The Land of Nirriven is in chaos. In the City of Stormrise, the Kyng lays dying from an unknown illness with no heir, and the debate over who should succeed him threatens to escalate into Civil War. This divisions threaten to escalate the deep-seated hostility between the elves and the dwarves into open war. The Umbrals recognise that there are greater forces at play, and that the current crisis in the mortal realm may even drive them to intervene.
Details on the setting:
Originally Posted by Tysyacha
Here are some "mental pictures" I have about the fantasy setting...
1. I picture a vast mountain range in the western part of our realm. The arrogant and reclusive Elves live on the surface, practicing arcane magick and rituals in relative peace, because the Humans and Dwarves are against them. Certainly, there are Human mages, but Elven mages are far more feared because a) they're so much better at magick than Humans and b) many are Inceptors. Below ground reside the Dwarves, who are living in a semi-perpetual state of "cold war" with the Elves. The Dwarves know that martial power alone cannot eradicate the Elves, and the Elves know that since none of them are Warriors, they can't eradicate the Dwarves. Thus, they have a hostile coexistence. The land's civil war will force them to take opposite sides.
2. In the middle and eastern parts of the realm, where the land is more flat, Humans are primarily concentrated, going about their Human business. They are wary of the Elves, but to most Humans, the Elves are about as remote as Iraqis and Afghans are to most Americans. The only time Humans ever meet Elves is if one race or the other takes a dangerous trek far to the west/east. Witness Perdante and her exile. She has fled to the mountains in the west. Humans have a much better relationship with the Dwarves, who export gems and minerals through their (few) merchant caravans who dare to go east.
3. The Umbrals exist on a much higher plane (we'd call it the ionosphere). Their primary mission is to act as agents of good/evil, or chaos/law. The only ways an Umbral can die is if a magic spell kills them in their ghostly form, or if they are turned into stone by a mage and then shattered somehow. They have no real malice toward any of the "solid" races, only attitudes ranging from indifference to disdain. Only a few Umbrals are like the angels or devils of myth, caring so much about the "solid" world that they dare to intervene.
4. Despite animosities between Humans and Elves, unions between the two races are not unheard of. However, their offspring are often scorned within both communities, and depending on where they are, half-elves will often attempt to pass themselves off as the more accepted race in the area.
Feel free to come up with your own landmarks, settlements, etc.
RACES: Human, Elf, Dwarf, Half-Elf, Umbral ("shadow", a ghostlike shapeshifter)
ARCHETYPES: Warrior, Rogue, Mage
HUMANS CAN BE: Warriors, Rogues, Mages
ELVES CAN BE: Rogues, Mages
DWARVES CAN BE: Warriors, Rogues
HALF-ELVES CAN BE: Warriors, Rogues, Mages (they share humans' versatility)
UMBRALS CAN BE: Rogues, Mages
EXAMPLES OF WARRIOR CLASSES: Berserker (RARRR!), Paragon (warrior who inspires allies and demoralizes foes), Reaver (a warrior who feeds upon foes' souls)
EXAMPLES OF ROGUE CLASSES: Assassin (BACKSTAB!!!), Scout (lays traps, reads tracks, marks waypoints), Distractor (draws enemies out and acts as a diversion so the main party can attack on the sly. Kind of like a decoy.)
EXAMPLES OF MAGE CLASSES: Healer (duh), Elementalist (casts spells related to fire, water, earth and air), Inceptor (the most feared of all mages, because Inceptors cast spells that control and influence the mind, like "blood magic".)
Character Sheet Base:
Class: (Not limited to examples above, feel free to come up with your own)
Alignment: (Think classic D&D alignment, meaning good vs. evil, law vs. chaos)
Name: Ser (as in Sir) Jaymes Caran
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Weapon: A Crystalline Greatsword, discovered in the ruins of Lindaren, from a time of peaceful cooperation and coexistence between all races of Nirriven.
Backstory: Early in his his career, Jaymes Caran was sent by the Kyng to lead an expedition into the recently discovered ruins of Lindaren. The ruin was infested with Goblins and Orcs, but the group was able to clear it, and discover the truth about the ruin: When it stood, Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Umbrals stood together as allies, until it fell, from Zealots serving the Creator. Upon his return, Jaymes was Knighted, named Commander of the newly formed Blue Knights, and third in command in the Kyng's Court.
As third in command to the Kyng, Ser Jaymes was obligated to support Faren Mageslayer in his succession to the Throne. However, the two of them never saw eye to eye, and once it became clear what a brute Faren was, Ser Jaymes, in an unprecedented move, withdrew his support. Though he had his own supporters in the Court, Faren quickly quelled the movement by banishing Ser Jaymes from the Court. While he was still a Knight, and able to move freely within the Kyngdom, he lacked any political power. Realising Faren has gone mad with power and is using it to further his own agendas, Ser Jaymes is determined to stop him, and reunify Nirriven.
Despite his disgrace in the Court, the Blue Knights remained loyal to Ser Jaymes and agreed to rebel against Faren, directly opposing Faren's newly formed Knights Opaque.
Weapon: A Dragonwood Longbow
Backstory: An outcast amongst both humans and elves, Athra makes her living in the vast forests and small villages between Stormrise and the Reaching Mountains. Secretly however, she is the daughter of Jenna Talravin and an Human man whose name she never learned. Jenna's pride prevents her from acknowledging Athra is her daughter, which Athra naturally finds insulting. On top of that, she believes her to be dangerous, but that she is still a better choice to succeed the Kyng than Faren Mageslayer.
Two characters we need:
A Human Warrior/Berserker--the one who was victorious against Perdante Argentys (Tysyacha's character) in their Duel of the Fates. This Berserker claims that since s/he is the Kyng's lieutenant and second-in-command, then by martial right s/he shall claim the throne since the dying Kyng has no heir. This Warrior is mistrustful of all types of mages except Healers, and wants to eradicate all other forms of magick from the realm. After all, claims this person, who should have the right to control the wind and waves, the earth and fire, and people's minds above all, except for the god(s) s/he believes in? Thus s/he is a crusader, too. Any who are not with him/her is his/her foe.
An Elven Inceptor, who was, oddly enough, brought over from the mountains in the West to teach the Human race magick. This Elf started out studying the schools of Healing and Elementalism, and taught Men to harness the power of restorative and primal magick. However, at the midpoint of the Elf's life, s/he became fascinated with the forbidden school of Inception. S/he took one out of every thousand humans to study this art, and thus there are so few Human Inceptors that they're almost nonexistent. This is how the Elves have kept their monopoly over Inception for so long. This Elf is not inherently evil, just "grey" and entirely pro-magic, and also a deist.