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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4][FONT=Garamond]Black Order Headquarters[/FONT][/SIZE][/B]

[LEFT][B][SIZE=4][FONT=Garamond][SIZE=2]Black Order Headquarters [/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/B][SIZE=4][FONT=Garamond][SIZE=2]is the Backstage thread for [B]Black Order Breakout, [/B]an RPG based in the [B]D.Gray-man [/B]universe. (D.Gray-man might be old news for a lot of people, but I just read all 150-odd chapters in three days so it's very much on my mind!) The Audition thread for the RPG will open at the weekend. In the meantime, the purpose of Headquarters is to give some background for the universe and to get an idea of who might be interested in joining. I'll post a blank sign-up sheet here so any especially keen people can get thinking about characters before the official Audition even opens!

[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][CENTER][B][SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond]Latest News[/FONT][/SIZE][/B]

[SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond][SIZE=2]: Auditions open this weekend :[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond][SIZE=2] : Any help fine-tuning the posting system would be appreciated! :[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond][SIZE=2] : Let me know if you're interested in signing up - or if you're not, what could make you interested :[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond][SIZE=2] : Should I post some more detailed examples of anti-AKUMA weapons? :[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE]
[CENTER][B][SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond]Black Order Breakout: Brief History[/FONT][/SIZE][/B]

[B][FONT=Garamond]D.Gray-man[/FONT][/B][FONT=Garamond] is set near the end of the 19th century. [B]Black Order Breakout [/B]is set in 2008, but in the D.Gray-man universe.

At the end of the 19th century, the Black Order successfully prevented the destruction of mankind at the hands of the Earl of Millenium. However, the Earl was not defeated for good, and has spent the last century amassing his forces from his stronghold in Tokyo, Japan.

The Earl used the 20th century, with its many worldwide conflicts, to his advantage, targeting the hundreds of thousands of bereaved to create more and more AKUMA. Hopelessly outnumbered, and with their most powerful Exorcists getting on in years, the Black Order were gradually pushed back to their Headquarters.

Thanks to their Ark, the Black Order are self-sufficient. But this doesn't change the fact that they've been besieged in Headquarters for the best part of thirty years, hemmed in by the largest force of AKUMA outside Tokyo, while the Earl continues to conquer more and more of the world. The Order are too few in number to fight through the AKUMA, their Ark's transportation ability hasn't been operational since the final battle at the end of the 19th century, and they're unable to hunt for more Innocence or recruit more Exorcists. Things have never looked worse for the Order - and mankind - than they did in the last half of the 20th century.

But now it looks like things might be about to change. The science division have finally got the Order's Ark fully operational again, allowing them to escape the siege without having to fight through the besieging AKUMA. Not only that, but Hevlaska - the oldest member of the Order (and one of only two D.Gray-man characters appearing in the RPG) - has awakened a new ability in her Innocence ... one that could be the key to rebuilding the Order and striking back against the Earl.

[/FONT][CENTER][B][SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond]D.Gray-man Background: Basic[/FONT][/SIZE][/B]

[LEFT][B][FONT=Garamond]The Earl of Millenium
[/FONT][/B][FONT=Garamond]The Earl is a malevolent being bent on cleansing the Earth in the same way as Noah's Flood - by destroying mankind. His tools in this endeavour are the AKUMA; standing in his way are the Exorcists of the Black Order.

[/B]Akuma is Japanese for demon; however, the Earl's AKUMA are killing machines created by fusing a machine with a human soul. When a human loses a loved one, the Earl will appear before them, encouraging them to resurrect that person. If the human gives in and calls their loved one's soul back from the afterlife, the soul becomes the power source for a skeletal machine known as an AKUMA, which is under the control of the Earl. Usually, the machine will then kill the human that called back its soul, wearing their body in order to disguise itself.

[/B]Innocence is the only substance on Earth capable of harming an AKUMA. There are precisely 109 fragments of Innocence on Earth, scattered far and wide by Noah's Flood. In its raw form, Innocence resembles a glowing golden cube orbited by two intersecting gold rings, toothed like cogwheels. Raw Innocence causes strange phenomena, from animating lifeless dolls to creating supernatural weather conditions. The Black Order watches for these phenomena so they can retrieve the raw Innocence and use it against the Earl's forces.

[/B]Each fragment of Innocence has one compatible user, or Apostle. Once a fragment is retrieved and invoked by its Apostle, that person becomes an Exorcist of the Black Order, duty-bound to destroy AKUMA.

[B]Noah's Ark
[/B]Not a literal ship as described in the Bible, but a pandimensional transport vessel. The inside of an Ark contains an egg-like manufacturing plant and a city in which every door teleports the user to a different real-world location. Both the Earl and the Black Order are in possession of an Ark.

[/FONT][CENTER][B][SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond]D.Gray-man Background: Detailed[/FONT][/SIZE][/B]

[LEFT][B][FONT=Garamond]AKUMA evolution
[/FONT][/B][FONT=Garamond][B]Level 1. [/B]AKUMA begin at Level 1. Once they reveal themselves, erupting from their human hosts, they resemble grey hot-air balloons. The host's face is mounted on one side, and the body is studded with cannons. These fire large-calibre shells filled with AKUMA blood; if hit with one of these, a human will break out in black pentacle-marks on their skin before shattering and turning to powder.
[B]Level 2. [/B]Once it has killed enough humans, an AKUMA will advance to Level 2. Level 2 AKUMA have unique forms, personalities and abilities. Examples include a court-jester form with the ability to mimic the appearance and abilities of people and substances and a gaseous form with the ability to breath Ice Fire.
[B]Level 3. [/B]Level 3 AKUMA, like Level 1, all look very similar: tall, heavily armoured humanoid creatures. At this level they gain the ability to use their Dark Matter, the polar opposite of Innocence. Examples of Dark Matter include chains with power over gravity, used to bear the victim to the ground or a watery grave, and a light-beam with the power to decompose its target on a molecular level.

[B]Anti-AKUMA weapons[/B]
Raw Innocence has little effect on AKUMA; it needs to be forged into an effective anti-AKUMA weapon. Every fragment of Innocence has unique abilities and half the challenge facing the Exorcist is discovering the 'style' that best suits their own Innocence. Broadly, there are two types:
[B]Equipment-type. [/B]The most common form of anti-AKUMA weapon. Once the 'style' of the Innocence is determined, the Exorcist forges it into a appropriate form, often a traditional weapon like a sword, gun or (less traditionally) a football or set of acupuncture needles.
[I]Examples: [/I]Yu Kanda's 'Mugen', a sword with the ability to create illusions; Lenalee Lee's 'Dark Boots', a pair of boots that allowed her to use soundwaves as footholds and run on air (not to mention kick AKUMA to death).
[B]Parasitic-type. [/B]The Innocence is discovered living within the body of its Apostle. Parasitic-type weapons are capable of powerful evolutions based on the user's synchronisation with their Innocence, but they draw on the user's life force in order to fight, reducing their lifespan and sometimes causing harmful rebounds when pushed beyond a certain limit. Also, since the Innocence can't be forged into a shape appropriate to its style, the user must discover the style for themselves and attempt to mould their weapon through training, usually changing their body in some way in the process.
[I]Examples: [/I]Arystar Krory's teeth, which allowed him to gain strength by drinking AKUMA blood; Allen Walker's 'Crowned Clown', which transformed his left arm into a claw capable of tearing through AKUMA.

[B]Synch ratio
[/B]An Exorcist's synchronisation with their Innocence is shown by a percentage. If this percentage passes 100%, the Exorcist is known as a Critical, and is a candidate to become an Exorcist General. Generally, a higher synch ratio allows the user to use more of their weapon's abilities. Parasitic-type weapons will evolve new forms as synchronisation increases, while equipment-types will gain new and more powerful attacks. Anti-AKUMA weapons can be invoked to perform beyond their synch ratio, but this will usually result in a brief burst of uncontrolled power followed by a harmful rebound on the user.

[/FONT][CENTER][B][FONT=Garamond][SIZE=3]Sign-Up Preview[/SIZE][/FONT][/B]

[LEFT][FONT=Garamond]All the characters will be rookies, newly recruited into the Order. This means no D.Gray-man characters (they're dead of old age anyway) and no supermen. You will, however, be able to claim the following anti-AKUMA weapons from the series (I'm assuming that when an Apostle dies, another person becomes the single compatible user): Mugen, Dark Boots, Odzuchi Kodzuchi, Time Record, Charity Bell, Heaven Compass, Noel Organon. I can post descriptions of all these, if you like.[/FONT]

[B][FONT=Garamond]Name. [/FONT][/B][FONT=Garamond]Not Japanese, sorry. The Black Order is drawn from all over the world - Innocence doesn't care where you were born - but Japan is the Earl's territory. It's AKUMA country. Normal humans don't come from there anymore.
[B]Age. [/B]Young or old as you like, as long as they can walk, talk and at least attempt to fight.
[B]Appearance. [/B]Linked picture or brief description.
[B]Likes/Dislikes/3-word summary. [/B]No lengthy bios or personality breakdowns - we'll see that in your writing. Just a simple list: 2 likes, 2 dislikes, and sum the character up in 3 words.
[B]Anti-AKUMA weapon. [/B]Its name, type (parasitic or equipment), starting synch ratio (no more than 65%, please) and abilities.
[B]Writing sample. [/B]Link me to your favourite RPG you've participated in, so I can see how you write and how you work with other RPers.

[/FONT][CENTER][SIZE=3][B][FONT=Garamond]The System[/FONT][/B][/SIZE]

[FONT=Garamond]I'm working with the concept of an [B]Objective System, [/B]in which I would post a paragraph or two placing the players in a situation, then give them an objective to reach in a certain number of posts. So, for example, as the RPG begins I might write a paragraph placing them in the Order's training area and instruct them to invoke their Innocence for the first time in one post each. Or I might set them all up in a room with two powerful AKUMA and instruct them to in the battle in two posts each, allowing each player's Innocence to develop one new ability in the process.

If anyone has views on this system please post them - I've never used it in practice before, and historically my RPGs have been the type to die quickly, so if anyone more experienced has tips I'd be glad to hear them.
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