The Pen is Mightier: Literate Roles for Literate folx

Started by CyranoDeBergerac, October 28, 2020, 08:02:30 PM

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Hello everyone! I'm new to E! but certainly not new to role-playing/cooperative storytelling. I've probably been role-playing on forums and tabletop for somewhere between ten and fifteen years (I forget when exactly I started  :-[ ) and I would like to consider myself pretty flexible in my literacy. Personally I'm anywhere between 200-2000 words for my responses and starters depending on the prompt and the partner. I'm still trying to find my feet on here, but RT threads are pretty familiar to me so here we are. I still have to set up my O/O's but I'll cover them in brief here before I get into my first idea.

As much as I love my Haven City setting (see links in signature) I also like other genres and stories, so this is going to be my thread where I post my ideas for other genres, keeping to one idea idea per reply because it makes my brain happy.

Posting Frequency: My work schedule has calmed down to a normal amount (and lately I've been working from home which means I can multitask) so I've been able to get my partners nearly daily replies.

On: I'm sapiosexual, my kinks are pretty flexible and if it's not in my Off's I'll at least consider it. Detail and passion in writing are my go to's. If you teach me a new word during the story then I'll love you forever.

Off: scat, vomit and diapers.

Who I play: I'll play M or F in various pairings. I've got next to no experience with MxM at the moment, but if you have a role you'd like to run by me feel welcome (that goes for everybody with roles by the way)


Lust, Hatred and Delusion

My Character: Male
Your Character: Any
Potential Kinks:
Themes: Darkness, corruption, war, revenge, healing, spirituality.

Idea in Brief: I will play an Air Bender survivor of the Air Nomad Genocide who has abandoned the peaceful ways of his people and essentially becomes a serial killer fighting the Fire Nation while searching for the Avatar. I don't really want to dictate who you are, though I have some ideas, who you play is up to you and can be discussed. My sample below isn't really a starter, more of an introduction to the character of Sarambha.

Writing Sample

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
Earth. Fire. Air.Water. Once the four nations lived together in harmony. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could maintain balance in the world.  Everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. With bending enhanced by the energy of the Great Comet the armies of Fire Lord Sozin launched an unstoppable attack and effectively wiped out the Air Nomads in a matter of hours. Burnt, abandoned and alone I am one of the last survivors of my people. The Fire Nation is hunting us down; but I will survive. I must survive. The Avatar is still out there, and they will need my help and guidance to restore balance to the world. So I will survive, and if my survival means abandoning the peaceful ways of my people then so be it. With the world ablaze I no longer have the privilege of seeking refuge in peace.

When the man called Sarambha closed his eyes he could still remember sitting in the courtyard of the Northern Air Temple listening to Monk Mitta teaching the young children. The warmth of the sun on his skin. The smell of fruit pies baking in the Temple's ovens. He had not been Sarambha then, not been accompanied by violence. He had been someone else, something else. That day's lesson was on the Five Precepts, the most basic rules of spiritual discipline that all Air Nomads were to obey.

Back then they had seemed so simple to follow, though the Guru Shoken had once written: "one should follow their own path unburdened by the morals or beliefs of society; by ignoring the opinions of others, it is possible to discover one's self and exist without compunction." Once these words had seemed the teaching of an immoral madman. Now they seemed the clearest thing in the world to Sarambha.

"The first precept is to refrain from killing

Red Cliffs was burning. Ash and smoke filled the air. The odor of burning flesh stung the nostrils. Villagers' screams rend the night.

On the trail below him a squad of Fire Nation soldiers marched towards the front, eyes focused in front of them. In the direction they thought the enemy would be attacking from.

They did not see him coming until it was too late.

He fell upon them from the sky, camouflaged in the shadows and garbed in black. Wind whirled about his hands, he had no need for swords and spears. The wind itself was his blade. His first downward cut split the man in two from skull to crotch; a whirlwind formed around him as he liberated soldiers of their limbs. Three were dead in half a heart beat, a fourth screamed and held a leg that now ended at the knee. Sarambha smiled behind his mask, it was their turn to scream.

It was a dance of blood and death. A paintings in shades of red. Fire and flame. Blood and bone. That bit of trail became a killing field.

When nine soldiers laid dead, the tenth's spirit broke and he started to run. Sarambha watched for a moment and waited, letting him think that the masked assailant was letting him go to spread the tale. Sarambha's hands started to move in circles, fingers stretched as the sphere of air formed itself around the soldier's head. A vacuum formed, sucking the breath from his lungs. He dropped to his knees, clutching at his throat. The breath was the key to firebending. The breath was the key to life.

When the body's spasms ceased Sarambha allowed his hands to drop as he leapt into the air, leaping from branch to branch the scar on his chest burning. No one could know he had been here. No one could know he lived.

The second precept is to refrain from stealing.

When he had come to the small farm of Tama and Boddi he had been shoe-less for three days, had not eaten in two days and had drank the last of his water that morning. The older couple had replaced his shoes, offered him shelter in exchange for labor, fed him and allowed him to wash in their tub. And this was how he was repaying them. Leaving in the middle of the night; on the back of their ostrich horse, with saddle bags loaded with their food and feed with skins filled with water from their well.

He felt a pang of guilt for a moment, looking back at the barn he had called home for five days. He could stop now, return the ostrich horse and supplies and in the morning ask them for aid. If he had coin he would pay for what he had taken. Then he turned his head to the south.

The Foggy Swamp was two weeks away on foot, on horseback that journey could be cut in half. He needed to find the Avatar, to protect them until they were old enough to learn to bend. To fight. Sarambha's brow furrowed. He would repay the old couple by restoring balance to the world of their children and grandchildren.

He pressed his feet to the ostrich horse's side and rode on.

The third precept is to refrain from lying

The guards forced his arms behind his back, twisting his wrists as his fists were forced into the slots of wooden cuffs. "I'm telling you! You have the wrong man! I could never kill those people!" His voice hit the exact right pitch of desperation to make his cries seem believable. Internally he was laughing. If the brutes manhandling him into the cart to take him to prison had spent a moment or two more inspecting him they might have noticed the tattoos than ran down his body, including on his cuffed wrists and hands, barely concealed by the Sandbender rags he wore.

"I'm Shem from the Si Wong Desert! I've never even been to Zhu Lo!" He insisted as they slammed the door shut on his prison cell, leaving him there in the dim and damp, alone and bound. He collapsed to his knees, body shaking with laughter disguised as tears. From the cell across from him a slight groan was emitted. The shaking stopped, there was something demonic in the nomad's golden-brown eyes as he lifted his head and looked through the bars of his cell.

"Hello Captain Hao, have you ever been to the Northern Air Temple?" The murderer asked the drunk. When the guards came to feed the prisoners they would never be able to explain where the boy named Shem had gone. Or what exactly Captain Hao had choked on.

The fourth precept is to refrain from improper sexual conduct

The Jade Rose claimed to be a simple inn for travelers, offering baths, food and beds for the weary, but the red lantern hanging out front promised more. In the back rooms of the house the children of fathers, merchants and thieves ensured that when travelers left Madame Xi's establishment they were unburdened of all earthly worries and a little more coin.

Sarambha did not know the names of the two people who shared his bed tonight, nor did he particularly care. All he knew was that they had not even blinked when they saw his tattoos, that the taste of one's tongue was heavenly, and that what the other did with their's made him forget all the burdens of the world...

The fifth precept is to refrain from consuming intoxicants

The pipe had passed between them, again and again that night. the bitter bliss of opium mixed with the fluttering buzz of sake in his finger tips dulled the pain for just a moment. Dulled, the memories and the burning of the lightning scar on his chest. The room smelled of sweat and sex and sin, with bottles scattered across the floor. Sarambha lay in the bedsheets with one of the whores' arms wrapped around him, as the other came across the the room and offered him the pipe.

"More, sir?" She asked him, in a voice as high as the clouds, a flame that appeared on her fingertips serving as a light. "Always, more." He answered and lifted his left hand drawing the smoke from the lit pipe straight into his nose. When they thought on it with sober heads in the morning, both whores would agree that the trick had been an illusion from all of the mind numbing substances. But they wished the man had stayed a little longer, to at least collect his change.


Merlin et Nimue

Status: Open
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Potential Kinks: Dom/Sub, age gaps, seduction, teasing, BDSM, outfit control, magic in sex,
Themes: Forbidden romance, generational differences, teacher/student,
My Character: Male
My Character: Female

Idea in Brief: The idea is for a modern romance between a master wizard and his apprentice. The twist is that master/apprentice romances are strictly forbidden due to precedent starter by Nimue, seducing Merlin and then trapping him in a tree as depicted above. I have a concept for how the magic in the world would work, and it's partially explained in the sample starter. Magic is a naturally unpredictable force that some beings are able to harness through sheer will and talent. Magic also raises hell on any technology created post-c.1950. When YC's car breaks down in the middle of nowhere YC ends up accidentally using magic to bring YC to the edge of a clearing where MC (Jacob Magus) lives in a cabin. YC would seek shelter in the cabin and by the time YC would got to leave YC would know that magic is real and become MC apprentice. The early part of the story would be exploring the world, determining what school of magic YC has a 'knack' in (to be explained below) and building up the tension between our characters. Part of the drama will be that MC is 500 (ish) old wizard and very much a man of his time in some ways, sticking to tradition like expecting obedience and being called 'master' (He's been living pretty much alone in the cabin since the 70's pop culture has passed him by.)

A Sample Starter

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
According to physicists there are four fundamental interactions, also known at the four fundamental forces that do not appear to be reducible down to more basic interactions. These four forces are: gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak interactions. Some physicists propose that there is a fifth force in the universe that cannot be reduced to other interactions and they are correct in that proposal, but they will never be able to empirically prove their hypothesis. They are correct though, there is a fifth force, magic. They will never be able to prove the existence of magic, however, because Magic is an Art. You cannot scientifically know or perform magic, one person can say a word of power such as "Abrahadabra" and nothing would occur. Another one may say it and bring down mountains.

Magic inherently competes with Science, because Science requires that 1+1 always equals two, and magic is the inherent refutation of that proposition. Because of this, technology made as recently as the mid-fifties is bound to be reduced to scraps after any amount of time in the presence of a particularly powerful magic user. Airmen in the 1940's were the first to note this strange phenomenon, attributing their unexplained mechanical failures to "gremlins" and not to the number of magic users within their ranks and at the battlefields they were flying over. Perhaps it was also no coincidence that the first article noting disappearances in the triangle created by Miami, San Juan and Bermuda due to mechanical failures was published early in 1950.

Perhaps a more modern example might better illustrate this principle. Imagine, if you will, a young woman driving around the bend of a mountainous road, almost as far from civilization as it's possible to get east of the Mississippi. Now this young woman, from appearances, would seem to be perfectly normal. Driving an affordable modern car made of the safest materials and equipped with an advanced computer to control everything from the wind shield wipers to the engine and brakes. Now, as mentioned this young woman does not appear to have a magic bone in her body, but perhaps she has a reputation for bricking her smart phones and never seemed to keep a new car or device running for long without it needing near constant maintenance. Perhaps, she's never been on a plane or spent much time at hospitals, or maybe she has just been lucky. It could after all just be a twist of fate that her being had become so in tune to the arcane energies that flowed in the world around her that the delicate equipment of her vehicle could not withstand the uncertainty of the energy that now surrounded it. Causing the car to breakdown on the side of the windy mountain road in the middle of nowhere.

Now to continue down this illustration, add grey storm clouds to the sky and the slight echo of thunder in the distance. in the search for shelter and assistance the girl then goes into the woods to try and find anyone at all to give her succor. As she searches it begins to rain and not only does she want to find assistance, she Needs it. Now, Need is one of the most ancient kind of spells, and the type that one does not cast without great consideration. It requires much channeling of energy and will, but it is also the exact type of rough instrument that a prospective mage in need might cast in a time of distress without knowing that she was even doing it. The prospective mage would feel warm, filled with energy, and experience heightened sense for a moment, with the rain falling around her, and then the spell would transport her through the woods and over the hills to the nearest place to find shelter. She would be tired, wet and maybe hungry by the time she arrived to the clearing that contained Jacob's cabin, but besides the slight passage of time she would never have realized she had done magic until it was pointed out.

Not only does this hypothetical demonstrate the basic principles of how magic interacts with modern technology as well as providing an explanation for why Jacob felt the odd pinprick on the back of his neck that indicated that someone was approaching his cabin on the near side of his wards. That was something strange because he had wards designed to do two things: first, stop all really big and powerful things from getting closer than a mile from his valley; second, put a suggestion in the mind of all plain mortals that would direct them to go somewhere else. So the reality that there was something either strong enough to get around his wards without being sensed, or sly enough to sneak through them coming towards him certainly put him on edge.

Jacob looked like a man from another century as he sat at his reading chair beside the fire in his cabin that he had built himself over a period of two-hundred years. He wore jeans with a belt that had loops cut into it for pistol and rifle cartridges, there were a pair of farmer's boots next to the door and a button up flannel shirt that all combined made him look like a farmer from the 1950's. His cabin was a simple thing, with walls lined with shelves of books spanning four hundred years.; a kitchenette to the right of the door,; a hallway beside the kitchenette that led to a bathroom, a room for his apprentice and his own bedroom.; there was also a trapdoor hidden beneath one of the rugs that led to his basement laboratory. His innate sense of the surroundings of his valley told him that whoever was approaching his cabin was about three-hundred yards away and closing.

Rising from his comfortable chair he set the grimoire he was reading on his stand next to his reading chair and turned towards the door, in an umbrella stand next to the door were two instruments that he called to him. His staff and a Henry repeating rifle. He leveled both at the door as he sensed the intruder came to the large, circular clearing that he had created around his cabin, and then he waited as that person crossed the clearing and came to his door. To his surprise, the person knocked, the sound of rain almost drowning it out.

"Who is it?" Jacob asked cocking his rifle.

Possible inspirations for Jacob Magus(but you know, bearded):

The Eight Schools of Magic: Magic is broken down into eight schools based on what you're using the magical energy for, every wizard is particularly skilled in one of them.

  • Abjuration
  • Conjuration
  • Divination
  • Evocation
  • Illusion
  • Necromancy
  • Enchantment
  • Transmutation

Please PM me if you're interested in discussing this role further.


Images to Inspire


Cahokia/The Arch

Status: Open

The world has moved on. It finally happened, the triumphant climax to Anthropocene Extinction Event and the beginning of the twilight of the Holocene Epoch. On one hand it came on so fast, going from World War III to total nuclear armageddon in less than a year. On the other, every day seems like a century when you're watching the breakdown of a global human civilization that took 12,000 years to create. It didn't matter how the war started, it didn't matter who fired the first shot, or who started spreading bioweapons over whose cities. It didn't even matter who launched the first nuke. All that mattered was that one day, the whole world that we all knew disappeared in the Flash. There's no one running around counting up bodies or taking a census, but if you have the spare time to think about it you can be optimistic that we're not at out lowest numbers ever. Even with plagues, nukes, and natural disasters it takes a hell of a lot to drop eight billion people down to none.

In many ways, North America is unrecognizable from what it was even a year ago. All that's left of the massive cities of millions of people are the buildings, now turned into mausoleums for the dead and habitats for slow mutants and the animals that are adapting quicker than their human counterparts. One of the cocktails of viruses that got unleashed on the continent had a strange side effect, instead of killing the animals it infected it mutated them. Big cats are back in habitats they hadn't populated for over a century. Whole packs of 30-50 feral Hogzillas roam the Texas wastes. Bull sharks on steroids leisurely float up the Mississippi. In humans all kinds of strange things happen. The most unfortunate become slow mutants, barely smarter than chimps and about as sociable. Other people get strange traits like golden eyes, quicker metabolisms (and healing), warmer bodies etc. And that's not even mentioning the normal radioctive mutations going on.

Natural disasters joined in on the curbstomp that was the last year. Turns out, you drop enough nukes next to a volcano and it will erupt. Ash still hasn't stopped falling from Yosemite and the Great American Desert (now called the Dust) is certainly living up to its name. NOLA is underwater; fire tornados and roving, radioactive lightning storms tear across the landscape. Earthquakes and wildfires have ruined the Rockys. Global warming charged nuclear winter has raised all kinds of hell for the survivors. You could travel through remnants of whole states and not see any sign of another human life the entire way.

There is one light of hope in the Mid-Western United States. With nowhere specific to go people started following the rivers, until a number of them came together along the ruins of St. Louis. Putting old disagreements and rivalries aside these people, first in the tens and then in the hundreds, began to rebuild something that slightly resembled thd Old World, naming their settlement after the Great Mound city that had once rested there, Cahokia, and using the still standing St. Louis Arch as their symbol. Once the settlement had become somewhat stable they began to send out Rangers to scavenge for supplies, livestock and bring in more people and make contact with other settlements. The world will never be what it was again, but a spark of hope exists beneath the Arch.

Plot wise I'm thinking we could either play two characters who run into each other in the wasteland; some of the original founders of Cahokia; a Ranger and someone of another settlement. Or really any typical post-apocalyptic story. I've detailed some parts of the setting, but we can build up more together and shift some things around as need be. Really the only thing I ask is that there be no zombies in the setting. I'm still burnt out from what the Walking Dead did to the zombie genre six years later. (No offense intended to anyone who enjoys/enjoyed the show post season like four.)


Annus Mirabilis

Status: Open
Potential kinks: Lots of BDSM, especially leashes, rope play, outfit control, humiliation, as well as corruption and seduction.
My Character: Male
Your Character: Female

Backstory: Our story takes place in a world where witchcraft is a real and historic event. Figures such as Merlin, Koshei, Ivor O'Donovan etc. are matters of historical fact instead of mythical and legendary fiction. Despite this seemingly insurmountable change in history, the 17th century exists largely identical to what we know ours to have looked like. King Charles II rules the Kingdoms of England and Scotland in personal union as well as a burgeoning colonial empire. The United Provinces colonial empire is well underway, while the Spanish Empire is entering its decline with the reign of Charles II. The Sun King reigns in France and the Holy Roman Empire is neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. The flintlock has taken to the scene, though many are unable to afford converting their older matchlock and wheelock muskets to the new device.

With the prominance of witchcraft in the world there is also an abundance of responses to it; with the response within Christendom centered on one verse. “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”Exodus 22:18. In Papist countries the Hammer of the Witches by Henricus Institor is the chief handbook for their witch hunters, the Inquisiitors of the Dominican Order. In Protestant countries methods varried in how the problem of maleficar, witches who did harm to their neighbors, was to be prosecuted. In Scotland in 1603 a Witchfinder Guild was established to regulate those who would call themselves 'witchfinders' and who would seek to fight supernatural creatures and maleficar in service to the crown. In 1644 the Guild was expanded by Parliament with its headquarters placed in London. Along with this law came a new policy towards witches.

Every witch accused of being maleficar, of using magic to harm her neighbors and making foul deals with eldritch or demonic beings was to be offered a choice by the Witchfinder who confronted her. Either death (by the rope or by the sword) or parole. A witch who takes parole would be placed in a leash where her magic would be limited by the Finder holding the leash. She would also be bound to follow three rules. First, to do no further wicked witchcraft. Second, to only do what magic she was permitted by her Witchfinder. Third, to obey her Witchfinder in all things, save one. The one exception was the one rule that every Witchfinder was required to follow, he must never take advantage of his charge in order to gain carnal knowledge of her. Instead it was his mission to guide her towards proper behavior in a Christian society while she aided him in his pursuit of monsters and beings like she had been.

Our story would start in 1665/1666 and it would feature a pious Witchfinder (Think Geralt of Rivia + Solomon Kane) and a recent parolee (preferably bratty and a little seductive) embarking on a quest hunting monsters and maleficar while for all intents and purposes being in a celibate BDSM relationship (at least until the witch gets the Witchfinder to let down his guard and give in to what he really wants.) I promise that you don't have to know much about 17th century history. Nothing I've mentioned or plan to mention can't be found on Wikipedia. But if the 17th century is your jam and you know all about it, I will literally beg you to do this role.


In Love With a Whore v.1

Status: Open
Genre: Arabesque, medieval fantasy, adventure
Potential kinks: Romance, hot wife, prostitution,
My Character: Male
Your Character: Female

Note: I have three or four variants on the basic theme of " A man is in love with a whore, they get married, but when hardship strikes she has to take up her old trade again" this is the first one I'm sharing, but if you like that theme, but not the setting feel free to ask about the others. Additionally, this is in first person for ease of details, because that's what the Muse is telling me to do. I usually write in third person, and would be fine with either for this role.

You had always been what you always were, a woman too beautiful for our small village in the shadow of the mountains. I was a simple farmer, I brought grain from the red dirt and sold it to the baker to make it into bread to feed many in our village. I was not the owner of the largest farm by far, nor was I the wealthiest farmer. But I was an honest man doing an honest days work. My skin was darkened by the sun while the richer land owners were able to sit in the shade, smoke their hookahs and watch their sons and poor workers do the labor they should be doing. Then, when the sun hung low they would go into the village to watch you dance and enjoy your trade. I was never able to afford your attentions, but still I would come to town, smoking cheap tobacco and drink a cheap beer. Though I never got drunk like some of my friends, and I never pulled my money for the luxury of your charms like some of my less prudent friends would.

Instead I watched from afar, though occassionally I would come and talk to you while you rested from a dance, or took a meal between clients. During the summer I would bring you flowers from the field, and in the fall I would bake you my own bread. One warm evening when it was too hot for the men with coin to venture down from their houses, and after drinking one beer more than I should, I even sang to you quietly so that only you could hear. I had come to love you, even though money had never changed hands and I had never followed you beyond the veil on your door to the sweet scented room beyond. Though I had heard you earning your bread behind that veil more than once. One day I asked you to marry me, and to my amazement you said yes. On a cloudy winter day we were married, and the whole village celebrated like any other. No man dared insult you, and even the wealthy land owners were pious enough to not dare to test your marriage vows. For a winter and a spring we were happy, if not wealthy in our little brick home.

Then that hot cruel summer came, with a heat that murdered the crops in the soil and a wind that barely carried even a cloud for shade on it. One bad year we were able to survive, but a second would kill us. I was able to sell my farm, a farm that had been in my family for generations, for just enough money to be able to open a brothel in YaSin across the desert. Or at least, we were told that was what it would buy us. Our plan was to go there and open a brothel, and you would be a madam overseeing other women while I searched for honest work. We soon found that even though we had the money for our end goal, it would not buy us a spot in a caravan heading west across the desert. I was a fit man, strong from my labor, and I had served in the levy sent to our Shah twice when I was young and our father was alive, even taken a wound in one campaign. Unfortunately, I was no warrior at heart and had little to offer a caravan going into such dangerous territory.

You however, had a trade that would bring plenty of coin at the caravanserai and oasises along the way. A sheikh who knew of your past had made an offer two days ago to bring us along, so long as you returned to your trade on the way. You would earn coin along the way, offering the sheikh a discount, in return we would receive a tent, food, water and protection along the journey. On the morning of the third day we would embark on our adventure.


The Forever War

Status: Open
Genre: Dark fantasy
My character: Male
Your Character: Female

High Elves and Dark Elves has been mortal enemies since time began. When races such as the humans were still hacking out an existence hunting with stone and bone the Elder Races were doing battles with steel and magic. The hate between the sibling races ran deep, and their shared blood watered the fields and flowed like rivers and springs. Such wars soon showed their true toll as the bloom of the youth of both races find themselves wasted on the battle field. Long-lived, but far from fecund, the leaders of each race realized that in order to survive to rule in a world after victory direct confrontation could no longer be their primary strategy. Instead they fell back, licked their wounds, raised their young and plotted. For races where lifespans measured in the thousands and decades passed like the blink of an eye proxy wars were the natural continuation of their age old conflict. Younger races were raised and groomed, sometimes covertly, sometimes blatantly to fight the battles their betters could not.

Wood Elves versus Dwarves.

Halflings versus Gnomes.

Elves versus Humans.

Every conflict in history, no matter how minor or how great, if one looked closely one could find the hands of these two powers holding the strings in the shadows. For now there is a time of peace while new civilizations and conflicts grow. Agents from the Deep and riders from the High Wood move out, scouring the continent for the latest tools to use in their forever war in order to achieve the goals of their superiors.

Your character is an ambitious agent of the Dark Elves who has committed to an unorthodox path. Instead of attempting to beseech dragonkin or to bribe svirfneblin with promises of gold she has instead decided to risk it all on madness. Stepping out into the Wasteland, a blasted heath where orc tribes, beast folk, giants, and other foul monsters live cruel, brutish and short lives constantly facing a struggle to survive.

There in the shadows of the ruins of a nameless empire she will find the people that will make her a legend and manipulate them to greatness in the service of the Dark Elf empire.

One day when sheltering from the murderous white sun in the shade of an oasis she meets her destiny. A young and strong orc bull with ambitions to match her own. He has his own ambitions to unite the orcish hordes and civilize them into one great kingdom. Uplifting them from the sand and muck and dragging them into greatness. He will serve as a tool for your dark elf's ambitions, so long as they line up, but he will not be an orc easily manipulated and used. While he and his people might prove to be a useful tool to smash all that had come before, they are also a double edged sword that could just as easily damage the wielder.



Status: Open
Genre: Wuxia, JidaiGeki, action-adventure
Potential kinks: Romance, seduction, intoxication, interracial
My character: Male
Your Character: Female

No one would ever mistake Kuroto for a native to the islands of Wakoku; standing a full foot taller than the average man, with woolen hair, round eyes and skin as black as pitch he was obviously a foreigner to anyone who looked at him. Yet, Kuroto of the Waves (波の黒人) knew no other home save the southern island of Chunzei and no other life than that of a samurai and no other tongue than Wakokun. He did not know what land he hailed from or what name his mother had given him at birth. Nor did he have any memory of any other mother save Aya, a wet nurse in the household of Lord Mononoke.

Kuroto was found in the shoals beneath Mononoke Castle the morning after a storm had claimed a nanban trade ship in the night. Wreckage and corpses floated to the shore, the corpses of foreigners who had sought to trade for vast fortunes in the wealthy eastern lands of Jianghu bloated with salt water and feasted upon by fish, crabs and birds. When the morning came Lord Mononoke road down to the shore with servants and retainers searching for any survivors. They found only the babe who they named Kuroto, swaddled in a wicker basket that had somehow survived the storm. Lord Mononoke took the babe into his household, giving him to the wet nurse Aya and one of his retainers Hiroku. For all of his life Kuroto was raised as a member of this household, trained as a warrior and serving as a page for Lord Mononoke and his sons.

Wakoku is a land savaged by war, the Tenno is trapped in his palace, surrounded by courtiers (kuge) who manipulate him and regents who rule in his name. These corrupt officials care only for their taxes of rice and gold. The feudal lords of Wakoku can commit all kinds of dishonorable acts and wage war against each other so long as the taxes are not interrupted. Lords may have their land taken from them and their titles stripped if they are defeated in combat or otherwise unable to submit their taxes to the court in Tokei. Ambitious and bloodthirsty lords abused this system in order to gain power in the Empire. Honorable lords chafed under this system and the restrictions it applied. Instead they sought out to do justice within the system and to establish safe havens of peace in a world that seemed to be at war. Lord Mononoke was the second strongest of these lords on Chunzei who considered themselves truly loyal to the Tenno, and not the the Sekkan (regents). When a letter came from the court that demanded the suicide of the strongest lord, he complied, but Lord Mononoke refused, instead raising his banner in rebellion calling up 30,000 ashigaru and samurai he declared that he would fight for honor and to free the emperor from his captivity within a den of vipers.

The courtiers countered by bribing lords to assemble an invasion army of 100,000 warriors to attack Chunzei. Lord Mononoke's 30 thousand fought bravely and heroically from the beaches to the forests to the castles, but one by one they fell or surrendered to the oncoming forces. Ashigaru who came out of fealty to their lords surrendered and returned to their fields. Samurai died by the hundreds. Until only two thousand of the most ardent supporters remained to take refuge in Sekihara castle. These were the personal retainers of the fallen lord and Lord Mononoke. Surrender was not an option for them- only death.

Death came for them in a cool, misty morning. The Sekkan forces had come armed with 500 hinawuju, matchlock muskets purchased from the nanban, as well as cannons. Lord Mononoke's rebellion ended that morning in the thunderous roar of cannons and a cloud of gunsmoke. Kuroto was the only survivor.

Rumors soon spread about the dark-skinned samurai, some said that he had run in the night before the final assault. Others claimed that he had revealed himself to truly be the demon superstitious peasant folk expected him to be, and that he had carved his way past the siege lines abandoning his comrades to their fate. Another claim was that he had been captured by the opposing lord, but the lord had pitied him and released him. All of these stories functionally amounted to the same thing. He was the lowest a samurai could ever be, he was a ronin. Masterless, honorless, friendless, living and dying by the sword.

Four years have passed since the Siege of Sekihara, the realm has continued on its war filled path and Kuroto has wandered homeless and honorless, possessing only what he could wear on his back and the two swords on his hips. He has consorted with the lowest of the low, burakumin, tekiya and bakuto; slept beneath hedges to protect from the rain and made his money as a hired sword. He knows he is hunted, for he has made many enemies, including those who would kill him simply for the faded symbol for 'wolf' on the back of his dirty and stained kimono.

I have many ideas for stories we could tell with this disgraced Ronin in Wakoku (based on 15th century feudal Japan); the world could either be historical and magical (think Inuyasha) or just historical. Some ideas of plots we could do include:

  • A Seven Samurai rip off
  • Ronin and the peasant woman
  • Ronin and the ninja
  • Ronin and the prostitute
  • Ronin and the assassin
  • Ronin and the childhood friend
  • Ronin and the widow of a samurai or a female warrior
  • Ronin and a witch
Or many more ideas.


The Pygmalion Paradox

Status: Open
Genre: Science Fiction
My character: Male
Your character: Female

The year is 2345, through a mixture of newfound empathy and radical societal changes humanity managed to survive the Crises of the 21st Century and move clsoer to the utopian future that had been promised by science fiction of the 20th century. New tchnological advancements are put forward everyday to benefit the lives of the people who live in the megapolises and arcologies that have sprung up as a new way for people to live. On the bleeding edge of these new technologies is Future Tech, a megacorporation based in the BosWash Megapolis stretching on the Atlantic Coast from Boston to Washington, DC. At the head of the MegaCorp is the genius, trillionaire, philanthropist Dr. David Dalton. Only in his thirties, certain magazines (many with solid stock ownership from FuTech) have put forward the idea that he has made greater contributions to the technological well-being of humanity than any scientist in human history.

But genius comes with a price.

All too aware of the existential dread that is built into human existence Dr. Dalton is a man on the path to self-destruction. Frequently fighting with his board, including Future Tech CFO and sister to the genius Alexandra Dalton, Dr. Dalton has retreated to the top floors of Future Tower (FuTo) where he has been blazing a self-destructive path of hedonism. Drugs, lack of sleep, a revolving door of personal assistants and lovers, the public is worried that the modern day Leonardo will be found dead one day by a delivery driver dropping off Old Americana style fast food. And Dr. Dalton is smart enough to know the truth in those fears. So he has started on his most ambitious project yet, creating an Android-AI fusion that will ensure his needs are taken care of in a healthy way. On paper she will be a sexbot, a secretary, and a bodyguard. But as her mind and consciousness grows, could Dr. Dalton's latest project become something more to him?

What do you call a soul-mate when she doesn't have a soul?


The Princess and the Pirate Queen
Status: Open
Genre: Pirate Romance
My Character: F
Your Character: F
Kinks: non-con to con, Stockholm syndrome, humiliation, bondage,

Once there was an Isle called Ys that stood in a straight off of the coast of the powerful kingdom of Gallica. Ys was a wealthy republic of traders, where poverty all but did not exist. Yssons dominated the trade of the channel, beholden to no kings and to no law save their own. Fleets would not sail against them for sailors loved the Isle of Ys, and no bank would fund the coin needed to pay an army to go against their shores. In all ways the Isle of Ys was untouchable save one, the sea. The cruel mistress who had made them wealthy was also their greatest threat, held at bay only by a series of dykes and a system of canals that prevented the ocean from fully over taking the land.

Then one day a tragedy struck, a great storm came down from the Northern Sea and overflowed the dykes, splintering the walls and bringing in the tide. Messengers were sent out, begging for aid from Gallica and the return of trade ships to help evacuate Ys. In the dark of the night, the ships were assembled and the people were readied to flee from their homes and take refuge on the Gallican shore. Only the king of Gallica was a jealous and cruel man, who had no intention to allow those who had snubbed their noses at him to enjoy his hospitality. His 'rescue fleet' came upon the fleeing Yssons and instead of rendering aid they opened fire and ensured that they joined their Isle beneath the tides. Longboats of marines searched the wreckage and slaughtered the survivors. All save for a young woman, comely to the eyes and in the bloom of her youth. She was taken by the admiral of the fleet and given to the cruel king as a prize, a secret mistress and slave. A play thing for him to do with what he willed.

She suffered for years, until an unfortunate circumstance allowed the king to toss her out like trash. Discarded, bloody, destroyed and abandoned Nicolette returned to the sea that she new and regained her strength and power. Becoming the captain of a ship, and then the Queen of her fleet she vented her rage on ships under the Gallican colors at every opportunity, until she found the opportunity to enact her greatest coup of revenge. In the grey-dawn of morning her fleet fell upon the Kingdom of Gallica's capital, Merovingia, and laid waste to it with cannon and fire and sword. While the King who had abused her escaped her wrath, he would never forget the name of the woman he had discarded and left for dead. She was Nicolette D'Ys, the Lioness of Ys, the Last Yssone.

Her hair dyed red, rumored to be with the blood of men she'd slain, and tied back into a long braid Nicolette prowled the deck of her flag ship Ahez admiring the captives that her men had brought her, measuring them and determining who would be sold as slaves to the Sharif of Iram and who would be given to other fates. At the end of the line she found a surprise, obviously recognizable as nobility the men who had brought her in had expected a great reward. But they could not know how well they had done, but a lascivious and cruel smile played off Nicolette's lips as her peasant eyes gazed upon the flesh of the King of Gallica's favorite daughter.

Immediately her mind turned to poetic revenge, with no dream of the love that could grow between them in the confined quarters of their journey.

Nicolette d'Ys


The Lie of Peace
Status: Open
Genre: Star Wars
My Character: Multiple
Your Character: F
Kinks: Corruption, degradation, drama,

In the year 1032 BBY the galaxy was changed forever with the fall of the Sith on Ruusan and the founding of the Galactic Republic. For millenia the dark side of the Force had threatened peace and prosperity in the galaxy, constantly resurfacing to the bring a shadow on the Republic. In this time of peace, the galaxy is able to rebuild and grow. The Jedi Temple on Coruscant becomes the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Jedi Order, and a period of prosperity appears in the galaxy, building up towards the Golden Age called the High Republic in 300BBY.

Even in the times of brightest light, the shadows of darkness can still be found. Jedi Master Sil Vorenus is guided by the Living Force, a Sentinel who scours the Outer Rim for injustice and the dark side, protecting the weak from those who would do them harm. Once, Master Vorenus was joined on his quests by his Padawn, Ajak Tarr, a skilled user of the Jar'Kai lighsaber dueling technique. However, Ajak attained the rank of Knight and became a Jedi Peacekeeper, with his own padawan as well. Unbeknownst to Sil, Ajak has fallen to the dark side of the force, dabbling in the forbidden lightsaber form of Juyo that harnesses the agression and desperation of the wielder, and even more arrogantly Ajak has flaunted the council by hiding right under the High Council's nose. It is only when signs of dark side corruption begin appearing in Tarr's own Padawn that Sil begins to suspect that something is not right.

I would be playing a sort of GM role, falling your character (Tarr's Padawan) down her path to corruption and the dark side, (which of course being this sight means an increased sex drive and all the shenanigans that come with it.) and her possible redemption through her Master's master.

character images

Sil Vorenus

Ajak Tarr


Beware the Fury of the Northmen

Status: Open
Genre: Fantasy (low-fantasy leaning)
My character: M warlord
Your Character: F, many options
Kinks: Dark, NC, CNC, slavery, impact play, public etc.

The people of the Notic Kingdoms were no strangers to the fury of the northmen from far off Hyperborea. Every summer, once the crops had been planted and the days grew long, the dragonships would come to reap and reave. The ships would come in twos and threes taking cattle, slaves and treasure from coastal villages and then vanishing over the horizon to return home. Once the dragon ships had come in mighty fleets that threatened many of the smaller kingdoms of the continent of Notos. The day of these large heathen fleets has long since past into history for grey beards to talk about around the fire and boast about past battles while they bandied barmaids on their knees.

Now the fearsome warriors from the frozen north were thought of as little more than a seasonal nuisance to those in power, the coastal equivalent of the cattle raids that the various kingdoms partook in in order to keep the young men of their military trained and away from idleness. To the mighty in their high castles what did it matter if a few fishermen were murdered and their wives and daughters despoiled? What they paid in taxes wouldn't even offset the cost of an expedition to repel the raiders. Such was the status quo in the largest kingdoms that one summer, when no dragon-ships came, there was little note in the high places of the world.

On the docks and coasts rumors were spread by the traders who traveled to far off Hyperborea to trade in firs, amber, bone and ivory. In frozen Hyperborea, so the rumors went, a young warlord had risen up and forcefully united the lands thirteen aetts(clans) under his rule. That was the reason that no dragon ships came that summer. Some thought it meant that the barbarians were finally becoming civilized and that the age of fire and steel was coming to an end.

Those people could not have been more wrong.

No Hyperborean Trade ships came in the winter and none that sailed to the frozen north returned in the spring. There was no warning when a thousand dragon-ships carrying a mighty host appeared off the coast of the largest of the southern kingdoms.

The King of Auster was an old man with seven sons who were all mighty warriors, each led his own host out underestimating the mighty Heathen Army that had come to their father's shores and were quickly defeated. The fortunate ones died in battle, as men. The unfortunate ones were captured and tortured for the barbarians' entertainment.

Then they war came to Auster's Capital, the king's high stone castle. They came in the dead of night, the High King Kol being the first over the wall. Glad in only and loin cloth and guarded by magic runes he cut a red path through the defenders of the castle in his berserker rage. Close to seven feet tall, muscled like an ox and laying about with a massive, two-handed sword that could cleave a man from gullet to groin in one swing. At his back were a hundred screaming Vikings who opened the gates and let in the army.

The sack had begun.

Hot blooded warriors took what they wanted from the city, looting and raping as they went. The night was filled with a chorus of screams and tears.

Kol carved his way to the great hall where he took his place on the throne and the true revelry began. With a beautiful woman (YC) on his lap he watched as the court was upended and turned into a barbaric feast hall. The king, his crown now cast into a pile of treasure, lay castrated and powerless as he watched the despoliation of all he was sworn to protect. While the king lay bleeding to death, the queen was bent over a bench and taken, the High King's gift to his victorious men. The castle was being ransacked and servants were being brought in to put on a feast and entertain their conquerors.

The Kingdom of Auster had fallen and Hyperborea had come south.

Potential roles you could play:

  • The daughter/granddaughter of the deposed king
  • The widow of one of the dead princes
  • The king's wicked bastard daughter
  • The daughter of a lesser noble who betrayed his kingdom for power
  • A Hyperborean shieldmaiden
  • A volva/witch
  • a wicked and evil queen
  • Others



Status: Open
Genre: War

Sometimes you laugh so that you don't cry. Sometimes you just have to escape into the fantasy in order to feel as if you have some control over your situation. So that's what I'm proposing here. A little bit of escapism as the world does what the world does. There are so many different plots that could be played out in a setting like this, so instead of picking one to go in depth in I'm going to toss out various ideas and if any of them catch your fancy let me know. We could do something This War of Mine style, where we are simply people attempting to survive in a city under siege dealing with the horrors of being victims. Or we could be on the front lines, taking part in massive tank battles or urban combat. We could be guerillas fighting behind enemy lines that have passed us long ago, or revolutionaries in a proxy war between the great powers of our day. Spies in the enemy capital. POW's struggling to escape. Maybe something Magnificent Seven inspired where we train the 'villagers'. There are countless options here, but lets assert some control over our lives by having some escapist fun.


A Two Fisted Tale

The Michener Island Chain is a lawless place, caught between the ambitions of empires as far away as Europe and as near as Japan. Once it was part of Imperial Germany's Pacific colonies, primarily to the north-west of Kaiser-Wilhemsland, but now it is lawless anarchy. The Empires debate in their smokey rooms, whether they should count as part of Japan's reward for their part in World War I; be annexed into the British Empire; or whether the Dutch should have them due to proximity to their other colonies. The ambitions of the powerful are of no concern to the people who live on the islands. Exiles, thieves, liars, mercenaries, whores, people smugglers, slavers and worse. All find home and refuge in the Michener Islands where they can feed their apetites and ambitions.

And their deaths.

Roland Graves has spent his entire adult life as a 'gangster for capitalism' as Smedley Butler would put it. He served in the US Marines all throughout the Caribbean and into the Phillipines and China. During the Great War he saw action in Europe and became a Devil Dog in Belleau Wood. With the war done and his body growing old (being now past the cusp of forty) Roland chose to take his pay and travel to the last place on Earth where men could be truly free. A man must make his money though, and the Tommy gun he hangs from his shoulder and the .45 at his hip are how Roland the mercenary earns his keep.

Even in a paradise a thousand miles from the nearest bank there were still men that needed to be killed and money that could be earned by killing them. Living inside his Felixstowew F5L he largely takes on jobs transporting supplies, people and illicit substances from island to island. There is much money to be made, and many women to be met.


The Lady and the Bastard

Status: Open
Genre: Medieval Romance
Your Character: F
My Character: A bastard knight
Kinks: Various

She is a woman of wealth, of power, possibly even of ambition. Born into a house of high status within the kingdom. If not the King's daughter, or that of his close kin, then surely the daughter of his generals and advisors. She is to be the wife of princes, of nobles. To be the mother of princes, nobles, priests, and perhaps even one day a king. Beautiful, intelligent, of status beyond which many could ever imagine. At her command servants jump to see to her every need; on her whim the greatest knights of the realm will dedicate themselves to the most foolhardy or dangerous of quests, becoming champions in the melees and the lists if only for the opportunity to wear her favor, or inspire her to gave them with even the smallest of smiles. And yet, she loves a man far below her station- a knight, not some pigherder or cook's son, a man of arms and ability. Not only is he a simple knight, he is a bastard - born from scandal and of wickedness and lust.

He is a knight, trained at arms from the moment he could hold them. His father was a knight, perhaps even a one in possession of land and holdings, but his mother was not the lord's wife, and so while he was the lord's son, he would never wear the lord's arms unmarred by the bar sinister. A product of both worlds, the choice had been put to him whether to become one of the wealthy peasants who were beginning to form their own class within the society as merchants and master tradesmen or to become a man-at-arms and a squire, and if ever possible into the order of knighthood. He is a soldier, and is not loved in the lists or the melees. He lacks the pageantry of jousting, more accustomed to the shorter lances of war that could be driven into an opponent's throat, and in the melee he achieved victories with no pomp or circumstance. Simple, pragmatic cunning. Despite his spartan outlook and low manners, he has somehow won the love of his Lady, though he knows far too well the risks of their union.


Status: Open
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror
Kinks: Snuff, BDSM, slavery, potential gore, etc.

In the lands of the Far North and the Hundred Kingdoms there is a saying 'barbers carve up the dead to learn the secrets of life, while necromancers carve up the living to learn the secrets of death." The Order of Necromancers exists outside of the jurisdiction of any petty king or warlord, abiding in a cold forested mountain valley where they are rumored to perform bizarre rituals to demons and shadowy gods, dance naked beneath moon and betwixt fire, copulate like dogs in the streets, and even engage in cannibalism. Or so the rumors go. It is very rare that even the most intrepid of merchant princes dare to ply their trade among the Valley of the Dead. But often the Necromancers leave their fastness on journeys of discovery and betterment. To many villages the arrival of a necromancer in their area is a godsend, a healer who can arrive late as well as put down the undead that often haunt the frozen moors of the Hundred Kingdoms. As a punishment for particularly vile crimes the offendent may be sentenced to be vivisected and studied by necromancers, and some even enter into the service of kings and nobles for a time as it facilitates their studies further.

There are two potential journeys before us.

In a kingdom, perhaps one of the Hundred Kingdoms or another further south, a Nameless Necromancer has taken up residence in the court of a king, being provided all of the resources and leeway he needs for his experiments. An entire portion of the dungeons have been cordoned off as his private laboratory and reprobates and monsters are funneled from the upper levels of the dungeons down to his operating table regularly. His mandate did not consist of tending to the king's needs and managing the dungeon, and he would often be gone from the court for months if not years at a time to study in the field. Upon returning from one of these extended absences he learns that the princess has a talent for the Art and circumstances conspire to require him to take her on as an apprentice.

In a remote village an odd discovery has been made. Iorek, a berserker and Jomsviking from the colonies in Skraeland has returned suffering from a serious curse. He committed a heinous crime in distant lands and has been cursed with immortality, unable to age and unable to die no matter what harm has befallen him. After a  murderous rampage Iorek was sentenced to death and beheaded. When his head continued to talk the villagers hung it around his neck and left him tied to a stake at the crossroads to be claimed by a travelling necromancer. He hoped she would be a pretty one.

Inspirational Images NSFW


Bjorn The Varangian

Bjorn Magnussen, was born the third son of Magnus of Aros, a hersir with kinsmen in the kingdoms of Svealand and Gardariki and Kiev. While Bjorn's eldest brother would inherit their father's land in Svealand and his second brother would inherit his ship, Bjorn needed to carve out his own place in the world, as well as his own wealth and glory. Born in March in 1066 with Halley's Comet in the sky, the Scandinavia of his youth was in the middle of the process of Christianization, with Gamla Upsala being the center of pagan worship in the region. This religious conflict in his homeland reflected itself in Bjorn's heart, raised and baptized as a Christian, while familiar with the fatalism of Norse paganism. This dual-nature provided Bjorn with a somewhat unique outlook on life. At the age of fifteen he realized that Sweden did not offer the prospects he needed in order to survive in this world so he set out for Miklagard with his father. Arriving not long after his sixteenth birthday he joined with the Varangian Guard as they marched for Dyrrachium to fight against invading Normans who were attempting to conquer Thessaly and Dalmatia. Surviving his first real battle, Bjorn began to earn a name for himself and began a promising career as a warrior in the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Alexios I Komnenos.

Other names for Bjorn: Bjorn of Aros, Bjorn of Miklagard, Arctos Axe-Bearer

Ideally any roles including Bjorn would take place somewhere between 1082-1110 (so from when he's 16 to about 45) though I'm willing to shift his story around if a partner really wants to cover a different period of medieval history. I'm also willing to use him as an archetype for a supernatural story that I'll detail below. I will detail out some possible roles that could be paired with Bjorn in order to create a fun, mostly historically accurate story. ( I like to have historic stories be historic and fantasy stories be fantasy if that makes sense.)

  • The daughter or kinswoman of Nampites Akolouthos (captain) of the Varangian Guard under Emperor Alexios I
  • A noblewoman of the Byzantie court, possibly even a relative to the Emperor or a previous emperor
  • A woman taking part in the First Crusade
  • The daughter of an Anglo-Saxon exile
  • The daughter of another Varangian
  • A Jewish woman in Constantinople
  • An Arabic or Turkish noble, princess or peasant
  • A Russian or Slavic woman Bjorn meets in his travels
  • A Venician merchants' daughter
  • A Norse pagan woman he meets on his return to Sweden
  • His niece who he meets when he returns to inherit in Sweden following the death of his brothers

Supernatural Sub-Role

Instead of being a historical role set in the Byzantine Empire, Southwest Asia or Sweden, we would do a supernatural role where Bjorn is a werewolf and travels on an expedition across the ocean to Vinland and beyond. Your character in this role would either be a shield maiden, a volva or a Native American woman. I don't have specific details for this role at the moment, but I think it has a solid foundation just on the idea.

Inspirational Images

Bjorn's FC

Dane-axe Bjorn's primary weapon of choice. Human for scale.

Varangian Guards famously wore a ruby stud in their left ear (I am not shitting you.)


The Queen of All Cities
Status: Open
Genre: Low Fantasy,
Kinks: World Building.
Note: Below is a sample starter, the idea is that Sjur has found himself in control of an empire on its last legs, with the possibility of bringing it back into something resembling greatness. Feel free to message me with a starter, or ideas for world building or whatever. Hope you enjoy.

Somewhere, the City was burning.

There was only one City worthy of the title in this portion of the world.  The Queen of All Cities, the Jewel of the Reman Empire, the Great City.  The Reman Empire had once been the greatest power in all existence, but nothing could survive the ruin of time. Once the Reman Empire had ruled all of the peoples that surrounded the Internal Sea, and many places far beyond its sight or salt spray. Now, the sum of all that had been Rema was the City, a few islands, and one corner of the rocky Elladha peninsula far from the palaces and harbors that had once controlled the wealth and power of all of the known world.

This empire had always battled with the peoples outside of its borders, and in the east those battle were waged against nomadic warriors mounted on horseback. For centuries the legions of Rema had held these horsemen at bay, keeping them far, far from the dual-beating hearts of the empire. And then, five hundred years ago the Tagomah had come out of the northern steppes, and swept down like a scythe into the plains, deserts and mountains to the east. They had come, persistent, inexorable, uncountable. For five hundred years they had advanced closer and closer to the city.

They had crossed the White Sea and the black, attacking from east and west, and now they had come to the Great City itself. From the sea they came with galleys with sails as red as blood, and from the land they came with an army composed of all of their conquered nations, and bombards specifically built to batter down the Great City's walls.

Imperator Maxentius Dragas had sent out the call to all of those countries that had joined to opposed Tagomah advance in the past, those countries to the West that had once been parts of the Reman empire. An appeal had even gone to the Hierophant in Rem itself, ever a rival to the Imperator in the Great City, and an answer had been returned. Ships had come from Vitulian merchant princes, protected their interest in trade. With them had come mercenary captains and condotteri and the promise of more if the City could hold out long enough for them and their fleet to be mustered.

There had been one more group of allies that came through the cities Tripartine walls before the Tagomah's encirclement had been completed.

The Vaerengi, the oathsworn, had long been bodyguards of the Imperators of Rem within the Great City. Bearded warriors with bearded axes and fearsome reputations, they had sailed south from the frozen north to earn wealth, reputation, and power in the service of the southern Empire. Their numbers had dwindled with the loss of power that the empire wielded, but there had been enough to send the word to the people of the north, and two thousand northmen had taken the oath and sailed south for the battle. To die valiantly or live gloriously.

Sjur Haraldssen reclined on the steps of the Palace of the Purple, exhaustion sinking into his bones. His sweat-and-blood stained helmet rested between his feet, his vambraces, rerebraces and pauldrons were crisscrossed with scars, his cuirass and brigandine pocked from the impacts of musket balls. In front of him was the Square of Renown, where ended every Triumph recognized those who had rendered great service to the Senate and People of Rem. The greatest generals and politicians of the greatest empire to ever be had been given crowns of laurel and coats of bronze medallions in this square. And now it was a charnel house.

Smoke from all of the black powder wafted through the air, like the ghosts of the damned whose corpses littered the bricks of the Square from wall to wall. Here there were bodies in the blue of the Vaerengi. There the red of Tagomah footmen. On top of them all was the green of the Janissaries, the elite bodyguard of the Tagomah Sultan. Those bombards had done their work, and all of the canons, hand canons, mangonels and liquid fire the empire could muster had not been enough to overcome them.

The Tripartine walls had fallen after many sorties, and much of the city with it. It had been Sjur's job to defend the Porphyric Palace, the last refuge of Senators, dignitaries, their families and many others of import. The common people had sought succor in the Temple of Sacral Wisdom further up the hill. Sjur's commander, the akolouthos, was lying somewhere in the pile of the dead. As was his Elladhian second.

"Here. Wine." Herakleo was standing over Sjur, holding down a wineskin to him. The stout man was only half Reman, his mother's family had lived in the Skonegian quarter of the City for centuries. He had served as a translator between the Vaerengi and the people of the City, and the two men had quickly bonded over shared interests in dice, drink, and sex. As well as an appreciation for history and philosophy.

Sjur did not quaff the wine, instead taking his time savoring the deep red that he suspected had been stolen from the Imperator's private stores. When he was finished he passed it back to Herakleo who took his own time drinking it.

"What is burning?" Sjur asked, nodding in the direction of the smoke to the north-east. Herakleo considered it for a moment, swatting at the corpse flies that were beginning to gather to drink at the blood of dead.

"The fleets I think. The smoke is light, likely liquid flame. Have you heard the Imperator is dead?" Herakleo added the last comment with indifference, he had lived through the deaths of three Imperators before, and after two months of siege, cannon fire and death, there was little energy left to be conjured up for a dead emperor. Sjur could find none at all, cradling the arquebas that rested in his lap. It was a good weapon, crafted by master craftsmen within the City. It had his bearded axe ,currently deposited in the skull of a Janissary, were two of his most prized possessions in the world.

"If the Imperator and Larbo are dead, then the Grand Duke commands the city, no?" Sjur asked of his friend as he stood with a sigh and began searching the corpses for the one that was holding his ax. Larbo had been the general of the condottieri in the city, and had been in command of the defense of the Tripartine Walls along with the Imperator. He had taken a grievous wound and had been removed into the city. Sjur did not know he was dead, but he assumed it.

"Ordinarily yes, but if that smoke is coming from the fleet, then he might already be dead." Herakleon answered, waving a hand behind him. There were a little more than three hundred remaining Vaerengi at the forefront of the palace, and another three hundred had been assigned to the other walls, before the assault. Where the other two thousand were, Sjur did not know.

"Then who commands the city?" Sjur asked, his axe retrieved and cleaned of brains, he began to make his way through the bodies towards the walls of the palace and the gate, to see what could be seen from there.

"Who knows. The Grand Domestic? The Curate up at the Temple? The Praedos (President)  of the Senate, maybe. But..." Herakleo paused as the two of them reached the steps leading to the top of the wall.

"But?" Sjur asked, continuing up the rickety wooden steps.

"His family is in the palace, and we hold the palace." Sjur turned to his cunning friend, at first looking with surprise, but surprise became something closer to shock as the implications of the statement struck him. The Imperator was dead, as was his second-in-command, and perhaps his third. His heirs were far from the City, and the Vaerengi held the families of most of the powerful men who might still remain. And it seemed he held the Vaerengi.

The weight of that responsibility crashed onto his shoulders as he mounted the last few steps, and from the observation platform he saw the rest of the battlefield, the rest of the City. There were some fires, one or two manses of wealthy citizens, but he did not see the green or red of the invaders. They had fled from the City. Leaving the Palace with a garrison of a hundred Vaerengi, Sjur moved through the City, rallying pockets of defenders to put out fires and retake the shattered walls.

As he marched through the city, his helmet forgotten in the carnage, he heard more of the battle. Keeping a mental tally of the living and the dead. At the gap in the Tripartine Wall he gathered with his Vaerengi, others having joined them on the way. He had learned the truth from them of the death of the Imperator, as well as the Grand Duke and many of their advisors and kinsman. But the most shocking news of all came when he met with the Togamah emissary who was coming from their disorganized camp. He placed a letter in Sjur's hands, greeting him as a commander of the city, and told him that the Sultan was dead, and his Pasha's wished to meet at dawn to negotiate peace.

Somehow, someway, he had found himself the most powerful man in the Queen of All Cities.