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#1
I will be compiling, as best I can, biographies for the "prominent characters" of the chapter. This is defined broadly, generously under the following categories:

  • The Legates of Ephia's Well.
  • Any promoted member of a faction. Sister, Balladeer, Balesterie, Apothar, Sergeant, or Senior Scribe.
  • Leaders of any player faction that has existed longer than one month.
  • Villains who have dealt a lasting blow to Ephia's Well.

Please contribute names, screenshots, and storied deeds here in this thread, for the benefit of this anthology. In many ways, it shall be the living obituary of the setting.
#2
Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Samton Ashworth
July 07, 2024, 03:00:43 AM
Samton, my beloved... my beautiful, beautiful boy...

I still owe you, like, twelve muffins.
#3
Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Cosine Mevura
July 02, 2024, 08:53:42 PM
found these in a box

































#4
Screen Shots & Obituaries / Cosine Mevura
April 05, 2024, 01:17:23 AM
everyone's least favorite wizard

Quote from: Initial ConceptCosine is a young refugee from the Wizard Warrens. He traces his descent to a group of Lantanna technomancers who awoke within the City of Rings many generations ago and founded the Vatic Order of Mathemagicians. Unfortunately for Cosine, it is a whimsical tradition within his family to name children after mathematic concepts, and he has been bullied relentlessly over this by other children.

As a child, he witnessed the coming and going of many luminaries in Wizard Warrens. But more importantly, he has also witnessed the unspeakable tragedies that continually brought about suffering and disaster in his homeland, brought about by egomaniacal, selfish archmages whose hubris wreaked havoc upon reality itself.

He has witnessed so much suffering, so much death. It haunts him every day. It gnaws at him. All he can want is for the world to be kinder and better, so that no one else will have to endure the horrors that he has survived.



Although their names are a matter of great discomfort and embarrassment to them all, Cosine, his sister Tangent, and his brother Sine, have all enrolled as Nadiri students in Eagle Mount. The two siblings will remain NPCs that my character refers to obliquely, to flavor and color his life off-screen.

Their father, Grandmaster Hypotenuse Mevura, and several of his apprentices, sacrificed themselves ten years ago to hold back the thirsting shadows of the apocalypse, so that his family might survive. Their mother, Kyllene Konphas, died sometime in the intervening years between surviving the cataclysm and the arrival at Ephia's Well.

In addition to a notion of maths-based wizardry, Cosine emphasizes themes of magical gadgetry and clockwork mechanisms, particularly as those devices might contribute to the manipulation of time; in his heart of hearts, Cosine dearly wants to travel back to that fateful moment in the past and rescue his father from the grasp of darkness.



Cosine has an unrealized potential for great eloquence and leadership, but is burdened by crippling, unresolved trauma that manifests in shyness, anxiety, lack of self-confidence, discomfort with speaking up or showing his face, etc.

Properly cultivated by a caring mentor, he could be eventually become an extraordinary force of personality among the Astronomers.

Regardless of how far his confidence has or has not developed, Cosine is righteous by nature and will always want to do the right thing. He will always suggest fighting evil, helping those in need, and respecting the rule of law.

if you know anything about cosine, you already know that these plans went off the rails



he would shift between lawful good and lawful neutral, pulled in both directions by either acts of daring heroism, or by being complicit in war crimes of the deep state



there was that balladeer who made art of him, i guess



this was pretty cool



he converted to izdu so the priest would bless his homework





cosine's first horror mystery



the early astronomers had a lot of great scenes



so did our friendly neighbors, the early banda rossa








we don't talk about the parrot



spoiler: he laughed



they didn't laugh, though, something far worse happened here



the greatest of all inventions...



...wielded with great purpose...


...

...


cosine's early career really didn't go well



but he did his best



i do need baublium. and licenses. wanna know why? i have a dream! that one day, every wizard in this desert will control their OWN destiny! a land of the TRULY free, damn it! a citadel of ACTION, not words! ruled by STRENGTH, not committee! where the law changes to suit the individual, not the other way around! where power and justice are back where they belong: in the hands of spellcasters! where every mage is free to think, to act, for himself! fuck all these limp-dick legates and chicken-shit scribes! fuck this 24/7 bellow spew of trivia and celebrity bullshit! fuck "cinquefoil pride!" fuck asterabadi! fuck all of it! the sultanate is diseased. rotten to the core. there's no saving it. we need to pull it out by the roots! wipe the slate clean! BURN IT DOWN! and from the ashes, a new caliphate will be born. evolved, but untamed! the weak will be purged, and the strongest will thrive! free to live as they see fit, they will make ephia's well GREAT AGAIN!

soundtrack not related to the rest of this obituary



some other stuff happened, i guess



velan forever



a lot of old faces





the shade is serious business



cosine having a bad time #23662856




the shade is very serious business




the shade is very, very serious business




vergal mendista had a lot of style but don't tell estellise i said that




we don't talk about the oration slab



bad time central



cool ghost stuff



we don't talk about the polycule



boutta turn in a quest to sergeant rennik for 30 silver



in retrospect it makes a lot of sense that necromancers and brookers would refuse our benevolent protection, given that we'd have killed them anyway for being necromancers and bnrookers



that was less fine.




perhaps my favorite faction base of all time



could cosine hate any two people in this world more than mari and qari? no. no he could not.



the krak was hopping, made me happy to see.



we do not talk about the polycule



the sisterhood of the dweeb, gathered together in russian nesting doll formation



wow sergeant kinney, lord velstra let you have two adrians?



eagle's mount is so stupidly pretty



weekly saturday night showdown



cosine the world-eater



the foe returns: condottiero azimi




oppenheimer didn't do it alone




this guy flexed on cosine so hard man you don't even know



long live the king





what's that, miss oppenheimer, we need more uranium?





seems fine




forget about blood aliens, watch out for mind chickens




war



peace




meetings



destiny



selsi you seem to have gained some weight



definitely wasn't




proof of concept



it wasn't serious actually



it was fine actually



warning: qa'im may have more giant robots than pictured in this dream quest



only top healthcare for our nadiri



some meeting about how much we hate elves












what a night




the fam






tuesday afternoon exorcism




some guy




you heard it here



damn it, feo



our boy oscar



it would be so sad if you destroyed the sand gate



black ops



spoiler: it was not fine












liberation day



popular tourist destination





xon... xon, please...



epitome of the class fantasy



our faith in ibn ghalish



revolutionary techniques being invented right now




justice never sleeps, never blinks



justice rides shiny and chrome into valhalla!!!



ffs xon




fire may not solve everything, but it solves a lot of things



let us take a moment to appreciate how much bigger lynneth's statue is



bottom, 7787, colorized



completely normal assembly





plati plix, hero




normal place everyone will go to



tulpa



majestic



paranoia




vacation



confronting evil



facing death



tasting defeat






gathering strength
#5
I am taking some time for self-reflection.
#6
Suggestions / Re: Remove detect evil
March 24, 2024, 10:10:57 PM
A yellow-tinted "See Invisibility" VFX would be really cool.
#7
Per our discussion on the issue of Unauthorized Descent, here is the original form of the law put forward by Marcellus, the White-modified form, and our proposed revision of the law.

Quote from: Marcellus DraftA person found guilty of entering al-Nasr or the depths below it, without the authorization and oversight of the Astronomers of Q'tolip, has committed Unauthorized Descent.

Minor: Acquiring components for, or conspiring to commit, Unauthorized Descent.
Serious: Possessing a key for, or participating in, Unauthorized Descent.
Capital: Concealing expeditions for, or causing harm through, Unauthorized Descent.

...

Quote from: Akna DraftA person found guilty of entering al-Nasr or the depths below it, without the authorization and oversight of the Astronomers of Q'tolip, or both sitting Legates, has committed Unauthorized Descent.

Minor: Acquiring components for, or conspiring to commit, Unauthorized Descent.
Serious: Possessing a key for, or participating in, Unauthorized Descent.
Capital: Concealing expeditions for, or causing harm through, Unauthorized Descent.

...

Quote from: Cosine DraftA person found guilty of entering al-Nasr or the depths below it, without the formal authorization and personal oversight of a ranking officer of the Astronomers of Q'tolip, has committed Unauthorized Descent.

Minor: Acquiring components for, or conspiring to commit, Unauthorized Descent.
Serious: Possessing a key for, or participating in, Unauthorized Descent.
Capital: Concealing expeditions for, or causing harm through, Unauthorized Descent.

While not our only interest, this reform stands as the foremost political concern of the Astronomers, and we seek with passionate force to effect it as soon as conceivably possible. I would like to meet with the both of you, ideally the two of you together, to further discuss this topic with the both of you and address any lingering concerns you may have.

Apothar Cosine Mevura
#8
Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Xon Dhoten
March 19, 2024, 12:37:03 AM
Best God. 10/10. Would worship. Goodness personified.
#10
I reiterate my recommendation that the Ruinous Courts and their Princes are discussed as little as possible. The more that any one given person knows about the djinn, the more they will take an interest in that person; the more they "see," they more they shall be "seen." If you insist on having these descriptions, however, they should at least be made accurate. Read on at your own risk.

There are four Princely Courts, but infinitely many "pretender courts" ruled by divergent djinn who covet and seek to usurp the power of the godlike Princes. The most common pretender court encountered by the citizens of Ephia's Well are the esoteric "Salt Merchants," agents of Salt and Bone. There are proper names for each of these Courts and Princes, but to speak those names is to curse all who hear them, and to read of them is much the same for unfortunate eyes.

You seem to already hint at this in your draft, but it bears further emphasis: the names of evil must never be spoken; in particular, the name of the Wyrm, the name of the Ruinous Princes, and of any other foul thing.

Where humans are complex animals, with many primal motivations, the djinn only have one: hunger. Their sole purpose is to consume all things; all souls, all worlds, all realities. Although more powerful djinn exhibit greater intelligence, sometimes surpassing mortal genius, they cannot escape their fundamental urge to devour the universe. Everything they are, everything they do, comes back to the hunger. Their societal hierarchies and cultural trappings are little more than (increasingly sophisticated) strategies to optimize their cosmic gluttony.

The fate of all brookers is to be devoured, mind, body, and soul, by their masters. Their pacts (always, necessarily willing) forswear the protection of their Gods and forefathers. They cannot be redeemed. They must be destroyed as quickly as possible, to staunch the corruption they pour upon our world. Each brooker is a living doorway to the realms of evil that can only be closed by a prompt execution.

Djinn are in vicious conflict with each other, and in their presence you can expect their composite elements to never mix.

All djinn are dark spirits and do not need to physically manifest themselves. They can inhabit their associated elements, pass through them, control them, et cetera.

Djinn are liars. They are all deceivers, capable of mimicking the shape of anything they have eaten the name of. They hunger for names because these names give them the power to transform, to change, to imitate. They can mimic anything from treasure chests to innocuous fairies to actual humanoids. Anything could be a djinn, even the parchment you are reading right now. Commonly (but not always), there is some kind of "wrongness" or imperfection or deformity that gives the monster away.

I've known all four Princely Courts to come before the desperate, the dying, and the already dead, offering temporary salvation in exchange for eternal damnation.

I've also seen all four Princely Courts pretend, thinly, to be friendly and harmless pixies.

Of Earth and Flesh: These creatures tend to be the most "straightforward" djinn, offering sinister power or secret knowledge in exchange for servitude. They are known to have a gruesome affinity for chefs, butchers, and alchemists. "Fleshy horns" found in the wilderness are scraps of flesh djinn, intentionally left in the wilderness to tempt the feckless into djinn alchemy, which is capital brooking. The flesh djinn are often associated with a pulsing "heartbeat" in stone or clay, bizarrely deformed metal, and malformed lumps of meat and/or keratin.

Of Fire and Blood: These creatures revel in vengeance. They favor those whose hearts are blackened with hate and wrath and offer to fulfill their self-destructive malice in exchange for their souls. They most often appear as pact-driven assassins. They are often associated with disembodied music, unnaturally hot blood, and silent flames that do not crackle, snap, or pop.

Of Air and Shadow: These creatures are malicious tricksters known to compel mortals to play games with them. The rules of these games are typically unexplained and must be inferred by their mortal victim. However, because it is a game, it is possible to "win" and to "lose," and winning is usually not as bad as losing. Because of the infamous brooker, Yomar Kamarya, damning an entire moot of his people to their stomachs, it has become common for shadow djinn to wear the appearance of gnomes. They are often associated with disobedient mirrors, sussurating whispers, and crawling darkness.

Of Water and Light: These creatures are not any more "fae and mercurial" than any other djinn. That description is better assigned to shadow djinn. In reality, they are better compared to "angler fish," luring in the gullible with a display of false radiance and impersonated divinity. They have been known to deceive the zealous mortals by obliquely referring to their Prince as "the Mother," among other fraudulent suggestions that they are agents of B'aara. I have seen them lure out more than one devout inquisitor this way, into the waiting jaws of doom. They are often associated with dripping water, beguiling mist, and unwholesome glows.

Lastly,

Quote from: A COMPENDIUM TO EPHIA'S WELLSuch offer a quick and convenience way to power that has attracted many to their untimely demise,

quick and convenient*

Apothar Cosine Mevura
#11
Correspondence / Re: Letter to Cosine Mevura
March 01, 2024, 09:34:44 AM
The body of Izdu is the body of law.

Order and civilization matter.

There is no justice in destroying a city because of the moral failings of those who lead it. The get of chaos is sorrow, death, and misery, the unraveling of powerful institutions that our people need to protect them from the apocalypse.

Evil men should not hold positions of authority in our society. They should not be allowed to abuse their authority to protect other evil men. They should not be allowed to harm the innocent for selfish gain. This is an uncontroversial truth. That truth does not justify, will never justify, the doing of further evils. Given the profane company you have chosen to keep of late, I expect that you disagree with me. But men like you rarely see the forest for the trees.

The Astronomers have done much to thwart darkness, acting within the boundaries of the law, participating within the labyrinthine systems of society. We will continue to do so, whether you see the value in that or not.

Apothar Cosine Mevura
#12
Correspondence / Re: Letter to Cosine Mevura
February 28, 2024, 10:17:17 PM
P.S.

Qari is a hack. His book is full of inaccuracies and inconsistencies.

What small details are halfway factual seem to have been drawn from the situation briefs I gave during his aborted tenure as Legate, rife with shallow misunderstandings and idiosyncratic assumptions.
#13
Correspondence / Re: Letter to Cosine Mevura
February 28, 2024, 09:54:06 PM
We have been on Vico's case for weeks, to little avail, because of judicial corruption and treachery.

Azaghal is only alive right now because of that same misrule.

I am not your master. I am not the law. There will be no forthcoming retribution if you ignore our warnings. If there are to be any consequences for inaction, I expect that they will come from the demons you have invited into your parlor. As before. As again.

Quote from: Blue41 on February 28, 2024, 07:12:09 PMDo you mean you wish Azaghal expelled from the Creep...?

Of the possible solutions in front of you, this seems like the cleanest and easiest; throwing the cancers out to be someone else's, anyone else's problem.

Somehow, I suspect that you find the idea wholly unappealing.

Quote from: Blue41 on February 28, 2024, 07:12:09 PMDo you wish Azaghal delivered to your Mount...?

There would be no point in doing this.

He has already been found guilty of his crimes at trial, and further examinations would be superfluous. He cannot somehow be made "double guilty" or "triple guilty." The verdict is already in place.

It is the sentence that is problematic. Despite finding Azaghal guilty of brooking (because the overwhelming evidence allowed no other conclusion), Magistrate Qari Alriyh decided to uphold the dwarf's citizenship, releasing him on unrestrictive parole. He has been given one month to pay off his fine of 30,000 dinars and publicly scapegoat one of his employees.

As for why that little freak might have done something like this, I invite you to read one of his "anonymous" publications. You may find it a great insight into his mind. Attached below.

It defies all reason that Legate Gausim al-Marain would appoint a festering parasite like this as his Magistrate.

Quote from: Blue41 on February 28, 2024, 07:12:09 PM...for study, autopsy or some other purpose that involves learning from the corpse of another refugee...

Autopsies are not performed on living people. They are done on cadavers, for the purpose of investigating and answering medicolegal questions.

Studying the cadaver of a brooker is academically productive, but is much, much less important than defeating them.

Azaghal is not a cadaver. He is alive.

Quote from: Blue41 on February 28, 2024, 07:12:09 PMDo you wish Azaghal dead?

I am legally required to advise you against killing Azaghal. That would be murder.

He is a Voiced citizen of Ephia's Well.

Quote from: Blue41 on February 28, 2024, 07:12:09 PM... the same pressure being applied to the Legates, the government ...

The Legates of Ephia's Well have heard my advice and my opinions on these topics, much as you have. The only thing different about the "pressure" I am exerting on different leaders from different communities is that I speak to the Legates in person. Obviously, this difference exists because the last three (four?) times I personally entered the Creep, I had a challenging interaction with Big Nafan.

Ultimately, the Astronomers are only advisors in these matters.

The leaders we reach out to must decide for themselves what is best and just to do for their home.

Apothar Cosine Mevura
#14
Correspondence / Re: Letter to Cosine Mevura
February 28, 2024, 07:34:30 AM
Thousands of shadow djinn are currently tormenting citizens above and below. Most of them are invisible to your senses, hidden beyond even your sharpest efforts. But there are many that intentionally appear, sometimes as mirrors, sometimes as gnomes, sometimes as other things; their capacity to mimic shapes is beyond any easy description in writing.

You may have recently noticed that strange things have been happening in the Creep.

We are not sure what, exactly, you may be experiencing. But our instruments have detected surges of corruption following after Azaghal into your neighborhood. This is not a coincidence. This will get exponentially worse as time goes on. It will not get better until all sources of corruption in the region have been removed.

There are three primary vectors active in the region of Ephia's Well right now, and the world will not begin to heal until they are removed. In case you are somehow unaware, they are as follows:

Azaghal.

Vico.

That fucking pipe.

Apothar Cosine Mevura
#15
Correspondence / Re: Letter to Cosine Mevura
February 24, 2024, 09:11:11 AM
Imizael Volkov. Dispelled by a priest. Clawed by a ghoul. Battered by a blunt instrument. Executed by a spear. Powerful curse cast upon her not long before her death, but the curse had faded or was otherwise left incomplete by the time of her autopsy.

Other details, best left unwritten.

You have my condolences about the disfavor of the Wyld. I might recommend that you make a plea to the Wroth to adopt you as his own; his morbid sense of justice might suit your priorities better.

It's taken some doing, but we've gradually learned more about the red potion that Lucia was ruining herself with. Our first encounter with it, before we knew what it was, came about from unknown actors distributing it among the hapless refugees invited in by Ricario's folly. A few scores of them had taken shelter in a vacant property. Most of them were dead by the time the Janissaries opened the doors; the few that yet lived, dying, kept muttering again and again about a "drink" we found half-empty in their hands. Hand-dug tunnels had broken open the tiled floors and burrowed straight down, crude passages choked wall-to-wall with mindless undead monsters that used to be men, women, and children.

We have since had ample time to study specimens of the "Dretch Drink." As you've no doubt inferred already, it builds up cumulatively in the imbiber's system like the Sibylline Drink does, but the corruption is much more blatant and far more profane. Every dose rots away more of your humanity until nothing remains but a broken slave, bound forever after to whatever necromancer is behind this.

We're not sure if we can reverse the process. We are willing to try if Lucia has some regrets about her decaying organs, but it would come at no small risk to the patient.

We don't know where it's coming from. None of the guttersnipes found in possession of the Dretch Drink have been able to speak coherently on the matter. The Sibylline Priory, the House of Baharu, and the Dread Rock are obvious suspects, each unambiguously capable of brewing this blight in forceful quantity, but there's no solid evidence pointing in any of these directions. For all we truly know, it could be the madness of an obscure renegade.

Whatever your poor life choices, I doubt that you approve of how this filth has preyed upon the downtrodden.

Apothar Mevura