StarCraft® II

The Tides of War Discussion/Planning

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The story so far:

In the King's Court:
King Aegr Ironwood the First was called to a meeting by his council. Followed by the head of the Silver Hand, a highly esteemed group of knights dedicated to defend the king and his family, Sir Benedict, Aegr goes out to meet his council at the throne room. There, he learns that the state of the kingdom has improved for the most part yet, Wildemen “savages” are raiding the countryside and retreat to the safety of the Dimwoods. He orders a message to be sent to House Ayne to put the Wildemen threat down. He also learns that his eldest son has died, leaving his two younger sons up for the title of the crown.

Somwhere within the Islands of the Stormwind
Amy Corsin is traveling around the islands in search of work. She enters the territory of House Remnani, the Great House of the Stormwind and meets a boy who introduces himself as Jeromy Remnani. They begin to walk to Ferron and talk about the past and Jeromy laments the current state of their one proud house and region. Once they arrive at the town, Amy heads off in another direction and stops by an inn while Jeromy continues on his way. A great wind sweeps through the air ringing the bells, an ominous sign of a coming storm.

Jeromy returns to his house. His father acknowledges that there is little they can do about the terms of surrender and he knows that his people are showing signs of discontent and wish for a rebellion or overthrow their house.

Needing a ship, Amy meets Bale and Jeromy on the docks.

The Ayne's House:
Kendric Ayne received the king's letter and reluctantly decides to send in the Geest regiment. His children and wife are practicing their crafts.

Somwhere?

Edwin Bowin was in the barracks sparring with the trainees. After disarming four of the trainees He was not getting any younger. True, he was still a powerful warrior in his own right. His experience in battle gave him an advantage in his own right. But he could not move or swing as he did years ago.
Edited by smylez on 3/24/2013 10:00 AM PDT
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What exactly do you want help with? Geographical locations, and descriptions for them?
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Anything you can think of really, especially if you feel that I should mention it.

Perhaps some description of a region?
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The Western Fens

A marsh region, that is rather lush. It is in the west, as the name suggests, but is not along the sea. It is a humid place and is warm all year round. There are plentiful areas where you can find various wildlife, all which have adapted to their warm, humid, boggy, climate. It is not heavily populated, but there are several towns built on stilts throughout it. Due to the deep and plentiful lakes and rivers and bountiful trees and wildlife, fishing, hunting, and lumber are prime industries, as well as trade.

"This sound good to you, smylez?"
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Central Drylands.

A desert where little water falls, few plants grow, and few very humans live. It is a rather small area, but it is smack dab in the middle of the continent. The temperatures can reach 120 Fahrenheit, and during winter can reach -10. These extremes, and the low water content, make it a very difficult place to live for the few who dare it.
Edited by Dacder on 2/27/2013 3:36 PM PST
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very few humans live.


You forgot a word.
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Interesting... makes me miss WE. I'll see if I can get around to contributing something a bit later.
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I was writing an RP, to follow up world's end. But I think you would be a better DM. Here is what I wrote so far.
The story of the RP, is the soldiers following the second son of a king to retake his kingdom.
I would have one RPer be The Lord and everyone else be soldiers. I was in the middle of writing jobs. Feel free to take as much as you want.
Consider this my contribution.
....
The continent of Aebl was from a time long forgotten. Four nations existed within its borders, to the west was Erua, the land owned by humanity as long as history could remember. To the north was Snow, a cold area, covered with mountains. Strange people wandered the peaks, and very little were known about them. Occasionally caught and sold as slaves, they were known to kill themselves before acting as servants. To the east was Belca, land of the plain, mountains, and forest. All of Belca was once a great forest which was later partly cleared and made inhabitable. It is ruled by King Primera, and the heir Zeron. Rumors however tell of an elder son, born of a concubine. The south held frost nation, home of the bravest swordsman, and mercenaries. Its government was the first ever republic, but due to shaky structure, everyone was prepared for civil war. It was in this land that a Great War would occur. One that would shake the world...

Welcome.
All characters will begin as students in the furthest border of Belca. This is not a school RP. They are all apprentices of soldiers, and can choose any class they desire. One player must choose The Lord class. Only one player can be The Lord.
Weaponry- Weapons in this RP, range from a wide variety of

Classes-
Stats(from 1-10, 10 being the highest.) (values are not meant to guide the story. Most of the time, exact stats causes people to have argument wars. To avoid this these values are a baseline.)

Lord.
The eldest son, heir of the throne of Belca, however pushed aside due to the fact that he was not the child of the favorite. Banished to a far away location far from the palace, to avoid messing with castle affairs, The Lord grew up with commoners, as well as a tactician that acted as his servant. A wielder of swords, or magic, depending on the player The Lord is a versatile player.

Hp-7
Strength-7(or 3) depends if The Lord choses to wield swords
Magic-3(or 7) depends if The Lord chooses to wield swords or spell books.
Skill-4
Speed-6.5
Defense-5
Loyalty-10
Bravery-7
Starting abilities-
Rally cry- The Lord's presence induces a sense of order and reverence causing people to rally towards him increasing the speed, and skill abilities of nearby people by .5 points
Royal blade- once per battle, The Lord's weapon becomes imbued with their affinity. Giving it a Bonus
(Custom ability. Make something up)

Promotion(Passive)
-The lord automatically can promote units to a higher class exactly once. This automatically occurs when the DM says okay. So this isn't the lord's ability really. But whatever.

Tactician-(Locked to DM. This guy is actually Mr exposition. If you really want to play as tactician ask me. But I think it would be boring)
A servant of The Lord. He is also a person with knowledge of war, and allegedly a previous general. His past is unknown. Capable of wielding spell books
HP-5
Strength-2
Magic-5
Skill-7
Speed-5
Defense-5
Loyalty-8
Bravery-8
Abilities
Insight-The tactician can guess what will occur in a fairly accurate manner. Not an airtight ability.
Support- The tactician raises the defense and resistance of all units nearby.
Advice- gives advice about a single enemy's weak point to one allied unit. Doubles skill for that unit.



The king of the realm of Erua, called in one of his generals, into his office.
The general said softly, "Why have you called me in sir?"
The King of Erua replied.
"Do you know the story of the four?"
The general could only shake his head.
"Read this then."
The king said, opening a book of fairy tales.
The general was confused but started to read the text the king was showing him.
(TLDR; skip the italics)
Ah!Those four people, a Beastman, two humans, and a Slythar. Slytars creatures of the air, winged humans, and beastmen, creatures of the forest, animalistic in body, and human in nature. A few hundred years ago, when the island was, conquered and lorded over by dragons. The Beastmen had retreated into the forest, hiding in fear. The remaining soldiers of the humans covered, destroyed and fearful of the dragons. The Slythar, hid away from the dragons, destroyed, and ruined. The krynar were affected worst of all, as they had no where to hide, living in the haunts of the dragons. Their numbers were so devastated, and their repopulation so slow because of it, that their population was affected to this day. Famine, Banditry, and all sorts of crime was prevalent.
However, something happened.
An old wizened sage, brought forth four weapons, imbued with Powerful magic, never to break. Weapons, with the power to penetrate the armored, jeweled hides of dragons in a single blow. Claiming these weapons, were the youthful children the old sage had raised. For he had adopted four children, two humans, a Slythar, and a beastman. The first to claim a weapon was the boy Pierce. He picked up the enchanted bow, and claimed it his own. The weapon imprinted the youthful boy's Ideals, and took them as its own. The second to claim a weapon was the Female Slythar, took the golden sword. Naming it after herself, Radient, it glowed brightly in her soft white hand.
Then there was the Beastman. In his clawed hands was the lance. Terrus, was his name. The last one to choose was the human Lunus. He lifted up, a silvery staff, the wood flecked with veins of sapphire in the wood. Lunus was the heir to the sage's magic, and the only trueborn son of the old sage. But he loved his adopted siblings dearly. Those four, would change history, with weapons in hand.


The four traveled the country, wandering and gathering allies. From the ruins of the capital, they gathered, a few allies, the archer Millia, the soldier Mars, the Cavalier Evan, and a several others. The soldiers started to rise, and become into a huge swell. A wave that started to become a threat, to the overlords. The first battle was approaching....
It was on the plains, a smooth grassy area. It had rained earlier, so it wouldn't burn easily. The first battle was that of Valor. The recently banded together forces, was attacked by soldiers that had turned against their respective races to serve the Dragons.

It was a furious battle, enemy cavaliers swept from the north, to strike head on with the four heroes.
Overwhelmed by sheer numbers, the heroes, and their company retreated, and moved to the high ground.
As the cavaliers charged at the new position, Piece drew the sacred bow. With a single arrow, he penetrated the throats of four horsemen. He and Milia shot down the Horsemen, causing an obstruction on the hill. The horsemen now had to go around their dead. Then Mars and Evan, circled around them, striking them hard as they attempted to go through the barrier of corpses.
Due to the narrow corridor, they were only attacked one at a time.
The heroes won their first battle.
But as they progressed, they were slowly whittled down. But even as they were whittled down, more and more soldiers joined their cause.
The army marched west, towards the Mountains. The same mountains near the floating isles of the Slythar.

At this point the Small party had ballooned up to several thousand strong, and they had formed a powerful army of humans. During their journey, Radient, and Lunus became closer than before. Best friends... And something more, despite their difference in race.
The same could be said about Pierce and Milia, however, as the two of them were more passive, they at this time, did not have a relationship beyond friendship.
Terrus, did not have any relationship, but he was a steady support for the rest of the group.
Now they had just entered the mountain pass. But when they looked above them, they saw the dragons annihilating the Slythar, as they fled from their isles. The next key battle was beginning.


The dragons! They arrived in time for this battle. The army steeled itself for combat, many were terrified, the dragons were fearsome. Roaring voices of the soldier, solidified into a Warcry, that appeared to shake mountains, were raised to add morale, but the majority of the men were quivering in their boots. The first dragon crashed into the men, breathing a torrent of fire. Although the heat was less than bearable, the majority of the men survived, but the ones directly in the fire's path were cooked. The soldiers jabbed at the first dragon with lances, surrounding and striking at it with their weapons.
But the iron blades could not pierce the jeweled hide of the dragon, only a few that managed to slip in-between the cracks of the scales did anything. Enraged by the first strike, the dragon swept its tail, smashing it into the group of men. The dragons swept through the army, living embodiments of terror. The generals, cooperating with the soldiers managed to use the sacred weapons to destroy a few of the beasts. This was cause of great cheer.
The battle however, although a few dragons had been eliminated, was still going badly. However, all that changed in an instant.
A loud shout came from the heart of the army, "The Slytar! they have come to support us!"

Like angels swooping down from the heavens, the Slytar, swept in from the east. Circling above they struck the dragons from every angle. Sandwiched from the spears of the humans from the ground, and attacks of the Slytar from above, there was no alternative. The dragons were slaughtered. And so, a large body of Slytar, willing to strike against the dragons became a force in the armies of the four.
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From the mountains, the unified forces bound together and began to match towards the forest. After striking their way though enemy monsters hiding in three decisive battles. It was in this battle, the main historian died from an infection. Therefore information on most battles in the legend were shattered. Beastmen entered the alliance and joined the war, fighting against the Dragons for vengeance. After two battles in the fields of El, they reached dragon peak. It was the final battle.
According to stories, the four entered the cavern supported by 8 key soldiers. And destroyed the Dragons in an act of war. Only seven exited the cave alive, including the generals.
After the war, the nation rebuilt. Pierce got married, and founded a city. His bow remained in the catacombs. Terrus died in the final battle, his lance left on the mount. As for Lunus and Radient. They had a forbidden romance, which later created a child. In anticipation, the magician Lunus threw away his staff into a lake which reflected the moon, during the pregnancy. After Radient died in labor, Lunus died after her of a broken heart at the age of twenty five. The child took the golden sword and was adopted near the plains of El. That is where the legend ends.

"So it's a fairy tale. What is so special about it my king?"
The King smiled, "We found one of the weapons detailed in the story. A knight in our army had it. It had already bonded with the soldier. These weapons could give us power that no one else on this continent posses. Do you see what I mean?"
The general hesitated, "But Sir... There are no flying people nor are there any hybrid of man and beast."
"Not essential, just as we call other people of other nations certain names, the people of the past did the same. We call ourselves Eruites, horse riders, who is to say Slytar wasn't the same?"
The general bowed his head, "So am I to search?"
"Not quite. Two of the four are in contested areas, the other two are in the nation of Belca. The country just beyond the plain."
The general's eyes widened, "But Sire! We have been allies of Belca for over seventy years! We have friends and families in the other nation! People freely trade, and marry across the border!"
"Decisive action, invade, and crush them." The king said flatly.
"What if I refuse?"
The king said softly, "Kneel."
Hesitantly, the Knight bowed his head.
A silver blade was drawn from the king's sheath and slashed in a downwards arc. The general's head fell onto the floor.
"A pawn that doesn't move on the battlefield is useless. Call the next general in. Or will you do it?"
The king asked a figure standing in the shadows.
"My sword, was sworn in service of Erua. I will strike against Belca, but will find no enjoyment. Do not expect me to fight alongside you after this engagement. It is distasteful. If I fight now, will you release me?"
"I will release you, Seth of Erua. Go, and be a terror for those who oppose me." The king said distastefully.
The man in the shadows walked out, "Very well, I have many preparations to make."

That is where the story begins. With Belca overwhelmed suddenly, and taken over.
Take anything you want. Ideas, everything. I hope it turns out well.
I derived many names from videogames. Sue me.
Edited by Heaven on 3/5/2013 1:44 PM PST
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Interesting. I have two ideas, one original and one plagiaristic.

Painted Woods:

There are Painted Ones in the woods. Beware! This forest is an amalgam of many types of trees, and is filled with all sorts of plant life. Animal life is fairly scarce though, as anything larger than opossums have been hunted into near extinction by the area's voracious inhabitants: the Painted Ones, a tribe of half-rat, half-men who will eat literally anything that moves. They are rarely forced into this, though, as they are extremely crafty hunters and trappers, and plenty of ignorant travellers wander into their woods, never to be seen again. Their existence cannot be in doubt, as some heavily armed parties or clever individuals have managed to escape with their lives, and two of these have managed to secure definite evidence of the existence of the Painted Ones, including a corpse. This party was extremely lucky, as ordinarily the Painted Ones prioritize saving the bodies of their fallen over avenging them. It is reccommended that journeys through this area go around this area.

Irayus, Royal Mythographer.

Gloomstone Mountains:

A range of thirteen peaks that are renowned for strange occurences. The numerous myths the local tribes tell about the mountains indicate that a powerful spirit lives at the peak of each one, and that the spirit of the tallest central mountain, Pyrikal, is their king. Some legends say that the mountain spirits are benevolent; others say they creep into the valleys at night and carry people away in their sleep. Since popular myths indicate both, yet typically give the culprits different names, it is likely that the mountain creatures (if any indeed exist) are not all alike, and some are kind while others are vile. Further investigation into this area will be necessary to complete a full chart.

Irayus, Royal Mythographer.
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Microsoft Paint...here I come. Which website can I upload an image for free? Note that each region is ruled by a House under a great lord. Further north you go, the less cold and likely it will snow, even in the winter.

After Geography will be a new revision under culture (Knight's code, power structure, role of women and children, etc.)

@KO
Interesting idea. I realize I allowed some form of magic in this RP but we'll see.

@Fantasy (You are Heaven right?)
I might take some themes form your story. Good read nonetheless.

=======
Population density in terms of least to greatest: The Island of the Stormwinds, The White Lands, The Vale, Doam, The Range of Mesorath, Land of the Crown, The Verdant Valley

Landmass from greatest to least: The White Lands, The Verdant Valley, Land of the Crown, Doam, The Range of Mesorath, The Vale, The Islands of the Stormwinds
======
The White Lands
The south's climate is generally cold and gets progressively worse in winter. In the summer years, the climate is more temperate, enough for plants to grow. Due to the harsh climate of the South and way of life, the South's population is sparse despite it accounting for more than 30% of Ridehu and being the largest region of Ridehu. Past the Barriers, a series of very formidable mountain stretching from the Silent Seas to the Frigid Sea, the land is in a permanent state of frost. Though life is still present in such conditions, it is very sparse and none have returned from an expedition past the Barrier line, be it by land or sea.

The Vale
A marshy and heavily wooded region that is rather lush. It is in the northwest. Along the coasts are rocky cliffs and small ports It is a humid place in the summer and it is bearable in the winter. There are plentiful areas where various wildlife are found. It is a populated region. Due to the deep and plentiful lakes and rivers and bountiful trees and wildlife, fishing, hunting, and lumber are prime industries, as well as trade.

The Island of the Stormwinds
The Island of the Stormwinds is a series of six major islands off the the western coast of Ridehu, south of the equator and only several hundred miles away from the Southern coastline. The islands are rainy and cold and as such, the people living there are known to be a hardy and rowdy warrior race. They are known privateers and are the most troublesome and rebellious subjects under the crown.

Doam
Doam is a region whose climate is a harsh desert and contains the only desert in Ridehu. It occupies the northern part of Ridehu. As a result a political marriage to one of the King's son, Doam was allowed to keep many of its local customs and laws and is ethnically distinct from the other regions in Ridehu. The population is small in comparison to others and congregates along the coast and few things thrive in the inhospitable desert. That desert serves as an important barrier against their southern brethren should they decide to invade.

The Verdant Valley
As its name suggest, the Verdant Valley has the most fertile land in Ridehu. It is gifted with rolling fields of crops and flora. Thanks to the fertility of the land, it is the most populated and richest region and it can field the largest army because of it.

The Range of Mesorath
A series of mountainous and hills, the Range of Mesorath is rich and silver and gold. Despite being one of the smaller regions, the wealth provided by the gold and silver is no laughing matter. The lord of the Range is the wealthiest man in Ridehu and his vassals have benefited greatly from this wealth.

Land of the Crown
Under the direct rule of the king, the Land of the Crown is a site of many battles as it is the center of Ridehu. Old scars still bear witness to the great atrocities committed in times past as broken shields and swords can still be found. Today, the Land of the Crown has seen its land converted for farming and the climate is wet and warm. However, it is still heavily in woodlands. Avora, the fortified fortress capital of Ridehu is located on the coast of the Black Sea and is the most populous city.
=========
Culture of Ridehu: (Under Construction)

In poor families, the wife and husband tend to their fields along with their children. With some percentage of their crops given to their lords as payment for living in their lands, these families often only have enough money after selling their goods to keep food on their table. As such, they are unable to pay for the children's education and they need all the hands they can get. Whatever education they receive is limited to their parents. Should a child show a particular skill in a craft, the parents can appeal to a local master for apprenticeship in hopes that their children earn a better living. Many of the poor are illiterate.

On the other hands, the children of the nobles live a much more luxuries style. They are able to get afford an education. They do not have to toil in the fields or worry about their next meal. Boys learn the arts of war and speech and are groomed to be the successors of their Houses while the girls learn the necessary skills to be an ideal noblewoman for political marriages.

Knight:
Knighthood is not hereditary. A nobleman who is a knight does not means his sons are knights. They have to train themselves to be a knight. A poor can rise through society and good standing by becoming a knight but such a process is expensive and out of reach for most folks.

Knights make up a minority of nobility and are expected to uphold the code of chivalry; defend the weak and the innocent, fight fairly and honorably, and obey their lords. However, the code is upheld differently by different knights.

A knight is expected to maintain their own armor and horse. This costs a lot of money. Most knights are able to afford or cover most of the expenses by providing a great service to their lords who return such service with land, titles and money. In addition knight can earn recognition or fade into obscurity in jousting tournaments in peacetime.

Female knights are rarely seen and they are subject to ridicule from the male counterparts for it is considered improper for a lady to be in battle.

There are 3 kinds of Knights-Those without lords wander from town to town looking for job and are typically poor, those who are serving a lord, and those who are serving a land and are rewarded greatly.
Edited by smylez on 3/4/2013 7:44 PM PST
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I like the concept of an Order of Mythographers who come up with Mythographic charts detailing areas in which the local legends are particularly noteworthy.
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Magic: Magic is rare. It is not a skill that can be taught. Instead, it is something that people are born with. The one notable quality magicians have that separates them from a regular person is that their irises change color to correspond to an element they have affinity for when they are a young child. The age where this occurs varies from individual to individual.

Magicians walk a tight rope in society. They have to ward off superstitious fear of their own kind
and assure the common folk that their abilities can be used for the greater good. As they are vastly outnumbered and extended use of magic greatly strains both the body and mind, magicians learn quickly during their training when the appropriate time it is to speak and talk.

Formal education for magicians begin at academies located in prominent cities. Their training are closely watched there by teachers called Maesters. These academies accept everyone regardless of their social status and they are a quasi-independent entity.

Religion: The predominant religion in Ridehu is called the Order of the Ascended (WIP). There are five deities: Yver the goddess of oaths and justice, Visnu the goddess of wisdom and fertility, Korak the god of strength and war, Mryt the god of crafting, and Zevark the Whisperer of from the Unknown.

(Regarding their order, they are similar to the medieval Catholic church in structure and beliefs. Very hierarchal but women can hold position of power. They also consider all other forms of religion as sacrilege.)

A new religion called Monuta (Way of the One God) has recently crept upon the shores of Ridehu. It has originated across the Black Sea. It believes main tenet is the belief that there is only a single god and any other god is a false deity. In a time of darkness, an avatar of their god will be reborn and save the world. Currently, it is a minority religion and weak in influence...

Communication: Birds of different variety are used by different houses for communication and it is the most popular method of communicating quickly. These birds are trained at an early age and they can cover great swathes of distances in a short time. These birds are often held in a large birdhouse located in the land of a lord and can be used by the poor and the rich alike although the poor will likely require permission and perhaps a small fee to use them.
Edited by smylez on 3/4/2013 7:50 PM PST
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I see a holy war coming(smiles)

What of mercenaries and sell swords? Are they considered below merchants?
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I see a holy war coming(smiles)

What of mercenaries and sell swords? Are they considered below merchants?


Anyone can be a mercenary (although a noble would be hard pressed to be one) if they have a sword and it is a way to also rise up the ladder. Sellswords/mercenaries are technically lower than a merchant because of the nature of their work and because they have no loyalty towards anyone (loyalty is a big deal). However, this all depends on the sellsword's capabilities.
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Ores for crafting (includes buildings) (WIP):
copper
bronze
iron
steel
mithril
thorium
adamantine
obsidian
berium
orichalcum
pyrite
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"What races shall there be to roleplay? Just humans? Or also mythical creatures like Orcs, Goblins, Dwarves, Christmas Elves, Wood Elves, High Elves, etc?"
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Also, technology level?
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03/04/2013 06:45 PMPosted by ShadowFury
"What races shall there be to roleplay? Just humans? Or also mythical creatures like Orcs, Goblins, Dwarves, Christmas Elves, Wood Elves, High Elves, etc?"


Only humans. Any mythical creatures are now simply stories to scare the children to bed.

03/04/2013 06:51 PMPosted by Owlfeathers
Also, technology level?


Think LOTR.
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"On the subject of magic, drastically simplified for pupils who have just learned to read."
Court Magician, Evan

"Magic is the art in which a magician absorbs radient, chemical, or heat energy from outside of their body and uses it for the manipulation of the body. This means that the energy is rapidly absorbed, compressed within the body and used for another purpose. This energy is commonly known as Mana, and is naturally present in the world, although some areas have greater concentrations of the substance.
In otherwards Magicians can covert energy, to another form.
The energy is either consumed by the body for a reinforcement of tissue, hardening of muscles, or projected outwards. Because self reinforcement magic can only urge muscle to work harder, it is impossible for the magicians to enhance themselves to become stronger than their maximum current potential, although only master class mage-knights have ever reached anywhere close to that level. Also, after the magic ends, despite none of the magician's own energy was spent, the muscles will still be worn out and exhausted, needing a lengthy recovery time. Therefore, this magic is less useful than the other kinds, but become essential for moving out of range in magician's duals. The second type, hardening, is when the energy is used to rapidly compress materials to make them harder or sharper. However, if the material is warped in the process, when the magic is released it will return to being warped afterwards, damage is not visible until after release, it only builds up until the magic cracks or is released. Because of this, it is extremely dangerous to use this type on your own body. Magicians attempting to break walls with their fists, have blown their entire shoulders clean off their bodies after the hardening magic was released. The final type projection uses the energy to incite or stop natural processes. Look at a smiple frost spell. After heat energy is gathered, the magician projects the magic inside their body to internalize it, then he or she aims the spell into a certain area, uses the energy to first gather water vapor, and then rapidly uses even more energy to wick heat away from the water. Including the aiming of the spell, this takes the five steps. The incantation, to focus the spell, the gathering of heat energy for the use, Aiming the spell, gathering the vapor, and eliminating the heat of the water. Using a higher class spell, like ice lance, requires steps like shaping, wind to send the spear flying, and extreme control, but can get perks like better aim, and making it harder to predict. Generally the less steps, the faster the spell will be cast.
A beginner can take up to five minutes to cast a spell, even a simple five-step one, simply because they cannot absorb heat or internalize it well enough. However if the beginner has an affinity to a certain process such as generating electricity, then they will be faster and stronger at that type of spell casting. No magician can control their affinity.

When fighting with magic, it is important to note that one must aim before gathering vapor and eliminating heat. It is impossible to aim at a person, and expect the spell to follow that person. Also, it is not recommended to use magic in combat before the cast time of the fastest spell in the mage's arsenal is reduced to at least ten seconds. In a magician's dual, three. The fastest unaided spell in history was an ice lance spell, cast by the sage Lunus, at a speed of a whopping .12 seconds. Before trying to beat the record, it is worth mentioning that a spell in which the magic was not properly internalized can go off within the caster's body. It is fine if it is a heal spell, a spell meant to injure however, means almost certain death due to it frying several organs within the caster's body including the lungs and heart, without the most careful of healers. If an projection spell rebounds, excluding heal spells, there is only a one in a thousand chance of survival. This is why projection is the last subject taught.

The amount of energy controllable by the magician commonly depends on talent, luck, or pressure. Although it can be bolstered by magic boosters, or staves already charged with energy for use. This can shave a few precious moments by eliminating a step.

Spell enhancers-
Certain objects can enhance the ability to use magic. A spell tome, helps focus and internalize magic. A stave stores the energy, and certain weapons automatically absorb the mages energy and compress. A few rare items can activate a spell by simply feeding it a precise amount of energy, (Too much can make it shatter, or even worse backfire killing the user) However, these items shatter only after a few uses and should not be used except for emergencies. This includes warp powder.
The most legendary among magic boosters was Lunus's staff, but it is now doubtful it ever existed due to its astounding property of breaking the law of conservation of energy by multiplying the power fed into it by seven. It was also noted,that Any other magic user who the staff did not choose, went insane after using the staff in any spell.

Countering-
In a magician's dual, spell casters must read the flow of magic, and destroy or interrupt the casting. For example, if spell caster A cast a frost spell at B, B could either Disperse the water vapor, heat up the water preventing freezing, physically of mentally attack the spell caster disrupting the incantation, or move, getting out of the target radius. Specialized spells, such as ice lance, can chase after a moving target by first forming it, then either using pressure spells, or wind but are weaker and more prone to being dispersed. Simple spells have a very small range, and can be moved out of easily. They have no way of tracking, as even a lightning spell will always hit area aimed, despite common misconceptions. Therefore, mages in a dual must have fast reflexes, and be able to track spells, and discern what to do. Luckily after the first six months of apprenticeship they learn to "see" magic flow, allowing them to know where each spell is coming from, and what action is being done. But in the end, talent and reflexes are all the matters in the end.

Resistance-
Magic resistance is the body's tolerance level for magic change, and is built up naturally over time as one lives nearby mana. If one has a high enough resistance, the energy used in direct transfers will disipate instantly, giving the wielder an edge against mage-knights, who use the raw energy of mana in direct combat. Resistance causes the effects of magic to cancel out, or at the very least dissipate, a lance created by ice would weaken as the magic forming the ice is undone before impact.
Resistance also allows people to move through areas of heavy mana concentration easier, as people unaccustomed to high mana concentrations can faint or choke in the presense of mana.
Resistance can be built by living in areas with high mana concentrations, or handling it regularly. This is why people who live in the high altitudes of the frozen lands of white, often have higher resistance than people in valleys.
Mana is at its highest concentration in cold places, and in places with high altitudes.

(How didya like it? Copy paste into your new RP? I'm fine with that! actually I want that to happen, just give me credit)
Edited by Heaven on 3/5/2013 1:46 PM PST
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