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The Iron Dynasty, DeLaRose Role Play Group » Role Plays With No Owners » The Vandenburg Coven » Vostra, City of the Dark [Environment Bio and Area Info]

Vostra, City of the Dark [Environment Bio and Area Info]

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Vandenburg Coven RP Information (WIP, 4/24/2018 Version)



Actual Location: It is part of the ruins of Terra Avestra. It is an underground kingdom now, but once stood where the ruins themselves are atop the surface.



Time setting: More than fifty years have passed since the rulers and court were heard from, as all individuals seemed to have been slaughtered over the course of a single day by the now presiding queen, Sephiria Zarkov. The city surrounding the castle seemed to continue on, though without much but simple basic rights to keep them in line, it soon became a haven for petty crime as well as more serious offenses. Magical experimentation is popular and unsupervised for the most part, as the queen only intervenes as she sees fit.



-City of Vostra-

In the abandoned continent that was once Terra Avestra, there is naught to be seen but crumbling, destroyed stone structures, a gigantic crater, smaller holes and the remnants of a long-lost battle - nearly turned to dust with time. Tattered banners stand still in the windless region, their pieces fallen beneath them and coated with old layers of ash. Spears, rusted blades and the skeletal bodies of numerous soldiers lay strewn about, both surrounding the perimeter of and leading to the entrance of Vostra. The bodies have been picked clean as they are found moving toward the mouth of what appears to be a small abandoned spider cave, the walls covered with old and new webs as one walks further inside. There is no light, and it is quite dark – but not pitch black. However, about a mile and a half into the narrow entrance, it begins to spread out into a wider area and several scattered tunnels of varying width can be seen, dimly lit with a fiery orange glow. The tunnel in the middle was lit with fresh torches and clear of any signs of activity, and at the end of it there is a bright and beautiful white light – but none would ever see the source of that light, as there would be a large covered pit a few feet into the tunnel that dropped straight down into a poisoned spike trap. This was to discourage wanderers from simply being able to waltz into the city easily, and thus is not recorded on any map or document in order to keep its secrecy. In fact, there is only one true entrance to the city amongst these tunnels, but only those with either preexisting knowledge of it or the ability to sense magic trails (there is a heavy presence of all kinds of magic in the city and castle) would be able to figure out which tunnel it is. To those in the know, it is the tunnel that is two openings to the right from the middle. (I'll provide an image for reference, bear with me.) The opening will be about eight feet high and seven feet wide, and the faintest smell of rot and moss will waft from it. It is also fifteen yards in depth, with naught but the same faint glow at the end of it to light the way into the city. Upon reaching the end, there are four very tall, very armed guards blocking the full view, and they will demand to know the name, race, and reason that any wanderers have come. If their answer is not sufficient to both the given law's standards and the guards', the wanderer is to be killed on the spot. If the answer is sufficient, they are escorted to a stone structure that seems to be a registry station. There the wanderer's time of arrival will be recorded, as well as their information and description of appearance – so that in case they need to be found, they can be one way or another. Once entry is granted, the city of Vandenburg is sprawling, yet seemingly not as busy as it once was. There are several merchant booths for the sale of different goods from different races and trades, armories for those who wish to use them as all members of the city seem to be armed in some fashion, and several taverns. Nothing is too clustered together, so it is easy enough to navigate and remember the location of different parts of the city. Residential areas are not sectioned off and though there is no segregation of any kind, there is most certainly some hostility between certain races and families – as noticed by a handful of homes that have been burned to the ground, and old rotting bodies that have either been raped and killed, simply murdered, or picked clean. The people dress according to their races' respective cultures, and no one seems to care much either way who wears what.



-Castle Zarkov-

It is clear that it was once a very large structure that possibly was once above ground and collapsed for some unknown reason, many hundreds of years ago. For now, however, it is a crumbling heap, with only the main throne hall and three rooms not completely demolished. The architecture is of a Gothic make, with high arches and elaborate sconces, the decorations in themselves old and covered in what seem to be a type of vine that has a black stem and violet, luminescent leaves. Inside the throne room, the décor has been slightly renovated to a theme of black and reds of varying darkness. The only metals that seem to be used is steel that has been treated to shine well, and iron to make up the reinforced doors – also a newer feature. The floor is made of hardened earth, the stone that was there before buried deep within the ground from the collapse. There is a large area rug, crimson with black embroidery, covering the center of the room leading up to the newer singular throne that has been erected for the new queen. Where there were once windows, there are now simply open holes covered haphazardly with old curtains. There is no point in dusting, so it is not done. There is not much light, save for a few candelabras erected near the throne and leading to the other rooms, located mainly in the left wing. In the first of these rooms there is a small library set up, filled with old and newer tomes of history, maps and miscellaneous subjects. There is a single pillar candle that has been melted into the round oak table positioned in the left back corner, and beside it an upholstered velvet chair of inelegant make. In the room next to it is something like a dungeon, but there are no cells. Instead, there is a large stone slab with leather restraints nailed in, and several old and rusted tools. Much is stained with old and recent blood in this room, as it has not been cleaned and does not have any plan to be such. In the last room, there lacks any decoration or furniture, save for a cedar box large enough to fit a tall body inside. This is where the queen usually rests when needed. There are no guards or servants surrounding the castle or within, as they are not necessary.



-The Environment, Castle Grounds and Overall Climate-

The ground and area of the coven and city are moist from an underground water deposit opening up in various steam geysers and hot springs, and so many swamp-derived plants grow native here. The main light and simulation of a night and day cycle comes from the many torches that have been placed, which light up automatically during the day, and the glow of the surrounding fauna is brilliantly seen during the night to make navigation easy. Bio-luminescent vines, moss, mushrooms, and even some magically-born fauna are also available due to the many experiments of those more mystically inclined. People tend to survive on these plants, but in order to obtain anything like meat, they either turn to victimizing other races within the city or they actively go out and hunt to bring communal wares home. There are very few omnivorous beings in this kingdom, but many who consume blood. The castle grounds seem to be barren from an unknown cause, and aside from the vines along its walls are clear of vegetation or sign of life. The queen, a Transcendent Vampire, often requests after “visitors” who never seem to return...thus, the body count in this kingdom rises daily – and the population is in jeopardy if an alternative to sate her hunger is not found.



-Flora and Fauna-

As stated in the city's description, there are many magically-born plants as well as moisture-born. Mushrooms are a dime a dozen, there are both mosses and vines everywhere, and the only flowers available are few and very poisonous. They are a rarity only available in Vandenburg Coven, so they are sought after by alchemists and mages alike. There are also rumors of certain substances being found in the hot springs, but none have really been confirmed. (Possible location of pearls~) There are not many creatures save for giant spiders that have been trained by the Drow, and they attack on command or in the instance of a threat being presented. They are also used as mounts, and if bred and raised by the right person they are loyal pets.



-Races of the City of Vostra-

Dwaraugers (dark dwarves that dwell deep underground, ask Anaya)

Drow

Dark elves

Vampires and their thralls

Werewolves and various werecreatures

Cultists of various races and creeds

Goblins, but they are usually slaves to keep them contained

Drow-trained giant spiders

Humans, but they are often imported and used as servants, vampire cattle and magical experiments



-Current History-

On the eve of a calm night of the usual banter between royals and visitors of the old coven, one such random visitor arrived and was invited in as a royal guest of the family. It was a woman, clad in naught but black, pale as parchment and with painted lips of a plum shade she spoke sweet words to the keep's king, Lucian. With elegant vocabulary, she had begun to discuss the prospects of expanding the coven's reach, and she promised with honeyed voice that she would devote herself to all that they stood for. After being offered a place in their home and a station as a poisons master due to her high skill in the craft, the onyx devilress waited until the sun came and until the castle was not as busy. All that could be heard on the wind that day were the many screams and sounds of combat, until it all fell silent when the moon was at its highest. Blood magic was thick in the air, as were traces of necromancy, and demons crawled out of the woodworks of the castle upon her command to finish off the last of any loyal members and guards that would bring news of the calamity to outside sources. Red and black now stained the castle walls and floors, bodies drained to nothing or turned to ash, and the woman – Sephiria, the records say her name was – stood alone in the throne room as the moon shone through the tattered curtains and banners against the windows.

After establishing the area over a period of sixteen years as the city of Vandenburg, named for its former coven, and building enough to allow for wanderers to make a place there and cultivate various forms of crops, word began to spread to other parts of Valeria that the continent of Terra Avestra was home once again to vampires and other such darkly inclined creatures. With this spreading news, however, came a new threat. After hearing rumors of a powerful dragon living in the nearing continent with a distaste for the undead, Sephiria realized she would need to find a way to make her new home undetectable. One such inhabitant who had made his home there ten years ago, a Drow assassin by the name of Rarithyr, helped her with the art of illusion magic and proposed a way to hide the entire city from the creature. Sephiria jumped on the chance a little too heartily, even attempting to learn a new language to do so in order to recant the needed ritual words. Upon the day that the actual spell was to be done, she became so exciteable during the process that she mispronounced a single word – which caused the entire city and castle to collapse upon being teleported 70 feet underground. Many were killed, and Sephiria was knocked unconscious underneath a castle wall that had fallen down on top of her.

She lay in the ground under the rubble for twenty-eight years, the ritual having taken almost every bit of strength from her and the collapse leaving her pinned under a great amount of rubble. After this time had passed and the ground had since covered up the collapse, thanks to the buildup of ash and dust hardening into new earth, Sephiria's body was discovered by a group of bandits that had heard of treasure lurking in the cave where she now lay. As they dug through the rubble in search of baubles and pearls, they caught sight of a dust-covered heap of tattered cloth and black hair – and promptly pulled her from the rubble as they believed that there was a chance she was still alive, and this was a fresh demolition site. Much to their demise, she was very, very alive – and after tasting the blood of the bandit that pulled her from the rubble from a dribbling wound on his arm he'd received whilst removing the castle stone, she went into a hunger-fueled frenzy. The event was over a blink after it began, with the woman coated in fresh blood and left to realize what she had destroyed so many years ago. With her chosen family gone, she had no one left. In her sorrow, she vowed that she would resume her work – but she would never attempt what she had in the past ever again. Not until she was strong enough. With the fruits of scavenging the demolished city and castle and twenty years of patience, the vampire cleared away the remnants of both and began a settlement that, with careful agents spreading the word to the seediest parts of Valeria, and 99 years later grew into a calm city of minimal but necessary laws and punishment systems. Guards were recruited to keep her and the city's residents safe, and mages were allowed the freedom of experimenting in any way they wished – so long as it did not destroy the population, she commanded. Now, while she continues her research and the amount of missing people around the world begins to rise again, the city's business seems to stay separate from her own. However, with her noticing the increase in precious metals, gems and even popular drugs such as pearls, she has begun to realize that she will need to exploit these resources in order to thrive further.

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