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[center][b][size=3]The Quest for the Lost Relic:[/size]
[size=4]The Sign-Up Thread[/size]
[size=2]And other things you might find interesting to know.[/size][/b][/center]



[size=1][i]Dear Friend,

I have, for sometime, been involved in a search for information pertaining to the history and whereabouts of a certain historical artifact that may interest you. The relic is one we have all heard about at some point, but like all good legends, its exact appearance and uses have always varied from one story to the next. Much of my efforts have been spent in researching each of these stories and cross examining them, pouring over maps and following even the silliest of leads, and I have spent so much time and money in the Clover National Library to further this research that I suspect they will soon name it after me.

Ah, I digress. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Basil A. Orgoglios. I am a business man first and foremost but like many others I have other interests and one of these is history. I am writing to offer you a chance for fame and glory; I believe I have found the resting place of the lost relic of the Uli Juma tribe, and I want you to help me retrieve it.

History knows it best, perhaps, as the Juma Razi Idol, but over the years other names have been associated with it as the story of its creation and purpose are elaborated and exaggerated. I would venture to guess that many of you know it as the Keeper of Lost Souls and the Chata Razi relic. Various expeditions in the past have tried, unsuccessfully, to retrieve the relic for scholarly study. You may recall one such attempt a few decades ago in the Benadirian Grasslands that ended somewhat tragically.

Any quest with a scope as large as this one has the possibility for danger, but I believe the opportunities also presented will far outweigh any doubts you may be harboring. Unlike previous attempts, this one will be particularly well funded ? I have been a very successful man over the many years and I have both the money and the connections to supply the crew with the best equipment man has made. Due to my vast collection of research, I have detailed maps of the area, and have well documented notes on the Uli Juma tribe and of course, the relic itself. Last but not at all least, I worked industriously to seek out those promising young professionals who are best suited for this kind of grand adventure. I only want the best, the ambitious, and so I am writing you.

If the historical significance of such a discovery does not excite you and world wide fame is not suited to your tastes, perhaps then the promise of fortune will stir your interest. As a man of money, I can promise you that you will be generously looked after for undertaking this mission. The expedition itself is already paid for, and I imagine that a multitude of opportunities to make more money will open up to you along the way.

It is, I believe, a once in a lifetime opportunity, but not everyone would agree. But if you find yourself looking for a little bit of excitement and adventure, and a chance to really prosper in your career, then consider my offer. Enclosed is an stamped envelope ? please use it to respond with your answer. Until then, I offer you my humble regards.



[right]Basil A. Orgoglios
President of Orgos Institute[/right][/i]



This thread, as you may have already deduced for yourself, is primarily concerned with recruiting cast members for our little adventure story. If you're happening upon [b]the Quest[/b] for the first time, it may interest you to know that there is a thread in the [b]Adventure Underground[/b] that is equally important to this one, and to the entire story itself, so you may want to check that one out first.
[center][URL="http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=57435"][b][[/b]the Underground thread, yo![b]][/b][/URL][/center]
As Mr. Orgoglios (try saying that out loud, it's fun) has so kindly pointed out, we are looking for characters who have something to offer by way of professional ability. Bonus points go to those who have some motivation that goes beyond, "I'm really good at rock climbing, that's why I got hired." We are looking for about 4-6 people to add as regular cast members, so not everyone who signs up will be accepted. If you really, [i]really[/i] want to be a part of the adventure, then here are some tips:
[LIST]
[*]Be honest and make sure that you have the time to post regularly. We understand that people have school and work to deal with - we're in exactly the same boat. If you can only post once a week, that's cool. As long as your're committed, we're happy.
[*]Read the thread in the Underground and try to post at least one idea there. It doesn't have to be huge, but even the slightest participation lets us know you're interested.
[*]Create a really good character. Work on them, flesh them out, and be creative. This story is just as much about the people on the journey as it is about the journey itself, so think ahead a little. (Note: side quests are a great way to incorporate character ideas! Has your character been here before? Who is that mysterious figure and why do they know you? Etc, etc.)[/list]


Maybe you'd like to participate in the role-playing, but you're not sure about availability or you don't think you want to play as a full-time character. In addition to the regular crew, we're looking for people to do [b]Cameo Appearances[/b] throughout the adventure. As a cameo character, you would not take part in the day-today posting. Instead, you will make an appearance in a specific chapter, ideally as part of a side quest. Your character may only appear in one chapter; he may appear in three. It depends on the versatility of the character you make, and how important or beneficial he makes himself to the story. Keep in mind that while we will allow reoccurring characters, you are still not part of the regular cast - when your chapter is done, you stop posting.

If you think that the cameo appearance is the way to go, then we [i]greatly[/i] encourage you to go participate in the underground thread, especially as far as side quests are concerned.

All characters will follow the same essential sign-up sheet:

[b]Name:[/b] Use something relatively normal here, please.
[b]Age:[/b] Keep in mind that this is a somewhat realistic adventure story, so stay away from making them too young or old.
[b]Cast:[/b] Regular cast or cameo cast? If cameo, and you have a specific side quest in mind, list it here (and make sure it's in the Underground!).
[b]Profession:[/b] What does your character do for a living? Are they the celebrated best or a rising star with notable talent? This can include, but is not limited to: merchants, historians, captain of the boat, mercenaries, translators, naturalists, cooks, doctors, soldiers, professional explorers, carpenters, travel guides, museum curators, prostitutes, people looking for transportation, jewelry makers, ambassadors... the possibilities are endless.
[b]Appearance:[/b] Self-explanatory.
[b]Excerpt:[/b] This is probably the most important part of your sign-up, so make it good. Write a scene with your character and let us know about him, why he decided to go on the journey, maybe a little bit of history, personality, etc. We want to get to know the character, see how they interact with others, and get a general idea of your own writing style.
[b]Favorite Cheese:[/b] We enjoy it. We think everybody should. If you don't, [i]lie through your teeth.[/i]

Depending on how many of you sign up as cameos, we may allow the regular cast members to create cameo characters. We also encourage you all to talk to each other and see if you can't link up histories; we all love a good skeleton in the closet, but it's even better when somebody [i]else[/i] knows about it, too.

The story will work in a chapter system, with no specific posting order unless otherwise specified. Chapters will more or less be focused on the different parts of the journey, taking place in the different territories. Certain events in the story may change that, of course, but that will be the general set-up until then.

Both threads so far have been rated PG, but we would like the final cast to decide at what level they want their story to be at. So think about that, as well, while you're posting in both threads.

If you haven't read the Underground thread and for some reason missed every hint that we dropped, make sure you do [i]before[/i] you post here. We can't stress that enough. Between the two threads, you should have a comfortable idea of what this story is going to be like, and what kind of characters would best direct it in new and interesting ways. But by all means, ask us questions if you need something straightened out.


[b]Name:[/b] Luke Dolan
[b]Age:[/b] mid to late 20s
[b]Cast:[/b] Regular
[b]Profession:[/b] Journalism, more or less.
[b]Appearance:[/b] Luke is tall, standing at 5'11" to 6'1", depending on his shoes and whether or not he combed his hair that morning. He's lean but athletic, and surprisingly agile. The splash of freckles across his face, his long lashes, and his boyish grin make him look a little younger than he really is, and the vivid clothes from Clover certainly don't help. His black hair is cropped short and generally a mess, and he usually has a couple days worth of stubble on his face. His eyes are dark brown. More often than not there are ink stains on his hands, at least. Luke prides himself on his wit and not his looks, so these things are unlikely to change.
[b]Excerpt:[/b] Watching the kids play across the square, Luke often wondered why he had ever grown up in the first place. Nothing good seemed to come of it. Getting into trouble had always been fun before, and it was never really serious trouble anyway. He'd been good at that; growing up in the city, without much money, he'd been very inventive as a child and often led expeditions with the neighbor's kids into unknown territory. Usually they would wind up somewhere they weren't supposed to be, trying to steal somebody's canoe, or just untying them all so they drifted down the canals haphazardly. These things would right themselves naturally, he and the other children would get a slap on the wrist, and then all would be well.

The square was on the first level, left open so the trees could grow up and out. There were stairs and lifts to the upper levels in each corner, but even these were made pretty with greenery of some kind. He wondered who took care of the vines on the lifts, and how often they had to cut them back before they began to grow into the pulley system and muck it all up. And then there was another peal of laughter and childish delight, and Luke scowled and returned to glaring at the kids jealously. He wanted to go over to them and tell them all not to grow up ever, to just refuse to blow out their candles every birthday.

He then remembered sex, and felt a little better about being an adult. Well, older at least.

Why couldn't he just stay out of trouble in the first place? He often thought this question when he was reminded of...things, and it often ended in a drunken stupor. And he was definitely drunk. Drunk, and bitter as hell.

He couldn't say the letter had been a surprise. Luke knew he'd be getting something soon - some kind of message or visit to let him know it was time for another favor. The [i]last[/i] favor. It'd been almost a year since the last, and the bastard had been holding onto it, dangling it, wondering just what was the best way to use little Luke Dolan one last time.

It was the timing that really pissed him off. Things had begun to turn around for him; work was good, and his editor actually liked him. Well, he liked his writing, at least, but that's what really counted anyway. Liked it enough to offer Luke an introduction to some publishing friend of his. Luke could see it all piecing together finally, like he'd dreamed it would when he was much younger and far too naïve.

The bastard, Luke thought. He must have known, must have been [i]so[/i] amused to write the letter and sign his name at the bottom with his usual flourish. He'd been the only one invited, too, to owe something; Orgoglios had been [i]perfectly[/i] clear on that.

Sometimes Luke regretted ever taking Basil's help, though he knew now just as he'd known then that Orgoglios had been the lesser of two evils. Not even the whiskey could dull that truth. He would probably be dead if the man hadn't of been feeling so charitable to a "young and promising smart ***."

He remembered that still. "Promising," Basil had called him.

The ****er.

Luke stretched lazily on the bench, leaning his head back to catch the sun on his face before it went below the line of buildings, and closed his eyes against the onslaught of color that glittered down at him from all edges. At least this was it, he tried to tell himself. He'd get one last life-threatening adventure to tell his grandchildren about (edited, of course, unless he was drunk), and Basil would have his publicity and god knows what else. Knowing the way his luck usually worked, Luke counted on those stories, counted on trouble to find him and make him do his usual dance out of it. At least he could sell them when he got back.

He had to hand it to the guy... He knew how to play his cards, that was for damn sure. If Luke survived - he did seem to have a knack for it, if history was anything to go by - they would both benefit form this caper. He knew the man would keep his word, too. He knew that one all too well.
[b]Favorite Cheese:[/b] Pepperjack or Brie.

Sharp Cheddar will be posting his own character soon....ish.[/size]
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[SIZE="1"][B]Name:[/B] Dr. Jonathon Nelissen
[B]Age: [/B]Late 30’s; early 40’s
[B]Cast:[/B] Regular
[B]Profession:[/B] Professor of International Affairs and Politics
[B]Appearance:[/B] Jonathon is a skinny 5’10, and though it looks like he would lose a fight against just about anything, his fitness level is probably that of a 25-year-old’s. Bits of grey have slowly worked their way into his head of dark brown hair, though he still retains all of it. He has blue eyes and dresses up only for occasion. In fact, he has been known to wear a jeans and a shirt during some lectures, despite being strictly against the school’s code. One thing about his appearance he does care about is facial hair – He is almost always clean shaven.
[B]Excerpt:[/B] A student near the back of the class mindlessly tapped away while staring out the window toward the setting sun, and Dr. Nelissen simply did not care that he had to compete for his attention with something that happened daily.

Intrigued by his utter loss of one student’s attention, he scanned over the rest of the room. It seemed as though a thick layer of dust might settle on them before long – there was no movement, and not because the lesson in imperial aggression had them frozen on the edge of their seat. Near the back of the class, one student’s nose was crinkled up against his face as it was pressed against the desk, and Nelissen was sure that it would smart when he awoke. A seat ahead, one student had become very interested in the ceiling, and almost looked like he ready to start a conversation with it. In fact, the only student who was paying attention was a girl in the front who preferred sleeping with her professors to actually applying herself.

[I]God almighty,[/i] he thought. [i]The entire class is going to fail. [/I]

Nelissen turned to the board on which he had simply written “Benadir” and “Ceylon”. The lesson was supposed to detail how Benadir had basically walked in one day with their entire army and told Ceylon they didn’t exist anymore. However, Ceylon’s constant resistance over the last twenty years seemed to be coming to a point.

However, the last twenty years of Nelissen’s teaching career seemed to come to a point on that day. Traveling, one of his favorite hobbies, was becoming increasingly difficult around his scheduling. He dreaded teaching most of his classes, and worst of all, he was still unmarried at his age, and blamed that on being married to his profession. In one relatively inexplicable moment, he knew he would never, ever be able to teach this class again. He made sure he enjoyed the last lecture.

“Ceylon and Benadir,” he started. “One of the most intriguing battles ever to take place in history, class. Everyone knows Benadir is an authoritarian regime, correct?”

No one in the class acknowledged him.

“Well, over the last 30 years, the leaders have been developing certain technology that aid in the creation of vampires.”

A few students looked up at that.

“Yes. How else can we explain the tendency of their military strategy? Many of Benadir’s great charges took place at night. Now, Ceylon was obviously taken aback by the sudden onslaught of mythical creatures. Now, why might vampirism be highly beneficial for the army?”

Unbelievably, two students slowly raised their hands. Nelissen believed that was a first for this very slow class. He chose the girl in front. Unsure of herself, she slowly allowed her answer to spill out.

“Because…. Once you bite someone… they become a vampire too?”

“Exactly, Amanda. Now the trick is, you have to be invited in if you want to bite someone, so Benadir stole medic outfits from the Ceylon front and dressed the vampires in those. As if things weren’t already dire enough, Benadir had successfully trained small woodland creatures to fire handguns, and, in groups, mortar rounds.”

For the first time in years Nelissen had rediscovered the joys of teaching.

Once the class had emptied in a somewhat dazed state after being informed that Benadir’s vampire army was marching north toward Clover with the blood still warm in their mouths, Jonathon Nelissen let himself relax in his chair. For the first time that day, he noticed the mail on his desk. He thumbed through the usual junk until coming across an unusually ornate envelope from one Basil A. Orgoglios.
Juma Razi lept out of the page as he read it. He himself had a moderate preoccupation with the relic, but after a few years of research and several well-regarded papers on the subject he concluded that it was lost forever. If this man, though, was willing to seek people out and fund an expedition, then he must have some idea about the whereabouts of the fabled artifact. Looking around the empty classroom, he didn’t need to debate about whether teaching or questing for a relic would be a better use of his time.

It also occurred to him that after today’s debacle he was probably going to be fired anyway. Picking up the phone on the desk, he submited his resignation, read over the letter one more time, and then began a frantic search through his desk of his old research.
[B]Favorite Cheese: [/B]tasty Provolone for sandwiches; Cheddar for eating alone or with crackers – delightful either way.

[/SIZE]
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