Hello folks! I know I haven’t made a roleplay in a very, very long time, but for once I had a decent idea, so here goes nothing. It’s a bit of a beat-the-game sort of situation, with a team-building element and a Hunger Games sort of premise in a medieval world? I don’t know how to better describe it. Please don't be deterred by the lengthy explanation, I assure you it is relevant xD
I hope you enjoy!
Also, huge thanks to my sister Grace, Seb, and Daisy who helped me with this and convinced me that it was worth working on!
Welcome to the Dara Empire, a wondrous land sporting huge military prowess, the latest, most complicated technology, and a classist society where the rich oppress the poor to become even richer. The Dara Empire stretches from the Imperial Sea in the south to beyond the Great North Mountains. Very few people have actually been to the eastern edge of the Empire, but on the western edge is the kingdom of Kyro,with which the Dara Empire has been at war for over two centuries.
Life in the Dara Empire varies greatly depending on where you live. If you are part of the elite upper class, you live a life of luxury and fear in the capital city of Jeza where
everyone contests for the Emperor’s attention, going to such lengths as poison and murder to achieve their political goals. As you move out from the city into the countryside, you find that the quality of living deteriorates. The farming families who raise the food that feeds the wealthy struggle to make it through every winter. The shopkeepers and craftsmen who work from sunup to sundown for their lords know that they will never have a chance to live a better life than the one they were born to.
Nonetheless, the Empire flourishes because of trade with its neighbors. Since it is so large, it produces a little bit of everything, but the gold, amethyst, jade, and lapis-lazuli mined near Cathalla, the timber cut from the Sequo Forest and the horses and cattle raised on the Central Steppes make up the main industries. Main shipping lines run from ports in all parts of the empire, such as Korda and Gaz.
The weapons used in the Dara military mainly consist of siege weapons such as catapults, trebuchets, and siege towers. The infantry are taught to fight with swords and even though the archery units are a little lacking, they get by. The heavy cavalry utilized by the Darans is legendary and many battles have been won and lost in their charges.
Architecture in the empire is a little hard to explain. Columns were in fashion for almost a century prior but they are now falling out of style, being replaced by more military buildings with large courtyards and high walls. Castles are pretty typical for country lord’s abodes and the peasantry live in small houses built of wood or stone, depending on what is readily available.
Science is actually decently advanced. While the Darans lack things such as vacuum cleaners, smart phones, or cars, they do have some refined machinery. They have discovered a method of creating automatons with blood of liquid bronze that can move and interact like human beings, although their faces and limbs are made of metal. Some call it magic, but it’s actually just refined mechanics. They have also used such mechanical skills to use in buildings. Secret doors, weight sensored floor panels that drop you into lava, hidden rooms, and strange secret passages that seem to move on their own are commonplace among the wealthier populace.
The government in the Dara Empire bases mostly around the Emperor, a man of great and amazing wealth, power, and luck, since he is only emperor because he happened to be born as the oldest child in the Imperial family. In truth, he actually has very little to do with the ruling of his kingdom. His generals run the military, his lords run the outlying districts, and his advisors run the cities and trade routes. The emperor is merely a figurehead for the intricate runnings of the government that no sane person tries to understand.
Transportation is what would be expected; for the common people, their own two feet. For those a little wealthier, a horse might be owned. Couriers use horses to carry messages and news from one end of the empire to the other and the cavalry, as I mentioned before, is quite famous. In the Desert of Gaz, camels are more common, or smaller, lighter boned horses. Donkeys or mules are used for travel through the mountains and in the far north, dog sleds carry travelers from one remote outpost to another.
All in all, the Dara Empire is a functioning society typical of its time and place in the world. It prides itself on its many virtues and tries to hide its many faults, like all societies.
Here’s a map of the Dara Empire and its neighbors:
On the edge of the esteemed Dara Empire is a small province that is ruled by it. This province, called the Ardya Province, is estranged from the empire by a harsh stretch of desert commonly known as the Desert of Gaz and a thick mountain range. This makes Ardya Province very hard to reach, and most of its small amount of trade com es through the sea ports. The landscape of Ardya varies depending where in it you live. The mountains to the north are rocky and snow covered for many months of the year, even though the Ardya province is pretty far south. Sheep and goats are grazed in the high mountain pastures and game is hunted amongst the towering pine trees that grow there. As you move lower into the countryside, it gets greener and lusher. Crops are grown to feed the population, mostly wheat and barley for grain and a wide variety of vegetables. Spices are grown in the southern end of the Ardya Peninsula. Dates, pistachios and almonds are common exports of the far western edge of the province.
Most of the clothing worn in the province is made from the wool of the sheep grazed in the mountains, but linen and cotton are also grown and manufactured in the southern parts. These textiles are dyed in rich earth colors such as crimson, royal blue, dark green, brown, grey, magenta and deep purple with colors mixed from plants. A typical outfit would be leather boots or sandals, long, loose breeches, a thigh-length tunic over a plain shirt with a warm cloak to keep out a chill. While it is acceptable for women and girls to wear dresses, most choose not to for reasons of practicality. Clothes differ depending on the climate of a specific part of the province and they change with the seasons.
The society in Ardya is to say the least, not as classist as the rest of the Dara Empire. Those who live in the few cities do not look down upon those who work the land in the countryside and marriage in between the peasant class, the working class, and the nobility is not as frowned upon. The cities in Ardya are not large and sprawling, but tightly contained behind high walls, due to the fact that Ardya has been attacked many times in the past. The capital of Corun sits in the middle of a lush valley of farmlands. The lord that the Emperor places in charge of the province rules from here.
The Ardyans on the whole are an accepting people. They don’t get particularly hung up on customs or normalities. The mix of skin tones there is pretty diverse and no thought is given to it. The same can be said for gender and sexuality equality. The family groups are very tightly knit and most of the small towns are made up of large extended families.
While, from the description given, Ardya may seem close to a paradise, that isn’t so. It belongs to the Dara Empire. But it wasn’t always this way. About four centuries prior, Ardya was it’s own country, ruled by its own king, but the Dara Empire was expanding and the kingdom of Ardya was swept up in the tide and demoted to the rank of province.
Being a province of the Dara Empire has its downsides and its… well actually, there aren’t any upsides. The Daran soldiers keep a constant occupation in Ardya and the lords that the Emperor sends from the capital rule with an iron fist. Taxes are incredibly heavy from both the lord and the Emperor and many of the poorer families have given up their entire livelihood to pay for the distant wars that the empire is constantly fighting. Not only that, the youth of Ardya are drafted and put on board ships across the Sea of Gaz to be conscripted into the Imperial Army. Very few of them return. Both sons and daughters are taken through brutal conditions to the front lines in the north, only to have their bodies left behind on the battlefield.
The military involvement in Ardya is a horrible situation. Allegedly, the troops are stationed there to quell any rebellion, but they are actually used in enforcing cruel laws and keeping the people in a very tight line. All the major cities have a curfew of sundown and anyone who is caught outside their house after dark will recieve capital punishment. Strict limits are kept on hunting and fishing, and many families make their living by avoiding the soldiers and poaching. Even the laws in Ardya that are for everyone’s best interests, such as the typical bans on stealing and vandalism, are given capital punishment.
With these oppressions constantly on the minds of the general populace of Ardya, it’s no wonder they got fed up.
About twenty years prior to the beginning of the roleplay, the Ardyans rebelled against their Daran overlord. They set their own general in charge and took over the empire’s seat of power in Corun. Although the armies the empire sent against the Ardyans greatly outnumbered them and had the latest in weapons technology, the Ardyans were wise and wily. They used the natural barriers such as the mountains, the Desert of Gaz, and the oceans, to hold off the Daran troops.
The Ardyans had truly had enough of being ruled. They fought tooth and nail for every inch of land that they had once possessed. Even though the emperor sent his best warriors and generals to crush the Ardya Rebellion, Daran troops kept returning defeated. There were major battles at Rem and a naval disaster of unmitigated proportions outside of Laori. The siege of a tiny town called Tikirk in the mountains became legendary because it took two hundred soldiers over two years to capture the town. The empire was throwing away troops, money, and resources and making very little headway.
This is certainly not to say that the Ardyans didn’t suffer losses. Although they fought bravely, the Ardyans simply couldn’t match the imperial troops in weapons, armor, horses, siege engines, and all the other things that win wars. But they more than made up for this lacking in courage and tenacity. Ground was won on one side one day and lost the next. The armies raged back and forth across all of the Ardya Peninsula.
And so it went for eighteen years. The war was bloody and brutal and thousands were lost on both sides. The way of life in Ardya was ripped apart. The trap of armored boots and the pound of catapults became the usual sounds. But neither side could gain the edge of the other.
At last the empire realized that if they couldn’t win by force, they would have to try trickery. But luck was on their side, because the Aryans were tired of the war. When the empire proposed peace, the Ardyans were more than willing to listen. The peace talks began, and the emissaries of the empire seemed genuinely concerned for the welfare of the Ardyans. From the way it was presented, the Dara Empire was prepared to allow the Ardya Province to seeced, but they were concerned that the Ardyans were not capable of ruling themselves in a way that would be beneficial for everyone. The Darans insisted that if the Ardyans could prove that they were prepared to reinstate their own government and their people were wise, smart, and strong enough to rule themselves, they would be allowed to leave the empire without a hitch.
The Ardyans knew the Darans were lying, but they had no choice to agree. They knew they couldn’t keep back the Dara military forever and this might be their only chance to make their own lives better. And so the Freedom Trials came into being.
(Yes, after all this set up, we’ve finally gotten to the topic of this roleplay xD)
The Freedom Trials, if completed, will prove that the Ardyans are strong and wise enough to run their own country. If the Freedom Trials are failed, it will prove the opposite and the Ardyans will have no choice but to surrender to Daran control.
The Freedom Trials will be a series of fourteen tasks that thirteen Ardyan youths will have to face. Of the thirteen, each will have a role to play. The group will be selected for special traits and skills that they have acquired. It should be noted that these skills are not at all related to magic, they are based on natural ability or skills that have been trained into them. Their skills will correspond with their roles. Each member of the group will have to face an individual trial that will challenge them specifically. Unfortunately, thinking on your feet is one of the skills the empire would most like to see demonstrated, so very little information is provided about the Trials for the contestants.
You have been chosen for some ability that you were born with or you were taught. It is up to you and your twelve companions to prove that the Ardyans are worthy of being free. But the empire, you know, like all empires, desires power, and they would be loath to let even such a small, insignificant province such as Ardya out of their grasp. The scientists and generals in Jeza, the capital of the Dara Empire, where the Trials are to take place, will do everything in their power to make this sick game you have to play as impossible as can be.
And even if you do win, will they let you leave alive?
The generals who now lead the people of Ardya sent out a call looking for youths who fill the requirements of the Trials. When you heard this, you answered whole-heartedly, and journeyed to Corun to be tested. You were selected the best for your role and were told that you may continue on to represent Ardya in the Trials. You, along with twelve others, have gathered at the seaport of Laori on the east coast of Ardya to be taken by ship across the Imperial Sea and up a river to Jeza. You are just boarding a tall sailing ship called the Golden Mermaid, and you get your first glimpse at all your teammates.
Every character has a role. The role designates some of your character’s main traits, but
more importantly, it designates your characters skills and a lot of the way they might think. The roles will also specify what sort of Trial your character will have to face.
The Leader is unanimously elected to guide the group and give them coherence as a team. It is required that the Leader be personable, inspirational, strong, and they must know how to accept sacrifices and losses. There will be times when the Leader must make decisions that will endanger others in the company and they need to have the strength to choose.
[Taken for Siri]
The strategist is the hub of information of the group. They take what the others see, hear, and analyze and process it. They see the big picture for the group. The Strategist is probably smart and witty and can keep a cool head in a dangerous situation. They do not have to be confident in giving orders, but most of the directions the Leader gives should come from the Strategist. (Do not claim unless you know how to play chess!)
[Taken for Kailani]
The Linguist is the literary genius of the group. They tend to be quieter, the one in the background with their nose in a book. They are constantly making literary references. While their skills may seem useless at first, they provide incredibly helpful insight because of their well of knowledge of history. They also contribute with their sense of humor and general spouting of random facts.
[Taken for Avery]
The Peacemaker contributes to the group not with their mind or their fighting skills, but simply with their presence. Of all the group, the Peacemaker is the quietest and them most likely to go unnoticed. But their job is incredibly important. While the leader holds the crew together from the outside, the Peacemaker is the glue in between the members. They naturally help solve differences and fights between the members and they provide a comforting influence on everyone. They are likely to be seen as small or weak and in need of protecting. (Required to have at least two very close friends in the group and if possible a love interest.)
[Taken for Strummer]
From the outside, the Negotiator might look a lot like the Peacemaker, but there are some very clear differences. The Negotiator doesn’t function between the members of the group, but for them. While the Peacemaker deals in real feelings and genuine concerns, the Negotiator is far more likely to work under a facade, using trickery or lies to deceive the enemies and challenges that the group faces. The Negotiator has perfected the art of disguising their feelings to portray whatever emotion will help them the most at any given moment. They are very good at judging a social situation. (Would likely carry hidden weapons, such as small knives or a garrote)
[Taken for Birdy]
The Thief, whose name could also be the Observer or perhaps the Spy, knows how to see without being seen, how to notice without being noticed. In contrast to the Strategist, who sees the big picture, the Thief picks up the details. They are also skilled at such skills as one might assume to go with such a title, like pickpocketing, lock picking, climbing, and making fast getaways. (Probably carries small weapons)
[Taken for Manx]
The name basically describes the Swordsman’s purpose. They are skilled in most forms of combat, but especially with a sword. They are strong and fast, probably rather tall as well. They provide the brunt of the defense for the group when there is a military threat.
[Taken for Rowan]
The Archer is another member of the group with offensive talents. They are an incredibly good shot with a bow, but their skills also apply to hunting and tracking. They know a lot about nature and survival and they would be the one who always comes prepared. They have a love for higher observation places where they can safely provide long-range cover for their friends.
[Taken for Grace]
The Shieldbearer concludes the militarily talented members of the group. They are the protector of...well everyone. They use their skills with weapons, probably a spear or sword, for defensive purposes. They are very loyal and concerned with the well-being of all the members of their party. If one of the group were to sacrifice themself for the good of the others, it would be the Shieldbearer. They are by far the least violent of the militarily inclined members and they form very deep bonds with most of the people around them.
[Taken for Geeky]
Affiliated with nature and all kinds of growing things, the naturalist is deeply connected with all living beings. They are the sort of person whom animals naturally gravitate to and the Naturalist has every shade of green thumb. They seem to instinctively know how to care for plants or animals. Nonetheless, the Naturalist is not entirely a caring character; like nature, they understand that death and decay bring forth new life. They don’t form many close bonds with people, but prefer to be with plants or animals.
[Taken for Cloud]
The Artist has a set of talents that would seem completely useless in a challenge such as the one the group is facing, but they are still very necessary. They can not only draw/paint, they are an excellent musician and have a very creative mind. It is this last fact that makes the Artist so essential. They know how to think outside the box and they come up with new, unexpected ways to solve problems. They are likely to be of all the members in the group, the least sure of their own abilities.
[Taken for Ellah]
Healer is the caretaker of all the members of the group. Their skills lie in a knowledge of herbs, salves, and other forms of medicine. They can set bones, suture sword wounds, or just give you the ever useful breath mints. While they would seem like a demure, rather laid back person, they are in fact quite bossy and take their care for the party to almost extreme measures. And don’t think you can get between the Healer and their patient. The Healer would be the one to have a hidden dagger, always ready to use in a surprise attack to defend a loved one.
[Taken for Elizabeth]
The Seeker, of any of the members of the team, comes the closest to having supernatural powers. Their talents lie in the areas of traps and ambushes, but they seem to have an almost sixth sense that alert them of incoming danger or unexpected changes. They always seem to know when things are not as they seem, and this gives them the ability to react quickly to changes of plans. They are decent at fighting,but also good with their hands, having to both make and disassemble traps quickly and quietly.
[Taken for Seb]
The Mathematician is a lone wolf. They have a hard time functioning in a large group. This does nothing to dull the fact that the Mathematician is the most technically smart of the group. Their skills lie in the areas of math, science, technology, and architecture. They have incredible skills with mechanics and machines. Inventing useful objects and uncovering strange booby traps would be right up the Mathematician’s alley.
[Taken for Tessa]
NOTE: None or very little of the information in this section is actually available to your character. This is mostly for me to keep track of things and also so that you have some idea of what to expect xD
Each Trial follows a basic format: thirteen people are shoved into a room/space together with a task to complete before the time runs out and they are all killed. The task may be finding a missing item, fighting an army of automatons, or harnessing a pulley device to lift the group out of the room before the floor melts. None of the trials will be faced alone, all the surviving members of the group will be present for all the trials. The members of the group do not know what each of their individual trials will entail and they do not know in what order they will come.
Below I’ve included a map of the Trial Arena:
(Sorry it's upside down xD)
There is only one entrance and exit to the Trial Arena. The Arena is one giant circular building stretching at least ten miles from end to end. It is a set of concentric circles forming long, curving halls. The shaft cuts from the entrance to the barracks, where the team will spend each night while they are in the trials. Along the shaft are twenty-eight doors, fourteen on each side, because there are fourteen circles. All the left hand doors are entrances and the right hand doors are exits. On the first day, the team will enter the first door and walk along the curving corridor until they reach the first Trial. There they will enter by a door, which will shut and lock behind them. The only way they can get out is by completing the task in the time and opening the exit door on the opposite side of the arena, where they will have to walk back along the opposite side of the corridor and come through the first right hand door into the shaft and walk back to the barracks. While this may only take them a few minutes for the first trial, it could take several hours for the last ones. This pattern is the same for all the trials.
Going into each trial, none of the members know whose trial it's going to be, except that it won’t be any of the members whose trial has already happened. They have no idea what their own trial will involve either. I will personally PM the person whose trial it is the answer to escape, but no one else will know until the trial is finished.
Below is a list of my ideas for the trials and what they will include. It should be noted that these could be highly subject to change and a bunch of them I still have no idea for, so please if you choose a role that doesn’t have a trial yet, send me some ideas! xD
Trial #1: Negotiator’s Trial
Arena: A giant sand arena with stands filled with cheering crowds.
Task: The team is forced to fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowd. The Negotiator must find a way to appease the crowd without any of the members of the party getting killed before the opponents arrive.
Trial #2: Leader’s Trial
Arena: Identical to the barracks
Task: All except the Leader are shown illusions of their worst fears. The Leader must find out how to turn off the illusion before the illusions lead the other members over trapped sections of the floor.
Trial #3: Shieldbearer’s Trial
Arena: A cylindrical room of steel with a glass cylinder in the center and twelve wedge-shaped rooms leading off around it, all with glass walls.
Task: Each of the other members is sucked into one of the separate rooms, where the floor begins retracting, preparing to drop them into a pit several hundred feet deep. The Shieldbearer must choose one to save.
Trial #4: Naturalist’s Trial
Arena: A giant stone cave filled with strange serpents that has a chasm several hundred feet deep dividing it. The door is on the far side.
Task: Cross the chasm and get through the door on the far side before the room tilts them into the chasm.
Trial #5: Archer’s Trial
Arena: A platform in the middle of a lava waterfall.
Task: Make a nearly impossible shot over the top of the lava waterfall to hit the off switch before the lava melts the platform on which they’re standing.
Trial #6: Strategist’s Trial
Arena: A giant chess board.
Task: The Strategist has to direct the other members to move the chess pieces in a way that will win the game before it starts raining acid.
Trial #7: Healer’s Trial
Arena: A jungle.
Task: The Healer has four minutes to find a way to keep everyone alive before the chamber floods with poisonous gas. Only after gas has filled the chamber will the door open.
Trial #8: Swordsman’s Trial
Arena: A sandy arena on the edge of a giant pool at least seventy feet deep.
Task: After all the others are captured by a eighty foot tall bronze automaton, the swordsman has to fight it to open the cells in which their friends are held before the automaton drops the cells one by one into the pool.
Trial #9: Peacemaker’s Trial
Arena: A blank white room.
Task: The two people in the group who the Peacemaker loves most see the other as the person they hate most due to an illusion and immediately try to kill each other. The Peacemaker must find a way to mediate their anger.
Trial #10: Linguist's Trial
Arena: A blank room with ropes hanging down from a high ceiling.
Task: Solve the riddle to find the password that opens the door before the room is swarmed with metal spiders.
Trial #11: Thief’s Trial
Arena: A cityscape with streets and buildings.
Task: The Thief is in a crowd of one hundred living replicas of each of the members of the team. The Thief must distinguish the fakes from the real people to open the door to freedom.
Trial #12: Mathematician’s Trial
Arena: A room with walls, roof, and floors of bronze.
Task: Find the hidden mechanism to stop the walls from closing in and colliding.
Trial #13: Seeker's Trial
Arena: A normal-looking room with furniture and paintings on the walls and windows.
Task: Lead the team across the room without setting off any of the deadly traps before the door an the far side closes and they are trapped inside.
Trial #14: Artist’s Trial
Arena: An arena with a snow covered floor and plain steel walls.
Task: Uncode the invisible writing written on the walls to open the door before the dropping temperature kills everyone.
Trial #15: Team Trial
Arena: A giant obstacle course with glass doors that snap open and close, a cliff that has to be descended by a broken elevator car, giant robots, ect.
Task: Reach the end without dying. (The details of this will be worked out if we get that far!)
- I know this roleplay is super picky and structured, so I’ll be PMing you a lot about it.
- I also know that I have a personal tendency to micromanage things, so if I’m being too bossy or over demanding, please let me know, and I apologize in advance!
- I am 100% taking suggestions on everything and if you want something changed, shoot me a PM.
- You will not necessarily need to be on for other people’s trials, but you will have to be active for yours. I can work around time zones and schedules so you can go into your trial at a time that works for you.
- This is probably going to be moving pretty fast, but I’d estimate each trial will take from one to six hours to roleplay because people won’t always be on.
- This is a mostly medieval world, so no guns, smart phones, TVs, or other modern things.
- Romance is awesome, just don’t let it become all-consuming or too dramatic.
- Having strong friendships will make it way more fun, so try to keep up the social interaction.
- We’re in dangerous situations, so injuries will happen. (We’ve got to give the Healer something to do in their spare time xD)
- Be kind.
- No godmodding; we’re all equals.
- Let each person complete their own trial.
- Try to keep gore to a minimum.
- As always, follow the NMG guidelines.
- If you read all the rules, put xD in the ‘other’ of your form.
- No powerplaying.
- Make a wide variety of gendered characters. If seven forms have been filled out and they’re all girls, make a boy.
- Make detailed forms. No ‘to be RPed’
- Lastly and most importantly, I put a ton of work into this, so don’t join if you are going to go inactive/drop out. I really want this to succeed.
Here we are at last, with the form. (Delete the parentheses please!)
Appearance: (Try and keep with the worldbuilding on this, so no modern things like hoodies, watches, or dyed hair. Tattoos are fine as long they aren’t too brightly colored.)
Personality: (Please make this detailed, and if you can, have it match up with your role.)
Skills: (This mostly goes with the roles)
Equipment: (This is a BYOW (bring your own weapon xD) party, so if you think you’ll need something for the trials, be sure to put it in here. Again, follow the worldbuilding for what items your character would have.)
Friends/Significant Others among the group: (Please keep this updated!)
We’ll be starting as soon as all the spots are filled. Since the prompt is a little while before the trials actually start, we should have plenty of time to introduce our characters. I’ll try to get my form up soon!
List of Characters:
Leader/Alec du Montcere/Male/Pansexual/18/Siri
Archer/Esperanza Alodia Kairmen/Female/Omnisexual/15/Grace
Shieldbearer/Cyprian Kodya Lazure/Male/Omni/20/Geeky
Artist/Sage Arlynn Pice/Girl-flux/Pansexual/13/Ellah
Naturalist/Griffin Shadowsplitter/Demigirl/Ace Greyro/Pan/17/Cloud
Seeker/Luther Johan Raynun Kree/Male/Omnisexual/19/Seb
A lot of people are having trouble staying caught up. Try to wait to post for at least a minute after the post before you, so that things move a little slower and we can include everyone! Thanks!