About Essence of Horhsal
Essence of Horhsal is a self-hosted (using the IPS software) and 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.
You could say it is mixed fantasy because it does not have a definitive term for it although science fantasy seems to be close. 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). There are also a lot of "old" things like armor, fortresses, various melee weapons, old-fashioned firearms, absolute monarchies, a lot of jobs that still handcraft things, and also a few highly traditional countries that do not use high-tech devices.
You could imagine Horhsal to be similar to later Final Fantasy games which mix up new and old while still being its own unique world.
The Essence is an important part of the world but nobody really knows what 'exactly' it is. The people know that the Essence influences large parts of the world and even people themselves but the Essence as a metaphysical being is a mystery. Essence Powers completely replace magic and enable Post-Eophrims - this is what the "main" races are called that control most of the world - to use Aptitudes that have different powers and abilities. Supplicants, for example, are similar to magicians but use their hearing to "sense" the Essence and ask it to help them which is why the abilities they use are called Essence Pleas instead of spells. You can slowly learn about Horhsal bit by bit, so please do not feel pressured.
The roleplay itself is done within 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.
You are the master of what you want to do!
There are also campaigns but more about them at the bottom.
Current places 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 to RP in a place that has its own forum, like someone visiting the Etingnean Empire. You would need to use its respective threads then and can RP with characters that live there. It is also possible to get settled 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.
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 (graduates are not required to help the Empire, though) 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). By the way, we use the European term for academy which is closer to a university than a school, so the students are (young) adults and have to keep up themselves.
Of course, players can safely ignore both sides and just do something else, like playing in other regions of the Empire outside the capital.
Open character roles
Creating characters is easy. You can even post as characters after creating them.
1. Go to 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 hub. (We haven't tested if this is possible for regular members yet, so please tell me if not)
We do not use the usual standard races in our world (not even humans). Horhsal has 8 custom races 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).
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.
These are useful if you want to be eased in instead of being left in the dark and exploring everything yourself.
The Essence itself (the description of the database, not all entries)
The Warfare section can be of interest but you don't need to read everything in it
Everything else can be read with time and isn't immediately required. Of course, you can check out anything you want or even create your own content.
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 and reach the end of the Culm Ocean first!
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.
Edited by Gota