Welcome to the Kingdom of Pharazon: most ancient and honorable of the Five Kingdoms of Geryon.
It has been over 300 years since the defeat of Daigon, the Dark Lord, a sorcerer of terrible power who, from the cursed lands of Nagath, launched an invasion of the Five Kingdoms of unprecedented scale and fury. Daigon and his legions of twisted soldier-fanatics were beaten back, barely, by the Kingdoms, under the leadership of King Odrossyan II of Pharazon and the Synod, a group of powerful wizards, who aided in combatting Daigon and his many fell lieutenants.
In the intervening centuries, the Five Kingdoms-- Pharazon, Phars, Caphad, Essur, and Glome-- have squabbled for dominance and have seen off invasions and raids from the desert peoples to the south and the ferocious Ashlanders to the north. Only once, however, have they faced a threat akin to Daigon: more than a century after the Dark Lord's defeat a rebellion broke out in the heartland of Pharazon, led by the Wretched Prince, a disinherited heir to the throne, who nearly toppled the kingdom by rallying a coalition of the dispossessed in the name of the Dark Lord.
The revolt was broken, along with Pharazon's preeminence among the Five Kingdoms. In the wake of the Wretched Prince's revolt, the Darkwatch, an inquisitorial order of battlemages was founded to root out followers of Daigon from Pharazon.
The fourteen members of the Synod, some old enough to have participated in the fight against Daigon, have retained a place of respect and influence in the five royal courts, almost always urging peace and cooperation between the Kingdoms and often mediating disputes.
In recent years, however, something has gone wrong.
Odrossyan VI reigns in Pharazon, a pampered youth controlled by his advisors and courtiers. Disputes have arisen within the Synod, with several members-including the the influential Athalus the Peacemaker-expelled from the Order for reasons that remain unclear. What is clear is that these dissident wizards are now hunted actively by the Darkwatch, which has become increasingly repressive. Several powerful nobles have disappeared. The Royal Scholam has been closed and many of its famed scholars are nowhere to be found. Taxes and conscription have begun to weigh heavily on the peasantry, though no war seems immanent. There are reports of barbarian migrations in the mountains.
The truth, known only to a fearful few, is more terrible than it seems.
Daigon has returned. What he failed to take by force he has succeeded in taking by guile. The Synod is overthrown. Its presiding wizard, Salazar, is a puppet of the dark lord, and has perverted many of the other mages to his cause.
Daigon and his minions now rule Pharazon in all but name, and their influence extends to the other royal courts of Geryon.
Welcome to the Shadowed Throne. My hope here is that we can collaboratively tell a story and world-build in a scenario where a Dark Lord has won power not by might but by guile.
Writers are invited to submit up to two character applications. I dont require a specific format, but invite you to write a brief scene that gives a sense of your characters' personality, looks, and motivation. You can use a traditional character sheet format if you like, but please do include a brief IC scene- it can serve as your first IC post if you wish.
Collaborative worldbuilding will also be a major part of this RP. The details given above are meant to be fleshed out by the players both in the course of the IC and OOCly. Some details to get us started are included under the hider below, but these are meant to be explored and deepened not just by me but by all the writers in the RP. In fact, if there is some aspect of the world you'd like to flesh out with an OOC description, you can submit that here and I'll include in in the OP.
The Five Kingdoms
The Five Kingdoms are bound together formally by what is known as the Tattered Treaty, so-named because it was signed during the Nagathi War by monarchs of four of the five kingdoms on a tattered bit of parchment deep in the wilds of the Dreadwood, following the defeat of their combined armies at the hands of Daigon's forces on the shores of Lake Doldrums. The monarchs pledged eternal cooperation and vigilance against the forces of darkness should they succeed in their war against Daigon. The King of Essur, not present at the battle, became a signatory later in the war.
Nominally, the terms of the treaty are held to today, committing the Five Kingdoms to cooperate militarily against external threats and never to raise arms against each other. In practice, the Five Kingdoms have warred regularly, with shifting alliances always ensuring that no one kingdom ever became over-mighty... resulting a de facto stalemate of several centuries.
Pharazon: A feudal monarchy occupying a series of fertile valleys between the peaks of the Broken Crown Mountains. Traditionally, Pharazon was the most powerful of the Five Kingdoms and played the greatest role in the defeat of Daigon, though it retains a mere shadow now of its old primacy. Pharazon's capital is Azon, a great city of shining white stone in the wide, fertile, highly defensible Odrossyan Vale.
Factions of Note
The Darkwatch: An inquisitorial order founded in the wake of the Wretched Prince's revolt in order to root our Daigon's lingering influence from Pharazon, as well as to root out forbidden magic and unnatural threats to the Kingdom. Led by Lictors, highly trained and usually magically-capable spellswords, the Darkwatch commands an elite detachment of troops, known as Ordinators, to carry out its mission. Additionally, Lictors possess the authority to command royal troops, city guardsmen, and even the lesser nobility in times of crisis.
While the Darkwatch nominally answers to the Crown of Pharazon, it has traditionally been led by a member of the Synod appointed by the King, who also sits on the Privy Council. The post of Archlictor is coveted by the more politically ambitious members of the Synod, since it commands immense power and influence within Pharazon. Currently, the Darkwatch is led by Qux the Many Eyed, one of the youngest members of the Synod and a loyalist of Salazar.