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DEP's Fantasy Story Stuff

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  • DEP's Fantasy Story Stuff

    Harpy- Harpies are creatures that are one-third woman, and two-thirds bird. They are enchantedly beautiful, and their song is even more so. Their claws are deadly sharp, but they are not fast fliers. So, they rely on their songs to numb down the warriors reflexes before attacking.

    Basilisk (Cockatrice)- The Basilisk, as it should be, is a giant serpant. One look into its eyes, and the looker is dead. Reasonably, not much is known about the basilisk. On occasion, a cockatrice, another name for the basilisk, is portrayed as a bird with the tail of a lizard. Cockatrice's also have the "look in my eyes and die" power.

    Gorgon (Medusa)- Straight out of Greek Mythology, and altered slightly. There were only three gorgons, and two of them were immortal. So...for our purposes, they are half-snake, half-woman creatures with eyes that turn the looker into stone.

    Hydra- Again, straight from Greek Mythology. This is the nine-headed creature who regenerates two heads for each head lost. For our needs, there are numerous hydra, and none of its heads are immortal. The only way to kill a hydra is to seal the lopped head with flame before the two heads grow.

    Goblin- If I need to explain this, we're in trouble. A little over half the height of a human.

    Orc- Again, this should be obvious. Though, for distinction, Orcs are much, much bigger than Goblins, consositent in size with humans.

    Dragon- We're looking at the typical four-legged,
    damsel-stealing stereotype of almost every fantasy story ever written. This does not mean you cannot write the "rare exception" to the stereo type, but as a general rule; the dragns should follow suite with the fire breathing monsters that they are.

    Minotaur- Half-man, half-bull...yadda yadda ya. You should know what this is. And, if you don't...look at the myth of Theseus, you uncultured nitwit. For our purposes, there ar Beholders- are pretty damn powerful and very dangerous; they should be even more rare than dragons.e numerous minotaurs. Minotaurs are large and powerful creatures covered with fur and have the head of a bull. They are massively powerful, but slow of wit.

    Beholder- This is a D&D thing. Beholders resemble giant monstrous heads which float in mid-air. They have ultiple eyes and have powerful telekesis abilities.Beholders are pretty damn powerful and very dangerous; they should be even more rare than dragons.

    Antlion- Nasty bug things. They're like giant ants. They're usually blue, with giant piercing mandible jaws. They burrow underground to wait and strike. They're really more of a desert-y creature.

    Giant- For our purposes, the Giants are more like large, hulking mounds of stupid wandering about, smashing everything in sight. They don't live in the sky, and they can't tell your country of origin by smelling your blood. There are various types of giants; stone, hill, and mountain. Stone Giants are the smallest (9 to 10 ft), but have rock hard skin. Hill giants stand 12 feet on average. Mountain giants are upwards of 15' tall. Frost giant actually refers to stone giants from the north. Their exposure to the colder elements has created a visual distinction from the stone giants, but essentially they are one and the same.

    Chimera- Again, there are more than one Chimera, unlike Mythology. These creatures have the heads of a goat and lion, with a snake for a tail. For no apparent reason, it also breathes fire.

    Griffin- A griffin has the front half of an eagle, and the back half of a lion. For the most part, griffins won't attack until you piss them off. Once you do, they go for blood. Griffin have been known to be tamed by some of the nomadic elves.

    Slime- The standard creature of any RPG, slimes are every color of the rainbow, and are defeated with a simple swoosh of the sword. Duh.

    Harpy, Basilisk, Gorgon, Hydra, Minotaurs, Chimeras, Griffins- These are all
    initially from the classical Mediterrian/Mesopotainian mythologies so I’d say they’d all be found more in the Empire lands or on the islands and lands south of the Empire.

    Goblins, Orcs, Kobolds- Most likely make up a majority of the barbarian types. I’d probably include Ogres in that group as well.

    Dragons- Really rare, most likely living in the mountains. \Slime- Sounds like these would be crawling out of the polluted Serpent’s Tail River created from the toxins that the Xolan are constantly dumping in

    Ocean/Sea creatures that were mentioned were Sea Serpents, Krakens and

    Oh and of course one of the small furry creatures that the Xolans use as food; Rozloks.

    Looks like the other traditional fantasy races that have been included on a limited scale are Dwarves, Elves and Halflings

    Golem- Rock beasts. These are found in mountains, and are usually interpreted as being a collection of rocks that is magically alive. Most of them walk
    bipedal, and some have intricately carved faces and jaws. I prefer my golems with heads, but I've seen some without. Golems can be made of many substances, clay, skin, cloth, you name it. One thing is consistent, they are magically created.

    Mandrake- Plant things. I always saw them as berserk venus flytraps that can issue deafening screeches as well as bite. Gian plants that eat people who wander too near.

    Naga- Half-woman, half snake. I've also seen them called Lamias. They tend to be water creatures that flock around rivers and wetlands.

    Sea Serpent- Dragons of the sea. Usually with strong jaws and slender muscles that can crush ships with a coil of its body.

    Kraken- A vicious sea monster. Since we have sea serpents, Kraken should probably be portrayed as a giant squid, but it wouldn't have to be.

    Trolls - Trolls are generally found in swamps, but they have been known to thrive in other areas. Trolls are tall, ugly, and lanky creatures that stand upwards of seven feet tall. They have a distinguished and disgusting odor about them that is easy to pick out. Trolls regenerate severed limbs, and the limbs severed have been known to function fully despite being severed from the body. Depending on how the troll was cut apart, severed limbs have been known to grow into knew trolls in a matter of a few days.

    Elves - You know what an elf is, I am sure. But most fantasy books give them very different characteristics, so lets look at our elves: As with all fantasy, they have a close relationship with nature. They tend to stay away from human society. There are also a few "rebel" elf tribes out there. One of which is a group of cannables who eat the "unpure" races such as humans, halflings, and dwarves. They are known as the Green One's. Other rebel elves wage war with humans. And keep in mind that elves are about a foot shorter than humans, and effeminate in build. We;re not talking Keebler elves here.

    Dwarves - Short stocky stubborn bastards. They are typicaly the "old man" stereo type. They are excellent miners and craftsmen. If you want a strong weapon, you get a dwarf to make it.They generally live in clans in the montains, but have been known to occassionaly mingle with humans, generally to make money from their smith crafts.

    Unicorns - Horses with a horn on thier head. Unicorns are peacful creatures. Their horn will cure any poison. Unicorns are also sentient creatures of nature. They should be very rare.

    Nymphs - Let's not forget the sluts of the forrest. A man who sees the nymph goes mad with lust and chases her through the forest. If he catches her, they fuck like crazy and that's the end of it. Nymphs are not evil, but they can certainly destract a man from doing what needs done.

    Mermaids - in the oceans, of course.

    Zombies, and skeletons - self explanatory.

    Lich - A lich is an ancient and powerful wizard who found a way to live eternaly. They are evil necromantic magic users with limited physical power, but immense magic. They tend to keep a low profile so that they are not subject to massive assaults from the mortals.

    Vampires - Let's not forget them.

    Were-beasts - I'm not gonna say just werewolves, since bears and panthers have been riddled throughout ancient mythologies. But you know how it works. Full moons and all that. Only silver kills them, but beating them senseless with non-silver items will turn them back to their human form.

    DEP did most of “general” and Empire related stuff like Magic, Currency, Class System etc.
    Chubby did Irysopolis and The Archipelago
    Usoki did The City of Drevlin and The Nochima Sect
    Jeff did some barbarian tribe in the Pure Hills
    I did the Xolan Empire, Grishrak’s Dominion and the Dwarves


    Caden (DEP)
    Emperor Timus (DEP)
    Morlock (DEP)
    Dhomas (DEP)
    Usoki of Mirr (Usoki, duh)
    Kyramus (Usoki)
    Alythia (Usoki)
    Lushnir (Jeff)
    Varro Esteban (Jeff)
    Viktor Kaznov (Mine)
    Grishak (Mine)
    Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!

  • #2
    Once again, I think adding a scale to this map would really put things into perspective.
    Click it now.


    • #3
      Someone else can do it, because I’m terrible at judging that sort of thing.

      I just put this up again since I was reading Usoki’s suggestion in another thread about saving this stuff.
      Last edited by End Master; 07-28-2007, 10:56 PM.
      Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


      • #4
        Yep! ^_^ Mainly, it's the beastiary info that I've yet to snag from online to place in my Word doc. Actually, I think that's all.

        As long as this exists in some form, I'm all for wiping the old forums. As always, I mean to get around to starting this piece...

        I'm so glad Jeff dropped- everything he added tended to piss me off. Especially when he tried to tell me how to create my damn mountains. Ass. ...I still hate that map...Chubb never took away the Europe-yness, and Jeff had too much influence in the geography layout.
        Last edited by Usoki; 07-29-2007, 12:02 AM.
        Originally posted by Ryan_DuBois
        Usoki, you're the crankiest asshole we know. Not that it's a bad thing, it just means that you smell funny and are best left hidden in darkness.
        And it's embarrassing when you make any noise at all.


        • #5
          What is Known


          Magic is a rare practice that some people still use. The public has an inherent mistrust for the craft of magic as well as those using it.

          In regards to magic, I'm going to lump it into separate categories. Elemental Magic, Healing Magic, Natural Magic, Illusions, and Necromancy.

          Elemental Magic refers to magic which uses the elements of the earth; Earth, Fire, Wind, Water... (Heart, GO PLANET!) Also includes hot and cold.

          Healing Magic is probably the only magic that is rarely mistrusted by the masses. Generally it is used to treat wounds and cure diseases. This is a form of magic that is used by some of the higher up priests of a few of the deities.

          Natural Magic refers to anything dealing directly with nature. Witch craft, and animal control is included. Shape shifting is also considered a natural magic as the caster of such a spell is morphing into another natural creature.

          Illusions are spells that only make something appear to be a certain way. Fake fire, fake corpses, fake armies, and invisibility are just some of the practical applications of this type of spell.

          Necromancy is the scary stuff. No one in their right mind would trust this shit, even/especially those who have researched magic. These are the guys who raise armies of the undead, conjure demons, and do other such frightening things.

          Mages/wizards/witches or whatever, are not confined to just one of these areas, and there is no set “spell list” of what can and cannot be used. The above categories are only intended to help you when deciding on how to write about magic in your story.

          There are only two real rules about magic, and they are more or less guidelines:

          1. It shouldn’t be common. 1 person in 50 or less should practice magic.
          2. No “earth shattering magic”. In other words; don’t throw Gandalf or Dr. Strange into the story. No leveling towns with your magic.


          Gun Powder has been discovered, but is still very unstable. Handheld “guns” tend to blow up in the user’s hand after a few uses. Because of this instability is used very rarely throughout the world.


          1 silver coin = 5 copper coins
          1 gold coin = 5 silver coins
          1 pearl = 5 gold coins
          1 emerald = 10 gold coins
          1 ruby = 20 gold coins
          1 diamond = 25 gold coins

          copper coin = pence
          silver coin = crown
          gold coin = sovereign
          all gems = by their own names

          Basic Class System

          Aristocracy- which would probably be mostly decadent and/or corrupt at this point. You might have a few that are genuinely trying to hold the Empire together though.

          Priesthood- Since there isn't too much magic and healing magic is the only type the common people are comfortable with, I'd say they might be holding a lot of power throughout the Empire.

          Middle Class- This would be all the government officials and merchant types. Some of the really rich merchants might have their own influence, but of course due to their profession they can't "rise" above their status (Well unless it was that rare marriage arrangement)

          Military- This of course includes the soldiers of the Empire. I'd say they're about the same "rank" as Middle Class. With the generals holding a lot of influence, and the officers holding a little more than the average private. Of course there's probably that one general trying to increase his popularity and carve out his own private following.

          Commoner- This is the working class slob toiling in the fields, mines, etc. He's everyone's punching bag unless we're also going to have slaves as well.

          Slave- self explanatory. Health and condition of slaves depends on the owner/master.
          The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


          • #6
            Reasons for the Fall of the Empire

            Nearby Kingdom:

            The Xolan Kingdom Statistics

            Geography and Economy

            The Xolan Kingdom is a cold almost barren place. Mountains and rough terrain are the norm, though long stretches of flat plains do exist for farming. Farming is difficult and food is almost always supplemented by hunting. Not learning how to hunt is usually a sure way to face starvation in the harsh winters. Rozloks are always in supply; small furry creatures that live in burrows and breed at a respectable rate. They taste terrible, but the Xolan favor survival over comfort any day.

            Forests are present, but becoming increasing smaller as the productive Xolans cut them down in the name of progress.

            The Xolan Kingdom is rich in natural resources and its economy is mainly driven by its factories that now dot its landscape though mining is still a major contributor. Its trading is usually with the small Dwarf clans living in the nearby mountains, though it does sometimes trade with the “friendlier” barbarian tribes to the east and there has been contact made with small fiefdoms located on another piece of land across the Sea of Ice to the north east. Trade with the Empire is limited. No major trading is done, though a few traveling merchants here and there may do some minor business.

            One thing the Xolans will never trade in to anyone are weapons, particularly their own.

            Pollution which is practically an unknown problem in most places is very much a problem here. Even the much larger Empire does not produce as much. This is due to the factories that continue to belch out black smoke through the day and night, making the Xolan Kingdom an even grayer place than it already is. (Though the forges are said to be a relief from the cold) One river, The Serpent’s Tail is completely polluted and discolored from toxins dumped in it, though much to the chagrin of the Empire this river flows downstream, causing more problems for them than it does for the Xolans. The Xolans of course have no intention of stopping their activity let alone for the likes of the Empire.

            Another landmark of Xolan landscape are the large craters in parts of the ground. Some of these can range from small, to nearly the size of a village. Weapon testing is a dangerous endeavor.

            The Xolan Kingdom is nowhere near as big as the Empire, but it’s a respectable size for its population. Most of its population is human, but is starting to include a number of Dwarves as well. The Kingdom is congruent geographically speaking though there is one small island off the coast of their territory where yet another new factory of the largest size has set up production.

            It is unknown what exactly is being built there.


            The Dwarf Clans

            When nearby Dwarf clans first discovered the Xolans finding one of their long forgotten ancestors’ factories, they were alarmed. If they’d had records of such a place existing they would’ve moved in long before the Xolans could. They thought about launching an attack, but by then it was too late, the Xolans were already using the Dwarf cannons they found on the barbarians and monsters that harassed them and were beginning to make more of their own. The Dwarves were not in the numbers they once were and the humans were abundant and growing more so every day, they could not hope to defeat the Xolans in a victorious war. So they made contact instead, to determine their intentions. As it turned out the Dwarves found they had much in common with the industrious and practical Xolans. They were relieved that the Xolans didn’t seem too interested in conquest (Which surprised the Dwarves given what they knew of humans) so much as they were interested in defending themselves. In time a friendship and was struck up and still exists to this day.

            A mutual respect for each other is what keeps the alliance going, the dwarves simply ask that their territory not be encroached on, which the Xolans abide by (The Dwarven territory doesn’t cover much anyway). Other than being a trading partner the Xolans don’t really ask anything in return for the Dwarves. Even when Dwarves offered to help them in their war with the Empire, the Xolans declined and said they’d take care of the problem themselves…and they did. The Dwarves couldn’t ask for a better neighbor that placed a high regard for self-reliance.

            Lately though the Dwarves are somewhat restless about the increased weapon testing and all the new invention designs that the Xolans have been engaging in ever since their war with the Empire, particularly the designs that the Dwarves once abandoned because they were thought to be too dangerous. This might be the reason for the recent number of Dwarves migrating to the Kingdom to help as engineers. They can’t stop the Xolans from doing what they want, but they at least want to try to guide the Xolans in a direction that won’t cause THEM trouble in the future.
            The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


            • #7
              Barbarian Tribes

              In the past these were very much a problem for the Xolan, but nowadays they are merely a nuisance. In fact barbarian raids are becoming rarer against the Xolan Kingdom mainly because of the strong military presence and increasingly bleak landscape. Raiding the Empire to the south is a much more attractive and lucrative option. Still that doesn’t mean the tribes are friendly and they will attack the occasional merchant caravan if they think they have good odds.

              Lately one particularly large barbarian tribe called Grishrak’s Horde is attempting to unify ALL the tribes in the area under the rule their Warlord Grishrak. This inevitably involves wiping out half of the tribe and then wiping out the other half if they don’t surrender and swear loyalty to Grishrak.

              Grishrak is a half-orc of the largest size and seems to be trying to build a Kingdom of his own. Besides the Empire they see this Horde as the next biggest threat to their security, however despite his brutality Grishrak seems to have a sense of honor and has no love for the Empire either.

              Steps have been made to discuss this matter further with him.


              There are a few beasts that lurk deep within the mountains, but those are rare. The only monster threat comes from the northern reaches of the Kingdom when the occasional group of ice trolls come wandering down in search of food, on the really rare occasions, a Frost Giant appears. When either of these events occur, no effort is spared to eliminate these threats immediately.


              The Xolan Kingdom spends a lot on defense though it can afford to. Training is often harsh, but creates very disciplined soldiers. Swords, axes or maces are standard issue. When recruits master the art of melee only then are they allowed to practice with firearms. The Xolan military wants their soldiers to be able to defend themselves properly not overly rely on a “wonder weapon”. Arquebuses are common, but high powered repeating crossbows are still used, in fact the better the shooters get those instead as it takes some time to reload an arquebus. Whereas a sharp shooter with a repeating crossbow can do a lot more damage within the same amount of time. Regular bows aren’t used at all anymore.

              The Xolan military of course also use their cannons whenever possible, but other siege engines like catapults and ballista are still in use, they’ve just been improved upon.

              Xolan Calvary is small mainly due to the lack of horses in their land, but the Xolan prefer to rely on foot troops armed with crossbows and arquebuses shooting from afar rather than foolishly charging into the enemy anyway. (A favorite tactic of the Xolan when the enemy charges at them with cavalry, is to aim for the horses) Generals and officers are usually mounted on horses since they need to move quickly to give various orders their troops.

              Xolan Navy is also small, but powerful. Experimentation with building ships completely of metal has already begun and their existing wooden ships usually have reinforced hulls with metal plating on the inside. Naturally cannons are mounted in the ships, probably making them most the powerful in the known seas. Only monstrous sea creatures like Krakens and Megalodons usually dare attack such ships. The navy is mainly assigned to defending Xolan shores and the trade ships to the Northeastern fiefdoms.

              Other inventions used to serve the military are flying balloons, but these are mainly for lookout purposes, though rumors of other “airborn” designs are being studied and researched. The newest Xolan “weapons” are probably the clockwork golems which have now become a familiar sight in Xolan factories and cities. These metal giants are difficult to manufacture, so for now only a few have been made for important location defense.
              The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


              • #8
                Magic and Religion

                Even before they embraced technology the Xolan were never a magic loving people, indeed they never really seemed to be particularly inclined to it. Mages in general are becoming a rarer sight in the Xolan Kingdom. However there was one branch that their ancestors embraced once strongly, the art of Necromancy. Records of the time before the founding of Xol are sketchy at best, but tales tell of a Xolan necromancer named Zalin the Black who saved the future of the Xolan from a cult of Elven druids that lived in a nearby forest who were stealing Xolan women and children to sacrifice to their gods and all efforts to send people into the forest to root them out ended in failure. Angered by seeing his people slaughtered, Zalin announced that he would take care of this problem once and for all, and told the Xolan not to come out their homes until daybreak. Xolan traveled to the forest alone and summoned the spirits of the victims back to this world so that they could avenge their own deaths, but that wasn’t enough, he also cast a strong wither spell turning the murderous elves’ beloved forest into dust as the spirits of their victims wrought their terrible revenge. After it was all said and done, nothing was left, but the price Zalin payed for such a powerful spell was high, and he wandered off in the wilderness somewhere to die. His body was never found; presumably he was eaten by a wandering beast. Though obviously the Xolan think of him as a hero

                Because of this tale, Necromancy has never been seen as an “evil” branch of magic by the Xolans. It is merely a tool nothing more, though one that they do recognize that it can be abused, as such all Necromancers are required to register their right to practice it and only then in the service of the Kingdom. This mainly includes working in the factories or mines to supervise the workers that have chosen to sign the “death contract”. This agreement involves the worker allowing the necromancer to raise him from the dead so that he may continue to serve the Kingdom and if he has a family to still provide for them. (Family receives half the pay that they normally would get if the worker was still alive) Of course the worker is now a zombie and merely a shell, but many workers will sign such an agreement, though there is a limit, since the necromancers can only hold control over so many dead at a time. (It is a tiring business after all)

                Other branches of magic are practically non-existent in the Kingdom though a few Elementalist specializing in Earth or Fire are welcomed due to the large amount of work done in the mountains.

                Healing magic has largely been replaced by natural medicine, though the Xolans might benefit a little more from it since the health rate isn’t exactly the best due to the pollution.

                Illusions are considered to be a waste of time (Why trick your opponent when you can blow a big hole in him?) and Natural magic is shunned altogether, presumably the memory of murderous elves lurking in forests still lies in the minds of the Xolan.

                As for religious practices, most Xolan have even less use for them than magic. This is probably due to their acceptance of necromancy (Which manipulates life after death) and now science and technology (Which operate on natural law rather than some other worldly source).

                However there is no law against those that wish to practice their own private worship of whatever god or gods they may believe in, as long as it does not harm the Kingdom in anyway.
                The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                • #9
                  Society and Culture

                  The Xolan are a serious minded people and while they did come to power through the help of old Dwarf inventions since that time they have made improvements and created their own designs in every effort to “make it their own”. As a general rule the Xolan are accepting of most races provide that they aren’t trying to kill or eat them. Though of course they still harbor suspicion in elves (Another reason why Dwarves are fond of the Xolan) Villages and Towns are usually simple and have only what the people need though walls of some sort are always erected around them. Cities resemble small fortresses rather than cities. (Especially the capital) Slavery has never been institutionalized in the Kingdom mainly due to their “do it yourself” outlook on life, plus it seemed much more costly to keep slaves and a risk to security. (And after visiting the Empire, their position on it has only been reinforced)

                  Things like art, music and other humanities are not actively pursued on a large level; even the King’s palace isn’t very ornate looking. Not that they aren’t creative, the Xolan just see little reason to decorate things with jewels or pave them in gold. Precious gems and metals are meant for trading not to uselessly wallow in one’s own opulence. The closest the Xolan have to “art” are their inventions. Architecture is valued, but only so it functions, not so it looks “nice”. The Xolan would rather have an ugly looking building that never falls than a nice one that will collapse at the slightest touch. Arguing over philosophical things like “If a tree falls down in the woods, what color is it?” is just the height of pointlessness to the Xolan, they’d much rather argue over more important things like “If I put this much gun powder in the cannon will I still kill the enemy without blowing myself up?” History is still important to them though and they try to keep records of ever important event that goes on in the Kingdom. Most books are dedicated to more practical subjects, but some fiction exists. Usually these involve tales of dedication and self-sacrifice for the greater good of the Xolan Kingdom. Learning about one’s enemies and how they think is a worthwhile endeavor, so strategy and tactics always rank highly, because of this, some “games” have been created to fuel this interest. (But mainly for learning rather than entertainment purposes)

                  The Xolan seem like joyless people to most, but that actually isn’t true, they just experience joy in simpler pleasures. Indeed with the coming of the Empire they’ve seen what overindulgence can do to a civilization, and they vow to never become like them.


                  A new religion/cult, gaining power from within. (If anyone wants to take this, we will need details)

                  Internal Power Struggles (No real details necessary, but this is open to discussion)

                  Cities/Histories within the empire:

                  The City of Drevlin

                  The problem with any city near the Corillum Mountains is that the crests of the mountains are believed to have been cursed long ago. Any village located on the mountains is said to be plagued by evil. The City of Drevlin, like most northern cities, exists solely underground. However, there is only so much room under the Corillum Mountains. Real Estate in Drevlin is highly expensive, and traffic flow was a severe problem. However, traffic flow has been reduced thanks to not an engineer, but a senile counselman.

                  Drevlin consists of a series of hollow chambers which conect to each other at ground level. One of these chambers is known as a Pyron. Each pyron contains only one type of buildings. There is a Pyron for restaurants, one for stores, one for government offices, and several for residental locations. A pyron contains vast empty space, with entrances to separate buildings all along these walls. A solid pillar stands in the center. This is for support, and also serves as an entrance to the buildings within it. A path snakes along the side of this pillar. At intervals, a bridge leads from the pillar to the walls of the vast chamber. Each building has a bridge to the pillar, and is allowed one sign to be placed along the pillar. Traffic is only allowed to walk up the pillar. In order to go back down, there is a slide within the building. This slide merges with other building's slides, and leads to the ground level, where you can either enter another pyron or climb back up the pillar.

                  In the words of the senile counselman, "I walked to school and home again uphill both ways." He thought the concept was histerical. The others were less amused. However, no one could think of any reason to veto the proposed layout. Despite its oddity, traffic flow in Drevlin is the least congested of all northern cities.
                  The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                  • #10
                    The Nochima Sect

                    The Nochima Sect is a small group of people who believe in one of the more controversial theories of magic. The planes of reality and magic are usually thought to be parallel, but separate. The idea of Nochimanism is that, if these separate planes were to be punctured and fused together at one point, it would create a nexus point of unlimited power. Most magical researchers argue that this would alter reality in unpredictable ways, but Nochimanists argue that, since the realities are parallel, they can be conjoined with no harm. In order to attempt to achieve this feat, they cast powerful magics in one spot, in the hope that the repeated presence of magic in one spot would create a nexus point. While the Nochima Sect is not necessarily evil, the magic used must be powerful in nature, meaning that that most of its few members are, in fact, necromancers. Despite their small numbers, the Nochima Sect does not take apprentices.

                    Irysopolis-by-the-Sea, largest of the Empire’s seaports and third largest city overall.

                    Located where the Sea of Storms meets the continent in a dramatic upheaval of cliffs and crashing waves, Irysopolis is a thriving metropolis of nearly one million souls, a veritable melting pot of the cultures assimilated by the Empire, and a center of trade for hundreds upon hundreds of miles around. Situated in a large, protected harbor on the southern coast of the continent, it boasts a temperate climate nearly all year round with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

                    It is especially known for it’s lax stance on the importation of raw goods, as overseen by the port-master (or customsman), a man by the name of Nargis the Opulent, who is the most powerful man in the city (and perhaps one of the most powerful men in the empire - so powerful, in fact, that even the improvident Prince Karo fears and envies him, though they both maintain an outwardly cordial relationship). In other words, Irysopolis’s black market is the hub for legal and illegal trade on the southern seaboard of the Empire.

                    Prince Karo, a young man of only 19 years, was recently thrust into a position of power in Irysopolis after the assassination of his father, King Gilder. Gilder was an apt and capable leader, one of the few left in the Empire in these turbulent times, and his death has been seen as an omen of bad tidings. Karo, on the other hand, is a dispassionate leader who is more concerned about the latest fashions than taking on his rightful role.

                    The ‘monarchy’ in Irysopolis is really a puppet regime of the emperor, of course, kept intact only because of Irysopolis’s long standing alliance with the Empire, even before it became assimilated into it over 500 years ago.

                    A few hundred miles south of the city, through waters plagued with rogue storms, pirates, and sea serpents, lies the Archipelago, a string of volcanic islands that number into the hundreds and are rich in natural resources. Pearls, spices, gems, rare and exotic birds and animals, etc. all make there way back to the empire via Irysopolis. The islands are a lush, tropical paradise of sorts, but they are also fraught with danger, disease, and intrigue.

                    There are only a handful of settlements on the islands, and more oft than not the settlements that one does encounter are the domain of brigands and buccaneers.

                    The indigenous people of the archipelago perished long, long ago. No one knows why, but they left behind some magnificent monuments to their vanished civilization. Huge, monolithic towers can be found on nearly every island, like silent sentinels of a bygone era. How these structures were built is a mystery. Some say that giants lived there, still others say it was done by magic. And there is some validity to the latter argument.

                    Out of the archipelago have come some of the most powerful magical artifacts ever discovered, and there is a thriving trade bringing them back to the empire - via Irysopolis, of course. Many of these artifacts, in fact most of them, turn out to be hoaxes, others true potential are never discovered.

                    Before we continue our discussion on Irysopolis, let us first go over the very core of the Empire’s “power structure”, as it stands today.

                    The Emperor stands at the top of the administrative system. He serves as military commander in chief, high priest, court of appeal, and source of law. All this power is intensely personal: Soldiers swear their oath to the emperor, not to a constitution or a flag. Personal ties of patronage, friendship, and marriage had at one time bound together society, but during the Empire’s domain the emperor has become the Universal Patron.

                    The emperors have taken over the political and legislative power of countless kingdoms and city-states, but they need the help of some of these Kings and Princelings who have experience in diplomacy, government, and military command. Since the emperor designates candidates for all government positions, these men (and even some women) have no other access to high office except through loyal service. A shrewd emperor can turn “local” pride and loyalty to the advantage of the Empire. By simply allowing the “King of Irysopolis” to wear a broad purple stripe on his robes, for example, the emperor marked him as Ruler of the Sea of Storms and added to his prestige among his own people.
                    The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                    • #11
                      Now back to Irysopolis...

                      Like any respectable city in the Empire, Irysopolis boasts an enormous Arena which is used to host many a bloody spectacle to keep the lowly common folk appeased and the elite upperclass entertained.

                      Irsysopolis’s Arena, however, is something special. While not as large as it’s counterpart in the behemoth capital city of the Empire, the Arena in Irysopolis has some unique features that are not to be found anywhere else in the world. One of these, namely, is due to the fact that it was constructed near the waterfront which allowed an elaborate aqueduct to be constructed, which carries water directly from the harbor and into the Arena where it can then be flooded.

                      Great sea battles are then reenacted. Ships of all shapes and sizes are brought in. Sea serpents, whales, and giant squid are wantonly slaughtered for the amusement of the bloodthirsty masses. Sadly, countless thousands upon thousands of men and women die in the Arena each year as well.

                      There have been other negative consequences due in large part to the “games”. Griffins, bears, lions, and wolves, which were once abundant in the cypress forests north of the city, are now nearing the verge of extinction because of the high demand placed on their numbers.

                      In recent years, hunters have been forced to search further and further to find even the most substantial amount of creatures to use in the “games”.

                      Elves, who once kept to themselves in the hills above the forests, living a life of seclusion in the trees - drinking wine and generally carrying on like that - have now began to put up armed resistance to those they encounter in the forests.

                      The Emperor, who has long ignored the elves and viewed them as harmless savages who were not worth his time, has sent emissaries to warn them of such insolent actions. None of the emissaries have returned alive.

                      Another thriving industry in Irysopolis is the slave trade. Small, diminutive humanoids called halflings make up roughly 50% of this workforce, the other 50% are made up of a variety of different races, some human, others not. Most who are human, however, are usually from an invaded territory that offered resistence instead of submitting to the will of the Empire.

                      The life of a slave is a harsh one, but even among slaves there is a social hierarchy, and some slaves have it better than others.

                      The harbor of Irysopols, one of the best defended harbors in the world, is cluttered to the brink with merchant and war vessels alike. It is an awe an inspiring site for the uninitiated traveler.

                      Recently, however, there was a troubling occurrence in these ‘safe waters’, and the entire city is a buzz with rumors. A strange submersible vessel, crafted entirely out of some unknown metal, infiltrated the harbor and emerged from the waters for a brief instant. Then, in a horrific turn of events, it opened fire with a single cannon mounted on it’s frame, sinking the flagship of the Empire’s navy.

                      Then, just as quickly, it disappeared back into the murky depth of the waters and was never seen again.

                      Many believe it was the work of the Xolan Kingdom. Others claim it was some sort of strange artifact sent from the Archipelago.

                      What is certain is this: Irysopolis is not the impenetrable fortress that many once thought she was!

                      As of yet UnconfirmedAlso, perhaps there is a strange new "cult" that was at one time persecuted but is now gaining in popularity and ferver, especially among some of the higher ups (kind of like christianity - but not. you know what I mean)

                      This could be another division in the empire, just another element of civil strife. The empire is eroding from without and within, civil war threatens it alongside war from outsiders.

                      Perhaps the cult is a radical new belief that holds that the blood-thirsty, corrupt, bickering gods of the old order are false and instead is a more earth-centered, naturalistic, philosophical worldview that worships nature.

                      List of creatures/races nearby: I gotta work on this. Usoki, you submitted a brief list, right? I’d be glad to use some/most of those if only I know what they are. If you can provide brief one or two sentence descriptions of them, or at least the one’s you want to use, I’d appreciate it. Otherwise, I’ll work something out, but it’s going to take some time to compile this list.
                      The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                      • #12
                        The Archipelago

                        Once again, we’re going to stray away from the complexities of Irysopolis and again discuss the Archipelago, as the two are vitally interconnected in more ways than one.

                        The largest island of the archipelago, and incidentally the one most extensively ‘colonized’ by the Empire, is Aquatonia. This fertile island is dominated by a large though dormant volcano called Mt. Valatha, which rises an astonishing 14,000 feet into the heavens. The largest (and practically only) city is Helaulavar, which lies on the north end of the island and boasts a respectable port, a military barracks, fortifications, a university, a governor’s palace, and even it’s own Arena (which isn’t anything to get too excited over, admittedly).

                        The island’s demographics are lopsided, with the population being roughly that of 80% slaves and only 20% freedmen.

                        Aquatonia has an extensive agriculture system, with huge, sprawling plantations covering nearly every acre of available farmland. Using slave labor, sugar, tobacco, spices, and other commodities that are in high demand back in the north are grown on these plantations.

                        Wildlife on the island is very exotic. A mischievous and astonishingly intelligent breed of winged monkeys called Mongbats live in the island’s upland forests. The animals are a thorn in the side of many a plantation owner, as they are witty and crafty with tools, and organized when in large numbers. They will often raid plantation under the cover of night, wreaking havoc and stealing food or just causing general mischief for the hell of it.

                        Recently, back in the north, the popularity of keeping Mongbats as pets among the upperclass has exploded. They are something of a novelty item, and their adorable (though admittedly devious) antics are what endear them to many a spoiled rotten child.

                        Within Mt. Valatha the azure-scaled drake Katazar slumbers. This dragon is not a lingwyrm (lesser drake), but one of a more ancient variety. It is rumored that the hoard he has amassed is worth more than the entire treasure trove of the Emperor himself.

                        Only once has Katazar arose from his fitful slumber, some fifty years ago. He descended upon Helaulavar in the dead of night and stole for himself a single virgin, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, consumed her, and then proceeded to fly back to his mountain lair - his appetite satiated. It is a mystery as to why he does not eat more often or make more appearances, but no one on the island is complaining.

                        Another mystery is the way his dreams affect those living under the shadow of the mountain. Those who dare dwell anywhere near it’s vicinity report having horrific nightmares on an almost nightly basis. Indeed, it has driven more than a few people mad. Luckily, the sphere of the sleeping wyrm’s influence is a relatively small area directly below the volcano, and nowhere else.

                        A more sinister product of not just Aquatonia but the entire Archipelago is a powdered substance called Oberon’s Ambrosia, which is derived from a flowering plant that grows in the jungles and swamps. This powerful narcotic has taken on a new popularity over the last fifty years, and is now reaching epidemic proportions in the Empire. It is highly addictive and can also be fatal if partaken in large doses.

                        The powder is usually snorted. The user then feels a profound sense of euphoria that lasts anywhere from 10-20 minutes. The problem is, once the high dissipates they’re left wanting more.

                        It is estimated at this time that roughly 10% of the Empire’s population is hooked on this potent substance. These are alarming figures. There are some who say it is more like 50-60% among the lower classes and slave populations in certain areas.
                        The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                        • #13
                          All that being said, nothing is being done to address this rising problem. Irysopolis-by-the-Sea is the main port of entry for this drug, and incidentally has one of the highest rates of drug use in the Empire at this time.

                          1) City of Luray, #2 in size of the Empire (only slightly larger than Irysopolis, still dwarfed by the capital city which we should probably name).

                          Luray is located between Drevlin and the capital, about equidistant from both cities. However, by no means is Luray simply a "suburb" of the capital. It is entirely self-sufficient as it controls the trade routes from the Endless Plains (more on that later).

                          Luray is a center for learning and progressive thoughts. While it is true very few members of the Nochima Sect reside in Luray, if any are present at all, many merchants and artists make a living in the city and carry a middle-class attitude. For this Luray is quite unique in its government stylings. Locally, as Luray still has to answer to the Emperor (much to the displeasure of its citizens), Luray has taken the opportunity to establish a republican government. Elected officials make decisions for the city. Most decisions made, however, are simple economic squabbles. Much of the city would like either more control over Luray's military or perhaps even total separation from the Empire, though that belief is a radical one. Many democratic thinkers in the city would also like to see Timus surrender all his power to a Senatorial body.

                          Currently, the Prime Minister of Luray is Lord Duchay. He rules justly from his executive position and has never tried to take too much power from the Senate. He is much adored by the populace.

                          2) The Endless Plains-

                          The Endless Plains are on the east side of the Empire, thus placing them as far away from Xolan as possible (I'm making Xolan to the West). The plains are interminable, hence their name. The soil is quite fertile, producing a bounty of food that the Empire reaps for itself through the middlemen of merchants.

                          The people of the Endless Plains are not at all organized. Their villages are not even villages; the whole society is built upon family. Everything is for family and nothing else matters. This has caused the people of the Plains to be exploited by merchants of the Empire many times, giving them enormous amounts of food and goods for a few technologies. One can only think of what the Plains people would give to have something from the Xolan lands.

                          The main goods exported from the Endless Plains are grains, rice, and cloth.

                          3) Tribe of the Pure Hills

                          Another barbarian tribe. Near Drevlin, right near the Corillum Mountains (they are why the mountains are thought to be cursed). The main thing with these guys are that they hate how some barbarian tribes are part-Orcish. They're 100% human. Currently led by Lushnir (he'll be one of my characters). They are fighting Grishrak's tribe and will probably lose unless something special happens.

                          (that's everything I could find. I e-mailed a copy of the characters to everyone, if you need one just message me. this is still an open invite to all, if anyone wants in just post in here)
                          The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                          • #14


                            A former military man, now retired and in his early 50's. He is
                            generally located in the capital city, chilling out and telling bawdy
                            jokes at one of several taverns. Though a very laid back man, he is
                            not one to be trifled with.

                            To the public he is a man deserving of much respect, quick to laugh at
                            a joke, but slow to turn complex things over in his mind. "Thick of
                            arm, thick of head" they say of him in jest, much to his deep laughter
                            and amusement. He doesn't mind being the butt of a joke or two, so
                            long as the puns are passed around and not completely focused on him.
                            He is even tempered and will generally give a warning before he flips
                            out and starts kicking ass; such as "Alright, you're really starting
                            to piss me off."

                            To the empire he is undercover seeking out conspiracies against the
                            empire and squelching them before they begin. He is sometimes sent on
                            missions to other cities as an emissary and is one of the key
                            negotiators/ambassadors with Xolan. His sharp mind, masked by his
                            pleasant and seemingly unintelligent demeanor, makes him an excellent

                            He stands a few inches over six feet and is a barrel chested warrior.
                            His age leads others to assume that his reflexes are slow, but this is
                            not the case. His battle instincts are just as sharp now as they were
                            in his prime.

                            Emperor Timus

                            Emperor Timus was born in the year of the moon and his nearing his
                            52nd day of birth. His once black hair has turned to grey and is kept
                            cropped close to his head. He is of average hieght and weight, not
                            quite muscular, not quite fat.

                            His uncle Deosis, the previous Emperor who bestowed rights to rule
                            onto him, was nothing short of insane. The twelve years that Deosis
                            ruled were a dozen years of chaos and disorder.

                            It was Timus who stopped the war with the kingdom of Xolan upon the
                            death of his uncle. There is still speculation as to whether he played
                            a hand in the death of Deosis, but everyone agrees that whether he did
                            or not is irrelevant; it needed to happen and the empire is better off
                            for it.

                            Timus started his rule nearly twenty years ago. He is burdened by the
                            stress of the falling empire and often feels helpless in his attempts
                            to restore it to it's former glory. He is often melancholy and it is
                            apparent that he is a dark and sorrow filled man, thus is the burden
                            of trying to hold a crumbling empire together.

                            He has become less and less commonly present in the eye of the public,
                            all but confirming speculation that his mind is suffering from the
                            same instability as his late uncle. It is said that he no longer makes
                            decisions for himself, but trusts a secret council of men to make
                            decisions for the empire. It is said that he is just a figure head

                            The question, really, is who are these members of the secret council,
                            and what are their intentions?


                            Little is truly known about Morlock. The following is a list of what is known;

                            Morlock is an extremely slender man with black hair. He is said to be
                            well over 500 years of age, and is human. He is a known wizard,
                            thought to be a necromancer.

                            The public is not aware of him, but many in the circles of magic are
                            familiar. He is considered by many the greatest expert on necromancy
                            who has ever lived. It is also agreed among the mages that he is a
                            lich, someone who has extended their lives through use of the dark
                            magic. He is also considered a major threat to public.

                            Morlock is a minor character, but his presence should often play an
                            important role. He is engineering events from behind the scenes and
                            considers himself a puppet master, pulling at the strings of the
                            entire empire.

                            He is one of the members of the Emperor's secret council, and has
                            influence on many other important people within the empire.

                            Dhomas (AKA: Lady Death)

                            Dhomas is a high profile assassin for the empire, or so the empire
                            would believe. Truth be told, the empire just so happens to be paying
                            her the best price. Her loyalty sways with the promises of wealth.

                            She is a short and slender woman aged in her mid twenties. She is a
                            most deadly assassin, moving silently from place to place and
                            appearing from shadows as though they are a portal through which she
                            steps. She hold no magical abilities, but is of the utmost physical
                            fitness and is nothing less than deadly in battle.

                            There is a bit of a legend about her, and many a bard has told tales
                            of terror about her. It is said that she is a demon. She has died
                            countless times, but always returns to life.

                            - Feel free to kill this character off, just make sure she comes
                            across as badass before doing so. She will only come back to life
                            after all. Exactly how she returns from the dead is a mystery and is
                            intended to remain as such.

                            The Bard

                            Name: Usoki of Mirr (Yes, it does sound conceited, but I created
                            this character long before I chose Usoki as my favorite username.)

                            Race: Elven

                            Gender: Male

                            Age: The elven equivolent of his mid-twenties. (137, perhaps?)

                            Appearance: Usoki is rather tall for an elf, meaning he can look
                            shorter humans straight in the eye. This is one of many reasons Usoki
                            is generally seen as an outcast among elves. He has blonde hair, and
                            blue eyes. He dresses himself in silk tunics, all of which are
                            varying shades of blue or green.

                            Personality: Usoki is a dreamer, and his eyes are almost always
                            unfocused. Even when he's singing and playing his trusty mahogany
                            madolin, people get the sense that he doesn't have any idea what's
                            going on. However, he is rather intelligent, and will often slip
                            vital information to adventurers. He could just go out and tell
                            them...but that's not as fun. He prefers to see whether or not they
                            are paying attention.

                            Biography: Usoki is the second child in a family of long lineage. As
                            such, severe amounts of cultural training was given to him at an early
                            age. Although his fancies turned more toward adventuring, these dreams
                            were squashed by his parents. He was taught proper things, like
                            ballroom dancing. His only relief from his noble upbringing was his
                            self-taught skills in archery and druid magic, limited as these skills
                            are. To this day, Usoki deeply resents being of noble blood, and will
                            fiercely deny this fact.
                            As Usoki began to adjust to life outside of his sheltered upbringing,
                            he quickly found out his pampered childhood left him worthless in the
                            arts of combat. Unable to go adventuring, Usoki became a bard. He sits
                            under trees, singing songs of the heroic adventures he cannot

                            The Druid

                            Name: Kyramus, nicknamed "Kyr"

                            Race: Human

                            Gender: Male

                            Age: 26

                            Appearance: Kyr is a lanky young man with brown hair, brown eyes, and
                            a goatee. His mouth is almost always grinning, which is set off by
                            his deep-set dimples. He has a rather large nose, which looks even
                            more pig-like because his nostrils are wide, and the tip of his nose
                            faces upward. When you consider his nose along with his squinty eyes
                            and pale skin, he gives off the appearance of having just ran into a

                            Personality: Kyr is the epitomy of the know-it-all. Unfortunately,
                            he seldom does. Nevertheless, he feels obligated to inform people of
                            his opinions. In addition, he informs them of what he thinks about
                            their ideas, what he thinks of them, just how he is feeling...and just
                            about any other thought that enters his mind. It's a good thing he's
                            outgoing and jovial, or he'd be really annoying. Oh, wait. He is
                            annoying. Nevermind.

                            The Illusionist

                            Name: Alythia

                            Race: Human

                            Gender: Female

                            Age: 18

                            Appearance: Alythia has long black hair, and blue eyes. She has a
                            sleek and slender build, over which she drapes brightly dyed robes.
                            She seldom bothers with her appearance, simply because she doesn't
                            have to. In particular, her loose robes, which are scaresly draped
                            over her, make you want to reach over and pull them into place. Or,
                            perhaps, pull them off entirely...

                            Personality: Alythia is excellent at faking emotions, particularly
                            seduction. Her illusion magics accent her abilities of deception.
                            Whenever a plan calls for a distraction, she's usually it. However,
                            she is also a spoiled brat, and insists on being pampered. She
                            insists that someone else carries her pack (which is overflowing with
                            luxuries most adventurers don't even bother to pack), and she refuses
                            to travel to Xol, which she insists is the dirtiest place in the whole
                            The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                            • #15
                              Lushnir, Barbarian of the Pure Hills.

                              The Pure Hills tribe lives on the small rises leading up to the
                              Corillum Mountains, rather near the city of Drevlin. Because of the
                              mountains, the tribe has had extremely limited contact with any other
                              cultures besides that of the Empire and other nomadic tribes. Allies
                              of the Pure Hills are hard to come by; other tribes never stay put for
                              long and the Drevliners believe their hills to be cursed and thus
                              avoid the area at all costs (in truth, the legends of mass murder and
                              suchlike are simple recounts of survivors telling the bloodthirsty
                              ways of the tribe).

                              The tribe gets its name from its most notable practice: the Pure Hills
                              does not have a single ounce of Orc-blood in its people, preferring to
                              remain 100% human. This forms the main ethic which guides the ways of
                              the Hills, which is to exterminate all barbarian tribes that have a
                              good deal of Orc in them. Tribal shamans have taught the children the
                              importance of remaining human. Mating with an Orc can hinder the mind
                              and body, producing a half-orc child will bring bad luck upon your
                              family forever! Any members of the tribe that establish good
                              relations with tribes that are a bit Orcish are immediately exiled.

                              As a strong majority of tribes have a good deal of Orc-blood in them,
                              this has caused slight inbreeding in the tribe, hampering its
                              development. Thus, the Pure Hills are less advanced than even some of
                              their barbarian counterparts in many ways, although keeping their
                              people all-human helps. The Hills have successfully defended their
                              homeland from all barbarian invaders, and folklore says that they once
                              defeated the people of Drevlin in a short war. Hostilities no longer
                              exist between Drevlin and the Hills, however. As previously stated
                              they maintain minimal contact.

                              Recently, Chief Baruk Fadka died, leaving control of the tribe to his
                              older son, Valdifor Sonn Fadka. Lima led a good decade of prosperity
                              in the tribe and was very well-liked. He declared war against the
                              newest enemy of the Hills as well: Grishrak's Horde. Only recently
                              have the tribes been aware of each other's existence, and as soon as
                              one heard of the other war began. Grishrak is currently trying to
                              unite all barbarian tribes, and the Pure Hills are trying to eliminate
                              his people through ethnic cleansing. Currently it is clearly Grishrak
                              who is winning the war, he has already conquered three out of the
                              seven hills villages. Next on his list is the "capital" town of

                              Valdifor died two years after the war with Grishrak began, leaving
                              control in the hands of his younger brother Lushnir Red Fadka.
                              Lushnir is twenty-five years old, very well educated when compared to
                              his barbarian cousins. He wants to bring the Pure Hills, along with
                              other tribes, into a new Golden Age and perhaps eventually challenge
                              the Empire. But he knows that before he can do that he must defeat
                              Grishrak, and perhaps to do that he has to become allies with the city
                              of Drevlin. Drevlin has for years been wary of Grishrak's wars and is
                              fearful that one day he might attack them.

                              Lushnir has tried numerous times to make his people less "barbarian"
                              by insituting reforms like agriculture and Empire-like clothing. This
                              has made him rather unpopular with his people, but it is working to
                              his advantage. Last year the Hills produced a surplus of food despite
                              the fact they were at war with Grishrak. They sold this excess food
                              to Drevlin, trading it for weapons and a new partner.

                              Lushnir's long-term goals are to make his tribe more like the Empire,
                              defeat Grishrak, and perhaps even the Empire itself.

                              Varro Esteban, Commoner of the Empire

                              Varro is a citizen of Luray, the second largest city in the Empire.
                              He works for Herno Leulik, a wealthy merchant who is a self-made man.
                              Herno sells various artistic works, mosly pottery, and Varro sells
                              them on the streets of Luray. When Herno leaves to collect works from
                              other cities (he most frequently travels to the capital city with his
                              caravan of armored guards) Varro is left to tend to the shop.

                              Varro's parents died only three years ago, leaving the then-fourteen
                              year old youth on his own in Luray. He knew he needed to quickly find
                              a job and so he was employed by Herno.

                              One thing that Varro's parents did instill in him was a sense of
                              confidence. They told him that just because they were common peasants
                              was no reason for them to be trampled on. They were some of the more
                              idealistic Lurays. They firmly believed in the power of a republic
                              over an empire and secretly wished ill upon the Empire.

                              Varro never lost this hatred toward the imperialistic ways. He
                              resents everything to do with Timus, and has recently joined the
                              Underground Resistance. The UR is a covert group of those dedicated
                              to overthrow the Empire, centered in Luray with an arm in every major
                              city of the Empire. They are set in their stance, but have not yet
                              taken up open arms. Plans to do so in the near future are assured.
                              The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


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