Guide To Understanding, Rewarding, and Using the Marks and Religion Systems
Many of you are probably wondering what Marks are and how they apply to your character, to the world of Idalos, and the story line of the role play. Many of you are also probably wondering how Religion affects these divine powers and how it applies to your character. These two systems encompass a large part of the role play because the Marks serve as a catalyst to the war within the world, so it's recommended that both Players and Prophets become familiar with this guide.
What Are Marks?
Marks act as an extension of the Immortal's power in lesser, multiple forms. They provide the user with divine
power in exchange for a kind of servitude to that Immortal, whether that's through completing tasks, worship, murders, etc. Marks cannot be earned without proper cause. By this, I mean that the character has to complete a quest, or several, to earn the favor or hatred of the Immortal.
The commonality of marks varies as some Immortals are harder to gain favor or hatred with than others. These divine beings play a large part in every character's story, whether they're aware of it or not. They have personalities, history, likes and dislikes, and behave similarly to humans. Therefore, earning the gifts of divine power will sometimes take a lot of work, depending on that Immortal.
The divine powers given to characters from the marks are limited to that Immortal's domains. So an example of this would be Zanik and his blessing of Elithem. His domains are seduction, music, and strength. If a character acquired his blessing, they could use this divine power for those areas and those areas only.
Gaining Marks Both In Character & OOC
• Post in Prophet Support Forum a story 500 words of more of what your character did to earn the favor of the Immortal whose mark they are trying to receive. Characters may receive their first blessing or curse with approval of story from the Prophet Support Forum. Anything else must be awarded in RP.
It's best that you first figure out which marks you want your character to have before anything else. It's possible for a character to have a total of 4 marks and out of 20 or so marks, it may be hard to choose, so think wisely. Once you've done your research on the Immortal and the mark you want, you'll need to post in the Prophet Support Forum with the title 'Acquiring the Mark of....' and whatever the mark's name is. If it's not your first mark, you don't have to be too specific, just let us know why you want the mark, how many marks you have so far, and which area your character is in right now. This will help us set up quests for your character to undertake to gain the mark you want.
We don't want to make acquiring a mark stressful on you so there are no lengthy requirements for obtaining your first mark. If you don't go the path of submitting a story in the Prophet Support forum, you can do so through role playing and completing one or more "quests", or threads wherein you catch the Immortal's attention or demonstrate your devotion to them. When role playing the quest(s) to obtain the mark, your character needs to demonstrate that they are worthy of that mark. If a character goes on a journey to the city of Hiladrith, and they are performing lots of music, their own music, demonstrating their knowledge of chord progressions, lyrics, rhythms and they perform openly, in front of a large audience unafraid, entertaining, and strong, that may not only get the attention of Hiladrith's leaders but also, Zanik's. Earning your first mark can be easy for the most part but you have to remember to show that your character deserves it in role play
, just like the story submitted in a Prophet Support thread would need to demonstrate the relationship with the patron Immortal. Otherwise, what would be the point?
So how does one advance a mark once they've obtained one? That's where religion comes in. This is too weighty a subject for one section, so please refer to the following section religion for more information.
The Immortals and Worship
The Immortals themselves are strong. They wield power beyond anything mortal man could wish to control and are beings that spawn calamity with a single touch. These powerful beings harness the purest kind of Ether, the essence of all things magical, strange, and otherworldly. Ether is adaptive and malleable. It may be used to create powerful abilities or form connections with those of mortal flesh. Ether ties into the soul, bringing with it a spark of power governed by the Immortal who chooses to share their power with mortal beings. It is from this connection, this string of power, that amplifies the Immortal's strength.
When a mortal is marked by an Immortal, they have done enough to gain favor in the eyes of this powerful being. The establishment of a mark is a surge of power that overtakes the mortal being. They are encompassed in the energy of pure, regulated ether— ether that is controlled by the Immortal and either given or taken at their choosing. Faith to the Immortal is imperative to the strength of the mark and its abilities. As a mortal being prays and dedicates their faith to the Immortal, they become better aligned to that Immortal's domains. This devotion earns them favor, pushing more strength into the mark, thus, more power into their abilities.
Maintaining and Levelling A Blessing
Once marked, a player can level the Blessing by doing quests that show both an understanding of their patron Immortals domains and goals, as well as making use of the blessing. Quests can be either minor, self-moderated stories, or more significant stories that can take several threads. A quest can reward a player with up to three new abilities for a blessing.
Reaching New Blessing Tiers
In order to reach a new Blessing Tier, the player will have to meet a few requirements. First, they'll need to have all 9 powers from the previous tier. Second, they'll need to do a quest that shows them doing something significant in order to gain more trust and recognition from their patron Immortal. These will always be major quests and will have to be moderated. If the player wants, the moderator can come up with the plot, but the player can ask for a specific plot line as well.
Getting A Quest
Getting a quest is simple. Just apply for one in the PSF. You can either ask for a moderated thread that's up to the moderators discretion, or you can have a specific plot in mind, either way works. Your request will get reviewed, and either approved or given suggestions in order to get it to approval. Once the quest is finished, if it's self moderated, just put that it's a Blessing ability quest and it will get reviewed by someone with PSF access who can see your original request.
Knowledge Strengthening Abilities
Three pieces of knowledge determines the character to be a master in that ability. Not all abilities require mastery, though most abilities require at least one piece of knowledge to use proficiently. If a character has no knowledge is an ability, they are considered a novice with it. They may still use it, but they may have a hard time understanding its function until the character has practiced with the ability.
Listed below are set rules regarding devotion and ability purchase:
New players must write up a story with a minimum of 500 words, performing an act that gains the favor of an Immortal. This act must correlate with the Immortal's domains as doing something outside of their specialties will be useless in gaining their attention.
Once marked, you must be devoted to the Immortal in order to keep their blessing. Blessings are only as powerful as you, the player, makes them. This means, in order to make them stronger, you must worship the Immortal. You cannot, however, completely lose a blessing or curse without a moderated thread.
The knowledge for an ability carries over as you progress up the tiers. Meaning, if you are an expert at Eye of the Beholder (Minor), and you acquire enough devotion for Eye of the Beholder (Moderate), you will be considered an expert in Eye of the Beholder (Moderate).
You may only receive or lose a Blessing/Curse from a modded thread or through the Prophet Support Forum upon start up.
Grading and Rewarding Marks (For Prophets & Graders)
Even though Marks are a major part of the game, they aren't too difficult to get and give out. Graders and Staff are able to create quests for the character to undergo as part of advancing their blessing/curse. However, graders are only allowed to do this if given permission from a staff member in the Prophet Support forum.
When a player is rewarded with a mark, the Immortal must be present to award it to them. Once a thread is submitted for grading, and the grader sees that the character is deserving of a blessing or curse, a staff member must be notified with reason as to why they deserve it in the Prophet Support Forum. A Prophet will either approve or disapprove awarding the character a mark. If they approve it, they may give permission to the grader to role play the Immortal gifting the blessing or curse. If they don't give the grader direct permission, then the Prophet is expected to finish the thread in a timely manner. The grader can then publish the grade once the blessing or curse has been given.
Starting With Marks
It's possible to start with a mark when you create your character only if you have the required permissions from a Prophet in the Prophet Support Forum. Depending on the mark, mostly anyone is able to start with one. Once a Prophet has approved your mark, you can list it in your marks section on your character sheet. Keep in mind that the abilities and knowledge for the mark do not apply to your skill knowledge or specialized knowledge. The marks, the abilities, and the knowledge for the marks are separate from your skills. At the time of the mark's approval in the support forum, the prophet will give you the first 3 of its starting abilities. So in total, you should have 1 name listed in the marks section and 3 abilities for that mark. An example of what I'm talking about can be found here
You have 30 days from your initial signup date to apply for a mark. Tell us why you think your character deserves the mark and how they got the Immortals attention. The staff on the Prophet Support Forum will either approve or deny (and offer suggestions) your request. If you're approved you will be expected to write a story detailing how your character gained the Immortals interest and acquired their mark. The staff will then read your story and award the mark and two abilities(aim for at least 500 words). We advise against applying for a mark that isn't finished yet as these are subject to change, but not ruled out completely. Make sure you apply for the mark you desire before
you start role playing and give us two or three days to look over your application. If you haven't heard back by then, PM an active staff member or bump your post.
Characters are able to undergo quests to remove their blessings and/or curses, however, the quests can be a bit tedious. There are a number of ways that a mark can be removed from a character whether that is from the Immortal or from certain items that are able to counteract the effects of the blessing and/or curse. Usually these items involve some kind of magic taken from fractures or special artifacts. If you're interested in having a blessing or curse removed, post it in the Support Forum and a prophet will be able to work with you on getting it removed.
Got A Question?
Lets talk about it.