1. Renaissance Notes
1.1. Useful links
1.2. Initial Briefing
1.2.1. Court Briefing- Barred Doors
There are things that man cannot understand and things that he should not understand; the Court of Barred Doors concerns itself with both these areas. While many of the other Courts exist to ensure the smooth functioning of the visible, physical world, those of the Barred Doors focus their attention on those things that cannot be so easily perceived. There are threats to the stability of the universe that do not initially manifest themselves in great natural disasters or tremendous acts of destruction. They can be small things; the careless whisper that reaches the Unreal, or the scholarly mage who researches things best left unknown. To ensure that such issues never bring harm upon creation, the Court of Barred Doors works diligently behind the scenes; ever vigilant for those who would oppose the Creators design.
The Court was originally formed around the original God of Secrets, shortly before the Creators death. Secrets told his companions of his conversation with the Creator; a conversation in which many matters of great importance were explained to him. Although he was bound not to share all the knowledge he had gained, he nevertheless realised that without the help of his more trustworthy peers, he could not hope to face the challenges the Creator warned that the future would hold. Though he would not speak in more detail about the conversation, he bid his friends accompany him as he travelled the world in mortal guise, free from the endless distractions of divine society. Those that joined him soon found that the journey would prove an educational one; the God of Secrets would often stop and draw their attention to the smallest of occurrences, explaining how it could potentially result in catastrophe. While most of the Gods found each problem incomprehensible, some few would find that they quickly grasped the issue at hand. In this way the God of Secrets was able to fill the most important estates of the Court with suitable candidates. It was an exceedingly sober Court that rejoined their peers to attend the funeral of their father.
The Court truly came into its own during the War with the Unreal and it was through the actions of several courtmembers that the Unreal came to be bound in Dream. Though the Duke of Shadows actions in the War were ambiguous, the God of Secrets has stated that the Duke cannot be condemned for any of his actions during the War, which were entirely keeping with Duty - this is considered the last word on the matter within the Court. Almost the entire Court of Barred Doors was involved in the final trapping of the Unreal at the heart of Dream, for the route to Dream is a tortuous one and not one that can be easily walked by accident. That the Unreal not realise the trap that was being set for them, those of the court not immediately enmeshed in the fighting spent a week and a day disguising the path. When, some days later, the Unreal horde surged into the Fortress, the Duke of Shadows either leading them or being chased by them, they could see no sign that the realm of Dream was ahead of them, for all these had been concealed. Yet as the last Unreal creature crossed the threshold he heard a chuckle, and spinning round he saw that the gate of the Unreal's own fortress was gone, rather there stood a great wall. Since the Unreal's imprisonment the Court have constructed a mighty citadel about the entrance into Dream and staffed it with powerful monsters, and the Unreal have built too. The Court keeps their ancient foe under regular surveillance, and each visit has shown an extension to the fortresses impossible architecture. Although no God has examined it since beginning of the Iron Rule, one would imagine that by now that both structures would rival many mortal cities in size. No spirit sent to examine the interior of the Unreal's fortress is known to have returned.
The courts involvement in the great fight for the Creators tools was no worse than that of any other. But in the aftermath the internal recriminations within the court are likely to be bitter and long-lasting. For a group that prided itself on protecting the smooth-running of Creation, to have failed so utterly in its duty, is not something that will be easily forgotten.
220.127.116.11. The Confessional
The Confessional is a tradition dating back to the earliest days of the Court. It generally is only in force when the God of Secrets is court ruler. When the Confessional is in operation, then every ten years each member of Barred Doors tells the God of Secrets a secret, as a sign of fealty.
18.104.22.168. Traditional Enemies of the Court
The Unreal - Foremost amongst those whose machinations are a threat to the sanctity of creation are the Unreal. Forever seeking to overturn the proper order of things, they have not let their defeat and exile to Dream prevent them from seeking their goal. They have many agents outside of dream; great mages who seek their power, lesser mortals who allow themselves to be swayed by dreams, as well as irresponsible Children of Grace who see the overturning of order as an interesting event to be sought after.
Shadow-fears, Echomen and other cunning monstrosities- In the time after the creator died but before the great war that would be their downfall, the Unreal spread traces of their taint into the crevices of reality. The beings that sprang forth from this contamination are entirely real, yet at the same time they are not part of the Creators original vision and hence they contain a certain intrinsic wrongness that makes them an abhorrence in the eyes of the Barred Doors. The best known of these creatures are the Shadow-fears and Echomen, for they are the quarry of the Gods of Shadow and Mirrors respectively.
Meddling Mortals - There are always some mortals who manage to poke their noses into sensitive areas even without the influence of the Unreal. In times past these have tended to be great magicians, but during the Iron Rule the mortal wisemen known as scientists occasionally stumbled onto a sensitive area. Imprisoned the Gods of Barred Doors could only sigh in relief as each potentially dangerous probing failed to be about catastrophe. Now that they are back in power they will be sure to keep a tight rein on any future attempt at progress amongst the mortals, though this may potentially lead to some conflict with the more tolerant Court of White Silk Fire.
22.214.171.124. Bonuses for being in the Court of Barred Doors.
Since the responsibility for keeping the Unreal locked in dream is shared amongst the court, then all in the Barred Doors know of routes to enter that realm. It is easier for you to visit Dream than for other Gods. For members of the Court visiting Dream is merely a Mundane action - and can be even cheaper if such a trip is taken in the course of pursuing Right or Duty, for others it is a Legendary undertaking.
126.96.36.199. Penalties for being in the Court of Barred Doors
There are few creatures in the world that are capable of harming a god (with the obvious exception of their peers), but those in the court of Barred Doors are more likely to interact with such beings than most others, and often the interactions are far from peaceful. Be careful.
The citadel guarding the entrance to Dream was itself trapped in Greater Dream when the Gods of the Iron Laws erected their second wall. Thus its denizens have become eccentric - some of the guardians have even left their posts to stalk the countryside.
1.2.2. Estate: Time
188.8.131.52. Rights and Duties
The Duty of Time is to make sure that things last their proper durations.
Specifically, Time has a Duty to ensure that things begin when they should begin, and end when they should end. What tends to cause the most problems is the end of mortal creatures, since they tend to not want to die.
It should be noted here that when we talk about things ending "when they should end", we aren't saying "everyone has to follow a divine masterplan set forth by the Creator". We mean "people whose hearts stop should fall over and stop moving". There is no crime in extending one's life by avoiding fatal illness and accidents, or by using magic to combat the onset of age or strengthen one against fatal accidents. What is wrong is to stubbornly not leave one's body once something which ought to be fatal has happened to it. There's four main ways people can do this:
- Making a pact with the Unreal.
- Using magic. Again, it should be noted that there's nothing wrong with magic that protects you from, say, being shot by helping you dodge bullets, or by toughening your flesh so the bullets do not do quite so much damage. There is plenty wrong with magic which lets you blithely ignore great gaping holes in your chest.
- Stubbornness. Most souls fall out of their body quite rapidly after their death because of the shock of dying. Sometimes, however, souls have the presence of mind to stay in the body.
- Make a deal with a God for protection.
Your Right is to go about your business without folk getting in your way, including other gods. This is because if anyone can try to stop something starting which should already be happening, or to preserve something which should be gone, it's the gods.
The Path of Time which leads to the gateway to Dream requires one to walk some way with a child, some way with an adult, and the last few steps with an old person.
Here are three prophecies which still seem current.
- If the right eye blinks, it will be respite for the dead. If the left eye blinks, it will be torment for the living.
- Creation will end when the last Tool is broken, When the last God has died, When the Black Book is full and the White Book is empty, And the song underground falls silent.
- A throne is raised for a monarch who will be as a slave. It is attended by the dispossessed.
Prophecy from after game start...
- Artemesia will fall when fire comes to Ys
You have the gift of prophecy, and can divine the beginning and ends of things.
Having turned willingly from the world before the Iron Rule came, there's every chance a whole bunch of people have cheated death in the time between your disappearance and the rise of the Gods of the Iron Laws, who had their own ways of ensuring things finished when they had to.