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Fire Emblem: The Heroes' LegacyTopic%20Title
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In Justice We Trust

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Fire Emblem: The Heroes’ Legacy

A Fire Emblem RP by General Luigi

Narrative Thread Link


The land of Duat is in an era of great instability. On the island of Abydos in the southwest, the Beorc nations of Egir, Budin, and Kanije seek to drive the Parthian crocodiles to the sea. In the southeast, the bears of Arwad are poised to conquer the once-mighty Achaean Empire, and many nearby kingdoms worry they might be next. In the northeast, the quarreling kings of the Anatolian realms all vie for dominance as neighboring Longobardia and Hellas look for ways to benefit from the chaos. Finally, near Belzen, the homeland of the three heroes of the Bear King’s War, the mighty kingdom of Hicaz is flexing its military might, conquering all who refuse to recognize the dominance of her king, Laomedon. A coalition of Beorc and dragon nations, led by Queen Suzianna of Sandomir, has been formed in response to Hicaz’s aggression. None doubt the inevitability of war between the dragon-Beorc coalition and Hicaz. All that remains in doubt is what will trigger it and which side will triumph.

This RP Has Technically Begun


Once the first actual battle starts, the rules will only be changed to address such things as game-breaking mechanics, overly lenient rules, and unnecessarily strict rules. I am open to new ideas, but all of the core mechanics have already been decided on.

Where Are We and What Are We Doing?


The story starts in Radom, the capital of Belzen. The party is expected to travel with a religious procession. Where they go from there depends as much on them as it does on me. Belzen expects to be invaded by Hicaz within the next year, and there is some concern that the religious procession will be in danger if war breaks out too soon.

Maps


I haven't covered all the details yet, but I've completed two maps that will at least give you a sense of where each country is, where each race has large populations, what the climate is like, and how rugged the terrain is. A biological map is in the works and will provide details on local vegetation types and also give some names for particular areas of the continent. If you have any questions about a region that the current maps don't answer, please ask me. Chances are I've already got the area planned out and just have yet to commit it to a completed map.

Spoiler: Ethnic and Political map (SCREEN STRETCH WARNING)
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Spoiler: Climate and Geological map (SCREEN STRETCH WARNING)
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Lore


Every now and then, I might update this post with information on Duat. Most of it will be such things as history and geography, though some of it might be useful in designing a character. To prevent this post from taking up much more space than it already does, any lore entries will be in spoiler tags, as you can see.

Spoiler: Pegasi
Pegasi are native to the Tyrian Forest, a land mostly controlled by Tyre, a nation of bear laguz. However, parts of the forest extend into Chaldia and Arka, and some herds have been known to wander across the border. Pegasi live much longer than horses and have a gestation period of more than five years. In Tyre and Arka, pegasi are considered pests due to their tendency to destroy gardens. However, they also have some value as game. In Chaldia, however, they are often captured and sold at local markets (the main market at Trebizond has a small area set aside for pegasi and interested buyers). Because of their rarity and how difficult they are to capture without injuring them, pegasi are extremely expensive. As a result, it is rare for anyone other than the nobility or very wealthy merchants to own them. Nevertheless, the pegasus trade is a lucrative one and has made Chaldia the wealthiest country in the east.

Spoiler: Wyverns
Wyverns are native to the coastal mountains of Meir, a nation of elephant laguz. They are omnivores, though they have a preference for fish and meat. They live slightly longer than horses, and eggs usually take around four months to hatch. Before Arwad began its conquest of Achaean territory, wyverns were often captured by Beorc merchants and taken across the Sosso-Sharun subcontinent to one of Achaea’s ports, where they were subsequently taken all over Duat by ship. Nowadays, the only way to get a wyvern out of Meir is through one of Meir’s own ports, though the voyage is rarely worth the cost, as ships do not have room for a large number of wyverns, not to mention the voyage itself involves braving pirate-controlled waters. Because of this, most wyverns are bred and raised domestically rather than imported from Meir. Coupled with their more efficient reproduction, this has in turn ensured that wyverns are a lot less expensive than pegasi. As a result, it is common for rulers to have at least one wyvern regiment in their retinue, with some countries, such as Hicaz, even having wyvern riders among their regular soldiers.

Spoiler: Anatolia
Centuries ago, Anatolia was a confederation of eastern Beorc nations, each ruled by a Grand Duke. Officially, they were all subordinate to the King of Anatolia, but in practice, each duchy was independent, and it was quite common for them to be at war with one another. This lack of unity proved to be the confederation’s undoing in 805 when the Dorian Empire invaded. Some Dukes refused to aid one another against the invading bear Laguz due to past grudges. Others instead swore fealty to Agdy, the King of Dor, sparing their realms the Bear King’s fury on the condition that they aid him in his campaign and pay tribute to him.

In the time following Agdy’s death in 821, the various newly-liberated Beorc-ruled nations began an effort to fill in the power vacuum. Rather than form a confederation as they did in the past, the new countries’ rulers exercised far more authority. By 1000, only six kingdoms were still independent: Paphlagonia, Chaldia, Istria, Travunia, Cilicia, and Seleucia. The rest had either sworn fealty to the King of Hellas, been conquered by Calis or one of the aforementioned six kingdoms, or were still subjects of one of the bear Laguz kingdoms that formed after Agdy’s death.

Nowadays, Anatolia is an umbrella term for the aforementioned six eastern Beorc kingdoms, though some also include Paphlagonia’s ally, the Bear Laguz kingdom of Jaffa, in the group. Though there is talk of the countries uniting under a single flag, the matter of who would rule has prevented it from becoming anything more than just talk. The two most likely candidates are Paphlagonia and Chaldia.

Chaldia is easily the wealthiest country in the east, thanks in large part to its capital, Trebizond, being eastern Duat’s primary center of trade. Trebizond’s location at the mouth of the Rusalka River makes it the ideal place for Anatolians to trade with the rest of Duat; every Anatolian country is connected to the river or one of its tributaries, and even Tyre, Jaffa, Zemar, and Ugarit have access to the river, meaning even goods from the Bear Laguz nations tend to be common sights in Trebizond. In the past, Trebizond competed with Nauplia, but in light of the Achaean Empire’s decline, merchants have increasingly avoided Nauplia out of concern for their safety. This, in turn, has led to a dramatic boom in trade through Trebizond, and by extension, all along the Rusalka River. Trebizond’s population has recently risen to 300,000, making it second only to Nauplia and Aspandana in size, though it is likely to surpass Nauplia within the next decade.

Outside of Trebizond, though, Chaldia is very sparsely populated, most of the land being forested swamps and flatlands, occasionally interrupted by the estate of a provincial lord or a small town around a trading post or cathedral. The Tyrian Forest in the northeast happens to play host to various wild pegasus herds, which has contributed to the development of small towns run by Beorc merchant guilds. The local Eagle Laguz lords, however, resent the presence of these settlements, as they are always free cities despite being founded in their domains. In addition, Chaldian Eagle Laguz merchants tend to have difficulty staying in business in Trebizond, as their Beorc countrymen often collude to keep Laguz merchants from turning a profit. The King’s refusal to punish this behavior, as well as his turning a blind eye to the guilds’ seizure of lands that the local lords consider to be rightfully theirs, has led to a general resentment of Chaldian rule among the Eagle Laguz population, and rebellions are not uncommon.

The current King of Chaldia is Emmanuel II, though he is too young to fully assume the role of King. As such, the de facto leader of Chaldia is a council of regents consisting of two Beorc nobles, one Eagle Laguz noble, three guildsmen, and a priest appointed by the Metropolitan of Trebizond. Under council rule, Chaldia has become more decentralized than most countries, with provincial lords paying low taxes and being completely free of any obligation to give command of any of their levies to the King. In addition, guilds are subject to few regulations, bolstering trade in the capital, but furthering Eagle Laguz resentment of guild activities. In three years, the King will come of age and be granted full authority. Whether or not he will rein in the guilds and nobles when that happens remains to be seen.

Paphlagonia, on the other hand, is not as wealthy as Chaldia, but it has more than double its population and is by far the dominant military power in the region. The capital, Smyrna, is the seat of one of the seven Patriarchates, making it an attractive home for scholars and priests. Like Trebizond, Smyrna has benefited from Achaea’s decline, but in a different way; many scholars and theologians fleeing the collapse of the Achaean Empire have moved to Smyrna, making the city a major center of learning. Smyrna’s position at the junction of the Jinn and Rusalka Rivers, coupled with its role in Paphlagonian politics and status as the home of one of the Patriarchs, has made it a rather large city, complete with a sizable market of its own, albeit not as large as Trebizond on either count.

Unlike Chaldia, however, Paphlagonia has plenty of major population centers outside the capital. Provincial lords generally have smaller fiefdoms than their Chaldian counterparts, but the abundance of easy-to-farm land makes their fiefdoms far more productive and far more populous, especially in the south, where the forests eventually give way to grassland. Paphlagonia also has a large Bear Laguz population in the east, a common source of conflict with neighboring Arka, Zemar, and Sarepta, as well as a source of racial tension between Paphlagonia’s Beorc and Laguz populations. Unlike Chaldia, though, the King and his predecessors have been careful to avoid taking sides in these internal conflicts, and despite being of a different race than the royal family, Paphlagonia’s Bear Laguz nobility are, on average, more loyal than the Beorc nobles.

The current King of Paphlagonia is Damian. He has made no secret of his desire to see Anatolia united under Paphlagonian rule with Smyrna as the capital. However, he has thus far made no clear effort to achieve that goal by military means. At the moment, his focus appears to be more on easing racial tensions, improving the quality of life in his personal demesne, and keeping independent-minded vassals from causing problems. He is also set to gain Hellas as an ally once his son Gregory comes of age and marries Princess Eudoxia. Some of his detractors suspect this is part of his plan to unify Anatolia; once the marriage happens, the combined might of Paphlagonia and Hellas will be more than enough to defeat Chaldia in a war. Whether or not he actually intends to go to war with Chaldia is unknown, though.

Spoiler: The Central Alliance
The Central Alliance is a coalition of mostly northern Beorc nations, though some westerners and easterners have also joined. In practice, this alliance is purely defensive; member states may engage each other in wars, but if a non-member attacks a member state, the entire alliance will come to the member state’s aid. That said, if a member state attacks a non-member state, the alliance is not required to aid them.

The Central Alliance was originally formed in response to Dulkadiri and Hicazi aggression in the early 200s, eventually expanding to include all the northern Beorc kingdoms save for Polocs, Troki, and Samogitia. In time, Dulkadir became the first Western Beorc nation to join the Central Alliance, fearing a possible war with Hicaz. The Central Alliance’s main enemy, however, turned out to be Achaea. As kingdoms in Cape Uyvar began rebelling against Achaean rule, they turned to the Central Alliance for support. Many of the former Achaean territories are controlled by western Beorc nations thanks to the Central Alliance’s intervention.

The conflict with Achaea was postponed during the Great Laguz Wars of the 600s and 700s, in which what is now Saka gained its independence from Achaea. Under the guise of helping Achaea regain lost territory, the Central Alliance established Beorc-ruled kingdoms on the Sosso-Sharun subcontinent and on the Southern Islands, called the Southern Kingdoms. These kingdoms were infamous for their repression of the Laguz natives that they now ruled over, a policy that appalled Achaea and led to the end of the temporary alliance in 751. With Achaea weakened, Rakka invaded and enlisted the Central Alliance’s aid, ravaging mainland Achaea and laying siege to the capital for four years. In that time, other western Beorc nations invaded the islands of Epirus and Cyrenaica, now the western Beorc kingdoms of Yanya and Tiflis.

During the Bear King’s War, the forces of the Central Alliance met with defeat after defeat at the hands of the Dorian Empire. Ultimately, every member state save for Dulkadir was conquered. It was only with the aid of the Western Coalition that the Central Alliance was able to finally drive the Dorians out.

As the rest of Duat began rebuilding, the Southern Kingdoms began to fall to Laguz rebels, and though the Central Alliance tried to protect their supporters, the effort proved too costly, as the Southern Kingdoms were unable to prevent additional uprisings without outside aid. In addition, the uprisings led the surrounding Laguz nations to intervene on the rebels’ side. By 913, only Hanya, an island kingdom off the coast of Maka, remained independent. Believing the Central Alliance unable to protect him, the King of Hanya swore an oath of fealty to the King of Budin. In response, Plocs declared war on Budin, many of the other Central Alliance countries following suit. The war ended in disaster for the Central Alliance, though; Egir, Kanije, and Hicaz joined forces with Budin and proceeded to win several major victories against Alliance forces. In the end, Plocs and the Central Alliance recognized the Budinite annexation of Hanya.

Since then, the Central Alliance has stayed out of major conflicts, and while their combined might is still more than any individual country (with the possible exception of Hicaz) can hope to stand a chance against, the loss of the Southern Kingdoms has made them hesitant to intervene in outside affairs. Instead, they have returned to their roots, only getting involved in major conflicts for defensive purposes. With Arwad’s recent expansion in the south and Hicaz’s expansion in the west, the Central Alliance may soon find itself involved in another important war.

Spoiler: Sosso-Sharun
The Sosso-Sharun subcontinent takes its name from two old kingdoms: the snake Laguz kingdom of Sosso, now part of Saka, Jolof, Ghiryu, Djenne, Diafanu, and Yaresna, and the elephant Laguz kingdom of Sharun, now part of the Kheres Empire and Meir. The Galatian peninsula, now controlled by Arwad and Raetia, is generally regarded by southern Beorc as their ancestral homeland and still has a southern Beorc majority, even as Arwad consolidates its control of the region.

In the past, Sosso-Sharun was controlled in largely equal parts by snake Laguz, elephant Laguz, and southern Beorc. Achaea’s expansion into and conquest of snake Laguz territory in the 400s is generally regarded as what ultimately led to the Great Laguz Wars. Though Achaea’s new Laguz subjects were treated fairly, with Laguz nobles being commonplace (something unheard of in most northern and western Beorc nations), many wanted independence.

In large part because of the potential profit from the wyvern trade, Achaea never attacked the elephant Laguz kingdoms of Sharun and Meir, instead deigning to expand into crocodile territory. When the Great Laguz Wars began, the Central Alliance intervened and began establishing Beorc-ruled kingdoms in rebelling Laguz territories. Known as the Southern Kingdoms, the Beorc placed in charge were far more tyrannical toward their Laguz subjects than the Achaeans had been. The Southern Kings’ behavior led independent crocodile and snake nations to get involved in the wars, and even the elephant Laguz, which were normally unwilling to intervene in foreign affairs, got involved. Achaea’s own horrified reaction to the Southern Kingdoms led to a war with the Central Alliance, ultimately ending Achaean supremacy on the Sosso-Sharun subcontinent.

The Southern Kingdoms ultimately proved unable to survive on their own, as their Laguz subjects were unwilling to put up with how they were treated. As Achaea recovered from its war with the Central Alliance, its crocodile Laguz subjects on the Southern Islands and its snake Laguz subjects on the mainland formed the Union of Saka, a union of four kingdoms: the crocodile Laguz kingdoms of Hangmatana and Pasargad and the snake Laguz kingdoms of Kabora and Darmura. The four kingdoms are technically autonomous, though their rulers work together when it comes to dealing with foreign countries.

During the Bear King’s War, Agdy’s son, Amba, led an army of bear Laguz south across the Moesian Sea and conquered Sharun and several of the newly-formed Laguz states that had broken off from Achaea. Though his father was ultimately slain in 821 and the Dorian Empire reduced to a small territory on the Moesian Sea, Amba’s empire, the Kheres Empire, still exists, though the duchies of Botrys and Arwad broke off following Amba’s death in 898 and the Elephant Laguz kingdom of Meir regained its independence in 912. Botrys has since split into Botrys Ayin and Botrys Guneshin, while Arwad has expanded through the Galatian peninsula, conquering much of Achaea and even seizing some territory on mainland Duat. Now, Arwad stands poised to capture Nauplia, the last remnant of the Achaean Empire. When and if Nauplia falls, it is believed that Arwad will either begin attacking the eastern Beorc nations on Duat’s southern coast or attempt to conquer Saka.

Spoiler: The Sabaean Peninsula
The Sabaean peninsula was given its name by the now-nonexistent Morean Empire, which was destroyed during the Great Flood. It is inhabited by the Gold Dragon kingdoms of Gonder, Tihama, Yeha, Matara, and Asab, as well as the Northern Beorc kingdoms of Sandomir and Belzen. There have been tensions in the past, including wars, between the Dragon and Northern Beorc countries on the peninsula, but never anything especially destructive. Rather, the most destructive war on the peninsula was fought between the Beorc kingdoms of Sandomir and Belzen between 767 and 773, in which Sandomir invaded and annexed the Tarnovian Valley, now a Sandomir-controlled area between Belzen and Tihama.

In the past, the Sabaean peninsula was inhabited almost exclusively by Gold Dragon Laguz. Every now and then, a Western Beorc ruler would attempt to conquer part of it, but the effort was never successful. Before the Great Flood, Morea was the only country to pose an actual threat to the Dragons. Morea attempted to conquer the Sabaean peninsula several times over the centuries leading up to the Great Flood, but never managed to do anything more than seize some of the lowlands in what is now southern Sandomir.

Following the Great Flood, the Dragons were largely isolated; the Beorc-controlled lowlands, along with the lowland Dragon kingdoms of Adafa and Axum, had been almost completely purged of life. The survivors gradually rebuilt, but the slow rate at which Dragons reproduce limited how quickly the country could rebuild. In 371, Northern Beorc began building settlements in the lowlands of Adafa and Axum. Initially, the Dragons welcomed the Beorc on the condition that they swear fealty to the rulers of the lands they were settling. For a time, the settlers were willing to live under a Laguz king, but as their numbers swelled and more settlements were built, talk of independence began circulating among the Northern Beorc. With support from the Central Alliance, the Beorc of Adafa rebelled in 493. The rebellion expanded to include the Beorc of Axum. Ultimately, the two countries were destroyed by the rebels and the Central Alliance, surviving Dragons and Northern Beorc loyalists fleeing to the highlands. In 501, the kingdoms of Belzen and Sandomir were established on the lands seized from Adafa and Axum.

Following the destruction of Adafa and Axum, the remaining Dragon countries adopted a hostile policy toward Beorc, forbidding any Beorc to enter their lands and attacking anyone who tried to. This led to border skirmishes with the Beorc countries as they began settling closer to the border. Sometimes, these skirmishes led to actual wars in which small amounts of territory changed hands. Over time, Sandomir grew into a regional power, seizing land from Belzen, seizing land from Varad, Kars, Belzen, and even Hicaz in a number of wars (it’s worth pointing out that at the time, Hicaz wasn’t the superpower it is now). Sandomir’s aggression led to the Dragon countries forming a coalition against Sandomir, even relaxing their policy toward Beorc and allowing Belzen to join in 773 after the latter lost a war with Sandomir.

The coalition expanded to include Sandomir, however, after the Dorian victory over the Central Alliance at Morcovi in 814. It marked the first time since the Great Flood that the Sabaean peninsula was united against a common enemy. Joining forces with many of the nations that had not yet been conquered by Dor, the coalition played a key role in defeating Dor. Following Agdy’s death in 821, the coalition formally disbanded, though its existence helped calm tensions between the Dragons and Beorc, and there are now Dragons living in Sandomir and Belzen, as well as Beorc living in the Dragon countries.

In the time since then, border friction between Sandomir and its neighbors has led to additional conflicts over small bits of territory, though Belzen’s concern about Sandomir’s increasing power have led Belzen to pursue more peaceful resolutions of border disputes with its neighbors. Belzen has, in recent years, become a close ally and trade partner of Asab, its sole Dragon neighbor since the Tarnovian War. Though the idea ultimately fell through over succession disagreements, there was at one point even talk of arranging a marriage between members of the Belzenite and Asabian royal families.

In light of Hicaz’s recent rise to prominence as a regional power, as well as its aggression toward its neighbors, the countries of the Sabaean peninsula have discussed once again joining forces. Sandomir and Belzen hoped to gain the support of the Central Alliance against Hicaz, but due to Arwad’s conquests in the east, the Central Alliance is currently unwilling to commit to what is likely to become the most destructive war in the west since the Bear King’s Wars back in the 800s.

Spoiler: Calis
Calis, like Belzen and Sandomir, was established through Northern Beorc conquest of Laguz territory. In Calis’s case, the Laguz in question were eagles. Calis takes its name from the Calisian Order, an order of knights from Posnan and Gnesno originally established in 537 in response to the Pepelites, an animist sect that was notoriously hostile toward non-believers and consisted mostly of Eastern Beorc and Eagle Laguz. The Calisian knights were viewed as heroes for their role in the destruction of the Pepelite threat. To help ensure the continued suppression of potential future Pepelites, the Calisian Order annexed the territory it had fought in and founded the kingdom of Calis, with its first king being Prince Fafnir of Posnan, whose older brother had recently been crowned King of Posnan.

Though Calis is now a sovereign state, the Calisian Order continue still exists and plays a major role in Calisian politics. The King is the de jure ruler of the country, though his continued rule often hinges on having the Calisian Order’s support. As such, save for in a few rare cases of a very strong King, the de facto ruler of Calis has often been the Grandmaster of the Calisian Order. Perhaps as a result of the Order’s origins and its role in Calisian politics, Calis tends to be distrustful of Eastern Beorc and Eagle Laguz, both of which make up a large portion of the country’s population. In Northerner-dominated regions, it is not unheard of for Eastern Beorc, Eagle Laguz, and Marked to be mistreated by the locals, and in the past, the government has enacted settlement and cultural assimilation programs in the hope of getting rid of what they perceive as the culture and conditions that contributed to the Pepelite heresy.

The Calisian Order’s original goal of wiping out Pepelitism has contributed to a number of conflicts with neighboring countries to the east. Most famously, bandit raids from across the border in 894 led to the disastrous War of the Frozen Lake. Along with peasant levies, the Calisian Order invaded Cilicia after their army proved unable to stop the bandits. What was perceived as Calisian aggression led to Chaldia and the other Anatolian kingdoms joining forces and declaring war on Calis. Calis’s allies offered only token aid, in part due to disapproval of the Calisian invasion, but also because of the collapse of the Southern Kingdoms. Ultimately, Calis was defeated and forced to pay reparations to Cilicia, though both countries were ravaged immensely by the war. Though Calis has not attacked any of its eastern neighbors since that war, relations between Calis and the Anatolian realms remain poor.

While this is not to say that all Calisians are intolerant of non-Northerners, the country as a whole remains infamous in the east for the government’s past treatment of its Eastern Beorc and Eagle Laguz subjects, as well as its past aggression toward the Anatolians. Some elements hope to reform Calis and repair its tarnished image, though. Most prominently, Gunnar III, the current King of Calis, has worked hard to decrease his Northern Beorc subjects’ hostility toward Eastern Beorc and Eagle Laguz, even going so far as to denounce and order an end to his predecessors’ settlement and assimilation programs. The policies have met with some success, though corruption and an uncooperative Calisian Order have limited the extent to which King Gunnar has been able to enforce his policies.

Spoiler: Morea
Before the Great Flood, a massive Beorc empire spanned much of Duat. The full extent of the Morean Empire remains unknown, but ruins have been found on most of mainland Duat. Generally, it is agreed that the Moreans at one point controlled all the land west of Anatolia and south of the Sabaean and Eshnunna peninsulas. In addition, the remains of colonies on Abydos and most of the islands to the south have been found, and records indicate that most of Sosso-Sharun was under Morean control at the empire’s height.

Most people know little about Morean history, though some chronicles survived the Great Flood. In addition, many of the older Dragons alive today were alive during the time of the Morean Empire. Few people outside of the clergy have access to the chronicles, though, and the Dragons’ accounts offer only a very limited perspective. Nevertheless, Morea and its fate have significantly shaped Duat’s current state of affairs.

For much of its history, Morea was an aggressive and expansionistic nation with a military that was unmatched for much of its existence. Many Moreans believed that the Goddess herself was on their side, and as they expanded throughout Duat, the Church of Ashunera became increasingly tied to the Morean Empire and the whims of its rulers. One relic of Morea’s glory days is Ascalon, a spear that survived the Great Flood and is now in the possession of House Larsa, the Plocenian Empire’s royal family. The spear is said to have been blessed by the Goddess and is upheld by many as a sign that Morea was blessed by her.

There was a dark side to Morea, however. Whenever the Moreans conquered Laguz lands, the Laguz inhabitants were either exterminated or enslaved. Dragon accounts corroborate the extermination claim; there are no accounts of Dragons being enslaved by the Moreans, but there are multiple accounts of Morean forces killing any Dragons they encountered, regardless of fighting capacity. Skeptics question the Dragons’ claims, though there are no known Morean records of enslaving Dragons or sharing land with them. Morean behavior in the Southern Islands has also had a significant effect on Crocodiles’ general attitudes toward Beorc. Many tribes were enslaved by Morean settlers, effectively destroying the tribes in question, and several others were outright exterminated. Morean ruins still dot the northern coastlines of most of these islands.

In 72 PP (72 years before the Great Flood), a Snake Laguz slave named Tabon led a revolt in what is now southern Saka. Claiming descent from the main branch of House Kamara, Tabon decried the Morean Empire’s Beorc-supremacist laws, saying that the Goddess Ashunera created the Beorc and Laguz to be equal. His rhetoric drew many Laguz and Marked to his banner, though he also welcomed the few Beorc who agreed with his ideas. Though Tabon’s revolt was crushed in 63 PP and Tabon himself executed, his ideas spread throughout Morea, sparking many similar revolts, though none gathered as much support as Tabon’s original revolt.

Initially, the rulers of Morea attempted to quell the rebellions with extreme brutality and use fear to keep the rebelling slaves in line. However, Morean forces were spread too thinly to effectively combat so many rebellions at once. Recognizing the slave situation as unsustainable, Emperor Theodore IX called for reform, making slaves subject to Imperial law rather than the whims of their masters. In addition, he provided slaves with a legal means to gain their freedom. Though the reforms helped placate the Laguz, Beorc-supremacist elements objected to them, and some Beorc nobles attempted to overthrow the Emperor.

In Morea’s final decades, the throne changed hands fifteen times as the Laguz question fractured the empire. One Emperor would call for enforced slavery, then he would be overthrown by an Emperor who wanted to placate the Laguz, only to be himself overthrown by a pro-slavery Emperor. Some nobles even called for total emancipation, others calling for the total extermination of Laguz. Beorc violence against Laguz, as well as Laguz violence against Beorc, became commonplace as the Empire descended into chaos. Finally, in the summer of 1 PP, the Great Flood devastated the entire continent, destroying every nation on it, including Morea.

There were survivors, though. Some wanted to restore the Morean Empire, but most simply carved out their own realms. By MP 50, dreams of a reunited Morea were accepted as just that—dreams. As the Church adapted to an existence without Morean influence, discussion of what led to the Great Flood began. Most bishops and priests were able to agree that the Great Flood was punishment for Morea’s sins, but what exactly those sins were remains a topic that the clergy has not reached a formal consensus on. Officially, the Church of Ashunera has not said why the Great Flood happened, but the most common view is that the enslavement of the Laguz, coupled with the resulting violence between Beorc and Laguz, is what convinced the Goddess to act. Some elements, however, believe the Great Flood was punishment for treating the Laguz as equal. Though such a view is frowned upon by most clergymen, it has not been formally denounced by the Church.

Spoiler: Heroic Weapons and Masterpieces
Strictly speaking, legendary weapons are nothing more than weapons wielded by great heroes. What makes a weapon itself stand out depends on what went into making it, not what went into the person wielding it. It takes a truly skilled smith to craft a weapon worthy of being compared to Ragnell or Alondite. Likewise, it takes a truly skilled sage to scribe a tome worthy of comparison to Rexcalibur. Such smiths and sages exist, but they are few and far between, and even then, making such an incredible weapon or tome would require a great deal of resources and work.

Despite this, Ragnell, Alondite, and Rexcalibur have gained notoriety for the knockoffs many smiths and sages have produced. Soren himself transcribed his personal tome, Rexcalibur, but found that the replica was significantly weaker than the original, something he has attributed to its lacking the Goddess’s blessing. He named the new tome Clarent, and other sages have since scribed their own copies. So far, no one has managed to replicate the ranged strike the original Ragnell and Alondite are capable of. Because of this, replicas of the swords are instead imbued with wind magic and strike with wind spells at a distance.

The original Alondite is in Elara’s possession, given to her by Ike after she bested him in combat. Ragnell was also originally given to Elara, but Elara then passed it on to Dymas, one of her students, after he bested her in combat. Dymas has long since died, but no one knows what has become of Ragnell. A number of people have claimed to possess it, but the large number of replicas has prevented the real Ragnell from being located. As for Rexcalibur, it is still in Soren’s possession.

It is worth pointing out that there are other great weapons and tomes on Duat, masterpieces crafted by great smiths or scribed by great sages. Such items are quite rare, however, and are often given to prominent rulers as gifts in the same manner that ornate jewelry or fine silverware would be. Few of these masterpieces ever see use on the battlefield, as they tend to become family treasures. In addition, even a well-crafted weapon eventually breaks, so some simply refrain from using such weapons out of fear that they might break.

However, there is one weapon said to have actually been blessed by the Goddess: Ascalon, an ancient Morean spear that has yet to break and can be used to cast Light spells. Though imbuing weapons with Anima Magic is a common practice these days, no one has managed to duplicate the means by which Ascalon was imbued with Light Magic. According to Ike and Soren, other such weapons exist on Tellius, but Ike is long dead and Soren never learned how to create such a weapon. Nevertheless, the claim, though currently impossible to prove, has given skeptics more reason to believe that Ascalon is not any sort of special weapon, but rather an ordinary weapon that was forged using a now-forgotten technique. At present, Ascalon is one of the royal treasures of House Larsa, the ruling dynasty in Plocs.

Spoiler: Social Hierarchy: Nobility
The highest class is, naturally, the nobility. Technically, one need only be in a noble family to be a noble, but not all families are created equal, and within those families, some hold more prestige than others. The most significant source of prestige for a noble is a landed title, with the size of the domain playing a key role in just how much respect he/she earns through the title. In theory, a noble who lacks a landed title will also lack any vassals, though there are isolated cases of people serving nobles who have been deprived of their lands. Also, though rare, there are isolated historical cases of nobles granting titles to especially respected and loyal commoners.

Landless nobles are a fairly diverse group. Some are relatives of landed nobles, but lack any claims of their own. Common examples of this variety of landless nobles include younger siblings of heirs, illegitimate children of nobles, and lowborn spouses of nobles. Others might be formerly landed nobles that were stripped of their titles and/or banished. Assuming they are not already from a noble family, knights are also considered nobles upon being knighted. Most landless nobles are members of landed nobles’ courts, usually relatives, though they are free to move to other courts and swear allegiance to a new liege. Reasons for moving vary, though the most common are marriage, a falling out with one’s current liege, or a desire to gain a title that one’s new liege is in a position to press one’s claim on.

Landed titles are typically passed down through the family, though the means by which the titles are passed down varies. The most common policy is primogeniture, in which the eldest living child (or grandchild) inherits all titles held by his/her predecessor. Unsurprisingly, younger siblings may seek to make themselves the eldest living heir under such a policy. In order to avert this, some nobles instead divide their titles evenly among their heirs, though this is ultimately a short-term solution, as dividing one’s lands diminishes their size over each generation. There’s also the possibility of one of the heirs attempting to increase his/her share. Other rulers personally choose their heirs, though there tends to be significant pressure on them to choose close relatives.

Regardless of the policy, it is common in most countries for male heirs to hold priority over female heirs; a female heir would become second in line, for example, once a younger brother is born. In some cultures, women are excluded from the line of succession completely, though this is an increasingly rare policy save for in Egir, Budin, Kanije, and the kingdoms on Cape Uyvar. Some lesser nobles elsewhere might also have such a policy, but such behavior tends to be frowned upon outside of the aforementioned lands. The five Dragon Laguz kingdoms give women equal priority in inheritance, and some lesser nobles in Beorc countries have adopted the same policy.

Because of the importance of inheritance and keeping lands and titles in the family, marriages between nobles are usually arranged. Typically, the bride and groom have some say in the matter, but there tends to be a great deal of pressure on them from the family to consent to the marriage, and refusing is often viewed as disrespectful toward the family. Because of the practice of men holding priority over women in most cases when it comes to inheritance, matrilineal marriages are rare outside of Dragon lands, and children born of a marriage will inherit their father’s family name. Typically, the groom’s family will only agree to a matrilineal marriage if the bride is of significantly higher status than the groom, such as the bride holding a landed title and the groom being landless and without any strong claims on a title.

Regardless of whether or not one family’s contribution to a union is in a position to inherit anything, the marriage is also treated as an alliance. For example, the Prince of Paphlagonia is currently betrothed to the Queen of Hellas. Once they are wed, Hellas will be expected to answer any call to arms by Paphlagonia, and vice versa. Refusing such a call to arms tends to bode ill for a family’s future marriage prospects, especially with families that don’t stand to gain anything other than an alliance.

Spoiler: Social Hierarchy: Clergy
Strictly speaking, commoners and nobles alike may join the clergy, though a disproportionately large number of bishops are nobles. That said, birth and wealth are not valued by the church, and a focus on such things is frowned upon on the grounds that it leads people away from the Goddess. Within the ranks of the clergy, service to the Goddess is valued above all else. In part to emphasize this, anyone who joins the clergy renounces any and all claims he/she has on landed titles and is disqualified from any and all noble lines of succession. Younger siblings of heirs are sometimes encouraged to join the clergy in order to prevent succession disputes.

Officially, members of the clergy serve the Goddess above all else, but in practice, many members of the clergy feel a degree of loyalty toward the de jure liege of the land they carry out their duties on. Bishops (and, on rare occasions, regular priests) may possess sufficient wealth to actually own the land their church is on, though even then, the land is officially part of a higher-ranking noble’s domain and thus subject to his/her laws, even though the bishop may enjoy a greater degree of autonomy due to actually owning the land. This tacit oath of fealty has been known to contribute to disagreements over ecclesiastical practices in the past, with some priests potentially basing their decisions on what is likely to gain them favor with their de jure liege rather than on what they believe the Goddess would want.

Due to its role, the clergy are granted special legal status in their respective countries, among them special exemption from certain taxes and the right to collect a tithe from the faithful. Education is also often tied to the Church, and many schools and universities are run by or at least partially funded by local bishops, not to mention young nobles are often tutored by monastics or a local priest—albeit for a price. Ideally, much of what the church collects in tithes and payment for services to the nobility goes back to the people as a whole as an act of charity, though it is not unheard of for some priests and bishops to become greedy and instead spend the money on selfish pursuits.

Spoiler: Social Hierarchy: Commoners
Commoners, in the broadest sense of the term, are people who aren’t of noble birth, though there is far more diversity among the commoners than among the nobility. The lack of a family name is a sure sign of low birth, though that does not necessarily mean anyone with a family name is a noble; some commoners create names for their families, usually stemming from the job, home, or name of the “founder,” leading to such names as Smith, Shoemaker, Tiller, Johnson, Roberts, Field, and Woods.

Typically, commoners are divided into two categories: burghers and peasants. Burghers live in actual cities, usually with a formal government and the presence of multiple trade guilds. Some examples of burghers would be merchants, craftspeople, and barbers. Generally, burghers are considered the “upper class” of commoners, as cities often enjoy a degree of autonomy that villages and other small settlements do not. Some particularly large and/or wealthy cities may be “free cities,” essentially independent of a local lord’s influence and only subject to the laws of the country’s ruler.

Among burghers, merchants are sometimes regarded as a pseudo-noble class, as particularly wealthy families often have enough money and influence to control trade in multiple cities. Merchant guilds often control trade in a city; outsiders can only trade in a city if they adhere to the rules of the local guild. It is also quite common for a guild’s spokesperson to be the mayor of a city, effectively making a merchant’s guild the de facto government of any city it controls. Particularly wealthy merchant guilds may also employ mercenaries as a personal army of sorts to help enforce guild policies and exert political pressure on the local lord as a means of ensuring the city’s autonomy.

Craftspeople tend to also form guilds in large enough cities, though these guilds tend not to have the same influence as merchants’ guilds and are rarely wealthy enough to be able to finance a personal army. In addition, many such guilds are subsidiaries of merchants’ guilds. Cooperation helps ensure guildsmen stay in business even in the presence of misfortune, such as illness or injury. A more sinister aspect of guilds, however, is their enforcement of an oligopoly; guildsmen will collude in order to force outsiders out of business if they do not join the local guild. While this does protect local business, it also has the potential to hinder innovation.

Peasants, sometimes called serfs, live in the countryside and directly serve their local liege in exchange for protection and the right to work some land for the sake of subsistence. Peasants are considered part of the land they live on. As such, if the land is ceded or sold to another liege, the peasants serve that new liege rather than move to land still held by the previous liege. In addition, a peasant may not move to another liege’s land without the consent of both his/her current liege and his/her prospective liege. A peasant’s role can vary; though peasants are typically associated with agriculture, they may instead be tasked with mining, cutting wood, hunting, or any manner of other tasks involving the working of their liege’s land.

Some peasants live on a city’s land rather than that of a provincial landholder. Such peasants are not bound to the land the way their provincial brethren are, but this position carries with it the lack of protection a provincial noble can offer. In addition, the land they work is often more expensive than the land they work in a provincial estate. Because of this, the majority of peasants work for a provincial landholder.

Peasant settlements, usually called villages, tend to be fairly poor, especially compared to cities, though the lack of crowding hinders the spread of disease and mitigates the damage done by the kinds of epidemics that sometimes gut major cities. Villages usually have a small church, typically headed by a lone priest, which typically doubles as a gathering place. In addition, while the villagers are all technically subordinate to the local lord, most villages have an unofficial government in the form of a mayor (though the title holds no legal significance in this case) appointed by the villagers. Some lords may appoint magistrates to oversee the villages instead if they are concerned about rebellion.

Spoiler: Social Hierarchy: Slaves
Legally, there are only three ways to become a slave: one can be born to a mother who is herself a slave, one can be captured as a prisoner of war, or one can sell oneself into slavery, usually as a means of paying off a debt. Though slaves are, for all intents and purposes, the owner’s property, almost all countries have laws protecting the rights of slaves, some stricter than others. Most countries forbid owners to kill their slaves without a legal justification, and many among those countries also have clear laws dictating the circumstances under which physically harming a slave is legal.

The Church has played a key role in changing people’s general attitude toward slavery. Mother Sogolon of Manden (long since canonized as Saint Sogolon the Liberator) was the first bishop to formally condemn slavery, doing so in 467. Since then, the Church’s opinion of slavery has become increasingly negative, with Patriarch Dankaran of Gao condemning slavery in 632, Matriarch Zoë of Nauplia following suit in 731, and Patriarch Jarilo of Smyrna being the most recent in 998.

Though the Church has not completely condemned slavery as a whole, the enslavement of war prisoners was condemned in 776 during the Seventeenth Council of Nauplia. Though technically still legal in most countries, it is very rare for war prisoners to be enslaved except in the case of major naval powers, whose large fleets require more rowers than can be acquired through hired labor alone. It is, however, an increasingly common practice for bandits and pirates to kidnap people and sell them as slaves, though they typically do so through middlemen (usually merchants’ guilds), as selling free people as slaves is punishable by death in most countries.

In response to pressure from the Church, many countries in the east have laws restricting slavery. Achaea is currently the only country that has completely banned the practice, though many others have begun to phase out the practice by making it harder to make someone a slave and making it easier for a slave to free himself/herself. King Peter II of Seleucia is said to have started this process in 843 by declaring all citizens born free, effectively ensuring that no one may be born into slavery. His successor, King Methodius IV, took the law further in 854 by making it a crime to enslave prisoners of war. Such policies are more widespread in the east than in the west, likely a result of greater and more common contact between Beorc and Laguz in the east.

Many slave owners have been known to set older or injured slaves free due to their inability to work as efficiently as younger, healthier slaves. In addition, there are ample cases of owners freeing their favorite slaves in their wills, usually as a reward for devoted service or as an acknowledgement of friendship—or love. There are also cases of slaves being paid small wages for their work (by law in some countries) so that they may, in theory, save up to purchase their freedom.

In the past, with the large influx of war prisoners from the Great Laguz Wars, the majority of slaves in Beorc-ruled countries were Laguz or Marked, while the majority of slaves in Laguz-ruled countries were Beorc or Marked. The changing attitudes toward the idea of enslaving war prisoners, however, have led to changes in the composition of slave populations. Nowadays, most slaves are of the same race as their masters or are at least partially descended from said race.

Typically, slaves play the same roles as peasants, albeit with a direct connection to their masters rather than to the land they live on. A sizable portion of the slave population serves as domestic servants, though, and it is not unheard of for wealthy merchants or nobles to own a few slaves as servants. Generally, servants are the best off among slaves and the most likely to be given their freedom as opposed to having to purchase it. Finally, though the practice is extremely rare outside of naval fleets, some slaves (usually only those too violent or otherwise dangerous to be trusted as servants or laborers) serve as rowers on galleys.

Spoiler: The Church of Ashunera
Something of note regarding the dominant religion on Duat is that their continent has been isolated since the Great Flood. Since the conflicts between the two halves of Ashunera happened on Tellius, the people of Duat had no idea Ashunera had been split into Ashera and Yune, and the people still worship the whole Goddess rather than one or both of her halves. The arrival of Ike, Soren, and the other Tellians that were aboard the ship with them had no effect on the Duatians’ beliefs; rather, had the Metropolitan of Radom not intervened, it is very likely they would have been branded heretics for saying such things about the Goddess.

Before the Great Flood, the Church of Ashunera was tied rather significantly to Morea. With the destruction of Morea in the Great Flood, the Church became significantly less centralized as independent realms rose from the ruins of the once-great empire. Though a degree of hierarchy remained, it was common for each bishop and his/her flock to be completely autonomous. This, in turn contributed to the still-present idea that every bishop is equal and no one bishop can interfere in the jurisdiction of others. Rather, higher-ranking bishops, such as metropolitans, preside over councils of multiple bishops when dealing with matters pertaining to more than one parish, but lack the authority to impose their will on those below them in the hierarchy.

After the Great Flood, the Goddess fell silent, saying nothing to the people of Duat and never personally providing them with any guidance. This led to the idea that no one except the Goddess herself truly knows the Goddess’s will, and it is the church’s duty to seek the truth and the right path to it, and in doing so also guide the flock along the right path. Coupled with the absence of Morea’s ability to unite the church, this concept of people always “seeking the light from within the shadows” helped promote dialogue and debate among the clergy rather than strict adherence to a single doctrine as defined by a single leader. Most doctrines shared by different parishes stem from the time before the Great Flood, when the Goddess still spoke to mortals.

Within the Church, the lowest-ranking members of the clergy are the priests. A priest may serve any of a variety of different lesser roles, including, but not limited to, attending to the ill and wounded, overseeing (sometimes leading) services in individual churches, marrying couples, providing spiritual guidance to troubled individuals, and teaching students. Officially, a priest’s true love is his or her service to his or her faith, but this does not mean a priest is forbidden to have other loves. Though some elements within the Church seek a change to this policy, priests are currently allowed to marry and raise families. In some cases, this is actually preferable, as it allows priests to speak from personal experience when providing counsel to troubled couples and families.

A bishop oversees ecclesiastical matters within his or her parish and is often the head priest of a church of his or her own, though he or she is often assisted by lower-ranking priests. Major services, such as weddings, are expected to be carried out only with the bishop’s authorization. In addition, a bishop has the authority to ordain new members of the clergy. Bishops also form councils with others within their archdiocese for discussion of church policy, election of new bishops, and policies pertaining to the archdiocese as a whole instead of individual parishes. In the past, only monastics were allowed to become bishops, but this was changed in 351, and rank-and-file priests, even those with families, are now allowed to become bishops.

Strictly speaking, a metropolitan is no higher in rank than any other bishop. He or she only has authority over his or her own parish, though said parish is usually a major city or the capital of a country. A metropolitan has all the same duties as any other bishop, though he or she is also expected to host and preside over council meetings, and though he or she has no more authority when it comes to deciding policies or electing new bishops, his or her words often carry more weight due to his or her presiding role in the council. As with bishops, metropolitans are elected by their respective councils.

The highest-ranking bishop is a Patriarch or Matriarch. As with a metropolitan, he or she only has actual authority over his or her own parish, but he or she hosts and presides over councils between the various metropolitans in his or her Patriarchate. In addition, he or she meets with the six other Patriarchs to discuss matters pertaining to the entirety of the church. Traditionally, the Patriarch of Nauplia hosted meetings between Patriarchs, but for the time being, such meetings are now held in Corinth due to the Arwadian siege of Nauplia. When a vote is required in such a meeting, all bishops are summoned to the meeting to provide their input. Patriarchs are elected by the bishops in their respective Patriarchates.

The clergy typically wear black robes to symbolize their spiritual journey in the shadows, though more colorful vestments will be worn during services. Rank-and-file priests typically wear a red phelonion over their robes during services. Bishops will instead wear mantles that reach to the floor, completely covering their robes. Rank-and-file bishops wear purple, metropolitans wear blue, and Patriarchs wear green.

Some people seek to renounce all earthly pursuits in order to seek a closer relation to and greater understanding of the Goddess. These people swear oaths of monasticism and confine themselves in monasteries. Monastics (monks and nuns) live lives that revolve around devotion to the Goddess and theological study and discussion. Those who seek to become monastics must first spend some time as novices in order to prove their devotion to the monastic life and will only be formally accepted into the monastery once the abbot or abbess deems him or her spiritually capable.

Upon proving himself or herself to the abbot or abbess, a novice is asked to reaffirm his or her commitment to the monastic lifestyle, as such a renunciation of worldly pleasure must be voluntary lest one’s yearning for such things distract oneself from spiritual pursuits. If he or she reaffirms his or her commitment and swears the monastic vows of humility, obedience, poverty, and chastity, he or she is formally declared a monastic and granted a cap and veil to wear in addition to his or her robes.

It is common for monastics to be called upon to serve as priests in individual churches, in which case they are given the title of hieromonk or hieronun. In addition, especially devoted monastics are often considered for the title of bishop. In fact, monastics make up a disproportionately large portion of the clergy’s higher administrative ranks. Finally, some monastics, with the blessing of their respective abbots or abbesses, may live a life of solitude as hermits. Most live off the land with some support from their respective monasteries, but some instead wander the land.

Spoiler: Animism
Animism is technically an umbrella term for any religion that attributes a soul or spiritual essence to non-sentient beings. The existence of spirits, like the existence of the Goddess, is a proven fact in this world, as many mages have seen spirits, some even interacting with them. The conflict between animism and Ashuneranism stems largely from the question of whether the spirits are to be worshipped and whether they should even be interacted with. The Church of Ashunera is monotheistic and believes that only Ashunera should be worshipped. The primary reasoning behind such a belief is that the Church considers Ashunera superior to all other beings. Therefore, worshipping any other beings, such as spirits, would mean tacitly declaring them her equals, which is blasphemy in their eyes. In addition, many animist sects attribute most natural disasters to the actions of spirits. As such, while the Church does not officially regard spirits as evil, and has not formally declared them responsible for natural disasters, its teachings discourage interacting with spirits on the grounds that they are dangerous.

Despite this, the Church only supports the suppression of hostile sects such as the Pepelites. Friendly sects, such as the Jivotists, are treated as misguided, but harmless. As such, the Church’s treatment of them rarely goes beyond sending missionaries to attempt to convert animists to Ashuneranism; the threat and use of violence as a means of conversion is forbidden. However, it is not unheard of for renegade priests to adopt a “with us or against us” attitude toward animists and support hostility toward all sects. The Church does not condone such behavior, but it is rare for there to be any organized effort to punish those who engage in it. The only well-known recent case happened in 1039 when Isimud, the Bishop of Wenden, was defrocked for inciting the Wenden Massacre, a riot in which many animists living in and around the city of Wenden were murdered by Isimud’s congregation. Isimud’s successor called for his excommunication, but nothing came of it.

Animist beliefs vary from sect to sect. Some only worship spirits. Others worship spirits in addition to the Goddess. Which spirits are to be worshipped is also something that is not universally agreed upon by animists. Practices also tend to vary, usually in accordance with which spirits are worshipped. Some sects allow followers to favor certain spirits over others. Other sects require followers to worship the same spirits. Unlike Ashunerans, whose faith tends to be separate from their daily lives (monastics and other clergy notwithstanding), most animists have beliefs that cannot properly be separated from daily life. Because of this, and also in part due to past persecution by Ashunerans, most animists live in isolated communities with those who share their beliefs.

How a sect is treated by non-believers depends largely on two factors. The first factor is how it behaves toward non-believers. The second factor is non-believers’ recent experiences with animists. In Marad, animists are generally just as welcome as Ashunerans. Most of the animist sects in the Maradite Highlands are peaceful and friendly toward outsiders. Most prominently, Jivotists, whose beliefs forbid violence, are among the few animists who are willing to live among non-believers. By contrast, Calisians tend to be fearful of animists, if not outright hostile toward them. This is in large part because the Pepelites, the most violent sect in recorded history, terrorized the region now controlled by Calis until they were wiped out by Calis’s founders.

A unique aspect of animism—and one of its advantages over Ashuneranism—is the use of shamans as a means of communicating with spirits. While it is thought that Ashunera has not communicated with mortals since the Great Flood, spirits still readily communicate with those who have the power to see and hear them. Such people are typically skilled practitioners of Anima Magic known as shamans, but Vessels also have the power to communicate with spirits thanks to their housing a spirit within their own bodies. Shamans and Vessels, thanks to their power, can convey the knowledge and wisdom of the spirits to all those who are willing to hear.

Spoiler: Metatheism
Though some outsiders regard metatheism as a religion, most metatheists consider it a philosophy instead. At its core is the belief that while the Goddess exists, people draw their strength from within rather than receive it as a blessing from the Goddess. By extension, this means essentially relying on oneself and one’s fellow mortals rather than the Goddess. Metatheism has its origins in the early Fifth Century MP among dark mages, whose magic is powered by their own souls, and was developed in response to the Church’s opposition to the practice of Dark Magic. Since then, the idea has spread into people from almost all walks of life, and it is rumored that even a few clergymen are secretly metatheists.

Other than their core beliefs, however, metatheists have a variety of different views. While some are outwardly hostile toward any sort of reliance on divine aid, criticizing what they view as dependence on the Goddess, others keep an open mind and do not go out of their way to find conflict with animists and the Church. Because there is no specific set of religious rules metatheists consider themselves bound by, there is no metatheist clergy or scripture; the closest thing they have are prominent philosophers and their writings. Among metatheists, there are three major—though not necessarily conflicting—schools of thought.

The first important metatheist philosopher, Alfred of Cascuba, considered one’s own free will paramount to one’s growth as a person. He rejected the concept of any sort of universal moral code, believing such a code to simply be a means of control. At its core, Alfredism, as it came to be called, is simply the idea that nothing is inherently good and nothing is inherently evil. Many Alfredites have written about feeling a sense of liberation through such an outlook on life. It is not unheard of, however, for people to take the concept to logical extremes and use it to justify hedonistic or barbaric pursuits. Such behavior is sometimes attributed to metatheism by Ashunerans, though many metatheists argue that hedonism and barbarism are not exclusive to metatheists. Alfredites tend to have a neutral attitude toward the Church. To an Alfredite, if someone can find happiness in adhering to the Church’s rules, it is not the Alfredite’s place to judge. However, Alfredites generally object to any effort to make people do things they would never do of their own free will, something that they tend to feel some elements in the Church try to do with their followers.

The Purge of the Shadows, a Church-sponsored attempt to eradicate Dark Magic that officially lasted from 461 to 548, led to the development of a second school of thought that supported the idea of a malevolent Goddess. The idea of a corrupt church gained support among persecuted populations, but Achaman of Colchis took the idea a step further. His view was not so much that the Church was corrupt, but rather that the Goddess herself was evil and those who followed her were either themselves evil or had been tricked into believing the Goddess was good. The atrocities committed during the Purge led many metatheists to agree with Achaman’s viewpoint, dubbed Achamanism. Many Achamanites advocate the complete destruction of the Church because of this, some even pondering the possibility of deicide. This outward hostility toward the Goddess, and by extension, her followers, is arguably the main contributing factor to tensions between metatheists and Ashunerans.

A third school of thought was developed in the mid-800s by Lydia of Radom and was named Lydianism after her. Though influenced by the writings of Achaman, she disagreed with his belief that the Goddess was evil. Rather, she considered the Great Flood and the Great Petrification signs that the Goddess was good, but fallible. Building off of this, she proposed that good and evil were independent of the will of any individual, be they mortal or divine, and that people should seek out the true nature of good and evil through their own experiences and interactions with those around them. It was Lydia’s opinion that though the Goddess was a potential source of wisdom, it was unwise to build one’s moral code exclusively off of the Goddess’s words and actions. Compared to adherents of the other major schools of thought, Lydians are generally friendly toward the Church. To a Lydian, the Church is a potential source of wisdom, but it should not be considered the sole authority on what is right and what is wrong.

Spoiler: Spirits
Save for a select few people, the inhabitants of Duat are in agreement on Ashunera, often simply called the Goddess, being the only divine being. However, there are also innumerable lesser supernatural beings, collectively referred to as spirits. Spirits can only be seen by sufficiently competent practitioners of Anima Magic. They are said to be souls without bodies. This is supported by the tendency of some spirits to inhabit physical objects or living beings. Though it is rare for a spirit to inhabit a person’s body, there are multiple people who have willingly shared their bodies with spirits. Such people are called Vessels. Spirits give their hosts incredible magical power, though Vessels have testified that their own souls are weakened by the spirits they share their bodies with. This can lead to Vessels seeming more distant and emotionless than regular people. In addition, a spirit leaves a mark on a Vessel when inhabiting his body, and said mark is indistinguishable from the marks that exist on Marked. This can cause problems for Beorc Vessels in societies where Marked are generally looked down upon and/or mistreated. Laguz Vessels instead tend to possess abnormally powerful transformations. A popular rumor is that Agdy was a Vessel, thus explaining his incredible strength in combat, though it remains only a rumor, and there are no reliable accounts of Agdy having a Vessel’s mark.

There are eight types of spirits: earth, water, dark, winter, wind, thunder, light, and fire. Each type of spirit is capable of inhabiting a person’s body, though each type has its own preferred places to be. In their natural form, all spirits look like wisps of glowing gas—except for dark spirits, which don’t glow. Each type of spirit has a type of spirit that it is naturally opposed to. This natural opposition is what most animists attribute natural disasters to; earthquakes supposedly happen when earth spirits attack wind spirits, for example. The simple “just ask them” approach to learning if they’re actually behind such phenomena tends to be futile, however, as some spirits claim responsibility while others deny responsibility. The opposition between spirits also surfaces in Vessels; someone carrying a winter spirit will usually have difficulty getting along with someone carrying a fire spirit, for example.

Earth spirits favor inhabiting the land and the creatures that live off of it. Most animists attribute earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to earth spirits fighting other spirits, though they are also said to give the soil the nutrients necessary for plants to grow. In addition, due to mortals’ connection to the land, earth spirits are generally the most sociable of the spirits, approaching and interacting with mortals much more readily than other spirits. Because of this, more Vessels share their bodies with earth spirits than any other type of spirit, though the spirits show a slight preference for Elephant Laguz, Bear Laguz, and Snake Laguz as Vessels. Earth spirits naturally oppose wind spirits and appear brown in their natural form.

Water spirits favor inhabiting the water and the creatures that live in it. Most water spirits stay in the rivers, lakes, and oceans, though they can occasionally be seen drifting up into the sky in small groups, and others come down to the ground when it rains. Most animists consider them responsible for the presence, excess, or lack of water, making them another group of spirits considered vital to life. Because people spend most of their lives on land, water spirits tend not to inhabit Vessels, although they do have a preference for Crocodile Laguz. Water spirits naturally oppose thunder spirits and appear blue in their natural form.

Dark spirits tend to dwell underground during the day, only surfacing during the night. Because of this and the fact that they do not glow, even mages and Vessels rarely see dark spirits. When a solar eclipse happens, dark spirits often come out of their hiding places, a phenomenon that has led to the belief among most animists that solar eclipses happen when dark spirits attempt to blot out the sun and make the surface world more pleasant for themselves. Because most people sleep during the night and are active during the day, dark spirits rarely inhabit Vessels, though they have a slight preference for Beorc. Dark spirits naturally oppose light spirits and appear black in their natural form.

Winter spirits favor cold places, congregating near the tops of mountains during the summer and spreading out across most of the land during the winter. Many animists believe that their annual departure from the mountains is what causes winter, although others believe winter is the cause of their departure rather than the other way around. Due to where they favor living, winter spirits generally inhabit Vessels that live in higher regions, such as the mountains and highlands in central Duat. Winter spirits naturally oppose fire spirits and appear pale blue in their natural form.

Wind spirits are usually high in the sky, occasionally swooping down when there is a powerful gust of wind near the ground. Some animists thus consider them to be the cause of such winds, although others see wind spirits as playful beings that are simply riding the gusts for excitement. Because of their preferred home, wind spirits have a special fondness of Eagle Laguz and Gold Dragon Laguz as Vessels, though they are willing to inhabit the body of anyone who spends enough time in the sky. As with winter spirits, most wind spirits’ Vessels live in higher regions, though temperature is less of an issue for them. Wind spirits naturally oppose earth spirits and appear green in their natural form.

Thunder spirits dwell in the sky, typically congregating in and around rain clouds, often coming down to the surface with bolts of lightning. Some animists believe it rains when water spirits are being chased out of the sky by thunder spirits, with lightning bolts being the thunder spirits attacking some water spirits in order to intimidate them into staying near the ground. Other think that, like wind spirits with gusts of wind, thunder spirits simply ride lightning bolts for fun. As with water spirits, thunder spirits almost never inhabit Vessels, though as with wind spirits, they have a slight preference for Eagle Laguz and Dragon Laguz due to their spending more time in the sky. Thunder spirits naturally oppose water spirits and appear yellow in their natural form.

Light spirits follow the sun in the sky, although some animists believe they move the sun across the sky instead. As such, most are only seen during the day, though some appear near fires during the night or follow the moon if it’s present. Some animists believe light spirits are what make fires and the moon glow and that they do so to scare off dark spirits that might harm them during the night. The simpler explanation is that they just congregate near sources of light. Though most people are active during the day, light spirits are usually in the sky, making it rare for them to interact with mortals. They tend to favor Beorc and Gold Dragon Laguz as Vessels, most likely due to their ability to generate light through magic or breath, respectively. Light spirits naturally oppose dark spirits and appear white in their natural form.

Fire spirits congregate in hot places. While most follow the sun in the sky alongside light spirits, others come down to the surface because of the fires that mortals light on the surface. A common story in various animist traditions is that fire was originally something only fire spirits could create. According to the story, the spirits taught mortals to make their own fires, but the mortals were impatient and never bothered to learn how to keep fires under control—hence why fires sometimes rage out of control and cause destruction. Fire spirits, like light spirits, favor Beorc and Gold Dragon Laguz as vessels, though they tend to be less sociable than light spirits. Fire spirits naturally oppose winter spirits and appear orange in their natural form.

Spoiler: The Heroes’ Journey
Every year, people from all over Duat travel to Radom, the capital of Belzen, to follow part of the path the Three Heroes followed during the Bear King’s War. Most of the people who go on this long journey are clergy, and it is officially a pilgrimage, though some go on the journey for reasons other than faith. The journey itself is very long, covering more than 2,500 kilometers (around 1,500 miles) and lasting more than a year. Because of this, the church tends to rotate who goes on the pilgrimage each Patriarchate goes on the journey once every seven years. This year, 1052, the Patriarchate of Nauplia is to go on the journey.

A Patriarch is required to make the pilgrimage every seven years unless poor health or other complicating matters prevent it. All other bishops are expected to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime, and while most try to go on the pilgrimage every time their Patriarch does, they have the option of sending a subordinate priest in their stead if they are unable to go on the pilgrimage.

To the Church, the journey is a symbol of unity; the three Heroes consisted of a Beorc, a Laguz, and a Marked. In addition, the coalition that they fought for had Beorc and Laguz nations within its ranks. While it is true that the coalition’s main enemy was a nation of Bear Laguz, many Bear Laguz actually fought against Agdy, and it is common for Bear Laguz to be part of the procession.

The priests in the procession often carry with them icons, banners, and other treasures from their respective parishes. Because of this, the procession is a common target for bandits. While higher-ranking members of the clergy are often skilled with magic, many prefer to hire mercenaries as additional protection, and while it is not required, the ruler of country typically has part of his or her retinue escort the procession as long as it is within the borders of said country.

The journey begins in Radom and then goes through Sandomir, Hicaz, Dulkadir, Trablus, Podlasia, Plocs, Calabria, Leucania, Posnan, Longobardia, Bucellaria, Hellas, and Paphlagonia. The journey ends in Smyrna, the capital of Paphlagonia.

Spoiler: The Fire Emblem
The Fire Emblem has its origins in the story of St. Katherine the Black, named for her black hair and black Mark. Long before the Great Flood, before even the Empire of Morea existed, a nation of Southern Beorc and a nation of Snake Laguz went to war in what is now Saka. As the war dragged on with no end in sight, other nations in the area got involved, and stories of the war fueled hatred between Beorc and Laguz as far away as Abydos. Katherine, a Marked with a Snake Laguz father and a Southern Beorc mother, begged the Goddess for a way to end the war and the hatred it had caused. She received a vision of a white flame beneath an acacia tree at the edge of a sea of dunes.

When Katherine went to the location she had seen in her vision, a sparkle caught her eye near the tree’s base. Believing it to be what the vision directed her to, she approached it and saw a gold chain partially buried beneath the dirt and dust. She began to dig, unearthing a golden amulet with an orange sunstone in the center. It was then that she received another vision, this time of a great battle between Snake Laguz and Southern Beorc near Kirina, a city in northern Saka that still stands to this day. The sun shone very brightly in her vision, and when the vision ended, the amulet was glowing just as brightly, engulfed in a white flame that miraculously did not harm Katherine.

Katherine hurried to Kirina, where the battle had already begun. Seeing the bloodshed, she raised the amulet aloft. Both she and the amulet were engulfed in the white flames she had seen before, and the amulet shone with a light that blinded all the soldiers on the battlefield. Katherine cried to the soldiers, “In the name of the Goddess, renounce the hatred in your hearts and cease this bloodshed!” Those who listened to her and laid down their arms or reverted to their untransformed state were given back their vision. Those who ignored her were blind for the rest of their lives, forced to stop fighting because they could no longer distinguish friend from foe.

Word of what happened at Kirina spread quickly, and across the continent, the warring Beorc and Laguz made peace. The amulet that carried with it the Goddess’s message was named the Fire Emblem for the white flames that engulfed it and Katherine. After Katherine’s death, the Fire Emblem was enshrined in a church in Kirina, around which the St. Katherine Convent was eventually built. When Morea conquered Sosso more than a thousand years later, the Fire Emblem was taken as loot and moved to Corinth, now the capital of Rumelia, where it was enshrined in an elaborately decorated reliquary in the Cathedral of Dawn.

In 654, during the Great Laguz Wars, the Rumelian Army brought the Fire Emblem with it into Sosso to emphasize their belief that the war they were fighting was justified. In a twist of fate that many modern theologians believe shows the Goddess’s opinion of the wars, the Fire Emblem was stolen by bandits during the Siege of Kirina. Neither the bandits nor the Fire Emblem were ever seen again. It is often said that the Fire Emblem was lost because the people of Duat had come to ignore the reason for its creation in the first place.

Now, each Patriarchate has a replica of the Fire Emblem, and it is customary for the replica to be brought along by each Patriarch or Matriarch when he/she goes on the Heroes’ Journey. The replicas and the reliquaries they are contained within are often targeted by bandits, though they have never been stolen. Some say this is because the people of Duat have come to abandon the hatred that cost them the original Fire Emblem, but others believe the continued attempts to steal the Emblem are proof that the Goddess is displeased with the wars that still break out to this day.

Spoiler: Light Magic
St. Agni of Dehenet famously said that “Light Magic is a divine hammer crafted by the Goddess for her children. Whether it is used for good or for ill depends entirely on the will of those who choose to wield it.” Though Light Magic is generally considered synonymous with the Church of Ashunera, and most of its practitioners are members of the clergy, some mages with no connection to the Church have also been known to study it.

As St. Agni pointed out, Light Magic comes from the Goddess. Ultimately, the Goddess does not personally grant a person access to it or cut them off from it. Rather, it is better thought of as a pool that anyone can draw from, a gift that the Goddess entrusted to all her children. Regrettably, despite the Goddess’s benevolent intentions, some people have used Light Magic to harm others. This, in turn, has led to some people questioning the idea of the Goddess being an inherently good being. Others interpret it as a sign that the Goddess is fallible. Both interpretations are generally frowned upon by the Church, though the question of why evil people have access to a gift from the Goddess is one the Church has not formally answered. Though some theologians have put forward theories, they remain just that: theories.

The Church of Ashunera has long been tied to the use of Light Magic, and all of its monastics and bishops have been taught how to use it. In addition, with the establishment of the Galatian Order in 193 by Patriarch Aegir or Nauplia, Light Magic began to see use among pegasus riders. Most pegasus mages are connected to a holy order or a wealthy ruler’s personal retinue, in large part due to how rare and difficult to breed pegasi are.

Spoiler: Anima Magic
There is no universally-agreed-upon name for this form of magic, though most people familiar with it call it Anima Magic. Some practitioners will instead call it Nature Magic or Earth Magic, though, and detractors will often refer to it as Wild Magic, though most scholars deride the term as uninformed. Anima Magic is distinct among schools of magic in that it has three subsets: Fire, Thunder, and Wind. Each subset exhibits a distinct strength against certain species of Laguz. In addition, wyverns and pegasi have been known to be especially averse to Wind Magic, though wyverns have also expressed a disdain for Thunder Magic.

Anima Magic draws its power from the spirits that inhabit the world. These spirits, though imperceptible to most people, are said to be present everywhere, inhabiting every living being and every force of nature. The existence of these spirits and Anima Magic’s dependence on them has contributed to the establishment of animist sects that worship life and nature in general in addition to or instead of the Goddess. The Church’s treatment of these sects has varied over time. It is worth pointing out that no two sects are the same, and while some are considered dangerous (and for good reasons), others are harmless, if not beneficial. Jivotists, for example, live peaceful lives and treat gardening and the raising of animals as a way of repaying the Goddess, which they consider an incarnation of nature, for all that she has given her children. At present, the Church tolerates most animist sects, neither praising nor condemning their practices. The only sects the Church currently encourages repression of are those whose practices involve harming people.

Recently, with the creation of replicas of Ragnell and Alondite, some mages have looked into imbuing physical objects with magic spells. The resistance of particular substances to imbuing has led to a merging of some of the sciences with the study of Anima Magic. In addition, some natural sciences were already associated with Anima Magic; since time immemorial, many practitioners of Anima Magic have studied medicine and horticulture. Because of this, many apothecaries have dabbled in Anima Magic, and practitioners of Anima Magic in general tend to be a welcome sight in farming communities where their knowledge of the ways of nature has been of immense use to those who work the land.

Thanks to Anima Magic’s growing role in all areas of the economy, some cities have established schools to train mages in the sciences and the practical application of Anima Magic. The first and most prominent of these schools is the University of Nauplia’s Academy of Practical Magic, established in 857. While the general use of Anima Magic is still learned through a master-apprentice system, the schools have led to many mages becoming more well-versed in practices unrelated to warfare.

Many experienced practitioners of Anima Magic are capable of actually seeing spirits and communicating with them. Such people are commonly called shamans. This is both a blessing and a curse, as while the spirits can provide guidance to shamans, and through them, help those that cannot see them, shamans can also see the full extent of the destructive power of Dark Magic, whose destructive spells attack the victim’s soul instead of the victim’s body. Nevertheless, some shamans choose to study Dark Magic themselves.

Spoiler: Dark Magic
Dark Magic, despite its ominous name, is not necessarily evil. While it is true that some of its spells are easily the most torturous things to be struck by, Dark Magic also includes a large number of lesser spells that, depending on how the caster uses them, can be harmless or even helpful. To distinguish them from the destructive spells that see use in warfare, most of the lesser spells are referred to as charms or curses, depending on the ends to which they are used.

Dark Magic draws its power from the caster’s own soul, a tendency that makes it very dangerous for an inexperienced or weak-willed caster. Tales of dark mages overexerting themselves and becoming little more than soulless husks are commonplace. Because of this, for a long time, the Church forbade the practice of Dark Magic among the clergy and encouraged rulers to outlaw it entirely. This, in turn, led to some practitioners of Dark Magic turning their backs on the Church. Calling themselves metatheists, they scoffed at any supplication to the Goddess, instead promoting the idea that while the Goddess exists, people draw their strength from within rather than receive it as a blessing from the Goddess. In 461, on the Church’s orders, the Purge of the Shadows began, a period during which practitioners of Dark Magic and all those who aided them were hunted down and killed for blasphemy. Though the Purge officially ended in 548, it is not unheard of for dark mages to become scapegoats when misfortune befalls a village. In 787, the Church adopted a more open-minded attitude toward Dark Magic, allowing especially respected monastics to study and practice Dark Magic on the condition that they receive permission from their respective abbots or abbesses and learn Dark Magic from someone handpicked by the abbot or abbess.

Despite the use of destructive spells in warfare, Dark Magic is better known for its use by mystics, and it is common for people to purchase charms from such people. Most, if not all, dark mages learn the art from a mentor and spend several years (usually at least twenty, and almost never less than ten) learning and practicing charms and curses to strengthen their soul before being taught destructive spells, which are much more demanding on the soul than lesser spells. Very few dark mages are younger than thirty, and the few who are usually started learning Dark Magic well before turning ten. Because of this, despite the fact that everyone is technically capable of using Dark Magic, very few people actually dedicate themselves to its practice and use.

The casting of a Dark Magic spell requires the caster to see into the target’s own soul so that it may be manipulated. In the case of lesser spells, the target is expected to open his/her soul to the caster (after all, the target has often asked for the spell), an act that makes casting the spell far less demanding on the caster’s own soul. Such spells are typically cast to plant a particular thought or emotion in the target’s soul in order to encourage or discourage a particular behavior. Dark mages lack the ability to outright control other people, but through their spells, they can guide people in a particular direction. Whether or not the target goes in said direction depends on the target’s willingness to go along with whatever thoughts the caster has planted in his/her mind. Destructive spells, on the other hand, are designed to harm the target’s soul. Because of this, the target’s soul will resist the spell on its own and the caster must force his/her way in, a process that is extremely demanding on the caster’s soul. Many dark mages decide to stick exclusively to lesser spells for this very reason, simply offering their services as mystics. Only the most daring and strong-willed of mages actually use Dark Magic in battle.


Character Creation


At present, players are limited to two characters. Needless to say, all characters are subject to my approval; you may not participate until I give you the go-ahead. Still, this RP is going to employ conventional RPG mechanics. Part of this is to make it feel a bit more like the actual games, and part of it is to prevent godmoding. As such, your character will have such things as stats, levels, and a class. Within limits (more details further below), you are free to give your character whatever background, personality, and appearance you want. The information on the different races should generally be thought of as advice, not rules, so by all means feel free to have your character be a lazy Belzenite with dark purple hair and tan skin if you want.

Spoiler: Characters
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Northern Beorc


Northern Beorc mostly inhabit central Duat and the Eshnunna peninsula, though two kingdoms, Sandomir and Belzen, have been established on the Sabaean peninsula. In addition, the Central Alliance, a powerful coalition of Beorc nations, consists mostly of northern Beorc countries and is led by the Plocenian Empire.

Northern Beorc have a reputation for being hardworking and ambitious, though said ambition has often led to wars of aggression in the past. The northern Beorc kingdoms on the Eshnunna and Sabaean peninsula, for example, were established as a result of the conquest of eagle and dragon Laguz territory, respectively.

Most northern Beorc have pale skin and either white or light grey hair, though people with eastern or western heritage will have some degree of actual color in their hair.

Eastern Beorc


Eastern Beorc live in some areas of central Duat, such as Calabria or Longobardia, though the best-known eastern Beorc lands are easily the Anatolian realms: Paphlagonia, Chaldia, Cilicia, Seleucia, Travunia, and Istria. There is also an eastern Beorc population in the lands south of Marad, though these lands were for a long time ruled by southern Beorc.

Eastern Beorc are known for their resilience and strength of will, having borne the brunt of Agdy’s aggression in the past. Though they have rarely figured prominently in Duat politics, some of the Anatolian kings have expressed an interest in uniting their respective kingdoms under one flag. The only thing standing in their way is the question of who would rule a united Anatolia.

Eastern Beorc tend to have pale skin, though those living along the southern coast of Duat are known to have darker skin, likely a result of intermarriage with southern Beorc. Hair color varies between the cool colors (green, blue, and purple), though the shade often varies depending on heritage, with those with southern ties having darker hair and those with northern ties having lighter hair.

Southern Beorc


Southern Beorc once controlled a vast empire spanning most of Duat, though that is in the past. All that is left of that empire now are a few small kingdoms and Nauplia, the besieged capital of the once-great Achaean Empire. Long ago, southerners were at the center of an even greater empire, Morea, but the Great Flood brought an end to Morean supremacy.

Southern Beorc are often said to be calculating and philosophical. In the past, they lived up to this stereotype through Achaea’s many great scholars and strategists. Nowadays, however, the great minds of the south are more dispersed, many having fled the collapse of the Achaean Empire and settled in western, northern, or eastern Beorc territories.

Southern Beorc tend to have tan skin and black or dark grey hair, though it is rare nowadays for no color to have found its way in, as many Achaean expatriates have intermarried with locals. In the east, cold colors are more common. In the west, warm colors are more common.

Western Beorc


Western Beorc control Cape Uyvar and most of western Duat, as well as a large portion of Abydos. Their various kingdoms are too numerous for me to be willing to name, but the most powerful of them are Dulkadir, Egir, Budin, Hicaz, and Rakka.

Western Beorc have a reputation for being very expressive and passionate, though this stereotype is often exaggerated by foreigners. With the rise of great western military powers such as Hicaz, it is likely that those who deride western Beorc as hedonists and philanderers will soon regret their choice of words.

Skin color varies depending on region, with the population of Cape Uyvar, Abydos, and the southern islands being noticeably tanner than most Beorc. Hair color tends toward the warm colors (red, orange, yellow), with the shade often being darker in southern regions.

Gold Dragon Laguz


Gold dragon Laguz (usually just called “dragon Laguz”) are originally from the Sabaean peninsula and control the kingdoms of Gonder, Tihama, Yeha, Matara, and Asab. There were once two other kingdoms: Adafa and Axum, though they were conquered long ago by the northern Beorc kingdoms of Sandomir and Belzen, respectively.

Gold dragon Laguz are easily the longest-lived of the Laguz species on Duat, with some claiming to be more than three thousand years old. Perhaps because of this, their customs, ways of life, and general outlook on the world tend to be very slow to change. Some blame the fall of Adafa and Axum on this inability to adapt.

In his/her untransformed state, a gold dragon Laguz has pale skin, pointed ears, and markings on his/her face. Hair is usually dark, but is not limited to any particular area of the color spectrum.

In his/her transformed state, a gold dragon Laguz has a serpentine body with a horned head, a whisker near each nostril, short legs, and perhaps most obviously, gold-colored scales. A gold dragon’s breath is magical in nature and, according to those who have been hit by it and lived to recount the incident, feels remarkably like a fire spell. Despite this, it does not appear to weaken in the presence of dark or thunder magic and is not any more torturous for transformed bear, snake, elephant, and crocodile Laguz than it is for other races.

Eagle Laguz


Eagle Laguz are originally from the Tyrian Forest, though they also have large populations in Troki and Samogitia on the Eshnunna peninsula, Chaldia, Cilicia, and Calis around the Kuthan Sea, and the Tyrian Forest, now controlled by Chaldia, Tyre, and Arka. The only eagle Laguz nation is Marad, far to the south of their ancestral homeland. It is thought that a tribe migrated there thousands of years ago, though this is not known for certain. The eagle Laguz nations in the north were conquered long ago by either Beorc or bear Laguz, and while there has been a degree of integration, most eagle Laguz have tried to retain a sense of their own national identity, even if the nation in question no longer exists.

On average, eagle Laguz live twice as long as Beorc, some living to be two hundred years old, though most die before reaching one hundred fifty. In general, eagle Laguz in the north express a great deal of pride in ties to a particular clan or past nation. This “clan loyalty” is largely absent in Maradites, however—a result of their still having a country, most likely—and is largely limited to maintaining a close-knit family.

In his/her untransformed state, an eagle Laguz has avian wings on his/her back, just as a Tellian hawk, raven, or heron Laguz does. In addition, he/she has pointed ears. Eagle Laguz also tend to have rather pale skin, though Maradites have somewhat darker (but still pale) skin. An eagle Laguz’s hair color typically matches that of his/her feathers, though exceptions have been documented.

Transformed eagle Laguz are larger than Tellian hawk Laguz but otherwise look largely the same. In the north, most eagle Laguz have grey, white, light brown, or pale blue feathers. Some northern eagle Laguz also have black spots on their chests when transformed. Maradites, on the other hand, usually have black, dark brown, or golden-brown feathers.

Bear Laguz


Bear Laguz are thought to have originated in what is now Zemar and Sarepta, though this is not known for certain. Nowadays, bear Laguz control the entirety of the east coast of Duat save for the tiny kingdom of Moesia. In addition, the two most powerful bear Laguz nations, Arwad and the Kheres Empire, are on the Sosso-Sharun subcontinent in the southeast. Because of Agdy’s conquests, there are small bear Laguz populations in much of Beorc-controlled Duat, though they make up a much larger part of the population in the Anatolian realms in the east.

Bear Laguz live around twice as long as Beorc, most living for more than a hundred years, and some even living as long as two hundred. In large part because of the Bear King’s War, bear Laguz have a reputation for being aggressive and hostile toward foreigners and their society is said to emphasize strength above all else. The bear Laguz nations of the north generally reflect this and are frequently at war with their Beorc neighbors. However, Arwad and the Kheres Empire, despite having large non-bear populations (Beorc in Arwad’s case and elephant Laguz in Kheres’s case), are very open societies when it comes to how they treat their own citizens.

Untransformed bear Laguz are usually larger than Beorc, though few ever exceed seven feet in height. Skin color tends to vary depending on where they are from, with Arwadians and Kheresites having tan skin, whereas bear Laguz from such places as Tyre and Arka usually have much paler skin. Hair color tends to vary as well, with lighter colors being more common in the north and darker colors being more common in the south. In place of typical Beorc ears, bear Laguz have bear ears. Finally, untransformed bear Laguz of either gender have significantly more body hair than Beorc.
A transformed bear Laguz’s fur is the same as his/her untransformed state’s hair color.

Elephant Laguz


Elephant Laguz hail from the Sosso-Sharun subcontinent and currently live mostly in Meir, though there is also a large population in the Kheres Empire and Botrys Ayin. In the past, most of what is now the Kheres Empire was controlled by the kingdom of Sharun, though most Sharunites nowadays are content to live under the rule of a bear Laguz.

Elephant Laguz live around three times as long as Beorc, some living as long as three hundred years, though most die sometime after turning two hundred. Elephant laguz are known for their intelligence, and it is common for depowered elephant Laguz to study the magic arts under a Beorc mentor. In addition, elephant Laguz are remarkably more peaceful than the other Laguz species, often only going to war when threatened and otherwise being quite welcoming toward foreigners. Before the Bear King’s War, Beorc merchants were a common sight in Meir and Sharun. Nowadays, Meir’s main connection to the Beorc is through the few merchants willing to brave crocodile waters to reach Meirian ports.

Untransformed elephant Laguz are very large, most adults being seven or even eight feet tall, and possess elephant ears. Their skin is typically a dull tan or brown and is rather rough to the touch. Hair is usually brown, red, or black, though exceptions have been seen on occasion. Finally, an untransformed elephant Laguz has an elephant tail.
Transformed elephant Laguz of either sex have tusks and grey skin. Very sparse hair is also present in some areas, mostly around the eyes and ears and on the back of the tail.

Snake Laguz


Snake Laguz originally hail from the Sosso-Sharun subcontinent and have large populations in Jolof, Ghiryu, Djenne, Yaresna, Diafanu, and mainland Saka. Unlike regular snakes, snake Laguz are capable of hearing through the air, albeit only in their untransformed state. When transformed, snake Laguz can only hear vibrations in the ground. This led to the snake Laguz developing a sign language, though the lack of limbs makes them unable to respond when transformed.
Unlike other Laguz species, snake Laguz age at the same rate as Beorc and are not known to live any longer than them. Despite this, snake Laguz have a reputation for being very calm and patient, a trait that has served them well in warfare and espionage.

In his/her untransformed state, a snake Laguz is more slender than most Beorc. In addition, he/she has tan skin, markings along his/her neck and back, thin fangs where a Beorc would have canines, and a forked tongue. An untransformed snake Laguz’s hair color is usually (though not always) the same color as his/her scales in his/her transformed state. Though untransformed snake Laguz still have a poisonous bite, they lack their transformed state’s incredible striking speed, making punches and kicks a more useful means of defense in this state.

Transformed snake Laguz vary between five and ten yards in length and usually have black scales, though earth tones such as brown, brownish-red, copper, and beige are common, too. Though they have hoods in their transformed state, snake Laguz will typically not open them, even when in combat. Finally, transformed snake Laguz strike astonishingly quickly, a trait that makes it easier for them to bite and poison their enemies. However, their lack of limbs makes it difficult for them to pursue anyone in this state.

Crocodile Laguz


Crocodile Laguz live on the islands to the south of the mainland. Save for Abydos, the westernmost of these islands, the crocodile Laguz have these islands to themselves. Of the crocodile nations, Saka in the east is easily the most powerful, having played a key role in the Great Laguz Wars and the collapse of the Achaean Empire.

Crocodile Laguz age at about a fourth the rate of a Beorc, some having lived to be more than four hundred, though most die before turning three hundred. Madai, Susa, Maka, Sogdia, and Elam are in reality little more than confederations of tribes. Some tribes are hostile toward outsiders and will prey on merchant caravans and ships. Others, however, are quite welcoming and may even offer their services as guards against hostile tribes. By contrast, Saka is ruled much more like a kingdom, as are Bactria and Parthia, and tribal feuds are generally discouraged there.

In his/her untransformed state, a crocodile Laguz has medium to dark brown skin that is rough to the touch and dark brown or green hair, though lighter hair colors have been seen on very rare occasions. A prominent jaw is also a common feature on crocodile Laguz, regardless of sex. In addition, a crocodile Laguz’s hands have webs that extend to the second knuckle on every finger save for on the thumb, which is not connected to a web. Untransformed crocodile Laguz are decent swimmers, easily outperforming Beorc, though they are much better when transformed. Finally, an untransformed crocodile Laguz has a crocodile tail.

In his/her transformed state, a crocodile Laguz is covered in rough green or brown scales, though the darkness of said scales tends to vary between individuals. Also, though not particularly mobile on land, crocodile Laguz are extremely agile swimmers.

Marked


The Marked (known in Tellius as the Branded) are people who are descended from both Beorc and Laguz. Marked are so named for having a tattoo-like mark somewhere on their bodies. Otherwise, they are anatomically indistinguishable from Beorc. The archsage Soren famously has such a mark on his forehead. In addition to the mark, Marked are known for aging more slowly than Beorc, though how pronounced this is depends on the type and amount of Laguz blood in their veins. Someone descended from a snake Laguz, for example, will age no more slowly than a Beorc. By contrast, someone descended closely enough from a dragon Laguz may live to be more than three hundred. If you plan on making a Marked character, please tell me what type of Laguz he/she is descended from and how distant the descent is. I have created an algorithm for determining how quickly Marked age based on the nature and strength of their Laguz heritage.

It’s worth pointing out, though, that while any species of Laguz can interbreed with a Beorc, the Laguz “tribes” are incapable of interbreeding with each other. That’s what I’ve read about the games saying, anyway. I have no idea how that makes biological sense, but it’s something you should keep in mind if you’re designing a Marked character. For example, he/she can’t have an eagle paternal grandfather, a dragon paternal grandmother, a bear maternal grandfather, and a Beorc maternal grandmother. A dragon paternal grandfather, a Beorc paternal grandmother, a bear maternal grandfather, and a Beorc maternal grandmother would be okay, though.

Starting Level and Weapon Experience


Your character may be of any available class and will start out at the median true level of all characters in the party. Your “true level” is the sum of your bottom-, middle-, and top-tier levels (or just your regular level multiplied by 1.5 if you’re a Laguz). So if you’re a Beorc who promoted the first time at Level 14 and again at Level 17 and are now Level 2, then that means your true level is 33.

Spoiler: Current starting true level and tier options
The current starting true level is: 3
The current starting weapon experience amount is: 52
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Growth


When creating a character, you will have to choose whether you want your stat growths to be fixed or random. Fixed growth means the growth % is added each level and a stat increases when that number reaches 100%. Random means the growth % reflects a stat’s chances of increasing. For example, let’s suppose your Str has a 50% Growth %. Under fixed growth, your Str will go up by one point every second level. Under random growth, your Str has a 50% chance of going up by one point each time you level up.

Beorc Promotion


If you are a Beorc, then upon reaching Level 21 of your bottom-tier or middle-tier class, rather than the typical stat gain, you will promote to the next tier. Alternatively, you can promote as soon as you reach Level 10, but only through the use of a Master Seal if you’re a bottom-tier class or a Master Crown if you’re a middle-tier class. Finally, upon reaching your top-tier class, you gain that class’s Occult skill.

Laguz “Promotion”


If you are a Laguz, then you will gain a transform gauge bonus at Level 16. In addition, upon reaching Level 31, you will gain access to your species’ Occult skill, just as Beorc do upon promoting to a top-tier class. Unlike Beorc, Laguz cannot truly promote, so the transform gauge bonuses and skill cannot come early.

Character Bonus/Penalty


To help promote a diverse group of characters, you may choose an Asset and Flaw, just as you could do with your Avatar in Awakening. Alternatively, you can go with the generic growth rates, base stats, and stat caps for your class. Below are some charts to show how selecting an Asset and Flaw will affect your character’s growth rates, base stats, and stat caps. Please note that HP’s stat cap is unaffected if you make HP your Asset or Flaw.

Spoiler: charts
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Skills


Each class has certain skills associated with it. In addition, though, you may assign special skills into empty slots. There are four skill slots, and while at least one will be occupied by skills your class comes pre-equipped with, additional skills may be assigned through scrolls to one or more of the remaining slots. Most skills take up only one slot, but more powerful skills may take up more. It ultimately depends on what skills I include. In addition to conventional skills, every top-tier class (as well as every laguz that has reached Level 31) will gain an Occult skill, a special—and powerful—skill.

Class


You have several different classes to choose from. Also, unlike in the games, there are no one-gender classes. Do you want your male character to be a pegasus rider? Go for it. Which class you start out as affects which classes you can promote to, what weapons you can equip, what your growth rates are, what your base stats are, what your stat caps are, and even what kind of weapons/spells you’re weak against (if any). It might also serve as a bit of a guide for your character’s nature. For example, monks and nuns are supposed to be celibate. I won’t force you to go that far, though. Being a cleric certainly didn’t stop Serra from flirting with anyone, after all.

There are nine bottom-tier classes, eighteen middle-tier classes, and twenty-two top-tier classes. There are also six Laguz races. The current characters in this RP and their respective classes are listed in a spoiler box near the top of this post. If there are a lot of characters of a certain class already, please consider signing up as something different. At the moment, I won’t reject a character on the basis of class, but if it gets out of hand, that policy will change. I’m not going to work with an army of one Sniper, one Dark Flier, one Metropolitan, and fourteen Champions.

Spoiler: Bottom-Tier Classes
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Spoiler: Middle-Tier Classes
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Spoiler: Top-Tier Classes
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Spoiler: Laguz Classes/Races
[img]http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a274/MaxTab/Laguz_zps1b2e8feb.png[img]


Avoid the Dreaded Mary Sue


Yeah, this is a big one. While it’s important for you to enjoy playing as your character, it’s also important for the other players to enjoy interacting with your character. One of the most annoying character archetypes for other players to have to deal with is the hated Mary Sue. I’ll probably reject your character if I believe he/she is a Mary Sue, but it’s still possible for one to slip past the radar. But just what is a Mary Sue? People seem to have differing opinions of the term. I actually looked around for guides on avoiding Mary Sues when typing this up, and I think the best summation of a Mary Sue that I could find is this:

Quote:
There is no real consensus on what exactly [a Mary Sue] is. [Mary Sues take] many different forms and, for this reason, they’re a little hard to pin down. As best I can put it, [Mary Sues are characters who are] too “special”. They have a wealth of good traits/special powers and demand to be the center of attention. However, there are breeds of Mary Sue that capitalize on negative traits as well. Mary Sues demand attention, whatever form they take. They do not necessarily beg for attention in character, but their actions, appearances, and traits scream “LOOK AT ME!”


The classic Mary Sue is basically someone who has all the good traits and none of the bad ones. With female Sues, think the archetypal “Disney Princess.” She’s usually attractive, kindhearted, polite, loved/envied by everyone, rich (or at least more well-off than most), and has pretty much every male character around lusting after her (bonus points if she has more sex with more people than a prostitute, yet is never looked down on for it). With male Sues, think “manly man.” He usually is a very good fighter (probably the best), has the musculature of a bodybuilder (bonus points if his diet and exercise regimen don’t reflect this), and is more successful with the ladies than Zeus. Oftentimes, a Sue of either sex will have an unrealistic amount of skills, too, even if said skills have no place in the Sue’s universe.

A Jerk Sue is a classic Mary Sue minus the kindness and manners. This person is portrayed as a great character, yet seems to only open his/her mouth to insult someone. It’s entirely possible that this person even engages in physical violence toward friends, yet is still their friend. This one’s harder to pull off when you don’t control the other characters, but it can still happen. Making a jerk a likable character isn’t always easy, especially when the people you’re working with have probably grown attached to their own characters (i. e. your character’s most likely victims).

An Evil Sue is a Jerk Sue taken to its logical extreme. Basically, more than just being a jerk, this character is, well, evil. Granted, he/she is still insanely competent, smart, attractive, good in bed, and so on, but you’ll probably more often see the whole “evil” bit brought up. Depending on the author, this can range from really petty stuff that doesn’t exactly scream “villain” to being the kind of person that would make Ivan the Terrible seem like a saint in comparison.

A Sympathy Sue exists to be pitied. A dear friend of mine once portrayed a favorite female character of his this way (he has since toned it down). She had mitochondrial disease. When she was just a little girl, an invading army tested an experimental drug on her; it altered her skin pigmentation (she went from white to black), gave her the IQ of Forrest Gump, and made her physically weak. Her mother hated her. She was ridiculed for being black. A very mean student provoked her until she cursed at him, and for that, she was expelled from school. Even though she tried her best, her grades were never any better than Ds. Her own brother raped her when she was a teenager. Hopefully, you get the idea. This is the kind of character whose excessively tragic backstory makes you want to vomit.

An Anti-Sue is arguably another form of a Sympathy Sue, except with this kind of Sue, the begging for pity comes in the form of existing flaws instead of an actual backstory. This Sue is ugly, stupid, and a born loser. Expect these things to be played up excessively whenever they can be used to garner sympathy points (or make readers lose their lunches). There’s also a good chance the character will bring them up of his/her own free will, seemingly unable to think of anything other than how worthless he/she is. I know depression’s a real thing (I had it myself for a while), but you’re probably better off not portraying your character that way; readers are more likely to demand the character stop whining than actually feel sorry for him/her.

So how do you avoid making your character into a Mary Sue? The simplest piece of advice I can give you is this: everything in moderation. It’s okay for your female pegasus rider to be pretty (Ashunera knows more than enough such characters exist in the actual games), but that doesn’t mean she should be Aphrodite incarnate. Likewise, you shouldn’t regularly remind us of how pretty she is. Leave that to the characters who are in love with her and wax poetic about it. The rest of us don’t need to be regularly reminded of how her long hair sways with every step she takes. Keep it relevant to what’s going on.

Of course, if you’re even going to have a chance to screw that bit up, your character first has to be approved. I can’t force you to do this, but when designing your character, make a list of his/her traits: personality, appearance, relationships, past, quirks, and so on. How many positive traits are on that list? How many negative ones? Classify them and count them. Try to balance out positive traits with negative traits and vice versa. I’m going to create an example character. He’s really smart, he regularly goes out of his way to help others, and he believes in being merciful toward one’s enemies, but he’s really introverted. In addition, he’s only willing to help others when it doesn’t involve putting his life in danger; he’s a coward.

When dealing with negative traits, actually take a look at them in detail. Some “flaws” can hardly be called such. Part of this depends on the setting. For example, my character’s cowardice probably wouldn’t be much of a problem for him in a peaceful suburban setting. By contrast, in a violent and militaristic setting such as that of Fire Emblem, his cowardice will probably become a significant part of his character. Of course, even if the flaw is relevant to the setting, it’s not much of a flaw if it’s only played up when it doesn’t present your character with any sort of problem. A common “false flaw,” especially in female characters, is clumsiness. If you don’t bother with support conversations and DLC, Sumia’s clumsiness is easily this; she never trips in combat, even when on foot and in a General’s armor. This flaw ultimately gets its chance as a legitimate flaw by coming up in some support conversations, as well as in at least one DLC mission (I know you meant well, Cordelia, but my goodness, that was a rather harsh criticism of your friend). Anyway, I hope you get the point. If this flaw doesn’t legitimately cause problems for your character and/or other characters, it’s not much of a flaw, if at all.

That said, it’s important to keep in mind just how much attention you call to a character’s flaws when roleplaying. If they’re an actual plot device, that’s one thing; struggling to overcome one’s flaws can make for good character development. If they’re just there for your character to angst about, however, you might have an Anti-Sue on your hands—especially if the flaws really aren’t that much of a problem to begin with. Going back to my example character, it goes without saying that his cowardice is going to be something he’ll have to overcome, given the setting of this RP, but I shouldn’t let it overshadow his other traits. When he’s not in combat, I’ll push that part of him aside unless there’s a really good reason to bring it up (for example, someone else’s character is calling him out for running away when an ally called for help). One telltale sign of an Anti-Sue or a Sympathy Sue is that he/she simply won’t stop angsting/whining about his/her flaws, even when said flaws have no bearing on what’s going on.

Another important rule is to follow the rules of your character’s universe—as well as just common sense. Can a Marked transform like a Laguz? No. Therefore, your Marked character should not be able to transform (never mind that I’d veto that ability if you tried to sign up as such a character in the first place). There’s nothing wrong with making your character unique, but it kind of kills suspension of disbelief when your character breaks the rules of the universe he/she is in. Likewise, your character shouldn’t have skills that don’t suit his/her story. Someone who’s spent his entire life working on a farm is unlikely to know anything about shipbuilding. This also holds true for giving your character new skills when it’s convenient. I’ll probably intervene if your character is suddenly revealed to be fluent in the Ancient Tongue when he/she comes across someone who speaks it (spellcasters are exempt from this one due to their tomes being in the Ancient Tongue).

It doesn’t stop with how your character starts out, though. There’s a good chance your character is going to undergo some amount of development throughout the course of the story. Overcoming obstacles makes for good storytelling as long as it’s believable. Considering how much of a coward my example character is, it’s not going to be something as easy as him suddenly finding courage when he finds out his wife is alive and he finally has a chance to rescue her. Edgeworth didn’t exactly shed his “Demon Prosecutor” tendencies overnight. Likewise, your character shouldn’t just suddenly find the magic bullet that cures his/her fatal flaw. Of course, building off of that, the only thing worse than overcoming a flaw with little to no effort is simply getting rid of the flaw for no apparent reason. For example, maybe my cowardly introvert is suddenly voluntarily attending major social gatherings. What the frick-frack? Why is he suddenly a social butterfly? I hope you get the idea. Some Mary Sues are born that way. Others turn out that way because of character development. Neither is desirable.

Finally, while it’s important to be able to judge for yourself whether or not your character is a Mary Sue, it’s also a good idea to ask other players for their opinion. It’s easy to grow attached to your character, and because of this, it’s easy to overlook his/her flaws and/or defend him/her against accusations of being a Mary Sue, no matter how justified. Most Mary Sues are accidents, too, so there’s always a chance that you’ll make a Mary Sue without intending to. This is why input from other players is helpful; they are unlikely to be as attached to your character, so they will probably be less partial in their judgment. Of course, asking about your character might also help alleviate unfounded concerns that he/she is a Mary Sue. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I often worry that my latest original character is a Mary Sue, but when I ask around, I find that most people think he/she is okay and in no danger of becoming a Mary Sue (that’s not an excuse to spice said character up, though). So it works for both sides of the line. If in doubt, ask other people for their opinion.

Spoiler: Format for submitting a character
Name: Pretty self-explanatory

Race: Again, this one’s pretty self-explanatory

Sex: Probably won’t be necessary unless you gave your character a really androgynous name, but it can’t hurt to state it anyway.

Class: Pretty self-explanatory

Bottom-Tier Level: If your class is middle- or top-tier, how many bottom-tier levels did you take before promoting? Otherwise, this is just your regular level.

Middle-Tier Level: If your class is top-tier, how many middle-tier levels did you take before promoting? If your class is middle-tier, this is just your regular level.

Top-Tier Level: If your class is top-tier, this is your regular level.

Weapon Experience: How much weapon experience do you have for each of the weapons you can use? If you have a latent Weapon Level (for example, maybe you’re a Wyvern Mage, so you have some Axe experience even though you can’t use one at the moment), please also specify how much experience that weapon has.

Growth Type: Fixed or Random?

Asset: If you chose to have an Asset and Flaw, please state your Asset here.

Flaw: If you chose to have an Asset and Flaw, please state your Flaw here.

Equipment: You have 2000G to spend on equipment for your character to start out with. This amount may increase as the RP progresses and fancier equipment becomes more common. Please list your starting equipment here. The items must be fresh. No starting with a Vulnerary with just one use left just because you happen to have 100G left. You get to keep any money you have left over, so don’t feel compelled to spend it all.

Appearance: Self-explanatory.

Personality: Again, self-explanatory.

Background: This one’s kind of optional. Just tell us what you think we should know about your character’s past.
Additional Information: This relates to such things as the name of your character’s mount (if applicable). Basically, if there’s something you want us to know about your character that doesn’t fit anywhere else, this is the place.

Two other things to keep in mind when submitting a character:
  • If there’s something you want kept secret from everyone else about your character, please omit it from your application and send me a private message with whatever it is you want kept secret. I promise to neither reveal your secret without your consent nor attempt to use the plot to force the secret out.
  • As a courtesy to people who aren’t handling character applications (i. e. everyone but me) and might not want to have to scroll past a long post to see if their attack hit, please contain the application in spoiler tags.

Items and Money


Items can be purchased at shops before a battle, taken from fallen enemies (sometimes), acquired from civilians as gifts, or taken from chests. Below is a list of items you are currently allowed to buy. You might be able to acquire fancier items by other means, though. One such method would be forging special weapons or scribing special tomes, but this is extremely expensive; you might get more bang for your buck just going with what you can get in the stores.

Spoiler: available items
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In addition, here is a list of all the Laguz “weapons.” For what I hope are obvious reasons, Laguz “weapons” are always equipped and never wear out.

Spoiler: Laguz “weapons”
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Money is collective in this RP. Any money you have left over from character creation goes into the party's funds. As such, you would be wise to run any purchases by the other players before making them. You might not be the only person who would benefit from a new weapon.

Repairs


For a fraction of the original cost, weapons, tomes, staves, and healing items can be repaired in places with the appropriate craftspeople working there. For weapons, a smith is needed, for tomes and staves, a sage is needed, and for healing items, an apothecary is needed. As long as the item in question still has at least one use left, it can be fully restored for a price. The price depends on the item's original price and how much is being restored. For example, it would cost 7G to restore a Bronze Sword with 49/50 uses to full strength.

Fortune Cards


Every now and then, you might gain a Fortune Card. This is something inspired by the Coin system in Radiant Dawn. Fortune Cards cannot be bought. Rather, some enemies will drop them and you might receive them as rewards for carrying out certain tasks. If you can find a mystic, he/she will use the Fortune Card to grant a minor enchantment to the weapon, tome, or staff of your choice, giving it a small boost to one or more stats. The enchantment will also grant a colored aura to weapons and staves and the text of tomes. An item can only have one enchantment, so you can't get a new one without discarding an existing one.

Weapon Levels


Just got a really nice sword? Too bad you might not be skilled enough to wield it. As you use a particular type of weapon, your skill with it will increase. Specifically, you gain weapon experience for that particular weapon. Fancier weapons tend to yield more weapon experience. There are seven weapon levels. From lowest to highest, they are E, D, C, B, A, S, and SS. Bottom-tier classes can’t use S-level and SS-level weapons. Only top-tier classes can use SS-level weapons.
Below is a chart detailing how much experience is necessary to raise the level of any given weapon. Laguz “weapons” start out with 181 experience and will grow more powerful at higher levels.

Spoiler: weapon experience
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Other Mechanics You Might Need to Know About


Do I really need to explain this? Chances are every single player in this RP is familiar with Fire Emblem. [sigh] Well, I suppose there are different sets of rules for each game, so it would probably be a good idea to at least explain the system being used in this RP… especially considering some of the stuff of my own design that I’m considering throwing in… [sigh] If there are additional mechanics you want me to explain, please let me know.

Rescuing


If you are next to an ally and your weight exceeds his/hers by at least two points, you can use your turn to pick him/her up, “rescuing” him/her. This could be useful if your ally’s running low on HP and likely to get killed. A rescued unit cannot take damage, but also cannot be healed. In addition, your Str, Skl, Spd, Lck, and Con will be decreased by an amount equal to the rescued ally’s weight until you drop him/her. In addition, your Mov will be decreased by 2. If you have the Savior skill, you will not suffer any stat penalties when carrying an ally. The drawback to this is that you can’t rescued if you have said skill (horses, pegasi, and wyverns aren’t exactly light, after all).

Shoving


If you have the Shove skill, are next to an ally or enemy, he/she doesn’t have a wall or any other kind of barrier on the other side, and his/her weight exceeds your Con by no more than two points, you can shove him/her, forcibly moving him/her one space away from you. This will take up your turn, though.

Of course, if there happens to be no barrier and the space on the other side is a cliff… [evil smile] If you shove someone then, your victim will suffer fall damage equal to double his/her weight, multiplied by how many spaces of cliff he/she tumbles over. In that situation, though, he/she might manage to grab you, in which case you will also suffer fall damage. His/her attempt to grab you will be treated as a counterattack using a weapon with a Hit of 100 (note: the weapon having a Hit of 100 doesn’t mean the attack has a 100% chance of hitting). If it hits, you will be moved to the space your victim previously occupied. If your weight doesn’t exceed that of your victim by at least five points, you’ll then fall and land on a random space next to your victim (assuming your victim managed to grab you). Of course, the falling mechanic is something of my own design, so input on it is welcome. I might tweak it or just treat cliffs as barriers.

Weapon Weight and Attack Speed


If your equipped weapon is heavy enough, it will slow down your attack. In this RP, if the weapon’s weight exceeds your Str, your attack speed will decrease by the difference. Attack speed, as the name implies, is how fast your attack is. If your attack speed exceeds the enemy’s attack speed by at least four points, you will be able to attack twice in one combat.

Special Weaknesses


If your unit type is anything other than Normal, you will be vulnerable to certain types of weapons. Horse units are vulnerable to Longswords, Horseslayers, and Poleaxes. Airborne units are vulnerable to all varieties of wind magic and bows. Armored units are vulnerable to Armorslayers, Heavy Spears, and Hammers. Dragon units are vulnerable to Wyrmslayers, Dragonspears, Dragon Axes, Dragon Bows, and all varieties of thunder magic. Beast units are vulnerable to Beastslayers, Beast Lances, Beast Axes, Beast Bows, and all varieties of fire magic. Any weapon you are vulnerable to, if it hits, will do a lot more damage to you than it would if you were a Normal unit.

Support


It wouldn’t be much of a Fire Emblem story if our characters couldn’t form bonds with each other. On the surface, this is an incentive for your character to become friends with other characters. When a support is formed, both your character and his/her friend will receive a combat bonus when fighting side-by-side. The strength of this bonus depends on the strength of the bond. I’ve decided that this can work the other way, too. If your character gets in a fight with someone he/she has a support with, the level might decrease.

Of course, I imagine most Fire Emblem veterans are more interested in forming a support with that special someone. An S-level support means you are married. There are certain criteria that need to be met for you and your special someone to form such a bond. If you have an issue with said criteria, please discuss it with me in a civil manner before the RP formally starts.
  • The closest relation allowed for a married couple is first cousins. I know the North American version of Awakening (possibly the European version, too, though I don’t know for certain) didn’t allow cousin marriage (never mind that most of the North American market lives someplace where it’s legal), but this is an RP. My reason for allowing cousins to marry in this RP is that this is a medieval European setting, and cousin marriage was a non-issue back then.
  • Only one S-level support per person, and it must be mutual. Sorry, Sain, but you can’t have all the ladies to yourself. I’ll allow you to break up with your lover if the relationship’s deteriorated, but that means renouncing that particular S-level support. If you’re married, then because of the medieval setting, you technically can’t divorce your spouse, though you can still renounce the S-level support and decide to separate, in which case I will allow a new S-level support, but you can’t marry unless your spouse dies first (you can’t play a part in the death, though, so don’t even think about it).
  • You can only marry someone of the opposite sex. As with cousin marriage, this is purely a matter of the medieval setting. I know this is a hot-button issue these days, but please do not raise a stink about it.
Finally, while I’m not going to implement Dual Strikes and Dual Guards, you can benefit from multiple Supports simultaneously. The more friends you have by your side, the stronger the bonus. Each support will give you a certain number of Support Points when the unit in question is next to you. A unit next to you with no support will give you one point, C will give you two, B three, A four, and S five. The maximum number of Support Points you can have is twelve. Below is a chart detailing the bonuses associated with each amount of Support Points.
Spoiler: Support Bonuses
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What Happens If I Die?


That’s something that hasn’t been decided yet. Before Awakening came out, if a character ran out of HP, that was the end of his/her time as a playable character. Some plot-important characters (such as Marcus) might just be wounded and unable to fight anymore, but most of them actually died. Naturally, this is something I’m currently against implementing in this RP. My current plan is this: if you run out of HP, you are wounded and unable to fight for the rest of that battle. Your stats (including Max HP) will be reduced by 75% in the next battle. For each battle you sit out, you will recover 25% of your original stats. If you participate in a battle despite being wounded, you’ll only recover 5% of your original stats as opposed to 25%. In Awakening’s Casual Mode, it’s possible for a character to simply leave the battle upon running out of HP and then be fine in the next battle. I’m willing to implement that system if enough people are in favor of it, but I’m currently against it on the grounds that I don’t think it sufficiently punishes recklessness.

How Will This RP Run?


Well, as you’ve no doubt figured out for yourself by now, there will be combat mechanics and other D&D-esque restrictions on what your characters can do. This is a Fire Emblem RP, after all. My plan is that all of the technical stuff, such as combat, will be handled in the OOC thread. Actual “prose” will be in the main thread.

Plans to Address the Inactivity Problem


As pretty much anyone who’s RPed on Court Records long enough knows, inactivity is a serious problem and can derail an RP completely. To partially address this, I plan on creating a “session” system. Basically, everyone will agree on a time to be online to participate in this RP. Whether it’s something like a weekly session or something a bit less predictable probably depends on the respective schedules of our players. Hopefully, the session system will also help prevent time zone differences from getting in the way. The RP might remain open outside of a session if someone wants to do something a little less story-significant, such as build up supports with other characters. That’s something that will have to be determined as we plan this out, though.

Consolation Experience


If, despite all efforts to ensure that everyone is available, someone simply cannot make it to a session, I’m thinking of giving that person’s character experience if any experience was gained by other characters during the session. Of course, you will only gain consolation experience if you actually told us that you wouldn’t be available. Truant players will receive no consolation experience and their respective levels will no longer be taken into account when deciding a new character’s level.

Additional Rules

  • I’m in charge. I have no desire to engage in railroading, though; I don’t have much of an RP if the players are too fed up with my tyrannical rule to participate. My intent is that the players will have near-total freedom of movement. If you decide you’d rather kill Vaida than talk to her, I’ll run with it, provided you can give me a good reason for doing so. “She was an enemy the last time we saw her” is an acceptable reason. “I want the experience” and “I don’t like her” are not acceptable reasons.
  • You may not participate until I have approved your character and we have agreed on an introduction. I don’t want people popping in unannounced with some outlandish character. This rule is also here to help prevent people from submitting Mary Sues. That said, I will probably accept a character as long as he/she isn’t a Mary Sue or really out-of-place. As for introductions, this is just to make sure your character joins the story without seeming to come out of nowhere.
  • Have some decency. I know there are examples of some characters (Nowi, for example) from the actual games who dress tastelessly, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stand for it here. Things like appearance are also subject to my approval, but try to make your character look like someone who could conceivably appear in one of the games. I promise to be lenient, so unless you plan on dressing your character in something along the lines of a chainmail bikini or something else that’s really improbable in a Fire Emblem setting, you probably don’t have to worry about me vetoing his/her outfit.
  • Your character cannot have a connection to an existing character without the approval of whoever is playing the role of said character. Some people probably have their characters very thoroughly planned out and rather wouldn’t be surprised by a new relative or friend. It’s kind of annoying when your philandering knight suddenly has a wedding ring materialize on his finger because of the actions of another player.
  • Share the wealth. Go ahead and call me a socialist for this one, but you shouldn’t hog the experience and loot. There are (hopefully) other players participating in this RP, and they deserve some action and a cool weapon, too. Unlike the games, everyone’s acting on his/her own, so you’ll have to restrain yourself rather than simply trust that the other players will be okay with you finishing off an enemy one of them has weakened (known as “kill-stealing” when they’re not okay with it).
  • Share the spotlight. This is basically an extension of the “share the wealth” rule. Just as you shouldn’t hog the experience and loot, you also shouldn’t hog the spotlight. You don’t need to involve yourself in every scene that takes place (and in many cases, there are scenes you shouldn’t be in to begin with). If Kent and Fiora are discussing camaraderie among the troops in a closed tent, you probably shouldn’t go in there—for that matter, simply posting a scene in which your character stays out of the tent but still listens in would also be a bad idea.
  • Stay in-character. For example, if you’re currently shopping for supplies in Ostia, you shouldn’t know what King Desmond is doing in Bern. In the same vein, a character with a short temper shouldn’t calmly shrug off an obscenely rude taunt. Remember where you are, what you are doing, and most importantly, who you are.
  • Keep it PG-13. I don’t exactly expect this RP to be swarmed by ten-year-olds, but I imagine there are people on this forum who may have very protective parents, and I don’t want to get them in trouble. Avoid graphic descriptions of nudity, violence, and sexuality. On the same note, keep the language PG-13. If even Sully doesn’t say it, you shouldn’t, either.
  • Let us know if you won’t be available. Because of how Fire Emblem works, we can probably go on without you if a battle is going to start; you just won’t participate. To discourage unannounced disappearances, though, you will not gain any Consolation Experience if you disappeared without informing anyone beforehand. This is more likely to be a problem if your character’s in the middle of an important conversation with another character or otherwise actively participating in a “cutscene.” If you make a habit of disappearing without telling anyone, you will be kicked out.
  • Your character can’t die unless you say so. Unless we decide to make running out of HP mean your character dies, enemies and other players cannot kill your character unless you say it’s okay. Your character can get hurt and/or wounded by enemies and other players, but he/she cannot die unless you say so—well, okay, if you’re getting kicked out of the RP, I might kill off your character, but that will hopefully never be an issue.

General Advice

  • Cooperate with the other players. I’m not the only person you should avoid ticking off here. If enough players complain about you, you will be kicked out of the RP. I can’t say for certain, but following the “share the wealth” and “share the spotlight” rules should go a long way toward your staying in everyone’s good graces. It also helps if you communicate with the other players in the OOC thread; it might help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts of interest from leading to hurt feelings.
  • No one expects you to be Pushkin reincarnated. Don’t let a lack of confidence in your roleplaying or writing skills discourage you from posting. I don’t expect everyone here to be a roleplaying veteran, so don’t feel intimidated if someone else posts an absolutely beautiful scene for their character that you don’t think your posts can compare to. This isn’t a writing contest, nor should anyone treat it as one.
  • Don’t put unwilling players on the spot. While you probably will be expected to build up Supports with other players’ characters, you also need to keep in mind that maybe the character you’re trying to chat up isn’t interested. You’ve probably had to deal with someone at some point in your life who just wouldn’t shut up and wouldn’t leave you alone. Try to judge when you’re in danger of becoming that kind of person yourself. Again, communication in the OOC thread helps.
  • Don’t be a jerk. This ties into the whole “cooperate with the other players” bit. Maybe you don’t like someone else’s character. Maybe someone stole your kill. Maybe someone made a stupid mistake that led to you getting wounded. These things happen, and while talking it over can help prevent problems from getting worse, you need to give people the benefit of the doubt and address the problem calmly and civilly. Flaming and in-game retribution are not acceptable responses to another player’s mistakes.

I think that’s everything I need to mention… have I forgotten something?

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I'm super excited for this RP, but I'm a little worried about the scheduled sessions that we have for this. I work 8 hour shifts on the weekends. The shifts are usually afternoon to late night, and sometimes I'll get the morning shifts. The work schedule varies week to week, and I go to school a good chunk of the time during the weekdays. Plus finals are coming up for me, so I'd also need time for studying.
I'd really love to participate in this, but it sounds like it's a real time sink and I wouldn't want to get started only to find myself repeatedly announcing my absence due to life.
I've never roleplayed on a session system, so I'm just a little curious on how strict we are on the scheduling.
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Name: Crelarus
Race: Western Beorc
Sex: Male
Class: Swordfighter
Level: 1
Weapon Experience: Sword: D
Growth Type: Random
Asset: Luck
Flaw: Speed
Equipment: Iron Sword, Herb (900 gold left)
Appearance: Long golden hair that goes down to his shoulders,
Pale brown eyes that show no kindness. Wears armor his father had kept in his library. This armor is a light silver in color, with a gold trim that trails to his arms and legs, oddly the armor has two slits in the back, and all of the gold lines converge into the ovals that surround the slits. Between the slits is an odd symbol, this symbol may or may not be different to every person who sees it.
Personality: Odd, has an almost childlike whimsy to war and killing, but only when he perceives the target as "bad" refuses any help from men but won't (usually) follow advice from women. He gets bored easily and will sometimes challenge himself to do certain things under special conditions (Like an entire battle where he'll only attack certain units or will absolutely refuse to be healed by another person.)
Background: Grew up with both his mother and father, they tried to raise him like any other child but his oddities made it difficult. The only thing that interested him growing up was watching the soldiers train. By the time he was nine he had gotten his hands on a wooden training sword. He played with it in secret, but his father noticed the callous growing on his hands. Finding that his child was more well adjusted after he started training, the father let it continue.

Three years later, a boy was found beaten to death in a nearby forest, the soldiers who found the body noticed it was a boy that Crelarus had played with regularly.
The parents of the child were stricken with grief, and demanded that who ever did it be put to death.
The father; assuming the worst, fled with his wife and son, making sure that Crelarus' sword was left behind.

Eventually they found a new town and the father's new armor designs thrilled the townspeople.

Years passed and Crelarus' father told him to not use swords anymore, and instead he used axes.
One night a wolf broke into their house, Crelarus was the only one up and ran into the library where the wolf had broken in.
A nearby suit of armor (the same Crelarus wears) had fallen over and pinned the wolf under it.
Crelarus took the axe and slaughtered the wolf, cutting off each of it's arms before finally killing it.
The father walked in to him laughing, the wolf's head being used as a shade for the candle almost smiling in the light.
His father grew afraid of him and kicked him out of the house.

He's been a vagabond ever since.
Additional information: For lack of a better word, Crelarus is a psycopath, but not an "evil" one. He lacks moderation when it comes to combat, and won't hesitate to lethally defend himself.

Last edited by DoMaya on Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Blak The Great wrote:
I'm super excited for this RP, but I'm a little worried about the scheduled sessions that we have for this. I work 8 hour shifts on the weekends. The shifts are usually afternoon to late night, and sometimes I'll get the morning shifts. The work schedule varies week to week, and I go to school a good chunk of the time during the weekdays. Plus finals are coming up for me, so I'd also need time for studying.
I'd really love to participate in this, but it sounds like it's a real time sink and I wouldn't want to get started only to find myself repeatedly announcing my absence due to life.
I've never roleplayed on a session system, so I'm just a little curious on how strict we are on the scheduling.


Hah looking at his work I wonder how much experience the General has with real life DMing, sounds like he has quite a bit.

However I may also have time worries. Aside from being in a different continent to Blak (and I think DoMaya) I also work a lot of evenings so I'm not sure sessions work. Especially since evening for America is like 2-3am here in Scotland. I'm not sure a sessional time plan will work.

Also where is the Myrmidons and Swordmaster options?!
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I don't know how this scheduling thing will play out, but I'll just make my character while he's still in my head.

Spoiler:
Name: Lucius Drake
Race: Eastern Beorc
Sex: Male
Class: Guard
Level: 1
Weapon Experience: Lance: D exp 31
Growth Type: Random
Asset: Skill
Flaw: Resistance
Equipment: Bronze Lance, Herb (980 gold left)

Appearance: Dark blue hair tied in a long ponytail with streaks of purple here and there. Has a thick strand of hair that droops in front of his face down to the tip of his nose and slightly curls upwards toward his right eye. A sharply groomed mustache-goatee adorns his mouth and chin.
Due to an incident in his past, Lucius no longer has a right eye. He wears a black eyepatch trimmed with gold and an eye shaped ruby encrusted in the center symbolizing his nobility. His left eye is a soft green, but it easily gives off an air of tragedy. Lucius also has an X shaped scar where his right eye should be. The length in each slash is about 4 inches.
He wears dark black plate armor trimmed with gold along the edges of the armor. In the center is his family crest of a howling wolf outlined in red. Lucius' armor is a grim reminder of his past as well as a sign that he was once a noble. He invested the remnants of his family's estate in his armor as a means to represent his family name without actual being tied to wealth.

Personality: A bit reserved, but he can be pretty sociable when he wants to be. He can outdrink virtually anyone due to his built up tolerance to alcohol since he was a kid. However, he has an extreme resentment towards women. He can't trust them and if prodded too much by one, it can turn into a very violent situation.

Background: Lucius grew up in a noble family that had small ties with the Royal Army in the realm of Paphlagonia. He lived in a large mansion with his mother, father, and twin sister Estelle which was taken care of by their maid Cecilia. His two older brothers were stationed in the capital. The middle one Logan was training in the Army, and the older one Raylon was already a prospective Lieutenant. Lucius was spoiled by his parents and thus developed a very bratty personality growing up. His sister, despite being spoiled as well, didn't take everything for granted like Lucius did. She was more independent than he was, yet she was always there when her brother needed her. At the age of 11, life was going well for Lucius and his family... Until one day a group of female bandits raided city.

The gates, which are always lowered at night, were raised after a few bandits infiltrated during the day and killed the gate guards at night.
Dozens of riders invaded the city and ransacked every house. They killed the nobles, and spared the commoners. They kidnapped dozens of young girls in hopes of adding to their numbers and sold the boys off into slavery. Then came the Drake household. During the chaos, Lucius and his family hid in the secret basement underneath the manor. Cecilia had disappeared way before the attack began. With Raylon and Logan away from the house, there was no one that could defend the household from the bandits. Just when the noise subsided, the sounds of angry voices entered the house and footsteps raced frantically throughout the house. Then, the sound of footsteps leading up to the secret bookcase could be heard clear as day. The bookcase moved, and 5 armored women rushed into the room.

Among the 5 was Cecilia. She had a cold look on her face as if she had thrown away all knowledge of the Drake family. Lucius' mother and father were killed in front of him as Cecilia watched coldly. Lucius fought the tears and grabbed the sword his father had tried using in self defense. He waved it around frantically at his attackers. He soon found himself in suspended in the air by the neck. The leader of the bandits was named Reine, and she wore a devilish smile on her face with long jet black hair dropping down to her chest. Her bangs were covering the left side of her face. She waved a dagger threateningly across Lucius' neck and laughed. Cecilia finally broke down and suggested she leave him alive. Reine accused her of being too soft. To prove her mettle, Cecilia took Lucius away from Reine and held him against the wall. She took her own knife and quickly slashed his right eye. She then removed the now useless and tossed it to Reine. The leader stood dumbfounded and then began hugging the treacherous maid. Lucius screamed in pain, and Estelle, who remained much more calm during the deaths of her parents, began to break down. Satisfied with their work, the women carried Estelle out as she screamed to her brother. Unwilling to give up, Lucius, while covering the right side of his face, picked up the sword and tried to attack again. However, his blood loss caused him to lose consciousness. Cecilia murmured to him as he faded, "I'm sorry it came to this" and turned her back on him as she left with her companions.

Eight years later, Lucius has graduated from the Military Academy and enlisted in the Royal Guard sworn to protect the Exalt. Over the past eight years, he dealt with an extreme phobia of a women. His drill instructor, who was a woman, beat the phobia out of him and turned into a strong resentment. His brothers, now 24 and 29, were deeply remorseful for what happened. Lucius has now accepted his past along with his harsh military training he's endured to this day. His current life goal now is to reunite with his estranged sister whom he believes is the only women that can help mend his scars.

Fun facts:
Unlike most men, Lucius sees women on the battlefield equal to men. He won't hesitate to cut one down if she poses a threat to his life. Lucius has practiced with swords throughout the entirety of his training, but now his enlistment in the Royal Guard has called him to train with Lances. His swordsmanship is really something. It's a beautiful sight to see, almost akin to ceremonial sword dancing.

Despite his tragic past, Lucius isn't too depressed or very vengeful. Of course, when he finds Cecilia and Reine he'll make sure they get what they deserve, but as of right now reuniting with Estelle is his main goal.

His attitude towards women certainly doesn't work in his favor, so most have stopped trying to talk to him. However, there are still some who find this aspect of him attractive.

I'm Blak, and I have shit taste.


Last edited by Blak The Great on Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DoMaya, Blak, your characters look fine, but with one exception: the current starting amount of weapon experience is 1. In other words, your character should have an E level with his equipped weapon (axes for Crelarus and lances for Lucius) and nothing else.

Moving on to the session system, it was actually because of Pierre and other users in distant time zones that I proposed it. My main concern was as much with everyone's work schedule as it was with everyone's sleep schedule. The idea was that we would schedule a time that everyone believes he/she will be available.

Also, Pierre, I'm actually considering replacing two of the existing sword classes with Myrmidon and Swordmaster. When planning out the promotion charts, I didn't really see a good place to put them. Now that I've taken a better look at the charts, though, I think they might have a place where Tricksters and Schemers are now.

Finally, Blak, a question: when you said "Exalt," did you mean Paphlagonia's ruler or the ruler of a different country?
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You know what? Thinking about it, in Radiant Dawn, everyone started off with a D level in their weapon of choice or better, so I'm going to change the starting weapon experience to 31. As such, Blak, DoMaya, you may go ahead and revise your weapon levels to D (I'll also let you replace your weapons if you want, since the RP has yet to start).
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I wanted Crelarus to use swords exclusively, but you didn't have a decent starting class who only used swords. If you add swordmaster I plan on putting him down that path, the reason I put his sword level as C was to show he had trained really hard growing up, and I wouldn't want to only be level E when he finally got the chance to use swords again.
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Duly noted, DoMaya. You know what? Since that makes two people (or one, if Pierre was just asking out of curiosity) who are interested in Myrmidons, I'm going to do a little work on the promotion charts. It will take some time, but I'll find a way to throw in a sword class.
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DoMaya wrote:
I wanted Crelarus to use swords exclusively, but you didn't have a decent starting class who only used swords. If you add swordmaster I plan on putting him down that path, the reason I put his sword level as C was to show he had trained really hard growing up, and I wouldn't want to only be level E when he finally got the chance to use swords again.


I wanted this to be the case for my character too. Now B might've been a little to ambitious, but if Pierre and DoMaya want to be Myrmidons then I'll just stick with Lucius being a Guard with Lances.

General Luigi wrote:
Finally, Blak, a question: when you said "Exalt," did you mean Paphlagonia's ruler or the ruler of a different country?


To be fair, I'm not too familiar with Monarchy in the FE universe other than Awakening's. I just assumed that Exalt could be used interchangeably, but then I remembered that they've also used Don and King for other realms as well. Lucius is a member of the Royal Guard that protects whichever royalty that rules over Paphlagonia.
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Paphlagonia currently has a king. Of course, that presents the problem of how exactly Lucius is going to wind up all the way in Belzen on the other side of the continent, since that's where our story begins. I'm open to ideas, since he is your character, after all.
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Damn DoMaya means he wants to be a myrmidon, now I'd feel unoriginal, or at least horrible unvaried by making mine one.

He even chose the same Asset I was planning on doing XD

Though for the record DoMaya, psychopath's are neither 'evil' or 'good' or anything really they just lack a sense of morality when it comes to achieving their goals and so don't let that hold themselves back.
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General Luigi wrote:
Paphlagonia currently has a king. Of course, that presents the problem of how exactly Lucius is going to wind up all the way in Belzen on the other side of the continent, since that's where our story begins. I'm open to ideas, since he is your character, after all.


After foiling an attack on the king's life, Lucius recognizes the attacker as one of the 5 women that attacked him and his family. He loses himself to his emotions and savagely beats her within an inch of her life in order to learn the whereabouts of Reine and her band of thugs and thieves. She reveals that Reine has left Paphlagonia entirely and her whereabouts are now unknown. Lucius, satisfied with his information, hands the unnamed assailant to the guards. He leaves the Royal Guard without a word, and leaves his homeland in pursuit of Reine and his sister.

Given my lack of knowledge of the geography, is there some kind of map I could use so I'm not wandering too aimlessly?
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Pierre wrote:
Damn DoMaya means he wants to be a myrmidon, now I'd feel unoriginal, or at least horrible unvaried by making mine one.

He even chose the same Asset I was planning on doing XD

Though for the record DoMaya, psychopath's are neither 'evil' or 'good' or anything really they just lack a sense of morality when it comes to achieving their goals and so don't let that hold themselves back.


I mean "evil" in the sense that he won't be double crossing the team yet. He's easily influenced by his comrades when he likes them.

Also, his asset and flaw are more attributed to his armor, his armor was lucky in the past.
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Updated the classes. Rogues, Tricksters, and Schemers are now Swordfighters, Myrmidons, and Swordmasters, respectively, with changes in base stats, stat caps, growth rates, and skills to reflect that. Also, Whispers have been renamed Rogues.

And Blak, I've been working on a map, but it's little more than an outline at the moment. Also, the thing is HUGE. I can't post it without Photobucket shrinking it to the point of the names being illegible.
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Upon consideration isn't a direct-translation of mechanics a little dull for this setting?
FE is a strategy game before it's an RPG. The combat options are actually dead simple, you simply attack, no manouvers, styles, stances, feats or nothing. The options come from having multiple characters with different traits and abilities.

Though when we reduce this to just one character essentially it means combat will revolve around "My character attacks" then dice are rolled.
Not that that's a bad system but plenty of systems allow ways to....augment that in some way with other abilities. That will only really happen on the final tier when occult abilities show up. Even then it's only really one ability with a chance of occuring. Sure somethings will vary with weapon choice but it's all just dice modification in the end all the combat boils down to the one option our characters will really have.

"I attack that guy"

I see you added shoving and fall damage but I'm just not sure when someone is one character it's really an interesting combat.
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If you have any ideas, I'm open to them, Pierre. I do plan on including a proper grid-style map for each battle, so things like moving, using items, and so on also factor into the equation, but I see your point. Of course, while something in the mechanics might translate as one character attacking and another counterattacking, that doesn't mean people have to type it in such a way in the main thread. After all, the kinds of things we see in the FMV cutscenes in Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, and Awakening certainly don't look anything like in-game combat. I'm hoping to leave the fleshed-out details to the actual players, but I can see how that could present problems, too.
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General Luigi wrote:
If you have any ideas, I'm open to them, Pierre. I do plan on including a proper grid-style map for each battle, so things like moving, using items, and so on also factor into the equation, but I see your point. Of course, while something in the mechanics might translate as one character attacking and another counterattacking, that doesn't mean people have to type it in such a way in the main thread. After all, the kinds of things we see in the FMV cutscenes in Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, and Awakening certainly don't look anything like in-game combat. I'm hoping to leave the fleshed-out details to the actual players, but I can see how that could present problems, too.


Yeah recent fire emblems have made the combat look increasingly slick and fluid as opposed to simple "stand and hit" "counterattack" "stand and hit" of encounters.

I wouldn't have a problem with dramatic 'cutscene-esque' combat in fact it's how I'd imagined it but it's the dissonance between your cutscene potential and actual options that hit me. As flourished as your attack may be it's still the same unless you get a critical or skill.
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Well, again, I'm open to ideas, but I can't think of a way to include the option for a wide variety of moves in the actual mechanics--at least, not without making individual combats a very drawn-out process. While combat's an important part of this RP, I imagine a lot of people will also want to tell a story with their characters, and I'm hoping to strike a balance between the two. I don't see any universal solution to this problem, but I hope that by leaving the details of combat to the players, I allow them to tell stories as well as spice up the fights. After all, "stand and hit, counterattack, stand and hit" doesn't exactly make for an exciting story.
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Right I stayed up real late on this (like 4am) so forgive me if it's a little misspelled or grammatically poor cause I'm sleepy.

Name: Ardan Nivean
Race: Marked (Eastern Beorc mother/ Hawk Laguz father)
Sex: Male
Class: Priest
Bottom-Tier Level: 1
Middle-Tier Level:
Top-Tier Level:
Weapon Experience: Staff: D
Growth Type: Random
Asset: HP
Flaw: Luck
Equipment: Heal Staff 800g, Herb 600g. (600g left)
Appearance: Phyisically appears in his 40-50s Beorc years. Brown-grey tattered priest robes, short dark greying blue hair with small spikes at the front and leathery tan skin. 5ft 11, long tired face with a sharp chin with a small blue goatee. Has a vertical scar across his left eye and a horizontal one across the palm of his right hand from previous battles. His marking is a broad blue rectangle going horizontally across his nose and cheeks spanning beyond the edges of his eyes.

Personality: Light-hearted but somewhat resigned, he doesn’t get overly excited about much. Not that he can’t be enthusiastic or let himself go but years with the church have taught him patience and acceptance so he tends to just roll with the punches and keep smiling if things look bleak. He does get riled up when faced with enemies that use behaviour-altering magic or status spells.

Background: When he was a young man Ardan patrolled the countryside with a contingent of men patrolling the southern coast of Duac where he grew up. Growing up Ardan developed a bond with a girl at the local Church named Nizana that tended the mens’ wounds and ailments. Over the years the relationship advanced into something more romantic and eventually after some years they were engaged. One day the church was attacked by bandits and the men raised their arms against them. Rushing to his beloved’s side, Ardan slayed any bandit that approached Nizana, the strength of her healing magic rendering him a veritable mountain in the face of the bandit’s assault. However as the end of the battle drew nearer an enemy mage raised their staff in the air targeting the troublesome mark guarding the entrance. Ardan’s mind was overcome with a terrifying rage blinding him to all rational thought as the spell fell upon him. Before Nizana could cure him of his ailment he cut her low emitting a twisted cackle from the offending mage before the rest of Ardan’s company ended him. Ardan awoke later restrained by his fellow men struggling furiously against them, some wounded from his anger. Upon realising what had occurred in the battle Ardan was heartbroken, collapsing to the ground he let his sword fall from his hand and never reclaimed it. The Church, understanding the cruel trickeries magic was capable of, was forgiving of his behaviour and sympathetic to his loss. Ardan spent many years in sorrow, he retired from the guard swearing to never harm another soul nor touch another weapon again, turning to drinking in the local bar to hide his torment. His mother eventually passed on peacefully and his father, furious at what his son had become scorned him leaving him the house before returning to his homeland. His mother left behind her old staff to him that she had used on his father in their adventuring days and the words “all wounds heal with time son, don’t let your life end like this.” Spurned into action by his mother’s final request, Ardan took up his mother’s staff and left selling the house to go live at the Church where he became an acolyte and eventually a priest training himself hard in the healing arts. He would honour his mother’s request but he would not revoke his vow to never touch a weapon again. Over many years Ardan became a peaceful and respected priest tending and healing the sick. While not as wise as some of his elders and still a sight more spritely than them due to his energetic youth, Ardan had finally found some peace and contentment. Talking with the new recruits in the guard and often escorting them out on patrols having felt patrols in his day would have oft benefitted from a healer. In the evenings he gambles playfully with the men and pays his respects at Nizana’s grave before retiring for the evening. The pain of her death still hurts but time has dulled the wound however Ardan’s sword remains embedded in the ground outside the church as nobody dares claim it for fear of the magic demons that possessed Ardan that day.

Additional Information: His mother's staff is NOT the heal staff he is initially equipped with. He doesn't use it for fear of it breaking in combat or from overuse. However he still keeps it for sentimental value.
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Re: Fire Emblem: The Heroes' LegacyTopic%20Title
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Looks good, Pierre (well, save for some spelling errors). I've done the calculations, and with his heritage, Ardan ages only slightly slower than most Beorc; at the most, he's a few years older than he looks. If it weren't for the mark on his face, most people probably would have no idea he was born to a Laguz father. As for where he's from, that can be addressed once I've got the map looking like something more than a giant inkblot with some white lines on it. I already see a few countries that would make sense, given his heritage. That can be addressed some other time, though. I don't want to keep you up (4:00 AM... and I thought I stayed up too late...).
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General Luigi wrote:
Looks good, Pierre (well, save for some spelling errors). I've done the calculations, and with his heritage, Ardan ages only slightly slower than most Beorc; at the most, he's a few years older than he looks. If it weren't for the mark on his face, most people probably would have no idea he was born to a Laguz father. As for where he's from, that can be addressed once I've got the map looking like something more than a giant inkblot with some white lines on it. I already see a few countries that would make sense, given his heritage. That can be addressed some other time, though. I don't want to keep you up (4:00 AM... and I thought I stayed up too late...).


Yeah thanks for forgiving the spelling problems I wanted bed. Though yeah I didn't put in a definite town because...well I wasn't really sure what it was, under the Eastern Beorc race I chose the area in the south east where they are slightly more dark skinned than the pale east but still classed as East Beorc.

I didn't vary his look much as Laguz because the Marked description says they are basically indistinguishable from Beorc so I assumed no real Laguz traits were passed on except for the marks.

Ideally there would be a sword and staff wielding class to potentially give me plot-class-development later one but for the life of me and all the billions of combinations they do with weaponry there's not one for that.
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Technically, they've done that combination in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, but only with Mist and Elincia. That said, unlike with Myrmidons and Swordmasters, I really don't see any place in this RP's promotion chart for a class that wields swords and staves.

In other news, I've updated the first post with a little lore regarding pegasi and wyverns on this continent.
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General Luigi wrote:
Technically, they've done that combination in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, but only with Mist and Elincia. That said, unlike with Myrmidons and Swordmasters, I really don't see any place in this RP's promotion chart for a class that wields swords and staves.

In other news, I've updated the first post with a little lore regarding pegasi and wyverns on this continent.


Yeah the classes are fine no need to worry bout it.
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Re: Fire Emblem: The Heroes' LegacyTopic%20Title
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Spoiler:
Name: Dorran Baine
Race: Marked (Northern Beorc Father/Gold Dragon Mother)
Sex: Male
Class: Wyvern Rider
Level: 1
Weapon Experience: Axe: D
Growth Type: Random
Asset: Strength
Flaw: Luck
Equipment: Bronze Axe, Herb (1120 gold left)
Appearance: White short messy hair dark eyes pale skin he is lightly armored wearing a dark black plated armor with only one arm covered in armor his other arm is severely burned up to his elbow with the exception of his marking which stretches from his hand to his elbow oddly enough.

Personality: Calm, easy going guy who in spite how he appears is friendly though tends to have nightmares from time to time often losing sleep over it. he at times can be weary of people due to his past.

Background: Dorran grew up in a small farm close to a large city as a farmer who's father was the caretaker of the cities wyvern...his life was rather simple as it usually involved taking care of the fields or helping raise the new wyvern even becoming attached to one as time went by...he and his mother were never liked by the town but never did much due to fear of punishment for attacking the ones who raise the towns wyvern...

on one night a hired assassin would try to kill him his mother and father protecting though almost being killed himself the wyvern he'd befriended overtime biting the mans arm, tearing it of in the end he managed to injure the wyvern and managed to escape burning the farmhouse down in the process as he tried to escape the building debris knocked him over falling with one arm right into a fire. with the help of the wyvern he escaped the building though the damaged done to his arm...

as time would pass he would eventually join the towns wyvern riders to train and become strong enough to fight also using his position to find out about who his parents killer was and why only to discover the location of the man...and unfortunately his reasons. as it turned out his mother was responsible for a villages destruction having led a raid upon it a man survived and had hired the assasin to kill him and his mother who had gone into hiding after her groups own betrayal upon her...

with the truth revealed to him at first lost...but with wisdom from a strange traveler he had crossed paths with he decided to begin traveling the world.

Fun facts: He named his wyvern Durandal since it sounded similar to his own name, he has been traveling for quite some time seeing plenty of interesting things the world has to offer

Question:(If its alright with you...his weapon is his scythe modified for combat...just treat it as it was a bronze axe but story wise seen differently...if not just forget I asked.)
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Cold, please excuse my being a Grammar Stalinist, but could you please proofread that and use proper sentences? I can excuse the occasional grammatical or spelling error (case in point: Pierre's character profile), but only when I can actually understand what you're trying to say. In fact, this calls for a bit of an addendum to the existing rules. Once you've made your character's profile something I would consider legible, I'll send you a PM with some questions I have about him.
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Please excuse the double post, but we now have a map. I still have a lot of work left to do on it, but at least now everyone will know what Duat looks like now--not to mention some of you have characters from a good distance away from Belzen, so maybe this will help you plan out how they got to where the RP is supposed to start.

...You know, now that I look at it, it kind of resembles Europe. That wasn't exactly my intention. I actually started by drawing a really crude outline of a cat's face. You can still see some of those features if you look in the right places. Sandomir and its neighbors make up one of the ears, for example.
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Looking forward to it General! Not knowing where I am in the world was the hardest part in making my character.
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General Luigi wrote:
Cold, please excuse my being a Grammar Stalinist, but could you please proofread that and use proper sentences? I can excuse the occasional grammatical or spelling error (case in point: Pierre's character profile), but only when I can actually understand what you're trying to say. In fact, this calls for a bit of an addendum to the existing rules. Once you've made your character's profile something I would consider legible, I'll send you a PM with some questions I have about him.


heh...i understand... grammar has never been a strong suit of mine...and to be honest im not sure what i screwed up on.

(was it really that hard to understand?) >__>;;;
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I was able to get the gist of most of it, but some of the run-on sentences have made it difficult for me to understand exactly what happened in his past. Let's see how much of this I've got right...

His hair is short, white, and messy. He has dark eyes. His skin is pale. He wears black plate armor (I'm sort of picturing Gerome in my head, though I can tell Dorran doesn't look exactly like him). One of his arms, though, doesn't have any armor covering it. Said arm has his Mark, as well as severe burns. Both the Mark and burns go from his hand to his elbow.

Okay, if I've got all that right, I have a couple of questions. You've said that his burns and Mark are on that arm. Should I interpret that as meaning that arm is completely bare (I'm picturing something along the lines of Chrom's right arm), or is it covered by a sleeve? Second, are these burns very recent, or are they scars? You've implied that some time has passed since he burned himself, so I'm guessing they're scars.

As for his personality, he's calm and easygoing. In addition, he's friendly, though his appearance might make some people think otherwise. He sometimes has nightmares (I'm guessing about his past, though I suppose that's irrelevant at the moment). Finally, he can be... wary around people sometimes? By that do you mean he's slow to trust people?

He grew up on a farm near a major city. His father took care of... the city's wyvern? Or did you mean wyverns? Other parts of the background make me think it's plural, which would make sense. Most of the time, Dorran worked on the farm, though he also sometimes helped out with the wyverns, even growing close to one of the wyverns in the process. Dorran and his mother weren't very popular in the town they lived in, though his father's job helped ensure no one was willing to give them trouble.

If I have all that right, then the only thing that needs clearing up is the matter of the wyvern or wyverns, as well as why they would be in a major city. Considering what I've typed up about wyverns in this RP, I would assume the wyverns are raised to be used by the army's wyvern riders, but I don't want to force any particular explanation on you.

One night, an assassin tried to kill Dorran and both his parents. The wyvern Dorran had befriended protected him, getting injured in the process, but managing to maim the assassin and drive him off. The assassin set the farmhouse on fire while fleeing. While attempting to escape, Dorran was knocked into the flames by some debris, which resulted in his arm getting burned. With the wyvern's help, Dorran managed to escape from the building.

That paragraph was easily the one I had the most trouble figuring out. I'm guessing you meant "barn" instead of "farmhouse." Wyverns aren't exactly small, so I have difficulty imagining one being able to fit in a farmhouse without causing a lot of damage. Also, I'm going to assume from your next paragraph that the assassin killed Dorran's parents. Failing that, they died in the fire.

Dorran eventually underwent training and joined the town's wyvern riders, using his new position to look into who was behind the plot against his family. Upon locating and confronting the assassin, he learned that his mother had led a raid on a village. One of the survivors of the raid hired the assassin to track her down and kill her and Dorran. Dorran's mother had gone into hiding after her comrades betrayed her. Dorran was at a loss, eventually deciding to travel the world.

This raises questions about his mother, but I suppose I can address those once I'm sure I understand what's already been written. Is there anything that I got wrong?

Also, two other things. I feel I should say no to the scythe. Functionally, a scythe differs significantly from an axe. Axes are designed for chopping through hard objects, such as trees. Scythes are designed to cut through softer objects, such as wheat, and aren't swung with the same kind of force as an axe. Second, because Dorran's mother is a gold dragon, that will have a significant effect on how he ages. He's about 3.5 times as old as he looks, so, for example, if he looks fifteen, he's actually around fifty.
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Spoiler: Questions and answers
General Luigi wrote:
I have a couple of questions. You've said that his burns and Mark are on that arm. Should I interpret that as meaning that arm is completely bare (I'm picturing something along the lines of Chrom's right arm), or is it covered by a sleeve? Second, are these burns very recent, or are they scars? You've implied that some time has passed since he burned himself, so I'm guessing they're scars.

his arm doesn't have a sleeve and is completely bare and the burns are scars.

General Luigi wrote:
he can be... wary around people sometimes? By that do you mean he's slow to trust people?

basically

General Luigi wrote:
He grew up on a farm near a major city. His father took care of... the city's wyvern? Or did you mean wyverns?

>_>;;; huh...wonder how i missed that. yea i ment wyverns.

General Luigi wrote:
why they would be in a major city. Considering what I've typed up about wyverns in this RP, I would assume the wyverns are raised to be used by the army's wyvern riders, but I don't want to force any particular explanation on you.

well to be specific the farm was on the cities outskirts to give the wyverns enough room to be cared and raised for the army's wyvern riders.

General Luigi wrote:
That paragraph was easily the one I had the most trouble figuring out. I'm guessing you meant "barn" instead of "farmhouse." Wyverns aren't exactly small, so I have difficulty imagining one being able to fit in a farmhouse without causing a lot of damage. Also, I'm going to assume from your next paragraph that the assassin killed Dorran's parents. Failing that, they died in the fire.

sorry about that...yes i meant barn (me just not thinking about it I admit -_-;;;) and yes the assasin did kill his parents.

General Luigi wrote:
Dorran eventually underwent training and joined the town's wyvern riders, using his new position to look into who was behind the plot against his family. Upon locating and confronting the assassin, he learned that his mother had led a raid on a village. One of the survivors of the raid hired the assassin to track her down and kill her and Dorran. Dorran's mother had gone into hiding after her comrades betrayed her. Dorran was at a loss, eventually deciding to travel the world.

This raises questions about his mother, but I suppose I can address those once I'm sure I understand what's already been written. Is there anything that I got wrong?

pretty much, spot on

General Luigi wrote:
Also, two other things. I feel I should say no to the scythe. Functionally, a scythe differs significantly from an axe. Axes are designed for chopping through hard objects, such as trees. Scythes are designed to cut through softer objects, such as wheat, and aren't swung with the same kind of force as an axe. Second, because Dorran's mother is a gold dragon, that will have a significant effect on how he ages. He's about 3.5 times as old as he looks, so, for example, if he looks fifteen, he's actually around fifty.

i understand about the scythe. like i said just was more on a whim really :x
and yes i understood about how slow they age which is why i thought it would work be good for him sice hes been traveling for quite along time and was in fact close to the age I was thinking
(that being 52...what its my lucky number xD)

Again general sorry for the trouble but thanks for your patience. it really does help. :godot:
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Ah geez that map! It's huge! How does this world exist? There's so many different nations I'm surprised they aren't all vying for war.

Anyway if there is some big event in Belzen as a reason for attending my character could be there otherwise I'm sure I can think of some reason for him to take a ship to Belzen.
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I never said the continent was at peace. Among other things, there's Hicaz's recent aggression. At present, I don't see much point in going into detail about every single conflict on the continent, though.

Also, I'm working on a map with demographic information right now, so I'll hopefully have a logical homeland for your character before too long (probably within a week).
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Hey General.

I was told there IS actually a staff and sword wielding class now, that Trickster's get that privelige in FE: Awakening is that right at all?
I woulda set on the path to that if it was viable.
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Pierre wrote:
Hey General.

I was told there IS actually a staff and sword wielding class now, that Trickster's get that privelige in FE: Awakening is that right at all?
I woulda set on the path to that if it was viable.


I don't know if the class has been in other FE's, but n Awakening, Tricksters do indeed use swords and staves.
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Right. I forgot about those guys, but that would have presented a different problem for your character: Tricksters promote from Thieves, which only use swords. Admittedly, though, since you implied you originally wanted a sword-user, that probably wouldn't have bothered you.
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General Luigi wrote:
Right. I forgot about those guys, but that would have presented a different problem for your character: Tricksters promote from Thieves, which only use swords. Admittedly, though, since you implied you originally wanted a sword-user, that probably wouldn't have bothered you.


True unless you allowed a Second-seal style class change.
Eh well constraints are constraints.
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Thanks for your understanding. I considered allowing Second Seals, but it's too easy for them to turn into game breakers.
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That's fair it's a shame there's no staff user to Trickster path since my dude has prior sword experience but it'll be fine.
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why not just start out as trickster?
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