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  1. [ Likely to be merged with Soul-puppetry, not really viable as a stand-alone magic in its current state. ] [ This piece has yet to be edited; I apologize in advance for any grammar errors or wording that might cause confusion. ] -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- “ Seldom do wells of power charge no toll to draw its substance; seldom does it provide no claim to a shard of one’s being; and seldom does it not forsake the user’s full sanctity. For some, the price of power comes in forms of devotion, submission to its source’s will; for others, the price comes from one’s own physique, the corporeal vessel binding one’s existence to solid ground. Whatever the cost, the pungence of sacrifice lingers betwixt the path to power, giving apprehension to even the most worthy holders of ambition. Full devotion is only granted by forlorn souls, those who wallow far beneath society’s mundane hold. But bountiful fervor begets extreme greed. Only one true pathway lies aligned with a fanatical mortal’s sentiment, the mortal arts, otherwise known as the dark arts; a cold but often far-reaching illumination that offers a patronizing haven to those husked entities. But what becomes of those that neglect escape from the mundane? Do they fall to the level of easy prey? What becomes of their humanity when cornered to the brink of losing that which they hold dear? They try to compromise; they try to slither away from the pit’s rim that leads to their demise they managed to find themselves near. But, seldom does a ‘compromise’ result in one-sided gain. A trade, a pact, a deal that ensures both ends are chained to their duty until they are fulfilled, to ensure their destiny is out of true harm’s way… Surely, such kindness is wasted on mortal flock… “ -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:- Glossary -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- Contract Vessel/Vessel: - A solid, reflective surface that houses and spreads the contract’s magic. Conditions: - What separates Soul-Contracting from Soul-puppetry; they are the contract’s terms and nigh-infallible injunction . Curses/Repercussions/Consequences: - What makes soul contracts viable; a punishment that occurs to those who go against the contract’s will. Contractor: - The Dark Art’s practitioner; the one able to create a soul-contract. Contractee: - The Soul-Contract’s signer; seen as a victim in some scenarios. -:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- Summarization In short summation, this sub-type revolves around the “consensual” binding of two parties via a magical contract for the sake of its written word being abided by, enforced through the means of contained, supervisional consequences illustrated by the contract. Explanation The guiding principles encompassing this application of soul binding is constructed from the same framework that makes up soul puppetry, the utilization of curses channeled through a soulbond. In this case, a two or one way dormant curse is set between the contractor and(/or) contractee, under the pretext of the penned vows being followed through without failure; should its stated decree be broken, from either the practitioner or contract-signer, judgment shall be-fall the infringer. This phenomenon commences by directly “reflecting” the contract’s sorcery onto the soul, enabled by the use of a reflective surface later to be used as a sort of “storage device” for the pact (more on this later) . Curses/Consequences The curses/consequences the contract may impose upon defectors are quite versatile, perhaps even more so than through classic soul puppetry; curses that inflict festering wounds, twist minds into derangement, or even ones that warrants a visit from death itself are all viable options to police the contract’s policy. Every and any curse implemented into the contract is only to be activated after a/the condition(s) is/are met, never during/before. This is made so as to quell the possibility of forced/automatic obedience from the character. And so, as long as one doesn’t oppose the contract, they shall not be harmed in any way (by the contract, at the very least). It should be taken into account when conceiving a curse, that a curse’s reach is only within the contracted individuals and cannot interact with or be interacted by entities/forces outside of one’s flesh. As is obvious by this rule, all curses may only be inflicted on those directly affiliated with the contract. The usage of outside forces to cause a curse’s product is prohibited: a raven will not suddenly swoop down to pluck an eye from the punished, a blizzard will not brew out of thin air to bite them with frost, a floating sword will not spawn to cleave their arm off, etc. In terms of interactions with that which exists outside of the contract’s influence, manipulating the mind to sprout a sudden emotion towards a particular being/object is, however, possible. For example, like in soul-puppetry, the contract can cause one to wish harm upon another. One can also set a specific duration as to how long the curse will be active for, if specified. If no duration is set, the curse will be maintained for its maximum length of time, which is, by default, 3 elven/saints’ hours. [ A curse’s added timer does not occupy a condition slot. ] This does not imply that injury to one’s physical well-being will revert upon the duration having ran its course. Curses that impair the senses are not counted as “physical injuries”, in this case, unless stated otherwise. Sample List of Possible Curses [Akin to curses from soul-puppetry.] [Your own, custom curses may be created, as long as they aren’t outright PGing.] [Use these if you’re not of the creative sort.] -Pain (in any region of the body, including headaches.) -Nausea, feeling of bloatedness, queasiness. -Injury to the body (Blunt, slashing, and piercing are all types of wounds capable of being dealt to the offender. It is customizable solely for the sake of providing variety to how the injury might feel to the target. ) -Breaking of bones. -Suffocation (the feeling of) -Hysteria (visions / illusions (to a certain extent and not to be controlled by the other party by any means.) ) -Fabricated emotions (sadness, anger, rage, happiness, etc) -Blindness (Either for a set amount of time or permanent, depending on whether its caused by temporary disablement or physical injury.) -Deafness (Same as above.) -Crippling of the limbs (Same as the above two.) -Disfigurement of the face. (Unable to be remedied with the use of normal means. Must be cleansed by a cleric.) -Death (Refer to the article below this one for the rules on PK.) Red-lines -If one or more of the curse are deemed to be magical, keep it moderate. Do not go beyond of what a regular curse can achieve in the end. Reserve these for flavor and only flavor. PK (Player-kill/Perma-death) An issue that has arisen on multiple occasions and from my understanding, was the cause of controversy surrounding the previous Contract magic. Like in any other scenario that includes death, a PK is left entirely up to the character’s player and may not be forced, also decreed by the server's rules. If one signs a contract that has outlined PK as one of its consequences, it can be reduced to a regular, temporary death if the player changes his/her mind, as long as it's before they breach the contract’s policy. Conditions Must be specific. The primary variable as to whether curses are activated or not, is of course, the contract’s conditions themselves. These can range from the simple prohibition of wandering into a certain-area, or talking to a certain someone, or even performing a certain action, down to more specific, pinpointed circumstances under that which will press for the curse(s)’ action. Conditions that contain a heavy element of luck are feasible, as long as both characters have a way of knowing the outcome of the chanced condition: E.g. Rolling a dice within their field of vision, drawing a specific card from a deck, observing an event transpire, etc. An upwards of 4 conditions may be set unto each person involved (eight in total). Red-lines -A contract full of physically impossible conditions will be simply nullified before it has the chance to bridge a connection. These are known as “dummy conditions” and will not provide the contract with actual scenarios that triggers its activation. Else, if the contract is not entirely composed of these but ,rather , carry one or two “dummy conditions”, it will blatantly ignore them, as if they were never written in the first place, and the contract will continue on as normal. The Contract’s Voidance A timer may also be instated to serve as a contract’s life-span, which will completely disperse the contract’s effects upon the end of its duration. Set time limits will be measured in IRL time, (or Elven/Saints’ time) for the sake of simplicity. [ A contract’s time limit may not be extended/shortened once a contract has been set in motion. ] Should one wish to annul a contract before the allotted time, or null its effects without the use of a timer, simply shattering/breaking the “vessel” that hosts the contract/pact will dismember the connection. It should be worth noting that ALL curses poised to drive the contract’s will, whether physical, mental, or magic in nature will be immediately vanquished once the contract comes to an end, resulting injuries will not, as stated before. If one wishes, a contract may be broken upon a certain set of conditions being met, though it must be explicitly said within the contract. Contracts can be “permanent”, as long as the previously mentioned methods are avoided. -:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- -:--:--:--:--:--:- Materials/Requirements/Guidelines Soul Contracting requires a slightly more extensive set-up than soul-puppetry. To reach the point of signing the contract, or rather, before one can even think of what the contract will consist of, the following materials are required: The Vessel, the blood (or ichor of any kind), the writing instrument (brush or feather), and the ability to sign the contract (from both parties). The Vessel Any reflective surface that is of solid matter can be made into a “Vessel”: things such as glass, pieces of or slabs of metal able to reflect light, and gemstones all qualify for the conversion process. The only exception within the rule is, as one might guess, Aurrum; having holy properties that bear the ability of suppressing magic derived from the dark arts, Aurrum is not available for use. Water is also not a possibility, having not met the prerequisite of being in a solid state. With that in mind, the optimal Vessel would be glass, being both relatively light in weight for portability and being able to take on the shape of a sphere, which boasts a relatively high surface-area to height ratio. Pocket mirrors might be a suitable alternative, as long as one can write small letters with a brush. In the end, however, it all boils down to personal taste; the vessel is no more than a means to an end. Metal/diamond vessels can still be broken/fractured albeit with more effort than simply chucking it at the ground. [Can be broken with a mallet and so forth.] Red-lines -Aurrum. -Water. -Ice (unless it can’t melt via magic or something). The Blood/Ichor Blood is required from both parties, wherein they will use for the signing procedure. The blood must be freshly harvested, since dried, aged blood would have dissociated itself from its owner. A blood’s longevity is typically one elven/saints’ hour. “Blood” doesn’t need to be classically crimson nor need be from a descedant. The amount needed is factored from the length of the carrier’s full name. As such, someone, perhaps a noble, whose name consists of several surnames would require more than just a single drop, maybe, as long as it gets the job done. The Written Word Requires blood from the contractor. The contract's text is recommended to be as precise as possible; any inconsistencies, broad wording, and/or faulty lettering might result in discrepancies in the desired effect of the contract. Conditions that are reliant on subjective terms, "betrayal" being one, are innately unstable and unprecedented in reaction to certain situations. Going by the "betrayal" example, the raw definition of the term is simply to act with disloyalty, to"betray" one's trust. As such, the contract would not be able to pinpoint exactly what qualifies as betrayal in either the eyes of the contractor or contractee, and the word itself would be rendered useless in achieving the policy's aim, on its own. Instead, use objective, quantifiable terms/phrases such as “physically harm”, “kill”, or “be within X amount of meters of”. The more accurate the contract’s wording, the easier it is to manage it. The written word, or rather the contract’s conditions can/must be written in any solution that has blood as its primary ingredient. As such, although one can write the entirety of the contract in pure blood, an alternative does exist. The alternative is simply a mix of both regular ink and blood. Its composition of must be , at the very least, fifty-one percent blood. In essence, it is simply diluted blood. (This part of the contract doesn’t need to be as personally tied to the individual, allowing for this alternative to co-exist as an alternative to the prerequisite.) The Signature Requires blood from both the contractor and contractee. There are two signatures required to complete a contract, the contractor’s and the contractee’s. They are to be positioned at virtually any point within the contract’s text, as long as it abides by the magic’s logic. The penned signature must consist of the writer’s true name, as a false name will hold no significance/value in the binding process, and would impede the contract’s effects from being set in motion. The penned signature must also be that of the name bearer's own hand-writing, down to the nuances that skulks within its individuality. This means forgery will be unable to bypass this requirement, no exceptions. Typically, the signature is followed by an “I” (optional, gives it a more classic feel to it) and then headed by a vow of some sort: E.g. “I, (full given name), submit myself to the contract's will”, “(Full given name) promises to (condition)”, etc. The ritual/The recitation In order to string together the pair of Descendants’ souls to the Vessel, a form of “spiritual agreement” must be made to allow the contract’s magic to take effect. The “submission”, the ritual that gives the contract, at the bare minimum, partial control of one’s body and soul, is done by an out-loud recitation of the contract’s contents that pertains to their part of the deal in full (meaning each individual must readout their end of the deal). Only one may speak at a given time, as overlapping voices may break the concentration of either of the ritual’s participants. And, after the words are verbally read, the contract will immediately take effect. At this point, both parties would be hit with a feeling of discomfort, a distortion, one could call it. This side effect lasts for no more than a second or two, and a trained practitioner would, without a doubt, know what the feeling would entail. With just that, the pact is made, and the words, including the signature, can now be erased . Only the vessel is required to be kept on one’s person (or stored, as long as it’s in a safe place without the possibility damaging it). Types of possible contracts (not restricted by just the following, just giving a few examples for people to work with) Pact of The Perjurer Useful for squeezing the truth out of the contractee. “I, (Person X’s full name, signature), vow to answer all questions posed by [Person Y, signature] truthfully. Should I lie, during any point in the interrogation, then (punishment). “ [ Person X recites this ] Pact of The Gambler Useful for when the contract’s conditions are of random nature (reliant by chance). “I, (Person X’s full name, signature), vow by this contract. Should the next dice, that rolls into my field of vision, land on a (number), I shall forfeit (X amount of minas) to (Person Y, signature). If I fail to give the required amount to (Person Y), (punishment). “ [Person X Recites this.] “I, (Person Y’s full name, signature), vow by this contract. Should the next dice, that rolls into my field of vision, land on (number), I shall forfeit (X amount of minas) to (Person X, signature). If I fail to give the stated amount to (Person X), (punishment) . “ [Person Y Recites this.] [Contract contains one condition attached to each person, and one curse attached to each person. ] Pact of The Merchant Useful for conducting trades. “I, (Person X’s full name, signature), will hand (specific item) to (Person Y’s full name), in return for (X amount of minas or another item). If my merchandise proves to be faulty, identifiable by (not having magical effects, not being made of a certain material, etc), then (punishment). [Person X Recites this.] “I, (Person Y’s full name, signature), will hand (specific item) to (Person X, signature), in return for (X amount of minas or another item). If my merchandise proves to be faulty, identifiable by (not having magical effects, not being made of a certain material, etc), then (punishment). “ [Person Y Recites this.] Pact of The Lover Useful for strengthening the bonds between lovers. “I, (Person X’s full name, signature), vow to this contract and my lover’s precious name, never to cheat. The qualifications for “cheating” are: having my lips touch another woman’s, or [Censored, not for the eyes of children.] with another woman. If I do, by chance, cheat [ this word now contains both of the previously mentioned conditions], (punishment) ” [ Person X recites this] “I, (Person Y’s full name, signature), vow to this contract and my lover’s precious name, never to cheat. The qualifications for “cheating” are: having my lips touch another man’s, or [Censored, not for the eyes of children.] with another man. If I do, by chance, cheat [ this word now contains both of the previously mentioned conditions], (punishment). ” [ Person Y recites this] Pact of The Oath-taker Useful for upholding promises. “I, (Person X’s full name, signature), vow to (task, task, task, task, can be any amount between one and four). If I fail to complete the stated tasks, in (X amount of time), then (punishment).” [Person X recites this.] Additional abilities/Special pacts Special: Pact of The King/Ruler (Might remove or keep, depending on feedback.) [Requires full OOC consent.] Useful for controlling others; it works by giving the contractor unlimited control of the contract’s conditions and curses, which can then be changed at will, at any time. “ “I, (Person Y’s full name, signature), vow to this contract and my new “ruler”, (Person X’s name). I grant (Person X’s name, signature) full control of this contract, and by proxy, myself. Conditions are be added at any time, new curses manifested, and my very life ended on a whim. ” [Person Y recites this.] [Seven conditions and curses may be added onto the vessel, recited, then erased, one at a time. Once the condition limit, of seven, is reached, no more may be added. After the contract is in effect, Person Y’s signature is no longer needed, only his name. ] Sample way of adding a new condition/curse “I, (Person X’s full name, signature), hereby declare a new rule set upon (Person Y’s full name). He shall not come within (X amount of meters/or which ever unit of measure) of (someone’s house, idk, can be anything). If he fails to follow this order, then (punishment). “ [Person X recites this] Red-lines -Cannot add a condition that prohibits someone from breaking the vessel, as it did not exist during the time it was being created. - Special: Pact of The Beholder Useful for long-distance Soul-Puppetry; it gives the contractor the ability to relay the contractee’s vision to the vessel’s surface. Will not cause the contractee to lose vision to any degree. “I, (Person X’s name, signature”, wish to give (Person Y, signature) a share of my own sight. “ [ Person X recites this ] Once the contract has taken effect, having the contractor simply touch the vessel’s surface will broadcast whatever person X sees onto the vessel (kinda like the **** you see in movies with the magic crystal balls and stuff). The visual transmission will cease upon relinquishing contact with the vessel. This contract is a bit different from the others, only able to hold one default condition (when the person touches the vessel) and one “curse” (the visual transmission). This is not through a bird’s eye-view but rather everything seen by Person X in first person. (Unable to see what’s out of their line of sight). Note: Extremely useful for long distance SP. One can simultaneously curse the victim and observe them from afar using this method. OOC mechanics: Observing the person from afar (or within close proximity) is possible, MCly. Alternatively, the contractee may simply message you their current whereabouts. Ignore all IC conversations, not doing so would be going beyond the contract’s powers. Red-lines -Transmission of sound is not possible through this contract. -”Lip-reading” is not possible. The image wouldn’t be clear enough to allow for that. General Red-lines A Curse’s direct effects are limited to the entities connected by the contract. (However, one could set a curse that drives one of the two linked individuals to perform a task that brings harm to someone outside of the contract’s direct reach.) The contract’s repercussions must be fully acknowledged by the signer. Should one of the stated consequences be that of a “PK”, full OOC consent is required, regardless of the situation. Curses may be “magical” in nature, but be reasonable; it is advised to model curses out of conventional SP, or at the very least consider their layout. Due to the signatures requiring the signer’s own handwriting, physically forcing their hand (literally) to pen their name will not work. No conditions/curses that are sexual in nature (except those that prevent such acts from occurring, like in the lover’s pact). Credits Written by - Matheus Vessel concept/The usage of mirrors - Murdervish Original lore/concept - Jistuma
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