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Character/Art belongs to Tahira#2924 (Discord)

National Information.

White Sand Empire Government.

 

The White Sand Empire follows a meritocracy system. Positions of influence are not held due to birthing. But what is contributed by the individual aspiring for an appointment. A committee will vote on any nominated personnel. Their accolades will be challenged and questioned. Within the desert, an individual is gauged solely on the duties their placement entails. So a merchant will be inspected based on their financial achievements and economic knowledge. While a general will be considered solely on his ability to strategize.

 

Within society, the usurping of titles is encouraged. But the methodology of doing so will depend on the coveted station. Warriors fight warriors. Merchants use cutthroat business tactics for swelling profits. Researchers steal or improve on theoretical or experimental technologies etc. etc. So a merchant killing a general offers nothing. And damages the integrity of society. Thus, they will be charged with treason and executed. Murdering a researcher provides no net gain.

 

In summary, if it doesn't strengthen the area, it will be painted negatively. The government comprises two branches, one that manages local affairs and another that meets to oversee national matters. Lesser laws are handled by "regents of the house." These are individuals selected from the cream of the crop and awarded a single territory for supervising. (Such as transporting goods from Crystal town to the surrounding region or holding order within Ashtown.) While those at the national level ensure all demands are being met. Statesmanship is seen as servitude to the people, NOT the other way around. The higher your position, the larger the yoke placed on your shoulders with the expectations you put the good of society over your personal pursuits.

 

A summit will be called to investigate whenever a politician yields to their greed. If found culpable, the offender will be stripped of all titles, land, and wealth only for it all to be transferred to the newly appointed replacement.

Law/Order.

Below is a summary concerning law and how its upheld. The setting is old world. If caught violating a crime within the desert, a guard or inquisitor will stand as the judge. The "trial" will be conducted on the spot. The player character will be given a chance to represent themselves. This isn't modern times, so the lack of evidence can work for or against you. If the character can verify their innocence by convincing the guard, they will be exonerated. If not, punishment will occur. 

Penalties include the taking of goods/coins—removal of a limb, execution, or public embarrassment. Resisting or attacking an enforcer will lead to a swift termination unless you can defend or escape. The guards are seen as an extension of the crown, so disrespect or aggression is lumped as treason. Below is a list of crimes she is sworn to prevent.

Tax evasion
Theft

Threatening
Assault/Murder
Sexual misconduct/assault
Slavery
Disturbing order
Openly disrespecting the Eternal House or prominent members.
Terrorism
Slander
Lying to a guard/Willingly withholding information
Illegal arms transport/ Illegally possessing weapons not authorized to civilians
Militarized mounts without authorization
Tampering with the infrastructure/tech or Sabotage
Property damage
Arson
Kidnapping
Forced labor/Debt abuse
Interfering with state authorities
Trespassing
Lockpicking
Illegal trafficking of any goods or people
Cooking books
Forging documentation/Defacing official documentations

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Factional Information.

The Eternal House

Samara tried to prevent the fall of civilization and its advancements. However, the populace was far too overwhelmed by their avarice to join her in this noble pursuit. As a result, the sands has fallen into a dark age. Assembling her children, resources, and vision, the enigmatic sphinx focused on what remained in the Metropolis of Nirvana. Being a capitalist, she altered their archaic customs, limiting government rule while encouraging entrepreneurial endeavors with the expectations of rekindling the industry lost. Playing toward their immoral inclinations, she now governs this city, peddling the pleasures of the flesh as a means to enlarge her coffers. Known now as the Mistress of sin and vice, she advertises her brothels, drugs, alcohol, and casinos as a means to fuel a grander plot. 

Her forces are magically endowed, serving as enforcers and gangsters to keep order in what has become a disorderly world. While she seeks to restart the inert factories, facilitate the production of crystals while furthering the lives of her citizens. Those beyond those walls are denominated as customers, learning from the folly of previous rulers. She seeks to worry about her people first lest she gambles and expands too rapidly, and the system caves in under that pressure. Safeguarding the Fungal Forest, using its reagents to produce remedies while investing some of the profits to better the commoner's life. Those artificial lights are shining in this distance, deriding those left to squabble within their just desserts, a world without future and hope.

The Inquisitorial/theocracy.

The sands operate under a theocratical model that propagates a meritocracy. All those within the grainy motherland have come to see Samara Del'Fluent as a higher being. Many within debate to what degree. It ranges from those mildly skeptical concerning the boundaries of her powers and those who are swallowed by zealotry. This creed has been founded on her ability to repel the jungle's incursion—the defilement invasion and reclaiming the sands under her banners. When she swallowed the volcano within the center of the land, her display of power further cemented herself as the desert incarnate.  Under her governance, the people have flourished without fear of those monstrosities slumbering behind the veil.

 

The inquisitorial branch of government serves as operators dispersed throughout the badlands. They labor as her sword and mouthpieces wheating out any who might be scheming. While autocratic, the recent events and the denizens' eagerness to barter off autonomy for security have inspired the common folk to accept such constraints. Having scarcely survived two collapses, a war campaign, and an eldritch plague meant to assimilate them. Cojoined with the fact the mistress of sin lowered many government sanctions, outlawed slavery, allowed women to leave their homes, invested in the lower class, infrastructure, medicinal, technological, educational, and agricultural spheres. 

Throughout her tenure, the looming figure has shown compliance to sacrifice for the people. The people have distinguished stability and prosperity never savored before. Her cruelty is chiefly aimed toward conspirators who endeavor to dishevel the age she has built. And if one should venture to subvert the balance of her order, she will exercise levels of destruction masterminded to leave not a single decrier alive. In the mind of her house, it is better to lop off an arm than to embrace total necrosis.

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The main Antagonist.

The Defilement.

Aliases: The black cancer
The universal rot
Pathogen zero
The veil splitter
Blood of dreams

​Though the dreamer sleeps, it seems to maintain a rudimentary awareness of its slumber; whenever it resists the lullaby beguiling it, fissures and hemorrhages form across the multiverse. These wounds, tearing apart the seams while a blackened film emerges from the ruptured sections. This blood, oily in texture and shade, contaminates the region.

At first, the effects can be challenging to discern with the mortal eye, and by the time one can observe the first pool, it already has planted its seeds. This dross is sentient, birthing creations known as the outsiders charged with broadcasting its necrosis. This otherworldly serum often is accompanied by a haunting dirge or a ghastly fog—such a blight serving a natural function within the cosmos.

​The pathogen has already consumed many levels of reality; twisted effigies from each added to the possible manifestations it might wear. This adaptive and resilient organism possesses an alien language, often depicted as crashing waves against the rocks. The forms they generate can be a humanoid, animalistic, amorphous, or even inanimate - but no matter their design, that signature blackened fluid coats their forms, joined with cancerous growths and writhing barbed tendrils. The most elite of their collective are shielded by carapaces, the hues of which often shift with each step, and lack the revolting additions to their bodies typical of The Defiled. Favoring areas of seclusion and setting their gaze upon the vulnerable regions, unknowingly prime for subsumption, the Defilement brazenly flaunts about their sentience. The stages of infection fit under four categories, and as the disease proliferates, so too does their ability to rationalize within a given space.

​Paradoxically, whenever a universe isn't ripe for transcendence, The Defilement maintains the cradlesong incarcerating the dreamer. As time passes, they begin to trickle into the plane; initially, their interference may appear small, easy to miss, before rapidly swelling into a boisterous tempest. In actuality, the Defilement is not a disease, rather it is a symptom. They exist because of the Dreamer, and their principles permeate within it, yet it does not explicitly follow their will; it destroys and corrupts aspects of reality because doing so is in its nature. However, that motivation gradually moves towards its logical conclusion. The aforementioned small rifts manifest everywhere, either in long-forgotten or destruction-marred pockets.

If their fluid is ingested, or the feelers of those twisted creatures rip into the body of an organism, the victim will become marked, becoming an unknown patient. At first, no changes will be apparent, but in time, their minds will begin to rot, yielding to the whims and desires of the Outsiders. Magic, however, seems to serve as a natural, albeit temporary, barrier - once the reserves are depleted, nothing is left to halt the infection. The entire process can take from days to weeks. All things must end, and from its syrupy depths, new seeds of evolution are sown to start the age of nightmares. Below is a list of the four levels of outbreaks.

1) Pools- Easy to vanquish, liquid pools of filth vulnerable to fiery purging. While time-consuming to remove, these puddles offer not much resistance, if any at all.

2) Feral- Their numbers are smaller, and the manifestations lack complex deduction skills-appearing more akin to animals than harbingers.

3) Environmental- At this stage, more complex forms can be assumed. The area under effect can be blanketed by fog and other such visual changes. Meanwhile, those entities skulking within can start using tools and pack tactics. Their main goal, to build up enough cells to construct a network. Toward the upper echelon of progress within this level of infection, The Outsiders start to melt into our plane and begin lording over their lesser evolved cousins. Sometimes even picking up and copying that space they have anchored, resulting in convergences.

4) Network- At this level, the entirety of the contagion works as one. The network, a greater intelligence, steers them with the sole ambitions of permanently purging that area of any unsuitable life. This region is stripped bare of organic material before they disappear as eerily as they emerged - only to recommence this nibbling away at the veil and barrier between worlds from behind the curtain.

((The defilement are our "monsters' they can take any form you can imagine as long as they adhere to the theme listed above. Stages 1-2 are acceptable to be used liberally outside of settlements; anything higher is for events driven by in-universe action and can not be employed liberally given their level of infection.))

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Metaphysics (The Dream/Multiverse.)

The universe is nothing but a dream, an interminable labyrinth of ideas and reflections of the human psyche made tangible. Dividing these myriads of realities, all operating under diverse principles, is an expanse of nothingness. Where those who dare tread ride on chaotic currents, whisking across the maddening void. The space between the pages, where time, reason, and one's very senses hold no authority.  Here the Elder one's watch, chortling as hubris filled mortals frivolously struggle to compartmentalize concepts beyond fathomability. These entities are not gods, merely manifestations of the dreamers' consciousness, serving a natural role in maintaining the author's torpidity. This enigmatic originator, the genesis of all that is, was, and can be, eluding observations. 

These planes' denizens are ignorant of its permanence, unable to perceive the truth prowling just outside of their finite cognizance. While a few have merited a single particle of edification, none can compose the entire edifice that is their prison. Leading those few enlightened souls to question what is real, is it just our senses? If so, then tangibility is entirely chemical and flawed reactions sequentially triggered by one's mind, elicited by external stimuli. Delirium claims most who dare search for the truth of truths, while others accept such hollow ventures' frivolity. Whether our world is real, a dream, or a simulation; it is irrelevant. An academic expedition that in no way will benefit the individual or whole. 

These Elder beings seldom concern themselves in mortal affairs, as their worlds and plights are trifling. Whether you show reverence, disdain, or unbridled disbelief is inapplicable to such consciousnesses. The sands are just a speck, floating within a sea of dust, of which the total number of potential oceans is innumerable. Each second, thousands wane, and thousands rise from nothingness. These ideas are inexorably formulated in the fruitless pursuit that is perfection, a perpetual cycle of rebirth and ruination. They are occasionally plucking those who sojourn in their domain or the space between the pages, usurping erudition, artifacts, or prodding those vessels for their depraved inclinations. So welcome to the dream of the real, savor your stay and be wary. Consider yourself warned, for gawking into the abyss; you know not what may peer back with insidious intents...

Metaphysics (Convergence.)

When the veil dissolves and things bleed over, an infection takes root, known as convergences. These pockets meld with the land, often accompanied by thick otherworldly smog. Where emerald ash-like snow descends from the heavens, gravity, space, time, and the natural laws are altered in irrational ways. Here the foulest of aberrations linger, as metropolises from countless worlds lay in ruination. Their states are varying from smoulderings rubbles to crystallized or frozen snapshots of a singular moment. Here one can witness what could have been, as each choice suffocates potential realities. Such occurrences rarely spread, but if they do, they threaten the stability of that plane. These deceptively small spaces are strewn throughout a universe, some serving as bridges, while others are more insidious by design. The question remains, what would happen if one rode the spiral till the end? What revelations await such wayward sons of mortality?

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Compendium. (Other Character Sheets/Additional Lore Links.)

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