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"Let's go in the garden... "





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And so a new life would begin for our delvers, every morning that would come they would be met with rigorous training given by Virgil as he trained his members accordingly. From sword and magic techniques to intense rock climbing and swimming, Virgil would cover any topic that would ensure his team's survival.




In the scope of the month, tensions began to rise between the ten lords of Zion as news had been released of King Baldwin’s apparent sickness. With no successor inline the lords were in a panic and had to quickly prepare if the King were to pass. Alongside the news of the king’s sickness a great quiet veiled the abyss, an unusual silence formed and no sighting of demons had been spotted after the announcement of the delver’s training.

With the cooperation of the delvers and the city guard patrols became tighter, the shield that protected Zion thicker than usual, as if something was to come but to general knowledge, they were at peace. As training continued, however, Virgil was noticeably more worried and though training continued as normal there were faint moments of where his mind seemed to wander elsewhere.




In the culmination of the month that passed, the members of the cross would feel stronger, faster, and healthier. Along the way they would learn a skill or two and because of their association with the king and his grandeur quest to explore the abyss they would gain coins as compensation and a little extra due to certain reasons. On free days the members of the cross would be given time to explore the city, though sadly it had felt quieter than usual.




On the fifth day before the end of the group’s training session, Virgil gathered his teammates for a final speech before a collective break towards the descent.

“This month has been rigorous for all of us, time is getting tighter with every moment that passes and with the coming of the abyss I must ask you all this… are you sure you would delve into the abyss. Would you rather stay and watch the world burn or would you fight for humanity and burn in the process? Over the last week of these endless training sessions I have faltered, forgive me as for I should be the leader guiding us into a new hope for humanity but I see myself in fear of what is to come. But alas… “

A silence would overcome, Virgil before he’d abruptly grab his robes and hastily put it over him.

“Forgive my moment of weakness, It has been a long day. For now, the week is yours, make it as you please for training has ended. You have all done a considerable amount and I am sure you will all make great warriors out there. But for now make do with the days you have and rest, for when the final day comes we may never experience peace again. On the final day, I request that all of you meet me in the morning of the final day in front of the chapel within the church grounds, a special set of guards will lead you there. You will know if it is them. “




You spend the remaining days doing whatever it is that you please, while you make your final departures the other groups continue to do their daily training. You still get the same amount of scoffs from the sparrows within the dormitories and are often unrecognizable by the citizens but nevertheless, time continues to pass.




A day before your descent you awaken just like any other normal day. In the mornings the sparrows are off doing their training and return somewhere in the afternoon. The maiden of whom tends the bar on the first floor continues to do her job of dusting the floors and serving any delver who comes by.

What shall you do on the day before your descent?



@Dream Maker

Thank you for making the map! <3
The moment was intense, Virgil’s heartbeat rising as suddenly all this pressure of keeping secrecy and this team together. When Lords and the King had told him of his assignment he was completely baffled by the simple idea. Newly recruited and already he is thrown into the lion’s den to be one of the first to enter the abyss. It was almost like he and his crew were the fresh meat ready for the taking. Nonetheless, Virgil was valiant in proving himself to be completely functional as an upcoming Captain.

As he guided the group down the stone arches to the hideaway of the castle he could already tell by the simple presence of these recruits that they were in fact newcomers to Zion. Justice, naivety, and a hint of disappointment Virgil wasn’t too sure after all if he could even lead a team of his own. After explaining the situation and asking the recruits hand and acceptance he expected outrage, following combat. But instead, he got answers of hope, accepting silence, and of course questions. Virgil didn’t know how to answer them without revealing the ulterior motive, he himself didn’t know the reason but in his blind chase for acceptance he accepted with no hesitation.

” This secrecy is decided upon by The King himself. Due to the dangerous contents of the abyss, King Baldwin and the council of lords have decided that a scouting party should be in order to ready the waves of recruits. Ultimately this is an act of spy-work.

This is what Virgil had thought, this was the most likely answer to this whole set up but no one could know for sure what the higher-ups are thinking. With a great sigh, he looks to the set of rookies before him and takes a small moment to observe his soon to be subordinates.

Five women, four men including himself. A lady dressed in black replicating the look of plague doctors, another holding a lantern most likely a sorcerer, a warrior dressed in light armor baring what looks to be an elegant sword, another of whom seems to be small and nimble almost like a rogue, and a fairly tall lady wielding a large weapon of sorts represented by familiar colors. The men, on the hand, a priest of what he could only assume was a sorcerer, and two in heavy armor. They both looked equally jaded.

“Balanced. “ he repeated in his mind, and as the second of silence passed Virgil returned and beckoned the group to join him inside the training hall. He gestures them to come inside and opening the wooden door in front reveals a wooden boarded floor with tables, chairs, and two weapon racks against the wall of the entrance and then past the wooden floor borders the training floor of marble material. The hall itself is narrow, but long enough to host multiple one on one training sessions.

Virgil leads the group inside, stepping onto the marble flooring, lighting barely shining into the hall as candles light its sides and a single chandelier to brighten the center floor, “This is where you will be training for the next month in preparation for our descent into the abyss. Going through simple combat, strength, and endurance training we will go over all possible situations we can experience within the abyss. All we know is that the dark fog that covers its entrance can be negated by divine energy created through our spiritual energies. Specifically, throughout this training, you will all be trained to passively produce a bodily shield that will negate this fog that hopefully lets you survive. On another note when we aren’t training you will be roomed outside of the castle into a previously empty school where some of the recruits are kept. There you will all be fed, given clothes, weapons, and other necessities. Similar to a school setting you will wake in the mornings head to your training hall and the day is spent here. Otherwise, treat your new home with respect. “

Virgil walks in circles, his fingers rubbing his chin as he thinks of things he hasn’t gone over, “Ah… “ He sighs, “That is all. But. I stress we must keep our goal a secret. If you are asked you are here for a year just like any of the other recruits. Is that right? “ He looks to the group expectingly for gestures or verbal answers of approval.

“Right then... Before we leave I would like you all to wear this. “ Virgil’s hands shuffle through his white coat as he pulls out white cloth bands holding a small silver cross. “This is the symbol of our group, this is how the higher-ups will differentiate us between the ten others. Wear this whenever you are commanded to, otherwise keep on your persons. “ Virgil goes up to each of the recruits handing them the markings, “Alright. Follow me. “

Another lengthy walk, Virgil leads the group outside of the castle walls and down the right lane. Down this lane, the group notices another band of recruits with their marks tied to the left of their arm bearing the mark of the sparrow. The leader of this group is nowhere to be found but it is clear that they are going to the same place as the group. Virgil stays silent and after a few minutes of walking and evading the crowd, the group is halted in front of a quite large sandstone building holding three floors.

“This is your new home for the year. “ Virgil looks back at the group for a moment and then leads them inside through a pair of two large wooden doors. The first floor of the dormitories looked quite similar to that of a tavern, wooden floors with wooden tables and chairs, and a counter with a maid working at its side. “Very similar to your average tavern, but with no alcohol. “ Already the group could see recruits lounging about within the first floor bearing the symbol of a star, they eye the group down but Virgils leads his group upstairs.

“Surprisingly King Baldwin has put forth a large sum of gold coins into the preparation of this assembly, this building specifically of what used to be an old run-down school has been refurbished into what is sort of a barracks. “ The second floor of the dormitory was a narrow hallway of evenly spaced outdoors of what could only be individual rooms. Virgil leads the group to the end of the hallway and at its end was a glass window that looked down into an alleyway.

Virgil points to the doors to each side of the walls of which held the symbol of a silver cross. “Luckily since our assortment is quite small we have fairly two large rooms. “ From the left side of the hallway, Virgil opens the door revealing a quite spacious room with windows to its front and from the back wall where six bunk beds connected to each other with space under them for miscellaneous items and a singular assortment of chair tables. Virgil then led the group to the right side which was the same as the left. “So-- choose wisely, they’re both the same. I suggest not rooming with the women of your party as that can obviously lead to some problems and if it does we’ll simply move you. So choose wisely. Your next set of instructions won’t come until tomorrow so that'll give you time to settle down into your new home. I suggest not making friends with the other recruits as you won’t be seeing them for quite a while after this month. “

Virgil nods, looking to the outside window as it was only noon. Much time was left for his recruits to simply escape Zion but he had hope in them not to, “Alright. Stay safe, I must leave for a meeting. “ And with a bow, Virgil leaves the group to do their own and heads off.




You are left with the simple command of choosing who you’ll room with and then after is free roam until tomorrow morning.

Currently, outside Zion is bustling with citizens walking down the streets going about their daily routines. Though when night comes along no citizen is caught walking, as you look to the sky you see ripples of dimly lit white lights shielding the city of Zion across miles. You see guards of silver armor patrolling the streets and very few citizens heading home. You are told by a recruit or someone within the dormitories that is in good faith to stay out of the streets at night.

Do you choose to stay inside or explore the night of Zion?




Shoutout to @Hawthorne Who made cute lil' sprites for the group! ^^


The sun burns bright against you as you follow the right lane. Occasionally shades of trees and buildings cover your trek as you pass what seems like miles of ongoing street blocks but soon you find yourself in an open area. Up ahead is a great castle aiming towards the sky and to its sides are walls that seem to border the abyss behind it From your left and right are merging streets and to its middle is a circular stone plaza of where a crowd has gathered. In the outer circle you see bystanders watching the gathering and from the inner-circles are weapon-bearing adventurers being guided by soldiers to form a compact block.

You join the block of recruits and as you do a voice cuts through the noise of the crowd. A man in black robes with a symbolic cross, stitched to his front is seen in front of the block standing on a wooden stage surrounded by guards clad in iron hastily stationed on its corners.

“Welcome! “ His voice echoes through the crowd enveloping the chatter of the crowd. “You have come here one reason and one reason only… to descend. “ From the outer rim of the plaza a collective gasp from nearby citizens can be heard, “We call to you the three hundred of whom have answered the call to arms to aid in Zion’s first descent into the abyss! As King Baldwin has proclaimed he will provide a sanctuary, training, and protection to those who join the first wave! “

The announcer’s hands move to his side grabbing out a wooden scroll from the pockets of his robe. “Now then… “ He scans the crowd for a moment but then suddenly stops on you, you notice a glint of a glowing blue hue from his eyes before the announcer looks to the other side of the crowd. “I present to you, the ten esteemed sergeants of King Baldwin! “ The announcer turns, his hand out as he gestures towards the opening gates of the castle.

Anticipation can be felt within the crowd and as the gates rise it reveals an assortment of guards with a black ribbon tied to their gauntlets. With their ceremonial spears, they move forward and then split into two groups and move to the side revealing the esteemed generals…

“ Ariel! Chamuel! Gabriel! Azrael! Hamon! Michael! Uriel! Yefe! Zarak! Rachiel! “

The announcer calls out. Each sergeant wearing a unique set of armor and bears some sort of weapon that emanates spiritual energy. The sergeants stand a good length away to the front of the stage.

Questions and whispered conversations can be heard within the block of recruits before the announcer’s booming voice cuts through.

“I will call out your names! Don’t worry... I already know them. “ He chuckles, “I will call out your names and each name I answer a sergeant will raise their hand and after a name is called you will fall in line behind the sergeants! After everyone is called the sergeants will lead you to the training halls and there you will be sorted into pairs of two! “ The announcer nods and begins to call out names.

You stand there and every minute that passes the block moves and begins to get shorter and to what seems like hours of names passing by the announcer stops. Only a group of eight are left within the block, to your front are the ten sergeants, a few guards and behind them are thirty recruits behind each sergeant. Confused as to why your name hasn’t been called, the sergeants begin to make their move, the guards following in toe as they slowly enter through the castle gates.

You are left confused before the announcer smiles and sits on the edge of the stage “You… are that's left? Interesting… The eight… the eight… We now wait for one more. " The announcer turns his head and from the open gates, a man clothed in white robes walks up to the stage. “Virgil. “ The announcer says, standing as he begins to clap towards Virgil.

“Begone, Abaddon. I don’t need your humor. “ The announcer laughs slyly before making his move towards the entrance of the castle. Virgil, the man in white stands before you and the other eight that are left within the block. “Forgive my lateness… Please follow me. “ Without any other words of explanation, the man walks off in the direction towards the castle.

You follow him hesitantly to the castle gates and unlike the crowd of recruits who went up the slope towards the courtyard of the castle, Virgil leads you to the right into a small pathway with stone arches, flowers are planted the side and soon he leads you to the front of a small building hidden away from the major parts of the castle. Virgil turns to the group and begins to silently stare and after a moment he speaks,

“Forgive my awkwardness, I am Virgil Maro… The 11th Sergeant. My existence is not well known for I have just been recently inducted into the line of sergeants under King Baldwin. You may be wondering why you aren’t in a large group like the others... You are all here because you were chosen-- Abaddon, the announcer, and the sergeants already knew who their team was before the crowd was even assorted and I too knew as well. “

“The purpose of this group is very simple, to head into the abyss... Within a month. Aside from the major groups, we are the first to enter the abyss in absolute secrecy. Under the personal instruction of King Baldwin, we are to train and head into the abyss scouting its contents and make safe passage for the soldiers soon to come. I stress the secrecy of this topic and that it remains hidden for now. Its urgency is within reason as we must begin as soon as possible but if anyone of you decides not to uphold the call to arms then that is perfectly fine but you must not speak a word of what I have told you. Again forgive my urgency but you must answer now-- ... Will you join me? "
Thank you to @Hawthorne @TheMushroomLord, and @Luminosity for giving me big pieces to use for the mechanics! ^^
At the center of the world stood a great city, a beacon of light, a representation of mankind’s resolve. Against all odds, they rose from above and with the gift of god fought their enemy. Now at the start of the fifth crusade, King Baldwin calls out to those from around the world to join in the descension of the abyss. Proclaiming holy words he offers sanctuary and training to those who volunteer intending to descend.



Chapter 1 : The Descent


In the center of the world stands Zion and the abyss. Lining the abyss is the city of Zion spanning a few hundred miles holding millions within its walls. As to the March of Fate where many gathered on a path towards Egypt, Zion was the offspring of a successful battle. And within these walls is a culmination of human cultures and prosperity. From within the magically-enhanced walls that protect Zion are humans bearing gifts and constantly giving life and protection to its walls. Known as the city of life, every citizen within Zion is constantly innovating and creating new ways to go about life due to the product of God’s Gift. But also death, thousands still die from waves of demons but in human death comes more ways to defeat the demonic surges.





You and a band of recruits are heading towards Zion. After finding your way into Egypt a long stone road stretches across its sandy dunes. Hundreds of others following this path, merchants, travelers, and the recruits follow it. Day’s pass before you finally sees Zion in all its glory. In a blinding light, the sun creeps over the horizon, shining its rays down onto the land revealing Zion’s walls that rose to the sky. A great shade covers the end of the path. And as you near closer to Zion's wall you feel its purified energy pass through you like a heatwave but once it passes you feel a surge of cool air.

The path ends in between two tall towers connecting the sandstone wall and for a few moments, the crowd of restless recruits, adventurers, and merchants are silent but then from the end of the pathway which touches the wall, a rumbling noise emerges from within. The crowd startled they see the wall shake, sand falling from its structure as it suddenly splits into two, two guards in a synchronized dance are seen inside hands moving in an articulated fashion as the split wall turns into a large arch. They yell to the crowd,

”Enter!"


The crowd moves and shifts, forming a single file line as two guards take note of each of the travelers passing through, and then suddenly they stop you…



You enter the city of Zion and a rush of fresh air and sounds from the thousands within the frontal area of the gate invade your mind. Unlike the nations that were destroyed by the insurgence of demons, taking almost years to financially recover Zion was different. Beautiful in architecture and ripe with greenery, it was alive! In front of the opened gates where three-wide pathways filled with hundreds of civilians tending to their market stalls which many went to buy an assortment of foods, weapons, and equipment. The energy of God’s Gift was potent in the streets, you could tell simply by feeling that almost all citizens of the city were gifted in some way.

Lining the edges of the streets were tall poles and at its end were empty iron lanterns, tropical trees in the middle separating the two crowds. From the left, the crowd moved downwards and from the right, the crowd moved forwards. Packed as it was, you mindlessly wandered for a few hours or so around the city attempting to find where you were supposed to go, or maybe you were off spending your money on foods and extra equipment.

But soon you would suddenly hear a loud echoing voice that seemed to originate from the sky…

“The initiation of the abyss is about to begin! Recruits head to the castle to be enlisted into Baldwin's great army! Come see the ten great generals!


The voice disappeared just as soon as it came, the crowd stopped for a moment to listen to the message but as soon as it ended the crowd returned to life. You see the guards from the gate and other guards that stationed themselves at the corner of the streets yell,

“Onward recruits! Down the center lane! “


You see a few clad in armor or robes head down to the central street walking on its right side as they hurriedly weave through the crowd. You are beckoned to head to the castle.


Characters!









To The Depths



When the sins of man flooded earth it gave birth to a new dawn. A thousand years of prosperity came about to the land of man as it prospered under the new world. but from their prosperity came selfishness and greed, and when an angel came to take up human views he was sent to earth and in his fiery blaze created a hole within the center of Earth. Spanning miles it was named the abyss for its black fog that covered its insides and those who neared its darkness would suddenly disappear.

From the descent of a fallen angel God became silent and from his silence heavenly horns played within the sky, the day after, angels came from the abyss but bore charred wings. Foolishly humanity took this as a sign of good faith and that these angels would help them in their prosperity but the moment they turned their backs the angels struck and a mass genocide occurred. The earthly realm began to topple as the angels attacked, killing every last human in their sight as if to eradicate God’s creation from Earth.

Luckily human tenacity shined within the very soul of mankind’s body and on the edge of their existence, God spoke and gave them a gift. A weapon of sorts that would aid mankind in their war against the charred-Angels. God’s gift would manifest into the human body and soon after would be formally called the Spirit. But in turn for accepting God’s gift they would relinquish the right to ascend to heaven, and in their final moment before returning to slumber God nicknamed the charred-Angels, Demons.

In a cry of hope, humanity led the first crusade against Demons, with their Spirit they conjured miracles, shining down rays of light, healing their comrades, and striking their foe with great power. A war finally sparked and every day for the next upcoming decades would be filled with constant bloodshed. The fight for survival became heavy and in humanity's fifth crusade they reached the abyss and created a lone castle on its edge, fighting head-on against demonic forces as humans would be sent down into the abyss to find the origin of the evil that sparked the war.




Gift of God


After its arrival, the spirit was intensely studied. Before then it was well known that when God had created humans from divine dust they were given dual pieces, the body, and the soul. The body and the soul worked in tandem to give life and personality to the human form. But when the gift is accepted into man’s body the Spirit is introduced. A spirit is an innate energy from the heavenly realm that gives humans a mystical power to fight against Demons, this energy flows in the center of the body and then with the human will is moved from either the soul or to the physical-body. This creates two major categories that separate different users of the gift. Spiritual and Physical.

Spiritual

Spiritual users are those who focus their energy on their soul. By focusing on the soul they enable the ability to gain control over the divine energies or more specifically, magic. Magic is an umbrella term in regards to its ambiguous and mysterious form having the ability to summon storms, control lightning, and heal allies it is the most powerful gift compared to its brother, Physical. But in its strength it also faces weakness, due to its focus on the soul it loses energy from the body, and thus those dawning the spiritual gift become weaker in the physical aspect.

Casting & Vessels
Spiritual casting is centered around God’s language, while it’s true name is unknown it simply goes by heavenly tongue. Verbally speaking with heavenly tongue is the most common form of casting, simply put a user speaks in heavenly tongue and then manifest their spiritual energy to conjure whatever they willed into the physical realm. This type of casting can also be aided with vessels to increase the potency of the spell they cast or in special cases use non-verbal casting.

Nonverbal casting is the act of using a purified-feather to write divine symbols into an object or persons. A purified feather is the feather of a demon that has been thoroughly purified in holy water, after its purification the feather’s tip becomes extremely hot to the touch and burns almost anything in its path. In proper use the energy from the feather is used to enchant weapons and armor or draw divine symbols into such, the act of writing a divine symbol includes concentration and heavy focus into pouring spiritual energy into the symbol and once the symbol has been sufficiently powered it becomes a permanent marking on the persons or object it's drawn on, it is then simply up to the user to focus on the symbol to cast it.

Vessels come in a variety of shapes most often do mages use staffs, books, and wands. But in some other cases use swords, lanterns, and even mirrors. Vessels can be anything its user wills it to be as long as it has a focus, a body, and spiritual energy. For a lantern, the body could be its metallic shell and its focus, the fire. For a book’s body, it could be its leather back cover and its focus, the words. For a staffs the body could be its wooden structure and its focus, a crystal. As long as the user pours their energy into an object anything can become a vessel.

Physical

Physical users focus their spirit into the body, allowing them to exceed their physical limitations by becoming stronger, faster, and durable. Users with this gift focus on a single aspect of their body, choosing between strength, constitution, and dexterity. And depending on what they choose their body also adapts to their decision but in choosing one you weaken in another aspect (of your choosing).

Unlike spiritual gifts, physical users do not cast spells but instead perform feats in which the user focuses their spirit energy to act on their aspects. From destroying boulders, running at incredible speeds, or enduring a barrage of arrows feats are essentially the extreme enhancement of one's aspects in turn for energy.

Lastly, physical users present an extra ability that allows them to transfer their spirit energy into objects such as walls, armor, and weapons to enhance its durability, but unlike vessels, the transfer of spirit energy does not activate spells or feats.




Light History of Gaia


We start at the flood of the earth where man is erased of its sin and they start anew. At this point, all logs of history before the flood are erased and only those holy enough remember humanity's past sin. Through here, Noah's sons and daughters witnessed the recreation of humanity, and with the help of God reclaimed humanity's status on earth and achieved lifelong prosperity.

God then began to whisper throughout history giving his word to many humans and exacting his law under them. But because of this lasting prosperity, a handful of humans became blinded by Hubris and began worshipping those other than himself. To rid of this sin God sent down a being of his same divinity but in human form to spread his gospel amongst sinners, this man would rightfully be named Jesus.

In enemy territory, Jesus began to proclaim God’s word and because of this, sinners of humanity struck down God’s avatar and nailed him to a cross to be displayed. In his anger God turned his back on humanity, leaving them without absolution. After humanity's greatest act of Hubris, came God’s great silence over humanity. Because of this great sin humanity began to wear the cross in shame and wore it to repent for their sin. Centuries pass and humanity now faces the sin of an angel of whom decided to go against God’s word.

To battle against this Angel’s sin God from his silence bestows humanity with gifts to fight the great abyss of where the Angel had fallen and with this gift, the crusades of humanity began. The first and second crusade were long years of territorial reclamation that ultimately gave humanity stability and then after came the Third Crusade, popularly known as The March of Fate of where millions of humans with god’s gift gathered in Egypt and a man known as King Baldwin lead humanity to the center of the Earth to pullback demonic forces. And at the end of the third crusade began the construction of a city known as Zion of which began the fourth crusade and at its end began the current crusade, The Descension.




MECHANICS






Character Sheet!


@Shovel of course! ^^
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