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Synk

Synk

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A city of masked magicians born from catacombs. A tyrannical college seeking power. A false church seeking answers. Deadly monsters. Horrifying undead. Crime, disease and war. But there is only one escape from life in Synk.

865 readers have visited Synk since Baron Fowling created it.

Introduction

Synk is the city. At its heart, stone towers rise above cobbled streets and ancient palaces speak of the rich and powerful of ages long past. As it spreads across the land towards the ocean, stone and mortar give way to grass and trees, residential areas mingle with long-fallow farmland and even patches of untouched wildlife. The river Polk, springing up in the dizzying and doubtless impassable mountains that gird the city on almost all sides, cuts a curving path through its densely-packed downtown and its sprawling uptown, before it lazily spreads into the rotting marsh of the Fens that precede its slide into the ocean. The weather brings arid sun one day, lashing rain the next, torturous humidity another before giving way to flurries of snow, with no heed for season or meteorological sense. Life in the city is strange.

For the longest time, the only life was beasts. Animals, monsters and creatures with just enough intelligence to know how to be cruel. Four-legged and two-armed hunters stalked the streets. Tribes of animalistic killers tainted the stones with ritualistic bloodletting. Flying vermin made nests in rotting beds that had not felt a human's touch in unknown eons. And the ever-present undead quietly shambled through the streets, those that were destroyed quickly replaced by the endless tide that swells from the catacombs, sepulchres and tombs that lie under seemingly every inch of the city's architecture.

Until one day, it was not just the zombies that spilled from that forbidding labyrinth. One day the living as well as the dead began to awake in the tunnels under Synk. Men and women wearing strange masks stepped into the sunlight. Without memories, without understanding or purpose, they found themselves the new inhabitants of the city. But the city was not welcoming. Accosted by the current inhabitants of the city, the beasts, monsters and undead, many died in those first few days. Many did not even succeed in escaping the tombs in which they awoke. But as more arose, and grouped together, and were lead by those who did not rely on a sense of past or future in order to be driven to survive... the city passed into new hands. Though it did not go quietly.

For days and days, the battle for Synk raged. And though the monsters and undead were fierce, strong and implacable, the masked humans were ingenious, determined... and magical. Though it took some a while to realise it, it quickly became clear that all of these new residents that awoke did so some capacity for one form or another of magic. Some could twist and remake the world around them at a whim. Others could make the energies of the natural world their own. Others still displayed odd and unusual talents that could not be easily measured or explained. These magic users came together, the struggle against the threats of Synk uniting them with the desperate urge to survive. And when those threats diminished, they began to unite against each other.

In the jumble of homes, workshops, schools, markets, palaces and towers that is Downtown Synk, one group quickly established itself as dominant. Originally a gang of wizards led, taught and stoked into expansionist zeal by a domineering and charismatic man called Emrin Claffor, the group quickly began to remodel itself... not a gang, but a college, a university of magical study that expanded not for expansion's sake, but to bring more and more minds into the fold in order to unlock yet more of the mysteries of magic. Claffor himself took the role of the Chancellor, overseeing the study, practice and experimentation of his students, teaching at length himself and spending no less time in his own dedicated studies. And, of course, ensuring that Emrin College continued to grow and spread across the breadth of Sink.

At the same time, in the wilder environs of Uptown Synk, where fewer undead made their home but the monstrous beasts that roamed the streets were all the more deadly for it, more and more helpless individuals came to follow the one called Blue Mirabel. Blue Mirabel, whose white robe and sheer blue mask made them appear as something more, or simply different than human. Blue Mirabel, who called magic a gift from the gods, and swore to revere them in thanks for the powers they had bestowed upon them. Blue Mirabel, who conjured storms from nothing, who could build a wall of flame from a flurry of sparks, who with a touch could undo the deadliest of wounds or flush out the vilest of poisons. Who turned any monster that raised its hand against their followers into a crumbling pile of ash. The Church of the Holy Water sprung up purely around Mirabel, who by common understanding was taken to be the one closest to the gods, as the one most blessed with their magics. And its influence quickly spread through the entirety of the Uptown.

Meanwhile, the other bands and groups were pushed further and further to the sidelines, those that would not bow to either College or Church being forced to make their homes in the direst areas of Synk, far from the protection of Mirabel's Clerics or Claffor's Deans. Some even made their way into the mountains, to try and make a new life outside of the city. None went very far that returned. Beset on all sides by howling winds, unpassable stone walls and monsters even more terrifying than those of the city, only those of incredible luck... or perhaps some other quality... would be able to survive.

And high above the city, inexplicable as they are undeniable, the sky islands float. Some say that the previous inhabitants of Synk, swamped with the undead, flew into the sky to make their homes up there. Others say they are inhabited only by wraiths and spectres who sometimes choose to float down and haunt the city. Others chuckle at the idea of anything worthwhile being on rocks floating in the sky, though they cannot offer much explanation for why such rocks would be floating in the sky to begin with.

It is now nearing the end of the twentieth dozenday. Nearly two hundred and fifty days have passed since Awakening began, and Synk began to shift from a city of monsters to a city of mages. Tensions continue to mount between the expansionist Deans of the College and the territorial Clerics of the Church. Assassination attempts against each of the leaders grow in frequency, and everyone murmurs at the possibility of all-out war.

It is a dire time to awake beneath the streets of Synk. But has there ever been a good one?

Toggle Rules

For now feel free to read content as I provide it and start conceptualising characters. The different forms of magic in this universe work in quite specific ways, so I'd suggest keeping an open mind as to what kind of magical abilities you'd like your character to have. Some things translate quite well into the Wizardry, Witchcraft, Mysticism and Sagacity of Synk, but other things might not really work at all. Also Mystics and Sages are quite a lot rarer and I'd like that to be reflected in the roleplay when it happens (he said, planning to play a Mystic.)

Try to keep your characters within the guidelines of the world. Everyone in Synk awoke in the catacombs under the city with little to no memories of their previous lives. Everyone has a mask. Everyone has magic, though naturally some are more powerful than others, and some choose not to use theirs at all.

Some people are naturals when it comes to specific forms of magic, whether that be transmuting explosives, manipulating plant life, turning their fingers into clawed talons or focusing sunlight into beams of scorching heat. These are called knacks. Having one doesn't mean that your character will be a badass mage from the get-go, but if it's a cool idea with a lot of applications then you might find that it gives them some advantages in the roleplay. If you have an idea for a knack, or any form of magic that you want help putting into the logic of the universe, feel free to let me know on the discussion board or by DM.

This is getting away from "rules" a bit but tbh if you need rules to be able to write a story with people then I don't want you in my story. Get outta here.

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Character Portrait: Emrin Claffor

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Character Portrait: Emrin Claffor
Emrin Claffor

Chancellor and founder of Emrin College. Wizard.

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Character Portrait: Emrin Claffor
Emrin Claffor

Chancellor and founder of Emrin College. Wizard.

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Character Portrait: Emrin Claffor
Emrin Claffor

Chancellor and founder of Emrin College. Wizard.


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