"Ah, another one slated to the proverbial chopping block. Of course, it is nothing so quaint. No, you'll have your cross to bear, and you will carry it to Crucifixion Lane like so many before you. I know, it is harsh, but that is the price to pay here in Loran. Crime does not pay, not in the slightest. What, you're innocent? Some always are. But the judgement has already been cast, and salvation only awaits in an honest death. Better luck in the next life, as they say. Here is all of the paperwork. Nothing special, just need a name, description, and a confession of your crimes. Or alleged crimes, if you still wish to harp on about the your innocence. If you cannot write, that is fine. I'll fill in the blanks for you. You'll simply have to trust me on the details."
The Whispering Marsh is home to a great many wonders and horrors alike. In the west, the vampire lords of Lunala rule in their darkened realm with their sire, Lady Emilia, while the reclusive King Loran lies in the east, hiding behind droves of artificially created humans. Caught between is the Marsh, a vast and dense swamp that has still yet to be explored in its entirety by either side. For over two centuries, Loran and Lunala have battled in a never-ending struggle, but for the purpose, none can say. Land has never been taken nor lost, and neither take from the other. There is only death and destruction left in their paths.
You have, unfortunately, been caught in the middle of it. Whether what they say of your crimes is true or not is irrelevant. Perhaps you stole that horse, or maybe you were just caught up in the wrong crowd. What matters is that the homunculi caught you, and you are slated for crucifixion before sunrise tomorrow. Naught but a miracle will save you now.
Loran is a small kingdom on the western end of the Whispering Marsh, where the peninsula meets with the mainland. Only a small portion of the kingdom is swampland, with the majority of the north being gentle, rolling plains, while the south rises into stubby hills and sparse woodland. The country is split into four provinces, three of them larger than the fourth. The central one is small, in the center of the kingdom, controlled directly by King Loran, while the others are divided equally among the Princes, noble families chosen by the King to govern in his stead.
The Princes are overbearing rulers, though each distinct from one another. If not for King Loran, the nation would have erupted into civil war between the families ages ago. The Faye Province lies in the east, containing a bulk of the swamp. Here, the nobles rule with iron fists, fulfilling the wishes the King with a vigor and zeal that many find frightening. The laws are strict, and the punishment for most would leave a man traumatized for life if he were to survive.
Despite Loran's high standard of living, with a large urban population, advancements in medicine, and sewage systems in the city, tension runs high among the people. The judicial system of the nation keeps everyone on their toes, as the judges and justicars see only the black and white of the world. The long standing ban of certain magics deemed too dangerous for the common mage has lead to a great deal of executions over the centuries, and more magicians are studying in secret, performing dark rituals and rites for the sake of the knowledge itself. The homunculi, artificial lifeforms created by the King, skulk about, acting as the bulk of the military of Loran. Their presence is unsettling to the common man, especially if one were to see what lies under the masks and helms.
Old Loran is a powder keg, and it is fit to burst at any moment. One need only spark the match.
There are not many races found within the Whispering Marsh. It is a lonely peninsula, far from the bustling highways and cities of the ancient empire.
Humans are the primary people of Loran, and among the most numerous on the continent. They are almost completely average in ability, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Elves are found primarily in the west and north, but are abundant within the Whispering Marsh. While somewhat shorter and thinner than humans on average, they have greater vision and hearing than them, giving them a slight advantage.
Farron, or Catfolk, are natives to the Great Forest far in the west. While rare to see one this far from home, it is not unheard of. Similar in size and shape to the elves, the farron boast greater magical ability and potential than any other race.
Dwarves are short, stocky fellows from the Grey Mountains in the far north. Averaging around four feet in height, sometimes less, they are physically strong for their size, easily overtaking humans, and their bodies more easily filter toxins.
Beast-blooded are mortals tainted with the blood of the First Vampire Emilia, their ancestors consuming it and transforming into terrible beasts. Those who bear the beast-blood now bear the same affliction, having the ability to transform into terrible beasts, with their strength waning and waxing with the Red Moon. Their physical appearance is often diminished because of their affliction, but many bear it with a sense of pride to their relation.
Vampires were once mortals, but turned with the Embrace. They are filled with a thirst for the blood of mortals, though need little to survive for a few weeks. The death of a mortal is very rare, unless it is intentional. Armed with inhuman strength, speed, and senses, the vampire has every advantage over their mortal counterparts except a few. They are weak to sunlight, with extended exposure killing them outright, and cold iron is like poison to them. Of course, severing the head or removing the heart does as well to kill them, though most prefer to execute the vampire with fire to ensure death.
Magic is fueled by manna, found flowing within the air and within every living being, and some dead. If one uses too much manna from the air, they must draw upon their own reserves, and when that fails, their own lifeforce. The latter is dangerous, and has lead to the untimely deaths of many overly confident magicians.
Evocation is the school of magic that consists of what is commonly called "combat magic," encompassing basic elemental magics, general arcane spells such as bolts of raw magic and the like, as well as more powerful rituals of destruction. If one wishes to unmake the world, evocation is the school of choice.
Abjuration is the school of magic that exists opposite of evocation. Abjuration is defensive magic, consisting of barriers, healing magic, and the banishment of daemons. Few specialize in this school, taking is as a compliment to their primary, but a skilled abjurer is invaluable to any group.
Illusion is the school of magic that fools the senses. While not capable of directly inflicting damage, the ability to fool ones sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and even touch is an invaluable skill if one has no wish to fight directly. Illusionists often act as entertainers, but are known to act as spies and bards from time to time.
Enchanting is the school of magic that involves imbuing magical properties into inanimate objects. It often draws from other schools, ranging from simple effects that light a sword on fire or grant a shield extra defensive properties against magic, to creating hammers that can fell mountains with a single blow or staves that split the sea in two.
Necromancy is the school of magic that involves reanimation of cadavers or summoning the ghosts of the recently dead. While most creatures raised by necromancers are mindless undead, those that can bind the soul of the deceased to their body can create much more powerful intelligent undead. Powerful necromancers can command armies of the walking dead, but even the most can only leash a scant few intelligent undead for a time.
Druidism is the school of magic that involves manipulation of living creatures. While this primarily means plantlife, as it is the easiest to coax into doing one's bidding, it can include insects and even animals. Druids often live out in nature, becoming hermits to surround themselves with the nature that becomes their protector. While the animals and insects can be manipulated and communed with, one should temper their expectations if they wish to converse with them.
Below are magic specializations considered forbidden by Loran, and their practice is punishable by execution without express permission by one of the Princes or the King himself.
Blood Magic is the forbidden art of drawing power from blood. Manna flows through all living things, and primarily exists in the bloodstream. If one were to rip the blood from a victim, they could draw on both their body's manna and their lifeforce as they died. Because of the implications, it was forbidden long ago except by a few court wizards of the Princes.
Daemonology is the forbidden art of communing and summoning daemons. Each God has a host of angels and daemons, thought the difference is only superficial. Much more powerful and cunning than an undead, the daemonologist should only ever command one or two at a time, or else risk being overwhelmed by their servants. It was forbidden long ago, when the King outlawed worship of the gods and struck their religions from the public records.
Hexing is the forbidden art of cursing other mortals. Curses are tailored specifically to the individual, and it can be as innocent as a jinx that causes one to trip over their own two feet to a hex that enfeebles a man to be bedridden for the rest of his life. A hex is often tied directly to the soul, opening up an entirely new field of study, and thus was forbidden a scant century ago by the King.
Appearance can either be an image appearing at the top of your character sheet, or a link, or a description can be given below your race.
Favored Schools of Magic: (Choose two, maximum of one forbidden)
Crime(s): (Choose at least one, whether guilty or innocent)
Murder; Banditry; Grand Theft; Repeated Theft; Willful Obstruction of Justice; Dealing in Illicit Magical Goods; Practicing Forbidden Magic; Consorting with Lunala; Treason; Espionage; Proselytizing; Vampirism
Personality: A brief description of the kind of person you are.
History: What series of unfortunate events has lead you to be slated for execution?