Barbarian in the Playground
Join Date: May 2005
Sin City Baby Yeah!
From Thy Foreign State (IC)
The world did not end in fire or ice, but in pain and horror.
Who fired the first shot doesn’t matter. What matters is that the war spiraled out of control. Completely. Utterly. A raid on a rival sanctum would spill out into the streets and into populace centers. Men and women, running and screaming as their minds try to comprehend the madness around them only to be lobotomized by the Quiescence, that shard of the Abyss that exists in all Sleepers. Fleeing, dying, going mad and attacking those around them. Disbelief would shred spells into razor curtains of Paradox that literally ate men alive. Hideous mutation, both of body and mind, was rampant among the combatants. The lucky died, the unlucky were driven to higher and higher heights of madness and lust for power.
We don’t know who summoned the first Abyssal intruder. Not because he or she did it in private, but because we all watched it eat him or her alive on national television. Ate that person and their history, devoured them out of time and memory. Every supernatural power even remotely connected to reality felt it scream that day.
The first breach, the one that happened atop the ruins of the city that was London, was sealed eventually. There were more. Always more. Big and small, self propagating or feeding off the life of everything around them. So many different shades of the same problem all with different solutions and all absolutely mad with things pouring out of them and into the Fallen World. Things that lusted after the living. Devoured the spiritual. Consumed the dead. Rended the fabric of the Tapestry itself. They were unknowable, but in our hubris we named them.
You never really cared for the establishment. As long as the Ladder left you to your work you were happy to pay lip service to their goals. If they sent the occasional job or request your way, well, you needed something to break up the monotony. Sometimes the brain needed a break, and you’d had some wonderful ideas in the past on completely unconnected matters.
The pay helped too.
When the war started you closed your doors. Battened the hatches and readied the defenses. The Ladder wasn’t your cause, they were just the people who had introduced you to the Awakened world. The only loyalties you owed them had been spent long ago on the back of guanxi, the exchange of favors. Too many Thearchs expected something for nothing, or held to the mistaken belief that simply paying a man brought you his services. The scales were even, perhaps even weighted in your favor, and you would not be stepping into the line of fire for their benefit. Seer and Pentacle had gotten in dust ups before and this would be no different. Even the rumors of Banisher cults and Scelesti on the move weren’t enough to roust you from your neutrality.
The end of the world changed that though.
On the day when you emerged from your Sanctum to find chaos in the streets and reality gone wrong, you immediately moved to help. Calling contacts, pulling favors, leveraging the weak and parlaying the strong. You may not have been the strongest willworker around, but this crazy plan wouldn’t have even gotten off the ground if it hadn’t been for your efforts.
No one asked the questions that normally burned on a Mage’s tongue. Path, Legacy, Affiliation, Rank, none of these things were relevant at the end. Well-dressed men with pulsing black veins worked beside Hindu monks, nurses with oddly sharp fingernails and pimple faced young men in brown robes. It didn’t matter when a slightly blood spattered but original copy of Intangible Heresies showed up in the hands of a punked out teenager, or that the oricalcum rod produced by an elderly women was last seen in the hands of the Sacra. There was only a desperate need to stop the madness and horror, to preserve something through the end.
When the time came, you found yourself on the front lines. There were others with more power, more skill or experience that would direct the ritual from here. You had done your part, provided the vision, the drive, and the structure. It would be up to others to provide the implementation. The last thing you could give them was time.
Not the Arcana.
The type of time that came from desperate delaying attempts as hordes of demons and abyssal intruders swarmed the ritual site, somehow drawn to your efforts. The type of time that had to be counted in every second you remained breathing, every bit of lost momentum, and every inch of distance that you paid for in blood.
It paid off. It worked.
There was a brilliant flash of octatrine light and a rushing sensation. The howls of the demons were drowned out by the shriek of space and time being warped. The ground began to dissolve around you, swallowing man and horror alike. The sky flexed and bent, twisting in and out upon itself. The very air seemed to shatter, filling your lungs with burning filaments and refracting light in a madhouse of chaos and confusion.
It must have worked.
If it hadn’t, all of reality would have eventually collapsed. That was the theory, and that you still existed after two weeks in this place seemed to disprove that everything everywhere had met its end.
Magic was different in this reality. Both closer to reality and more distance to those who worked it. It flowed on the physical, and could crystalize into something the locals call Materia. Anyone with sufficient will can call upon magicks specific to these Materia, from conjuration of the elements to instantaneous healing to the calling of supernal beings. There seems to be no special or specific organization for the use of magic, which is not entirely unsurprising as few (if any) seem to be able to harness magic without Materia as an aid.
This world is significantly less developed than home in most areas. Not necessarily in technology itself, but in the proliferation thereof. Wide tracks of wilderness exist side-by-side with population centers. Lighting varies from torches to gas lamps to modern electrical bulbs. Cars, planes, and helicopters exist but mostly remain in control of the wealthy elite. Weaponry is fairly advanced, though more towards the conventional warfare side of things than back home. Most modern conveniences exist within the cities, though outside of the urban setting things tend to slack off. Arcaneotech is prevalent, as are higher levels of genetic and high energy science. Astrophysics, Rocketry, and the more exotic sciences seem nonexistent, though that may be a simple matter of perspective and information quality. (ie, they exist but you have no way of observing them) Perhaps the strangest technological difference is that of the internet. In that there isn’t one, at all. Some of the government buildings are rumored to have networked computer systems, but a world wide web is nonexistent in any shape or form.
Speaking of government; the main ruling is an oligarchy in the form of a power company of all things, called Shinra Electric Power Company. It does not, in fact, seem to be a plutocracy but may also be classified as an arcaneocracy, as power = Mako = magic for them. They certainly create, maintain, and control the reactors that provide the majority of modern convenience and own Midgar, the city within which you have found a living.
After some time spent wandering the city homeless, permanent dwelling in the form of your new Sanctum was surprisingly easy to acquire. Due to the constantly under construction nature of the city, it was a simple matter to sequester a section of the slums for your own use. Significantly less easy was the discovery of a natural Hallow in the location. Much of the area is affected by an unusual form of blighted landscaping that seems to result from the extraction of “Mako” from the area. Whether or not such a significant depletion of mana from a section of land at home would result in similar blight is outside of your knowledge, but it probably wouldn’t have been a good thing either way. Upwellings of Mako energy aren’t terribly uncommon, but they seem to have serious detrimental effects on the surrounding wildlife when present. Conditions for your use, a fairly safe and dilute source of mana in a secluded location, were what consumed the majority of your time upon arrival to Midgar. You have set yourself up in t
After establishing yourself you began to make inroads into the current population of the area. Through the use of favors, trade, and information dealing you have established a small network of contacts through the slums and the city above. Additionally, serious assistance has netted you a few significantly more loyal (and grateful) allies. Finally, one of the older street teens has expressed a desire to remove himself from gang life and set up shop as your permanent retainer and general go-between for the area in exchange for lessons of an academic nature. Whether or not this student ends up becoming a true apprentice depends largely on whether an Awakening is even possible in this reality. Even then, the boy would have to hit the supernal jackpot with or without your presence.
While unpracticed at some of the more overtly useful forms of magic, your strong affinity for the Spirit Arcana has born unexpected fruits. Many of the more powerful monsters seem to be at least part spirit, or at least connected closely enough to the metaphysical aspects of the planet for your spells to have some effect upon them. The Shadow of this world is extremely hostile, its basically primordial nature has not been tamed by the presence of man in large quantities and remains a savage and alien place. The city and its Mako reactors are not helping in the slightest, forcing unpleasant and destructive resonance change at rapid rates. Despite that, your presence and the nature of your magic has made you something of a curiosity and after a short time a minor celebrity among the Shadow’s inhabitants. With some regularity you find them coming to you to solve minor problems and disputes in return for favor and protection, though they remain aloof about more important matters.
For now, you’ve gotten settled in. You’ve made some connections and have done a fair bit to establish yourself in this new place. You haven’t forgotten the world you left behind, but any attempt to divine what happened or return are beyond you at this time. You’ll need more resources, more information, and more power before you could even consider approaching those topics. There isn’t anyone you left behind, nothing you had a terrible attachment to, and no cause you abandoned. The old world... you did your part, above and beyond the call of duty to the only thing that really mattered. And seeing as existence itself still, well, exists, you’re pretty certain you did your job damn well.
Besides, you have a great deal of opportunity right here in front of you.
Especially seeing as you seem to be the only true Awakened in existence.
Power can be defined in many ways. Most simply, it is the ability to get what you want, or as scholar Kenneth Boulding said, power is "the ability to change the future."
Materia is crystallized Mako, the lifeblood of Gaia. Metaphysically, Materia calls upon the wisdom of the Lifestream in order to manipulate nature itself. This manifests as the phenomenon of magic for most Materia, although other Materia pieces enhance the user's abilities. Unless one is descended from the Cetra, Materia is the only way normal humans can use magic.
"Materia" is a Latin term meaning "matter" or "substance", probably from the phrase "materia magica" (materials for magical rituals). It is also the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese for the word "subject" and, once again, "matter", fitting as Materia also hosts various kinds that have different effects.
Materia resembles a vastly more concentrated version of Tass. This is likely because the “Lifestream” of Gaia is significantly more potent than the natural mana flows and leylines of home. Mako, the liquid which the Lifestream is composed of, is highly energetic and physically manifested on this planet. Consumption is not recommended until testing has commenced, as Mako is extremely toxic and/or mutagenic to most observed lifeforms.
Also, this probably counts as an energy field larger than your head.
Midgar, the City on the Plate.
It consists of a large circular structure supported above the ground by eight reactors and a central pillar, with various other supports around the city. On top of the structure lies the city proper, divided into eight sectors, while underneath it on the ground lies a large slum; created by the city's unfortunate and downtrodden.
Governed as a police state, the city is home to some of the richest and most powerful men and women on the Planet, who run most of the city's affairs from the central Shinra Building which dominates the cityscape.
Construction of the city began in 1976 (the current year is 2007, though this bears no direct correlation to your own time, events from which the calender is based aren’t even remotely familiar), to provide residence for the Shinra Electric Power Company's growing investment and employment base and remains under construction to this day. Thanks to its eight Mako Reactors, the city's massive power-demands were easily met, but at a cost to the surrounding countryside, which has become a barren wasteland due to the city sapping the surrounding Mako energy. Due to this, the city and its reactors are a prime target for terrorism/rebel groups who seek to restore the Planet to its former state and stop Shinra from sapping its life energy.
You may select one (1) research topic from the list per dot in Intelligence you possess. Subtopics count as additional choices, but you must take the main topic to research them. Topics with (type) require you to specify what you want to research. Any IC scenes or posts on these topics, before or after my expounding on them, will be worth Experience.
5. Technology (type)
9. Nature of The Shadow
---Mako Generator Resonance
10. Local Authorities
11. Topic of choice, dependent on approval.
You may outline one (1) action taken in any down time between scripted events per dot Resolve. Any IC scenes or posts on these topics, before or after my expounding on them, will be worth Experience.
1. Crushed Horror Skull: You found this keepsake on the ground next to you when you first awoke in this new world, the flesh already dissolving off and leaving only bone behind. You keep it on your mantle to remind you of a variety of lessons, morals, and ideals. The fossilized skull of this demon resembles a longhorn steer mixed with the gross parody of a human. It has fangs filling more space in its maw than would be physically viable for a living creature and a third eye socket upon its brow. You vaguely remember, in the chaos of those last few moments, caving in the monster’s head with your fist in a torrential outlasting of magic.
You didn’t know you had that kind of power within you.
ACTIONS TAKEN AFTER THIS POST COUNT AS:
"And I may be a moron."
"Yes you are a moron.
"But I am a moron with a dream! And that my friends, is the most dangerous kind of moron."
"Well, I think we all know which ship Jans was on."
Theme Music Carcer Zoviir Matthew