Who am I? I’m a super geek who grew up in the 80’s with the old D&D cartoon, He-Man and the Thundercats. I’ve taken that geekiness into my adulthood along with a love and passion for writing. I want to delight you with my weird and wonderful tales of heroic derring-do and my eclectic yet memorable cast of characters.
Let me into your role play world — we will do wonderful things together.
The scream pierced the clearing. Merrill glanced back towards the source of the sound.
”Callie,” he called out.
The figure stepped forwards into the light. The girls skin was tanned, and her brown curly locks fell to her shoulders. She wore a bright shawl of different colours, of purples, reds, yellows and oranges. Dark brown breeches and black boots completed the travellers unusual garb.
The flash of a knife reflected off the moon....
Merrill caught her wrist as she plunged the knife down. Holding her gaze, Merrill held her hand above his chest, the edge of the blade threatening to come down.
”You have hunted me.....all this time. Why?”
Dulcimae shook her head.
”Because of what you are. What you will become.....brother.”
He could see it in her eyes.
”You’re not committed to this course. Your heart isn’t in it. You, of all people should know better than to believe in prophecy Dulcimae.”
The knife fell from nerveless fingers, striking the ground. Looking to her, Merrill shook his head.
”I don’t have time for this Dulcimae.”
He raced back the way he came...
Flames erupted around Callie. The creature, whatever it was, went up in fire. The next thing that Callie felt was pain as it sank its fangs into her leg. Slithering back down, it wriggled and raced back into the shadows at the edge of the clearing as it burst into flame.
”Callie, hang on!”
Merrill’s cry came from the distance. Bursting into the clearing, he was shocked to see it in flame, and in the center of the fiery inferno was Callie.....
Trying to get to her, Merrill weaved around the flames......
He grabbed her hand and pulled her towards him. As he did so, the flames caught the back of his breeches, setting him on fire.....
As his finger hovered over the ignition, Morgan looked back to her. His eyebrow raised slightly at her comment.
”Science Officer Briarwood...” he began as he pressed the button.
Behind them the jets came to life with a loud roar as the Falcon started to inch forwards slowly.
”You’re about to be the first of the human race to set foot on a planet in the Epsilon System.”
The officer waved them forwards. Twisting the flight stick, Morgan maneuvered the ship to the left. In the distance, the hangar bay doors began to open.
”Your siblings and your parents, for all their achievements haven’t done what you’re about to do. Congratulations Miss Briarwood,” he turned his head to her with a small smile. ”...you’re about to join the list of people that have accomplished something.”
Grinning, Morgan pressed the throttle forward softly, moving the pod forwards. Beyond, the open expanse of space beckoned. A veritable carpet of black punctuated by white glittering stars. The officer outside nodded his head and moved out of the way. On the metal walkway, standing at its head, Major Carver looked over. He held his hand up, signalling to the two of them.
Three days. Don’t be late
Heading towards the end of the hangar, the pod gradually increased pace. The exit came closer, leading to the cavernous, never ending abyss of space beyond.....
Then it was free, and the Falcon was heading out into the great unknown. On either side the blackness of the universe could be seen. There were other aircraft, both heading towards and away from the Galacticus on their own individual missions.
A waystation was hovering near the Galacticus, flashing red and green lights to mark the position of the ship. Several patrol ships circled the perimeter, keeping an eye out for any threats.
Turning his head back to Beatrice, Morgan grinned again.
”Are you ready to make your mark on the universe officer?”
Standing at over six feet tall, Karnak is an imposing figure. A hulking form, intimidating in his bearing, and carrying with him his deadly blade, it is the features that strike most fear into his enemies.
His eyes, deep and blue are cold as ice, promising death to his enemies, an inevitable end that they cannot escape from. His mouth, a thin, hard line carries with it no humour, no kindness, nothing but cold, hard death.
His stance, proud and tall, tell all who come upon him that here is an implacable, unyielding foe that will haunt them to the grave or die trying.
There is little that remains of the man that Karnak once was. Knowing that ultimately he was responsible for his own downfall and, ultimately, his own death from the Shadow that follows him relentlessly, he has sunk into a shell of bitterness and self-hatred. His soul is tainted and blackened from the experiences that have destroyed all of the man he once was.
Yet, unbeknownst to him, some unknown entity favours him and calls him their own. Perhaps he doesn't realise that the strength of his own personality, his own indomitable willpower to survive in the face of almost overwhelming odds that would have crushed another is enough to retain some small favour in the eyes of this mysterious agent.
Perhaps someone, somewhere, realises that Karnak is not totally lost yet, that there is still a chance, however small that he may yet become the champion he was born to be. Karnak now is a sardonic, black-humoured individual lost behind the boundaries of his own self-pity. He tries to keep himself to himself and rarely speaks. When he does there is very little humour and warmth in his voice. He was never trained to love or to have respect for his fellow people, only for himself and his own abilities, and his recent experiences have driven out whatever humanity he once had.
And yet, deep beneath it all is a man who, if befriended, will give his all for his fellow and defend them with the ferocity that only he can muster. He is reckless, dangerously so, charging forwards with little regard for his own life, as it is all he has left, and yet, perversely, he spends his entire existence on the run from the Shadow, that posses the ability to end his life at any time it so chooses. He has his own set of morals, twisted that they are.....and loyalty is one of those morals. Karnak is a paradox, a paradox of a man and one deeply conflicted. If he could seek some sort of redemption....something to free himself from the self-imposed curse that has claimed his life then he would do it without a moment's hesitation.
Karnak doesn't trust easily, and certainly doesn't trust anyone with his dark secret. Since he desires isolation, the closer he gets to someone, the more harshly he treats them, trying to drive them away so they don't suffer the same ignominious fate that he himself is. Yet, deep down, all he desires more than anything else is for someone to break through the barriers he has set in front of himself, someone to save him from himself.
How do I reconcile with my fate? I was once an agent of darkness, Izrador's chosen one, it was my life's duty to seek out and strike down the enemies of my lord. It was my duty to bring to them the divine justice of my lord. Yet this is no longer the case. I have been driven to the depths of the world, to whatever dark corners will shield me from sight. For I am the hunted, not the hunter, cursed to wander the world for eternity lest the agents of shadow that pursue me strip the flesh from my bones and devour my soul. A sad fall for one such as myself, one who once stood high in the divine graces of my liege.
Karnak was once exulted as an agent of Izrador, one of the Legates. He who once stood in his lords favour, as one of the Night King's Lieutenants. How badly things went wrong. How far the mighty have fallen. Karnak was a protege. Marked for greatness at an early age, he was taken as a babe by acolytes of Sunulael, the Priest of Shadow. He could see that this one was special, unlike the rest. His divinations prophesied that he would one day become a mighty warrior, perhaps the greatest that Aryth had seen.
And so Karnak was stolen to the dark citadel of Theros Obsidia, and there he was trained from the day he was strong enough to hold a weapon in his hand. And train he did, each day working long and hard, practising in the art of war, learning the tenets of Izrador, being drilled each and every day in his beliefs. And Izrador watched, and was pleased with what he saw.
When he was ready, Karnak was given his divine mission. He was to seek down and destroy the enemies of Izrador. Karnak revelled in this task, for he had been tempered in war and death, so had little place for love, friendship or humanity. He existed for one thing and one thing only - the death of his enemies. Karnak was unmatched in his ability, and all who stood before him fell beneath the strength of his blade, and the power of his prayers. With the favour of Sunulael watching over him, it seemed that nothing could halt his mission.
As with most things though, the equilibrium would shift eventually. There was one thing that would prove to be Karnak's downfall. His own pride. As he slew one foe after the next, Karnak grew overconfident and cocky. He was tasked with tracking down and slaying an elven channeler by the name of Lucan Stelios. Karnak tracked the Channeler down successfully and, overcoming the defenses in the spellcaster's home, struck a mortal blow to him. As Lucan lay dying, Karnak stood over the fallen body of his foe, mocking him in the name of Izrador.
Lucan wasn't finished though. With his dying breath, the channeler cursed his slayer. The curse, given power by the hand of fate and the wish of the dying, manifested itself and severed Karnak's link with Izrador. Suddenly, his connection with his dark god severed, Karnak, bereft of his powers and abilities as a Legate, felt weak for the first time in his life. Worse, the dying channeler's curse not only severed his link with Izrador, it destroyed the dark god's hold and power over him.
To his eternal horror, the realisation of what he had done and the carnage and death he had been directly responsible for hit him hard. He was now bereft of his god, and his soul was stained with the deaths of countless hundreds of innocents. Izrador would not accept him back, and worse, knowing the secrets he did, he would be damned, and hunted by the dark god's agents. They would not tolerate his existence. Without having a choice, he renounced his divine charge, his life now become one of mere survival. Karnak now travels the world, trying to hide from the Shadow that trails him always, realising that he cannot ever escape. He knows deep down that he is doomed, that through casting aside his charge he will inevitably die.
He has renounced his past, and his time as an agent of Izrador, seeing now, even though it was too late, the error of his ways. Determined that even though he would inevitably die, he would die seeking redemption from his dark past, looking to embrace the ways of the resistance against Izrador.
Far, far to the north, in the frozen bowels at the spine of the world, a white tower rose up into the night sky. Outside, the sky shone with different colours. Purple, pink, blue, orange set against the glittering canopy that lay over the world of Aryth. There was very little that was pretty left, but this, the aurora borealis, was one of the few things of genuine beauty in this shattered world.
Inside this pale, marble tower of purest white, on the very top floor, a figure sat. Hunched over a wooden oak table, the figure pored over an ancient tome. Behind him, a fire crackled in the background, its light casting a flickering dark silhouette through the window. If the figure was affected or moved by the beautiful tapestry painted over the night sky behind him, he did not show it. Because for Aldherin, Sorceror of Shadow and one of the four Night Kings, there was little room left in his heart for beauty or warmth. All those things he had left behind him long, long ago. Back when the Shadow took him.
The pale face of an elven maiden looked back at him as he lay on the grass. Overhead in the sky, the sun shone brightly. There was a cool breeze blowing through the clearing. Sighing lazily, Aldherin looked to the sky as he snaked an arm around the maiden's shoulder, drawing her into him and holding her close.
"Would it be that this day could last forever, my love," he sighed again as he closed his eyes, feeling her head lay snugly into his breast.
Alas it could not, and as much as he wished it would, he knew all too well that reality would soon come crashing into his daydream. Already, rumours spoke of dark things stirring in the north, within the Spine of the World. Elven spies had spoken of strange activity amidst the frozen wasteland. The orcs were gathering and forming what seemed to be a unified force. Such a thing was unheard of. Traditionally the tribes of the northern lands spent so much bickering and fighting amongst each other that they were of no threat to anyone else. Yet now they moved en masse. Had something, some unknown force unified them under one banner? It was hard to believe, yet a troubling force nonetheless.
A small yawn next to him banished his fears, even if only temporarily. Looking down with a small smile to the elven lass curled up near him, Aldherin put his concerns to one side. How could he not when his childhood sweetheart lay next to him?
"Are you tired? You'd better take this time to rest up. Its your coronation soon, and you won't have any time left at all to enjoy these moments."
Almond-shaped, blue eyes opened as the girl balled her fist and punched him playfully. "You're such a dour-faced bore Aldherin. Do you have to put a downer on everything?"
Chuckling, Aldherin laid his head on the ground. "Somebody's got to be the serious one of the two of us Aradil."
The distant memory was one of the very few ones that Aldherin still held onto. As he sat, looking at ancient texts, he made a small gesture with his hand. The air in front of him flickered, gradually taking shape as it formed into the image of that pale, elven lass from so many years ago. Looking at it, Aldherin sighed as he whispered, "Everything that I have done, everything that has happened it is all because of you Aradil. You may deny me, but you cannot deny to yourself the truth that you desperately keep hidden inside of you."
The armies poured out from all sides. Meeting them, the elven forces stood firm. Standing away from then, Aldherin tried to block out the screaming and the clash of sword upon sword. His people were dying. Back in the great forest of Erethor, Queen Aradil was trying desperately to weave her magics, to cast the spell that he knew would save the dying remnants of the elves. This was not a battle they could win. And yet, as the armies of orcs boiled forth, ceaseless and neverending in their numbers, Aldherin knew that everything that he was doing, everything that his army was doing was nothing more than a delaying tactic. They could not win this fight. As he marched forth that day, Aldherin knew he was going forth to die.
And die he would, with pride, keeping his love safe.
There was a reason he was standing here, at this point, even as the rest of his people died in the ground below, the grass stained with their blood. Aldherin knew this would be the focal point of the conflict. This was where *he* would show.
Guttural snarling told the elf that he was not alone. Lips curled up in a slight smile as two orcs approached, clutching their vardatches tightly in their gnarled fists. Raising his arms to either side, Aldherin beckoned the orcs to approach. And approach they did, both of them springing into action, charging forwards as they attacked. But Aldherin was ready.
Spinning to one side, he dodged the first's clumsy attack as the second tried to close in from the other side. Swinging its vardatch, Aldherin brought his hand up, catching it on the wrist and keeping the deadly weapon from connecting with his neck. Balling his fist, he smashed it into the creature's throat, channeling the fire through his hands as he did so. The orc screamed, a sound that was cut off into a gurgle as the flames raced forth, immolating it and turning it into ash on the spot. Turning, he saw just in time as the first orc hurled a javelin at him. Waving his hand, a thin curtain of flame appeared, turning the javelin to ash as it pierced the flames, burning it before it even reached him.
Then, suddenly running forwards towards it, he spread his fingers. The orc, not prepared for the sudden ferocity of the onwards assault, did not react in time. Taken by surprise, it stood there as Aldherin dove forwards, driving his fingers through its eyes. Snarling, Aldherin summoned forth crackling electricity as he snarled, "Die, grak'lokk scum!" The electricity came through his fingers, channeling itself straight into the creature's gaping sockets. It screamed for all of a second before its head exploded in a shower of gore and brains.
Aldherin was alone, for a second, breathing heavily with the bodies of his slain opponents around him.
Then, the sound of clapping echoed throughout the clearing. Facing the sound, Aldherin looked to see a tall, imposing, hulking figure wearing armour made of the blackest ebony. The figure's head was obscured by a black helm with two slits for eyes.
Aldherin spat the word out. "What price did you pay, old friend? What price to betray everything you once held dear and turn your back on your own countrymen to make your lot with Izrador?"
Holding a large double-bladed sword on his hand, Jahzir pointed it at Aldherin as he responded. "For once, old friend, I wanted to be on the winning side. There is no sense in supporting a doomed cause, as you will soon find out."
Behind him, the gangly forms of more orcs appeared, flanking the Night King. Aldherin laughed grimly at the sight. This was not a fight he could win. Yet, it wasn't about winning. It was about buying Aradil enough time to complete her spell. And this....this, he could do.
Aldherin spat on the ground. "One more time then, friend. For old times sake."
With a scream, Aldherin charged in to engage his foe one last time, moving forwards to his own death.
But I did not die that day. *He* made sure I did not die.
Aldherin closed the book with a sigh. Reminiscing about the past made little difference. What was done was done now, and in the centuries since his taking, Aldherin's name and legacy had been stained with countless dark deeds. Whereas once he was the saviour of his people, now he was the slayer. Elf, human, dwarf, gnome and halfling alike had fallen under the power of his arcane might. Power that none, not even Aradil herself, could stand against.
"Aradil." The sound was like the harsh scratching of metal claws digging into wood. "You loved me once, long, long ago, as I once did you."
With a wave of his hand, he banished the image, and Aradil faded into nothingness. "Time changes all things, does it not, my love." Laughing, Aldherin walked slowly to the window to look out into the frozen world beyond. "The next time we meet, love, one of us will die. And your power, great as it is, cannot match mine, fuelled as it is by my dark god."
Clenching his fist, Aldherin watched idly as it glimmered with a glowing, white light. A light that burned brightly for a few seconds before fading into nothingness. "It is sad that it has come to this, but there is no way back for either of us now. We can only watch powerless as the path that is laid before us, and the story plays out to its conclusion."
His dark eyes glittered as he stared at the night sky.
"There is so little you know, love. So little that you and my precious god realise. The knowledge that I possess will change the world forevermore."
His voice trailed off, echoing in the wind as he whispered. "I have learned how to pierce the Veil separating our world from the realms beyond. And I need one more thing, one thing only to complete the ritual."
Another image formed in front of his eyes. That of a small, brass cylinder. Aldherin reached towards it, but his hands passed through the ghostly illusion.
"So small, so insignificant looking, yet the power you possess will bring a god to its knees."
The image faded as Aldherin looked away. "Soon, soon I will possess the key, and all the world's mysteries will lay open at my feet."
Smiling, Aldherin walked away from the window to contemplate, not on what once was, but of what could have been.
@Birb the game is freeform but based on a d20 setting. The Heroic Path is a series of abilities that you will get at certain story junctures. For example, from your choice Charismatic, you will start the game with the ability to convince one person to do something they normally wouldn’t do once a day. At a certain point in the game you will get access to the next ability, but I will tell you when that is.
@ZAVAZggg You can play a character who used to serve the dark god and renounced his worship, but you cannot play a character currently serving the dark god.
In the ageless time before the dawn of history, there was a war in heaven. In desperation, the lords of light severed the black spirit of the dark god Izrador, casting him out of the celestial kingdom above the world of Aryth.
The gods succeeded in vanquishing their brother, but Izrador corrupted their magic and turned their victory against them. As the fallen gods spirit was severed from his physical form, so too was the celestial kingdom severed from all contact with the material realm. The lords of light discovered that they could no longer commune with their mortal children. This cataclysm shook the foundations of the world and came to be known as the Sundering.
The dark god fell to the earth, his foul essence staining the land with its evil shadow. Weakened and bodiless, Izrador retreated to the ice and cold of the far north. There he slumbered, slowly recovering his strength and dreaming of vengeance across aeons of time. Empires were built and crumbled to dust, races were born and died, and the Shadow in the North grew deeper and darker.
Three times the dark god rose, and threatened the nations of Aryth with iron and fire. The first time he was defeated by a proud host of elves, dwarves and Dornish men lead by Aradil the Witch Queen.
The second time, races of good held the Shadow off long enough for aid to come from an unlooked for ally.
By the time of the third rising, the free peoples of Eredane were battered, bitter and distracted by their own infighting as well by the insidious corruption sown by the dark god’s spies over the years. Four of the land’s greatest heroes fell prey to his dark promises and betrayed their people, leading his hordes from the north, claiming their title – the Night Kings.
This time, the dark god won.
Shadows fall and hope has fled Steel your heart, the dawn will come The night is long and the path is dark Look to the sky for one day soon The dawn will come
The Shepherd’s lost and his home is far Keep to the stars, the dawn will come The night is long and the path is dark Look to the sky for one day soon The dawn will come
Bare your blade and raise it high Stand your ground, the dawn will come The night is long and the path is dark Look to the sky for one day soon The dawn will come
It is now the Age of Shadow.
Accompanied by the creatures of the Dark Lord, the Astiraxes, the light of hope in the world has faded and is almost extinguished. The last beacon of goodness in the world lies in the great forest of Erethor, where the Witch Queen Aradil holds the armies of Shadow at bay behind a magical shield that they cannot penetrate. Yet the great Elven Queen is only mortal.
Soon she too will fail, and the barrier will fade. When that happens, the armies of Shadow will invade, and the Elven Kingdom will die. The final light of the world will be extinguished, and darkness will cloak the land. The will of Izrador will reign unchecked.
The humans have been subjugated and made prisoners in their own cities, ruled over by brutal orcish overseers. The few remaining dwarves have been driven back into their mountain holdfasts, sealing themselves from the world. Most have been fed to the meat grinders within the dark citadel of Theros Obsidia. The nomadic halfling tribes have been all but extinguished and the lucky ones sent to work in orcish slave camps. The gnomes aid the war effort in secret, under the guise of aiding the Shadow and sailing their dark ships. Yet it is a futile effort and doomed to fail.
Magic, weapons and literacy are illegal in this shadow-wrought world. It is this tormented land that you become unwitting and unwilling heroes, and it is here that you will be hunted down mercilessly.
Yet, amidst the final days of the world, and the ever deepening shadow, a glimmer of hope is found. An ancient artifact falls into your hands, one that the Shadow desperately wants and one that maybe, just maybe, contains within it a secret both great and terrible - one that in the right hands could end the reign of Izrador once and for all.
The last War of the Shadow approaches.
Will you stand, or will you die?
In the world of Midnight, evil rules and the last, brave heroes strive against unbeatable odds. The lands of men have been crushed under the iron heels of the Night Kings and their minions and the lands of the fey are besieged on all sides by the dark hordes of the Shadow in the North.
Those who would resist the dominion of the dark god must often do so from the shadows, fighting a secret war that most people believe was lost a hundred years ago.
My intention is to hold an application process for this game. This will be a very dark, brutal but rewarding campaign for those who are accepted. This is a game very much for role-players and mature storytellers who are looking for a deep and rewarding role-playing experience. Your characters may die, and I will not flinch from killing characters off if the wrong choices and decisions are made, such is the nature of this dark world. If that is the case, then you will of course be allowed to create another character to continue.
And one last piece of advice - this is a world where evil has already won. There are no happy endings here — you will die, the only question is when, and whether your death is on your own terms of Izrador’s. I would strongly recommend that in combat situations you don’t engage the enemy head on, as their forces and numbers will always be superior to yours. The general rule of thumb for Midnight is that if you are forced to fight, you are doing something wrong as you run the risk of bringing the Shadow’s hordes on your head.
Please submit your applications in the following format:
Name: Age: Chosen Race: (see below) Chosen Archetype: (see below) Strengths: choose three strengths the character has Weaknesses: choose three weaknesses the character has Heroic Path: choose one heroic path from the following link: http://www.sylvos.com/gaming/midnight/hp-main1.htm. You will gain these abilities at various story based interludes. I will substitute anything that has + to one ability or another to a suitable alternative.
Spellcasting Abilities: For those of you who choose the Channeler archetype, you may choose 10 spells of your choice for use. These spells may be anything you desire, feel free to use your imagination. Please note that I do reserve the right to request you to change anything I deem to be too overpowered for the game. Also note that being a Channeler does have a drawback. The more spells you cast the closer you will come to death as spellcasting in this game draws on the wielders life force. You will get progressively weaker up until the point that you die - I will provide story based clues on how close you are to death in my posts.
One more thing to note is that certain enemies can sense the use of magic and use it to pinpoint your location - so use magic wisely in the game.
Appearance: Provide me with a character picture and a more in-depth description of your appearance
Personality: What makes your character tick - provide me with a few paragraphs
Background: Feel free to make up places and people as you desire but by being mindful of the tone and setting of the game. The only thing I ask is that your characters should start in a place that goes by the name of Hope’s Gate. Hope’s Gate is a hidden rebel outpost situated in the Great Plains of Erenland. It is nothing more than a collection of ramshackle huts hidden from the eyes of the Shadow within plains, built with the express purpose to allow the people to up and move at a moments notice. This outpost hides a number of malcontents and rebels — dwarves, humans, elves, halflings and gnomes from Izrador’s army. Outside of the great forest of Erethor, it is one of the last communities of free people left standing in the world.
There are fewer than 100 residents of Hope’s Gate and they all answer to the community leader, a mysterious elf by the name of Eirinn.
About the Game:
First things first, I am a writer by heart and writing is my passion. You can expect quite long and in-depth posts from myself, and generally I look for strong writers and role players to share my passion with. If you’re willing to invest the time in the game and your character, we’re going to get along great. That said, there are some basic guidelines I expect everyone to comply with:
1) Application Guidelines: I am looking for five people. The game will not be first come first served — I will review the applications and select who I believe to be the best fit. If that means taking on less than the requested five then so be it.
2) Posting Frequency: I’m looking for about 1 post a week to keep the momentum going. If you can post more I’ll certainly aim to respond but its not a dealbreaker if you can’t.
3) Absences: If you’re going to be absent for any length of time then let me know - I’m not an ogre, I don’t bite. If, however, you have not posted for two weeks either IC or OOC, and have not otherwise notified me of your absence I will remove you from the game and recruit a replacement.
4) Etiquette: I expect you to remain polite and civilised to your fellow players OOC at all times. Crucially, if there is an issue with someone else, PM me in the first instance and I will mediate. Do not take up the issue on the board. Disruptive behaviour in the game will not be tolerated.
5) WIP posts: Are acceptable if completed within 24 hours. Any longer and they will be removed and the game will continue.
6) GM / GM character posts: I will update when everyone has responded to my post at least once, or otherwise once a week at the latest. If you have not posted in that time I will update irrespective and you will need to catch up.
Background Information about the World
Races of Aryth:
Those humans descended from the houses of the Old Kings, known commonly as the Northmen, still live in the lands north of the Sea of Pelluria. Those that remain in the environs of their ruined cities live at the will of their orc masters and survive off what subsistence they can grow, poach, or scrounge. Others huddle in subsistence communities on the vast stretches of hill country and tundra, left to lives of misery only occasionally interrupted by orc patrols and legates seeking provision and tithes. Those that choose to run as outlaws, bearing illegal weapons and raiding supplies from the dark god's chosen, must always be on the move lest they be hunted down and slaughtered.
Dornish people are big, even for humans with broad shoulders and long limbs. They have pale skin and green or blue eyes. Their hair ranges from gold to red and was once worn long and bound with metal rings, each ring commemorating a battle in which the individual had fought. Now most Dorns, even many women, shave their heads as a symbol of shame at their defeat by the forces of Izrador. Dorns once wore painted leather coats, fur boots and heavy woolen kilts and gowns whose patterns marked their house allegiances. Now they are lucky to have dirty rags in which to wrap their hungry bodies.
The Dornish people once swore fealty to the Old Kings of the Great Houses. The nobles were fiercely loyal to their people, who repaid that devotion by adhering to familial codes of honor in both social interactions and in battle. In the days of the old, death was seen as far preferable to dishonoring one's clan; every action a Dorn undertook, whether repairing his farmstead's wall or meeting a foe in battle, was to reflect proudly on his King. But with the betrayal of the Night King Jahzir, Gregor Chander, and several other Traitor Princes, most Northmen are now only loyal to their own skins and swear fealty only to their stomachs. The shades of their ancestors, which traditional Dorns honor with altars, prayers and sacrifices, would weep to see what has become of their once-great people.
In the centuries since the Sarcosans came to Eredane, the Dorns have become excellent riders, though they still prefer to fight on foot. Their weapons of choice were longspears and greatswords, though some chose to carry large battleaxes. Today, orc patrols kill armed humans on sight so the rare Dorns who go armed use whatever weapons are available.
The humans of southern Erenland are smaller and much leaner than the big Northmen. They have dark brown skin and black, shiny hair. Their eyes are the deepest brown and set in narrow lids that grant them hard stares when angry and bright smiles when pleased. They paint their skins with herbal salves that bleach intricate, pale designs on their faces, arms, and chests for nothing more than the haunting beauty it creates. They dress in flowing pants and loose robes that offer them both protection from the elements and the freedom they need to ride and fight.
Like the Northmen, these southlanders once swore allegiance to noble princes. With the rule of the Shadow, most of those sussars, or sworn riders, have been killed or sworn to ride as outlaws. Those that remain are traitors to their own people, and have become soulless and hollow tyrants under the control of the legates and their orc enforcers.
By the time the forces of Izrador had reached the southern cities of Erenland, the human armies had been crushed and only a few cities resisted. Cambrial and Alvedara were both razed for their refusal to surrender.
Sharuun, Hallisport and several other cities still stand, essentially as they did before the war. As a result, many southlanders still live in the cities their forefathers built. Unfortunately, the inflated false economies, brutal orc garrisons, and whimsically evil legates that plague these urban areas serve as a reminder that, while the cities may still stand, the spirit that built them has been all but crushed.
Sarcosan riders favor versatility and finesse over brute strength. They wield Sarcosan lances and composite longbows when on horseback. On foot, they often fight with a wickedly curved scimitar in one hand and an inward-curving short sword, called a cedeku, in the other.
For more than 2000 years, the Northmen descendants of the Dorns and the colonial Sarcosans have lived together as two cultures unified by military, commercial, and royal alliance under the single banner of the nation of Erenland. In that time, they have also become kin through friendship and family. From the southern coast of the Pelluria to the shores of the Ardune, the peoples of both races have interbred and intermarried for so long that a new race of true Erenlanders has been born.
These people are a mix of their forebears. Not as large and pale skinned as their Dorn parents nor as slight or dark as their Sarcosan ancestors, their colorations and builds vary wildly. They are a transitional people between both Erenland's northern and southern regions as well as its past and future. Erenlanders are the true children of their kingdom, a people born of two ancient traditions but owing loyalty instead to one young nation. Though different settlements and even different families, hold more strongly to some Sarcosan and Dornish traditions, mos Erenlanders sense they are truly a unique people, something other than simply the combination of their ancestries.
Though the lack of cultural restriction means Erenlanders have greater social freedom, that freedom is not without greater social cost. Whereas respect for the past and hatred of the Shadow bind the Dornish houses and Sarcosan liegemen to their people, the Erenlanders have no such guiding lights or sense of unity. Indeed, it may have been their diluted loyalties that made many Erenlander communities fertile soil for Izrador's dark seeds in the Second and Third Ages. It is yet to be seen whether the Erenlanders of the Last Age will devolve into a directionless, broken people or will rise above the suspicions and betrayal of their time and unite the two bloodlines, north and south, Dorn and Sarcosan, that created them.
The dwarves are an ancient people and have a culture as rich as any in Eredane. Dwarven society is structured along familial lines, and like the Dorns, clan loyalty and honor lie at the center of their lives. Historical records indicate that in the First Age there were more than 600 dwarven clanholds spread throughout the Kaladrun Mountains. Now there are fewer than 200 and this number continues to fall as the Shadow advances.
The clan is the basic dwarven social and political unit. The smallest clans may contain as few as 100 individuals and the largest many thousands. Alliances between the clans are fluid, complicated affairs, most typically formed by intermarriage or common enemies. In bygone days, skirmishes between the various clans were common, but in the past centuries of war, such hot-bloodedness has instead been spent against the forces of Izrador. For matters of governance that affect all dwarves, great clanmoots were once called where representatives of each clan would meet in raucous assemblies to determine collective courses of action. The cantankerous and aggressive nature of these meetings is a reflection of dwarven clan relations at large.
In addition to the clan structure of dwarven society, there is another important social distinction within the dwarven culture. Most dwarves, about four out of every five clans live underground in their warren-like holdfasts that are carved out of the hard flesh of the mountains. The remaining clans are called the Kurgun, the surface dwellers. The Kurgun still live in the old dwarven surface cities of the southern Kaladruns that predate the First Age and the digging of the holdfasts.
Dwarves are a stout race, with short thick bones and heavy muscles. Their heads and chins - and most of the rest of their bodies, for that matter - are covered in thick hair in a variety of pale colours. These colours typically indicate an individual's clan heritage, as do the jewelled bangles they wear in their heavy braids.
Most dwarves live in underground cities that are warrens of chambers, rooms and great halls, all constantly being expanded by mining. The original proximity of the clans to one another, combined with their constant expansion throughout the millennia, have turned much of the central Kaladrun Mountains into a bewildering maze of tunnels and passages. The range contains countless pathways and chambers, both large and small, new and old, occupied and forgotten.
Since the fall of Erenland, the clanholds have severed almost all contact with the world beyond their mountains, and all their craft has now been turned to their race's continuing survival.
Caransil (Wood Elves)
The elves of central Erethor, the Caransil, or wood elves, are the most widespread and familiar of the woodland fey. They range from the southern Highhorns, eastward to the Plains of Eris Aman and the Westlands, and south to the Aruun Jungle. Their skin is the beautiful brown of ino treewood, and their hair tends to be shiny and black. Their eyes are large and dark and they are the tallest of the elves. They wear a variety of clothes, from the dark and mottled camouflage leathers of a scout's kit to the sunset brilliance of a courtier's elaborate silks.
These elves live in enormous maudrial, or homewood, trees that have been coaxed to grow in elegant but useful domestic shapes by age-old spells. The Caransil eat mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. They supplement their diets with rabbits and grouse raised in family hutches and with river fish from the Gamaril and Felthera.
The wood elves are traditionally the artists, philosophers, and craftsmen of Erethor. They are also the lineage from which have come the greatest sorcerers and battle mages of recent times. Their warriors carry longbows and longswords.
Danisil (Jungle Elves)
These elves of the southern reaches of Erethor, where temperate forest gives way to tropical jungle, are small, slight and ebony skinned. Historians speculate that they may be the elven line from which the halflings were born. The uninitiated consider the Danisil "feral elves", but their culture is as sophisticated as that of their cousins. Many of Erethor's most powerful druids are of the Danisil lineage.
Their hair is dark and course and typically worn in short dreadlocks. Their eyes are black and so narrow that the whites barely show. They dress in loose shorts and brightly painted vests, but when hunting, they wear only layers of river mud to hide them from both sight and scent.
The Danisil live in boa-bil groves along the many small rivers of the Aruun Jungle. Their druids enchant vines to form large slings that suspend their tiny huts high in the jungle canopy. They live off the fruits of the forest but are also cunning hunters.
Erunsil (Snow Elves)
The elves of northern Erethor, called the Erunsil or the snow elves, are the stoutest elven stock. They dominate the forest from its northernmost reaches to the southern end of the Highborn Mountains. They are fair skinned with long braided hair the color of snow. Their eyes are narrow, shaped like sweetroot seeds, and are as pale as their skin. They wear heavy clothes and thick furs when travelling or at rest, but prefer light leathers when fighting or scouting. In those circumstances they rely more on their natural fortitude than on clothing to resist the cold.
The Erunsil live in giant shelterwood trees surrounded by groves of massive, evergreen winter oak. Their homes are magically grown hollows in the massive trees, insulated by creeper vine and heated by hearthstones. They are hunters and live off the natural bounty of the forest.
These northern elves have fought the orcs of the mountains for thousands of years and are experts at hunting this prey. They are fierce warriors and have been keys to the defense of Erethor since the Shadow first menaced the elves. They carry powerful icewood bows and vicious paired fighting knives and use both to good effect.
Miransil (Sea Elves)
The Miransil are the sea elves that dwell along the southwestern coast of Eredane, where the great forest of Erethor meets the sea. These unwarlike, thoughtful people are from the same ancestral stock of the Caransil but long ago became as bound to the spirits of the sea as their cousins are to those of the forest. The sea elves are a darker skinned people than their inland brothers, well tanned by the coastal sun. Their dark hair is worn short and bushy, and they wear loose-fitting short pants or saris.
The Miransil live over the water in the intertwining branches of giant mangrove trees whose sturdy roots protect their small harbors from ocean storms. The Miransil live off the bounty of the sea and are expert swimmers, sailors and builders of small fishing boats and coastal traders. The sea elves are few, having sent an entire generation westward in search of hope and help, but have nonetheless sent their share of soldiers east to fight Izrador's invaders.
Halflings are a race of tiny folk that some believe descended from the Danisil lineage of southern elvenkind. They call themselves the Dunni or "the people" in their own tongue. They are almost as dark skinned as the Danisil, with the same coarse hair worn in small, intricate braids that mark their tribal membership. Their eyes range from common black to dark brown and green.
Where still free-living, the nomadic tribes dwell on the open plains in large hide tents they share with their extended families. The farming families have almost been wiped out by the advance of the Shadow, but a few groups still remain along the southwestern margins of Erethor. They dwell in cozy sod villages kept alive through their exceptional horticultural skills and the watchful presence of their wogren companions.
The halfling weapon of choice is the spear, with which they protect their flocks, hunt wild boar and skewer the occasional orc.
The gnomes are a clever and resourceful race. Though it is well known that they share ancient kin with the dwarves, they do not like to claim responsibility for the lineage. Gnomes are barely taller than the halflings, with only a slightly stouter build. They are bronze skinned but pale eyed, with jet black hair that they keep short as they are constantly in and out of the water.
Gnomish culture and history are characterized by their adaptable nature. Their nimble outlook on life allowed them to first move from mountain life to that of the coastal hills of the Ebon Sea, and from there to become adroit seafarers and river runners. Through all these years and new trading partners, the gnomes always knew that their conquerors longed only for land and goods. With the coming of Izrador this is not the case. They cannot fool themselves into believing that the dark god and the orcs will be content to let the survivors of the war live their lives in peace; whatever the eventual goals of the Shadow, the gnomes know that Eredane cannot survive. But the river fey's strength was not in war. So, as always, they bowed before their new masters and offered to serve. Or so it seemed.
Though the race has been subjugated along with the halflings, gnomes continue to enjoy a sort of freedom. Even the forces of the Shadow need to transport cargo and soldiers, and the river barges of the gnomes suit this purpose well. Most other races see the cost of this semi-freedom as the worst kind of enemy collaboration. What few realise is that the gnomes fight the dark god in their own way: as consummate spies and smugglers. It is their secret trade that keeps weapons, magic and information flowing amongst the free races of Eredane.
The dwarrow are the offspring of gnomes and dwarves. Long ago, such pairings were common, but since the dwarves have become so withdrawn, dwarrow are increasingly rare. Dwarrow appear as stout, uncommonly strong gnomes but tend to lack their even temper and inherent personal grace. As a rule, dwarrow do not have the fortitude to survive life in the mountains. If a dwarrow is unlucky enough to be born there, he is typically sent to the rivers to live with his gnome parents family. Dwarrow are welcomed by rafters for their strong backs and stronger loyalties.
Dworgs are perhaps the most unfortunate race in the history of Eredane. These bastard children are the misbegotten fruit of orc raids against the dwarves and are very rare. Those that are not murdered at birth suffer a lifetime of abuse as outcasts from their own kind. Most are killed in fights with their clansmen by the time they reach adulthood. Those that survive are usually banished from the clan and forced to make their way alone.
Many of these unfortunates find their way to the Durgis clan of the Kurgun. This alienated, half-wild clan of surface dwarves has a long reputation of accepting any dwarven outcasts from other clans. The kinship dworgs find among the Durgis fills them them with a rabid dedication to their adopted clan that few full-blooded dwarves can honestly claim.
Dworgs combine the strength of their orc fathers and the fortitude of their dwarf mothers and the result is the most physically imposing race in all the lands. Dworgs have the build and proportions of their dwarven kin but are almost as tall as humans. If any race hates orcs more than the full-blooded dwarves, it is the dworgs. They blame their orc fathers for their lives as outcasts and seem to take a measure of revenge with every orc they kill.
More than any other archetype, fighters are masters of training and weaponry, both of which are in short supply in the Last Age of Eredane. This is not to say they don’t exist; they are especially common among the dwarves, who focus on weapon mastery, the Dorns, who train toward toughness and the ability to deal large amounts of damage, and the Sarcosans, who are devastating mounted combatants. However, many warriors against the Shadow have realised that Stealth is often a more useful asset than brawn, and that a quick tongue can succeed where a quick blade cannot.
In order to become a fighter, a character is likely to have had access to better training and better weapons and armour than most others; this means that they are either one of the free people of Eredane (the elves or the dwarves), an ex-soldier, or one of the daring insurgents living free in Erenland.
Rogues are a plague in Eredane. After all, much of the continent is under occupation by a brutal enemy force that rewards those who divulge secret information or take advantage of their fellows. The rogues combination of stealth, offensive and defensive capabilities ensure that they are common and capable members of every race and culture, whether they call themselves warriors, assassins or opportunists.
Magic is a rare and powerful force in the world of Aryth, and mortals who can wield it are rarer still. Most arcane spellcasters of any accomplishment perished or were corrupted at the end of the Third Age. In the aftermath of the war, there are precious few teachers and mentors who can pass along their lore to a new generation. Those who manage to learn the craft of magic on their own are inevitably hunted down and exterminated by the legates, the only ones who wield true divine magic.
People who know and can cast a few useful spells are not completely unknown in Aryth. Usually this is practical magic that aids common folk in their daily lives - spells like light, mending, and purify food and drink. Occassionally, exceptional individuals learn to wield more powerful spells useful in battle, commerce, thievery, diplomacy, or other pursuits. To truly master the art of magic, however, a person must devote himself to it completely. These rare few are known as Channelers.
Channelers lead lives of great risk and danger. Their innate power and potential mark them as threats to the Night Kings and their dominion. They are hunted by the dark god's priests, the legates, as if they can smell magic on their prey.
Because of these dangers and the superstitions of common folk, channelers often seek secluded places to pursue their studies, experiments, and meditations in isolation. When they venture out, they often quest against for rare items of power, lost knowledge, or vengeance against those who persecute their kind.
Channelers devote themselves to the understanding and mastery of magic. Because magic is a force that flows through the world, they often pursue knowledge of nature and other scholarly subjects as well. Most channelers lack the combat abilities of other classes, but their command of magic more than offsets this weakness. While characters of any class can learn to use a few simple spells, channelers are the only ones that do not worship the dark god who become truly accomplished spellcasters.
Channelers are rarely religious, unless they are evil characters who serve Izrador and the Night Kings. These channelers recognize that they do not owe their power to any divine agency and that the only spellcasters who do are servants of the Shadow.
As a persecuted and elite group, channelers are often bound together by a strong bond of fraternity, though this rarely manifests as formal organizations or orders. The dangers faced by channelers make membership in such groups risky at best. Many channelers, however, aid each other when and where they can and do their best to pass on their knowledge and traditions to promising youths.
During the Third Age, humans were the most common channelers. They rigorously pursued the refinement of magic as a craft and science. Magic also plays a strong role in halfling culture, though few truly powerful halfling channelers survive. Elves and elflings, though rare in the aftermath of the Last Battle, are among the most powerful channelers. Dwarf, dwarrow, dworg, and orc channelers are exceptionally rare and almost always follow the spiritual traditions of their people.
Channelers power their magic through use of their own life force. The more spells they cast, the weaker they become. Eventually, if they draw too much energy, they will die.
Heroes are hard to come by in the lands of Eredane and beyond. The oppressive reign of the Night Kings and their dark god have sapped the will of the people of these lands, who now seem content to scrape out what lives they can under the control of Izrador's forces. But from among these beaten people come men and women of great strength and character. They have vowed to fight the Shadow and his forces until their dying breaths. These adventurous and liberated spirits are known as defenders.
Defenders know that to openly defy the Night Kings is to bring death to themselves and all who know them. They also know that they must rally the spirits of their people if their is ever hope of triumphing over Izrador. To this end, they train their bodies to be weapons and learn martial techniques with simple tools in order to hide their nature from the soldiers of the Night Kings. Defenders are legendary for their toughness of both mind and body, and their ability to defeat more heavily armed foes gives hope to the downtrodden and oppressed.
Defenders often travel far to achieve their goals, but their hearts are always with the people of their homelands. They may leave their homes to train with other defenders or to pass along the knowledge that they have gained. They sometimes act as guards to important caravans or underground leaders who work to undermine the Night Kings' control.
The defenders greatest ability is to fight with no weapons or armor, or those that do not appear to be instruments of war. Defenders learn to use their arms and legs to damage and incapacitate their foes with blinding speed. They have trained their bodies, minds and spirits, and they can effectively strike even the most heavily armoured of opponents.
Defenders come from all walks of life, sometimes peasants who feel they have nothing to give their bodies to aid their friends and family, other times the descendents of noble men who feel compelled to protect those that their forefathers could not. Candidates are sometimes approached by existing defenders who understand the necessity of passing on the knowledge and training that they have gained. Often a child will be impressed by the actions of a defender and in adulthood seek to emulate the hero of his youth. The defenders are always taught a strict code of honour that governs their actions and philosophy, though there are many codes of this nature.
Almost all defenders are human, as they can blend in to local communities without drawing the attention of the local authorities. Elves on the fun and free dworgs also often take up the defender's arts, hoping to be able to fight the dark god without calling attention to themselves.
Before the time of the dark god's reign, there were men who lived not only in the wilderness, but with it. These rangers knew the land and its inhabitants as well as a farmer knew his fields. They could identify medicinal herbs and roots, find a quick source of food, and use the land as a weapon against their enemies.
As the forces of the Shadow marched through Eredane, the wildlanders as they came to be called, retreated into the primeval forests and high mountains that they knew so well. Some chose to side with the civilized men who fought against Izrador's armies, but these were few and they could only help delay the inevitable. Now, many see the wildlanders as cowards and traitors who allowed the Shadow in the North to conquer whole the lands of Eredane. Some wildlanders see this as an inevitable backlash as the people search for a scapegoat for their failure, others experience guilt over their forefather's failure to aid their people in a time of great need, and yet others still begrudge the people their prejudices and return them in kind. Now, most importantly, the wildlanders are one of the only groups to have escaped the grasp of the Night Kings and their fell armies. Their skills in moving through the wilderness without being seen are becoming paramount to the forces of good that are fighting a desperate and ongoing battle against Izrador and his minions.
Wildlanders often find an area close to a town and other bastion of civilization in which to live. They then serve as hidden protectors to the people who live nearby, as well as guerrilla warriors fighting from the trees against the dark god's forces. They also spend their time clearing the area of monsters and other threats that have only grown in the 100 years since the Night Kings were turned.
WIldlanders are masters of their environment and have many skills that help them to survive, track their prey, and to help others find their way through the wilderness. They are proficient in most forms of weaponry and armor, granting them combat capabilities far greater than most. Fin ally, wildlanders are always aware of their surroundings and train themselves to make quick decisions in times of great stress.
Most current wildlanders are themselves descended from the rangers who retreated in the face of Izrador's forces. They were trained by their mothers and fathers in the ways of the wilderness, and as a result, they have a deep understanding of the lands around them. They tend to be isolated from others of their kind, and their social development in most cases has been inadequate at best. Some wildlanders are peasants who chose to live in the wilds to escape the bonds of servitude that the Night Kings have forced upon their family and friends.
Wildlanders are most commonly elves or humans. Elves have a natural affinity with the land and their innate grace allows them to move stealthily through the woods and tall grasses of Eredane. The dark god's standing order to kill elves on sight makes this a natural choice for those elves outside the protection of the Witch Queen. Elflings also commonly choose this path to avoid having to hide their heritage out of fear of persecution. Humans can be found on every continent and in almost every land. They tend to be hardy and adaptable, making them well suited to the life of a wildlander. Dworgs become wildlanders by necessity, needing to develop skills to survive on their own in the wild, or die. The dwarves of the Kaladrun Mountains can often be found living alone deep in the tunnels and caverns that they call home. These robust individuals serve as scouts and early opposition in the case of incursions by the dark god's forces or any of the horrors that call the deep their home.
The Veil and the Fell:
There are many dangers in the world of Midnight, but few as foul and horrifying as the Fell. When Izrador's fall severed the bond between heaven and the mortal world, it did more than sever the connection between the gods and their faithful. It also trapped the souls of all future dead in the material realm, preventing their ascension to the celestial kingdom. Whether by happenstance or because of some malicious magics on Izrador's part, one of the terrible consequences of this reality has been that the souls of the newly dead are often unable to leave their bodies, remaining tied to them and doomed to walk the land as horrible, undead abominations. These unfortunate, fearsome, undead monsters are commonly known as the Fell.
In game terms, what this means is that when you slay an opponent, there is a possiblity that opponent will resurrect as an undead creature unless certain precautions are met within 3-4 days - such as separating the head from the body of all slain foes. Unfortunately, there is also a chance that the opponent slain can raise as an undead creature instantaneously upon death.
There is one more thing to be aware of:- any injury, be it a scratch, bite, or a grievous wound suffered at the hands of the Fell has a chance to bring about infection. An infected person is doomed to become Fell themselves — to lose their mind and become nothing more than one of the mindless undead. The amount of time before they succumb to the infection is variable, some individuals die within hours, others continue on for months before they become Fell.
Magic items in the world of Midnight are prized by virtue of their rarity and power. This game attempts to convey the classic fantasy image of a weapon, suit of armor, or other piece of magical gear that becomes inseparable and indeed defines its wielder, rather than just serving as a commodity to be traded away at the first sign of a likely upgrade. Prime examples of this are King Arthur’s Excalibur and Elric’s Stormbringer. In Midnight these sort of items are called covenant items.
All covenant items started out as mundane objects whose possessors undertook or were part of some heroic or dramatic action. Upon completion of these deeds, and usually culminating in the death or heroic sacrifice of the object’s wielder, it is imbued with some mystic combination of that person’s life essence and magical energy.
Weapons and armor are the most common types of covenant items, as these tend to stay with the character throughout his or her career. Wondrous items are sometimes also covenant items, ring especially. Items with limited uses such as wands and potions are never covenant items. It has been rumored, though, that there are a few powerful staves that are covenant items.
Covenant items can remain unknown and undetected for centuries, one sword among many or a single cloak trampled in the dirt, lost in the darkness. Created as they are by the innate magic of their original possessors’ actions, beliefs, and emotions, they are not detected by the magic-hunting legates. For that matter, a covenant item does not even detect as magic until its abilities are unlocked. They seem mundane, common, and wholly non-magical until they reveal their powers to those they feel are worthy to wield them.
A character never needs to identify a covenant item, as it reveals its abilities to its chosen wielder. The more similar a character is to the item’s original possessor or the more closely aligned he is with its original possessor’s mission, the more likely the item will be to reveal itself to the character.
With the coming of Izrador came also The Sundering. The details on what it is exactly and how it has affected the world is unknown to the general masses. What is known is that divine casters lost their abilities and summoners of all kinds were unable to conjure beasts or beings from other planes. With the loss of their healing clerics, the armies of the free peoples quickly fell before the forces of Izrador.
What is affected, however, is any spell that summons creatures (summon monster, summon animal, etc…), opens a portal to another plane (such as dimension door, planar travel, etc…), or contacts beings on another plane (such as augury). These spells function, but do not always have the desired effect the caster would normal hope for.
The first penalty for any such spell is the fact that they seem to be much easier to detect, almost like ringing a large magical gong. The second penalty is that the power of the Sundering often has random effects.
Examples of a planar spell going wrong could be something minor like the wrong kind of animal being summoned or something major like summoning a large group of fell instead.
Hope's Gate - home to the Heroes of Shadow, inasmuch as a home can be found in this broken world. Nothing more than an outpost and a hiding place for outcasts, hidden away within the Erenland Plains, the inhabitants of Hope's Gate find life to be simple, yet harsh. But it is a life, and it is more than most in this world get.
The world of Aryth - a broken world ruled over by Izrador:
This mysterious elf is one of the inner circle of the rebel camp situated at Hope's Gate. His story, and the reasons why he is at the camp at Hope's Gate rather than aiding the war effort in the Great Forest of Erethor is unknown, although it is rumoured that Aradil has dispatched Eirinn to search for a missing elf, Rhiann Tel'Aran, unaware that she had fallen in the fight at Durgis Rock.
Eirinn is a very private individual, yet one that is highly respected amongst the people of Hope's Gate. His organisational and leadership skills have kept the community away from Shadow forces on more than one occasion, and that has won him the love and respect of the people inside the camp.
Yet the story of this mysterious elf is one still to be told, and little does he realise that he too is destined to be swept up in the destinies and events surrounding the ragged band of heroes that he dispatched to find the missing seer, Henkith Vorzves, and ultimately, the events leading to the last War of the Shadow.
Merrill winded at her protestations. Looking away from her, to the darkness of the wilderness that beckoned, he swallowed. I wish I could tell you why, even as I wish that I could stay, he thought to himself.
But he could not. Such was the nature of the “gift” he had been given. And Merrill cursed that gift. He cursed it with every single thing that he had. Every single fibre of his being......wishing that there was another way.
Swallowing again, he kept looking away from her as he replied.
”I wish I could explain Callie, but just trust me when I say that it is for the best.....”
I want to stay. Now he brought his eyes to meet hers. I have been alone now for so long that to find company, even if only fleeting.....it has been more of a balm to my soul than you could ever know. But he did not speak the words. He saw Callie, lying there, dead before him, bloodstained knife in his hands as he gazed down at her, his heart shattered.
If there is anything.....anything at all I can do to stop this from coming to pass I will. This time I must cheat fate. I MUST cheat fate.
The smile on his face was resigned, his eyes haunted.
”It is the only way Callie. You will find your destiny and you will learn to control it. This.....this is outwith my ability to do. I’m sorry.”
Turning, he disappeared into the brush before she had chance to answer him.....
That I had the power to just dissipate here in the blackness, to be no more, to not think or feel, I would. I would take it again and again and again as I allowed the blackness of oblivion to swallow me.
Merrill was lost in his thought as he pushed through the undergrowth. In his right hand he had already gathered provisions from the wilderness. Mushrooms, leaves that he knew to be edible. It wasn’t going to be a kings feast by any stretch of the imagination, but it would be enough to tide them over. One thing that Merrill had learned to do, and learned to do well, was hunt and forage. It was the one thing that had kept him alive in all of the lonely years he had spent by himself. When you only had yourself to account for, and nowhere to turn to, one quickly learned to become self-sufficient.
It was easy enough to do, to find enough provisions for the both of them. And at this precise moment, Merrill was hunched over a small brook that was in the heart of the forest. In the water was a skein that he was filling up. They would survive the night, if nothing else.
It was something, at the very least.
When the voice echoed from behind him, feminine yet venomous, Merrill immediately knew his mistake. He had become complacent in their flight from the demon that he had blinded himself to the other dangers out there.
”It has been too long Merrill,” the voice spoke as a dark form detached from the shadows behind him.
Closing his eyes in disgust and horror, Merrill turned slowly to see the figure of the one he knew stood before him. He said one word, and one word only.
The face of his killer stared back at him.
Merrill was not the only one who had paid a heavy price for his insttention. So caught up in the events that had unfolded, Callie had not noticed the slight movement from behind one of the oak trees. A dark, long form slithered out from the undergrowth.
Sliding it’s way towards her, the shadowy form came closer to her from behind.
Closer, ever closer.......
Reaching the back of her foot, it slid under the folds of her clothing and began to climb up her leg, a sudden wet and slimy sensation against her skin......
The woman was ice. Pure ice. Looking at her, he would have been hard pressed in that single instant to see if there was any difference between woman and machine. Everything was spoken with a cold detachment, like a block of ice. Or a machine. Maybe she was one of them? One of those lifelike synths that were created to give one the impression of being human, when they were not.
But no, he recognised the names that she spoke. Giving s low wolfwhistle, he jumped back to his feet.
”Impressive, Science Officer Beatrice Briarwood. You are descended from greatness. You must be so proud of yourself. No wonder command thinks highly of you. I consider myself honoured to be in your presence.”
Heading over to the metallic door that was at the far side of the room, Morgan presses the round button. It opened, sliding upwards, revealing a small circular chamber beyond.
”We should get this show on the road, your greatness.”
Going into the round cockpit, there were two seats positioned next to each other. In front of one of the seats was a large console. On the console was a monitor that showed an image of a large green grid. Periodically on the grid, green and red lights blinked on and off in a strange, almost disconcerting pattern.
Next to the other seat was a second console. This one had what seemed to be a series of levers and large buttons. It was this seat that Morgan sat himself down. Reaching up to his top right, he pulled down the seatbelt, strapping himself into the chair as he placed his right hand on one of the levers.
Outside the window in front of the cockpit was a view of the ships hangar. On the ground level people scurried back and forth, going about their business, either going in or out of the other aircraft in the bay, or otherwise seeing to the repairs of said aircraft. One figure stood in front of the Falcon. He had a red anda green flag in his hands as he held his hand up, gesturing to Morgan to bring the ship forwards slowly.
”Buckle yourself in partner,” he said, looking back to Beatrice as he reached up to the large red button just over his head.
”Its going to be a bumpy ride, so don’t get too comfortable,” he chuckled as he placed his finger on the ignition.
Morgan certainly was not prepared for the appearance of the ice, as it piled onto the bed right next to where he was. He rolled off the bed and back to his feet, shivering as he did so.
So it’s like that, is it? She was “one of those types. Never mind, they all thaw eventually.
Raising an eyebrow at the sudden appearance of the supplies, he held his hand on his hips as he shook his head.
”Lets hope that we don’t get delayed then Officer,” he said with the smallest of smiles.
When she spoke, she spoke with what Morgan liked to call “robotic precision”. She was professional, mechanical......devoid of passion or humour. Studying her features, taking in the whole of her, Morgan found himself noting that, while she was certainly extremely pretty, it was the sort of beauty that seemed to be sculpted or manufactured rather than being human. She was, in her manner and demeanour, almost like a robot. He was, for a moment, almost tempted to ask whether or not she was a synth, but finally decided better of it, pushing the thought back again.
Walking the room, taking in its surroundings, Morgan went over to the closet, glancing over the supplies and clothing before nodding his head in an appreciative manner.
”So, Officer, since we’re going to be partnering and travelling for a while together why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself?” Morgan began, flashing her a small smile as he sat down again on the edge of the bed, ignoring the bags of ice as he gazed at her.
”Where are you from Beatrice? Friends, family.....you know the sorts of questions.”
The corners of his lips turned up in the slightest of smiles as he added, ”Any significant others I should be wary of?”
”Soil samples at the very least. If you can bring me back samples of the local flora and fauna too that would be even better Officer. Do you have any comments of questions Ensign?”
Feeling her eyes bore daggers into him, Morgan smiled slightly. Glancing sideways at her, he gave her a surreptitious wink as he answered, ”None here Major. I will see to it that it is done.”
Nodding his head, Major Carver glared also at Morgan before his glance softened slightly when looking over towards Beatrice.
”Very well. You are to report back with your findings in three days. Dismissed.”
As he turned to leave, walking down the metal walkway, Major Carver’s voice trailed after him.
”Ensign Kayler.” Stopping, Morgan looked back to the Major.
”Once, you were the best. You aced every single course. Every single exam, you were always the best of them all. Its why you’re still here. Its the only reason you’re still here. Don’t let the past destroy everything you once were Ensign. You won’t get another chance than what you have now.”
And with those words, Morgan’s expression went hard. His eyes stared at Major Carver as the seconds drifted by.....seconds that drifted into a minute. Finally, he nodded his head.
”I’ll bear that in mind Major,” he said coldly, all hint of laughter and jokes gone now.
Before more could be said, Morgan went down the metal ramp leading to the floor of the hangar.
”Today we will be going out in the EX-128,” he said without looking back to Beatrice, his tone now professional and business-like.
Arriving at the small pod, he gestured to it. A round, circular space ship, it wasn’t big enough to fit any more than two people inside of it. There was a ramp leading up into the interior of the ship. It was this ramp that Morgan stood in front of.
”The EX-128 is a prototype. It was not built for comfort. It was not built for combat. Its been designed small deliberately,” he ran his hand across the shiny grey metal surface. ”It can travel at greater speeds than the Galacticus, than any ship you’ve likely been on before Officer,” he said looking back to her with a small smirk.
”When we take off, I’d recommend that you belt up and sit back for the ride,” still smirking, he walked up the ramp inside.
Inside the ship, a long corridor leading in from the outside came to a single door separating. Pressing a small circular depression outside the door, an arched hatch opened up with a low hiss. Beyond there were two chambers. The one they stood in was an elongated circular chamber. There were two beds on one side of the chamber, and what looked to be a kitchen area on the other side. The beds were covered with simple, and clinical, white sheets, and the kitchen, for what it was, had one counter on it with what appeared to be a fridge and cooker next to it. They were both metallic. The whole room had a metallic look to it. Grey metal shone everywhere, bright in its pristine cleanliness. The only exception to this were the white covered on the bed.
”There are two rooms in the ship. Like I said, it wasn’t built for comfort,” Morgan said as he walked into the first room.
”A combined sleeping and dining quarters. Beyond the door there is the cockpit. That is where I will be flying and you’ll be navigating.”
As his eyes flickered back to her, he nodded his head. ”You do know how to navigate don’t you Officer?”
Without waiting for an answer, Morgan walked next to and flopped on one of the beds. Turning on his side and looking over to her, his smile turned slightly suggestive as he gazed at her with his dark eyes.
”You know, even though we have two beds, it is possible to fit more than one person on a bed....” he patted the space next to him on the white covers.
A space that suggested that there was, indeed, room for another.
”It gets really cold out there,” he said, still looking at her with intent. ”Real cold.”
Who am I? I’m a super geek who grew up in the 80’s with the old D&D cartoon, He-Man and the Thundercats. I’ve taken that geekiness into my adulthood along with a love and passion for writing. I want to delight you with my weird and wonderful tales of heroic derring-do and my eclectic yet memorable cast of characters.
Let me into your role play world — we will do wonderful things together.
<div style="white-space:pre-wrap;">Who am I? I’m a super geek who grew up in the 80’s with the old D&D cartoon, He-Man and the Thundercats. I’ve taken that geekiness into my adulthood along with a love and passion for writing. I want to delight you with my weird and wonderful tales of heroic derring-do and my eclectic yet memorable cast of characters.<br><br>Let me into your role play world — we will do wonderful things together.</div>