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Albion

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1 Albion on Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:24 pm

Albion
Albion is the name of the nation in which all of the Heroes' quests take place.

History
The Court
Reign of The Court

The history of Albion is one that is constantly reforged in revolution and blood. The earliest accounts of Albion are purely legend, stating that it was a place of beauty and tranquility then three came from The Void: the Knight, the Jack & the Queen of Blades. They became known as "The Court". They coveted Albion and demanded that all men bow down before them. When the people of Albion refused, The Court burned Albion until the earth was black and the air was choked with smoke. They demanded obedience a second time, only to be refused again. As their next of punishment, The Court raised the ocean into the sky and flooded the land. A third time The Court demanded that men worship them, promising to usher in an age peace and end misery. But the few remaining people stood strong against The Court, and refused a third time. So The Court twisted their minds, until brother slew brother, parents abandoned children and friend killed friend. Finally the people of Albion conceded, and bowed to the court. Thus the The Reign of The Court began, where the few people who survived (and their descendants) toiled for many years, erecting structures and monuments to glorify those who came from the void.



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2 Re: Albion on Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:55 pm

Birth of William Black
In the days where people suffered under The Court's cruelty, a humble blacksmith and his wife had a boy. They named him William Black, and he would become the key to Albion's salvation. Little is known about William's childhood, but as a grown man he amazed many with his powers of mind, by which he was able to protect his village and perform feats that a dozen other men could not equal. These acts came to be celebrated as The Powers of Will.

William eventually grew obsessed with overthrowing The Court and ending their tyrannical rule. One night when he was consulting an old and mysterious tome, he was suddenly transported into The Void. Here he met Jack, who was sat on a throne surrounded by ghastly figures. Jack attempted to enslave William with the powers of an ornate sword, but William fought back - stealing the sword and escaping safely out of the netherworld. The sword spoke to William, it called itself the Sword of Aeons, and promised to help him defeat The Court, but only if he were to offer up his soul in bondage. With the Sword of Aeons, William set off to find The Court.



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3 Re: Albion on Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:57 pm

Fall of The Court
William scaled the peak of Ruon (Albion's highest mountain) and challenged The Court to combat. The Knight of Blades was the first to appear, and with the Sword of Aeons, William destroyed him completely. Jack was the next to appear. They fiercely struck at each other, until William broke Jack's body. Jack escaped into the Void, to fight another day. The Queen was the last to appear. For weeks their battle raged across Albion. Mountains were raised and valleys were formed by their mighty blows. Finally William slew the Queen, freeing the people of Albion from their yoke. They acclaimed William, who took the title Archon, as their king.



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4 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:01 am

The Kingdom
Rise of The Kingdom

With The Court vanquished, the Archon set his mind to unifying Albion into a great Kingdom. By this time his powers of Will were so great that the world seemed to reshape itself in accordance with his wishes. Cities were built in mere weeks and marvelous machines were constructed that ran on Will alone. Through a thousand years of peace, Albion reigned as the greatest centre of commerce and philosophy that the world had ever known. This was their golden age.

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5 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:05 am

Exodus of the Archon
Without any enemy to vanquish, the Archon's children, who called themselves Heroes, grew petty and cruel. They used their powers of Will, inherited from their father, to terrorize the people of Albion. A younger Archon might have stopped them, but his time in the Void and his battle of the Queen had infected his body and mind with a wasting illness. Faced with this decay, the Archon wrapped his body in gold mail and a royal blue cloak before seemingly vanishing from the land. Thus the corruption of the Kingdom began.

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6 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:08 am

Corruption
With the Archon gone, Albion descended in anarchy. Three out of every four people were slain in the wars, or died from disease or starvation. Meanwhile, the Archon's many descendants vied for power and the kingship. These new rulers were not as kind as the first. Each passing Archon, fearful of coup, brought fresh tyranny to Albion. A giant wall was constructed around the city, to keep citizens in and undesirables out.

The Archon's personal guard, who were encased in armour from birth, enforced their harsh paranoia-driven decrees: no citizens allowed out after nightfall, every citizen must appear when an alarm bell is sounded and any who opposed the Archon's rule were killed along with their families. The people witnessed these cruelties from behind masks that signaled their status while concealing their fear.

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7 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:10 am

Fall of The Kingdom
At the pinnacle of the Kingdom, where it had grown to its greatest extent, the Archon demanded the construction of The Spire - a giant tower used to focus all the Will power in the world, to grant the user a single wish. Just after The Spire's completion the sky was filled with a bright light, and all of Albion shook. In the morning the tower was gone and the Old Kingdom lay in ruins, all its inhabitants gone, except those who lived beyond the walls. Some argue that The Spire backfired, others say that The Spire actually fulfilled the wish of the user - to rid the Old Kingdom of corruption and start anew.

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8 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:13 am

Darkest Times
After the fall of the Old Kingdom, the few villagers that survived fell into isolation and Albion was plundered into a state of anarchy. Distance bred suspicion, which grew into bloodshed. Villagers fought for food, land, livestock and fresh water. Soon, they were even fighting over women of child-bearing age. Mercenaries sold their sword to the highest bidder and fought in a series of petty squabbles. If they did not like the price being offered, they extracted payment by threatening villagers. The Fallow Wars begun, an age of darkness and blood, which would bring Albion very close to extinction.

Human scavengers poked through the ruins of the Old Kingdom, finding and trading objects they did not understand as mere trinkets. Eventually the forest grew over the ruins. It was as if the rich heritage of Old Albion had never existed. The population dwindled, and those who survived would wake each day to a darker world.

Then out of the east, hope arrived in the most unexpected of forms - a Bandit and mercenary by the name of Nostro. He pledged to bring peace and prosperity to Albion, once more.

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9 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:16 am

The Guild
Rise of Nostro

In his youth, Nostro was a bandit and mercenary driven by an ambition to leave his mark on the world. He was, however, not without a sense of decency. He did not reach his potential, however, until he met a wise old man, by the name of Scythe. Scythe was a wraith of man, wizened and stern. He carried an ornate sword and shrouded himself in the now tattered royal blue cloak and tarnished gold armour worn by the first Archon. He seemed to appear out of nowhere and took a profound interest in Nostro.

Scythe saw in Nostro something more than a mere bandit. He sensed that Nostro unknowingly possessed the power that all the first Archon's descendants shared. Scythe hatched a plan: if he could properly guide Nostro, this bandit could achieve great things. He might even once again unite Albion and undo the damage done by William Black's children. And so Scythe began to tutor Nostro in how to be a leader of men.

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10 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:18 am

Establishment of The Guild
Following Scythe's counsel, Nostro set about returning security and prosperity to Albion. First, he gathered men and women throughout Albion and founded the Guild, where they could train to become real Heroes. Meanwhile Scythe tutored Nostro in the ways of Will. Using his new found power, along with Scythe's sage counsel, Nostro forced peace on the warring people of Albion. However, any hopes of restoring Albion to its former greatness were in vain.

While the Guild was still taking shape, Nostro commissioned a number of other great creations. One of which was the Witchwood Arena, a giant Colosseum intended to be a venue for which anyone could settle disputes in public. At the same time, Nostro's blacksmiths forged a sword known as the Tears of Avo, patterned on reports of the Sword of Aeons, which had been lost with the Archon's disappearance.

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11 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:20 am

Fall of Nostro
However, Nostro fell increasingly under the sway of a power-hungry courtesan named Magdalena. Eventually she corrupted Nostro to the point where the Arena was debased into a source of popular entertainment and the Heroes' Guild became nothing more than a house of mercenaries driven by a lust for profit and fame. These developments disgusted Scythe, who could only watch as Nostro and the Guild fell into disrepute. Finally he vanished, leaving Nostro to his fate.

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12 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:22 am

Death of Nostro
Near the end of his life, Nostro could finally see how power had corrupted him, and how far short he had fallen from his youthful ideals. By then his followers and even his wife had long since abandoned him. Isolated, he was easy prey for an assassin who slipped poison into his food. Nostro knew that he was dying, so called on his old mentor Scythe, to sit vigil with him in his final hours. He died, in peace with himself, with dawn's first light. However, Nostro's spirit, discontent with the un-heroic nature of his death continued to haunt the world, longing for a death that would fit his image.

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13 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:25 am

The Fall of The Guild
After the Hero of Oakvale defeated Jack of Blades, the Heroes of the Guild became lazy, and self-important. The Common Man is placed second to a Hero and with the Heroes' strength and powers, there seemed to be no way of stopping the Heroes' selfish ways.

That is until someone discovers the flintlock mechanism. Using powder from Samarkand, the flintlock mechanism is invented and the Gun is born. In the age of the firearm, the Oakvale Anti-Hero committee is established and eventually a revolt is made and the Heroes Guild is burned. While this is viewed as a positive event overall, it creates a great amount of turmoil for any decent Hero. The Arena, where the Heroes once fought for the people's entertainment, is used for execution. The Heroes are allowed to fight for their freedom, but are killed regardless. The Heroes attempt to fight back, which results in a battle within Bowerstone, but this ultimately fails.

Regardless, this ushers in a brief age of Enlightenment, where knowledge and philosophy are encouraged and many advances are made.

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14 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:28 am

The Decade of Enlightenment
After the Heroes Guild is burned, a brief ten-year period begins and logic, philosophy, and engineering are encouraged. Around the same time as the destruction of the Heroes Guild, the Churches of Avo and Skorm dissolve and people begin to try to understand the world, rather than pin it all on religion. Navigators invent the Sextant and begin to accurately map the world, as well as making the ground breaking discovery of the fact the world is actually round, which is a problem in the history.

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15 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:38 am

Minor Historical Events
Creation of Avo and Skorm

The Oracle of Snowspire reveals that Avo and Skorm are nothing but false idols. 400 years prior to the events of the Hero of Oakvale, a trader uncovered two sites where the will energy was exceptionally strong. One site seemed to heal people that visited it, the other, however, inflicted pain and gave thoughts of blood lust. The trader decided that he would create two opposing temples and collect the tithes that people came to donate. Eventually, people actually came to believe in Avo and Skorm as real deities.

War of the Churches
As revealed by the description of the Holy Warrior & Daemon Warrior Helms (found in the Northern Wastes), 200 years prior to the events of the Hero of Oakvale, a holy war erupted between the two churches.

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16 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:42 am

Society
Government and Law

The land of Albion is notably devoid of a strong system of government and laws, leading to a laissez-faire attitude for most aspects of society. Homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and polygamy are universally legal and widely accepted. Extramarital affairs, however, are taboo and the source of much contention among married couples. There is also a law that does not allow you to enter a town with unsheathed weapons as you are deemed a threat and hazard. This particular law is heavily enforced in Bowerstone; there, people are not even allowed to carry a weapon on their person. Conversely, this law is completely void in Knothole Glade. Obviously, murder is considered incredibly evil as are breaking into a house, vandalism, theft, or attacking innocent civilians and guards, but the worst punishment is a fine and being thrown out of town at the same time. There are also prostitutes in Albion but it isn't explicit as to whether this is legal or not.

Albion lacks a central ruler and is divided into small city states that dot the landscape. Major city states include, but are not limited to, Bowerstone, Southcliff, Bloodstone and Knothole Glade. They usually have a local ruler like a Mayor, Duke, or Chief/Chieftain. There have been times when Albion was united under the rulership of a King or Queen, however most of these positions, including King, have no real power and act as a figurehead. No elections are held either; these positions are usually given to people with the most wealth or property, or to those who are the most famous.

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17 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:43 am

Economy
The economy is completely unregulated and based primarily on agriculture, trade, and services, with little industrial activity prevalent in the country. The currency of Albion is the gold coin, and nearly every tradeable item in the land has a "national standard" of what each item is worth in gold. It should be noted, however, that items are rarely sold for their exact worth, especially in taverns and the Guild gift shop.

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18 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:49 am

Religion
During the time of the Hero of Oakvale, religion is based upon the belief of two deities: Avo and Skorm. Avo is a benevolent deity, who is worshiped in a temple in Witchwood - The Temple of Avo - through the giving of tithes. Avo rewards those; who make large donations, with youth, titles, and even weaponry. Skorm, on the other hand, is a devil-like deity who demands human sacrifices in exchange for gold, temporal power, and weaponry. The Chapel of Skorm is located in Darkwood.

The two deities are said, by the Oracle of Snowspire, to be nothing more than false idols.

Sometime during the next five hundred years, both of the temples and faiths disband. In place of the Temple of Avo, a lone missionary discovers the Golden Oak, and sets up the Temple of Light, around which Oakfield begins to prosper. In place of the Temple of Skorm, the Temple of Shadows in the ruins of a dark Cathedral. The patrons of the Temple of Shadows are mostly composed of rich folk who see evil as nothing more than a hobby. At the temple of Shadows, weekly activities are conducted, including Torture Tuesday, and Poker Night Friday.

Like their predecessors, the Temple of the Light accepts donations of Gold, and rewards the giver with goodness, youth, and even a weapon of great power (The Rising Sun), However they are granted an amount of experience (Most of the time General EXP) depending on the amount you are donating and the time. NOTE: At the Sun's Zenith (Mid-day) will give you more experience or The Rising Sun if they haven't acquired it. While on the other hand, the Temple of Shadows requires human sacrifice for evil, gold, and another weapon of great power.

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19 Re: Albion on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:52 am

Entertainment
Entertainment is provided at taverns, with their collection of beer, singers, and gambling. Also, a clandestine organization of fight clubs is prevalent in most of the major settlements, meeting solely at night time. There are also various games played throughout Albion, most notably Oakvale's "Chicken Kicking" contest, the Fishing Competition held in Greatwood, and the Archery Competition held just outside Knothole Glade.

The Arena also provides gladiatorial style combat entertainment for those who make the journey out to Witchwood.

By the time of the Hero of Bowerstone, hundreds of years later the Heroes Guild was disbanded, and the Arena lay in ruins, yet the villagers of Albion still hungered for the Arena's spectacle, and the Crucible was built out of the living rock of Westcliff, where non-Heroes can compete, going through a gauntlet of different creatures, much like the original Arena. The first champion of the Arena was a simple farmer named Thresher Jim, who ushered in the new celebrity culture of the Crucible. Many champions would come, but the best was Mad-Dog "The Strangler" McGraw, whose time would become the set standard on which other competitors would be judged. In the same area, there is the Westcliff shooting range. Bards and gambling are still prevalent through most towns, and in some of the seedier parts of Albion, prostitutes, of both genders, can be found.

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