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Zibiah's Ashes [AQ]

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6/9/2022 18:08:24   

Zibiah's Ashes

Hello, and welcome to Zibiah's Ashes. This role play was inspired by Xenophon's Anabasis, as well as Kellehendros' role play The Rise of Domrius.

Background: The story takes place within the Aracen Empire, which was established by the famous warlord Aracus. Princess Zibiah was a descendant of this conqueror, but it was her younger brother Zerrius who became Emperor. Zibiah was averse to life in the palace of Cireen and, determined to shape her own destiny, fled the capital to become a mercenary abroad. The warrior-princess exceled in her craft, using her education, personality, and influence to attract acquire many friends. Zerrius, on the other hand, grew increasingly corrupt. To cement his rule, and to prevent potential rebellions, the Emperor installed iron-fisted vassals across his realm. Thus came a plot to replace Zerrius with his sister Zibiah, who seemed to be not only militarily-capable but benevolent in leadership. A messenger was dispatched and Zibiah was persuaded to free the Aracenians from her oppressive and tyrannical brother.

Zibiah and the Allies assembled a fleet to transport their army to the Aracen Empire. Zerrius mustered what men he could and prepared to meet the rebels on the outskirts of the capital. The Battle of Cireen was over almost as soon as it started. The right and left wings of Zibiah's force surprisingly overwhelmed their adversaries, and the warrior-princess was encouraged to maintain momentum. A devastating charge from the Allied center was reinforced by Zibiah and her personal guards. In a rage the Emperor charged Zibiah's position, piercing her armor with his lance before striking her down with his sword. In an instant, Zibiah was slain and her lifeless body fell unceremoniously in the blood-soaked sand. Zerrius made a last-ditch effort to repel the enemy charge but was dragged away by his guard and joined the retreat.

The Allies scrambled to recover the body of their fallen commander and failed to capitalize on their success. The Emperor and the bulk of his army slipped away in the direction of Cireen. The Allies were devastated by the loss of their commander and, although victorious, began a hasty retreat northward.

The Role Play: Your character was a close friend of Zibiah, and you swore you would come to her aid when she needed you most. You may be a lone wanderer, a captain in her employ, a noble, or even a king who fought alongside the warrior-princess at least once in your life. Zibiah's personality was infectious - she was talented, intelligent, kind, and always did the right thing. When prompted, she was absolutely determined to return home and become Empress, if only to free her people from tyranny, and so called upon her friends to help her in the endeavor. You answered that call for help and followed her into battle on the outskirts of Cireen. Despite overwhelming your enemies that day, you lost your commander and friend.

After recovering Zibiah's body you and your allies regrouped in the hills north of the battlefield. By now, Zerrius has reorganized his army and more of his allies will arrive in Cireen shortly, and they are determined to destroy you. You must face a series of dilemmas and fight your way back to the coast, where the Allied fleet can transport you back home. Along the way you must transport an urn containing Zibiah's Ashes and ultimately decide what to do with her remains.

Characters: Characters should take inspiration from ancient history - or fit in with characters you might find from the Odyssey and the Illiad, or mythological stories.
[b]Description[/b]:  This is where race, ethnicity, hairstyle and color, eye color, etc go.  A physical description of your character.
[b]Belongings[/b]:  Weapons, armor, apparel, accessories, etc.
[b]Skills and Abilities[/b]:  Any specific skills, talents, magical abilities, etc your character is capable of.
[b]Brief History[/b]:
[b]Relationship with Zibiah[/b]:  How did you meet Zibiah and why were you two close friends?  Remember, Zibiah was charming, talented, intelligent, and kind.  She was dark-skinned (like an African), lithe,
and sported long braids.  She was an excellent warrior and equestrian.  Between adventures she relaxed on the island of Myra's Vineyard, and often commented on 'fields of beautiful blue flowers'. 
[b]Retinue[/b]:  You may have a force of no more than 300 soldiers.  Please refer to 'ancient history' for inspiration (Greek hoplites, Myrmidons, Thracian peltasts, Macedonian cavalry, Roman legionaries, Parthian cataphracts, 
Celtic warriors, Persian Immortals, slingers, archers, etc).  It is best to be somewhat homogenous in composition for the sake of organization later, but that is not a requirement.  Only player-characters may use magic.

Ianthe, Daughter of Sybil - 50 Hetairoi (Elite Cavalry)
Coal Suncrusher - 150 Solar Razors (Heavy Infantry)

*I will answer any questions you have about characters, places, and events here or on the Discord.
*There will be a turn order. That is, you may post only once for every time I post except under specific circumstances.

< Message edited by TJByrum -- 7/21/2022 13:41:16 >
DF AQW  Post #: 1
7/12/2022 14:16:13   

Hello! Very excited for this roleplay!

Ianthe, Daughter of Sybil

A nymph. She is slight, willowy-tall, and tanned, with long, shimmering black hair and seaglass eyes that shine like sunlight on seawater. Her skin has pieces and knots of wood embedded within it, and her hair often shines with droplets of water. She has a somewhat large, Grecian nose; she is not traditionally pretty, but she is striking: once you see her face, you do not forget her easily. She walks with grace and poise, wearing a battle brassiere and skirt hand-woven of a light blue-green material. She also has shoulder pads, bracers, and shin guards made of hardened leaves woven together, wide and red-brown. She is barefoot, and always wears purple flowers on her - in her hair, or garlanded across her body or around her neck, or in bracelets around her wrists and ankles.

A single spear with a handle of twining wood and a point made of the tooth of a shark.

Skills and Abilities
Ianthe is immortal - though, like any nymph, she can still be killed; she simply won’t age or die naturally. She has healing properties, does not need to breathe underwater, is extremely agile in water and nimble on foot, and can - to a degree - manipulate water or plants by moving it or creating it (though manipulating any large volume is extremely taxing and may put her out of commission for days or weeks at a time). She cannot affect animals in any way (and wouldn’t even if she could; she believes that their autonomy must be respected). However, while she cannot communicate directly with them, she is good at handling animals.

Brief History
Ianthe long ago chose to lead a mortal, magic-free life and fight alongside Zibiah. Ianthe’s mother Sybil was a great prophetess, deliverer of the knowledge that Zibiah would one day be the queen of land and hearts alike, and sent Ianthe’s young sister Amaryllis to battle. Amaryllis became close friends with Zibiah before being murdered under suspicious circumstances; Ianthe joined to avenge her, but quickly learned the death was not Zibiah’s doing, and also learned exactly how Amaryllis came to love Zibiah so deeply.

However, Ianthe was murdered in turn in the dead of night; the gods wept day after day for her passing and planted lovely purple flowers for the woman they deemed most beautiful. Heartbroken, her mother Sybil - who could not bring herself to send another child to Zibiah’s aid - pled with her dying breath that Ianthe should live again; and so the gods of sea and wood came together to bring her back to life. With the goddess of the wood’s blessing, Ianthe became not only a child of the sea, as was her birthright, but also a child of the land, too.

Relationship with Zibiah
Secretly, Ianthe is in love with Zibiah - or, now, with the memory of her.

Ianthe leads a tight-knit unit of fifty hetairoi: elite cavalry, all of whom Ianthe has helped personally train and knows well. She believes in quality and camaraderie over numbers.
AQW  Post #: 2
7/18/2022 19:52:22   
Eternal Wanderer

Name: Coal Suncrusher

Description: Coal is hard to miss in most situations. This is owed mainly to the fact that Coal is a seven-foot tall, jet black minotaur, nearly eight if you factor in the polished ivory length of his up-swept horns. Broad across the shoulders and solid with muscle, Coal is intimidating to say the least. Above his disturbingly crimson gaze his right horn is shorter than the left; the last four inches of its ivory point were shorn away during some past battle. Perhaps in compensation for this fact the minotaur’s horns have been painstakingly scrimshawed, incised with neat geometric patterns whose channels are dyed crimson.

Belongings: Being covered in a heavy pelt, Coal has little use for armor - or clothing for that matter. He wears a knee-length kilt - red, the only color that Coal seems to care much for - to preserve his modesty, and has a pair of leather straps that band across his chest to serve as a harness from which his weapons hang. That includes the sizeable maul from which Coal received his “surname”, as well as a pair of heavy, spiked cestus.

Skills and Abilities: Coal is a born brawler - it comes with being a seven-foot tall mountain of muscle - but also a ruthless, cunning commander. More than one opponent has taken the minotaur for nothing more than the brute he appears to be, and then found to their regret that there is more than simple battle lust behind Coal’s bloody gaze.

The air around Coal is notably warmer than the ambient temperature of his locale, a thing particularly noteworthy when the minotaur is in battle. The aura - perhaps ten feet or so about Coal - heartens and invigorates allies, and every now and then causes Coal’s weapons to burst into flame when he strikes.

Brief History: Minotaurs are not common in the Empire, but as with many of his people there, Coal’s serves as a mercenary, roaming the lands for coin or fame. The minotaur says little of his past before coming to the Empire, only that he was born on the far-off Isle of Marigolds. Coal is - so far as his companions and subordinates can tell - somewhere into his fourth or fifth decade of life; and it is something of a game among the Solar Razors to guess at what led Coal to the Empire’s shores. The current leading theory is exile related to a royal wedding whose ending was… calamitous.

Relationship with Zibiah: Coal first met Zibiah while the Princess Imperial was working as a mercenary, though their respective companies served on opposite sides of the conflict in question. The young woman made quite an impression on the minotaur however; whispers among the Razors lays the severing of Coal’s horn at her feet, and much was made of the fact that the company spent many winters taking jobs around Myra’s Vineyard thereafter. Despite the rampant speculation in the ranks, Coal has refused - pointedly - to indulge any questions that his subordinates were brave enough to venture.

In truth, Coal admired Zibiah, seeing in her a leader who was - or one day would be - worthy of following. Perhaps it was that which he was looking for all along. Either way, Zibiah is the only person to whom Coal entrusted his true name; an act of trust that the minotaur has not extended to any member of his Solar Razors or to any of the other allies at this time.

Retinue: The Solar Razors, Coal’s mercenary company, number 150 heavy infantry troopers. With their banded lorica, sabatons, vambraces, and Corinthian-helms, the armored company can hold the line against most opposing infantry, or serve as the tip of the spear to break enemy lines, often with Coal roaring orders at their head.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 3
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