Nickname: Dusky (only by Chisk)
Description: Female Dingo, light brown fur. Wears a white shirt and brown vest over a green kilt.
Possessions: Simple crossbow, binded parchments and writing quill
Personality: Duskbiter does the hard work of actually managing the horde. Practical-minded and organized, she disapproves of most of the rowdier generals. She isn't easy to impress, as she tends to be overly critical of anyone who isn't Chisk. There are only a select few, like Swiftpaw, that she considers reliable. She is easily cowed by beasts that are large and intimidating, like Siltscale. Most of the horde dislike her, since she is always criticizing or rebuking people for not reaching her high expectations, though she means well and just wants to encourage others to work hard and take things seriously. The rumor whispered among the soldiers is that she and Chisk are really close, which explains why a meddling busybody like her was appointed to such a high rank.
Background: She and Chisk knew each other since childhood. Duskbiter grew up on a farm, and her parents were simple agrarians who lived peacefully. She learned how to use a crossbow, in order to defend the farm from occasional bandits. After a passing horde killed her parents and torched the farm, she started traveling with Chisk. At first, when Chisk revealed her ambition to become a warlord, Duskbiter was furious, since a warlord was responsible for the tragedy that happened to her. However, she warmed up to the idea when Chisk promised to destroy the clans responsible for the attack.
Although she wishes Chisk had less dangerous ambitions, she is determined to ensure that Chisk doesn't take on more than she can manage. She learned how to fight better so she can protect Chisk if necessary (although she knows Chisk probably doesn't need protection).
She affectionately calls Chisk "Chisky" out of habit, but Chisk insists on hiding their relationship from the rest of the horde.
Strengths: She has decent aim with the crossbow, but not great. While she's not a genius, she is diligent and organized enough to manage the horde well.
Weaknesses: She is not good at close combat, and is easily bullied by stronger beasts. She is widely disliked, and has few positive relationships with others.
Name: Inventor-General Iretooth
Nickname: Toothy (only by Chisk)
Description: Female quoll, reddish brown fur with pointed ears. Tall and lithe, very pretty. Wears goggles and brown longcoat, which she leaves open.
Possessions: A dart launcher, strapped to her arm.
Personality: Conceited and vain, takes every opportunity to brag about her ingenuity or beauty, or insult others. She refrains from insulting Chisk though, since otherwise she'd be out of a job. Still, it's too much to expect her to be nice to more than one person. Despite her brazen attitude, she is a coward who immediately folds when anyone confronts her.
Strengths: Intelligent, able to design and build useful devices.
Weaknesses: Cannot fight at all, because she believes someone as talented as herself shouldn't need to put in the effort. To defend herself she relies on her dart launcher, which does little damage. She is also cowardly, and immediately runs away or surrenders when the situation gets bad.
Name: Infiltrator-General Starpelt
Nickname: Starry (only by Chisk)
Description: Young male quoll, black fur with white spots, short and pudgy with round ears. Wears simple grey tunic.
Possessions: Poisoned dagger, satchel of food
Personality: He is very casual, and rarely takes things seriously. He's almost always eating, and he insists it's because he's going through a growth spurt. He rarely speaks, since it would blow his cover.
Strengths: He is skilled at entering and sneaking around enemy territory, and blending into a crowd. He looks so plain and unremarkable that he is able to escape notice in a crowd even when standing in plain view. His small size and dark fur allow him to easily hide in obvious places.
Weaknesses: Very perceptive beasts (such as Chisk) are able to notice him right away unless he hides out of sight. He has slow reflexes, and gets tired easily, especially if he hasn't eaten for a few hours. His small size makes him physically weak, and he's not very clever. Once noticed, he can at most take down one beast before getting defeated.
Name: General Siltscale
Nickname: Scaley (only by Chisk)
Description: Female goanna, tall with black scales, covered in white bands and jagged scars that blend together. Wears a shoulder pauldron and blue cloak.
Personality: A serious and intelligent general, but prone to argument. She disagrees with many of Chisk's decisions, and isn't afraid to make that clear to all. Very enthusiastic about voicing her disagreement, tends to shout. Everyone is at least a little afraid of her. She's not overly violent though, and is one of the more reasonable generals. She comes from a peaceful settlement of lizards, where she received a good education, and previously worked as a guard. She tries to appear refined, since goannas are often viewed as unintelligent brutes, and has been working on fixing her speech impediment.
Strengths: She huge and strong, and looks terrifying. Her thick hide protects her from severe injury. She's also intelligent, and keeps calm even in the thick of battle.
Weaknesses: She is unaccustomed to fighting with a weapon, and often falls back to clawing and biting without realizing it (it embarrasses her). She is more susceptible to cold than other reptiles, and even the nighttime chill is dangerous to her, so she avoids being active at night. She has an illness that makes her easily exhausted and short of breath, which she tries to hide lest she appears weak.
The darkness of night fell fast upon the four mice as they hurried frantically through the woods. Mist swirled around them, obscuring their vision. In the distance, they could clearly hear the cold blood-curdling scream of the mysterious Black Rider. The mice dodged and hid behind every tree they came across, calling out to each other at every available opportunity.
"Anything?" Sam called out to Frodo.
"Nothing!" replied the Duggins a few meters ahead.
"What is going on?!" Pippin demanded impatiently as he stumbled towards Frodo's side.
Merry came up behind Frodo and looked him in the face. "That Black Rider was looking for something," he observed in a serious tone. "Or someone!"
"Get down!!" Pippin cried out, and they all hurriedly crouched down on the ground, concealed in the brush and trees.
Sure enough, the Rider came into view. The four terrified mice shook in their cloaks and furry feet, but remained silent. Unsatisfied, the Rider rode off of the hill it stood upon and into the night.
"I have to leave the Shire," Frodo desperately told Merry and Pippin. When Merry met his gaze, he added, "Sam and I must get to Bree."
"Right..." A thoughtful look crossed Merry's eyes, then realization. "Buckleberry Ferry! Follow me!"
The mice stood up low and ran off through the trees. Suddenly, the Black Rider appeared in front of Frodo! Almost frozen in terror, they bobbed and weaved chaotically in an attempt to dodge the wild horse and its phantom rider.
"Run!" Pippin screamed.
"Frodo, this way!" Merry called to the Duggins. "Follow me!"
The Brundyback mouse led the way to a fence leading to the river bank, which himself, Pippin, and Sam leaped over to reach the raft.
"Get the rope, Sam!" Merry ordered again.
"Frodo, come on! Hurry!" Sam screamed in desperation as he uncoiled the rope from the jetty.
Merry and Pippin pushed the ferry away from the shore, and Sam boarded as it began to drift down the water. Behind them, the Black Rider was rapidly closing in on Frodo.
"Run, Frodo!" "Come on, Frodo, faster!" "Hurry! "Jump!"
Frodo took a flying leap from the wooden dock and landed on the ferry, collapsing his friends into a heap. The Black Rider skidded to a frantic stop, the horse snorting and whinnying. The mysterious commander on the horse's back screeched and screamed but made no further moves before turning around and returning the way it came.
"How far to the nearest crossing?!" Frodo asked as Sam helped him to his feet.
"The Brandywine Bridge, twenty miles!" Merry informed him, prodding the craft down the river.
On the horizon, the Black Rider followed two others of its kind down the road.
Litha watched him go with a faint smile flirting around her mouth, then turned and fell into Falmouth's arms. "Home at last, dearest…" She sighed, snuggling into her shoulder.
He chuckled and rubbed her back. "Come inside, Litha-my-love."
Litha nodded and followed him inside, turning to shut the door. She watched Jared out of sight before closing it with a contented sigh. Falmouth had two glasses of wine and a bowl of fruit on a tray, and he stood waiting for her.
"Night falls outside." Litha spoke softly.
"Yes. Even the Earth must have her rest before turning a new page."
~~~ So amazing to write with you, Jared! I don't think I have anything else to say for this story. Blessings, my friend.~~~
Imperial Empire Historical Information:
Status: (At the time of this recording) Active
Predecessor - Eradaukh Imperium
Ascendant - Many ranging kingdoms of vermin and woodland origin
Eras of existence - 50 Imperial Eras (500 generations or 12500 seasons)
Ethic Alignment - Gray
Size - 7 Continents, 38 Islands
Government - Imperialistic / Clan
Races - (Primary - Meerkat) & (Attending - Chinchilla, Wallaby, Raccoon, Alsatian, Thylacine)
Primary source of industry - Mining and Smelting Clan
Alignment - Mild (+3)
Estimated Army Size At Present - 300,000
Tech Level (0-10) - 7.5 (Regular Military - 7.5 & Praetorian / Elite - 9.75)
Clans - Military, Science, Maritime, Mining and Smelting, Manufacturing, Agricultural, Trading
Clan Wars: In the early seasons and even prior to written history meerkat history ten clans of meerkats were spread across the deserts of the home continent. From the known beginning these clans fought each other for control of land and resources including the rare fertile lands along the Vitality River. The fighting lasted for generations steadily weakening the clans and resulting in the destruction or absorption of five of the clans. With mined materials relatively rare the more sustained farming clan overtook their counterparts who were more experienced in mining and tooling. The seafaring clan that utilized the few massive rivers of their homeland to the fullest was able to overrun their neighboring traders and continued on to engage in conflict against their agricultural opponents. During this time refugees from the absorbed clans that had managed to evade their conquers steadily flowed into the capital of their scientifically experienced cousins who showed a significantly higher degree of docility. Not long after the arrival of the refugees they were faced with a clan whose only specialty was to fight forcing them to consider surrender. Before a decision could be reached however the leaders of the Militant clansbeasts proposed an alliance fearing that if they attacked the scientists would destroy all their secrets. With the skills of the refugees working to their fullest the thinkers were able to arm the warriors with copper and basic bronze equipment allowing them to subjugate their remaining opponents with relative ease. Near the end of this conflict that extends back before recorded history the scientists determined that their numbers were dwindling to such a small number that more loses could result in extinction in a few generations. Seeing this and bringing the concern up with their warrior allies a general meeting was called for all the remaining clans. In these talks a uneasy alliance was formed between all of them in the name of survival and the three subjugated clans were reformed, free of their conquers.
Clan War Era Technology: (.5-2)
Early on the most common tools were cactus clubs and sandstone blocks however a clans such as the miners and the scientists developed slightly better stone tools though wood handles were virtually no existent due to the vast desert. Early armors were merely sets of shells collected from lobsters, scorpions, and clams however proved more than adequate against cactus tools; the maritime and agricultural clans were practically the only groups with access to these primitive armors. Later on with the help of refugees the scientists and warriors would gain access to copper and tin in small quantities throwing the technological curve several eras ahead of its present status.
Alliance: Rather short lived the Alliance lasted only for about fourteen seasons and was a period of truly massive technological acceleration as all the clans gained access to more advanced materials. With the homeland mainly deserted save for the meerkats war was absent and thus the Militant Clan honed their skills with training. It was later in this period in which the northwestern woodlands were discovered along with the chinchillas who oddly enough to the meerkats bathed in dust instead of water. With their numbers still extremely small the meerkats looked into forming an alliance with these newfound beasts.
Alliance Technology: (2-4)
During this time period iron was heavily invested in and extremely crude steel was developed. Sandstone structures were replaced with regular stone ones and marble as well as granite started being quarried. With access to wood products, shaft mining became viable causing the depth and number of new mines to jump dramatically as the concern about the soft sandstone caving in became less of a concern.
Early Eras:(0-10) The Imperial Empire was formed to annihilate any chance of a defection by one of the clans and gave power almost entirely to the Military Clan. All power was granted to the Emperor and/or Empress who could make "almost" unquestionable decisions though the majority of administration was done by the Clan Councils, there was one council of five for each clan with an elder and four regular council members. The Military Clan was the only clan that didn't have a council and instead relied on a command structure that tied directly or the Emperor and/or Empress for decision making.
In the first ten eras work was done on the Imperial City, carving out an entire mountain of corundum that spiked up from the center of the Vitality River. Massive in size the Imperial City wasn't completed until the twelfth era with walls and primary structures carved from the very corundum that made up the mountain. Most significant is the tiered tower in the middle of the city with a fired beacon at the top that can be seen days away across the vast open desert. Besides the Imperial City most resources were devoted to constructing settlements rather than exploring.
Mid Eras:(11-35) Sometimes called the age of expansion this is the time in which most of the Imperial Empires advances and discoveries occurred. Five surrounding continents were discovered early on and settled almost immediately to expand living space and material access. The discovery of the wallabies also occurred early on and it proved even easier to ally with them than the chinchillas. During the twenty third era the fourth island chain discovered was found to be home of the raccoons however initial contact was difficult due to distorted conflicts in which raccoons attempted to play with the Imperials however ended up killing them. After settling issues explained by the raccoon's hyperactivity from a diet largely based off of foods combined with sugar cane an odd pact was formed with the creatures, raccoons that accompanied Imperials would be sent into areas of extreme hostility first during this era as their stealth and "playing" skills were uncanny during this time. Alsatians were discovered late in this time period on another continent around the thirty second era and though aggressive proved to be moderately civilized allowing them to be implemented into the Imperial Empire after only a few minor conflicts and thorough talks. Alsatians would quickly become a prized addition as they would come to form the backbone of a new force Imperial Riders. Late during this time period jaguars of Thandian origin attempted to expand on one of the outlying continents resulting in a eight season long war that ended with the Thandians being trapped in their homeland with the help of Drengin Wolves whose lands neighbored them.
Late Eras:(36-50) A slight slowing in technological advancement Imperials continued to explore however also began digging up artifacts from the past in the practice of a science called archaeology finding signs of a vast extinct empire entire cities were built to support larger excavations and full legions stationed to protect the projects. The temperamental but highly advanced Thylacines were discovered in the forty second era and were integrated into the Empire at the will of the Empress at the time. Initially resistant to the action the Thylacines threatened to engage in conflict however this was quelled once the vast reserves of raw materials held by the Empire became available. Thylacine eventually began working with the Scientific Clan to develop better gunpowder based weapons, (the thylacines already used primitive rocket arrows), resulting in siege weapons such as the hwacha and front loaded cannon. Mossflower was discovered at some point in this period as well as a number of other lands many of which were now under the control of various kingdoms triggering rather minor conflicts and the formation of a few treaties. Drengin Wolves attempted to invade the Empire near the end of this time period and were utterly annihilated outside the Imperial City after having evaded contact until just a days march away from the capital. With their military crippled the Drengin were overrun again by the Thandians who after another twenty season war were left without any practical military.
Modern Eras: (51-??) This is pretty much what would be the present era for most rps that the Imperial Empire is involved in. Both Kyra's and Avalon's backstory's are centered in the 52nd era while Erased Through Time is centered sometime in the 54th era.
Imperial Equipment - Imperial military equipment ranges somewhat widely due to their forces of varying skill. Regulars are equipped with repeater crossbows that take bolts from refillable boxes giving them ranged combat abilities while their steel medium swords and tower shields are good for close combat. Virtually all Imperial armors are composed of boots, greaves, cuirass, pauldrons, bracers, and a helmet giving almost complete protection to the wearer. Regular armor is easily discernible because of its reflective chrome appearance while Praetorian steel armor is forged from a stronger black iron giving it a much darker color similar to charcoal. To accompany their stronger armor the Praetorian forces utilize paw cranked rapid crossbows and katanas. Unlike the other two forces the more modern Elite Imperial Guard uses no armor but instead utilizes speed so it can make use of its weaponry composed of front loading hand cannons. Powder charges are contained in a packet of bark cloth for easy insertion. As an auxiliary the Elite Guard beasts do carry katanas.
The Empire also has a range of siege equipment ranging from ballistae to catapults and trebuchets to larger stationary rapid crossbows and even hwachas. The Elite Guard is also equipped with a handful of front loading cannons. Imperial Ballistae come in several variants, light and medium may only fire large bolts ?medium has greater power and range?, while the heavy and siege versions can throw small to midsized stones a great distance. Hwachas come as mobile artillery with two hundred tubes that are on a replaceable rack for quick reloading and are supplemented by a two part sighting system that significantly increase the accuracy "generally" of the arrow barrage. The stationary rapid crossbows come in three variants, quad, eight, and twelve each operated by either paw or footpaw cranks, mainly footpaw?, allowing for a maintained rapid rate of fire.