About the Game
There are sentient particles that make up the world - all beings, all plants, all elements, all energy. These fundamental particles can be instructed by a few to change or grow or bend the rules of reality. It was inevitable that these fortunate few, with the power to mold and shape the world to their bidding, felt that they had a divine right to rule over the others. Under the thumb of the galdori, mankind has been repressed, controlled, spied on, and even killed for the last two thousand years. The worst part, perhaps, is that the galdori believe that what they are doing is fundamentally right, and work tirelessly to exert their control just as the humans fight to be free of them. Tension between the races of men has never been higher, and the world seems to hold its breath as the nation stands on the precipice of deadly civil war.
Thorns: Uprising RPG
Thorns: Uprising is a play-by-post forum RPG with an emphasis on creative writing, story and character development, and community. Started originally in August 2008 by Cartographette/Thundercake, the site eventually faded and by 2011 had closed it doors. This is a reboot, a revamp, a labour of love by Muse, Khymarah, Bard and Morrigan. Thorns' unique game model has something to offer for casual roleplayers as well as dedicated RP veterans. We have a detailed game world and a great degree of freedom in character creation.
The Story Behind The Game
In the world of Vita, sorcerers, known as galdori, are the dominant force. They wield the power of the mona and all lesser races are subject to their will. In Anaxas, the humans and wicks are displeased with their place in the world and are beginning to plan an Uprising that will dethrone the galdori King and restore Anaxas to non-magical control. The most extreme of these freedom fighters would gladly see any of the galdori killed and the art of magic forever lost.
From their base at the University of Brunnhold, the galdori are still getting used to their new Headmistress, Ophelia Servalis, whose radical ideas threaten the status quo. Their aged King Taelin, is on the brink of collapse; what will his death mean for the sorcerers, especially when the Queen herself is dying of a mysterious illness? Total political chaos seems near, and only the sinister High Judge Azmus seems capable of restoring reason and power to the galdori.
For humans, times are bleak. The economy is suffering from outrageous tariffs, the people are poor and oppressed, and villainy is rampant under the thumb of the crime lord Silas Hawke and his band of mobsters known as the Bad Brothers. The Resistance, led by folk hero Jon Serro, promises change; many cling to the desperate hope that they will overcome their galdori oppressors. But will the freedom fighters restore power to the people or simply take it for themselves?
The wicks, the dark horses of history, linger on the outskirts of this conflict, neither taking sides nor opting out altogether. They seem to favor the human side of things, as their people have been oppressed as well, but their loyalty to their own people seems to take precedent. And they have their own problems to deal with - High Judge Azmus would as soon look at a wick as kill him, and the future of the tribes has never seemed so insecure. Even the Durgs are in disagreement.
Though the struggle between these two forces (magical and nonmagical) is all-encompassing, there is a third player. The natural world, a magic so deep as to be incomprehensible to mortals, has begun to take note of the events of the mortal world. The malevolent force of the hatchers, a band of mythic beasts who hate mankind more than it is possible to comprehend, looms in the distance. The mona are restless, and are beginning to enact their will through the passives - non-magical galdori who have an unexplained connection with the mona. And the gods, as usual, are silent.
Anaxas is also at the brink of their ten year cycle as the seat of political power in the Ten Kingdoms, and with the events currently at a boiling point, and it seems like only a matter of time before a catalyst sets an inevitable war in motion.
Thorns: Uprising is set on a planet called Vita. On Vita, there currently are five playable races of people.
The galdori are a race of powerful sorcerers. They are an aristocratic people, deeply dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and the understanding of magic. They rule over the other races, using their power to retain full control of the kingdoms. They believe they are the benevolent caretakers of the world, and that they rule by divine right. Most believe that the other races are inferior and incapable of taking care of themselves. Galdori are very religious and somewhat superstitious. (Please note that "galdori" is the plural of "galdor," and neither are capitalized.)
The humans have no magic, and are ruled by the galdori. Because they are oppressed, they have developed a culture of secrecy, relying on code, subterfuge and secret societies to exercise any freedom. Humans are deeply pragmatic, resilient and family-oriented. Unfortunately, and partially because of the inattention of the galdori police, human society is plagued by crime and piracy.
Passives are born without magical ability, even though they come from magical parentage. They are quite rare, and treated differently in various societies. In Anaxas, passive galdori are treated very badly by the galdori, either used as slaves at Brunnhold or barred from owning property, marrying or traveling freely. All passives have a diablerie, or unchained spell, which can manifest at random and be very destructive.
The wicks are a half-bred race between humans and galdori. They can use magic, but it is very weak, and they tend to augment it with non-magical tricks. They are tribal and nomadic. Wicks are loyal and spiritual, and value tribal identity, which they display in artisan crafts, dancing, storytelling and music. Like humans, they have very few legal rights and are ruled by the galdori.
Raen are souls whose flow between the afterlife and the antelife are broken, the Raen are souls who are doomed to wander through Vita. Unless they bond with a body, their soul begins to disintegrate, corrupting the world around its incorporeal form..
Vita is in the Steam Age, and therefore has mainly steam-powered technology. Travel and science are two areas that art particularly advanced; aeroships and steamboats as well as sophisticated medicine are commonplace in the world. (In Earth terms, think pre-1900 with a fantasy flair.) For more information, check out the technology page.
The calendar of Vita has ten months, most of which have 40 days. The days have 30 hours.
The game is set in the kingdom of Anaxas. Anaxas is one of ten kingdoms that is currently the political seat of power, and is the wealthiest and arguably the most advanced of the ten. It is ruled by an elected King and Queen, who are chosen to serve by the Headmaster of the University; they are advised by a Congress of learned and powerful politicians, a system of Courts (ruled by a High Judge) and the University itself.
There are currently three main cities in Anaxas:
Brunnhold is the largest and most renowned University of Sorcery in the world. Almost all galdori children are sent to Brunnhold once they turn ten years old, and they remain there for ten years, studying magic and many other subjects. Brunnhold also houses a College Town known as the Stacks, which is home to certain teachers as well as humans and wicks, who operate the majority of the local businesses.
Vienda is the capital city of Anaxas. It is home to a great many humans, and is also the seat of the galdori government and the Royal Palace. It is also home to the headquarters of the Seventen (the peacekeeping force in Anaxas) and is a hotbed of resistance activity.
Old Rose Harbor is the main trade port of Anaxas. Although technically a part of the kingdom, control of the Harbor lies with a man named Silas Hawke, the self-appointed King of the Underworld; together with his network of henchmen (the Bad Brothers) he exercises complete control over trade in the port. Although Old Rose is partly fueled by black market trading, the galdori government does not challenge Old Rose because Hawke makes the kingdom so much money. Very few galdori live in Old Rose Harbor; it is mainly populated by humans and the occasional wick.
In Anaxas, there is a lot of social tension between the races. The humans and wicks feel oppressed, and have begun to organize a resistance against the galdori government. Likewise, there is division within the government, as the galdori struggle with each other for power.
Anaxas is also feeling the pressure of the upcoming Ten Year Cycle. When the cycle turns Anaxas will loose its seat of power to the next Kingdom in line, and not everyone is happy about this.
Currently, there are three main plot lines.
- In Vienda, the resistance is beginning to become a problem for the galdori government. Under the leadership of Jon Serro, the charismatic head of the resistance, the movement has grown at an incredible rate. The Seventen, led by the intimidating Hanz Morde, are doing all they can to quell the violent movement, including banning all wicks (whom they believe to be troublemakers) from the city and sending out elite squads to find and kill resistance operatives.
- In Brunnhold, the newly chosen Headmistress Ophelia Servalis is making waves with a series of radical, liberal pronouncements. The faculty and Chairs have begun to suspect that she is a sympathizer, especially because she has spoken out against the poor treatment of passives and criticized the actions of The Seventen.
- In Old Rose, Silas Hawke's trade route, the Vein, is being challenged by a rival (jokingly called the Drain). He is seeking to find the operatives of this new route and cut it off at the source before it takes too much of his profit away. This has led to home invasions, raised taxes and the bullying of the citizens of Old Rose.
The Ten Kingdoms are unified by a single belief system - Circlism. Circlism is the worship of the Circle Pantheon, ten gods who each watch over a kingdom. The prime goddess of Anaxas is Alioe, but the Anaxi people worship the other nine gods as well.
Alioe is the goddess of time and the aspect of the moon. As such, these things are very important to the Anaxi people. Timeliness is next to godliness, and the moon functions as a prominent symbol in Anaxi mythology.
In Anaxas (particularly Brunnhold) there is a deeply spiritual and devoted religious sect called the Everine, or the Time Keepers. The Everine are quietly influential in the government.
Magic is the system through which the galdori (and wicks) control the natural world by speaking to the mona. The mona are sentient particles that make up the entire universe. Magic involves starting a Conversation or Chat with the mona, entreating them to change something about the world. It is an ancient practice that involves a language called Monite.
The galdori consider magic to be both a scientific and a spiritual act. Conversations are written and spoken like prayers, with many verses of specific and careful wording. Converstions are extremely difficult to write, as one wrong word can cause backlash or other disastrous effects. Currently, magic is dangerous and imperfect; the galdori are constantly working to improve their knowledge of the mona. The galdori are careful to respect the mona, valuing their relationship with them above all else, and take great care not to offend them by using magic for a base purpose.
Wick Magic is considerably weaker than galdori magic. Because wicks are not allowed to use published spells, each tribe develops a compendium of unique and useful spells called a Spoke's Almanac. The wicks are not bound by the noble uses of magic, and most of their spells are utilitarian or for entertainment.
The Next Step
Once you've read this page, you should have some idea of what kind of character you'd like to make. To make your character we suggest that you do additional research pertinent to your character.
- Please read the races page to understand your character's race further. (We suggest reading all of the races pages if you have time.)
- Please read the main page of the city location you wish to RP in.
- If your character is part of an organization, or would like to be, please read up it on the Organizations page.
- If your character is an avid magic user, please study and understand the magic system very well.
- If your character is a wick, we suggest skimming over the Tek Lexicon to pick up some common wick phrases and slang words.
When you have done the research you need, you should continue on to the Character Creation Guide.
- To create a fascinating and unique world for players to interact with
- To fill this world with interesting places, people and concepts, each of which is enjoyable to read about
- To step outside the usual stereotypes of fantasy magic and create a system based on solid principles
- To allow for a balance between player storylines and a central story arc
- To allow players to participate in the formation of history, and decide the events which change the world
- To encourage creativity, friendship and collaborative writing among players