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    Default [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    PRINCESS-CHAMPIONS OF HYPERBOREA
    A Game of Fellowship



    "In the deepest matters of the Bazaar, look to love. Always."

    "Hither came Oberon, white-haired, night-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a monster, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the earth under his riding-boots."

    "Then turn selfishness into a weapon! Make all things yours! Make other lives and dreams and hopes yours! Protect them! Save them! Bring them into the sheepfold! Walk the gale for them! Keep away the wolf! My dreams! My brother! My family! My land! My world! How dare you try to take these things, because they are mine! I have a duty!"

    "Everyone here is a princess! I'm, like, the only one who's not a princess."


    STARRING
    PhoeKun as Princess Alina Cascade of Ilumina, the Lantern
    Thanqol as Princess Adila of the Watch, the Dragon
    AND
    Anarion as Princess Kazelia Swiftlance, the Harbinger
    SEEKING TO DEFEAT
    Raz_Fox as Oberon Greymane, the Overlord





    Spoiler: A TALE OF HYPERBOREA
    Show
    There is a snake curled around the whole wide world. Her name is Ouroboros, and she is so big that it's hard to believe your eyes the first time that you see her. You'll say to yourself, "goodness, someone built a very big wall on the coast of whatever land we're approaching!" Then you'll say, "someone built a wall to split the sea in half: this side and that side." Then you'll get closer still, and you'll see bronze scales the size of palaces, rising up out of the sea, and you'll have to sit down to take it all in - that this is Ouroboros, and her belly rests upon the sea floor while her back rubs up against the sky. Within her coils lies Hyperborea, and that a world enough to satisfy anyone.*

    In the winter-time, the short days and the long nights of fur cloaks and wonderful spectacles in ice, there came cresting over Ouroboros's vast back a King. Stars fell from their thrones in the velvet dark of his eyes, and a wind from the deep vaults of winter kissed his pale cheeks. He didn't come alone! Behind him came his children, and his court, and all of his people, each one carrying their livelihoods with them. It's not my place to say where they came from, or even if they came from someplace at all, but I can say that when their King looked out upon Hyperborea far below, a fierce and jealous love woke in his cold breast, and he sighed in reverie.

    He told the child he favored most, a witch of winter night, to take wing alongside him, that together they could make a survey of the world which lay beneath them. So she put on her cloak of feathers and became a barn owl, while he became the North Wind which bore her along, though from time to time he would become a great black he-eagle or a sleek-backed wolf or a wickedly handsome man, whichever suited him right at that moment. Where that wind blew the shutters blew right open and the frost's fingers crawled in; the pipes burst and the bare-branched trees moaned and cracked; the waves of the Hyperborean Sea boiled cold and furious and marched up upon the shore. And as they went along together, whenever the witch saw something beautiful and wonderful, the sort of thing that Hyperborea is wonderfully rich in, she would call her father's eye to it, and he would sigh and say, "ah, I love it," or, "ah, I must have it," and by both meant the same thing.

    By spiraling paths they finally came to Argossa, the mountain whose roots bind Hyperborea together, the tree whose shining stone limbs press up against the roof of the sky; and here the witch fell away, unable to match her father in swiftness and power. About each branch of the mountain-tree the wind curled like a cat, moaning professions of ardor and desire and possession, and soon enough the King saw nesting within the highest branches the silver chariot of the Moon, with twelve gleaming mares in its traces, and he leaped right to it, his fingers tickling their flanks, his breath holding the chariot fast, for at once he loved it and meant to have it, not for its use but simply to know that it was his.

    But the Moon had come to Argossa, as it did every night, to stop and have a midnight dinner with Ourania, who is queen above all other queens, who cares for Hyperborea as the gardener cares for her wildest flowers, with a light hand and a gentle word, and yet who can bear the touch of the sun and the moon when they kiss her farewell, brushing their burning lips against the back of her dark hand or upon her perfect cheek, and who knows the secret love-names of the sea and the sky. And when the King's eye fell upon her, a deep and terrible yearning yawned open within his frozen heart, fiercer and more perilous than anything that night had yet witnessed.

    Yet Ourania’s eyes flashed with sudden fire, which pierced him there and held him fast, having had the knowing of him at once; for she sat in Argossa, the wellspring of her power and the turning-point of the world. At once the King became a huge and lovely serpent as fine as a treasure-casket, with wicked coils to hold her fast and close, and she became the secretary-bird and had him right by the neck. Then he was the true black dart which pierces the breast of the bird on the wing, and she was the quiver which caught the dart fast and made it harmless. Then he was the black moth which devours and consumes whatever it falls upon, and she was the night-bird which catches the moth with its song. At every turn she had the best of him, until he had to use all of his cunning and swiftness just to fall headlong down Argossa's slopes with nothing but his pride in tatters and that yearning as sharp as a knife buried in his breast.

    Howling and keening he fell upon Hyperborea as a hideous gale, overturning ships and uprooting groves, snatching up anything he caught only to toss it aside many miles distant. But the wise shut their doors tight against him, and Ourania set her own southerly winds to fox him and undo him at every turn, and come the dawn he was just a man once more, shabbily dressed and run ragged in his shame and defeat, burning with the perverse desire to have precisely that which one is denied, which cannot be contented, not even if you stack the whole wide world on the other side of the scales.

    And it just so happened that as he stumbled along like a blind man, undone in his self-inflicted torment, a princess came riding by with her companions, warmly cloaked and gilded in various treasures of the kingdom of Jedad, against which they had just been on campaign. Seeing the King and mistaking him for a drunk or a victim of misfortune, she told her companions that they should hold a moment and try to lift his spirits with gay jests and fine company. This was a mistake, as thinking himself the object of mockery, the King drew his blade and knocked the princess straight down, and when her companions flew to her defense, he knocked them straight down too. Then his eyes shone all full of falling stars, and in a terrible fear, the princess offered up all of their spoils as ransom, that he might straight away release her into the care of her mother, the queen of that very land. And to this, the King composed himself and said:

    "No. Go and tell your mother that her daughter has cost her a kingdom. Before the day is over, I will come and take it from her. Her throne will be my throne, and her lands will be my lands. I will drive her subjects out, so that my own subjects may have a home to call their own. My name is Oberon Greymane. Remember it, for you will hear much more of me now that I am here at last, in this beautiful and beloved world."

    And as he said, so has it come to pass. And now it should be springtime, the early thaw, but winter is fighting back tooth and nail, because it loves Oberon Greymane like it loves no one else, and it follows where the Riders go on their black horses, their laughter like bells chiming on a glass bridle, and no princess may stand before them, for they are the champions forged beyond the bounds of Ouroboros.

    *The dragons say that beyond Ouroboros is formless night, and beyond the night, worlds uncharted. But their accounts are hardly unbiased.


    Spoiler: ON HYPERBOREA
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    HYPERBOREA

    Hyperborea is flat, and bounded on every side by Ouroboros, the world serpent who holds her tail in her mouth. From its heart grows the mountain Argossa, the stone-tree whose veins are shot through with living jewels. Nestled among its branches is the palace of High Queen Ourania, who holds authority over the kingdoms and domains of all Hyperborea. At noon she has tea made ready for the sun, at midnight she has a very late dinner made ready for the moon, and it is for this reason that the clocks of Hyperborea must by necessity be clever enough to know when to take a break themselves while the charioteers of heaven talk with their hostess about what they have seen on their journeys.

    Hyperborea is blessed with a rich tapestry of cultures, all sorts of talking folk, an embarrassment of natural resources, and an abundance of magical princesses. Living magic flows through Hyperborea much like blood through a body, and in this metaphor, Argossa serves as the heart; the aesthetics of tapping into that magic differ from kingdom to kingdom, but crystals are a very popular choice. (Indeed, “laser” weapons, generated by magic crystals, are a common sight in certain parts of Hyperborea.)

    The default of government is the matriarchy. This may have something to do with the fact that the High Queen is ageless as the hills and has a vital role in caring for Hyperborea's magic; queens are therefore seen as partaking in the authority of the High Queen, and (sometimes quite literally) focal points for their kingdom's magic. This means, then, that there are, as aforementioned, an abundance of magical princesses in Hyperborea.

    Naturally, being a princess comes with expectations! The ideal princess is vital and strong, overflowing with the fecund Blood of her people; she is brave and steadfast, proving her Courage on the battlefield; she is eloquent and sure-footed, displaying her Grace before all; she is clever and truly observes the world around her with common Sense; and she possesses the Wisdom to distinguish wicked action from virtue. Their education commonly combines combat and survival training with academic study of Hyperborea, and every princess is expected to both be a champion of her people on and off the battlefield and prepared to take on the burdens and responsibilities of rule, should she be called to do so. Who launches raids into enemy territory for the glory of their lineage? The princess. Who attends feasts and galas in order to socialize with foreigners they may one day count as equals or rivals? The princess. Who drives off monsters, helps rebuild in the wake of natural disasters, and acts as an aspirational ideal for their citizens? The princess.

    Now, the Hyperboreans are, by and large, quite singular in the way they wage war: with such bountiful natural resources available to every kingdom worth the name, conflicts are more personal and impulsive, with a focus on raids, humiliation of one's rivals, and counting coup over conquest and slaughter. An aspiring princess-champion might lead a band of companions into a rival country, find their queen's cattle herd, disarm and subdue the herdsmen, and then seek to prove her cunning and skill by driving the whole herd home without being caught - and were her pursuers to catch her, the ensuing melee would likely be to first blood and the ransom of anyone on the losing side who didn't leg it quickly enough. Arms and armor are expressions of one's own persona more than simple tools of violence, and death by simple misadventure is more likely than death on the battlefield.

    RIDERS

    The Riders are from beyond Ouroboros, and wherever they came from must be very cold indeed. They bring winter with them where'er their roving takes them: the howling gale, the blinding blizzard, the ice that bursts the pipes, and the chill that touches blood and bone alike. If their King cements his rule over Hyperborea, it will- to steal a turn of phrase- be always winter, never Ridersmas. As a general rule, they are cruel and domineering (though perhaps because of the influence of their king), and love to possess pretty things, especially if someone previously [owned or dated] them, delete as applicable. And, unfortunately for Hyperborea, they are dangerous and skillful combatants.

    Their hair is white as snow and their eyes are deep night, full of wheeling alien stars. Their liveries are blue and black, and their weapons hum and sigh disconcertingly in the hand. They are cold as ice to the touch, and their teeth are the fangs of the predator. Their laughter sounds like silver bells being shaken on a glass bridle. Their beauty is terrible, their terror is beautiful.

    Other than that? They really are just people, and it's not impossible to imagine a future in which they form a vital part of Hyperborea's rich tapestry. The trick is figuring out how to thaw their frozen hearts, how to teach them friendship, and how to not be subjugated and have your treasures stolen in the meantime.

    Their King, Oberon Greymane, has overrun a kingdom entire, imprisoned its queen and turned the beautiful Castle Thessia into an ice-bound fortress from which the Riders issue forth on their many raids against the rest of Hyperborea. This would all be worrying enough, but worse is the fact that, ever since his arrival in Hyperborea, he has sent messages to the High Queen daily, which veer wildly between threats and flirtations. After all, Riders do enjoy owning pretty things, no matter their opinions on the matter.

    OBERON GREYMANE

    The Heart of Winter. The Robber King. The Shadow Dancer. King of the Riders, first over Ouroboros's nigh-impassable back, handsome and quick to laughter, yet covetous and arrogant in equal measure. Has an uncomfortable amount of Hot Dad Energy. If he usurps Ourania’s throne in Argossa's branches, you won't need a weather forecast anymore: snow upcoming for the next seven hundred years.

    • UNQUESTIONED KING OF THE RIDERS - like it or not, by the ancient codes of Hyperborea, the queens of Hyperborea have to treat Oberon as a peer, and no Rider would ever disobey or question an order from their King. (SoP: Castle Thessia)
    • WINTER'S PANOPLY - some of the things he carries are undeniably from places that are not Hyperborea, and others are wonders that he has stolen from the kingdoms of Hyperborea and turned to his own ends: the abhorrent wonder-knife Yearning/Echidna, the unbreakable ribbon-spear Pearlion, the black eclipse-bow Blinding, the rippling night-cloak Kthos, the writhing blade-tattoos of Ynloc-Athera...
    • MASTER OF SHAPES AND SEEMINGS - he can, at a whim, become a howling gale, a great grey wolf, a child, a giant, or you, even. Those night-filled eyes never change, but he can lay a spell upon you such that you don't notice until it's too late...


    Agenda: Ultimate Power. Hyperborea gets colder by the day. Riders go where they please, seeking beautiful things to steal and carry off to their king, humiliating every champion who dares stand up to them. Soon, if not checked, Oberon will feel confident enough - and potent enough - to challenge Ourania’s champions directly, and then there shall be winter without end.

    Army: The Organization. Your average Rider isn't a threat to a Princess-Champion at all. Again, they're mostly just people, if an alien people. No, his army consists largely of his children, the princesses (and prince) of the Riders, equal to any challenge he sets before them.

    General: Princess Azora Howl. Presently most favored of Oberon's children, Azora Howl is the foremost witch of the Riders, and maintains her position as her father's second-in-command by tactical use of her siblings and the careful unraveling of various protective spells wrapped around Hyperborea and Argossa.

    Weakness: The Dolorous Song. Sing before him a song that makes him weep. Undo his justifications and self-confidence, make him feel regret and shame for what he has done, leave him a tired and friendless old man, and his power will melt like the spring thaw. Complications keeping Thanqol from speedrunning Fellowship: the composition and appropriate performance of such a song, as well as getting him to stay and listen after the first performance clotheslines him. Yes, I am singing Hadestown lyrics right now and you can’t stop me

    THE FELLOWSHIP

    Let me just stop you here a moment. Most princesses, most champions of Hyperborea? They're busy. There are repairs that need to be made after those terrible winter storms, their homeland needs them to stand up to these brash new outsiders (but our princess will totally win, their people say, unlike all those other ones), and in short, they have their own problems. They just haven't looked up and realized that their problems are all the fault of the King of the Riders, and that this problem is too big for any one kingdom to handle alone.

    That you're part of the Fellowship instead of being at home means something. It means that someone - maybe you, maybe your mother, maybe the witches of Hecatia - knew that if you didn't do something to stop Oberon Greymane, then all of Hyperborea would fall. Or it means that you've already got skin in the game, you've already been defeated by the Riders before, your kingdom is still in the grip of winter instead of turning to spring's thaw. Maybe your mother even swore fealty to or made an alliance with the Riders, and you've gone renegade because it's the right thing to do, rather than the easy thing. Heck. Maybe you're even the first princess who lost to Oberon Greymane, the one who made a terrible mistake by trying to be a good samaritan.

    By Hyperborean standards, you're already a pretty impressive fighting force, being three different Princesses in alliance with your retinues and your treasures. This isn't unprecedented by any means, though! Team-ups are a classic tradition of the Hyperborean saga, and you can probably rattle off stories about three-Princess teams- just be aware that when you roll in people are going to notice the fact that you're in a team-up. Heck, it might even be enough to let you stand up to those dastardly Riders!

    The standard gameplay loop for this game will likely be fighting over Sources of Power, trying to keep them out of Oberon's clutches while also making daring forays into Rider-held kingdoms to free them of his control. Remember that taking a SoP will allow you to erase one of the Overlord's stats, while the Overlord taking a SoP allows him to add another stat to his sheet. There will also be episodes like "the Crystal Gala" and "the Riders took our little siblings hostage!" and "the Dueling Championship you must not let the Riders win." Probably also "secret date night with your new Rider girlfriend which Oberon must not find out about."


    Spoiler: DESIGNER'S NOTES
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    HYPERBOREAN ETYMOLOGY

    The name Hyperborea was intentionally chosen, or else retroactively became meaningful, or both. In the classical Greek tradition, it meant the land beyond the North Wind, an idyllic paradise beyond the world we know. Our Hyperborea is a land beyond the ordinary world, a paradise of merry wars and benevolent verdancy, and the North Wind - in the form of the King of the Riders - has finally arrived.

    THE PRETTY PRINCESS PRINCIPLE

    If there is a disconnect between the way your playbook describes a move or gear option - heck, even the tags - and your vision of being a pretty princess, your vision always gets priority. Just signpost the change and if it causes any problems, that's on me to bring up. Fellowship was designed to be generic player-detailed fantasy, and it needs tweaking to bring it in line with a strong and consistent vision.

    HYPERBOREAN WARFARE

    This is shamelessly lifted from Princesses of the Universe, but it's a solid concept: fighting to kill isn't particularly appropriate in-genre. So we might as well make it part of your cultural expectations: that of course you run away once your schemes have failed, that of course when you have someone at your mercy you gloat and take them prisoner rather than run them through, that of course the laser blast won't kill you. The dramatic flipside, naturally, is that losing a battle sucks because everyone knows you lost, and that's a loss of prestige and honor for your kingdom, plus all the emotional drama that comes from feeling like a failure.

    This also allows for feuding kingdoms and suspicion from other princesses without turning the setting into Game of Thrones- yeah, we're at war, which means our champions are trying to one-up each other and prove our kingdom's legitimacy, with face and honor at stake, not that we're throwing an entire generation of our people into a meat grinder.

    Now, the Riders might try to kill you! It would be very rude, and they'd try to do it when nobody was looking, but they're not from around here and not killing people does not come as naturally to them. Still, they'd be swimming up against the narrative current, so if a Rider happened to stab you in the back, you'd almost certainly survive. It'd just be painful and dramatic and the kids watching at home would be wondering whether they actually got you, but of course they didn't really.

    Because of this, you should revise the +BLOOD Finish Them to "when you seek to overpower them or beat them down, roll +Blood." More "I throw them around until they do that dramatic but futile attempt to get up" or "I wrestle them into submission," less "I STAB THEIR FACE." It runs the risk of overlapping a little with +SENSE, but I think we'll get the hang of the difference.

    RIDERS

    In Jenna Moran's Nobilis, the Riders (or Excrucians) are from outside the universe (check) and want to unmake it (not so much check). One of their "types" has the motivation that they love you, or rather, some ineffable essence of you that they want to free by destroying everything else about you.

    I changed their motivation somewhat; destroying all of existence is a bit bleak for a magical princess tv show. But a selfish, rapacious love of all the beauty and wonder within this world, which they will jealously hoard or bury under snowdrifts when their star ascends? That works wonderfully. The connection to winter is a personal flourish. It fits, I think. Comparisons to the Wintersmith are apt, and they have shades of that world's elves as well.

    Your average Rider is a civilian, who (coldly, beautifully, longingly) has an actual job of some sort. The Riders you'll be fighting, though? They're the King's children, or his royal guards, the handful of Riders who signed up for this job of fighting magical princesses. So, to sum up: deep night-studded eyes and white hair, not okay to punch immediately. Wearing the King's armor and pointing swords at you and laughing evilly? Totally okay to punch. Though it’ll be tough, and they might just punch you back!

    THE OVERLORD

    The natural foil for a world of princesses is a DILF. No, I am not taking constructive criticism.

    If we were playing Under Hollow Hills, he would be the Nightmare Horse: dangerous, alluring, sensual, genial until you realize you're too close and he holds you fast. Appearance-wise, equal parts Geralt of Riva and Lee Pace's Thranduil, with eyes like the first night you were out in real wilderness. Also the Big Bad Wolf, at least symbolically, sometimes literally.

    If all of Hyperborea united against him, he'd lose, no question. I don't think that's going to happen unless your characters make it happen, and you'll be fighting his kids and their attempts to divide the kingdoms every step of the way. Also, if you ran into him, he'd probably stop to have a pleasant conversation and be, like, the Cool Dad of your various adversaries, while still being capable of beating you down without breaking a sweat if you tried to stop whatever he was there to do.

    If I was him, I would justify myself by saying: imagine that a friend invited you over for dinner, and when you arrived, you discovered that they had a lost van Gogh painting! And they were using it as a plate for slices of pizza while watching TV! Wouldn't that make you horrified? Wouldn't you take it away from them? Wouldn't you clean it off, hang it up in your house, and treasure having it? Something that beautiful deserves to be owned by someone who appreciates it properly. (But owning it is the important part, even if you never give it a second glance, because you know that you love it and it is yours.)

    THE HIGH QUEEN

    A confluence of inspirations: Princess Celestia, regal and supernal and associated with the heavens; Queen Angella, a mentoring figure who requires others to go forth while she remains in her locus of power, despite fears that the task will consume them; the Summer Lady, a figure of obsession for the King of Winter, the brilliant counterpoint to his endless winter night.

    Why doesn't she go forth and kick a bodacious amount of ass? Because her power is connected intimately to Argossa, the axis mundi, and leaving would mean several steps down in power level, putting everyone at risk. Okay, why doesn't she make all the other kingdoms work together to beat the Overlord? As long as the Riders play by the same rules and customs as everyone else, rules and customs she had a direct hand in establishing, direct alliance-forming and action against their kingdom will set a precedent that will destabilize her legitimacy as High Queen in the long run - the other queens will be thinking, "if Ourania decides she doesn't like us, she'll make everyone else team up against us, too!" Then everything gets messy. There's probably a point where everyone will see the danger they're in and unite, and according to the laws of drama, that point is definitely past the point where the Riders can reasonably be stopped.

    So it's just you, whatever guidance Ourania can provide, and whatever princesses you can convince to join you in the war, usually by fixing the problems that the Riders have already caused for them. If you fail, winter forever. No pressure or anything!

    (Side note I'll throw in here: if you're having trouble imagining Argossa properly, imagine one of those massive-trunked baobab trees, except it's not wooden, it's stone, and its leaves are jewels, and yet it is alive. It is both the omphalos and the world tree. Yes, and.)

    FUN AND TONE

    When I tried writing for this, I quickly found out that this game has the potential to be a lot of fun. If something's cool I can just throw it in. Crossbow? Why not a crystal-powered laser crossbow! Should Princess Azora Howl have the ability to command shadows just because she's a witch? Hell yeah, why not! It's like giving myself permission to be gleefully, fecklessly inventive; throwing the doors wide open, but in a way that builds on creativity rather than has me trying to figure out the Right Thing to Write.

    If this game is anything, I hope it's fun.

    Similarly, the general tone I'm trying to hit is "yeah, you'd let your preteens watch this," with a side of "kids can actually handle a whole lot" - you can get drunk, kiss each other, bleed on-screen, bicker with each other, and suffer terrible loss, but we're not likely to kill characters off (particularly not graphically), the villains are generally selfish and cruel but not vile, and love and friendship can conquer even the sorceries of Azora Howl and Oberon Greymane. Even if you get stabbed and left to die by Morgina Fang, someone will come along to save you at the last second. "Redemption arc" is a possibility for any antagonists you make the effort to befriend, but it'll involve having to own up to hurting others. And now that I've said that, watch as we somehow dive right into "the Riders blew up an entire kingdom, and your sister was still on it when it exploded!"

    GM PREP

    So, Raz! What steps are you taking to combat GM burnout for this game?

    I’m glad you asked! The delay between announcement of concept and delivery has allowed our best fox scribes to compile episode ideas. My own organizational style for this game is inspired heavily by Thanqol’s own experimentation in our currently-running Masks game: episodic by design, leaning into the intentional source materials (She-Ra, MLP but with more Adventure, CMWGE).

    What this means is that I can throw you directly into situations (instead of trying to make a sandbox, which I am. less good at), I can get weird and improvisational and focused on providing an EXPERIENCE instead of getting hung up on accuracy and seeming cool and like I know how real things work, and I feel like I’ve got a handle on the core gameplay loops here.

    ART
    Spoiler: Ourania
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    Spoiler: Riders
    Show



    Spoiler: Cosmologies
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    MUSIC
    Warriors (Extended) - where this pitch began.
    Lost in Thoughts All Alone - JOIIIIIIIIIN IN THE TALE, IN THE BLIIIIIIGHT, OF CONQUEST AND LIESSSS
    You'll Play Your Part - wow princessing is a lot of responsibility huh
    My Odyssey - on the other hand, it's also as awesome as all get out
    You - a love song for the Robber King
    Bad Apple!! - and an anthem for his children
    Ivory Steeds - it's too late. they're here.

    PATCH NOTES
    - High Queen name changed from Celene to Ourania (cf. Jack Problem)
    - Shy, frightened Meina Glint changed to badass, hyper-vigilant Eska Glint
    - Pacifist woobie Caspian Fleet changed to bratty twink Cassian Fleet
    - Riders no longer capable of hypergeometric vore
    - Fixed Greymane/Whitemane inconsistency in favor of Greymane
    - Overlord Stat changed from invincible swordsman and dancer to panoply of treasures
    - Overlord Weakness added
    - Art added
    - Propped up a cardboard box with a stick and wrote "FREE ANGST FOR FLUFFY PONY" on the side


    Spoiler: A GAZETTEER
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    THE FOLLOWING IS MY GIFT TO YOU; CHANGE, STEAL, OR DENY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING AS SUITS YOUR CHARACTERS.

    So I've noticed that one thing that Fellowship can struggle with is a sense of context and place. Therefore, I've come up with a bunch of places that probably will be in Hyperborea, pending any player intervention. (Which is important; if, say, Phoe wants to tell me that I've fallen for cunning lies about Devilhome, or if Anarion wants to replace Jedad with pyramid-haunted Serethia, or Thanqol informs me that he’s gonna be the Princess of the Ridgeback Mountains, it's vital that you be able to do so without worrying about treading on my toes.) Also, this is in no way an exhaustive list; it's just what's sprung forth from my head up til this point. Hyperborea is large and wonderful enough that "oh, yes, there's a marvelous kingdom we haven't mentioned yet just beyond the horizon" is always a possibility.

    Jedad is a desert kingdom that hugs the coastline of the inner Hyperborean Sea. As one of the laws of Hyperborea is that all places must be fruitful, even Jedad is bursting to the seams with resources: in this case, the sands of Jedad produce a multitude of spices when ground, filtered or steamed. The banks of the rivers are lush and verdant, and generally the heat never rises above "a good excuse to sit around, fan yourself, and share cold drinks." The Queen of Jedad has a magic ring that allows her to command the djinn of the desert, which saves tremendously on construction costs. Veils are ubiquitous, for important fashion reasons. Further south, the volcanoes can be dangerous if not treated with respect and careful planning, but the rare ores and fire crystals found within make mining operations worth the expense.

    Deep Hollow is a city mostly situated within a crevasse. Note that I say mostly: it is a city of mushrooms, which means that it is constantly expanding beyond the lips of the crevasse. The fashion is to wear wide hats and traveling cloaks, which means that a citizen of Deep Hollow, standing still, may be mistaken at a glance for yet another mushroom. They make mushroom ciders, truffle cakes, mushroom pies, mushroom steaks, and little mushroom snowglobes. Even the lamps of the city are bioluminescent mushrooms. You'd think that the people of Deep Hollow would be taciturn and dour, but they're actually very friendly, and have a thriving poetry slam community (as long as you like sonnets about mushrooms).

    The wide plains of Rowan are renowned for the herds of wild horses that graze there. The people of Rowan, on the other hand, are renowned for their rivalry with the wild griffons of the mountains, who like nothing better than horse sandwiches. They are a proud and contentious folk, who are not at all encroaching on any other intellectual property involving somewhat Anglo-Saxon horse riders. If you need a fine steed, perhaps even one of the famed pegasi, you'd best go to Rowan.

    Feloria is a bucolic farmland, the breadbasket of all Hyperborea. It has the widest variety of flowers grown in all of Hyperborea, and its festivals are fine excuses to eat until you're stuffed, to wear a multitude of flower crowns and garlands, and to end up kissing someone you didn't expect to. It's also a popular place to retire, oddly enough; it's easy to disappear among the hills of Feloria, open up a small farm, and live in contentment for the rest of your days, if that's what you really want out of your old age.

    Hidden deep within Feloria is Hecatia University, the most prestigious community of witches in all of Hyperborea. Initiates spend half the year serving as village witches across Feloria, and half the year attending classes in the spell-cloaked, ivy-choked halls of Hecatia, learning how to wield magic responsibly and with flair. Being educated at Hecatia is somewhat scandalous for a princess, given the perception that the University's oath of care and service to the common folk, sworn upon graduation, conflicts with a future queen's duty to care for her nation first and foremost - but witches are known for being stubborn, and if you're the kind of person who belongs at Hecatia, you'll run away from your kingdom before you let anyone else tell you to forget about your gifts.

    Axonia is a verdant, overgrown jungle, dotted with ancient ruins from some civilization from the dawn of time. The current ruling regime is made up of dryads, naturally. It's one of the more dangerous parts of Hyperborea, full of monsters and exotic insects - not to mention dinosaurs! It's even illegal to go plundering those ancient ruins - which just makes them more appealing targets for aspiring champions. Rumor has it that the Temple of the Jade Serpent is deliberately designed to be an appealing target, full of devious traps, and that every time a princess-champion makes it away with the treasure at the temple's heart, the dryads put in a new treasure and reset the traps.

    Hobling Keep is the heart of goblinkind in Hyperborea. A sprawling labyrinth of tinkers and alchemists, Hobling Keep is ruled by the Goblin Queen, one of the most trusted advisors of High Queen Ourania. If you want to find the most cutting-edge magitech in Hyperborea, it'll be in the bazaars of Hobling Keep. It's rumored to be impregnable, were the Goblin Queen to lock the gates and raise the walls to Siege Mode - but only a rampaging dragon could possibly pose such a threat!

    Askaia is an island kingdom of cats, The Cat Returns style. The Askaians burn so much catnip-laced incense that the whole island is wreathed in smoky mist, with beautiful glass towers rising up out of the haze. The princesses of Askaia, notably, can become catgirls through a magical girl-style transformation, because opposable thumbs are a superpower in their own right.

    Speaking of dragons, of course Hyperborea has dragons! They haunt the highest mountains in all Hyperborea- save Argossa itself, tallest of all- the Ridgeback Mountains. Rumor has it that the mountains themselves are the back of the mother of all dragons, but only the Paladins of the Red Monastery know for sure. Guarding the mountain passes with their halberds and peerless martial arts, the Paladins keep overconfident champions and foolish gawkers from disturbing the hidden rites of the dragons. Or, according to rumor, from plundering their extravagant hoards. To gain access, you have to pass their trials of character and virtue.

    When it comes to truly wild parties, you have to go underneath Hyperborea to Devilhome to really cut lose. It's a 24/7 revel down there among the paper-masked, black-furred devils of Hyperborea, who were banished beneath the earth aeons ago for breaking the original chariots of the sun and the moon; or shattering one of the horns of the mother of dragons; or some other unspeakable crime of passion and strength. Their Grandmothers can still break the unbreakable, fetter the unfetterable, jump over Argossa in a single bound, and otherwise perform deeds that are by definition impossible. The trick is impressing them enough to gain their respect, let alone their attention. If the Riders hadn't shown up, the Overlord would probably have been from Devilhome...
    Last edited by Raz_Fox; 2019-07-05 at 07:05 AM.
    freedom in the flame

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    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    character concept

    More tomorrow.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Incidentally, the first step- beyond throwing a character sheet together handcrafting the newest wonder of the world, which shall make Riders weep when they behold her magnificence- is to answer a couple of questions. We can break them down something like this:

    [STEP 1]
    Tell us about your princess, tell us why she is Ourania's champion against the Riders when she is so badly needed among her people, and tell us three facts about your people and your kingdom. This is the basic step, your chance to carve out your niche, your concept, and your whole deal. Your opportunity to sell us on how awesome, neat, pretty, or angst-ridden your princess-champion is.

    [STEP 2]
    Tell us of Oberon. Whose people did he hit first and hardest? Whose people has he largely ignored? And what impossible thing has he already done? This is group-oriented discussion; y'all get the chance to hash out what his invasion has looked like and who his targets have been. Then, very fun, you get to tell me something absolutely ovaries-to-the-wall* crazy that he's done already, that I hadn't even come up with. Something big and impossible to ignore (unless you're a bunch of squabbling kingdoms sown into discord already).

    *turn of phrase only; trans princesses are real princesses

    [STEP 3]

    Tell us of another one of your Fellowship. Tell us what rumors or superstitions you hold concerning them, and a notable feud, rivalry, or alliance your kingdoms have had. Take a chance and catch someone else in the spotlight. Tell us what they look like from the outside, and add your own little flourishes to Hyperborea's long and contentious history. Notably, they are not allowed to tell you whether the rumors and superstitions are true or not.

    [STEP 4]

    If y'all are as extra as I am, you're probably gonna want to throw in a bunch of extra details, flourishes, and awesome motifs. Here's a list of questions y'all can tackle if you're feeling particularly inspired. Please do not feel compelled to answer all of them. I mean it. I pulled out the stops brainstoming here.
    Spoiler: Y'ALL SO EXTRA
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    • What are the motifs and symbols of your kingdom's heraldry? What lovely flowers, what strange beasts, what iconic colors and, well, icons mark your company as distinct when you enter the fray? What's their aesthetic?
    • Who does your kingdom look favorably upon? Who, conversely, does your kingdom despise and scorn, and/or have a real geopolitically tsundere relationship with? (We're not joining your alliance because we like you or anything, b-baka!)
    • What does your kingdom's political structure actually look like? Is your mother supported by a democratic council or a witch she married despite her parents' misgivings, was she chosen by the White Stag of the Giant's Wood or the victor in a tournament of arms, does she adopt princesses (adopting a princess is Valid), or how else do you distinguish yourself from all the other matriarchies?
    • Which Virtue does your kingdom most value, and which does it overlook? What brings you glory in the eyes of your people, and what do they shun you for? What is Wicked action, only permissible in Devilhome beneath the earth?
    • What is your kingdom's greatest accomplishment in the annals of Hyperborea?
    • What is your kingdom's greatest city called, and what is it like?
    • How do the magicians of your people interact with the living magical essence of Hyperborea? Do they call upon the High Queen's ley lines, gather shimmering dust washed up upon the shoreline, woo the sea and sky and earth by their secret love-names, call upon the power of their wishing hearts all praying as one, or what? What's your kingdom's view on Hecatia Academy and its graduates?
    • What treasures of your kingdom do you most fear to see in the hands of the Riders? (I have no ulterior motives in asking this I swear)
    • What strange monsters haunt your kingdom, forcing you and your companions to do battle against them to drive them away?
    • Conspiracy theory time: who is Ourania, really, and where did the Riders come from?


    [STEP 5, WHICH I FORGOT]

    There's also assigning Bonds with everyone. Given that this is a three-person Fellowship, we have the option to either double up on assigning Bonds to your fellow Princesses (which I think I like, knotting everyone together tightly) or assigning extra bonds to Companions? I'd love some feedback on this, I'm still mulling over the best way to play that.

    You also get to give Oberon a Bond with you. Here's the list of prompts you can slot your name into; feel free to tweak them as they come.
    Spoiler: OVERLORD BONDS
    Show
    • I destroyed ______'s kingdom. (Or if not destroyed- then froze into winter and have ravaged as I please.)
    • I have caused great harm to _______'s kingdom. (I am sorry, but I treasure your load-bearing artifacts more than you once did.)
    • I slew someone important to _________. (Or, if not slew, then wounded terribly- such that they will never again raise blade against me, and always bear the wound.)
    • __________ slew someone important to me. (Or, if not slew, then wounded terribly- such that they're now useless to me.)
    • __________ knows the secrets of the Riders and how we came to Hyperborea. (Wicked little thing, listening where you're not wanted.)
    • __________'s kingdom serves me now. (As slaves or as vassals, I don't care which. It will be the same in the end.)
    • Only _________ knows my Weakness. (I have none. You really are a fool, but an amusing one.)
    • I have fought __________ before, and left a wound upon them. It burns with winter's chill in my presence. (Didn't you learn your lesson last time, dear?)
    • _________ befriended me, once. (I was disguised, of course- but I truly did enjoy your company. When Ourania and I wed, I may allow you to be one of her maids of honor.)
    • _________ secretly admires me and the things I do. (It's no surprise. I am, after all, this world's savior.)
    Last edited by Raz_Fox; 2019-05-30 at 06:25 AM.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Oh my gosh. I'm in love. I'm in love. This is the world of the dream we broke ourselves to create.

    I... I need a minute

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    The Dredgers still sing of the day they found the egg.

    Heave! To hear them tell it, this river was itself a dragon, once. Ho! Why else would it burst so richly with treasures and shipwrecks? Heave! Nets and lines are cast and gold and jewels fill the galleon hulls. Ho! See the Appraiser toss diamonds overboard because they are not worth his time? Heave! Here even the fish wear crowns. Ho! But the egg was the greatest haul of all.

    They took it to the Bazaar. Where else would you take a treasure like that?

    *

    The Bazaar still reminisces of the day they sold the egg.

    Queens and wizards bid upon it. Greymane and his Riders descended to claim it for his treasures. Princesses fought each other on rooftops to steal it, and steal it once again. It wasn't just the money and power that poured into the city, it was the show. Who among the mighty and powerful would turn up the chance to raise a dragon?

    They lost it to the Watch. Who else ends a conflict like that?

    *

    The Watch still remembers the day The Captain recovered the egg.

    They had been mercenaries long ago, in service to a rogue Princess. They had to remember those techniques after a long forgetting. They donned the bronze helmets and raised the black banners and marched in a solid step. They stood in the city centre in a ring, a hedgehog of pikes, singing the ancient Law in the ancient way. They stared down a dozen Princesses and dared any to take their shot. They stood for two days. None dared.

    The Captain raised the dragon as an honest copper. What else do you do with a power like that?

    *

    The Captain named her Adila after the Company's founder. Everyone instantly took to calling her Princess Adila after the same. The Watch hadn't had a Princess for two hundred years, but if there was to be one, why not a dragon?

    For a time Princess Adila was a valued member of the Watch. She could see in perfect blackness, move with perfect swiftness, stare down djinns or Princesses or Riders. She was honourable and true and knew everyone on every side of the Law - all the crooks who didn't make too much trouble and all the coppers who'd make too much trouble if you took your eyes off them. She was canny, professional and by the book, talons worn smooth from years of walking along cobblestone streets.

    Then she grew. A sudden spurt near the ends of her teens left her gangly, clumsy, uncoordinated and destructive. Forgetting to duck her head when she came in through a door had worse implications for the stone than her horns. A chase through a crowded marketplace inflicted hundreds of times more property damage than the recovered coin purse. It wasn't long before the Captain pulled her aside to have a quiet word.

    It wasn't just a polite request to leave - it was also a mission. Old Greymane hadn't left empty handed all those years ago. There had been a second egg - and now there were rumours of another dragon seen about the frosted lands. The Captain told her to investigate and - while she was there - see about bringing Greymane in for his extensive list of crimes.

    Tough ask for her first field mission. Still - who else do you send on a mission like that?
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-05-30 at 09:02 PM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    For once, I shall be the stone that you can properly grind yourself against, Thanqol. This has to be right, after all.

    The Dredgers, fishing a dragon’s egg up out of the water, suggestion that Oberon might have a dragon, and “dragon out of their element, raised by humans”? All good, lots of potential here.

    I’ll note, however, that the timeline’s a little worried at here. I haven’t envisioned the Riders as having been around long enough for a dragon to grow up - it’s been half a year, perhaps, since the Riders hit hard and haven’t let up. (I’d normally be more flex on this, but other concepts being floated involve the Riders being recent. And “yeah, the Overlord tried to get the egg but couldn’t get it away from the Watch” defangs him more than I’d prefer.)

    I’m usually a huge fan of Discworld, too (and everything with the Watch screams Discworld) but it’s (intentionally?) a little incongruous to base a main character for a pretty crystal princess game on one of Pratchett’s most egalitarian, anti-monarchist arcs. I want to encourage you to radically lean in to the serious camp, rather than taking a step back and being at a remove, the way that Brittany was with the supernatural last game. Have the courage to go for the pretty dragon dress.
    Last edited by Raz_Fox; 2019-05-30 at 10:56 PM.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    For once, I shall be the stone that you can properly grind yourself against, Thanqol. This has to be right, after all.

    The Dredgers, fishing a dragon’s egg up out of the water, suggestion that Oberon might have a dragon, and “dragon out of their element, raised by humans”? All good, lots of potential here.

    I’ll note, however, that the timeline’s a little worried at here. I haven’t envisioned the Riders as having been around long enough for a dragon to grow up - it’s been half a year, perhaps, since the Riders hit hard and haven’t let up. (I’d normally be more flex on this, but other concepts being floated involve the Riders being recent. And “yeah, the Overlord tried to get the egg but couldn’t get it away from the Watch” defangs him more than I’d prefer.)
    Oh, right! I was under the impression he had been around a lot longer than half a year. Half a year? That's barely even one missed summer, let alone a threat of eternal winter. I don't know how I feel about that, it makes it really hard to have any long burning grudge against him.It means any relationship that I've got with him or his people has to have been established, like, yesterday - which is a really narrow window of time to get together a princess hit squad to commit their lives to going after him.

    I’m usually a huge fan of Discworld, too (and everything with the Watch screams Discworld) but it’s (intentionally?) a little incongruous to base a main character for a pretty crystal princess game on one of Pratchett’s most egalitarian, anti-monarchist arcs. I want to encourage you to radically lean in to the serious camp, rather than taking a step back and being at a remove, the way that Brittany was with the supernatural last game. Have the courage to go for the pretty dragon dress.
    I started out with a long thesis paper on dragons and dragon society; their psychology, their religion and culture, their relationships with the concept of princessdom and so on. But I very quickly realized that I had vanished entirely up my own behind and was writing myself out of the conceptual space I needed to fit my character into.

    A concept I've thought about recently is 'weirdness bandwidth'. Anyone who overwhelms your weirdness bandwidth - a guy with no shoes, a mohawk, and tattoos down both arms who also wants to talk to you about the sociological threat of superintelligent AI - gets dismissed instantly. That guy has used all his weirdness bandwidth on his appearance, if he follows that up with really weird ideas about AI then you dismiss him out of hand. Someone who in all ways presents extremely conventionally - suit, tie, nice haircut - has a lot more weirdness bandwidth to talk about really strange or esoteric ideas.

    A dragon with a weird dragon culture and a weird dragon religion and a weird dragon mindset who is also a weird princess in a weird world fighting a weird enemy for weird reasons is an overwhelming stress on the weirdness bandwidth. I wouldn't be able to relate the character as anything more than a conceptual symbol at that point. Instead I needed to compromise - I'm using the weirdness bandwidth on the character's physical appearance and making the psychology and personal history very mundane and familiar. She's a familiar moral code applied to a deeply unfamiliar setting, a pretty dragon princess who believes strongly in law and order.

    As a followup, I have absolutely no intentions of looking at egalitarianism or anti-monarchism with this character. Her arc is about being insecure in her body and trying to fit into a society she doesn't physically fit into. Like, I linked this as the character concept for a reason - that is indeed a pretty dragon in a dress. It's just also the case that in order to get a pretty dragon in a dress I need to ground it by having that pretty dragon be a hardworking, down-to-earth practical copper who thinks putting on that dress is something special.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-05-31 at 12:03 AM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Oh, right! I was under the impression he had been around a lot longer than half a year. Half a year? That's barely even one missed summer, let alone a threat of eternal winter. I don't know how I feel about that, it makes it really hard to have any long burning grudge against him.It means any relationship that I've got with him or his people has to have been established, like, yesterday - which is a really narrow window of time to get together a princess hit squad to commit their lives to going after him.
    My thing is, and the more I've thought about it the more desperately it's become true, I really really really want to be the Princess who screwed this whole thing up. To be the one who met Oberon after he fell, pissed him off, got my kingdom knocked over and now he's threatening all life as we know it and I have to stop him but I'm so scared.

    I'd like to think there's a happy medium between this happening yesterday and her having to be, like 37. Maybe like 3, 4 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I started out with a long thesis paper on dragons and dragon society; their psychology, their religion and culture, their relationships with the concept of princessdom and so on. But I very quickly realized that I had vanished entirely up my own behind and was writing myself out of the conceptual space I needed to fit my character into.
    This speaks to me on a spiritual level

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    My thing is, and the more I've thought about it the more desperately it's become true, I really really really want to be the Princess who screwed this whole thing up. To be the one who met Oberon after he fell, pissed him off, got my kingdom knocked over and now he's threatening all life as we know it and I have to stop him but I'm so scared.

    I'd like to think there's a happy medium between this happening yesterday and her having to be, like 37. Maybe like 3, 4 years?
    Yeah, that's much easier to work with. Also super glad that you're going for the Screwup Princess.

    The timing does make it difficult to have an Evil Opposite Sibling thing going but that's a pretty peripheral aspect to the character arc anyway. That was mostly my stab at having a Bond with the Overlord, I'm sure I can think of something else.

    This speaks to me on a spiritual level
    Late stage of the process is like 'how do I restructure this elaborate fantasy society in such a way that it applies the precise psychological pressures I need for this character to function'
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    3-4 years is a much better compromise, and you’re right that it gives more time to breathe; let it be so. Three-to-four years of intense, lingering winters and flower wars (a pun I only myself just realized I have worked into the setting), leading to... only this ragtag group.

    I am down for “law and justice dragon,” but I think you can push the weirdness a little by making her not literally a cop. I tried to carve out an understandable niche for the figure of the Princess in this world- someone who is expected to go out and do protagonist things by the genre laws of the world, like Sailor Moon or the Princesses of Power. But that’s a hop and a skip, really. “The royal family here is practical and down-to-earth as a result of running Hyperborea’s major trade hub, and our Dragon Princess was raised with a focus on using her physical talents to hunt down and deal with criminals (definitely not usually violently), due to lower rates of monster attacks comparable to other parts of Hyperborea.”

    I think having that common ground for the protagonists is important; you and the Forlorn Princess might have radically different training and tales of valor, but you both have to deal with the cultural expectations of fitting in, being a Princess, and being looked up to. One of my benchmarks for taste testing on this game is “so if there was a She-Ra episode about recruiting this princess, it would absolutely rock, right?”

    I hope I’m not being overbearing! I just really really want this to work and for everything to click.
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    I hope I’m not being overbearing! I just really really want this to work and for everything to click.
    No, you're not! This is exactly the right place to stand your ground. Making sure everything is thematically aligned is really important.

    So breaking down my thought process a bit further:

    - I didn't want to have a Dragon Mom who is the queen of the dragons and sends me out to be the dragon princess. That was one of my big hangups with the first edition of the character; there was no credible alternative authority source than a Dragon Mom and that's not what I'm after here.
    - I really want the character to have a code of ethics that distinctly separates her from the world around her. It's right there on my playbook: "Relentless Justice: The laws of the great dragons are absolute. Do not break them or allow others to do". I want the laws in question to actually be good things, not 'jerkass dragon tyrant laws'. Again this has a hard time surviving if the laws were written by My Mom, adopted or otherwise.
    - I really like the kind of alien mindset Adora has; she's a soldier, disciplined and professional in such a way that she's set apart from everyone else. I want something like that; familiar to the reader but a little bit alien to everyone else.
    - Dragons are inherently creatures of unbelievable power and danger. In order to fit with the genre assumptions I need to take the edge off somehow.
    - She can't have an accepting family! If there's an accepting family present her character arc about finding a way to fit into society is pre-solved.


    So the Watch presented itself to me overwhelmingly as the answer to a bunch of problems I was naturally dealing with when thinking through the character. It's an impersonal system that she can aspire to, a way for her to pick up a lot of anti-dragon thought patterns, and have a kind of arms length relationship with everyone she knows. The alternative is, like, a military or a religious order or something but those are progressively less grounded.

    As a little side effect: The way you've described Princesses in your opening text makes me think they'd be really serious and annoying problems for any law enforcement organization. Their social role is kind of like James Bond and when one comes to town there's going to be car chases and everything urgh.


    But, bringing it back around, I think where you've really got a point is that the lighting needs to be a bit stronger on the Princess part. She is a Princess - even if her crown is from the gutter rather than an established royal family. And she perhaps deals with crime more like Batman than Commissioner Gordon. I mean, the Watch only has one dragon and they'd want to use her to deal with all the weird special forces super crime. (I don't imagine the Watch is even particularly diverse in terms of species, I was imagining them all human)

    The She-Ra episode to recruit her is straightforwards. There's a big city, she's lurking around trying to stalk criminals while occasionally walking through walls accidentally. She resents the call to join the Princess Alliance - she's too busy with her work, after all - and she spends a while being followed around by three shouting idiots who get it into their heads if they can just solve crime forever she'll give up and join them. This Somehow Works.



    Deeper mysteries: There is a legendary hero she is trying to emulate, a mysterious dead line of Princesses she's abruptly bringing back and investigating with just as much passion and curiosity as her own draconic lineage. The Watch has old secrets and apparently used to be an army deadly and disciplined enough to face down princesses - what was the story there? Who was the original Adila, was she good or evil? The Law isn't, like, the concept of law itself, it's the specific rules set down by a semi-mythical figure who Adila is trying to live up to.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-05-31 at 02:28 AM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Conceptuals.

    A mendicant order of coppers. Princesses are expected to police their own kingdoms, but who watches the watchmen? Who sends messages back to the High Queen on her high seat, reminds people of the old Law, and lends a helping hand when you need it most? The Watch. (Who reminds Princesses that they’re being watched? That they can’t do whatever they want and call it justice? That there is, in time, always a reckoning? The Watch.)

    Alternatively, tie the Watch heavily to one place. This is our city, our republic. We keep this place free and under no queen’s rule so that there is always a neutral harbor for trade. They have authority (given, somehow, impossibly, from the hand of the High Queen herself), but also responsibilities- and part of that responsibility is declaring that the dragon egg is contraband (dragon slavery? in our city? you know how bad that would look, your highness) and part of that responsibility is sending her off when she becomes an awkward fit for the city.

    However we play this out, higher codes of ethics and old law keep pointing me back towards Ourania: mysterious, old, and busy enough to not get personally involved everywhere. Someone in whose name you can be heroic in the gutters, not the Dragon Mom grounding you. This is probably also connected to the original Adila- who was she, and why is her legend gone, and why has her name become so intimately connected with the old Laws?

    (Also in “taking the edge off,” one assumes that she’s on the young side, for a Dragon. Not a literal hatchling, but still, like, horse-sized. Am I reading you right? Maybe in a century or two she’ll be Proper Big.)
    freedom in the flame

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    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    Conceptuals.

    A mendicant order of coppers. Princesses are expected to police their own kingdoms, but who watches the watchmen? Who sends messages back to the High Queen on her high seat, reminds people of the old Law, and lends a helping hand when you need it most? The Watch. (Who reminds Princesses that they’re being watched? That they can’t do whatever they want and call it justice? That there is, in time, always a reckoning? The Watch.)

    Alternatively, tie the Watch heavily to one place. This is our city, our republic. We keep this place free and under no queen’s rule so that there is always a neutral harbor for trade. They have authority (given, somehow, impossibly, from the hand of the High Queen herself), but also responsibilities- and part of that responsibility is declaring that the dragon egg is contraband (dragon slavery? in our city? you know how bad that would look, your highness) and part of that responsibility is sending her off when she becomes an awkward fit for the city.
    I like the idea that they were once travellers and over time they became static. When they were originally lead by a Princess they travelled widely but since then they fragmented, perhaps after Adila's death. Some returned to hometowns and became a local Watch officer there, and kept the tradition going, but in some regions the practice mutated or died out entirely. The bulk of the Watch made camp in the Bazaar and became stagnant and focused on pettier crimes with only an increasingly mythologized accounting of their great mission to remind them of what they once were.

    (I like to think, too, that they were once bandits and sellswords - or worse. At one time they were perhaps in the employ of an evil creature much like Greymane. How they became the Watch is unclear, and it is similarly unclear if Adila was for or against that transformation.)

    I'm drawing inspiration from the Black Company in bits, here. A complex and tangled history which is neither at once as villainous and as heroic as local memories make out.

    However we play this out, higher codes of ethics and old law keep pointing me back towards Ourania: mysterious, old, and busy enough to not get personally involved everywhere. Someone in whose name you can be heroic in the gutters, not the Dragon Mom grounding you. This is probably also connected to the original Adila- who was she, and why is her legend gone, and why has her name become so intimately connected with the old Laws?
    Some sanction from Ourania makes sense. It is just as plausible that the Watch was originally a wicked company that, when defeated, was condemned by her to stand vigil against the crimes they once committed. Many possibilities, I want exploring it to be a thing.

    (Also in “taking the edge off,” one assumes that she’s on the young side, for a Dragon. Not a literal hatchling, but still, like, horse-sized. Am I reading you right? Maybe in a century or two she’ll be Proper Big.)
    Correct yes. I used that phrase not in terms of taking the edge off her physical size, but because the basic organizational unit of dragon society is one dragon. They have no community instinct by nature, no inherent reason to obey any laws or morality that they do not choose for themselves. It's a bullet point that she needs to in some way be infected by a civilizing impulse that being a self-contained powerhouse would not ordinarily allow for.

    To help provide an example, another dragon, older and more powerful, would have to be cursed to live in the body of a human in order to be a viable player character. If she was resplendent in her full glory there would be no draw to intervene in anything beyond her interests. Similarly for a dragon hatchling; a young dragon still needs a motive to treat lesser creatures as equals because such a thing would not arise in it naturally.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-05-31 at 03:13 AM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Excellent. You have my blessing. Though, as tempting as it is, try not to drop the finished sheet five minutes after I post this; we still haven’t heard from Annie, after all, and I want to hear more about Phoe’s angst-ridden atoner-princess.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    Excellent. You have my blessing. Though, as tempting as it is, try not to drop the finished sheet five minutes after I post this; we still haven’t heard from Annie, after all, and I want to hear more about Phoe’s angst-ridden atoner-princess.
    Haven't even started the sheet, I am feeling much the same anticipation.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Hi, I would like to be a princess. I have done practically no writing yet because as this game has started I am having simultaneously
    -A massive series of work requirements that have had me putting in 12-14 hour days this week
    -I am having an engagement party this weekend and am preparing for that. It's gonna be like 40 people. Also Thanqol, I'm engaged. Raz and Phoe already knows from Discord chat, sorry I didn't communicate it to you separately before this.
    -My fiance is also having an out of town guest stay with us starting today and we have been prepping for that. She might already be there, actually. I will be required to entertain.
    -I still sleep. I know, I know, such a crazy idea.

    So, there you have it. I have not read the beautiful setting yet, but I see hearts breaking and beautiful crystal princesses bursting forth out of them and I want it, so I shall make every effort to find time, it just might take me a few days.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    - Also Thanqol, I'm engaged. Raz and Phoe already knows from Discord chat, sorry I didn't communicate it to you separately before this.
    Oh, uh, same actually.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-05-31 at 04:04 PM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Oh, uh, same actually.
    Holy crap you guys are really bad at this

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Oh, uh, same actually.
    you what now
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Oh, uh, same actually.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Holy crap you guys are really bad at this
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    you what now
    ...That went down a strange route. Congrats though!
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Where I am from, it rains most every day. The air is warm and the water cool and pleasant. The children play in puddles, and the rest of us come outside to feel the gentle kiss as it drizzles down and slowly soaks our hair. Nobody wants to miss the moment where the sun shines through and the sky, the puddles, the rivers and the lakes all come alive with light. It washes over all of us and the kingdom comes alive with color. To me it's more beautiful than any magic.

    One of our bounties is fresh water, yes, and all of the things that are drawn to it. The other is crystals. No, not gemstones. It's glass, and it's everywhere. We build aqueducts from it and carry water from one end of the land to the other so that you can always see it. Our villages glow with it, and stained glass frescoes depicting important moments in families' lives dot every household. Our great castle is made of it entirely and stands like glittering spires trying to catch the sun as it passes by on its way to see Ourania. We shape it and facet it into armor and spears and jewelry, and all kinds of baubles to hold water and filter light, to catch each different color that we love.

    Because it's wet so often, our clothes are light and silky so that in clinging they stay comfortable. And yes, the rumors are true, they are also just the slightest bit see through. It's not immodest! There is laughter and song and dancing, the fields are alive with lilies and the ponds with lotuses, and by the power of our queen we wield the light we treasure so much into both art and protection of our home. Here we value stories. Here we value wisdom. Here we value grace and poise and beauty higher than anything. That is my Illumina. That is my home.

    Or it... it was. I didn't know! I didn't know! I was a child! To me he seemed so sad and weary. I thought him a beggar. I thought him hurt. I... I thought to cheer him with a song. I thought that he would know me by my tokens. I... in my Illumina, in the castle, in foreign lands we pour the first water from our toasts upon our heads to share the blessing of the rain's kiss. So I... and then... he pierced my breast and knocked me down, and when I offered him my treasure if he would just let me go home he broke my crown. He stole my Red and my Yellow from me. And then he stole Illumina.

    And there are no rainbows there anymore.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Or it... it was. I didn't know! I didn't know! I was a child! To me he seemed so sad and weary. I thought him a beggar. I thought him hurt. I... I thought to cheer him with a song. I thought that he would know me by my tokens. I... in my Illumina, in the castle, in foreign lands we pour the first water from our toasts upon our heads to share the blessing of the rain's kiss. So I... and then... he pierced my breast and knocked me down, and when I offered him my treasure if he would just let me go home he broke my crown. He stole my Red and my Yellow from me. And then he stole Illumina.

    And there are no rainbows there anymore.
    The cloak-clasp of Kthos is a brooch set in iron.

    It is a marvelous glass rose, its petals red as blood, its stem and thorns a sickly yellow.

    There is nothing that you possess that cannot be taken from you.
    freedom in the flame

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    My father Oberon told me that I'd be able to see the stars in the sky. In the sky! That's why I went with him. I don't know what he told my sisters, but they were convinced. I don't know what he told the witches, but they were gleeful. And I don't what he told the singers, but whatever it was, they refused him and did not come. I came to Hyperborea, I watched my father fly as the north wind, I watched him be cast down, and when he called I joined his invasion. I rode at his command, I stood atop crystal battlements and cast down their defenders and then I rode my horse, her wings of delicate glimmering crystal, to hold my father's new domain and grow its borders.

    And still I could not see the stars. When you look in our eyes, do you imagine a whole universe playing across them? Perhaps, but let me ask you this. Do you count every hair on your head and follow it separately or do such things bleed into unconsciousness for you? We Riders, we cannot see our own magic. There is a truth for you, we are as blind to the magic that plays across our eyes as you are to breathing, blinder even because concentration does us no good. It is innate to our being and so blended with us that it has become invisible. And yet because it is there we cannot see the heavens beyond it. I cannot see the stars in the night sky. Coming to Hyperborea was supposed to be different, but my father lied.

    And yet Hyperborea was different. What I could see, what I can see are the fields. When I try to pick a flower, it freezes in my hands or when it grazes my long white hair. Beauty to only be admired from a distance, the only fields of stars that are granted to me. I've watched my sisters freeze them and laugh as the kingdom grows, and I've seen our people suffer. Not every rider loves winter and some see our ice as a curse. I would give so much to find a flower that I could hold and feel.

    So I ceased to be a rider. I took my horse with her glimmering crystal wings and my lance, that is an extension of my will and I flew away while my sisters were distracted and my father was absent. And I took one more thing. I called out to the singers, and this is true, that every rider can hear them and some can speak to them though they are not on Hyperborea. And I took from them the melody of their ancient song and I locked it in a small, special box that would keep it safe, knowing that it would tear my father apart to hear their ancient aria. And so I left, and I looked at the world and I did not want my father to have it, and though few enough would give me shelter, I vowed that they would not be his no matter what.

    My name is Princess Kazelia Swiftlance. I am the sixth daughter of Oberon Greymane. My father is a liar and a fool. And though he may not know it, his time has passed.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2019-06-01 at 01:42 AM.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    My father Oberon told me that I'd be able to see the stars in the sky. In the sky! That's why I went with him. I don't know what he told my sisters, but they were convinced. I don't know what he told the witches, but they were gleeful. And I don't what he told the singers, but whatever it was, they refused him and did not come. I came to Hyperborea, I watched my father fly as the north wind, I watched him be cast down, and when he called I joined his invasion. I rode at his command, I stood atop crystal battlements and cast down their defenders and then I rode my horse, her wings of delicate glimmering crystal, to hold my father's new domain and grow its borders.
    Spoiler: Possible Histories of the Riders
    Show
    This is a possible history.

    You and your family and your people are the locusts of worlds. You ride down upon a bubble of reality, and you take from it as you like; you drink their wine and you wear their jewels and you bring winter down upon them. Then, when you tire of it and its horrid mundanity, or when it is frozen- when the birds no longer sing, when there is nothing but the snow and ice and you, blue and black upon the white, and the harvest is complete- then you mount up upon your black horses and ride off into the night sky, beyond the bound of what is into what is not, once more into the formless inchoate night that stole away your eyes countless worlds ago. You have come to Hyperborea, and it is so lush and rich and wonderful that it shall take you centuries to have your feast, to make it empty, to make it a wasteland.

    Once, the singers- they refused to continue onwards. They hid a green and growing thing, you think. The last you saw of them, they were huddled about a fire, their voices raised in keening as they prayed for this new spring to come. More fools they! To not follow the glorious ride of the Robber King!

    This is possible. If you think back upon your past, these thoughts quickly assemble themselves, like soldiers in formation. It is comfortable! To know that no one can stop you, that you have the right to whatever world you wish, that this world's defeat is inevitable- that is a powerful magic of the heart.

    But it is confused. Muddled-up. Travel through the formless night beyond the worlds is terrible. It strips you of what you are, makes you a howling scream through the black, anchored only by the flame of Oberon's heart bearing you onwards, ever onwards.

    This is a possible history.

    You drifted in the tumult and the storm. You were frightened. You were frightening. You were lost, so very lost, and you did not even know yourself.

    This is what it was like, to be the formless inchoate night.

    You were a spine, a thorn, a scale on the back of a dragon whose name was eternity and un-knowing and no-thing. You were an unfolding horror. You were a fear, you were fear itself, you were afraid, and all these things because you could not find yourself, you could not find a personality to be, you were alienated from yourself, you did not exist.

    You did not exist!

    Then Oberon, your father, your heart, your life, rode through you and inside you and upon you, and his horse scored terrible rents in that dragon whose name is what is not. And you sang the song that was inside him, and you became a Rider in his wake, you started being, and when your horse who was another facet of your own self trod upon the scales of Ouroboros you opened your star-void eyes and knew that you were real.

    Suddenly you could look in a pool of water and recognize yourself- that you were a person who had a face and hands and a name and if you said something you would recognize the voice, because it would be your voice. And, oh! It was so very, very good, being real. So good that you made yourself forget; when Oberon told you about the things you had done together, the worlds you had conquered and the treasures you had owned, you nodded your head and agreed and said that, yes, it was so, of course it was so.

    But it was not. Not really. And the doubt still remains, that you are not a real thing, that it is only because you are here in a real world that you exist, that only by becoming a part of Hyperborea and clutching it fast to your chest and begging it not to forget you, you will avoid becoming nothing again.

    That is possible! It is horrible that it is possible. Maybe you have nightmares about it! That one day you will wake up and try to clear the last figments of dream from your head, and you won't be able to. And you'll try to move your arms and legs and head and mind and you won't be able to. And you'll panic and flail harder and harder, only you won't actually flail at all, and you'll realize that it's not working, that waking up isn't working, because you don't exist.

    But it is not certain. Because you also remember all those other things, too. And maybe they are real, or were real, once, before you rode through the formless inchoate night. And, still- still you can hear the singers. Perhaps as long as you can hear them, you will not be forgotten, you will not fade into nothing.

    This is a possible history.

    Once there was a king whose name was Oberon. And he could not be in the place that he was. There was nowhere he could hide from his enemies and nowhere he could find shelter for his people, his children, who he loved more than anything in the whole wide world. He was kind, then, and brave, and you remember him taking your hand (or do you?) and facing into a mirror, only there wasn't anything on the other side of that mirror, just endless night and falling stars, and he helped you up onto your horse, which had everything you could afford to keep in its saddlebags, and together you and all your people - save those who sing still - rode into that mirror, which yawned wider and wider to accept you, and then you were through, and you were in that place which is not a place, and it swallowed you up and unmade you. You were unmade! You were torn apart, each part from its smallest part-

    Only your father was too strong for that. And he became a scream, and that scream became a mouth, and that mouth became a man again, and he put you back together out of nothing but his memories of who you were, and because of that there's so much of him in there, and he didn't do it on purpose (or did he?) but when you laugh, so cruelly, it's his laughter, and when you dream at night of riding through the night sky of a conquered world those are his dreams of strength and power and not-being-afraid, his dreams of owning all the beautiful things he could ever want, which got mixed in with all the other parts of you, and maybe there are parts of who you were in everyone else, all your siblings, and maybe that's why Morgina Fang isn't right at all but a howling wolf-void-monster under the thin porcelain-white skin of a woman and maybe that's why you can feel the wishing hearts of all your people beating and roaring in your chest as one when Oberon claims another treasure for his vaults-

    But maybe that's not right either. Maybe that's just your mind trying to make sense of what happened to you when you, locust, reaver, pirate, rode through the void and were winnowed down into a white flame, and you are truly cruel and monstrous and unforgivable and it is only a mistake that you feel compassion for the inhabitants of Hyperborea, or maybe it's your mind trying to make up a different story that you'll believe so that you'll keep being a real person instead of a mote of that formless inchoate night, putting up a half-truth that you'll accept instead of worrying yourself into an unraveling.

    And no one else knows either, you think. Oberon does, maybe. Probably, even! If anyone knows the truth, it has to be him! But I think maybe that's why your siblings are so desperate to win his approval, his praise, to conquer the world for him- because they don't know, either, but being around him makes them so real, so wonderfully real, and they don't have to worry, because they know that their identity is Beloved Child. They don't need to worry at the pain of not knowing! That's not important! What's important is defeating the princesses and dragging Ourania from Argossa in chains to the wedding at Castle Thessia!! And if you confuse them, if you make them question it, if you look them in those night-eaten eyes and ask the question they will not ask themselves-

    They will hurt you, I think. They will lash out. They will tear your hair from your scalp and scream at you and leave you bleeding in the snow. Because you have hurt them, twisting the knife that turns in them. And they will, must, cannot help but hurt you.

    Even though they love you!

    They do. They want you to come back. They love you so much, they will whisper, as your fingers crack under their heels. Father is so worried, they will keen, as they drag their nails down your cheeks in bloody trails. Stop this game and come back home and we will feast you and dress you in glories and then we, together, will storm Argossa and know certain victory. And then we will be conquerors, and we will never have to worry about who we are, not until this world bores us or becomes a wasteland. Come home, sister. Please.

    And still, the singers call. They gave to you the Dolorous Song, something from Oberon's past in an alien tongue- and they intimate, through the rise and fall of their voices, that they trust you with it. That with it, through it, they have severed you from your father.

    How else could you raise your weapon against the Unquestioned King of the Riders, save by bearing that song within and without you? How else could you cease being a Rider?


    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion
    So I ceased to be a rider. I took my horse with her glimmering crystal wings and my lance, that is an extension of my will and I flew away while my sisters were distracted and my father was absent. And I took one more thing. I called out to the singers, and this is true, that every rider can hear them and some can speak to them though they are not on Hyperborea. And I took from them the melody of their ancient song and I locked it in a small, special box that would keep it safe, knowing that it would tear my father apart to hear their ancient aria. And so I left, and I looked at the world and I did not want my father to have it, and though few enough would give me shelter, I vowed that they would not be his no matter what.

    My name is Princess Kazelia Swiftlance. I am the sixth daughter of Oberon Greymane. My father is a liar and a fool. And though he may not know it, his time has passed.
    Ah, the singers. Naturally.


    ***


    With that- yes, I think we're ready to start on some sheets. And to discuss what, exactly, Oberon has done to Hyperborea.
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Introducing
    Princess Kazelia Swiftlance
    The Harbinger

    Look
    Spoiler: Season 1 looks
    Show
    Flowing white hair - Navy blue robes and matching scarf light brown leathers with white fur on the neck and sleeves - Cold starry eyes - Predatory teeth

    In Jedad, change to Blood red silks and demon mask in half/half black and red.
    Second Jedad outfit: one-piece turquoise silk, black and white four quadrant checker mask.


    Flowing white hair with a line of blue-green - mottled verdigris skin - silver birch hooded traveling cloak with gold neck clasp and matching boots and pack - sea-green passionate eyes - Crystal spear

    Stats
    Doom +2, Blood +1, Courage +2, Grace -1, Sense +0, Wisdom +1
    SINGER OF THE ANCIENT SONG: I remember now, the old songs, they flow through me like a vast river and connect the hearts of all who hear them.

    Agenda
    You'll get through this: Protect your allies from harm and danger, no matter what happens to you
    Be Brave, Take Risks
    Tell Us Of Your People
    Improve The World Around You


    Spoiler: Harbinger Core
    Show

    Doomed Soul: a) when Doom is damaged by an enemy attack, must damage another one of my stats.
    b) When you finish them by relying on fate or luck, roll +doom. 10+ their fate is sealed and the Overlord decides what happens to them.
    Anyone sharing this move has Doom +1

    Doom and Gloom You can never have more than one bond with someone and others can never have more than one bond with you. Cannot share this move.

    Do not Trifle With Wizards: Can conjure a powerful spell to destroy something in your way. Pay a price take up to 3 damage to inflict that much damage to the target. Then exhausted for the scene (roll with Despair). Cannot share this move. It doesn't work on Threats to the World and Set Pieces.

    Wizardry: Can cast the following magical effects
    -Floating light (typically an icy will o wisp)
    -Deliver a message through mysterious means (voice on a frigid breeze most often)
    -Speak, look, or listen as if you were somewhere else that you can see (starry illusion magic)
    -Touch, push, or grab as if you were somewhere else that you can see (delicate ice and snowy hands or limbs)


    What is a Harbinger
    My people are the Servants of the Dark, the Riders. They serve the Overlord and herald his coming, but I do not, though I retain my powers. I do not need to pay a price when I show people why they should not trifle with wizards.

    Spoiler: Harbinger's Gear
    Show

    Food: 2 uses
    wizardly baubles: 2 uses, useful. Mine consist of some nevermeltice, a few crystals holding a myriad of lights, and some fine snow for conjuring. Other small wizardly things tbd.

    A runed lance that can cut through anything (Piercing): This is the lance for which I have my name. I am a skilled witch, but I am most comfortable with my lance and it is where I go first when I am threatened. It was broken by Eska and replaced:
    A sparkling and sparking crystal lance that can blaze with flame (Burning): Reformed when Kazelia took on a new body in Argossa. The lance is clear crystal and forms a prism that shines with rainbow light reflected through it.


    The Overlord's Weakness: The singers have given me the Dolorous Song and I hold it in a box for safekeeping. It is my privilege and my freedom.
    This is replaced by an ancient staff of oldwood (melee) with a spell of safe travels written upon it (2 uses, armor)

    My Pegasus, Shiva: She can FLY, and is skilled at MOUNTED COMBAT. She is a Rider steed, black as night, but her wings are made of delicate crystal glass from Illumina.

    My magic comes from my bloodline as a rider and and I can call upon it for healing as well (2 uses, Healing).


    Spoiler: Bonds
    Show
    Princess Alina gives me hope for the future.

    Rita von Catabas held me close by choice.

    Shiva the Pegasus is my fearless steed

    Detective Brill and I played Find the Queen together

    Adila and I worked together to win the joust and help Helya

    Kyouko and I went on a date (or two)

    Tashanna really listened to me

    Oberon Greymane revealed he took me from my mother

    Diana the Witch and I shared an evening in good simple work restoring leylines

    I greatly respect Theodora the Witch and her plant magic


    Harbinger Custom
    The Evil Eye Above: I'm ready for the Overlord and know him.
    a) When the minions of the Overlord approach, the Overlord must tell me before the minions arrive.
    b) When I know the overlord's plans, I may ask them "what is one way I could stop this" and the Overlord must answer me truthfully.

    Wildspeaker: You speak the language of monsters and beasts. When you speak with them for the first time, they will always pause to listen and reply, and you can speak softly or talk sense.

    Are we not the Same, You and I?
    -Have an overlord stat (in the stats above). It's true while undamaged, false while damaged.
    -While the overlord stat is undamaged, the overlord and I are the same in some way and I cannot harm or hinder him. If he makes An Offer You Can't Refuse while the stat is undamaged, I must accept it, but I can negotiate one (1) caveat to his terms because of my power.
    -The overlord's weakness (currently Dolorous song) damages my overlord stat the same as how it damages him.

    Spoiler: Advancement
    Show
    -Harbinger Move
    -+1 stat (blood)
    -Take an end of Days Move
    Last edited by Anarion; Yesterday at 03:05 AM.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PhoeKun's Avatar

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    She was, by all accounts, a perfect princess. She was graceful and elegant and oh so very bright, and her heart was filled with courage and kindness in equal measure. She would duel you and she would win, but just after that her face would become the dawn and she would give you a hug and sing you a song so that you wouldn't feel bad that her mother was now richer than yours. And to be sure, she was still waiting to blossom. Her arms and legs might have been too long for her body and her face hadn't quite found the grace of her movements, but she was still so very young and only just blossoming into her mother's image. And if she was awkward, it was only in the most endearing way.

    Her crown was made of seven different crystals, each one alive with a different color of the rainbow. She was fearless, if not wise. And bold, if not especially sensible. But now there is a little bit of ice inside her that just won't seem to thaw. Now she is wise, but not so very bold. She gained sense, and used it to exchange her courage for fear. And she's grown up! She's beautiful now! Her body fits together just the way it should, and she wears the translucent silks of Illumina (each sleeve and leg a different pastel!) better than anyone before her. But somehow she's less charming to look at than she was when she was growing. Maybe it's because her smile doesn't seem to fit right anymore. Her crown is made of five different crystals, each one still trying it's very best to be the rainbow.

    Her name is Alina Cascade, first daughter of Queen Halcyon (we hope she's safe and well. Truly). She is the Petrichor Princess. And... other less flattering names, but please don't repeat them in front of her.

    Spoiler: Being Extra
    Show

    What are the motifs and symbols of your kingdom's heraldry? What lovely flowers, what strange beasts, what iconic colors and, well, icons mark your company as distinct when you enter the fray? What's their aesthetic?
    What flower could be ours if not the Water lily? It flourishes in water and is not afraid to take all or any colors. Like us, it wears the rainbow. Other lands in Hyperborea content themselves to love one color best, and this is fine, but how are we to choose a favorite from our friends who come to visit us in the sky?

    Which Virtue does your kingdom most value, and which does it overlook? What brings you glory in the eyes of your people, and what do they shun you for? What is Wicked action, only permissible in Devilhome beneath the earth?
    Illumina values Grace above all other virtues. Clever fingers make cleverer glass, and if something isn't pretty then there's no point to it. In fact, if the choice is between winning a duel keeping your dress unblemished? You lose that fight, young lady. You give it up right now. A princess especially must aspire to beauty. Incidentally, you'll hear people say that my people are not especially Wise. For the life of me I have no idea why that would be. Illumina praises skillful acts. Sing, dance, or make beautiful things and you'll be extremely popular. If you come to visit, please be extra special careful not to break anything. Also, know us for what we are. Water is clear, and glass is for seeing through. Our lives reflect this; even our fashions are for showing off our bodies. In Illumina, you. Do. Not. Lie.

    Who does your kingdom look favorably upon? Who, conversely, does your kingdom despise and scorn, and/or have a real geopolitically tsundere relationship with? (We're not joining your alliance because we like you or anything, b-baka!)
    Feloria is the kingdom that took in the refugees of Illumina when Oberon came and took everything from them. It may be a somewhat simple place and depressingly lacking in good crystal art (and to be honest the whole place feels a little Uncanny Valley. It's like, it's pretty and all, but in this really... unrefined way that's very off putting if you ask me), but you can at least see rain here sometimes and that counts for a lot. Jedad, though... I don't know what they're so mad about. I mean for one thing, everybody says we copied the whole "silken fashions" thing. But we didn't! We didn't! If anything, they copied us! I mean, do you understand how hard it is to invent a silk that doesn't stain and ruin in the rain? Do you understand how hard we had to work to develop this aesthetic and be this pretty? Ooh, look at me, I found a pretty rock in the ground, guess I'll wear it around my neck! Gah. Bunch of... I mean. Um. N-no, they're very nice. They are! But... eugh.

    What does your kingdom's political structure actually look like? Is your mother supported by a democratic council or a witch she married despite her parents' misgivings, was she chosen by the White Stag of the Giant's Wood or the victor in a tournament of arms, does she adopt princesses (adopting a princess is Valid), or how else do you distinguish yourself from all the other matriarchies?
    All girls born directly under the light of a rainbow are eligible to become princesses, even if that rainbow shined far away from Illumina. Castle Thessia has a rainbow pool, so any direct descendants of the current Queen always at least have a chance. Once a generation has found seven eligible girls, they're taken deep into the heart of Illumina to seek the wisdom of the River King, a giant, incredibly sarcastic fish with needles for teeth who is nevertheless incredibly wise and a good judge of character. He'll question, cajole, and joke with the candidates for seven days and seven nights (during which they must never accept one of his bargains), and at the end the one he suffers to carry back to the castle on his back is the girl who is the Princess-Promised, and she is crowned in water lilies, taught the secrets of the kingdom, and accepted as the unquestioned ruler of the kingdom the moment the previous Queen's reign ends. The other six, if they were at least sensible enough to keep their heads through that whole week, become Princess Adjutants and are also welcomed into the castle and the kingdom to help the Princess-Promised become her best self, and to advise her and maintain her rule when she becomes Queen.

    What is your kingdom's greatest accomplishment in the annals of Hyperborea?
    Well, one time there was an ancient Queen of Illumina who was so fearless and graceful that she could jump into the skies and walk across the clouds. She used her gift to find the great Roc who soared atop Hyperborea and (without his consent mind you!) ride him and guide him all across the lands so that his great wingbeats would stir the winds, to mix the clouds and bring the storms so that, for one very happy day, the whole world got to experience a perfect, soothing rain.

    The more popular story is the time that same Queen (her name is lost to greatness, though truly She is all of us) used the power of True Light to boil away a river that had gone wicked and ensnared a great many children. As the story goes some fragrant leaves fell into the river at the same time and, in saving the day, she invented the perfect cup of tea at the same time. And indeed the High Queen Ourania was so pleased that she has had it every day since, and invites the Sun and the Moon to share it with her. As thanks, she gave Hyperborea the concept of miniature lemon cakes, which are enjoyed from kingdom to kingdom regardless of climate or birth or circumstance. Or at least, so the legend goes.

    What is your kingdom's greatest city called, and what is it like?
    I would really rather not talk about this, please. I don't want to think about how it's different. Not right now.

    How do the magicians of your people interact with the living magical essence of Hyperborea? Do they call upon the High Queen's ley lines, gather shimmering dust washed up upon the shoreline, woo the sea and sky and earth by their secret love-names, call upon the power of their wishing hearts all praying as one, or what? What's your kingdom's view on Hecatia Academy and its graduates?
    All magic in or from Illumina comes directly from the Grace of the current Queen, and more specifically from the ring she passes on to each successor that was first given by Ourania however long ago. As long as she is healthy and fit to rule, the magic will flow to anybody who calls her Queen. Which is how we know she must be ok, even captured as she is. She must be, or our magic would dry up inside of a day. She must be... right?

    Hecatia Academy is a little scary, from my perspective. Their magic is weird; it doesn't work the way I think it should. Also it just sort of... works? I don't understand it. And then all those people graduate and go out into the world and just start magicing at things without any government supervision! It's great that they're so helpful and all, but what if they weren't? Creepy.

    What treasures of your kingdom do you most fear to see in the hands of the Riders? (I have no ulterior motives in asking this I swear)
    The rest of my colors. My sisters. So far as I know they have most of the kingdom's treasury already. Do they have the First Crystal? If not, then that as well.

    What strange monsters haunt your kingdom, forcing you and your companions to do battle against them to drive them away?
    To be honest with you, I'm as worried for them as I am about them. But I'd still watch out for the storm birds who hold onto the Roc's grudge. I can't imagine their becoming Winter Hawks has made them any more charming. There's also the River King, who is wily and greedy and claims that all fresh water is connected. Though he at least is civilized; you really want to watch your back around his children, who are at least twice as vicious and half as wise as their progenitor, not to mention three times more likely to want to gobble you whole without feeling the need to catch you with a riddle first.[/I]
    Last edited by PhoeKun; 2019-06-02 at 01:27 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

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    Apr 2009

    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Princess Adila of the Watch
    The Dragon Knight

    LOOK
    Golden eyes - black scales - armour of orange, black and gold - dragon body

    AGENDA
    Relentless Justice: The laws of the great dragons are absolute. Do not break them or allow others to do so.
    Be Brave, Take Risks
    Tell Us Of Your People
    Improve The World Around You


    STATS
    Blood +2
    Courage +1
    Grace -1
    Sense +2
    Wisdom +1

    A hatchling, newborn.
    Your power is a simple one: you are a newborn, the child of at least one dragon. You have limited control over your great strength. When you unleash it, you may add the Dangerous tag to any attack you make before rolling.

    Between Adila's lack of grace and her enormous physical strength she exists as a walking disaster area. Leaning against a tree will mean the end of the tree; a startled jump might put a dragon-sized hole in a building.

    She speaks telepathically, broadcasting her thoughts into the minds of other creatures, and she can also pick up the thoughts of other creatures in exchange. This ability has two serious limitations. Firstly, most creatures have extremely poor thought discipline which makes reading their minds particularly difficult - it's not much more useful than being very good at reading body language. Secondly, Adila also has terrible thought discipline and has a hard time shutting off her stream of consciousness chatter or keeping embarrassing thoughts to herself.



    CORE MOVE
    Champion of Fire
    You do not have your own People. You once did, but no longer. Instead, you can Command Lore about the glory of the dragons, their place in the world, and the magnificent feats they have performed throughout history. The Dragon has eleven Custom Moves to choose from instead of eight, and chooses four of them during character creation instead of two. When a Move tells someone they may take a Core Move from any basic playbook, Dragon's Custom Moves you have taken count as Core Moves. This Move cannot be Shared.

    CUSTOM MOVES
    Strength of a hundred. You can pick up anything and anyone you can firmly grasp with at least one hand. Objects and enemies you hold have the tags Ranged and Thrown.

    Wings of a dragon. You can fly on large, powerful wings. You require a running start, a fair bit of room, and you cannot hover in place, but you can fly very far and very fast.

    Through the fire and the flames. You are immune to damage from fire and heat. Even lava and dragonfire are only uncomfortable to you, and you can walk through them if you must. This Move cannot be Shared.

    Eyes of Fire. Your eyes are unnaturally good, and you can see fine detail even through the darkest night or densest fog. When you Look Closely, you may study any location you can see, no matter how distant, as if you were standing right there.

    Treasure Hoard. You are rich beyond all reason. Add your Dragon's Hoard (3 Uses, Useful, Precious) to your Gear

    Dragon Magic
    When you draw upon the draconic power that only a fool would not call magic, choose a spell from below then mark it. You cannot use a spell while it is marked. When you Fill Your Belly, remove a mark from one spell. When you Recover, remove all marks on your spells.
    O Blessing of Strength: Destroy a wall or door in your way
    O Blessing of Speed: Instantly appear somewhere close by that you can see. No one else will see you move there
    O Blessing of Glory: Force someone to listen to you when you Talk Sense to them.

    You Have My Shield
    When you Overcome the harm an ally would suffer and roll a 7+, you can redirect the harm instead of stopping it. Someone else suffers the harm that would've been inflicted upon your ally - tell us who.

    GEAR
    Extra spicy fruits (3/3 Uses, Food Only for Dragons)
    Mighty claws and hardened scales (Melee, armour, 1-use)
    Fire Breath (Ranged, reload, burning)
    Dragon's Hoard (3/3 Uses, Useful, Precious)
    Detective Brill. She's a firebreathing dragon teenager with a mysterious origin, he's a corrupt noir bureaucrat with a nose for trouble. They fight crime! (Master Plan, Backup Plan)

    The Little Light Silver
    - Lantern
    - Weaponry
    - Lasers
    - Light Shield

    BONDS

    Princess Alina is perfect, the kind of being I aspire to be.
    I promised to restore Illumina to Princess Alina
    I danced in the rain with Princess Alina
    The previous Princess Adila is a mystery, and I will learn the truth behind her legend.
    Princess Kazelia stood as my deputy and champion and won a duel on my behalf
    Princess Kazelia reflected me in her eyes
    Princess Hornet is my contractually mandated friend.
    Princess Dandy helped me when I was at my lowest.
    Princess Iron Star Crushes the Strong helped me do something terrible.
    Liza Rippley trusted me against the odds.
    Princess Eska told me about her dreams.

    Greymane befriended me in disguise.

    ADVANCEMENT
    Level 5
    - Another Dragon Custom
    - Another Dragon Custom
    - +1 Courage
    - Knight Destiny
    Last edited by Thanqol; Yesterday at 04:42 PM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Raz_Fox's Avatar

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    Sep 2008
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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    The more popular story is the time that same Queen (her name is lost to greatness, though truly She is all of us) used the power of True Light to boil away a river that had gone wicked and ensnared a great many children. As the story goes some fragrant leaves fell into the river at the same time and, in saving the day, she invented the perfect cup of tea at the same time. And indeed the High Queen Ourania was so pleased that she has had it every day since, and invites the Sun and the Moon to share it with her. As thanks, she gave Hyperborea the concept of miniature lemon cakes, which are enjoyed from kingdom to kingdom regardless of climate or birth or circumstance. Or at least, so the legend goes.
    Flawless. Perfect. The good good content.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    She speaks telepathically, broadcasting her thoughts into the minds of other creatures, and she can also pick up the thoughts of other creatures in exchange.
    I am furious that I immediately thought of Eragon. How could you do this to me, Thanqol. Have you no mercy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol
    This ability has two serious limitations. Firstly, most creatures have extremely poor thought discipline which makes reading their minds particularly difficult - it's not much more useful than being very good at reading body language. Secondly, Adila also has terrible thought discipline and has a hard time shutting off her stream of consciousness chatter or keeping embarrassing thoughts to herself.
    Sometimes I just look at a character choice and go, ah, yes. Thanqol is going to have so much fun with this. I can hardly wait.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol
    Wings of a dragon. You can fly on large, powerful wings. You require a running start, a fair bit of room, and you cannot hover in place, but you can fly very far and very fast.
    Between your wings, Kazelia's pegasus, and the grappling hook on Alina's upcoming sheet, walls are not a problem for this Fellowship, at all. "Oh, look, here's an obstacle-" "We fly over it." "Oh no, an ambush!" "We fly over them. No one can touch us in the stratosphere." "How will you get to-" "f l y"

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol
    Detective Brill. She's a firebreathing dragon teenager with a mysterious origin, he's a corrupt noir bureaucrat with a nose for trouble. They fight crime! (Master Plan, Backup Plan)
    Am I a bad person for imagining the robot detective from Fallout 4 but like a human
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

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    Apr 2009

    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    What are the motifs and symbols of your kingdom's heraldry? What lovely flowers, what strange beasts, what iconic colors and, well, icons mark your company as distinct when you enter the fray? What's their aesthetic?
    .oO: I don't know much about Dragons, but I can happily tell you about the Watch!

    The Watch's colour is black - but what princesses of more technicolour nations don't acknowledge is that there are as many different kinds of black as there are kinds of light. An ordinary, street patrolling black is a clean, blue-black that the muck sloughs off like water, while the war banners are in a deep, ominous green black that were said to stand out like pillars of light during the Deep Hollow Campaign. Bronze is the symbol of war, and to wear bronze when the Watch is not mobilized for battle is a high crime.

    The Watch has many other symbols and secrets, but while they are on display in the keep only the Annalist knows how they all fit together and what they mean. The Annalist is the equal to the Captain in rank and they together keep the Bronze under lock and key. There are no icons of chains, of eyes, of vigilance, of authority anywhere in the Watch; even the badge is a simple silver pin with a violet-black gemstone. To some we seem almost like monks. That would be wrong; our clothing is fine and comfortable, it is just also humble.

    Who does your kingdom look favorably upon? Who, conversely, does your kingdom despise and scorn, and/or have a real geopolitically tsundere relationship with? (We're not joining your alliance because we like you or anything, b-baka!)
    .oO: Princesses are the worst. Criminals can be discouraged, but Princesses are fearless and nearly unstoppable and whenever one shows up three more will appear just to spite her. The Watch's doctrine during Princess Events is to pick the worst of them and throw all of their resources into ruining her day totally and unfairly, even if it means letting the others run riot. It's not going to make any of them good but it will make the rest of them compete to be at least not the worst.

    The Watch isn't really allied with Jedad - we just kind of squat there like a hostile occupying force, and the Captain makes it her business to not recruit a single person from Jedad to try and stop us from folding into an arm of the Sultana's government. It's not really working? The Sultana is really driven to annex the Watch and she's had enough time to really get her claws in.

    [*]What does your kingdom's political structure actually look like? Is your mother supported by a democratic council or a witch she married despite her parents' misgivings, was she chosen by the White Stag of the Giant's Wood or the victor in a tournament of arms, does she adopt princesses (adopting a princess is Valid), or how else do you distinguish yourself from all the other matriarchies?
    .oO: There is the Captain, who is in charge, the Annalist, who maybe outranks the Captain it's not remotely clear, then there are the Old War Buddies - about twenty, thirty old bastards who hang out together drinking and swapping stories and training new recruits. Nobody has any idea what happens when those people die off. It doesn't feel like a political organization so much as a bunch of people who have been doing their jobs for so long that the idea of formalizing any sort of rules would be silly. While the Law is the Law, there don't seem to be any rules for how the Watch is structured other than what the Captain thinks is right.



    [*]Which Virtue does your kingdom most value, and which does it overlook? What brings you glory in the eyes of your people, and what do they shun you for? What is Wicked action, only permissible in Devilhome beneath the earth?
    .oO: The Watch is all about being Sensible. We're outgunned by Princesses and we also need to rely on a reputation for being undefeated, so Doctrine is to apply utterly overwhelming force on single points of contention even if that means a dozen other crimes go unanswered. A phrase you hear a lot from the old girls especially is 'don't be a hero'. Teamwork, caution, and discipline is worth much more than stupid Courage.

    The Captain once told me that she thought my eyesight was a more valuable tool than my strength and flame put together, and that's the Watch in a nutshell. They love ambushes and the thought of a fair fight gets you taken aside by a senior officer for a quiet word.


    [*]What is your kingdom's greatest accomplishment in the annals of Hyperborea?
    .oO: I don't know. The Annalist's job seems to be to stop anyone figuring out what's actually in the annals. One time when one of the old crew was drunk she mentioned that the Watch had put every major city in Hyperborea to siege at one point or another - but she also claimed in the same breath that Princess Adila seduced every Princess in Hyperborea so her testimony is suspect.

    [*]What is your kingdom's greatest city called, and what is it like?
    .oO: Life in the Bazaar is... stressful. No one lives there permanently except the Watch, the rest are visitors from other kingdoms and every single one of them is dead certain they are Ourania's gift to the world and everyone else is an uncultured barbarian. Try listening to one of the damned Illuminans smack-talk your uniform for twenty minutes, you'd lose your temper too. And since all of these cultural supremacists regard everyone else present in the bazaar as a barbarian to be parted from their money the line between commerce and robbery gets very blurry very quick.

    [*]How do the magicians of your people interact with the living magical essence of Hyperborea? Do they call upon the High Queen's ley lines, gather shimmering dust washed up upon the shoreline, woo the sea and sky and earth by their secret love-names, call upon the power of their wishing hearts all praying as one, or what? What's your kingdom's view on Hecatia Academy and its graduates?
    .oO: The Watch values magic extremely highly, it fits with the value of asymmetric warfare that we're so good at. We aggressively recruit mages, especially illusionists. There's not really an internal training programme because so many mages have so many different styes and philosophies of magic, sometimes they talk or train each other, but for the most part we try to recruit people who already know everything they need to know.

    [*]What treasures of your kingdom do you most fear to see in the hands of the Riders? (I have no ulterior motives in asking this I swear)
    .oO: There is a trove of cursed swords in the keep, confiscated from the original guardians of the Bazaar when the Watch first settled. They're spooky things - they still have the ghosts of their wielders hanging out alongside them and those people were not good people.

    [*]What strange monsters haunt your kingdom, forcing you and your companions to do battle against them to drive them away?
    .oO: Do Princesses count?

    Other than them, I'm not the only strange monster egg to be sold in the Bazaar. We get all kinds of stuff from all corners of the world. Hydras, manticores, jabberslythes, demigryphs, you name it. I've got the scars to prove just how many of them I've had to wrestle.

    [*]Conspiracy theory time: who is Ourania, really, and where did the Riders come from?
    .oO: I will not speculate as to the nature of the Queen of the World. She has spoken Laws of justice and compassion, and that is enough for me.

    But I might speculate about the Riders. Perhaps the Watch was like them, once. The wreckage of a previous invasion?
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-06-01 at 10:32 PM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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    Default Re: [OOC] Princess-Champions of Hyperborea

    Design note: I'm starting to lean into 'hard-headed, practical and rough edges' as a contrast to Phoe's Alina; there's a natural mirror between the pretty rainbow princess and the serious black dragon. I'd suggest that as the foundation for a Bond between our characters; something relating to rivalry or bickering.

    I don't yet have a good enough handle on Princess Swiftlance to know how that dynamic works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    I am furious that I immediately thought of Eragon. How could you do this to me, Thanqol. Have you no mercy.
    Man, there was a time where I was unreasonably mad at that book. It's mostly past out of my memory by this point, telepathic dragons are all over the place these days.

    Sometimes I just look at a character choice and go, ah, yes. Thanqol is going to have so much fun with this. I can hardly wait.
    Still working out the exact rhythm and vocal pattern but it'll be a lot of fun when I crack it.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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