The Plot
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HREORS
By Meduzia
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The Plot | The World | Character Creation | Application

MAIN PLOT



THE STIGMA



Hreors is, by all accounts, a rather small realm. Or, rather, small in terms of what has been explored so far. To the common knowledge, it lays on three main points: Kegan, the large city of concrete walls, skyscrapers and dirty secrets buried in the underground laboratories; Alegra, the shiny mask over a scarred face that welcomes all in attempt to dampen the chaos brewing beneath and the North, the unexplored plain that takes up vast majority of the realm. North looms over the rest of the realm, otherwise barely named in its mystery, threatening to swallow the rest of the world into its pits.

Some claim it’s not that different there. The tribes aren’t tribes but are actually smaller settlements. Science and magic prosper in equal measure, just like in Kegan and Alegra, but North is forever pushed back, stigmatized. After all, the only thing that is good is a thing that is human-like, that can speak and move and live like humans do, or did while they still existed as the dominant species. A thing that can talk or otherwise communicate, that has a distinct shape. That’s not what Northerners are. They change shapes easily, fluid like liquid and just as fast. Most of them don’t understand the common tongue, they attack other beings; their hierarchy is like nothing known to Hreors. They do, however, stick to their own. Most of the time, they stay within the boundaries of The North, seemingly as afraid of their southern neighbours as their neighbours are afraid of them.


THE BREACH



It has come to attention, in the past century or so, that meddling between the North and the rest of the realm has become increasingly common. The number of half-bred children between Northern creatures and those of South has become larger, although the rate at which they inherit traits from their Northern parents is unknown. Northern citizens have started living in the cities, attending universities and schools outside of their jurisdiction; they have even accepted citizens from the south within their few territories and everyone has lived in peace.

When the lull was largest is when it happens – the sudden onslaught of unknown illnesses, people used as vessels when they weren’t meant to be. Some say that merchants from the North brought it with them. Some say it’s an ancient curse. Some claim it came with the Northern circus. Who knows, really? What everybody knows, however, that a dangerous strain of a leech has migrated from its previous home where it has been slaughtering Northerners and has started inhabiting south; more specifically – its citizens.

No one was spared. Southerners and Northerners alike could fall victims to the rapidly reproducing leech. No one seemed to be immune as even though it displayed tendencies towards strong magic, the strain would possess humans affected by the realm’s magic as well -and if Hreors has something in its soil, then that's magic. In short, everyone was a viable option and possession resulted in the loss of host’s free will and oftentimes in death as well.

Accusations were thrown left and right. Some claimed North did it on purpose, that they should’ve never been trusted. The rift between the City State of Kegan and its territories and the North has been established again, Northerners protecting themselves on two fronts as they have, as well, fallen victims to the leech.


THE SOLUTION



Just like with everything, Kegan didn’t waste time and decided to recruit new agents in order to suppress the thread. The task, in theory, was easy. Kegan had the necessary equipment for leech extraction that ensured the host would survive. The victims, however, weren’t going to turn themselves in. With the parasite controlling every part of their body, their own consciousness was present but unable to do anything about their own flesh. In short, they had to be caught and handed over so that procedure could take place.

It was a good outcome for everyone – the host would get their own body back. Kegan would extract a form they could experiment on.

And thus, the unit were easily formed. The guardians of the realm, Kegan called them, painting them as faceless heroes of Hreors while hiding the fact that most of these agents were unwilling, doing a job only because they owed it to Kegan. After all, as it often goes in this particular city, a job was not simply one job. Oh, no – Kegan sent out the names and known locations to their agents and expected to see results as soon as possible, lest they face consequences, but not all names were those of infected. Behind the scenes, Kegan has pushed a different kind of war in motion. They were hunting not only the infected and parasitic forms, but also the other citizens of the North. By putting them under the guise of possessed, Kegan could easily take them and experiment on them, or remove the ones they considered to be threats to their integrity. Possessed Northern citizens have proved to be the most favourable, as they could give two Northern life forms for observation.

Northerners are only ever truly safe within the neutral lands and their own part of the realm. The Flutura Academy of Combat and Arcane Arts has the safety laws in place, but being run by Kegan, these laws are often disregarded and the frequent hauntings by other Northern beings allow for the safety laws to be more flexible now than ever.

It seems that, not for the first time, Kegan has forgotten that Northerners are people too. That not only are they people, but dangerous people as well and that there might be time when they are reminded of this.


THE STIRRING



Five years after the initial infectious contact, the witch hunt still seemed to be on. The number of parasitic forms hardly dwindled, but the number of Northern citizens within the south part of the realm significantly decreased. There are whispers of North striking back spreading through Kegan and Alegra alike. Northerners whisper different kind of curse, however. They don’t retaliate, they just cower in fear, pointing fingers far into their land, where neither Kegan nor Alegra have managed to wander and they say: something's watching.

And in forgotten bowels beneath Alegra's shiny splendor, a group of rebels heeds the warning.
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