Ongoing Games (In-Character)Play-by-post games are going on in this forum as we speak (well, read). All threads on this board are actual games, so please, only post on a thread if you are a player of that game.
One hundred years ago, eight of the mightiest heroes ever to enter the annals of legend rose up and lead the Prime Material to defend against the Fifth Demonic Invasion, lead by the terrible lichfiend Argobob. In the final battle, the great heroes successfully destroyed this fiend for good, dispersing his power and sealing off the Prime Material from the lower planes.
Since then, it has been a golden age of peace and prosperity. Julius Uldar, priest-king of the Empire and son of Michael Uldar the leader of the Eight Who Conquered Evil, rules the land with a just and fair hand. Amon de Lothele the drow dragonmage guards the Nexus and maintains the wards against the lower planes, ensuring that the fiends cannot once again invade. General, the original warforged, trains and leads the armies of the Empire, maintaining peace and strength throughout the Empire. Toronaga Shishioh returned to his homeland where his descendants still train in the martial style of the Ancient Warrior.
The other four have disappeared from legend, none save perhaps Amon knowing where to find them. Montezuma, the lhosk warchief, appointed his daughter to be the next chief and left the jungle, never to be seen again. Gumlee, the celestial troll, was last seen on the peak of Mount Ungoliant before disappearing in a flash of lightning. After the battle with Argobob, Lash the paragon xeph just vanished, running off into the sunset. For the first few years, Donnig the elven shaman worked to create a new grove of trees that eventually grew into the Wylde Forest before disappearing in their depths never to be heard from again.
Still, all these grand figures have little bearing on the life of a young man from the village of Enaria. Life in his sleepy town has been the same since before anyone can remember.
Aandilar grew up in the small village of Enaria, about one weeks ride from the capital of the Empire. His father was priest of the church there, his mother had passed away.
Aandilar spent much of his time studying the holy texts in the library of the church. His father approved of what he saw as devotion to the gods. Little did his father know that Aandilar was, in fact, practicing magic. Not just the Holy Magic either, for the Library had a large section on the Works of the Arcane.
When Aandilar came of age, he went out into the forest to fast for 3 days and 3 nights, as was customary in the village. On the third day, Aandilar had the first of his visions.
In the vision, Aandilar was approached by a being of bright light, and was told that he must journey from his village, and begin a might quest to save the Prime Material.
"But we are in a Golden Age of propserity!" cried Aandilar.
"Yes, but the world is in a peril the likes of which have never been seen before, striking down Argobob was probably the worst mistake in the history of the multiverse, his demise left a power vacuum that led the strongest, most despicable fiends to claw their way to the top." The light responded.
"What must I do?"
"You must become the Dragon Messiah."
"Go to the capital, you will find more details on the prophecy there, from somewhere you least expect."
And then Aandilar blacked out.
Aandilar returned to his village a sad man, for he knew that he would have to leave, and maybe never return. He said his farewells to his father and few friends there, and went on his way into the capital, looking for more information on the prophecy...
The Capital, heart of the Empire and seat of House Uldar, is a grand, sprawling city with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of residents. Over the heart of the city, the grand floating palace of House Uldar can be seen sparkling in the early morning sun. A few lesser buildings also float nearby, the abodes of the other major houses. The city itself is a sparkling jewel of silver ringed with marble. Every building within the city walls is made of marble of various shades, with the inner city gates marking the nobles' quarter marking the beginning of where all buildings are finished with silver trim. No expense has been spared to ensure the heart of the largest and most prosperous empire the world has ever known will impress the visitor. However, this grand, beautiful architecture cannot hold all the mass of people that call the Capital home. The city proper is dwarfed by the Outskirts, a vast network of housing, shops, temples, brothels, inns, taverns, workshops, smithies, and the rest of the buildings that make a city function. Sharply divided into four Quarters by the two main highways into the Capital, this is where the heart of commerce takes place. In each Quarter, the closer one gets to the walls of the city proper, the richer, more elegant, and more established the buildings become.
Andilar arrives at the edge of the city with the caravan that let him ride with them. After saying his farewells, he leaves the caravan to go through customs at the checkpoint in the gate. After entering through the palisade set a half-mile in front of the outer city, he sees that a festival of some sort is going on to the northeast, at the edge of the buildings.
Aandilar heads to the festivities in the northeast, trying to remember if there's a religious holiday, or if today is possibly a holiday in honor of some historic event. He dismounts his horse, Nelly, and leads her as he wracks his brain for this knowledge.
It doesn't appear to be a religious or historical day today, so it's likely a local custom.
As you approach, a large dog covered in blue paint comes over and sniffs all around you. A pack of small boys smeared in blue follow close behind. The tallest of them, likely no older than nine, stops them and says to you "Hi, mister! You here for the Great Blue Harvest?"
Wyldfae is a general term for those fae creatures that hold loyalty to neither the Seelie or the Unseelie courts. They are not properly organized like the fae courts, but they do have a sense of general identity. They tend to spend their time on the wilder, more chaotic near planes, only occasionally visiting the Prime Material, which is generally held among faekind to be a case of joint custody between the two Courts. Still, they will occasionally visit the Material when it suits them. Such visits often come at solar, lunar, or other astrological events.
One of the other boys pops up with "Old Garton told me! They trade us our foodstuffs for el-metal goods!"
"We are dealing with the wyldfae. Overt violence is rare, but disorderly conduct that disrupts the festivities is not. Either way, peace is better maintained when a peacekeeper is present. Still, you should be perfectly safe, so long as you don't let them trade you anything for your future children."
Aandilar smiles at what he hopes was a joke.
"Well then, I guess I should go and see what they have over there. Good luck with your peacekeeping, hopefully nothing bad happens."
Having bid the man farewell, Aandilar heads over to the festivities, looking for the wyldfae.
Aandilar looks for wyldfae, and indeed he finds them! It's not too hard to spot the blue-skinned lion-like fey the size of dwarves, or the green skinned flowering fey a little taller than an elf, or the satyrs prancing about. Many smaller fey flit about on tiny gossamer wings. Most of the wyldfae are dancing about with the humanoids in their festivities or haggling with farmers over produce. A few, however, seem to be wandering around, not really committing to any one activity.
As best he can tell in (d4) hours of information gathering, this is a sort of interdimensional trading day where farmers trade some excess farm goods for small elemental trinkets to make life easier. A few city dwellers are sprinkled in among them, trading more exotic prepared dishes for similar trinkets.
Biggest news around is that the crown prince is said to be recruiting from among the lower class for squires for his royal guard. Normally, such a position is given to the sons of rich merchants looking for a more exciting vocation.
You are given directions to the nearest city watch compound, which can get you in contact with a palace representative who can discuss that with you. Apparently, there are so many applicants for this prestigious position that they're first screening out less worthy applicants at the city watch before taking those deemed worthy inside the inner city for further testing and training. About one in twelve people who apply at the watch make it to the inner city, and about one in five aren't sent back immediately. Even so, the royal guard will only need about 100 squires and it's expected that half of those who go through the training will not have a guard to squire for and instead be given a less prestigious position among the core of the city watch as elite watchmen.
Arriving at the local city watch garrison, you are quickly directed to the second undersecretary to the chief of the palace guard, who has been temporarily reassigned to help manage the applications into the royal guard.
"Hello, boy. How can I help you? Looking to apply for the royal guard position?"
"Yes, there is an arcane branch of the corps. There are only ten apprentice mage positions open, but the odds for getting in there are much better, since far fewer qualify. If you can prove to me true magical talent, I'll send you on to the royal guard barracks for further testing."
"Any with tangible effects? Any of them make noise? Any funny odors? If all your spells prepared are intangible, invisible, and completely undetectable, I hope you can understand when I say please come back tomorrow with something you can show me."
"I understand. All of my current spells would be invisible to the untrained eye. Although, I could channel the magical energy into a healing spell, if that would be enough to prove to you that I am capable with magic."
OOC: Yea, all of my spells are pretty much invisible or utility at the moment...
"Dear boy, that's what an aide to the undersecretary is for." True to his word, he calls up an aide who runs off to the temporary infirmary set up next to the proving grounds. A few minutes later, he comes back supporting a girl with a bloody nose that slowly leaking down her chin. The left side of her face seems to have made personal contact with a blunted blade, as a rather large bruise is forming.
The girl is tall, taller than any of the three men in the room, her frame heavily built to match. She has bright orange hair cropped very short. Her green eyes seem more annoyed at the disruption to her chance to prove herself than any fear of the pain her walloping must have her under. She mutters "Damn boy got what's coming to him, holding back at first. Serves him right."
Apparently, you should have seen the other guy.
"Here we go, a freshly bruised applicant. Show me what you can do." the recruiter says.
Aandilar looks at the 'girl' with slightly widened eyes. She could probably beat me half to death, what is this prophecy thinking. Then he closes his eyes while he chants slowly, then reaches out and touches her lightly, healing her bruise.
Spontaneously casting Cure Light Wounds from a Sanctuary spell.