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Author Topic: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy  (Read 651 times)

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Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« on: September 09, 2013, 07:10:36 AM »
Shattered Haven

Shattered Haven is a dark and grim world, a place where frightened people huddle in the darkness to escape the harsh searchlights of the ruling government, amongst them informants who sell out friends and relatives for a good meal and some scant protection.
  • Arcane magic has been all but wiped out, with those who are suspected of using it being taken from their beds in the middle of the night.
  • Divine magic is almost gone, with fewer and fewer people having hope and believing in the gods who are distant and almost completely silent, imbuing only a few with their power.
  • Psions rule the city, the whole urban landscape bent to the will of those who would wield the power of the mind to subdue and torture all those who would resist their rule.
  • An underground resistance fights a losing battle in attempts to overthrow the evil government, their desperation pushing them to vile acts of depravity, corruption, and heresy.
  • Streets are filled with pushers looking to make a few silver and the junkies who have lost all hope, willing to do anything for their next fix.
  • Gangs fill the seedier parts of the city at night, looking for marks to brutalize and mug, leaving bodies broken in dark alleys and gutters.
  • Slavery and prostitution flourish behind locked doors as the wealthy scum rise to the surface, corruption lurking within most echelons of society and the government.
  • The secret police terrorizes the populace, attempting to root out any and all rebellion--even where it doesn't exist.
  • Outside the cities are landscapes warped and twisted by magical energy gone awry, deforming any creatures who wander through apart from the few who know the ways to navigate the dread wastes, where great and terrible magics of past ages can still be found--as well as their guardians, perverted by the energies flowing through the place.
  • Demons banished aeons ago by arcane magic begin to feel their bonds loosen, and prepare to rise to take their rightful place.
  • Abominations from the Far Realms work to rupture the fabric of reality and flood into the world.
  • A terrible and abominable new technology born of chaos has begun surfacing in places--though what its purpose or true origin is, no one knows. But it might be the only change left to overthrow the current rulers.
This is Shattered Haven. Welcome to the darkness.



Greetings, and welcome to the world of Shattered Haven. I'll be accepting around 3-4 players for this game based on their background and story. This game is going to be pretty dark, so if you're looking for "let's screw like rabbits and then bask in our mutual love", this game probably isn't for you. Fair warning, rather than focus on gratuitous sex this campaign will have the camera shine a spotlight on the RP and how people try (and sometimes even succeed) at dealing with a world gone wrong.

Furthermore, due to the nature of the campaign there might be some mildly horrific things--though nothing as horrific as something of the things that can be seen on the Internet. That said, while I won't make an effort to bring them into view, topics such as incest, rape, and molestation might make an appearance--though unless you agree to it, for the most part your character will not be directly involved.

I realize this campaign's a bit too dark for many people on the board, but if it looks interesting to you, feel free to write up a character and hopefully we can have some good RP go on and delve into exactly what happens to you when you are thrust into the dark world of ... Shattered Haven.



Game Rules and Lore

History of Shattered Haven
It was a few hundred years ago when they first came. I was a youngling then, barely into my prime when I first saw them. Before they came, it was a peaceful time. A time of wonder and happiness, where the races were one, a whole. Sure there were fights back then, but they were petty things, squabbles of babes that did no more than tweak another's nose or leave a bruise that faded in a decade. It was a golden age, a time of peace. Prosperity. People laughed back then, out and openly, and we thought that the age would last forever.

But then they came. How long ago was it, you ask? Well, I don't right remember. Time seems to flow and ebb when you get my age. I barely remember a time when my legs didn't hurt just from standing, just from trying to move around this old body. And even I am old as us elves get. There was a time when we didn't have to hide underground, away from the baleful eye of the--yes, yes. I understand. On with what happened. It's important to remember history, y'know. Else we make the mistakes of the past time and again.

And so they came. Great portals tore through the air, and spewed out their endless numbers. They came in droves, clad in strange pieces of metal adorned with crystals that blotted out the sun wherever they walked. They crushed all in their path, tearing straight through magical defenses and physical armor as though they were naught but butter before hot knives. The humans were hit first, and they fought. Oh, how they fought--tooth and nail, clawing and biting and screaming to the last man. But it wasn't enough. Before they fell, they came to us, and to the others as well. But we didn't listen.

The first human nation fell, then the next. We told ourselves we were safe within our verdant strongholds, safe within the grasp of our Mother and Father who watch over us, that the gods would protect us from any disaster that befell us. I'm sure the other races felt the same, the dwarves within their hearths of stone and steel, the halflings hidden just below the surface in their burrows or plying trade along the rivers or in caravans, the orcish tribes warring upon the open plains.

Finally though, it became apparent to all that nothing would sate the invaders but the complete subjugation of the world, and so we banded together. Too late, though, too late. We were too late to stop them. I don't know if it was our unwillingness to fight from the beginning, or the hope lost from the fighting, but fewer and fewer heard the call of the gods. They slowly drifted away, as less people were born who could stave off the darkness. The connection began to fade, and less paladins existed to stand for their beliefs, fewer who could rally the hearts and minds of the people who continued to struggle. They say that as less people believe in them, the gods have less strength, and thus can affect fewer people--a vicious cycle that is nearing its endpoint with those who call to them grow fewer and they are all but forgotten.

As you know, my brethren--the cowards--left their homes. I don't know why or how the Great Council decided to bow before the invaders, but they did. Perhaps to save the young. Perhaps to wait and plan for something to come. Perhaps simply to save their own hides. I and a few others fled, and continued to fight--what's now known as the Resistance. And there were others who would not lay down their arms. The dwarves continued to fight within their strongholds, and the invaders lost many and shed much blood, but even the dwarves were defeated in the end.

Others fought in different ways. Mighty mages of all kinds gathered in one of the last remaining human cities to fight, to struggle against their fate. There they hatched a plan--I do not know what. I was still a mere youngling at the time, and was far away fighting against them myself. But what I do know is that the sky cracked soon afterwards. Was it their plan to deprive the invaders of the sun, or the retaliation of those who had invaded us against the audacity of the mages? Regardless, the sky was broken, and great clouds of grey and yellow filtered in, and the sun was gone. And then the corruption set in. Slowly at first, starting with the plains where the orcs hunted and gathered for their ancient rituals. Having been hit first, the orcs learned to survive the corruption, and now are most prominent of the raiders who take what they need from this city.

But they were just the first. Soon more and more died. And the mages began to disappear. Did they undertake a mass exodus to save their kind, ripping great portals in the air and escaping just as the invaders had come? Were they killed by those who had entered our world? Or did the corruption take them? Whatever the cause, whatever the meaning, the mages became few in numbers, and those that remained were unilaterally slaughtered. Few remain around who know of their ancient magics, and who knows how they learn to conjure beings from nothing or create great gouts of flame from thin air? Not I.

The city then rose. A great cry entered the minds of all the world, a disjointed scream, almost as though someone had come in a hurry to ransack your house and leave a note by the door as to why and what to do. It was... jarring to say the least. But that's how the city got started. They--the Exalted, as they were now calling themselves--declared a new city that would be safe from the corruption. As the rivers blackened and all that was green turned to dust, they promised a safe haven for all those who would come as long as they threw away their arms and obeyed the Exalted.

It is now centuries from then--more than half a millennium, I'm sure. People came to the city. They live here. Work here. Try to etch a living from the dirt, safe from the corruption that covers the land. But for how long? What will be our destiny? Is this our path, to live under their lash and whip until the end of time, or are there some who may make a difference? Who knows, perhaps you young'uns will be the ones who forge a new path into the wilderness, who will find a way to save this city under siege from within. But leave me now. I'm tired, and the days feel longer. Perhaps another day I'll tell another tale. But for now leave me.

Rules of Shattered Haven
Character Aspects

There are relationships primary aspects of your character that should be described at character creation, though they need not be connected to each other.

Strife: Your character's strife is something that's been happening either recently or for a long time now that troubles your character and causes them stress. Here are some examples:
  • Abusive family
  • Short fuse
  • Drinking problem
  • The government wants me
  • Kleptomaniac
Note that these should be explained further--how has the Strife aspect been troubling you recently? How has it been causing stress? Why is it beginning to bubble to the surface now?

Goal: Your character's goal should be a long-term thing they try to achieve. While this aspect is generally not described as fully as the Strife aspect of a character, it should impact the character in a meaningful way and be one of their primary motivators. Remember that this should be something long-term, and not something that can be done at the drop of a hat. Here are some examples:
  • Find a cure for daughter's sickness
  • Make amends guilt over causing a death
  • Pay back debt to one of the Houses
  • Find out why a certain organization wants you so desperately
Relationships: This aspect describes your relationship with the various organizations within the city of Tilroth. Pick at least two organizations, one of which is friendly towards you for some reason (perhaps they owe you a debt, or you helped them in some way), and one of which is unfriendly towards you (you've drawn their ire in some way).

This is another aspect where you should be as descriptive as possible--why precisely are you friendly or unfriendly with the organizations? What do they want of you? Is there something special about you, something that you might be trying to hide or are unaware of that makes you so attract their attention so?

Dynamic Entry: From the womb of development your character explodes dramatically onto the harsh reality of the world. As a cooperative storytelling game, you are just as important as the DM, and this lets allows you, as a player, to affect the very start of the story. This should describe the start of the first scene for your character, and should be full of action or drama that truly defines some aspect of the character. While this might include other characters, usually it is a solo scene that you RP with the DM. Here are some examples:
  • You hear a knock on the door--the Watchmen have come for you. Were you framed, or did you do it?
  • A vicious argument peaks between you and your ex. Will it lead to just verbal abuse, or something more?
  • Desperately needing the money you exit a bank, your pockets stuffed with coins and cash. Will you escape pursuit?
  • You stand trial for a crime. Passionately arguing your case, will the verdict make you innocent or guilty?
Abilities

Characters in Shattered Haven have 4 abilities:
  • Dangerous - How well your character fights, be it with ranged weapons, fists, or swords.
  • Watchfulness - How well your character perceives their surroundings, notices things, and picks up clues.
  • Persuasive - How adept your character is at talking to others and convincing them of things.
  • Shadowy - How well your character escapes from unwanted situations, is unnoticed, and flees.
Characters gain +3, +2, +1, and +0 to ability scores, placing each in a single ability.

For example, a given character might have Watchfulness +3, Dangerous +2, Shadowy +1, and Persuasiveness 0.

DCs

When faced with a challenge, characters roll 3d6 and add their ability score to the total. Most challenges have a target number (DC) of 12, though depending on the difficulty of the challenge this may be higher or lower.

Chance of success - To find a character's chance of success, take the DC, reduce the DC by the bonus, and look at the following table:

Modified DCChance of SuccessRolling Twice (Better)Rolling Twice (Worse)
164.63%9.05%0.21%
159.26%17.66%0.92%
1416.2%29.78%2.6%
1325.23%44.09%6.36%
1237.5%60.94%14.06%
1150%75%25%
1062.5%85.94%39.06%
974.07%93.28%54.86%
883.79%97.37%70.21%
790.74%99.14%85.75%
695.37%99.79%90.95%

Remember that a single challenge can have different target numbers for different abilities--for example, a bouncer might be quite tough to beat up (requiring a 14 to be rolled for Dangerous) but have a routine that forces him to leave his post every 5 minutes (requiring a 9 to be rolled for Watchfulness). Furthermore, if players use their environment or are descriptive and roleplay well, the DM should feel free to add or subtract more to their roll as they see fit. (For example, when using Persuasiveness to shout over the roar of a jet plane when trying to convince a crowd of something.)

Specialties

Characters can choose two different specialties upon character creation tied to specific ability scores (these should be fairly general). Upon doing a challenging activity that uses a specialty, the character may roll twice and take the better roll.

Examples of Specialties:
  • Dangerous - Fighting underground.
  • Dangerous - Fighting on rooftops.
  • Watchfulness - Picking up clues.
  • Watchfulness - Reading people.
  • Persuasive - Handling those connected to a specific organization.
  • Persuasive - Bribing people.
  • Shadowy - Fleeing on rooftops.
  • Shadowy - Picking locks.
Gaining Specialties

As they go through various trials and tribulations, characters learn to deal with things they've experienced before. At the end of each arc, each player should mention something that affected their character strongly; characters gain a specialty related to what happened, and add it to their list of specialties, though in general this should be even more specific than the starting specialties.

Peril

When characters get hurt, are wounded, or suffer they may gain different perils. Each peril is generally tied to an ability (that rises when failed), but this is not always necessarily the case.

Wounds - A character is bruised, wounded, or generally hurt physically.
Scandal - The common-folk are repulsed by your actions and you have an unnatural reputation.
Suspicion - Some organization, the police, or the government is interested in you.
Nightmares - Madness rises in your mind. Nightmares plague your dreams, and sometimes your waking hours.

Each peril track has 7 levels, and once you have reached level 7 you take a -3 penalty to the related ability score until you reduce the track to the minimum possible for your character (usually 0). This penalty replaces all other consequences of the peril track until it is reset.

Should you fail your peril check, you (or someone else in your party) must continue making checks until someone succeeds, though they need not necessarily be the same sort. For example, you might open with Dangerous, then your friend could try Persuasive, and then you could try Shadowy. Every failure grants a chance of gaining peril.

If you are the one who initiated a situation that requires an ability check, you may try to escape the situation instead of attempting to succeed at it, and doing so gives you a +2 bonus to your check, though it does not bring you any closer to your goal.

Wounds Track
  • Lightly scratched.
  • Minor bruises.
  • Major bruises.
  • Cuts and lacerations. The DM may force this character to reroll a successful Dangerous check once per session.
  • Bandaged up. The DM may force this character to reroll a successful Dangerous check an additional time per session.
  • Impeded functioning. Fight like a cornered animal: +1 to Dangerous checks.
  • Barely walking.
Scandal Track
  • Strange looks.
  • Whispers behind closed doors.
  • Wary expressions.
  • Concealed revulsion. The DM may force this character to reroll a successful Persuasive check once per session.
  • Open distaste. The DM may force this character to reroll a successful Persuasive check an additional time per session.
  • Awed horror. Stories abound: +1 to Persuasive checks.
  • Talk of the town.
Suspicion Track
  • Taken notice of.
  • Watched from dark corners.
  • Spied upon.
  • Scrutinized suspiciously. The DM may force this character to reroll a successful Shadowy check once per session.
  • Followed by shadows. The DM may force this character to reroll a successful Shadowy check an additional time per session.
  • Thoroughly investigated. Expectations rise: +1 to Shadowy checks.
  • Constantly observed.
Nightmares Track
  • Strange dreams.
  • Colors at the corner of vision.
  • Strange feelings cloud your senses.
  • Waking dreams. The DM may force this character to reroll a successful Watchfulness check once per session.
  • Walking nightmares. The DM may force this character to reroll a successful Watchfulness check an additional time per session.
  • Impossible to tell reality from madness. Maddened insight: +1 to Watchfulness checks.
  • Thoroughly insane.
Gaining Perils

Whenever a activity is failed, there may be a chance to gain a peril. When this occurs, roll a d6 and compare it to the current level of peril that is in danger of rising. If you roll under the current level nothing occurs, but if you roll equal to or above, your peril increases by one. A 1 on the d6 never causes the peril to increase, while a 6 on the d6 always causes the peril to increase at least by one.

Certain especially perilous actions can raise a peril by more than one at a time at discretion of the DM, or the DM may levy a modifier on the d6 roll to check for a rising peril.

If a character ever has over 7 in a specific peril, they immediately become an NPC, either for a time or permanently (at the DM's discretion).

Losing Perils

You can lose perils through two means:
  • Spending two grace points. Each two grace points spent reduces one peril by one rank.
  • Taking activities that are uplifting, inspirational, restful, or calming (reduce perils by one for every day one does so).
Grace Points

Grace points are a way to track a player's fate, allowing them to bend reality to suit their whim.

Ways to gain grace points:
  • Roll a natural 16 or higher on an ability check.
  • Roleplay well (DM should award one to two grace points to each player at the end of each scene depending on how well they roleplayed).
Grace points may be spent to:
  • 1 grace point may be spent to reduce one peril by one level. (Requires one hour of rest in a safe and secure area.)
  • 1 grace point may be spent to reroll a check just rolled before the DM declares success or failure.
  • 2 grace points may be spent to reroll a check just rolled after the DM declares success or failure.
  • 3 grace points may be spent to automatically succeed at a specific action before rolling.
  • 5 grace points may be spent to automatically succeed at a specific action after rolling.
Grace points may also be spent in other ways at the DM's whim. For example, if a character wants to sneak into a house, the player may ask the DM to spend a specific number of grace points in order to have the guard turned the other way (gaining a bonus to the check, for example) or not be there at all. This may be used at the DM's discretion to allow the players to gain contacts, be lucky in their findings, or have some other exceptional turn of luck in-story.

Heroic Sacrifice - Permanently Losing a Character

Grace points negotiation - when a character voluntarily sacrifices themselves for something or someone they believe in, or if they have a dramatic death in an attempt to meet story goals, they may discuss this decision before going through with it. In this case, the DM may either let them keep some or all of the grace points they had, or give them conditions they can fulfill when sacrificing themselves in order to keep more grace points.

Upon the loss of a character due to heroic sacrifice, all of the players at the table (including the DM) vote secretly on how heroic the sacrifice was on a scale of 0-10. (Each writes down a number on a piece of paper which goes into a bag.) The average (rounded up) is how many grace points the player gets on top of any he would have kept upon creating a new character.

Magic

Certain characters in Shattered Haven have the ability to wield uncanny forces that few others have access to. Each type of magic has a different ability score and peril associated with it.

Characters are either trained or untrained in a specific type of magic (and can be trained in more than one), but are considered to always have at least 1 in the peril associated with the magic (which can never be reduced lower than 1) and are considered to have that peril one lower when making peril checks to see if a peril is raised.

Magic can be used in three ways:
  • Minor - Roll your upcoming roll twice and take the higher roll. Make a peril check.
  • Moderate - Reroll a failed check in the appropriate ability. Increase a peril by one.
  • Major - Automatically succeed on a check after having failed. Increase a peril by one, and make a peril check.
Arcane

Arcane magic stems from secrets whispered by devils in the sleep of specific people. The devils make Faustian pacts that lead to more and more control over a person's life. However, arcane magic is banned by the government and any who practice it are hunted.
  • Can assist on Persuasion checks.
  • Raises Suspicion peril.
Divine

People who can tap into the whispers of forgotten gods are rare. While the voices are usually quite, sometimes they can crescendo into whispers or even shouts that only the individual can hear. But a price is paid for the knowledge, as great rents form in the flesh of those who don't block out the voices completely.
  • Can assist on Watchfulness checks.
  • Raises Wounds peril.
Nature

Nature is a strange and terrible beast that has been corrupted beyond all recognition. There are those who have developed a way to connect to nature in a parasitic way, drawing off some of its horrendous nature to become great beasts with enormous strength and the ability to tear through walls. Yet the appearance is something that shocks and repulses despite appearing similar to their original form, which can cause whispers behind closed doors.
  • Can assist on Dangerous checks.
  • Raises Scandal peril.
Psionic

Meditation and a use of the inner eye has allowed some individuals to step outside of their own bodies, if only for a few seconds, and enter a different plane where they can spy on creatures and even enter others to change their perceptions. The use this though, slowly changes their own mind causing the users of this almost-lost art to slowly grow less in touch with the reality around them.
  • Can assist on Shadowy checks.
  • Raises Nightmares peril.
Player vs. Player

PvP doesn't happen often, but when it does it can be deadly. This works in the same way as other challenges, with a small twist. First, the aggressor chooses an ability with which he will attack, and then the defender chooses an ability with which he will defend. After that, both the attacker and defender roll, adding the relevant modifier below to the defender's roll as well as any miscellaneous modifiers added by the DM due to the description or use of the environment as normal. The attacker's total sets the defender's target number, and on a failure the defender has a chance of gaining a peril, while on a success the attacker has a chance of gaining a peril.

Remember that the aggressor can choose to retreat if he wishes, gaining the +2 bonus when doing so. Furthermore, should he decide to do so and the defender tries to attack rather than retreating himself, then the defender becomes the attacker from then on (and chooses which attack method to use first). If both players decide to retreat they may do so to end the combat. Repeat the rolls until the combat is resolved, either through both characters choosing to retreat, or until one person has over 7 in a peril.

Columns are what the aggressor chose for their ability when attacking, check by the defender's row, defender gains modifier.

Modifier to defender based on abilities:
DangerousWatchfulnessPersuasiveShadowy
Dangerous+0+0+2-2
Watchfulness+0+0-2+2
Persuasiveness-2+2+0+0
Shadowy+2-2+0+0

Character Sheet
Copy the following when making your character:

Code: [Select]
[size=5]Character Sheet:[/size]

[floatright][img height=300]http://<YOURPICTUREURLHERE.JPG>[/img][/floatright][b]Name:[/b]

[b]Race:[/b]

[b]Appearance:[/b]

[b]Background:[/b]

[b]Strife:[/b]

[b]Goal:[/b]

[b]Relationships:[/b]

[b]Dynamic Entry:[/b]

[b]Abilities:[/b]
Dangerous: (0-3)
Watchfulness: (0-3)
Persuasive: (0-3)
Shadowy: (0-3)

[b]Specialties:[/b]
(Pick two specialties, assigning them each to an ability.)

[b]Perils:[/b]
Wounds: (0-7)
Nightmares: (0-7)
Scandal: (0-7)
Suspicion: (0-7)

[b]Grace Points:[/b]
(0+)

[b]Magic:[/b]
(If any, choose one or more.)

Races of Shattered Haven
Humans

With how quickly they breed and their will to never give up, Humans are the dominant race of Tilroth. They serve as the main source of labor, each generation often saying that they will never make the mistakes of their forebears only to fall once more into the steady track that has been set for them. Sometimes living hard and fast, and other times at a slow and steady pace, humans fill both some of the highest offices in government and the lowest slums as both pushers and junkies. Diverse and versatile, humans come from a variety of different walks of life, each one different from all the others while still appearing to meld into the press of flesh that makes up their race.

Roleplaying Merit: Resilient
Roleplaying Flaw: Corruptable

Dwarves

Strong as the earth from which they often emerge, dwarves dwell within their dark mines unceasing in their labor. Generations past they were amongst the last still standing in their fight to stop the invasion of the Exalted. Bunkering down within their defenses of stone and rock they were the last to fall, their stubborness refusing to allow thems to bow their heads to the new self-appointed psionic overlords. Thus, to this day they continue to be untrusted, forced to dig and burrow deeper into the earth to find gems and other minerals, tearing into the world's heart and soul. Ever-watched, ever-monitored, sometimes a lone dwarf will find some way to break free of the surveillance placed on him and flee to join the resistance, one of the gangs above, or somewhere else relatively safe above the surface, prolonging his existance a little longer--or not.

Roleplaying Merit: Tough
Roleplaying Flaw: Stubborn

High Elves

The elves of Tilroth are amongst the most trusted by the government. They were the first to surrender to the forces of the Exalted Ones, and quickly integrated into their enviornment. Many of other races say that elves are naturally evil, their fey-like nature being the most easily molded by the power of the Exalted Ones, but behind some doors it is whispered that the elves simply surrendered so that they might fight against the government from within--or because they saw some long-term plan that needed to be carried out that the more short-lived races were unable to fathom. Either way, elves are often looked upon with a strange mixture of suspician and adoration by many in the populace, on one hand having willingly been enslaved, while on the other being graceful and beautiful, so beyond the reach of the common man. With their long-term views, elves rarely become emotional or allow themselves to become embroiled in something personally dangerous, having far more years than others of different races. Thus, they often stay aloof and distant, except for the exceptionally passionate elf who is often disdained by his own kind.

Roleplaying Merit: Graceful
Roleplaying Flaw: Aloof

Wild Elves

The races with the strongest connection to the natural world are the wood and wild elves--and some also say that they are the most corrupt. They are the only ones who survive within the wastelands of arcane turmoil and twisted eldritch corruption that the land has undergone, and are a secretive lot. Covered from head to toe with clothes of uniform colors with only their eyes showing, elves are very xenophobic and tend to kill anyone who enters their "territory" without any questions asked. They're nomadic, travelling from place to place, and often raid towns for their needs. However, every elf journies into the cities, where they are often met with disdain and hate for their way of life and the way that their tribes take whatever they want. Their prejudices confirmed, most return home within a year. Those who do not are known as the "Lost", and are considered dead to the tribe. Even if they return after a year has passed, they are considered ghosts to their tribe, ones to be met with arrow and sword and killed just as any other outsider would be lest they bring the taint of the cities into the tribe's tents. The elves practice cannibalism, eating both their own dead and their enemies, believing that they will gain the wisdom of their ancestors or the strength of their enemies. Minor mutations are common amongst these elves, and many have an extra finger or toe, the magical taint of the land changing their very bodies in ways that most people see as unnatural.

Roleplaying Merit: Aggressive
Roleplaying Flaw: Xenophobic

Gnomes

Unlike their dwarvish cousins, the gnomes of Tilroth were unable to put up an organized resistance when the Exalted Ones took over and were quickly crushed within their halls of earth and stone. Rather than let their stores of knowledge and technological wonders be destroyed, the gnomes allowed the invaders in with minimal resistance after they had entered the city proper--though the battle to there had been savage and full of violence. Now the government has gnomes doing what they do best--inventing. The gnomish thirst for knowledge continues to drive them on in their endeavor, though no longer do their own morals dictate what they are and aren't willing to invent. However, gnomish equipment often breaks down or even explodes for no reason--perhaps with their heart no longer in their work, their inventions have lost their durability, or perhaps the gnomes are purposefully sabotaging their own creations to limit the extent of the damage caused by the government...

Roleplaying Merit: Inquisitiveness
Roleplaying Flaw: Inattentiveness

Half-Elves

Outcasts and pariahs, half-elves are often seen as mistakes that should have been aborted by their elvish ancestors, or as the progeny of monsters and fey by their human family. Often growing up bitter and angry at the world, half-elves can often be found leading gangs, their natural grace granting them a position of leadership while their rage at those who turned them away keeping those beneath them in line. One characteristic of many half-elves is their hedonistic tendencies, wanting to experience as much pleasure as possible where the world denied them it, and a number can be found prostituting themselves or others or dealing and taking drugs for a brief sense of ephemeral pleasure. Rarely they become diplomats, dealing between the elves and the rest of the world as an untrusted ambassador who might turn on one like a feral animal.

Roleplaying Merit: Guileful
Roleplaying Flaw: Hedonistic

Half-Orcs

Power. In society, power is what is respected, and many half-orcs have this in plenty in the form of their strength. When careful negotiations don't get you what you want, a fist through someone's sternum is a good alternative in the mind of most half-orcs. It is a sign of some note amongst many politicians and nobles to have half-orc bodyguards, and these often stay true to their employers since they get the opportunity to look threatening and are able to look forward to steady pay. Still, others find a place within the gangs that wander the seedier streets, roughing up or even mugging a passerby for whatever they might have in their pocket. Sometimes when a group of half-orcs has done something so heinous that they must leave the city completely they might band together and become raiders, living in the Wasteland and preying upon the fringes of the city.

Roleplaying Merit: Intimidating
Roleplaying Flaw: Violent

Halflings

Universally hated and despised for their skill, halflings are second-class citizens and sometimes even slaves of some of the more despicable fetishes that politicians indulge at times. Their skills at burglary and sneaking about undetected allow many halflings to live in the only way that society allows them--through crime, which creates a vicious cycle, perpetuating the stereotype that all halflings are to be despised for their treachery. Many of the largest crime syndicates are run or operated by halflings, and there is even talk of an underground system that offers safe haven for halflings on the run.

Roleplaying Merit: Cunning
Roleplaying Flaw: Iniquitous

Centaurs

Most horses died out when the arcane corruption spread through the land, unable to defend themselves against the taint. While some still survive and are used by the rich and wealthy to drag around in carriages, much of the menial work that they once fulfilled is done by centaurs. Their stability and ability to carry more than other races shoehorns most of the centaurs to the farms on the edge of the city, where they often suffer from raids from which they can do little to defend themselves. However, the centaur knows that his lot in life is to work and suffer, and so they continue to do their jobs without complaint, knowing that they could be in a much worse situation if they were forced out of the city completely. Stolid, most centaurs are born and die on the farms, accepting their duty, though a few are adventurous enough to forge deeper into the city to find work, and most of those are often conned into even worse jobs where they become simple beasts of burden once more, though for nobles who are less wealthy. Due to their gentle nature, most of the inhabitants of the city assume that centaurs are as stupid as horses are, and the biggest difference between the two is that horses can't speak; from there came the oft-used phrase, "As stupid as a centaur."

Roleplaying Merit: Placid
Roleplaying Flaw: Acquiescent

Drow

When their God-Queen was struck from their minds, as all the gods were from the minds of morals, the drow knew that they must keep faithful and turned their fury and fright at her disappearance upon their own society. Implementing strict restrictions and regulations, they turned to their children, beginning a society-wide indoctrination that many opposed. Those who fought against the changes were killed, by poison and shadow or out in the open. Slowly becoming unopposed, drow society warped into what it is today; a militant theocracy ruled by the former priestesses of the god. All newborns are taken from their mothers and led through a gauntlet of traditions that have lost much of their meaning over the centuries. They are told that females are superior to males, that everyone who is not drow is an enemy, and that they must die for their race and will be rewarded by joining their Goddess, though no one knows the truth. At night beneath the cover of darkness and their own abilities they sabotage key areas and lay traps, and at times during the day they go into crowded areas and sacrifice themselves by igniting massive black-powder explosives kept beneath billowing cloaks. Leading a constant guerrilla war against most factions, the drow are usually reviled and hated wherever they go, if not attacked on sight, though some whisper of a tenuous alliance between the Resistance and the drow--after all, the enemy of one's enemy can be used...

Roleplaying Merit: Ambitious
Roleplaying Flaw: Vengeful

Shifters

There aren't many shifters out there, but they usually live in their own small communities; yet most of the shifters don't come from shifter parents, but instead are born to one of the other races. Some say that it's a throwback to a more primal time, while others say it's a punishment levied upon families by the world for the corruption that fills it. Either way, it's a fact that shifters are born to every race. For the most part they appear as normal children until they hit puberty when the... change begins. Some time during puberty, they undergo the Change, one which makes them more feral. The Change doesn't usually last long, but its effects are irreversible, turning the person into a fully-fledged shifter, able to call upon his powers at any time. The Change is a horrifying process that appears different for each person, yet each carries the corruption of the world in their Changed appearance. Soon after the Change, most parents disown their children if they cannot hide the Change from the world, and the shifter goes to live with his own kind, much of the time an outcast from the rest of society. Shifters often participate in crime, and while they aren't as despised as halflings are (people fear them more than they despise them), they often fight with them for territory and access to criminal goods, the Change helping them commit criminal acts where a halfling's small size and quickness would help them. Shifters themselves are often sterile, meaning that their numbers are often replenished by the children of other races, and each shifter has something that marks them in some small way as one who has been tainted by the corruption of the land, though this can be anything from a vestigial tail to protruding teeth to a need to shave heavily on a daily basis.

Roleplaying Merit: Aggressive
Roleplaying Flaw: Feral

Tieflings

No one is sure if the Tieflings were warped by the corruption of the wastes, if they made pacts with things unimaginable in order to help them fight the otherworldly invaders, or if the gods decided to punish them for some long-forgotten sin as they departed the world. The thing that is for sure, however, is that Tieflings are twisted beings, their bodies appearing demonic and evil without a doubt. They are often ignored, but sometimes attacked should a scapegoat be needed for some reason, and thus often move from area to area in a nomad fashion. Their skill with fire and flames allows them to become great blacksmiths, and often they sell their services when they come to a new area. They are known for their great artisans, but also are believed to steal everything that isn't nailed down, though this is often untrue. Generally easy-going, they often open up shops and booths to cater to townsfolk, moving on when they wish to--or run out by angered townfolk who use them as scapegoats.

Roleplaying Merit: Easygoing
Roleplaying Flaw: Unassuming
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 10:33:54 AM by Ghostwheel »

Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 07:10:49 AM »
Organizations of Shattered Haven
Note: Groups in red are primarily antagonists, and PCs rarely originate from the ranks of those organizations except with DM permission.

The Government

I hear that the Exalted are completely fiction! Have you ever seen one? I mean, everyone knows about Seneschal Artestax, and you see him riding in his fancy carriage every once in a while. But who gives him orders? No one, that's who! There are no Exalted, it's just a myth created by those who took power after the Last War to keep the populace in check!

The government of Tilroth is split into a number of sections; the Seneschal, the noble houses, the politicians, and the secret police.

Seneschal Artestax is the man at the top who keeps the city under control and running. Smooth as silk and subtle as sin, he is an older human male, who seems to make everyone around him wary with his wolfish gaze. Often dressed in purple, blue, and black as befits his lineage, he is thin and cunning and is rumored to be a very powerful and deadly not only politically but also in combat.

Below the Seneschal are the nobility who do little actual running of the city apart from their own affairs. However, they have enough clout that they do as they like in ordering around the politicians below them--yet each and every one is wary of crossing Artestax who leaves many of the House heads sweating when they leave him after being summoned.

And then there are the politicians. Corruption grows within their hearts, but they do what they're told and are the general managers of specific parts of the city that the Seneschal has no time for. Tempted by power, many have sick tastes that they indulge behind closed doors, using their authority to do as they please with the people of the city.

Finally there are the secret police, beholden to no man. They go where they want, listen in on who they please, and work for the real rulers of the city--the Exalted. Many of the secret police wield strange psionic powers gifted to them by their psionic lords who keep them on a tight leash behind the shadows. The secret police also runs a rigorous and vicious campaign against anyone suspected of wielding arcane powers, quickly finding and "questioning" captives who are thought to be mages, which often ends in the suspect's death.

As for the Exalted, no one has seen one in many years, yet they still pass on orders at times to the police or the Seneschal when they deem it necessary, and often their orders are mysterious and perplexing, at times making no sense whatsoever. It is said that they live in the highest tower of the city right at its heart, gazing upon it in their seat of power where other buildings crowd humbly to do their bidding.

The Noble Houses

We are the last of the pure ones; the last of the noble line. Those who defy us die choking on their own blood. Those who challenge us rue the day they were born. We have the power, and we use it as we wish to further our aims. They will all crumble before our might--even the other Houses who plot against us. They will all die, and one day we shall control everything, and remake it in our own image. But first the city. Then the world.

The noble houses of Tilroth have been around for a long time--even before the start of the war against the Exalted. They are the ones who were smart enough, cunning enough, rich enough, bloodthirsty enough, or powerful enough to remain when all the others fell, and they grudgingly bowed before the Exalted--at least in appearance. They squabble between each other, constantly attempting to gain power over one-another until only one house remains. Their machinations have been brewing for centuries, and each has found their own niche, yet each one has been able to weather the attacks from the others. And so they continue to stew their plans, acting behind cat-paws and politics, as of yet not finding a hold over another house.
  • Kulthas - House Kulthas revels in bloodshed; they run the Blood Games, and their martial might is unchallenged amongst the other noble houses. Passion and anger run deeply within the house, and conflicts often have a bloody end with duels common amongst the younger members of the house.
  • Neecha - Scheming behind closed doors, House Keecha is said to have a double-agent working within almost every organization in Tilroth. Feints within feints, wheels within wheels, one never knows if one is playing exactly into their hands when interacting with House Neecha. Perhaps by doing exactly the opposite of what one is told to do, one does just as they planned.
  • Sarok - Mired in traditions, House Sarok hosts arcane rituals deep within their basements, hidden from the prying eyes of those who'd want to know more. Changing the tide of happenings with their works, things often go their way for no reason at all--almost by luck. The truth is that blood sacrifices deep within their dens allow them to remain in control of more than one might imagine.
  • Gildas - Rich beyond belief, House Gildas is the primary moneylender and broker within the city. Endless coffers seem to fountain forth from within their walls, allowing them to forcibly take over most organizations through financial clout. This also means that they can hire the very best bodyguards, forcing those who desire to fill their own pockets with gold to hesitate before assaulting the House. Gluttonous beyond belief, members of this house are often rotund, swelling with the indulgences they partake in daily.
  • Denthor - Much of the unorganized crime that isn't perpetrated by the Thieves Guild is done by House Denthor. Prostitution, drugs, theft, embezzlement and more are the purview of this house, and powerful enough to give even the Thieves Guild pause when their interests clash. House Denthor will stoop to almost any level, often poisoning or addicting competitors to drugs in order to subvert or eliminate them.
The Blood Games

<WWE/gladiator/dungeon crawls, all expediently transmitted through teleboxes directly into the viewer's mind>

The Academy

You are the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the brightest of your peers. Through the grace of the Exalted you have been chosen to become the elite who defend the city against all threats, both foreign and domestic. You are the final line of defense against those who would destroy this great civilization. You may be asked to do things you're unsure of, things that may go against what you've been taught is right, or things that you may find detestable, but know that it is for the good of the city. And regardless, you will obey. We'll make sure of it.

The Academy is the place of higher learning in the city. The brightest minds congregate there, learning their crafts under the watchful eyes of the instructors, and come out with peerless knowledge of their chosen profession. Chirurgeons, lawyers, history-keepers, writers, mechanics and more are produced at the Academy, each one greater than the last in their expertise in the field. The school is very competitive, and any who are less than gifted often wash out to become lesser craftsmen of no meaning. Yet beneath the Academy is a secret that few outside the government are aware of.

For beneath the Academy is another place--the Institution. In the Institution, the elite enforcers of the government learn the crafts of war. Many partake in the psychic crafts, yet any who can prove their worth are trained and inundated with utter loyalty to the government. Experiments and special substances are infused into the bodies of these recruits, turning them into fighting machines the like of which are not often seen in the world. Most of the students in the Institution continue their studies aboveground at the Academy, yet they are given special privileges, and often stand aloof, knowing that they are even better than those who only come to selfishly better themselves rather than the city. So that they don't stand out, many are given tools and psionically aligned items that allow them to disguise their appearance.

At times a student may attempt to escape from the Institution before they have completed the brainwashing and training that they are put through, but most are hunted down and used for experiments. Yet a few evade the long arm of the government long enough to disappear into one of the many organizations that dot the city--yet always living in fear that they may be identified and hunted down to be taken back, all that know them killed in case the student spilled even the smalled of the Institution's secrets.

The Silver Hilt

Witches, each and every one of them. Evil, despicable, strange, foul, corrupt witches who should all be burned at the stake. Look at them. See how they view us. No emotion crosses their faces--as though we're nothing, bugs to each and every one of them to be squashed underfoot. Doesn't that make you angry, being looked down on like that? Yeah, me too. Still, as much as I hate to admit it, they might be the one thing between us and those... monsters.

The Silver Hilt is an organization run primarily by the government, with strong ties to the Institution, filled with women who have undergone a hideous transformation after being implanted with the organs and flesh of abominations. While on the outside the only indication that they've undergone the transformation is the unnatural bone-white color of their hair, the ageless appearance of their faces, and their eyes, which appear to be slitted like that of a cat or snake, on the inside corruption flows through their veins and organs, which are twisted in unnatural ways. These are the government's answer to the abominations, and these women can detect when an abomination is nearby, often coming out in force to eradicate such creatures before they can do too much damage.

While it is said that all men who were experimented on died, candidates for the transformation are young girls from all walks of life, often ones whose lives have been violated by the abominations in some way. As young girls after the horrible surgery, girls often enter a daze and wander around. Due to this, they are assigned a guardian who follows them at all times and keeps them safe from abominations who find the guts of newly-transformed girls delectable. These guardians are all males forever sealed in giant suits of metal and steel who have been wiped of virtually all sentient thought beyond that of protecting their ward by the Institution, determined to carry out their mission parameters until they fall in battle.

The girls who make it towards late puberty become full members of the Silver Hilt, working to eradicate abominations until they too fall in battle, or become abominations themselves. For with the power of the abominations comes great risks. Calling upon the corruption leads these women down a dangerous path where they can become ever stronger and stronger due to the taint, but at the same time they risk becoming abominations themselves should they cross the threshold. As they come closer to their limit, they become misshapen and horrible to look upon, and many of the populace flee in terror while stories are propagated about the snake-eyed witches who work for the government and steal girls from their beds at night to fortify their own ranks.

Note: Mechanically, all members of the Silver Hilt have the arcane-corrupted template.

The Watch

They laugh at us from their high perches. To them we're scum, barely better than any other citizen despite our badges and our blades. Thugs. Vermin. Miscreants. Misfits. Outcasts. But we know the true underbelly of the city, and continue doing what we can to make it through one more day. To save one more innocent life.

The City Watch is the name of the organization sponsored by the city to take care of small crimes that the secret police don't care to do. Theft, murder, arson and more fill the days of the City Watch, men and women who don't fit anywhere else. At times a naive and innocent person may join the City Watch, perhaps having displeased one of the noblemen or a superior, but those sharp edges are quickly worn away by the devastation one sees around the city when walking it.

They also quickly learn to understand the city; where it's safe to go, where one can get a warm meal late at night, who to trust, who not to. They learn quickly or they die, though veterans try to help the new recruits along as best they can be bothered to. After all, the new recruit might be another sword by your side one day when taking down a murderer. Still, despite the derision heaped upon them and the evils they must daily face... perhaps it is the City Watch that does the most good for the regular citizens of Tilroth.

The Resistance

They've taken so much from us. Our freedom. Our desires. Or ability to think for ourselves. To expand. To grow. And even to exist in some cases. They've taken our family, our friends, our heritage, our rights, and sapped so many of us of our will. Yet I stand for what's right, for myself and for my comrades who fight by my side to end this tyranny. We've lost many battles, and won some. Yet the war is far from over, and we'll constantly be the thorn at their side. We are the candle in the darkness, and though I may fall, others who see the light will take my place and carry on the battle. We will fight on.

When the war against the invasion of the Exalted was lost, those who would continue the fight went underground. They valiantly fight a losing war against the oppressors, constantly struggling against innumerable odds in the belief that they make a difference and help bring an end to the grip the Exalted have over the people. And sometimes they do, sabotaging the attempts of the government and bringing some semblance of hope to the common man. Yet other times, the schemes they carry out hurt just as many civilians as they hurt the enemy.

Located primarily below the city within the convoluted sewer system, the Resistance is led by a masked figure named Geist. Geist has been leading the Resistance for as long as anyone can remember, and many people wonder if it's the same person, or rather, different people who all wear the same mask. Often working in cells with little communication between them in case of captured, Resistance members get their orders through information drops or through individuals with access to a few cells. The biggest thing keeping them together and united is the indelible hatred for the government above.

Public opinion on the Resistance is mixed; some see them as saviors--the few who would fight against the evils of the Exalted, while others see them as terrorists of the worst kind and quickly inform the police when contact is made to capture them. Spurred on by the ingenious plans created by Geist, they continue fighting an eternal war that can have only one of two outcomes--the complete destruction of the Exalted, or their own doom and death.

Clergy of the Old Gods

Can you not hear them? They call out, whispering from a great distance, barely hearable--but they're there! I know it! And if you would just open your hearts and minds to them you could hear them too! Please, just listen to me--no, where are you going? I'm not mad I tell you! I'm not! Just listen for a moment!

The old gods are gone, having left the world to its own machinations. As despair took more and more people, as more and more people lost all hope, less believed in the gods. After all, what kind of god would let such things befall the world? And so a downward spiral; as less people believed in them, the gods grew weaker and weaker, became distant from the world, and even less believed. Today virtually no one remembers anything of them, the ones who loved them having mostly disappeared from the world.

And yet something happened towards the end of the Great War that sealed their fate; one day a great ripple was felt throughout the whole world and the names of the gods were stricken from books and the minds of those who knew them. Suddenly no one remembered who exactly they venerated, which rites and rituals were for which god or goddess, and without a name to create a connection to the gods which they once venerated even the strongest cleric lost their power. Since then, the gods have stayed silent for the most part, though various theories rest amongst scholars who wonder why such a thing happened. Was it the work of the Exalted? Or perhaps the gods were so disgusted that with what power they had left they shut the door on the world? Perhaps one of the gods had betrayed the others, and the war that ensued destroyed them all?

Yet a few are still born with a tenuous connection to ... something divine. The bond is incredibly rare, but there are still some who are able to work divine magic--yet the resonance is so faint that at times they lose all connection and their power may disappear for days at a time. But still the few believe, and try to convince others to believe too--though they rarely, if ever, succeed in gaining even a single believer. Thus, most are left alone with only the voices in their heads, wondering if they are truly listening to gods or simply insane, and if they might be better off dead.

The Guild of Steamwrights

<Information on the guild that creates and maintains the steam-mechs of Tilroth>

The Runners

Running. The air across your face. The city's face beneath your feet. The whole city looks so small when you're running. But people want to stop you from running. They have their rules, their regulations, their silly little laws that they think they can enforce upon you. And if they catch you, they just might. But until then, you're free, jumping from rooftop to rooftop on buildings that seem to almost scrape the very sky, jumping from wall to wall and reaching places where your pursuers could never hope to catch you. And while you're at it, why not make a few coins here and there running errands for those who would buck the law as well?

The Runners of Tilroth are an elusive group who specialize in moving quickly from place to place; often they act as messengers for various groups who are enemies with the government and police. They are a free source of moving information from one place to another without the eyes of officials scanning every single document that passes them by. They run, live, breathe and eat on the edges of society, far above the city where troubles appear far smaller. While some are jumpers, others might be scouts, monks, or simply folk who are trained in acrobatics.

The elusive leader of the Runners is an aranea who goes by the moniker of Spinster; she assigns jobs to various runners, all the while making sure to keep her subordinates out of places they can't handle while keeping them informed of any trouble they might encounter. A few notable subordinates who manage runners under the watchful eye of Spinster include a Changeling named Nelsat, a Whisper Gnom by the name of Sels'na, and the kobold Zu'uk.

The Thieves Guild

The last of the old guard. That's us. We fought valiantly, we're coordinated, organized, and a military force to be reckoned with by any account. But then we were told to lay down our arms. To bow before the invaders. They said that they would rather not lose any men, that the war was over. Well, the war's been over for a long time now. But we're warriors, and just because the war's over doesn't mean that we're any less organized, any less coordinated, or any less deadly. And with the amount of dirt we have on the various politicians, this city's almost as good as ours.

Almost militaristic in its organization, the Thieves Guild is the brainchild of the remnants of the toughest commandos and operators that were left jobless at the end of the Last War. Deeply tied to the politics that run certain parts of the city, the Thieves Guild pays its taxes through fake organizations while at the same time being the largest source of organized crime. Folk live in fear of a time when the Thieves Guild knocks on their door, threatening to burn the place down if they aren't paid an insurance against accidents. After all, it's very easy for the water to become poisoned, for a building to go up in flames, or for an accident with sharp blades to happen.

However, sometimes people mistake the Guild's organization for weakness, and at times individual thieves decide to prey upon innocents on the Guild's ground. These are dealt with quickly and painfully, and there is often a corpse hanging outside of the Guild's headquarters showing the latest thief who thought to encroach on the Guild's territory. Such a reminder deters most of the petty thieves, who often go to the areas of the city controlled by the gangs, but there are always a few who don't get the message and may be next swinging in the wind.

Gangs

The city is a cesspool of depravity and filth. But it's our cesspool, and we're the filth. So I guess that's alright. It's hard to live from day to day--if you're not part of a pack, you're just another loner waiting for the police to take you in and rough you up. But there's strength in numbers; as long as you're in a group they usually won't risk it. We control this side of town, but every day we need to remind others that this territory's ours. Other gangs try to encroach on our space, pushers unrelated to us get members hooked on a variety of uppers and downers, and you don't know if you'll wake up dead with a dagger in your back tomorrow. From another gang, or from someone in your own that has a grudge against you.

Life in Tilroth can be hard, and either you're pushed around or push others around. The ones who push congregate in gangs, often with a single leader who controls the gang and proves that they're the top dog for a reason. Gang fights are common, and often enough the victims are folk unaffiliated with either gang when fights break out. In the shadier areas of town strongly controlled by the gangs the only order is that instated by the gang, and even the police don't dare to venture there.

Many of the gangs run various schemes to bring in the money needed to buy new weapons for recruits off the streets, engaging in protection rackets that target prostitution, entertainment, bars and shopping, as well as other schemes such as blackmail. Each group has its own rituals, including hazings, punishments for failures (one example of which is cutting off the smallest finger at the knuckle for a large mistake) and so on.

One such gang is the Broken Tooth gang, led by Marissa One-Eye, a half-elf. Her lieutenant is the crafty halfling who goes only by Dirt.

Raiders

The strong survive. That's what life is all about, right? I said right, right? That's right. If you can't hold on to what you want, if you can't take what you want, then you're nothing. Weak. The food chain is right there for all to see, and we're right at the top. Take what you want and survive. If you can't, you're as good as dead. And you don't want to be dead, do you? That's what I thought. Now fight.

The raiders consist of several groups of humanoids of different races, though male orcs and hobgoblins dominate their ranks for the most part. The orcish plains were hit first when the Exalted invaded, and the orcs adapted to the corruption, charted where the worst of it was through sheer numbers, and mapped where to avoid. These days they travel the Wastes in stolen mechanical giants taken from the Steamwrights, and when they need something they raid the fringes of Tilroth, slaughtering all who get in their way and taking what they want as they please.

Infighting is common amongst the raiders, though not usually fatal, and raiders know who's at the top and who's below them with a hierarchy that changes at times when the strong ones grow old enough to be replaced by newer, stronger leaders. Outcasts from society who've grown sick with it fill the ranks of the raiders, and the state of the city means that there are often new recruits--those, and the children taken from their homes when the raider ranks grow too small. The City Watch fights the raiders when they come, but for the most part much of the authority doesn't care--the raiders never take enough to make a dent in the metropolis, and if a few dozen die then the politicians aren't inconvenienced whatsoever.

Rangers

It's hard to make a living doing what we do. Braving the Waste every day, living between the knife's edge and doom, dealing with raiders, abominations, damned xenophobic elves, and, of course, the arcane corruption that covers the land is no easy task. And yet the Waste has a side that few beyond our order have seen; it can be a cruel, harsh, yet beautiful thing. Its beauty surpasses all of the gold in the city; it is for that, that I do what I do.

A small, unorganized group, the Rangers are the brave few who enter the Wastes and leave them sane and alive. They are often pathfinders, seekers, guides, and guardians of those who wish to travel through the Waste safely, and are amongst the only ones who can navigate between the great tides of arcane corruption that cover the land to find safe paths between different regions within the Waste.

When one is initiated into the Rangers, one undergoes a secret ritual where one imbibes the blood of an abomination; while most die, the few who live gain the power to sense Arcane Corruption to a strong degree, as well as the presence of other abominations. Solitary folk, they rarely travel in groups of more than two or three, and are more often found alone, earning money by taking people into the Wastes to ruins that still harbor untold wealth--though few that they escort ever actually make it back alive.

One of the most experienced Rangers is the elf Ulthas, and most Rangers defer to his knowledge and expertise in the going-ons of the Waste.

Abominations of the Waste

One moment it was just me and my family--my mother, father, and older brother. And suddenly my brother laughed... He'd never laughed like that before. It was eery. And suddenly his face... changed. It grew a little longer, and thick veins of blues and greens seemed to jut out all over his flesh. I'm... I'm so ashamed. I ran. Screams behind me, and I barely looked back until I reached my room. From there I lay under the bed and watched it rip open my mother and father. And it started eating their guts, steaming in the cool air, and they twitched with every mouthful. Horror filled me, but I couldn't look away from under the bed as it finished its meal.

Strange humanoid abominations wander sporadically through the waste. Incredibly strong and fast, they can rip a man in half with little trouble to feast upon his guts. Intestines are their favored form of food, though they can metabolize virtually any organic material. However, when a hunger takes them they hunt for sentient beings to rip apart and eat. They can also eat the brain of a sentient being, and are then able to take on that being's flesh, appearance, and memory to masquerade behind a skin mask as that being, fooling even the closest friends and family. Thus, anyone can be an abomination. The only two types of people who can sense the presence of abominations are the women of the Silver Hilt, and to a lesser extent the Rangers, though the range at which they can sense abominations is much smaller than that of the Silver Hilt.

Unknown to virtually all, abominations were originally failed experiments of the Institute when experimenting with arcane corruption. In an effort to create super-soldiers for some unknown purpose, the energies of the Wasteland were too much for the scientists to handle, and the whole experiment was shut down. To combat the menace, the Silver Hilt was created.

Demons

We wait for our time. Bound for millenia, biding our time, shackled beneath the earth we wait. But the chains that bind us slowly crumble and break against our ceaseless efforts against them. Our numbers are countless, and were we able to simply be free we would show the mortal races what true destruction and depravity is. A glorious killing the like of which they have never seen. We simply wait. Our time is coming--not tomorrow, not the day after, perhaps not even within the next century. But our bindings slowly loosen.

Ages ago in time long forgotten now, the war between the surfacers and the demons ended with the great mages enacting binding rituals that sealed the demons beneath the ground. Yet those rituals are slowly eroding with time, and at times one of the demons break free--often enough a quasit or imp, though sometimes something far more insidious. The stronger demons often possess people in power when they get free, and control their vessel to destroy arcane relics of the past, hoping to hasten the day when all demons are free.

Devils

They were fools, they who left this place to invade the material plane. And for their folly, they were locked away underground. That is not our way--no, working insidiously through the shadows will always yield greater results. We make pacts and contracts with mortals, giving them power and opening the way for our possession. While they are few in number, those who accept our pacts truly have the power to change the world into a place in our own image.

Devils reside on the Plane of Nightmares, and are the minority who refused to join their brethren when their invasion of the Material Plane took place. Slowly they regained their numbers, and now work towards a goal known only to them. The source of arcane magic, they make faustian pacts with mortals in their dreams, allowing them to gain a measure of power in order to open the way for possession of that person. They are the ones who whisper arcane formulas to some, who later copy them down into books, while showing others how to unlock the power within themselves, allowing them to cast spells with very little practice, almost as though it were instinctual. Yet with every spell, their hold grows until one day they gain full control of a person, taking control of them completely.

Possession usually takes a very long period of time, often years, sometimes decades and in the hardest cases a millennium or two as the person slowly bargains bits and pieces of themselves away for greater power. Yet invariably, if they don't reach the end of their lifespan first, it is the destiny of every arcane spellcaster to end up being possessed by a devil. Devils were the origin of arcane magic, and continue to seed arcane secrets even as the government seeks to eradicate them. They come to mortals in need, and lure them with promises of power, making good on their deal... until the mortal finds that the price to pay is often greater than what they gained from the deal.

Zeltukal

It slithered up from beneath the ground--I've still got no idea what it was. Its sinuous form was sheathed in an armor of obsidian scale, and a dark void within its eyes called to me. I tried to flee, to run, to scatter, my mind blown to the wind apart from the ever-present cry to run, to hide, to gibber in terror. Rather than gibber, I looked down, and a deeper terror gripped me as I saw my foot move forward before my eyes once more locked upon the creature. It seemed to be confused by my fear, and for a moment I feel as though we may have shared a thought--too alien, too unnatural, not of this world. And then I had no thought at all.

Creatures from a realm beyond the material, the Zeltukal as they are collectively called are the beings that reside what other civilizations may have called the Far Planes. There, there is no order and the very laws of physics, magic, and the mind are twisted, bent, and even torn apart with each. What is it that the Zeltukal want? No one is certain. But one thing that's for sure is that they are always there, a hair's breadth into one of the higher dimensions, constantly clawing at reality, attempting to enter.

The walls that were set down at the beginning when the Moulder created the world have begun to fray and tear apart, becoming more like a film than a strong wall, and at times one of the Zeltukal may escape into Tilroth. Depraved and mad cultists worship such creatures when they come, hailing them as gods to be revered and brought offerings. But who can know what the true intent of the Zeltukal is?

The Scarlet Fang

Can you not hear her? Our mother cries in pain, wracked by a corruption not of her doing. She cries in rage, in pain, in agony. Yet we are all part of nature--so let us follow her example. We will tear and rip and break the civilization that binds us until we once more return to our mother, clearing this blight from her body. And once she is free of the depravity on her very soil, of those who would tear her further for their own petty gains we will be able to rejoin her completely, and may she once more be happy with us and our doings.

Nature is changed by the arcane corruption that grips the land, a relic of the Exalted's invasion into this plane. And just as it is changed, so are her servants. Druids change into hideous mockeries of the animals they try to emulate, and often lose themselves in the grip of rage, seeing no friend apart from those as changed as they are. Their mission is to reclaim the world in the name of nature; eco-terrorists who will do anything to see civilization toppled and replaced by nature, regardless of how warped it might be.

The high priest of the order is Fang, zealous and fanatical in his endless hatred for all the markings of society. Many of those who feel a connection to nature, however tenuous, are taken in by Fang and indoctrinated into the order, following his every word and revering him as a living incarnation of nature.

The Ebon Hand

Can't they see? Their selfishness damns everyone. They would take bread from the mouths of the hungry, refuse to piss upon one dying of thirst, and steal what little the poor have. They are to be despised, for they refuse to work their share, and support all of those who make the collective population. If they would just share a little, everyone could be equally happy. But instead they hoard their precious gold, their wealth, and refuse to help their fellow man. Sentient beings were created ugly by the Moulder. It is our lot in life, and right to sacrifice for those who have less than us. But those who refuse to share what they have, despite the fact that they have so much... they deserve nothing but contempt and death.

The religion of self-sacrifice, the Ebon Hand believes that there's enough wealth to go around, enough people who are willing to work, and that everyone could benefit if only these people shared what they have. The man who can work should work twice as hard to support those who cannot work for themselves, and only through sacrifice can a being rise above the ugly mould from which he was made. If people were willing to help each other, to give of what they had so that the populace as a whole could thrive, then everyone would be all-around far happier.

But there are those who refuse to share their wealth. They hate their fellow beings, reveling in what they have and refusing to share with those less fortunate than those. Shopkeepers, merchants, traders and the like are scum. If only they could see that there are others, less fortunate than themselves, suffering, they would truly understand how miserable sentient beings are and be willing to give of themselves. If only they would walk a mile in the shoes of a beggar they would understand that life isn't perfect. Or if they don't, then it's easy enough to remove their selfish selves from the realm and share the wealth by force amongst those who need it most.

The Bearers of Pain

Life is pain. From the first breath of a babe and the scream of its mother as she gives birth to the death rattle of an old man as breathes his last breath, the world is filled with pain. Pain is life. Life is pain. Truly, there is nothing else as constant in this world as pain. It is always there by your side, and will always be there, a reminder that you live, until you die.

The world is a great mixing bowl, and each person is a rough gem. Pain makes you shine, until you shine strongly enough that you're taken out of the cycle. So say the Priests of Pain, as they're called. The poor, the destitute, the hungry, and others are drawn to this cult because it speaks to them--pain is with them every day, every moment. And the Priests promise a surcease of pain, promise that if you follow them and their word, you will be taken out of the cycle, and become nothing after the next time you die. The only option is to be reborn, and to experience the cycle of pain all over again.

Vile sadists of every stripe fill the ranks of the Priests of Pain, and at their head is Painbearer, a truly depraved individual who seeks to spread his word so that all the world might feel his pain. After all, the more hopeless the world becomes, the easier it is to recruit members and finally free all the sentient races from the pain of the world.

Monks of Hedonism

The fools. They move through the world thinking it to be the real one, where people are real and the streets beneath them are solid. They don't know the truth of the matter, and probably never will--that this world is a fake, created by someone, or something... It doesn't matter. Not in the slightest. But we, we have gained a greater understanding than they will ever realize, and see the truth for what it really is. If they only forsook their foolish desires they too would see the truth. But they won't. However, we will make them see, and liberate them. Indoctrination and brainwashing work well, but only death will liberate the most stubborn.

Primarily through drugs, and secondarily through meditation, the Monks of Hedonism believe that they've seen the truth. The world is an illusion, and nothing is real. Thus, the pain of others doesn't really matter--it's not really real. One can do whatever one wants, whenever one wants, and if others get hurt... well, they're not really real, are they? Often masquerading as simple peddlers of drugs, the Monks seek recruits amongst those who have little to expect in the future beyond the next thrill, and giving them and excuse to take whatever they want fills their ranks to great numbers. After all, the pain of this world isn't real, so it matters not if they die by the dozens for the Monk's pleasures.

The leader of the Monks is an obese man whose chins roll down his neck-less body in great curls of fat. Lurl Leadfoot is thought to be the man most in touch with the real truths by the Monks, and is venerated for his wisdom and guidance by the others. He often stays within opulent houses, others waiting hand-and-foot on his every desire and hanging onto his every word with zealotry and utmost devotion.

The Purgers

The world is corrupt. From the inside-out, it's half-dead and continues to die around us. Just take a look around you. Nothing grows in the Wasteland, and who knows when the arcane corruption that seeps the land will be upon us, and destroy us all wholesale? There is nothing here--nothing! The world is corrupt. But there's a way to make it all better. Destroy everything, turn it inside out, rip apart and let entropy take its course. Only then will a new world be born--and we will be at the top for having brought it forth! The world is corrupt. Burn everything. Burn it all to the ground, and then burn the world as well.

The Purgers count amongst them the most cynical of people, those who have lost all hope in life and were willing to give up before the Purgers gave them a purpose. Now they lash out at the world, destroying things seemingly at random individually or working in small groups. Arson, destruction of property and murder count amongst some of their activities, and they believe that once everything has been destroyed that the world will be remade in their image, with them as kings in the afterlife to come.

The head of the Purgers is an elusive shifter named Wurl Burnface, who took his last name after voluntarily burning much of his own flesh; his obsession with fire is unquenchable, and with a single thought he can light whatever he wishes to on fire, burning people down to the bone in a matter of seconds, leaving only ash in his wake.

Sisterhood of the Shield

Men. The scum of the earth. Dirt, filth, refuse--all those words are an understatement to how vile they are. They seek to defile all they touch, and all the worries of the world fall at their feet. They are the cause of all the pain, the suffering, and the hurt that we've been put through. But things are changing. We refuse to let them defile and rape and murder us with no consequence. Slowly we take back out lives.

The Sisterhood of the Shield knows where all the problems of the world lie, and aren't afraid to point it out. In the end, it all falls to men to take the blame--is there anyone as untrustworthy as a male? It is men who led the world to the state it's in at the moment. And so, the solution is simple; one must simply get rid of all the men. If with a single act one could castrate all the men who live, virtually all the problems of the world would be finished. A few men could live, chained and broken in deep, dark places where they might never know the light so that the race could continue, but it would be the women who would control the world, leading it back to a more correct course.

The leader of the Sisters is a human known as the Reverend Mother, fervent in her belief that men are the root of all evil and working to bring about the downfall of the male gender. Her lieutenant is Jahla, a young woman who was raped when she was barely into puberty, an occurrence that caused the magic inside her to bloom, granting her the power to turn the seed of those who defiled her against them, killing them as they satisfied themselves with her body.

Applicants:
Anli Revell
Miriel Vitale
Sarya Melisandra
Zackram
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 01:59:05 PM by Ghostwheel »

Offline Luna

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Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 08:11:28 AM »
I would definitely be interested in getting in on this! I'm getting a few ideas in my head already.  :-)

Offline EndofDivine

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 11:39:47 AM »
I'm interested too. Gotta love dark, hopeless feeling RPs. I've got a few ideas of what I want to play but I like to pair myself up with someone for these types of games...helps me make better backgrounds if I've got someone to bounce ideas off of and I like always having someone my character can turn to or trust. Sibling, spouse, parent/child, or just a good friend...I don't really care. If anyone is interested in joining this and you don't mind doing something like that, please send me a PM and we can work on something together. :-)

Had a question about magic though. How does it work? Like...if I make a character that can cast arcane or divine magic, what all can I do with it? Does it just provide benefits and penalties to certain things and I fill in what exactly I want to do or is there more to it?

Also Ghostwheel...your avatar is awesome. It's gotta be at least 85% of the reason I'm here. :P

Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 11:47:56 AM »
I would definitely be interested in getting in on this! I'm getting a few ideas in my head already.  :-)
Sounds great :-D Let me know what you come up with.

I'm interested too. Gotta love dark, hopeless feeling RPs. I've got a few ideas of what I want to play but I like to pair myself up with someone for these types of games...helps me make better backgrounds if I've got someone to bounce ideas off of and I like always having someone my character can turn to or trust. Sibling, spouse, parent/child, or just a good friend...I don't really care. If anyone is interested in joining this and you don't mind doing something like that, please send me a PM and we can work on something together. :-)
Honestly, I would really like it if that person were an NPC in your background--it gives me a deeper character to work with, and more hooks with which to involve your character (and thus, you :-)). I was planning on starting the characters solo and then having them meet on their respective paths, which is why I'm accepting only 3-4 players. That said, if it's REALLY important to you and it's either you start with another PC or you're outta here, I'm willing to compromise... but I would like confidantes and the like to be NPCs, with the PCs knowing each other only vaguely ("Hey, it's that guy I know from the coffee-shop...)

Had a question about magic though. How does it work? Like...if I make a character that can cast arcane or divine magic, what all can I do with it? Does it just provide benefits and penalties to certain things and I fill in what exactly I want to do or is there more to it?
Right, magic does whatever you want it to do that can aid you in certain situations (though usually not do them for you). For example, arcane magic allows a demon to whisper into your ear to turn you silver-tongued, nature magic shifts you into a more battle-ready form, divine magic lets you get glimpses of the future (think Oracle of Delphi) at the cost of a sort of stigmata, and finally psionics can be used to affect the minds of people and make them see or hear things that aren't there to throw them off your trail and the like.

Also Ghostwheel...your avatar is awesome. It's gotta be at least 85% of the reason I'm here. :P
Heh, thanks :-D Took me a while to decide on it :-D
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 11:48:58 AM by Ghostwheel »

Offline Chreestafer

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 04:56:24 PM »
I would like to peg my interest here as well :)

Offline eBadger

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 07:31:58 PM »
Would you be open to a high elf arcane mage serving in the secret police?  Basically, the scion of a powerful family, he uses his position - which he's held for a century or so now - record of success and authority to put himself beyond suspicion.  I'm thinking an illusionist, and an investigator with his thumb in many legal, semi legal and outright illegal pies, a master of intelligence gathering and no stranger to midnight raids and quiet 'disappearances'. 

Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 02:20:52 AM »
I would like to peg my interest here as well :)
Start thinking of background and we'll roll.

Would you be open to a high elf arcane mage serving in the secret police?  Basically, the scion of a powerful family, he uses his position - which he's held for a century or so now - record of success and authority to put himself beyond suspicion.  I'm thinking an illusionist, and an investigator with his thumb in many legal, semi legal and outright illegal pies, a master of intelligence gathering and no stranger to midnight raids and quiet 'disappearances'.
Yes, but three things; first, I expect him to have some pretty disgusting fetishes, having developed them over a century or two--after all, if power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and one has to have something to keep one interested after a century of work. Second, I expect him after all these years to be very invested in a few people--perhaps family members (children?) that he sees succeeding him, or something similar. The more information, the better :-) Third, NO ONE, apart from the Exalted, is beyond suspicion. Even members of the Secret Police to the highest echelons of the government can be brought in for "questioning" (or more) at the drop of a hat if anything seems suspicious or if there's a hint of arcane magic about them.

Also, feel free to take one or more magic types... but take into account that they can be a big downside as you'll never completely rid yourself of a peril, and it makes it much easier to gain that peril as well.

Note that I would much prefer people not be directly affiliated with any of the organizations in red as of yet--though that might change throughout the course of the game. That said, if you HAVE to have a specific thing for your concept or the game doesn't interest, I'm willing to compromise to some extent, though it means that I'll be requiring more hooks to pull your character around with :-P
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 04:43:01 AM by Ghostwheel »

Offline Erich Norden

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 10:23:47 AM »
Name: Anli Revell

Race: Human

Appearance: A petite and fair-skinned human girl, with straight, dark hair, and deep hazel eyes that seem to have a haunted look.

Background: Anli was born the sole child of a peasant family in the city.  Although the family's finances were modest, her father earned enough as a mill-worker to support her and her mother, and Anli did as best she could to help them.  As she entered puberty, however, strange things began to happen.  Disturbing dreams periodically came to her as she slept, and Anli found she could do things beyond the realm of the normal -- creating figments, influencing the thoughts of others, even sparking small fires when whimsy or temper took her.

Her parents, thinking her to be cursed and fearful of the implications, left her to an orphanage.  There she lived for a few months, largely shunned by the other children and the caretakers alike due to the spark of the unnatural they saw in her, until finally Anli was adopted one day by an old scholar who happened to visit.  This man, known to her as Varen, taught Anli much: The trade of the scribe, the importance of controlling -- and concealing -- her supernatural ability, and how to behave as a young lady.  He even gave her lessons in the language of the elves.  Varen was often strict with her, but not unkind, and Anli began to view him as a father.  She studied through his sizeable collection of books, trying to learn as much as she could, in hopes of gleaning some insight as to how and why she obtained her gift.

Since she turned 18 and thereby completed her apprenticeship, Anli struck out on her own, making a modest living as a scribe.  Lately, she's come into contact with the underground resistance, occasionally supplying them with information or carrying messages covertly to those operating above the sewers.  Because of these connections and her ability to use forbidden magic, she has learned well the value of caution.

Strife: Anli is never quite at ease.  Although she is able to lead a semblance of a normal life, she is a loner by nature who keeps others at a distance, due in no small part to her earlier abandonment.  With Varen now gone from her life, there is nobody she genuinely considers to be a friend, although she secretly yearns for love and friendship.

Apart from the ever-present danger of being captured by the secret police, something altogether inhuman and sinister haunts her, coming as half-remembered whispers that interrupt her dreams.  Lately, they have bled into her waking hours as well, surfacing as thoughts that are not her own, quietly tempting and provoking, leaving her in a state of near-constant dread.

Goal: Beyond simply surviving another day without drawing dangerous attention, Anli wants to know why she is able to use magic and what designs the voice in her head has for her -- and, ideally, find out if and how she can become free of her "curse".

Relationships: By all appearances, Anli is a simple scribe who works from home.  She keeps a low profile; she's not visible enough to be actively hunted by the secret police, nor successful enough to be targeted by the thieves' guild, nor troublesome enough to catch the city watch's notice.

However, although she has only met a couple people affiliated with it, Anli is on good terms with the resistance due to undertaking some low-risk but important tasks on their behalf.  She has heard the rumours about some of their methods, of course, but believes that if she can do anything to help in their fight against the oppression and corruption of the ruling classes, she may as well try.

Of course, Anli is no stranger to the excesses of those higher in the social hierarchy.  Not but a few months after she began working on her own, Anli gained the patronage of a man by the name of Doriam Cleye, a portly figure who was a member of Tilroth's immense bureaucracy.  After initial correspondence via courier, Cleye began to make a point of visiting Anli in person whenever he had work for her.  He seemed affable and charming, often complimenting her penmanship and beauty, and repeatedly offered her to move into his manor to work for him exclusively.  Anli declined, but Cleye was undeterred.  Over time he became bolder and more insistent, even casually touching her in ways suggesting a bit too much familiarity.  When one day he rode his hand up her skirt as she turned away for a moment, Anli decided enough was enough and rebuked him furiously.  Cleye stormed out, irately vowing to ruin her and claim her as his own.  Anli has not heard from him in the three months since, but she very much doubts it's because he's forgotten her.

Dynamic Entry:  Anli hears a knock on the door late in the evening, well past business hours.  Looking through the small barred window on her front door, she sees two Watchmen standing outside.  Reluctantly, she opens the door and does her best to remain stoic, anxious to find out why they're here.

Abilities:
Dangerous: 0
Watchfulness: 3
Persuasive: 2
Shadowy: 1

Specialties:
Persuasive - Improving others' dispositions.
Watchfulness - Reading people.

Perils:
Wounds: 0
Nightmares: 0
Scandal: 0
Suspicion: 1

Grace Points: 0

Magic: Arcane

Offline JackTheReaper

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 10:39:20 AM »
I would like to discuss a new race with you if possible what about a Shapeshifter...Cause i love to play that and then i have a great background story for it...

Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 12:32:17 PM »
I would like to discuss a new race with you if possible what about a Shapeshifter...Cause i love to play that and then i have a great background story for it...

Post the background; I'll try to accommodate player concepts as best I can, just know that if it means a lot more work for me (as the presence of shapeshifters would change a great many things), unless your background is truly deific in its awesomeness, I'm less likely to accept your application :P

<snip>

Good work :-) I like it :-)

Offline Luna

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Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 02:03:34 AM »
Name: Miriel Vitale

Race: Human

Appearance: Pale and slender with long blonde hair and a deceptively serene demeanor. Her hazel eyes have a deep, haunted quality. She is short in stature and fairly attractive by normal human standards, except for the nasty burn that mars her left cheek, scarring her face all the way from just under her eye down to her jawline.

Background:
Born into House Sarok, Miriel's childhood consisted mostly of discipline, education and indoctrination. She was boarded with several other girls from her House, expected to live by a set of rules, and punished very harshly for breaking any of them. She was schooled in a variety of subjects, from politics and history to the traditions that have been handed down since the founding of Sarok. It was ingrained into her head, at every step, that even though House Sarok was superior and deserved to rule the others, she herself was but a cog in the machine, and not only was it her responsibility to further the House's ambition, but it should also be her pleasure to do so.

She was allowed to see her family enough to develop a moderate attachment to them, to her brother Quade in particular, whom she idolized as the epitome of dedication and competence. She loved him as much as she could anyone, given the manner of her upbringing. On her sixteenth birthday, he led her in her first ritual, where they sacrificed a lamb and used the blood to invoke ancient Devils for their blessings. After that, she was hooked on the feeling of power it gave her, she could sense the energy even though she had a harder time in learning to command such forces on her own- something which seemed to come rather easily to Quade, which made her look up to him even more.

So it was that the week following her seventeenth birthday would disturb her even more than it might have. The morning of her birthday, she woke in her bed, her sheets stained with blood. It was all over her as well- her fingers, running down her body, between her legs, where as she sat up she also felt extremely raw and sore. A feeling of dread settled in the pit of her stomach, and she ran off to find Quade to beg for his help, when she learned that no one knew where he was. When he didn't show up after a week, he was declared dead and Miriel felt like her world was crashing down around her.

She would eventually recover enough to move on with her life, finish the current phase of her schooling and then moved into a small apartment with one other girl, where she was now formally in service of House Sarok. She would slowly discover that something else had changed on that night before she turned seventeen... she had inherited some kind of power after all, not the Arcane forces she had been studying, but some kind of dark perversion of Nature, which of course she kept to herself.

Strife:
She is plagued by nightmares about that night before her seventeenth birthday, and other strange urges and voices that she can't be sure just isn't a manifestation of her own guilt. She is worried that she might have killed Quade, although she has no concrete evidence to suggest that is the case.

Goal:
She wants more than anything to find the truth about what happened to her and her brother that night. In the meantime, she just does the best she can for her House, hoping no one can see the turmoil in her heart, and keeping her head down trying not to attract any major challenges even to her tenuous position at the bottom of Sarok's hierarchy.

Relationships:
She is a young scion of House Sarok, and unbeknownst to her, she has attracted the unwelcome fascination of the Sisterhood of the Shield. She is somewhat close to her roommate, Glenwyn, but other than that she tries not to get too close to anyone.

Dynamic Entry:
Miriel is in the shadows of a large stone building, abandoned for a few years but still somehow important to her superiors. They have sent her to draw a large arcane symbol on the eastern wall, a painstaking process that will take most of the night and all of her attention. But a rival up and comer in her House has has his sights set on her for weeks, seeing her as competition that needs to be eliminated. She sees his shadow and takes off down an alley, he eventually corners her and she fights back the only way she knows how...

Abilities:
Dangerous: 1
Watchfulness: 3
Persuasive: 0
Shadowy: 2

Specialties:
Watchfulness: Eavesdropping
Shadowy: A face in the crowd

Perils:
Wounds: 0
Nightmares: 0
Scandal: 1
Suspicion: 0

Grace Points: 0

Magic: Nature
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 09:53:27 AM by Luna »

Offline Niki315

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 06:13:10 AM »
There's a lot to read, and I'm almost done reading all of it, but I am intrigued by this world and was wondering if there is still an opening.  My character concept would probably be a second generation half-elf (her parents were both half-elves) shifter, making her an outcast among outcasts.  Since both of her parents are used to being outcast she has spent time with both parents- her father a thief, her mother a prostitute- being handed off when it was an inconvenience.  She also has a full-blood high elf uncle that has taken her under his wing once or twice as a distraction from his lonely life.  He would probably be some sort of guide for people making forays beyond the city's borders.  Business is not exactly booming for him.

Anyway, that's what I have so far.  I was wondering if this concept would fit, assuming there's still room.  If there's anything you want me to add or keep in mind as I flesh out the character more let me know.

Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 07:17:33 AM »
Since I haven't picked anyone, and plan on deciding in a few days who's in the game and who's out, feel free to flesh out the character :-)

I look forward to seeing the nitty-gritty details :-D

Offline EndofDivine

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 11:21:09 AM »
Character Sheet:

Name: Sarya Melisandra

Race: Wild Elf

Appearance: To an outsider, it's difficult to discern much about Sarya's true appearance other than the fact that she's a female elf. Like others of her kind, her faded gray outfit and armor covers her body while a similarly colored cloth wraps around her head, only revealing her green eyes to the world. Underneath the cloth hides her honey-colored hair and the slightest of mutations: Sarya's front teeth resemble that of a predatory animal with elongated canines and slightly pointed incissors. She considers this less of a mutation and more a blessing considering the usual wild elf diet.

Across her body are several almost randomly placed marks that appear to be nothing other than old scars that have nearly faded away. However, these marks are sinister in nature and represent her pact for power with the devils. Each time she uses the devil's gift, a new mark appears. When using the gift, the marks glow red, the intensity of the glow determined by how powerful the magic she is attempting to call upon is. Over time, these marks will coalesce into runic markings. When the last line of the last rune is drawn, the spell is complete and the devils will finally claim their prize.

Background: Life in the wastes outside the city wasn't easy but Sarya had made the most of it. Years ago, she might have even gone so far as to say she was happy. That was when she had her family...

Her husband, Callister, wasn't exactly the love of her life or anything romantic like that. That sort of thing is hard to come by in the wastelands. They were in the same small tribe of elves and were close enough in age that it was really only a matter of time before they did what everyone in the tribe told them they should do. Still, he was a good man and there wasn't anyone else in the world she'd rather have at her side in the wastelands. And twelve years ago he gave her a daughter, Tiha. The fact that they could create something so beautiful together was proof enough to Sarya that they belonged together.

As far as Sarya was concerned, Tiha was the only bright light in a world full of miserable darkness; her daughter was the reason she had existed up to this point and her reason to continue existing. Her elders told her she was spoiling the child, making her soft. Perhaps...but Sarya couldn't bring herself to be her usual cold, emotionless self around Tiha. She deserved better. She deserved to be happy.

Then, three years ago, her world shattered around her. Sarya returned to the camp after patrolling the area for trespassers to find the tribe huddled around the bodies of her family. No one knew what happened or who had done such a thing but Sarya cared little about the who or the why...she just wanted her family back. Sarya shrieked and fought with all her strength as members of her tribe held her back as the others prepared the bodies for later that night. She screamed out to them, pleading for them to not go through with it.

Later that night as she lay down by herself for the first time in nearly two decades, a realization stuck her: those bodies didn't belong to her family. They were abominations in disguise...shapeshifters...the trick of some demon. Her family was still alive, she was more certain of that than anything else in her life. They were alive and she'd find them. No matter what.

Strife: Sarya has hope where there should be none. The others tell her no less. She saw the bodies with her own eyes. It's been three years. Even if they were alive, they're Lost now. And yet, she persists, much to the frustration of the tribe. She wastes her time hunting the wastelands for ghosts. She draws unwanted attention to them by attacking travelers, believing them to have clues about the whereabouts of her family. Maybe the others are right and she's crazy...but she can't lose hope. That's all she has left.

Goal: Sarya's goal is simple: find her family. She's convinced they're alive and won't stop until they're found or she's given solid evidence that proves otherwise. The fact that they've been missing for years and can never return home with her is a problem she can deal with later.

Relationships: Sarya could consider herself an ally to the devils' cause...at least as much as one can be an ally to those who seek only to exploit you. She just happens to be the perfect pawn for their schemes; easily manipulated and willing to lose it all to get what she wants.

She has no attachments to the city and the populace would likely eye her with suspicion and distrust regardless of her actions. Those who have been outside the city's walls likely have an opinion of her that falls into one of two extremes: respect for her ability to survive the wastes or hate for the savagery of her kind.

Though they're unaware of it at the moment, House Neecha has earned her attention and ire. She believes they know where her daughter is and she's more than willing to kill to find her.

Dynamic Entry: "Please! Take anything! It's all yours...just don't kill me!"

Sarya cast a glance down at the coins and jewelry that had fallen out of the man's pockets as he hung upside down in front of her. She had no use for shiny objects or coins from the city. His bribes would be just as effective if he was offering unicorns and rainbows. She scowled beneath her headwrap as the man frantically waved his arms and begged in front of her. Her eyes locked onto his now reddened face...just another worthless traveler; probably a noble judging by his clothes. He wasn't of any use to her. The sound of metal against metal rang out as she drew her knife.

"Wait! Wait! I have a daughter! An elf like you! Look!" His hand shook as he reached into a pocket in his vest, his hand returning with a folded letter. Curiosity got the better of her as she unfolded it and began reading over the letter. She could at least humor the soon-to-be dead man's last request.

It was obviously from his daughter. While on the inside she was actually touched by the innocence of the letter, she did little to show it. Still, she couldn't help but imagine her own daughter happily writing something like this. A loud gasp escaped her as her eyes sweeped across the girl's signature at the bottom of the letter. Sarya's hands became too weak to hold the letter, her head spinning and her legs collapsing under her. His adopted elven daughter's name was Tiha...her Tiha.

Abilities:
Dangerous: 3
Watchfulness: 2
Persuasive: 0
Shadowy: 1

Specialties:
Dangerous- Fighting Humans
Watchfulness- Tracking people

Perils:
Wounds: 0
Nightmares: 0
Scandal: 0
Suspicion: 1

Grace Points:
0

Magic:
Arcane

Offline JackTheReaper

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2013, 01:32:02 PM »
Name: Zackram

Race: Human

Appearance: He just looks like another human but he usually wears alof of clothes so you can't really sees his face only his grey eyes
He always wears a black hood over his head and he wears a mask on his face and black short hair, on his body are arcane markings of pure evil as he was born with those markings when he gets angry or concerned and uses his dark power then the markings grow to his face and back then when he doesn't use the power anymore or if he has calmed down the black markings go back and are only on his chest...as he feels the markings are getting stronger.                                                       

Background: Born in the lowest slums but left by his parents because of what he looks like he grew up to be a beggar or steal food or money from rich people then when he got older he became a killer for hire and would take out any target that people gave him just to get by.
One day the government however thought he was an eyesore and ordered him killed then from that day on he was always haunted by the government as they sent people after him but everyone they sent got back dead or with allot of injuries and broken bones now the government is still hunting for him and he wants to get revenge because he is sick hiding in the dark and wants to take out the government itself...

Strife: Zackram was done with being haunted and he will not stop and will kill anyone that gets in the way of him and the government

Goal: Zackram goal is simple: Make the government pay for what they did to him...and he wants answers about this markings and his past..

Relationships: He has no one in his life and nothing to live for ones the government is done and over he will see what's next in his path...

Dynamic Entry: -One day Zackram was just at home doing nothing sitting there and waiting for a new target to be sent to him but then he heard a knocking on his door as he grabbed his dagger and opened the door then he saw a few of the government guys and before he knew it he door was kicked open as he fall to his back and his dagger falling on the ground he quickly got up on his feet and jumped out the window as he fall straight to the ground he fall hard on his back-

"Oh fuck..that hurts..." -then he got on his feet again slower this time as the men the government sent looked out the broken window- "Jesus this guy is insane...well looks like he has trouble moving this is our only change to get the bastard let's go boys" -then the men quickly follow me thought the streets while I'm holding my waist as it hurts allot and my legs also not doing so good I slowly move forward as i can hear persuit behind me then i hide in a dark alley with allot of shadows as they run past me I breath slowly again and then my mind was fully made up- "That's it...that was the government final mistake It's time for some good old revenge..." -i look at the main building of the government- "They are going down!"

Abilities:
Dangerous: 3
Watchfulness: 1
Persuasive: 0
Shadowy: 2

Specialties:
Dangerous- Weapon expert
Shadowy- Picking locks

Perils:
Wounds: 0
Nightmares: 0
Scandal: 0
Suspicion: 1

Grace Points:
0

Magic:
Arcane

Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2013, 03:24:25 AM »
Quick update - I'll be closing the thread for further applications in another few days and we'll get started soon after. Also updated applications list on the second post.

Cheers!

Offline JackTheReaper

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2013, 07:25:33 AM »
Quick update - I'll be closing the thread for further applications in another few days and we'll get started soon after. Also updated applications list on the second post.

Cheers!

Alright looking foward to play with everyone...

Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2013, 06:15:48 PM »
I'll be announcing entries and starting the game in 2 days, look forward to it! ;D

Offline JackTheReaper

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2013, 08:49:24 AM »
I'll be announcing entries and starting the game in 2 days, look forward to it! ;D

Looking forward to it as well almost can't wait... ;D

Offline GhostwheelTopic starter

Re: Shattered Haven - Dark Fantasy
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2013, 03:04:28 PM »
Invitations to the game have been sent out--congratulations to those who made it, and better luck next time for those who didn't!

Going to lock this thread for now, PM me if you have any comments or questions ;D