Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by gorgenmast
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Empire of the Dead







There are a great number of tales of undead hosts terrorizing the living. Literature is replete with these stories of necromancers and armies of zombies laying waste to civilization, carrying out horrifying atrocities against all living things. Inevitably, however, the forces of righteousness ultimately emerge victorious against the forces of death itself. But in this story, the valiant efforts of the living defenders ultimately prove futile.

This instead is the tale of Death triumphant.

Several decades have passed since the warlock Eagoth first raised his army of cadavers and waged war against the realms of Leria. Eagoth's undead legions took the continent by storm; his armies multiplying after every single battle. His undead warriors were unburdened by fear, hunger, or weariness and were motivated only by mindless subordination to the necromancer lord. For all their valor, the mortal armies of Leria were hopeless against the endless undead legions. A year after the start Eagoth's conquest, the numerous and mighty kings and lords of Leria were reduced to a handful of isolated holdouts trapped within the walls of their own castles, besieged by swarms of howling ghouls. Two years later Eagoth's conquest was absolute; every single Lerian - down to the last man, woman, and child - was a walking corpse. Leria had become an empire of the dead.

While Eagoth had proven himself a capable warlord, he found managing his vast undead dominion intolerably tedious. Eagoth granted to his most capable ghouls the capacity for free thought and introspection, that they could use their ability to think for themselves to take on the tasks of governing the various wards of Leria in the lich's stead. These Revenants Major served as governors and generals, ruling large portions of Leria in Eagoth's stead. The Revenants Major in turn appointed the cleverer ghouls as Revenants Minor, who served as deputies, leftenants, and taskmasters over the slavering, mindless ghouls. And it was the lot of the vast multitudes of mindless ghouls to toil unquestioningly to advance Eagoth's continuing war effort against the mortal kingdoms beyond Leria, who had now united in common defense against Eagoth's undead legions.

The combined armies and fleets of the living have managed to contain the undead to Leria's shores. Numerous invasion fleets have been sent out across the White Straits to establish an undead foothold on the lands of the living, but none have succeeded due to enduring naval superiority of mortal men. And though the living control the seas, they dare not attempt to field any foray onto Leria's shores lest their armies fall against the undead hordes and join their ranks in death. The resulting stalemate between the undead of Leria and the mortal men beyond has held for over twenty years now.

Over the course of such time, the undead dominion has had time to stabilize. A society of undeath, with its own strange polities and economies, has emerged. Eagoth, bored by the governance of his undead empire, delegates nearly all control to the Revenants Major. Not even death can prevent rivalry and intrigue. Infighting is strictly forbidden by the necromancer lord, but is not unheard of. Even open rebellion has a precedent, though the last uprising was stamped out ruthlessly many years ago and has not been attempted since.

Though the undead realm of Leria has ossified to a degree, this is a period of change and potential. The Revenants Major that carry out nearly all of the governance of Leria are beginning to realize the extent of Eagoth's apathy and have started to test the limits of their own authority. The undead legions are not the hivemind once previously thought and the monolithic undead realm begins to show signs of fracture.

In this story, you are a wight in any stratus of Eagoth's dominion. You may be a Revenant Major governing one of the wards of Leria or a legion of walking dead, perhaps you are a mere ghoul recently exhumed by the gravediggers with no power nor recollection of who you were in life. Or perhaps you find yourself somewhere in the middle.

That choice is yours to make, as is the path you lead in undeath.




Empire of the Dead is a freeform, literate roleplay with some optional nation roleplaying elements. As with most Advanced Roleplays, the goal here is not to "win" but to engage in collaborative storytelling and worldbuilding. Creativity is the number one priority here. I have therefore only sketched out the backstory and the setting so as to offer plenty of blank space for players to fill in. For the same reason, the plot of this roleplay is not on rails. I may have a general idea for an overarching plot that I might nudge the players along, but if something else develops naturally, I am perfectly fine with that. Players may focus on a single character, or play through the point of view of multiple characters in the Nation Roleplay fashion.

Regular RPG rules apply, but beyond that anything goes - within reason.

If it isn't clear already, the setting is generally medieval middle-fantasy (if such a term exists). Roughly halfway between Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings in terms of how present fantasy themes are. Magic is present but fairly uncommon (save for the dead walking around). Standard fantasy races (orcs, dwarves, giants) may be present, but are not the focus. The level of technology is roughly that of Europe circa 1300 AD sans gunpowder. Wizards and destruction magic exist, but are either few enough or weak enough that castles and wall fortifications are still relevant.




Application


Character sheets should be kept relatively brief and posted initially on the OOC thread. If I've given you the go ahead to proceed, please feel free to paste it onto the character tab and jump into the IC. You may add additional fields to the character sheet if you like, but remember that brevity is key for character sheets. Those who have posted their character sheets on the interest check may skip ahead and post directly to the character tab.

Name:
Rank: (Revenant major, minor, or ghoul?)
Description: (Missing a limb or eye? Well preserved, or a skeleton? Male, female, or is it even possible to tell anymore?)
Background: (Don’t feel obligated to spell out every last detail of your character’s background, as you can - and should - tease this out slowly over IC if possible. Just give us a quick rundown of who your character is, and who they were in life if they know. Most ghouls have little to no recollection of their former life.
Wards(If applicable): (For those characters that are higher-ranking wights. Briefly describe the region of Leria that they have charged with managing. Does it have a name? What is the industry here that supports Eagoth and his legions? Notable undead cities, ruins, etc?)



Snippets on the Undead, the Living, Leria, and the wider world




Hidden 5 mos ago Post by gorgenmast
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If anyone wants to go ahead and get started on their first IC posts, feel free to do so. I will be posting my character sheet and first IC post tonight or tomorrow.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lauder
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It’s going to be fun writing for Razzak!
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Cyclone
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I felt like Hrein was somewhat boring and edgy at the end of the day, so I pulled off the old switcheroo.

I think Faustus will be a much more interesting figure, and that he will have more opportunity for interaction with all the other various characters.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by gorgenmast
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I felt like Hrein was somewhat boring and edgy at the end of the day, so I pulled off the old switcheroo.

I think Faustus will be a much more interesting figure, and that he will have more opportunity for interaction with all the other various characters.


While I did not feel that Hrein was boring and had plenty of potential, I agree that Faustus is even better and has so much more potential than Hrein. Faustus will be a very important character as one of very few undead spies at Eagoth’s disposal - even if espionage is not Faustus’ true passion. Very excited to see where you take him. Gladly accepted!

On the road now, but I’m going to try to bang out my character sheet
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by The Incredible John
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Question @gorgenmast. Can the revenant majors give their minors the same level of autonomy as themselves? I plan on Urgun giving his circle as much free thought as he does if that's alright.

Oh and do you mind if I wrote a sheet for a revenant minor I'd play in the background? Just to mix up the Order of the Savior.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lauder
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I’m curious to this as well, though I’m more wondering how much free will a ghoul has.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Mardox
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I am intrigued.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Terminal
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@gorgenmast, here is an application for you. A little on the unusual side, I am entirely open to editing and reconstruction if necessary. Let me know what you think.

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by gorgenmast
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Question @gorgenmast. Can the revenant majors give their minors the same level of autonomy as themselves? I plan on Urgun giving his circle as much free thought as he does if that's alright.

Oh and do you mind if I wrote a sheet for a revenant minor I'd play in the background? Just to mix up the Order of the Savior.


Revenant minors are autonomous, yes. Even ghouls can have autonomy. I have no problem with that. As for a sheet on one of your Revenant minors, not necessary at all, but you are absolutely welcome to do so.

@Terminal I really dig Rixis. I appreciate how you have baked in some serious character flaws. Really intrigued by the concept of the Dead Sea. Seems like a potential superweapon/Achilles Heel for Eagoth that opens up some great plot directions. No need to change anything at all, full steam ahead!
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Terminal
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Application moved to characters tab.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lauder
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@Terminal

The profane locus is terrifying. Dead seas, however, would probably be very demoralizing to anything with the capacity to feel fear.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Terminal
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@Terminal

The profane locus is terrifying. Dead seas, however, would probably be very demoralizing to anything with the capacity to feel fear.


Which actually brings me to my first general question to everyone else right now:

All the Revenants Major probably have custom-made Dead Sea warforms made specifically for them to bind to. Do we have an takers on that front?
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Oraculum
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All the Revenants Major probably have custom-made Dead Sea warforms made specifically for them to bind to. Do we have an takers on that front?


Ghural would absolutely have one as an additional dumping ground for rotten charnel.

On another note, expect a post from me tomorrow.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Terminal
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<Snipped quote by Terminal>

Ghural would absolutely have one as an additional dumping ground for rotten charnel.

On another note, expect a post from me tomorrow.


The Dead Seas themselves cannot continuously reanimate charnel dumped into them unfortunately, so that would basically be the same as just dumping it on the ground. Something equivalent you could do though, would to be to dump the masses/bodies of ghouls who are too damaged to continue moving into the Dead Seas. Since they they are all bound, they will exert their binding on the Dead Sea and fuse to it. Do that with a whole bunch of ghouls at once and you can get a substantial return of your investment on both - but for purely lifeless scraps and the like, best use it for meatworkers or send it to Nergthron.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by gorgenmast
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Working through post #1 atm. Have not had a lot of time on my hands lately but I think I can get it out today or maybe tomorrow.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Cyclone
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@Oraculum

An excellent post! I just have to give some compliments to your writing too, friend.

While I'm here I'll give everyone an update on my own status too. I have a post well underway and Lauder's in there with Razzak making his first appearance too. I thought we were getting close to finished and just had some dialogue left to iron out, but it might be a bit longer yet because I think I'll be making some heavy revisions to bring my depiction of things more in line with your worldbuilding. I'll have to make the weather nastier, all the ghouls more inhuman, and everything just that much more unnatural and grotesque or it just won't fit in with the theme.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Oraculum
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An excellent post! I just have to give some compliments to your writing too, friend.

While I'm here I'll give everyone an update on my own status too. I have a post well underway and Lauder's in there with Razzak making his first appearance too. I thought we were getting close to finished and just had some dialogue left to iron out, but it might be a bit longer yet because I think I'll be making some heavy revisions to bring my depiction of things more in line with your worldbuilding. I'll have to make the weather nastier, all the ghouls more inhuman, and everything just that much more unnatural and grotesque or it just won't fit in with the theme.


Thankee!

Don't feel like you need to change too much on my account. After all, Comiriom is a dumping ground for the older and more decayed ghouls, so it would stand to reason that those in most other places would appear less grisly and more humanlike in contrast, being still less degenerated from their original forms. As for the weather, that could easily be explained by it being closer to Necron and the emanations of Eagoth's power.

Leria is a wide land, and I don't think it would be a problem if people added their own atmospheric touches to different corners of it.
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Polybius
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I really dig this setting and the characters that have already been submitted. While my writing skills are a bit rusty, I would love to give this a go.

A few questions that may or may not be necessary to answer:

1. How do you, and can you kill an undead?
2. What is the source of necrotic power in this world?
3. Are there any gods/religions of note?
4. What currency if any is circulated?

Thanks!



Happy to collaborate if my app is accepted. Also willing to adjust my character/wards etc. as needed.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Cyclone
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Due to the rapidly increasing length of the post that I'd been working on, I've decided to break it up into two parts. I'm about to post an introduction of sorts for Faustus; the part that I collabed with Lauder is being separated and can come later.

Though it's perhaps not my place to answer all of your questions there @Polybius, regarding number three it's probably worth mentioning that @The Incredible John has a religion of sorts among the undead that he detailed in his sheet over on the interest check thread.

Question number four is perhaps the most pertinent to me since Faustus is the character most closely associated with commerce and I'd imagine that I'll be doing most of the heavy lifting for that particular aspect of worldbuilding. You might get some idea as to the answer between reading Faustus' sheet and the post that I'm about to drop, but in short, I've been imagining that the undead empire mostly functions with a sort of barter system. Ghouls, aqua vitae, and various other less common commodities like weapons, armor, and tools are probably what get used in trade rather than precious metals or coinage, which I'm assuming would still be around yet have lost a lot of their inherent value after the fall of the living kingdoms. I think institutions like banking or the minting of new currency would presumably be nonexistent.

I think that the undead empire is definitely quite 'hiveminded' or 'collectivist' in nature. Maybe you could think of it as a crony-communist-command economy sort of system with at least some semblance of personal property, since Faustus 'owns' lots of stuff. Or at least he thinks that he owns that stuff in the traditional sense, even if in reality Eagoth/the undead as a whole own everything de jure, and therefore nobody really has personal possessions and Faustus and is just allowed to hold onto that stuff and peddle it by the blessing and goodwill of Eagoth.

If gorgenmast or somebody else who controls Eagoth wants to elaborate on how this actually is/how Eagoth views it in order to make the distinction that'd be fine by me, but I'm happy to just leave it somewhat vague and up in the air.
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