The World of Imarel RPG is an ongoing Fantasy Role Playing Game on the IRC network Dark Myst. Created by T.A. Saunders in the 90's, it was originally an America Online Dungeons & Dragons game that made it to IRC on Sorcery. After a few years on there, it came to Dark Myst where it now lives happily. HAPPILY WE SAY. The world is being created as the players play, giving a unique chance for players to see the world as it unfolds, sometimes helping it along its path... And sometimes not.
The game itself is a Neo-Victorian Magitec Role Playing game with heavy steampunk and lovecraftian influences. When players aren't riding around on airships blasting Shadow Dragons out of the air with giant, magical, fireball spewing Ballistas, they're plotting some sort of revolution or defeating an ancient evil that must merely think to destroy them. Eldritch horrors, evil gods, unknown lands, ancient magic, and terrifying new technology are all themes within the world.
The story and gameplay are done in Chronicles, which one could compare to the chapters of a book. Each one takes place in a certain place on the world of Imarel, most having taken place on the continent of Tal`Rah. One has taken place on Zoda, the Blackgate Chronicle, and one, Am Xitha, having taken place on Shalzaar. They are as follows in chronological order: Sundown, Blackgate, Brynmere Glade, and Am-Xitha.
Brynmere glade was an unsuspecting farming town that became the epicenter of a long chain of events intertwined with one of the deadliest wars ever to face Imarel—the infighting between two factions of the Shar'Vaire branch of the Asyndi clan, the Fundamentalists and the Traditionalists. The events in Brynmere glade started off when the sheriff of the town was butchered by a kavorg—a monstrous half-beast creature akin to a werewolf. Following the slaughter of the sheriff, the town faced a choice of two sheriff candidates—a rich man from a wealthy local family of ranchers, or a relatively blockheaded farmer from the outskirts of town. Perhaps against all odds, the latter was elected to office. Following this election, the weirdness REALLY began to set in. Oliver Eliseberg, father of Thomas Eliseberg (the defeated sheriff candidate)set into motion a plan that nearly consumed the quiet hamlet; Brynmere glade was beset by bandits, zombies, corpse worms, a cloud of magic ash thrown up by a meteor strike, and cultists of the foul god Ysil, which sought to disrupt the town and whip the citizens into a frenzy in any way possible. It took the course of a year before the desrtruct—er, noble heroes were able to locate the compound of Oliver, revealed to be a lich in the course of the chronicle. Although the final venture to defeat Oliver was punctuated by tragedy (with the misfiring of a powerful explosive resulting in a cave-in) the group managed to bring justice to Oliver, and restoring peace to Brynmere glade, after a long, hard-fought battle. However, like so many other places, peace never really lasts long on Imarel...
A year has passed since the Second Shar`Vaire Civil War and the fall of the Eliseberg family. New nations rise and old nations lick their wounds from the ravages of war and natural disaster. In this troubled silence, a tyrant has risen to power on the forested continent of Shalzaar. In secret, heroes have been dispatched to the ancient Ruins of Am-Xitha in an attempt to unseat the usurper, King Tolliver Grimshaw before his villainous plans come to fruition. Will you join the growing rebellion in the Kingdom of Moonfall?
For the sake of organization, Imarel's tropes are condensed into different categories...
Imarel Provides Examples Of...
- Another Dimension: This trope makes appearances throughout the lore. Imarel and Ishaela are on the Prime Plane, while the Old Gods reside in the Bright Heavens. The Lords of Chaos and other chaotic dieties generally make their home in the Infernal Realms, or Xos. Then there's the Shadowlands, where Mourne, Meklah, and various other baddies reside. Finally, the Sea of Light, which is where Radiance comes from.
- This doesn't even get into pocket dimensions, of which there are oodles throughout the world.
- Eldritch Abomination: Loads and loads of them. Among the masses are the Shambling Horrors (Hundreds of bodies and souls sewn together into one perpetually insane form), Shifting Terrors (a gooey amalgamation of hundreds of souls and bodies sewn together with magic), Grim Destroyers (Giant demons the size of sky scrapers), and Heralds of Miron (A T-Rex, but then it went From Bad to Worse). And those are just the easiest ones to kill.
- Evil Counter Part Race: The Quar`Vess and Shar`Vaire Asyndi clans are essentially this. The Shar`Vaire are necromantic, decadent, and Imperialistic. The two dominating political parties are divided on whether to go about World Domination or just allow the other races to survive. While the Quar`Vess resemble American politics a bit more, whether to be isolationist or interventionist. Quar`Vess are generally affable, if completely detached, folks.
- Elves are also seen with shades of this, to a lesser degree. Popular opinion is not with the Shadow Elves, who are a rather secretive and back-stabby lot. Compared to the Moon Elves, who freely allow and welcome interbreeding as their race's chosen path, the Shadow Elven policy of killing interbreeders and their offspring seems rather harsh and maybe a tinge evil.
- Functional Magic: Yes. Lots of it. It's actually rather complicated, but it essentially boils down to there being four different casting styles, with some minor variations, and then the various spheres of magic.
- The Xosian Method is basically Ritual Magic . Most humans use this for the arcane and all warlocks, witches, shamans, and occultists use this to a degree, though the power doesn't come from the ambient mana in the air.
- The Shei Method is Instant Runes just add mana! Elves trace runes and sigils in the air to weave together spells. Sp to cast fireball, one would trace the runes for 'fire' and 'projectile'.
- The Asyndi Method... Asyndi are basically the descendants and continuation of the angels that served the Old Gods in ages past. As such, they are born with the inherent ability to just cast with their minds. Obviously, this is exceedingly dangerous for other races to have, so it is carefully controlled.
- Magitek: Oodles. And I mean oodles. The Shar`Vaire originally developed the Air Ship thousands of years before the current chronicle, which basically enabled them to take over a good portion of the known world. And then you get into various kinds of Golems, most notably the Seige Golem, plus various magical gizmos from power armor to Radiance Rifles, Witchfire Crossbows... Yeah... It's there.
- The Technomancer class is this trope. Capable of summoning seige golems and potentially making all sorts of neat gizmos. The Engineer class also has shades of this, but falls more into the Steam Punk category.
- Prison Dimension: The Shadowlands serves as this for many people. Those who are slain by Reavers of Vengeance, Kal`Aire, or just have their soul sent to the Shadow Lands after death and have committed a mortal sin, are bound in chains in the Shadowlands where Mourne, the Spirit of Vengeance, punishes them for all eternity.
- Xos can serve as this. A generally bad and corrupt person who dies are sent to the Maggot Pits, where their soul is turned into a maggot that knows only hunger. After it devours enough other maggots, they can grow to be something really special! ... Like an imp. Of course for some people this is a good thing.
- Religion Is Magic: Hoo-Boy. This is a biggy. Basically, all of the most devoted, truly devoted, practitioners of a faith are able to do some sort of gods based magic. This includes Clerics, Ministers, Monks, Exorcists, Heretics, Druids, Crusaders, Reavers, Warlocks, Witches, Shamans, and Rangers... And those are just the truly devoted ones! Technically, Ritualists and Nahara could fall into this category, though the former is a bit debatable.
- Religion of Evil: Many, many, many examples of this. The primary one is the worship of the Nine Lords of Chaos, who are the various embodiments of selfish or chaotic traits. However, it is also subverted in many ways, as many practitioners see them less as 'evil gods of chaos' and more 'good gods of freedom'. Even a theoretical Spirit of Freedom would be chaotic!
- Other examples are less morally ambiguous. Worshipers of the Five that Sleep or the Sleeping Terror are relatively all nucking futs, a la H.P. Lovecraft.
- Worship of Ghozoth is the state religion of Albadosia. It basically entails worshipping a massive two headed tortoise who has driven himself insane with hatred and contempt for the world that destroyed his people. FUN GUY.
- Tropes here
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Liberal doses of that here. The leaders of the group of heroes from this chronicle were very powerful and remain very powerful. One of them, Nilharys, has gone on to forge his own kingdom in the wasteland of Miroa. A bad ass feat in and of itself.
- Apocalypse Cult: Brynmere Glade had a problem with this. Human Hope, the cover for a Cult of Ysil who wished for nothing more than to bring Imarel into the infernal plane of Xos by ushering their god into this world, infiltrated nearly every aspect of the town and tried to turn it against the heroes.
- Pocket Dimension: The Edge of Dreaming Hotel is an infinite pocket dimension.
- 0% Approval Rating: King Tolliver Grimshaw basically has this. He worships a dark god, kills innocents, razes towns for not paying taxes, drafts all able bodied men, lets rape happen without a care, and in building up an army to destroy all the elves on Imarel.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Two words, Derick. Keyman.
- Determinator: Give a guy credit, Mordecai has this. He's one of the few knights in history to make the ascent from Reaver to Crusader. Not to mention the loss of his wife, the birth of his demonic child, the hatred of his father and brother, Sharan, and now trying to keep a rebel organization, well, organized.
- It's worth elaborating on, he gave Abador, the Lord of Plagues, the metaphorical bird and then trucked through a mountain of shit for a wife he married out of pity and a child that wasn't his. All on a quest for redemption that was not guaranteed to work.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Mordecai Dredson definitely falls into this category. He started out as a Reaver and fell from the Lords' grace with a resounding thump, took up the mantle of a Flamebringer, and then ended up in Sharan not long after... Which is comparable in effectiveness to The Vietnam War meets Demons. Yeah, he's a little cynical.
- Also his wife died and his child, that's not really his child, is a demonic abomination.
- It's earned him nicknames, too. Sir Grumpy-Pants is a favorite.
- Speech Impediment: Vnire has a stutter that may or may not be faked, depending on his level of angry. Usually it seems real enough.
- Sensor Character: Scathien is capable of activating abilities that mimic this by using his willshaping.
- Martial Medic: Back in Brynmere Glade, Scathien learned how to combine the knowledge he gained from his fighting style (utilizing opponent's pressure points) and his will-shaping abiltiies to alter the perception of others. This made him a fairly effective Combat Medic. He later incorporated what he learned from his time as a healer back into his fighting style after arriving at Am-Xitha, making him more capable in combat as a Bare-Fisted Monk