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The Ascended (Open RP)
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Rise of the Ascended:
The Burning Legion was defeated on the Broken Isles. The demonic hosts were decimated, hunted down and slaughtered like fish trapped in a barrel. Azeroth was united like never before, and not even the Legion could stand against the Armies of the Light.
The Legion had not suffered such losses since the days when Sargeras himself hunted them across the stars. And so, they withdrew, leaving Azeroth strong and formidable.
The unified Armies of the Light swept across Azeroth, purging evil from the land wherever it arose. The Emerald Nightmare was sealed away, the naga were crushed and a band of adventurers returned from the seas bearing the head of Queen Azshara. The Zandalari were felled, and surviving mogu tribes were butchered.
A mass exodus from Outland followed, with the peaceful native creatures taking a permanent home on Azeroth, joining either the Horde or the Alliance at their leisure. Formal peace treaties were signed, and land was clearly marked out.
The monsters and twisted creatures of N’Zoth arose from the deeps, yet Azeroth was ready to fight them. The N’raqi were cut down in droves by the onslaught of the light, and not even the Old God itself could withstand Azeroth’s heroes.
Within thirty years, war had ended forever. Peace reigned supreme.
Yet, Kil’jaedan the Deceiver, in his infinite wisdom, knew that Azeroth had grown too strong for any one force to counter, even one as powerful as the Legion. So, the Deceiver devised a plan to bring Azeroth to its knees. Kil’jaedan went to his master, the great Sargeras, and presented his plan to the Dark Titan. Sargeras agreed, and at his minion’s behest, forged fifty Black Runes of incredible power.
Kil’jaedan took the Black Runes and scattered them throughout Azeroth, and then he waited.
Soon enough, the mortals found the Black Runes, which granted the bearer incomprehensible power. Corruption returned to the hearts of mortal creatures, and it wasn’t long until blood was shed.
The Rune-Bearers came to call themselves the Ascended, and they took it upon themselves to conquer Azeroth for themselves. The Armies of the Light splintered, and fell into ruin.
Ten years of war followed, and old hatreds between the Alliance and the Horde were rekindled, and they fought to destroy each other. The Ascended worked together, methodically eliminating enemies as their own forces grew.
The Black Runes often changed hands; whenever an Ascended was slain in battle or assassinated, new ones would take their place. Though men claimed that they would destroy the Runes they had claimed, none could resist so great a temptation.
In the latter half of the war, a quillboar named Hakaza found a Rune in his possession. He was endowed with demonic intelligence and equal power, and soon became a force to be reckoned with.
At last, the final defenders made their last stand in Orgrimmar, but Hakaza and the other Ascended caused the waters to rise, and swallow the city and all its soldiers. The war was ended.
Five years have passed since the war formally ended, yet conflict still reins. The fifty Ascended are only loosely allied, taking their own territories and ruling as they see fit. Many still bear animosities towards each other, citing old hatreds between the now defunct Horde and Alliance. Yet, many see Hakaza as their unofficial leader, one who represents neither side of the ancient conflict.
Hakaza rules from the Undercity, and controls all territory north of the Hinterlands.
Ascended can come from any mortal race, so long as they bear a Black Rune, they became supremely powerful. Each Ascended is equal in power, and though formidable, they are far from immortal. An Ascended could not destroy an entire army single-handed, but could wipe out scores of soldiers before falling.
The Runes take many forms and shapes, from necklaces, to swords, to even old bones. If the Ascended’s rune is taken away, all powers are immediately transferred to the new bearer.
Black Runes use fel magic, but the nature of the runes decreases the amount of corruption taken by the bearer by a considerable margin. Only after year of wielding a rune would one start to be twisted by the magic.
(Black Runes cannot stack, though having two in your possession would make for a good backup or bargaining chip. As there are only fifty Runes, there can only be fifty Ascended. Runes can be destroyed, but none ever have.)
The State of Azeroth:
The war left Azeroth crippled in many ways. Teldrassil is no more, ravaged by a power-drunk elf. Durotar and the Barrens are completely submerged, and parts of Ashenvale are flooded.
The Jungles of Stranglethorn have been destroyed, and Stormwind and Ironforge have both been ruined. The Dark Portal was also a casualty of this world, cutting off easy access to Outland.
Ulduar was destroyed during the war against N’Zoth, and the Dread Wastes are now lifeless.
Any organizations or factions that existed before the Legion’s invasion no longer exist.
Most races live in huddles terror before their Ascended masters, but pockets of resistance still exist.
Because of the terror enacted upon Azeroth, the elements withdrew back into their planes of existence, and have ceased to respond to mortal callers. Even though shamanism no longer exists, many Dark Shamans have risen in their place.
The elvish founts of power on Kalimdor, such as the second Well of Eternity, have been destroyed. But the others, such as the Sunwell, are intact, though under Ascendant control.
The rebellion against the Ascended exists in three primary factions.
The Ashes of Vengeance:
Composed of remnants of the Alliance, trolls, blood elves and the Argent Crusade, this organization operated mainly in the Eastern Kingdoms. Founded by Tirion Fordring before his untimely death, the Ashes intend to rescue Azeroth from the grasp of the Ascended. They are mainly light-wielders and magi, and are very careful to avoid civilian casualties in their missions. They operate out of Gnomeregan.
The Knights of the Moon:
Formed from the fragments of the Horde, the Tol’vir, the dragons and the night elves, the Knights of the Moon see themselves as the defenders of Azeroth. They focus less on killing Ascended and more on protecting the innocent. They wish to unite all three factions under one banner. They operate in Kalimdor, and their primary fortress is the Ruins of Ahn’qiraj.
an alliance between the Knights of the Ebon Blade, the Scourge, the Shado-Pan and the Earthen, the Wrathborn have vowed to avenge Azeroth. They refuse to cooperate with the other two factions and will take down the Ascended at any cost. They are not above making sacrifices, so long as an Ascended falls. They operate in Northrend and make their home in Azjol-Nerub, under the shadow of the now Ascended-controlled Icecrown Citadel.
General Rules and Restrictions
Shamanism is dead, so a character can only rely on Dark Shamanism.
Please refrain from taking control of too many Ascended. Of course, don’t feel restricted, but don’t claim twenty five for yourself.
This is kind of a sand box, post-apocalyptic, but it's made with a greater plot line in mind, but that is designed to come later.
Other standard rules apply;
Questions? Comments? Plot ideas? Reach out in the Open RP Q&A!
Hakaza the Darkener
Hakaza smelled blood. That always brought him back to the Barrens, where he had hunted the zevhras as a cub with his father.
That had been the day with the red-furred zevrha. There had been so much blood that day.
Hakaze looked down, licking suddenly dry lips with a wet tongue. His heart beat nervously, but looking down on his Black Rune, he felt calmer. The Rune, a mess of tangled black lines criss-crossing in an endless circle, was branded upon the fang of some great cat. It was embedded into his chest, jutting out just below his heart. Hakaza had put it there five years ago, on the day with all the blood, and it seldom hurt anymore.
He stood in the Undercity’s throne room, where the Banshee Queen had once ruled, and his minions stood around him, their eyes glittering in the gloomy light of nearby torches.
All manner of creatures stood around Hakaza, men, elves, orcs, naga…all supplicants to his will. They were safe proclaimed lords and dukes, or else his many guards, all honored by Hakaza, each wielding considerable power in his kingdom. They were all slaves.
There were other Ascended here too, six of them. One, a goblin named Skelts, was Hakaza’s supposed ally. He oversaw management of the Eversong Woods and the Ghostlands, currently content with the power Hakaza loaned him.
The other five were from other kingdoms, other lands, yet each was an ally of Hakaza, and they had come for the bloodletting.
Blood. Hakaza squealed in annoyance, scratching at his long, yellowed tusks irritably. The red zevhra had been shot twice by his father, and it was limping to the safety of the underbrush, limping. Hakaza had smiled at his father, as the old quillboar had tucked his crossbow away. They had approached the wounded beast.
Blood. The human was bleeding from his scalp, but his face was downturned in defiance. Hakaza frowned, a growl of rage forming in his throat. There were four other figures bound beside the man, and Hakaza knew all of their names.
The Prophet Velen had defended the Exodar for three years before finally being defeated. The ancient draenei wore an expression of utter peace. Beside him was Anduin Wrynn, former High King of Azeroth. His wizened, old features scowled up at Hakaza.
But Anduin’s features were nothing compared to Thrall’s. The old orc wore such an expression of vehement hatred, that Hakaza could almost see the traces of the demon taint in his blue eyes. Next to Thrall was Baine Bloodhoof, who until quite recently, had led the wretched Knights of the Moon.
Hakaza turned back to the man kneeling before him, defiance on his face. Khadgar, Archmage of the Kirin Tor. The man had slain ten Ascended during the war. These captives, the former rulers of Azeroth, had been the prizes of another Ascended, but Hakaza had taken them away. The blood on Khadgar’s scalp dribbled down to his chin.
Hakaza was in the Barrens again, standing over the red zevhra’s corpse. They carried it between them, and they almost made it back. But the Razorfen Downs exploded.
Bending down before Khadgar, Hakaza took the man’s chin in his hooved hand, branding a small axe in the other. Khadgar struggled, but Skelts’ magical bonds held him in place. “Do you have anything else to say?” He asked, his voice a high-pitched squeal. “Any final words for me, great wizard?”
Khadgar said nothing and Hakaza scoffed. It came out as a squeal, but he cared little for the limitations of his mortal form. “What of you, big-hoof?” Hakaza asked Baine. “Orc? Draenei? Oh mighty High-King?”
The Quillboar Ascended turned his back on the leaders of the old world. “Do you care nothing for the fate of Azeroth? Will you be silent before the thought of your own death? This was not the case on the Broken Isles, when you rode into the armies of destruction. You roared defiance in the faces of the demons, but will not do the same for me?”
Hakaza turned back and bent down beside Khadgar once more. Mildly irritated, he struck the wizard across the face. “Answer me!”
In reply, Khadgar spat blood in his face.
So much blood.
Blood fell from the sky like rain, and Hakaza fell back as fragments of his kin fell to the sandy ground, mingled with shards of his home. He remembered the laughing man floating in the air, blasting apart what little remained of Razorfen Downs. The Ascended cackled, and Hakaza heard his terrible words. “I’LL BUTCHER YOU LIKE THE PIGS YOU ARE! HAHAHAHAHA!”
Father had shot his crossbow, but the Ascended knocked it out of the way. Father was lifted from the ground and was pulled towards the man. The Ascended grabbed him by the throat. “Squeal for me, little piggy.”
Hakaza had acted without out thought, his mind numbed by the horror of what he had witnessed. He grabbed the crossbow, fitted another bolt, and released. The arrow took the Ascended in the neck, and the man’s eyes widened in shock. A final burst of power surged from the Ascended, and Father exploded.
With a cry that was terror than fear, Hakaza brought his axe down on the wizard. Khadgar’s head split like an overripe melon. The other leaders cried out in rage, and they revolted against their captors. Hakaza’s minions struck them down with glee, murdering Baine, Anduin and Thrall with knives to the head.
Only Velen remained. Only Velen had not struggled.
Hakaza approached the ancient prophet, axe blade dripping. “Perhaps you will swear fealty to me?”
“You speak of Azeroth’s fate,” the draenei said, meeting his eye. “Yet it is you who doom it.”
“The Legion is dead,” Hakaza said. “As are all my enemies. Swear your soul to me, and I shal let you live.”
Velen closed his eyes. “You must unite Azeroth as one, in peace and unity.”
“My grip is iron,” Hakaza said. “Nothing can break it!”
“Then it must be cut off,” Velen replied. “If you are not stopped, then Azeroth’s fate will be one of fire and blood.”
Hakaza stood on crimson sand, staring down at the pieces of his family, his friends...his Father. The Ascended lay dead before him, and his primal mind could hardly understand what he was seeing. The bone called to him, or else the Black Rune did, whispering his name. It promised of days without blood, days of glory and power.
Hakaza picked up the bone, and knowledge filled him. He was gripped by understanding, and demonic wisdom, and the horrible sight before him was branded forever in his mind. Raising the bone, he rammed it into his own chest.
As pain wracked him, Hakaza remembered the Ascended’s final words…
“Squeal for me, little piggy.” He brought the axe down.
Hakaza looked up from Velen’s corpse, at his hushed followers, looking into the eyes of each one, searching for defiance, for a reason to kill. “No one,” he hissed, “will stop me.”
Slow clapping filled the room, echoing across the circular stone walls.
Where she wasn't a moment ago, a Draenei woman reclined in the throne of the late Banshee Queen. "So dramatic." She giggled, brown hair falling loose to frame her face, covering one eye. Her form was covered in a loose purple dress, the front opened to reveal from her neck to well below her navel, and the back only ending somewhat higher.
Slowly, the clapping halted, a finger pointing to the Quillboar. "But would you be willing to bet on that?"
Storm Pinnacle (Isle of Thunder)
The shape bloated out the moon. A dark mass, teeming with blue veins of light.
Thus had the Isle of Thunder been wrenched from the sea bed. Thus did it float through the skies of Azeroth and looked over the ruined land. Forked towers rose high from its peaks and sparked, discharging lighting into the sky. The spears of silent, unmoving sentinels shone silver in the moonlight. Black iron armour donned them, and blue light shone from eyes that never blinked. The gates of the mighty fortress hung slightly forward from where the bridge had been ripped free, gaping at the world below. The earth narrowed beneath from where it had been torn free like a tree showing its roots, tunnels crawling and opening like a hornet's hive through the rock. And atop it all, the castle remained, its ancient towers bent but largely unbroken, as if a giant hand cradled the whole building.
Now and then, a piece of masonry fell off.
If one were to follow any of the myriad lines of light, their course would, eventually, crawl into the heart of the black castle. The Throne of Thunder, where Lei-Shen, that master of storms, king of the mogu, once ruled an empire forged in the blood of slaves. A high dais climbed from what seemed a cloudy eternity. A tangle black wires made a web overhead, pulsing with the same blue light, feeding to a mass of machinery in the middle of the dais, writhing into the immense iron throne which sat there.
A figure stood hunched at the rim. Tall and clad all in black robes, crossed like wings folded before him, his face a fanged iron mask, its bottom ending in two tips, its top likewise in pointed ears. Two holes had been carved in the face, and from there glowed a pale blue light.
He looked down over the edge of the dais and into the misty reaches below. In the forehead of the mask throbbed the seal of the Ascendant, a writhing shape of magic and power in the form of a slow moving gear.
He was Exinoch.
Master of science.
Lord of technology.
He had wrested the Throne of Thunder from the earth.
He had transformed it to the sepulchral mass of stone, science and lightning. Manned by dead machinery, forged in the engines of the world's makers.
And now, he looked over the rim of his throne, blue eyes searching beyond sight, and pulled closer his cloak with talons of gold, and spoke:
"Whoops! Butter fingers."
Kalimdor (Off the Coast of Desolace)
Plummeting from the air, the box struck the water with a crash. It sank, bobbed up, sank again, and through sheer power of buoyancy, managed to regain the surface the third time.
It looked like a coffin, albeit one made of iron rather than wood. Also, most coffins don't have quite so many wires and tubes poking out of it. They also, provided they aren't from Northrend, don't open again, and someone certainly doesn't climb out.
Espan blinked eyes aglow with yellow light at the night shrouded sky. He looked to be a young human of uncertain years, his hair brown and tousled, his dress little more than a white gown. He was the sort of pale that only things that live in very dark places can attain. He was also very confused.
He leaned over the side of the coffin and stared at the dark water. Then he tries the other side, which offered no help. Finally he looked forward, and there, in the distance, saw a shore, and jutting from it, the dark shape of a stone tower.
"...Alright," he said. "Problem: I am in the ocean. Solution: I head there. Good call. I like that."
Dipping a hand into the water, he began to awkwardly paddle his coffin towards the shoreline.
A short burst of a klaxon poked the Ascendant's attention. Through a speaking tube a whiny voice was heard. "Sir? Are you there?"
Hakaza did not reply to the draenei immediately, instead, he flicked his yellow eyes towards her and then bent down over the Prophet's corpse. The Quillboar straightened, and turned towards the newcomer, bloodied axe held loosely in one hand, and Velen's head in the other.
"Do you think anyone could challenge me?"
Storm Pinnacle (Isle of Thunder)
Exinoch turned and glided back to the throne. He snatched the speaking tube from its cradle. "Yes! What is it?"
The waves ushered him forth and soon the sand ground beneath the coffin. Espan jumped out, water splashing about his feet, and grabbing the end of his makeshift vessel, he dragged it just beyond the tide. There he stopped and looked about where he was,
Tall cliffs grew suddenly on either side, narrowing inward where a winding trail crawled up and into the mainland. He could see the ancient ruin of the tower, tall and domed, but as dead as a tomb where it poked from atop the cliffs like some long abandoned lighthouse. There was not a sound, save the steady susurrating beat of the waves against the shore.
Espen turned back to his coffin and rubbed his hands together uncertainly. "Observation: This might not work. Hopeful correction: But it might."
He continued to rub his hands, and a faint blue sparking began to crackle from his fingertips. Finally, he reached forward and grabbed the edge of the coffin.
To his touch metal bent and twisted. He wrenched it free and held it aloft, and the metal twisted and took on the shape of a sword with simple crossbar. His eyes narrowed in effort and the edges sharpened keenly, and soon enough, he held a blade.
Espen gave the weapon a few practiced swings then nodded in satisfaction.
"Observation: it will do." Holding the sword loosely in one hand, he turned and made his way up the winding path into Desolace.
"I think I could find someone..." The Draenei grinned.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Hakaza growled. "Who are you?"
"Silvia." The Draenei giggled. "And it means what I said. I bet I can find someone better than you."
Hakaza laughed despite himself. Who was this...this woman? Idly, he tossed the Prophet's head aside. "I've slain the mightiest of your people. I've drowned the deserts of Azeroth. I've slaughtered the armies of the light, and now the world belongs to me."
He stepped closer to the draenei, quills bristling in a threatening display. The bone jutting from his chest pulsated with dark, radiant power. "Who, Silvia, could possibly overcome my might? No one!" He turned his back on the upstart whelp, the matter being finished.
As Silvia smiled, she slowly began to giggle more, before suddenly exploding into actual laughter. "Oh gosh!" She exclaimed. "You're too over the top, really! Do you have someone who writes this for you?"
Hakaza glanced back at her, noting the mumblings from his court. He heard
. Skelts, the goblin Ascended, was grinning ear to ear. With a snarl, Hakaza turned and stalked up to the lounging draenei, ax raised. "Tell me the name of this challenger, if he exists, and I will strike him down."
"You won't know him." Silvia admitted, waving her hand dismissively. "But I can bring him." She smiled.
"Do it," Hakaza snarled. "And when I've split his skull, you shall be my slave." He smiled right back.
"Ooooh, sounds fun." The Draenei giggled. "It's a shame I won't get to take you up on it." She slowly shifted, standing up. Hooves echoed off the floor, walking past the Quillboar.
Hakaza watched her go, and he believed that he would never see her again. He rounded on Skelts, whose smile vanished. Hakaza gestured to the slain world leaders. "Take their heads to the borders of my kingdom and put them up as testaments to my immortal power."
The goblin began to do as he instructed, and Hakaza took the throne Silvia had abandoned. There he sat, watching, waiting.
Sparks flew, illuminating the darkened mansion's upper windows.
Pulling back, the young girl let go of the trigger on her welding tool, the bright blue flame dying. Tinted goggles slowly adjusted, clearing to let her see the swords which sat before her; shimmering in the dim light, lines of blue running through their massive blades
Sighing, she looked to the final piece of her broken gauntlets; the power source upon another table. She had used the gloves and boots to reforge her blades. They were smaller and lighter, but she would be able to wield them without the enhanced strength of her device.
"Are you mad?" Silvia asked, smiling from the darkness.
"No." Alana shook her head, neon blue hair shaking along the unshaved half of her head.
"No!" The Half-Dragon shouted, her four-foot form wheeling around at the much taller Draenei. "I'm %^&*ing pissed!"
Silvia grinned. "And what do you want to do about it?"
"I want to hunt down every last one of these %^&*!@#s, and kick their ass!" The girl roared, stomping to the blades. Either one was easily longer than she was tall, and combined were likely almost twice her weight. There was slight hesitation, and she gripped their handles with her bare hands. Her considerable arm muscles flexed as she lifted the weapons, swinging them briefly to get a feel.
"Great!" Silvia clapped. "Then you'll be happy to know I found you a challenge.
Hazel eyes looked to the woman over the younger's shoulder.
"Undercity. The self-proclaimed Lord of Azeroth."
"Good." Alana growled, spinning one blade in her hand experimentally. "I'll need to stop by Goldshire, get some things from the shop..."
"Excellent. I can't wait for the show." Silvia giggled.
Spinning, Alana threw the blade she had been spinning. The massive sword roared through the air, smashing into the wall and taking the brickwork down with ease; opening a view into the next room. The Draenei was gone before she was ever in danger from the weapon, however.
Stepping forward, Alana snagged the battery and strapped it over her shoulder, reaching the sword to pick it up. "Runes or no runes. Noone is stronger than me."
There is only one thing more desirable than supreme power, and that is not having to share it.
Perhaps there was no one stronger than Alana, with runes or without. But strength is not everything, and perhaps there was someone quicker, or more skilled. A rivaling contender for the challenge of being plain better.
Tserya possessed no rune, but if tonight went well that was about to change. And then, everything would change. Snatching the next one would be infinitely easier. She already knew where it was, even. But the task at hand was daunting, and everything hinged upon it.
Leaning back against a rock, she traced the towering spire of twisted obsidian towards the twilight sky. She vaguely remembered the story of Blackrock Mountain, but that was so many years ago. Now, she had learned, a dwarf ruled the lands surrounding it from the tower crowning the volcano. He had wrought it himself from the fires of the mountain and filled it with slaves and servants. But Ascended or no, people die when you stick a dagger through their heart, and that was exactly what she was going to do.
"We have a vacuum leak, sir. Vacuum is escaping out," the speaking tube said.
Storm Pinnacle (Isle of Thunder)
"What! Damn it all! I'm coming down." Slamming the speaking tube down, he whirled about and swept from the platform.
The decorations of the interior of the keep had been little changed. Huge stone statues of mogu looked out from walls inlaid with jade and strange geometric patterns. But the blue veins of power crawled through even here, burned in twisting patterns through stone and brick, pulsating faintly to light the way. Guards of iron did not move as Exinoch passed them, going down massive flights of stairs and into the depths of the keep.
At least he reached the door. He threw it open and entered. "What's wrong!" he shouted as he strode inside.
The low hill sloped up, then ended at the heights. Espan climbed it, then stopped, staring.
It had been the dream of druids to turn Desolace into a land green and fertile once more. That was achieved, but there was such a thing as too much of a good thing. Espan looked out on a solid sea of green. Trees grew in clustered masses, and over them, like barbed wire, were vast curves of thorns. Some primeval forest had been born in the cradle of Desolace, the road Espan stood on leading straight inside and a dark tunnel formed between the wall of trees and curving shapes of the immense thorns.
Espan's eyes wandered along the mass until he arrived at the pinnacle of the wild. Rising like some immense obelisk reared from the green grew a single immense tree. Its trunk rose tall, its limbs twisted upon and shadowed the jungle below. It seemed to brood over the forest spreading from its feet, and twined around it were more of the immense thorns.
Espan cocked his head, then looked to either side. The forest enclosed the space below. Unless he felt like trying to climb the steep slopes of the cliffs or the sea, there was one way forward.
"Observation: Besides," Espan said as he walked towards the wilds. "I am curious."
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