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Fantasy The War of the Shadow - Interest Check

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Magnar

King of the Underworld
Midnight.jpg

I saw that the Host of Heaven was dark and rode no more in the sky. The icy gates of the land were opened, and the fallen god rode forth with a crown of iron and a sword of flame. His raiment bled the blood of the innocent and he smote all the lands of the world. His form was of fire and shadow, and his name was Sorrow.

-- Vesra Anu, Prophecies of the Last Age.

The Tithe At dawn the headsman woke us and told us it was time. The whole village lined up along the edge of the cornfield, which was strewn with cut stalks and the debris of the harvest. It had taken over four days for all the fodder to be gathered and stored for the winter. Nearby the sheep and boro pens were full of animals mostly calling for their breakfasts. In the village the windows and doors of every house were flung open and the hearths were cold. Today was the day of the tithe. We stood there, in a line, for over three hours before they arrived.

The legate rode in on the lead wagon with his guards. Eight wagons in all filed into the village. The headman, head bowed, approached the legate and announced our willingness to provide the tithe to the Dark God. With a grunt and a wave of his hand, the legate dismissed the headman and sent the orcs into the houses and barns. Almost immediately, there were sounds of breaking furniture. I heard screams, and the sounds of people being hurt. I ignored it. It was better not to hear. Women buried their heads in their husbands chests as they tried to stifle their tears. Then the orcs came and grabbed men to start loading the wagons ~~ it was well past midday when the loading was done. Seven out of ten parts of the harvest were loaded on the wagons. An equal amount of animals were also taken, bleating in fear as they were tethered to wagons for the trip back to the city of Bastion.

When they were done the legate announced the Dark God's blessing on us and commented on the wisdom of our headsman for not trying to hide any of the harvest. The legate reminded us that the Dark God only punished those who were disloyal.


***​

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.

At this point in time, I'm looking for affirmation of interest only. Once I have enough interest I shall proceed and set up the game threads properly.

Character thread here: Fantasy - The War of the Shadow - Characters
Lore thread here: Fantasy - The War of the Shadow - Lore
 
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Magnar

King of the Underworld
It sounds like there’s enough interest here to justify going ahead with something. I’ll create a lore thread to flesh out the setting a bit more then create a thread for character submissions, how does that sound?
 

Heyitsjiwon

One Thousand Club
Looks pretty awesome. Can you upload a larger map? Currently it's a bit too small to read some of the named regions on my end.
 

grimmmy

holy work
Is this a classic sword-and-sorcery adventure (albeit in a world where the BBEG already won?) What's the common goal uniting the player characters, if there is one?
 

Magnar

King of the Underworld
Is this a classic sword-and-sorcery adventure (albeit in a world where the BBEG already won?) What's the common goal uniting the player characters, if there is one?
Essentially, this is what Lord of the Rings would have been like if Sauron had won. The main common goal uniting the player characters is survival. On the outset of the game you will be put in a situation where its essentially the group vs the entire world and you have to depend on each other to survive. You may also come into possession of a certain artifact that will aid the elves in their effort against the Shadow, but getting across half a continent and being completely behind enemy lines while doing so is going to be a tall order at best.
 

Magnar

King of the Underworld
Ok, character thread is now available here. I'll leave this open a week before closing, otherwise all relevant details should be inside there. Any q's then shout me :).
 

Vulpes lagopus

Veni, vidi, vici.
Magnar Magnar I'm thinking of making my character a pragmatic Sarcosan sellout who was formerly some type of bureaucrat or enforcer in Izrador's regime, but was forced to go on the run when his too-clever-by-half scheming turned against him. Does this work within the setting? If so, are there any details I need to know before crafting a backstory? Also, which archetype would such a character most likely belong to? I was thinking he'd have a finesse-based fighting style along with several useful non-combat skills, such as knowledge of languages, knowledge of poisons, first aid, etc., but that doesn't seem to fit into the archetypes that have been established.
 

Magnar

King of the Underworld
That sounds perfectly acceptable to me. There are other archetypes you can use which I've not listed yet, predominantly Rogue, Fighter and Barbarian. If I was to pick one relevant to the character I'd say Rogue. I'll put together some paragraphs for these archetypes shortly, they won't be as in-depth as the others listed but they will do for what we need them for.
 

Vulpes lagopus

Veni, vidi, vici.
Magnar Magnar I thought of a few more questions: Does the literacy ban apply to humans who serve under Izrador? What's the level of technology in this world (for example, do crossbows exist)? What's the status of organized crime under the regime?

Sorry if I'm being a bother, haha.
 

Vulpes lagopus

Veni, vidi, vici.
That sounds perfectly acceptable to me. There are other archetypes you can use which I've not listed yet, predominantly Rogue, Fighter and Barbarian. If I was to pick one relevant to the character I'd say Rogue. I'll put together some paragraphs for these archetypes shortly, they won't be as in-depth as the others listed but they will do for what we need them for.
Alright, sounds good!
 

Magnar

King of the Underworld
Not a problem at all, I’d rather people ask questions if they’re not sure about any detail. The literacy ban applies to most cities and villages across the world except for one place, Theros Obsidia which is the Dark Citadel where Izrador’s favoured lieutenants rule from.

The level of technology is what you would expect from a typical fantasy setting, swords, bows and crossbows are in for example however firearms would not exist. At some point I’ll put together a lore post with some example weaponry but for now I’d say if you’re unsure as to whether or not a weapon would be available shout me and I’ll answer.

Organised crime is somewhat unusual in that because this is a setting where there is somewhat of a role reversal. The armies of Izrador serve as the centralised government and those underground pockets of crime and criminals are, although it would be a stretch to say that they are the good guys they basically contain the remnants of those who still fight the Shadow. For that reason there would be hidden pockets of criminals and resistance in most major cities, although the Shadow is doing their utmost to stamp them out.

The starting area for the role-play, Durgis Rock is one such organised resistance camp and it is where you and your companions will come from. The Shadow are not, as yet, aware of its existence.
 

Vulpes lagopus

Veni, vidi, vici.
So, if I wanted my character to be literate, he would either live in Theros Obsidia or keep it under wraps? What does that mean for necessary things like accounting and keeping records?
 

Magnar

King of the Underworld
If you wanted to be literate he would have learned in Theros Obsidia but not necessarily having had to live there or, as you say, keep it under wraps. Accounting and record-keeping would have all been handled by Izrador‘s Legates (clerics and priests devoted to him).
 
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Vulpes lagopus

Veni, vidi, vici.
Okay. How does one go about being educated in Theros Obsidia? Do they accept anyone, or would prospective students have to pass an exam and/or pay? Is Legate the only position open to those with an education?
 

Magnar

King of the Underworld
Its the other way around actually, you would have to be a Legate first to qualify for education. Only by giving yourself wholly to the Dark God and being one of his clergy would you have access to education.

EDIT: To clarify further, Legate's are not just accountants and bookkeepers, they are highly trained and dangerous divine spellcasters in his order. In the hierarchy of Izrador's servants they are one of the most feared.
 

Vulpes lagopus

Veni, vidi, vici.
Ahh, I see. In that case, if I want to stick to the backstory and archetype I'd envisioned, my character will have to be uneducated or have obtained his education illegally. He would value his personal autonomy too much to become a Legate.
 

grimmmy

holy work
Essentially, this is what Lord of the Rings would have been like if Sauron had won. The main common goal uniting the player characters is survival. On the outset of the game you will be put in a situation where its essentially the group vs the entire world and you have to depend on each other to survive. You may also come into possession of a certain artifact that will aid the elves in their effort against the Shadow, but getting across half a continent and being completely behind enemy lines while doing so is going to be a tall order at best.
Pretty cool. I'm keeping an eye on another dark fantasy rp but I'll keep this in mind in case that passes.
 

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