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PART 4 - The Heroes of Midnight

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PART 4 - The Heroes of Midnight

Post by The Hive Mind on Thu May 15, 2014 11:33 am

The legendary heroes of past ages are all dead or corrupted by the Shadow. The lines of the kings are all but ended, and the strength of the elves and dwarves has waned. The only thing standing between the helpless masses of the people of Eredane and the overwhelming evils described above are a handful of desperate, determined heroes. The player characters are among these unbowed, unbroken few.

They may begin their epic journey as inexperienced and desperate fugitives, but they are destined to become Aryth’s last great champions. They are often unwelcome and unheralded, for danger often follows close behind them, and even the common folk they strive to protect may turn against them. This is an age of darkness and fear, and for many, all hope is lost. Despair turns to desperation, and most of the common people merely wish to save themselves and their families from the ravages of the Night Kings. To aid heroes blinded by glory is to call down the wrath of the Shadow, and few have any interest in dying for a lost cause.

Despite the odds stacked against them, the heroes of MIDNIGHT have a few simple but powerful edges over their foes. The races of the free peoples of Eredane have been tempered by years of want and war. They know their homelands like no others, dependent as they are on the terrain for survival and protection. They have greater natural affinities for certain skills, abilities, and weapons than races from other settings; whether it be the way of the horse or the way of the sword, the use of magic or the use of stealth, the races of Eredane excel at their chosen paths. Even the creatures bred by Izrador himself, the orcs, can be heroes in Midnight, and their strength and savagery when turned against their fellows is a dire thing indeed.

Also, though few sword-arms join their cause and no gods answer their prayers, Aryth herself gives aid to those who fight Izrador. Her animals have united and grown wise, and begin to fight the invaders. The power nexuses that grant the ability to create magic items are hidden from the legates and their hunting beasts. Charms and herbal concoctions offer boons to the champions of good that cannot be detected like other magics, and can be made only by those in tune with the natural world and rhythms of life.

Aryth also reaches out to her defenders in another, less subtle way. With the power of heroic paths, characters in MIDNIGHT can call upon extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities previously known only among magical
beasts and the like. The giantblooded tower above normal men and have the strength that goes along with it, while the feyblooded claim the grace and insight of the ethereal woodland spirits. The guardian and beast each bring the fight to the enemy, one with a will and determination as strong as any paladin, the other with as much ferocity and viciousness as a ravenous predator. The quickened and the shadow walker, the steelblooded and the warg, the ironborn and healer, each bear gifts that none can explain and none can take away, gifts that make great heroes even more powerful and draw those who would otherwise cower or flee into the fight. For when the burden of a heroic path is placed upon a person’s shoulders, her destiny is no longer her own. She has become a defender of Aryth and her free peoples, and has become an enemy of the forces of darkness.

In part because of these heroic paths, in part because of desperation, the heroes of MIDNIGHT come from all circumstances and walks of life. They are not adventurers, glory-seekers, treasure-hunters, and the like. They are normal men and women, even children, whose freedom and way of life have been taken from them. They have had to watch their people and families beaten, murdered, tortured, and starved. They have had their weapons, their lore, their homes and food, all taken away from them.

But there is one thing that the enemy cannot take from the heroes of Midnight. That thing is hope.
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