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About the Game

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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, Raksha, Bard and Morrigan. Thorns' unique game model has something to offer for casual role players as well as dedicated RP veterans. We have a detailed game world and a great degree of freedom in character creation.

Before You Get too Excited

Please note, this forum deals with mature topics and we are currently RATED 3/3/3 for language, sexuality, and violence: Swearing and mature language are permitted. Sexual content may be described in detail, and graphic violence is permitted. While all of these things must be clearly marked in the title with the use of a [Mature] or [M] and Trigger Warnings (TW) described in the thread tags, there is no separate forum for these activities. Because of this rating, we do not accept players younger than 18 at this time. If you are younger than 18, we apologize but you cannot join us on Thorns!

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. Currently the game is centered on the Kingdom of Anaxas, where the humans and wicks are displeased with their place in the world. They 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. While there are nine other Kingdoms in the game that will open for play as the story unfolds, Anaxas is perhaps one of the most volatile of the Six Kingdoms. The struggle of galdori rule over the lower races plays out differently in the Kingdoms of Bastia, Hesse, Hox, Gior, and Mugroba, but each one will inevitably be effected should the Resistance succeed in overthrowing the Anaxi government in the near future.

From their base at the University of Brunnhold, Anaxi 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 Ester 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.

The Kingdom of 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. Many other Kingdoms suffer from various issues as well, each of which will unfold as storylines for players to follow as those Kingdoms become open to play.

The World

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. At this time, however, the locomotive is still in its infancy and an organized rail system hasn't even been considered, let alone invented. Firearms and black powder weapons are still young, invented by humanity as a way to counter galdori magic. (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.

Religion

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 the Kingdom of Anaxas is Alioe, but the Anaxi people worship the other nine gods as well.

Humanity and the nomadic wicks across Anaxas and the other Kingdoms are often not Circlists at all, but instead follow Vitanism, worshipping Vita itself and the Mythic Beasts that are said to guard it.

Magic

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. The best place to start is the Character Creation Guide!

  • Please make an OOC account on the Forum and/or consider joining us on Discord.
  • Please read the races page to understand your character's race further. (We suggest reading all of the races pages if you have time just to be familiar with the world and its peoples.)
  • If you'd like to explore a magical race, please study and understand the magic system very well.
  • Check out the Compendium and study a bit of Geography, Language, and Politics in order to decide where you're from and what your character may like to be doing for a living.
  • When you have done the research you need, you should continue on to the Character Creation Guide in order to begin your character sheet.

Our Goals

We are a narrative-focused site where writing character development and collaborative stories come before grinding and min/maxing. We want to build a supportive and creative community around a set of collective themes. Oh, and we want to have a damn good time doing it.

  • 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