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"Tiefer, tiefer... Irgendwo in der Tiefe, gibt es ein Licht..."

▼ A B O U T M E:

T Y L E R J U N E 2 0, 1 9 9 5 ( 2 2 ) M A L E S H E F F I E L D , U K
► Guild member since 2010.
► Previous usernames include Armani, Einhorn & Teen Idle. Yes, I'm an asshole.
► Also known as Raja over on Iwaku.

► Favourite genres:
► High fantasy
► Superschool
► Superhero

► I am most comfortable at the higher end of Casual. Advanced scares me.
► I consider myself to be an 'active roleplayer', and enjoy pushing for plot progression.
► My favourite GM is @Lord Wraith, and you can usually find me in any of his games.

▼ C U R R E N T R O L E P L A Y S:

▼ F R I E N D S:

I T R I C K E D T H E S E P E O P L E I N T O L I K I N G M E :
@Lord Wraith@Roman@Hillan@Stein@Wade Wilson
That's literally it.

Most Recent Posts

For me, t'is a mix of both. I have other commitments, as anyone, but there are definite windows of opportunity where I could have written something. My primary issue is an unfortunate lack of faith brought about by the posting consistency. When it comes to choosing whether to write for this or do something else with my free time, I always find myself inclined towards the latter, because there is a sense that my post will make very little difference (and that, if I'm being truthful, it might be revealed as a waste of time, should the RP fizzle out completely.)

I'm also very aware that this stance is both hypocritical and counter-productive, it only contributes further to the poor posting consistency and exacerbates the problem. For myself, and likely for others.

I guess, what I'm trying to say, is that the content of the story is plenty stimulating, and I don't require anything further there. What I do need is some sort of confirmation; a shared understanding that we're all still excited and willing to post.

Without seeing activity, it's really difficult for me to motivate myself. But I'm definitely very much still interested in the world of Crestwood Hollow, and the story you have to tell.
Sorry for forgetting to blame you, @Roman. Love ya.
It's a little quiet in here. Where'd everyone go?

Blame @Hillan and @Stein. As usual, they are determined to ruin everything.

If it were me, I would move forward and allow the others to catch up in their own time. It would be a shame to stunt the RP this early on.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 - 08:24am

It was a welcome day in Crestwood Hollow. The summer vacation was officially over, and today the kids would finally be returning to school and giving their parents some much-needed relief. It would seem that the sun was feeling similarly optimistic that morning: its rays bathed the Orlaith valley in warmth, and bounced dramatically off the black paintwork of a pick-up truck that sped along the empty stretch of road. With its windows down, the loud music being played on the vehicle's stereo was audible all across the valley.

Inside, Emory and his younger sister were singing enthusiastically, the latter giggling her way through the current song's abrasive chorus. This was their morning routine, yelling and air-guitaring through the scenic mountain pass, and in some ways they took this privilege for granted; the pair could have been speeding through the grimiest alleys of the Tracks and had just as much fun. Emory leaned forward and turned the stereo down just enough for his sister to be able to hear him.

"You sure you got everything, Ellie?" he called back to her, glancing in his rear-view mirror.


"You sure?" he interrogated, raising an eyebrow.

"Bobby! I said I got it!" she laughed, in mock-annoyance. Her brother smiled wryly.

"Well, y'know, we're already super late," he chided playfully. "And that third rendition of the Moana soundtrack this morning didn't help. Did you pack your lunch?" The panic that swept over Eleanor's face said everything that she didn't, as she shot Emory a worried look in his mirror. He just laughed and shook hid head. "I guess it's a good job I spotted it on my way out, huh? It's in the trunk."

"Thanks, Bobby..." she said, both relieved and embarrassed at the same time. Emory winked at her, turning the music back up loud. They still had time for one more song before they would arrive at Ellie's school, and he intended to make the most of it. In truth, he needed the distraction. With his return to Mather Memorial imminent, he knew this would be his last chance to enjoy himself before those school walls brought him back to reality. Soon enough, he'd be back to thinking about physics and calculus, about homework and assignments... And of course, about Sebastian Scott.


Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 - 02:28pm

Emory's first day back at school was less disastrous than he had anticipated that morning. Sure, he'd been over half an hour late after dropping Ellie off, but thanks to a 'welcome assembly' his tardiness had largely gone unnoticed. The hall was pleasantly empty (a welcome break in the tradition of fighting his way through the mass of students), allowing him to collect information about his homeroom and term timetable with comfortable ease. As he scanned the document, he was surprised to notice the absence of Philosophy on his timetable - and, in its place, 'Social Conscience', whatever that was... Perhaps the class had been cancelled? It had notoriously low attendance in previous years. Or maybe it had just been renamed? As the bell rang, he resigned himself to the fact that he would just have to suck it up and wait until this afternoon to find out.

The rest of the day had gone slowly, with Emory having gotten used to the leisurely pace of the summer. Fortunately, the classes themselves had not proved too taxing, and they were a welcome distraction from thoughts of Sebastian. Still, the school seemed determined to provoke him: the empty desk, the lonely lunch hour, the bleachers... They all echoed Sebastian's absence, refusing to let Emory forget. It was more difficult than he'd expected, but he was determined to block it out. He had to focus on his studies... Being kept behind an entire grade was humiliating enough, and he had no intentions of allowing himself to do poorly. It just wasn't going to happen.

Before he knew it, the afternoon had rolled in. He was trying to find the 'Social Conscience' class, but it was proving difficult. The class was located in an area of the school that was largely disused, and as he wandered the corridors he couldn't help but imagine his friend hiding away in one of the forgotten corridors, evading whatever trouble he had gotten himself into this time. He smiled meekly to himself.

"Ah, Bobby," came the familiar voice of Music teacher Mr. Lindsey. Emory nodded apprehensively; Lindsey's tone was tinged with concern, and he knew it would echo the countless other conversation he'd endured throughout the day. "How are you, uh... How are you doing, son?" The teacher shifted his stance uncomfortably.

"Fine, sir. Just trying to carry on as usual, y'know?" Emory replied, trying not to sound too invested in the conversation. He had a class to get to, after all. Mr. Lindsey nodded.

"Well, if you need anything, just let me know. I'll do anything I can to help."

"My band could use a new bass player," Emory said, with a calmness that startled his teacher. "Sorry, sir, I gotta bolt. I have class." With that, he proceeded past the man, letting himself into a dusty classroom nearby and leaving his stunned teacher silent in the corridor. Emory wasn't a cold person by any means, but damn... Everyone seemed determined to make this difficult for him.

Inside the classroom, Emory found a group of familiar faces that he recognised from across the campus - albeit, some more than others. As he took a seat, however, he spotted a face that he most certainly did not recognise. The man at the front of the classroom was tall and imposing, his bald head a home to two eyes that were currently fixed on Emory. They seemed to bore into him with a fierceness that made Emory feel as though he were a suspect in an unspeakable crime, being interrogated only by the man's two eyes. And then, the tension dissipated, and the teacher smiled. "Welcome, take a seat."

Emory obliged. As he sat himself at the nearest desk and began to unpack his things, he noticed the question scrawled across the board: What separates man from animal? It would seem like Emory was in luck, perhaps this was a Philosophy class after all. He listened to the other students' contributions half-heartedly, whilst scribbling his own theories down in his notebook:

There is an argument for morality being the key distinction between man and animal. The problem here is that this relies on the (mis)understanding of morality being something innate to humans rather than a social construct. And of course, social hierarchies are prevalent in almost all species ... The focus should be directed away from sociology and towards biology when looking for distinction between the two. When we discuss cumulative culture, we are talking about the ways in which humans make modifications and improvements over time. Some animals build structures (beavers/dams), some animals will even use tools (crows), but these are not actively improved on... Cumulative culture allows for successful innovations to be maintained until they can be improved, and it is within this type of learning and understanding that the difference between man and animal can best be observed...

When Emory looked up from his notes, he found the rest of the class still discussing the question proposed by the new teacher, who had identified himself as Jonas. He chewed on his pen, hoping nobody would notice that his enthusiasm for the subject was perhaps a little excessive this soon into the class. And so, he listened...


E M O R Y R O B E R T J O N E S 2 2 / 1 2 / 2 0 0 0 ( 1 7 ) M A L E P A N S E X U A L

"I'm just going with the flow."

▼ A P P E A R A N C E:

"Your appearance is just an expression of you, y'know? Everything's fluid."
◼ HEIGHT | 6ft, 2in (188cm)
◼ WEIGHT | 171lbs (77.5kg)

Emory is tall and averagely built for his height, standing at about 6ft'2. His hair is thick and unruly; its uncooperative nature is often blamed on the bleaching process involved in turning his dark brown hair the yellow-blonde that those who know him are familiar with. He has pleasantly angular features, and his skin is always clear and blemish-free. His most striking feature is likely his piercing blue eyes, which have a certain unnaturalness to them and give him a mysterious air. He dresses casually, and is fond of bulky clothes even during warmer weather.

▼ B I O G R A P H Y:

"Everything changes, man. That's what shapes us into who we are."
Michael Jones had lived in Crestwood Hollow his entire life, working for his father's car rental company. That was, of course, until he met Victoria. She was two years younger than him, but more mature and level-headed than any of the girls he has dated. She was British, majoring in Molecular Science, and was spending a year in Crestwood Hollow for her research project. Their shared lust for life soon translated into a lust for each other, and by the time Victoria returned to England she was not alone. The two bought a small house in the coastal town of Portsmouth, where Victoria had grown up, and lived comfortably.

So comfortably, in fact, that it didn't take Victoria very long to fall pregnant, and soon enough the couple were proud parents. Emory Robert Jones (or Bobby, as he was affectionately known) grew up by the sea, and his memories of Portsmouth involved exploring caves with his dad, reading books down at the seafront and bringing home only the most beautiful shells for his mother. He did well at school, and was well-mannered and well-behaved. In short, all was well.

It naturally seemed sudden when, sat at the dinner table aged eight, his parents told him they would be moving stateside the following week, to live in his father's hometown of Crestwood Hollow.

"But what about grandma and grandpa?" Emory had asked.

"They won't be coming with us, honey."

Emory never saw his grandparents again, but he soon settled into his new life in America. In truth, it wasn't all that different to his life back home; their home here was larger, the sea was warmer and Emory didn't need to wear a school uniform - none of which he was complaining about. Perhaps the biggest change in their life came five years later, with the unexpected birth of baby Eleanor. Emory, now thirteen years old, was instantly taken by his baby sister. He doted on her, and the adoration in her eyes was obvious (even as a baby).

Life continued, and the American Dream was good and alive. At sixteen, Emory was blooming into a cultured young man. He read philosophy and classical poetry, he fronted a prog-rock band called Maharaja and was becoming quite the skilled sculptor; all of which made his parents exceedingly proud. Of course, he was also partial to drinking too much at parties, smoking marijuana and sleeping with beautiful people... But no teenager is perfect, and what his parents didn't know couldn't hurt them.

But that didn't necessarily protect them from harm. Michael's sudden death in a traffic accident shook the whole family to the core. The tragedy unearthed family secrets and set about an unexpected change within Emory that he could never have been prepared for. Unable to attend school, he dropped off the radar entirely for the better part of a year. His reason for absence was cited as personal tragedy, and his peers assumed he was struggling with the aftermath of his father's passing.

Fortunately for him, the shift within Emory was not a complete surprise for Victoria. She was prepared, and helped her son to piece himself back together. In some ways, it seemed to help her... Her family's need for her to be strong outweighed her own need to break down. He'd always loved his mother unconditionally, but watching her single-handedly hold their family together truly made Emory aware of just how remarkable a woman she was.

Now seventeen years old, Emory has been back at Mather Memorial for a year. Being held back a year was hardly the most ideal of situations, and he struggles with feelings of embarrassment at being in a class of younger students. But in spite of his circumstances, he's taken back to his studies with gusto, and is determined to make up for lost time.

▼ A B I L I T I E S / S K I L L S:

"I'm not about trying to be someone I'm not."
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His quiet nature can often lead him to being overlooked; a real pity, given that he is usually full of relevant insight. He is certainly not a natural leader, and prefers to assist others to the best of his ability. Despite being highly intelligent, his relaxed and casual nature can often mislead people into undervaluing his opinion. People are often surprised to learn of his passion for philosophy and language. But he's not a goody two-shoes, and his definite rebellious streak can often cause him to behave riskily - particularly in the time since his father's death. He often feels indestructible, but sometimes neglects to realise that his actions might put others at risk.

◼ INTELLECT | A curious soul, Emory has always enjoyed learning and is rarely happier than when his nose is in a book. He has a large and varied range of knowledge, with additional specialist knowledge in literature, philosophy and language. He speaks conversational French, and can read sheet music. His intelligent nature makes him a critical thinker, and he often provides an insightful perspective whatever the situation may be.

◼ PEACE-MAKER | Emory is a calm and often quiet person. He is contemplative, and hates unnecessary confrontation. His nature doesn't court him much drama of his own, but he is acutely aware of any conflict or tension around him; it really bothers him, and he will always try his best to calm a situation... Even if only to alleviate his own headache.

◼ INDEPENDENT | Emory's upbringing offered him a great sense of independence, which has shaped him into the young man he is. He doesn't feel pressured to fit in and will always stay true to himself, which can often prompt people around him to think in new ways. He's always loved going off on his own adventurers, and the explorer in him has made him very familiar with Crestwood's geography. Whilst he will always do his best to help, that doesn't always necessarily mean taking orders from someone else. If Emory feels there is a better way to do something, then he will follow his own path without question.

▼ N O T E S:

MICHAEL JONES (deceased) | Emory's late father. Emory and Michael had always been extremely close, and his passing affected Emory in more ways than he would have imagined. Since the accident, Emory has learned new things about his father that have put a lot of things into perspective and helped him understand his situation. Even in death, Emory is certain that Michael is out there watching over him.

VICTORIA JONES | Emory's doting mother, Victoria will do anything to protect the ones she loves. She hasn't had any contact with her family in England since an altercation ten years ago, the details of which she recently shared with Emory. She might not have superhuman speed or strength, but Victoria is the most extraordinary women Emory has ever met.

ELEANOR JONES | Emory's little sister. At age five, it might seem strange to list Ellie as someone who helps and supports Emory. And yet, the time he spends caring for her is simpler somehow than the rest of his life, and Ellie has an infallible sweetness that brightens even the darkest day. He fears that she might face similar complications to himself as she gets older, but he is determined to be right beside her every step of the way.



◼ CRESTWOOD HARBOUR | Crestwood Harbour, known affectionately as The Docks, is the hub for most of Crestwood's industry. However, in recent years it has undergone a revival of sorts, and is now home to many local businesses. It has become a cultural hub for the younger generation, and is home to cafés, music venues and independent art galleries. Despite all this, crime rate is still high in the area, which goes largely ignored by the local authorities. Still, the buzz of the place continues to draw groups of teens looking for a good time.

◼ UPSHOT ESPRESSO | An independent café in its first year of business, Upshot is doing relatively well for itself. Most of their clientele take their coffee to-go, but the small store can seat up to twelve people and makes for a cosy spot to work or study, with views of the harbour.

◼ HARBOURVIEW LIBRARY | A moderately-sized library found not too far away from the school, they have a fair selection of books and genres. Their fiction selection is a lot more comprehensive than their available academic and non-fiction texts, though their collection of philosophical writings is impressive. It's generally not too busy, though there are almost always a couple of people looking through the shelves, or finishing essays in the quiet.

◼ CLAM STUDIOS | Home to Clam Music Inc., an independent label native to Crestwood Hollow, Clam Studios overlooks the busy harbour area. It contains three professional sound recording studios, and thanks to a recent expansion boasts two live music stages. The Back Room has become the go-to venue for local (often unsigned) musicians, and has enjoyed a surge of popularity amongst local teens, whilst the Main Stage is still developing a reputation as a venue for more established acts.

◼ CAR KEYS | Emory is never without the keys to his vehicle, a Mitsubishi pick-up that once belonged to his father. The truck is black, and he treats it with a great deal of care. Its main purpose is to get himself to and from school, as well as taxiing his sister around, but he also uses it to transport his band's equipment for practice sessions. Hanging from the keyring is a misshapen charm of sorts, made from clay. It was made for him by his sister at daycare.

◼ WALLET | The home for Emory's money and cards, though with electronic payment on his phone carrying it would seem obsolete. In the inside lining is a photograph of he and his parents, on the beach in Portsmouth, and it is for this that he takes the somewhat bulky leather wallet everywhere with him.
<Snipped quote by Tyler>

I did send you my characters bio about a week ago so hopefully you'll have a chance to comment in the event anything should be amended.

Terribly sorry; again, I was unexpectedly busy over the past week. If anyone is interested in alchemy, my current project is a re-contextualisation of ancient alchemical ideas for the modern era (with particular parallels drawn to the psychoanalytical ideas of Carl Jung). And for whatever reason, London has suddenly had a surge of relevant content become available for anyone with an interest in the alchemical. Last week I was able to view an original Ripley scroll, and this weekend there's a talk on alchemy at the Whitechapel by the Curios Society. Anyway, I digress! But that's what's kept me away.

I did get to read the text you sent me detailing in depth your character's personal history; I can only apologise here for me oversight, as I believed I had in fact responded to the message. I didn't intend to offer much critique, since there was no completed character sheet (I find a lot of character elements that I might question at face value are often justified elsewhere in a sheet).

It's essentially the same narrative we discussed together in brief, now expanded to include greater detail and more personalised to the character. It was a really satisfying read and I felt like I grew to get an idea of who she was; totally different to how I had been imagining her (or actually, him in my head!). The only thing I would comment on is that there were perhaps some liberties taken with the Nosferytes outside of what we discussed (each House rules itself, for example; there is no council of elders), and I feel that by your account Lord Drachall still has too much power in a legal sense. His power is more nuanced than being able to make decisions for other Houses; it's rooted in his status, and fear. As I said in the PM; Drachall's 'rule' over Rotsanger is more akin to the way a mafia boss might rule over a city. He's not the type to lay the law; but through intimidation and the exchange of favours, few will say no to him.

Hope this helps! I appreciate most of that is minor in the scope of the text you sent me, but until I see an actual application I can't really delve much deeper. I look forward to seeing it!
My apologies. I'm working on a research project that has required two visits to London over the last week (with one more on Saturday), and between compiling that and working late I've been fairly busy. I also have interest from a couple additional people via PM who inform me they are working on characters, so I keep feeling obliged to wait for them.

(On this note, I should share that this story is not likely to unfold as rapidly as other roleplays on this site; I'm keen for people to post at their own pace, so long as the quality is worth waiting for.)

With that said, I shan't hold off much longer. I'm pretty on top of everything now, so you can expect an introductory IC post soon. If I don't get chance before the weekend, I have a three hour train journey on Saturday which lends itself quite nicely to writing something like this. I've also been working on writing a Magic chapter for the world guide, which is almost finished, too. That will likely come before the IC, or at the least in conjunction with it, so that everyone can begin with the same understanding of magic. That seems to be the most major element of Tyrrania that is currently unexplained.

So once again, apologies for any perceived delays! Rest assured, it's on it's way.

In the meantime, I open up a group discussion: Where in Tyrrania are you most keen to explore, and why? This can be because of a personal interest, or perhaps because of ties your character might already have (or potentially develop). The style of storytelling in these roleplays is flexible; a lot of the decisions about where we go and what we do will be decided in-character by our characters, so I encourage people to be considering the paths their characters might be inclined to steer towards. My role as a GM is to present you with options and respond to your choices.

(Personally, I feel Lucius would still be hung up on the Wizard's Tower. It was really difficult for him to go from being a star pupil to essential exile from the magical community. He feels he has a lot to prove and a point to make... But is he ready to face his teachers and peers again? Probably not.)
@Tyler Yes, that's all quite helpful. Thanks for your detailed answers! Technology in these sort of settings always fascinates me, since there's rarely an established 'baseline' for what fantasy tech should be like, so it's typically quite unique from setting to setting.

I suppose I have a few more questions, then, if you wouldn't mind. I like to have a comprehensive idea of what sort of tools I have to work with. Are compasses common for navigational purposes? How detailed are most of the maps of Tyrannia? Does electricity or steam-powered tech exist in an experimental capacity, or have the Dwarves not cracked that yet?

You're totally right. I really like Tyrrania to feel detached from the modern world we're familiar with, so I guess the best way to describe its technology is underdeveloped. There really aren't any 'machines', it's a world of physical labour for most people. My logic here is that most people are poor, and those who can afford to experiment often do so with magic; there is simply more potential in the Arcana than in worldly materials.

The King is not aware of any developing steam tech, and there certainly isn't any electricity. Compasses, however, are very much beloved. There is often so much ground between the sparse settlements of Tyrrania, that most every pocket holds one. Most maps only document the mainland of Amorynthia, albeit in great detail. Terrence Nydell's map of Tyrrania is famed for the scale it covers, documenting from Rotsanger to Tumeken. His is very popular among the more ambitious adventurers.
I would like to know if there's space for 2 more in this roleplay before I begin planning my sheet.

There's definitely space in the roleplay; but I will only allow one character per player. I also intend to get things started at the very latest by the end of the week, so whilst that's not exactly a deadline it does give some indication of a timeframe that I'n working on. Not having submitted/been accepted by the start of the roleplay also doesn't disqualify you from joining; we'll work your character in somehow.

I’ve got a few questions regarding technology. Obviously the setting borrows from Medieval Europe quite a bit, so would it be correct to assume that gunpowder isn’t very advanced/widely used yet? The most you’d likely see is some equivalent of Greek Fire, or perhaps very archaic explosives?

If this is indeed the case, is there some magical alternative to a ship’s typical cannon? Or would naval vessels rely on ramming and hand held weapons, akin to more ancient navies like the Romans?

It's called firepowder or firedust in Tyrrania, and it's a lot stronger than 'real world' gunpowder. The Dwarves are said to have been the first to discover its explosive properties, and its ability to reduce cliff faces to rubble are perhaps a significant factor in why the Dwarves became such accomplished miners. It's extremely volatile, though, and even friction can ignite it.

Due to the presence of magic in Tyrrania allowing much smaller and more controlled explosive potential, firepowder is largely seen as outdated or obsolete. It is still used in canons, but it's considered a risky practice; many a vessel has fallen victim to its own stock of firepowder being handled improperly, and essentially all ships nowadays that do carry it will have a designated and fully trained expert to handle the substance. It's much more common for a ship to be armed with ballistas, firing flaming projectiles at enemy ships.

Pirates tend to use crossbows as their on-hand ranged weapons. Nobody has yet managed to utilise firepowder in a handheld weapon, as the substance is simply too volatile and usually destroys both the prototype and the person attached to it. By and large, the destructive power of firepowder is great, but there are few instances where it is convenient or safe enough to be of much use - unless you're a Dwarf! Unable to cast spells, the Dwarves are still very fond of firepowder, and they're the most knowledgeable when it comes to handling it safely.

Vitriol ('liquid fire', 'alchemists' fire') exists, and is much more practical than firepowder. It's a non-natural substance, born from science and magic by the Human Alchemists. It ignites on contact with oxygen (in air, water or otherwise) in a violent explosion. The resulting flame is notoriously difficult to put out, but sand is effective. The Alchemists essentially own vitriol, due to their inventing it as well as the specific methods by which they are able to contain it within air-tight glass vessels (which can then be smashed to produce the desired effect). Their research is not cheap, and neither is their fire: a single vial of the stuff will set a man back a small fortune.

Hope this helps! I'm enjoying answering these...
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