"A wise man once said 'Time flows like a river, and history repeats'
The dumbest wise man to ever be
Like a bead running down a river of rope in a twisty delta of knots
Who are those who would challenge it"

- Cor Caroli, The Divine Oracle

Seat of the Pope: Masharas

The city-state of Masharas has long since been the seat of power of the Old Religion, whose name has now been long forgotten to the strands of time. Built like a giant temple it is composed of a single city that houses a great many people. Ever since the industrial revolution Masharas' ornamental outer walls have been reinforced (though their beautiful mosaic patterns have remained) and it has since become a fortress-city.
The head of state in Masharas is still reffered to as the Pope, currently Pope Aldiva Elessia Corties, called by her middle name, is the current ruler. Even here, where the Old Religion was born, it is forgotten but the city-state instead turned into a locus of enlightened learning where the arts and sciences grow stronger every day. Scholars from every other country come to this neutral ground to study unperturbed by the wars and machinations of the outside. The central government building and residence of the Pope is the Great Chapel, a majestic structure made of ancient clay bricks long since reinforced with iron braces that are beautifully painted in the colors of the sunset, it's structure has a large central garden which the structure seems to embrace, it has no great walls and it's ancient rooms seem fit for modern government duties of today.
An ancient tradition of Masharas has has been retained are the Divine Oracles, people who are said to be able to foresee the future. Though currently a city of science there have been great studies upon the Divine Oracles of old, and surprisingly, their powers are proven. Still, the identities of potential Oracles are kept a secret and only at their nomination will the next Divine Oracle be known.
The last layer of government within Masharas are Prefect Elijah Trein and Major Celestine. The Prefect is in charge of the city infrastructure, zoning and other such matters of city growth and maintenance whereas Major Celestine is the leader of the High Guard, hybrid army and police force as the city-state is simply too small to have those as separate forces. The post of Prefect and Major are nominations from the Pope herself, though Celestine has been nominated by the previous Pope. Those are the most visible of the public figures as the Pope and Divine Oracle do not perform many public appearances (though one would be remiss in remarking about their kindness in those situations) with Elijah's clean cut appearance and his suit of akaviri fashion seeming slightly out of place and Celestine's well-polished ceremonial armor worn over her left arm often reminding people of all she would do for the country (her arm in truth though not totally lost has been completely mangled and disfigured during an incident involving a war machine from Orsis)
Masharas is a lucky nation, blessed by the Radiant Plains even in this time of conflict it is abundant in natural resources of any kind and it is protected by the mountain range called Divine Aegis, making it much like an island despite being deep inland. In fact, the Divine Aegis is the only reason why Masharas has managed to remain un-invaded for a long time as it makes progress into the city difficult aside from a few very well defended passages.
The physical center of the city itself is not actually where the main buildings are, those being further north, but a great lake that serves as the feeding basin to most of the waterways of the other countries and which makes the surrounding plains very fertile. The lake seems to always keep an unnatural calm in it's surface and those who take casual strolls at it's borders or even sail within it can see the large ragnite formations deep below it.
The city's industrial district is called the Bloodworks (after the old belief that ragnite is the blood of the goddess) and built at the base of an ancient tower revered by the Old Religion. Whereas the tower haven't been disturbed in centuries (it is after all a relic worth preserving) it's surroundings have been overtaken by factories of various kinds, although often those factories change hands often and are re-purposed just as often.

  • Basically Venice during the Industrial Revolution I guess
  • Used to be the Vatican, though
  • Still has scientifically-proven seers
  • Somewhat higher tech level than the rest of the setting
  • Extremely well naturally defended
  • Still has old relics and a creepy ass tower

Life in the Goddess' Embrace

The city of Masharas is a considerably more advanced city than the rest of the continent, possessing infrastructure with planning fit for a place known for it's Oracle it's buildings are nicely and efficiently organized at the city center where most of the population density resides and the way the city extends into the Radiant Plains and digs into the Divine Aegis is artistic. It possesses an extensive water pipe system powered both by gravity and a single immense water-elemental force gear turbine set deep below the Grand Chapel while it's sewer system was fully reconstructed seven years ago in a feat of engineering unparalleled yet, though the old structures still remain to drain rainwater.
Known for it's higher learning Masharas also possesses a great amount of basic learning, in fact it is strictly illegal to prevent one's child from attending to school. The fact that all basic learning is composed only of public schools while middle and higher learning is private institutions (though some as ancient as the city itself and tied just as deeply with it's government) is part of the Five Centuries Plan enacted by the Pope of two generations ago to uniform the basis of knowledge of the country so that higher institutions do not need to worry about the entry level of their students.
Despite all the importance given to learning, it is the production center from the Bloodworks that grants Masharas it's income, most of the city's non-scholars tend to be workers of those factories, great beasts that change owners every now and then and produce the most varied things. It is not uncommon for the factory owners to be people of influence, sometimes those who became influence and gained control of one such factory this way, or the older and more stable factories whose owners are among the most influential civilians (on par with college leaders) of the state.
Though natives of Masharas aren't adverse to travelling, in fact it's always been quite a popular thing to do to travel to the other countries and come back with trinkets and stories to share with your family, they can be considered rather pampered by their nation's natural and cultural wealth. Though you won't find anyone officially condoning a sense of superiority about other nations it infallibly finds it's way to the hearts of the younger generation, a fact that gives a great many headaches to the foreign affairs agencies.

  • Masharas is pretty modern with running water and proper sewers. Some of that is recent, though.
  • They really like their learning, you're going to school whether you want to or not.
  • You can totally be a snob about being from such a great place. Important people would rather you not, however.

Ragnite, the Blood of the Goddess

Ragnite, such a wondrous material. It is a bright blue color that gives off a faint light in darkness and comes in two different states, a gelatinous form in it's purest form and a solid rock-like form that it slowly converts to when exposed to air.
Ragnite in both forms has very distinct properties, the first of which being that ragnite contains a lot of inner energy, thus being a very powerful combustible material for powering engines (one of it's main uses) as well as emitting that energy, something that can be sensed with special machines and which energy can be used to perform special feats.
In solid form ragnite can be ground to a dust and combined with medicinal herbs and alchool to make powerful healing agents that can close wounds in moments and even return someone from the brink of death. Solid ragnite can also be utilized as a material in construction as it has special repulsive properties as two separate pieces of ragnite if pushed against eachother will repel themselves but if kept pressed for the length of four days become specially bonded, though they will still remain a distance from eachother if separate further they will move closer again. Solid ragnite, when put under pressure, will also generate electrical tension and depending on size and pressure will vary from as low as a a hundred of a volt to thousands, care is advised when working with this electricity as this is how solid ragnite can discharge it's immense internal energy.
Gelatinous ragnite will turn solid if exposed to air, but if combined with the oil of black olives will remain gelatinous indefinitely. Gelatinous ragnite can be ignited easily if further mixed with water from the coconut plant and sprayed as it ignites in the air, the common combustible engine using pre-prepared ragnite fuel with controlled air injector. Gelatinous ragnite can also be utilized in what's called a 'Force Gear', which contains ragnite kept in constant motion by a small electrical drive, as gelatinous ragnite in motion generates what can be best described as an energy field and the change and flux of this field can lead to physical reactions that could be called miraculous (hence why it was reffered to as the blood of the goddess), reactions which are commonly reffered to as Magic, though scholars prefer the term Art. (There have always been rumors of people capable of using Arts without using Ragnite)

  • If you played VC, yes it's Ragnite
  • If you played Trails, yes it's Septium
  • You can do magic with an outfit with glowy tubes

Fuel of the Revolution

Ragnite, being such a versatile material as it is, certainly would attract researchers. However, the first ones to research ragnite were the priests of the Old Religion. Though people speculate it's capacity to create Arts is why it is referred to as the Blood of the Goddess to this day historians believe that is not where the term originated. Either way the priests of the old religion worshiped this divine material as well as the mysterious tower within the Bloodworks as part of their religion.
But among the teachings of the Old Religion was that one could only truly worship the Goddess if they were willing to learn of all of her aspects, and in order to learn they studied everything which came from Her- Including Ragnite. Thus the first scientists of the country were old priests, and the first discoveries of the powers of ragnite in the continent were made in Masharas.
Historians argue it may have been the greed of man, the fact that religion is nothing but stories, or maybe the fact that the Old Religion was so focused on learning itself but the fact is that the research of ragnite and, from it's many uses, various other branches of science became very important to the people of Masharas and, as their religious roots were forgotten they slowly became a minor technological titan. Whereas their creations could not match up the power or volume of the creations of the other four kingdoms, they were more than superior in complexity and potential, and soon became their primary export, alongside knowledge. That fact alone has kept Masharas a neutral power… Until now.

End of worship

For a city headed by a Pope, for a city which still houses oracles, for a city born out of a temple, for a city born out of faith, Masharas certainly cannot remember even the name of it's founding religion, nor any details of the forgotten Goddess. Why that happened was simple, it stopped becoming important.
As time passed, as the creation of advanced machinery made life easier, people stopped requiring the faith to find solace, instead counting on that which the people themselves could offer. And the people of the faith surprisingly did not disagree, the last old priests would share their knowledge to those who'd ask, but not force it upon the unwilling. The last old temples would offer service until the very last acolyte lived, even to an empty audience, and would pass down their building to whoever needed it the most. It mystifies scholars to this day how willing they were to be forgotten.

War of Bread and Steel

Twenty years ago a storm passed through the continent. And it was no simple storm, it was an unprecedented natural disaster. Plantations were uprooted across countries, mountains tore apart by lightning, mines flooded, even volcanoes had their boiling guts scattered through the land. For everyone, now, something lacks. For everyone, now, something was taken away. Wether bread or steel, they no longer have it, but their neighbor might. This is for surival.

Akavir, The House of the Lion

Akavir has long since been a barren nation, despite the somewhat dense forestry in areas the ground itself is barren and unfit for farming and the forests mostly sustaining themselves, easily dieing to outside influence. Not to mention it's soil contains little ragnite or metals. It's people are hardy survivors who often needed to take from others what they could not produce.
Akavir, thus, has grown to depend on conquest and colonization for survival, of the nations of the continent the only one to keep colonies across the seas, they have the most powerful armed forces of the continent and even in previous times of peace 'incidents' would happen with it's neighboring countries. They have long since been on good relations with Masharas, in fact a great many of their powerful tools of war were devised by scholars who spent most of their life in the place, but now those relations must either get better, or much worse.
Akavir is technically ruled by a king, who doesn't makes himself public very often, but is otherwise well loved by the populace and as far as anyone could tell, the King and the royal family are very good examples of what rulers should be. But it is not the king that holds the greatest power, but the man called the First Minister, through vote and politics chosen as the highest advisor to the king, this man has effectivelly wrested control of the country for himself without breaking a single rule. A terrifying politician, a monster of a general, and a man best not met in person. Some people have taken to calling Akavir 'The House of the Lion' after the crest of the First Minister's family.

  • Yes, this is Erebonia, how nice of you to notice.

Terchuan, Where The Butterflies Gather

Terchuan is a very forested land, seeing it's borders guarded by the two gigantic rivers Moonlight and Starlight (named after the ancient animistic beliefs that they contained the moon and the stars within them) it's lands are fed by an intricate course of deltas and smaller rivers from those two keeping the lands well irrigated and fertile and making their primary way of transport waterways. Long since called the land Where The Butterflies Gather as those small insects are very common in the area (and in ancient times as the departing souls of the dead, making them interestingly associated with warfare).
Whereas Terchuan is a single country it does not have a singular ruler but it's ruled by the Wise Five, effectively the rulers of the five different regions of Terchuan, making them a country that is slow to move, in a political level, but equally slow to stop, an inertial monstrosity of a ruling system.
Whereas Terchuan primary export has always been food to other nations, even at sufficiently favorable rates to make them friends to Akavir, they do not possess other natural riches in the country, making them dependent on imports for things such as metal and ragnite. Or their primary export used to be food. They were hit the worst by the storm, which in their case included a powerful tornado that managed to tear apart the basing which is origin of Starlight, reducing the river's size by half and terribly disturbing the waterways of the country, and a landslide of terrifying proportions leading the entirety of Moonlight to become barren, undrinkable water.
They used to feed the world. Now they starve. And that can't be, they might never have been warriors, but a starving rat is still dangerous.

  • Traded food for it's other needs
  • Got Absolutely Wrecked and basically can't produce anything anymore
  • In ancient times was a land of druids, some animistic beliefs still exist

Orsis, Those Who Bleed The Land

Orsis used to be a land of plenty, and in a way it still is. Blessed with more natural resources than it thought it could spend, a somewhat peaceful if not a little bit unethical democracy used to rule this land, but at this moment the twelve most powerful extraction consortiums hold all the political power, with the president holding little more than a puppet position.
Mostly compromised of a flat and low land Orsis found it's riches at first within the vast, dense forests that were so omnipresent in the past they almost made the creation of larger cities impossible. However, as the people expanded and tore down the forests, wood which they used not just for themselves but also traded for finished goods from Akavir and even Masharas, they soon had to reach elsewhere for riches, and they looked down upon their caves as saw the brilliant glow of ragnite.
Then it was the turn for ragnite to become their focus of extraction, and it turns out the land is incredibly full of ragnite and that is what gave the consortiums the nickname of 'Those Who Bleed The Land' as the sloppy mining of ragnite would often leave behind pools of gelatinous ragnite not unlike as if one had decided to bleed a pig. Though at this stage Masharas had started to abandon the Old Religion the impact Orsis' ragnite mining left on the last few priests still left most of Masharas uneasy with those people, relations strained as time went- Yet Orsis never had the technical know-how of how to utilize that which they extracted, so officials of Masharas were often sent here to enlighten them on proper use of material, and often the ragnite of Orsis was sent to Masharas for refining.
Yet, when the crude yet powerful armies of Orsis demanded Masharas reduce their refining fees, when one of the consortiums held imprisioned a group of Masharas scholars, even more so when the great thunders of the cataclysmic storm tore apart the mountain path that was the easiest way between Orsis and Masharas through the Divine Aegis- It was decided. They would have the means to make things out of what they extract, even if it meant dragging them kicking and screaming out of old temples. Yet Orsis is not the only hunter, as Rissan and Akavir both cover it's ragnite reserves, and Terchuan would certainly love to annex it's extremely underutilized western floodplains.

  • Kind of a shitty place to live
  • They didn't need a natural disaster to destroy their land
  • Everyone kinda hates them but everyone needs their stuff
  • Absolutely fail at actually producing stuff, though

Rissan, Endless Nothingness

Few would consider Rissan to have a ruler of a country, this land that seems to many an unnatural pocket of sand marked by more volcanoes than should actually possibly ever be houses various small cities of an immensely hardy people that will make do with whatever they have, and they will not accept any outside help.
Of course that's a rather wrong way to describe Rissan, the Five Hundred Cities as they refer to themselves each have a local leader, and every year they convene to decide how things will go collectively but they are otherwise completely independent. Rissan is also hardly mostly desert, whereas it's vast desert bordering Orsis and Terchuan surely will catch your eye most of their land is savannahs and rocky canyons. It is also the most volcanically active land, which is what long since kept them rich.
They live an interesting cyclic lifestyle, though they once were nomads now their larger cities have adapted to take advantage of those cycles, the cycle of fire and molten rock. As the volcanoes periodically on a rampage, their flows run down the canyons and eventually cool down, leaving behind rock extremely rich in minerals expelled from the bowels of the land as well as nutrients for plants. Yet the dense clouds of volcanic dust inhibit the growth if plant life for many years in those areas, making a period where food is scarce, but metal and gemstone is common. And after the dust subsides, the hardy plant life of the land blooms again, eager to feast on the fertile soil, and the farmers take full advantage of that. Rissans are a people forged in adversity.
Yet not even they could foresee the catastrophe of the storm. When a terrible tornado managed to suck up the magma of one of the most active volcanoes of the land and subsequently rain hardened lava meteors across the land causing catastrophic destruction and an extremely extended unfertile period, they found themselves at a crossroads. After the disaster they'd call the Shattering, as it tore apart the land, they would depend on outsiders this time. Yet despite their fame as xenophobic they are surprisingly agreeable and welcoming, they won't let you into the closest of their families or traditions, yet they won't peer or judge on yours.
But they need food. And they will get it. They will trade if they can, and you better hope they can.

  • This is some super weird kinda-arabian-kinda-african hybrid
  • They're super protective of their traditions and people, but not actually xenophobic, you just need to work a fair bit
  • They don't want none of your problems, though
  • They just watched destruction rain from the heavens, however. You better hope you don't have anything they desperately need.

The Warrior Clans of Rissan

Rissan has no organized national army, and all of the Five Hundred Cities each have their own personal security and warriors. That said, two of the cities themselves plus a new player are known as the Warrior Clans, they lend their weapons to whoever pays them best (with professional honor, of course, they pick their jobs and don't betray their contracts) and are commonly seen serving as the de-fact organized army of Rissan when the other cities decide that something needs dealing with right now and pool their resources. The Warrior Clans are:

  • The Black Stingers: The most ruthless of them all, their hometown built at the base of a volcano. They are quick to employ any tactic that will give them an advantage and their leaders are known for having a cruel streak, they are famous for their ideology of overwhelming power. Though they offer no mercy or kindness to those on the other side of the swords they're known to also treat themselves as family and being fiercely protective of eachother.
  • The Silvarant Knights: Native to a town bordering Akavir they have absorbed a lot of their culture, a certain infatuation with the ancient orders of knights of that land led to the creation of the first group of the Silvarant Knights and they have grown with time to become the mercenary force they are today. They're easily spotted by their polished silver-colored armor and the blades made of some form of translucent cyan crystal that they pass from generation to generation of Knights and are most famous for their general kindness and chivalric code. Of course, most of this stems from badly appropriated history of a different country so it is very common for exaggerated and almost caricaturesque behavior, a fact that does not escapes them.
  • Lost Vipers: The group led by the Black Viper, she just showed up one day and people seemed to flock to her and her legend. The Lost Vipers are an odd bunch that seems to do what damn well pleases them although they have a penchant for choosing to help those in need and acting without thinking. Friendly, easygoing and nobody knows what is up with the style of their clothing and equipment that is just outlandish, they're just the kind of people you want to run into when in trouble, also when having a party.

The Black Viper

A whimsical mercenary who moves from battlefield to battlefield, from city to city, whose actions seem to be driven by nothing other than finding new experiences. There's a great many legends about the Black Viper and all of them tales far too tall about how she is invincible in the field and jubilant out of it. The story says only one man in the world knows her true name.

Fatebreakers, the Daring

Recently, Masharas has been under assault by the four nations. It has tried long and hard to stay out of the War of Bread and Steel, but it is no longer possible. Their farmlands untouched. Their mines still thriving. Their technology only growing. Yet the world slowly falls apart around them. All four nations have great interest in Masharas, be it their land or their people, and though the Divine Aegis has kept them mostly safe there have been more and more intrusions, spies and invaders.
Yet, just recently, the Divine Oracle has proclaimed that, though fate has decided that Masharas would burn to ash at the hand of invaders, she has found a way out of it. Though fate is unchangeable, there are certain people, certain *heroes* that could fight back fate. The Fatebreakers. And she has issues forth a call for them, people strange in their disparity, whose potential nobody could guess or judge highly of, yet nobody would believe the Divine Oracle wrong.

Call To Arms

You people, you were called in here either by letter, courier or heavens know how else. You've spent a long time in Masharas, you like the place, most probably lived here your whole lives but maybe a scholar or adventurer from another country who wouldn't mind turning your back to your former home and calling this your new one. Cor Caroli, name of a star and the Divine Oracle, has called you to her side. To meet with her and the Pope.
Your job is simple, to heed her predictions, to witness as she doles out the future and tells you how fate may be shattered to pieces to keep this country safe.

The Power Of Fate: As Fatebreakers, you true opponent is fate itself. It's Pressure is currently [30]

The Divine Chronicle

History is never told as it happened.
But as it happened it is recorded here.

Prologue: Spooks
Prologue: Academy
Prologue: Warning Shots
Prologue: Mediation
Prologue: Visions
Assignment 1: Learning Serendipity
Assignment 2-1: Catching Fate
Assignment 2-2: A Second Star
Assignment 3: Reload
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Departure
- Where the Butterflies Scatter: Whisper
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Gears And Spirits
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Ambush
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Wilting Survivors
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Heavy Digging
- Where the Butterflies Scatter: Experiments (Manipulator)
- Where the Butterflies Scatter: Experiments (Coordinator)
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Ersatz(?) Maker
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Power Twice Overwheming
- Where the Butterflies Scatter: Dear Friend, A letter
- Where the Butterflies Scatter: Crime and Punishment, A letter
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Crime
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Frogs and Problems
Where the Butterflies Scatter: and Punishment
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Dear Friend
Where the Butterflies Scatter: Dear Foe
The Embrace of the Goddess: Heaven and Shadows
The Embrace of the Goddess: My Home
Those Who Butcher The Land: Workers
Those Who Butcher The Land: Mimeosome
Those Who Butcher The Land: Golden Cage
Those Who Butcher The Land: It Has Stopped
Those Who Butcher The Land: Carrying Judgement
Those Who Butcher The Land: Ghouls and Shamblers
Those Who Butcher The Land: Destine
Those Who Butcher The Land: Ground Zero (I tried...)
Those Who Butcher The Land: Broken Bodies
Those Who Butcher The Land: Thinker
The Embrace of the Goddess: Festival Of Discovery
Limitless, Voidless: Reunion
Limitless, Voidless: Promenade of Beasts
Limitless, Voidless: The Messenger Path
Limitless, Voidless: The House Of Letters
Limitless, Voidless: Connecting Waves
Limitless, Voidless: Whistle While You Work
Limitless, Voidless: Cat Wife
Limitless, Voidless: Felidar Ritual
Limitless, Voidless: Intelligence
Limitless, Voidless: Flight of the Flame
Limitless, Voidless: Hidden Vally
Limitless, Voidless: Phantasma
Limitless, Voidless: Dust And Fire
Limitless, Voidless: Rescision
Limitless, Voidless: Ways of the Knights
Limitless, Voidless: Battle Preparations
Limitless, Voidless: Forbidden Vault
The Embrace of the Goddess: Ignoble Siege
Iron, Blood And Fire: Trainjacking
Iron, Blood And Fire: Destruction And Construction
Iron, Blood And Fire: Trap Street
Iron, Blood And Fire: Jormungandr's Sabotage
Iron, Blood And Fire: Administration
Iron, Blood And Fire: Hex Web
Iron, Blood And Fire: Indulgence
The Goddess' Salvation: Qualia
The Goddess' Salvation: Igniter
The Goddess' Salvation: I Am The Universe
The Secret Diaries

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