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Fantasy Nation Roleplaying

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Forum' started by ytzk, Sep 24, 2013.

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  1. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    [ooc]Excuse me if I jump the gun, wolfsbane, but since you are the moderator, you can edit or delete this thread if it hinders the game. Anyway, I have the time and inclination to start playing, so I will. [/ooc]

    Long ago, in a magickal land not unlike ancient Egypt, there lived a mighty king named Nahgrek. He conquered all of his enemies, until only time itself could threaten his empire, then he conquered time as well: First he gathered together the wisest necromancers and learned all their secrets, then he killed them and kept the secrets for himself.

    For over eight millennia he has guarded his kingdom against time, desperately trying to outlast the universe. When he was alive - truly alive - he had felt time to be like a fire which burned him up. Now, in his long undeath, time seems more like a race. Everywhere, every instant, the universe changed and grew, while he stayed still. He had to keep racing just to stay in the same place. Strange new devices, vast trade networks and incredible population growth now dwarf the power of his ancient empire. Once it was the mightiest human city and now, though it is unchanged, it is only a tiny town in a continent of cities.

    He sits at a desk at the end of a long throne room, opposite a giant Urish clock which slices up eternity, and which he frequently tries to outstare. On his desk is a crystal ball and some wax tablets and styli, which are his weapons in the unending war of endurance.

    For the last five centuries he has watched in horror as a new empire of life and light grows more powerful in the east, practically on his doorstep. After a few decades of thought, he takes a stylus and tablets and orders his agents in the trading city of Mammon to begin leasing vineyards and stockpiling strong wines. Then he sends another order for one of his most personable zombies to make contact with the centaur tribes. Centaurs are not diplomatic, but once they empty their quivers into the emissary, they may stop to parley.

    As an afterthought, he writes a letter to the Kroenig of Vortigern, the dragon king in the north, subtly hinting that any expenses incurred in a world war would be subsidised.
     
  2. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Reugen sat at the table in his chamber in the subterranean city of Mu. In front of him was a months worth of paperwork which would need sorting and filing, but all of that would have to wait. First of all he had to take care of the expensive, exotic flask of ancient Muish wine which had been gifted to him when he'd arrived in the city not two days ago. He was a middle aged man, rather fat but surprisingly good looking with his twirled whiskers and combed hair. The garnment he wore, always of the latest fashion, were of course also terribly chic. A man of his station had to have style.

    Several goblets later, he was distracted from his enthusiastic drinking by a sharp knock on the door. He reluctantly left his seat to answer the door and found there an undead courier. The zombie assured him with as few words as possible that the message was of outmost importance, the kings (they really learned slow around here, Reugen thought. The old king was dead and had been for quite some time, a queen reigned now for gods sake!) eyes only. The fat diplomat assured the zombie, with as many extravagant words as possible, that he would see to the matter right away and have the message delivered with the outmost haste.

    Having closed the door behind him, he immedietly went for the knife he kept in the top drawer of his desk and continued with opening the sealed letter. He was a master at forging, particularly wax seals, and was confident beyond any doubt that no one would ever know he'd taken an innocent little peek.

    He raised his eyebrows as he finished reading. This really was a rather interesting, if not completely unexpected, turn of events. He would make sure the letter went on its way the next morning. He would in fact tend to the matter himself.
     
  3. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    tick... tick... tick...

    Time passed. For mortals it was slow and rich, but for the undead it flew past. The ancient king had to watch the clock, and keep records, or he couldn't be sure what was memory, imagination or actual time passing.

    So, he brooded and watched the clock, as mortals buzzed around in his crystal ball like flies.

    tick...

    The dwarf king's son, Julfrik, leaves Zwergland on a geological tour. They need titanite crystal more urgently than they will admit. His first stop is in Helvetia.

    tick...

    The warlord of Pelagia has been decapitated and eaten, again. The new warlord is a pirate from Mammon, called Red Hand. He is modernising their navy.

    Time passes...
     
  4. Ruda

    Ruda Member

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    About a hundred miles from Mu, to the north east, you will find the impressive Kitheronas Ridge. A beautiful landmark in its own right, the ridge is particularly noteworthy for being the only pass (south of Ur, that is) through “the Great mountain range” separating the ancient necropolis from the relatively fledgling Tibernium Empire. Naturally of great strategic value, it is currently controlled by a tribe of centaurs to whom it serves as a most comfortable base. The khan of this tribe is a benevolent stallion by the name of Chiron, who've been leading his people for as long as any of them can remember.

    The land around Kitheronas is ideal for someone like Chiron, a staunch traditionalist who believes that the centaur should live as she always has. There are plenty of game for them to hunt and a large spring is located right in the middle of their camp. Never have they been forced to lower themselves to theft or petty raiding.

    Though very happy for these gifts that Mother Earth has bestowed upon them, Chiron knows that a situation this ideal cannot last forever. Few are those who shares his disgust towards plundering and bloodshed, some of his more nefarious cousins even revel in it. These tribal raiders are little more than disorganized bandits but they are many and their victims abundant. Although very powerful, the Tibernium Empire is stretched too thin and cannot protect its many border towns. But sooner or later there will be repercussions for the all the wrongs his kinsmen have committed in the name of necessity, of that Chiron is certain.

    The time for pondering such matters is over. Chiron is awakened from his torporlike contemplation by his daughter Agave, a young filly who hasn't as of yet completed the rites of adulthood. She told her father that the scouts had spotted a small band of smelly men. Frightened, the scouts had tried to kill the men. But the men could not be killed. So the scouts tried to kill them with fire.

    Chiron sighed. The first response towards anything unfamiliar was that of hostility, even among his own tribesmen. Perhaps violence indeed is a part of the centaur nature. Chiron asked Agave to send their seemingly immortal visitors his way. Muan expeditions were rare indeed so he was curious as to what they wanted. And with their rotten flesh burnt away, they would at least smell better.

    [OOC: "The Great mountain range" should obviously not be named as such, but I thought it presumptuous to name it myself.]
     
  5. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    The common prejudice against undead was something Nahgrek had worked to establish. Fear and loathing make good deterrents. In diplomatic circles, however, where the upper ranks of undead moved, there was another strategem at play.

    The emissary who appeared before Chiron's yurt was, unlike her charred skeletal bodyguards, personable.

    She was actually a very handsome, young (seeming) woman with a warm, relaxed manner. Only a careful observer would notice the occasional flashes of cold and lifeless calculation through her facade.

    "O mighty Kahn," she says, bowing. "Apologies for intruding, we mean no disrespect.

    "We come bearing tokens of friendship to our honoured neighbours, and wishes of continuing good-will and peace.

    "My king asks you in brotherhood, one monarch to another, that emissaries under his flag be known as friends to your peoples, and assures you of his support should the eastern empire seek to further disinherit you of your ancestral land."

    There are four oxcarts of strong wine as tribute, enough to pickle the livers of every centaur in Chiron's tribe, or recruit two hundred more, or supply a tavern for a year.
     
  6. Ruda

    Ruda Member

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    Chiron eyed his disturbingly fetching visitor with distrust after having uttered those first words. It wasn't often that the assaulted would ask for her attacker's forgiveness. But nothing thus far had indicated that she was up to foul play, except her inability to pronounce his title properly. Chiron would give the Muans the benefit of the doubt.

    "I fear it is I who should apologize. It wasn't the best reception that one could offer a guest, albeit an uninvited one. Now, what might I do for you girl? What words to you bring from Mu?"

    "Oh? We'll gladly accept your friendship but we've got nothing to offer you in return save for our thanks. If you don't mind my asking, what brought this on? Why the need to make your peaceful intentions known? There have been no hostilities between our peoples prior to this day."

    Upon hearing the emissary's response, Chiron's heart turned heavy. Regardless of how eloquently she had put it, he realized that the day he'd feared so long had finally arrived. With Muan support it was inevitable that one khan would be able gather enough support for a march on the Empire. It had merely been mentioned, and he already saw the hatred in his fellows' eyes. Never before had he felt so powerless, as he knew that nothing could be done to stop the impending carnage.

    "Your support is appreciated and I'll gladly call your honourable king my brother. Let it be known that this tribe and Mu are allies."
     
  7. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    "So let it be written," concluded the emissary, whose name was Kaara, with a warm smile. "So let it be done."

    And there was much rejoicing, ie, drinking.

    Later, in Chiron's yurt, over a bowl of tea, she spoke more candidly to the grave Kahn.

    "Sir, I can see plainly enough that you are a wise man. I do not flatter you, quite the opposite. I mean to say that you are clearly too wise for flattery or any other deceit.

    "I will speak honestly to you and not condescend. I apologise if we have seemed disingenuous at all.

    "We need the strength of the centaurs to defend us.

    "We are few and bound to our city, and the empire reviles us for simply our existence. You are many and fly over the plains at whim. Your kin, at a stroke, could seize or destroy the griffin throne once and for all.

    "But, I know, I know, it will be an age of destruction for your kin if they dare. We do not ask you to die for us, nor anyone to die.

    "If we cooperate, if we are careful, we can get the empire to pull back its southern borders and recognise the tribes as a free nation. It is all just paperwork, I know, but such things can save lives, and also our ways of life.

    "You are cursed and blessed, I'm afraid, to be at the crux of history. Cursed that things must change but blessed that you can affect their change.

    "Shall we be truly allies, then, wise Chiron? Will you help us change the world so it doesn't change so much?"
     
  8. Ruda

    Ruda Member

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    Chiron said nothing, simply made a gesture for Kaara to continue.
    “Not at all. Please continue.”
    “Why would you? We're scattered and weak, whereas you're organized and invulnerable. Not to mention safe beyond the mountains.”
    Chiron knew this was true. United, the centaurs would make short work of the Tibernium forces, if faced on an open field. Their infantry, near useless against his fast and accurate brethren, would be massacred. Only their Gryphon Knights composed a threat, but even they could be brought down from the sky. Many centaurs could die, of course, but the noble order's numbers are too few to make an actual difference.

    “Yes, we could. We could decimate their armies and conquer the empire's lands. But her citizens are millions. Our people wouldn't be able to keep them in control, to keep any sort of fragile peace. There would be riots rebellions. Futile, of course, but never-ending. It would be a permanent state of unrest throughout the region, a constant war. What sort of life would that be, for us and the generations to come?”
    Chiron laughed bitterly. A war without casualties is a fool's dream. Or perhaps the dead are considered potential recruits.
    “Do you speak of raiding? Of destroying roads and burning towns? Of slaughtering refugees? Of making the south inhabitable for the villagers, for the commoners whose life already is composed of hardship and who've done us no harm? Holding the Empire and her citizens hostage, forcing her to abandon the south? You speak of immoral warfare and cowardice! Yes, it could work, but I will not have it!”

    Chiron stopped shouting. Even in this wrathful barrage, Kaara remained unflinching. But the warmth in her eyes was long gone. And watching her, Chiron recognized something else in its stead. A look, not of coldness as one would expect, but of boredom. He knew it was justified. His talk of immorality and cowardice were just feeble attempts to assert himself, his superiority . Perhaps he was even trying to appear Just or Good or in possession of some some other prideful, but equally nonsensical, virtue.

    “I'm sorry. But your talk of war without carnage is delusive. There will always be victims; the Empire would not agree to a treaty without them. And fighting non-directly, burning crops, raiding supply lines, hurting the Empire and her populace through sheer attrition will hopefully save lives in the long run. A starving people would more gladly sign a treaty than one who've just been humiliated on the field of battle. Yes, the coward's road might be the most merciful, but I do not have to like it!”
    Chiron sighed, but said nothing. Again he noticed warmth in Kaara's eyes as well as her smile. But he returned neither warmth nor grin.
    The Khan offered a tiny, almost unnoticeable, nod of agreement. Kaara said nothing and exited his yurt, bowing before she did so. Tomorrow Chiron would speak with his tribe. Tomorrow he'd send word to the other Khans. What would hopefully be known as The Centaur War of Independence was soon to begin.
     
  9. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    A knight by the name of Soltan des Grassburg came riding on his stallion through the inhospitable wilderness that lay east of Mammon. He was exhausted from wearing the heavy armor in the heat, but the fat man on the horse behind him seemed, miraculously, to be even more exhausted still. He was weak, that man, pampered beyond reason and apparently fed beyond decency. And look what good all that expensive food and drink had done him! The man was sweating as much as Soltan, and that without armor.
    By the gods! the man wailed, is there no end to these infernal plains? Pray tell, ser knight, are we far from the next tavern? I don't know if I could survive another night in this barren land! Soltan rolled his eyes and let the diplomat pant a bit before he responded. We are still a days ride from the next settlement, I'm afraid. We shall have to make camp under the stars tonight as well, des Arden. The diplomat waved at him irritably. Reugen! Call me Reugen, for the gods sake! I can hardly claim the correct formalities when I'm sweating like a pig, now can I?

    Having reached the crest of yet another hill, Soltan could scout ahead and immediately spotted trouble; not too far to the northeast, he could spot a single centaur watching him. He knew he had to act fast, lest the man-beast would alert its comrades of their location. He called out the words for a challenge in the centaur tongue, hoping that the individual before him was a warrior, and was relieved when it drew steel and set off towards him. One centaur he could probably manage. A dozen? No chance. Soltan drew his sword and charged.

    They both raced towards each other through the plains, sending up great clouds of dust as they closed the gap between them with increasing speed. In the last moment the knight turned to the right, protecting his exposed throat with his armored arm, and spitted the centaur by using his longsword as a spear. The man-beasts scimitar slashed uselessly against the steel-clad arm, inflicting no real damage even though Soltan certainly felt the impact. He his horse around and quickly rode up behind the centaur, which was wrestling feebly with the sword in its guts, drawing his knife. Cutting the centaurs throat posed no difficulty in the state it was in, and the creature collapsed onto the ground, its blood mixing with the dirt. Soltan dismounted and collected his blade, wiped it clean, and had just re-mounted his horse when the diplomat caught up with him. The man just looked from the corpse on the ground to the knight before him, his mouth working furiously but not producing words. Nothing to say, eh? Soltan thought. That'd be a first.
     
  10. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    tick...

    Far to the north, Yulfrik of Zwergland leaves Helvetia now with a squad of mercenaries, and travels to Vortigern. He is very wary of dragon attacks.

    Having scried this, Nahgrek makes a note on a tablet. The dwarves were neutral in practically all matters except for their distrust of dragons. This may prove just the tinder for the flame.

    tick...
     
  11. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Nahgrek hypnotises a dragon in the far north, causing it to attack the dwarf prince's party. He added the illusion of a dragon rider and caused it to flee after incinerating the mercenaries and savaging the dwarf. Yulfrik is left with whiplash, tooth marks in his armour, and incensed pride.

    That ought to strike a spark, Nahgrek cackled.
     
  12. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now in the wild oceans of the north west, the new warlord of Pelagia, Red Hand, was earning a new name for himself, ie, Bat Shit Crazy.

    In a nation where eating your rivals and wearing their skin is a time honoured tradition, that's quite a feat.

    He builds a big-arse battleship in the style of a Mammon frigate and arms it like he ran out of ideas. It has a trebuchet on the bow which flings baskets of poisonous snakes and wildcats which are set on fire.

    He also gels his hair with human blood and eats eyeballs like grapes but, again, that's run-of-the-mill-crazy for Pelagia.
     
  13. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Nahgrek provokes a war on two fronts against the Tibernium empire and their dwarven allies.

    Dwarves versus dragons versus griffins versus centaurs versus airships versus pirates versus cannons versus elves versus automatons versus knights versus zombies. It's really fucking awesome.

    The end.
     
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