The Crystal's Ballad

The Crystal's Ballad

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Aboard the Eastbound ship they went, seeking a new life - one of fortune, perhaps, or one of glory... maybe even one of safety... but among them travels a dreamer, one who had seen visions of war long forgotten, and the darkness yet to come.

275 readers have visited The Crystal's Ballad since Intricacy created it.

Introduction


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The following RP is set in a mature, dark fantasy world. This may not be suitable for younger readers, and may contain strong language, graphic violence, sexual references, and potentially more. I'm trying to flesh out this universe in a way that reflects and discusses real historical examples and events, including, but not limited to, social, racial, religious, and sexual profiling, stereotyping, and discrimination. Being a member of certain communities, I feel it important if such issues are going to be discussed, all potential writers on this RP should be informed before even creating their character.

TL;DR, There's going to be messed up stuff in this RP. If you are sensitive to certain topics, please read the above information carefully and reconsider whether this is the right RP for you, but, if you are seeking tales of graphic violence, adventure, and want to create more... racy characters, this is the place.


The Crystal's Ballad


This campaign takes place in the fantasy setting of Asteran, a large and (mostly) populated continent on a planet referred to by the races of men as "Alwrath". The planet's age is unknown, however, it is believed that Asteran's oldest established settlement, Valaria (the Crown City), is approximately 1200 years old, but of course, you've never been to Valaria, nor have you been to Asteran itself. Your characters hail from the islands to the West of the mainland, known as the Loeril Stones, resting about 80 miles offshore.

Life on the Loeril Stones has been somewhat sheltered, if a little exclusive. Here, you did not have to worry about tales of the mainland, except what the elders taught you. The younglings were trained from a wee age to find a functional role in society, whether they be hunters, farmers, fishermen, or otherwise, and upon reaching adulthood, took part in an annual coming of age ritual, where each man begins to choose their own life, whether it takes them to a profession, or to waters unknown.

Whatever your background here, you have decided to set sail for Asteran aboard one of the cargo ships bringing supplies to and from the islands, to seek out a new life, one of prosperity, glory, or freedom. All of you except for one, and that will be revealed in the opening post.



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Tales of the Mainland

Asteran

You know fairly little about Asteran, except for the uneasy alliances between Valaria, the hold of Nordvakt, and the Eastern jewel that is Sandsten. There are tales of great strife and monsters seeping into the Kingdom from the South, and great unrest in the ancient forests of the North-West. The Elder Seer once spoke of the "Elementals rising against the great stone walls that consume their homeland", and also said that "power shifts from the ten, to find no home among the nine." Of course, this made little sense to the other Elders, let alone the children.

You do know that there are a number of mercenary guilds and merchants who will be looking to hire muscle and workers to assist in activities in Valaria, even though the castle is well-guarded.


The Division

All children are told the story of the Divide - the great war that led to the end of the Solaran Empire, or at least their control over Sandsten, but also, the loss of the Genesis Crystal, an ancient stone imbued with the power to alter and restore life. It had rested in the shade of Conan's Kirk for longer than men had kept record, and its powers had allowed men to cultivate the land and their kingdom to flourish. 307 years ago, the Solarans invaded from the East, aboard grand warships, seizing Sandsten for themselves, and taking control of the surrounding land. They uncovered knowledge of the Genesis Crystal, and sought to find a way to weaponize it. With tensions high, and the Valarians struggling to maintain control over the flatlands, the Valarians hatched a plan to infilrate the ranks of the Solarans, and perhaps not a moment too soon.

The actions of a long forgotten spy gave the Valarians insight to the Solarans plans, and the Royal Flotilla was dispatched around the Bulwark Coast to the South, sheltering in the Bay of Storms, and waiting to intercept their quarry. Meanwhile, the Valarian Royal Army marched on Conan's Kirk through the Shatterspine Mountains of the Bulwark Coast, in an attempt to defend the Crystal from harm.

The stories turn to fables at this point. None who fought that day at Conan's Kirk ever returned. An almighty explosion was heard far and wide across the Kingdom, even reaching the Loeril Stones. The Crystal was shattered, and its fragments scattered across Alwrath. Those who survived the blast among the Royal Flotilla ships claim that before the blinding flash, they saw a white beam streak across the sky from the direction of Sandsten to Conan's Kirk. Beyond that, no-one knows what became of the crystal. Conan's Kirk, once a mighty mountain, had been levelled, and the Crystal, gone.

In the following years, the Valarians were able to drive out the Solarans, and one of the shards was located to the North, around which the city of Nordvakt was erected. Sandsten became a thriving center of commerce and trade, the lowlands became farmland instead of battlegrounds, and of course, the Valarians attempted to lay siege to Nordvakt (but that's a tale for another time...). The real changes came more subtly at first, but soon, they became a bigger threat than the Solarans ever were. Reports were heard of attacks by monsters of unknown origin; manifestations of nightmares and demonic creatures of the night terrorising farmers and livestock. At first, all were more concerned with the political intrigue in Sandsten, or the increasing emnity against Nordvakt from the forests surrounding it. It was not until Outpost Echo fell, on Asteran's Eastern shores, that myths became recognised as reality.

Now, almost 300 years later, the abominations still pose a threat to all life in Asteran, but none have been able to stop them coming.


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The Brief

Your character:
-- is human.
-- is aged between 18 and 25 (early years of adulthood).
-- has grown up in the islands known as the Loeril Stones, and knows little about the mainland.
-- was trained in one of many common occupations or trades.
-- may have combat training, or have been trained in magical arts.
-- has decided that they wish to leave the islands for their own reasons (you decide)


Character formats will be posted in the discussion section. If you have any questions, please let me know :)
Also, if you are going to create a character, please let me know in the discussion! Thanks for reading!

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