Medium Roleplay FC (Balmung)
NA/West Coast Timezone
Neutral Alignment ♦ Mature Themes ♦ Storylines & Events
Around two hundred years ago, a gathering of like-minded Sharlayan students formed a group known as the Soteria, or 'Spirit of Protection.' Initially, they set their sights on the preservation and protection of endangered fauna and flora throughout the star. Yet as more members joined their ranks, so did their interests widen; arcane relics, forgotten knowledge, cartography, aetherology, etc. Soon, what started as a small gathering of friends became an actual society of researchers, explorers, and pseudo-adventurers.Yet the activities of the Soteria soon began bordering on the fringes of Sharlayan's non-interventionist policies. Warnings were given out, reminders of what their place was to be in the world, lectures on how the group should be mindful of how they conducted themelves. Warnings that seemed to work... on the surface, at least.Instead of toeing the line, the members of the Soteria continued in their work, albeit more secretly, refusing to stand on the sidelines as nothing more than passive observers. Taking requests from small towns in need of help, hunting down voidsent where the veil would inevitably weaken, or even punishing the poachers and hunters of endangered creatures. Activities that, overall, couldn't be kept all that quiet for long.Sharlayan had enough. Angered by the actions of the Soteria, the group was banished from Sharlayan. While many members scattered to other corners of the world, a small number stayed together to continue their mission, working with organizations in their travels such as the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, the Wood Wailers, the Dalmascan Resistance, and so on.No longer the Soteria they once were, they changed their name to better embrace what they had become: Arae Soteria, or 'Cursed Spirits of Protection'. Now they are seeking to settle themselves in Eorzea to form a solid base of operations rather than continue their more nebulous and nomadic travels across the star. Though the horizon does ever beckon so sweetly...
We're a multi-theme RP/PvE FC that dabbles in everything FFXIV has to offer from crafting to end-game content while focusing on fostering RP between members that tells a greater narrative.Originally the concept had been about a demonic crime family created over the course of two years for another MMO known as Bless Online. When Bless flopped, the concept was shelved with the hope that eventually it could be reimplemented in another setting. Eventually, the idea was reintroduced to a group of friends in Final Finatasy 14 and the guild concept was reborn for the new setting. The Scythewoods (as we were once called) opened their doors in April 2019. After having events, storylines, and countless bouts of RP the Scythewoods decided to shelve the years-long concept that had been active off and on for the last five years to start something new. Now we're known as the Arae Soteria - a group originating from Sharlayan that focuses on conservation, aetheric enhancement, the study of ashkin and voidsent, and more!We focus on a collection of interpersonal private character arcs, public and private FC events, an FC storyline, and RP collaborations with other groups and FCs to create all kinds of opportunities in roleplay.Our vision is to create a fun, active, thriving community, both for the characters and the players.
Rules & Guidelines
Posted in the private areas of the Arae Soteria's Garden is a simple notice that lists the rules and guidelines of the business for all to follow and heed:
♦ Respect. It matters not if one is a bootblack in the morning or dining with royalty come the evening - mutual respect, civility, and courtesy are part of the foundations upon which we are built.
♦ Privacy. Discretion is often lauded as the better part of valor. What happens on the grounds, between members, is expected to remain in confidence.
♦ Teamwork. We may die alone, but we live among others. Whether friend, lover, or ally, we exist not only for the benefit of the world but of each and every member that it is comprised of, and no member is to be left wanting.
♦ Library Rules. Knowledge is to be shared and celebrated, not stolen. Ask before taking any of the resources the Arae Soteria keep within their halls.
♦ Fighting/Dueling. Blood is not to be shed between comrades on the grounds unless in an area designated by the Soul or the Eyes. Killing another member is forbidden.
♦ Visitors. Any guests brought to the Garden are welcome as long as the one(s) who bring them take responsibility for their presence in case of any possible incidents that may arise.
Our guidelines are made to ensure that we foster the best possible environment for the FC. If you wish to report a member for disruptive behavior, please provide logs/screenshots. Officers will handle incidents on a case-by-case basis with light offenses resulting in a warning and heavier offenses having the potential for dismissal from the FC.
♦ Real Life Comes First! Eat, sleep, drink plenty of water. Go to school, go to work, do chores, be responsible. If you have an instance where you’re not going to be around or need to miss a meeting or event in which your character was expected to be there, just give us a heads up ahead of time and it’ll be fine.
♦ Be Respectful. We're all human beings behind our screens and deserve to give the same courtesy and respect as we expect to be given. Not everyone will always get along with or agree with everyone else, however we still expect a certain level of polite discourse and discussion.
♦ Maturity. We expect everyone to act like adults, be it from handling adult themes in RP, to adult language and humor, to resolving OOC conflicts peacefully and without drama.
♦ Conflict Resolution. As stated above we ask that conflicts are handled without drama and peacefully between individuals involved. If someone makes you uncomfortable or you take issue with something either IC or OOC we ask that you speak to the individual(s) in question first before approaching an officer. Most conflicts can be easily avoided with one conversation. In cases of more serious incidents, where it's felt that a matter needs to be brought directly to an officer's attention, if at all possible please provide logs or screenshots. It's a huge help on our end.
♦ No Harassment. This encompasses a lot including but not limited to: insulting, incessant trolling, griefing, passive aggressive behavior, bullying, abuse, threats, etc.
♦ Keep it Positive. We all have bad days, be it in the game or IRL. If you’re having a rough time and need to talk, by all means, we’re all friends here. Just don’t be a void of negativity where that’s the only thing we ever hear from you.
♦ Keep IC and OOC separate. Just because a character is cruel or devious doesn't mean a player reflects the same values, so do not take offense towards the player for the actions of their character.
♦ IC Actions have IC Consequences. Just because you are a member, that doesn’t not mean your character can do or say whatever they want. If it comes to the point where a character has committed too many or too serious an offense, they may be asked to leave ICly. At this point the player may be given the choice of bringing in a new character depending on the situation.
♦ Lore-bending, not Lore-breaking. We believe in people being creative. Taking the lore of a given setting and using it to tell a narrative with each other. Some parts of the lore are vague or have wiggle room to work around and all of that is fine within reason! However, we do not condone outright lore-breaking such as being the son of Haurchefant or causing a Calamity single-handedly.
♦ YOU are responsible for YOUR fun/roleplay. At the end of the day, this is a game we play to unwind and relax, and roleplay is a hobby. That goes for both the leaders and members. We believe that you get out of the FC what you put in, and so we expect you to be responsible for your character’s relationships, RP activity, and your own personal fun.
♦ The FC is NOT your Personal Dating Service. People caught bouncing around (IC or OOC) until they find someone who they can hook up with (and prioritize this over any other RP with the FC), can head right on back to the Quicksand.
♦ Social, inclusive cliques are fine. Anti-social, exclusive cliques are not. At a certain point, cliques are unavoidable. People will want to spend time with close friends, and that’s natural. So long as those people are open to others joining in on the fun now and then, and are still active and social with the FC as a whole, there won’t be any issues. But if all you ever do is hang out with a small group of select people in your private rooms all day and ignore the rest of the FC, we're going to start wondering if its worth keeping you around.
♦ Discord. Discord is our primary community platform and we expect all our members to use it, at the very minimum to stay updated on announcements and FC events. We do not require people to talk in voice, however we will occasionally hold OOC meetings or events in which we ask people to at least be able to listen in.
♦ Constructive Feedback. Always welcome, so long as it stays mature and respectful. Any complaints should ideally be accompanied by an alternative proposal or solution to the problem at hand.
♦ Inactive Members will be Removed. Regular members will be given one month of inactivity until kicked. If notice is given of upcoming long-term inactivity (financial issues, pregnancy, military service) members will be exempt from inactivity kicks for up to six months (longer if requested, based on the situation). We consider “activity” to include both OOC and IC interactions, attending events, and generally being a part of the community.
Upon joining the Soteria, members will be assigned a rank of their choosing that fits their particular interests and skillsets. Aside from the leadership positions, the ranks are not ordered in a heiarchy. OOCly, the ranks will largely just be used to sort what sort of activities certain groups might be assigned to during events.
♦ Matron's Soul ♦
The leader of Arae Soteria. Embodying the ideals of Nophica, she seeks to tend to those under her just as a gardener would her flowers.♦ Keeper's Wrath ♦
Should judgement needs be meted out, even to the Matron herself, it falls upon the Wrath to do so. A singular counter-balance to keep the rest of the Soteria in check. Additionally, should the Matron be unable to fulfill her duties, leadership of the Soteria will fall to the Wrath.♦ Navigator's Eye ♦
‘The Eyes,’ as they are known, directly serve the Matron in an advisory capacity, keeping watch on both the Soteria as a whole while helping chart which course might best weather the coming storms.♦ Spinner's Hand ♦
Commonly referred to as ‘The Hand,’ these few are entrusted with seeing the weave spun to form the tapestry that is Arae Soteria. In plainer terms, they are entrusted with enacting the Matron’s will as needed.♦ Traders' Scythe ♦
(OOC: Scythewood Legacy Characters)
Just as not all gardens flourish during the day, not all business is best conducted in the light. Recognizing the winds of fate & favor, the Matron knows the value of working in the shadows, and the importance of those trained in doing so…♦ Scholar's Light ♦
Just as light drives back the dark, so too does ignorance give way to knowledge. With this in mind did a faction of Sharlayan researchers and conservationists come together to form the original Soteria. To this day, knowledge and understanding continue to be the guiding principles of this wayward faction.♦ Fury's Blade ♦
Some things are not easily acquired, knowledge and power most of all. Sometimes a blade must carve a way forward. Sometimes blood must be spilled. Sometimes war must be waged. These were the ideals that cast the Soteria from Sharlayan, and to this day they are still held. Those who take this path are often adventurers, treasure hunters, voidslayers… those who aren’t afraid to jump into danger and do what is needed.♦ Warden's Shield ♦
As the sword strikes, so in turn does the shield protect. Be it an over-zealous Blade, an overly-curious researcher, or a powerful artifact that needs to be kept safe on the journey home, there is always a need for a Shield within the Soteria.♦ Destroyer's Ash ♦
To some, certain knowledge in considered dangerous or forbidden. The Soteria has no such qualms, instead seeking to help guide and nurture those who would delve into the eldritch and arcane, to control power rather than restrict it entirely. Those who choose this path should tread carefully, however, as a flame that can’t be tamed is better snuffed out entirely. Ash to ash, dust to dust.♦ Builder's Forge ♦
While the Soteria seeks knowledge of the past and the power of the ancients, they also seek to build a path into the future through creation and innovation. Those who choose this path are the Forgers within the Soteria, entrusted with everything from designing their headquarters to constructing airships to crafting new armor or weapons.♦ Wanderer's Wind ♦
Occasionally new blood is found and brought into the Soteria. Before becoming full members, a certain amount of time is given to ensure that they are a good fit for the organization, and the organization for them. As the wind guides them to the Soteria, so too may it guide them away.♦ Lover's Friends ♦
(OOC: Unaffiliated/Allies/OOC Friends)
Friends and allies are always important, be it trading partners, informants, local guardsmen, etc. While perhaps not involved in the inner workings of the Soteria, they can usually be counted on if additional help is needed.
--> Apply Here <--
What We Offer
♦ An open RP setting and concept that allows for a multitude of story possibilities.
♦ Multiple IC Themes to create a rich, varied roleplay experience.
♦ Medium to Medium-Heavy activity (1-3 events a week either for RP or PvE).
♦ Large FC house with over a dozen public rooms dedicated to providing a multitude of settings for a more immersive experience.
♦ Open World RP
♦ Long and short-term storylines.
♦ A platform for creating your own personal storylines & character arcs.
♦ Lore Creative (we operate within believable bounds of the lore while encouraging creativity within those bounds).
♦ Crafters and gatherers to help with creating gear, leveling classes, furnishing, and more.
♦ PvE/PvP group activities, be it roulettes, alliance raids, clearing content, etc.
♦ More than anything, we offer a mature, adult community of writers and friends who enjoy hanging out together.
What We're Currently Looking For
♦ Guards, Rangers, & Martial Combatants
♦ Crafters & Gatherers
♦ Scholars & Researchers
♦ Explorers & Scouts
♦ Engineers & Technicians
♦ Maids, Butlers, & Custodians
Recruitment & Trial
our recruitment process has four phases:
♦ Application: Fill out the application found on this page or in Links. Please answer all the questions to the best of your ability! If we do not get back to you in 2-3 days, your application was likely denied.
♦ OOC Interview: Once the officers have had a chance to review the application, we'll contact you about an interview through discord (ideally in voice, but it can be done through text upon request). This will cover any follow-up questions we have regarding the application and any questions you might have for us. After the interview, the officers will usually take a moment to discuss a final verdict based on the interview. Assuming everything looks good, the link to our discord will be provided and an FC invite sent to the character.
♦ Two-Week Trial: This begins once the OOC Interview has finished, and is used to gauge activity, participation, and compatibility in the FC, both IC and OOC. This is also the time for you to decide if the FC is a good home for you. Once the two weeks are over, your character will be made a member assuming no issues popped up during the trial period.
♦ IC “Interview”: The last part is roleplaying your character into the Arae Soteria ICly. If you have any unique or interesting ideas on ways to bring your character in, feel free to put an interesting roleplay scenario forward, otherwise the recruiting officer will provide something standard.
--> Apply Here <--
While the 'main cast' of the Soteria are usually the ones in the spotlight, not to be forgotten is the team back at the manor supporting their efforts. Below is a list of the NPCs who keep things running smoothly in the background.
Curator/Appraiser (Material Supplier)Having previously worked as a teller, Amy has recently been promoted to the curator of the Scythewood museum. Often wearing a shy and unassuming smile, she has proven herself capable, reliable, as well as discreet. She also has a neat little spell that allows her to identify any kind of object.
Kupobucks BaristaOnce a Thavnarian “dancer,” Vilette found a way to trade information on her masters in exchange for a place among the Scythewoods. She now happily works in the Hotel's premiere coffee shop, Kupobucks, where her disarmingly charming smile often makes guests forget about just how sharp her ears really are.
Bartender (Mender)A matronly figure who runs the downstairs tavern, one who can shock with a hidden debauch wit. Though fairly young for an Elezen, her talent in the kitchen can be compared to even the finest of chefs, and her abiility to drink any challengers under the table is unparalleled, even among the Scythewoods. Best not to underestimate her.
Fluffy BoiThe ‘mascot’ of the Scythewood Hotel, Kitsi wanders where he will and eats what Celia leaves out for him. No one is really sure where he came from, who he might belong to, or where he goes when he wanders outside the hotel. Likes warm places, ear scritches, and causing mischief. It is considered impolite to refuse his lap cuddles.
Guard/Assassin (Journeyman Salvager)Once a cutpurse in the back alleys of Rabanastre, eventually he picked a certain woman's pocket that he probably shouldn't have. He now serves the Scythewoods as a guard and expert assassin... though he can usually be found arguing with Gyoham over who is going to marry Aishwarya.
LibrarianAn Ishgardian who took out a loan with the Scythewoods to pay for her education. When she ultimately failed to pass her classes a scholar, she was given the chance to repay her debt by working directly for the crime syndicate... oddly, as a librarian, where she is able to continue her education.
Clothing SpecialistThe Elezen shopkeeper in charge of the Outfitters. Charming, sophisticated, and the very picture of manners and grace, he is able to simply look at a person and know their exact measurements. Unsurprisingly, if one listens closely they can pick out the slightest accent of an Ishgardian noble.
WardenOne of the Scythewood’s unspoken members. While these may appear to be two separate individuals, the unnamed roegadyn serves only a possessed mouthpiece, a lifeless puppet for his master. The Sorceress herself is an ananta imbued with the power of the Echo, with the unique ability to reach into a person’s mind and selectively pluck any memories she wishes, causing the owner to forget anything taken.
J’boh “J’boi” Tia
Assistant General Manager (Furniture)J’boh was raised in the unstable region of Gyr Abania, and hardened in the flames of war. When the bloodshed became too much, he traded in sword for coin, becoming a rather shrewd and clever merchant. These days he spends much of his time handling paperwork for Sidha.
Tinkerer/Kupobucks Loiterer (Mender)Ehda was a smith’s apprentice in the Ala Mhigan resistance. Finding little in the way of purpose after the war, she decided to join up with the Scythewoods and lend her talents towards fixing their ever-breaking gear. Due to her coffee addiction, she can usually be found behind the Kupobucks counter.
MaidservantOne of the Scythewood’s more recent hires, Tsuya singlehanded keeps the estate spotless and tidy, and will often be the one responsible for cleaning the rooms of any guests of the Hotel. Of course, her contract stipulates bonus pay for whenever she has to clean up after a brawl between members, hence why Sidha enforces a ‘no fighting on Hotel property’ rule.
Treasurer/Gemsmith (Junkmonger)A lovely Ananta with a piebald scale pattern, Aish is highly respected among her peers. A premier gemsmith, the serpentine maid has been placed in charge of the Scythewoods Vaults, making sure gil or any other treasures that the Scythewoods happen to come across in their ventures are safely deposited and stored. Has a weakness for sweets.
Treasure Hunter (Junkmonger)A "treasure hunter" of absolutely no renown or skill whatsoever. Triggers all the traps. Complains a lot. Smells like fish. Makes dad jokes. Just the worst. Cousin of Gyofuku II. He can usually be found arguing with Nanaba Naba over who is going to marry Aishwarya.
Alchemist/HerbalistNot much is known about the Caretaker. She arrived with Delilah as part of the initial crew from Rabanastre and quickly set up shop in the upper floors of the manor, procuring all sorts of plants and flowers to create a variety of potions and poisons for all manner of uses.
Master of the Hand, Master of Blades, Master of ChiThree martial arts masters brought directly from the Far East to train any Scythewood members interested in furthering their combative prowess, be it weaponry, traditional martial arts, or growing one’s mastery of the aether around them. Those seeking their guidance are encouraged to visit the dojo located in the south wing of the hotel. Rumor has it the three are involved in a polyamorous triad together.
Ayia & Myst K’sai
Hotel Security / BladedancersHaving left the wood together, the sisters took up the blade, traveling across Dalmasca as wayward vagabonds, until the day when they were defeated in a duel by a young xaela. They now serve as loyal retainers towards Kycen, currently acting as hotel security Never much for talking with strangers, they tend to communicate with a series of subtle eye movements or hand gestures.
♦ What’s your FC all about thematically? What kind of things do you do? ♦
The Arae Soteria are a group that focuses on biological and aetheric conservation as well as the darker side of aetherology such as studying ashkin and voidkin. The Arae Soteria originated as a group of scholars (known then as the Soteria) who were banished from their homeland of Sharlayan for their desire to help the different lands they visited for study despite the strict non interference policies. The group consists of all alignments and work towards various projects from attacking poachers and freeing rare and endangered creatures, exploring ruins, retrieving rare artifacts, investigating aetheric imbalances, and more! The only thing you're likely not going to find is a a bunch of law-abiding citizens as some of the work done by the Arae Soteria requires breaking some rules to get the job done.
♦ When are you most active? ♦
We are a west coast-based FC in terms of hours, so our main event times tend to start around 6PM PST and usually last around 2, maybe 3 hours. We welcome east coasters and EU/AU but we can only offer main activity centered around our PST availability. Our active days we base on the majority of our member's schedules. With re-vamping our FC themes and opening up recruitment we're going to be hosting events at varying times of the week as we get a feel for what days best work for members as well as additional event times.
♦ Does your FC just sit around and RP in your house all day? ♦
We do not! While we do love our house and a lot of our roleplay does take place in/around it, we like to make sure a lot of our events are in the open world, both in the Source and on the First. While you may not see any of us around the Quicksand that often, we very much prefer getting out and taking advantage of the rest of the playground.
♦ What's your stance on PvE/PvP/Raiding? ♦- PvE: Besides the usual leveling and roulettes, we'll occasionally host PvE events like glamour farming, maps, mount farming, etc.- PvP: We don't have a lot of call for this, though some people like Frontlines.- Raiding: As an FC, our official stance is that we don't run current savage+ raid content. Most people we recruit aren't here for that, and throwing casual players into those kind of intense fights where one person making a mistake can ruin an entire attempt? We've found it fractures relationships more than anything else, which is the opposite of what we're trying to achieve with this community.That said, if people want to organize those kinds of runs on their own and see if anyone in the FC wants to join, they're more than welcome. It's just not going to be an event that's run in any of our usual timeslots.
♦ How are you handling the First/Moon/Newly Released Area™? ♦
Our belief is that if the game makes a new area available, we want our members to be able to believably get there and be able to roleplay there (rather than ignore an entire expansion’s worth of content for two+ years).Should the game ever introduce other shards/stars/new hard-to-get-to areas, chances are we'll come up with a reason for the Arae Soteria to travel there so that our characters can roleplay in those areas.
♦ How do FC ranks work? ♦
Apart from the leader/officers, we don't put a lot of emphasis on our ranks. The general idea is everyone brings their own skills to the table and characters work together as a team to get things done. As such, we don't have a sprawling progression system, but rather make it to where everyone stays on equal footing. We have ranks for different character specialties or areas of interest but they are largely for classification.
♦ How do you handle RP combat? ♦
We believe combat is meant to facilitate better RP, and that anything that gets too 'complex' in terms of its combat system detracts from natural RP. As such, our goal is for fast, fun, interesting fights that encourage player creativity and progress the story along.As such, our combat system works as follows:
-- Players use /random for their attack and defense rolls. The higher roll wins. If an offense roll is higher than a defensive roll, a hit is scored. If the defensive roll is higher, the character successfully blocks/evades.
-- We do not calculate damage, however upon a hit, what we like to do is the greater the difference between the rolls, the stronger the hit. Ex: An attack of 900 is going to hit really hard against a defensive of 100, whereas an attack of 900 would likely only nick/graze a defensive roll of 890. All this is left up to each player’s creativity and discretion.
-- For PvP duels, we usually follow the same rules, except with a 3-hit modifier (Grindstone Rules)
-- Some people prefer not to use the roll system, as it restricts the character’s ability to decide their own actions and instead imposes actions on them. In these cases, Emote Fighting is acceptable if both parties agree beforehand (though it is highly suggested both players also decide the winner beforehand).
♦ So I was thinking about using a fantasia on my character... ♦
ICly, we consider a fantasia to be an extremely rare elixir capable of permanent physical transformation. So while we don't consider the use of something impossible, it is fairly immersion-breaking when someone is using a fantasia every few days and always looking different ICly because they won't stop chugging a rare and legendary magical drink. The main exception is if your character is playing an illusionist or well-versed in glamour magic, in which case you are free to abuse your wallet as much as you wish.OOCly, if you want to use a fantasia to create an entirely new character, that’s fine, but they will be treated as an entirely new character (or a member of the Arae Soteria who’s only just arrived), and likely have to go through an entirely new introductory and interview process. Needless to say, we also frown on this being done to the point where it feels like it’s hard to RP with you (the player) when your character is changing all the time and any previous character development or interactions keep getting thrown out the window.
♦ What is your policy on NSFW/political/other sensitive content? ♦In our discord, we have three opt-in channels: NSFW, politics, and a venting channel (since not everyone wants to deal with negative energy all the time), and we ask that people keep those topics to their appropriate channels. And if those are topics you're not interested in, we ask you avoid them altogether.As a political disclaimer, the majority of the FC is left-leaning and extremely anti-Trump, which is a lot of what you can expect to find in that channel. So while healthy and respectful political debates between different viewpoints is absolutely fine? Bigotry, racism, and divisive hate speech is not, nor is anyone who supports someone constantly spouting it. We also only have so much patience for anti-vaxxers. If that's not your cup of tea then this likely isn't the FC for you.As far as in-game discussions, our goal is to foster a fun, adult community of friends who can all hang out, roleplay, and relax in what free time we have available. As such, things may occasionally get a little raunchy or non-politically correct, which we have no issue with, so long as it doesn't get out-of-hand.
♦ How is the FC handling everything going on with COVID-19? ♦During the height of COVID we had transitioned to a much lighter activity FC with less events and less pressure for event attendance. This was in order to be mindful of those of our members who were greatly affected by the pandemic. Now, with most of our current members in a stable place (or at least adjusted to a new "normal") we are starting to rack up activity again. If you disappear without a word for months on end, there might be an eventual kick, but don't worry if you can't make every single event.