Over the Sea
You are in Illikon. The docks are bustling and active as always, but today as you step into the local seaside tavern, you hear something that truly piques your interest. Whether you are here because you are sojourning at the inn on some longer road, or you are accompanying a friend who dragged you to this drinking hole against your will, or you just wanted an ale or two… whatever your story may be, nevertheless, here you are.
Over the usual fuss of tankards slamming back upon tables and orders being barked, you can make out enough words of various conversations to put together something interesting: in port today is the ship of none other than Sir Nathaniel Aquilonis. Depending on your education and your background, you may not know who Sir Nathaniel Aquilonis is. If this is the case, you also gather that he is an Imperial, and a daring explorer and cartographer. If this is not the case, then you already know he is not only these things, but also discoverer of many exotic and previously uncharted regions.
Right on cue, the tavern door opens wide, letting in a blast of sea-breeze with the sticky smell of brine. A trio enters, led by a tall, dashing, black-haired man dressed rather like a pirate. In his wake follows a strange-looking dwarf, whose grey beard holds an odd greenish hue, almost like seaweed. The third is a beautiful and quite scantily clad woman who piques the attention of every male in the establishment (much as her Captain surely piqued the interest of the females). Following soon after them is a pair of rather nondescript sailors who are clearly with them, but for some reason keep their distance.
The crowd stares for a moment, parting to let the visitors in, and then everyone goes back to their business and chatter again fills the room. Straining your ears, you try to pick out the words of the new intruders.
“I told ya you shoulda jus’ brought me a drink,” remarks the Sea Dwarf, who speaks in a gruff voice, his tone cross. Like all dwarves, he has a distinct accent, although his sounds a bit different from a typical Dwarven one.
“Don’t worry,” the Captain replies smoothly, “things will die down in just a bit. They’re probably all just staring at your green hair.”
The voluptuous, dark-haired woman laughs at this, but the dwarf huffs angrily. “Fintan, you never could take a joke,” says the woman, whose alluring voice bears a thick High Imperial accent. “Chances are no one here has seen a Sea Dwarf before.”
As they all arrive at the bar, each one orders a drink, their tastes varying greatly. But unlike the Captain said, things are not dying down. Some people are swiftly leaving the tavern as if frightened by the group; but for each one that leaves, two more are entering to gaze at the spectacle. Even if the handsome explorer and his beautiful female companion don’t interest you, the sour-faced old Sea Dwarf truly is a fascinating sight. Dwarves are rare, but Sea Dwarves are little more than legend.
“I don’t like this,” declares one of the seamen, slapping down two gold coins and taking his drink – tankard and all – with him as he walks out the door.
“How very charitable,” says the dark-haired woman, watching as the second sailor quietly follows his companion’s example. “I wonder if they realize that the bartender could buy four more tankards of better quality with that amount of money.”
The Captain just shrugs, still calmly enjoying his drink. “Their loss, Elektra. It’s up to them how they spend their share.”
“What a bunch o’ suckers,” chuckles Fintan the Sea Dwarf, who snatches up the gold they left behind while the bartender isn’t looking and leaves three coppers there instead. Then he too makes for the exit – but upon reaching the doorway he pauses, looking back at the two that remain behind.
“Nate? Elektra? You comin’?” asks Fintan.
“Afraid to go back to the ship alone, Finny?” remarks the Captain – who you know for sure to be Nathaniel Aquilonis now – as he leaves behind his tankard and the remains of his drink to accompany the dwarf.
Fintan’s voice inquires of Nathaniel as they leave, “Where we off to next?”
“We’re headed west,” you hear Aquilonis reply. “There’s plenty of places out there left to explore…”
Once they’re gone, the tavern breaks out into a din concerning the Captain and his odd dwarf companion (along with plenty of complimentary yet unsavory remarks about the beautiful Elektra). You leave the tavern, as it has become quite crowded and noisy at this point. The sea air fills your lungs, quite refreshing after all that smell of stale beer. The sun glistens on the wide ocean, seagulls call out overhead, and the waves slosh against the ships off in the harbor.
Almost immediately you hear a town crier shouting, “Hear ye, hear ye! Great explorer Captain Roland is now searching for able-bodied and willing adventurers to accompany him on his next voyage! Riches and adventure are guaranteed!”
Standing near the crier is a fancily dressed man who could only be Captain Roland. Apparently the good Captain has just finished bribing the boy to advertise for him, and he is now preparing to return to his ship.
Whether you are interested in a free trip out of Illikon, the promise of riches, the chance for adventure, or even something entirely different, you approach Captain Roland and offer your assistance.
When asked what this voyage is, the mustached captain smiles and replies crisply, “Ah, it will be a grand adventure! See yon filthy rat?” He steps up beside you and points, directing your attention to a rather small and maneuverable ship with Captain Aquilonis and his crew on board. “He is undeserving of his noble title and any gold that comes into his soiled hands. Although Aquilonis is supported by the Empire, I assure you, he is a scoundrel and a pirate. His next goal would appear to be mapping out some of the islands that supposedly exist far out at sea.”
“But,” Roland adds, “I intend to beat him to it! If some new island is discovered far out to the west, then it will bear the name of Roland… Land... something. I don’t know. We’ll name it when we get there.”
You inquire about the length of your journey. How long would you be at sea?
Roland chuckles. “We would be at sea for quite a while, friend – after all, that is how we travel. Considering we’ll be headed away from the mainland, we may only be able to stop at one or two places – such as our colony Artorius – before we are far from any known civilization. But there are many places in this world men have yet to travel – who knows what riches might lay in store for us? There are tales, friend, of many strange islands and creatures and cultures that fester on the places far out at sea. And we will be the first to witness them!”
At this point you are wondering what exactly Roland has against Aquilonis.
Roland’s expression darkens as he replies to this inquiry. “He is a liar and a fraud. He does not deserve his title or his fame. He has cheated me, that is all you need to know. Now,” he adds, “I feel it necessary to warn you also that the sea is a treacherous place. Many mysteries and dangers lurk there – and there is also the risk of meeting up with Captain Aquilonis himself, who is no doubt very adept and would prove a challenge, should he confront us over the discoveries we will surely beat him to. For that is clearly how he does things – he steals from the fortune of other men.”
“So,” he asks, steadily regaining his amiable air, “will you accompany me on my voyage? I have a large ship and an able crew standing by… although if you have any knowledge of the seas, friend, it will still be quite welcome.”
As a few final notes…
This takes place before any events of The Legend of the Five (the main Wulfgard novels I am writing) or Into the North (the working title for Scorp’s comics).
It is not required for your character to know anything about sailing, rigging, navigating, etc. If you happen to know it, that’s fine, but not everyone has to sign up as sailors and\or former sailors or anything like that. Although a few would be nice.
Be sure to read every bit of information in every section before deciding who\what you want to sign up as. There are certain restrictions in place (and certain rules to trying to dodge those restrictions if you want to try).
Your sign-up may be written in character, out of character, or a mixture of the two, depending on your preferences. Just know that if you write it in character, you’ll be speaking to Captain Roland.
I just want to forewarn you that your character might die. If that happens, don’t worry; you might be able to sign up as another one when the story permits it. However, if you’re smart, you RP and plan well, and you post reasonably often, it is quite possible to keep your character alive.
The Statistics of your character(s) may be different from what you are used to, so don’t just assume you know them all; look over them.
Also, I will be doing dice rolls in this game, so your character’s stats WILL actually have an effect on the game.
Human – The most common sapient beings, humans dominate all but the harshest regions of the mortal realm. Although one in every thousands of humans may be born with magical affinity, they are viewed as inhuman and strange. Most humans are non-magical and quite proud of it. In general humans are tenacious and often seek adventure, though most all human societies fear such things as magic and monsters. Most are quick to learn new skills and adapt to new situations.
There is no limit to how many players may sign up as Humans in this RP, but restrictions apply to certain Human Subrace. See the Subrace section for details.
Dwarf – Dwarves are usually about half as tall as the average human and tend to be broad-shouldered and stocky, giving even the females a masculine appearance. Nearly all dwarf males have beards, and traditional dwarven societies judge an individual by the length, thickness, and neatness of his beard. Most humans view dwarves as short-tempered, stuffy, and stubborn, and these are common dwarf personality traits, but so are loyalty, honesty, and steadfast (even hard-headed) determination. Some humans, upon first encountering the dwarves, might also make the mistake of assuming that dwarves are “fat” because of their short and broad physique. If they make the mistake of mentioning this aloud, they will most likely learn the hard way that most dwarves are almost entirely made of muscle. Of all the magical races, the dwarves probably have the most dealings with humans, since they engage openly in trade.
There may only be two Dwarf players (this number is negotiable if necessary), of any sub-race. However, bear in mind that most all Dwarves have a natural aversion to water, as they prefer land and stone – except for Sea Dwarves.
All Dwarves get +2 Endurance and -2 Charisma (since you’ll be with a bunch of humans, generally).
Elf – The more attractive and exotic magical humanoid race of the Western regions, elves are generally looked upon by humans as strangely beautiful, but aloof, uncaring, and potentially dangerous due to their magical nature. Elves are typically somewhat slimmer than humans, with angular features and pointed ears that vary in length from race to race. Unlike dwarves, whose females look rather masculine, the opposite is true of elves: their males look rather feminine, especially since they traditionally have long hair and lack the ability to even grow facial hair. Elves tend to avoid contact with humans even more than dwarves, since they seldom engage in trade. Most are born with some degree of magical aptitude and live to extreme ages with little or no visible physical change, although they CAN be killed, and are generally physically weaker than other races. Their long lives give them great wisdom, especially in the elder elf races, and their lithe build gives them great physical dexterity to make up for their lack of hardiness and strength.
There may only be three Elf players (this number is negotiable if necessary), of any sub-race.
All Elves get +2 Agility and +2 Charisma, but -2 Endurance and -2 Strength.
Westerner – More commonly known as Imperials, Westerners are a diverse race of humans native to the Western region of the world, which is now known as the Empire. They have light skin and a wide variety of hair and eye colors.
Since this is an Imperial ship, the crew should be mostly Imperial, so Imperial characters may be favored over non-Imperials.
Northerner – Called ‘barbarians’ by most Imperials, Northerners are native to Northrim, the Northwestern region of the world. Like Imperials, all Northerners are light-skinned, and have a variety of hair and eye colors, though most tend to be lighter in complexion. Northerners are generally taller than Imperials.
Mixed heritage – As always, races will mingle, and as always, some will shun them as outsiders. Half-northerners are common in Illikon, since it is in the northern section of the Empire. With tensions currently on the rise between the Empire and Northrim, however, they are finding it harder to fit in than ever.
Southerner – Men from the Southwest have darker skin than those of the northern regions. Their hair and eyes are also always dark. They are considered almost as exotic in this far-northern region as the elves, so there will only be one or two Southern crew members at most.
Gifted, humans with magical abilities, are only available if you ask me via PM, just like other special race restrictions. If you want to ask to be a Gifted, just PM me about it and we’ll figure something out before you post your sign-up.
Mountain Dwarf – The most common type of dwarf, mountain dwarves are so named because their clan-halls usually rest at the foot of a mountain. They are the most human-like of the dwarves in nature and trade with them the most frequently, and thus can be found somewhat commonly in human towns, although they rarely actually live there. Many humans view them as greedy, however, because of their tendency to hoard great wealth in their mountain halls.
Mountain Dwarves’ hair is usually lightly colored: red, blond, or brown, and their eyes are usually lightly colored, either blue, green, grey, or light golden-brown.
Deep Dwarf – More reclusive and mysterious than the mountain dwarves are the deep dwarves, who dwell far underground, near the very roots of the earth. Although they are usually shorter, uglier, and even less friendly than mountain dwarves, they are not shunned or hated like dark elves. Humans find them more repulsive, especially their often heavily-bearded women, but mountain dwarves trade with them quite frequently. In many cases, while mountain dwarves are the ones to craft beautiful suits of armor and weapons from these metals, the actual Deepsilver, Deepgold, and Void Iron ores they use are originally mined by the deep dwarves.
Deep Dwarves’ hair is typically darker than their above-ground cousins’, ranging from dark brown to black. Grey hair is more common among deep dwarves, and some seem to be born with hair of that color, though white is still only found among the clan elders. Their eyes are paler than mountain dwarves. They range between the same colors, but at a lighter shade and less bright hue. Their eyes are usually sensitive to sunlight from time spent far underground, and most will shade or cover their faces in some fashion when on the surface during the day.
Hill Dwarf – Commonly considered the “least dwarf-like” of all dwarves, hill dwarves are a relatively peaceful people who live in small grottoes dug into the dirt of grassy knolls, rather than deep tunnels under stone. Although one might expect them to be more commonly seen than mountain dwarves as a result, the opposite is actually true, and hill dwarves are experts at remaining hidden. Also, their preference of farming over craftsmanship leaves them with less to trade with humans, although they do sometimes trade food for tools and weapons with the mountain dwarves. Humans still see them as greedy for hoarding their plentiful stocks of grain.
Hill Dwarves’ hair is usually earth-toned, ranging from light “dirty blond” to dark brown. As with mountain dwarves, grey or white hair is only found in the very oldest, although hill dwarves have shorter lifespans on average. Their eyes are usually darker than mountain dwarves, ranging from deep blue and green to brown.
Sea Dwarf – One of the rarer types of dwarf, sea dwarves dwell in rocky coastline caverns and are at home where sea-mist and the smell of salt-water fills the air. They worship Njord, the Nordic god of the sea, and are rumored to build great armored ships that can submerge beneath the waves, disguising them as giant, monstrous sea turtles. They are a little taller than most dwarves in general, and tend to be more nimble and dexterous.
Sea Dwarves’ hair is similar to mountain dwarves, but usually in a lighter, more greyish shade. Many individuals have grey hair from birth, sometimes with a greenish or bluish tint. Their eyes are sea colors: blue, green, and grey.
High Elf – The “purest” of the elven races, high elves were some of the first beings created by the Vanir, and possess far longer lifespans than any other mortal creature. In fact, none has ever been known to die of mere old age, some living for thousands upon thousands of years, adding to their great wisdom with each passing century. Reclusive and aloof, they seem to consider other beings beneath them… which, perhaps, they are.
High Elves’ hair color is typically golden, though it ranges toward red or brown in some individuals. Their eyes are nearly always bright blue or green.
Wood Elf – Perhaps the wildest and least “civilized” of the elves, wood elves enjoy frolicking and merriment to the stern stoicism of their high elf and night elf cousins. Dwelling in the treetops in well-disguised homes, they form small tribes and frequently move from place to place, seldom building thriving settlements or large towns. They have significantly longer and more pointed ears than high elves and generally more acute senses. They are perhaps the most nimble of all elves, climbing from tree to tree and using their bows with great skill, but lack the strength and endurance of other elves.
Wood Elves’ hair color is typically brown, in shades ranging from light "dirty blond" to dark and almost black (and very rarely a dark green, possibly from some relation to dryads). Their eyes range from a bright green to hazel to brown, though always of a light shade.
Night Elf – Dwelling in the deeper, darker areas of the forest, the night elves are the nocturnal cousins of the high elves, preferring the shadows and moonlight to sunshine. They have significantly longer and more pointed ears than high elves, due to their reliance on senses other than sight during the night (despite their acute night-vision), but otherwise appear mostly similar.
Nigh Elves’ have very dark hair that ranges from deep brown to black, sometimes with very dark purple or blue hues to be found. Their eyes are pale colors ranging from blue to green, and sometimes lavender.
I am allowing a few people to sign up as special races if they want to, but there will be a limited number. If you sign up as these you must read about them in the Lore Archive thread or on the Wulfgard site (under Characters & Creatures, once that page is up), because I’m not going to have a list. If there is anything inaccurate about the creature(s) in your description\bio\etc., I will not allow you to play as that creature… although I won’t be TOO harsh, don’t worry.
Please PM me with your request about a special subrace, or even a special race, as we will have to discuss what you want to be (and depending on what it is, the Stat bonuses\penalties and abilities you might get).
But be warned: being any of these subraces has both advantages and disadvantages.
You have 72 points to assign to your physical attribute statistics. DO NOT add on your Racial bonuses or subtract your Racial penalties, if you have any. I will do that myself.
Remember that NO STAT CAN GO ABOVE 18 OR BELOW 1.
Now, here are the explanations for what each stat does:
Strength – Strength determines how hard a character can hit, how much a character can carry, and how well they can lift heavy objects.
Endurance – Endurance determines a character’s hardiness. In addition to determining their general physical toughness\survivability, it also determines resilience to the elements and fatigue.
Perception – Perception determines a character’s ability to sense things in the world around him: it affects a character’s senses, such as sight, hearing, and taste, among other things. It influences how observant they are, how well they can detect another character’s reaction to them, detect a lie, and also detect physical things like traps and hidden enemies or objects.
Agility – Agility determines attack speed, accuracy with ranged weapons, reflexes, and to a small extent movement speed. It generally influences a character’s ability to move well in the world around him.
Charisma – Determines a character’s social skills, such as their ability to persuade, charm, or bluff. To a mild extent, it influences the character’s physical attractiveness. It also determines a character’s ability to lead and affects store prices and NPC reactions.
Intelligence – Intelligence is a character’s ability to reason and figure solutions to problematic situations. Intelligence determines a character’s ability to use certain types of magic spells and complex devices. It also determines a character’s ability to comprehend things such as foreign languages, determines whether or not they are literate (and if so to what extent), and is useful for a tactical character.
In order for your character to be literate, you must have an Intelligence of at least 10 (then your literacy will be determined by your background). If you have an Intelligence of 14 or over, you’ll be literate no matter what your background. In order for your character to speak in an intelligent and fully comprehensible fashion (in other words, “May I speak with you?” instead of “Me want talk to your head!”), your Intelligence must be at least 7.
Luck – Luck determines many random elements, such as how often critical hits are scored, how well a character can win at gambling, what quality of random items a character might find in a common container, and many other random outcomes to events. In some cases, it will determine less random elements. Luck is not extremely important, but can be quite helpful if\when your other rolls fail.
Sign-up Sheet (Explanation)
The full sheet is at the bottom of the explanation for each piece. Please do not use the sheet with the explanations for the categories on it. Some of the categories will be skipped since they’re easy enough to know the nature of. For your hair and eye colors, go by your race’s standards.
Race (I WILL accept some races that are not on the list. Just send me a PM request about it.)
Appearance (do NOT explain your armor appearance here; this is your physical appearance. Body and face both. Are you muscular, or are you a walking pile of muscle? Perhaps you are neither – are you fat, or skinny? This is also your facial features. Does your hooked nose give you a typically evil look, or your Imperial nose look regal? What is your typical facial expression? You can also say overall details. Is your face ugly or attractive? What does your beard look like, if you have one? Etc. And yes, pictures are fine, just link to them.)
Height (How tall is your character? Be sure to be reasonable, especially within the limits of your race. A 7-foot-tall Imperial is just preposterous.)
Clothing/Armor (what does your character usually wear?)
Weapons (what weapons does your character carry?)
Accessories (food\jerky, flint, etc. This is just personal items and personal accessories like jewelry or something that you keep on your person. What you carry will effect your character through various means, such as if you carry too much, you will be slowed down. Also, NO magical equipment)
Personality (your character’s personality. Feel free to keep it simple, since we’ll all see what you’re like in the RP anyway)
Bio (your character’s background. Be sure to include important details such as their social standing if you’re an Imperial (commoner, noble, you know all that), etc.)
Use this sign-up sheet when creating your character. Be sure to copy and paste FROM the codebox, but DO NOT copy and paste your sign up into another codebox. I’m doing this for your convenience, since I already have everything in bold and italics; it also makes it easier for me to read.
[b]Name:[/b] [b]Gender:[/b] [b]Race:[/b] [b]Subrace:[/b] [b]Age:[/b] [b]Attributes[/b] [I]Strength:[/I] [I]Perception:[/I] [I]Endurance:[/I] [I]Agility:[/I] [I]Charisma:[/I] [I]Intelligence:[/I] [I]Luck:[/I] [b]Height:[/b] [b]Eye Color:[/b] [b]Hair Color:[/b] [b]Appearance:[/b] [b]Clothing/Armor:[/b] [b]Weapons:[/b] [b]Accessories:[/b] [b]Personality:[/b] [b]Bio:[/b]