Many are the legends spoken by the old men with white beards. But perhaps none more so than those of the wizard Sala-Grimna. A powerful sorcerer of long ago, he was said to have mastered the secrets of life itself, granting animation to inanimate lumps of metal. Within a short time he had built up on army of walking metal men, a legion of golems known as the Iron Imperium that swallowed the continent in bloodshed and conquest… But though Sala-Grimna had mastered life, he had not mastered death. He passed through the veil into the shadowed beyond, the passing of millennia erasing all reminders of his empire. His armies vanished into shadow, his fortresses crumbled to dust, even his history became mere mythology. Until roughly two weeks ago. For it was then that the Great Citadel of Sala-Grimna was discovered. A ruin, lying in volcanic wastes, it nevertheless drew attention from all around. The walls were breached and adventurers began drawing out trinkets and baubles from the outer limits. But the real prize was the High Tower in the exact heart of the Citadel. There appeared to be no way to climb the Tower other than ascending the skeletal carcass of a dragon, its bones locked into the masonry. So far attempts to reach the Tower have been greeting with warnings from a trio of enigmatic witches, warnings which turn out prophetic as the expeditions meet with disaster. The remains of the Iron Imperium still haunt the ruins, proving a difficult obstacle for forays to the Tower to overcome. But surely that means that Sala-Grimna's most potent secrets must still remain in the Tower…Do you dare brave the inner limits of the Citadel? Do you dare to try and discover what lies… Up the Carrion Stairs!In BriefYou are in a land of fantasy, a world of swords and sorcery. Centuries ago there was an evil wizard who tried to rule the world, but he is now dead, and you are an explorer looting the ruins of his fortress. There are many locations available if you wish to hunt through them looking for your heart's desire, but exploration is highly encouraged. The ruins are a huge place with plenty of space for new locations. All you need do is look.LayoutFirst Level:- The highest tier of the Citadel, lying on ground level. It is surrounded by a tumbledown wall that no longer keeps people out. The structures get more thickly packed and labyrinthine as you head inwards, and have so far blocked attempts to head directly to the Tower [*]Circle of Smog: The outer limits of the first level, this area is mainly old foundries and armouries. The air still hangs thick with cloying smoke from when these factories of war were active. The large buildings are fairly spaced apart, allowing more movement than the as-yet unexplored inner zone[*]Refectory: An old mess hall for the armies of Sala-Grimna, cleared out by adventurers to be used as a base camp and place of rest. Here you can barter with other adventurers, scout for assistance or just recuperate from your wounds[*]High Tower: A monumental obelisk in the dead centre of the Citadel, pointing skywards like an attempt to harpoon the gods themselves. This is Sala-Grimna's personal residence, and no doubt where his treasures and secrets now rest. Its defences prevent easy approach, such as flight or magical transportation. Explorers have found this out the hard way[*]Carrion Stairs: Around the High Tower are wrapped the remains of a great dragon, its body decayed and worm-ridden. Its head rests by a balcony protruding from the Tower, while its tail and wings trail amongst the ground. This seems to be the only way of getting into the TowerSecond Level:- Multiple ventures into the cellars in the Circle of Smog led to a whole lower tier being excavated. There must have been water-eroded caverns here, which were converted to suit Sala-Grimna's dire purposes [*]Dungeons: The natural caves made a marvellous environment to convert into a network of prisons to detain Sala-Grimna's many, many, many enemies. The conditions are dank and dismal, and the whole place is crawling with undead.[*]Treasure Vault: This room is either a sadistic joke or a cunning attempt at deceiving treasure-seeking spells. Larger than any banqueting hall, the ceiling is riddled with holes that liberally pour out coins, jewels and gold pieces. There are mountains of money and stacks of silver just lying around. The cruel twist? It fades away and vanishes should it be touched.[*]Great Cistern: A solidly-built construction designed to store water. Over the years it has been filled to the brim with rain-water, and is overflowing. The room storing it is constantly moist and infested with moulds. You could catch your death simply by breathing in this room too long, and the vast water reserve doesn't look too good for your health eitherThird Layer:- Having discovered the second level, explorers were confident of uncovering a third by following the Great Cisterns pipes, and they were proved accurate. [*]Sluice Tunnels: A web of mildew-stained tunnels leading off from the Great Cistern and designed to deliver water all through the Citadel. Sometimes lined with the remains of metal piping, but more or less in a state of disrepair and disuse[*]Sala-Grimna's Garden: Part greenhouse, part alchemy lab, this is where the sorcerer grew the exotic plantlife he needed for use in elaborate potions. A lot of these plant are dangerous in their own right, and some have been altered by time and magic to even more lethal states. This area is usually free of enemies, probably because of the inherent danger[*]Forgotten Catacombs: A series of tunnels and caves left unused by Sala-Grimna. They have nevertheless been explored and scouted out. They are wild and untamed, and there is no real way of keeping them clear of enemies. Expect danger if you dare the CatacombsFourth Layer:- Only recently discovered, little is known about this lowest layer of the Citadel. The lack of knowledge and abundance of natural hazards mean that only the boldest dare to tread in this dark and silent abyss [*]Lower Catacombs: A section of the Catacombs above that have either collapsed or simply veer downwards. These lower tunnels are much more claustrophobic, with less space and less light. They have at least been partially explored though, unlike...[*]Hive of Shadows: No-one has yet ventured here, preferring to spend their time penetrating the First Level. Will you be the first?EnemiesDuergar: Small in stature and puny in both mental and physical strength, the Duergar are the natural residents of the caves where Sala-Grimna built his Citadel. Their flesh is pale and loose and their eyes are completely white, a result of years underground. They clad themselves in boiled leather armour to protect their skin and goggles to aid their sight, though they are capable of hunting by sound or smell. They mainly wield small pickaxes or hammers, mining tools they have converted, and fight in numbers to swarm an enemy.Puca: Another species of natural cave dwellers, Sala-Grimna encountered them in his campaigns, and after finding them useless in his armies exported the entire population back to his citadel. The Puca are just as small and weak as the Duergar, though have a few more advantages. Their sallow skin is tougher, their sight is better, but their true strength is their ability to use magic. They seem to have learnt the skills of a Bard, and can weave their own laughter or the screams of the dying into spellsUndead: In the days of old the vast majority of Sala-Grimna's conquering horde would have been comprised of undead warriors. Be they skeletal warriors or lurching meatshields they are always tough and formidable foes, hard to defeat and only truly defeated through complete immolation. They have a wide variety of skills in battle often depending on who they were before death, some favouring heavy weapons while some favour archery. Some bear marks of Sala-Grimna's experimentation, hideous deformities or weaponry fused to their limbs. But whatever they look like, whatever they wield, their eyes all burn with the same hate and bloodlust,Salas-Jimm: In his early conquering days, Sala-Grimna used his magic to impress a primitive race of serpentmen, who now bear a mutilated form of his name, into worshipping him. They dedicated their entire civilization to him, and were lost without him; most of them died. The last remnant of their race now occupies this citadel, their holy city. In form, they resemble serpents of an average of three metres long, with another two metres of length in upward-held height. Their faces are half serpentine and half human, and they have humanoid arms, although no legs.Iron Golems: To this day no-one knows what sorcery animates these huge metal juggernauts. In their prime they would have been terrifying shock troopers, ten feet tall and gleaming black. Less so these days. They are stained orange and brown with rust, and appear mangled and lopsided after years of repairing themselves with only the Duergar for help. But while their appearance has become less intimidating their skill has not. If you are alone and encounter one of these, you're only real hope is to run. They will not tire, they will not give up, they will pay no heed to damage. There have been a few encounters with these metal monsters, and on only one occasion was the Golem destroyedClassesFighter: Members of this class are generalists, using a wide variety of skills to aid them in combat. They can be fast or strong, play it defensive or go on the assault. They usually know some small magics to aid them, perhaps a charm or two on their weapon.Mage: Powerhouses of sorcery and enchantment, mages are experts at magic and witchcraft. Their attacks tend to be bombastic and low on subtlety, but are fast and effective. Explosive fireballs and destructive whirlwinds are a mage's style. However their extensive studies in ancient lore have left them less physically able than the other classes.Bard: Do not be fooled by the ways of the Bard, they may wax lyrical and carry instruments but they are just as lethal as any mage. Their magic depends on extensive poetic spells, and is channelled through instruments or their own voices. Their magic is quieter than a mage's, tending towards psychic abilities, illusion, shapeshifting or healing.Champion: Fierce warriors of martial might, the champions specialise in physical combat. They're usually bulked up with muscle and bedecked in armour, ready to charge into the fray like a cleaver into meat.Royal: Growing up in privilege and luxury has left the royals with very little in the way of skills. They might dabble in magic a little, they might have some training in combat. But their real threat is in their entourage. A Royal has an entourage of five others following in their footsteps to assist them in their quest.Profiles:Player Profile:Username:Name:Age (if your race ages slower/faster than humans do, give both their age in years and then their biological age in humans terms):Race:Class:Gender:Equipment:Appearance:Personality:Alignment:Bio (Short history of your character, explaining their motivations and reasons for adventuring, etc.):Race Profile:Race:Physical Description:Traits:Homeland:Rules:All BZPower rules apply, be they overall, COT, etc. This especially goes for no spamming, flaming, trolling, and the like, as well as the fact that you MUST keep everything PG-13 as the absolute maximum, and when at all possible keep it PG or less.Don't OOC too much; the odd necessary OOC post is fine, but if a conversation starts, please take it to PM.Please either use OOC: or triple parantheses ((())) to indentify when you are posting out-of-character; and if you have an OOC section to your post, please put IC: at the beginning of your in-character part.DO NOT godmod; that is, you cannot take control of another player's character without their explicit permission. Also, you are NOT all-powerful, nor invulnerable, and certainly not invincible. You won't win every fight, or land every blow, or dodge every blow. You WILL be injured sometimes, and those injuries DO hurt, long-term.You may not kill another character without that players' explicit permission.No autohitting; you must give players a chance to dodge or counteract you blow.All players get a maximum of three characters.In order to create a standardized (and thus fairer) method of reward and punishment, I have developed a model based off of BZP's proto system:All players (excepting staff) star with 0 points when they join. They can recieve points for particularly good pieces of roleplaying, being particularly helpful to new players or the staff, etc. They lose points for breaking the rules.Players can get a maximum of 3 points, or go down as low as -3 points.How the point levels work:-3 points: Oh dear. One of you characters will suffer an unpleasant death (how will be decided on a case-by-case basis), and you will not get that slot back until you work your way back up to 0 points. Also, your remaining characters will suffer an in-game detriment and you will be given a 48-hour ban to think about what you've done. If you break any more rules while at this level you will be permanently banned from the game.-2 points: Naughty, naughty. One of your characters will suffer in-game (how will be decided on a case-by-case basis).-1 points: A warning not to do it again.0 points: The default. You get three slots for three normal characters.1 point: A pat on the back and encouragement to keep up the good work!2 points: One of your characters will recieve a reward, to be decided on a case-by-case basis.3 points: All of your characters will recieve an in-game reward and you will get a fourth character slot, which can be kept so long as you stay above 0 points. Also, any future staff members will be chosen from the ranks of these players.