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#41 - THE FIRST BLIGHT, the slate is clean
Posted: Apr 2 2018, 08:42 PM
Since we've used Discord to hammer out details for the new plot as a community, this is less a post about that and more a post to point out some of the clean up I did and talk about getting the new stuff going. But first I really want to thank you guys for being so willing to step up to something new, to ditch all the old stuff and start this place with a clean slate. I know we've updated the story a few times but we've never made such a dramatic shift and I'm really glad you all were up for it. It means a lot to me that you all talked through it with me and are up for whatever the new plot brings. I appreciate those of you that just keep sticking in there with us every time we try something new. <3
Let's talk about new stuff. In the interest to starting as cleanly as possible, I tossed all the old dev forums, want ads and war table stuff. I reshuffled several old forums as well, which should be pretty obvious. I tried to write out good forum descriptions for anything new or different but of course use the #site-questions channel ask if something doesn't make sense.
Applications & Plotting
With that in mind let's start with Applications & Plotting. One of the frustrations I've always had as an admin is the confusion of the incomplete, pending, approved sections for apping new characters. Then we had a whole forest of subforums by races for complete character apps, but they just sat there doing nothing and several of the forums (like the ones for dwarves or qunari) were virtually empty. To that end, under Creation, you'll now find incomplete, pending and want ads. That means you're either working on an app (incomplete) or waiting for approval (pending). Apps will only move to pending by a mod or admin -- so for new apps all you need to do is post in incomplete and tell someone when it's ready for review.
After an app is reviewed and approved, it'll move to the new plotting forum. Now, instead of creating a whole new/separate plotting page - each character has their own and your app is right there on top for people to read. This way everyone's plotting page looks the same and serves the same purpose. No multiple characters, not hidden in the dev forums, it's easy for new people to come in and begin plotting. To further facilitate plotting -- think about commenting back on the character page for whoever came to you, and use the tags when you do so. This way everyone has the best chance of getting notified when there's plots to respond to.
We'll still allow for member forums, but I'm sticking them in their own place under Member Forums, under the Development area. These are not mandatory (not that they were before, but without them it was hard to get any plotting done) but you don't have to have one if you don't want one. They're only so you can post extra writing, mood boards, playlists, and other character ephemera that wouldn't be specific to a challenge.
So we all know the new plot is centered around the First Blight and the small time during 9:41 shortly following the conclave. I'll be keeping Honor but she and the anchor have travelled back to -307 which means solving the problems of the Inquisition will have to be put on hold. In -307 there is no breach, but people keep tumbling out of the Fade and into the Deep Roads near Cadash Thaig... so it must be connected somehow.
To that end you'll see Inquisition period boards for Haven (for those left behind), The Fade (for those who might be stuck between temporarily) and Elsewhere (for those who are about to be tossed through time and space by the breach, a rift or an eluvian). The Plot post linked at the top of the board has the basics, but I'll be adding to that for people who are playing in either time period so you have some idea of where you can start with your character.
As for those travelling to the Past you currently have three options here as well. Everyone should appear near Cadash Thaig. The Cadash Thaig has been lost from time to those in the future, histories are vague and the place is only seen once in canon. We don't know much about it other than it was apart of the great dwarven city of Orzammar before it was lost to them. Once your character has made it to the surface you also have The Imperium (of which just about everything is a part of) and The Anderfels (for those about to go a Wardening - also still part of the Imperium). In -307 Ancient, 800 TE for those in the Imperium, you're unlikely to make it much further during your stay. But attempts could be made.
I don't believe I'll need to further explain Correspondences or the AU forums, but those remain as ever, if you need them.
Alright. Down to business. Let me put out some topics for you to consider as you begin thinking about The First Blight.
First you get tossed through time and space -- you do not have to play through this happening or the moments before if you do not want. However if you do, that's cool, and if you want to get stuck in the Fade briefly, that's cool too. Eventually though everyone, EVERYONE arrives in the Deep Roads. Somehow, the Fade breach in 9:41 and the Deep Roads beneath Cadash Thaig are linked. This means if you get swallowed by the breach, sucked through a rift or chance travel through an eluvian in 9:41, you will end up somewhere below that Thaig in -307 Ancient.
This could happen alone, in pairs, or entire parties. That's up to you. Personally, I'll be looking for like A PERSON or two from near the conclave to have been sucked through with Honor when she interrupted Corypheus' ritual. Though they'll need to have been at the conclave for a reason.
Second. You'll have to fight your way through the Deep Roads to an exit into the Cadash Thaig or the surrounding area. This might mean the Thaig directly or the dwarven city of Orzammar. If you want to know why I chose this city specifically --
Third. You know no one in Cadash, Orzammar or Kal'Sharok except those who may have traveled with you. When you arrive, they may or may not know that others have entered their city and even if you do find other travelers of the breach, how do you find them or recognize them?
And don't forget. The first darkspawn tossed from the Fade almost 90 years ago were born of extremely powerful Magisters. The darkspawn you'll encounter in the Ancient days are likely going to be bigger and more powerful than anything you've fought following the Fifth Blight. And there are no Wardens (yet) to save you. [A caveat of course for those of you bringing through a Warden, no one recognizes your armor, no one knows what a Warden means and Weisshaupt is barely a gleam in someone's eye. Having been through the joining, your abilities will help you here, but again, these are darkspawn unlike those you've ever encountered. Even you are unprepared for them.]
Lastly for those of you who might want to make a Templar or any character devoted to the Chantry in some way. Andraste hasn't happened yet. No one's heard of the Exalted March and it doesn't take place for more than 200 years. Worshipping something other than the Old Gods will be strange and unless your extremely well educated, you don't know much about them either. Everyone's heard of Dumat of course, but 90 years into 'whatever this is because we don't know yet to give it a title like the Blight' some people are still VERY keen on Dumat but most people live only in fear.
I get all that but where do I start?
Cool. How to begin, a checklist:
Alright folks, thems the details on getting this new party started. If you want to hit up Honor for plots, please do. Otherwise, please use this space below in the comments for questions and other initial plotting topics.
And as always, thank you.
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Posted: Apr 3 2018, 07:24 AM
A'ight warriors. Gather 'round. Yer HoF gonna learn ya a thing.
Lesson 1) Fuck this shit. Fuck that weird green magic thing that popped outta no where just as we were about to pry open an old, dusty notebook thing we found in a warden laboratory. FFS, did ANYONE manage to grab it or were we all gaggling at the green thing? (I was gaggling at the green thing).
Lesson 2) Fuck these darkspawn. It was rude enough we got tossed into the deeproads without proper supplies. Now these m'fuckers are more magical and other fuckery? Wtf.
Lesson 3) Is this a Thaig? Do I have any dwarves with me? What the fuck do they mean they don't know what a warden is? These elves are weird too. Why do they keep asking about my vallaslin? Why does everyone want to know where from Tevinter I'm from? Bitch, I'm from the Sabrae dalish clan! ... WHAT DO YA MEAN YA DON'T KNOW WHAT A DALISH IS? HOW LONG HAVE YA LIVED IN THIS ROCK?
(OOC: I'm making an assumption, based on the Ancient Age being ACTUALLY when Arlathan was sunk to the ground and the majority of elves enslaved some 600 years ago, like -900 something Ancient, and won't be freed en masse until Andraste and Shartan... not another 200 years or some from now. That means: No Dalish clans until settling in the Dales. No vallaslin, but rather TEVINTER slave tattoos, especially around this Thaig. Feel free to debate me on these points.)
Lesson 4) ... Well, fuck. Are we in another Blight? Who's fighting this thing? Again, what do ya mean ya don't know what a Warden is? Who's gonna respond to our treaties?
Lesson 5) FML. Time to sleep and have rabid nightmares to find where the Archdemon is.
A'ight. So. It will take Nolani a VERY long time to realize she's in another time period because 1) she ain't too smart and 2) she ain't up to snuff on history that ain't either elvish or modern. You're going to have a very annoyed HoF who's gonna blunder her way through this like a rampaging rhino in the fanciest Orlesian pottery shop and doesn't have the right coin to pay for it later.
Hoping Nolani was with some other peeps in 9:41 (lookin' at you, Zev, Anders, other Wardens, random people who wanted protection from a Warden on their travels, idc).
Also, be kinda cool if she gets to keep that warden journal for a little while bc I might actually push harder for a cure???
You also get to be privy to all her disgust and hate and rage for darkspawn tiny and great, and watch her moral conflicts with the Joining, and possibly join her in finding this Dumat Archdemon, and deal with her ever worsening nightmares. c: As well as maybe a decision to save this time period or be cured. That would be cool.
ANDERS ZEVRAN ARAINAI
Posted: Apr 3 2018, 09:55 AM
To continue the trend of annoyed Wardens, Cassie will be dragged through a rift at some point, probably with NEASSA SÉVERIN, probably mid-argument. Cue landing in the Deep Roads and having even more to be annoyed about when stronger-than-they-should-be darkspawn come crawling out of the woodwork. Cassie will likely figure out something's up upon reaching the thaig, and will make it her mission to begin filling out the Warden ranks for technically the first time. While archdemon blood isn't necessary for the Joining, it's got the best success rate, so she will at some point be heading off to poke Dumat with something pointy.
She's always been a bit of a scholar, and educated herself about Warden history once she Joined. She's likely to try and use that information to predict where Dumat will be based off known historical battles of the First Blight, while also trying to use that same information to get civilians out of the line of fire if possible. She'll be relieved to find any other Wardens that have come through, with the whole 'safety in numbers' mentality what with even your bog-standard spawn being stronger than she's used to.
She's also from Tevinter initially, so landing in a time-period where they own more than half the continent will be... interesting, for lack of a better term. She'll probably end up screaming if she has to deal with her compatriots for any extended period of time.
Posted: Apr 3 2018, 11:13 AM
You think annoyed Wardens are bad? At least they have a clue.
Neassa does not. One minute she's arguing with Cassie over the price of bread (or whatever it is they argue about. p.s. it's everything and anything) and the next she's thrown back in time? What is an Ex-Seeker/Full Time Bastard supposed to do in a Pre-Chantry world but rejoice over the lack of Chantry folk. Oh yeah, there are Darkspawn here, and they are buff as fuck.
She won't figure out the time travel aspect at all, even when Cassie spells it out to her because denial is one of her most favoured states of being. It doesn't make sense. Sure, the evidence will start mounting up that Cassie isn't having her on, but it still won't make sense to her at all. Neassa at least has some preexisting experience with fighting Darkspawn and that will help her in as much as she won't be as shocked by how ugly they are and little else.
While she should count herself lucky she landed in such a time alongside a Warden, that Warden is Cassie so the straw couldn't possibly be shorter. She has no choice but to stick with her and begrudgingly aid her in her search for Dumat for as long as she is capable before either succumbing to The Taint or having some Joining Juice unceremoniously force fed to her.
I'm not opposed to her becoming a Warden at all but Neassa certainly will be, even if her life depends on it. And that's good shit right there. Until then she'll have to be a very rude cheerleader for The Wardens.
Posted: Apr 3 2018, 12:44 PM
It's very likely that Zevran was with Nolani during 9:41, if we're going off my timeline of events. (He was in Free Marches? Ferelden? at the time, but I can move him around a bit.) Honestly, I refuse to have Zev skipping off and not having any communication with the Warden if he's not romanced to them, so I'm happy to throw him into the Thaig with Nolani.
Zevran's own knowledge of elven history is limited, but I do think he'd be instantly suspicious of everything, once they start coming into contact with others. He'd also be hesitant to throw himself into...past related things, but if he's with Nolani and she gets involved, then he's going in to watch her back.
Posted: Apr 3 2018, 09:05 PM
Stupid mage is stupid. Got caught by templar (cough CARVER HAWKE cough) and then tripped into a rift and ended up in the past. Makes stupid decisions to "help" people and fucks it up. Eventually runs home to mom for help, aka NOLANI MAHARIEL. Of course any run ins are welcome. -eyes NEASSA SÉVERIN-
Posted: Apr 4 2018, 12:37 AM
Anders can run into her sword, amirite? She would have to pretend not to be impressed about that chantry he blasted off the face of the earth because damn, nice work. But then he's also possessed so...that's gross.
She might actually have to think twice about trying to kill him.
Then there are his friends who might have a problem with her murdering him, also the bigger issue of darkspawn but Neassa is a creature of habit and killing an apostate would be sososososo comforting in this time of great upheaval in her life.
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