Rated M for violence and mature themes
Potential strong language and sexual scenes
FIRST WAVE RECRUITMENT IS CLOSED - PM TO RESERVE A FUTURE SPACE
LINK TO IC
Welcome to Runes! This is a fantasy story that will be co-GM’d by Kris and Azazeal849. Runes is a world of magic, corruption, power-hungry wizards...and freakin’ mermaids. The powerful wizard known only as the Leveler has overturned the ancient City of Ash, and now she comes for the City of the Enlightened. Only a hastily-recruited army of wizard mercenaries stands in her way. But before we get deeper into that - here’s a few quick rules:
Naturally, all standard RPA rules apply, but here’s a few of our own. Mostly, they’re to help the readability of the thread.
- Please write all IC posts in third person past tense. That is, “Finn drew his sword”; never “Finn draws his sword” or “I drew my sword.”
- Please don’t use quote boxes in the IC. If you’re reproducing someone else’s text to try and help put your post in context, then please just indicate the copied text in a different colour.
- If you’re copying someone else’s text into your post, please do not copy any more than is necessary to give context (i.e. don’t reproduce their entire post!)
- Please do not use coloured text just to indicate that your character is speaking aloud. Speech marks are fine.
- You can take a break or bow out of the RP at any time, for any reason. We understand that real life can get in the way, and sometimes people just aren’t feeling a story any more. But, if you plan to leave, please have the courtesy to leave a message in the OOC, so that the rest of us aren’t left waiting around for you.
Right, now that’s done with, on to the fun stuff.
Our story takes place in the Valley, a fertile riverland bordered by mountains on three sides and the sea on a fourth. The myths differ on whether the ancestors came to the Valley over the mountains or from across the sea, but either way they have established a flourishing, if deeply divided and often war-torn civilisation. The Valley is characterised by mild winters and hot, dusty summers, during which the river that flows through the Valley to the sea provides the lifeblood of its inhabitants. Three primary cities have grown up along the river’s two hundred mile length, with many smaller towns scattered between. The shapeshifting Mer used to build their towns alongside the settling humans, but they were driven into the sea several generations ago during the War of Faith, and are now rarely seen in the three cities.
The strangest and most important artefacts in the Valley are the runestones, the enablers of magic. They take the form of tiny, smooth pebbles, each veined with the image of a strange symbol. Each symbol seems to correspond to the power of a specific spell, which is instantly granted to anyone who touches the stone with their bare skin. The spells contained within the runestones are many and varied - some can be used to heal wounds and cure sickness, while others can speed the growing of crops, and the most dangerous can rain fire and destruction on a caster’s enemies. Some spells seem to be relatively common, while others are rare - and for some of the most powerful only a single runestone has so far been found.
The first runestones were found in riverbeds by the earliest settlers of the Valley, and later, more were found embedded in the surrounding mountains. Their power led to the religion of the Shattered Gods, with most people believing that the runes are pieces of the titans who created the world and then destroyed each other in their subsequent feuds. After all, who else but a god could possess such power? The Valley people also revere water snakes, which are said to have led the ancestors to the first runes, and the sea crab, which never ages unless killed - some say that the oldest sea crabs witnessed the time before the war in the sky, when the gods were still whole.
Whatever their origin, runestones are the key to power in the Valley. With such power at their fingertips, wizards usually rise to dominate their peers, and most hoard collections of runes to themselves, letting only trusted friends or underlings touch them to gain their power. The only way to strip a wizard of their power is to speak their birth name aloud, which will drive all magical power out of the victim’s body with an instantly recognisable flash of light. The reason for this phenomenon is not fully understood, but it is an ordinary human’s only defence against the all-powerful wizards. Even so, its use will only grant you advantage over the wizard for a few short minutes before they regain their energy, and most powerful wizards will go to great lengths to ensure that no-one knows their true name.
For all its power, magic is a risky ally. Once learned a spell only requires willpower to cast, but the human body is not naturally evolved to cope with magical energies. People who channel the power of the runes frequently suffer pain, nosebleeds and even strokes if they try to cast a powerful spell that is beyond their ability. Using magic for many years can leave a wizard with nerve damage, sometimes eventually rendering them blind or destroying one or more of their other senses.
Your characters are a group of mercenary wizards, recently recruited by the Enlightened to help defend their city against the Leveler. Alternatively, some of them may be soldiers / bodyguards, mage-priests, or other people somehow caught up in the siege. Where your characters originally come from is totally up to you (go invent!) but the three main settlements of the Valley are as follows:
For now, we are accepting one character per player, and we are requesting that all submitted characters be human. A suggested character template is shown below, but of course this is a guideline rather than something to be rigidly adhered to. We are letting players choose their own spells and will review and approve them on a case-by-case basis. Spells which cannot be produced by the players’ runestones include the power to raise the dead, and the power to change the caster’s form. Healing magic exists, but is limited to speeding up what the human body could naturally accomplish on its own. There is also no spell that can directly influence another creature’s mind - although a few rare runes can affect how people feel, they may still be aware on some level of what’s going on.
A note on naming: most NPCs in this world will have Irish / Celtic names (written phonetically so that they’re easier for readers to pronounce), and we’d like it if you followed this convention. Some examples are given below.
Male examples: Aiden, Shaun, Connor, Dara, Niall, Kian, Osheen, Engis, Albay, Cavan, Killian, Colm, Davin, Finn, Emmet, Riley
Females examples: Shivaan, Ava, Ifa, Anna, Kiara, Neve, Sirshe, Keeva, Tigan, Cara, Rhianne, Mira, Keri, Iona, Gail, Eevlin
If you have ideas for character subplots that you’d like to see included in the story then just send us a PM - we’d love to hear them! As a general rule, we won’t be killing off active characters without first consulting the player (and if you’re about to do something suicidal, we’ll warn you). That said, we may well knock them about a fair bit.
Any questions, just ask!