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Sunday, 9th May, 2010, 05:28 PM #1
Tale of the Crystal Princess. An Arcana Evolved Game. OOC
"Once upon a time, when wishes still worked, there was a fabulous kingdom ruled by a wise King and Queen. One day, they were blessed by the Light with a beautiful baby daughter, whom they doted upon. As she grew older, her beauty grew with her. All loved her, but her popularity did not make her unkind or arrogant, as it sometimes can. On the contrary, she was kind-hearted and generous, a friend to those less fortunate and a champion of the poor. She could sing and dance far better than anyone in the kingdom, she was brave but never foolhardy, forthright but never cruel. She studied as hard as she played, and the King and Queen were very proud of her.
"But on her eighteenth birthday the Royal Palace was visited by an evil sorceress. Nobody knows what went on, except the King and Queen, but when the sorceress left she had turned the beautiful princess into a statue made of the finest, most delicate glass. Some people in the kingdom said that the sorceress was jealous of the princess's beauty, others that there was a prophecy that the princess would be the one to kill the evil sorceress. Others muttered that King and Queen had upset the sorceress; the King was known to be short-tempered, and the Queen could be haughty and proud on occasion. But all agreed that no amount of rudeness warranted having your only child turned into a glass statue.
"The decree went out. Whoever could find a way to restore the princess to life would win her hand in marriage, half the kingdom, a fortune in gold, as much cake as they could eat, or whatever else their hearts desired. Many heroes and heroines stepped forwards to find a way to break the curse, but none succeeded. Time passed, the years turned, the King and Queen got older and still their daughter was not restored. In their grieving, they neglected the kingdom, and darkness crept into the forests and the mountain valleys, the land was beset by fearsome monsters, and broken apart by wars. A terrible shadow darkened the heart of the kingdom just as it darkened the hearts of the King and Queen.
"Fifty years have now gone by since the princess was cursed. Few now take up the challenge of breaking the sorceress’ spell, as everyone believes it is a fool’s errand, a hopeless task. Without hope, the Light fails. In our time we could see it go out forever, unless new heroes step forth."
The Setting – Overview.
The Kingdom of Peladar can roughly be described by a long rectangular shape, bordered by mountains to the north, west and south, and sea to the east. It is split down the middle by a huge north-south running cliff into Upper Peladar (west) and Lower Peladar (east). Upper Peladar is largely forested, including the deep dark Hexenwald. The Black River runs west to east, tumbling over the cliff into Lower Peladar, where it splits into many smaller channels and eventually reforms as the White River, flowing out to sea by the city of Mournharbour. Sited at the Black River Falls is Candlespire Keep, home to the King and Queen and capital city of Peladar.
Since the enchantment of their daughter, royal rule is failing. Peladar, particularly Lower Peladar, is collapsing into Duchies and Baronies engaged in petty squabbles and war. Recently, a powerful warlord calling himself Lord Ironheart has arisen, based at Castle Lament in Mournharbour, and he is subjugating the smaller baronies under his rule.
To the south is the Caliphate of Suliman, actually just as much a loose conglomeration of squabbling satrapies as Peladar. Although the two nations are at peace, friction arises due to minor points of religious doctrine and cross-border bandit raids.
To the north are the fearsome Isenfjoll mountains, home to fierce Kozakh tribesmen and cold-loving monsters.
A complex archipelago lies off the eastern sea shore, beyond that the wide ocean leading to the lost home of the giants.
Travelling land, river, sea and sky are the viajetes, wandering people with a great love of life but little trusted by settled folk.
Peledar reveres The Light, a beacon of hope and goodness in a harsh world, a symbol of all that is good and pure. The Sulimen also hold the Light to be sacred, although they follow a slightly different dogma written down by their Prophet (May His Name Be Blessed). The viajetes also worship the Light, but they also pay homage to their old Aegyptian gods, notably Osiris. The Kozakhs are said to worship demons, although they have a rough and ready religion remniscent of the Norse gods.
You begin in the village of Waybeloved, near the mysterious Forest of Lights haunted by the whispering wraiths. Waybeloved is a peaceful crossroads in the Duchy of Rosen in Lower Peladar, a river crossing for traffic heading for the nearby town of Gildenspire to board an airship, or for river traffic moving up and down one of the branches of the White River.
It is a summer evening and a wedding is in progress, perhaps even the wedding of one or two player characters. You may be guests, or you may be passing through on other business (but even strangers are invited to partake of the celebrations).
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