This first post includes 4 major parts:A. Short summary of the setting - please read this and IF interested, please also read (or at least can through the parts interesting for you in Part D.)B. Overview of open roles and PCsC. Character sheetD. Long summary of the world (please read this if truly interested in the story)
A. Short summary of the setting
In the world of Aliciaan, two opposing families struggle for power: The Harts of the West, leader of the Chosen Kingdom, and the Benetts of the East, Ruler of the Last Empire. Both families find their strength in their ability to use magic, which seperates them from the Commoners, who lack this talent. The ability to use magic is a blessing and a curse. A blessing, since it makes them powerful and respected; a curse, because every magic has an end to it, and for renewing your powers, there is only one way - kill a Commoner, and in the moment of his death, take the unused magic energy in his body for yourself.
No family has won the upper hand over decades of the ever turning wheel of war and peace. Yet, as the Keeper of the Truth summons the families to the forbidden Island Kyros, to enter the Tower of Truth once again, the world's fate is changing: The Donstans, creatures living in the caves in the Mountains, have left "the world without a sky" to claim back the world, and on their way, they are eager to destroy anything built up by humans under the reign of the Harts or the Benetts.
The families might unite to fight this enemy, or they might use the opportunity to attack the opposing familiy at its weakest moment. Either way, they might not foresee that some Commoners are eager to end the ruling of magic in this world. This is the last Great War of Aliciaan, and it can only be decided by the magic within. Within our bodies as Harts or Benetts, or within our hearts as Commoners with courage.
- Hart family (users of magic)
- Benett family (users of magic)
- Donstans (see the summary of sinoraa on the first page of this thread)
- Commoners, esp. The Unwanted (children of Benetts with Commoners) and the Sage (a political leader of the West); also possible: Soldier, Hunters, Commoners (m/f) seduced by Benetts, Merchants, or anything you can think of coming from a scenario like the Middle Ages.
B. Open roles/taken rolesHart Family:
King or Queen (open)
Prince William Hart (taken by CrazyIvan)
Princess (reserved for Wistful Dreams)
More Members of the families are open - the Hart Family consists of a larger branch (read D.).
Interested: AethianBenett Family:
Prince, Princess, and any other member of the Family you want to create - open
>Female characters might consider a possible link to the character Carrace by TackyHillbilly as his mother.Donstans:
The Golden God - sinoraa
Nobles - open
Warriors, helpers (see sinoraas description) - openThe Unwanted:
Carrace (character by TackyHillbilly)
More Unwanted - openThe Sage:
Merchants, Hunters, Soldiers, Ladies "of negotiable affection", Victims for the Benetts (or Harts) - all open
C. Character sheet
Character sheet:Name: Faction:
- Hart Family
- Benett Family
- Commoner: e.g. Member of "The Unwanted", Sage of the West - or any other male or female character who might fit into the setting.
- Donstans - with all the freedom these roles bring.Age:
Remember: The Hart family members usually age like any other normal person, while the Benett family members (who are, by intrigues and murder, smaller in numbers) live longer by the help of magic.
It is not known how old Donstans can become.Appearance:
Picture or description. Harts, Benetts and Commoners are humans. Donstans look humanoid (see text up there).Character history/traits:
A short summary of your characters life and/or his/her personal character traits. Members of the Hart family or the Benett family can - not must - also describe in which kind of magic their character specialised in and how he/she behaves towards Commoners. Also, relatives, marriages, children etc. can already be named - I'd thankfully add it to the overall summary of the world.
This text is all free - you can already give us a hint at your characters motivations, or keep them a secret for now.
D. Long overview of the world of AliciaanTraveler!
Welcome to Aliciaan, and may your path be blessed by Baldur, the God of the Innocent! I am the Keeper of the Truth, and the Truth, I shall tell you.
Oh, the truth is: This is a world in danger. They might not know it, but it is. I saw it in the water. I hear it in the rain. I smell it in the forests. The world is about to change, and they won’t like it.
Well, maybe some will like it. But not the Harts, and neither the Benetts. They rule this world. They rule the Commoners.
Who are the Commoners? Oh, you are a Commoner, I fear. You can’t use magic. You have it in you, traveler, it’s flowing through you. But you can’t feel it, can you? No, you can’t. You can’t use it. But...they can use you.
The Harts. The Benetts. They feel magic. They use magic. It runs through them. They create through it. They kill through it.
They might kill you with it. Oh, don’t worry. Not too much. It’s true: They have to take the magic from commoners in order to supply their own magic, for every time you use magic, you lose a bit of your energy. And new energy...well...this can only come from Commoners. Like you. When you die, they touch you. And then, they take your magic from you, and seldom, they thank you for it. I apologize for telling you so.
However, don’t worry. At least not when you’re living in the Chosen Kingdom. The Hart family has learnt to live with commoners. Yes, the King is a Hart. Yes, the family holds a lot of power. But they don’t use it against Commoners like you.
They rule the country in good spirits. There’s a high culture, oh, there’s even some science. And maybe...maybe when you know you’re about to die, you’ll go to one of the Hart’s family members, and sacrifice yourself for their magic. It’s good to do so. They might even thank you.
Oh, but if you’re living in the Last Empire, well...I fear the Benetts rather consider you a walking magic supply. It’s not that they are bad. A hawk isn’t bad when it kills a mouse, is it? It’s just the things were meant to be, don’t you agree? They might take away your magic, and kill you on the way. But it’s not meant in a bad way. I think. They rule the Last Empire with an Iron fist, and they smell the weakness of the West. They want to overthrow it. They want to...try again.
50 years of peace since the last big war. Since the last thousands of men and women have died in the name of the Harts or the name of the Benetts. 50 years since the last Hart or Benett family member died by magic. Oh, they die by nature, eventually. The Harts usually sooner than the Benetts, for the Benetts prolong their life by magic. But it’s soon time for another war, one way, or the other.
It’s fifty years now after they came last to the Tower of Truth. Fifty years since I last summoned them to visit me, on the Isle of Kyros, the forbidden island. Only I live here - the Keeper of the Truth, and if I summon them, they must come.
And they will come, this time, and I will summon them. For it is time...because the Danstons return to the surface of the world. You might not get killed by the Harts. You might eventually get killed by the Benetts. But certainly, very certainly, you will get killed by the Danstons.
May your path in Aliciaan be blessed, traveler. If only for a short while, I fear.
In the ancient days, the men overthrew the Golden God, a half-god who ruled the whole world in cruel ways. The men were helped by the god Baldur, who appeared for the last time in a human shape back then.
As the Golden God was overthrown, the god Baldur named two fighters: Henric the Brave, called „The Heart of Men“. And Dias the Dark of the Stone Shore, called „Benat“, an ancient word for a man blessed by the gods. With the passing of the Golden God, Baldur granted the power to use magic to Henric and Dias, and every heir they’d ever have.
The god had hoped for the men to have wise and honorable children. However, soon after the two men died, their heirs fought against each other, killing thousands and thousands of men either as soldiers or by drawing magic from their bodies. A terrible war nearly destroyed the renewed world of Men, and Baldur commanded the war to end.
By Baldurs command, the heirs of Henric and Dias built up the Tower of Truth on the forbidden Island of Kyros, and a man was installed there as the Keeper of the Truth. He was given an immortal life by the god, and only on his permission, the heirs were allowed to fight each other. It’s the „War right“; which is given by the Keeper of Truth when he feels its necessary.
Otherwise, the families are not to fight each other; they certainly did it nonetheless, in secret, killing each other; and when too many secret things happend, the War right was declared by the Keeper of Truth until some winner would emerge.
He however made sure that no party would ever win absolutely. Both sides of the heirs had their values. While the heirs of Henric were of a noble and cultivated mind, they also showed weakness and hesitance in times of action; therefor, people loved them with great respect and were eager to fight for them.
The heirs of Dias on the other hand were strong and fierce, yet cruel to the Common people, killing them off for their magic.
Over the centuries and in many wars, the two families emerged. The heirs of Henric are the family Hart, while the heirs of Dias are the Benetts. Their basic attitude hasn’t changed. While the Harts rule the country, but share power with regional Lords and give a lot of freedom to the people, the Benetts are still cruel and fiercely rulers.
The Hart family votes for a ruler when the last king died, and even the women can be voted for. For the Benetts, the oldest male member of the family is automatically named The Emperor. It lead to a lot of killing within the family as well, and this also weakened the Benetts - luckily for the Harts, who might had been overthrown otherwise centuries ago.
The Chosen Kingdom reminds us of England in the 16th centre, on the edge of a high culture, with authors and poets. The people are cultivated, and the Harts are regarded with high respect.
The Benetts still rule the Empire fiercefully. Though they have a strong army, they are not as advanced in war techniques as the people from the Chosen Kingdom, and the Commoners live by simpler rules than the people in the West.
The family members of the Benetts consider theirselves usually to be superior to anybody else, but watch each other with great care, fearing intrigues and murder. The Harts are (mostly?) loyal to each other, love each other and are caring. The Benetts form small groups in the families, and change loyalty quickly if necessary.II. Marriage
The Harts and Benetts marry in the own family. It’s a rule the families set for themselves, because the children of a member of the family and a commoner would most likely not have magic powers, at least not very high ones.
The Hart family is very large in the meanwhile, and incest hasn’t weakened the branches. There’s actually a chance to even find love in the marriage, yet, you will not marry outside of your family, never.
The Benetts weaken theirselves through murder and intrigues, so it’s common for brother and sister to marry - mostly, because there aren’t much choices. Rarely, strange children emerge from the incest: Very strong in magic, but maniacs at mind, cruel and willing to die young for glory.
The Benetts have a lot of love affairs with commoners though, using them at their pleasure - it’s rumoured they’d also use magic on them to seduce them. The children born through these affairs usually get trained in one of the soldier elite schools, and get high ranks in the army. They are called „The Unwanted“; as this was a curse in former ages, it is not worn by them as a sign of nobility, and there’s even a loose organisation forming among them. III. Magic
They key to understanding both the Hart family and the Benetts is magic.
As told already, magic was given to them as a gift by the god Baldur. While magic is in any human, it is only possible for the Harts and the Benetts to use it at their will. The magic has no boundaries in itself - the boundaries are set by the energy.
While a Hart or Benett family member is born with high energy in his body, magic energy can’t be renewed if used just by time. Every time you use magic, you lose some energy. There’s just one way to get it back: By taking the energy from someone else.
If a Hart family member or a Benett family member kills a member of the opposing family, he or she wil automatically get all the energy from the other - making it a high motivation at times to kill members of the opposing family.
If they kill a commoner, they can get his unused magic energy - they just have to put their hand on the forehead of the dying man or woman, and draw it out of them at the very last moment. Commoners might bear a high ratio of magic energy, when they have done great deeds - evil or good, since then they had been blessed by Baldur. Killing someone important, or even killing a hero might give you a whole lot more energy than killing just a loving mother or a common peasant (though you still get energy from those as well, and in times of need, a Benett wouldn’t hesitate).
The Benetts usually settle nowadays to kill criminals for power, doing a certain good to the community as well by doing so. However, if needed or in the mood, some of the family would kill innocents as well.
The Harts take gifts from old people or dying younger ones, who sacrifice theirselves for the beloved family. They don’t want to kill - but, alas, sometimes life makes you do harsh things, doesn’t it?
What can be created by magic? There’s no limit - whole building can be created, but no Hart of Benett is able to do so, since he lacks the power. Mostly, they can create small things, or use magic as a weapon. The younger ones are trained in the art of magic, since it takes a very shard and focused mind to use it - otherwise, if you don’t focus or if you are untrained, you might just end up setting yourself on fire instead of your foe. It’s a question of will, not a question of word. This is why they all usually fight with swords or bow as well, sometimes combining them with magic.
It is rumoured that you can’t change your own appearance through magic, but this is only a rumour. Neither the Harts or the Benetts had tried so far.IV. Religion
Baldur is the one god all believe in, but each family claims that originally, only their ancestor had been chosen by the god, with the other ancestor stealing magic. Over the centuries, religion has become of lesser importance to people, and it had mixed up with a people’s cult about the families. The Emperor of the Last Empire claims for himself to be a god, and quite a few people believe it. The Harts still pray to Baldur and ask their people to do the same, but rather modern authors and thoughts weaken the old faith.V. The Commoners
In each of the Empires/Kingdoms, about the same amount of people are living. Even though The Last Empire has more soldiers and is much larger, it wasn’t ever able to overthrow the Chosen Kingdom. People in the East are more hesitant to have kids in fear of them being used as supply for the Benetts, however, they need them too to work on farms, in mines or in cities, so there’s still a population growth.
People in the west feel safer, and used to have many kids. By focusing more on culture and science, the growth of the population has slowed down lately.
The Commoners are all kinds of people: Peasants, Merchants, soldiers, hunters - anything you can think of living in the Middle Age in our world.
However, there are two special kinds of Commoners:
The „Sages“ are chosen by the Hart family, and there is always at least one in the Chosen Kingdom. His task is simple: He travels over the Kingdom, and learns from the people, letting the Harts know what the Commoners think. The Harts lately underestimated the position: People take great trust in that position, for the sage is the direct approach to the Hart family, and the sage gained more and more supporters. If he’s a supporter of the Hart family, all is good - but if he changes his mind, he can become a dangerous man....
As already told, the Benetts have quite a few children outside of the family tree - the „Unwanted“, who are trained in military schools and usually become officers in the army. They have a love and hate relationship towards the Benetts - they hate them for the Benetts not accepting them, they love them because the Benetts are all they want to be. However, the Unwanted start to form alliances - and by this, they might eventually become a thread to the Benetts as well.Asking me about the Unwanted, traveler? I thank thee – for not many ask about them.
I can’t say when they first were noted as a group as such, though I am sure the word itself was used for their kind for many, many decades. While the Harts only married within the family branch, the Benetts had love affairs with men and women all over the Empire. And, Baldur bless them, children were born from these affairs. In the old days, the very old days, they were murdered even before they cried for the first time. But times have changed, fortunately...well, perhaps fortunately, as cruel as this sounds. The children of these affairs are now called “The Unwanted”, and are treated with a strange mixture of hate, respect and love by the Commoners.
This is the deed of Karanos the Unwanted, in the War of Fire and Ice, one of the great wars between the families. The Harts and the Benetts were fighting each other with great hate in this war, which had been given the name by the death of Tallie Hart and Robert Benett. Tallie Hart was a young princess, around 20 summers young, with long red hair which seemed to glow like fire at night, while Robert was the Emperors younger brother, around 46 back then, and I remember him as a stubborn yet loyal man. Both of them lead their armies to fight at the Shadow fields in the Last Empire’s West; at that time, the Harts had the upper hand. Tallie destroyed a whole great amount of the army being lead Robert by burning men and cattle alive, while he himself murdered many of her men by freezing their hearts in the battle. When they had run nearly out of magic, the two found the other on the battlefield, and killed each other with the opposing magic in nearly the same second – thus, the War named the War of Fire and Ice.
After the Battle of the Shadow Fields, the Benetts, having in secret recruited and trained many men, soon won the upper hand. The other Harts back then were rather weak in their magic except for the younger brother of Tallie, but he - who once would be known as “The Hawk” - was only five years old back then. A final victory was to expected for the Benetts, ending the wars for all eternity.
But you reckoned it already – it did not happen. With Robert’s death on the battlefield, the youngest of the three brothers, Aldric, took the chance and murdered the Emperor, crowning himself the Emperor of the Last Empire, even though there were two other older family members. Those had to turn their men against him, and the Last Empire struggled under a war on the inside for nearly a year, while the Harts regained stability and power, and eventually brought the War far into the Last Empire.
At this time, a man named Karanos united the people of the East. He was an unwanted son of Robert and some peasant’s daughter, around 26 years old, tall, strong, and a öeader at heart. When the Benetts fought against each other, he united those men who were willing to struggle against the Harts under his banner, and in many fights saved the borders of the Last Empire. When Aldric eventually had killed the other older family members and was the true Emperor, he named Karanos general of the troops. Karanos only died two years later; of a disease, the Commoners think, though in secret Aldric had killed him, fearing his power.
This was many centuries ago, and since then, the Unwanted had slowly been seen with different eyes. There’s still hate against them in the East, yet there is some respect too. They seem blessed, for most of them become strong fighters, hunters, or assassins; regardless of their gender, they are taken from their mothers at the age of six, to be then trained in military schools. At about 14, they are given a tattoo to wear on their face – on the right cheek, if their father was a Benett, on their left side, if their mother was one. The Unwanted with tattoos on the right side outnumber the ones wearing one on the left cheek by far. Usually, the tattoos show an animal the Unwanted would associate their characters with; in rare cases, they show a different symbol. Only the Unwanted are allowed to wear tattoos on their face in the Last Empire, making it easy to spot them – for Commoners, but, alas, for the Benetts as well. There’s no hiding from the Benetts if you lost their...interest.
The Unwanted usually make high military ranks and are very loyal to the Benetts, regardless of the fact they are treated often with great disrespect or disapproval by them. Only some Benetts would understand their worth, and make sure the newborn children are closely watched until they are ready for the training. Strangely, none of the Unwanted usually get very old or has a family on his own – they die in battle, or of diseases, and the Emperor himself would call it a great tragedy. Oh, isn’t it one? One of them might eventually become a new Karanos, and wouldn’t this be nice?
Their characters, you ask, traveler? Well, think of being labeled Unwanted by birth...don’t you think you have to struggle all your life for some...acceptance? Or for finding a reason why you’re there? They don’t make friends easily, they keep emotions on the inside, until they fully love or hate. But, there’s rumors that they form alliances lately, that they whisper to each other in the shadows. It’s the truth – for if you are pushed aside at birth, somedayVI. The Keeper of Truth
An old man with no other name but Keeper of Truth, living in the Tower of Truth on the forbidden isle of Kyros. He has the direct link to Baradur, and he is able to summon the Harts and the Benetts by magic to the tower. When summoned, a door will appear at a certain time close to a member of the family, and by stepping through it, he or she will end up in the great Hall of the Tower of Truth. Magic can’t be used there - there, both families are Commoners, and they are not allowed to fight each other there. Here, the great matters of the world are discussed. Since the end of the last war, 50 years ago, the Keeper of Truth had not summoned them anymore - but yet, at the beginning of the story, he whispers in their minds that the time for the summoning is about to come.VII. The Donstans
The Donstans are the most mysterious people in the world - or, are they people at all? I can’t say, for here you’ll have to help me and tell me about them, if you may.
This is known: When Baldur passed magic to two men, some men and women protested against his wishes. They were not willing to obey some other men, for they called theirselves free. They were banned to live in the Everlasting Mountains in the centre of the world, deep in caves, to be forgotten by the world. Soon, they would be called the Donstans, the People from the Mountains. It is rumoured in both the Chosen Kingdom and the Last Empire that they show up rarely at the edge of the mountains, to kill travelers or hunt for people. It is rumoured that their skin is grey and that their eyes shine at night, but these are just rumours. Nothing is known about their culture, their numbers or their strength - for now, because soon, they will rise from the darkness, and hunt both the Harts and the Benetts, in order to kill all of them who use magic.
--> please read the summary of sinoraa at page 1 of this thread
VIII. Cities, and villages
All up to you to name them - just two infos:
The Golden Palace is the Palace of the Last Empire, for the Benetts claim it was once the Palace of the Golden God and shows that the Emperor is as godly as he was. It’s a myth, but since the building is large and shines bright at night, people tend to believe it.
The Harts live in the Glas Palace - a palace with magic glass walls. You can see through them from the inside (if you are a member of the Hart family), but not from the outside. From the outside, the glass seems as thick as stone, and neither ice or stone can harm it. IX. Characters and motivations
Simply, I don’t want to set any boundaries - I gave you a basic plot idea, but what you do with it, is all up to you.
I’d like to write the Keeper of Truth, rather as a narrator in between and a teller of stories of the world. He’d be more a spectator, commenting on what he sees your characters doing, and telling background information to the world. He’ll not interfer with your character and his motivations though, unless we talked about it before and you want him to lead your character in a certain way. Like me, he’s otherwise just interested in what you do, and except for the beginning, when he summons the families and will declare War right, he’ll keep himself out of the main plot.What characters can you play, and what will they do? Hell, it’s up to you.
Here are three basic plot ideas:
1) The Danstons attack - it will happen, but it can just be an event that sets things in motion. It will lead to the summoning at the Tower of Truth, and to the declaration of the War Rights.
2) Romeo and Juliet story. Classic, I guess - at the summoning, a Hart family member and a member of the Benett family could fall for each other. I sense trouble ahead!
3) Commoners: Commoners could have their own intentions on the way. Maybe „The Unwanted“ plot against the Benetts? Or the sage against the Harts? Who knows...
And don’t think in evil and good terms. I don’t think the Benetts are evil - they are just what they are, right? They take what they need, and they rule the country, yeah, but...hell, it’s who they are. They can actually be some totally kick-ass-bastards who have a lot of fun.X. Clothing
The West has left behind leather armour and slowly sets for more comfortable clothes - think of clothes at the end of the European Middle Age.
Noble Men could wear something like this:
Women might go for something like this
For formal events, the women of the Hart family are often seen in red dresses, in order to honor Tallie Hart, a heroine of the family with red hair:
The East slowly adapts to this kind of clothing, but still is a bit more barbaric in its way. Think of this
and for wars this
Clothes worn by the Hart or the Benett family may be based on the Commoners outfits, but may vary due to the social position and be much defined by the own style.XI. Language
Under the rule of the Golden God, the ancient people spoke a language called “Plad”. It’s key features are short words, except for anything referring to gods. Benetts and Harts are taught to talk in Plad as children, but they hardly ever make use of it. Spread all over the world are some scrolls and books written in Plad, and it can still be found here and there in cave paintings. Commoners usually don’t speak it though.
The common language nowadays is Baldurian, named after the god. It’s spoken all over Aliciaan; it’s not known if the Donstans use it though.
Though the words are shared, people of different locations may vary it, especially for greetings and goodbyes.
People in the West tend to use terms like “Sir, Lady, Lord, Your Grace, Your Majesty”, when speaking to members of the family Hart or to someone considered to be higher in the social ranking. Especially craftsmen and apprentices are used to say “Sir,” though often it is changed to “Siah” or “Malady” without meaning an insult. There’s various accents all over the world to the language which can show in the way your characters speak.
In the East, people tend to use more inappropriate language in public without being ashamed about it. E.g. “fuck” is a term no one would use in the West, but which can be found in the East. It is said that in some tavers in Hagenah, a harbor town in the Last Empire, your ears would explode after an hour of listening to people speak, but this is only a rumor. Most likely. Well, I wouldn’t go there really.
Because the Benetts keep a certain cult about them, it is wise to use the term “Oh” in front of a title when speaking to them, e.g. “Oh Emperor”, “oh Prince” etc. Only when allowed, you can let go of it.
Alright. This is all a basic idea, and I am more than willing to change anything to your ideas. Does this all lead to a big and final war? Will the families survive? Both? One? Or is it the downfall of both families? I guess only your characters can let us know, folks.May your paths be blessed in Aliciaan, traveler!