The city of Xandrayiel was once the shining jewel of the realm. Its construction alone was a marvel of engineering, perched high up an inhospitable mountain range. Its inhabitants were the most technological and culturally advanced of the known world. Their knowledge afforded them great wealth and power, and the location of their great city meant that most invaders posed them little to no threat. Part of their culture was a matriarchal power structure. Their ruler was Primarch Niola Qyzar, a woman of equal beauty and wisdom. The majority of their most senior officers and ministers were also women, though some men had risen to positions of significant power as well, but they were still a smallish minority.
After nearly five centuries of avoiding or fighting off all invaders, they were suddenly presented with a challenge they had not yet faced. Marcan the Bold was a name that yielded terror wherever it was mentioned. The man had started out as a mercenary but after assuming command of his own outfit, his band of raiders had turned into a rampaging army that counted in the many thousands. Like a plague, the spread across the realm and crushed, raped and pillaged everything they encountered. The promise of great wealth - Xandrayiel was the greatest of cities and had been untouched for hundreds of years - brought them to Primarch Niola's doorstep.
A long and costly war erupted between both sides. Each new month, the conflict escalated further. Primarch Niola soon found out that there was no negotiating with the barbarians, so both sides grew increasingly desperate as the months turned into years and the siege seemed to know no end. Whereas Marcan employed alchemists to devise new and terrible weapons - glass orbs that turned to fire upon impact, vials that released lethal toxins - Primarch Niola was soon forced to devise her own "creative" strategies. The greatest scientists in the city harnessed the power of lighting into an array of massive weapons. On the night of their deployment, Marcan had his own grotesque surprise left: catapults that had the most terrible of ammunition, orbs filled with every vile disease known to man. As the defenders of Xandrayiel unleashed their lighting weapon, the raiders in the valley were burnt to a crisp, though not before Marcan's own weapon managed to infect the large majority of the doomed city with countless lethal diseases.
20 years later and Xandrayiel has turned into a ruined ghost city, one that is shunned for its supposed curse. Stories of the doomed men and women of both sides haunting the ruins are exchanged between travelers and merchants who have to pass near its vicinity. Yet along with the ghost stories, the tale of the hidden wealth of Xandrayiel remains. Has enough time passed for some adventurers and chancers to ignore the stories and try their luck where Marcan the Bold failed? MarcanPrimarch Niola Qyzar
To expand upon the story above:
The lighting weapon destroyed the large majority of Marcan's forces, and what little of his force survived the slaughter left the battlefield. The fate of Marcan himself is unknown.
Primarch Niola perished, but her daughter Kara survived and was taken to safety before the plagues had swept across the entire city. She was a toddler at the time but would be in her mid 20s at the start of the game.
The fortune left at Xandrayiel is her birth right and her opportunity to reclaim her title and rebuild her mother's city.
The concept of this game is such:
Several factions venture into the ruined city in search of the gold and treasure. They are rivals, so some might look to eliminate the others. Others might simply avoid being detected.
The city itself could hold some surprises too. Are the ghosts stories just stories or do they hold some kernel of truth?
In terms of the factions involved, they are free to choose.
Mercenary groups make sense, as do adventurers and treasure hunters.The only required group
would be the one belonging to Kara Qyzar. Whether or not she succeeds in finding the lost wealth and reclaiming her title and city remain to be seen.
In terms of the other factions, Marcan's unknown fate makes it possible for one of the players to claim him as his character too.
Keep in mind that most of his resources and men were lost in the war. He will have spent the past decades licking his wounds.
Marcan would have been well into his thirties at the time of the siege, so he would be in his 50s at the start of the game.
If you are interested, express your interest here. I will post a CS should I get enough players.
The CS is now below in this post.
I myself will merely GM for the time being. I will "play" the city of Xandrayiel and whatever the men and women who venture into her might find.
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[b]Race:[/b] (human, half-elf, elf)
Sample CS (one that I may or may not end up playing myself)Name:
Even though Celaya is considered a half-elf, her elven heritage is even smaller than that. Her father was a human, her mother was a real half-elf. She was born and raised in the Northern city of Vandwar. Its close proximity to the Northern wilds gave it the largest half-elf population in the realm. Almost one in ten of the men and women living in Vandwar had some elven blood in them. As such, Vandwar was the place where the halfbreeds (as they were called throughout the realm) were treated the best (or least worst). Their homes were still confined to the slums, but unlike in most other cities, there were very few outbreaks of anti-elf violence. The halfbreeds were more shunned than truly antagonized.
Celaya’s father Curthal was a retired mercenary who had opened up a small armory after a wound had rendered him unfit for further duty in his mercenary outfit. Celaya’s mother Jylean had been a pretty young half-elf who had been working at an inn until her marriage to Curthal. Their union was one based upon wild passion that unfortunately did not last. By the time Celaya was ten years old, her father and mother lived together but rarely spoke. Both of them slept with other people out of wedlock and Celaya soon took to the streets. After being caught as a pickpocket at age 11, she received a trashing from her father, upon which he decided that his daughter had to learn a trade, and soldiering was all he had to learn. Over the next five years, Curthal trained Celaya in the use of nearly every weapon – sword, bow and arrow, spear – though her favorites were the daggers.
At the age of 16, she grew tired of her training and decided that it was time to spread her wings and bring all that she had practiced to the reality of a job as a mercenary. There were many close escapes in the beginning and she only really found her feet after two years roaming around the realm. After nearly a decade of hiring her blades for money, she has gained something as a reputation for being resourceful and trustworthy in the field. Her joining the expedition to Xandrayiel is merely a question of profit, as each of the men and women in her party were promised 1/50th of whatever treasure they found. Even such a small portion would represent a huge fortune if the massive wealth that lay hidden in the deserted city lived up to the stories.