Kystle (Aestrix OC)

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Kystle (Aestrix OC)

Postby Aestrix » Thu May 29, 2014 12:58 am

Also known as "Who the heck is this 'Adarin' dude and where can I figure out what his family's DEAL is," the thread.

Well, Adarin's backstory and family dynamics in general are getting a spot, but to really get everything that's going on I'll need to have to explain the world itself. So I'm chopping this up into sections, for easy reading; feel free to skip to the section you like! If anyone's got a request for a character background spotlight for someone that's mentioned (even briefly) let me know, and I'll add another section for that character. Or, if one particular part of the history interests you, let me know and I'll expand on it. This is all the basic stuff, there's more but sometimes I'll forget things about characters that don't play as obviously into the 'main plot' of the world.

Where does the magic come from?

While humans are the main focus of the world of Kystle (as they are its original inhabitants), but they're by no means the only species present. Life before they got a hold of magic had its ups and downs, but in general time isn't recorded before they had it. This happened when another species decided to visit the perfectly ordinary plane of Kystle; they were known as Fae. They are invariably extremely powerful in magic, letting them plane-walk and travel wherever they wanted to go, with lifespans that could be measured in millennia.

Naturally, they're huge dicks.

They come across Kystle, and decide that they want to have a bit of fun with it. It was hardly the perfect land of sunshine and rainbows, but they found it rather boring. They wanted to spice it up, just a little, and make it more fun to watch. The method they decided to use was knocking up a random human woman, and seeing what the results were. The child of this was the first half-blood, and they had magic. But invariably, due to either Fae tampering or bad luck, they also have crippling insanity.

The first half-blood’s name has been lost to time, or perhaps he never had one.

The First Bloodline

The first half-blood was unquestionably the most depraved of the three. It’s unknown what sort of childhood or family-life he had, or whether or not his actions were simple insanity or bred from something more sinister. With all the power in the world, and with no one even remotely capable of stopping him, he did whatever he pleased. A mess of destruction and chaos was left in his wake - it's a large factor in why history before that time has been mostly lost. Not everything he did was well recorded, but the results of his actions shaped the stage for what he left in his wake: children. Magical children, from different mothers, in different countries, with different walks of life.

Whatever history wasn't destroyed by the first half-blood was most certainly lost in the wake of the large-scale magical war that followed. Not all were out for power, some of his children just wanted to live a normal life, but the ones who did want power got it, through blood and magic. Whatever lands they could keep control over were theirs alone - and they ruled how they wanted in their territory. It took centuries, but eventually a tentative system was set up. Mages became a sort of combination of nobility and warlords. They would form a kind of clan with their immediate family, occasionally marrying a cousin or second-cousin in order to keep their magic from fading away. That way, when they needed to kill each other, they would be powerful enough to survive.

It was a time of constant turmoil, with ever-shifting alliances and disagreements settled with duels or on the battlefield. Rulers would raise armies of ordinary people to use as cannon fodder to protect their families and ensure that anyone magical that was on their side stayed alive to have children. Different families would have wildly different specializations in magic, due to hoarding of knowledge. There was little to no consistent culture to speak of - depending on the family, polyamory could be supported or reviled, the family could be ruthlessly matriarchal, patriarchal, or neither. While it was a time of great turmoil, it was also a time of freedom - for mages.

Normal humans were not so lucky. If they were fortunate, they could live reasonably normal lives in the warzone. Many were not fortunate - taxes varied wildly, often with harsh results if not met. Forced conscription to an army was common, as was a forced conscription of another sort - if a normal commoner caught the eye of someone more powerful, then it was probable that the commoner would disappear. Slavery was uncommon, but not illegal.

Over the centuries, the lines of magic were beginning to dwindle, and the power of the great families was beginning to wane. While some families carefully cultivated bloodlines, it wasn't an enforced practice. So, when the second half-blood was born, there was little to stand in his way.

The Second Bloodline

The second half-blood was a man named Varinar. His mother realized what was happening soon after he was born - and that he was going to be the ancestor of an entire new bloodline. Rather than shying away from this, or abandoning the child, she decided that she wanted her son to rule over a dynasty. So, not knowing the curse of half-bloods, she raised him as such - born to be a king, born to rule, born to control.

He did not sow chaos, like his predecessor. It's fair to say that for the first few decades, he did nothing except what his mother told him. He was pointed at several smaller magical families, which he subjugated entirely with little trouble. With their lands under his (and by proxy, his mother's) control, he married several dozen women from the area, or more rarely, from the families he'd beaten. From there, the takeover was an orderly one, controlled by his mother while he sired children to be his legions, or brought down armies by himself.

Before they could completely achieve victory, the family met a snag that came from their ancestor. Varinar grew unpredictable, bipolar, obsessive, domineering and a man-child, all at the same time. Used to getting what he wanted, and with a declining sanity as the years went on, the once perfectly organized regime began to crumble. Respect for his mother slowly dwindled to near-nothingness, while his obsession with her grew. At random, he'd follow her orders to the letter, or subvert them entirely and throw them in her face. A few simple slights here and there evolved into full-fledged temper tantrums, with executions of anyone that got in the way. It came to a head when Varinar flew into a rage at a request from his mother and in anger he killed her.

With the true force behind his family’s power dead, the organized war machine began to crumble. Now without an easy distraction, Varinar turned his attention to his descendants. He’d turn to a son, or a grandchild, and give them orders for the most basic of things - clothes, what they have for breakfast, where they go, what their room looks like, and so forth. If his instructions weren’t followed… Well. He never killed any of his descendants, but several were permanently crippled for life, or traumatized. Even if they did follow his instructions to the letter - which many did out of fear - that was no guarantee of safety. His mood was as vapid as the breeze, and favor would turn to anger in the blink of an eye.

It was not a matter of ‘if’ his children would rebel. Instead, it was a matter of when. For a century, they plotted and schemed for how to kill someone so much greater than they were in power. While many of them had their differences, and the family itself had become twisted by their sire’s insanity and abuse, a common enemy united them.

Almost anticlimactically, they killed him without incident in a flawlessly enacted plan. With the man chaining them all to pretend niceties deceased, the family neatly fractured itself into factions within factions, vying for the potential to unite the lineage once more, and finish their work with annihilating or subsuming the unconquered descendants of the first bloodline.

They never managed it.

The remains of the first bloodline, scattered but not broken, knew they couldn’t defeat their attackers on the battlefield like they had previously done for centuries. Their magic was waning, while their enemy’s was powerful and new.

That is not to say they gave up. With the second bloodline’s main force broken from within by treachery and wit, a new type of battleground took shape. Intrigue, manipulations, plots, assassinations, ambushes and betrayal - those were the tactics this new age took.

Upholding the strength of the bloodline became an incredibly high priority. Those that rose as new leaders were cautious, crafty, and above all else - anxious to keep their place in the world. Polygamy fell out of fashion with the concern for purity and the desire to maintain their magic, rather than the attempt to get as many magical children as possible. Marrying family members, often cousins, was common.

Even with these attempts to keep their family’s magic strong, alternate solutions were researched. Extra-planar investigations began in this age, along with the search for a new potential half-blood.

Both efforts were rewarded. The former turned up another magical species that they named the Pythial, while the latter managed to discover the third half-blood when she was still in the womb.

Neither had the effect they wanted, though.

The Third Bloodline, AKA What Is Up With Adarin's Family

Since this is the part that got requests, I've given a bit more meat to this section of the history lesson. I've divided it up into portions based on each main family member, so readers can feel free to skip to sections that interest them. I’ve also written it so that things will make sense for anyone that skipped to this section.

The Half-Blood Aliya
Aliya was unique in two ways - the first being that she was the first female half-blood, and the second that she was discovered to be magical before she was even born. Several members of the second bloodline were paranoid of a third half-blood being born (and rightfully so), so every now and then they used their magic to scry for one. This was how they found her, and they decided to control the bloodline from the start.' Her mother was paid large amounts of money to give her up when she was born, and they took her off to raise her to be the perfect little baby-maker.

Their efforts were successful for several years, when she was growing up. While she was a little strange, she wasn't as unstable as her predecessors. It was believed, rather strongly, that she could be sheltered and keep the second bloodline's magic afloat with her children. Enemies of her caretakers soon learned of her, and when she was just old enough to be considered for healthy child-bearing, she was kidnapped.

This is Aliya's first glimpse of freedom. She'd never been outside carefully cultivated gardens, never not had exactly what she wanted at her fingertips, never went camping, never did anything that wasn't staying inside and being good and preparing to have lots of kids. Rather than throwing a fit (her caretakers had worked very hard to keep her from throwing temper tantrums) she was absolutely fascinated with everything. During this brief period after kidnapping, she was more lucid than she had ever been, and would ever be. Amazed at her occasional insight and cheered by her support of her new situation, her kidnapper, a man named Veron, began to fancy her.

She was delivered without issue to a man named Nereus. Deciding to earn her favor, he began to wine and dine her, and the end result was a lovestruck and pregnant Aliya. It's unknown if her new beau felt the same about her or not, but he certainly played up the effect and kept her happy and docile. Unwilling to let such a potential source of power get away, her original handlers organized a large team of powerful mages to retrieve her. In the ensuing fight, Nereus was killed.

Aliya was stricken by grief and rage. Her homicidal rampage began with Nereus' killers, but she destroyed the majority of the rest of the attackers soon after. The fight was very one-sided. It was one of the largest mage bloodbaths in recent memory. She didn't stop there, however. Servants, Nereus' soldiers, peasants - anyone that came too close, she would kill.

Her once-kidnapper managed to stop her from continuing her spree of murders - her mind was practically gone, at this point, but she could remember him, just barely. He calmed her down after some effort - and then they and the scattered members of the once-proud group of mages were at a standoff. If they attacked him, original kidnapper though he was, Aliya would have killed them in retribution. But Veron couldn't point her in the right direction to finish them off without risking another spree of murders. After some time, they came to a tentative agreement - Aliya would go to their capital and have her children, and Veron would go with her and gain a sort of diplomatic immunity - if they tried to kill him, it might incite Aliya's wrath.

She had her children - twins, and the second bloodline had a new attempt at puppets - they were too afraid of trying to control Aliya again.

Zeviana and Adarin
From an early age, the twins were given no proper parental figure. Fearful of a single member getting control of them entirely, they were shuffled between various caretakers at the whims of politics. Their mother’s insistence kept them in the same general area, but aside from that - they could be under the care of one family one month, and their arch-enemy the next.

For most of their early life, they had no parental figures to speak of. Physically, both were well-taken care of. They had well-balanced diets, good clothing, and attendants to make sure they were reasonably happy - but no parents. They were given rules and regulations to follow, things they should grow up to be, but none of the nurture often required of raising children.

Eventually, this caught the attention of the only other sane and permanent member of Aliya’s entourage - Veron. He was kept around for the purpose of keeping the resident half-blood reasonably sane, and so he was kept close to her, and therefore close to the children. Surveying the situation, he decided that while he might not be the best ‘father’ candidate for them, he’d be the only option they had.

He did exceptionally well, considering. Using a series of excuses for Aliya’s health and well-being, he managed to bargain his way to close proximity with the twins. Once there, he reached unofficial parental status nearly immediately, with both of them latching onto this lifeline of ‘sane, reasonable adult.’ While he didn’t have any actual authority over their lives, he could offer them advice, or give them a reprieve from the problems of their lives.

Their childhood was a strange one, with cold, calculating authority figures and a near-secret father, but they managed to steal happiness every now and then. Adarin would excitedly show Veron a new spell he’d learned, or Veron would regale Zeviana with tales of places far away, where rules were a little less strict and people a little less unfair.

As they grew older, however, that started to change. They were expected to take the roles that seemed most logical for the propagation of the third bloodline. Adarin was expected to impregnate any willing woman nearby, and Zeviana was expected to bear children, possibly from multiple men if able.

Neither fit the role in the slightest.

Adarin was bookish, standoffish, pleasant enough in conversation but unwilling to lay a hand on anyone that vied for his attentions. He cared more about spells and personal projects than the future well-being of the magical line, and turned down any propositions given. After long enough under the treatment of being the number one bachelor, he began isolating himself entirely from everyone but his sister and adopted father.

Zeviana’s situation was far more simple. Romantically, she preferred women, to the utter exclusion of men. Any attempt at a male suitor was bluntly turned down. If they persisted, then she would send her brother as interference. If even that failed, then she would pick a fight with the offending man - she didn’t lose a single one. She ran out of male suitors fairly quickly.

Unsurprisingly, their ‘caretakers’ were not pleased with the results. With no willing candidate to carry on the third bloodline, they began to look for alternative methods.

Some turned to attempted coercion of the twins into having some kind of child, but all attempts at this failed. They’d never gained either’s trust, and so they utterly failed at any attempt to get behind their defenses. Adarin began researching self-defense with shields shortly after, and Zeviana practiced her reflexes for simple, brutal spells in case something went wrong. In the end, neither twin was touched.

The second continued research on extraplanar beings. They summoned another species from another plane, after confirming that this species had magic. For the world as a whole, this was a huge, huge mistake. To say that they were unprepared for it would be an understatement. With their magic, they could turn ordinary people into near-uncontrollably psychotic shock forces. Soon, any defenses were overwhelmed, and the mage-controlled government was thrown into panic and disarray.

Soon enough, the invaders reached the city where Aliya and her children lived. In the ensuing chaos, the twins managed to slip their leash. Enraged at the invasion, Zeviana left the city to fight back, her brother following along to make sure his twin was alright.

This proved to be the decision that saved both of their lives. At some point, Aliya was reached by attackers, and the already unstable woman did what everyone had been expecting for years. She blew herself up, taking the entire city with her. Including Veron.

Heartbroken but determined to try and save as many people as possible, Zeviana and Adarin made an impromptu plan. Adarin would created and held a large shield that wouldn’t let invaders pass, and Zeviana would retrieve any she could and bring them inside. From there, the survivors could properly regroup and figure out what to do next.

Adarin managed to keep a hold of the shield for the better part of three days. In this time period, Zeviana retrieved thousands of survivors, and many others managed to make it to the safety of the shield. The plan was working - with breathing room against the blood-thirsty hordes of their own people, and space from the invaders themselves, they could reorganize.

But, of course, Adarin’s reserves of mana were not infinite. He held on to the shield for as long as he could, but there came a point where if he held it another minute he would die. So, he dropped the shield, suffering from mana deprivation and exhaustion.

When it fell, several other mages were forced to take up shielding. It was only another stopgap, they knew, so they started looking for alternate solutions. They realized, after some argument, that their attackers couldn’t travel to other planes, so they concocted a plan. They’d abandon this plane, and flee to another. They searched for a new home - options were scarce, with their limited pool of power, but they found a place appropriate. A mage was sent, to check the area and leave a marker, and a portal was created. All within the failing shield went through, and then the shield was dropped.

Barely conscious and delirious with agony, Adarin was taken through. He might have protested, but he wasn’t in any sort of shape to try. His sister was left with a choice - leave him to the mages and try to fight the invaders, or abandon the world to its fate and make sure he was safe. It didn’t take her very long to decide - her brother was all she’d had, in the world. She went with him, and Kystle was abandoned.
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Re: Kystle (Aestrix OC)

Postby Kappa » Thu May 29, 2014 6:09 am

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE IT'S THE EXPLAINY POST! I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT THE EXPLAINY POST

*PICKS UP THE EXPLAINY POST AND SNUGGLES IT WHILE DOING A DANCE*
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Re: Kystle (Aestrix OC)

Postby Aestrix » Thu May 29, 2014 6:16 am

I'm glad you're happy about the explainy post <3

Actually this isn't even explaining everything, I've got history for after they flee Kystle, and haven't even explained Lynn and why she is a major player in this history lesson. I didn't want it to be too wall of texty, it's already very much a wall of text.
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Re: Kystle (Aestrix OC)

Postby Kappa » Thu May 29, 2014 8:20 am

THE EXPLAINY POST IS VERY EXCITING

EXCITINGLY EXPLAINY
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Re: Kystle (Aestrix OC)

Postby AndaisQ » Thu May 29, 2014 10:55 am

LOUD SHOUTING ABOUT BACKSTORY

very excited, you are good worldbuilding
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