This is the general call for a new game. "Lost Light"
This is the tale of a group of heroes sent into a dark land. Last autumn, a paladin and his priest-squire went on a personal quest to recover a relic of the Light: the Chalice of Compassion. The paladin had come across information that the relic had been taken by a merchant into a foreign enemy land, ignorant of its full nature, and merely thinking of it as a bejeweled silver chalice with some healing properties. The Chalice was noticed by an spy of the Church, who relayed it to the paladin's order. The paladin, in his pride, immediately set forth with his squire to recover it without considering all of the dangers and subtleties of the situation.
The Order has been unable to find out what happened to the paladin, though divinations suggest he is still alive. A recent intelligence report has found the location of his squire, now a slave to a powerful merchant-prince. It is hoped that both the squire and his knight can be saved, and that the Chalice can be recovered. The Order is well aware that the direct approach that the paladin took was foolhardy, riding straight in on his holy mount in his Order's tabard with his sword ready. They now have brought together a group that is considered loyal and pure enough to handle a relic of the Church, yet canny and capable enough to bring some subtlety that will be needed for success. It is now spring, and you are called to march.
(that'd be you)
Background. (entirely made up on the spot right now... :) )
The Church is that of the Lord and Lady. The Lord is symbolized by the sun, the Lady by the moon. The Lord represents strength, justice, and right action. The Lady represents knowledge, healing, and civilization. Together they are the guiding divinities of the Kingdom, a land that though benevolent monarchy has brought law and good works to the wilds that once covered the west. There are a variety of saints (ascendant mortals) and demigods of lesser renown, each of which embodies subsets of the whole of good divinity in a heirarchy very comparable to the nobles arranged under the King and Queen. Slavery is forbidden and abhorent within the Kingdom of the West. The classes of citizens are very structured, but theoretically even a peasant-born child could rise to nobility or powerful priestly position by their own merits. Whether the average peasant truely believes this to be true may be another matter. The Kingdom is generally temperate and wooded, with the woods slowly and consistently pushed back to make way for civilization.
In mechanical terms, the Kingdom is predominantly controlled by Lawful Good. There are lesser godlings that represent acceptable other ranges of good faith (Neutral Good and Chaotic Good) that could be followed by heroes.
The Empire lies across a narrow ocean to the east. It is an older, larger civilization seen by the West to be in decline and depravity. The Emperor is nominally the ruler of the entire eastern continent, though in reality there is a hugely complex system of powerful people who have nigh-absolute power of their own domains as long as they pay lip-service, taxes, and bribes to the people theoretically above them in the heirarchy. From what Westerners know, the east is corrupt in government, law, and faith. There are a wild variety of gods, godlings, and self-proclaimed living gods that demand worship of the inhabitants. Men, women and children may be born into slavery or have that forced upon them, often due to the internal strife between domains. Tales of Easterners offering sentient beings offered up as sacrifice to gods and demons are common amongst people of the West. The lands of the East nearest to the Kingdom of the West are known to be dry plains sometimes punctuated by rocky blasted desert or rich, fertile hidden vales.
In mechanical terms, the Empire is predominantly Chaotic Evil. There may be pockets of any other alignment within the Empire, even Lawful Good, but from the character's point of view (barring appropriate Knowledge skills) the lands of the east are dark, corrupt, and evil.
There is also an older faith of the Earth, but its practitioners are rare and generally remain quiet or hidden. It is borderline heretical within the Kingdom, as it revers the spirits of the land over that of the Lord and Lady. Only those with appropriate knowledge skills really know much about it.
"Arise heroes of the golden West, faithful servants of the Lord and Lady, King and Queen. Courtly and wise, strong and quick, you are called to service."
Your character should either be a member of the Church or have reason to be a close ally. All of the Good alignments are acceptable. You're coming from a land that prizes chivalry and courteous behavior, but even in Camelot there was alot of roughness still there. :)
At this stage, I would like get character ideas by PM. I'm not looking for a D&D character sheet, but a character concept. If it helps you to think about what level this will mean, consider level 7 a base. Perhaps the most important part of the character concept for this stage will be their moral code. What is acceptable to them, in their interpretation of the Church's teachings? Think of a Camelot-like base, but like some of the more earthy ones. While the courtly expectation might be for spouses to be virgins at their wedding and faithful after that, the unspoken reality is that both lusty exploration and infidelity happen quite often. The members of the Church are to hold themselves to that higher standard. Priests and paladins are not required to be chaste and celibate, for instance, but those that held themselves to that standard would be better regarded and considered more close to the Holy. To throw out a teaser, one legend of the Chalice of Compassion says that only a fully pure member of the church can call upon its greatest miraculous powers.
Outside of sex, chivalrous rules such as accepting the surrender of an enemy and not attacking noncombatants are the norm. Grey areas in the persecution of war against the enemy of the Kingdom and church exist here just as they have in our own world.
Our heroes will need to have some of the same spread that a normal adventuring group will have - warriors, healers, and more stealthy types. Good is not stupid. The church does have spies, and it is not a sin to disguise yourself and be clever to help defeat an evil enemy. Of course, that's the cutting edge where corruption probably starts too...
Okay, there's a start. Fire away with questions in public or private!