September 19, 2018, 08:19:48 PM

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1
The Gate / Re: Aegis
« Last post by Aegis on May 23, 2018, 10:28:49 PM »
Appreciate the feedback, Zyrphath.

I'm approaching this character two ways. One is that to keep myself interested and motivated I have left some things intentionally blank, which includes why was a child of Andunese nobles raised in Olrig Bluff by Talosian warriors. He knows it was to protect him as their heir from a political feud, but I think even after Aegis returns home as mentioned above, he will not really know the why - and I kind of like it that way, although I wholly understand if that is unacceptable.

Two is that, as mentioned above as well, I did not want to emphasize the nobile heritage thing and that may have resulted in some lack of detail. I think it is kind of cliché and it is purely my personal preference for characters not to be born wih a golden spoon in their mouth (although that may be an interesting challenge for myself to write). If anything, it presents an opportunity for some family drama that may be interesting to explore down the road.

What I do want to emphasize is the theme of war in Aegis' life and I hope that came through in the history.

So I have chosen the third route you brought up and further expounded on Aegis' appearance and personality sections. I hope that provides some more about what makes the character tick.


but it leaves me wanting more.

;D Hopefully the good kind.

Thanks again. Please let me know if I can provide anymore info post these updates.
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The Gate / Re: Aegis
« Last post by Zyrphath on May 23, 2018, 09:05:44 AM »
Hi Aegis.

The character sheet is purely an OOC mechanic, it's not information that people would have access to in-character. It should contain the things that are relevant to your character even if it isn't something that should be freely known by in-character players.

Maybe you already knew that, and it's not my intention to unnecessarily state trivial game mechanics - I only wanted to clarify in case there was doubt.

One of the things that immediately strike me as interesting to know and probably a key element in regards to his backstory, is why was a child of Andunese nobles raised in Olrig Bluff by Talosian warriors? It's not an element that I think needs to be included in the story if you'd rather explore that in a later thread, but it leaves me wanting more.

Currently it's a little difficult to get a grasp of who Aegis is, and I think the flying start to his story, as tantalizing as it is on its own, contributes to that. It is of course up to you to reflect on this and decide what works for you, but here are three suggestions (and you are bound to none of them, so feel free to follow other suitable options if you think of any):

a) Give the first half of his history a buff, maybe add some paragraphs at the beginning to explain the earlier part of his story. You don't have to give everything away, just throw us a bone.

b) Since option a would transform the angle of the story in a way that you might not want, I could also picture adding more depth to the last half of the story instead. If we can't yet know the "full" background of Aegis, it would go a long way if we could glean more about his personality.

History sections don't always need to be very long, but for a character with such an action-filled start as yours, I think the main essence to take away here is that a little more wordage will do you wonders. You've hooked the audience with the orb of wind commotion - now show us who Aegis is, so that we can connect with him.

c) The sections on appearance and personality are very thin. Expanding on these to give Aegis a fuller description could do a lot to alleviate my point about his history.

All in all you have a very good start. To summarize my feedback - I don't think you are off base anywhere with Aegis, but I do need to get to know him a little better.

And if there's anything I can do, please don't hesitate to ask. :)
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Artisan's Corner / Re: Creative Outlets
« Last post by Zyrphath on May 23, 2018, 08:11:56 AM »
I know several very good writers from HR used to (and may still) be participating in NaNoWriMo and similar contests and arrangements. Some have even gone on to become published authors. I don't have any info other than that though.
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The Gate / Aegis
« Last post by Aegis on May 21, 2018, 05:29:25 PM »
Player: Aegis
Name: Aegis
Race: Human
Age: 17
Origin: Born in Andúnë, raised on Olrig's Bluff
Gender: Male
Alignment: Neutral Good
Occupation: Apprentice cleric of the Order of Talos on the run
Class: Fighter cleric and craftsman

Possessions:
Sword - Of average length and unadorned but good quality steel. This is the sword Aegis had when he fled the Temple of Talos on Olrig's Bluff.
Ring - A simple metal ring with the signet of the Order of Talos, currently worn on his right ring finger.
Orb of wind - This is an orb with a sentient, captured elemental air fae inside that was taken by Aegis, the origin of which will be further explored. Unbeknownst to Aegis it has the power of wind gusts, short-distance flight, and close proximity temperature and weather changes. He has no idea what these abilities are much less how to control them.

Appearance:
Approximately 6 feet or just shy of 2 meters tall, Aegis is lanky with sinewy muscles. He has curly dark brown hair and tan skin, and would otherwise be described as having dark features except for his green eyes. They shine with an intelligence and curiosity when he is excited but look dead and uninterested when he participates in the rote routines of his upbringing like training drills or talking the business of weapons.

Since fleeing the clerics of Talos, Aegis has stopped shaving and let grow a rather shaggy brown beard, which he feels slightly insecure about and may be seen unconsciously stroking or playing with. He would probably shave it had he the time to prioritize such things. Except for the burgeoning beard, Aegis holds himself with a quiet confidence that the order of Talos instilled into him; confidence in his abilities and place in the world - or perhaps to find it? - and quiet in not needing to be showy about those abilities. The clerics are spartan when it comes to fashion and Aegis currently wears unremarkable brown robes with his sword strapped underneath.

Personality:
Reluctantly trained as a fighter, Aegis is much more at home with a good book. He never quite fit in with his fellow macho trainees and had few friends among his peers. He preferred to spend time with the visitors to his temple, especially those of different races and backgrounds than his, and had struck up a number of friendly working relationships with merchants who visited. Around new people, especially new types of people, he can be described as either overly curious and prone to asking one too many questions or making people feel like they are the one and only most important person to Aegis in a given moment.

Aegis has conflicted feelings about belonging to the Order of Talos. He despises that they encourage war for its own sake and their anarchist bent of not taking sides, however morally justified or terrible one side is versus another. But he is thankful for their protection and what he has learned, and considers himself lucky based on what he has seen from the victims of war. It is these victims of war that truly bothers Aegis, but having never left the influence of the Temple or read anything that the order did not preselect to have in its library, he is not sure why or how else the world could function.

The recently deceased Xaleth was a stern but caring father figure in the absence of Aegis' parents, and much of Aegis' feelings of otherness in the ranks of the Order of Talos can be attributed to his former master. Behind the scenes, Xaleth often came up against the leadership of the clerics and would probably have been kicked out long ago were it not for his legendary combat talent and ability to bring in trade. Aegis has not yet processed his grief at the loss of Xaleth.

Deep down, there are the stirrings of compassion and empathy inside of Aegis, as well as a suppressed desire to explore the world. The sentient orb of the wind sensed these feelings and they are why it reached out to Aegis and literally ran with them to escape the Order of Talos.

Skills:
- Fighting: Primarily trained with the sword and spear, with and without a shield, and in hand-to-hand combat. Also trained to a lesser extent with the bow, mace, and axe. His weapon of choice is the sword.
- Crafting: When he was not training with weapons Aegis worked in the forges, making various bladed weapons.

Knowledge:
- History and politics: He has read the majority of the books in his Temple's library and has a wide knowledge of the land's nations and history.
- Language: He speaks Common and a smattering of Dwarvish and Elvish, which he has used in trade with the dwarf and elf merchants who visit the Temple.
- Weaponry: Familiar with many types of weapons, their make, and their worth. In addition, he was responsible for bartering and trading for his share of crafting.

Abilities:
- Physical fitness: Aegis is in good physical shape for a 17-year-old.

Strengths and Weaknesses:
- Social: Aegis is earnest and makes fast friends with people who are also sincere. To those who are insincere he can be perceived as possibly naive or easy to take advantage - except when it comes to business, which Aegis does not particularly enjoy but easily holds his own.
- Career: Again, at such a young age Aegis has great experience in the trade of his craft. However, he has been blacklisted by the clerics of Talos and therefore the network of contacts and reputation that are so crucial for any major success in it.
- Racial: Humans are generally middle of the road.
- Combat: Aegis has thousands of hours of training with various types of weapons but little real combat experience outside of his sparring partners. Clerics of Talos have one of the fiercest reputations amongst warriors but Aegis personally takes no enjoyment in fighting and would prefer to avoid a conflict if he can. He currently possess the aforementioned orb but has little experience with magic or how to defend against it, other than - run!
- Intelligence: Aegis is book smart, not street smart, and has been sheltered in the temple most of his life. He thinks first, acts second, and does not think well on his feet outside of physical combat and business. He is fascinated by the many different cultures of Entar and may risk danger to satisfy his curiosity.

History:

Storm clouds billowed on the horizon. The storm was hours away from reaching the Temple of Talos but could be seen looming ominously across the many leagues of flat expanse and would soon sweep through. They often swept through on the Steppes of Valanthia, much like the warring nomadic tribes who laid claim to this harsh land.

Aegis worked through the movements of swordfighting with his sparring partner on top of the lonely bluff that was the temple to the god of war. These movements had been ingrained into him since he was a child. It was the same as breathing to him. He did not think on his breaths and daydreamed instead.

It would storm soon. Just like it had on that night many years ago.

*****

Sheets of rain came crashing down on top of him and his mother as they separated from his father's guard and approached the silhouette of a man in the night. He was terrified. He was only three but he could remember this.

"Mommy, where are we going?" He cried.

"We are almost there, child," said the worried voice of his mother. He could remember that tone. It was wrong.

A voice emerged from the silhouette and the man and his mother exchanged words. This was wrong. He began to weep.

His mother kneeled down and embraced him. Warm drops of moisture mixed in with the cool rain. His mother was crying too. "I love you, my son."

She got up. No! NO! He screamed and tried to follow her as she left but strong hands held him back.

His mother's hooded form soon became a silhouette that merged with the dark mass of the guard. The mass began to move and slowly flowed away from him in the rain.

He cried for what seemed like hours before the strong hands turned him around and a face that would soon be familiar to him spoke.

"You are protected here. Aegis."

*****

That man had been Xaleth, his master in the Order of Talos. It was over ten years later when he found out from him who his parents were, a middling noble house in the Andúnë Empire to the north, caught up in a much larger political conflict of honor and grievances that commonly wracked the tradition bound Andúnians. Although often overlooked, there was a considerable library at the Temple of Talos and Aegis voraciously read everything that concerned his parents and the outside world after he had found out who they were at the age of fourteen.

He was not able to find much about them but he did know his parents had left him here to protect him, their heir. And never came back. Here.

Here was the Temple of Talos, carved into and inside a bluff on the edge of a collection of mesas known as the Olrig's Bluff where resided the only city in the steppes. The temple was not part of the city but was integral to its economy and renowned for leagues around. That economy was war.

The nomadic tribes that clashed on the steppes did not settle in one place for long and therefore needed supplies from a place that was settled. Here was forged and crafted the many weapons that fueled the wars on the steppes. The steppes were a nexus for conflict and even the surrounding powers participated in them by proxy.

What better place for the god of war to make his temple?

The clerics of the temple were unlike most orders dedicated to the gods of Eldanar. They were some of the fiercest warriors in the land and skilled in the lore of war-making. However, they did not favor any side, but prostituted their skills and wares to any group who could afford them, just for the sake of war itself.

He hated it here.

Aegis quickened his motions in a sudden surge of strength that took his sparring partner off guard. In a matter of three swings of his sword, Aegis had him on the ground with his sword's tip stopped at his opponent's neck, drawing blood.

Surprise showed in his opponent's eyes as Aegis withdrew and offered his hand to help his fellow cleric up. And then a look of danger. He grabbed Aegis' hand and in one smooth motion pulled himself up and Aegis down. Aegis was now on the ground and his opponent's sword at his neck. Aegis sighed.

"I yield."

*****

Truthfully, it was not so bad at the temple. He had been fed, educated, and trained to survive. Much less could be said of the victims of war across this world who daily died of hunger, poverty, and disease. He saw many of them. Refugees streamed to the Temple of Talos in the aftermath of the seemingly constant battles on the steppes. The clerics, however, were not a charitable order. Women and children most of them, the clerics rejected the vast majority outright, temporarily took in a few families who could pay for boarding, and recruited youths to the order as resources allowed. The rest moved onto Olrig's Bluff proper, mostly a shanty town in its own right, where many would die of their plights.

He should be thankful.

Aegis.

What was that?

Aegis.

Where was that voice coming from? He wandered through the halls of the temple inside of the bluff trying to discern the direction that the voice came.

As he wandered, he reflected how something odd had been happening at the temple the past few months. A group of black robed men and women had been making visits. The clerics of Talos, normally cavalier in their treatment of outsiders (many of whom would die soon after all), treated the group with an odd mixture of deference and revulsion.

Eventually he came to a room at the far end of the temple that housed the magical wares the temple owned. It was one long room with shelves of magical weapons, books, and other items along its length, many of them covered in shrouds, and across from those shelves was a wall of windows that faced out to the steppes. This was a smaller but significant part of the temple's trade, and an elite group of clerics of Talos devoted themselves to the creation of magical items. It took years of training and many in the group were old and uncommonly infirm for the clerics. Aegis was too young to start the training, but his master lately mentioned it is where he could end up, if he so chooses. The thought of spending the rest of his life at the temple dismayed Aegis.

Aegis found himself in front of a pedestal at the end of the room covered in a shroud. What could this be? He lifted the shroud.

An orb about two handbreadths big sat on the pedestal. Inside of it swirled a mass of grey clouds. Fascinated, Aegis touched the orb.

AEGIS--large hands grabbed his shoulders from behind and Aegis jumped and turned around.

"Aegis, what are you doing here?" his master demanded.

Aegis breathed a sigh of relief. Xaleth's familiar lined face, black beard, and bald head greeted him.

"I-"

"You know you are not allowed in here without a master's presence."

"I-"

Xaleth looked down at the orb that somehow Aegis had ended up holding in his hands and drew close. "Aegis, there are events happening here that you could not possibly understand. This is extremely dangerous--"

"Xaleth!" a voice bellowed from behind him.

Xaleth turned around and they looked at Darius, head of the clerics of Talos. Behind him were other clerics standing with weapons drawn, ready to attack.

"Imagine finding you and young Aegis here," Darius sneered.

"Darius, this is not what it looks like."

"I am sure that is why Aegis is holding the orb of wind."

"Darius, please..." Xaleth stood in front of Aegis protectively.

Darius held up his hand, preparing to signal the clerics behind him.

Aegis felt a tug and then a power surge through him and out the orb. Wind gushed from the orb, sweeping up everyone including his master in a matter of moments, away from Aegis and out the windows along the wall with a loud crash of glass.

Horrified, Aegis ran toward the broken windows and peered over the edge. Many levels down laid lumps on the ground in the night. A flash of lightning illuminated their broken bodies, including his master's.

"No..." rain poured in through the windows as thunder rumbled nearby. Aegis still held the orb.

Run! The voice came again.

He did.


Additional Notes:
Last modified on 5/23/2018. Did best to integrate Aegis into the lore of the world, but please let me know if anything does not fit. As discussed below, did not emphasize Aegis' noble heritage in his character profile because in his first thread I plan to write Aegis returning to the town where his parents' house was seated in Andúnë, only to find his parents and all mention of them gone. The lineage is more a plot device than it is any kind of advantage to him.
5
Introductions / Re: Hi All
« Last post by Zyrphath on May 20, 2018, 11:45:22 AM »
Hello Aegis, welcome. :)

Check out the Writer's Lounge in The Commons for the type of board you're asking about.
6
Artisan's Corner / Creative Outlets
« Last post by Aegis on May 18, 2018, 10:37:45 PM »
Where does everyone take out their creative itch these days? Perusing some of the past rp threads here and there are a lot of talented writers. It would be cool to follow some of your creative pursuits.
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Introductions / Re: Hi All
« Last post by Aegis on May 18, 2018, 10:32:09 PM »
Also is there an off topic/general discussion board for all of the non-rp related posts? I seem to remember that was where a lot of the good stuff happened. 🤔
8
Introductions / Hi All
« Last post by Aegis on May 18, 2018, 10:30:05 PM »
Long time lurker here and thought it might be a good time to stretch my writing muscles again. How is everyone doing?
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Introductions / Re: Back in Black
« Last post by Aegis on May 18, 2018, 10:28:09 PM »
Welcome back Esca!
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Questions & Answers / Re: Are these boards still active?
« Last post by Aegis on May 18, 2018, 09:59:26 PM »
On a positive note, this place is ripe for some rping. From what I understand Zyr and Davin have put a lot of work in cleaning up and streamlining things. All it takes is a few people and it can become active again.  :)
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