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Volanthia Divided

Realm of Strife™ > Lore  > Campaigns > Volanthia Divided

A long term campaign for Spirit classes, exclusive to members of the patron’s Guild, set in Volanthia the City of Mages.

See the following excerpts from the Realm of Strife Patreon page for more info:

Campaign Info


Volanthia Divided

This campaign will revolve around the brewing conflict within the walls of Volanthia, the City of Mages, as internal factions cast blame for a horrendous magical accident with far reaching consequences. Not only is it going to be fantastic campaign, centered around a cast of almost exclusively Spirit-Class characters, it will also serve as the narrative background for the introduction of the volatile spirit powers into Realm of Strife canon. Meaning, any character involved will likely also become a legendary hero or infamous villain, whose story is directly tied to the release of Volatile Spirit powers.

This is your chance to make a permanent mark upon the Realm of Strife. I’ll update you all soon with a potential start date for the Volanthia Divided campaign. But don’t forget, this an exclusive perk for Journeyman patrons or higher!

Volatile Spirit Powers

One of the most exciting development priorities this year will be the addition of Volatile Spirit Powers. Think of these as off shoots of the existing schools of spirit powers, that are wild an unpredictable, heck even out right dangerous to wield. With explosive results upon critical failures AND critical casts, as well as some unique casting rules and passive effects they are sure to appeal to any player looking for an edgy and exciting new play-style.

There is a ton of work that needs to go into these, and BETA versions will likely be rolled out slowly (one school at a time) for play testing. But to tease you with one good example, the first Volatile spell powers that will be released are Frost powers. For too long Frost and Water powers have existed in the same school, heck even crowding each other out at times, when really they feel like two distinct and interesting player choices. For those that want to go full-on Hydromancer, look to see all Frost powers replaced with a complete list of Water powers in all disciplines and spell archetypes (with some fun new ocean/sea powers mixed in so that salt-water can join the party).

Meanwhile for those that love the idea of a Cryomancer, Frost powers will instead now gain their own limited spell list with a ton of extra flavor and “icing” on top. Because they are all still part of the same School, mixing the two will also likely still be an option. For the purposes of the “Laws of Magic”, Volatile Spirit Schools will still be considered part of the School from which the originate. However, depending on the continent they will often be treated as their own branch within the colleges, or as a sort of satellite college. In some cases they may even be treated as forbidden powers, leading to some great content for Renegade Mage or outlaw narratives.

For Journeyman patrons wishing to participate, the campaign will kick off with a brand new cast of characters, all adolescent spirit users (level 1 Spirit classes only), who are either en-route to Volanthia or already living there, and about to enroll into mage colleges.   Technically any spirit class will be viable, but the easiest ones to work into the narrative would be: Mage, Battlemage, and Wizard. Many Shamans, Runeweavers, and Assassins also live in Volanthia, though they would be a significant minority and would take a bit or effort to work in. Druids are pretty much non existent in Volanthia, and are excluded from this campaign.

You can find more info about each of those classes presence in Volanthia here:   https://realmofstrife.com/lore/norlanin/#Character_Classes_in_Norlanin   For more information on Volanthia itself see this page:   https://realmofstrife.com/lore/norlanin/volanthia/

Roster of Player Characters


Team Order

Arthur Hyperion

Class: Mage (Light)
Race: Human (male)
Role: Ranged Damage & CC
Title: Apprentice of VASA
Player: Journeyman Ben Greco
Hometown: Burgenmourne, Estwold, Leonen
Current Residence: Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age: 17
Backstory Read more...

Born and raised in Leonen, Arthur’s father was a Paladin High Templar in Estwold which gave his family a great reputation and were looked up to in society. Arthur enjoyed learning in school, and quickly proved to be an extremely intelligent person. He was in the top of his class at the top school at just 13 years old and was very popular among peers and even professors.

One day while researching in the library Arthur found an old untitled dusty book hidden within another book, seemingly hidden on purpose. It was the diary of the right hand man of the Archmage that initiated the Mage Rebellion. Curious, Arthur read it and was fascinated by all the new knowledge and facts that he never knew before.

Growing up his father always told him to never trust a spirit user as they brought nothing but chaos and disorder to those around them. Arthur continued to read as the library began to grow dark as night was approaching. As the librarian approached to tell him to leave, he saw the book and stood in shock, and demanded to know who Arthur was. Arthur explained he was just a student. The librarian explained he believed that the book had gone missing and explained that whoever touched it had their hands and fingers scorched as the book would glow red hot. Arthur told the librarian he must be confused as he had been reading for the past afternoon with no effect. When the librarian cautiously pinched the book to prove his suspicions, sure enough, the book glowed and smoke rose from where the librarians fingers touched as he jumped back in pain. Arthur on the other hand had no ill effect. The librarian demanded Arthur to tell him what information the book contained. Scared, Arthur ignored the librarian, and grabbed the book and fled the scene.

As Arthur continued to read the diary he discovered that the last half of the diary is blank, and he found an inscribed rune on the back cover. Arthur brought the book to a professor he trusted, who was also his mentor. The professor explained that the book was crafted with searing, and burned anyone who was not the owner. Since Arthur certainly was no Runecrafter, nor did he write the book, he claimed it was impossible. But the professor explained that the “owner” of the book must be anyone in direct bloodline of the original owner of the book.

Appalled and confused Arthur confronted his mother and demanded her to explain. His mother explained that Arthur was not actually her child, but instead adopted into their family. One day as she was out for a walk in the wilderness, she heard a baby crying from a cave that appeared to be lit quite brightly from within, but when she entered to investigate she discovered a baby swaddled in cloth but lying on the cold stone floor. But she discovered the light that lit up the room was actually emitting from the baby, and was glowing so brightly that she could barely look at him. But after picking up the baby and calming him the glow faded. Knowing there was something special about the boy she brought him back and convinced the father to keep him, but knowing his disdain for spirit she kept that a secret from him.

Arthur was unsure what to think as he not only discovered that he is in direct relation to a mage who helped start the most notorious rebellion in recent history, but he now knows he’s adopted. Soon after, Arthur fled from his home, and grabbed every book he could find on spirit and magic (specifically light) and brought them with him. He then spent the next year studying and travelling slowly growing in his ability and understanding of spirit. Eventually while experimenting in the South Calendi forest he was approached by an old man with a glimmer in his eye. The old man took Arthur under his wing and began to teach him light magic. A couple years passed and the old man became very ill. He told Arthur that it was best for him to travel to Volanthia and seek out a college there. The old man gave Arthur his blessing, and fell asleep to never wake again. Arthur packed his bags and headed to Volanthia.

So Arthur is 17 years old as he journeys to Volanthia, with only his meage belongings, the clothes on his back, and the mysterious diary. His biggest secret is his heritage, but he is also very driven to discover more about his grandfather. He also wants to become more powerful in light magic.

Valleen Waycrest

Class: Wizard (Water/Frost)
Race: Human (female)
Role: Support/Healer
Title: Apprentice of VASA
Player: Guild Master Robert Gray
Hometown: Volanthia
Current Residence: Waycrest Manor, Volanthia
Age: 16

Backstory Read more...

Valleen Waycrest is the youngest daughter of a powerful pure-blood mage family, who are among the founding members of Volanthia. Her father, Salandus Waycrest, is the Archmage of Hydromancy, and sits on the ruling council of Volanthia.

She was born into a privileged life in Volanthia but is somewhat of a black sheep, as she sees the innate powers of hydromancy in her family bloodline as a gift to be used for a higher calling, rather than the accumulation of wealth, power, and influence.

She is the first in her family to deviate from the mage colleges and has instead expressed interest in joining the idealistic ranks of the small, but growing Wizard community in Volanthia.

However noble her intentions, she still belongs to the House of Waycrest and must constantly content with the presumption that she shares the ambitions of her family name.

Dwahain “the Rock” Maui

Class: Runeweaver (Earth)
Race: Dwarf (male)
Role: Tank
Title: Brown Fox
Player: Master Chester Guieb
Hometown: Khar Vhal
Current Residence: Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age: 16
Backstory Read more...

Dwalras Maui, once a Dwarven fish trader, came to be the most renowned pit fighter in all the mountains. His fighting career began at the young age of 16, when some trash traders tried to scam him in a trade. They decided to settle their differences with their fists, and from his many years of hard labor, his manly muscles were able to subdue both the traders, leaving Dwalras the victor. All it took was one fight and a few spectators to garner a following, soon making the Maui’s fish trading business into a fighting business. Through the various trading routes of the mountains, many contenders from all over the continent were welcome to test their physical prowess within the fighting pits of the mountains. Though Dwalras did not come from a fighting background, each fight would be a learning lesson, and each a victory at that.

As the years went by, his undefeatable record made him known as “The God” among all the pit fighters.  Growing up, I was front line and center to each fighting event that my pops would be a part of, and each time was more exciting than the last. There were a select few fights in my dad’s career, that were so monumental, he would tattoo them onto his body. From the one fight where he was able to use a minotaur’s horns against him, or when he knocked out a centaur in 3 hits while riding on it’s back, I remember in my younger days pointing at a tattoo and having my pops explain it to me for my bedtime story. Though I would hear the tales over a thousand times, some I even had the honor to watch with my own eyes, just hearing my pop’s excitement while telling them brought tears to ya boys eyes, but not enough that he would think that I am soft, just one with my emotions you know?

But all legends need their legacy to continue, and that’s where ya boy comes in. I trained with my pops for years, bright early in the morning, as well as right before his fights as a warm up. Many fans saw me aspiring to become just like my old man and gave me the nickname “Demi-God”, so you knew ya boy had to represent. I was finally given the opportunity to compete in the very pit that my father founded at the same age my pops first fought (ain’t my dad a sentimental piece of man?) And as a celebratory gift, my pops said he would give me any tattoo I wish to commemorate my very first fight, and I decided to get a tattoo of him on my left shoulder, made my pops teary eyed himself (guess we both just one with our emotions).  But this fight, my very first fight, is when everything changed.

The fight initially went exactly as planned, I applied everything that my father taught me throughout all our training sessions and I was working the poor boy they called my opponent, that is, until he pulled out a dagger from his boots. I only saw a glimpse of the cold steel until it was too late, as the blade was inches from my side. But this is the crazy part, just as quickly as the blade was pulled out, my skin turned into hard rock. The blade was deflected, and I was able to turn the tides and come out victorious. It all happened so fast, and I can not really recall doing anything to make my skin change like that, all I can really remember is seeing my tattoo move, I know it sounds mad, but for real, that is all I can remember. Nevertheless, the crowd went ecstatic, and from the stands, a new nickname was given to me, The Rock (I like the ring to it, ya feel?)

Anyways, here is where we wrapped this fish up real nice. My dad was just as shocked as I was with this new discovery that I may have Spirit in my blood. But this confusion and shock soon became excitement for the both of us. My pops said that this could change everything, if I was able to harness these spirit powers, I could go much farther than the fighting pits, I would be able to carry the family name Maui across all the continent, I COULD BECOME A HERO! And with my mamma’s help, Tali Maui (I know I speak a lot about my pops, but my momma is just as bomb, we call her the brains and my pops the brawn), we learned that there is a place called Volanthia, where I would have all the resources and help I need to further my rock abilities.

And here we are, all caught up and ready to experience the journey of ya boy, Dwahain, as I set for the magical place of Volanthia. The name Maui will be known throughout all the lands!

Idril the Spiteful

Class: Mage (Celestial)
Race: High Elf (female)
Role: Damage
Title: Apprentice of VASA
Player: Journeyman Shammah Egege
Hometown: Auluan, Solastaris Refuge / Amazarene Tribe, Centauri Wilds
Current Residence: Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age: 16
Backstory Read more...

I didn’t live like any other high elven girl. I was born with the gift of magic. I lived in a wealthy home with my father (Balanidhren), my mother (Vanimon) and my younger brother (Beriothien). My father was disappointed in me at birth. He only wanted sons. As one of the Elven Lords, he was looking to raise up males that would help lead the Elven community to greatness. Unfortunately for him, I was his spawn and I have had to live with his cruelty for as long as I can remember.

My mother was a beautiful soul who supported me and gave me hope in the home that I despised. My brother was annoying, and he knew that he could get away with anything just because he was male. This type of upbringing gave birth to my hate for patriarchal figures.

Even though the other Elven mages saw the great potential in me for celestial magic, my father never gave me the support I yearned for. One faithful stormy night, on a voyage to explore the world (I don’t have a specific destination). We were attacked by foul beasts. Father and mother called them demons.

In the middle of the conflict, my father cast me and my brother out of the ship to protect us. The waves were unmerciful. I managed to find an object to stay afloat. My brother was lost, and I couldn’t find him. I can neither confirm nor deny if he is dead or alive.

If I had stayed and fought, maybe things might have been different. I ended washing ashore in a foreign land, alone and unable to survive. I was at the point of death when I was found by a group of women from a tribe of women wariors who nurtured me back to health. They educated me in their ways and fueled my hate for men. Realizing my potential to be a powerful mage, they sent me off to a celestial school.

My dream is to become the most powerful mage and have my revenge on my father. No one can get in my way. I will destroy those who oppose me and I will do whatever it takes to reach my goal. This is my mage way.

Merek Hughes

Race: Human (male)
Class: Battlemage (Celestial)
Role: Ranged Damage
Title: Apprentice of VASA
Player: Journeyman Ben Neufeld
Hometown: Carvalen, Tolgatha
Current Residence: Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age: 16
Backstory Read more…

Merek’s father, Rogan Hughes long sat as an Istari among the Magi Caste of Tolgatha. A man of true honour, Rogan became known as a polarizing figure among the wizarding community as he used his position upon the council to take a strict stance against the Tolgathan racial caste system.

It seemed like daily a new letter came to Hughes household muttering threats against the, as some put it “dwarf lover” or “greenskin sympathizer”. Despite such ugly words Merek never saw his father shake, he never saw him back down. He knew what he believed in and he would not stop until he brought about change upon this system of prejudice.

It was cold and dark when that fateful night finally came. Merek was already in bed when the guards came pouring into his home. By the time he made it down the stairs his father was already in chains.

Treason was the charge. It became known in the trial that Rogan had apparently been operating an underground refugee camp for half-orc children conceived and orphaned in the Green Skin raids. Merek could scarcely believe his ears when the judge ruled his verdict.

Rogan was sentenced to life in prison and was to be permanently disabled of his spirit power.

Merek made a decision in that moment, that no matter what the cost he would carry on his father’s work. He would devote his life to being a voice for the voiceless, a refuge for the weak. As long as there is strength in his bones he will fight to break the chains of oppression.

Having lost all trust in the Tolgathan Magi Cast he makes his way to Volanthia knowing there he will find training for goals that lie ahead

Team Chaos

Woggugat the Misshapen

Race: Orc (male)
Class: Runeweaver (Dark/Shadow)
Role: Tank
Title: Novice of VASA
Player: Journeyman Braeden Robak
Hometown: The Darklands / Circus freak show travelling throughout Leonen
Current Residence:
Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age:
Backstory Read more…

Woggugat was born to a small superstitious village of orcs, with ashen grey skin and malformed head and facial features he was considered bad luck and bad omen and was shunned by all in the village.

After years of torment and seclusion Woggugat found “freedom” in an unlikely fashion, by being sold to a travelling Freakshow/Circus to become the newest attraction as well as tend to the various creatures in the circus

In an attempt to make Woggugat even more of a freak, the circus handlers gave him a crude tattoo on his face, however unbeknownst to them, this unlocked a latent potential within Woggugat for dark spirit powers.

As he grew into adolescence, his dark spirit power grew with him to the point of becoming unstable. Fearing the chaos and destruction presented by their once prized attraction the owners of the travelling circus sent him away.

Now, still dressed in motley and looking the fool, Woggugat travels to Volanthia with his pet hawk and rat in the hopes of finding a home in the mage colleges

Marimas Bilberry

Race: Halfling
Class: Mage (Fire)
Role: Damage
Title: Apprentice of VASA
Player: Journeyman Daniel King
Hometown: Tolmy, Tindermoot
Current Residence: Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age: 14

BackstoryRead more…

Excerpts from the personal journal of Marimas Bilberry

Growing up in Tolmy was really nice, thinking back on it. It was quiet. Sweet. Calming even. I know I wasn’t much good on the farm, Nan used to always say “Mari, you’re a bright lad, ment for somthin’ more than working a field or herdin’ animals all day. You gotta put your head to work!”

Maybe that’s why It didn’t bother me much when we lost our home.

First when the dragons came, we had to move into town, but then those knights from Leonen showed up and did more damage than the dragons! Can you believe that.

Oh it makes my blood boil just thinking of those guys! How could you do so much damage to a small town like that and still ask for support. To put us through so much, and then!…

After the end of the war with the dragons, my family decided to go to Elutheria, a new city and refuge from the war. I guess it was built by some guild, call themselves “Heroes. I don’t know about that, I never saw them, but I did hear people talking about another faction in the war. Sounded like a bunch of random fighters at the time.

Anyways, when we got there it was pretty crazy, I mean a few months before then, the only people I knew of were halflings like me, then the humans from Leonen, but the’re not much different from us, just taller, really.

To see a Minotaur, covered in ice magic. An Orc with a pet raptor. I could tell these people were dangerous, and if I had any money I would bet these people had to be the real cause for the dragons to finally leave the Tindermoot.

The refugee settlement was not so bad, tents outside the city seemed safer and cleaner than living in a burnt down building, plus having the protection of the guilds. Pop, even decided to join the carpenter’s guild, building homes and buildings for our new city. It really made me think about what I wanted to do with my life. I actually heard someone say the Mage Pippindulla was taking students to train in Magic!

Magic had to be it. It was so powerful and versatile, a strength of the mind, not the body. Living in Elutheria, I saw more than a few magic users from the Heroes guild. These people had to be pretty amazing to survive a war with dragons! I even heard they bested the Leonen knights in a few encounters, and they hate Magic! If I could learn that power even just to teach those people a lesson.

I went to see Pippy about joining as an apprentice, but she said I was too quick to anger and too keen on revenge.

I didn’t want revenge, I just want those knights to learn, they can’t take our land and destroy our homes without a reaction. To do what they did, and not get burnt.

After that I didn’t know what to do, to be rejected from the thing you know in your gut, that you need to do. Magic. It had to be the answer, but how? And then like the hand of fate was reaching out to me, I overheard a merchant talking about his travels and wares, when he said he came from “Volanthia, the city of mages” that Magic permeates through every building and street sign, even the stones are magical. I knew that had to be the place.

He said he would be heading that way again, and that I could join him if I help on the road and earn my keep.

Before then I had never left the Tindermoot, before the war, I never even left my town. Now to go to a far off city in the north to learn a power I don’t understand, with people I don’t know and create a life I never thought was possible. I was scared. I still knew there was something inside me that had to do it though, like a fire, it started with a spark, and started to grow. Flickering a few times, but it ever grew stronger and hotter every step I took.

The merchant was helpful too. He taught me how to cook a decent meal and how to find food if I didn’t have any (which came in handy a few times).  He even let me read a few old books he had for sale in the cart.

But the highlights have to be the amazing places we visited, Centauri City was wild. So many Centaurs! And the Merchant made some great trades. Khar Doldra and the Highways through the mountains were incredible, the architecture and designs, truly a marvel. Even the cities of Tolgatha were exciting, though it seemed a much harsher place to live.

Tomorrow we will be arriving in Volanthia. I am saddened to leave the traveling life behind, but This is what I set out to do. To join the college, even if master Pippi refused to teach me, I’ll learn some how. Even if they won’t each me there, I need to. I won’t let anyone stop me now.

As he slowly lets sleep take over him, on the side of the road. The Merchant having lost consciousness more than an hour ago, Marimas Bilberry wonders what type of magic he will choose, what school he will dedicate his every waking thought on, in his pursuit of power. As his mind wains and gives in to sleep, his eyes remain mesmerized by the camp fire. And as he finally succumbs to sleep, the fire cracks and sparks fill the air.

Rae’thulidhan Khamaneas’tratath (Rae’thu)

Race: High Elf (male)
Class: Wizard (Air/Storm)
Role: Support/Healer
Title: Apprentice of VASA
Player: Journeyman Mitchell Toth
Hometown: Auluan, Solastaris Refuge
Current Residence: Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age:

Backstory Read more…

Tonight was only the fourth night that Rae’thulidhan Khamaneas’tratath briskly walked home along the streets of Auluan from the Kiritsu Temple, in an attempt to keep up with his father’s long strides. Rae’thu leaned kept close to his father’s body as to avoid the light spattering of rain from above. Although close in relationship, this father and son are very different elves. Born in different times into different lands. A father; a refugee to the Solastaris Refuge. The other, a son; born into the thriving High Elven culture of that was the foundation of then city of Auluan. The father, Shal’nastra, who’s identity has always been found within the inner sanctum of the Temple of Order. And a son, Rae’thulidhan, at the dawn of discovering his place in this world, taken under the wing of his father as a newly recruited Proselyte.

“What was the temple like in the Old Land, father?” “Rae’thu, how many times do I need to remind you?” Shal’nastra replied with a twinkle in his eye, “Us refugees do not talk about the Old Land. We have all sworn our secrecy to the Shogun.”

Shal’nastra was one of the youngest to be named a Vested Priest in the recent history of the High Elves, and arrived in Solastaris as one. For over 50 years he has served in the temple in the same position, directly under the wisdom of F?lindar the Temple Priest, who has survived and fruitfully performed his role.

“Your curiosity will best you some day if you are not careful. This is the way of Kiritsu. We aren’t only called to guard the mother, the child, and the defenseless. We are to be as vigilant to guard our minds.” Shal’nastra gripped the hilt of the sword on his belt, as Rae’thu had seen him do so many times before.

Shal’nastra’s father had carried the curved mirrored sword before him, and his father’s father before that. Shal’nastra swore to him to wear it at all times in the name of Kiritsu; to protect the weak from physical and magical threats alike. “It was blessed and redeemed within the Temple,” he once told Rae’thu. “Only twice within my hands has it seen blood,” Shal’nastra continued, “once against a deranged home intruder while you were yet inside your mother, and once against a temple attacker. Both times it defended nobly.” Rae’thu had heard the stories many times while his father sat at his bedside. So often, in fact, that at times he questioned whether those events had actually happened, or if his father was simply trying to convey a profound truth: family and the faith are the two things most worthy of defending. Rae’thu was reminded of this truth once more as he watched his father grip the sword.

Upon returning home, the two were greeted by a pair of faces wearing excited expressions.

“Mother!” Rae’thu exclaimed as he ran into the arms of Gaia’l Adra Ishnael. The two of them had missed each other terribly since Rae’thu began his duties at the Temple. Gaia’l pulled him in tight and planted a firm kiss on his cheek. Rae’thu, then noticing his uncle just inside, broke free from his mother’s firm hold. Running up to hug his uncle, Rae’thu was interrupted by the stern look presented by him. Stopping just a few feet away, pressing his palms together and hinging at the hips, Rae’thu bowed deep before his uncle in respect. His uncle emulated the greeting before a wide grin stretched across his face as he crouched down to accept Rae’thu into his arms. “This, this is the greeting of honour! You remembered.”

“Now, now, Yr’ishar,” Shal’nastra says, cutting in: “he has only begun the journey into Priesthood yet a few days ago. Do no go stealing him from me already. You may have abandoned the path of our lineage, but I plan on having my son carry it on. Some day you can have your own child to train in the ways of wizard.” This family had always been strong in the faith. Besides Yr’ishar, whose training had taken him elsewhere. Rae’thu had never been so bold to ask why he chose a different path than that of Priesthood.

Shal’nastra often did one extra shift at the Temple late at night after the four of them had eaten and Rae’thu had gone to bed. Rae’thu was proud of his father’s dedication, but he especially enjoyed the nights when father would stay home. Often there was extra drink at dinner and Rae’thu would fall asleep to the sounds of laughter coming from the kitchen. Every once in a while he would wake from his slumber and hear mumbles of the Old Land. Carefully, he would sneak past his bedroom door to hear clearer, but every time, no matter how quiet he was, the mumbles always ceased.

During his long days at the temple, Rae’thu’s father always had final duties to complete after his own were finished. So after the other Proselyte’s had left, he found himself taking on extra duties, just as his father had once done in the Old Land. Once had he met F?lindar, the Temple Priest, who seemed impressed with his dedication after hours. “Most boys would leave the Temple and explore the streets in waiting for their father. But you are much different, aren’t you? Perhaps some day you will be named a Vested Priest at even a younger age than your father was.” This made Rae’thu blush.

The young group of Proselytes were always chattering and whispering rumours. Rae’thu did his best to pay them no mind, for he believed that mental order and discipline was the path of Kiritsu. If he wanted to make Vested Priest, or even Temple Priest some day, he would have to stay steady. There was one rumour, however, that Rae’thu could not help but be curious of. A room that remained locked at all times, one of the only rooms that the Proselytes were not allowed to clean. The boys call it the Room of Secrets, believing that the door holds guard to a library of written histories from the Old Lands. So, every night during his extra duties, Rae’thu made note to walk by this door and see if someone had mistakenly left it ajar. He never had such luck.

After a few weeks of their journey to and from the Temple, conversation between father and son started to become more candid, shying away from simple banter of the duties performed that day.

“Have you yet met Cal’aman?” Shal’nastra asked as they walked together, hand casually on his sword hilt. “He is a newly appointed Vested Priest, and F?lindar has shown particular interest in him as of late. He is young and without family. He serves so often in the Temple that he practically sleeps there. He is a fine Priest, but he leaves me worried.”

“Why does he worry you, father? Was it something he said?” Rae’thu replied, afraid that Cal’aman may have witnessed one of his evening excursions to the locked door.

“No, it’s nothing of that matter. It’s just… F?lindar is growing ill. He is a very old elf, as I’m sure you can tell. I am afraid it is soon time for him to appoint his successor. This is something I have been waiting for since the Old Lands, you know that. Yet he seems charmed by Cal’aman’s unrelenting service to the Temple.”

“But you are there too, father. You are there every day and you return most nights. Surely, F?lindar has not forgotten you.”

“I hope you are right, my son.”

Some time passed, and Rae’thu started to take notice of F?lindar’s interest in this other Vested Priest. Although his duties were becoming monotonous and he felt more and more distant from the other Proselytes, Rae’thu continued to serve faithfully in hopes that his own dedication would reflect more positively on his father. He also took notice of the Temple Priest’s growing illness. F?lindar performed physical duties less and less, wincing greatly if he did any partook in any mildly demanding tasks. There was once that Rae’thu even heard the man’s cry of pain echo down the corridor where Rae’thu was scrubbing the floor.

One night, it was storming particularly hard outside. The light from forked flashes frequented the hallways and the high winds whistled past the rooftops. During his typical rounds of extra duties, Rae’thu couldn’t believe what he saw: the door that normally stood as a sentry between him and the secrets of the Old Land was cracked open. Fighting his excitement, Rae’thu paused to listen for any noises coming from inside the room before entering. The nearly constant thunder was the only noise present.

Pushing the heavy door aside, a large room began to reveal itself as Rae’thu’s eyes adjusted to the dimness. On one side, a fireplace housed coals that were barely still orange with heat, providing the only light. Two large, vacant chairs sat in front of fireplace, casting long shadows across the floor. Standing opposite, a long desk with a large wing back chair, covered in unlit candles. Rae’thu’s eyes grew wide as they fell on the adjacent bookshelf, first hidden from his sight due to the dim lighting. Carefully making his way across the room, he began inspecting the books on the shelf. They were leather bound, well used, and lacked any markings on the spines. However, the shelf itself bore numerical markings: these books were organized by the year that they were penned. The associated dates confirmed the Proselyte’s whispers: these were from the Old Land.

Suddenly, Rae’thu heard footsteps approaching the door, paired with hushed voices. He bound toward the corner of the room and hid under the desk and behind the large wing-back chair. In walked F?lindar, followed by his father. Shal’nastra closed the door behind him.

“You must name me. You know how long I have waited for this.”

“I know you better than most, you have been under my eye for many years. Lately I have watched you in secret. You are not the man you used to be, your piety has waned. You and I both know this. “ “My business is none of your concern. If I hadn’t been serving so faithfully in this temple for so many years, I wouldn’t need to run such a practice.”

“Then why continue with this at all? Why do you still want to take my place?”

“I have dedicated my life to this great Temple. In that time, I have witnessed the influence that comes from your position. This is what I have grown to desire most.”

“Well then, you confirm my suspicions. This is exactly why I am to appoint Cal’aman upon the morrow. He lives a life consistent with his faith.”

“Well then, you have given me no choice,” Shal’nastra said as he drew his sword from his sheath, pointing it toward the Temple Priest. The mirrored curved blade glistening in the candle light, the sharp tip resting on F?lindar’s throat, drawing a small stream of blood.

“Your blade does not speak. What is the meaning of this?”

“I offer you a mercy,” Shal’nastra stated as he produces a vial from inside his tunic, extending it towards the priest. “Drink this and your death with be quick and painless. Much unlike if you let this sickness continue to ravage your body.”

Reluctantly, F?lindar accepted the vial. “For all that is sacred, please don’t make me do this.” Shal’nastra’s only response was to add more pressure with his blade.

“You have been called to bless and protect.” F?lindar replied in a pained voice. “I suspected you had strayed from the path, but now I realize you have become anti-Kiritsu altogether. May you be stricken down.” The Temple Priest then drank the vial in one quick swallow. Handing the vial back to Shal’nastra, F?lindar gripped the blade with what strength was left in him, leaning in to the point. As his eyes rolled back in his head, the shell of his being collapsing to the ground.

Shal’nastra panicked, not foreseeing this tactic. Any hint of foul play would not bode well for the Council’s vote of succession. He stumbled toward the bookshelf, picking a book at random, and tore a few pages from the middle. Using the pages, he applied pressure to the small wound on the F?lindar’s neck, and working tactfully, wiped the blood from the slash in the priest’s hand. After making sure both F?lindar’s wounds and the stone floor were free of blood, he tossed the bloody pages onto the coals, slightly illuminating the room as the pages grew into orange flames. Shal’nastra then carefully began to carry the body in the direction of Rae’thu, still unaware of his son’s presence. Rae’thu nervously pressed his body towards the wall as Shal’nastra pulled out the wing backed chair, posing the corpse in front of the desk before pushing the chair back in. Picking up his blade from the ground, he quietly sheathed it in his leather scabbard. After scanning the room once more for any remaining evidence, he then swiftly exited.

Knowing that his father would be looking for him performing his daily extra duties, Rae’thu left the room in a hurry, painfully leaving behind all of that precious, secretive information behind. However, on his way out, something caught his eye: one of the pages tossed onto the coals had not been fully consumed. Picking up the charred and bloodstained scrap, Rae’thu pocketed it before exiting the door quietly. Turning the corner, he ran back to resume his duties to avoid suspicion. Shortly thereafter, Shal’nastra found him scrubbing the floor, and the two returned home in usual fashion. Shal’nastra was very good at acting natural, though Rae’thu now realized he had much practice at that.

That night Rae’thu laid awake in bed as his father left once again. The house, void of evening laughter, seemed emptier now than ever as the vague truth of his father’s nightly duties was revealed. His mind replayed the events he had witnessed, and wandered in questions. Had his mother, so disconnected from his father’s Temple life, seen his father’s hidden character? Had his uncle seen this corruption within the faith? Is that what caused him to depart from that path? How could he continue to serve under higher priests who were potentially also abusing their position for power? Had the mirrored blade truly only been used to protect since it’s arrival in Solastaris? These disturbing questions kept Rae’thu awake until his father’s arrival home. Given all that time to think, Rae’thu had reached his decision.

Once Shal’nastra finally succumbed to slumber, Rae’thu got out of bed. Swiftly, he packed a small bag of essentials and dressed in his warmest garments. He draped his temple robe across his bed, took out the charred, bloodstained page from his pocket, and tore it in half. Placing one half on top of his temple robe, he placed the other half back into his pocket. That left him with only one more piece of business to take care of. Sneaking very quietly down the corridor, he slipped into his parents room. He found a pile of coins within a leather pouch laying atop his father’s garments. Rae’thu had never before questioned where the coin had come from. He pocketed it. Rae’thu then spotted the purpose for the dangerous detour: laying across the top of his fathers wardrobe was the mirrored blade in its leather scabbard. He told himself he could not let it be defiled again.

What is a belief in faith without the presence of honour? What is the Temple of Order if it breeds such chaos? And what is a secret so worth keeping that it creates such a distance between two generations?

Rae’thu gathered his belongings and strapped the leather scabbard around his waist. Carefully closing the door behind him, he stepped out into the dark streets of Auluan. He shielded his eyes as a gust of wind spat dust at his face, and then he turned to face the world before him. A world suddenly so void of direction. A sharp pang of unrest surged through him as he realized he did not have a destination, he just knew he could not remain here. Lightning struck on the horizon off to his right, followed by the low rumble of thunder. With that, Rae’thu began his journey towards the eastern gate.

Farranak Firefist

Race: Minotaur
Class: Shaman (Fire)
Role: Melee Damage
Title: Novice of VASA
Player: Journeyman Travis Broadhead
Hometown: un-named Village in Minocea
Current Residence:  Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age: 17

Backstory Read more…

Growing up in a small village in the middle of a forest isn’t exactly where you would look for a future king, but yet it is where Farranak Firefist was born: underneath the stars on a brisk cold night. Ironic that the rest of his life up to this point was the exact opposite of anything cold.

The name Firefist was added onto his name at a very young age when he was running through the forest and encountered his first elemental. Knowing only what he had seen his father and grandfather do, he started a gentle conversation, giving respect and honour in the presence of such raw, untamed power.

Though, even at the age of 6, Farranak knew what he wanted. Fire. He saw his dad do incredible things with it, he witnessed his grandfather take on a pack of wolves single-handed, without a weapon in hand, as he almost gracefully burned each wolf to its skin before charging at it and ripping it’s two front limbs clean off.

So he asked respectfully, humbly at first. When the elemental laughed at him and told him he was too young, THAT is when everything changed. A quick as a a small ember could start a raging forest fire was the speed at which Farranak charged and tackled the elemental into submission. Pure rage. The elemental was completely caught off guard and was left with no choice. Farranak officially had fire. The name FireFist was added when he walked back into camp with his hands still ablaze, unknowingly. And with a sparkle in his eye, his father greeted him with great joy.

But, when the celebrations ceased, the wind was still and the sky was clear; everything seemed a bit off. Everyone sensed it. There was energy coming their way that could not be denied. It didn’t seem to be hostile, nor did it seem friendly though.

All of a sudden, in the very middle of the small village, the largest, hottest, most terrifying Fire Elemental rose up from the ground with a shattering call.

Every Shaman in the village came forth, bowing in reverence, seemingly at the will of this great being. There was a debt needing settlement.

It demanded to know who forcibly took knowledge that day. There had been an understanding for generations between these elementals and Shamans that respect was always at the core of their relationship, and in the view of this great element, it had been violated.

Trembling in fear, Farranak was about to move forward when he hear the two most horrific words He’d ever hear in his life: “I did.”

The words did not fall from his mouth though. It was from his grandfather. The great hero. The leader of the village. The one who always had answers. And even just being all of the age of 6, Farranak FireFist could tell that this situation was getting out of hand.

His grandfather, Kanarraf Firefist, walked up to the element and starred it down. They seemed to know each other. They seemed to have some sort of understanding with one another that something needed to be done. Then, in a moment, Kanarraf made eye contact with Farranak and an image, a scene, a story, was burned into his mind: he was to rule, he would be a king, he would lead nations together, he would .. find him?

And just like that, in a blazing fury, the elemental and his grandfather were gone. All that remained was his trusted Grand-scepter: which would not touch the ground, it hovered with a flame below it, though it didn’t burn the ground.

A Shaman went out to grab the scepter, only to be blasted away. Shaman after Shaman attempted in various ways to get control of this weapon, only to fail again and again.

Not knowing how to proceed, everyone went back to their own places and mourned the loss of a legend, a friend, a father. Farranak, filled with grief and shame, ran into the woods, screaming at the stars that he was all too familiar with, wondering where to go next, wondering how life would continue on in the same way. It was when he finally reached his safe haven, his place of peace, that when he looked into the clear, dark pool that he realized he was not alone.

The Grand-scepter had followed him the entire way. He stood completely still for a long time, staring at it, trying to figure out what exactly was going on. He attempted to move farther away, but the Grand-scepter got closer instead. But it all seemed to become clear:

All of a sudden, fire began to shoot out of the weapon and swirled all around Farranak, lifting him up in the air and tossing him around. It was like fireworks going off in a small room: complete and utter chaos. He was thrashed around, twisted and turned, and the fire was as hot inside of him and it was outside of him. That’s when he crashed to the ground, but he landed, on all fours. He panicked for a second, wondering if this was just a terribly bad dream or if he was living in reality. When he came to his senses, he heard the faint, but very real voice of his grandfather saying:

“You’re firefist now.”

He looked in his hand and saw himself wielding the Grand-scepter. The very weapon no one else could wield. He really was chosen for something greater than he could have imagined. Yet no one in his tiny village would see that, they wouldn’t understand. So he made a choice to seek out someone who would be able to teach him more about fire, about the elements, about it all. He knew there was a reason.

So at the age of 6, he went out on his own, his only friends being the stars in the sky.

There is much pain that brought him to where he is today, 11 years later. Those stories may never be told in person, but may be best understood by the scars on his back. He is Farranak Firefist. I am Farranak FireFist, and nothing will stand in the way of what I am meant to become.

Team Balance

Hadrian the Common

Class: Battlemage (Common Arcane/Mana)
Race: Human (male)
Role: tank/utility
Title: Novice of VASA
Player: Journeyman Gabriel Greco
Hometown:
Current Residence: Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age: 15

Backstory Read more…

Hadrian’s father is named Marcus Aelionus. He is a tall man with dark hair and bright blue eyes. He is eternally optimistic and believes firmly that the measure of a man is not in his blood, but how he uses what is in their hands. Marcus is married to Tabitha, the daughter of a leather merchant. She has a fairly plain appearance with dirty blonde hair and green eyes. But for what she lacks in appearance she makes up for with her razor sharp wit. Together they have three children; Hadrian, their oldest child at 14 who is apprenticing with his father, Samuel the middle child at 7 who has aspirations to become a scholar, and Ariana the youngest child at 5 who wishes to become a dragon when she grows up.

Marcus owned his own shop in Ostalia in the Hegemonic state of Eastmach, where he worked as a Jeweler. However to say he was just a jeweler would be an insult to his ability. He was much sought after by many of the upper class for his skill in cutting gems. If someone had a large uncut gem it was common knowledge that Marcus of Ostalia was the best person to cut it. Many of his clients would bring in existing pieces of jewelry for him to adjust because he would cut them in such a way that they shined and glittered even brighter than before, and curiously they even appeared to look larger. He quickly garnered the title “Marcus the Brilliant” due to his skill. However, he is an ambitious man, and while that is a good trait for a merchant to have, it is not always appreciated in Tolgatha.

Several years ago Marcus started to focus a majority of his work targeting the Magi Caste in an attempt to raise the standing of his house. In the beginning it seemed to be working well. Mages and Wizards were traveling from all over just to have him craft and adjust jewelry and crystal objects for them. As his business and renown grew he was able to move his family into a larger house. He hired servants to help run his household, and was able to put a substantial amount of money to his sons education and his newborn daughters dowry. He then attempted to join the social circles of his clients; which would become his undoing. Marcus had assumed that his ability, fame, and wealth would be enough to raise his family out of the merchant caste, but those above him look at blood and blood alone. Marcus was born the son of a merchant so he is to die a merchant as well.

Word began to spread of an upstart jeweler that had no respect for those with magical abilities. In fact he believed himself to be better than those who controlled the very elements of the Ten Realms. Who did this common merchant think he was? As these rumors and many other began to spread, his steady stream of clients began to slow to a trickle and then cease altogether. As his clients began to leave Marcus gained a newer, more cruel title. Marcus the Common.
In order to save what little credibility he could, Marcus moved his family to Anghorma in the lesser state of Drakenlund. His family home is no longer a large manor with a well kept garden, but now a small flat above his shop. They have no servants, and his wife Tabitha has to work odd jobs in order to help make ends meet. Marcus is no fool though. The money he saved for his children has been left untouched. While Marcus the Common will die a merchant, he still dreams that his children will rise from their meager position.
Hadiran did not take his fathers treatment well. He would lash out at any child or adult who would make even the slightest of comments about his family. This earned him a great deal of bumps and bruises. Chad, the child of a mage that is quite outspoken about his disdain for Marcus, had recently discovered his affinity for fire magic. He had been training with his father and had been progressing quite quickly. However running through the same breathing exercises and hand motions were beginning to bore Chad. He wanted to use his magic in a more… exciting way. And what better way than to pick yet another fight with Hadrian. Hadrian took the bait quite easily, as usual. But he wasn’t expecting Chad to cast a Flame Lance at him. As the fire leapt toward him, something snapped in Hadrian and a ten foot orb of glistening purple energy burst out of him and nullified the flame lance that was mere inches away from his face. Shocked, Chad ran away, but Hadrian stood a bit taller as he realized what he had done. He had cast a spell. Which means that magic runs in his blood. Unlike his father, Hadrian would be able to leave his caste and join a higher one. But like his father he believes that the measure of a man is not in his blood, but how he uses what is in their hands.

Hadrian took his father’s title of Common as his own. The title common is an insult to his family name, but Hadrian has decided that he is going to flip it upside down. If his family is going to be known as “Common” it wouldn’t be because of his father’s mistakes, it would be because Hadrian is the greatest Common mage of all time. Hadrian is going to redeem his family name or burn all of Tolgatha down trying.

Shariekk of the Zilfari

Class: Assassin (Wild)
Race: Kayden
Role: Damage
Title: Assassin Recruit of VASA
Player: Journeyman Lucas Dorozio
Hometown: Kazan
Current Residence: Volanthian Academy of the Spiritual Arts
Age: 13

Backstory Read more…

The only information that the Zilfari Roost seems to know about Shariekks’ youth is that his parents where both assassinated while he was very young. He was raised in seclusion, his roost being in a small alcove of trees along the shore. Every once in a while you would hear a tale from a fisherman or hunter seeing a young pale Kayden close to the shoreline that seemed to vanish into thin air.

Then the trials began. The Kayden of the Zilfari roost are not recognized until they pass a set of trials and challenges set between the young. Six new kayden where gathered with great anticipation to show their strength and cunning. Then all who where gathered had a chilling shiver shoot down their spine. They in unison turned to look as a pale skinned body on black wings swooped in among the youngsters. A little silence, then a chorus of laughter as the thin bodied, almost dead looking Shariekk presented himself for the trials.

In the days leading up the final trial, the participants mocked him continually. He showed no great strength or agility, seemed clumsy and was at no point able to keep up with any of the others in the different challenges.

The final trial this year was simple, in the middle of a forest was a nest with two onyx stone that would be protected by other Kayden observers. Get a stone to the Overseer, and the ritual is complete. What the observers didn’t expect was for Shariekk to return with both stones only hours after they had been released to begin.

In all the commotion of the great upset, Shariekk seemingly faded into the background and returned to his roost where he was greeted by another shadowy figure. “Task complete. Now the real test is about to begin. Volanthia awaits us.”

The Story Thus Far


Prologue: Slavers at the Gates

Act I – Adventures at VASA

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Spiritual Arts

Chapter 2: The River of Life

Chapter 3: The Spice Merchant

Chapter 4: Tin Soldiers (coming soon…)