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The Valley (Medieval/Post Apocalyptic RP)


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Hey hey. This was one of my more successful RP threads on the old forums, and I want to bring it back. Here goes!

Three hundred years ago, humanity's destructive nature finally got the better of them. In a fiery hellstorm, nuclear war was enacted across the globe, scorching radiation blasting the earth and leaving only... The Valley. Located somewhere in Central Europe, this is where a hundred thousand survivors fled. A massive valley, picturesque, fertile, with freshwater rivers, dark forests, and rolling fields. With the humans came livestock- horses, sheep, cows, pigs- and a wide variety of crops. All was well in the beginning. Farms and homesteads, and even a village or three popped up as the world outside fell to ruin.

Some of the more courageous men and women of the valley set out after the fallout faded, and some returned with disturbing stories of barbaric, cannibalistic tribes and monstrous mutants. Some never came back at all...

Over time, society (and technology) in the valley regressed, becoming akin to the feudalistic Dark Ages of medieval Europe. 150 years in, the three major ethnic groups of the valley- the French, the Germans, and the Russians, split apart in a bloody civil war. The eventual division of land left each faction- now referring to themselves as fiefdoms- with about 1/3 of the Valley each. The Russians claimed the Northern forest lands, the French claimed the central riverlands, and the Germans claimed the bountiful southern fieldlands.

Now, the three fiefdoms live in a tumultuous peace, each one not really trusting of the other two. Some people speak of war on the horizon, but there are even more disturbing rumors of the barbarian tribes grouping together and marshaling a force to take the Valley by force. In this uncertain, unsafe world, you live. Who will you be?

The Fiefdoms

The Fiefdom of France

Ruled by the Marquis du Alexandre, who is famously kind and generous, this fiefdom is nestled in the riverlands. It's capital city is Neuf Paris, a city of about 58,000 people. Ten other towns and villages dot the riverlands, most of them prosperous and content. The main military force of this fiefdom consists of Archknights, soldiers that wield both swords and bows, and move as quickly on land as they do in their canoes. This fiefdom's main exports are a variety of fish, and the occasional stash of pearls. They have a few low-yield iron mines. It is rumored that the fiefdom's greatest minds are working towards inventing some form of firearm...

The banner of the Fiefdom of France is a golden fish emblazoned on blue and white checkers.

The Fiefdom of Germany

Ruled by High-Count Alarick, a famous drunkard and fierce warrior. He is married to the Lady Agathe, one of the most beautiful women in the Valley. The capital city is Neu Berlin, a fortress-city with about 60,000 inhabitants. There are about twelve other villages scattered about the plains, most of which have agricultural purposes. The main force of the German military is the much feared Wolf Cavalry, lightning quick horse-mounted lancers. The main exports of the fiefdom are a myriad amount of grains, as well as gold and steel from the scattered mines. Rumors have been going around that the High-Count is planning to make a land grab in the Fiefdom of France.

The banner of the Fiefdom of Germany is a silver wolf emblazoned on grey and red vertical stripes.

The Fiefdom of Russia

Ruled by the famously vicious Tsar Vasili, an accomplished warrior and hunter of great cruelty. The capital city is named Vasiliberg. It is a settlement of about 45,000 people, ringed by a gigantic log-and stone wall. There are about five other small villages throughout the vast forests of this fiefdom. There is no established military- rather, most citizens are well versed in the ways of the spear and the longbow. Among the forest trees, the citizen-soldiers are deadly to adversaries. The Russians are sometimes subject to raids by the barbaric Tribesmen, who come in at the Northern mouth of the valley to rape, pillage and murder. These incursions have hardened the Russians against the outside world. They have few exports except for furs, meat and crude iron. As of late, a rumor has been circulating that Tsar Vasili is sending scouts out in to the wastes beyond the Valley in search of items of great power.

The banner of the Fiefdom of Russia is a black bear emblazoned on white and green quarters.

"Marks of the Devil" (optional character traits)

Due to some of the lingering radiation from the fallout managing to penetrate the Valley's relative safety, it's only natural that some children are born with slight mutations. Surprisingly, most of these have been somewhat benign, almost akin to some kind of evolution- but the medieval society of the Valley shuns and fears all those who they see as "marked by the devil". Many "Marked Ones" are killed by their parents at birth, and the few that live tend to keep their special traits secret. Some may also use their "Marks" to get ahead in certain areas of life. Some of the more common Marks are...

Diabolus Visus

"The Devil's Sight". This Mark makes itself known through the strange coloration of the bearer's eyes: they lack pupils, and their irises are usually strange colors, such as milky blue or pale green. The Sight allows the bearer to see in the dark as though it were the day, and they may also see farther than most men- but their eyes are quite sensitive to light as a result of this increased perception. Because of this, many bearers of The Sight disguise themselves as blind folk, usually monks or beggars, with a cloth headband covering their eyes- removing the band when their environment is more hospitable. Bearers of The Sight often find lucrative work in the field of espionage. A common epithet used in regards to bearers of The Sight is "Gawker".

Pulmones Draconis

"The Leviathan's Lungs". This Mark makes itself known by the presence of fully functional gills upon the lower neck of the bearer. The Lungs allow the bearer to breathe underwater just as well as they would on dry land, and bearers also tend to have improved swimming ability. Due to the very obvious nature of this Mark, most bearers choose to wear a certain item that will cover their neck, such as a scarf or cravat. Bearers of The Lungs tend to be exceptional scouts and rangers. Common epithets used in regards to bearers of The Lungs are: "Toad", "Frog", "Fish", and "Newt".

Ursus Cordis

"The Bear's Heart". This Mark makes itself known by the rapid and incredible growth of the bearer, as well as increased muscular development and hair growth. A child born with The Heart will often be the size of a 5 year old at age 1, and the size of a fully grown adult by age 12. By the time they stop maturing around age 17, bearers usually average around 7 feet tall and tend to weigh in at over 300 pounds. Accelerated hair growth also means that all male bearers tend to sport massive beards, and unusual amounts of body hair. Female bearers don't grow beards (or chest hair, obviously), but are still quite hairy by anyone's standards. Highly increased muscular development means that bearers of The Heart are gifted with superhuman strength and speed. This mark, unlike most others, is effectively impossible to hide- but this usually matters little, as bearers of The Heart are valued as warriors by the aristocracy of the Valley, and are rarely trifled with. This acceptance, strength, and impressive size comes with a few costs, however- the massive size of a bearer's body puts heavy strain on their heart, making defects likely and often lowering life expectancy by at least 30 years. High agility and maneuverability is also made impossible. Common epithets used in regards to bearers of The Heart are: "Bear", "Beast", "Troll", and "Ogre".

Lupus est Cupiditas

"The Wolf's Greed". This Mark makes itself known by the uncanny slimness and musculature of the bearer's arms and legs, as well as the unnatural length and sharpness of their canines. Bearers of The Greed tend towards slimness, and due to the unnatural musculature of their limbs, run faster than any man has a right to. They're also strangely adept at running on all fours, and can reach even higher speeds when doing so. Some bearers have also been known to use their teeth to horrifying effect in combat, biting off fingers or tearing out throats with relative ease. The most obvious indicator of the Mark being their noticeably long canines, most bearers of The Greed tend to cover their mouths with a scarf or bandanna, or simply refrain from talking or otherwise opening their mouth often. The natural slimness of bearers means that they're somewhat weak and flimsy, and thus they don't make great warriors or laborers. If a bearer does fight, they tend to use weapons capitalizing on their speed- daggers and knives, light spears, or truncheons/blackjacks. Many bearers excel at being messengers, pickpockets, or hired killers. Common epithets used in regards to bearers of The Greed are: "Dog", "Sticklegs", and "Cannibal".

Other Marks are known to exist, but they are usually less remarkable in their benefits and less common.

((If you want to give your character a Mark, be aware of the benefits and consequences and RP appropriately. It's also suggested that you don't directly state the existence of the Mark in their description/backstory, and let it's presence be known through storytelling instead. Unless you chose The Bear's Heart because you're insecure about your height. Then, hue.))

The Story Begins (And Extra Notes)

When the story begins, all our characters are in or around an inn known as The Sick Bear in Vasiliberg, the capital of the Fiefdom of Russia. The inn is a real shithole, with watered-down drinks, gamy food, and rarely cleaned floors and furniture- but it's a place where one might meet many unorthodox people. Whether you're here by choice or chance, one thing is certain- the next chapter of your life begins now...

I have a general idea for the course of the story, and while you're all allowed to go your own way, I encourage you all to be associated in some form or another with the main "group". If everything goes well, we'll travel throughout the Valley, engage in wars and political intrigue, and maybe even die horribly. To help achieve this goal, I reserve the right to streamline RP somewhat by initiating time jumps/travel sequences, and making very minor decisions in regards to the actions of other players (as in, stating in my post that "so and so stands there/goes over there/sits down/so on and so forth" so we don't have to wait for them to make a post about doing so), though I won't make any major decisions without player consent. If you want to dispute any decision I make, send me a PM and we'll work it out.

Now, without further ado:

Character Sheet



Physical Description:

Home Fiefdom:

Profession: (hunter, soldier, petty lordling, etc)


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Name: Jacques Clermont

Age: 28

Physical Description: Slender and toned, with close-cropped black hair and a neatly shaved goatee. He stands at the average height of 5 feet 8 inches, and is quite agile. His face appears warm and friendly, but his eyes are cold and calculating. He usually wears a navy blue cloak, plain greenish breeches and shirt, fine leather boots and a swordsman's belt, with a fine steel rapier strapped to it. He almost always wears a brown scarf around his neck.

Home Fiefdom: France

Profession: Exiled Lordling.

Backstory: Born to the famous Archknight and Lord, Adrien Clermont, Jacques led a privileged childhood. He learned swordsmanship from his father's master at arms, and could maneuver about the riverlands as well as any Archknight. He also learned his letters and numbers, and was not only athletic but scholarly. His exceptional upbringing, however, led him to arrogance and vanity, as well as a hot temper. At the age of twenty-four he killed a commoner from whom he had perceived an insult. His father, appalled at his actions, banished him from his household and disowned him. Jacques left in disgrace, anger and revenge in his heart. He vowed to return someday and claim his birthright- and intended to bring his own army with him. After four years of wandering, he's ended up in Vasiliberg, looking for mercenaries...

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Name: Vasili Zharkov

Age: 35

Physical Description: Vasili stands at a towering 6'5", and is very hardened and muscular. He has long, thick, dark brown hair, and a thick brown beard. He looks the part of a behemoth, and carries with him a grand battle-axe. He uses this axe to behead traitors, and enemies. His body is covered in hair, the man resembling a bear in how hairy he was. He wears heavy brown furs, and a chainmail undercovering. He always carries around his battle-axe, and is always looking around, wary of his surroundings. He wears fur covered boots, and thick pants as well.

Home Fiefdom: Russia

Profession: Lordling.

Backstory: Born into a wealthy family, Vasili was easily thrust into the top echelon of the Russian fiefdom. As per the normal culture, Vasili was trained in the art of warfare at an early age. He excelled with the battle-axe and sword, above the normal skill range of his people. Due to his sheltered upbringing, Vasili does not know the painful twang of hunger, or the desperation that his people might lay forth onto him. He carries with him the bloodthirsty attitude of his people, and is always issuing some sort of war-call to his father, or King. Vasili is battle-hardened, and always ready for a fight. This is due to the constant Barbarian raids from the north. He was born with the mark of the Bears Heart, which explains his massive size. He has come to Vasiliberg, to search for a fight, something to conquer, and something to gain glory amongst his people.

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Name: Telaya Iiristav

Age: 25

Physical description: A thin young woman, with dirty blond, shoulder-length hair and light blue eyes. She stands at about five and a half feet tall, and walks with slightly bowed shoulders. She typically wears trousers and shirt, supplemented with hardened leather outers, and light, white furs. She speaks infrequently, and prefers to wear high collar long coats when not hunting.

Home Fiefdom: Russia

Profession: Hunter

Backstory: Telaya was born in the far northern reaches of the Valley, living amongst a small community that survived through hunting and small-scale metalwork. Telaya was kept inside for much of her childhood, purportedly due to fears of her wandering off, or being hurt, in the wilderness. Once she was sixteen, her parents allowed her to join hunting parties, as the local metalsmith didn't require an assistant, and they were no longer able to support her themselves. This arrangement continued for several years.

Six years later, the twenty-strong party of hunters, of which Telaya was one, was set upon in an ambush by Tribesmen from the northern wastes. Though greatly outnumbered, Telaya and a handful of the more skilled hunters managed to escape the slaughter, fleeing back to the village. There, they discovered scores of slain tribesmen, and a significant amount of the village aflame; though villagers were fighting the fires. To Telaya's horror, she discovered her parents amongst the dead; her father, his skull split by an axeblow, and her mother, feathered with a half-dozen black fletched arrows.

Telaya left the village shortly after the attack, heading for the capital, and greener pastures.

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Name: Skrag Obryn.

Age: 22

Physical Description: Thin man standing at 5 foot 11. Jet-black hair with yellow eyes. Very hairy, yellowing teeth(Missing a few), usually slumped over, wears stitched togather wolf fur as clothing and carries around a bow and knives. Also wears snow goggles frequently.

Home Fiefdom: Lands of the barbarian tribes, north of the valley's mouth.

Profession: Wandering recluse.

Backstory: Skrag was born far, far beyond the valley, in a tribe of people known as "The Feather People". As Skrag grew up, he learned how to hunt with his father and how to sew, cook, and make art with his mother. As part of his coming of age ritual at age 16 Skrag had to follow his father into a raiding party into the lands of the Russians. Skrag never made it back, his father was stabbed to death by a Russian spearman before Skrag could rush to his side. Now, dishonoured and not willing to return home, Skrag wanders the land of the valley, foraging, hunting, and stealing for survival.

Shortly after being chased out of a Russian village for cheating in a Tavern card game, he began to make his way towards Vasiliberg.

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Name: Bernhard Salinger

Age: 22

Physical Description: He is slim and 5'6 in height. His face is somewhat square with greenish-brown eyes, adorned with messy, brown, short beard and hair. He wears a worn brown mantle and peasant clothing under it, with a large backpack full of strange and seemingly useless items. His only weapon is a small knife.

Home Fiefdom: Germany

Profession: Wandering Scholar

Backstory: Bernhard was born to a group of traveling scholars, who devoted their lives to studying nature and lost history of mankind. Always peaceful and willing to help by using their knowledge, sometimes for a price, they were accapted by many communities across the land, but other times regarded as sorcerers and shunned. Because of his age, Bernard's parents decided to stay behind the main group while Germany and found work maintaining windmills and other small jobs for a local lord. They tought him everything they knew, from simple science and engineering to what little history they knew, wanting to continue the tradition.

When he turned 17, his parents were no longer able to support him and he decided to split instead of returning to the main group with them. He had been wandering the Valley since, doing small jobs for the communities in exchange for food and shalter, collecting artifacts and stories on the way. He prefers barter and diplomacy, only using his trusty knife in defense against the wildlife. A prospect of being so close to the Wastes and potentially technology, brought him to Vasiliberg.

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Name: Evelyn Abel

Age: 23.

Physical Description: Fair skin. Blue eyes. Bleach-blonde hair. Skinny and slightly muscular frame. Stands relatively tall at 5'7''. Skilled in horseback combat and exploration, very uneasy and untrained when fighting and operating on foot. Wears steel Valkyrie themed armor when riding her white steed, a common decoration within her regiment, complete with a set of wings made from thin iron sheets adorned as feathers that is welded to the back of her chest plate, and smaller wings atop her helmet. Her weapons include a diamond shaped shield with the symbol of the Fiefdom of Germany painted on it, along with a long spear that she eviscerates her opponents with from atop her horse.

Home Fiefdom: Germany.

Profession: (hunter, soldier, petty lordling, etc) Cavalry Soldier + Horseback Mapper/Explorer.

Backstory: One of the first thing's Evelyn was taught to do was how to ride a horse. Living in the low plains, she was given quite the opportunity to train on her small farm with her family, before growing up and leaving her family's land to join the Germanic military in Neu Berlin. She received extensive military training there for operations on horseback, and learned the art of warfare slowly as she grew older. In her spare time, she took part in numerous expeditions around the borders of the Germanic Fiefdom by horse, and learned mapping relatively well as she watched over the small exploration teams. By her 23rd birthday, she began training for enlistment into the Wolf Cavalry, and to complete her goal of becoming one of the most feared warriors imaginable with her stallion and spear. She also really wants to kill those dumb Russians, and so departed on a quick exploration mission into the fiefom of Russia's territory, disguised without her armor and spear, armed with only a dagger in her boot and a small shortsword at her waist, as an ordinary horseback explorer, when she had briefly decided to make a stop at what appeared to be an unpopular, run down Russian salloon.

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Name: Mundlichar the Magnificent

Age: Untold aeons, he would say. In fact, when not saying this, he would say that he was an old man when the bombs first fell. In truth, he does look very old. You might guess seventy?

Physical Description: A frail and old man. His grey-white beard reaches down to his stomach, and his bushy eyebros dominate his forehead. A long crooked nose shoots out, shadowing a mouth of crooked and yellowed teeth, and dressed with a dirty moustache. His skin is wrinkly and unwashed. He wears a dirty robe with many pockets on the inside, and a wide-brimmed conical hat that ends in a point. Both are a dirty grey, although look brown by virtue of their dirtiness. Seriously, he could at least touch the river once in a while! He is rarely seen without a book written in a strange language that he refers to as "The Sacred Word of the Great Conjuror" and a long staff that is tipped with a cross. His legs and arms are long and frail, and his fingers are crooked. His voice is deep, but often cracks or whines at the most inopportune moments, his larynx betrayed by his age. Racked by wheezes and coughs, he is lucky to get a word out anyways.

Home Fiefdom: Russia

Profession: Court Wizard

Backstory: On the twenty fifth day came into the valley Mundlichar, herald of the Great Conjuror, Emerging from the Wastes, he set out to declare the glorious power of the Conjuror, and to establish the world to His might. Part missionary, part conjuror, he claims to be the messenger of his Order, who are numerous in the Wastes. He claims to be the least, that his overseers are infinitely more powerful than him, capable of both devastating life and providing this. The lords of Russia were highly amused, and he often frequents each of their courts as more or less an entertainer. Despite this somewhat demeaning role, he still attempts to whisper in their ears as much as he can. Heavily advocating the deployment of scouts to the Wastes, he advised the lesser Lords of the existence of an artefact of great power that lay within the Wastes. These Lords then advised the Tsar of this possibility. He sometimes accompanies the scouts, and surprisingly usually manages to survive. His old age tells that he is not as witless as he seems, for few live to be so elderly in the Valley, and even fewer in the Wastes. He claims that his life and his might is provided by the Great Conjuror Corpus Christi, who's immortal powers let him step down from the cross of the demons, and to slay the world thrice over. He regales many with the tales of how Corpus Christi consorted with Daemons, drawing them from their prisons, which often assumed the form of crazed humans, so that they may assist him in the final battle. Indeed, on the day of the final battle, he brought down the stars, and gave forth the plague of Radiation, and he called forth the Daemons, the principle generals being the four horsemen. And why, did the Conjuror Corpus Christi do so? To collect the souls of man, so that his power might be infinitely powerful. However, it was through Corpus Christi's grand benediction that the men of the Valley might persist, and the Tribes of the Waste, and it is the Ordo Christum that ensures the continuation of this benevolence, convincing their lord ever hundred years to persist his Divine Covenant with the Earth, so that it may grow again. Mundlichar claims that it is this Divine Covenant that grants him the divided power of the Conjuror, and indeed anyone can operate His divine power, provided artefacts of the Time Before the Valley, and great learning. Mundlichar himself is naturally highly learned in the operation of the Conjuror's benediction, and even professes the ability to translate the tongue of the Firstborn, the creators of the artefacts, which allows him to read their codices. He claims that the Great Book of Corpus Christi is written in this selfsame language, proving its power, and indeed was written by a King, namely King James, who ruled over the Firstborn.

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Right, without further ado... Let's begin.

Jacques sat at his small table, the crudely made legs of his stool bending slightly under even his light weight. His beer was watered down, and the bread on his plate was stale, but during his time in this barbarian Russian land, he had become used to such poor fare. Grimacing as he gulped down the rest of his beerwater, he peered around the room, hands under his cloak. The Sick Bear was full of the usual Vasiliberg scum- drunken, grimy men, tavern whores with loose bodices, and a few unsavory looking figures near the back of the establishment nursing drinks and cradling weapons.

Suddenly, Jacques was slammed forward on to his table as a drunkard stumbled in to him. Whirling around angrily, he found himself face to face with a reeking, bearded Russian, who was all but growling at him with rage. "Watch where you're sittin', yuh fuhckin fhhish...", he spat. His friends, sitting nearby, let out a low laugh. Jacque's lips curled in to a grimace, and in a flash, he grabbed his solid pewter mug and swung it up, embedding it in the drunkard's eye with a disgusting, squishy noise. As the drunkard fell to the floor, screaming and holding his mangled eye, Jacques jumped up and looked towards the man's friend. They were all standing, drawing weapons from inside their coats and cloaks. Jacques drew his thin rapier, gritting his teeth and dropping in to a fencer's stance. In broken Russian, he yelped, "Come and get it, coward dogs!"

Needless to say, his situation wasn't looking very good...

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Vasili had just entered the tavern as the fighting occured. A behemoth of a man, he towered over most men in the tavern. He wielded his large axe, and slammed the pole-end on the ground, to signal his arrival. He spoke, almost a yell.

"Any blood that is spilled in this tavern will be repaid tenfold." He spoke, a thick russian accent barely concealing his education as a Lord.

He walked over to Jacques and stood beside him, picking up his two-handed great-axe into a combat stance.

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Bernhard woke up from his drunken slumber to the booming voice of the russian lord. As he rubbed his eyes, he noticed a man crying beneath Jacques' feet. Not a good situation, he knew. There are no innocent bystandars in a barfight. He wispered a quiet prayer to a nameless entity and continued watching the standoff.

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As a woman's voice echos from across the bar, Jacques nods to the massive man beside him and then lunges forward, thrusting out his rapier in a deadly stab. His lunge carries him far, and the point meets it's mark, going through the stomach of the nearest ruffian. Jacques kicks the man off his blade, quickly slashing the leg of another man charging at him with a knife. As the man falls to the ground, a cry escaping his lips, Jacques pushes the point of the rapier in to the downed thug's jugular. Just as he pulls it free, the largest of the three thugs left charges at him, roaring, and makes an overhead swing with a hatchet. Jacques barely catches the attack on his sword's crossguard, and as he struggles to keep the axe from being forced down on to his head, he calls out in broken Russian:

"Kill this bastard!"

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Evelyn lifted her head from the table in front of her, glancing around frantically at the developing scene. Cursing under her breath as she watched Jacques barely save his head from being hacked down the middle.

Sliding out of her booth, she quickly slid her dagger from her leather boot and charged for the man locked with Jacuqes, slamming into him with all of her force and grunting as she tackled him aside and freed Jacques of his engagement.

Quickly stabilizing her grip on the dagger, she smeared the now shouting, burly man's face into the floor as she repeatedly plunged her knife in and out of his neck, growling with each jab.

Turning and shooting Jacques a look equivalent to daggers and wiping some spattered blood from her face, she quickly panted out a curse under her breath as she felt another of the drunkards approaching to kill her.

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