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Fantasy Hammy, lovely worldbuilding.

Sub Genres
Action, Adventure, Magical, Mystery, Realistic

RavenDaas

New Member
(Writing samples are found down below.)

Hiya.

As that blurb above, my main interest is in someone who holds to the same aesthetic and technical detail as I myself do, whether that be in use of prose and grammar or more relating to the world and the nations within it. To clarify, I enjoy a particular amount of detail when it comes to a universe: with the strong distaste I have for dry as marrow 'Dungeons and Dragons' worlds, I much rather prefer that the worlds be living and breathing things with the nations caked in history and culture and vibrant personalities that exist to give it blood and feel like an actual civilization that could exist realistically. They aren't just their self-contained little identities either: each identity and society would have evolved together and thus have drastically influenced each other's development, developing hatreds and sibling-like bonds between each other where, regardless of which, the necessity of (not exactly) state takes priority and ultimately all are looking out for themselves. Preferably, this would all take place within the scope of medieval favormongering politics: eight-hundreds to, at most, the fifteenth century in terms of technology. To be clear - I don't do AUs. Don't present me with your alternate history worlds that are edits to our own reality. I only do fantasy worlds, no alternative Earth material.

Fantastical races and supernatural/magical elements are a-okay with me as far as I'm concerned as, in my opinion, they give a chance for the world to put a spin on more conventional and realistic cultures and methods of administration by introducing non-human psychologies and biologies, making something alien and foreign for the MC to interact with (as well as other nations present.) This is, theoretically, including Tolkien-esq races such as dwarves, elves, orcs, all that, but, forewarning, that I have little to no respect for people who essentially just rebrand Tolkien's themes and ideas for races and paste them into their own, disrespecting him by so poorly conveying his meaning, and themselves for being a lighthearted plagiarist.

Quite alright with the nitty and gritty. I dig a morbid universe that's dark and dreary and depressing as that essentially is the entire existence of the vast majority of the human population up until the industrial revolution which is a distance concept from now.

Where we write is of little consequence to me, but I do have have a fundamental requirement for Discord for OC chatter. I personally discourage writing on Discord for the very obvious reasons of a text limit and it generally just being clunky with its formatting, but will acquiesce if requested.

I play a number of OCs, many of which aren't women and all with their own diverse interests and opinions on things: bear in mind that I will choose a character that molds and fits into the world, not the other way around. I highly suggest not opening me with the question, 'Tell me about your character' before I know anything about the world and the content within it. I won't know until you share about yourself and the stories you're good at weaving and what the world you have to offer will, itself, have to offer.

That's about the length of it. Cheers, darlings.

TLDR.

Interesting fantasy worlds in a GM-and-Player scope.
 
Last edited:

RavenDaas

New Member
Figured I'd pass along favorites bits of writing samples rather than just deviations of the word 'Bump.'

“Ruby, I’m going to tell you a scary adventure story, but I promise it’ll be happy in the end. Okay?” Her voice is so very soft, as though she was asking her first love if she could just please kiss her already. As if she weren’t speaking to her own child. As if Ruby was an adult that could judge her, as if Ruby was an adult that could hate her, and fear her, and…


A long, low sigh escapes her mother’s lips, a free hand running through Ruby’s hair, tangled from sleep and carelessness.


“Once, a long time ago, in a place far from here, there was an island, where a wolf and a lion lived. This island was a beautiful place, where all creatures could live in abundance, where there was nothing but peace, where all creatures could love each other. And the wolf and the lion loved each other very much. They did. They… They did.” Saria’s stuttering is solved by a smoothing of her voice, even as her tone grows ever more sad, remorseful, and storied in its misery.


“You see, the island had not always been peaceful. Things had not always been abundant. For the lion, she had two brothers. They were mean, and cruel, and took things that were not theirs. They demanded the other animals follow them, because their father had been followed, and because his father had been followed, and so on. And the lion’s brothers? They used the island and the animals, and they fought. They hurt each other, and they hated, and they used their bloodright to act like tyrants. The wolf watched in sadness, waiting for a hero to save the island, to bring peace, to bring happiness. To stop the fighting, and to make a better place.” An old sort of happiness tinges Saria’s voice, and though her daughter cannot see, tears stream down her cheeks, along her smiling lips, falling into the hair of her daughter.


“The lion - the good lion - she loved the wolf, but her brothers, who believed they should rule, and tell everyone what to do, they did not approve. They said to her, ‘But lion, the wolf is not like you. She is not a lion. You should marry a lion.’ And the good lion said to her brothers, ‘But can I not love who I wish? Can we not be just and peaceful?’


“Her brothers had no response, and so they left. All the animals on the island rejoiced to see the happiness of the wolf and lion, who loved each other so very much, and when they were due to be wed, all the animals of the island came to see them. The other lions and wolves. The birds and the bees, the fishes of the sea and the insects of the dirt. Monkeys of the trees and boars of the swamps. Even demons, Ruby. Even demons rejoiced in their love, in the goodness of the good lion.” Another tear streaks down Saria’s cheeks, her eyes locked tight, shut to everything, as though all that mattered was this one moment.


“But the good lion’s brothers, they were not happy, because they were angry creatures, and they believed that the lion and the wolf should not love each other. They arrived just before the good lion and the wolf were due to be wed, and shouted to the gathered animals of the island, ‘Stop! This is unnatural!’ And they were ready to fight, as they had fought before, as they believed was their right. But it was not right, and the animals of the kingdoms, all the beasts of the earth and the seas and the air, they guarded the good lion and the wolf, and they challenged her brothers to get through.”


There was a soft, almost choked sigh, and Saria continued on. “But the good lion was horrified. After all, she hated fighting. All she wished was love and peace, and how barbaric would it be to stain such a beautiful day with hatred? And so she stepped through the gathered animals, to her two angry brothers, whom had, for once, set aside their hatred of each other to fight her. But she did not attack. Instead, with a voice filled only with love and hope, the good lion said to her brothers, ‘Do you not realize what you can do if you work together? The three of us could, together, make a new island. An island where all the creatures of God’s kingdom may live together, happy, in abundance. There will be no more pain, no more sadness, no more hurt. If only you would see. If only you would not hate.”


“The good lion’s brothers looked between themselves, but they were not convinced. Because, you see, Ruby,” a shiver takes her mother, “These lions were not so easily talked down.”

“Instead, they attacked! They attacked the good lion, and instead of bidding the animals to aid her, instead of fighting her brothers, she shouted at the others to stay back, and she held off her brothers, speaking all the while. She told them of her dreams, of her loves. She told them about why she loved the wolf, and why she loved her brothers. She told them of a time they did not remember, when they loved each other. Of a time when all animals lived in love. And slowly, her brothers did not want to fight anymore. They stopped. And then they looked at one another. And they turned to the good lion, after so nearly killing their sister, and they apologized. They wept for their sins, and cast down their crowns at her feet.”


“But she did not take their crowns, because the good lion knew that there would be new lions and wolves of her own womb who would hate as her brothers had once hated. Instead, she cast the crowns into the sea and let them sink to the bottom, and she said to all the creatures of God’s kingdom, ‘Are we not one and the same? From the lowest creature to the highest, we are all one. And if one of us must rule, it will not be because we have a crown - but because we have the love all the creatures of this island.’ And, all at once, the beasts of the island bowed before her, even the two lions, even the wolf, because they did love her. For they did not want to hurt each other. Because she was wise and kind and brave, because she saw the best in others when they did not see the best in themselves. Because of so very many reasons, Ruby, they chose her to rule. There was rejoicing that night, and the wolf and the good lion were married. All their friends, even her brothers - they all laughed and cried tears of joy at their love. And there was peace.”


Saria, out of breath, stops speaking, and simply runs a hand through her daughter’s hair, holding her close and tight, love in her words, her eyes, her every movement, her tears just as abundant as before, but for a far better reason. But then, she slides Ruby off of her, onto the couch beside her, and she rises, holding a hand out to prevent Ruby from moving. “We’re not finished. That was only the first part.”


She strides across the room, toward the open window she had been looking through, and leans across the sill, eyes looking out, burning a deep violet. Ruby can see her flame like a maelstrom, raging through her, reigned by love and pain.


“The happiness did not last. The good lion had to leave the island, amidst tears and sadness, because she had to stop their great enemy. She journeyed across the ocean with her greatest warriors, leaving behind the loving wolf, the wise owl, and the beautiful pixie to rule in her stead. And because they were her friends, the people of the island loved them, too. And though there was happiness, there was peace, too. There was abundance. It was…” There’s the slightest tremble to her voice. “It was good.”


“But then? Ruby, there was a dragon. A big, mean dragon, from another island, where only the strong survived. Where the weak were hated, not loved. Where they did not realize that the weak were merely the strong at the lowest moments. That the ugly are merely the beautiful seen through an imperfect window. They were big, and violent, and hated the islanders.”


“Because they were evil, and the islanders were good.”


“This dragon, biggest of all dragons, meanest of all dragons, rained fire on the island for days. He burned the trees and groves, boiled the springs and rivers, and broke the homes and castles. There was pain and sadness, for his fires hurt the inhabitants, though the clever wolf and wise owl were able to save him from killing any. Even the two lion brothers helped, and, in the memory of the good lion, they did not hurt the dragon. They talked to him. They sang to him. They made jokes for him. But he did not stop burning the island, no matter what they did. There was fear. How could they stop something that would not be talked down? Something that had never been loved? How could they have peace when their enemies sought only war?”


Saria is quiet for a very long time, until her daughter grows restless. And, in a cold voice, far different from before, she says, simply.


“They couldn’t. Only the wolf understood. For she was not as good as the lion.”


“And so the wolf followed the dragon as the other animals hid, and she waited, and bid her time, until it snuck to where she could go. It went underground, into a rabbit warren, where the good and innocent rabbits played and frolicked. Where they loved and ate and danced and sang and did all the things that good creatures do. They were kind creatures, and when the dragon came into their warren, they did not fear him. After all, they had not seen the destruction he had sent into the world outside. And they offered him carrots, and celery, and lettuce. They were rabbits, after all.” She chuckles. And then Saria turns to her daughter, her eyes dim.


“He slaughtered them. Every one of them. He killed the young and the old, the strong and the weak, the wise and the foolish. He used his fire and claws and jaws to eat - but not the food they offered. He ate them. All of them. The wolf had been too slow. And when she finally made it into the rabbit warren, all that was left was blood and a fat fucking dragon.”


Saria’s voice begins to crack, her face taut and pained, forcing her to look back out the window. “And so the wolf, after so long away from the good lion, became angry, and sad, for those dead rabbits. After all, the dragon did not have to harm them. He could have learned, as she had, to eat celery, and carrot, and lettuce. But there was blood dripping from his mouth, Ruby. He was a murderer. A monster. He was evil. I swear to you, Ruby. That dragon was evil. And the wolf wept to see him. He heard, and turned. The fucking I'm uncultured was so fat, all it took was one claw. One claw to slice open his belly and let him die. But she didn’t do that. The wolf, after so long away from the good lion, was blinded by her rage and grief, and so she tore the dragon to pieces, as he had done to the rabbits. With tears in her eyes, she tore him apart, from his fire-breathing head to his dangerous claws, until all that was left was scrap and a weeping wolf.”


A sob escapes Saria’s throat. Her eyes do not dare look to her daughter.


“To this day, I can’t tell you if the good lion forgave her. She certainly does not forgive herself.”

There is a long, deep sigh, but not from Saria or Ruby. Instead, it comes from the doorway. The door falls shut behind the newcomer, and, without turning, both of them know who it is before she even speaks, her presence so strong as to cut through the pained atmosphere that had settled in the wake of the second part of their story.


“The good lion forgave the wolf. She learned, on her journey, that you must sometimes hurt to protect the innocent.”
 

RavenDaas

New Member
“Imhokes-ess Aschjerit. Peha t' morte.” The words chilled her very bones to hear, drifting across the noiseless forum where the witches were to be born. Eyes bore down on her from every side, though she could barely see them but for the pale reflections borne by the purple light which poured from the ethereal pool at the far end of the forum. All along the walls of the room were rows of seats, borne from marble cast by the city's first inhabitants so many millennium ago; and in those dark days, they had designed it for one purpose. Today was the day that the Askari had been pushed to an action none wanted. Even now, she knew that many held dark thoughts and clouded minds for what she and her sisters were about to do. But it had to be done, and no matter what the thousand eyes that sat shrouded in darkness thought, they knew that one basic fact. So few times had the Askari been forced to act out of necessity, but Ashjerit, if nothing else, knew what few of her people did. For two centuries she had battled the Varathians on the Maw, and in her twilight years, she was asked to give herself for this, an action which half her people saw as heroic and the other saw as damning to their kind. Witches. The very idea made many lose their stomachs at the thought. Tonight, however, none of that mattered. What had to be, had to be, and everyone had known that the day the dragons had set the city aflame.

Three nights ago, during the harvest ceremonies, the sky had rained with fire and ash, as the once-thought untouchable bastion of the free peoples of Auros was set to the torch from above. Aschjerit had been among those on the walls fighting them off, and in the end, they had found victory. Barely. So close had been their doom that they had decided, for the very first time, to take to the Forum of the Fallen to discuss the possibility of creating the witches, creatures so far from humanity as to be unstoppable, neither by the enemies of the Askari, or by their own beliefs. It was an abomination, to be sure, but today, in a city scorched to black and gray, there was no other choice. Which is why they now found themselves here. Aschjerit was not the only woman whom had given herself for this. Six others had, but she was to become the greatest. Their leader. To grace or damn her in the annuls of history, her people had chosen to grace the woman whom would arise from the pool at the end of the forum with the name Saria.
It was a deathly ironic name, Saria. Saria, the Queen of the Damned, whom had led the Askari people on the death march to their new home of Westmarch. Plagued with madness and haunted by visions of damnation, she grew ever more paranoid and isolated, until her actions nearly became brought the people she had saved to a new ruin. And now Aschjerit was to bear the name when she rose again. Stepping forward, there was a sense of dread within her as she watched the ghostly quiet faces, the eyes gazing down at her with absolute silence. Not a noise could be heard in the room, but for the low, throbbing hum coming from the pool at the end of the room; where the light came from, as well. It did not come from the bubbling pool of crimson fluid which stained the marble around, but from directly above, to a man hovering in the air, kept there with sheer force of his own power, as a deep-violet energy poured from him into the fluid, readying it for Ashjerit as she walked ever forward.

Daas. That was his name, a sorcerer whom had claimed to be from the lands of the Henthe, but everyone had known that to be a lie. But he was far beyond any Askari; or any human, for that matter, in terms of sheer power. When left unchecked, it exuded from him with every step, causing a sense of dread and awe alike to run through the minds of those he passed. And now, he gazed down to Aschjerit, eyes burning with a purple flame, and body glowing from the sheer force of power he now channeled. Her eyes gazed up at him in turn, and she felt his power running through her, giving haste to her exhausted and dread-filled form, making her step up ever faster, until her feet were at the edge of the pool, the stinging liquid within touching her toes, as if it sought to drag her in and claim her. Slowly, she knelt down before it, and reached a hand inside, feeling it burn with Daas' power , as it rolled along her arm and onto her robe.
Blood. It was blood. Though she had known what it was, the thought still disturbed her to think about. Were there better light in the room, she would see that each person now seated in the rafters above had bandages on their hands, for the blood had to come from somewhere. But even now, it wasn't even to make her into what she had to be. No, there was one last piece, and as she gazed up at Daas' cold, furious gaze, she knew what had to be done. Quickly, with a single graceful move, she shrugged off the robe that she'd worn into the forum, leaving her nude, before standing up, reaching her blood-stained hand up toward the 'man', whom quickly reached his own down, handing her a blade which throbbed with the very same power than the man did. Her eyes closed, her breaths stopped, as she sat still for a single moment, turning the blade in, before pressing it against her neck.

The silence had grown ever more extreme with what was to come, those sat above in the marble rafters afraid to even move for fear of disturbing what was to happen. But then the noise came, as she felt the magical blade kissing her neck, biting into the flesh and drawing free blood which run across her battle-worn chest, staining the pale flesh a disturbing crimson. The noise, for what it was, was a single prayer, chanted over and over again, echoing across the forum, biting into her and causing her breaths to come at an ever faster pace, making the blade dig deeper into her flesh, as the words seemed to assault her, the same line repeated until it became the only thing that mattered. “Let the guilty die,” they chanted, in the tongue of the Askari, until it reached crescendo in the room around. Finally, the words came to a stop, leaving her with a single option left. To reply. And with a quiet, barely-audible whisper, she did.
“So the innocent may live.” Her eyes closed once more, her breathing halted again, and the whole world seemed to wait for her next move. And it came, finally, as the blade bit into her neck, slicing along it, and causing her to immediately lose control of herself, falling forward into the pool as the blade falls in alongside her; bleeding out to finish the pool, filling it, and giving it what it needed to make the witch. When she had at last fallen still, her last bled into exalted pool, Daas gazed down toward her floating corpse, as the blood began to bubble once again. In a matter of seconds, it had pulled her body down to the depths of it, slowly rebuilding her into what she needed to be. Aschjerit had died, but now, with all the great Askari running through her veins, Saria could be born from what had been lost.

Perhaps it had been mere moments or entire eons of this before the woman opened her eyes once more, reborn and rebuilt. None of the woman before remained, none of the thoughts or memories, and the new woman, the witch, she opened her eyes to a world of red. Panic filled her every being as she began to swim for air, her lungs filled with nothing but blood. Her eyes began to go black as she desperately made for the surface, reduced to nothing more than an animal seeking survival amid the pool of blood. And finally, she did reach it, her head and arms breaking through the top, as she settled on the side of the pool, coughing and vomiting up the blood which had filled her lungs and stomach when the process of rebirth had begun, staining the marble floor of the forum before looking up, to catch her first glimpse of a new world, her eyes adjusting to the darkness.

“Saria,” said a voice, a single voice, from behind her, foreign but absolutely powerful. She turned to face its source, a man hovering in the air, throwing out energy as he did. Her jaw dropped to gaze at the strange sight, before she panicked, and began to crawl backward, out of the pool, splashing away from the thick and crippling blood as he ultimately touched down onto the pool of blood, neither sinking nor moving as he gazed down to her, before holding out a hand, as if to take hers in it. But instead, she watches as a blade flies out of the pool, glowing a deep violet, and stained with blood. The glowing man holds the blade in his hand, feeling its power pulsing through him, as he steps forward, across the pool, using his power to keep him aloft as he ultimately holds the blade down to the terrified girl. “Take it,” he says, with absolute authority, now, the handle being mere inches from her face.

Terrified, disoriented, and confused in equal measure, she simply stares up at him for a moment, before reaching out an inexperienced hand to grasp the blade's handle. With her, she suddenly feels a shock of power running through her body, as it seems to burn her hand, but refuses to drop when she opens her palm, causing her to scream into the air as it imprints itself to her. It takes mere seconds, but they were agony to her as she just stares, wide-eyed and dripping with tears at the blade, now having permanently marked her hand and bound itself to her. “Your name,” suddenly, those two words come from the man, causing her vision to tear from the blade to him, as he adds, “Tell me your name. You know it.” And to think on the name, she did know it, held deep in her mind. Amid what little she knew, having experienced her first glances of the world at the bottom of a pool of blood. The words began to burn into the front of her mind, as if forced there by the man. And, finally, she opens her mouth to answer, her first words to a world of the waiting being, “Saria. My name is Saria.”
 

RavenDaas

New Member
When her heart first beats, it is nearly her last.

Before her heart began to beat, there was nothing but darkness and silence. It was not unpleasant, but rather a deep and dreamless sleep from which an eternity had sprawled in every direction, formless. Without shape she had drifted, without thought she had been. Perhaps she remembered something of fire, of existence and possibility But these things became no more than dreams within eternity. Until she was born. And she drew breath.

No air fills her lungs. Instead, water as cold as ice floods her mouth, her throat, her lungs, devouring oxygen and casting away the last vestiges of her slumber. What dust from sleep that had remained is now gone. Now, she’s drowning in existence. The noise of thundering water fills her ears, and the taste of salt saturates in her tongue. A dull, throbbing ache spreads her from lungs, a cold, numb horror which threatens to overwhelm her breath-starved body.

She doesn’t know anything but the terror of drowning. But that doesn’t mean she is alone, born to die. Around her, the world indeed exists, though she knows nothing of it. Her ignorance is nearly fatal.

A worldly woman would have known to swim to the moon, to the only light in a sea of darkness, but she does not. All she does is drown.
 

RavenDaas

New Member
In the heart of the nightmare, Slate bears witness to oblivion.

Such was the nature of his dreams for as long as he could remember, hellish dreams of fire, screams, claw, and blood. All of these things Slate sees now, but the nightmare is beyond anything he has ever seen. Oblivion chokes everything.

Daemons. So many as to be uncountable, swarming over the corpse of a world. They do so as a single, writhing mass, an orgy of ruin. No single daemon can be made out, such is their number. Even their terrible princes are devoured by the whole.

He knows the ground they desecrate. Every son and daughter of the Imperium of Man would. Cadia, once the gate and aegis against the forces of Chaos, now destroyed and consumed. For ten-thousand years it had stood as the pride of the Imperium. With its fall had gone a billion souls and all the Imperial soldiers whom had died in the attempt to defend it.

Slate sees the consequences of the Imperium’s failures, now. Better than ever before. In orbit above the dead world he sees the broken Imperial fleets, and on Cadia itself he sees corpse-cities, populated with nothing but sorrow and the horde of daemons. Something forces him to watch all the horrors of the Warp pouring forth from the maw of the expanding Eye of Terror, all with a single prize in mind.

Holy Terra.

Never since the days of the Horus Heresy had they come so close. Slate can taste their cruel delight, their lust, their rage, their hate. More than anything, he can taste their hunger. Ever-hungry, but not for flesh. Not simply. They hunger for the innocence and peace to be found only in the frail heart of the Imperium. On this much, Slate is certain. He would be even if he could not feel their hunger warping reality around them. The Ruinous Powers seek satisfaction, even for a second, of their hunger.

Only Terra shall satisfy them. Only then, when humanity and all reality with it has burned - will their feast end.

For a few moments, at least. And then they shall hunger again. Such is the nature of daemons. This he has known for as long as he has had nightmares.

The daemons burn the name into his mind. Terra. Terra. Terra. Every last daemon hungers for it. Such is their hunger that for a brief moment, they can truly see it, burned into the poison sky of Cadia. Endless humanity. Endless satisfaction.

For the servants of Chaos, it is a brief moment - but Slate’s dream moves him them, as if a bird of prey, to look over the world.

Slate recognizes the planet, though he has never seen it before. He recognizes it the same way every man would recognize Cadia. Terra, the capital of the Imperium, the birthplace of humanity, and the home of the Immortal Emperor. Its black sky and towering skyscrapers dominate the horizon, with swarms of aircraft jamming all the space left. Great cathedrals and citadels dot the landscape, as do heroic statues and apartment complexes the size of cities.

All of it is a city. The entire world. Carpeted in endless life, the heart and soul of humanity, from the lowliest beggars and mutants to the High Lords of Terra and the Immortal Emperor they all serve.

The entirety of the Administorum could not ever hope to count them all, they are such in number. And for a brief moment, Slate watches them as if omnipotent, in the strangest feeling of overwhelming power. Their humanity is beyond reckoning. It is the feeling of being the Emperor of Man.

In the very same second as each other, he sees two Arbites talking quietly as they patrol a walkway, he watches a commonborn woman donning her Imperial Navy uniform as her wife watches with sad eyes, and he feels two lovers as they desperately forget their lives in bed.

These and a thousand others things he bears witness to. Children playing with a dog, a beggar dying of pox, a Tech-priest glittering with fire, a Custodes cracking the briefest of smiles beneath his helm as he watches a scribe fumble with his dataslate.

With a breath, the vision remains, but without his omnipotence. Instead, as the mere man he is, standing in the booming, glorious hall of the Imperial Palace.

There is nowhere to look but up - to the God-Emperor of Mankind.

For a moment of confusion and horror, the God-Emperor looks dead. A withered husk, dead long ago of the mortal wound He’d sustained in battle with the traitor Horus. Gray and broken, destroyed by ten-thousand years of toil and pain.

It almost seems the purpose of the vision. A vision of the inevitable apocalypse at hand, now that the God-Emperor of Mankind is dead.

Except that before Slate can even begin to truly grasp the terror that begins to build, the Emperor’s eyes open.

They alone have life. True life, power and command so beyond the rest of the emaciated Emperor that it would be comical if it weren’t simply a relief to see. No one else sees, though there are a half-dozen eyes forever upon the Emperor of Man.

No. This is a vision for Slate alone.

The Emperor does not speak, but He does not need to. The world around Slate speaks the Emperor’s command, shaking with the sheer force of his will. Such is the power of the command, in fact, that an entire room of guardians, attendants, and lords react, startled by the brief earthquake caused by a single word from the Emperor’s mind.

‘Go.’

Two more words follow within Slate’s head, and then they repeat again and again.

‘Find him.’

Terra fades until all that is left is the Emperor’s burning eyes and his overpowering will. Unconsciously, Slate feels the urge to turn around, and does so to face a man staring into space. A boy, really, with copper skin and an angry face. No older than fifteen Terran years at most, and clad in several layers of dark clothing that does nothing to hide the witchmarks that cover his skin. Symbols of ruin, destruction - and Chaos.

‘Find him. Find him. Find him.’

The boy trembles with awful power. A psyker, doubtless, but stronger than any that Slate has ever seen in his time in the Inquisition. It’s not impressive so much as terrifying. A boy of such power could - no, would - allow for a wound in realspace, and an invasion of horrors with it. Slate had seen awful devastation wrought from psykers with a tenth of the power he felt burning from the boy.

In his mind flashes first the vision of daemons swarming Cadia, and then the glittering world-city of Holy Terra.

Such a powerful psyker, already marked by Chaos - there is only one answer for such a danger.

‘Find him. Find him. Find him.’

Briefly, the boy’s eyes flick over, and Slate can see his pupiless eyes.

And he can see realization, too.

The boy notices him, breaking through the barrier of the nightmare. Baleful black eyes smolder with hate and wroth the likes of which Slate knows only from daemons and traitors. Sparks tear from the boy’s eyes, from beneath his fingernails, making his clothes smoke and singe. Heat covers Slate, an oppressive wall of it, as hateful to the boy as it is to him. Such is the boy’s untempered prowess that his hair burns, his skin turns red, all unprotected from his searing rage.

Slate feels the sudden pierce of fire, and he’s forced from his dream - or nightmare - screaming in pain, agony shooting through his dominant arm.

On the inside of it has been etched something he does not recognize. A pattern in runes, but neither in Gothic nor any daemon tongue he’d ever seen. More than that, they shift, slowly, lazily, etching new pain into him in an equally slow manner. It’s a misery that would take some time to get used to.

When - if - he would touch the runes with his other hand, he would again see the boy - feel him through the Warp - and hear that command again. Again and again.

‘Find him. Find him. Find him.’

It is the Emperor’s command. The Emperor’s will, undoubtedly. It echoes in his mind, and it sears into his skin, a reminder evermore of his purpose. Though there is no answer to where, how, or why, the goal is simple. And his duty is simple. Undeniable. And if there is anything to his oath as an Explicator of the Emperor’s Inquisition, then it is to follow that duty to the bitter end.

‘Find him. Find him. Find him.’
 

RavenDaas

New Member
“Kiss me,” she says, plainly. It does not seem a romantic thing, and the childhood stories Sylvan knows of tell him that’s a very bad idea. That Vaethri are tricksters and harlequins, and that to give one love is to give one your soul.


“Kiss me,” she repeats, softly. “And I will tell you a future of yours.”


Karrus calls his name. He’s close.


For the second time, the boy’s cheeks shade an odd color, chuckling nervously, equal parts discomfort and fear at the request. He doesn’t want to, and he does.


“Just the one, huh?”


“You’re afraid, Sylvan.” His name sounds so very beautiful on her lips, and she smiles knowingly up at him. Ethereal and inhuman, yet so very intimate. “So very afraid of what could be, of what the consequences could be. You could be feasting in Draidh right now, warm and full and intact, and instead you’re here.” She gives no indication that it might be strange that she knows of the feast in Draidh, instead skipping on. “You have already chosen a foolish path, and it would be foolish indeed to continue on it. There is no shame in denying fate. So many mortals before you have, and nearly to the last their lives are better for it.”


She pauses, and turns to Mithryr, whispering something in the wolf’s ear. It whimpers, and licks her cheek, before turning away, toward where the demons had gone. It limps a few paces, looks back at them, and then walks slowly away. Mithryr doesn’t look back twice.


“Something tells me that fate has a hard life ahead for you, Sylvan.”


She barely finishes her sentence before Sylvan leans in to kiss her, and the two meet. It’s not a lustful thing, not at least from her. Instead it’s warm and pleasant and deep, and for a moment Sylvan feels like he’s more than himself. His pain disappears, his fear and doubt, his hopes and dreams, his memories and thoughts of the future. They all fade away on the Vaethri’s lips, and then it all comes back as she pulls away from him.


Karrus makes it down the last leg of the ravine, landing on the snow a few dozen paces behind Sylvan, closing the gap slowly, cautiously.


The Vaethri seems surprised. Genuinely surprised, in a way that clearly has not happened much in her long life.


“Oh. I’ve made an interesting choice. And so have you.” She smiles, strangely. Not quite pleasantly.


“I see you in the arms of a beautiful man and a beautiful woman and another in-between. I see you in the whiteness of the Fade, giving sacrament to a dead god. I see you kneeling before three thrones, all of them occupied by dead men. I see you drowned beneath the waves of the Silver Sea, sinking down into the depths. And I see you naked, bathed by the flame of a dragon, though it does you no harm.”


She takes a shallow, wet breath, and gives one last prophesy.


“I see you stained in the divine blood of half a hundred gods, conceiving apocalypse upon a profane mountain.”


And then she is silent, looking up at him oddly, the air crackling with something powerful in the wake of her words.


He stares at her, horrified.


“That sounds awful!” He nearly yells, voice breaking again in the snow.


“Yes. It does.” The Vaethri gives him a parting sad look. She’s on the verge of death, now. “But what will be may never be, Sylvan. Remember that. Fate is yours to defy.”


She sags, suddenly, going limp, though life has not yet left her.


“So I go. I wonder what awaits me.”


“Somewhere warmer than here, I hope,” he confides, moving his hand to squeeze her shoulder, pulling her closer, off the snow below her.


“You didn’t tell me your name. Who should I tell them gave me the amulet?”


Her eyes have rolled back into her head by now. Blood is pouring much slower out of her body, and Sylvan doesn’t feel any heartbeat at all anymore.


“Amida,” she whispers, ever so softly. “I was Amida. And I lived before I died. Oh, I lived.”
 
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Steel Accord

One Thousand Club
I got a few settings in mind. One a deliberate D&D homebrew, the other two are more cultivated.

The Holy Republic: A world where the humans, dwarves, elves, etc. Are all represented in a republic modeled after the Roman Republic. Fighters, Wizards, Bards, and such can be recruited into, or are all a part of Church sanctioned orders. Monsters, or “always chaotic evil” races such as orcs and drow are normal people corrupted by evil.

Sagaun: A world where every nation is a combination of two real world countries and mastery of the martial arts in every society conveys high social status. Helped by the fact that martial arts training is essential to using magic. Across Sagaun are ancient immortals called Devas who will teach students their fighting techniques if they earn it.

The United States of Americana: A fantastical version of the U.S. where the trans-continental railroad passes through magic barriers that mess with technology. So the southwest still looks like the Wild West, New England is more or less modern, parts of the Midwest are Stone Age.
 

RavenDaas

New Member
“Citizens of the blood, welcome to the stable. I see a great many war horses today.”

Laughter echoes around the pavilion. She’s right, they are nearly all old war horses. Proud and glorious in their day, but past their prime by decades.

“I’ll not drown you in words. I’d love to, but the duel is nearly done, and our Emperor will soon leave, and I dare not speak over his forty-five titles.” More laughter. It comes easily. These nobles, at least, have no real love for Emperor Louis. “So I’ll simply do something foolish, and explain myself.”

Sullivan takes off the ring on her hand. It’s not part of the show, but a nervous tick. She’s no great orator, after all.

“As you all know, I’m making a play at election. At being the Mortal Queen. If you don’t know this, then I would think it wise to stop drinking so much so early in the day.”

Those alcoholics she’s speaking of seem to take that as a cue to drink even more. They raise their glasses, and drink to the noise of laughter.

“I don’t expect to win. I don’t really hope to, either. Ceremonies and silks and sitting on a velvet throne all day while gentry talk my ear off about land disputes is not my idea of how my twilight years ought to go.” She turns to Philippe, old man he is, and they share a knowing smile. “Though if you have any desire to be as foolish as me, don’t fear to cast that vote, would you?”

A few people produce their tokens that they will cast for Sullivan. Not nearly enough to sway the election, but enough to cause applause.

Sullivan doesn’t smile.

“I run for this.” She gestures around the table. “For all of you, here today. Old friends and new ones both, I come to talk to you frankly. Truthfully. To hide no longer from what we all know, but what we’re too kind and too fearful to say.”

She slides the ring back on her hand, and leans over the table. Her muscles bulge. Strong as ever, even ancient as she is.

“Varathia is dying, and if we do not act - it will die.”

That causes nothing less than uproar. Much of it in protest, much of it in shock, and much of the rest in support. None even think to insult or attack Sullivan for what she’s said, but the words themselves they call lies or foolish. They boast about armies and gold and conquests. The old especially seem outraged. Those who have fought besides Sullivan in war after war, bleeding and killing for Varathia.

Orys grumbles to Katya, Ilya nods in silence, and Saint-Juste just smiles like a lunatic. Ulthwi agrees, as does Menodra and the other southern lords. Philippe protests, as does Archbishop Blaise and most of Sullivan’s war horses.

She weathers their storm, looking unaffected, eyes cast out toward the sky.

Their wrath is like high tide. It comes, it stays, it goes, and before long the ocean recedes, and Sullivan stays where she is.

“My lords!” Sullivan calls, to those who still talk. “Are you of the blood or not? This is beneath you.”

That silences them totally, leaving the pavilion itself quiet as a Marlan evening.

“Is there a one of you here who would accuse me of lying? Of treason, or cowardice, or stupidity?”

No one answers, and Sullivan nods.

“I was born a peasant, as I’m certain my enemies have made no secret of. And though my blood is common, and I’m ashamed of my low birth-” She’s not. She says it only to satisfy the old lords. “It taught me two things. That I must always be true, and that I can’t waver. Not once, not ever. In seventy-three years of living, I have not. Never.”

And then she points at a scar on her body. First a rope scar on her wrists. “I did not waver before Mattea of Lyeil, when she tried to hang me. No, I lived, and I killed her and all her bandits on the Sharkshore.”

Sullivan’s hand moves down to her chest, where a stab scar no doubt hides beneath her clothes. “I did not waver when Giovanna Cariana had sixfold my number at Kaithe’s Pass. No, I stood, and stood still when dawn came and her armies broke down the mountainside.”

Now she points at a burn that drapes over her left shoulder, looking angry even now. “I did not waver when Andre Sullivan and all his traitor sons hid behind the walls of Orlais with cannon and fire. No, I conquered, and I put them all to the Vylinius’ justice.”

Lastly, she points to a poorly-healed fracture on her shin, which must haunt every step she takes. “To use the words of our great hero, I didn’t bloody waver at Komme, when Vladimir V’s twenty-thousand cavalry rode to meet me on the field. No, I rallied, and I crushed his line from behind.”

Sullivan pulls back from the table, letting the weight of her words and the glory they bring turn the pavilion to her side. To silence dissenters, and to rouse allies into remembering why they love her so. It works. It works on all of them. They remember the victories they’ve won at her side, or the stories told by loved ones and mentors. Even the Exploratores, the gentry, the slaves, they remember songs and legends about these battles. About Sullivan the Ironwood, invulnerable and unbeatable for sixty long years of crisis.

They don’t cheer, they don’t toast. They sit and awe and wait for her next words, and she makes them wait, looking severe and with no limit to her pride.

“We stand on the brink.” Sullivan says. She lowers her voice, removing the mawkish pride and replacing it with all the severity her words must bring. “Even now, we’re ravaged. Civil war burns everything from Black Harbor to the banks of the Schoehn, wasting soldiers and treasure and unity. The Helborn look ready to spawn yet another Graven King, and spread their seed into us with the Cult of the Locus. In Kossovy, Vladimir’s last son was not found in Carrogersk, proud as our final victory was. He retreats into the depths of that frozen hell, and he will return.”

Sullivan begins to pace.

“And what of the others? The revolution of slaves in Syracuse? This new crisis on the Silver Sea, pirates uncounting. What of Madras, or the ever-hungry Darkmen? We are surrounded by enemies.”

Before anyone can say anything, Sullivan moves on.

“But we have always been surrounded by enemies. So what? We are Mortals, after all. Built on a foundation of iron. We will rise and we will conquer as we always have. So long as our foundation remains.”

Now her true purpose comes. And she believes what she’s saying as truly as she believes anything.

“Our crisis now is not our enemies. Not truly. It’s not what lays outside our borders, but what gnaws away at our foundations within. It is the rot inside of us, the decay of all that makes us strong and proud. That is what brings us to the brink.”

Sullivan takes a deep breath, and prepares to enter the climax of her speech.

“You know who I speak of. Highborn traitors-” House Karol in all but name. “-the bourgeoisie, the Locus, the Reformers, the constitutionalists, republicans.” She takes a breath, but still seems breathless. “Whatever you think of these people, they wear at our foundations. In attacking a piece of it, they attack all of it.”

Sullivan wipes off her brow. And while everyone at the table favors at least one group she’d named, they all seem to agree on her point.

“The Sweet Plague, the famines, the ruins of war. The destruction of our currency, the decadence of our nobility, and in turn their turn to corruption and soft lives. They turn their back on their duties. They think they must only reign, not rule.”

Sullivan gestures around.

“You know better. We are not gods, we are not divine. We are leaders. If we must bleed, we bleed. If we must sacrifice, we sacrifice. We serve before all others, and by that right alone they must serve us. Each noble of the blood who forsakes this is nothing more and nothing less than a traitor to our people, because they too gnaw at our foundations.”

Her words are extreme, divisive, and persuasive. Everyone is roused in their own way, some to anger but far more now to understanding. Sullivan has given them a new cause. A new war - perhaps one day fought in blood. She validates them and she chastizes them. In the same breath she has denounced them all, and given them hope.

“This is why I have called you all today. No matter who wins this election, no matter what comes, remember this. Remember my words. Remember what I have said. Varathia is dying, but we can be its salvation. We are iron, and iron still. Remember that when you return to your castles, to your families. The world is at stake, and our answer must be unity. We will not involve ourselves in civil war, in conspiracy, in treason, in moneygrubbing, in decadence. We will stand together against the storm, or it will sweep us into history as it has for so many before us. We will have unity - and from it we will have salvation.”
 

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