In another land, where the lightbulb isn’t around and your chances of a cup of coffee are severely limited...where if you want a girl you prove yourself...where logic is another word for ‘well-meaning idiot’...that’s where this story is set.
In Deryna, a promise is met with scorn and then you’ll find that they probably nicked your wallet whilst you were crossing your heart.
The Thieves Incorporated deal with the organized stealing, pick pocketing, and otherwise discreetly relieving you of your possessions..
The Assassins Lmtd do the murders, poisoning, or if you’re squeamish, they’ll ‘take care’ of them for you..
You can count on Underhanded Overpriced for subterfuge – not to mention extortion.
Then there are the scores of other groups. The Poisoners. Formogang.
And The Man In The Shadows keeps it all running. If he’s there. He might not be. Rumour says there’s just a committee, the leaders of the groups meeting in a darkened room. Unlikely.
Deryna has an octagon of cities around its borders. One at each point. Each is run by a major group. Aefid by Thieves Incorporated is the largest. Navis, run by Pieces of Eight Pirates borders the sea. As do Venalica, run by Traders Extortionate (who only recently had a nasty pile-up with Underhanded Overpriced) and Salis, run by Assassins Lmtd, where they occasionally catch wanted policemen trying to leave the land. The remaining cities bord...well...borders. What’s beyond them is unknown. And since you can’t rob, swindle or otherwise short-change the unknown, it generally went...unknown. Unnoticed.
The cities are joined together by a network of well-maintained packed dirt roads (operated on by Highways – Your life or your money back!) which meet at The Shadowcity. Home of The Man In The Shadows. Like him, it justifies the capital ‘T’ on ‘The’. He operates on the traditional style of evil, black citadel, mysterious presence, mysterious prescience...just your average traditional stuff, really. He’s rather proud of his black robe, dontcher know.
Depending on the city’s leading group, the layout of the cities changes. Lyrd, run by Underhanded Overpriced, reflects their notions of grandeur, splendeur, and other such words with that elusive ‘eur’ ending.
However, Thieves Incorporated stick to the age-old custom that thieves should base themselves in warehouses, old factories, and dark cellars. To this end they had skyscrapers constructed with only the basement inhabited, warehouses made straight out of the rickety wood from Venalica, and factories which looked as if a breeze would demolish them. Although, the bulletproof materials and twelve foot foundations meant it would have to be a pretty determined breeze.
Navis is shipyards, salty taverns and wharfs where an unsuspecting policeman might make it almost to the small boat before a voice whispers, ‘Contract from the Piece of Eight Pirates. Policemen worth 10 gilt. On behalf of Assassins Lmtd, may I have the pleasure of wishing you goodbye.’
But in Venalica, also situated by the sea, a piece of gilt costs six pieces of gilt, coming in costs two, and leaving costs ten. By the time you got round to leaving, you probably didn’t have enough. Especially since Trader’s Extortionate have an agreement with the Pickpocket Branch of Thieves Incorporated.
Between the cities, roads, and occasional evil rampaging armies of dark (HandyArmies!) are those who, by and large, ignore the groups and concentrate on beating next door’s prize cabbage. The peasants. Who are, contrary to Tradition, pretty happy. It’s only one gold piece – or just a couple of carrots – to stop a hundred being stolen.
Somewhere between the cities, roads, occasional rampaging armies of doom and peasants, and the remnants of Old Times. These Old Times are so Old that they fully require the capital ‘O’, otherwise they might melt away and collapse. The remnants aren’t sure what it is they’re remnants of, except that it involved happy peasants (‘No, of course they’re not happy! It’s just an act!’), a lack of business groups (‘No, Fish’n’chips DON’T count’), and a city in the centre of Deryna (‘Not Shadowcity. The other central city. Lightcity. Yes, I know it sounds like Shadowcity. The thing is, son, the Old Times we represent are so Old now that we can’t...well, truth is, son, we have no idea what the city was really called.’)
Below this world, the furnaces are stoking hot. A being dressed in white is watching as the bellows pumped themselves. The place is deserted. It’s a calculated move. So who said Untold Evil couldn’t wear white? Who said he had to have hundreds of sweating minions? Why? What would be the point, when a look was all it took to keep the fires hot?
Untold walks over. He’s watching the world above. He’s kept the furnaces going for thousands of years. The humans have got used to it. They swear on him all the time. ‘Hah! I’ll stop thieving when hell freezes over!’ He watches, as an insignificant peasant yells at his daughter, ‘You can marry him when hell freezes over!’
Untold smiles. That’s it. Every mortal has now sworn on him. With a sigh, he turns his robe black. Some Evil has to be done traditionally. With a look, he stops the bellows. They stop, and within seconds cold is spreading out from them, covering the roaring furnaces, until the only sound is cracking of the ice.
Now, he has a busy night. He has to remind the mortals of their promises. Most of the important promises are made by leaders of groups. They involve cleaning up their act. Giving up their business. And if they don’t keep them...if the mortals don’t keep their promises...then there will be Trouble. Untold smiles again. He’ll see to it.
For this RP, the characters can be members of any faction: from Untold himself to Assassins Lmtd to Highways – Your life or your money back! to peasants to Old Timers. If you wish to make up your own business faction, you can - I’ve left a couple of cities free. However, I would be happy if there were no more than two RPers in each faction.
NAME: Domitian Murthen
BIO: When he was only a junior in the Pickpocket Branch of Thieves Incorporated, he changed his name from Murthen Domitian to Domitian Murthen, on the basis that the leader of the greatest business group couldn’t be called Murthen. Ten years later, he has realised his ambition and is leader of Thieves Incorporated. Domitian is not particularly a bad person – no more than the next man – and is simply making his way in Deryna. Deryna works. It has never occurred to anyone that it needed fixing. Yesterday, he swore that he’d ‘change Thieves Incorporated policy for Good when hell froze over’.