Figured i'd leave this role-play that val and I made here. If it doesn't get interest now, perhaps it will later,
Sothmere is a quiet farming village right on the edge of the Korcari Wilds, a collection of forests in the country of southern Ferelden. Their soil isn't very fertile, their craftsmen are few, their growing seasons are short, and raids from the local barbarians who live in the Wilds, the Chasind, are always a threat, and rumors of a new Blight right on their doorstep has everyone on edge. No one in their right mind would live here. If not for their one and only export - Ryott, a protein-rich bread that is worth its weight in gold throughout the Ferelden. However, much of the crop is lost to raids from the Chasind. As these raids grow in scale and frequency, the local ruler decided that a fort should be built, lest he lose his most valuable resource. It was just a few weeks ago that plans for the fort had already gone underway and the villagers were notified. The local Sheriff, Milo, decided that they should have a groundbreaking festival to celebrate. If they manage to complete the fort, their ryott will be safe from future raids and the village will become very rich indeed. The festival will take place over three days, with the actual groundbreaking ceremony taking place on the final day. There will be drinking, feasting, dancing, and entertainment. You are an adventurer, drawn to Sothmere by the dangers of a blight or the excitement of the festival. However, not all will go as planned. You will be forced to become a hero. The threat will not be Chasind, or Blight animals, not even the blight-bringers and creatures of darkness, the Darkspawn. It will be something else entirely. But be warned, monsters and barbarians are not all you'll have to deal with.
Moral challenges and glorious battles abound in Dragon Age Adventures!
Class: (Warrior, Mage, Rogue)
Race: (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Qunari (See Notice A) If you chose a background restricted to a certain race, do not fill this out)
Stats: (Distribute five points among the following stats)
Background: (Optional, for those who are not familiar with the Dragon Age universe)
History: (Optional if you opted for a background)
Racial Benefits: +1 to a stat of your choice
Racial Benefits: +2 to Willpower
Racial Benefits: Chance to resist hostile magic.
Racial Benefits: +2 to Strength.
In those nations outside the Tevinter Imperium (including Ferelden), only the members of the Circle of Magi may legally practice magic. Those who defy the law are known as apostates. The Circle of Magi is supposed to find humans and elves with magical power and train them before they endanger themselves and others. All those who practice magic risk demonic possession and could turn into abominations, and there is always the risk that any mage might turn to the same forbidden arts practiced by the magisters of the Tevinter Imperium, dangerous blood magic that relies on ritual sacrifice and subverts the minds of other men. This is why there are Chantry Templars in every Circle tower, and why Templars hunt down apostates.
In ages past the use of magic was outlawed outside the Tevinter Imperium, and those who practiced it were persecuted and hunted. This only got worse with the rise of the Chantry, as the new religion spoke out against magic as corrupt and evil. Magic, of course, was also quite useful, particularly when fighting creatures like darkspawn. This led to a compromise in which mages could legally practice magic—but only under the watchful eye of the Chantry. Blood magic, the practice of the dreaded maleficar, was also strictly forbidden. During the second Blight the mages proved their worth and helped save humanity. This allowed them to gain a measure of autonomy, and thus was born the first Circle of Magi. While there are still Chantry Templars stationed in every Circle tower, it is the mages who police those with magical power. Circle mages find humans and elves with magical talent and bring them to their towers for training and supervision, and to teach them to defend themselves against demonic possession. Practicing magic outside a Circle is a capital offense.
The Avvarian hillsmen, also known as Avvars, are a rugged human people who make their homes in the Frostback Mountains. In centuries past they were one of the many barbarian tribes that lived in and around the Fereldan region. When the Alamarri clans united 400 years ago under the first king of Ferelden, the Avvars refused to join them. The hillsmen were too independent, too proud, and too stubborn to pay homage to any king. Their continued raiding into the lowlands led to many long and bitter wars, but ultimately the Avvars alone could not stand up to the united forces of Ferelden. The hillsmen were driven back into their mountain homes, but no commander dared to fight them on their home ground. Since then there has been an uneasy peace between the Avvars and Ferelden. Today the Avvarian hillsmen are largely isolated in the Frostbacks. They do trade with the dwarves and some
Avvars descend to the lowlands to work as mercenaries or adventurers. Most people in Ferelden consider the hillsmen uncivilized barbarians, while the Avvars think their old foes weak and corrupt. It is thus no great surprise that there are still sporadic raids from the Frostbacks, but the hillsmen have learned to strike quickly and retreat to their holds before they are counterattacked.
Over two millennia ago the elves and dwarves were the powers of Thedas. The elves ruled above the earth and the dwarves below it. The elves spent centuries becoming master magicians, craftsmen, and artists, and it is said they were nearly immortal. When humans first arrived in Thedas, the elves gave them aid despite what they considered impatient and rude behavior on the human’s part. The elves were shocked when diseases eases carried by the humans began killing them. They were horrified when they discovered that just being near humans shortened their lifespan and made them mortal. They attempted to shut themselves away from the rest of Thedas, but the rising Tevinter Imperium attacked them with its legions and its blood magic. The elf kingdom of Arlathan fell and the survivors spent the next 500 years as slaves of the Imperium. When freedom did come, it was all to brief. The new elf homeland, the Dales, tried to revive the lost culture of Arlathan. That included worship of the ancient elven pantheon and this the Chantry would not tolerate. It declared an Exalted March against the Dales, accusing the elves of blood magic and practicing other forbidden rites, and for a second time the elves lost their homeland. Some of the survivors became wanderers (see the Dalish Elf entry) but the rest were absorbed into the various human kingdoms. Here the so-called city elves still live as second class citizens, mostly working as servants and laborers. Few remember the culture of their heritage, fewer still can even speak elven any more, and almost none have a lifespan much longer than that of a human these days. They live in segregated sections of cities and towns known as alienages. Bitter and downtrodden, many city elves turn to crime. These rogues, all too common, only reinforce the prejudice most humans have towards city elves.
After 500 years of slavery, the elves won their freedom as part of the rebellion that broke the power ofthe Tevinter Imperium. While liberated humans and barbarians from the south took over former lands of the Imperium, the human leader Andraste gifted the elves a region of southern Orlais as a reward for their role in the rebellion. Here they established the Dales, a new elven homeland to replace the long-destroyed kingdom of Arlathan. Despite the centuries of slavery, the elves remembered much of their heritage and in the Dales their culture had a rebirth. As part of this they began to worship the ancient elven pantheon and this ultimately caused their downfall. The Chantry in the Orlesian Empire would not stand for such heresy and it declared an Exalted March against the Dales. A second elven homeland was destroyed and most of the survivors went to live in human lands and became
the city elves. The remaining leadership of the Dales would not bend a knee to the humans, however. They chose a life of exile instead. These Dalish elves are descended from some of the oldest elven families and they retain a strong sense of duty to their people. They have taken it upon themselves to preserve elven culture and lore, so that when the day comes that the elves once again have a homeland they can teach the ancient ways to their city elf brethren. Until that time the Dalish elves wander in the ornately carved wagons they call aravel. Called landships by the humans, aravel are pulled by halla, a unique breed of white stag that originated in long lost Arlathan. The Dalish elves travel in small family groups for the most part and do not stay in one place for long. Rumor has it that they have rediscovered the secrets of elven magic, but if that is true no human has seen proof of it.[/spoiler]
Ferelden, described in detail in the previous chapter, is a young nation that human barbarians founded 400 years ago. The Alamarri tribes had come to the region long before that, but they were so fractious that it took extraordinary events for them to come together to form Ferelden. Now it is a nation on the rise, hoping to build on its successes to become a great power. Nobles rule Ferelden and the craftsmen and the priests have a powerful influence upon them. The bulk of the population, however, is made up of freemen. As their name indicates, they are not slaves or serfs but free men and women. They are soldiers, shopkeepers, laborers, farmers, entertainers, hunters, and so on. The freemen are not rich but they are proud and pragmatic. In Ferelden a freeman with ambition and ability can climb the social ladder and many do just that.
In ancient times the dwarves ruled a huge underground empire. They had many cities and settlements, all connected by Deep Roads that ran far beneath the surface. Today only two dwarf cities remain: Orzammar in the Frostback Mountains and far-distant Kal Sharok. Both are waging an endless war against the darkspawn that conquered the old dwarven lands. While the two fortress-cities remain strong, dwarven numbers have been dwindling slowly for the past thousand years. For the most part Orzammer and Kal Sharok look inward. Dwarven society is rigid and caste-based and politics is notably vicious. One caste stands apart from the others though: the surface dwarves. They play a vital role but curiously other dwarves look down on them. Surface dwarves are largely merchants and middlemen, trading goods and raw materials to humans and elves. They provide ore, gems, finely-forged steel, expertly-crafted goods, and the precious mineral lyrium. Dwarf adventurers and wanderers also belong to the Surface Caste. In Orzammer and Kal Sharok dwarves of this caste rank below all others except the casteless and the criminals. It is ironic that the most famous dwarf adventurers in human lands have little standing and no prestige in their homelands.
It is fair to say that the humans of Thedas have little understanding of the qunari. To outsiders they appear a diabolic race of giants bent on conquest. It is often assumed that qunari live under a military dictatorship. This is understandable because it is the leader of the military, the Arishok, who handles diplomacy with foreign nations. The qunari do not have a dedicated group of diplomats, however. Instead they have the Beresaad, the vanguard of the qunari people. The Beresaad are soldiers first and foremost, and they view the world as such. They are trusted to go into foreign lands and deal with humans, elves, and dwarves. Sometimes these are formal diplomatic missions, but in other instances the Arishok sends the Beresaad to do intelligence work or investigate specific aspects of foreign cultures. The Beresaad always have a mission, even if its nature is not apparent.
The Qunari people follow a philosophy known as the Qun. Before they embraced it, they were a barbaric people prone to violent rages. The Qun made these barbarians into thinkers, planners, and technicians, though they also remained warriors. There are those Qunari, however, who reject the Qun. Some of them want to return to the old ways of their people, while others just want to live by their own rules. These rebels are known as vashoth, or “grey ones,” and they must leave Qunari lands before they are detected or face reeducation or punishment. Such exiles are not considered part of the Qunari people any more. In the spirit of defiance, they call themselves Tal’ Vashoth, or “true grey ones.” Many of them worship the old, animist gods of their people and see themselves as the real inheritors of their ancestors’ legacy. Tal-Vashoth live in foreign lands and get by as they can. Many work as mercenaries because their strength and skill in battle are prized. Others become raiders, pirates, smugglers, or even slavers. Roving bands of Tal-Vashoth are not uncommon in the north and they pose problems for both Qunari and human settlements.
Notice A: On the Qunari
Playing a Qunari requires a great deal of knowledge on Qunari lore. I highly advise against playing one if you are not very familiar with the Dragon Age universe.