Bloodlines (Gladiator / Empirical-uprising RP)
**"Attention, citizens of the Empire,
Based on the collected information of this year's census, your esteemed Rulers have determined a solution to the overpopulation:
Beginning every First Frost of the year, all families will be required to donate one or more representatives to compete in the Arena in a FIGHT TO THE DEATH. These representatives will battle to earn the right to not only survive, but handsomely supply their family and themselves with food, riches, and comfort.
Be not afraid; even those who lose have a place among our Overlords and in the Afterlife - sacrifices made to the Kindly Ones*, that they might continue to bless our grand civilization with their wisdom and their grace."
---The Council of Twelve
---The Kindly Ones**
So I had this idea. (W.D. is still awesome to this day.)
The very quick, basic plot in a nutshell: There is a rabbit empire in Eastern Mossflower. Not HARES - Rabbits. (Hares will make an appearance later.) This empire runs itself a lot like a rabbit warren, in that it's a very regulated and controlled setting, but unfortunately, with little to no natural enemies in the area, they are suffering an unhealthy, massive boom in population. The dictators' solution to this? Just start killing people off, of course!
The so-called "gods" that the citizens answer to are, without spoiling much, owls, cats, and/or foxes that are fed the fallen competitors* (the Kindly Ones). Only the General and the Council know this, and so the citizens are taught to believe that the greatest honor of all is to fight, and hopefully be someday "welcomed" into the arms of their gods.
This solution ensures that not only will the population be under control, but that only the strongest fighters survive - and in fact, the empire has broken down into two dominant strains of genetic carriers that are immune to certain poisons and diseases (but also horribly subject to others, outside of the territory).
Now, outside of the empire is an up-and-coming community or rising kingdom in a forest of thorns called Briarwood. It is a peaceful woodland society, a peaceful village and refuge for runaways and wandering travelers. The briar is so carefully tended to by the residents that there are only a few ways in and out, and hidden, forming the wall of the fortress "Briar Bastion". Free from aerial attacks and impossible to simply march upon, and guarded by steadfast warriors.
The General and Council have learned of its existence and would like to find a way to conquer Briarwood before it grows too powerful, and before anyone mobilizes to overthrow them.
There are also wild hares, nomadic, wandering loners, that may get mixed up in all of this, too.
Healers, elders, gladiators/competitors, wanderers, warriors, rulers/thanes, bards, clergybeasts, spectators, gamblers, rogues, rebels/runaways, veteran fighters, trainees, councilbeasts, outer-city vermin, Champions of Briarwood, and a death metal group (totally optional).
-rabbits (imperial and Briarwood)
-wild hares (not Sal. hares)
-TKO "gods": owls and cats (though you wouldn't be doing much other than hiding in the shadows and getting fed…)
Also, would totally love to see this thing played out in 2-4 parts: the Arena Battles and life in the Empire, and then the escape to Briarwood (and then maybe the reveal and overthrow of the Overlords.)
So...yeah, what you guys think? :3
Okay, couldn't find anywhere else to put this stuff up >_>
Eastern Mossflower, northern plains, the coast, and nearby islands.
A dominant breed of rabbit that normally has dark fur and peculiar blue-green eyes. Since only the strongest and a selected few of the not-so-strong are allowed to breed, the strain has split into the less common, aggressive gene carriers, and the more common, passive carriers. Since the gene-pool is so closely regulated, certain diseases and poisons have little to no effect, whereas some others do great damage. (Efrafans can handle a certain amount of adder-venom and spider bites.)
- "The General" - the dictator
- Council of Twelve - The General's elite Owslafa Chiefs
- Owsla - the subordinate officers
- "The Kindly Ones" - the gods (unseen owls, foxes, and cats). Decide who lives and dies, devour the fallen competitors of the arena.
The ruler's Officers (or "Owsla") control a "mark". Each citizen is identified by a special mark under a particular Officer, and can only be out and about when that Officer says so. Anyone that disobeys is brutally beat down and/or killed. The Owsla report directly to the Chief Owsla (the Owslafa), should they see anything out of the ordinary with the citizens, enemies, or beyond their borders.
The Owslafa reports directly to the General. They are specially bred, specifically chosen warrior-elites that guard the General and his family.
Currently, Efrafa faces an expansion problem, and with it, deserters and rumbling rebellion. To quell an uprising AND solve the problem of the massive boom in numbers, the General and Council convened and built an arena for death matches. This arena "Crixa Ra" chooses the strongest and eliminates the weakest annually, and by this point, the population has been deceived into thinking that participating is truly the greatest of all honors. Even if they fail in the ring, the family could be greatly rewarded and even elevated. Young bucks and does train hard when they are selected, and some that can't find a place elsewhere in the empire volunteer to become gladiators to keep their families and themselves afloat. Bets are placed, structures and guilds improved, and after several generations, the empire thrives almost entirely on the arena to survive.
Unlike the prim and snooty, almost wimpy rabbits of the canon, these rabbits range from being peaceful and loving, to brutal battle-hearts. Efrafans are separated into three different categories.
- Efrafan Ideal
Aggressive-temperament. Usually darker-furred. Big, sturdy build and peculiar blue-green eyes. Strong, lethal digging claws. Slight poison and disease resistance. These rabbits, especially the bucks, are ideal for becoming Owsla.
- Efrafan Common
Passive-temperament. Not nearly as physically built as the Ideals, and can vary a bit in fur-color and paw-size. Most are known to not possess the "Ideal Eyes", too. More curious, peaceful, and reasonable. Slight poison and disease resistance, but are weaker to their more aggressive counterparts.
- Efrafan Integrator
Any non-imperial rabbit integrated into the ranks of Efrafa.
Male = buck
Female = doe
Half-grown/teenager = leveret
Babe = kit or kitten
Civilization and Capitol
The Capitol City is the home of the Arena and Seat of the Gods. It is a magnificent, stone-paved place on the plains and flats, surrounded by woodland. [Development pending.]
The Arena and homes are hewn and chiseled from the natural rock.
Communal Housing = the closer in on the city, the more communal housing "apartments" become popular. Rabbits prefer dens and cozy tunnel or cave-like homes with modest woven furnishings, but in Efrafa, these homes are more above ground than below it. The standard poor apartment is little more than a stone and dirt cave with a rush-door or drape entrance, and contain 1-2 bedrooms, a kitchen, store-room/pantry, and "hot tunnel" (a very tiny space that holds only an additional hole full of hot coals, and heats the rest of the domicile).
Arena Apartments = contain one room, kitchen, pantry, and hot-tunnel beneath the actual Arena.. These are scarcely furnished, but become more elaborate and comfortable the higher the rating / the longer the competitors survive. For the experienced, there are more rooms, a personal bath-pool, expensive furniture, and comfortable cots. These apartments are constantly being changed out, due to the short longevity of the residents. Their common contains a personal armory and trophy room.
Domicile = the higher caste home, made of wood and stone and possess a yard, bath, and garden.
Fortress = a heavily guarded stone fortress with many levels of ancestral tunnels below it, and surrounded by waving black and blue standards. The entire tunnel system expands to every home, everywhere in the city, allowing the Owsla to secretly survey the citizens deemed untrustworthy. The General, his family, and all Owsla reside here, and have a great view of Efrafa from the very top. Contains many yards, ponds, and gardens to sustain them alone, as well as much more finery and comfort.
Arena = a vast, dusty, limestone playing field surrounded by high walls and coated with sand and dry dirt for traction. It is a roughly square shape with raised spectator seating all around, and on all four sides, a giant carved sculpture of a gaping rabbit's skull grins with its mouth forming the competitor's entrance. On the arena's flagged stones are marked the three circular sigils of The Kindly Ones: the Owl, the Cat, and the Fox - and the Moon Rabbit.
–-- Great website for fantasy city generating: http://citygen.crystalballsoft.com/generate.php -----
Population Density (Adults/Acre):130.42 Adults/Acre
Races:Common(17,386); Ideal(941); Integrators(565)
Gold Piece Limit:40,000.00
Income for Lord(s)/King(s):94,455.00
Imports:Apples, Barrels, Wheat, Wood, Steel
Exports:Vegetables, Leather, Potatoes, Iron Ore, Pelts
Famous:Management, Arena Battles, Fighters, Mathematical prowess, Earthly Gods
Infamous:Laws, Government, Arena Battles, Leader
-military, river, craftsbeasts, etc.
- Council of 12, the General, Owsla Elite, Owsla, TKO
- Clay + stone workers, furriers, medical, wood workers, bakers, dyers/weavers, etc.
((Okay, last part, I promise ^_^.))
Borrowing a little further from Richard Adams, here's a little something about the Lapine lingo, and then some other common terms that might arise in the setting.
Broken Sword - A "Broken Sword" is an Owsla or Owslafa deserter. He (or she) wanders, searching for a place to lend their skill and pledge their lives. The Owsla standard weapon is usually a broadsword, and sometimes they're more of a symbol of their office and not used as an actual weapon - but it is ritualistically snapped when the officer deserts or is exiled and survives.
Broken Swords are both greatly despised and greatly praised. They are not welcome in many warrens, and not trusted; however, they are also respected as fearsome warriors. Briarwood has a higher tolerance of Broken Swords, figuring that if their beliefs were worth breaking their allegiance and risking extermination, then their reasoning might be acceptably sound. Broken Swords make good warriors and defenders at Briarwood / Briar Bastion. (Briarwood also believes in giving everyone second chances.)
The family of a Broken Sword, if left behind, is publicly shunned. In Efrafa, the family may be either socially ostracized or killed outright. If a Broken Sword joins a separate warren or establishment, he or she may be allowed to stay, but not to breed. For now, Briarwood is the only place a Broken Sword may start a family without fear of physical or social attack.
In Efrafa, if the Broken Sword's family is left behind but allowed to live, the male children of the first birth take on the name until they can die or can clear it. If a Broken Sword has children when he rejoins a warren or establishment, the sons of the first birth are Broken Swords, too. (This is of course swapped, if the original Broken Sword is a female, therefore giving the title to the daughters instead.)
Snowstep - A white rabbit that isn't an albino and doesn't suffer from leucism, and keeps the color all year 'round. Typically a white doe, and believed to be good luck, and pure of heart and spirit.
Lagomore - the rabbit heaven for heroes. Protected by the kindly Moon Rabbit (the Fourth of the TKO). Not to be confused with the afterlife under the Frith Theology.
Lapine Glossary (edited a little to fit the context). Lapine is the Old Tongue for rabbits, and so mostly spoken by the elders and older folks of the city.
? Crixa: The center of Efrafa, at the crossing of two paths / The center of the city. ("Crixa Rah" is the Arena.)
? elil: Enemies of rabbits, including fox, stoat, weasel, cat, owl, etc.*
? embleer: Stinking, the word for the smell of a fox.*
? flay: Food, specifically grass or other greens.
? flayrah: Unusually good food, such as lettuce, carrots, etc.
? Frith: The Sun, viewed by the rabbits as God.**
? Frithrah: "Lord Sun", used as an exclamation. Analogous to "My God!"
? fu-Inl?: After moonrise.
? hain: A song.
? hlao: A depression in the ground formed by a daisy or a thistle, specifically one that can hold moisture. Also used as a rabbit's name.
? hlessi: A rabbit who lives aboveground or otherwise out of a warren; a wandering rabbit. Plural hlessil.
? homba: A fox. Plural hombil.
? hrair: Many, uncountable, any number above four. It also means thousand, a big, uncountable number.
? hraka: Droppings, excreta. Used as a curse.
? Inl?: The moon, moonrise. Also means fear, darkness or death (as in the Black Rabbit of Inle)**
? lendri: A badger.
? li: Head.
? marli: A doe, a mother.
? m'saion: "We meet them"
? narn: Nice, tasty.
? ni-Frith: Noon.
? nildro: A blackbird.
? Owsla: A group of strong rabbits second year or older surrounding the chief rabbit.
? Owslafa: A strong, older group of the Owsla that serves as the Council's police at the Efrafa warren.
? pfeffa: A cat.
? -rah: A suffix denoting meaning prince, lord or Chief Rabbit (as in Threarah, Hazel-rah)
? -roo: A diminutive suffix meaning "little" (as in Hlao-roo or Hrairoo).
? silf: Outside.
? silflay: To eat above ground; to graze.
? tharn: A state of paralyzed fear or confusion. Can also be used to mean "looking foolish", "forlorn", "heartbroken".
? thlay: Fur.
? threar: A Rowan or Mountain Ash tree.
? u: The.
? U hrair: "The Thousand". The term used by rabbits which refers to all their collective enemies.
? vair: To excrete, to pass droppings.
? yona: A hedgehog. Plural yonil.
? zorn: Destroyed, murdered. A catastrophe.
*This refers only to those enemies outside of Efrafa, and NOT to The Kindly Ones. In this era, the Efrafans don't know that TKO are actually a group of these.
**Frith is the "Old God" (and to some and those in the Briar, the true god, and is depicted as the sun. Worship of Frith and anything to do with him has been outlawed in the capitol. The same goes for Elhrairah, the "First Rabbit", although sigils and depictions of him arise in artwork and carvings, and is a symbol of strength to the Fighters.
**The Black Rabbit of Inle is the "Death God", and a direct subordinate of Frith in the theology. He is depicted as the shadowed moon.