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Roleplay / Midlands RP

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Midlands is a Tabletop RPG based on the Fantasy novel, Of Light and Darkness.

This RP tells the story of an unlikely trio of adventurers. Rho, a human girl trained as a Stormspeaker, is working in a bar on an orcish island. When an elven Tsivarti agent, calling himself Billy gets in trouble with the other bar patrons due to Fantastic Racism, she and a bystander paladin named Firon tries to defuse the situation while an out-of-work orc laughs nastily at the situation while devouring lots of meat and gulping ale.


When Billy escapes the bar, Rho gets some news: a massacre between the orcs and elves has happened at the trade hub town of Crossroads. In response to that, the three Damiyos of the orcs, uruks and goblins are gearing up for war, with Damiyo Gokusen, a strong proponent of aggressiveness, has begun to invade the elf territories. While the kingdom of Ellarvin and the royal family is preparing a counterattack. And Rho's adoptive father, a well respected orc Stormspeaker known as Sensei Korag has disappeared within the conflict.

She immediately sets out on a journey to find her Sensei, and hires Tog, an orc ronin mage hunter to help. They are quickly joined by Billy, who later reveals his true name as Darrian, who participates in Rho's quest as a matter of gratitude for saving him, and as a quick means of leaving an island of angry orcs. Firon sends them on their way, and on their journey, the trio discovers mysteries, meet new allies and friends, and will ultimately participate in a life-changing gladiator fight that will marvel (and confuse) people for generations to come: "The Greatest Show In The Midlands."


And then came Act 2.

A month after Act 1, with multiple nations still reeling from the loss and threats made during it's finale, the RP now focuses on a new set of protagonists. Ymir, a secretive young lady, Ying Cai, a soldier from the Jadelands, and Cyrus, a mage detective from Velros. The trio was summoned from their respective homes to the heart of the Shadowlands, where they are offered employment from a mysterious organization known as The Cabal. There, the trio has to contend with politically sensitive missions, dangerous foes, and their own personal circumstances.


Acts 1 & 2 of Midlands provide examples of:

  • Arc Words: "Idealistic fool!"
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As a general rule, all leaders of all nations from the Elvenking to Orcland Damiyos are required to display badassitude or at least look like badasses of the highest order.
    • To elaborate further, all the Damiyos of the Orclands are Large and in Charge, and are more than willing to demonstrate their physical prowess, except for Sarukosh, who went down pretty quickly to his fellow Damiyo. The Elvenking himself is shown to be a being of great magical power and capable of holding off three powerful vampire assassins while performing a complicated spell at the same time. The heads of the vampire clans are even more so.
  • Badass Family: Anyone whose name is Kirinedge or even his disciples. His two daughters, Angel and Elly, can wreck your day hard if you get on their bad side. His greatest disciple, Zhang has single-handedly carved out his own country from Imperial Jadelands territory.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Every PC, NPC and the GM.
    Alan : (With arm in sling) “Yes, we wouldn’t want this to be unfair, would we?”
  • Experienced Protagonist: The "heroes" aren't newbies and have already obtained the bulk of their power by the time the story starts.
    • Rho is a (albeit inexperienced) stormspeaker with knowledge of martial arts. Darrian is a full Tsivarti agent with a couple of missions under his belt. Tog is a former Mage Hunter with plenty of kills to his name.
    • Ymir is a mage with deadly long-range magic at her disposal. Ying Cai is a qualified soldier and a master of the spear. Cyrus is a veteran detective with a eventful career history behind him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Dark Lord who's been stated to return someday.
  • Hero of Another Story: Alan Draille, Angel Kirinedge and their respective sidekicks. Their paths frequently cross with the PCs of both Acts.
  • One-Man Army: Several notable characters are stated and shown to be capable of taking on whole armies single-handedly.
    • Examples include all members of The Seven, Angel and her lieutenants, Elly, and the great Khan Zhang.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Of the super-cool, all-the-strengths, and very little weaknesses variant. Possessing Super Strength and Super Toughness, are high-functioning, and not even needing to bite a victim to drain their blood. They are immune to typical vampire weaknesses like crosses, garlic, running water, save for direct sunlight, and fire, and those are more inconveniences than weaknesses. They are vulnerable to decapitation and staking, but on the other hand, those work on everybody else too.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Barring a certain few, every faction leader that the trio encounter are this or have a reputation of being this. Extends to the Shadowlands as well.

    Act 1 
  • Aggressive Negotiations: What the gang meeting between the Selkies and Red Caps quickly devolved to. Naturally, a Bar Brawl ensued.
  • Always Someone Better: Angel to pretty much most of the cast.
  • Animorphism: Lokenn and his Skin-changer kin from the tribes of Beast and Bird.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Leoskarrion at some point lost his right arm. He got better. Threatened by Garrukesh.
    Garrukesh: Try anything funny, you lose the limb trying to be funny.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The ending for the Heroes of Act 1. Rho and Tog continue to adventure and travel in order to become a better fighter and a better chef respectively. Darrian however, chooses to stay with the elven government and train with the elite to prepare for future adversaries that await his people.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: What Sensei Korag and the Ghostblade essentially offer to any elven settlements unfortunate enough to cross Damiyo Gokuzan's army's path. Zig-zagged in the fact that the elf civilians have the threat of invasion hanging over them nonetheless.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The party may have stumbled across one. Their mantra is Kill It with Fire, they worship the ancient dragon which the Seven have defeated. Probably made their headquarters within the bones of the said dragon, and is currently kidnapping any wayward dragon and magic users for their nefarious purposes.
    • It is revealed that they have abducted orc stormspeakers and human Arcaniers to drain their magic to revive the colossal dragon.
  • At the Crossroads: Figuratively when Firon (who was also present at Crossroads) presented two choices to the "heroes" on the night he met them. Literally when the trio arrive at Crossroads, the site of a tragedy. Though no major decisions was made there.
  • Artificial Limbs: Leoskarrion, champion of the elves. His right arm is the metallic kind, powered by magic.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Titans of the Second Age which resurface during the penultimate and finale of Act 1. The latter which is offscreen.
  • Badass Adorable: Thrilwing oh so much. A gryphon that enjoys belly rubs, eats anything, and his fuzziness produces a Cuteness Proximity effect.
  • Big Bad: Black Mask of Act 1. Dressed in Red and Black and Evil All Over, is heavily implied to be a vampire.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Pryce Lodge to the rescue! Not that Garrukesh needed it. The trio to Councillor Melkhoris's marital life.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Magnar Hammerborn, the anti-Shen. He has No Indoor Voice, warms up to the "heroes" at first sight, and graciously took up drumming for their sake as long he's liquoured up.
    Magnar: “Well, per’aps SOME o’ us are nae sticks inna mud!”
  • Buried Alive: The colossal fire drake's final fate.
  • Burn Baby Burn: The trio burns Alan's secret letter to them with a handy campfire.
    • But it refused.
  • Bus Crash: Firon and Marshal Zhao, paladins who died offscreen fighting the forces of evil. These two were particularly liked by the PCs and were sad to see them go.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Whenever any of the males attempt to flirt with a female NPC.
  • Cool Old Lady: Angel's stint as Darrian's grandma. A hardened war veteran with no compunctions about speaking her mind, with her domestic life with Darrian's long suffering Grandfather, detailing too much on what happens in her bedchamber to her grandson's young mind, and loudly prescribing remedies for constipated bowels.
    “Listen here, sonny, granny was a valkyrie in the Crusades, walked all the way through it all!”
  • Cool Sword: Cool Knife actually. It's availability in the endgame of Act 1 meant life and death for the trio.
  • The Cynic: Plenty of NPCs in warzones, but most notably the barkeeper Hugin and Commander Orm. Both have seen their fair share of adventurers eager to hunt dragons and are both sick of the loss of life.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: As the GM succinctly put it: Rho gets her butt handed to her by the daughter of the world’s greatest hero. Generally any fight against Angel. She took down a dwarf with muttonchops with just a walking stick. That same dwarf that took a double drop kick by Tog to the face without flinching and Darrian's arcane shock, maximum output.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: The final two fights of Act 1 up to and including the Big Bad has the trio deprived of full use of their magic. Darrian couldn't teleport, and Rho couldn't control the elements effectively. (Tog however, remains unaffected.) This forces them to utilize all of their physical techniques, tactics, gambits, teamwork, and what little remains of their magic they could muster to prevail.
  • Destination Defenestration: MAXIMUM TOG. Self-inflicted.
  • Elephant Graveyard: The Wyrmwood. Build near the gravesite of a humongous fire drake, the carcass exudes magic that draws more fire drakes and dragons towards it, where they are promptly killed or driven off by the town guards.
    • Complete with dragon merchandise!
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The cult. Members comprised of all races, both genders, and are fanatically loyal to the cause.
  • Fantastic Racism: Both Orc/Uruk Hai and Human/Elf races had a long history of violence and oppression over multiple ages on both sides.
  • Fantasy Metals: Alan's Mithril and Orichalcum blade that breaks arcane flow and steals it.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Since the Your Mom barrage on F̶r̶o̶l̶l̶o̶ Pyron, Tog and Darrian have gotten along much better. Bonus points as it all happened in a fire themed arena against fire themed enemies.
  • Friendly Sniper: Pryce Lodge, the world's costliest mercenary. The least aloof among the Seven the trio has encountered.
  • Ghost Town: The trio encounters one in the heart of the Desolation.
    • It was a dead elven town with some of it's inhabitants and living trees frozen in time, a somber reminder of the horrors the arcane could offer.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: The Ninja Goblins. Tog wants one!
  • Green Thumb: Paradoxically, the collossal fire drake. Capable of spontaneously regenerating it's outer shell of trees and siccing trees on the party.
  • Henpecked Husband: Councillor Melkhoris.
    • The Seven also had their own adventures. They had something to do with the death of the humongous fire drake.
  • Hold the Line: The Trio's mission during the Senate Assault.
  • Honesty Is the Best Policy: A principle passed from Sensei Korag to Rho, which she follows faithfully to this day.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Happens during the trio's time in the Guardswood. Tog demonstrates his prowess to Darrian there. Repeatedly.
  • Huddle Power: Often done by the trio before a collective decision and for battle strategy.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Gareth and Lynnette. Overlaps with Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy as she's standoffish and very protective of her friends while he's the more peaceful and calmer of the two.
  • I Have Your Wife: The Councillor's wife, actually.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Pyron for anybody and any arrows that gets too close to him. It's why Darrian and Tog had to find...other means of attacking.
  • Ironic Echo: When the trio had signed up for their Gladiator Games Rho greets the passerbys on the way and uttered the unfortunate line to an orc child, "Thank you little boy...or girl!" Much later...
    Pryce: “Aaaaand why would I tell you anything, little boy or girl?”
  • Lame Comeback: Halfway through Vicilren's duel with Alan when he's visibly losing and Alan called on him to stop and be smart;
    Vicilren: “I’ll show you who’s smart!”
  • Large and in Charge: Every. Single. Damiyo. To put it in perspective, Garukkesh is a head taller than the already ridiculously sized orcs. Damiyo Ozan is as tall and TWICE as wide. Damiyo Gokusen towers at 10 feet, the tallest Uruk Hai the trio has ever encountered and Damiyo Sarrukesh (a goblin) is human height.
  • Large Ham: Any time the PC's need to get theatrical. Angel's crone persona too.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Invoked by the GM when Darrian killed the ninja goblin Tog was throttling in his hand to foil his "recruitment drive". He sent an Uruk Hai with his ninja goblin partner directly after Darrian for this.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Inverted with Pryce's rifle, unfortunately for Darrian's dignity.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: At one point in the colossal dragon, the party consisted of 8 people. The two Seven went on to the head, the "heroes" split into two parties: Tog, Rho, Merrill, and Shen, Veldrina, Darrian. Partly for taking down whats happening in the wings simultaneously, partly for improving Relationship Values with the NPC s.
  • Made of Iron: The Orcs and Uruk Hai are this. Special mention to the Red Cap's dwarf leader.
  • Meaningful Name: F̶r̶o̶l̶l̶o̶ Pyron. An artificial half-dragon hybrid and his magic deals exclusively with fire.
  • Motive Rant: Done by Pyron. Nobody paid much attention to it but he went on anyway.
  • Motor Mouth: Visaj. The GM's ability to keep in character without stuttering is uncanny.
  • Mugged for Disguise: That poor random soldier in the mercenary camp. Bound and Gagged and left in a bush while his camp got invaded. Darrian tells the paladins where to rescue him though.
    • And his uniform is now stretched.
  • Neck Snap: The Firestorm's sudden fate, much to Rho's horror.
    • Now extended to Damiyo Sarukosh, courtesy of the same executioner, Gokusen.
    • Performed as a Coup de Grâce by Tog on Hooded Leather. Seems to be a standard Orcish execution method.
  • No Indoor Voice: MAGNAR and KAI!
  • Noodle Incident: Just what happened during Darrian's pirate ship stint?
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The mercenary captain.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Taking after the High Elf variant. Part of an ancient kingdom, lives in a Shining City, (complete with Hot Springs!) proficient with magic and producing magical items and artifacts. Main weaknesses tend to be blind narcissism, are slimmer and more delicate physically than the other races. Arrogant, though they may not necessarily be openly antagonistic.
    • The Drow variant also exists, and they openly offer their services in the political field and woe betide the unprepared fool that steps into their realm.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Taking after the "Blizzardian" orcs.
    • Let's see, a Proud Warrior Race with an extensive HONOR!!! system, possesses intelligence on par with humans with other races, omnivorous, have cities and settlements, a much more fleshed-out culture than "Tolkienian" orcs, green skin and tusks, much bigger than humans (at least seven feet tall), and one of them is a protagonist character? Check!
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: The entire exchange between Angel's crone persona and Darrian's grandchild-handler role. From loudly announcing her grandchild's bowel troubles to publicly calming his grandma's slipping mind, both of them are clearly enjoying every minute of it. Except Lex.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Happens repeatedly to Rho when she tries to communicate with the walls of the Guardswood.
    Wall: Kyaa! Kocchi wo mienai, hentai!
  • Raised by Orcs: Rho. By Sensei Korag. He taught her to be a stormspeaker like him.
  • Red Shirt: Gleefully parodied in the first act in the tavern where the trio encounter a squad of soldiers pretty much ticking off the checklist for this trope. Complete with a guy showing the others a picture of his family, the squad leader taking solace in the fact that today's his last day, capped off with a veteran who's too aged to tolerate such events.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Pryce Lodge, once the day is saved.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Elven Prince Theron and Princess Ariel.
  • Running Gag: HONOR!!! Also, someone will ALWAYS hum the One Ring theme whenever the broken Drow teleportation artifact is produced, or even mentioned.
  • Ghostblade Is A Girl: It's Angel.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: You can tell Angel is having a lot of fun in that persona.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Archdruid Kelveyn's final fate as a treant.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Delivered as a Coup de Grâce by Garukkesh.
  • Spiteful Spit: One random Moonford ranger's reaction to the subject of Magnar. Too bad he had his helmet on at the time though.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Played straight by the Tog, Rho and Merrill team. Sicced a dragon onto a mage group and their guard with excellent results.
  • The Spymaster: Tsivartor Beleron. He's a supremecist douche.
    Beleron: I heard that.
  • Taking You with Me: Which failed and resulted in the altered Guardswood.
  • Third-Person Person: The entire Orc and Uruk-Hai races have this characteristic due to their Samurai culture.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Darrian, facing the prospect of wall of fire up close and personal from a fire mage, did this.
  • Training Montage: By two of the party members in Wyrmwood. Rho with Shen, Tog with Garrukesh.
    • Darrian had his own of sorts earlier when sparring with Alan.
  • Trial by Combat: Invoked by Shen RAN-KU BATORU! in a Big Damn Heroes moment to save the "heroes'" diplomatic mission from collapsing.
  • True Companions: The "Greatest" Show In The Midlands. For all the japes and snipings and squabbles the trio has gone through, Rho, Darrian and Tog eventually grew into a united group, capable of defeating superior opponents through sheer teamwork.
  • Verbal Tic: Most Goblins will have this. Yes? No? Maybe?
  • Warrior Monk: Damiyo Ozan's praetorian guard certainly gives off this vibe.
  • World's Best Warrior: The Seven Knights. The trio has met 3 of them so far.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Completely and utterly averted here. All NPCs have lives of their own. Treating them like a shallow, one-line person is a surefire way to piss them off.
  • When Trees Attack: As an alternate means of attack by the collossal fire drake. Kept as a universally hanging threat on all in the altered Guardswoods on all who would deploy lethal force.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Darrian is notably impressed by Alan's Arcane blade, and less impressed that it's not easily acquired.
  • Wutai: The Orclands are this trope.
    • Although, their lands lack the natural resources to build the majestic pagodas and temples that often accompany this trope. But they do have dojos.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: A tavern in the orclands actually, but the spirit is there.
  • You Have Failed Me: Gokusen executes Ghiska at the end of his trial for his wanton brutality.
    Gokusen: “You panicked. And your weakness cost you the lives of your men, your position, and my honour.” *NeckSnap*
  • Your Mom: Darrian and Tog made many comments disparaging Pyron's lineage to distract him to buy time for the Seven to buff themselves.
    • Mostly speculation of the actions taken during the moment of conception.
    Darrian: Soooo, did your mom give birth or she just laid an egg? Just asking.
  • Zerg Rush: The cultists attempt this on the party as a last ditch attempt. Barely slows them down.
    Act 2 
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Drow Imperium has occupied vital House Ahriman's strongholds, and their corresponding assets.
  • The Cameo: Magnar, the Velrosian crime bosses and Captain Edway from Act 1.
  • The Comically Serious: Somehow, Lich Captain Cunningham. There is something inherently amusing about a ship's captain who's powered by forsaken, undead arcane arts, ordering a Ymir who came to gawk, off his ship.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Practically invoked by the new trio. Ymir is carefully secretive compared to the carefree Rho. Ying Cai is a front-line warrior compared to the sneaky pragmatic Darrian. Cyrus is diplomatic, subtle, and controls magic compared to the loud, hammy, non-magical Tog.
    • Even the character dynamics are foils of the original trio; Rho, Darrian and Tog despite initial difficulty, bonded quickly before the first half of Act 1 ended. But took a whole campaign's worth of time to achieve true synchronized teamwork. The new trio, Ymir, Ying Cai and Cyrus on the other hand, with no prior contact, worked very well in sync with each other in combat from the get-go, but are closely emotionally guarded from each other.
  • Darker and Edgier: And how! What would you expect of a campaign set in a place called The Shadowlands? The trio aren't as open to each other compared to the first team, they regularly engage in fieldwork in places where powerful and dangerous vampires rule, with dark magics such as Necromancy being used freely, and their allies make it very clear that secrets are withheld from them. All in all, in-game jokes just aren't as frequent as it was in Act 1.
    • But the meta-jokes are still going strong.
  • Enemy Civil War: What the situation in the Shadowlands looks like to other nations. The Drow Imperium has invaded vampire territories, and the major vampire houses are gearing up for a counterattack.
  • Enemy Mine: For now, any personal agendas or vendettas has been put on hold in favor of the Cabal's missions.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Discussed and mercilessly mocked for laughs regarding Alan's and Cyrus's search for a missing doll. A meme of Shang Yu got involved somehow.
  • Exact Words: Invoked and exploited by all parties regarding the Order of Light's expulsion from Vampire lands. They wanted them gone, they didn't say how.
  • Expy: Arbitex is set for one as Baymax's.
  • I Have Your Wife: The current issue poised by the Drow towards house Orlock. The lives of their captured civilians in exchange for abstaining from taking up arms.
  • Ley Line: Contributed to the obstacle that is the brain in the jar.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Lampshaded by Kel'rus, a cheerful Drow.
    Kel'rus: “Just because my people are shadowy, it doesn’t mean I can’t be an optimist!”
  • Noble Demon: Khi’Ras Tal D’Launz, the Bloodstone Sentinel, tries to cultivate this image with his speech. Jury is still out if he really is a Smug Snake underneath though.
  • Sacred Hospitality: A big deal in these parts, due to the prominence of the vampire clans. Notably, House Orlock refused to give any to the trio when they arrived, just in case. On the other hand, House Tepes-Impala immediately offered their guest right to the Cabal when they arrived, to demonstrate how much they needed the Cabal's intervention.
  • Slave Liberation: A small sub-quest initiated by Ying Cai. The hawk boy took the satisfaction out of it though.
  • The Syndicate: The Cabal. Which touches many tropes at once. Claims to exist to maintain order and balance in the Shadowlands, with history of its founding dating back to the Second Era, having access to near unlimited resources and Private Military Contractors. They are firmly independent from all governments, and commands a reputation that all parties fear and respect.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: Happens when Ying and Cyrus attempt to scout out prospective employees for The Cabal in a prison. Keyword here being "attempt".
    Ying Cai: *brightly* "So I heard you killed quite a few people in the woods. May I ask why?"
    Hunter: "The hunt."
    Cyrus: "Do you think you'd be a good fit with us in The Cabal?"
    Hunter: "The hunt."
    Ying Cai: *losing hope* "What would you say your skills are?"
    Hunter: "The hunt."
    Ying Cai: *facepalming* "You're gonna kill us the moment we let you out aren't you?"
    Hunter: "The hunt".
  • To Win Without Fighting: Suo Cheng the Vangard Beast, leading a small army confronts Angel and her gang and orders her to leave the Jadelands. She refuses and both are too stubborn to back down. The skirmish is sparked when Alan, controlling an avatar of light demands Suo Cheng to leave. The trio is left with the choice to sit out the battle or participate. The trio, led by Ying Cai sets out to end the fight quickly and successfully appealed to Suo Cheng to stand down. However, the trope is downplayed when a few other lone elite soldiers insisted on keeping up the now-pointless fight, and Ying Cai had to intervene personally.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Mr. Blue, leader of The Cabal, who communicates with his subordinates through magenta books.
  • Wham Episode: The character development session. Huge bombshells were dropped: One-Arm is actually ex-Tsivartor Bheleron in exile, Elly and Angel are sisters, and The Blade is Zhang the Beheader, the great Khan, and Jadeland's public enemy number one. All in one room.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The raiders slain in the first mission. A battle trophy was found in their hands. The vampire tooth of an adolescent.

"So... At what point did any of this seem like a good idea?"


Example of: