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Tribes of the Underdark - A Nation Builder [IC / CLOSED]

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Pentapolitan Kyrene
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Founded: Oct 24, 2017
Ex-Nation

Tribes of the Underdark - A Nation Builder [IC / CLOSED]

Postby Pentapolitan Kyrene » Tue May 23, 2023 3:40 pm

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Tribes of the Underdark



Below the world, in tunnels never lit by moon and star, the underdark blossoms and roils with life. From the lowest centipedes and eyeless fish writhing in the primordial ooze to deep folk reigning from palace-ziggurats, all struggle together against the dark - as well as against one another. A thousand secret wars rule the tunnels, and ancient grudges stir alongside new animosity. In recent memory another of many Wars of the Mind shook the passages, as another group of mindflayers lost control of their thralls. In the years since newly free tribes have spread like a wave through the deepest roads. Ancient citadels have been cracked open, storied gates wrenched asunder. Peace is rare in the caverns in such times of trial.

Old and new civilisations alike make ready to survive. Defences must be bolstered, tunnels must be scouted. Soldiers must be raised and armed, and ancient cities brought back to their flowering and prosperity. Terrible things rouse and watch from beyond, and those who do not prepare will join the unnumbered dead, food for the lowest centipedes, and the eyeless fish.
Last edited by Pentapolitan Kyrene on Tue May 23, 2023 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The National Dominion of Hungary
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Posts: 2428
Founded: May 31, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby The National Dominion of Hungary » Wed May 24, 2023 1:19 pm

The Princely City of Methelhayn


"When we approached the city of these Deep Aehl, we emerged from a wide tunnel into a great cavern, it's darkness was broken by red and liliac light from strange luminous trees and plants, it was dim, but with our eyes so accustomed to the dark after months of traveling the depths of the world we could extinguish our torches. In the distance I could hear the soft lapping of water upon rock and the unmistakable din of a distant town. We passed old fallen pillars, collapsed arches and an abandoned fort overgrown with luminescent lichens. As the path turned, we soon gazed upon the city of Methelhayn, it's walls before us, graceful towers rose behind them, the graceful curves of the stonework able to rival any city of the Aehl who live on the surface. I could not help but notice that the semicircular wall surrounding the city was in poor repair, some sections worn and half in pieces. But as the men at the gates stopped us, I could see powerful magic shimmer in the eyes of these "Knights of the Moon Guard", surely mighty spellswords, perhaps they had little need for stout walls..."

Excerpt from "Traveling the depths - One year in the Underdark." By Alisdair Farstride of the Horncrest Academy.


"You'll help me, won't you Allie?" Prince Sinnithar Oridil said casting a glance at his sister as she slowly paced around the round stone table in the middle of the council chamber.

Princess Alloralla looked at him, overcome with sorrow, sorrow and a steely steadfastness, he needed her now, more than ever. Ever since father had fallen asleep one night and never awoken, found by the servants with a dagger in his heart. She remember how she had wept, there beside his bed until the dark of the evening, remaining there even after the servants had taken his body to the Temple of Maelis, until she had simply fallen asleep there. Sinnithar was younger than her, but in Methelhayn, men always inherited first nontheless. He path was clear, at her brothers side, guiding him in role as Prince of Methelhayn, she owed it to father, and to the ancestors of House Oridil, more then anything, she owed it to Sinnithar.

Barely a man grown, he was still a flighty young aehling, his fancies flying from one subject of studies to the next, infuriating his tutors. And now, he had to fill father's shoes.

"Worry not." She managed a smile, the grief still with her, barely a week had passed since father's death. "I'm at your side Sinn, together we can manage."

"Thank you..." Prince Sinnithar Oridil replied, his voice low and quiet. She could see that he was barely sleeping.

"It's just for a bit, you can dismiss them as soon as you want..." She said before a knock came on the door. One of the Moonguard Knights opened it and in strode the members of the Orbocant, father's councillors, twelve of the most skilled mages and sorceresses from Methelhayn's greatest houses of magical aristocracy. The bowed and proceeded to take their seats.

"First of all, we offer our most heartfelt condoleances, once again." Nakiasha Sylmyar said, slightly leaning forward over the table.

Silence followed, Sinnithar did not answer. "Thank you, Lady Sylmyar." Princess Alloralla finally replied to keep the silence from getting too uncomfortable.

"I understand you are still grieving, but now... the customary time has passed, the affairs of the Principality cannot wait." Said Onwyr Helexis, Magister of the Orbocant, father's closest servant and the second most powerful man in Methelhayn. "We all mourn for his highness, but we can honor his memory best by stewarding his realm."

"Have you any idea who may be stained by this... monstrous crime?" Prince Sinnithar said flatly.

The councillors of the Orbocant looked at eachother. "I am afraid not, your Highness." Kinnaed Aeleth finally replied. "There have been none of the usual machinations of a coup. No attempt by any plotters to make a move on the throne in the chaos, it is a mystery... But you can rest assured that we shall find them."

"And rightgeous vengence shall be dispensed." Magister Onwyr butted in. "But now, let us look to a task your father presented to us shortly before his... tragic murder. It regards the city wall..."

The Principality of Methelhayn

Manpower: 1
Wealth: 3
Magic 4
Intel: 2
Industry: 1
Defence: 2

Free Dice: 1 + 2 = 3

Actions: 3 Free Dice invested to improve defence.

Plotek i medialnych bredni nie daj sobie wmówić,
Codziennie się rozwijaj i nie daj się ogłupić,
Atakowi propagandy stawiaj czoło dzielnie,
Nie daj sobą sterować i myśl samodzielnie.


Mass Effect Andromeda is a solid 7/10. Deal with it.

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Beutarch
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Posts: 418
Founded: Sep 13, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Beutarch » Wed May 24, 2023 8:43 pm

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Raug's Fist
Turn I


“And then, I split his skull in two! Like firewood!”

The Orc concluded his campfire story, eliciting plenty of enthused foot-stomping and a half dozen chuckles from his comrades. Lurch, the storyteller, grinned and returned to his seat. He and his comrades rested on an assortment of crates and barrels, arranged around a flaming brazier. Each of piece of makeshift furniture, three months ago, was plundered from an unfortunate Dwarven caravan. Now, the well-crafted holm oak planks strained under the weight of Orcish muscle and steel. After a few moments passed, Lurch gestured toward one of the others with his ale.

“What about you, Melth? How many did you get?”

All eyes turned toward the scarred Orog. Beside the firepit, the Underdark native squinted to see his peers. Between his tusks, he gave a wry smile.

“More than the lumberjack, that’s for certain.”

The other Orcs bellowed with laughter. The Dwarven woodwork creaked and groaned as the Orcs shifted in their seats. Lurch scowled and shook his head. Melth leaned back a bit, before continuing:

“I counted eleven. All clean cuts, too.”

Those gathered murmured in respectful awe at the number. Lurch sizzled. He had just told the crowd about his very impressive five.

“How many did you say you had, two?” Melth queried, feigning ignorance.

Lurch tossed aside his tankard, which was by then empty. Rising from his spot around the fire, he took two long strides toward Melth. The gathered Orcs began to hoot and holler, clearing a path between the two combatants. Melth remained sitting, waiting for Lurch to throw the first blow. Instead of balling his fists for a punch, Lurch threw his whole body toward the larger Orog. In vain, Melth threw his hands out to catch his opponent. The combined weight of the two was too much for the Dwarven barrel, atop which Melth had been sitting. It gave way, sending the two falling toward the earth. Wrapped together in a flurry of splintered wood and drunken fists, the two wrestled on the cave floor.

The brawl quickly drew the attention of the wider encampment. The original circle grew into a sizable crowd. In minutes, wagers were exchanged and the cheering grew to a din. The two warriors grappled ferociously. The crowd mirrored their energy, pumping fists in the air and yelling the fighters' names into the darkness. At length, a sharp whistle pierced the air. The crowd fell silent. An Orog pushed his way to the front of the crowd, his crimson spaulders denoting his status as an officer. Having heard the whistle, the two fighters froze. Melth quickly rose to his feet, eyes fixed squarely at the ground. Lurch followed, dripping blood from his nose. The Orog glowered at the two delinquents for a moment. Then, without saying a word, struck both Orcish fighters with his officer’s baton. He paused after striking Lurch, noticing that a red splatter had appeared along the length of his ornately decorated baton. With a free hand, he seized the collar of Melth’s tunic and used it to wipe the stick clean. Satisfied, he turned to the crowd.

“This fight is over! Return to your tents.”

“As for you two, the Warchief has ordered additional patrols. You both will accompany me in the Eastern tunnels. Grab your packs.”

Manpower: 4
Wealth: 2
Defence: 2
Industry: 0
Intel: 2
Magic: 1
Ferocity: 3

Actions: 2 Free Dice invested in Intel
Do you think you know me?

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The Frozen Forest
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Posts: 1944
Founded: Sep 12, 2016
Father Knows Best State

Postby The Frozen Forest » Fri May 26, 2023 5:47 am

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Blue flames licked at the corner of the wizards torch as he reached his hand over and dropped a small piece of bone into the waiting fire. Green plumes of smoke floated from the crackling marrow, shaping itself slowly into a skull and bones, upon which sat a smiling mouth filled with razer sharp teeth. Laughing filled the room as the wizard sighed, "Ominous indeed, it looks like the gods won't be smiling on our ritual, eh Eurath?" The wizard turned to the small Golem by his side, no larger than a child but the first of his kind nonetheless. "No matter; we will continue as though it made no difference, because it doesn't. We make our own luck in this world Eurath. If the ritual doesn't work or if things go...awry..it will be your responsibility to look after the other children. Do you understand what I'm asking of you?" A pale scream echoed throughout the chamber as Eurath considered the question, his face blank but his mind as tempestuous as a river.

Eurath opened his mouth to agree just as the world began to shake as though they were trapped in a giants baby rattle. The wizard looked around and Eurath looked to him for guidance; as their eyes connected the roof fell down and onto the wizard, staining the ground crimson and splattering Eurath with bits of bone and gore. "no...No...NO!" Eurath bent down and yanked at the crumbling rock but no matter how hard he pulled, the rock refused to give way. "Master! Master no! You can't leave me like this!" Eurath cried as a larger, full sized Golem entered the room. A quick assessment and the Golem reached down to seize Eurath "We must go, now!" Eurath wasn't given a say in the matter as he was pulled from his masters tomb and forced into a sprint down the adjacent corridor.

Behind Eurath and the larger Golem they could hear the walls giving way. There would be no returning that way, Eurath understood and prayed that the way ahead would remain open; all too crushingly though did the pillars ahead wobble and topple and did the walls come crumbling down in front of them, leaving the pair trapped in darkness. Eurath sobbed, though he had no tear ducts from which to shed tears. "I don't want to die, please, please don't let me die!" Eurath cried and the larger Golem looked upon him with pity in his yellowed eyes. "I'm sorry little one...if only we had been stronger...tried harder...maybe if we had taken just a few more slaves then things would be different. Do not weap, we will be with Zeth soon enough." The large Golem wrapped Eurath in an embrace as the walls broke and the world became totally, truly black.


Eurath blinked as sleep ebbed away. Out of all of Zeth's children, only Eurath felt the compulsion or need to periodically slumber; it was a curious thing that even Zeth didn't truly understand; it was especially strange since Eurath was one of Zeth's "trueborn" children, born of tanzanite and not a sentient's heart. Once upon a time that had made him feel special, until Eurath realized just how dangerous the world was and how easily a life could be extinguished. Eurath, like Zeth worried for the Golem's as a people; what would become of them if they didn't do whatever was necessary to ensure their own survival? Eurath had come to learn that the Underdark, as beautiful as it was, would not hesitate to destroy his people if they faltered.

Perhaps the situation wouldn't be so dire if the bloodborn weren't slowly ebbing away, leaving their blessed, Zethian forms for whatever afterlife awaited them. Zeth hoped that one day they would be able to affix the bloodborn souls to their bodies and prevent them from passing on but for now that sort of magic was a ways off, and besides Zeth worried that confining souls to their bodies against their wills for too long would inevitably lead to madness in even the most happy of Zethians.

Eurath stood from his stone-slab bed and donned the attire of a High Priest. Though he was the smallest of the Golems, he was also the oldest and most connected to the Skull of Zeth; it was his job to interpret the will of his creator and carry it out. Eurath made his way out of his chambers and through the fortress-settlement of Arum-Shiib. As he went along, Eurath took note of the slave quarters off the side of the street. Slaves in Arum-Shiib were not the same as slaves elsewhere in the underdark. Their lot was a simple one; obey their Zethian overlords, produce children and when they are deemed ready, give up their biological coil in order to become a Zethian themselves. Eurath could think of no higher honor for a soft-skin.

Today the slaves were painted in a variety of colors, with colorful motifs adorning their skin and depicting anything between Zeth himself to the Zethian Golems to whatever horrors they imagined or knew of throughout the rest of the underdark. Eurath thought it was a funny way to honor Zeth on the anniversary of his ascension, but it was important for the soft-skins, which made it important for Eurath. An unhappy slave tried to escape or worse, a happy slave made for a easy transition from soft-skin to Zethian. Keeping the slaves happy though was more difficult that Eurath and the other Zethian's had originally anticipated; for one thing they didn't like the bug-mash gruel that was a staple of their diet, nor did they enjoy long periods of time submerged in darkness (a non-issue for Zethians). This meant the occasional slab of rat-meat, the production of a small amount of torches and candles as well as simple things like...Eurath watched as a small ball rolled to his feet, accompanied by a human child who looked almost too young to walk.

Eurath looked at the child and the child looked back before finally falling down onto it's knees and attempting a wobbly bow. The child's skin was decorated with little patterns in imitation of stone-skin, a cute caricature of Eurath himself; he reached down and scooped up the ball, then offered the ball back to the child. The child grinned toothily at him and accepted the ball before tottering off, just as a scream pierced the air. Eurath peered off towards the temple of transformation to see a young woman struggling against her binds. A large Golem raised a dagger of stone over his chest and drove it downwards. Eurath turned away as crimson splashed the priest.

....

Eurath arrived at the temple and began to climb the steps. Arum-Shiib had one single pyramid at it's center which was humble compared to larger and more powerful civilizations; for the moment though it housed what a human might call an artifact, but which the Zethians worshipped as their god, their link to life, the Skull of Zeth. For those that knew of it's power understood it's immense value. To hold the Skull of Zeth would be to hold the life of a people in one's hands; one could command any act and the Zethian's would have to obey, else risk the destruction of the skull and the destruction of the Zethian race. For those harmed by the Zethians, those who lost loved ones in raids, there was no greater target for their frustrations. For these reasons and many others, the Skull of Zeth was defended by the greatest of the Zethians, all hours of the day, without rest.

8 Zethian's stood guard armed with the best equipment in Arum-Shiib. They parted as Eurath approached and Eurath looked upon the skull reverently. It was perched upon a pedestal engraved with numerous magic runes. The skull glowed with magical essence and Eurath knelt as words passed telephatically from the skull to him.

"A great change is coming. Our people cannot remain as they have, isolated and attacking tiny hamlets in the dark. Go now and arrange an expedition outside of Arum-Shiib, discover what lies beyond the boundaries of our maps, lest we be discovered first."

There was no finer explorer in Arum-Shiib than Aotep the Sleek, apart from a recently captured human slave by the name of Yago; while there was no doubt that Aotep would obey any order of Zeth's, Yago was a tossup. Eurath contemplated the advantages of utilizing a slave, even a supposedly well-traveled one such as Yago was rumored to be. When Eurath arrived at the slaves hovel, he discovered an albino, a female mate and a young child. The following conversation was short, as for a slave to refuse an order from a Zethian would be punishable by death. Eurath added that Yago would be rewarded by Zeth himself when they returned from the unexplored tunnels.

Having received quiet agreement to the request, Eurath left Yago's shelter, thinking of all the things the expedition would require.

Manpower: 2
Wealth: 1
Industry 4
Magic: 3
Intel: 1
Defence: 2

Free Dice: 1 + 0.5 (rounded up) = 2
Actions: 2 dice invested in Intel
Add 3,981 to my Post Count

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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 21765
Founded: Feb 20, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Sun May 28, 2023 3:08 pm

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The Agraskaer Aedilate

"To thee we vow, Agraskaer, to thee we bow!"

The oath bellowed from fivevoices and rang out in the hollow council chamber as if it were a brass bell. Nine arms raised their shields, each constructed from one of the Great Drake's mighty and inpenetrable scales, and put them in front of them on a table. The council table, in turn, had been sawn from one of the spines off the drake's back, one slice separating opposite councillors by two meters. Its ivory had been intricately carved to tell of stories from before the Burrial, when Agraksaer the Great had forged ahead into the subteranean. Once there, taking pity on the mortal races of the world, he had taken some under his care, granting them His wisdom and guidance, and while asking nothing in return, receiving the undying loyalty and aid of His followers. The representatives of whom had now gathered, as they did every week, for a council.

"Manpower continues to be a concern" said Bakkar, a human whose shield was the only one to still have the black of Agraskaer still visible. On it, in dark red paint, was drawn a stylised forked tongue, marking Bakkar as holding the Office of the Tongue. Being the lowest in seniority among his compatriots, according to the last instructions by the Conqueror, he was the first to speak. The council always knew to rush the first few subjects, so that proper attention was given to matters of the Hoard.

"We seem to be in a spiral" the Tongue explained further. "Too few mouths to spread the word of the Great Friend, too few hands to do all the work, resulting in fewer souls being drawn to His embrace"

"Good friends are drawn by love, not treasure" spat Hanudam, an elderly kobold with an eye patch, the uncovered eye being milky white and, as far as the rest knew, blind. His shield was covered in glass, and below it was painted a white eye with a slit pupil. The Office of the Eye was responsible for intelligence, both abroad and inside the borders of the Aedilate. Hanudam, as befitted his station, trusted little, especially those whose loyalties could be bought, much like a tavern-keeper might distrust other tavern-keepers.

"Those who have never known love as strong as His might need initial convincing" Bakkar retorted. "And as you well know, ours is not a vow of poverty, oh Eye"

"I share the boy's concerns" said Geruybi. The dwarven woman stroked her long beard with one hand, resting another on a shield covered in hardened magma; rock initially molten by the fiery breath of Agraskaer Himself. In it had been chiseled the mark of Fire, and her office bore responsibility for the industry of the realm. Her tone was one of dismissive agreement; the elderly dwarf did not like being the second to make a point, especially not after a human pup like Bakkar. "It is hard to convince wanderers that we are governed my the most enlightened ruler Above or Below if we can hardly muster the living standard of a bandit camp"

"We can't" Bakkar interjected. "I hear bandits in the Above get to eat salted pork" he said with a laugh, but it received no support, especially not from the frowning Geruybi.

"Perhaps" said the Eye, "your efforts are better spent explaining why, despite our most enlightened Liege, you can't manage with the considerable tools you have been given"

"Our love" answered the Fire, "cannot perform miracles" she explained. At once the room fell silent. Outside the window of their chamber a wind blew with regular intervals; ten seconds of blowing followed by four seconds of silence, undisturbed by the sudden silence in the council room.

"I mean... In practical terms..." Geruybi tried to explain, now using her beard to wipe away the sudden beads of sweat from her forehead. While she stuttered towards an answer, Maron-Maron stood up, leaning over his steel-covered shield with one hand placed atop the steel claw that had been welded to it. The one-armed orc, her head covered with short, stubbly black hair and a large scar around her scalp, shook her head. "The Fire is right. Even one touched by His love cannot match 200 enemies, and those are fairer odds than we are up against".

"How many, then, master Claw, would you say one so touched could take on?" inquired the Eye. "I am intregued as to your calculation"

Maron-Maron returned the inquisitive look of the Eye dumbfounded. She looked ready to state a number, but each time she seemed incapable of actually pushing a figure over her lips. A hundred felt proposterous, and ninety-nine felt like sacrilege, so her search was for a number she could explain to the Lord, should He ask for countenance.

"Stop pestering them, Hanudam" came a voice from the one person who had remained seated. With all the grace inherent to her bloodline, the elf Turaine arose from her ornate seat at the head of their round table. Her shield was golden, and was the only one to bear no symbol. It was not required, since she was the only mortal in the realm permitted to carry gold. Her own black hair was long, having not been cut her entire life, its smooth strands having been woven into a fabric much like silk that flowed about her like a night almost as dark as her skin. Her eyes glittered like twin stars, and her voice was so soft that the others had to perch to hear her. Listening to the Office of the Hoard, the closest Friend of Friends, was not optional.

"Before Agraskaer returned to his slumber two moons ago, his instructions were precise" she explained. As always, the Hoard was the last to receive instructions from the Great Drake before He slept, the most trusted was she to put them into effect. She sat down again, and the others followed her example.

"Our priority is to free as many worthy people into the Light of His Fire" she explained, "in which great importance to worthiness is attached. As we all know, we have erred in the past" Turaine gestured towards the empty seat next to her, and the silver shield with heavy gemstones set in its centre. It belonged to the Office of Wisdom, which but a month ago had fallen vacant when its holder lapsed in faith. Turaine gave no indication as to her emotion on the subject, despite the previous occupant having been her proposal to the Great Drake.

"So, it is wise to follow His wishes and focus our attention on strengthening our numbers, as well as our capacity for production, while we also expand our Saviour's Hoard" Turaine said with finality.

"That is what He said?" asked Hanudam. Turaine nodded.

"That is what He intended" she answered. Hanudam wanted to ask for clarification, but a single ghust of ten-second wind howling outside shut him up. Turaine nodded gracefully.

"His Majesties' breaths seem to be growing shorter, which indicates he might wake up within a moon or so. When that happens, I will ask for clarification. Until then..."

She rose from her seat, with the others following quickly behind.

"To thee we vow, Agraskaer, to thee we bow!"

And each of them went their separate ways.

Stats
Manpower: 2
Wealth: 5
Defence: 2
Industry: 1
Intel: 3
Magic: 1

Actions
2 dice to manpower
1 dice to wealth
1 dice to industry

Assignments
-
Last edited by Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States on Sun May 28, 2023 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.
Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled
Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.


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