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Roleplay / Mystria

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Mystria is a region and roleplaying group for the online game NationStates. Founded in 2010 from a roleplay that began in Forum Seven before the advent of the portal to the multiverse, this region focuses on high levels of Roleplay in a fantasy steampunk setting. It accepts techmixing, and is home to over 50 nations, with a core of 10 or so consistently active nations, mainly based around the region's primary continent in the Heartlands and the Frigid North. The nature of the Mystrian region is often deeply political with all manner of diplomatic shenanigans occurring, as well as the occasional war to spruce things up. The Mystrian population does NOT however get caught up in that insipid Raider/Defender game that sillier Nationstates players do, and the Empress Overlord Crystal Spires is guarded with the password, and demands high quality roleplay, meaning it can take weeks to months to be accepted fully into the region. Mystria RP also includes several nations not physically in the region; Menelmacar, C'tan, Allanea, Aravea, and several nations from The Pony Lands are examples.


The Mystrian Region includes examples of the following tropes

  • A World Half Full: Some nations are glowing beacons of tolerance, justice and purity. However, others are brutal Totalitarian States and absolute monarchies that formerly practiced chattel slavery or have terrifying elfsoc properties.
  • Anyone Can Die: Happens quite a frequently with major characters often falling unceremoniously in the Crystal Spires in terrible magic accidents gone wrong, monster attacks, or various other magical disasters, and in NASC where he RPs high-ranking military commander and parliamentarians killed off gleefully either as backstory or within RP. Subverted sometimes in that those who die have occasionally not actually died.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In NASC (The North American Socialist Commonwealth) attempting to develop fully self conscious AI is considered a major offense and is often punished harshly. In Crystal Spires accepting a bribe or any form of corruption warrants the death penalty — and, consequently, paying a bribe is considered attempted murder.
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  • Aura Vision: An innate ability for Draconids, though other races can learn to do so as well.
  • Beast Man / Little Bit Beastly: Beastlings come in both varieties.
  • Berserk Button: For Menelmacar, C'tan, Allanea, NASC, and several other nations, practice of chattel slavery is this.
  • Bio Punk: The NASC has enormous resources dedicated to genetic engineering, and has an extensive biotech industry.
  • Black Box: Menelmacari use these to trade with lower tech nations, usually along with some manner of free-replacement warranty. This is to limit spread of their technology, partly because you are not ready and they want you to figure it out yourself. Some nations are trusted with higher technology in trade than others, which might get access to nothing at all because they have the wrong sort of foreign policy or they're just horrible people. From an OOC perspective these laws are in place to allow Menelmacar to interact with lower-tech nations without instantly solving all the problems.
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  • Bling of War: Post War America and his "Black Jackets", Imeriata and his fabulous tricornes. Menelmacari rank insignia incorporate actual gemstones.
  • Blood Sport: Several nations in Mystria have some form dueling as a form of sport. This is particularly common in Imeriata where they even have animal baiting.
  • Blue Blood: Imeriata and many of the Altean Provinces. In Imeriata it's actually a literal thing.
  • Church Militant: Many organizations qualify, the Knights of Serion being the most famous. The Spirean Grand Order of Idealists also qualifies, as does the Cathar Order in Sfesque, which secretly makes widespread, exclusive use of a form of magic Applied Phlebotinum. The Aravean Gedeon Organization definitely falls under this as well, with their members being willing to resort to terrorism to achieve their objectives. Among their tactics is the use of car bombs and public assassinations of targets, all carried out in the name of the Imperial Church.
  • City of Gold: Auram,the second-largest city in Dyste, also happens to be known as this. While not completely covered in gold, there is a large amount used in the city's design. As Dystan Gold is not actually that valuable, it is more for the visual effect rather than as a sign of wealth.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Menelmacar and C'tan. The Menelmacari lampshade this in the motto of the Prefecture of Science: "Technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
    • Reversed in many pony nations such as Crystal Spires and the Greater Pony Herd, where magic is used as and incorporated into technology, resulting in Magitek.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Like their dragon brethren, Draconids come in a wide variety of colours, which make an easy indicator of what element they are. Kobolds, however, are a subversion; their scales do vary, but make no difference in ability.
  • Cool Airship: With several fantasy-themed nations, this was inevitable. One of the most common types was created in Lufenia, which nations like Dyste refer to as Lufenia-class.
  • Cool Boat: The Imerian Fasan Class definitely qualifies as this, for all of its ostentaciousness.
  • Cool Guns: NASC's AR4MIW which is a rehashing of the OICW concept. Also, Imeriata's sexy sexy wood furnished, precious metal plated, battle rifles.
  • Cool Plane: NASC uses 5th Gen NotEurofighters, Imerian jet biplanes and Spirean Pak-FAs also count.
  • Cool Ship: The Atumite ships that showed up to glass Imeriata in a prior war count as this.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Played straight in Menelmacar, where robes are the favored attire. The NASC definitiely is evocative of the Crystal Spires part of the trope, though not necessarily the togas bit. Meanwhile Crystal Spires puts this right in the name of the country.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Sfesque's a mix of Britain, Romania, and tidbits of elsewhere in Europe with sparse elements of Japan.
  • Cultural Posturing: Menelmacari do this a lot, particularly to Imerians. Imerians, by turn, do it to nearly everyone recognizing none as equal to them.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Several examples.
    • Dark Draconids are no more likely to be evil than any other type. Darkness in the Dystan beliefs is associated with purity.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Dyste, an island nation in the southwest of the region, is mainly populated by Draconids, a race with the general appearance and traits of dragons (Super Strength, long lifespans, strong magical ability, even a Breath Weapon), though bipedal and about twice the size of an average human. They come in eight variations, each with an different elemental power. Perhaps due to sharing the dragon's love for treasure, Draconids are also notoriously good with money, making Dyste one of the wealthier Mystian nations in spite of being one of the smaller ones.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Post War America... I mean come on... if it's not blindingly obvious then you may have a problem.
  • Dystopia: Among others the NASC-controlled Veiled Isle falls under this what with the theocratic hellhole of people living in constant fear of the Inquisition, the Unbidden slave raids, and the very real threat of an Eldritch Abomination rising from the sea and eating them.
  • Eagleland: NASC would like to believe itself a Type I case of this, but is in reality a weird hybrid of Type I and Type II, with the idealism of a Type I, and the paranoia and hypervigilant militarism of a Type II.
  • Eldritch Abomination: All too real, the scariest kind of Unbidden, and ultimately the reason for a lot Unbidden hatred.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: Inverted in Menelmacar, where elves and dwarves get on quite well and have for millennia, thank you very much.
  • Enforced Cold War: NASC has this with Imeriata and desperately to invade Imeriata and smack it down. However it realizes that such an action would be foolish and instead blusters angrily about the Imerian threat and occasionally rattles the sabre around. Altea has this with almost all of its provinces, the Beastling States, the Cantalviani, and Carcenese.
  • Fantastic Racism: AND HOW. There are Human Supremacists, Treefolk Supremacists, Elven Supremacists, dwarven supremacists, unbidden supremacists. Basically if a race exists there is a supremacy movement for it. Beastlings are the general exception (being far more likely to be discriminated against, even in nations like Crystal Spires where they are the majority), but they have an antiquated caste system in which they discriminate against one another. And almost everybody who isn't Unbidden hates the Unbidden.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Naturally exists with racial issues. Hobgoblin, chimera, and monster are common slurs for beastlings, and many nonhuman races have issues with the terms 'metahuman' and 'humanoid' due to the implication that 'human' is the default.
    • Son of an Ape: Which leads to humans often getting slurs back, such as 'pigmonkey'. Humans typically view 'ape beastling' as an insult, even though Beastlings view every sapient being as a type of beastling (Draconid being 'dragon beastlings', Dwarves being 'patchy mole beastling', etc.), and are arguably correct in this idea for the most part.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: You name it, it's here somewhere.
  • Food Porn: Comes up a lot in Crystal Spires, whose RPer frequently writes extremely detailed descriptions of food.
  • For the Evulz: Surprisingly, for the most part averted.
  • For Science!: Malgrave is known for engaging in ethnically questionable science and has been reprimanded for this several times.
  • Foreign Queasine: Imeriata is known for its cuisine which has some thoroughly squicktastic dishes that taste like feet, like surströming and pine tea. Imerians love these things dearly but nobody else does.
  • Free-Range Children: Played straight in Menelmacar, where 'Elf Children at play would resemble fair happy children of men with little need for governing.' according to Tolkien.
    • Deconstructed in Crystal Spires, though, where a dystopian system of negligent orphanages often leaves many of its charges fending for themselves.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Necropolis & Alstrainian underground in Sfesque.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Played with by PWA. Technically all NASC infantrymen wear armored face masks that serve this function, as part of their standard equipment. However, this is more a means of adding HUD capabilities and actually protecting against hostile agents than it is covering the faces of soldiers. Averted in the Heartlands, every soldier has a family and can and may seek revenge for the wrongdoing.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Imeriata.
  • Government Conspiracy: In NASC there tends to be more than a few shady acts performed by a "shadow government" outside civgov. The Ealdurimites also have a magocracy which conspires to keep all of the elven world separate from the lesser creatures, and they only allow other races in if they accept subjugation. There are also connections between some of the government and the corporations in High Treefolk which conspires to eradicate smaller competing businesses.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Menelmacari Archive of Ages, a vast underground complex underlying — and actually physically larger than — the capital city of Vinyatírion, containing the combined knowledge and culture of every people the Menelmacari have met. As they've been around for thirty-two thousand years, this is rather a lot. Has an artificial intelligence known simply as the Loremistress.
  • Hand Wave: Yep, Ethereal portals consumed a "real world" nation to have access to an entirely not "real world" region. Just move along and don't ask questions.
  • Hegemonic Empire: Sfesque's origins. Later became a theocracy, and is currently a kingdom.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Just ask how many Imeriata throws out there, and notice how many word games are hidden in the storylines.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Just about everything in NASC is powered by "Warm" Fusion Technology including tanks.
  • Law of Cartographical Elegance: Comes up a lot, Mystria is a continent unto itself, and many of its nations conveniently comprise island chains which they do not have to share with anyone else.
  • Layered World: The Wake in Sfesque, suitably an Eldritch Location. Pulls double duty as a Dream Land, and if you're unlucky moonlights as a Dark World.
  • Lizard Folk: A few types, including Kobolds, the second-most populous race in Dyste.
  • Loads and Loads of Races: Natural given what Mystria is like. If one considers each type of Beastling to be a separate species (whether they are or all part of the same depends on who you ask), there are potentially billions of different species in Mystria!
  • The Lost Woods: Lup Vulsenzia & Lup Sentania in Sfesque.
  • Magic A is Magic A: In Crystal Spires there are often very well explained rules that are incorporated into the fantasy setting, with the "mist" sometimes called Aether, governing magical phenomenon. Many other nations avert or subvert this trope.
  • Mad Scientist: In Malgrave many ethical boundaries are crossed in the pursuit of curing a degenerative disease suffered by the population
  • Mind Rape: The government of Malgrave engages in this through practices designed for social control. Examples include a sixty-year 'state of emergency' and the legal status of one's corpse as state property.
  • Modest Royalty: The House of Blackfang, the ruling family of Dyste, does not generally wear anything particularly special, and even official regale (like King Tyroth's mantle) is still simple in design. Justified in that the royal family has a unique scale pattern (a shiny black with a golden 'underside') making them easy to identify without the need of wearing opulent clothing.
  • Mundane Utility: In places where magic is commonplace, it is only natural for it to be used to better convenience life. Dyste has strong usage of this; lightning magic can be used to power electronics, or using a Draconid's Fire Breath in cooking.
  • The Necrocracy: Alstrainia in Sfesque, thought by many to be the Leaking Can of Evil when unknown to them it is merely a symptom and Unwitting Pawn.
  • New Neo City: New Arclex, the forested Dystan elven settlement, is named after the original Arclex after the original was burnt down by Great Cornerian forces. In the future, when it becomes a colony in of itself, it will get renamed to 'Neo Arclex'.
  • Nice Hat: What part of Imerian Tricornes did you not get?
    • Menelmacari favor circlets made of precious metals and gemstones.
    • Dystan kobolds wear hats based on their profession; newsboy caps are the all-purpose type, more specialized jobs use specific hats (e.g. mining hats, police caps), and tour guides wear tricornes not unlike the ones Imerians wear.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: Menelmacar has great eagles, more or less straight out of Tolkien.
  • No-Paper Future: Subverted in Menelmacar, which doesn't use paper.... but does use flexis, flexible data-storage and -display devices that fill the same niche.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Inevitable given the text-based nature of NationStates.
    • Dyste is pronounced 'Diest', not 'Deest'. Likewise, the 'Ty-' sound used in many of the royal family names is pronounced 'Tie', not 'Tee'. Tyroth's son Mahks is 'Mah-cuss' (like Marcus without the 'r' sound), not 'Max', and 'J' in Draconid names is usually a 'Y' sound (Jangah is pronounced 'Yahn-gah')
  • Nuke 'em: NASC in particular is extraordinarily nuke happy and is more than willing to use nuclear weapons on a tactical scale.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Has all of the major types and a few more rare variations. Menelmacar probably plays this the straightest.
    • Subverted with Hylians, however; in spite of their pointy ears, they are not a type of elf and in fact generally dislike elves or being referred to as such.
  • Patchwork Map: The ever expanding and changing nature of the Mystrian regional map.
  • The Political Officer: Subverted by the NASC with it's Morale Officers, who are in fact more unit psychologists, chaplains and/or event coordinators than Political Commissars.
  • Post-Cyberpunk: NASC is functionally speaking a Post-Cyberpunk society, that has moved past a true Cyberpunk world in both technology and in social thought.
  • Power Floats: The Menelmacari use gravitics in basically everything.
  • Punk Punk You could strap any word to punk, and chances are you'll find an example in Mystria.
  • Religion Is Magic: Very simply put in Dragostic belief, magic is the utilization of spiritual energy. Energy that one of its gods made.
  • Rule of Cool: Mystria would not function without this rule.
  • Saintly Church: Dragostism in Sfesque, complete with its own Fantasy Pantheon. A shame most of the time God's Hands Are Tied. Strong belief in Karma as well. Dyste's Order of Bahamut also qualifies, founded on the beliefs of the draconic deity. Crystal Spires's Forntian Idealism has elements of it, with the majority of priests being of the Good Shepherd variety, albeit having a form of ritual killing if a person is considered too spiritually corrupted.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon: Dystan Wind Drakes, herbivores the size of house cats. They are good fliers and rather intelligent, and make popular pets. Menelmacari oak dragons have similar properties, though do prefer meat.
  • Scenery Porn: Imeriata and Crystal Spires often describe their scenery in stark detail, to the point where small neglected objects in the background can be a large plot detail, and it is often gloriously described in detail.
  • Science Hero: Malgraveans like to view themselves as this.
  • Shapeshifting: A few species are capable of this, such as Changelings, the most common species in Sfesque.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Menelmacari style usually fits this trope, in contrast to Allanean Nouveau Riche.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Generally Mystrian nations lean towards the cynical side, though there are exceptions.
  • Spock Speak: Draconids from Dyste speak in a similar manner; they never use contractions, usually speak at least somewhat formally, and have trouble understanding slang. However, they do have a sense of humor and can tell jokes, which can surprise people who assume their manner of speech means they are The Stoic.
  • Starship Luxurious: Nearly every ship the Menelmacari build.
  • Steampunk: Most of Mystria exhibits this style in some form sometimes.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Menelmacar considers magic a branch of science, and has a standardized runescript for spells that effectively functions like a programming language.
  • Swamps Are Evil: No really, don't go to any swamps in Sfesque. It's Unholy Ground due to a Leaking Can of Evil.
  • The Theocracy: The political system of Crystal Spires is a socialist belief known as Mythorian Idealism, which is a sect of a Religious Ideology called Forntian Idealism. Many people in government positions are part of the clergy as a result.
  • Trademark Favourite Food
    • Riemaia: Pumpkins
    • Dyste: Ribs, Chicken, and Pasta. For Kobolds, it's Meatballs, Sandwiches (so long as they have meat), and Meatloaf
    • NASC: Habichuelas con Pollo
  • Überwald: The whole of Sfesque is quite inspired by this.
  • Uncanny Atmosphere: Pretty common in Sfesque, but you get used to it.
  • Wine Is Classy: Both played straight and subverted in Menelmacar. Often used to show how classy Menelmacari are, but wine is also what nearly everyone drinks there.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Both played straight and subverted in Menelmacar. Nanofabrication devices ('fabbers') are commonplace, but value is still placed on 'natural' substances, resulting in Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap.
    • Gold is extremely common in Dyste making it pointless as a currency, with silver instead being used for coins. Gold is still used for casino tokens, and parts of the city of of Auram are paved with gold, hence the title 'City of Gold'.

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