ave, decus virginum,
ave, mundi luminar,
ave, mundi rosa.
PHAIDROS is an episodic commercial game which has been in production since August 2012. It is still in production and set to be released this year.
Let me tell you how the world ended.
THE STORY SO FAR
Ten years ago, the expansion of the Zenobian Empire had been halted by the Alexandrite Kingdoms to the East, putting an end to the era of an expansion that had conquered 90% of the world, or so it was thought. Five years ago, the Zenobian Empire landed on the shores of Vidalia (its original name was ‘Vitalia’, becoming corrupt in the vernacular at some indeterminate point), a peaceful island in the middle of the Despian ocean. Its remote location and total lack of strategic geographic value meant that the Zenobians left it alone since the early days of the Empire, and thus were outside of its rule.
This changed, however, for unknown reasons and the Zenobian Empire quickly swallowed up the island, destroying any opposition and quickly setting up its three small cities as Zenobian outposts, subject to the authority of the Zenobian Viceroy, General Sirocco, who set up his residence in Evernore Castle, the ancient homestead of the Dukes of Vilya, whose families had been exterminated during the relatively quick invasion.
The Belasi wish to know why the invasion happened: What possessed the greatest military force in the world (or second greatest after the Alexandrite Kingdoms) to send a contingent to an island in the middle of nowhere and wrest it from its denizens, at no strategic benefit, and at risk of debilitating their frontier with the Alexandrite Kingdoms? Five years ago they infiltrated the capital to look for answers… they infiltrated a spy into the Zenobian network, and now they have found out that the Zenobians went there to look for something important. Something only top-level officers know about. And the rumors are that they may have found it. Whatever it is, the Belasi know that it is important enough for the Zenobians to take such risks… it might be important enough to help in their fight to destroy the Empire. In order to find out, they must go to the island of Vidalia and unearth the truth.
PHAIDROS’ cast of playable characters is eighteen. The core cast consists of five characters, with six recruitable characters and six temporary party members. I have not yet finished all of the custom character portraits, so I will introduce each character as each portrait is finished.
Race: Beastfolk- Tiger
Magical Affinity: Fire
All KAIN knew for fifteen years was slavery. Born to a slave in a prestigious Zenobian household in one of the outlying provinces of the empire, he was put to work from a very early age. He was sold to a noble from the capital at the age of ten, shortly after his mother’s death. He was always unusually thoughtful, prone to ask too many questions. This, coupled with a fiery temper, led Kain to ultimately seek his escape, knowing very well that punishment could be death if he were caught.
Inexperienced as he was, he was captured and sentenced to a public hanging as a lesson to fleeing slaves. Little did he know, however, that members of the Belasi rebellion had infiltrated the city for purposes of their own and were watching. They rescued him, and Kain became a permanent member of the rebellion, becoming an adept warrior for the cause.
Kain is observant and far more sensitive than he lets on. Courageous under fire, he is known for being a bit of a daredevil. His passion is books- he loves to read whatever he can get his hands on, making up for the education that was denied him during his early years.
Magical Affinity: Air
Born Kimi Starr, Tempest is the current leader of the Belasi rebellion. Those who know her know that she used to be one of the most promising lieutenants in the Zenobian army at a very young age. Her future seemed bright, and several members of the military elite were grooming her for a promising future. Nobody knows what happens, and she has never discussed it, all that is known is that Kimi deserted one day in the middle of routing a band of rebels. But not without first decimating the entire Zenobian battalion.
The Belasi reluctantly accepted Kimi at first, fearing that it was nothing more than a ruse... but eventually they came to trust her, as she showed a fiery commitment to the cause and an impressive hatred for all things Zenobian. To this date, nobody knows what brought about her change of heart--- save the previous leader of the rebellion, The Sparrow, who unfortunately was killed many years ago, taking the secret to his grave.
By then, Kimi had risen through the ranks with speed, and she was The Sparrow's choice for succession. She acquired the moniker of Tempest due to her mastery of wind magic. The Zenobians call her The Black Wind because of her blinding speed, and the deadly power of her Hell Tornado. Sixteen years ago, during a Belasi infiltration of the capital city, Tempest brought back with her a little baby girl who, she said, was going to be sacrificed to the goddess Zenobia as the punishment for her parents' desertion. The girl was raised among the rebels.
Her allies know her as a dependable, cool-headed leader. She seems to take great enjoyment in causing havoc for the Empire, and revels in her combat skills, often cracking jokes or sarcastic remarks in the middle of combat to unnerve her opponents.
Class: Sword Dancer
Magical Affinity: Air
MISTRAL is an up-and-coming member of the rebellion. Her life story is entirely encompassed by the Belasi, since she has grown up among them. As a baby, she was saved by a fate worse than death (it is said) by a young Tempest, back then a lieutenant in the rebellion. Tempest raised the girl herself in the heart of the rebellion, and ultimately she became a promising young woman with a cool head and a steady sword-- both of which instill fear in the hearts of the Zenobian Empire.
It is no secret that Mistral is being groomed to be Tempest’s replacement, should she fall in the line of fire. The young woman already displays all the traits of leadership and is treated as an informal leader in the rebellion. She has certainly made a reputation with the Empire, who has put a bounty on her head almost as high as the one on Tempest’s.
Mistral is often no-nonsense and serious while on assignment, but in an informal setting she is a delightful young lady with a perceptive mind. Her abilities as a Sword Dancer allow her to enchant her blades with a variety of elemental energies, but her main affinity is the element of Air- the same as Tempest’s.
Race: Beastfolk- Cat
Magical Affinity: Shadow
Z used to have a name- but nobody remembers it anymore, not even he does. Once the innocent apprentice of an eccentric old mage, Z found himself betrayed by his mentor, who intended to sacrifice his life in order to form a pact with a Demon called Abraxas, Lord of Probabilities. The pact would unite the mage’s soul with the Demon multiplying their power.
Unfortunately for the old man, Abraxas took an interest in Z's potential. He was far more powerful than the old man would ever be, and there was something special in the young boy, something pure and unspoiled that drew the Demon's morbid fascination. In the midst of the ritual, he offered Z the possibility of survival, and the scared young apprentice took it. The mage was slain in Z's stead, and Z became fused with the demon... in exchange losing his name, receiving merely a letter by which to be called.
Despite the pact, Z remains largely unspoiled. He possesses a ferrous innocence that is in constant struggle with the dark forces that exist within him. His mood is erratic and taciturn at times, but only because of the inner struggle he must maintain in order not to be corrupted by Abraxas' influence. Abraxas, by his part, remains largely unobtrusive, his plans unknown.
Z's powerful magic is channeled through the Devil's Music Box, an artifact of great power that serves as the channel for Abraxas... but which must be activated with great care in combat, for it can hurt the caster as much as it can hurt an enemy.
Race: Beastfolk- White wolf
Magical Affinity: Electricity
Meet Milnes Delavigne, third in command in the Belasi rebellion. In the wake of Zenobia’s rule, beastfolk were been segregated by the Zenobian empire, deemed inferior and subservient to humans. While a rudimentary education and trade/craftsmanship training is allowed, higher education is strictly forbidden to them.
The Belasi rebels, of course, do not hold themselves to those standards. Milnes defiantly wears the scarf of the College of Healers, Sages and Luminaries. Although his training in magic and healing came from his fellow Belasi rebels, he wears the scarf as a statement of what he considers to be his rightful place. Milnes is both a healer and a spellcaster, tending to the wounded and casting paralyzing spells in equal measure. The element to which he is attuned is Electricity.
Unlike Kain, Milnes wasn’t born in slavery- his parents were part of the rebellion, freed from bondage by The Sparrow. As the third in command and the head healer of the rebellion, Milnes constantly worries about the welfare of his comrades, stressing his already earnest and concerned character. Although he has seen the death of many of his comrades over the years, he has never gotten used to the loss—to the point that he dedicated years of intense study to the relationship between the body and the ‘life spark’- that quintessential energy that seems to be the true focus of the individual’s personality. Through independent research and hardship, he will become one of the few scholars capable of performing the technique known as the “Sanctus”, which can re-unite the fallen body of a comrade with their life spark in combat.
His knowledge is also distilled in the creation of the secret recipe of Aqua Vitae, the water of life which can likewise revive a fallen ally--- provided there has been no irreparable damage to the body. This is, unfortunately, seldom the case with his fallen comrades, and Milnes desperately continues his search for the secret that will restore a dead body to its pristine state, so that the Aqua Vitae and the Sanctus can revive even the most mangled comrades and return them to perfect physical state.
Magical Affinity: Earth
Vincent was fifteen when the Zenobian Empire invaded his world. He and his sister Luthia had spent a relatively normal childhood- as normal as orphans get anyways- living in the peaceful village of Vilya. Myrthin, an old friend of his father, tutored the siblings in letters and history, piquing their interest in ruins and the ancient civilization that existed on the island thousands of years ago. The old man even began to teach them the ways of magic--- or ‘shaping’, which was the term the Sylph used to describe it.
When the Zenobian troops invaded the island, they met with little resistance from a population that had spent the last century or so in peace, and whose martial training left much to be desired. Vincent saw how his ancestral home was turned into nothing more than an outpost for the Zenobian Empire, how his Beastfolk friends were separated from the main population and sent to live apart in squalor… and how his human friends stood by and didn’t dare to raise their voices. He saw how the entirety of the island fell under Zenobian rule, and rage burned in his heart.
Vincent trained himself to move in the shadows, to spy upon the Zenobians whenever he could, and learn secrets. He learned that they were in the island in order to search for ‘relics’—remnants of the old civilization. Vincent began to deal with the outposts then, taking relics he unearthed from ruins and crypts to Evernore Castle. If they found what they were looking for, he hoped, they would finally leave the island alone.
The Zenobians passed their usual decrees on the island, and magic and weapon-making were outlawed outside of approved officials… so Vincent and Luthia made their best efforts to conceal their magical ability. Many of their friends, however, were targeted by the Empire… but they inexplicably disappeared before they could be captured. This happened with the blacksmiths and most shopkeepers whose businesses were not approved by the Zenobians. Nobody knew where they went…
But Vincent and Luthia did. And they kept the secret.Vincent has grown up to be a dry young man, who chafes under the slightest pressure of authority. He is determined to see the Zenobians off his island, no matter the cost. He is not sympathetic to the Belasi rebellion, seeing them as nothing more than a convenient faction that could help him free the island, but he is not concerned with the world outside of the island of Vidalia, and he is very slow to trust anyone outside of his sister.
More characters unveiled soon...
Stay tuned for more updates!