures standing six to eight feet in height armored in hard scales able to camouflage them with their surroundings similar to a chameleon. Like their Dragon forefathers, they are able to breathe black fire and are able to take human form...to an extent. Their human forms are flawed, as they retain their scales and more reptilian facial features. While they are physically the weakest of all of the Demonspawn, they are also the only ones capable of rational thought and speech, and are looked to as commanders in the Dragons' absence and presumed demise by the rest of the Demonic hordes. They fight using the same steel as the Shades, as well as their firebreath if necessary.



Last edited by Ishilar's Ego on Fri May 18, 2012 8:38 am; edited 8 times in total (Reason for editing : Markup is STUPID! D=)
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Re: The Circle

Post by Ishilar's Ego on Tue May 15, 2012 2:42 am

SUDDENLY, A MAP
...Which is also a link. That you should click. Also, large image.

Map Information:




The lands of Tyldrasia are many and varied. However, all lands share one thing in common. To go 'Outside' of one of the Radiant cities (marked as yellow stars on the map) is foolish. To go 'Outside' of a human city is sheer idiocy. Demonspawn rule the wilds.

But travel is possible! The great floating cities of the Radiants are all interlinked by arcs of golden light that allow for nearly instantaneous travel between the Radiant cities and to the ground below those cities. The Radiant cities also possess barriers of light that demonspawn cannot cross.

The cities on the ground, however, possess no such luxury, and are always wary of demonic attack.

Ambevelia (Capital: Setir) is the Country of Guilds. Originally under Malkior's rule, as people began to strike out further and further from the Radiant city, it became impossible for Malkior to send protection. Thus, Ambevelia was formed out the Concord of Guilds, groups dedicated to fighting and protecting against the Demonspawn. In more recent years, the guilds have posted chapter houses in all other Radiant cities in other countries, taking on any job requests from the mundane to the impossible. It is this which serves as Ambevelia's primary source of income.
Ambevelia is the only country where demonic attacks are infrequent, having been driven out by the warrior guilds. In recognition of their achievements against the Demonspawn, the Radiants built their own city in the country and took the country's name for it.

Ambevelia's lands are very fertile, easily able to provide for its constantly swelling population. The western border with Malkior is a mountainous region with a single road through the passes, but most prefer to simply travel along the Radiant paths from city to city. As one goes East toward the center of Ambevelia, the land levels out into a vast plateau - the Gyldin Plateau - upon which the four westernmost cities of Ambevelia were built. The northern reaches of Ambevelia are bone-chillingly cold almost year-round. Further East and South, however, the land levels out into a series of rolling plains. Ambevelia's capital, Setir was built on the mouth of the Aveen River, the largest river in the country, and a precious commodity that allows for easy trade with Callistae.

There is a Guild for All is the country's motto, and its policy reflects this, welcoming people of all countries into its borders under the direction of the Concord of Guilds. As a result, Ambevelia is regarded as a safehaven from the troubles that plague other nations for all people save criminals, which the Concord of Guilds will oblige in turning over to justice, or even administering it themselves.

As a result, Ambevelia has strong relations with every nation save Baeleon, which possesses some animosity toward the guilds because of its refusal to turn over refugees from Saeth, with which Baeleon is at war with.


Callistae (Capital: Callistae) is a monarchy currently under the rule of Queen Elysia. All cities save for the Radiant city (and capital) exist along the Eldora River, which provides fast and easy transportation, enabling quick defense of the outer cities against demonic attack if necessary.

The northern region of Callistae is primarily plains, but gradually shifts into wet marshlands in the central and western regions. Toward the East and South, however, Callistae becomes a dense forest with a very rich ecosystem and all manner of wildlife, making it a hotspot for Animists looking to further their study of animal forms.
Callistae's lush forests also provides roughly 70% of the wood the rest of Tyldrasia uses, which, along with silk, is the country's primary export and source of income.

The Radiant city and capital, Callistae, is a beautiful city of water with sparkling fountains and an intricate canal system that offers steady transportation for those who favor boat over walking on the crystalline bridges arching over the canals and connecting the roadways.

Malkior (Capital: Malkior): Like Callistae, Malkior is a monarchy ruled by King Sarand. Malkior is a dying country. Few people inhabit the frozen desert that marks most of its landscape save for the mountains that border it to the south and east. Malkior is most famous for its stonework and forgework, crafting the finest weapons and armor available for increasingly high prices to stay economically afloat.

The Radiant city and capital Malkior is a city that, at a glance, seems completely organic, worked from stone and rock magically altered and smoothed into graceful arches and walkways, some tunneling underneath the ground.

Because of the country's flailing economy and dwindling population, King Sarand fears it is only a matter of time before Baeleon adds more land to its empire, and works to ingratiate himself with Baeleon's emperor, Valsinoth in the hopes of a secure position under Baeleon rule and fair treatment for his subjects. As a result, many of the nations allied against Baeleon, while not hostile, have withdrawn ties from Malkior, furthering it down the path to destruction.


Baeleon (Capital: Cyril) is a vast empire and one of the wealthiest countries on Tyldrasia ruled by the Emperor Valsinoth. Baeleon is most notable for having the largest standing military in the world (although, if Ambevelia's guilds were to band together into a single collective army, it would rival Baeleon's). Baeleon's army is large enough to wage a full-scale war against the island country Saeth while still maintaining a strong front against demonic attack within its own borders. Baeleon is also notable for having two Radiant cities: Baeleon, from which the country took its name, to the South and Cyril, it's capital, to the North.

Baeleon's geography is largely mountainous in the northern and central regions with a vast network of caves and tunnels. The Leor River runs through the empire's center, and south of it, the land becomes sparse steppes and plains. Baeleon's primary source of income lies in its rich mines primarily in the central regions.

Baeleon's diplomatic relations are somewhat complicated and are currently reflected in its war with Saeth. Relations with Ambevelia are tense due to the country providing refuge for many people from Saeth and refusing to help in Baeleon's war efforts. Callistae is neutral and Malkior openly supports Baeleon, both countries enjoy peaceful relations with the empire. Imijil, on the other hand, supports Saeth, causing Baeleon to sever all diplomatic ties with the country in outrage. However, the empire does not have the naval strength to fight both Imijil and Saeth.

The capital, Cyril is a city of science and wonder, home to the Red Tower which houses the largest collection of books on the Magicks and always welcomes new students into its halls for teaching in the arts as well as magic. In its construction, the Radiants favored the use of Arcane magic to create a city that never sleeps. It is most beautiful at night, when glowbulbs, balls of arcane energy, light up the city's streets like thousands of white fireflies. Bridges of pure arcane energy link the city's many floating structures and constructs.
All of the city's arcane wonders are powered by the Zaeyth, a massive white rock of crystallized arcane energy housed beneath the palace in the city's center.

Saeth (Capital: Razgarde) - Saeth is a tiny island nation that, ten years ago, declared its independence from the Baeleon Empire. The reasons for its declaration are largely a mystery to all but a select few. Rumor, however, says that the infamous Necromancer, the strongest mage in the world, was involved. That said, there is no documentation of the Necromancer having ever involved himself in the war efforts. The war is currently being headed by Nem Selen, who is looked to as the leader of Saeth.

The island's borders are large, sheer cliffwalls, making entry almost impossible save for the lone shoreline where the island nation built its capital.

Like Baeleon, Saeth studies magic intensively, which led to the development of Saeth's greatest weapon and most tightly kept secret: runology. It was this development coupled with the island's small area and easily defended borders with the ocean that allowed Saeth to combat the vastly superior Baeleon on an equal footing. Because of runology's tantamount importance in Saeth's war, the military government closely monitors people who carry and use runological objects. While it does not forbid them from leaving the country, one must register their planned location as well as any runological objects they carry and their functions so that the military can make routine visits to ensure that runology has not fallen into the wrong hands, particularly Baeleon's.

Saeth has strong diplomatic ties with both Imijil and Ambevelia, while Malkior and Baeleon are both hostile. Callistae remains neutral.

Saeth's capital Razgarde is on the southernmost shores of the island, and is a sprawling fortress complex made with runologically-enforced stonework and iron. The city-fortress itself is a collection of five main sectors, four arranged in a square with a fifth in the center. The northwestern sector is the Commerce District where the streets are crowded with hawkers calling their wares. The northeastern sector is the Military District where Saeth's army makes its base and trains new recruits in the use of runological technology. To the southwest is the Academia District where magical and runological study takes place and breakthroughs in runology are primarily made. The southwestern sector is the Civilian District where most of Razgarde's people live and houses the only harbor and means of entering Saeth. It is also where guilds from Ambevelia wishing to open business in Saeth make their guildhouses.

The central district is the Government District where Nem lives and operates out of.

The city is also currently experimenting with short-distance teleportation similar to the Radiants' technology from warping from city to city using runology. At the moment, there are working glyphs in each sector, but they seldom function properly.

Imijil (Capital: Imijil) - Imijil refers collectively to both of the large islands in the south of Tyldrasia. Individually, the larger and southermost island is known as Indra and the smaller island to the Southwest is called Madra.

Both islands experience heavy volcanic activity, particularly in the southern regions, which has led most of the nation's inhabitants to adopt a nomadic lifestyle, moving in rhythm with the eruptions when necessary. The cities along the islands' coasts are largely for the benefit of visitors from other countries and a means of acquiring provisions during periods where the volcanic activity interferes with the grazing patterns of animals. Because of its coastal cities, Imijil has a vast naval fleet unrivaled by any other that serve as the transportation between cities and islands.
Imijil is also home to some of the fiercest animals on Tyldrasia in addition to the demonspawn (it's basically Australia, except with lots of volcanoes).

Imijil's central government is a republic ruled by a council comprised of one representative from the thirteen nomadic tribes on the islands. The council regulates trade with other countries, primarily leather, furs, and fish, as well as controls the navy, but largely, the representatives remain with their respective tribes, communicating through Dreamers when necessary to discuss politics.

The nation enjoys strong, friendly ties with both Saeth, Callistae, and Ambevelia, while Malkior remains neutral and Baeleon is openly hostile.


The Grey Lands - in the very center of Tyldrasia where the Well resides are the Grey Lands, claimed by no person or country. It is lands overrun by the demonic hordes and, prior to their gradual demise, was ruled by the Dragons. Overcome with the demonic taint of the demons and the black fire of the Dragons, the Grey Lands is a vast expanse of dead flatlands, sparsely populated with the ever-burning black fires of the Dragons' wake. Only the remarkably foolish and the stupidly courageous venture into the Grey Lands seeking glory against the demonspawn. Should you number among these fools, it is advised that you don't touch anything. Everything kills in the Grey Lands. Deadened plants, corrupted by the demonic taint, can kill with a touch, spreading deadly toxins or burning flesh away with powerful acids. Animals twisted by the corruption also make their home in the Grey Lands, some so horrific and twisted that even the demonspawn fear them. The Worms in particular.

At very center of the Grey Lands lies the Well from which all of Creation is derived. Supposedly. No mortal has laid eyes upon its mystical depths in several millennia according to the Radiants.



Other Cities (as numbered on the map)
Bold indicates capital cities, * indicate Radiant cities

1. Razgarde
2. Perum
3. Malpore
4. Sene
5. Ghrest
6. Baeleon (*)
7. Reln
8. Cyril (*)
10. Dahn
11. Silva
12. Freyj
13. Garo
14. Malkior (*)
15. Roklor
16. Icelo
17. Naribe
18. Isul
19. Haven
20. Ambevelia (*)
21. Cybela
22. Delfreed
23. Imijil (*)
24. Ipik
25. Tir
26. Welgosh
27. Setir
28. Jahan
29. Callistae (*)
30. Laeyana
31. Fayel
32. Teyim
33. Quel
34. Plamath


[/left]


Addendums

Notable Persons:

Humans

Queen Elysia - The ruler of Callistae is a relatively young ruler at the age of 26. A Holy Mage, she came to Callistae's throne six years ago when the previous king was assassinated with no heirs. After a brief inter-House succession struggle, Elysia claimed the throne and has since been devoted creating and maintaining friendly relations with the rest of Tyldrasia. She has several critics for her insistence on peace and diplomacy in the face of unwanted incursions into Callistae by other countries. She is wholly devoted to her people and her greatest priority is ensuring they are as safe as possible from the demonspawn.


King Sarand - The ruler of Malkior is a middle-aged man and a Warper and Arcane mage who has led Malkior for nearly twenty years. A man with many worries, but the experience to handle them. He is a benevolent ruler who only wants to provide the best for his people, what little remain in the country. In his youth, he was one of the finest warriors in Tyldrasia and is one of the four Dragonslayers still alive to the current day.


Emperor Valsinoth - The emperor of Baeleon is a young man a few years younger than Sarand. He is an Animist and Shadow Mage who won his leadership of Baeleon by personally assassinating the rest of the competition through one means or another. Valsinoth is a shrewd and cunning manipulator as well as a fierce warrior, though since becoming emperor, he has not fought at all, preferring the battlefield of politics. Despite his questionable rise to the throne, he is well-loved by the people of Baeleon and considered a just leader.


Nem Selen - the commander of Saeth's army and leader of the rebellion, Nem is an Arcane and Elemental Mage who is credited with the invention of runology. She is known for personally leading Saeth's army against Baeleon, dancing into battle in runic equipment. Outside of battle, she is a scientist constantly working to refine runology with very little experience and only an average skill in the area of political maneuvering.

Guildmasters

Nix Procer - Guildmaster of Lionheart, one of the five master guilds in the Concord of Guilds. Named after the Aspect of Night, Nix is a Void master who lost his left arm in battle against a Dragon. One of the four Dragonslayers.

Remius Lunaes - Guildmaster of Raven's Eye, one of the five master guilds in the Concord of Guilds. Remius is a very powerful Dreamer as well as possessing small skill in Elemental magic.

Kaenn Lavel - Guildmaster of Venia's Breath, one of the five master guilds in the Concord of Guilds. Kaenn is an eccentric man who believes that he is God. As such, he possesses very strong berserker tendencies that inexplicably haven't gotten him killed. He is an Arcane mage and a Warper.

Ashnel Faeren - Guildmistress of Wolfclaw, one of the five master guilds in the Concord of Guilds. Ashnel is a softspoken woman with a quiet temper who doesn't raise her voice when angry, believing silence to be louder than shouting. She is regarded as one of the greatest Holy mages in Tyldrasia.

The Necromancer - Guildmaster of the Seditious Six. Very few people have ever seen the Necromancer, fewer still known his real name, but everybody knows who the Necromancer is. Unquestionably the strongest mage in the entire world who is able to use all nine Magicks. Known for frequently vanishing without a word, nobody ever bothers trying to take over the guild; he always comes back. There are a thousand rumors about the Necromancer, the least of which paint him as a man able to resurrect the dead, the true creator of runology, the instigator of Saeth's rebellion against Baeleon, the man who slew one hundred Dragons in a single battle, and the inventor of buttered toast. His guildmates claim all of the above are true except for the Dragonslaying bit, stating that he considers killing Dragons a mundane chore unworthy of his time. It is unknown if any of this is actually true or not. As such, historians do not currently count the Necromancer among the Dragonslayers.
He also has a tendency to use words without actually knowing what they mean, which resulted in the unfortunate name of his guild.

Radiants

Lilin - the leader of the Radiants and over three thousand years old, Lilin appears to be an old woman, but among Radiants is considered middle-aged. Wielding the magic of the Aspects, Lilin is a warrior at heart, but also a compassionate ruler. She considers her greatest accomplishment being one of the few individuals to have had a conversation with Fey, the leader of the Aspects, despite also being one of the four Dragonslayers.

Balphagor - Balphagor is the head of the Red Tower, the largest and most renowned school and research center for Magic in all of Tyldrasia. A Dreamer and Arcane Mage, Balphagor divides his time between teaching classes in the Red Tower and writing novels. A jovial and honest man with a warm nature, Balphagor inspires many of his students to greater heights in their magical learning, and many of the more famous mages in Tyldrasia are known to have been students of his.

Ashrael, the Betrayer of Hope - a renegade Radiant who was once a hero among Radiants. However, he went against the very nature of the angelic beings and sided with the Dragons during the ages-long war between the two races. It is unknown when he sided with the Dragons, or if he was on their side all along, but his betrayal was made known in what would have been the Last Battle against the Dragons and the demonspawn where he turned his blade against his brethren which allowed E'Narath, the Last Dragon, to escape and go into hiding. Ashrael himself also disappeared after E'Narath escaped, and none have seen him since, though many of the Radiants believe that he now heads the demonic hordes while E'Narath recovers from his wounds.


Notable Organizations/Guilds:


The Wing Knights - Queen Elysia's personal guard and branch of Callistae's military, famed for their speed and agility in battle. Their armor and banner sigil is a pair of white feathered wings.

The Seekers - Organization of spies and assassins based in Baeleon that will work for anybody for the right price. Classified as an unofficial guild. Members are hunted down by the lawful guilds of Ambevelia.

The Black Guard - Emperor Valsinoth's personal guard and the peacekeepers in Baeleon. All members are Void masters to varying degrees. Dress in black plate armor and never show their faces except to each other. Their sigil is a single eye drawn in an inky black.

The Malkior Knights - King Sarand's army, police force, and spy ring are all one organization, another of the many signs of Malkior's collapse. Their sigil is a golden ring inscribed with a lance through it, the preferred weapon in the organization.

The Council of Thirteen - the Council that decides law and stands over criminal trials in Imijil. Members are elected from the thirteen clans of nomads in Imijil: the Jenn, the Rial, the Soris, the Teij, the Shaile, the Fujik, the Miagoma, the Daen, the Cinnil, the Indril, the Madhran, the Pulmor, and the Amon.

The Red Tower - the largest library in Tyldrasia as well as the finest academy for magical and mundane learning built in Baeleon's capital, Cyril. Headmaster is the Radiant Balphagor. Also contains a registration of all of the mages in Tyldrasia, their country of origin and current residence, and their Magicks.

The Concord of Guilds - the collective organization of every guild in Ambevelia headed by the five Master Guilds: Lionheart, Raven's Eye, Venia's Breath, Wolfclaw, and the Seditious Six. Every year, a tournament is held to decide the new five Master Guilds for the following year. The tournament involves tests of battle prowess, intelligence, cunning, and various magical control.


Guild Job Requests:


Textile Tragedy! - I've come up with a new idea that will revolutionize clothing forever! ...Unfortunately, I lack the necessary means to make my dream happen. But that's where YOU come in! I am in need of an Elementalist with very fine precision and control to make new and unique variations of cloth. If I can test my theories and ideas, I'll be able to market it!
I'll be waiting in Callistae at the White Stag inn.
~Maref Ganstein
Reward: 50 gold marks
Level: C

Protect My Goods - I've been trying to launch my merchant train into Sene for weeks now without success. Baeleon isn't able to provide a proper escort because of that silly war and the mercenaries around here aren't up to it, apparently. Those I've hired have nearly all been slaughtered by some beast in the high passes. They claim it's not demonspawn, but I have my doubts. Still, it pays to be cautious, and I can't afford to lose another shipment. Come to Bor's Goods in Ghrest, preferably as soon as possible!
~Bors
Reward: 125 gold marks upon the successful completion of the escort.
Level: B

Assassins - I'm being targeted, I know it! Everybody's dead, they're all dead, and I'm next! Help me! I don't want to disclose my location publicly, but the guild secretary knows where I am. Come quickly!
~Unknown
Reward: 300 gold marks
Level: B

Requesting Aid (Final Seed // Wolfclaw) - We've received reports that a demonic forces are massing at our Western border. I humbly, but urgently request the aid of the guilds to drive them off before they can attack us. The Wing Guard will be hardpressed to stop this if it escalates. I am willing to pay for the services of as many guilds as wish to come. The more, the better. Any interested parties should come to the border cities in Callistae, Ipik and Tir, with all haste.
~Severein Auronis, of the Wing Guard
Reward: 500 gold marks per each participating guild
Level: A

Player Guilds:
Guilds formed by us RPers for all to enjoy.

The Guild of the Teetering Wilson (Rust) - One of the smallest guilds, this organization was created by Cojisto and his band of adventurers. Unlike most establishments the Guild Hall is located on the outskirts of Baeleon, near the mountains. In the spirit of Teetering Wilson, the guild is based off of exploring the unknown. There are only 4 members of the guild and only one, Anastasia, stays behind to watch after the Hall in the Guildmaster's absence.


Final Seed (Masked Man)
“Honor or death!”

Final Seed is a unique warrior’s guild that accepts only the wretched and dishonored into its ranks and whose members only undertake the most dangerous missions with the aim of finding redemption either through great feats of arms or glorious death. The guild has no official leader figure, though Aileen and Faceless are often credited with getting it started around three years ago. Final Seed has never participated in any of the annual tournaments; it just isn’t their style. The guild follows a strict code of conduct, and among its most important tenets is a policy of minding one's own business: many of its members do not wish to speak of their pasts for very good reasons, so the respectful member of Final Seed will never ask too many personal questions of their fellows.

Notable Members

Aileen Draeci- One of the guild’s original members, and among the most respected of its warriors. Aileen fights with a devil-may-care sort of abandon and some say that it was her sincere efforts to die in battle that originally inspired the guild’s founding.

Faceless- The workhorse of the guild, sometimes literally a horse, who follows Aileen into battle with the perfect obedience of a well-trained dog.

Lune- A terrifying little creature who was once an assassin of some renown under a different name. No one knows why she gave up her former life to join Final Seed, but no one really wants to ask her either. She is violent and impulsive but surprisingly calm under pressure, and is usually the one who fulfills the role of guild leader whenever Aileen can’t be bothered. She seems to be friends with Aileen, but with those two it can be difficult to tell what is friendship and what is animosity.

Durban Delbray, AKA “The First to be Forgiven”- Durban was an odd bird who spent only a few months in the service of the guild. He joined up some time during its first year of operation and quickly proved so adept at combat that short of suicide he was unlikely to die by the blade any time soon. Despondent at this realization, he followed Aileen home one day and challenged her to a duel. She accepted, and the next day they did battle just outside of the guild’s chapter house. It was here that Durban finally me his death. As he bled out from a fatal thrust of her black-bladed sword, all who were present heard her speak the words “I forgive you.” This started the Final Seed tradition of offering fallen allies verbal forgiveness before they slipped away into oblivion.

Chapter House Location: Welgosh

Current Guild Population: 39 members




CHARACTER SHEET

Name:
Sex:
Age:
Equipment:
Magicks: (Remember, either one Primal or two Lessers)
Aspects (if applicable): (For now, I'm limiting Summoners to a maximum of five Aspects and I'll see how things go from there)
Other:


THE CAST

Name: Calis Ayemla (Ish)
Sex: Male
Age: 20
Equipment: An ordinary short sword and belt knife along with a set of leather armor and an assortment of clothing.
Magicks: Aspect
Aspects: Aquir, Charona, Nymth
Other: Calis and his twin sister Cele were born on the main isle of Imijil. At the age of fourteen, their mother died shielding the two with her own body in a demonic attack. The next two years were spent training their magical abilities until the day they attempted to bring their mother back to life. An attempt that leveled their home and claimed the life of their father. The twins then lived with a neighbor and family friend, seldom venturing outside until, two months ago, a rumor reach them. The rumor of the Necromancer, the strongest mage in the world. The man who supposedly had brought the souls back from the dead. The rumor that he was in the city of Ambevelia.

The tragedies in Calis' life, while not at all uncommon on Tyldrasia, have left him soft-spoken and quiet, especially around strangers.

Name: Cele Ayemla (Ish)
Sex: Female
Age: 20
Equipment: A yew longbow and quiver of arrows, various Void-wrought weapons and armor, an assortment of dresses, and a pouch of herbs for various maladies
Magicks: Void
Other: Cele and her twin brother Calis were born on the main isle of Imijil. At the age of fourteen, their mother died shielding the two with her own body in a demonic attack. The next two years were spent training their magical abilities until the day they attempted to bring their mother back to life. An attempt that leveled their home and claimed the life of their father. The twins then lived with a neighbor and family friend, seldom venturing outside until, two months ago, a rumor reach them. The rumor of the Necromancer, the strongest mage in the world. The man who supposedly had brought the souls back from the dead. The rumor that he was in the city of Ambevelia.

Like Calis, the events in her life changed Cele. The attempt at bringing her mother back to life left Cele blind and bloodless. While she is, for the most part, soft-spoken like Calis, the events in her life have ultimately been unable to quell her temper and quick wit, often emerging at the most inopportune times.

Name: Aileen Draeci (Masked Man)
Sex: Female
Age: 19
Equipment: The Soultaster’s Sword, the Amulet of Penitent Mercy, an array of simple outfits, and a small home in Ambevelia.
Magicks: Arcane, Elemental
Other: Aileen is the poor daughter of a wealthy man and she herself eschews wealth in nearly all its forms. The only objects of real value she owns are a potently runed blade and amulet that her father gave her as an apology just before she left home.

Name: Faceless (Masked Man)
Sex: Male
Age: Approx. 36
Equipment: None
Magicks: Elemental, Animism
Other: Faceless was once a man who cared a lot about nature. He cared so much, in fact, that once he mastered Animism he promptly began spending so much time in animal form that he forgot how to “be” his native self. When he was a human he was Aileen’s hired bodyguard, and he continues to serve her faithfully now in whichever shape he needs most at the time.

Name: Lune (Masked Man)
Sex: Female
Age: 31
Equipment: A matching pair of short swords, a longbow, and several belts of throwing knives hidden about her body. She also tends to carry small vials, filled halfway with a strange bluish powder and corked quite tightly.
Magicks: Shadow, Dream
Other: A former assassin known for loose morals even among the contract killer community, she gave up her life as a murderess-for-hire a few years ago to join the fledgling Final Seed guild. Nobody is entirely sure why she did this, as she is the only member of the guild who does not seem to regret her past even slightly. She is also known to be addicted to salt seed: a powerful psychoactive drug known to cause hallucinations, a dulled sense of touch, euphoric bliss followed by intense paranoia, loss of short term memory and other, user-specific effects.

Name: Moose (Rust)
Sex: Male
Age: 6
Equipment: A Saddle, and a rusty sword that hangs from its antlers.
Magicks: Holy
Other: Moose is a moose, but also a genius. Cojisto tamed him years ago while he was still an adolescent.

Name: Cojisto (Rust)
Sex: Male
Age: 21
Equipment: Reinforced leather fighting gloves.
Magicks: Arcane, Animism
Other: Cojisto knows how to use his magic, but prefers a more personal form of combat. To get from place to place, he rides Moose.

Name: Sirenne (Rust)
Sex: Female
Age: 25
Equipment: Only the ability to put up with Cojisto and a whip for the times that she can't.
Magicks: Aspect
Aspects: Nyx, Daughter of the Night; Nymth, the Green Lady; Venia, the Tempest.
Other: Along with Moose, Sirenne is the only person who's been able to understand Cojisto, even if that happens rarely

Name: Lloyd (Alle)
Sex: Male
Age: Mid 20s
Equipment: Lloyd wears a hodge-podge of clothing, mostly collected from his years of wandering: serviceable leather breeches, fit with dagger sheaths down the side of his thighs, and a red leather vest scorched black in places where his magic got out of hand. A plain brown shirt covers his athletic arms beneath the vest, often rolled up to the elbows. He wears no cloak, except in the dead of winter; his body temperature runs high, perhaps an effect of his fire affinity. Sturdy black boots and a tangle of necklaces and charms, spilling into the V of his shirt, complete his usual attire. The charms are anything from shark teeth to bear claws to various faded religious symbols, revealing a certain degree of religious observance, if not simple superstition. For weapons, he carries a dirk and a selection of daggers, preferring to slow or otherwise panic his enemy with flames and small tornadoes, then dart in for the kill.
Magicks: Elemental, Warp
Other: Born on the Baeleon peninsula to a middle class family of somewhat renowned Arcanists, Lloyd both surprised and disappointed his parents by missing that particular magical gene. Instead, he is a proficient Elementalist, most comfortable around fire and air, and an unstable Warper. When the political war with Saeth again escalated and the army called for new recruits, Lloyd again shamed his family by running away. He has not seen or heard from them in the five years since. He makes his living mostly as a sword-for-hire, taking freelance contracts with various guilds, or simply offering his services to various local militias for a period of time before setting off again. At his side, always, since his departure from home, is Biddy.

Name: Biddy (Alle)
Sex: Female
Age: early 20s
Equipment: Her attire is as unsettling as she is; not in the sense that it's strange, just in the way that human clothes do not appear to suit her. She wears unremarkable brown and green leathers, a too-large white shirt, and loose clothe boots. Compared to Lloyd, she is relatively unadorned, with no visible weaponry save for the small, two-inch blade on a chain around her neck. She is, perhaps, more suited for furs, or the visage of an animal; like a forest warrior missing her antlers, yet unnervingly beautiful.
Magicks: Dream, Animism
Other: Not much is known about Biddy. She was first seen in Baeleon, arrested for suspicious activity in a smaller village near the eastern front. She was released, and has remained under the law's radar since. She claims no country of origin, not does her appearance lend to any solid guesses. She avoids large cities and excessive crowds, and they avoid her: she is a strong Dreamer and admits an unsettling, though not harmful, aura; as if she sees things in a person they are incapable of seeing themselves. She travels with Lloyd. They are seldom without one another, for reasons they don't discuss. Biddy hovers almost constantly at his side, either as a human, a deer, or a delicate white sparrow.

Name: Kelrad Dunderdale (Smithy)
Sex: Male
Age: 26
Equipment: His father's sword, Ashcarver, along with the standard-issue gear of the Wing Knights.
Magicks: Holy
Other: Kelrad, or Kel for short, is the son of the great warrior Denrad Dunderdale, Commander of the Wing Knights until he was killed in battle four years ago. Kel has been trained for battle by his father all his life, and was expected to join the military as soon as he was able. He has followed his father's wishes to the letter, even being accepted into the Wing Knights (though likely due more to his lineage than his skill), but deep in his heart, Kel doesn't want to live the life his father did. He doesn't want to be a warrior, and he doesn't want to fall in battle before his time. Regardless, he is skilled with a blade, and is considered a valuable (though expendable) member of the Wing Knights.


Last edited by Ishilar's Ego on Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:25 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Ishilar's Ego

Posts : 91
Join date : 2012-04-25
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Re: The Circle

Post by Ishilar's Ego on Fri May 18, 2012 11:53 pm

The Last Dragon E'Narath smiled up at Cyril, one of the great floating cities of the Radiants. Soon. Not time yet, but soon he would make that great city into a weapon. One day for his human servants to complete their tasks, to do what neither demon nor Dragon could. One day for the barriers around the Radiant cities to be lowered; one day until a concentrated demonic attack on all of those great cities; one day until the wondrous floating cities of the Radiants fell out of the sky.




Calis led his sister Cele by the hand toward the thick beam of golden light streaming in from the ceiling that connected Imijil to the other Radiant cities. The Paths of Radiance were roughly six meters in diameter and the fastest means of getting anywhere else in Tyldrasia; one simply had to speak their destination city and would then find themselves whisked away hundreds of miles in a matter of minutes.
Cele's free hand went to the strip of cloth tied around her forehead and tugged it over her eyes to hide the scars of the Void. Calis winced at the action. It was his fault his sister had lost the use of her eyes. His idea, his suggestion. The summoner shook himself. It was no use dwelling on that; all he could do was try to fix the mess he'd made as much as he could. If they could find the Necromancer...
"We can't stand here forever, Calis," his sister broke into his thoughts, "We agreed to do this."
"The last time we both agreed to do something, we ended up in the situation we're in now," Calis muttered, before saying more loudly, "Ambevelia!"

Calis' stomach lurched as the light suffused him...he became the light, he was the light, traveling along a stream of consciousness, passing others as his destination grew near. He stumbled out of the light in a room that could have been the same one he had just left, though he knew it wasn't. A moment later, Cele was beside him and stumbled forward, caught off-balance and throwing her wavy black hair across her face.
"Are you alright, Cele?" He helped her to her feet and smoothed her hair out of her face.
"The first step is always the hardest," she said with a grin.
"I suppose," Calis sighed, gathering his sister's possessions under his arm and taking her hand once more. The siblings stepped out into Ambevelia as one. There was a marked difference in the anterooms of the Paths in Ambevelia and in Imijil, and it left Calis stunned.

"So many people," he said softly.
"There were plenty of people in Imijil, too!" Cele said beside him.
"True, but...there's a lot more of them here..." his hand tightened around Cele's, "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes, for the last time," Cele replied irritably.
"But..." Cele wrenched her hand free and began to trod away on her own before Calis could finish. The summoner jostled his way through the endless streams of people coming and going through the Anteroom, "Wait, Cele!"

When he had finally caught up to his sister, she had reached the check-in station.
"You're supposed to be blind, damn it," Calis hissed, "What if somebody noticed?"
"You were taking too long," Cele sniffed, "It's your fault anyway."
"I'm just trying to be cautious! And you should too! And what do you mean!? How is it my fault!?"
"Well if you'd stop second-guessing our decision and just get on with things, I wouldn't get impatient, and then I wouldn't run off, and then you wouldn't get mad! See? This is all your fault."
"...Fine," Calis sighed, "Let's just get checked in and then start looking for a place to stay. I doubt we're going to find the Necromancer on our first day here."

At the entrance and exit opposite the hallway leading to the Paths of Radiance were several desks manned by Radiants checking in and checking out people visiting and departing the city. The two siblings approached a smooth-faced man with amber eyes and matching hair flowing down his back.
"Hello," the Radiant greeted warmly, "welcome to Ambevelia. This will only take a moment, and..." the Radiant paused, noticing Cele's blindfold, "I must ask you to remove that, my lady."
"My sister is blind," Calis broke in, "She doesn't really like displaying it for others," she nodded earnestly and tried to look pathetic, just the way they had worked out...it was like trying to make a lioness look pathetic, but Calis plowed on hurriedly, "Would it be at all possible for us to demonstrate we are harmless in another way?"
The Radiant shook his head, "My apologies, but we must be able to check for golems trying to sneak in, you understand. Your pardon, my lady, but will you please remove your blindfold? It will only take a moment."
Calis stiffened and Cele gave his hand a tight squeeze as she lifted the strip of cloth.
The Radiant recoiled with a hiss. It was the same reaction everybody had to Cele's gaze. Two bright green irises set in the stormy blackness of the Void instead of the milk white of a normal person. Eyes that marked her for what she was, no matter how hard they tried to disguise it.
"...May we go on our way?" Calis asked stiffly after a moment of silence as Cele shifted the cloth back into place over her eyes.
The Radiant cleared his throat, "Yes. Er...yes, be on your way."
"Thank you."

The Anteroom opened up outside to a brilliant blue sky where the sun had just begun to climb the horizon. Tufts of white cloud billowed by beneath the floating city and despite the early hour, the streets were already crowded with people, most clad in armor of some form or another that made Calis wince inwardly. Cele wore only a simple blue dress slashed with yellow and plain leather shoes and Calis' leather armor might as well have been made from paper compared to the bulky steel plates some of the people they passed were wearing.
"It certainly is different here...I fear we may have to find new wardrobes," he muttered to Cele who shrugged.

They had only taken a few steps before a man bumped into Cele and knocked her to the ground.
"My apologies. Are you alright?" the man speaking couldn't have stood out more had he tried. Rather than armor, he wore a simple blue coat and brown breeches with black boots and leather gauntlets. He had no noticeable weapons to speak of when everybody else in Ambevelia seemed armed to the teeth. He adjusted his spectacles and then smiled politely and took Cele's arm, hoisting her up.
"I'm fine, thank you," Cele said softly.
"You two look like visitors. Am I right?" the man asked.
Calis nodded stiffly, "That's correct. We just got here."
"Well then perhaps I can be of some assistance and show you around. What brings you two to Ambevelia, if I might ask?"
Calis hesitated. The man was a stranger, true, but he seemed nice enough. Besides, it would likely take ages to find the Necromancer if they didn't ask around, but...
"We're looking for the Necromancer," Cele said blithely.
"Cele!"
The man stopped and stared at the two siblings. Calis tensed. "The Necromancer, you say?" the man laughed, "How remarkable. Look no further, for I am him!"
Calis stared, pole-axed. Really...? That easily? So many complex plans, and they met through a chance encounter?
"Haha! Just kidding, you can call me Rith. I tell everybody that I'm the Necromancer, but the truth is, I'm not. I'm actually looking for him myself."
"Why?" Cele asked, "Why would you call yourself the Necromancer?"
"It's one of my brilliant ideas," Rith said happily, beginning to walk once more,"If I pretend to be the Necromancer, then the real Necromancer will come to put an end to my shenanigans and then I can talk to him." He stopped again, a look of wonder crossing his face, "I've just had another brilliant idea!" he whipped around, facing Calis and Cele, "We should start a guild!"
"...What?" Calis asked blankly.
"Come now, come now, surely you must see the genius behind such a plan!" Rith insisted, "Guilds are like a common house, a meeting of souls that have common ideals and goals! You want to find the Necromancer, I want to find the Necromancer. Our camaraderie shall blossom and yield many fruitful results!"
Calis shook his head, "I don't think that-"
"We would love to form a guild with you," Cele said, "Three pairs of eyes are better than two after all," she turned to Calis before he protest, "We need a place to stay, don't we? If we start a guild, we'll get our own chapterhouse and a little bit of gold marks to start us off."
"You see!?" Rith demanded, "BRILLIANCE! Come, friends. To the Guild Hall!"
"I...Cele, but...what happened to caution!?" Calis spluttered as Rith led them down the street toward an immaculate building in the distance.
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Ishilar's Ego

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Re: The Circle

Post by The Masked Man on Sun May 20, 2012 6:57 pm

Half of the sky was gray and swollen, the pregnant bellies of black clouds threatening to release a deluge before nightfall. Jagged flashes smote the horizon, alarmingly frequent, as thunder boomed ceaselessly in the distance. To the east the sun bloomed tentatively over the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant oranges and pastel shades of blue and pink. A stark white wall divided the violence of the coming storm from the serenity of the morning sky. It seemed the forces of the heavens themselves were at war, violence and chaos boiling in the west and seeking to overwhelm the peaceful beauty of the east. Beneath it all, two wooden wagons made their way obliviously south, carrying a dozen grim passengers of various descriptions. These men and women, members of Final Seed, the guild of the damned, cared little for the splendor of the spectacle above them or the coincidental symbolism of it all—they were on their way to different confrontation and, as most of them hoped, their final, violent moments in this world.

Outcasts one and all, they were hated and scorned by those who knew them. Murderers, rapists, thieves, and traitors, each burdened by guilt over their past crimes but each unable to find solace through normal means. Cast out by their friends and family, they were welcomed solemnly into the ranks of Final Seed by white-faced, soft-spoken Aileen Draeci. Not all of them were battle-hardened adepts, but that was no matter; they would be trained night and day until they were ready to reclaim their honor on the battlefield. On this day, exactly one dozen were ready to do so, including Aileen herself and her two faithful companions Faceless and Lune.

The three of them sat in the lead wagon, one sitting in silence, one panting eagerly, and another making snotty remarks and cynical observations at regular intervals. Though they were all clustered at the front of the wagon, Aileen somehow managed to sit farther up than the other two. Her porcelain face seemed to gleam in the murky shadows of the covered wagon, wide green eyes as deep and alive as the forests themselves staring directly ahead. Her hair, red as blood, was tied back into a short, fat, braid that hung heavily between her shoulder blades. Her face was thin and smooth, her figure full and flawless even in the dyed leather armor she donned for this mission. Indeed, the only blemish she bore was that her right arm had been severed just above the elbow. Her sword, forged of some black-as-night material lay in its sheathe across her lap, and an ornate golden pendant in the shape of a stylized heart hung on a thin chord around her neck.

To her left sat Lune, a woman of about thirty who would have been beautiful in her own right if she didn’t seem to be made entirely out of knives. Her brown hair was brutally shorn and stood up in shocks at the top of her head and, in contrast to Aileen’s placid lack of expression, her thin lips seemed constantly curled into some sort of sneer or another. A large wolf lay on the floor of the wagon between them, breathing heavily and occasionally answering the thunder with a deep bass rumble of his own.

“You know” Lune began, leaning her head out of the wagon and staring up at the sky “I once slept with a poet.” Aileen glanced at her, but said nothing, so she continued. “He would’ve loved this. He was always writing rubbish about nature. It’s a shame he was my target for the day.”

Faceless made a sort of huffing noise that would have sounded disapproving coming from a human. Spending time with Lune had given him a lot of practice expressing disdain in his various animal forms. He growled sharply as Lune gave him a kick in the ribs.

“Don’t judge me, mutt.”

“Quiet, you two.” Aileen said in her usual monotonous whisper. “We’re still hours from Tir. It won’t do to get your blood boiling just yet.”

Lune shrugged and tilted her head to one side, frowning accusingly at the trapped animage. “He’s just mad I’ve got the same set I was born with.”

---

The wagons rolled on more or less in silence for the rest of the day. The storm had come and gone, drowning the land for a quarter of an hour before the drops turned to chunks of ice, some of which had managed to tear through the thin leather that made up the wagons’ covers. The hail fell for another fifteen minutes before turning back into rain which itself had gradually tapered off over an hour or so. The sun had come out, revealing by its position that it was about four in the afternoon when the wagons bearing Final Seed’s elites rolled into Tir. Being a fortress city, the place looked less than hospitable on a normal day, but with the threat of battle looming on the horizon things were even grimmer than normal. The drivers were directed toward a more or less open courtyard near Tir’s massive walls where most of the armed combatants, including the illustrious Wing Knights had gathered to receive orders.

Aileen and Faceless leapt down from their wagon and made their way toward the city walls while Lune stayed behind to organize the other members of the guild. Upon accepting this contract she had been told to seek out Captain Roshar of the Wing Knights for orders, and asking around led the girl and her wolf-man to him promptly. He was standing at the top of one of the towers that interrupted the massive stone wall at regular intervals, looking more than just a little on edge. He jumped when the guard that had guided them introduced Aileen Draeci and Faceless of Final Seed and spent a moment sizing the pair up before speaking. Judging by his expression, he was less than impressed.

“I’ve heard a lot about you two.” He began, narrowing his steel colored eyes somewhat.

“Good.” Aileen muttered in reply, meeting his gaze with an intensity he had not expected.

“Are you, er. . .” he stammered, trying to find a way to assert the authority he felt was somehow being threatened. “. . .aware you’re missing an-?”

Aileen scowled and spoke slightly louder than last time. “What a stupid thing to say.”

The two locked eyes again, or rather Roshar’s gaze realigned with hers, which hadn’t budged in the slightest. “Right, well, I apologize for my rudeness. Now I assume you’re here looking for orders?” Aileen remained silent, refusing to acknowledge the necessity of a second stupidly obvious observation in less than a minute. “Come here and take a look at this” said the captain, turning to face the soon-to-be battlefield.

The demonic hordes were visible at the far end of a mile-wide stretch of barren land, gathered in numbers that took even Aileen aback. There was no sign that a battle had taken place yet, not even a skirmish. Roshan, seeming to realize what Aileen had noticed, shook his head in wonder. “They haven’t moved since they first appeared here. We’ve even had archer teams take shots at some of them, but no response at all.”

Aileen wondered at this. Demonspawn were for the most part fairly unintelligent, but even the dullest of their ranks possessed survival instinct. Such great discipline suggested the presence of a powerful leader somewhere in the area.

“Our plan is to divide our forces and strike from different directions just before sunset-“
“Before?”

The captain stumbled. He was clearly not used to being interrupted. “Yes, before. Is there a problem?”

“That will leave only a very brief window of opportunity to strike before nightfall, when they will be at their strongest. Why didn’t you try to attack earlier in the day? Captain. . .you aren’t stupid, are you?”

Roshar flared his nostrils and scowled. “The other army at Ipik will strike at the same time and we’ll catch them in a pincer movement-”

“Just before the demonic power peaks. Stupid.”

This time, the captain decided he was finished with this insolent girl and instructed her to return to her men and ready them for battle. Faceless, who had remained silent during the rather tense briefing, growled loudly as they were lead away.

“I know. I hate him too.”

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The Masked Man

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Re: The Circle

Post by Rust on Mon May 21, 2012 2:53 am

Cojisto was seated in a corner of a rather large guild hall. The Guild Registration Guild, more commonly referred to as the GRG, was adorned magnificently. Gold and red tapestries hung along the walls, large marble columns reached from floor to ceiling, and the floor was covered in lush red carpet. Off to the sides and between the columns were desks. Each desk had one GRG representative and one or two people from other guilds registering or returning for a renewed guild seal. Today was a busy day for the GRG, and Cojisto must have waited nearly three hours to get his place. The man was of average height with dark red hair and deep green eyes. He was clad in a red outfit that matched his hair and a purple cloak. All in all, he was rather gaudy.

"I'm sorry Mr..." the man behind the desk said to him as he perused Cojisto's guild renewal. "Cojisto? Am I saying that right?"

"Yep," came Cojisto's swift response.

"Ah, right, right." The man adjusted his rather thick glasses so they sat higher on his face. "Sorry that the wait has been so long, My name is Derek Gillsman. I will be reviewing your case today."

"Derek? Your name is Derek?" Cojisto asked with a raised eyebrow, to which the man only nodded. "Well, this isn't going to be a pleasant conversation."

Derek looked shocked. "I beg your pardon?"

"No no no, nothing against you, sir." The man paused. "Well, not completely. It didn't start with you. I just have a lot of bad experiences with people named Derek. It's become kind of a habit for me to heckle them."

"...Surely you can be more professional than that?"

"Oh, I can try. I'm not sure on how well I will succeed. But, go on ahead, desk monkey." Cojisto folded his hands in his lap with a mostly happy, somewhat sarcastic smile on his face.

The GRG member gazed at Cojisto for a few moments longer before releasing a heavy sigh. "Then, let's get this over with."

"Oh yes, lets."

"Your name is Cojisto, and you are the Guildmaster of the... Guild of the Teetering Wilson?"

"That is correct. I'm quite proud of the guild on a whole. We're a fine bunch, we are."

"Of course, of course," Derek said with the tone of someone who had heard that over and over again. "And your guild's main reason for existence is-"

"Being the best adventurers in all of the land. It's all there, in the papers. You needn't ask, though if you want to hear the words out of the world's finest adventurer I could tell you. I've got time." Cojisto leaned back in his chair.

"Riiiiiiight, anyway. You have four members, which is the minimum and therefore acceptable. I have their profiles here but there seems to be one small problem..." Derek pushed the papers on his desk around a little bit before picking up the four papers on the guild members. He shuffled through them, not looking at Cojisto.

"What's that? Because I'm pretty sure all of it is correct. Anastasia did it all herself, the wonderful girl that she is, bless her heart. She runs the Guild Hall while I'm gone."

"So it says. The profiles are filled out in a completely professional manner. There's not a single issue with it except..."

Cojisto reached out and pulled the sheets of paper away from Derek and read through them. "What's the problem? Where's the issue?"

Derek snatched the papers back and shuffled them back into the right order before addressing the Guildmaster again. "The problem is, Cojisto, that you seem to have a moose in your guild."

"Moose is a magic moose, it counts. Do you have something against moose, Derek? Are you a defiler of moose?"

Derek was taken-aback. "What? I am most certainly not a- a defiler of moose!"

"Then there shouldn't be a problem here!" Cojisto countered.

"With all due respect-"

"It's not enough, I think more respect is due here. Moose is one of my guild members and he's earned a place on the team!"

The GRG member took a moment to compose himself. "Sir, this is highly unusual. We agreed with it back then because there were five members including this... Moose. We figured it was a mascot, not an actual member."

"I assure you, he is one of the most important members. He's our treasurer!" Cojisto slammed his fist onto the table in outrage.

"Sir, please calm down! And how can a moose be your treasurer!? He's a moose!"

"A-ha! You ARE racist against moose!"

"No! I'm not! It's just that, he's a, there's no way that..." Derek closed his eyes and silently counted to ten. Cojisto waited patiently. "I'm sorry, sir, but a Guild is defined by the number of Humans in the guild. There are no rules saying that a moose can count towards that total."

"Ah, but there's no rules that a moose can't count towards that total!" Cojisto crossed his arms to prevent himself from hitting something else. Namely, Derek.

"Yes! Yes there is! I just said that a Guild is defined by the humans in that guild! Humans being the keyword!"

"But he is a magic moose!"

"And while I commend you on finding a moose that is, in fact, magic, that doesn't give him the right to count towards the four minimum total!"

"HE HAS ALL OF THE RIGHTS!" Cojisto roared, standing up so swiftly that he knocked over his chair. "Who are you to take that away from him!?"

Realizing that Cojisto would probably punch him if anything more was said against Moose, Derek backed his chair up a few steps and pushed the man's renewal papers back at him. "I'll give you the customary month to find a fourth-"

"Fifth!" Cojisto huffed.

"To find a fourth," Derek kept going where he left off. "Member of your guild. Until then I'm sorry but I just can't help you."

Cojisto suddenly stopped being angry and smiled at Derek. "Ah, if that's all then there shouldn't be any problem. I'll be back within the month. Thanks for all your help." The Guildmaster offered Derek his hand to shake. Derek eyed the man with concern before finally giving him a firm handshake. "You know, for a Derek you're not half bad. But you are a desk monkey, so I'll be taking that compliment back now." Without another word he spun on his heel and walked away from the desk, leaving a very perplexed GRG member behind.

On his way out of the Guild Registration Guild's guild hall he posted a notice on the board telling all prospective adventurers where he could be found if they wanted to join. And with that, he stepped out into the dull and cloudy world and continued on his way to Moose and Sirenne.
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Rust

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Re: The Circle

Post by Ishilar's Ego on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:20 am

"Hello," Rith spoke politely, "I would like to start a guild." The clerk stared at him blankly. "A guild called..." Rith paused, "...THE NECROMANCER'S GUILD!"
It was that simple phrase that seemed to shut down the entire Guild Hall. Silence descended as everybody paused to stare at the man who would dare claim to be the most powerful mage in all of Tyldrasia.
"...Hi! I'm the Necromancer!" Rith cleared his throat and turned back to the clerk who was staring at him, torn between awe and, in Cele's opinion, wondering whether or not such a strange man could be the Necromancer. "Anyway. Yes. The Necromancer's Guild. Write. That. Down."
The clerk shook himself, "I'm going to need a list of all people intending to join the Necromancer's Guild, a minimum of four and..."

Cele zoned out. There was only three of them, unless Rith had a mysterious fourth member hidden up his sleeve somewhere. How was this going to work...?
"Our fourth member is very sick and staying at an inn in town," he explained easily, "But I will be more than happy to provide his name and when you come verify us, you can see that he is, indeed, a real person."
"I shouldn't, but..." the clerk sighed, "Oh very well. His name is...I...chai...yuh...Bal...zake? Am I pronouncing this right?"
"No! What kind of retard would name their child that!? It's pronounced 'Eye-shee-yuh Bawl-sac'. Just like it's spelled. Ichiya Bawlsak."

"What kind of retard would name their child that!?" Cele thought aghast, a thought shared by Calis and several onlookers as well if their expressions were anything to judge by.
"I...I see...why are all of the weird ones coming in today?" the clerk muttered, "Here are your papers and the starting gold."
"Excellent, my man, thank you for your wonderful service! Come, Cele and Calis, my comrades, we've got free money. LET'S GO DRINKING!"
"W...why is he yelling like that?" Cele whispered to Calis as they followed the eccentric leader of their guild out of the hall.
"Because he's obnoxious."


Cele stretched as they walked back out into the afternoon sun. That building had been so stuffy. She felt Calis' hand tighten around her wrist, a signal to stop.
"Is that a...moose?" Calis wondered.
A moose? In the middle of a city like Ambevelia? That she had to see. Cele took a deep breath and felt at the tendril of blackness in the back of her mind. Not malevolent, not really. As long as she ignored it. She seized the tendril and let it spread through her entire body, drawing on the Void's power.

It was as though a curtain were rising from her eyes, showing her the sights that she had never seen since she and Calis had tried to bring their mother back from the dead. But it was sight through the veil of the Void. Her eyesight was a landscape of inky blackness with the silhouettes of people and placed etched harshly across it in thin white strands. It was common in most Void masters, those who gave to the Void often got what they gave returned...after a fashion. The restless souls of the Void with lingering attachments; feelings, wants, needs; in the Living Realm used a Void mage's own sacrifices as a means of interacting with it once more.

It always took Cele a moment to adjust to the strange new way of seeing things through the Void. First the things closest to her were etched in white, and then their silhouettes were detailed, and then that was repeated further and further until the canvas of the Void was completed.
As her vision settled, there it was, sure enough. A goddamn moose. A woman was standing next to it whom Cele supposed was the owner of the creature.
"Ah, the moose," Rith said beside her, "One of nature's noblest and most majestic creatures!"
"It's a moose," Calis said flatly.
"Do not underestimate the power of the moose, Calis!" Rith said, "They are known for saving lives!"

"Hello," Cele said to the young woman tending the moose, having left both men to their argument, "Is it common for moose to pass through this city?"
The woman laughed, "Hello yourself. No, not really. But Moose is special. I take it you're new here, then?"
"Yes, my brother and I just arrived today and joined a guild, though I suspect that we're short a fourth member..." She was almost sure of it. Nobody could have a name like Ichiya Bawlsak. "Moose...is that his name then?" Cele continued, "It's a...very nice name."
Wonder of wonders, the moose - or Moose, Cele amended mentally - lowered his head and nuzzled her.
"He says that he likes you," a new man announced, striding toward them. To Cele's eyes, he was broad and muscular and seemed to be wearing gauntlets or gloves of some sort, though she couldn't quite tell the material.
"Can you talk to Moose?" Cele inquired.
"Of course!" the newcomer huffed, "Moose is Moose. Why wouldn't I be able to talk to him?"
"...Nevermind," Cele said as politely as possible.
"...So anyway. Moose says that you're looking for a fourth member for your guild. I am looking for a FIFTH-" the man shouted this as if for emphasis, "-member for my guild. I don't suppose you like adventures?"
"Aha!" Rith declared, joining them, "This is perfect. Good sir, I will join your guild if you join mine."
The man scratched his chin, perhaps debating with himself mentally. Or maybe he just had an itch there. In any case, he shook his head, scrutinizing Rith, "Your offer seems legitimate, but I don't want to be in another guild. I'll give you Moose instead."
"No, no," Rith replied, "That won't do at all. I could never take such a majestic creature from his family."
"Cojisto," the woman spoke up, "It might not be such a bad deal. This takes care of our problem. I can't leave our guild, we'd fall into disarray. It has to be either you or Moose."
The man, Cojisto, folded his arms, "Very well then, I will let Moose decide!"

Moose grunted and shook his antlered head, shaking the sheathed sword housed in them, which Cojisto took as an answer, "Very well then, sir. I accept your terms."
"Excellent. How serendipitous! My name is Rith, and our guild is the Necromancer's Guild. But none of us are the Necromancer. We're just looking for him. And while you are in our guild, your name is Ichiya Bawlsak."
"Naturally. I am Cojisto, this is Sirenne and Moose. Moose is our Treasurer. Anastasia, who isn't here, runs the guild. Sirenne here does things. And you, you can be the guy that gets me coffee, since we don't actually have any other positions."
"Yes, yes. Now, let us celebrate our partnership...with DRINKING!"


The noise of the tavern Rith had taken them to drowned out any room for thought, and so Cele resigned herself to observing the others. The people were rowdy, loud, and boisterous, but they seemed content. Happy, even. It was so strange compared to the harsh lands of Imijil. Nobody ever truly relaxed there. A slip in your guard meant certain death. But here...
"What a day," Calis muttered beside her.
"It's been very eventful, hasn't it?"
"Is that what you call this? We've attached ourselves to a man who is, if this is any indication, a complete drunkard and a fool."
"We have a place to stay now, thanks to him. A place to return to each night. And for all of his oddities, I think Rith is a good person and another pair of eyes."
Calis sighed, "I wish I could have your optimism."
"I don't," Cele snorted, "If you did, there'd be nothing to keep me in check."
Calis chuckled, "I suppose so."

"Excuse me? You are members of..." the man paused, "of the Necromancer's Guild guild?"
"Yeah," Calis replied, "We are. Our guildmaster is over there."
"Thank you. Mr...Rith?"
"Yeeeeees?"
"My name is Derek Gillsman with the Guild Registration Guild. I'm here to verify that you have a fourth member."
"Yes, indeed, sir!" Rith announced, "Ichiya! Could you come over here for a moment?"
Cele watched Cojisto rise from where he was sitting with Sirenne and stride over. A part of her, a very small part, was eager to see where this went. Cojisto was...a very interesting person, much like Rith.
Derek stared at Cojisto with something between shock and horror crossing his face. "Oh no..." he put a hand to his forehead, "Please, please, please no..."
"This is my fourth member, Ichiya Bawlsak!" Rith announced proudly.
"Um...no, sir, this is Cojisto, the guild leader of the Guild of the Teetering Wilson."
"Excuse me!?" Cojisto demanded, "I totally am Ichiya Bawlsak."
"Please sir, don't make a scene..."
"A scene!?" Cojisto roared, "Sir, do you have something against Bawlsaks!?"
"I..."
"ARE YOU A DEFILER OF BAWLSAKS!?"
"A...no!" Derek spluttered, "I would never defile...that's just gross!"
"Aha!" Cojisto declared, "So you are racist against Bawlsaks!"
Derek looked to be on the point of breaking down and crying as Cojisto rode over him. "Sir, I will have you know that I am proud - PROUD! - to be a Bawlsak!"

"Let's go outside," Calis murmured. Cele stifled her fit of giggles and took her brother's hand and let herself be led outside, even as Cojisto's shouting reached new levels. "-AND DON'T EVER DOUBT THE LEGITIMACY AND RAW POWER OF A BAWLSAK!"


The air was crisp and cool. Night had fallen at some point during their time in the tavern and the streets were no longer bustling with noise to Cele's ears. Calis led her a ways down the street and then stopped.
"It sure is pretty out here, when all of the people are indoors."
"Is it?" Cele asked, "Describe the colors to me."
"Well, the sky's still black, of course. But you can see the Paths of Radiance spreading out all over the world. And they've got lights all over. Glowbulbs of all kinds and sizes. Most of them are white, but there's a few colored ones around too. Like the fireflies back home."
Cele smiled softly, "It would be nice to be able to see things like that again." She seized the Void once more, to see the shadow of Ambevelia at night.

Calis was leaning on one of the guard rails around the flying city's border, staring down at the ground below them at thousands of tiny little dots. But as the Void continued to etch the world across her vision, those dots gained shape and form and it made terror spike through the Void mage.
"We have to get back to the tavern and warn somebody, Calis. Those aren't lights. Those are eyes! Those are demons!"

Then the entire city itself began to tremble.
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Re: The Circle

Post by BSmith on Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:30 am

"And they're just... standing there?"

"Yes, sir. Been that way for almost a day now."

Kelrad Dunderdale gazed across the barren expanse of land at the army of demonspawn his regiment was soon to face in battle. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of the things, standing in rank, unmoving and unflinching.

"That's... a little unnerving."

"I agree, sir."

"Look," Kel turned back towards the soldier adressing him, "You can dispense with the 'sirs'. I'm the same rank as you, you know."

"Apologies, sir, it's ju-" The soldier caught himself and shook his head. "...It's just, your father was-"

"I know what my father was. He was Commander of the Wing Knights, one of the greatest warriors in Callistae and an inspiration to us all. And I am not him."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-"

"It's fine." With that, Kel turned away from the soldier and strolled along the wall that separated Ipik from the wasteland that was to be a battlefield in a little over two hours. He had arrived at the city less than an hour ago; the Wing Knights had been summoned last-minute to launch an offensive against the army that had suddenly sprung up on their doorstep. Most of the Knights were stationed at the fortress city of Tir, and would be launching the main attack, but Kel's regiment would be flanking the horde from the southeast. If everything went according to plan, the demonspawn wouldn't know what hit them.

On the streets below him, the citizens of Ipik continued their daily lives, only vaguely aware of the danger that lurked so near their homes, or of the imminent death that would befall so many warriors tonight. Kel gripped the handle of his sword and sighed. His father had made the military life seem so glamorous. Kel could still remember how he had felt when he graduated from the Academy, ready to carry on the glory of the Dunderdale name... Now, he would give anything to be one of those citizens below, living an ordinary life, knowing that the Wing Knights would always be there to protect him, without the constant fear of death hanging over him every time he donned the armor.

He unsheathed his father's sword and stared at the blade. His face, drawn with lines despite his young age, was reflected in the polished metal. Ashcarver, the sword was called, for his father had once used to it to slay one of the most vicious demonspawn to ever walk the Circle. A being surrounded by eternal hellfire, everlasting flames that it used to scorch the land. His father had walked straight through the fire and thrust the sword into the fiend's chest. He emerged, badly burned and covered in soot, and the sword's blade turned to ash. That ash was smelted and reforged into the brand that Kel now held in his hand. He had inherited the sword four years ago, after his father was killed during a demonspawn uprising much like the one Kel now faced.

He shook his head slowly. If his father, the man that slayed the Burning Demon, could fall in battle, what chance did he have against the devilish hordes that awaited him?

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Re: The Circle

Post by The Masked Man on Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:28 pm

Lune squinted at the horizon and held her hand in front of her with her index and middle finger pressed together so that the sun appeared to be resting on them like a precariously balanced marble. It was an old trick she had picked up from who-knew-where: every two finger widths between the sun and the horizon equaled about twenty more minutes of sunlight. She moved her fingers slowly downward, then shook her head in disapproval. There was only about an hour left before sunset.

“Do they want to win this thing, or not?”

The other members of Final Seed were milling about nearby, some meditating, some inspecting their gear. One of the larger ones, a mountain of a man she only knew as Rusk, looked up from where he sat cross-legged in the mud.

“Ma’am?” He rumbled.

“Just talking to myself, like a good little psychotic.”

“You’re wondering why the army is waiting so long to attack, aren’t you?”

Lune frowned slightly. Rusk was known for making obvious observations, and she could never tell if he was being sarcastic. “Yeah.”

“Why does it matter? The demons will be stronger at night. Won’t that make our goal easier to attain?”
Our goal he called it. The way he said it, with an awed sort of reverence, made her shudder a little.
“Not everybody’s out here to get killed.”

Rusk shrugged and returned to his meditations, just as Aileen and Faceless emerged from the crowd of soldiers and mercenaries. The trio exchanged glances and seemed instantly to understand what the others were thinking. Aileen tilted her head off to the left, arching an eyebrow and jerking her gloved thumb over her shoulder.

Can you believe these guys? she seemed to say. Lune held her hands up in only partially-feigned exasperation. “When we moving out?”

Aileen paused just before she spoke, and looked quickly over her shoulder. Someone had called out, and now a river of warriors seemed to be moving towards the gate.

“Right now, apparently.”

Everyone formed up in front of Aileen and she delivered her traditional little talk about death with honor and forgiveness through blood and whatever else—it had been a long time since Lune had bothered paying attention to all that drivel. She stared into the distance and thrust a hand into the battered green satchel that hung at her hip, fingering the little glass flask and wondering if this operation would be worth a hit of salt. She didn’t feel any particular cravings, and it had been a good while since she had fought sober. That settled it, and she took her hand out of the pouch and placed it easily on the hilt of her left short sword, waiting for the rest of the guild to move out.

---

Clouds billowed in the east as the sun approached the horizon: it appeared the day would end the same way it began. Lune stood eagerly at the front of the allied formation, tracing aimless circles in the mud with her twin swords, head angled down, eyes turned up, with a twisted little grin stretching ominously across her face. The nearness of the battle had roused her bloodlust, and she had already chosen her first victim—a mindless little shade that wouldn’t be able to slither its way around her web of steel.

She wasn’t the only one eager for the slaughter, though. Faceless, the distasteful brute that he was, actually managed to impress her in combat. As soon as Final Seed had formed up he had expanded his form to its utmost, and the humans nearby found themselves standing in the shadow of a massive gray wolf, just over twenty feet tall, hot saliva dripping like stick rain from his bared fangs. It would be his job to take out any Ryorg, since he was the only one among them who could reasonably go toe-to-toe with the demonspawn bears. It wasn’t just that he could do it though: he was damn good at killing the things. Sometimes, if combat lulled a little bit, Lune would try to spot him and watch the gory spectacle. Aileen was somewhere nearby too, no doubt trying to act as if she didn’t want to be here. She had most people fooled with her “I don’t like violence” act, but Lune could tell she craved murder, cried out for bloodshed. Blood was her elixir. That was the one thing the two women had in common.

An echoing cry started up somewhere within the demons’ ranks and soon it seemed the lot of them had joined in, hooting and howling, banding weapons together and brandishing teeth and claws. Lune’s skin erupted into gooseflesh and her nostrils flared. She found herself breathing more heavily, her heart rate climbing, and as the first tentative drops of the day’s second storm began to patter at her feet she found herself unleashing her own unearthly cry, a blood-curdling howl, a demand for immediate, gratifying violence that echoed up from the deepest, most primordial parts of her soul. At first she was the only one, but soon good old Faceless joined in, his deafening howl drowning out her own. More and more of the men and women surrounding them joined in and, had she cared to listed, Lune probably could have heard a significant portion of the massed human army shouting right along with them.

And then it was time.
They all screamed, they all charged.
Boots and hooves and giant paws in the mud.
The clash of steel. Where was her target? Where had he gone?

There. Standing there, stupidly, shouting and banging his war axe against his shield. Why didn’t he notice? Why didn’t he act?

She leapt, inches ahead of the line, and swiped downward with both of her hungry blades. It was time. It was time, it was time! The animal within her screamed and she screamed with it.

“Show me your blood!”

But her blades met with nothing. For a moment she was confused. Had the thing managed to dodge her attack where so many others hadn’t? She looked up, but the shade was gone. Not dead, but gone.
“What-?” Still crouched from her landing, she spun and dissected a would-be attacker—or at least she tried to—just before it too vanished. “What is this?”

All around her soldiers and mercenaries were asking a similar question. As the sun sunk low behind the horizon the demons, rather than growing stronger, seemed simply to be vanishing. What trickery could this be? Lune pondered for a split second, but thinking had never been her strong suit so she simply dove back into the carnage, intent on finding a target that bled when she struck it.

From somewhere behind her, Aileen’s voice rang out clear: “A diversion! Watch your backs, it’s a trap!”
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Re: The Circle

Post by BSmith on Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:14 am

"You ready?"

"Nope," Kel replied, "You?"

"Of course not."

Kel looked up at the large man next to him and smirked. The man was Leonar Aroldin, current Ambassador of the Wing Knights, second in command only to the Commander. Leonar had been mentored by Kel's father, Delrad, during their time together in the Knights, and in turn, the elder soldier had now taken Kelrad under his wing. The two of them stood at the head of the small army that was gathered under the Ipik gate.

"None of us are ever ready for battle, Kel," Leonar said. "The ones who say they are are lying, either to you or to themselves." He pulled on his helmet, a beautiful piece with a wing embossed on either side of the face. "But this is the life we chose, and so into battle we must go. It's nearly time."

Kel looked up to the sky. The sun was indeed sinking low on the horizon, but they were to wait for the initial charge from the army at Tir before moving. Once the demonspawn were engaged in battle, Kel's regiment would surprise them with a flanking attack. Overall, Kel thought, they had the better assignment. Glorious as the main charge might be, he preferred not to be a decoy.

The minutes ticked by as the sun inched closer to the ground, and Kel began to worry. Shouldn't the attack have started by now? The plan was to surprise the horde by attacking when they least suspected it - just before sundown, and just before they reached maximum power - but this was pushing it. Suddenly, a horrifying howl rent the air - the demons letting loose a battle cry. It echoed across the battlefield, around the mountains in the distance, and off the walls of the city. It chilled Kel to the bone. Leonar grabbed his shoulder and pointed.

"There! The charge has started!" Kel followed his finger, peering into the murky distance, where he could just barely make out the banner of the Wing Knights, flapping in the breeze. Beneath it was a mass of black figures, all running full-tilt towards the center of the wasteland. Kel rubbed his eyes, not sure if he was seeing things; among their number was a gigantic wolf, easily two stories tall.

"Is... is that thing on OUR side?" Leonar looked as bewildered as he was, but nodded.

"Members of the Final Seed are in that army. I wouldn't put anything past them."

"Really?! We're really working with the Final Seed?"

"Why not? The main offensive is pretty much a suicide mission, after all." Kel looked disgusted. "I know you don't approve, Kelrad, but that guild has some of the most fearless warriors I've ever seen."

"They're criminals, though. They don't deserve a valiant death."

"Everyone deserves a chance to right their wrongs."

"Well, they don't have to do it on the battlefield, then! A soldier's death is a noble one! Why should rapists and traitors be afforded the same honor as a man like my father?!"

"None of us are perfect, Kel. ...Your father, least of all."

"What?" But before Leonar could elaborate, a trumpet rang out from the ranks behind them, and the army started moving. Both men were immediately silent. That had been one of the first things Leonar had taught Kel: when the battle begins, everything else is left behind. Nothing matters except the battle; all else can wait until it is finished.

Kel took a deep breath and joined the charge. The sound was thunderous; hundreds of feet trampled the ground as they pressed towards the battle. Suddenly, something made Kel look to his left. He swore he had seen a glint of metal in the distance, almost as if...

"AMBUSH!!" Someone yelled from behind him. Kel whipped around just in time to see an ogre, thirteen feet tall, with legs the width of tree trunks, bring its enormous club down into their ranks, easily crushing at least three soldiers. He skidded to a stop. Where had that thing come from? He found it hard to believe that they had simply run right past the giant beast, but now here it was, clearing out the middle of their formation. And then the air around them was filled with shrieks, grisly cries that grated against the ears, and out of the darkness in the opposite direction emerged a second horde of demonspawn, swords and claws drawn, outnumbering their army three to one. Their flanking attack was being flanked!

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