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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2009, 16:17 
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Welcome to the Infinite Sea, where the men in shining armour are not your friends, where the light of good struggles to break free of the minds of the evil. Where the villain is a saviour and the hero, well, when the hero is... well, a bit of a dick...

The Infinite Sea is a setting which I thought up as my own personal deconstruction of the high fantasy genre. In the beginning, it started as what a fantasy world would have had to have been to support the knights in shining armour, powerful mages and bands of roving, adventurous mercenaries which serve as such obnoxiously common staples in high fantasy. Needless to say, I made a few changes, especially with the tone of the setting, making it more similiar to the real renaissance and high medieval era.

From that starting point, I got an interesting idea, based on the idea of "medieval stasis". In many fantasy stories, technology never progresses, ever, not in a hundred years, not in a thousand. (14th century half-plate and chain was radically different from the German plate armour of 150 years later, despite the fact that they were technically of the same type of medieval armour) Being the aficionado of military history that I am, the absurdity of this situation quickly occurred to me and in the end, I developed the idea of a conservative, reactionary magocracy to keep the progress of science in check, while allowing the development of infrastructure and society to continue, leading to the unrealistically cozy quasi-medieval setting that you see in too many fantasy stories, one which, by the current time of the story, has been violently upset.

Reading through IB, you will quickly note that the three main characters are far from the shining white renditions of classical fantastical heroes or purely blackest-of-black villains you usually see. The "hero" is an egotistical jerk who is not above theft, seduction and political assassination to achieve his goals. His wife and confidante is a woman with mysterious powers, irresistable beauty and pureness of soul, but is also naive to the point of delusion and utterly out of her depth in the dark and violent world she lives in. The villain is a machiavellian sociopath who may or may not have instigated a civil war which killed thousands, and may also be the one man who could save the world.

Note that the "big three" are all relatively high up. By the current time in the story, all three are well into the rarified ranks of the nobility, two are powerful lords (one a Viceroy, the other a Duke) as well as generals, with only one kept in check by the wiles of a powerful and able monarch. A big theme of IB is the scale, namely, the existence of the fact that one man (or woman) cannot change the world by themselves, not even if they bring with them a small band of retainers or companions. Worlds are changed by kingdoms, fleets and armies. In the Infinite Sea, one man alone cannot change the world, but one man and his army will have far better luck.

Thus, each main character has a veritable army of named supporters with their own personalities and goals. Caius has (to name one example), half a dozen subordinate commanders, a quartermaster, an engineer, a chief of staff, a spymaster, a weapons technician and a smattering of common soldiers, friends and superiors. The massive number of characters and the nature of the setting this entails makes the setting rather complicated to get into, a difficulty that we have hopefully addressed with this guide.

Within you will find enough information to start creating a character in the world of the Infinite Sea. However, it is recommended that you read through at least part of the RP itself, to better understand the setting. However, you can always save that for another time, this guide has been designed to give you everything you need... for now.

"Caius of Xen"

The Sarcastic Asian's TL: DR Guide to Infinity's Blades:

-I: Peoples and Nations

NOTE: Some names will be changed for sequels and expanded universe work, these new names are in parentheses. The RP names still apply within IB.

Human Nations:
Humans are dicks, except for the ones who are cunts. Of course, you knew that already, and the humans of IB are no different. Some are noble, pure-hearted and kind, but most of the ones featured in this story are traitorous, boneheaded luddites who cling to the one thing destroying the world like a drowning man to a piece of lumber, or sociopathic (sometimes psychopathic) trigger-happy maniacs with their own senses of nobility, morality and "acceptable collateral damage". Human nations range from the relatively enlightened to the downright hellish, the major ones are:

The Unified Kingdom of Terra (Tierra)
Terra is a nation made up of a series of islands. The culture is a fine mix of Spanish, British (Norman, Scottish and Welsh) with a bit of Prussia mixed in. Their main export seems to be sociopathic military geniuses, as both the Terran Royal Navy and Army seem to be scarily competent in kicking the asses of much larger countries. Ever since the Terran Civil War (Chapter 3), Terra has been ruled by Queen Isobel, a calculating bitch with a playful sense of humour and a surprisingly good grasp of both politics and war. Terra used to have an ultra-conservative magic using noble class, they lost most of their power during the Terran Civil War after learning that blue blood does not make you immune to bullets. In the past two years since the Civil War, Terra's been modernizing furiously on all fronts and will probably be in a position to wipe out all its traditional enemies within two decades.

The League of Antar
Antar is made up of three massive quasi-continents to the noth of Terra. A traditional enemy of Terra, Antar has been kept from curbstomping the annoying little thing because of Terra's naval power and the fact that it's central body, the Congress of Magnates, is the most pants-on-head retarded clusterfuck in the world (rivalling even the Nymphs for pure stupidity). A shining exmaple of why rule by committee doesn't work, the Congress is made up of the powerful mage-lords of Antar, all sixteen hundred of them, who can't make a decision until everyone agrees, and can barely agree on anything regardless. This means that despite it's OMFGLOLHUEG! Army and the riches accrued from the sweat of millions of enslaved serfs, the Antari have already lost one war against Terra and fully seem to be headed towards losing another. Antar is based on Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Empire of Vykkia (Kian'Zi)
Three thousand years ago, in what is still considered an extremely good move, the people of the Old Vykkian Empire told their hedonistic, morally bankrupt, oppressive and sex-addicted aristocracy to GTFO or die. After driving the nobles out in a bloody civil war, the Vykkians created a meritocratic society ruled by straight up magocracy, where the strongest mage became emperor. Eventually, Vykkia would advance far beyond any other nation technologically, developing paper, gunpowder and a system of government that didn't involve a powerful, landowning aristocracy. They have the best land army in the world, and almost every problem, from corruption to treason, is mitigated simply by the fact that Vykkia's population is so damn big, that one tiny criminal doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Anybody who can't figure out what Vykkia is based on is a fucking idiot, and should leave this thread, right now.

The Caliphates of Mydea (Mhidyos)
A group of islands to the far east, the Mydeans are a deeply religious people who do great things in the name of their gods, creating massive monuments, temples and universities, making the desert islands bloom with life and culture. That is, until some moron decides to try to rock the boat, and invariably, inadvertently smashes a hole in the bottom. Mydea is currently in the middle of a long and brutal civil war, they are effectively a non-entity until it's over.

Elven Nations:
Remember those hedonistic sots the Vykkians drove out of their country? Guess what they turned themselves into? Elves live up to four centuries, can get themselves roaring drunk on a single flagon of ale, can use magic instinctually and look perfect. On the inside, they're pretty much humans with all the redeeming qualities ripped out although they may or may not have smartened up once they realize that they could no longer be waited upon hand and foot. (Although this is strictly opinion.)

The Takaran Empire
Takarans are jerks. Take every negative stereotype about Americans and tear away the silver linings, you get takaran elves. Shallow, bigoted and conservative to a fault, the Takarans have spent the past two millenia in glorious isolation, safe in their own delusions of superiority. Only recently have disturbing stories of the rise of technology reached the takarans, and only now are they frantically trying to catch up before their magical advantage is eliminated and the last great elven empire is destroyed.

The Butean Confederacy
Butea is North America, no really. It's got the equivalent of the Natives, Butean elves who live in small, conflicted villages held together by an uneasy truce, immigrants, the Takarans who have settled down in the major enclaves, and airheaded valley girls, the Nymphs who ignore anything they can't worship, kill or fuck. Butea has been recently annexed by the Takaran Empire, luckily for them, their new Viceroys also happen to be possibly the two most competent men in the Empire, which even when talking about Takarans, is a massive improvement.

-II: Plot Summary Without Pity

The Mobius Legion, a large mercenary band of ex-army men, assassins and random people ranging from the questionable to the woefully ineffective led by Caius, Viscount of Xen, land on the island of Azulae on behalf of the Terran Regency Council to turn back an Antari invasion. The night before the battle even starts, Caius' two subordinates, Nephelae Leuce and Cassius von Holt (both of elven blood) decide that the Antari are unworthy enemies and decide to fight each other. Caius breaks them up and tries to get them to reconcile before the next day's battle. Unfortunately, not even Caius' considerable mind is capable of defeating elven stupidity. Fortunately, Caius' hand picked professionals, the Wild Cards, keep it together the next day, sweeping in with a cavalry charge as Cassius and Nephie reap the consequence of tactical decisions that would have made Custer hang his head in shame. In the end, all ends well, and the Legion gets paid and goes home.

Chapter 1:
Upon their return to their headquarters in Terra, Cassius and Nephie take out their frustrations on each other in their own special ways, Nephie by angsting and moaning like an emo twat, Cassius by shacking up with Ithaca, a redhead with expert aim and a gigantic rack. Eventually, they profess their repressed love for each other by challenging each other to a duel. Although both parties look forward to beating the shit out of each other with unbridled glee, Caius decides to be a dick and change the duel at the last moment, forcing them both to fight him instead. Although he lets them win, Caius hopes that the repeated blows to the head that he delivers to both of his subordinates manage to shake away some of their gross stupidity.

Chapter 2:
The beginnings of a civil war over the right of the recently crowned Queen Isobel begin to brew. Invited to a reunion of his old unit by his old commander, Caius decides to make his entrance into the political game, bringing Nephie along as eye candy while Cassius and Caius' psychopathic diplomat/spy sister Katrina sail to Takara, one to visit his sister, the other to sign a minor trade deal with the Imperial government. Cassius tries to make a pass, Katrina rewards him by stabbing him in the balls. Unfortunately, he gets better. Upon their arrival, Katrina meets Cassius' innocent sister Serenity, and they be come friends, united in their mutual belief that Cassius von Holt is a dick.

Meanwhile, back in Terra, Caius and Nephie go to a fancy party. Caius reminisces with his war buddies and begins making his plot to fuck up the status quo as badly as he can. Nephie sedately starts a conversation about ripping people in half, with her mind, at a DINNER PARTY. Surprisingly enough, she is not sedated and sent to a mental institution on sight, proving adequately that the status quo probably deserves to be fucked up. Caius meets with the Dukes of Cunaris and Wulfram, the leaders of the Loyalist faction, then a emissary of the Rebels. After plotting something no doubt byzantine and ridiculous, Caius gives a rousing speech which declares absolutely nothing about his own alliegiences while quietly pushing his audience to the Loyalist camp. On their way back, Caius and Nephie are attacked by assassins, the outcome is drearily predictable.

Chapter 3:
The day after Cassius comes back is the day the Terran Civil War starts. Early in the morning, the Knights of Saint Jeremy, two hundred angry men on horses with plate mail attack the Legion's HQ. Normally a bad move in itself. Fortunately for them, Cassius von Holt and Nephie Leuce happen to be on the scene, and upon trying to attack two hundred fully trained warmages, quickly allow the rebel knights to blast a hole in the fortress walls. Only a quick musket volley and Caius' bribing of the angry mob of rebels nearby allowed any of the main characters to escape with their lives.

One wild ride down the main streets of Terra later, word arrives that the Northern Tower, the residence of the Queen, has been attacked. Caius goes off by himself in an admittedly stupid move. There, he finds that the Duke of Wulfram has betrayed the loyalists and is leading the attack. Caius bursts into the throne room conveniently just as Wulfram is finishing his long-winded self justifying rant. Caius shoots him in the head.

A week passes, and the rebels are on their last legs. The Loyalists assemble to make their last push on the Rebel stronghold. Cassius decides to be a retard and sneaks off with Nephie and Ithaca to create a diversion all by themselves. They end up running into about a hundred fully armed rebels, Cassius gets greviously wounded, he deserved it. In the meantime, Caius leads an army down the street to the docks district, taking heavy casualties along the way. Meeting up with Duke Cunaris, they storm the rebel stronghold and confront Albriecht Sept, the takaran agent who instigated the rebellion in the first place. In the ensuing melee, Sept kills Hawkins, Caius' second in command. Caius then kills Sept, beheads him, and puts his head on a pike.

While Cassius and Nephie flee to Takara to recover (one from a sword to the gut, the other from blinding stupidity), Caius is elevated to Duke of Wulfram and is appointed a General in the Royal Army. He quickly appoints all the Legionnaires who have remained his officers and beings building a new and even more overpowered military force in his new headquarters, the island of Wulfram to the north.

In the meantime, Nephie and Cassius finally profess their love to each other in a way that doesn't involve flying objects, duels or bitchslapping and get married. At the same time, news conveniently arrives that Cassius' father, Lord Maximillion, is dead, making Cassius Lord of Holt. Oh, freaking joy.

On both sides of the ocean, Cassius and Caius both begin the machinations and ridiculously quick technological arms race that will eventually lead to their obviously climactic confrontation. Cassius schemes his way through the death of the Takaran Emperor, and uses his connections to assassinate his political enemies, establishing himself as Viceroy of Butea and begining an intense, but ultimately crippled and shallow modernization of the chunk of the Imperial Army he had been given.

On the other side of the ocrean, Caius, now Duke of Wulfram, forms his own command staff and builds an inner circle of officers around him, making a ridiculous amount of progress in literally building an army from scratch, armed with new weapons, new tactics and equipped with a brand new industrial infrastructure. After the botched response to an assassination plot reaches the ears of the Queen, an annoyed Isobel sends Caius off to Vykkia for a few months to learn some manners.

The Story So Far...
After a couple weeks, the Antari made the stupid mistake of invading Terra... again. Not learning from the first time, they sent a massive, but outmoded medieval army against Caius' New Model Army. Cassius sends his sister Serenity to Wulfram as an ambassador and an observer. Caius reutrns in time to command the opening stages of the battle.

-III: Characters

Caius and Crew:

Lord Leftenant General Caius Leonis, Viscount of Xen, Duke of Wulfram
Magedead noble career officer with a stupidly long title. Used to be the commander of the Mobius Legion and killed Albriecht Sept at the end of the Terran Civil War. Became Duke of Wulfram after he shot the last one in the head. Became head of the New Model Army at the end of Pt 1, tries to be a father to his men, with varying degrees of success, is a sociopathic dick to just about anyone else, with far more efficacy. Carries six oversized revolvers and a sword.

Lady Katrina Leonis
Caius' psychopathic spy-girl sister. Carries dangerous weapons in odd places, paranoid and bipolar, but a top notch intelligence officer. Friends with Serenity von Holt, but not many others. Engaged to Sir Athelstane Havenport, who, by all accounts, is scared shitless of her.

Brigadier General Sir Charles Nathaniel Locke:
Former Antari knight who decided working for the largest clusterfuck in the world was probably a bad idea, and defected to the Terrans at the end of the Dozen Years War. Became commander of the NMA's cavalry. Was recently shot in the gut by a rebel faction, he got better.

Brigadier General Dame Adelina Garret:
Ex-assassin with a penchant for causing things to come down with a strong case of dead. Became Infantry Commander of the NMA through seniority in the Mobius Legion, has no demonstrated command ability above the platoon level, most professional soldiers consider her incompetent, she probably is.

Rear Admiral Allister Winslow:
Commander of the Northern Fleet, attached to the NMA for transport and escort duties. The most normal of the lot. Worryingly, his eldest son Jefferson is slowly becoming Katrina`s protege.

Colonel Alaric von Wulfram:
Quarter-elf and brother in law of the old Duke of Wulfram (the one Caius shot), but it's ok, since he thought the last guy was a moron anyways. Usually calm and collected but has a fetish for guns that shoot lots of bullets and industrial organization. Is nearing sixty and looks about half that age.

Lord Colonel Davis Elson, Baron Hawthorn:
Foppish dragoon officer with a penchant for stabbing things in the face with a sabre. A bit of a conservative when it comes to tactics and weapons, though is more open minded with strategy. Doesn't get much screen time.

Colonel Edmond Garing:
Once one of Katrina's spies, extremely lazy and socially awkward to the point of ridiculousness, but a scarily competent weapons guy. Comes up with something absolutely brilliant just often enough to prevent Caius from firing his lazy ass.

Captain Solomon Lanzerel:
Big burly man who would have probably been Irish if this were the British Army and not just an analogue of it. Carries a Nock Gun and likes shooting people with it, especially elven people, he hates elves.

Leftenant Arcturus Hawkins:
Caius' second in command, probably the only human officer in the Mobius Legion who wasn't a dick. Died in the Terran Civil War when Albriecht Sept magically crushed him with a roof beam.

Other Terrans:

Queen Isobel of Terra:
Queen bitch (and actual Queen) of Terra. Does a lot of brave things, like facing down an angry warmage unarmed and mocking Caius of Xen to his face. She gets away with it since she's the friggin' Queen. Throws her weight around often, which annoys the Antari and Takarans to no end, but supports Caius and the New Model Army. Kinda like Elizabeth I, but with a more practical wardrobe and the femme fatale credentials of Irene Adler.

Lord General Johann Findlay, Duke of Cunaris:
The commander in chief of the Royal Army and Terra's minister of war. Was Caius' old commander during the Dozen Years' war. Disgraced and turned into an ineffectual wreck after the Terran Civil War, after seeing the tortured corpses of his favourite daughter and her children strung up in a rebel stronghold. Hangs on to his position with the tips of his fingernails.

Emil Eduria-Harris, Duke of Warburton:
The Queen's illegitimate younger brother. Ridiculously competent head of Royal Intelligence. Carries the stereotype of the Playboy spy to extremes, using his rich holdings to fund his massive womanizing. Nonetheless, is probably the biggest magnificent bastard in the entire kingdom, surpassing his sister and even Caius by far.

Sir Athelstane Havenport:
Third son of the Duke of Centauri, heir to a massive fortune and a talented architect and engineer in his own right. Engaged to Katrina, and scared shitless of her.

Lady Verina Leonis:
Caius and Katrina's mother. Has resigned herself to the fact that of the two children she birthed and raised, one became a professional sociopathic bastard and the other became a psychotic bitch who knifes people for kicks.

Ewen Candless, Duke of Wulfram:
The old Duke of Wulfram, got blackmailed into turning traitor when his wife and kids were kidnapped by Albriecht Sept. Ended up getting shot in the head by Caius. His family died anyways.

Celine Candless, Duchess of Wulfram:
Duke Cunaris' daughter, had the misfortune to marry Ewen Candless, the Duke of Wulfram, got kidnapped and eventually tortured to death by Albriecht Sept. Considering she talked casually about ripping people in half with her mind in the middle of a dinner party, she was probably a psycho serial killer anyways.

House Holt:

Lord Viceroy Cassius von Holt:
You can't spell Cassius without ass, and that pretty much sums it up. A gigantic dick to everyone he doesn't like, which is pretty much everyone except his immediate staff, his sister and his wife. Is an elf, and the traditional elven bigotry shows. Probably the least overpowered of the three central characters, which is sad, seeing as how he gets a magic sword and will probably live two or three centuries, lucky bastard. He became Viceroy after he had all his political enemies killed in the interlude.

Lady Nephelae Holt:
Proof that some women are just better off not marrying. Turned from a rather spunky light infantry officer in the Mobius Legion to a contemplative, confused Mary-Sue after marrying Cassius. She's Half-Nymph, which means she's pretty much immortal and can kill things with her mind. Is currently trying to persuade her overpowered nymph-sisters to fight against Caius and Terra, without much success.

Lady Serenity von Holt:
Cassius' sister. Good friends with Katrina Leonis despite her not being a murderous psychopath, but instead a willful, but rather ineffectual soul. Got sent off as House Holt's ambassador to Terra after war broke out between Terra and Antar.

Ithaca Dainy:
Ex-Mobius Legion sniper and one of Cassius' old conquests. Crack shot, redhead, gigantic rack, nerd's wet dream. Became part of Cassius' honour guard and later, Serenity's bodyguard. Is currently in Terra with Serenity.

Elenna Vistula:
Ship Captain, bodyguard, adventurer, and possibly an unintended war criminal as well. Sailed Albriecht Sept to Terra and wreaked havoc on Wulfram's customs enforcement system. Enjoys the open sea and is a genuinely nice and caring soul to people she likes while alternating between blunt counterpart and utter bitch to those she doesn't.

Peter Flay:
A member of the Holt Honour Guard and head of House Holt's intelligence services. A ballistics expert who can make perfect pistol shots on a shooting range, but would probably be right fucked on a battlefield. Has less emotion than a lobotomized plank of wood. Does most of Cassius' "dirty work", like shooting whores in the face.

Lord Maximillion von Holt:
Cassius and Serenity's father. Cold, stern and eminently sensible. Started a reform movement within the Takaran government but was whacked before it could pick up steam. His opponents had the misfortune of letting his radical jerkass magnificent bastard son Cassius take his place.

Other Takarans:

Lord Emperor William Paulus von Takara:
The current emperor of Takara. A well-intentioned, but utterly useless incompetent who gets bullied and coerced, first by Lord Lamar von Kaien, and later by Cassius' New World Faction. Slowly turning a new leaf, unfortunately, that new leaf seems to be psychopathic tyrant.

Lord Viceroy Elrin Cruez von Erramine:
Experienced political animal who turned Cassius' radical reformist ideas into something which might qualify for pretensions to practicality. Became Co-Viceroy of Butea by taking credit where credit was due. Ascribes to the Flay school of emotion; namely, none.

Lady London Sato Rush:
One of Cassius' old flames, and long time political allies. Dresses in black, might seduce people for a living but doesn't, politically adroit and scarily competent, may or may not be a mirror universe version of Sarah Palin.

Lord Heinrich (Henry) Irrivian von Kaien:
The poor bastard who had to take over the decrepit Takaran intelligence network. Became Lord Kaien after Cassius shot the last guy. consipicuously allied with Cassius, probably as part of the plan known as "Operation keep Henry von Kaien's innards bullet free". A pushover, but smart enough at least to prevent Duke Warburthon's Terran Royal Intelligence from embarassing the empire completely.

Lord Lamar von Kaien:
Former First Lord of the Takaran Cort, mastermind of the annexation of Butea and the Terran Civil War, was violently opposed to reform. Picked up a fatal case of "Getting shot repeatedly by Cassius von Holt" after he showed that all elves are racist dicks who think being human is the equivalent of being some kind of monster.

Sir Albriecht Sept:
Elven merchant prince who ended up as Lamar von Kaien's hatchetman in Terra. Instigated the Terran Civil War, killed Lady Celine and Arcturus Hawkins. Ended up getting three bullets and an axhead in the face, courtesy of a VERY angry Caius of Xen.


Fenglung Emperor:
Boy-Emperor of the Vykkians. Seems frighteningly competent for his age, which makes him the natural ally of Terra, the only other country with competent leadership in the known world. Has a sense of humour, which is more that you could say for his eunuchs.

Valley Girl meets Sean Hannity, isolationists ranging from "a little slow" to "pants on head retarded" who may or may not have made the world in their own image. This fact, coupled with the fact that they have immense magical powers does not bode well for all life.

Nymphomanic (pun intended) nymph with a beyond childish take on life. Has more sex in a month than Wilt Chamberlain did in his entire career. Her innocently stupid open mindedness means that she's willing enough to admit that the Nymphs have fucked up on a global scale over the years, which firmly puts her in the "a little slow" category and making her smarter than a good deal of her sisters.

-IV: Concepts That You Should Become Acquainted With

The most important part of IB's world, and one of the big things that sets it aside from our world is magic. Magic stems from "Life Force" which stems from the corner stone of the world, the "Origin Tree". A sentient being with a surplus amount of Life Force can use this to manipulate the laws of physics around him/her, thus, magic. Over the last several centuries, the number of humans born with the surplus Life Force allowing them to use magic has dwindled, the ability for humans to sense magic, once universal, is now only restricted to maybe one human in twenty, with maybe only one in ten of those able to actually use magic and even those require material aids and extensive preparation.

Elves on the other hand, still retain the ability to use magic instinctively, although their powers too, are beginning to flag. The nigh-immortal nymphs however, have kept the full extent of their natural and impressive powers.

Magic does, however, have severe limitations. The more prominent of these is the fact that magic can only effect things with residual life force, so while it can effect trees, people and the life-runes used to enchant the rare and expensive weapons given magical power, it cannot effect something that never had any life to begin with, for example, the lead in a bullet. The material puresteel (a highly controlled, extremely expensive and extremely rare alloy which is nearly impossible to make outside of Takara) is capable of projecting a tight (about half a meter at most), but potent field where magic is not capable of functioning. This effect is amplified by the properties of Wulframite, which can increase the radius of the field by a hundred fold or more. On the other hand, Crystal is capable of amplifying magical power, and if enough is used, capable of making inroads into a puresteel field.

The Magocracies:
Most of the human nations (Terra, Antar and Mydea) have aristocracies based on the idea of divine right. The aristocracies are mainly made up of those who are capable of using magic. It has become such an indicator of political status that the power of mages has been divided into 14 "calibres" with 1st Calibre mages only being capable of maybe warming a twig a few degrees, 8th Calibre mages able to set people on fire, and 12th Calibre mages being able to set city blocks on fire. Humans range from 1st to 11th (The Vykkian Fenglung Emperor, arguably the most powerful human mage in the world, is 11.5), the Elves are uniformly born with 8th calibre powers and might attain 12th-13th calibre. The Nymphs exceed the scale completely.

In Mydea, mages for the clerical ruling classes, in Terra, Antar and most of the dozen or so minor island-states in the north, the mages compose the hereditary aristocracy, as magical ability is usually hereditary, though with every passing generation, one out of maybe twenty aristocratic children are born without powers, or "magedead" In these countries, the "magelords" abused their powers tremendously, using them to assert that they were superior to "sub human" commoners in a way similiar to how the Takaran elves treated humans, who could no longer cast magic instincually as "inferior beings".

In the Kingdom of Terra, this established order is crumbling. Terra's Queen, Isobel I, is rumoured to have been born magedead. The resulting civil war which broke out soon after her coronation left many of the Terran magelords dead, replaced with either commoners or mage-dead nobles like Caius Leonis, Duke of Wulfram. Recently freed of the most conservative and reactionary elements of the Magocracy, Terra has made astounding technological and military progress over the two years since the civil war, ascending to great power status and making the rest of the human world both envious and distainful of its new position and political leanings.

The Holt Honour Guard and the New Model Army:
House Holt's private paramilitary force (the Holt Honour Guard, commanded by Lord cassius von Holt) and the Terran New Model Army, commanded by Duke Caius of Wulfram, are the two central and mutually semi-antagonistic organizations which IB pt 2 revolves around. The first is Cassius von Holt's personal guard, a small unit which Cassius uses as a cadre to test new weaponry and to train his portion of the Takaran Imperial Army. The Terran New Model Army is a large military force which consists of roughly 55% of Terra's land forces and is the largest formation in the Royal Army. Unlike the Holt Honour Guard, the NMA has a large industrial support base (Wulfram's ducal seat is Tannenburg, the most industrialized city in the world) and a large manpower base (Terra's entire population, which includes about half a million men and women eligible for service). As a result, the Holt Honour Guard is an ELITE force while the NMA is a CITIZEN ARMY. They have evolved along different lines.

-V: Choosing a Side


1: Join an Existing Story Thread:
There are currently two story arcs going on within IB, both of them tightly intertwined with each other. As you may of noticed, the entire RP world revolves around these two story arcs, one built around Caius, Locke, Cedric and the Terran New Model Army, the other one around Cassius and Nephelae von Holt, in the Takaran Empire. It is highly suggested that you join one of these sides. If you don't feel like RPing a Terran or Takan, PM me or Zeth to ask permission.

2: Keep Your Age Realistic:
This is a Low Fantasy RP with steampunk elements, not Tales of Symphonia. Any moron who thinks that he/she can get away with a 15 year old swordmaster, an 18 year old ship captain or a 21 year old general will promptly get a boot in the face, thanks to me. Keep these guidelines in mind:

New Recruits: 14-24
Veterans: 25-45
Junior Officers (Commoners): 22-45
Junior Officers (Nobles): 18-35
Senior Officers: 26+ (Under extraordinary circumstances) 35+ (normally)

Caius of Xen is currently 31
Cedric Lewes (Who is a Colonel) is currently 36
Chaz Locke (A Brigader-General) is currently 38-39

Childhood; <50
Junior Officers: 60-110
Senior officers/Statesmen: 90-250 or so
Archmagus: 300+

Cassius and Nephelae von Holt are both 82, which is EXTREMELY YOUNG for elves of their position.
Lamar von Kaien was well over 200 by the time of his ascension to High Lord
Most of Cassius' advisors are in their second century

3: Keep Your Position Realistic:
Another thing that will get you pitched out on your ear is a wholly unrealistic social position. Caius, Cassius and Nephie all got to their exalted positions through years of intrigue, targeted assassinations and heroics on the battlefield. They all started as MINOR nobility (emphasis on minor). You may choose to play a commoner, but that would impose limits in world. You will only be allowed to play a noble if you demonstrate that you KNOW how an aristocrat thinks, acts and talks. That being said, things that don't fit into the setting, like ninjas and hordes of barbarian horsemen (remember that the Infinite Sea is called that for a reason) will not get any sympathy from me. Any rebellious princesses will be shot on sight.

4: Keep the Time Period in Mind:
Even if you play a female character, ESCPECIALLY if you play a female character. One of the reasons why I insist on Terran and Takaran characters is because these two cultures are currently the two with the closest thing to anything resembling "women's rights" (Takarans have never been big on misogynism, Terra is currently ruled by a Queen and a reformist government). Keep in mind that in IB, people are expected to behave, commoners address a gentleman as "sir", nobles expect paths through crowds to be cleared for them, women are not expected to talk back to anyone, and nobody talks about ripping people in half with their minds at a formal dinner party *cough*INUIT*cough*. That being said, you can get away with bucking social trends, but remember to play your character as if you were being a maverick, and remember that doing stupid things while wearing a uniform WILL get you shot, either by the enemy, or by your own side's firing squad.

That being said, behold: The signup sheet:

Race/Nationality: (ex: Terran Human)
Position/Rank/Occupation: (ex: First Leftenant, Royal Terran Navy)
Alignment: (Using the Chaos/Law + Good/Evil D&D 3.5 system)




Equipment: (If you're not playing as a military character)
Archetype: (Character tropes on TVTropes that your character fits)

"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
-Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings

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