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@CollectorOfMyst
The blackspot is a chasm leading underground where an underground Red Pantheon faction resides.
If you wish to brainstorm, join our discord!

discord.gg/pQfKDY
@DracoLunaris
Oh excellent. The player of the Teal nation in the north dropped out. Do you want to take over that territory? It was meant as the Justinian frontier nation. Gateway for Justinian expansion further eastwards.
@Klomster
That's not possible. You cannot usurp red gods since Redgods don't actually have a 'seat' to usurp -- they are categorized as seatless deities. And Red Gods don't have celestial servants of their own, only mortal ones. But mortal ones can't interact directly with Redgods seeing those are in the Celestial Plane, and mortals in the Material Plane. At best your mortal could have lured the Redgod to enter Materia in an avatar form, and then kill the Avatar. But that doesn't guarantee a god's death. Perhaps the Avatar was lured to the world to BE the Sacrifice? Because if that's the case, there'd be some possibility for your mortal to being a Redgod himself.

Also I do insist you do take a spot on the map as to where your army is currently settled. It doesn't have to be a nation but merely a geographic region, only home to nomads.
@Klomster
There is a leeway. If your character were to acquire an artifact that belonged to a dead god (probably one slain by Justinian) and that artifact contains the dead god's magic, your mortal could inherit that magic. After this, he would have to perform a ritual of self-sacrifice. (To become a god, he will have to die by default.) And once dead, if his soul is bound to the artifact he could become a Red God. Not a powerful one, though. He'd have to play it safe all the way, because Justinian is a tremendous and very active foe.
Also, for the sake of your own health and time-schedules, all your IC posts don't actually have to be as long as the intro-post. Because that one was pretty ridiculous in length imho.

Collab by Serp, Grijs, ArchZero, DrunkConq, WillyVereb


“Painted red is earth and sky by the blood of Ashenlur… The sacrilege war has begun.’’
- Yuwan, Goddess of Magic and Prophecy


289 years ago

Tramontan, Central Materia - 11AWH

Left, right. Left, right. A million feet marched from the west. The stars, each an image of a celestial being's soul in the night sky, were choked out by fume clouds. The clouds of dust uprooted by a column of men, women, and beasts gathered from across the whole of the West, as it marched through lands of ice, shadow, and sand. Justice had called forth a host to fight the final war, against the great Demiurgic enemy, the enemy that lied in the East, in the decadent halls of dethroned Gods and their followers, clad in gold and silver as they were; coated in all things from bronze to runes telling of past glories better left forgotten.

Through the darkness of night, following the brightest star that shone through the dust, Justinian’s own Pale Star of the West, the host announced its existence as it passed frightened villages, not by courier or messages but by the light of many thousands of torches. It did so with the deafening rattle of armour as they marched onwards. The sound of their feet clashing with the ground, the sound of the friction between their swords, their shields, and their spears culminating in a thousand-column long, hundred warrior-wide, thunderous cacophony of revolution. The waking villagers were met with the presence of the West armed with wood and steel, fire and sword. It was one of the largest armies they had ever seen, and what they lacked in the glittering weapons of the easts elite, they made up for in undying zeal. They saw it, within the eyes of the Western Hordes every soldier, as they marched onwards, one could see the spirit of a new dawn and the flames of the forge which will reshape the world flickering to light.

They were the rebellion, they were the freedom fighters of this modern age, and so they proclaimed, and so proclaimed their newborn God, who led them forwards; the Justinian. In the night skies beyond the thick layers of fumes that surrounded this great host, arrived the soaring Sun made manifest. Beyond the clouds and what would have been starry skies, the golden light of the Justinian’s avatar gleamed upon the army and embraced the land, turning night into day. Justinian’s form was that of a pale ghostly, almost-human like in figure, towering over normal men covered in cloth and unworldly armour. Levitating in the sky with a great halo behind its head and radiating light and heat. In its left hand it held a sword, burning in flames. In the eleven years since its deicidal war in heaven, Justinian had reached the centre of the world personally, now pushing its Western hordes onwards towards the gatehouse of the East, and from there the last bastion of the Old Pantheon; Yuwan and her followers.

The host of Justinian, while marching under the command of Justinian itself, was shepherded by numerous mortal heroes. Lexiticanus Pax, Glorion Rex, Justianus Apollon, and many others... they called these men and women the apostles, the first heroes to champion Justinian’s cause. Kingdoms and Empires had fallen under Justinian’s crusade. Old monarchies and ancient aristocratic bloodlines extinguished. The heroes of Justinian rose from obscurity. Former human slaves to their elven masters. Serfs. Self-declared prophets of the newly formed ‘clerisy’, even powerful merchant-lords, willing to fill the power vacuum in the New World Order to come, one of which was the great Merchant-Lord of Amyrion, newly named Empyraeos of House Gloria.

Empyraeos. A name that even 300 years later lives on as a name of global significance. The to-be founder and first Exaltarch of Archonnen had provided much for this great hosts march. His vast household guards marched with him and the host, the very same guards that in that same year would become Archonnens vaunted Infinite Army. His household guards were armed and armoured like knights, the old elven pantheonist aristocrats armour adorning his human troops. He took pride in knowing that humble merchants and town freemen had triumphed over them in the west, and now wore the spoils of war, the boons of faith and the wealth he had acquired.

He looked on from the left flank, riding with mounted Household Guard and Merchant cavalry, looking out from the artificial daylight towards the strange cosmic event before him and the great host of Justinian. Where along a line in an open battlefield where night and day clashed, so too would the armies of east and west. It was appropriate, knowing that the forces of light would surely triumph over the darkness of the east.

To the east waiting under the night sky stood the armies holding the banners and standard of the lone surviving Goddess, Yuwan. They had risen to face Justinian’s horde, elite armies from lands as far away as Lamash and Yllendthyr joining together. As they looked on to the ever-closer approaching false dawn, their mood grew ever more sombre. Today they make a last desperate attempt to halt the Justinian advance towards the sovereign empires of the East. A pitched, decisive battle. The last battle. Today, the War in Heaven, and Justinian’s Sacrilege War, would end.

The armies of the East assembled, horns and deep melodious music announcing their arrival to each other and the enemy.

The shadows of the Gryffn squadrons from Yllendthyr were the first to make their presence known over the Tramontan soil.Threatening to block the skies Yllendthyr well lived up to their name of Heavenly Empire. Aside from the Gryffn riders with the prestigious Sky Knights at the lead, several other types of flying creatures belonging to an unique province of the great Empire of Yllendthyr each. They spared no resources as the fate of the entire world was at stake. This view was exemplified by mobilizing their entire fleet of Sky Barges, ships utilizing the country’s best kept secrets to magic that allows them to send even entire warships into the skies. With the end times near the army was led by none other than Emperor Ilehnaed IV, riding the mighty white dragon Yldizvleugel. Be it mortal or gods, none shall stop them!

While the world was in awe of the Yllendlen might in the skies, over a hundred thousand soldiers followed them. Advance parties of conventional cavalry scouted ahead, securing the area for the rest of the army. Among them the Arqwyen earns special mention. Minor nobles of Yllendthyr rode on Aewnurin, giant runner birds with speed surpassing the capability of horses. Miles behind them marched the infantry, mostly composed of humans and kobolds. Albeit of low status they were the backbone of Yllendthyr’s grand army. If Sky Knights are the hammer the infantry were the anvil to hold the target in place. Meanwhile elvish infantry stealthily advanced through the cover of woods. Unlike regular infantry the elves on the ground preferred ambushes and mobility. While never remembered fondly by the enemy the methods of Rangers were certainly effective.Behind the infantry a row of carts, attendants, artisans, healers followed them close by. Mixed with them those with keener eyes may have noticed the artillery of Yllendthyr. Ballistae, catapults and arcane warmachines provided an unique sight. What didn’t catch the eye of the commoner were a group of strangely elongated bells called Drakons. They used a recently developed alchemical mixture, not to breathe fire, but to develop enough pressure to hurl large projectiles at the enemy with speed previously thought impossible. These engines had yet to revolutionize warfare but their performance in this war was the beginning of their journey to popularity.

From the realm of Lamash came the army of Padishah Zirgun, answering the call of the Last Goddess. For what will take place this immortal day in Tramontan is the reason of their Ascension. Already battle hardened by -- and fresh from -- their victory over the Naga, the holy Lamashi armies marched under the banner of the winged lion. Rank upon rank of foot soldier armored in scale, mail and plate. Flanked by similarly armored horses and the mighty Karkadanns; the colossal domesticated rhinoceroses the Lamashi have used as mounts since time immemorial -- the beasts that have often won them the day over their foes. Towering Lamashi covered in silver steel carried the holy banners aloft while winged Lamassu (colossal winged lions with human heads), Peris (celestial fairies) and Pegasi flew overhead.

At the head of this large host rode Zirgun in his gilded, lion-headed armor, atop Utuwa, the great armored Karkadann. Behind them came the vanguard, composed entirely of Lamashi, armored and armed as shock troops. Followed by the vast bulk of the army, composed of common humans who fought and marched as infantry. In the rearguard were the Naga, led by Sarhdar Usum, who led the few of that race to have willingly followed Yuwan. The flanks were led by Suh, Zirgun’s favorite daughter, who commanded the heavy cavalry composed of both horse and karkadann, while the light riders were commanded by a host of lesser nobles and heroes of the Empire.
Playing no small part on the Yuwanist side were also the elephant riders of Gushawar and Daggers of the Midbari desert kingdoms, such as Mala al-Tafub, infamous for her ability to invoke suffocating sandstorms.

With the armies of Yuwan accounted for, the marching stopped. A brief and heavy silence on the eastern side followed as the Justinian army continued marching towards them - the western horde outnumbering them at least three to one. They knew the battle was against them, even with all their experience, air-knights and proper equipment. Many of their forces were stuck fighting in Drakma or other rebellions. They are chosen to fight here, despite the disadvantage, because Justinian could not be allowed to take control of Tramontan and the Agur, the broken heavenly sword. The anomalous abomination had to be stopped here. The Justinians were now spreading their columns into lines, so many of them that they stretched across the horizon, from right to left, the false sun’s blinding light obscuring the approaching masses of yet more soldiers behind them.

The Air-knights of Lamash and Yllendthyr, thousands of them, flew forward, their winged mounts gliding across the diminishing no man’s land. The elite Elven swordsmen, forest archers - The Lamashi human and naga pikemen and karkadanns - The Gushawar elephant riders - They looked up and saw two formations like a pincer charging towards that false sun that surely brought certain doom. Those brave knights in the air would be the first to fall.

The air-knights formations, thousands strong on both sides moved closer to the now charging Justinian vanguard. They saw a mob of screaming men and women wearing cloth and leather, others with chainmail or gambeson. Most wielded shields and swords, clubs or maces. The elite air-knights did not bother to engage but instead flew past, pelting the screaming enemy vanguard with arrows and spells. Whole scores of Justinians collapsed under the weight of the arrows. Others screamed as their bodies were sliced open or lit on fire or blasted apart by spells. The air cavalry flew on, dodging the return fire from archers and crossbowmen in the Justinian formations.

Disengaging, the Air-knights turned, reengaging again. Swooping by, yet more Justinians fell. A field of arrows and craters had already spawned across the no-man's land, bodies littered across it. The Air-knights had tested the resistance of the Justinian forces, and knew now their plan may work. They disengaged again, the two formations both flying over the Justinian army, nearing the household guard and its cavalry wings.

The Justinian cavalry, seeing the cloud of enemy pegasi and other flying mounts began moving, but soon after arrows and magic were being thrown on them as well. The Air-Knights realised that the Justinians seemed to have no air cavalry deployed at all, figuring this was due to most of the western pegasi having been owned by Old Pantheonist aristocrats that died at the start of the war. The Yuwanist confidence however was short lived, because just as they were encircling the Justinian cavalry, a bright, white light engulfed them.

Like a comet, The Justinian had shot across the sky. It did not even bother to engage the Air-knights in close quarters. It simply flew through their formation… and the air burned. The charging Justinian army below them, now slamming into the Yuwanist vanguard raised their shields to deflect the burning debris of what used to be the body parts and armour of air-knights and their mounts, now blackened like charcoal, the armour glowing red with heat. Pulses of light and energy foreign to this mortal world soon followed. As the two vanguards’ shields smashed together, they saw on the edge of their eyes flashes of light so bright that their shadows were briefly forced to extinction. Those who dared look in the sky had their eyes burn or were otherwise blinded forever. All of those who survived would be afflicted with strange decay and disease for decades to follow.

What was left of the first Air-Knight formation, shattered. They were given a reminder again of the battle between Justinian’s avatar and the Red God Longthirung five years before, and brutally reminded that grouping together against this celestial abomination was suicide. The Justinian turned, racing towards the second formation of Air-Knights, which also fled. The Air-Knights from then on were fighting an impossible hit and run battle with a flying ball of light and heat, sacrificing themselves to distract the living god. Those that continued to fly on, passing Justinian and the blinding light would instead see an endless stream of soldiers. Monsters and more ominously; titanic giants. Justinian did not need air cavalry. With so many soldiers -- with impossibly large monsters somehow converted -- and with its own impossibly powerful avatar in the sky, Justinian appeared to have secured victory.

The Air cavalry fled as the flying Lamassu, ever the most enduring and elite, retaliated by pelting the Justinian with bolts of lightning. Though their spells and projectiles were ineffectual and they quickly turned to withdraw with the other air units. The formation while fleeing Justinian was ‘retreating’ further behind the Western Hordes frontlines, towards the towering figures of titans in the distance. If they were to die distracting Justinian, they may as well force the god to destroy its own army with its immense attacks.

Justinian was pursuing them with determined single-mindedness. They had no time to reform their formation or attack the ground forces, and instead took part in a one-sided dog-fight, where The Air-knights dared not look behind them into the glaring pulses of light, dared not look as members of their formation one by one were picked off by an accelerating ball of fire, its sword striking their members down like flies, waves of heat and spears of light incinerating those too slow to evade.

Yet of those remaining Pegasi and Lamassu, their elusiveness kept them alive, their ability to evade a god… seemingly beyond the power of mortals, for try as the Western God did, he could not manage to hew down a single one. They dodged explosions in the air, Justinian’s spears of light with ease, dipping low to the ground, forcing Justinian to either fire upon his own followers or draw closer.

Of those Air-knights who had miraculously survived, those who had no idea what they were doing and only following the lead of their commanders insane strategy, it seemed impossible. How were they actually doing this? How were they succeeding where ten Red Gods failed? Their commander, showing powers far beyond what they remembered her capable of, fired off arcs of lightning and blue and green flames upon the Justinians, killing hundreds in seconds, even as the enemies god chased them, its own magical attacks missing them entirely, exploding harmlessly in the air or even hitting the troops on the ground.

Others of the formation had joined in now, showing impossible power, throwing away their enchanted bows and casting magical strikes from their hands. How? How did they do it? Half of the formation had since run out of magical reserves and were depending on the last residue of theurgia contained in gems crafted into their armour. Were they heroes, champions of Yuwan? None of the Air-Knights ever remembered any heroes in their formation. Certainly not their commander, their elven commander had even performed the normal ritual sacrifices before the battle, to gather theurgia.

The commander now was, impossibly, speeding up. Her Pegasus was reaching speeds that no Pegasi had ever reached before, speeding ahead to the front of the formation, heading straight for one of the Western Hordes’ titanic giants, the naked fur-covered thing reacting in anger, stomping on its own allies to charge the formation and the speeding commander. The titan… did not stand a chance. The commander somehow fired a spell so powerful, it lit the titans entire head on fire, going berserk and crushing more of its own allies as it flailed.

The Air-knights, those who had since run out of theurgia and were also now reaching speeds they knew their own steeds could not reach without any intervention of their own, realised something. They realised just as the Western God realised. Their commander, something had happened to her, something that hadn’t happened for those who followed Yuwan in a long, long time.

Those same Air-knights watched as members of their formation broke off, members that similarly had endless reserves of theurgia and remained eerily calm throughout this struggle of life and death with a god, acting completely alien to how they once were.

Suddenly, the commander was slowing, as were they all. Their mounts no longer listened to the Air-knights’ commands, doing whatever the commander did. Perhaps they had been doing whatever the commander did the whole time. They looked to their commander who was turning around to face Justinian, ignoring the blinding light. What they saw confirmed their prior realisation. Her eyes glowed green. Her skin was also glowing, a tint of gold growing stronger, Aura of light shining off of her. While as an elf, the commander was already considered beautiful before, but now it was beyond mere beauty.

‘’Y-you are Yuwan?”

The commander did not speak, instead smiling, before vanishing like vapor. The air-knights that had broken off from the formation too vanished into vapor, just as Justinian had flown into the middle of the circle they had formed.

Emerging from the vapor where the commander once was mounted on her pegasus, now stood a giant, levitating in mid-air. A woman, skin of pure gold draped in otherworldly garments, and six dark moth wings sprouting from her back. A crown floating above her head made of what seemed to be green stars. Hundreds of relics orbited around her. Ornate gems, staves, staffs and scepters. Urns and bejeweled containers. With them were yet hundreds more wards and magical shields, layers of blue transparent light surrounding her.

Yuwan stood before Justinian, gods facing each other in the material plane for the first time in perhaps all of known history. With her, the vapor clouds of the others forming the circle revealed ascended celestial beings. To her right was, Arkshtrân the Bright Angel. And behind him Iallril Iorthoniith Isyranshara, Archpriestess of Yllendthyr. And Malice, Mistress of Courts. And Neferhata, Acolyte of Dusk and so countless other heroes of past Cycles.

The Justinian had stopped charging, floating in the middle of the circle of Yuwanist divine beings. The fiery ball dissipated, revealing the levitating form of the New God, clad in ethereal robes and armour, still burning and shining with light. The Justinian raised his flaming sword, pointing it at Yuwan.

‘’Illusory False-Pantheonist.’’

The JUSTINIAN spoke, and its… no THEIR voice echoed for miles. A clamouring of a thousand voices finding an eerie harmony with one another. The voices of old men, bitter by ancient losses. Young men, heroes of millennia past that died too young. Maidens, crones, beggars and lords. Ancient Elves, stout Dwarves and even the raging cry of Dragons. The united, collective consciousness of many thousands of mighty souls.

The Justinian turned to the left, and then to the right, as if to glare at its many nemesis’ surrounding it.

“Children of the Demiurge.
From elusive reaches you came, and fought well you had. But it has availed you nil.’’


The Justinian raised both its arms, apart, as if in praise.

‘’You, in false hope, sought to outnumber us O great and false God. You sought to ensnare us here -- but within this…. form, WE are LEGION. WE have slain your brethren in such number that the Cycles of the Demiurge be severed, forevermore. For you, bringer of ill-omens, there is no chance of returning Materia to its invalid foundations’’.


The Justinian lowered its arms, bringing its burning sword down again to face Yuwan.

‘’O great liar, daughter of the dead Deceiver, you presumed to use your schemes to deceive the JUSTINIAN here. Even in your wisdom… you could not perceive that WE, in this mere material state… were as but lure to finish what was started in heaven a decade ago.’’


Yuwan gave no reply, but motioned to her Celestial retainers to prepare the spells she had previously laid out for them. It is time for the Justinian to be driven back to the Celestial Plane. And they set on Him like a pack of heavenly wolves. They fired bolts of thunder and whirlwinds of ice. But it does little to deter Him.
The Justinian moved calmly through the aether. Its fiery form and blinding light returned, golden wards absorbing the strikes of thunder and ice. Yuwan turned her head to look behind her, seeing her onetime mortal companions-in-arms looking upon her in religious awe.

‘’Young defenders of Materia. We shall not meet again. Go now, and you will see the dawn rise again tomorrow.’’


The Air-knights, whose eardrums were already shattered from the booming voice of the Justinian were awed to hear their goddesses light, musical voice ring firmly through their minds. Speaking to the very instincts of the winged mounts, they cast off carrying their riders to safety, for they themselves were paralysed by the godly theatre in their mortal gazes. They would be the last mortal eyes to ever lie upon the form of the Goddess Yuwan.

The only one unimpressed by Yuwan’s disposition was her anathema, the Justinian, and he soared at her with a fell swoop to strike her down. Yuwan’s ascended pantheon-to-be however proved ready to fight the New God even in its realm of domination… melee combat. United, they charged, firing spells and incantations as they went. Harassed and slowed, Justinian was forced to halt his charge, instead turning to cut down the nearest Celestial - the first to move against him.
The celestial servant, wielding an ornate scythe saw his weapon deflect the Justinian’s fiery sword, but the force of the strike was such that the scythe’s blade became deformed, bent inwards and molten.

The second Celestial servant’s strike was deflected by Justinian, and the third, and the fourth. The celestial servants maintained their offensive by virtue of striking together, The Justinian’s sweeping blade of such strength that some of the servants weapons were cleaved in half or lit to flames. The Justinians golden wards buckled under the sustained fire of many dozens of spells, one by one.
Surrounded, the Justinian attempted to ascend to the stratosphere. The celestial servants did all they could to pin him down. Yuwan fired a barrage of spells above Justinian, blocking him further from ascending. Even if the Justinian’s goal was to lure them out to slay them all at once, by keeping the Justinian low to the ground, he would be cautious to avoid destroying his own followers in his army below them.

Struggling to make room for itself as its wards fell, The Justinian struck with even greater might. Its sword cut through a second celestial servants weapon, this time a sword, cutting through the celestial servants wrist as well. The Justinian took this moment to grab hold of one of Yuwan’s celestial servants by the neck. The Celestial struggled frantically as the Justinian's inhumanly tight grip strangled her.
At that moment, the Justinian flared with light. The Celestial screamed as her body was lit in an inferno of a thousand suns, a great burst of light and flame engulfed her. As Justinian had done to the air knight formation, as the Justinian had done to Yuwan’s own retinue of Celestials. The sky lit up with white light, the shadows cast across the ground disappeared. The still marching Justinian armies were blinded by the light, many thousands that survived the battle would die in the decades to come of an unknown affliction given to them that day.

Yuwan’s Celestials, most having survived but with shattered wards, others singed, retreated slightly from Justinian giving it the space needed to ascend and accelerate upwards. Having recovered a bit, the celestials gave chase, Yuwan the first among them, already firing devastating hurricanes again at Justinian's wards and healing her servants.

Justinian ascended, higher and higher. Dodging and weaving as Yuwan’s increasingly powerful spells detonated in the aether. The clouds parted as Justinian and Yuwan pushed through them, followed by a trail of Celestial servants, all ascending in chase with great speed to the very roof of the universe.
The engaging Gods looked down upon the bowl-like world from the stratosphere between the material plane and the endless void it floated within, Justinian held steady and waited for its challengers to meet in this distant place far from the mortals that fought below. Behind Justinian, only one star shone, the Pale Star of the West.

The first Celestial was in sight now, rushing towards the Justinian. Unrestrained by earthly matters, the Justinian battered the Celestial aside with such force he spiralled erratically until disappearing into clouds. Three more Celestial servants followed, immediately engaging in close quarters. Another burst of light, incinerating heat. More fantastical buckling wards, yet no mortal’s eyes to see.
Justinian struck quickly, cleaving a Celestial in half just as the majority of the others arrived, followed by Yuwan, who had held behind as she charged another spell. Justinian’s own wards were finally being reduced to their final layer, who instead depended on regular bursts of light to defend itself. Yuwan chose this moment to fire a green comet from the palm of her hands, breaking through Justinian’s wards entirely.

Justinian was struck by the comet; cracking his armour and knocking him backwards, which was soon followed by Neferhata, one of Yuwan’s Celestials, successfully stabbing Justinian’s shoulder, running a golden naginata through it. Justinian, seemingly undaunted, grabbed hold of Neferhata’s wrist and then runs her through with his sword. Swinging her body around as a bludgeon, now lit on fire, Justinian forced the servants back.

Pulling the sword out of Neferhata’s chest, Justinian dragged out a trail of blood; blood that levitated in the air. The stream of levitating blood circled around Justinian, followed by expanding out as more blood flowed from the burning, screaming Celestial. The blood moved in the air by the will of Justinian. It took shape, a perfect circle with geometric shapes within. In one hand, Justinian swatted away other Celestial, and with the other held its hand out above the circle of blood.

‘’Forces of Justice. Now return unto me, and so let Justice be done.’’


The Celestials watched on as the blood circle glowed, spinning, the geometric shapes within becoming ever more intricate. Yuwan saw the transmutation circle, one of a complexity she had never seen besides her or Eudeye’s own machinations, how the abomination knew to make such a circle was beyond her -- but right now it did not matter. Yuwan in that immortal moment, understood what had to be done.

“Let Knowledge be Thy Power!” Yuwan shouted to her fellows, knowing full well that whatever it was that Justinian meant to do; it must be stopped. She fired another comet at Justinian, this time Justinian dodged it, the circle moving with him, blood spiralling and stretching as the stream continued from the now dead Neferhata’s partially charred corpse, her eyes glowing red, the same shade as the transmutation circle.

‘’BEHOLD, O ANATHEMA!’’


Justinian shouted, its many voices proclaiming to Yuwan, now desperately trying to shoot the Justinian down. From Tramontan far beneath, a red dot appeared, crimson light gleaming through the clouds.

For on the surface, where the battle over Tramontan raged on, the Justinian warriors began to glow red. The battle ever since the gods left had become a chaotic struggle. Justinians that had managed to mount the gryphons of slain Yuwanist riders duelled against the remaining Air-Knights and Ilehnaed, the Yllendlen Dragon-riding Emperor. The Titanic giants of the West stomped through the two armies, kicking aside elephants and golems; crushing friend and foe alike. Piles of horse and knight laid on the side, remnants of charges hours ago where Empyraeos and Suh of Lamash battled, now the household guards and Lamashi aswaran fought on foot. The heroes, knights and endless number of mere men and women watched as a red glow emanated from the eyes of every single Justinian in the battle. Those who had their consensual curses tattooed on their faces or otherwise visible had those symbols glow the brightest -- the curse symbols bleeding and crackling with deathly energy. The Justinians became silent then. Eerily, impossibly silent. War cries, shouted orders and screams of fear and even of terrible pain faded away. They fought in silence as their red glowing eyes and markings deepened, blood emerging from the sockets behind their eyes as though they were tears. A deep, low throbbing hum shook through the earth.

‘’BEHOLD, O ANATHEMA!’’

the Justinian army all chanted together, in collective unison and to the bewilderment of the Yuwanist forces, who gazed upon them in the dread of disbelief. Red light started to tint the sky, like a pillar that rose up into the clouds.

From the stratosphere, Yuwan and her remaining celestial servants watched as the single red pillar emerged from Tramontan.

“You would sacrifice armies of your faithful only for my death?’’

Yuwan whispered harshly in disbelief.

‘’A million souls is insufficient to vanquish---’’

Yuwan stopped then. For she saw on the horizon another red pillar that rose up through the clouds. And another behind it. Across the western hemisphere of Materia, red pillars were rising through the clouds that smothered all sight, save for the fierce Pale Western Star blazing through as a solemn eye. Huddled together in temples, hundreds of mediating Justinians all glowed red. In villages, glowing men and women sat gathered around the idol of Justice, awaiting paradise and the final battle. A young boy, dreaming to be a paladin looked up in the red sky and smiled as his eyes bled. With so many sacrifices… Yuwan realised there could only be one possible reason the Justinian would dare give up this number of souls.

‘’Demiurge’s Messenger… Thou shalt not abscond Justice a second time.’’


Justinian and many millions of red-glowing mortals spoke in unison across the Material world.

‘’Stop the Justinian! Stop them now!’’


Yuwan cried with a tempest, now desperate to stop what would surely be a cataclysm of irreversible consequences.

In the interstice, the unknown unworldly plane between planes, a hole was beginning to form. Aether spilled through, swirling energy of the celestial plane. The first of the glowing Justinian's were dropping as their sacrificed souls powered the opening rift.

The celestial servants charged Justinian. Justinian parried and deflected them, while some successfully slashed its form. Justinian, as if in a trance, ignored the damage. Even as Yuwan successfully blew off Justinian’s sword arm, the flaming sword vanishing into the clouds, Justinian did not seem to care.

Yuwan knew then that to avert catastrophe, she had no choice. The Goddess placed her hands together, open palmed. A whispered, melodic chant followed as her orbiting artifacts gathered before her open hands. Urns divulged their contents, translucent, colour-changing water seeped out. Infused with theurgia harvested from the celestial plane, Yuwan crafted a ward; a ward stretching as a half-sphere before her. She walked towards the scar in the interstice, red light gathering around it as it grew. The hint of a vast and cataclysmic mass of power on the other side, but moments from coming through.

Her celestial servants assailed the now swordless Justinian, leaving the lone Goddess to do what she came all this way from the Celestial Plane to do. And she stood before the rift. Moving the ward forward, raising her hand to touch the rift already emanating a power that so decisively vanquished the Old Pantheon a decade ago.

She saw Justinian racing towards her. Somehow, impossibly, the Justinian had broken free of its assailants. A celestial servant, a hole through its chest caused by a hand being pushed through it fell behind Justinian, dead. The Justinian itself raced on, one-handed, one legged, its head being blasted in half and dangling on a strip of throat.

But, thankfully. For Yuwan. For millions of souls and the entire world, in Yuwan’s eyes at least… Justinian was too late. In that moment, Yuwan, clad in the translucent light refracting ward, touched the rift, pulsing the greatest counter-curse that all her collected knowledge had given her. In that instant, a white light engulfed her, Justinian and any celestial servant nearby. An explosion akin to a supernova detonated high above Materia, parting not only the clouds but the air. The avatar of Justinian, Yuwan and those others engulfed in the blast vanished, the red glow across the world dissipating away. The two gods left the Material Plane once more.

While their forms were destroyed, the gods continue their war. On that day of 11AWH -- Justinian and Yuwan -- the great gods of this world fought for the destiny of Materia. Their struggle remained inconclusive. No Great Reconvergence occured imminently after, nor did Yuwan’s Emerald star in the east fade. Another 289 years of bitter conflict and never ending struggle as the mortals of this world carried on that all consuming conflict.

The War In Heaven was over. Now is the age of Sacrilege War.

289 YEARS LATER

"When the war of the giants is over the wars of the pygmies will begin."




Note: This is Sacrilege War III, names and themes that appear to be the same as ones created by Flagg, are actually from Sacrilege War II(GMed by Flagg) and Sacrilege War I (GMed by Serpentine88) and as such it was Serp who created the names and themes originally.

    • (Grim)dark fantasy setting, high-magic (lots of magic, creatures, etc).

    • Gods actually exist and actively intervene in the setting.

    • Everyone is involved in a global proxy war between gods. Factions are determined by religion, which is pre-set because the religions gods are actually real and controlled by the GM (or in the case of the Red-Pantheon, semi-controlled by the players with restrictions).

    • World is a single earth-sized pangaea, logistical issues are solved by magical portal gates and air-transportation. The world is also literally flat (well, technically a convex bowl shape).

    • The world has a material and a celestial plane, though the latter has never been successfully entered while still alive.

    • All magic comes from gods, the vast majority of it distributed by existing gods to their servants and followers. There is some leftover magic in the material plane distributed long ago by dead gods but is a finite (and running low) supply.

    • In general, technology should be 15th-16th century for all factions

    • Most magic is gained from gods giving magic in return for the sacrifice of souls. In this setting, a soul is a non-physical element of the mind which accounts for ‘consciousness’. As such, any intelligent being as well as any conscious animal has a soul.

    • Each Celestial Entity is represented by a star in the sky, a god’s mirror reflection from the Celestial Plane, with Red Gods having smaller and more faint Red Stars (where their name originally came from). Justinian’s star is known as the Pale Star of the West, and is by far the largest, enough so that Justinians call it the New Sun. Yuwan is represented by a smaller yet brilliant Green Star in the East. Which has long since been called the Celestial Emerald.

    • Genuine possibility this world will end in an apocalypse. RP will increasingly become more like a horror story as events unfold.




CONCEPT INTRODUCTION:


The world, known as Materia is a world of divine cycles. An imperfectly designed world created by very real yet equally imperfect gods. Doomed to die. Since time immemorial, pantheons of gods have risen, ruled, and changed the world, though each as incapable of fixing the world as the last and so are then inevitably destroyed as they were replaced by new gods. Each cycle the world has decayed further… ever onwards, ever downwards… in entropy towards a final darkness.

It has been exactly 300 years since the fall of the ‘Old Pantheon’ of gods, beginning an age of global warfare and strife. This time however, the conflict has reached unprecedented levels as this time the cycle has failed, occurring in a broken half-finished state, perhaps indicating that the entropy of the world is approaching its final end. Rather than forming a new pantheon to rule over the world, the gods remain divided, no unifying force ruling the heavens. Rogue angels have assumed the role of fake gods, one of the Old Pantheons gods still somehow lives... Furthermore, rather than a new pantheon of gods, only one new god was formed. Justinian, a god that declares itself of mortal origins and which intends to end this world, replacing it with a new, perfect utopia.

Justinian slaughtered most of the Old Pantheon in a great heavenly deicide known as the War In Heaven, but because it failed to kill all the other gods, the world has been plunged into 300 years of holy war as the remaining gods turn to their mortal instruments to destroy each other. This mortal proxy war is known as the Sacrilege War, and so 300 years ago, the three-way global war begun, the mortal races by divine providence commanded to annihilate the faithful of other gods.

So as they fought and continue to fight, the world is drenched in magic; powers in exchange for sacrifices handed to mortals to bolster the war effort. Divine miracles are a daily affair, the existence of gods an almost universal truth - even as the gods declare each other false and themselves as the only true gods.

This is the story of a doomed world… and the near endless numbers of mortal sacrifices that will be consumed in the name of its last ruler. Yet salvaging Materia is never out of reach for those that dare.

FACTION GAMEPLAY:

There are three supranational factions that each player-nation belongs to, these factions divided by religion - that is service to a very real god or goddess. Gods are the source of all magic in this world and regularly perform miracles. Some gods such as Justinian are so interventionist that they are essentially the religious leader of their own religion. It is expected that players will all have common histories and cultural elements due to the world's history and faction system (though the third faction, the Red Pantheon, are the most customisable - including the ability to make your own custom national deity, though in exchange are also the least united and objectively the weakest faction)

APOCALYPTIC THEMES:

The world is also filled with secrets and hidden lore that players will gradually discover over time. The world also has a number of preset methods to which an apocalyptic event may be triggered by either players or by world events. As the story goes on and the likelihood of an apocalyptic event increases, the genre of the RP will gradually shift from grimdark military high fantasy to something more along the lines of a cosmic horror story.

SETTING:

This setting is also a very deep, complex one with a great deal of world-building, particularly since Sac War has been built up in previous versions over the years, hosted by both Serpentine88 and Flagg. Of note is a detailed cosmology concerning the gods and the ‘heavenly’ cycles as well as the detailed magical system this world abides by. Players are expected to take some effort to read through or at least skim through this information so they understand the kind of world they are RPing in. It is also suggested that they at least read the mythos and mechanics of the faction they join, as each god and their associated faith have unique attributes and ideals which you should consider when joining that faction.

SPECIES:

This is still essentially a high magic setting and allows most of the traditional ‘races’, elves, dwarves, centaurs, giants, etc. It is suggested to stick to the more typical fictional species if you don’t want your species to be criticised and judged by the GM (searching for min-maxing nonsense). Note that some species such as dragons and elves have a significant presence in the world-building lore so you need to take previous history into account when adding your own. It should also be noted that some species are banned. This includes;
-Undead (Necromancy does not function the way most fantasy settings do because no god will give the magic needed to perform necromancy. You can animate corpses in the same way you could animate a fork or chair, but you cannot return a soul to the living world after it has died. An attempt at doing so without a god will result in you being hunted down and ‘lightning’d’ by one or all gods, even if they are fighting each other).

-Angels/demons/djinns etc (You can use angel and demon looking people, particularly Justinians who may have individuals that are magically altered by their god to make them appear like angels with wings and so on. However, actual angels/demons are restricted due to cosmology issues).

-Ectoplasmic entities (An ectoplasmic entity would require enormous amounts of magic at a constant rate to exist, which is highly impractical. Thus a whole species of them is pretty much impossible. Ectoplasmic entities as such do however technically exist though)

-Animated inanimate people (While golems and animated objects exist, they are not sentient and cannot be made sentient, as such you cannot play as elementals, golem-people and so on)

MAP OF MATERIA
(with established nations at present)



THE FACTIONS:

There are 3 factions to choose from, all (mostly) fighting in a 3-way conflict. Factions are determined by religion, which is extremely important in this setting since the gods are not only very real, but very active (some more so than others). Two of these factions are focused around holy cities located to the far west and far east, both of which emanates out a sphere of influence from these nexus points, however they also have influence over any region with sufficient amounts of their followers or magic is distributed. The third faction (the Red Pantheon) are far more decentralised, acting as smaller localised spheres of influence, mostly in areas where the two greater factions have little control.

Each faction is at war with all others in this global conflict known as the Sacrilege War, a 300-year long holy war directed by the gods themselves, the gods ordering their mortal followers to desecrate and/or destroy the religious icons,constructs and holy sites as well as convert or kill other gods followers.

The three groups each have their own ideologies, histories, beliefs and powers as explained below, but in summary the three factions are:

-Justinianism: Followers of the God Justinian (Also known as Justinius or Justice or a thousand other local cultural names), based in the West, where its holy city sits. Emphasis on holy paladins; witch hunters, possessed hosts acting as demi-avatars of their god (represented by individual dead historic heroes), blatant orders from their god, monolithic clerical bureaucracy and religious military orders. Rejects the material world for an ideal spiritual one and wish to remake the world with a “Great Reconvergence”, creating a perfect utopia. Infamous for totalitarianism, mass surveillance and occasionally committing genocide.

-Yuwanism: Followers of the Goddess Yuwan, based in the East, where her holy city sits. Emphasis on magi, vague visions and dreams from their distant secretive godess, ancient schools of collected knowledge and excessive use of magic. Fights for the status quo and stability, balance between the celestial/spiritual and material world… even if it means sacrificing millions to maintain it. Infamous for mass slavery and mass unwilling sacrifice.

-Red Pantheonism: Followers of the Red Gods, rogue ex-celestial servants of previous pantheons based in their own respective locations. Emphasis on witches, monsters, curses, corrupting existing institutions, selfish whimsical deities, demi-god bastards and a lot of blood sacrifice. Many care little for the spiritual world and care for personal pursuits in the material one. Infamous for corrupting civilisations and treating mortals as expendable playthings and tools, and generally advocating nihilism and social darwinism.

As can be seen, it should be said that each god is not particularly likable. The gods of this universe are not pure benevolence and sunshine. The factions are grim and commit heinous crimes regularly… that said, each faction does have their positive sides. Justinian is genuinely fighting for the creation of a utopia via the Great Reconvergence, and tries to create a high standard of living for its followers. Yuwan believes in positive liberty, so while she allows her followers to enslave each other, she usually likes giving her followers free will and the choice to decide how to live and make decisions rather than forcing ‘enlightenment’ on them. She also indirectly assists in improving the livelihood of her peoples’ societies and often acts as a teacher of sorts, attempting to allow her followers to reach enlightenment themselves. Red Gods are capable of personal relationships, differing from Justinian who is too impersonal and Yuwan who is too distant… and as such they can actually feel respect, friendship or even love for mortals. While each faction views the Sacrilege War as a white and black morality conflict (particularly the Justinians), its actual morality is determined by the players.











If anyone wants to make a reaction post for socializing or getting to know the other characters a bit; now is the last chance.
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