In the Plaza of Stone and Silver, beneath the shadow of the Temple of Juiniss' mighty spires, a man is dying.
He had been making his way up the wide, marble steps to the Temple for evening rituals, his ceremonial hammer held aloft in his right hand, and the burnished collection plate in the other, when he was felled. No-one in the crowds, not the City Watch nor the hundreds upon hundreds of valiant worshipers that currently occupied the Plaza saw precisely what struck him, or when it could possibly have come from. What they all saw though, was the High Mason give a pronounced jerk just as his feet were planted between the third and the fourth steps. The man himself hardly seemed to notice at first, and carried on walking at the head of the procession. One... two... and on the third step forward his legs gave way from under him, the hammer slipping from his slackened fingers, to strike against the flagstones below. The guards that flanked him were quick to respond, catching him and lowering him slowly to the ground so as not to hit his head, while the rest form a ring of steel around him; halberds in front, riflemen behind. Beyond that though, there was nothing anyone could do. The High Mason's convulsions came so violently it took four of his underlings to restrain him. His eyes popped and wept blood, while a high, hideous hiss was all that could escape from his throat as his tongue swelled up to fill it. All that was left was for his fits to slacken, as his skin turned a greyish, mottled blue. His last thought before he slipped away were for the wonders and mysteries of The Endless Vaults, the ethereal realm of Juiniss, where all his worshipers live on, to study the secrets that bind the fabrics of the cosmos for eternity. He did not know then, that his God had no solace for him.
Many in the crowd are stunned, some weeping in terror; others panic and run for their homes. Some even try to rush forward, to see what they can do to help their exalted priest, but the City Watch keeps them back. Somehow, although he makes no particular effort to hide, nobody sees the figure, cloaked and hooded calmly turn and exit the Plaza, down the street between the Central Bank and an upmarket tailor. Had they used the eyes which they were gifted, they might have spotted a most peculiar tattoo on the palm of this citizen's hand. A face, serene and oblivious, with no defining features at all, or even a discernible gender; but, when the man passed between the two buildings, entering their shadow, the inky flesh did melt and slough away, leaving naught but a skull beneath.
You, however, witness nothing. The City Watch don't let your kind within a mile of the Plaza of Stone and Silver, or any of the other plazas for that matter. Those are places for the acceptable and the respected. The beautiful, enterprising and otherwise model citizens to come and marvel at the wonders they perform with the gifts the God's have bestowed upon them. Your place is huddled in the gutter, or under a bridge, or in the corner of an abandoned and derelict house if you're lucky. Wherever it may be, it is a place where you are not seen or heard. You offer nothing to your civilisation, and so you are worthy of nothing. This train of thought, or something along similar lines, is meandering aimlessly through your mind in a fruitless effort to distract you from the hunger and the cold, when a cloaked and hooded man with a skull tattooed on the palm of his hand stands before you. Where he came from you cannot say, and all you can do is look up in silent appeal. You are appealing for aid, for a kind word, or simply for the man to go along his way without robbing you of what little you have and leaving you with your throat cut.
"Have faith, child." He says to you, crouching down so his face is on a level with yours, and producing a parcel from the folds of his cloak. "The God's of feasts and temples spurn you, but there is one who would value you still. The Shroud calls to you. Hear it, and know what it is to be feared."
The figures face is still obscured by shadow, and yet, somehow you know he is smiling. Uncertain, you take the parcel from him, and he is gone. You tear open the brown paper to find enclosed a small heel of bread, a little cheese, and a ripe apple. After wolfing this offering down, all that is left in the parcel is a crude, hand-drawn map that appears to lead you deep into the Labyrinth of the city's sewers.
Hey folks! I hope that little (or maybe not so much) introduction caught your attention, 'cause a lore dump is incoming (insert obligatory Brace Yourselves meme).
Phew! I hope your still with us. (Don't worry, that's the heaviest part over. There's a lot more lore out there, and by 'there' in mean 'in my brain', but not all of it needs spelling out right now... only some of it.
Okay, I think that's the scene appropriately set (of course, feel free to ask any questions you may have about this world, and I'll answer them as best I can. All that's left now is to give you guys a character sheet template and a few notes about the RP.
Welp, that's everything for now. My Co-GM is the one and only Daystar Clarion, just so's you know. Feel free to relay any concerns you have to him whenever I'm not available for whatever reason, and we'll work it out. Enjoy guys! (pretty please)