About Essence of Horhsal and the setting
Essence of Horhsal is using the IPS software and an original roleplay without wordcount in a world called Horhsal. Most things in it are custom made, including the races, continents, countries, and a lot of other things. By the way, the rules are here (in case you didn't see them).
You could say it's mixed fantasy although science fantasy is a good fit as well. There are some high-tech technologies such as devices similar to PCs, laptops, mobile phones, and television but the people of this world do not use electricity to power them and do not have all of the technologies that we have, like airplanes, space travel, cars (but they have other vehicles), and anything electronic (with the exception of similar devices that run on Essence Energy, like the ones mentioned before).
There are also a lot of "old" things like armor, fortresses, various melee weapons, old-fashioned firearms, monarchies, a lot of jobs that still handcraft things, and also a few highly traditional countries that do not use high-tech devices.
Colonialism, empires, and absolutism do also exist while social media is present as well which can lead to strange things happening like a colonist uploading images of a colony's progression or a journalist interviewing an emperor.
You could imagine Horhsal to be similar to later Final Fantasy games that manage to mix new and old while still having their own unique worlds.
The roleplay itself is done within certain countries or internationally. Each playable country has its own RP section which also includes links that lead to more information about them. You are not required to join all of them and can just ignore the ones you do not like. Characters that are created are associated with one of the playable countries or count as international/unbound characters. The international section is for those that do not want to be bound to a country and rather prefer to travel as they please. It is possible to change a character's affiliation. You can also suggest new countries to RP in (this, however, will result in votes since having too many playable countries nobody roleplays in would be pointless).
Next, let's go over the process to get started. Everything that isn't included in this guide can be seen as something optional you don't need to know to get started.
Joining is quite easy. Just create your main account and you are in. You can use this account for everything, even creating characters and posting as them. No need for a bunch of accounts thanks to the IPS Character Mod which is explained above.
Lore for beginners
The worldbuilding section is already pretty vast and can be overwhelming for a beginner. However, you don't even need to know most that can be found in it and you can learn more about the world over time. There are still some things that you should definitely know, however.
As such, here is a link to a lore guide that explains everything necessary short and simple.
Choosing a race to play as for your first character
Next up is the decision which race your first character should be. It is highly recommended to play a Post-Eophrim race since Non-Eophrims are wildly different and can be hard to play as (especially ones that are considered monstrous savages or if you are in a country that hates them). Here is an optional extra link if you want to know more about the differences of Post- and Non-Eophrims.
Post-Eophrims, on the other hand, are 8 races of the same family that evolved from the same ancestors and live everywhere together. There is NO cultural difference between them since things like that depend on the country and region, not the race. Two people of different races from the same country have much more in common than two people of the same race from different countries. The only differences between Post-Eophrims are their racial abilities and looks (all of them have sharp, shark-like teeth that they inherited from their oldest known ancestors).
Here are some short descriptions of each of them although the entries (which contain images) about them are rather short if you want to know more about all of them.
- Gourmear: Their racial ability involves eating things to temporarily gain abilities depending on what they ate.
- Lazulian: Their racial ability focuses on powers they can get from extreme emotions.
- Atmogis: They can make use of elements around them to change forms and use respective powers.
- Simulgis: They temporarily copy the racial abilities of others and even Essence Weapon Techniques, albeit weaker.
- Faunarim: The least original race but the one that makes it easiest to find avatars for. They are like kemonomimis and have animal parts, like ears, claws, wings, tails, paws, and so on and differ wildly in their looks, depending on the animal they are similar to. Their abilities depend on the parts they consist of. (They are not anthros)
- Floraph: They are similar to Faunarims but are made up of plant parts instead. Unlike Faunarims, Floraphs share a lot of abilities and can do things like shooting spores, absorb poison and use it, grow thorns, and other abilities.
- Gallert: Jelly-like (NOT slimes) people that have a unique skin texture that is colorful. They still have organs but can shift forms to a more solid, liquified or gaseous form.
- Umbril: Like Gallerts, they have a unique skin texture that looks a bit shadow-like (they are still solid, though) and is entirely black. Males can learn to transform into shadow versions of monsters while females can do the same with animals.
Creating characters is easy. You can even post as characters after creating them.
1. Go to RP database and Characters
2. Choose new character and create your character - that's it. Only fields that have a red "Required" are mandatory, all others are optional, so fill out as much as you want.
Extra: Once the character is done go back to the character overview, click on the little gear in your character's window and change their group to the fitting place.
Horhsal has 8 custom races - but no humans - that we made ourselves but which are similar enough to humans to still get avatars and illustrations of them without too much trouble. To help you out I will give you a few pointers as to what you could do:
0. Just don't use any avatar if you are fine with that. You can use the physical appearance field in the character creation to describe their appearance.
1. Draw your characters yourself (you can upload them to the Booru as well in that case if you want) or have them drawn - easy for artists or people willing to pay artists but hard for others.
2.1. Take pre-existing characters and edit them so that they look like one of the 8 races.
2.2. There is also a forum where you can request edits or find ones that are offered by others.
3. The rare chance that a character already looks like they can be used without being edited, either by being a kemonomimi (not anthro, these are not allowed) or someone who is covered in armor or other full clothing.
Using a kemonomimi, but only if they don't have human ears, is probably your best bet if you don't want to edit characters because there are plenty to be found within the Internet (one of the reasons why Faunarims - and Floraphs, to an extent - are the least original race we have is to make it easier for people to find avatars for them).
Choosing a place to join
International/Unbound: This is not a specific place but rather can be anywhere on the world, no matter if in Bauleura, Rimsal, Monoria or any other continent - you decide where your character goes. The threads you create are usually temporary and will get archived after you are done. Not only travelers can use them but anyone who is active internationally for some reason and not home often - or doesn't have a home. Mercenaries, members of some Unions, journalists, and explorers are a few examples. By the way, it is entirely possible for an unbound character to RP in a place that has its own forum, like someone visiting the Etingnean Empire. You would need to use its respective threads in that case and can RP with characters that live there. It is also possible to get settled for someone and move into a place or do the opposite. Changing character groups is easy as long as you have an IC reason.
Etingnean Empire: The Etingnean Empire is located on the continent Faizeon and part of the Marhnzon landmass. They have already conquered half of said landmass over the centuries and their ultimate goal is to conquer all of Marhnzon. However, they cannot just waltz over everyone since that could lead to a huge coalition against them and agitate countries outside of Marhnzon. That is why they either have to expand slowly if they go the path of conquest or annex target countries by other means, like using diplomacy or somehow making another country indebted to them. The Empire also takes part in the colonization of the Culm Ocean and has a few rival powers because of that.
The Etingnean Empire has two main parts - the imperial matters which mostly involve the people of the Imperial Palace, like the Empress, Senate, generals, diplomats and so on. This part is highly political and will deal with the expansion of the Etingnean Empire.
And there is a lot to do! The royal-federation and trade league westward of the Empire are engaged in a huge war which could present an opportunity for the Empire, the former Champions of the kingdom of Zedanzar, now a region of the Empire, are getting rebellious and want to replace the governor with the heir of their dead king, the governor of Sondrikom is looking for the legacy of the Sage King and it becomes apparent that Zacez, a smaller great power, is trying to stir up trouble for the Empire and get in the way of their conquest! These are just a few of the stories that await you - so join the Empire and pave their way to absolute glory! Or go against them...
The other part is the Imperial Academy that trains or educates the elite of tomorrow. There are different majors, each focusing on something that could be fruitful to the Empire later and there is even a pure combat major for those that like to fight but do not like to learn. The Academy is high-class but also allows people from humble origins to enter if they have the required grades (depending on the major).
However, the Imperial Academy or rather its head staff might be in danger: the mischievous "Faceshifter" sent a mocking letter to the principal, stating that they will attend the academy as a disguised student and do something "big" at the end of either the next semester or year. What this might be, nobody can know but one thing is certain - it is nothing good. This is why the government reacted and sent members of the Order of the Essence to disguise themselves as students as well. Will they be able to catch the Faceshifter? Will students get involved? Who knows - this might become a turbulent semester.
Of course, players can safely ignore both sides and just do something else, like playing in other regions of the Empire outside the capital. One example for that is the Sondrikom region which is more high-tech focused than others and great for slice of life.
More info and places
Open character roles and factions
The first thing you can do after registering is to introduce yourself in the member introduction forum or/and join the Discord which are both not mandatory. Once you have read everything needed you can get to creating a character which will, usually, be approved quickly since I'm there most of the time except when I'm sleeping or going somewhere outside but it should not take too long in general. After a character is approved you can instantly start posting somewhere. If you don't know where or what to do just ask someone from the staff or other members - we are quite welcoming to newcomers.
You can find most other information with the drop-down bars on the upper right.
Questions and contacting the staff
There are multiple ways to contact the staff. Either PM a staff member if you are a member or use the Guest lounge forum if you are a guest. You can also join our Discord and ask there.
Campaigns - optional
Campaigns are more streamlined than the usual RPing and have an on-going single story with a goal, so they are finite and will end some day. What makes them even more different is the fact that they usually use mechanics and systems similar to DnD but custom made ones. You can usually have one character which you focus on and develop depending on the system used.
Unlike the normal RP places, the RP style of a campaign is not set in stone and once enough players for a campaign have been found there will be a vote on which style to use, either play-by-post in the forum or using channels in our Discord.
Campaigns are entirely optional and you can safely ignore them. They are just more extras.
Essence of the Oceans - become a world-famous explorer by reaching the end of the Culm Ocean firs!
Edited by Gota