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"Legends are born from times of strife. Heroes cannot rise when no evil exists. Perhaps the greatest of all legends comes from a story that has faded from the memories of the common equines, forgotten even by the memory of the land itself. Set thousands of years ago, back before the advent of the Principality and the establishment of the Guilds, the legend of the Lineages became a reality. It was a time of chaos, disorder...a constant battle between dozens of different sides and views, but none could compare to the infinite struggle between the Lumen and Umbra bloodlines. Once, all the bloodlines of distant past had been united, a peaceful coalition of all views and opinions, in which justice was given and equality known. As is the sad truth of history...any time of previous peace was shattered by a catastrophic event. Against all laws and customs amongst the Lineages, a mare of the Umbra bloodline and a stallion of the Lumen bloodline mated...and conceived a foal. The foal was viewed as an abomination and a sacriledge; the result of a complete disregard to the laws set by their societies. It wasn't long before both Lineages were at each other's throats. War broke out between them, a war which dragged all other bloodlines into their vain struggle. The resulting battles would see the deaths of the mixed-Lineage foal, and the violent ends of it's parents. Several years would pass as the struggle between Light and Dark continued, finally seeing to the utter and complete destruction of the Lumen Lineage. Despite the Umbra bloodline's great victory, they too would disappear from the face of Equestria at the hands of the weaker bloodlines. The memories of the Lineages faded, and eventually disappeared in all but name. With the return of the miniscule knowledge of the ancient Lineages came a surprising turn of events. As if history were trying to repeat itself, creatures all across Equestria began to question their own pasts and ancestry. The result: the birth of the Guilds. While the Princesses still maintain authority amongst Equestrian government, the Guilds have steadily risen to power, sometimes easily manipulating authority to further their own ends. While no Guild is necessarily evil or wrong, there are some whose purposes are questionable. Even now, several decades since the Guilds' founding, more and more recruits are taken in. There is little doubt that in time, the Guilds will be the ones in control of Equestria...and that time is coming soon. Rumors circulate that the Old Blood is beginning to stir in a select few denizens of Equestria...what this could mean, little is known. It is with a humble mind and wary conscience that I, Archivus, write this small scripture in the hopes that however finds it...shall prepare for what will no doubt be the worst to come..." -Written by Archivus Tome, Royal Librarian and Advisor to the Royal Court of the Third Era. Greetings, everyone! For those of you who haven't met me, I am a veteran RP writer on the Canterlot FFA Forums. For those of you who have, I had taken a rather lengthy hiatus from the website due to personal reasons. However, during that time, I was able to come up with some amazingly interesting ideas. Like so many of my other RPs, this one is completely original...and the story a living, breathing creature. Well, enough about me...time to list some important info about the RP and Application requirements! Similar to my previous "Revolution" RP, "A Dance of Memories" has a faction-based system. While, granted, the conflicts between the factions in this RP are not as hostile as "Revolution", they each still have different views and personalities. The Guilds: Guild Astriel: The Guild of magic, knowledge, and science. Boasting a library equal to that of Canterlot's Royal Library and expansive research facilities, Astriel members seek out the mysteries of the world and prefer solving their problems through logic and reason. Though not as cold-hearted as many of Guild Terdas' members, those amongst Astriel often show little emotion when it comes to anything but knowledge. Their Guild rivals are Guild Nykai. The leader of Astriel is known by the name of "Grand Philosopher". Guild Nykai: The Guild of strength, honor, and warfare. Warriors of Guild Nykai are among the greatest in Equestria, reknowned for their mercenary work and their reputation as valiant defenders of the Peace. Occasionally the trainers of new recruits for the R.E.A. (Royal Equestrian Army), Nykai members take pride in their skill in combat and tactical supremacy. Unlike their rivals from Guild Astriel, Nykai warriors are extremely passionate in their beliefs and will often fight to the death for their virtues. The leader of Nykai is known by the name of "High General". Guild Terdas: The Guild of subtlety, assassins, and darkness. Every member of Guild Terdas is extremely proficient in the arts of death, ranging from brutal assassins to devious dark magicians. Often viewed with contempt by those outside their circles, Guild Terdas is considered a necessary evil. While Guild Evangel is their official rival, Guild Terdas sees all outsiders as potential threats and dangers. Secretive in all practices, no one has infiltrated Terdas and made it out alive. The leader of Terdas is known by the name of "Eternal One". Guild Evangel: The Guild of faith, healing, and light. Guild Evangel is the most respected and admired of the four Guilds, known for its' members' healing prowess by the use of magic or medicine. Many members are excessively beautiful, and possess kind, noble natures. It is rumored that Guild Evangel's highest authorities had learned from Celestia herself, but no evidence has proven it to be true. A few of Guild Evangel are capable of predicting small parts of the future, although what they reveal is often cryptic and hard to understand. Members of Evangel despise Guild Terdas because of its' sinister and wicked practices, and as a result pretend to ignore their existence. The leader of Evangel is known by the name of "Prophet". Non-Guild Allegiances: Unaffiliated: Those who are not connected to any Guild or faction, these creatures' goals and opinions are wide and diverse, and as a result those who are Unaffiliated are viewed as unpredictable. Free to do as they please, Guildless creatures usually remain obscured from the eyes of Guild members and more-than-often ignored becaused of it. The Principality: Concerning all those who follow and obey the Princesses instead of the Guilds, members of the Principality often have to deal with the existence of the Guilds, and are often bitter about their growing influence in Equestria. Ranging from soldiers to scholars, any member of the Principality would be caught dead before joining one of the Guilds...unless something changes that belief. Application Info: Name: Gender: Race: Affiliation: Rank: (Only if you plan on being a Recruit, Member, or Leader of a Guild.) Appearance: Personality: Background (Bio):
For those of you who do not know me, I'm Miss Valence It's great to meet you! Welcome to one of my very first RPs that I introduced to Canterlot...and perhaps one of my biggest favorites. It is based on the fan-fiction I have written, and I absolutely love the potential it has as a full-action role-play! Now, first things first, I decided to move it to the Free-For-All thread-page so that way I can receive more members. As we all know, Crossovers (where my RP originated) isn't very popular...but this part of the site is so, I hope to get a lot of peeps in to join in on this massive, magical, and intriguing adventure that is just WAITING to be unleashed! I hope you all will enjoy this as much as I will! P.S. Just to make sure you guys don't ask, if you recognize Wheel of Time references, then the reason behind that is that those books are a great inspiration to me, and I thought making a ponified adaption would be an amazing feat. This will be the thread in which you post the characters you want to be immersed in the CC World. There are a few details on how characters are made, and the rules for making characters. If you have any questions on the information below, please leave your comments. Also, I have made a clear introduction to the Coltaran Chronicles as well, for those of you who might not get the lore or need a bit of a confirmation on it. [colour=#800000]Long ago, there was a land known as Coltara. Beautiful, wild, and filled to the brim with magic, it was paradise on earth. For hundreds of years, the ponies of the world flourished under the rule of Astral Magus, the grandfather of all pony kind. When he passed on from the world, his children took up the reigns and also ruled in peace. However, no peace lasts forever. The two younger brothers, Stalliar and Coltan, were jealous and hateful of their elder sister Marella, and thus war between their nations Heavana, Rainor and Saharai broke out. After five years of war, the two defeated their older sister and had her executed at the Heavana capital of Golden Mane, while her subjects and two children made it over the barrier-like Mountains of Mist.[/colour] [colour=#800000]Soon enough, the two brothers waged war against one another, wanting full control over the continent. The war was disastrous, and in a fit of insanity and rage, Stalliar tried to use the Ascending Lights, magical artifacts crafted when the world was new, as weapons. The result was self-destruction on an apocalyptic scale, creating a deep crater in the earth and sending shockwaves throughout the world. In preparation for this, the ponies who had traveled across the mountains used divine magic to create the Elements of Harmony. So, when the shockwaves hit the Mountains of Mist, Coltara and the other land became separate dimensions, unable to ever connect again and creating a dimensional barrier, which only the strongest of magicians could break through. While the ponies in the other land (Later to be named Equestria) suffered none of the repercussions of Stalliar's madness, the land of Coltara went through a catastrophic shift. The entire landscape changed, cities went beneath oceans or under mountains overnight.[/colour] [colour=#800000]When the dust finally settled, the remaining ponies warred against one another for control. This constant battle with eachother weakened them further, making them ripe for an onslaught of monsters from the crater where Stalliar died, also known as the Pit of Nightmares. As the monsters went out and purged the land, they brought a taint with them that killed off the life it crept on. This poisoned land would later be known as the Plains of Midnight. However, a group of powerful Sages and magicians united and struck back, pushing the monsters back to the Pit. It is there they encountered the reborn Stalliar, now known as Darkwing. They defeated and imprisoned him using the Ascending Lights, and began a new era in Coltara under the watchful eye of the Wardens of the Seal, an organization they created to keep Darkwing locked away.[/colour] [colour=#800000]For hundreds of years the ponies lived in relative peace, until the Darkspawn (monsters from the Pit) reappeared and began their invasion once more, far more organized and powerful than before. Ten of the Wardens' strongest ponies left, stealing the Ascending Lights and becoming the first Night Children, (Later named The Heartless for their cruel actions in the war following their betrayal) and used the Lights to free Darkwing from his prison. It was then that a pony named Silvan Lightbinder united the nations under a single coalition and defeated the darkness once more. However, he had made a grave error in resealing Darkwing, and Darkwing took advantage of the momentary weakness to poison the Ascending Light of Magic with his venomous hatred. Once tainted, all the astral magic in Coltara became unusable, causing any who wielded it to go insane. This required a mass extermination of many Unicorns, and reduced their population for over a thousand years.[/colour] [colour=#800000]Five hundreds years later, a young conqueror by the name of Ashmane Drake stormed the continent, taking over each and every nation. Having grown to despise magic, he laid siege to the last home of the Wardens, who were still able to practice magic safetly, in the ancient Solaris City. After ten years, the city fell and the Wardens slaughtered. Afterwards, Ashmane Drake died, his last breath cursing the Wardens. At first there was conflict, but after slaughtering his brothers and sisters, the eldest son of Ashmane took up the crown and created the Dragoran Empire, becoming the first Emperor of Coltara. Now, two thousand and seven hundred years since that last conflict, the Empire has become stronger than it has ever been before, and the seal on Darkwing's prison is starting to crumble away. The Night Children tie their strings around Coltara's throat, and beyond, starting to make connections in the cross-dimensional land of Equestria. It is modern day now, Equestria completely ignorant of the Coltaran incursion and the darkness extending its influence, in preparation for the world's destruction. So, will you join the forces of darkness, or protect the world as a hero of light? The choice is yours to make.[/colour] Character Creation: [colour=#ff0000]1. Names: The naming for Equestrian creatures is the same, as are the normal creatures in Coltara. However, Coltaran ponies actually have two names, their Birth Name, and Destined Name. They obtain their Destined Name after their Destiny Mark appears, and base their new names off of it.[/colour] [colour=#ff8c00]2. Sexes: The sex of any species is irrelevant when it comes to opportunities in either Equestria or Coltara, so you need not think much on this.[/colour] [colour=#008000]3. Ages: Ages can determine how your character reacts to the CC World and other characters. Some will not have different dialog with you, but many will. If you are, say, a Filly, older characters may not consider you worth talking to because you are so young. Where as if you are an adult and you are talking to younger characters, they will often differ to you and give you what you want.[/colour] [colour=#008080]4. Species: Unlike other MLP-themed RPs, species severely affects your character's background in Coltara. In Coltara, Pegasi are usually the upper class, Earth Ponies the middle class, and Unicorns the lower class. Please refer to the lore for more information as to why Unicorns are the ones who are the lowest in social structure.[/colour] [colour=#800080]5. Appearance: No rules on physical attributes, besides the standard Cutie Marks and Destiny Marks (Which are on the chest). (However, don't go crazy please.)[/colour] [colour=#808080]6. Origins/Residence: This is essential to how your character will interact with other characters in the CC World. I would suggest you read up on where the popular places are for the RP before you make your character, OR have your character be a roamer.[/colour] [colour=#8b4513]7. Bio/Background: Now, your character summary will be crucial. I would like to see who your character is, what they are like, and how they can fit in best in the CC World. Now, once placed into the story-line, you can influence it to a major degree, no matter who you are.[/colour] [colour=#b22222]8. Cutie Mark/Destiny Mark (Ponies/Zebras only): Depending on whether your OC is from Coltara or Equestria, if they are a pony/zebra they will have a Cutie Mark/Destiny Mark. Cutie Marks are Equestrian (I don't believe I need to explain these) and Destiny Marks are Coltaran. Destiny Marks are earned very differently from Cutie Marks. While CMs are found when a pony finds his/her special talent, DMs are discovered when a pony's fate is realized, and thus are earned later than CMs (it is not odd to find a Coltaran at old age without a DM, for some never find their destiny). Also, Destiny Marks reflect the wearer's spirit and soul, not their abilities.[/colour] Coltaran Social Order: [colour=#FF0000]The Imperial Family: Consisting entirely of pegasi who are descended from Ashmane Drake, they are the highest in Coltaran society. Among the Family, each member strives to obtain more power and to inch closer and closer to the Crystal Throne, by any means necessary. It is not abnormal to hear about the Emperor/Empress' children fighting over who would succeed to the throne, sometimes leading to banishment or assassination (Or sometimes both). Those in the Imperial Family are identified by braided tails and red-painted hooves, and those who are in the immediate Family also carry tattoos on specific parts of the body.[/colour] [colour=#0000FF]The High Blood: Consisting mostly of pegasi and some earth ponies, these ponies are the highest among nobles, and thus tend to be the leaders in society. While many of the High Blood are among the Ever Victorious Army (The Empire's main military), a good amount work with the cities, usually as governors or business leaders. One may become of the High Blood if they perform a great feat in service of the Empire. If one of the High Blood were to shame themselves in front of the Imperial Family, it is not uncommon for them to take their own lives. Ponies among the High Blood are identified by the upper mane shaved and hooves painted blue.[/colour] [colour=#008000]The Low Blood: Consisting mostly of earth ponies and some pegasi, the Low Blood are not as powerful as the High Blood, but still hold significant militaristic and civic power. While many earth ponies are born into the Low Blood, a large amount are commoners and must serve in the EVA for a certain amount of time and/or become a high-ranking officer. Those who shame themselves in front of the Imperial Family are stripped of their titles, land, and property for the least severe of cases, or executed at the Tower of Midnight for the worst of crimes. Ponies among the Low Blood are identified by their lower manes shaved and their hooves painted green.[/colour] [colour=#DAA520]The Commoners: Consisting of earth ponies and unicorns, they are the backbone of Empire. Strangely enough, they possess the most freed among the social classes. While they are not powerful in political, economical, or social structures, they are not constricted by the same laws that govern the Blood. Essentially, they trade power for freedom. Commoners are treated fairly and given trial for every crime. However, if a commoner were to shame his/herself before the Imperial Family, then he/she and their entire family will be executed at the Tower of Midnight...a place few would dare even think about. These ponies are identified by their lack of mane and hoof decoration.[/colour] [colour=#800080]Tov'Kin (Property): When one shames themselves to a severe degree, usually by insulting the Blood or deserting the military, authorities may arrest them and convert them into Tov'Kin, or "property" in the Ancient Dialect. Afterwards, the pony is sold to one of the Blood as a servant. They are usually bought by the member of the Blood who they had insulted, or bought by the EVA for labor. Once made Tov'Kin, they and all their children will remain Tov'Kin until released from service. Tov'Kin are identified by their manes shaved, tails cut short, and wearing a Blood's crest or the emblem of the Ever Victorious Army.[/colour] [colour=#696969]Rahmane: Meaning "One who is leashed", a Rahmane is a unicorn that is controlled by a Soulshackle. Due to magic having been warped long ago, shackled Rahmane are saved from insanity, but are used as weapons. However, all Rahmane are female, since males are too unstable and are often executed when their magic reveals itself. Rahmane can be identified by the silver collar around their throats, and are always near a Sul'jin.[/colour] [colour=#A52A2A]Sul'jin: Meaning "One who embraces", a Sul'jin is a pegasus of the Low Blood who has passed a test to control a Rahmane. Usually affectionate, Sul'jin act not only as caretakers for Rahmane, but occasionally lovers as well. However, they can be brutal with non-Dragoran Rahmane, since they do not know Dragoran customs and must be taught them by any means necessary. Sul'jin are identified by star-patterned outfits and a silver bracelet on one of their front legs.[/colour] Coltaran Organizations: [colour=#b22222]The Hoof of Dragora: Also known as "Inquisitors", these earth ponies are Tov'kin to the Empress herself, and are charged to act as a secret police force, being able to arrest anyone for any crime except for the Empress. If one is arrested by the Hoof of Dragora, they will be taken to the Tower of Midnight until they have proclaimed themselves guilty. Being among the most feared organizations in Coltara, few of the Imperial Family take their chances with them, while none in the lower social orders dare get in their way. They wear cloaks with the Imperial Seal and have black-painted hooves.[/colour] [colour=#006400]The Nightingales: The greatest among the Guard to the Imperial Family, they are an elite force of warriors and runecrafters and are willing to sacrifice their lives for the Imperial Family. They serve all of the Family, but their main concern are the Empress and her most important children; the Princess of the Seven Seals and the Prince of Ravens. They are Tov'kin to the Empress, except for the Baraki (moon wolves) in her service. They wear an extremely dark-green and crimson colored armor, the dark-green often mistaken for black.[/colour] [colour=#40e0d0]The Wardens of the Seal: A group of magicians and warriors whose job was to fight evil and keep an eye on Stalliar's (Darkwing's) prison, they lasted about one thousand years before being annihilated by Ashmane Drake. Their home city was Solaris City, now a desolate ruin which is cursed by the spirits of the slaughtered Wardens.[/colour] [colour=#0000cd]The Night Children: Loyal to the darkness, these followers of evil seek to bring chaos and death, as well as obtain power through the Specter and his return. There are Night Children in every form of society, including the Imperial Family. When someone is discovered as a Night Child, they are immediately arrested and executed, with no trial or mercy. However, sometimes innocent people are named as Night Children and are killed in this fashion as well. In order to contact the Night Children, one must perform a blood ritual, and summon a darkspawn known as a Messenger Imp. Once told where the next gathering is held, the pony goes and submits themselves to the Oath Rod, and take three oaths.[/colour] [colour=#0000CD]1. I swear to serve the Great Lord, in both life and death.[/colour] [colour=#0000CD]2. I swear to uphold the laws of the Children, and forget all other oaths.[/colour] [colour=#0000CD]3. I swear to never speak of the Children's secrets.[/colour] [colour=#800080]The Heartless (The Lost Ones): Ten of the strongest Wardens in the Darkspawn Wars, they had sworn to serve Darkwing in exchange for power, love, fortune...Coppernicus, teacher of the famous/infamous Silvan Lightbinder, is the leader of this group, or Kal'Kiri (master). The Heartless were responsible for several, horrible atrocities done in the Darkspawn Wars, one of them in particular where they slaughtered a whole nation's foals in front of their parents' very eyes, and then did away with the rest of the families. At the end of the Darkspawn Wars, Silvan had sent them and all the other Darkspawn into the Seal which Darkwing now sleeps. However...one managed to escape some time ago, and has his/her hoof controlling Coltara from the shadows.[/colour] [colour=#808080]The Bloodhooves: The best assassins in the Empire, they are completely obedient and show no mercy. They employ Ro'Maga, a form of parasitic magical tools from the distant past. These specific Ro'Maga, however, are unique. When they activate by a small drop of the user's blood, the Ro'Maga give the wearer supernatural strength and speed, as well as the ability to disappear entirely in shadows. The cost, however, is that once the Ro'Maga activates, they die in a matter of days. Bloodhooves are used to weaken enemy armies or to assassinate and leave no evidence behind. They wear their signature blood-red and black clothing, with the bone-like Ro'Maga necklaces around their necks.[/colour] [colour=#ff0000]The Order of the Redeemed: A large organization of unicorns and earth ponies that act as a resistance movement against the Empire. They are descended from the Wardens of the Seal, and have carried with them their ancient secret of cleansing one's magic of Darkwing's taint. The Order is extremely well-hidden and has staged multiple rebellions over the centuries. Their current leader is unknown, but whoever it is has strong connections within the Empire.[/colour] (New) The Forerunners: A new, rebellious organization in Equestria, it is led by Black Moon, and their goal is to take down Equestria's government, and pave the way for an impending invasion by the Dragoran Empire, who have learned of Equestria's existence. Their activities are unknown, but it is said their spies lie in every town in Equestria, and their numbers grow every day. (New) The Elemental Sages: An ancient group of powerful practitioners in primal magic, their kind has long since disappeared from Coltara, due to the advancement of technology and civilization. However, there are still Sages on the edges of the world, studying the magics of nature in quiet and relative harmony. Dragon Sages are for Fire, Water Serpent Sages for Water, Wind Sprite Sages for Air, Minotaur Sages for Earth, and Baraki (Moon Wolf) Sages for Spacial magic. Magical Items and tools in Coltara: Qai'Maga: Translated into "Magic Tool", Qai'Maga are the most common of magical items from the First Age, and perform a variety of functions, many usable without the user being attuned to magic. Each Qai'Maga serves a specific purpose, and it is known to be dangerous to figure out the purpose on an unknown Qai'Maga. Due to the prohibition of internal magic by the Empire, ponies use these for when they need magical help. Kael'Maga: Translated into "Magic Enhancer", these magical items are not as common as Qai'Maga, and are often hard to find. These artifacts help the user focus their internal magic and perform far greater feats than they normally could. They come in a variety of shapes and strengths, and many of them are dangerous. Due to the nature of Kael'Maga, many of the ones that are found are sent to the Imperial Vault. Likael'Maga: Translated into "Grand Magic Enhancer", Likael'Maga are the rarest of magical creations, and are by far the most powerful. Through these artifacts, a unicorn's magical power can be increased immensely, the strongest of Likael'Maga are said to give the user the ability to move mountains and boil oceans. Only three Likael'Maga have been discovered, two of them in the Imperial Vault, and the last one within the Moon Tree, guarded by it's Baraki inhabitants. Ro'Maga: Translated into "Magic Parasite, Ro'maga are as dangerous as they are rare. These vampiric artifacts give the wearer great power, but always at a price. Some take away the pony's magical energy, others their blood, and a few kill their hosts. Usually in the shape of necklaces or bracers, the way most of them activate is by offering blood. An organization that is famous for using them are the Bloodhooves. Soulshackle: Created by the High Blood scientist Moonais Rocklance, it serves as a way to control Bel'Rahmane (Translated: "One who is not leashed"). It works by linking the spirits of a Rahmane and a Sul'jin, restricting the flow of magic in the unicorn's body at the will of the Sul'jin. In order to work at it's fullest potential, the Rahmane must be completely submissive and willing, which is generally not a problem for Coltaran unicorns, since they know of the madness that comes with not being shackled. Soulshackles come in two pieces, a necklace and a leg brace. The Rahmane wear the necklaces, while the Sul'jin wear the leg braces. Aishanidari: Translated into "Blade of Fate", Aishanidari are weapons infused with potent magical power, and are given to young members of the High Blood and the Imperial Family when they finally obtain their Destined Name. However, a pony may also earn one by being a warrior of great accomplishment and proven to be a weapon master. When a wielder masters the weapon, a raven will appear on the black metal, and unlocks the weapon's true potential. When given, the Aishanidari transform into the weapon that best matches the wielder's soul. Runes can be applied to these weapons, but only once the raven-mark has appeared, otherwise the weapon will be rendered useless. In rare cases, if a pony bonds with their Aishanidari in a strong way, the weapon will develop a consciousness. Also, Aishanidari can be summoned to battle whenever the wielder sees fit. Shadar Anku: Translated into "Relic of Shadow", these dark magic atrocities are as few as Likael'Maga, and possess odd but powerful abilities. It is said that Darkwing himself made these with the Ascending Lights, and given to the greatest of the Night Children. After the last war with the Darkspawn, the Wardens had destroyed many Shadar Anku...but apparently they did not destroy them all. Portal Stone: Located all over Coltara, Portal Stones are ancient platforms created in the First Age as a means of instantaneous transportation. However, their magical energies disappeared at the beginning of the Dragoran Empire. Now, after nearly three thousand years, the Portal Stones are reactivating, and no one can explain why. While many Portal Stones already have predetermined locations, there are some which can teleport the user wherever they wish, but require a large amount of astral magic. Important places in Coltara: Golden Mane: The ancient capital of Heavana, it was considered the greatest metropolis to have ever existed in Coltara. Many say it would rival the Imperial capital of Ashen Gate, but this is an understatement. Home to the world's largest library and greatest collection of magical artifacts, hundreds of scholars and treasure hunters search for it every year, but none have seen it since the First Age. The city is said to be made of gold, diamonds, and several other precious ores, all architecturally sound and beautiful. Perhaps the most mysterious legend of Golden Mane is about the Hall of Stars, which is said to be the place the Ascending Lights were crafted. It is said that Golden Mane will reappear when the world needs it most, and only then will its secrets be revealed. The Pit of Nightmares: A hole in the earth miles deep, it is the place where many struggles against the darkness were fought, and also where the Ascending Light of Magic was corrupted. Now, it is Darkwing's prison as well. Despite the Empire's refusal to believe such tales, a large military-state was built up around the Pit as a precautionary measure. At it's very bottom is a gigantic white crystal, said to be the prison. It is currently being mined and sold as a precious gem. Solaris City: Also known as the City of Lights, it was once the capital city of ancient Solaria, and home base of the Wardens of the Seal. Now, it is a bleak, cursed ruin. Despite the evidence that all of its treasures had been taken long ago, treasure hunters still seek the famous Archwarden's Cache, which is said to hold the most powerful magic tomes and artifacts in Coltara. The Moon Tree: A gigantic silver-bark tree in the Imperial capital, Ashen Gate, it is a legend among Coltarans. Ancient manuscripts suggest that the first pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies were created here. The Baraki make their home here, and worship the Moon Tree as a sacred monument. Created by the moon spirit, Luna (Not associated with Princess Luna), it was a gift to the world and her Baraki children before her passing. Ashen Gate: The capital of the Dragoran Empire and Coltara itself, it is home to the Imperial Family and the Moon Tree. Being the largest city in the empire, its estimated population is around five hundred thousand. According to urban legend, there is a crypt beneath the Imperial Palace said to hold the bones of strange, monstrous creatures, perhaps those of darkspawn from long ago. Not only is Ashen Gate the largest city, but also the most beautiful and well-made, most of the city having been crafted from the mountains surrounding the Moon Tree. After two thousand and seven hundred years, those mountains are gone now, and in their place are the many complex buildings of the capital. The Tower of Midnight: Part of a vast prison complex to the west of Ashen Gate, the Tower of Midnight is a place that inspires fear in every pony of the Empire, even among those of the Imperial Family. The horrors that those in the Tower of Midnight do to the criminals taken there are beyond gruesome, and cannot be described here. The Hoof of Dragora makes their headquarters here, and they make sure that there is absolutely no escape for those who are sent to the Tower. There is one lesson this place teaches..."Never anger the Empress" Other Coltaran Cities: Riptide Bay: The largest port in the Empire on its eastern shore, its economy is the most stable and it is ruled by a council of earth ponies rather than pegasi, which is odd compared to most of the Empire. Considered the only place close to paradise in Coltara, ponies and other races from all over come here in hopes of getting away from the troubles in other parts of the Empire. Hosting the second largest population in Coltara, it is estimated to nearly four hundred thousand inhabitants. There are rumors that the Order of the Redeemed make their base here, but such reports are unconfirmed. However, confirmed rumors of Riptide Bay say that a new trade-link has been opened up to a distant land, and that the portal stones at the city's docks have finally became active, after losing their magical energies the last two and a half thousand years. The reason for this is a mystery, but excitement is in the air, as the name of a land named "Equestria" resound on the lips of the ponies living there, a place where the downtrodden could finally escape to...? Those who live here tend to be care-free, generous, and gentle. Coltan's Rest: The military state that exists around the mythical Pit of Nightmares, it is the fifth largest settlement with around eighty-five thousand ponies. Some of the Empire's greatest warriors come from this city, which was named after the great warrior Alicorn, Coltan. Currently, the pit that the city circles is being mined for the rich white ore at its bottom, and is rumored to resonate with magic. The famous Crystal Throne that the Empress herself sits on is crafted from this very crystal, and it is said she can use it to detect the presence of magic anywhere in Ashen Gate. Those who live here tend to be crafty, stubborn, and brutal, due to the militaristic surroundings. The city is ruled by a congregation of military commanders. Icewalker's Dominion: Far to the north of the empire, this city was created only a few hundred years before, with the final conquests of the Empire. The native ponies here are bizarre compared to the rest of the Empire, and have an extreme dislike for their Dragoran occupiers. Icewalker's Dominion makes the best clothing and armor in the Empire, the natives being some of the most expert blacksmiths and tailors. Also named the Alarr Kal'Kiri (Sacred Masters), the natives are extremely spiritual and hold many secrets from the Empire, denying them the right to pass through the gigantic Coldstone Gate that is embedded into the center of the mountains on the Empire's northern border. Those who live here tend to be emotionless, fair, and cunning. The city is ruled by an Imperial Governor. Harin'Dor: Translated into "City of Innovation", it is located deep in the Sandspire Desert, and has been a center for science and technology for three thousand years. It has the third largest population, a size of two hundred and seventy thousand. Being home to the Empire's best engineers and runecrafters, it is an ideal place for those who wish to reach technological and scientific enlightenment. Harin'Dor has the largest known library in Coltara, and contains records dating back to the First Age. Those who live here tend to be intelligent, witty, and often disconnected to social and political matters. The city is ruled by an elected official, who also acts as their representative to the Empire. Moonrise City: Located in the south-western edge of Coltara, it is the one place the Empire had never truly conquered. Being a place of worship to the Moon, the inhabitants had fought tooth and nail to protect it from the Empire's iron grip. After fifteen failed sieges on the fortress-city, the Empire finally resolved to make a treaty with the ponies and Baraki of Moonrise City. Being a city of complete harmony and unity, it is said that simply walking through the gates will instill the creature with a sense of peace and ease. Those who live here are calm, spiritual and virtuous. Also, many of them are nocturnal, and thus sleep during the day and are active at night. The city is ruled by a Steward, who watches over the vacant throne meant for the Lightbinder Reborn. (More to be added later.) Patron Saints/Deities of Coltara: Phoebus: Deity of the Sun, Light, and Creation. Phoebus is known to be the being that created the world and the other Six Primary Deities. Often represented as a floating globe of rainbow light, he is the most mysterious and least-known of all the deities and patron saints, due to his disappearance shortly after the world's creation. His symbol is a hammer and anvil, symbolizing creation. Other Names: The Creator, He Who Gave Life, Worldcrafter. Ignis: Deity of Fire, Anger, Disaster and Dragons. Ignis is the eldest of the Six Primary Deities, and is often revered as the father of Dragonkind. Known to be easily angered and hard to deal with diplomatically, he is worshiped by all Dragons in Coltara and was a figure of respect for the once-great Imperial Dragonlances, who were wiped out after the assassination of Empress Dandela II. Ever since, worship of Ignis has been banned, and the Dragon Hunts began. Other Names: The Infernal, Wrathbringer, He Who Scorches. Aquavi: Deity of Seas, Storms, Peace, the Harvest and Water Serpents. Aquavi is one of the Six Primary Deities, and is known as the creator of all Water Serpents. Revered among sailors, she is often prayed to for safe travel on the ocean waves, and also for a good year's crops. Riptide Bay has the largest temple in Coltara dedicated to her, and is a local hot-spot for day-to-day activities. Other Names: The Tiderunner, Mistsong, Maid of the Waves. Ventus: Deity of winds, mischief, nomads, scribes, and Griffons. Ventus is the second youngest of the Six Primary Deities, known for his mischievous nature and pranks on many of the world's races. Being the only Deity living, he has secluded himself away into an unknown part of the world. He created the Griffons as friends and fellow tricksters, but after his seclusion the Griffon race has forgotten him in all but name and worship. The most notable of his creations is his son, Discord; God of Chaos. Other Names: The Wind Sprite, Skybreaker, Child who Soars. Terra: Deity of the earth, love, forests, history, and Minotaur. Being the middle-child of the Six Primary Deities, she was the caretaker of the forests, swamps, and other natural places of the world. Her children, the Minotaur, aided her in keeping the peace. After her death, the Minotaur forgot their sacred duty, and began to change from gentle, loving creatures...into the beast-like, warrior race they are today. However, they still maintain the historical libraries that Terra had left behind before her death, in which books are created and written by unknown magical energies, recording all events that happen in Coltara and other lands. Other Names: The Great Librarian, The Earth Mother, Treebinder, Mother of All. Luna: Deity of the Moon, beauty, passion, the Baraki, and Changelings. Said to have been the most beautiful being to have ever existed, she made herself appear as the perfect representation of one's desires. Being almost as worshiped as Astral Magus, she has her largest collection of followers in the fortress city of Moonrise, which is said to be built on her tomb. The Baraki are the only of the two races she had created that still remember and celebrate her, where as the Changelings have forgotten all about the one who had created them (with the exception of those remaining in Moonrise City). Other Names: The Lady of the Night, Heartbreaker, Lover of Many, She Who Shines At Night. Astral Magus: Deity of magic, knowledge, innovation, the Afterlife, and Ponies. He was the youngest of the Six Primary Deities, and was awfully strange compared to the other deities. Essentially, he has created four races, where as his siblings only made one or two. Astral is the creator of Alicorns, Unicorns, Pegasi, and Earth Ponies, each possession certain parts of his being in their creation. Alicorns are of his body, made by his own blood, Unicorns were made from his mind, Pegasi from his spirit, and Earth Ponies from his heart. At the point of his death, he charged the first three Alicorns to protect the Ascending Lights, a relic of immense power that he and the other five Deities had created. Other Names: The Lorekeeper, The Greatfather, He Who Guards Death. (More to be added later.) Races: Earth Ponies: The middle-class of Coltaran society, they are the jack-of-all-trades. Earth Ponies are found in virtually every part of society except the Imperial Family, and thus the easiest race to choose when settling into the Coltaran world. Their particular characteristics include the lack of wings and a horn, being quite the most plain of races in terms of extra appendages. Pegasi: The upper-class of Coltaran society, they are primarily found within the Blood and the Imperial Family. Pegasi look similar to Earth Ponies, but with the exception of having bird-like wings on their backs that allow them to fly (and as an added bonus, seem to give them an additional sense of grace). So, naturally, most Pegasi are of noble lineage or military commanders within the Ever Victorious Army of the Empire. Unicorns: The lowest class of Coltaran society, they are constantly looked down upon and avoided by any creature with sense in Coltara. For over three thousand years, the magic in Coltara has been tainted...and thus Unicorns are vulnerable to going insane or a multitude of magical diseases. So, as a way to prevent such a thing from happening, most Unicorns do everything they can to prevent themselves from using magic. When a Unicorn is discovered who uses magic, the females are immediately captured and made Rahmane, whereas the males are executed due to their magical patterns being too difficult to control. Changelings: A small population of Changelings still remain in Coltara, despite the fact that most of their race had disappeared long ago. While they are scattered across the continent, a multitude of them live in Moonrise City. Unlike the Changelings in Equestria, in Coltara they feed on their original, primal source...the moonlight. Being one of the two races born from Luna, Coltaran-native Changelings still feel the strong attachment they have with the moon. Baraki: Living only in Moonrise City and at the Moon Tree in Ashen Gate, they are one of the two races created by the Moon Goddess, Luna. Baraki are very similar to wolves in appearance, except their ears are longer and their fangs are extended like a sabertooth tiger's. Commonly known as 'Moon Wolves', they are a very peaceful and domestic race that wish for nothing more than to care for their gardens and families (also, many are surprisingly vegetarian). However, there are a select few who are born to become the future 'Gardeners', a select group of warriors from their race whose primary duty is to protect and serve the Empress of Coltara alongside the Nightinggales. Griffons: Most of the Griffons in Coltara tend to live separately from Dragoran Imperial rule, but still act as subjects toward the massive Empire. The Griffons are found within the mountain peaks of the continent's many mountain ranges, and are allowed to create and govern their own communities as long as they pay a special tax from the Imperial Family. However, Griffon warriors are highly prized amongst the Ever Victorious Army, and tend to act as special aerial shocktroopers in the Empire's airship fleets. Zebras: Living mostly in the Sandspire Desert, they live in a congregation of clans and nomads amongst the twisting dunes of the arid region. However, the more enlightened Zebras go and live in Haren'Dor and serve as the Empire's greatest inventors, rune-crafters, and historians. Zebra society is perhaps the most diverse and intigrated of all other races, ranging from practically any occupation imaginable, and any social class within the Sandspire region. [colour=#000000]I hope that covers a lot of questions you guys might have about this please feel free to ask any other questions I might not have answered directly.[/colour] [colour=#000000]Extra Information:[/colour] The difference between magic for Coltaran and Equestrian unicorns: Coltaran Unicorns rely upon the magical energies of the land, where as unicorns in Equestria obtain their magic from within. This makes Equestrian unicorns impervious to the mind-altering, twisted magic in Coltara. However, if an Equestrian unicorn is in Coltara for a long enough time, they begin to change their source of magical energy to that of the other unicorns in Coltara, and thus could go insane.
...time passes me by, it seems. Equestria has turned out to be stronger than ever, due to the foundation of the Federation five years ago...it surprises me that today is our fifth anniversary. Could it really have been that long...? Yes, I suppose it has. I did what I thought was right...and I left all my friends behind. What sort of loyalty did I ever, truly, possess...? Those solemn words kept ringing in the masked pony's head all day, drowning out the music in the chaotic streets below her balcony, and shattering the eerie peace in her mind. Her light-blue wings furled around her body in an attempt to ward off the frigid morning air, which could cause shivers in the hardiest of ponies. A fitting weather indeed, for her mood was just as icy as the sky was today, which was blocked by a gloomy sheet of gray clouds. Despite the conditions, the citizens of Equinia cantered through the city in celebration of this momentous day. Ever since her leader's revolution, Equestria has become a source of strength...a powerful country, like it was supposed to be. She was proud, excited, invigorated by the achievement. However...why did she feel so miserable? Maybe it was because- "Chancelor Dash...our leader has arrived." The voice came from an armored stallion, who stood waiting at the door behind the balcony. His voice was quiet as always, nothing different about the pony who she knew never said much. "Thank you, Big Macintosh. At least...I can still rely on you." The pegasus official murmured, earning an appreciative nod from Big Macintosh as he left her once more. Raising her wings, she folded them at her sides and strided out from the balcony in a confident manner. Might as well get this over with... After several minutes of walking the mansion's bleak hallways, the pony finally arrived at the meeting chamber in which she would speak with the Grand Equestrian Fedaration's leader. With a deep breath, she pushed open the carved wooden doors and went inside. The large room was dimly lit by low-powered light bulbs, with a large rectangular black table in its center. Along the sides of the table stood cushioned chairs, each identical and lined up perfectly. At the far end of the table sat a pony wrapped up in red cloth, the only part of her face and body revealed were its horn and dark violet eyes. As the chancelor sat down at the other side, she removed her mask and revealed her face. "...greetings, Chancelor Rainbow Dash. I take it that your position has been quite...rewarding?" The mysterious pony's voice betrayed nothing to its identity, for it bore no resemblance to any gender or emotion, a blank noise that possessed little soul. With a shiver, Rainbow Dash responded with a nod, watching the red-garbed pony with a mixture of fear and admiration. "Yes, Red Fox...the administration you have given me is unlike any responsibility I ever had...I thank you for the honor."She knew her words were hollow, but the answer seemed to appease the dangerous unicorn in front of her. A bead of sweat trickled down her forehead, feeling like a sliver of ice on her coat. "...yes, I am sure you are." The Red Fox got up from the seat, as two ponies emerged from the shadows in the rooms corner, both wearing the GEF's fire-like insignia and wearing clothing as black as midnight. "I have a job for you, Chancelor Dash. These...Loyalists...have became a thorn in my flank. I want you to eliminate them with extreme prejudice. Also...keep an eye on that Free fellow in Blackwatch Prison...I've heard disturbing rumors about him, and it would be rather poor if he escaped, wouldn't you agree?" Rainbow Dash gulped, nodding dumbly as the Red Fox skirted past her. Now, the frightened pegasus' eyes were locked on the two black-clothed ponies. Where did they come from...?! She thought the Red Fox disbanded the Shade Corps after the war was over...but it seemed like that never occurred. Shivering at the memories of what the Shade Corps had done during the revolution, she felt like she was trapped in a den of dragons. "...Equestria belongs to me...and soon every creature in this land will understand that. Even those Loyalist fools. Enjoy the rest of the day, Chancelor...and manage my beautiful capital well." Without another word, the Red Fox and its two escorts left the room, leaving Rainbow Dash quivering by herself. Suddenly, the pegasus burst into tears, weeping pitifully, with her sobs echoing throughout the room. "...Oh, Fluttershy...Rarity...Applejack...Pinkie Pie...Twilight...I'm so sorry for what I've done...!" Little did the chancelor know that Big Macintosh stood outside the door, listening in on the pegasus. With a firm and angry face, he stomped away from the door...for he had a job to do, if only to help the one pony who was left from his past. (OOC: Alright! Let us begin this fiesta of an RP, shall we? This post is to simply serve as a start to the RP, not meant for anypony to reply to. I hope this little bit didn't mind-blow any of you )
You awaken to find yourself in a dark hallway, surrounded by gray walls and with no other way to go except forward. There is a icyness that embraces your body and soul, one that seems to have been there for days. As you continue down the bleak corridor, you begin to see a bright light to guide you from the darkness. You move closer and closer, picking up the pace as the light grew and warmth began to flow into your body. Finally, you reach the end of the hallway and into the light, only to find yourself in a large, circular library. At the center, you see two comfortable red linen chairs next to a fireplace. Suddenly, you hear a voice in your head and the room surrounding you. "Ah...you have finally arrived, I see. Please...please sit down. We have much to discuss, you and I." You do not know who was talking, but you decide to do as the voice said, since you had nowhere to go anyway. You make your way for the chair and sit down, sinking into its warm embrace. After a couple of moments, a eerie form appears from the fireplace, slowly transforming into a human-like shape. You watch, transfixed, as a figure is made, and the form becomes a fully physical being. In front of you stood a rather tall humanoid, wearing soft-looking white clothing, and a large wide-brimmed silver hat on its head. Its beard flows down its chest like a translucent stream of mercury, and its skin as dark as coal. You realize that the being before you is a male, and watch him with a mix of curiosity and suspicion. He gives you a disarming smile to set you at ease, and sits down himself after setting aside a glorious crystalline scepter. After a few quiet moments, he finally begins to speak. "I am glad you made it...many do not know how to reach this sanctuary of mine. Oh, but where are my manners...? My name is Azrial. Azrial, the Weaver. As for why you are here, and who I am, I will explain shortly. Right now, you are in a transference between lives, and so I must prepare you for what you will see. Tell me...do you remember Kaltara?" You shake your head, wondering why he asked such a question. Azrial chuckled to himself, nodding. "Yes...I assumed as much. Of course, I cannot blame you, for it is a land of great mystery and beauty that so few outside of it will ever see. Now, for some answers that will ease your troubled mind. The reason you are here, is because you are dead. You have passed on from your previous life, and are now moving on to the next. Do not be alarmed, for this happens to every creature who dies. Who I am...it is a complicated story, and one I will tell you if you request it." You nod a bit shakily, for you have been caught off-guard by the revelation that you are dead, and now wish to know what this mysterious creature had to say. Azrial's hand glowed with a soft white light, as a small book flew over to him and settled on his lap. However, he did not open it; he did not have to in order to tell this story. "I was born into the world long ago, when it was barbaric and young. Back then, there was almost no sentient life, and everything was made by the seven primal energies of the world. It was created by the same being who created me, Pharaxmas. He gave me, and my five other siblings life. Underneath him, we grew and grew, until it was time to perfect the world we were put on. My father, brothers, sisters, and I each represented the elements that fueled the earth, and thus used our natural talents to create much of what you'll see in this world today. This creation went on for seven days, until we had created the start of a perfect world. Phoebus, at the end of the creation, said that we must make a few more things in order for life to flourish...and they were the races of mortal kind.. Each of us put our own power and that of the world into these new life forms, so that they would keep everything balanced. My brother Regriel created the Orcs, Kazziel the Elves. My sisters also made their own races; Lenariel forged the Baraki, Tavriel the Dwarves, and Sabriel the Hikarri with some aid from me. Then at last, I created my own race...the one which you would know as Mankind; humanity. On their completion, life began to swell across the globe, and we had finally finished what we were made to do." You sat in silence during the whole speech, taking in the words Azrial had spoken, a flurry of questions swirling inside your head. Azrial took in a deep breath, and sighed. "...While we were the parents of a whole new world, my siblings and I simply weren't satisfied. Our father, Pharaxmas, disappeared shortly after the Creation, and we did not know what to do with ourselves. Eventually, we decided to have children of our own. Taking pieces of ourselves and copying them, we created several creatures whom embodied our spirits. Regriel created the dragons, Sabriel created the sea serpents, Kazziel created the griffons, Tavriel created a golem of nature, Lenariel created the dire wolves, and I created the Nephilar. While my siblings created their children in massive numbers, I only made three...for three were all that I needed. Their names were Miralla, Daellar, and Caltir, and I loved them more than anything else in the world. Each of them bore pieces of myself; Miralla had my heart, Daellar my mind, and Caltir obtained my spirit. Unfortunately, none of those forementioned children exist anymore...they were wiped out after the first Cataclysm." You looked at Azrial with an incredulous expression. Based on what he explained, you determined that he was a God of some sort; was he your God? What race were you? You could not determine whether to believe him or not, so you concluded to keep listening. Azrial gives you a knowing glance, a slight smirk on his lips, and he began again. "As with all great things...they all must come to an end. My time on that world was coming to a close, and I would soon have to say farewell to all of my children. My other siblings and I were being drained of our life energies in order to sustain the world; in order to prevent our demise, we created a new source of energy for the world to use: the Ascending Lights. However, the damage done was irreversible, and one by one we faded from the living world until I was the only one remaining. With my last breaths, I realized the Lights would need a guardian, or else they would be used wrongly, and so I left the knowledge of the Ascending Lights to my sons and daughter, so that they would keep guard over them after I died. Not only did they take up the mantel of protecting the Lights...but they also took up the mantels of leaders. During their reign, the humans I created grew to incredible sizes in population, and my children served them all as kings and queen. In Kaltara, where this all began, it was known as the Age of Creation, and rightfully so. Each of my children began to resent each other, until they finally showed outright hatred. My middle child, Daellar, was perhaps the worst among them for this. He hated his sister Miralla, and his hatred soon led to the first war on the face of Kaltara. Uniting his kingdom of Rai'zan, he invaded Havara, my daughter's kingdom, in order to obtain its wealth. The horrible fighting continued for five years, until on the war's fifth anniversary, my daughter's army and people vanished. When Daellar discovered this, he rushed his forces all the way to Havara's capital, Ximara. Upon arriving, they found Miralla as the glorious city's only inhabitant. Out of the anger and spite he had for her, Daellar ordered her capture...and execution. Before her death, however, she said she had sent her two heirs over the Skywall Mountains into the lands beyond, and hoped that one day they will return for what is theirs by birthright. Even I am uncertain who these two children are...but if I were to guess, they'd be a powerful couple of demi-gods." Azrial laughed to himself at the last statement, but there was a deep sorrow within his eyes. You drew several conclusions as to who these grandchildren were, but kept them to yourself. Azrial set the book he had aside and gazed intently at you before speaking once more. "That is the end to my story...but the beginning of a whole other story. After the death of my daughter, Kaltara went through a great change, and has been through more suffering than many other lands would ever feel. My son Daellar enjoyed the wealth he obtained from Havara for a long while, but by then his hatred for his brother Caltir resurfaced as well. Then, Rai'zan and Sanguire broke out into a war with one another as well. In this battle, magic was forged into weaponry...and became one of the most brutal conflicts in existence. Daellar, in the hopes of swiftly defeating Caltir, searched for the Ascending Lights. For centuries, he wondered, while Caltir refused to use the Lights, honoring my wishes. Eventually, Daellar found the artifacts that I helped create...and tried to use them to wipe Sanguir off the map. Of course, he did not know of the trap that was set to trigger on activation of such dangerous magic. The Lights tried to reverse the magic, to shut themselves off. To my despair...my son fought with their power, and in the end causing his own death, and the deaths of many others. A powerful explosion went off from the battle of wills, and it left the whole world shaking from the disaster. It set off a cataclysm of apocalyptic proportions, changing the landscape in Kaltara and beyond forever. Out of the ashes, several city-states and small nations appeared, and began fighting over the land that the kingdoms of Rai'zan and Sanguir used to possess. For one hundred years, they fought among themselves...while an even darker threat loomed. The explosion that was created formed a large crater and pit, and deep within these holes, evil creatures started to manifest, monsters of nightmare and horror. Apparently, the magic in that part of the land had become tainted, and the very elements themselves started to become twisted. Like a swarm of locusts, the monsters climbed out of this place, now refered to as the Bleakness, and devoured the land. The weaker nations close to the Bleakness were destroyed in a manner of days, and the stronger ones on the verge of collapse; all hope seemed lost. However, out of the darkness came a small light, created by the Mage known as Tyre. After witnessing the destruction these evil creatures caused, he gathered the strongest Mages and Sages in all of Kaltara, and united the remaining nations together under a single banner, forming the Covenant of Ten. United, this war coalition punched through the disorganized creatures, pushing back the monstrous horde and regaining the lands that were lost. After many years of fighting, they finally arrived upon the doorstep of the insidious Pit of Nightmares, located in the center of the Bleakness. Tyre and six of his strongest Mages went alone into the Darkness, and met face to face with the worst creature of all: My son, Daellar, now refered to as Sharlan the Specter by mortals everywhere. He had been forever transformed, both in body and soul. Together, Tyre and his allies defeated the Specter, and imprisoned him beneath the Pit of Nightmares with the Ascending Lights. On returning back to the heartland of Kaltara, Tyre gathered the greatest minds and warriors in Kaltara to form the Wardens of the Seals, an organization whose sole duty was to prevent the release of Sharlan, and to be ready for when he eventually breaks free from his prison." When Azrial was finished, he summoned a book over to the table in front of you, labeled: "The Stygian War". You stare at it curiously, then at Azrial, who nodded in the direction of the book. You pick it up, and begin to read the words inside... "...in the year ---- Kaltaran society was at its highest state in several thousand years. It was a time of invention, science, and ingenuity. Populations and technological advances seemed to increase every day, and everything seemed right with their world, or so it would seem. The Wardens at this time became primarily a collection of world leaders who were great Mages and Sages, using their power and wisdom to guide the inhabitants in peace and prosperity. However, they had forgotten entirely the horrors of the Specter and his monstrous hordes, and this ignorance of their very birth led to their destruction. In search of a new source of power greater than that which the Ascending Lights provided, a pair of Wardens created a great magical drill to mine the font of magic...they were too late to discover that the power was that of the Specter, and that they had just opened his tomb. Out from the Breach, as it was soon called, poured the Nightspawn of the past and the Bleakness along with it. It was during this time that the first Nightchildren began to arise...along with thirteen of the world's greatest Wardens, who later became known as the Heartless. What followed was a great conflict known as the Stygian War, which decimated the mortal realm and finally ended when Silvan Stargazer, leader of the forces of Light and the Wardens, led a team of skilled Mages into the Breach in order to seal the Specter and his minions away once more. As is known, Silvan (known as the Lightbinder), successfully banished the Specter to his prison, along with the Heartless...but the seal was imperfect, and came with seven seals of which had been lost to the flows of time. As retaliation for his imprisonment, the Specter placed his wicked taint on the Ascending Light of Astral magic...and drove the Mages of the world insane. Silvan and his companions who went to the Breach were the first to succumb to the madness of the taint, and eventually all of the practicing Mages fell. In their insanity, the Mages used their power to create mountains from plains, seas from deserts, annihilate entire cities...this Mage Cataclysm went on for nearly one hundred years until the death of the last Mage. The event later became known as 'Silvan's Folly', and prevented his ascendence to Saintdom. The inter-year period of the Cataclysm is disorganized, and few facts are known on this matter; thus, this tome is incomplete." You close the book after reading the summary, and you begin to look at Azrial with a new sense of dread. However, more questions kept going through your mind: 'Why is he showing me this?' 'What does he want with me?' 'How does this have anything to do with me?'. You ask the first question, and he smiled gently. "Well, it is because I do believe you will be connected to Kaltara's salvation through fate, young one. You see...I can see the strings of destiny tied onto you. However, I cannot say in what way you are connected to it all. Also, I am unsure as to whether you will be born in the time of need once more, or afterwards. Although, I will say this: you are linked to far more than you believe...and you may be the one to prevent the world's destruction. One question you may ask is 'Why me?"...well, I cannot answer that, for I do not control the tides of destiny, I just connect them as I see fit. There is one more book you need to read...one that is as important as the other." Another book drifted over to the table, resting on top of the previous one. The title was in a fancy form of writing, and said "The History of the Dragoran Empire". You pick it up and begin to read the first chapter. "...Before our glorious empire was created, Kaltara was in a state of conflict. Civil wars, bloody successions, and petty national rivalries divided the land, with Lumen'dor being the only sanctuary from the fighting. Despite the chaos, one nation still flourished. Located on the western shore of Kaltara, our great mother kingdom of Dragora grew from the land that used to belong to the mythical Rai'zan of old. A new king had been raised, one with the ambition to unite the world under one ruler. We know him as the First Emperor, but he was known back then as Ashmire Drake. Once a simple peasant, he was chosen by fate to rise to power and lead the Dragoran nation to glory. Among us, he was courageous, kind, and selfless, while his enemies knew him to be crafty, strong, and ruthless. For years he amassed his armies, waiting for the right time to begin his impending invasion. With his allies at his back, he conquered many of the nations to the east with ease by using either force or persuasion. By the end of his conquests, nearly all of Kaltara belonged to him, and he was crowned High King. It was then that he turned his attention onto Lumen'dor, last bastion of the Wardens. Growing up to have severe distrust in anything that has to do with magic, he knew he had to destroy the Wardens if he was to make the land perfect. The siege lasted ten years until his death from a crippling poison. Seeking vengeance for the death of his father, the eldest of Ashmire's sons, Beryllan, led a final assault against Lumen'dor and broke through the enchanted walls. Once inside, the treacherous Wardens were slaughtered until the Archwarden at the time, the Lady Aerysia, surrendered and was executed for the use of forbidden Astral magic and the crime of slaying Ashmire Drake. Once Lumen'dor was torn to the ground, Beryllan returned to the mountain stronghold of Ashen Gate and named himself Emperor of Kaltara. At the end of his reign, each speck of land was under Imperial rule." You place the book down, somehow knowing that it was all you needed to read, and you look up to see Azrial with his back turned toward you, gazing intently into the unnatural fire. "...so now you know what you must know. I have given this information to you so that you can forge your own destiny. In Kaltara's current era, Mages are suppressed and controlled...they are despised for their natural affinity to magic, and they struggle to prevent any magical contact so that they could live. It is truly a miserable time...but perhaps you, or someone like you, can fix it." Azrial turns to you and gazes deep into your eyes. You could feel him penetrating to the very depths of your spirit, reading it. After a moment, Azrial nodded and smiled. "I see now that I made the right choice. Go, now...go and become a part of the world once more. I will be watching, and guiding, you and all that are like you." You'd feel yourself get lighter and lighter, your vision slowly turning dark, and as you begin to return to the living world you hear Azrial's final whisper resound in your mind countless times: "...do not forget who you are, or who you will be, Child of Fate. Whether you be of the Darkness or the Light, know this; that there is never an end...only another beginning." It is with those last few words that you feel yourself fade away entirely, enveloped in a wet warmth. A light shines in your vision, leading the way out of the tunnel of darkness in which you had laid in.You feel yourself dragged out into the world once more...the only sounds reaching your ears being that of your very own cries as the light welcomes you into your new life.