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Roleplay / Tales Of Madness

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"Seek not the Other, you shall not see: the torches of light and reason, both fail before it."
The Torchbearer, founder of El-Andrel

Tales Of Madness is an online Play By Post roleplaying forum set mainly in The Shining South, an arid hodgepodge of rolling grasslands, dense jungles, and desolate deserts. A Magical Land filled with an unusual assortment of fantasy races in a setting that cherry picks the themes and elements that work best in Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, with some heavy inspiration from 20th century pulp fiction such as Conan the Barbarian and H.P. Lovecraft. The setting is based partially on the real world, with a gumbo of real world historical and cultural elements with a sick fantasy twist.


The forum can be found here.

This roleplay provides examples of:

  • The Ace: The Torchbearer and Azar
  • Adventure-Friendly World: The Shining South in particular, collapse of a Pharonic Empires left a lot of ruins and unexplored locales brimming with treasure, ripe for any would-be adventurer to pick.
  • Agent Peacock: Affected by many Aelfe
  • Anachronism Stew: It wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a gladiator in the arena of Hakeshar to be wearing a bronze cassis crista and using a steel claymore.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment Glass Jane, a legendary thief, was punished by The Cat for stealing one of his nine lives by having her hands turned to glass.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Stallion and its church.
  • Draco Lich: The Bone Wizard, Ashur Ram, is rumored among the citizens of distant cities to be able to transform into a giant dragon constructed of the bones of his enemies.
  • Druid:
    • Numerous are found in Tales of Madness, but the most notable might be Feodor Zabo of The Gloaming North. He currently leads a group of anti-industrial fundamentalists in the Gloaming North, and is the Tyvic crown's most wanted.
    • Player characters can homebrew magic to become druids as well.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Quite a few: the Deep worshiped by Queslosq (though most don't know this), Gebbeths, the aptly-named Living Atrocities, some of the monsters in the depths of the sea...
  • Evil Sorcerer
    • The Bone Wizard, Ashur Ram, summons the souls of the dead to torture them when he's bored.
    • The Iron Wizard, Black Bones, leads a legion of the undead.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Shining South has comparisons to the middle east and medditeranean, and the Gloaming North has a distinctly European vibe with it's never ending fog and frozen north.
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  • Fantasy World Map: [1]
  • Fish Eyes: Some of the debased people of Quelosq bear this trait.
  • Forced Prize Fight Occurred during the site's first event when a defecting Aelfe lord trapped his house guests inside of his burning manor, causing a free-for-all over the exit.
  • Functional Magic: Magic is possible and an integral part of the setting, and functions as a hybrid between the magic of A Wizard of Earthsea, sprinkled with Theurgy, Device Magic, Necromancy, and Nature Magic. One thing to keep in mind is that the magic system doesn't seem to have inherent methodology, with each magician learning magic using their own methods, some of which are mutually exclusive.
  • Jerkass Gods:
    • When not experimenting with extreme levels of apathy, the gods of Tales of Madness like to toy with their followers relentlessly.
    • This is especially true of The Cat. One of his alternate names is The Trickster.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: The gentleman thief Raa Forty-Names, after whom a thieves' guild is named, stole extensively from the rich to give to the poor.
  • Leaking Canof Evil: The Other is crippled and trapped, but slowly healing and exerting its influence over the world in order to free itself.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Sunshine Man
  • Merchant City: Gozenram, as the primary port for the region, has a rich mercantile tradition.
  • Non-Idle Rich Wealthy southerners have to defend their holdings from a multitude of threats.
  • Odd Job Gods: The innumerable behind-the-scenes spirits that govern the concepts of everything from the grand to the minute.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Averted. The Dwarfs of Tales of Madness are still clannish underground dwellers, but constantly mine the earth in an attempt to find their god; and instead of gold and gems, they prefer festivities and music.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Known as Aelfe in the Tales of Madness setting. Uber hedonistic immortal near unkillable warrior kings, good thing they're unplayable.
  • Our Liches Are Different:
    • Ashur Ram, The Bone Wizard, is currently in a centuries long game of wits with the Spider god.
    • Black Bones, the Iron Wizard, had his apprentices fill a cauldron he was sitting in with molten iron, melting his skin and coating his bones in the cooled metal; hence his name and appearance.
  • Petting Zoo People: several of the races in the setting fulfill this trope. They are:
    • the Anharr: lion people who roam the western plains and badlands, serving as a cultural bridge between the Shining South and the Dreaming West.
    • the Jardoun: rat people who live in ruins and tunnels underneath the city who style their culture off of the pharoahs of times past
    • the Krotem: insular crocodile-men who live in the swamps along the northern coast, who spend most of their time locked in tribal conflicts with each other.
    • the Mumuye: xenophobic elephant-men in the eastern forests around El-Andrel who are obsessed with honor and preserving the forests
    • the Teuthians: amoral squid-people with a capacity for scientific and magical experimentation. Not playable.
    • the Xoc: warmongering bloodthirsty shark-people who live in the ocean. The only reason they haven't tried to conquer the South is because they can't hold their breath long enough to be successful. Not playable.
  • Proud Merchant Race: the more "civilized" Anharr who remain in contact with the cities have adopted this hat, in order to make the most of their nomadic lifestyle.
  • Proud Warrior Race: the "wilder" Anharr who live in the West wear this hat, as their skill at arms helps protect them against the many threats that their nomadic people face.
  • Reality Warper: some of the most powerful beings in the universe, such as the Dragons of Creation and the Deep, have this power.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Most deities in the setting
    • Many of the cyclopean Obon practice this with their equivalent article, "Dor"
  • Vain Sorceress: Bride of the Spider
  • The Wonderland: The Dreaming West exemplified.
  • World of Weirdness: ToM is filled with events that defy reason or rationality.
  • World Shapes: The world is a cylinder that is constantly extending at either end.


Example of: