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Author Topic: Paragon  (Read 8939 times)
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« on: November 07, 2015, 04:34:37 PM »

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¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
Paragon * (Paragon Rules) * Savage Age (Wiki) * Argyrian Empire

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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 04:37:10 PM »

A Heroic Wind Blows

The hour of twilight. The first light of dawn begins to shine upon the long-abandoned ruins of Nur-Il, it's now roofless towers flushed in the crimson effulgence of the rising sun. The last gusts of chilling nocturnal air sweep clouds of sand from the desert along the empty streets, littered with rubble and overgrown with weeds. A lone figure walks on the broken cobbles of the main avenue, the sides of which were once lined by colonnades of tall pillars. The young man's attire of dark-red silk wraps loosely round his athletic body, the lengthy bangs of his bluish-black hair flutter in the breeze. On his left hand a broad-bladed sword rests in it's scabbard, a wondrous sheath fashioned from lustrous gold. Though he treads softly like a cat, the swordsman makes no attempt to conceal himself. Indeed, his presense seems unnaturally vibrant; every ounce of his being radiates intense vigor that stands in stark contrast to his forlorn surroundings.

With keen eyes this youth observes the desolation spreading before him. He arrives at an open space that had been the central plaza of the city, once full of life and throngs of people. The disc of the sun burns hot on the red-tinged horizon behind the young man as he stops, climbing to stand atop the plinth of a fallen pillar. In an elegant posture he holds up his sword, still sheathed in it's golden scabbard, and announces his arrival.

 "I am Kalar, disciple of Dal Domar! I have come for you, forsaken Shain. In the name of the Order I compel you: reveal yourself!"

His powerful voice, strangely imperious for his age, booms and echoes throughout the ruins.

The man who bears the name of Shain emerges from the depths of the ruined city. He moves with the savage grace of a creeping panther. Draped in tattered, dusty silks of deep indigo that must have once been splendid, long and matted brown hair partially obscuring his face. He too carries a broad-bladed sword, although the sheath of it is tarnished with a greenish sheen. He comes to stand a rock's throw from the youth, gazing at him with bloodshot eyes.

 "I have been expecting you, Kalar. I knew the old man would choose you for this task. He thinks I will hesitate when it's you. Because I used to call you a blood-brother. But already I've shed such weaknesses of the soul, like a snake sheds it's skin. If anyone will hesitate here, it will be you."

Shain's words cut through the cool morning air like razors. His menacing voice carries a phantasmal gravity of terror that would chill the bones of a lesser man, but Kalar answers him without a slightest hint of trepidation.

 "Murderer! Apostate! You have no right to call me brother. This I swear: today your spirit will be set free by my blade. I regret only that this day didn't arrive sooner."

The steeled tone of the swordsman leaves no room to doubt that he is determined to kill with absolute conviction. Yet, his words are devoid of malice. The golden scabbard begins to shed mystical light, being enveloped in a faint halo. His opponent snorts derisively, veritably unimpressed.

 "You are a fool to believe you can best me. I think I'll kill you slowly, to savour your dying screams. Just like I killed that cute acolyte girl you had your eyes on. She struggled longer and fiercer than her classmates."

 "I will avenge her death. I will avenge every life you've taken. May their souls find solace in your downfall!"

A similar halo appears on the scabbard in Shain's hand, though it's light is somehow tainted, glowing sickly with purple and green flickers. The two swordsmen glare at each other and draw their weapons, falling into elaborate combat stances as they do so. The blade that emerges from Kalar's golden sheath is made of pure crystal and blazes with a numinous incandescense. His foe reveals a nearly identical sword, though it's luminescense is as marred as the halo of it's scabbard. Tension rises as neither one makes a move. Ominous silence falls upon the ruins of Nur-Il, as if the universe itself was holding it's breath in anticipation. Finally, without word or warning the combatants spring forth on the same heartbeat, leaping like pouncing tigers to strike each other down.

A brilliant flash! The sound of a thunderclap reverberates across the crumbled walls and cracked columns of Nur-Il, caused by two crystal blades colliding. Locked in a furious dance of death, the swordsmen exchange lightning-fast cuts and stabs, parrying with their metallic sheaths and dodging and rolling out of the way, moving with the speed and grace of falcons in flight. In the flurry of the melee their swords crash against high-standing rubble but are barely even slowed down, the magical blades cutting through stone and brick as if it were paper.

With neither of them able to gain advantage, the fighers disengage, once again staring each other down from a distance.

 "You've become faster since the last time we sparred, Kalar. Dal Domar has trained you well. But you're not the only one that has been training. I've acquired forbidden knowledge, powers beyond the meagre teachings of the old fool, Dal Domar. Behold! The fearsome shape of the spine-eater!"

Howling out those words, an aura of mystical fire flares around Shain. His body distorts and bulges, waxing in proportions and changing in shape. The fearsome transformation completes swiftly: where the swordsman stood but moments ago there now stands a gargantuan figure of nightmarish features. Easily five times as tall as a man, with three muscular arms, massive claws of razor-sharp metal as long as sword blades, a large spiked tail, a demonic face frozen in a wrathful grimace, a pair of long impaling horns, and covered all over in hardened shell-plates. This hulking battle-giant regards Kalar with feral eyes.

Although the mere sight of such a titan could break the resolve of an entire army, the young swordsman stands before it fearlessly.

 "I will not allow the name of my master to be belittled by the likes of you! And I have an answer to that form."

The colossal monster snarls, exhaling a foul haze of smoke.

Kalar sheaths his crystal sword, raising the scabbard high. The halo emanating from the sheath intensifies. His voice echoes with eldritch force as he calls out the word of summoning.

 "EI..."

The very earth beneath his feet trembles faintly from the force of the utterance.

 "DO..."

For a blink of an eye the sky blackens. A gust of wind whirls around Kalar, fluttering his hair and his clothes.

 "LON!"

The power is unleashed. A rift to Pandemonium is ripped open. The demon on the other side answers the call. The young swordsman smiles triumphantly as the avatar of his spiritual shadow materializes behind him: a likeness of a giant warrior clad in ornate golden armor, with a reptilian head and two pairs of red-feathered wings, carrying a huge polearm fitted with a long blade of coruscant metal. The fabric of the world itself seems to fade and warp around it's majestic form.

The enraged colossal juggernaut that Shain has turned himself into screeches a bestial battlecry and charges. The newly summoned eidolon rushes to meet it's charge, engaging this opponent in melee. The earth shakes, clouds of dust rise all around, and the remains of dilapidated buildings collapse from the force of the fierce clash of these giants. While that battle rages on, Kalar grasps his sheathed sword with both hands. He closes his eyes and concentrates on gathering magical energy, conducting it into his crystal sword.

Eventually sensing that his eidolon is becoming overwhelmed, the heroic swordsman opens his eyes and dismisses the demon with a gesture. As the armored figure dissolves into thin air, the terrifying battle-giant bellows a laughter. It turns it's attention back to the young man. Kalar meets it's infernal gaze with a countenance of unbreakable determination. His eidolon has bought him enough time for a decisive strike. He knows that everything rests on this one attempt. He must not fail.

The titan shakes the earth with a powerful foot stomp, preparing to crush the hero like an insect. Kalar draws his crystal sword, it's blade now shining with blindingly intense radiance. It pulsates with numinous power that emits shockwaves at every heartbeat. Kalars' eyes begin to glow with ethereal light. His hand grips the handle of the sword tightly. Time seems to slow as the gods in heaven turn their attention to witness this moment. The rising sun looms effulgently overhead. A heroic wind blows.

A single strike ends it all. A blinding beam of destructive power shoots forth from the crystal blade, annihilating everything in it's path. It is a force that cannot be withstood. The colossal form of Shain is perforated by that beam. He shrieks sharply but for a split second before disintegrating, reduced to ashes that scatter to the wind. Peaceful silence falls upon the ruins of Nur-Il. The young swordsman hangs his head, having vanguished an old friend that had been lost to madness of vile corruption.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 04:52:14 PM by Ghostman » Logged

¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 05:10:41 PM »

Introduction

You are a paragon, a glorious hero endowed with magical powers and martial valor. A member of an esteemed order of warrior-mystics, dedicated to defending your homeland -- an island floating in the air. In the lands below, myriad city-states are scattered across a trackless expanse of dangerous wastelands teeming with outlaws, barbarians, ravenous monsters and stranger things. Armed with a powerful crystal sword and golden sheath, guided by the teachings of your wise master, you are prepared to meet any challenge with honor and integrity. Although insidious forces are afoot in the world, you are destined to triumph through sincere struggle and perseverance. Adventure awaits you. Have no fear.
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¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
Paragon * (Paragon Rules) * Savage Age (Wiki) * Argyrian Empire

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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2015, 06:13:30 PM »

Bits of Information

Genre: heroic fantasy
Races: human only
Roles: everyone is a magical warrior, with different specializations
Focus: action, investigation, drama
Key elements: floating islands, magical swords, city-states, nascent civilization, isolation, heroism, honor, magical martial arts, loyalty, belonging, camaraderie, resisting corruption, keeping your word

Some inspirational works:
  • Star Wars films
  • Exalted RPG
  • Final Fantasy video game series
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona video game series
  • Fate/Stay Night visual novel
  • Chrono Trigger video game
  • Legend of the Five Rings RPG

About

Some of you may remember my attempt at a space fantasy, the Astral Blades. That never went anywhere, but this may be something of it's spiritual sibling. Paragon was ultimately born from this one thought I couldn't get out of my head: jedi knights in a fantasy setting. It all began with that thought experiment, which kind of snowballed as I piled on elements from various sources. So, it is shamelessly derivative. Hopefully I can cultivate it into something good.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 03:14:10 PM by Ghostman » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2015, 06:52:10 PM »

Mechanics?
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2015, 02:04:31 AM »

Rose-of-Vellum

Mechanics?

Eh, I say just learn to repair you're own car. Mechanics are expensive.

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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2015, 05:19:45 AM »

Rose-of-Vellum

Mechanics?

I think Paragon needs it's own system. There's no way I could make it run well under eg. Pathfinder, it's just too different. Maybe with some extreme system hacking, but with that much work it'll be easier to just start from scratch.
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¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2015, 05:37:31 AM »

Destruction

For eighty-million years EON slumbered; for eighty-million years EON dreamed. The cycle of ages came to it's end, and the old world was grown weary from the sins of a thousand epochs. The order of things was unravelled, the wheel of time ceased it's turning. The birds of paradise trilled, and by their sublime song was EON awoken. EON beheld the impure world, and sounded the horn of unmaking. The seas boiled, the mountains roared, the skies fell down, the hills burst in flames, the rivers flushed away, and the valleys parted into gaping chasms. Darkness descended, silence befell, the universe was unmade, and the formless chaos returned.

Creation

EON saw that there was only the chaos -- the yawning maw, the nihil. EON's thoughts filled the void, and the void was become the primordial sea. EON sent forth the ibis-bird, which laid an egg upon the primordial sea, and the egg floated on the inert waters. After countless epochs the egg hatched, and the five cosmic forces burst out from within it, and they radiated outward into the universe, setting the wheel of time into motion. Their outburst broke the stillness of the waters, causing a great tumult. As the waves settled, a great mountain emerged from the sea. EON then flourished the sword of separation, and with a single strike cut the mountain in twain; it's severed peak was become the heaven and it's base was become the earth.

Preservation

EON spake the words of cosmic order, and these words were become irresistible law. But the final word thus spoken did not fall silent as the words afore it had fallen: by the will of EON that final word was shattered, and the shards of this word were innumerable, and for a million years and a year the shards fell like rain, and the three worlds were showered by this rain. From the shards of EON's word were born the gods, and the birds, and the beasts, and the fish, and the grasses, and the scrubs, and the vines, and the fruit-bearing trees; from the final word were born all things that walk, or fly, or swim, or crawl, or grow upon fertile soil. And EON spake no more, and fell asleep. Once again EON slumbered. Once again EON dreamed.
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2015, 04:00:46 PM »

I dig this. I liked Astral Blades, and I like this, too. But I think it's already been established I am pretty on board with this kind of thing. grin
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 04:11:04 PM »

This sort of thing is absolutely my jam.
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 04:41:29 PM »

sparkletwist

I dig this. I liked Astral Blades, and I like this, too. But I think it's already been established I am pretty on board with this kind of thing. grin

Lmns Crn

This sort of thing is absolutely my jam.

Glad to hear that!  grin
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¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 04:50:11 PM »

 The shape of the universe

The universe is made up of three worlds:
  • the astral realm of Heaven -- the uppermost part of the universe, shaped like a dome and supported by the eight pillars of sky,
  • the chthonian realm of Earth -- the middle part, in the likeness of a flat plane, and
  • the oceanic realm of Abyss -- the lowermost part, as infinite fathoms of primordial waters.

Each of these worlds touches the two others, their boundaries somewhat unclear. Beings divine and mortal alike inhabit them all.

The passage of the sun

Every morning the Phoenix Bird is reborn on the edge of the Earth, in the furthest east. Every day it soars across the sky, bearing the aurulent sphere of sunfire, the blazing radiance of which illuminates the cerulean firmanent of Heaven and the earthbound lands below. Every nightfall the bird falls down in the furthest west, beyond the land of the dead, and perishes, consumed by the flames.
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¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2015, 11:44:35 AM »

Skyward Realms

In the world there are large landmasses miraculously suspended in the air, levitating halfway between Heaven and Earth. These floating islands are known as skyward realms. They are relics of extraordinary sorcerous might, lifted among the clouds a long time ago by the legendary race of empyreans. Though their creators are forever gone, the skyward realms continue to hover in lofty heights above terrestrial ground. Now they are the homes of human paragons and their mundane kindred.

Traveling to and from these airborne domains is possible on the backs of large flying animals, and via magical beams of light that lift passengers up and down between the skyward realm and the earth's surface. The islands, large enough to bear entire mountains, rivers and towns, are kept afloat by citadels -- towering, monumental palace-fortresses of magical construction. They are bastions of order and tranquility in a world beset by many calamities.

Secure in their elevated station and preeminence, skyward realms extend a benevolent hegemony over those city-states that fall within the scope of their observance. With this clout of authority comes the responsibility of providing protection and dispensing justice: skyward realms send contingents of troops spearheaded by paragon warriors to help their client states defend against invasion, and itinerant paragon agents patrol the lands enforcing the citadel's laws.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 09:35:04 AM by Ghostman » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2015, 11:19:42 PM »

Ghostman

Skyward Realms

Secure in their elevated station and preeminence, skyward realms extend a benevolent hegemony over those city-states that fall within the scope of their observance. With this clout of authority comes the responsibility of providing protection and dispensing justice: skyward realms send contingents of troops spearheaded by paragon warriors to help their client states defend against invasion, and itinerant paragon agents patrol the lands enforcing the citadel's laws.

Are they really benevolent, or do the skyward realms simply see themselves as benevolent?
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2015, 11:24:34 AM »

They definitely see it differently than the denizens of the earthbound kingdoms. Especially the part where the latter have to pay tribute to them. Even so, they're far from being outright oppressive.
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¡ɟlǝs ǝnɹʇ ǝɥʇ ´ʍopɐɥS ɯɐ I
Paragon * (Paragon Rules) * Savage Age (Wiki) * Argyrian Empire

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