Below is a quick rundown on everything you'll need to know to get started here at Kinship. To explore a topic in more detail, you can check out our Lexicon here; reading the Lexicon is not required for joining. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the owner, Signe, for assistance; she can best be reached via the the Inbox board or on Discord (sigfen#0024). Thank you for your interest in our site, we look forward to meeting you! :)
If you are new to roleplaying in general, please check out our How To Guide for instructions on how to join, post, edit posts, and make claims. If you have any questions or concerns, let us know!
In Character is totally separate from Out of Character. The behavior, thoughts, and/or beliefs of a character does not necessarily reflect the behavior, thoughts, and/or beliefs of their player.
Minor powerplaying is permitted, but only with player permission.
You cannot manipulate another person's character in any way without their permission.
Godmodding is permitted in an extremely limited sense.
While characters may have extreme skills, enhancements, or items, they cannot be all seeing, all knowing, and all powerful all the time. Characters may be injured, become ill, or otherwise experience hardship.
Metagaming is, for the most part, not permitted. The use of Out of Character knowledge while posting In Character is acceptable in a very limited sense. If in doubt, it is always best to ask the players involved before using OOC knowledge In Character.
You will generally want to observe posting order in group threads. If Character A posts first, then Character B, then Character C, the posting order for the rest of the thread should be A -> B -> C -> A -> B -> C and so on.
We are a literary roleplaying game, so players will aim to maintain proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation as best they can -- but don't worry, we aren't nitpicky!
Players must be 18 or older to join our site.
We have an RPG Rating of 313, meaning we allow posts with swearing and mature language; mild sexual innuendo and references; and explicit violence. Please add [M] for mature and/or TW for trigger warning to the Subject of your post and include a brief summary of the adult topics addressed at the top of your post. While we will generally leave marking posts up to player discretion, we may approach you privately to request they be added if we feel they would be appropriate. If in doubt, please mark your post just to be safe. Some adult content is still prohibited; posts involving detailed sex acts and images considered "not safe for work" are not permitted on our boards.
Players are not expected to meet any post quotas or word counts. Please don't feel guilty or pressured if you don't have the time, muse, or energy to post often or to craft lengthy posts. We're just happy you're here!
Please be aware that other members may also be dealing with real life factors that may impact the speed and frequency of their responses. Your patience is always appreciated!
A number of Skills and Enhancements have elements of powerplaying - these can be freely used against NPCs and mob creatures (like animals), but players will always have the option to decide when/if/how their character is influenced/affected and to what extent.
Out of character (OOC) activity checks may be posted occasionally, please reply when/if you're able.
If you are unable to reply, your account (characters, items, etc.) may be removed from our active lists, but all information will be kept on the backend; when you're ready to reactivate your account, just post on the Inbox!
If you have a character in a position of authority (Duke/Duchess or above) and are unable to reply to an activity check, we may attempt to contact you through any available means. If we do not hear back from you within 30 days, there is a chance that your character may be removed from their position so that others can experience playing a high authority character. At our current activity level, and with so many open positions of authority still available, this is very unlikely!
Discord is a chat service you can use from your web browser, desktop, or phone; you can learn more about it at Discord.com. You can access our Discord here.
Details about each channel and their uses can be found in the channel description. Please make sure to post in the appropriate channel, and let us know if you have any questions!
Discord participation is optional, but recommended. We recommend joining just to keep up-to-date on updates, changes, announcements, etc. even if you'd prefer to socialize privately or on the OOC board.
Staff may provide custom items during mini-games, gift drops, and special events. If you are unhappy with a custom item, you can purchase a Gift Re-Roll or Gift Re-Roll by Player from the Marketplace to have it changed at any time.
Some events and mini-games may contain elements of powerplaying, such as being injured, becoming ill, gaining a Skill, or discovering something. If you are uncomfortable with the manner in which your character was used, please contact staff for a rewrite! We will also include clear warnings if there is a chance a character may be negatively impacted while participating in an opportunity.
Players will be responsible for keeping track of most updates. Unless otherwise stated (or marked with a green checkbox on Discord), players will need to post on the Updates board, in the #buy-claim-more Discord channel, or use the Make A Claim area to claim rewards and turn in posts.
We are always willing to listen to ideas and requests if you want something special for your character. Depending on what you are looking for, you may be asked to pay bones (in-game money) or complete a quest, but we'll always try to set up goals that are appropriate for your available time, experience, and the end reward.
Prize drops will need to be claimed within 2 RL months of the original drop date, unless otherwise noted. If you need help figuring out what you can still claim or if you had extenuating circumstances keeping you from claiming something you need/want within this timeframe, please contact Signe.
Kinship is owned and maintained by Signe. You can reach her via Discord DM at sigfen#0024, in the #requests Discord channel, or by posting on the Inbox board. We currently have one Helper, Aspelta, who is authorized to help out with various site tasks like item generation when/if she has time.
Mistakes are never made maliciously or with ill-intent; if something isn't right, please let us know so we can work on getting it fixed. Please be aware that real life factors may delay how quickly things can realistically be implemented or changed, but we do take your feedback extremely seriously and will work as quickly as we can.
Kinship has a primarily historical setting, but magic and technology have allowed some modern -- and even futuristic -- advancements. It has a mix of both high fantasy and SciFi aspects, so you may meet characters wielding laser guns and driving luxury hovercars one day and others using primitive bows and arrows while riding dragons the next. The possibilities are pretty endless! Generally, the setting is similar to medieval era but with better hygiene and cool toys.
Ognos' plans and animals are largely similar to those found on modern day Earth, however, there are a number of Ognos-specific species characters may encounter. Plants and animals unique to Ognos are called "Affil". Some Affil can be tamed into special pets, called Companions. Learn more about Affil here.
Ognos is 10-years post civil war. The conflict lasted over 300 years and the exact reasons the fighting began have been lost to time, however, humans have historically opressed Valka while Valka have often refused to acknowledge or obey human laws, sometimes even to the point of behaving like bandits. Officially, war was never declared, so it is often called "The Silent War". There were many casualties on both sides and the country and its population are still scarred, but most have made an effort to set aside their differences in hopes of a more peaceful future.
High King Amils Clorance took over the throne from his father, a tyrannical and ruthless womanizer, five years ago at the age of forty-five. He has made great strides towards a more progressive society with a focus on equality for all, but has been met with strong opposition from some of the older noble families who prefer things remain the way they are.
The dominant leader that overeees all of Ognos is the human High King, Amils Clorance. Prior to the end of the war, Valka typically did not recognize human leadership -- they saw no reason to obey human laws and did not feel they owed any loyalty to their oppressors -- but Amils has slowly but surely begun to build trust and mutual respect with many different Clan Leaders.
Each of the five territories is overseen by a human duchy; these duchies have pledged to follow and obey the High King, though how loyal they are varies. A Duke's power is second only to the High King's, making each territory similar to a kingdom.
Instead of only human Representatives, there are now four Representatives on each Territory Council, two human and two Valka. They act as advisors and diplomats, presenting information about the welfare of the territory and the movements of other duchies to their territory's leader on a regular basis.
Within each territory are several earldoms; Earls oversee a portion of the Duke's territory in exchange for wealth and power. This position has typically been held by humans, but some areas -- particularly more progressive territories like the West and South -- have begun awarding this title to Valka as well.
In human society, Valka Clan Leaders are now considered to hold a rank equivalent to an Earl.
Certified professionals are members of the Gentry class; this class is made up of craftsmen, adventurers, wealthy merchants, and more. Valka may become members of this Class, provided they meet the requirements for certification.
Commoners are poor laborers, often farmers, who reside on an Earl's land and produce food and basic goods. While they have far less power politically and socially, they are able to enjoy more personal freedoms -- such as the ability to marry for love -- than their noble counterparts. Most Valka would be considered members of the Commoner class.
Valka Clans may have their own ranks, so their internal power structures may vary greatly from Clan to Clan.
Ognos' currency is called "bones" both in and out of character, and are represented by a number followed by a 'b', 100b is 100 bones. You earn 100b per post, and may be rewarded bones for other things such as writing sample posts and participating in mini-games. Claim your Bones on the Updates board, #buy-claim-more channel, or by using the Make a Claim form.
You can check your bones balance and collected items on your player page (Begin > Joining > Click on your OOC name under "Our Players"). Collected bones can be spent at The Marketplace. You can earn new items, or use already collected items, by participating in Mini-Games and Catalysts.
Capital City: Cinderpeak
Leadership Style: Military Dictatorship
Best Known For: Military, Mercenaries, & Soldiers
Approval of High King: ★★☆☆☆ (low)
Military Strength: ★★★★★ (very high)
Crime Rates: ★☆☆☆☆ (very low)
Relations with Valka: ★☆☆☆☆ (very poor)
Average Citizen Wealth: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Average Citizen Happiness: ★★☆☆☆ (low)
Common Characteristics: Darker skin & eyes
The Burning North is predominantly a very hot and desert-like environment. It is frequently hit by droughts and most villages, towns, and even the big cities are located close to oases that they rely on for survival. The landscape - often composed of large dunes - can be difficult to traverse without careful preparation. The Amosi duchy has been in power since the founding of Ognos, and they rule with an iron fist. While their people are often treated fairly, it is not a place where you would feel safe publicly questioning the Duke's decisions, and it is generally a difficult place to live.
Capital City: Treespire
Leadership Style: Partial Democracy
Best Known For: Diplomacy, Hot Springs, Desserts
Approval of High King: ★★★★☆ (high)
Naval Strength: ★★★★☆ (high)
Crime Rates: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Relations with Valka: ★★★★★ (very good)
Average Citizen Wealth: ★★☆☆☆ (low)
Average Citizen Happiness: ★★★★☆ (high)
Common Characteristics: Olive skin & hooded eyes
The Miry West is a swampy land with numerous freshwater, saltwater, and brackish lakes dotting the landscape. It tends to be humid much of the year. Due to the unstable and often water-soaked land beneath, most people reside in expansive treetop communities or stilt houses. Some elect to lead a nomadic lifestyle on boats, traversing the various rivers to make their living as either lone family groups or in communities of several ships. The Wilcke duchy is fairly "new" (they have been in power for several generations now), and are typically very progressive; while they ultimately have the final say in policy changes, they frequently take votes and truly care about the thoughts and opinions of their people. They have had very good relations with Valka even during the war, to the point that High King Amils often calls upon them to help smooth negotiations with difficult Clans.
Capital City: Sylveris (nation's capitol)
Leadership Style: Oligarchy
Best Known For: Defenses, Farming, Agriculture
Approval of High King: ★★★★☆ (high)
Military Strength: ★★★★☆ (high)
Crime Rates: ★★☆☆☆ (low)
Relations with Valka: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Average Citizen Wealth: ★★★★☆ (high)
Average Citizen Happiness: ★★★★☆ (high)
Common Characteristics: Mixed traits
The Prosperous Middles (or just "The Middles") are predominantly bountiful meadows and lush grassland. This is a healthy and thriving land, with many expansive farms and plenty of farm animals for food production. Danger is minimal here, and usually has to do with outlaws seeking to take what they haven't earned. This is a melting pot area with many different people from all origins and walks of life living together. The Dali duchy is an old, powerful family which has been brought nearly to extinction in recent years. Historically it has been an autocracy, but since the death of the previous Duke left a power vacuum while the heir was too young to rule, it has become an oligarchy of the ruling council. The new Duke is attempting to wrestle back control and restore autocracy status. The Dali family and the oligarchs have a laissez-faire attitude to ruling, so taxes are low, support for the vulnerable is limited and the local government do not play much of an active role in people's lives.
Capital City: Elevus
Leadership Style: Geniocracy
Best Known For: Spies, Tailors, Brewers
Approval of High King: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Airpower Strength: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Crime Rates: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Relations with Valka: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Average Citizen Wealth: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Average Citizen Happiness: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Common Characteristics: Light brown skin & mismatched eyes
The Craggy East is a hilly land that ranges greatly depending on which land it borders; it is overseen by the Vorhees family. To the north there are lush rainforests and to the south it moves into a more sparse, tundra-like environment. Most people live in the lowland hills, avoiding the higher mountain ranges along the coast -- in part because of the weather, which ranges from idyllic to brutal at random intervals. This land encourages people to get by on their intelligence, often promoting people based on their critical thinking and problem-solving skills rather than anything else; it is a well-known "secret" that many of the best spies and intelligence agents hail from the East. The land is plagued by rumors of "The Collector", a mysterious force that kidnaps Valka for unknown purposes.
Capital City: Frostheim
Leadership Style: Partial Anarchy
Best Known For: Piracy, Smuggling, Fishing
Approval of High King: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Naval Strength: ★★★★★ (very high)
Crime Rates: ★★★★☆ (high)
Relations with Valka: ★★★★☆ (good)
Average Citizen Wealth: ★☆☆☆☆ (very low)
Average Citizen Happiness: ★★★☆☆ (medium)
Common Characteristics: Pale skin & eyes
The Frozen South is a vast, cold land made up mostly of ice and rivers, so most residents live aboard boats; the few settlements in the country tend to be poor farming towns towards the northern border, or Valka encampments. It tends to be snowy much of the year and there are vast stretches where the sea itself has frozen and can be traversed -- if one is brave (or stupid) enough to try, that is. Life is dangerous and difficult here, but the people are extremely proud of their strength and resilience; many people come from other territories to test their mettle against the harsh South. The Winterborne duchy is extremely new, and extremely unusual -- the Duke is a female pirate queen who previously ran with a mostly-Valka crew and has three Amalgam children. Her leadership style so far has been fair but ruthless; she encourages her people to make their voices heard and enjoys lively debates, but will quickly and mercilessly cut down any attempts to overthrow her and those who blatantly disobey her. She has already established many policies to improve the lives of her citizens, especially women and children.
You can freely create or adopt NPCs from the following ranks. You may also adopt or create a Duke, provided that the current family is not controlled (see above link for more information), but there is a limit of one Duke per player.
Child of the King [legitimate or otherwise]
Full or Half Sibling of the King
Spouse of NPC Duke
Child of NPC Duke [legitimate or otherwise]
Other Family of NPC Duke [siblings, etc.]
Earl or Countess
Any Family Member of NPC Earl or Countess
Lord or Lady
Outlaw, Slave, or Criminal
Valka of any Clan standing
Characters will start out with one Class from one Archetype. Please note that you will need special purchases or permissions to join with a Magitek class.
Scouts are masters of plants, animals, and the elements.
Shamans are Adepts (Magitek); Druids are Magicians, and Wardens are Technicians.
Soldiers are masters of war, destruction, and death.
Berserkers are Adepts (Magitek); Dragoon are Magicians, and Shadowknights are Technicians.
Spies are masters of manipulation, illusions, and the mind.
Minstrels are Adepts (Magitek); Skalds are Magicians, and Cantor are Technicians.
Supports are the masters of healing, nourishing, and defending.
Acolytes are Adepts (Magitek); Clerics are Magicians, and Paladins are Technicians.
Humans are currently the dominant race in Ognos, in part because of their large population and strong central leadership. They live in walled cities and towns; have a fairly rigid class system; and are primarily patriarchal, with laws for inheritance and succession typically favoring men over women.
Noble women in particular often have the fewest rights; in most territories they are considered the property of their father until marriage, at which point "ownership" is transferred to their spouse. If their husband is progressive, they may be permitted more freedoms after marriage. Divorce is often heavily frowned upon in human society, and in some territories women are not permitted to ask for a divorce at all (only a man can initiate a divorce, regardless of his wife's feelings on the matter).
LGBTQ+ individuals are legally recognized and protected, and same-sex couples are somewhat common, especially among lower classes; in the case of married couples where both partners are female, the nearest male relative will take over as their "head of house". In less progressive territories or conservative noble families, it may be expected that they marry a person of the opposite sex and create an heir, even if they have a same-sex partner.
Humans are typically much less adept with magic than Valka, but compensate for this with their technology, which allows for many modern advancements and luxuries. Humans can join with one Rank I Skill from their selected Archetype, you can learn more about Archetypes, Tech, and available Skills here and more about Humans here.
While many, including the current High King, have taken steps towards a more balanced society and encourage less strict class relations, some have been resistent to change.
Humans are typically considered adults at age 16, they can legally leave home, get married, and enter a trade at this age. However, most commoners wait until 18 - 20 before they get married.
Humans will generally appear "normal" (like us here on Earth), but may find or develop traits later. You can also purchase unnatural features through the Marketplace.
Valka are animal shapeshifters; they may retain some of their animal traits and/or mannerisms while in human form, including unique hair or eye colors, ears, tails, and more.
They are nomadic and live either independently or in family groups called Clans. They generally have a more flexible society than Humans, with no central leader that speaks for, or controls, all of the Clans. Leadership styles, gender roles, Clan structure, friendliness towards humans, and laws for inheritance and succession can very greatly from Clan to Clan, though Valka culture on the whole is predominantely matriarchal.
Valka generally have a more difficult time with technology than humans, but are deeply in-tune with magic and nature. Valka can join with a Magic Marking and one Rank I Skill from their selected Archetype, you can learn more about Archetypes, Magic, and available Skills here and more about Valka here.
There are two "subtypes" of Valka: Locked and Telaspa.
Locked Valka are trapped in one of their forms -- either animal or human -- and are unable to shapeshift. This is commonly a result of psychological or physical trauma, or a curse from a deity, but Locked Valka can also be randomly born into "normal" families without any apparent rhyme or reason.
Telaspa are "wild type" Valka, their carryover traits in human form are more extensive than average -- even to the point that entire parts of their body may remain animal-like. For example, "mermaids" could actually be Telaspa who retain their fish lower half while in human form. Some Telaspa also appear more like an anthropomorphic animal than a human, retaining traits like fur, facial features, paws, etc.
Amalgam possess both Human and Valka blood; while relations between the two races has typically been strained, there has always been at least a small population in each territory.
Amalgam often reside with their mother or were abandoned by their parents; most biracial couples were not able to reside together in Human society until recently. Unfortunately, hybrid children often face scorn, distrust, or bullying from both races and have generally had a hard go at life regardless of where they grow up, though Valka Clans are often more welcoming.
Amalgam traits can vary. They may favor their Valka parent or ancestor and have the ability to shapeshift, bear carryover traits in human form, and/or use magic, or they might take after their Human parent or ancestor and lack the ability to shapeshift, bear no carryover traits, and/or use tech, or they may have a blend of traits. You can pick what traits they inherited from which parent when joining them!
Amalgam can be joined with either Primary Tech OR a Magic Marking, and a Rank I Skill from their selected Archetype. You can learn more about Archetypes, Magic, Tech, and available Skills here and more about Amalgam here.
There is currently one known "subtype" of Amalgam: Sanguinists.
Sanguinists are an extremely rare type of hybrid previously believed to be extinct. Sanguinists can be born randomly into any family with any amount of mixed blood. These vampiric Amalgam tend to be exceptionally powerful and unique individuals who must regularly feed on blood. Learn more about Sanguinists here
A species of magical creatures, called Astrofel, possess the ability to bond with Ognoshu in order to enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Astrofel are typically posted with their Ognoshu and are written by the same player; the can provide any number of "services", from protection to companionship to assisting with a trade or businesses.
Astrofel can resemble any (current) Earth animal in shape and size. However, their appearance -- specifically their coloration and patterns -- may differ from their "mimicked" animal. You can also purchase additions like new physical features, further appearance changes, and physical alterations (like becoming smaller or larger than typical for their species) from the Marketplace, or earn them through event participation.
Astrofel are innately magical and will grow stronger with age. They have long lifespans and regulary live to 300+, are capable of telepathic speech, are sentient with an intelligence equal to -- if not better than -- the average Ognoshu.
Technically, an Ognoshu can have more than one Bonded Astrofel. While rare - and incredibly dangerous - Ognoshu are physically capable of supporting 3 Astrofel Bonded in total. Each additional Astrofel adds strain to the Bond and increases the odds of negative magical backlash in certain situations. You are welcome to add up to 3 Bonds with any type of Astrofel to your Ognoshu, but you must include some sort of drawback that worsens with each additional Astrofel to the Physical & Neuro-Differences section on their profiles.. For example, your character and/or the Astrofel could experience physical weakness, unstable magic, insomnia, personality changes, or even insanity due to the constant magical feedback and telepathic "chatter" related to having 3 - 4 minds bound together.
To bond with an Astrofel, create a 300+ word post where the character and Astrofel interact on the Samples Board, then fill out the Bonding form. Each Astrofel receives a Contract Marking and Rank I Skill from the appropriate Class. Read more about Classes, Skills, and Astrofel in general, here.
Astrofel will start out with one Class and one Line.
Couriers are trained in retrieving and receiving, excellent for the lazy owner.
They are often from the Perennial Western Line (Space/Gravity).
Draughts are strong, durable, and have great stamina; they are often fit for riding and/or carrying heavy equipment.
They are often from the Radiant Northern (Light) or Umbral Southern (Dark) Line.
Fighters are battle experts - their combat and tactic skills are advanced beyond simple survival instincts.
They are often from the Vestal Center Line (Nether/Death).
Guards are trained to protect, they are perfect for defensive combat and/or being an alarm at the first sign of danger.
They are often from the Vestal Center Line (Aether/Life).
Tricksters are easy to teach and pick up a variety of tricks - not all of them may be legal.
They are often from the Halcyon Eastern Line (Chaos).
Spirits are a subspecies of Astrofel that are typically brightly colored, gentle, and peaceful, even when they have the form of a predatory animal. Their color patterns are often extremely vibrant and unnatural, with extravagant or clashing gem tones being the most common. Spirits feed primarily on natural magic, fruits, and vegetables.
By nature, most Spirits are extremely curious and hungry for new experiences so they often willingly bond with Ognoshu. They greatly prefer human partners, in part because their natural enemies -- Shades -- most often partner with Valka. Spirits instinctively fear and hate Shades, so they would likely be uncomfortable in a society where they are constantly surrounded by them.
Spirits tend to be exceptionally loyal to their Ognoshu and, by extension, their partner's family. Since Astrofel often live longer than their Ognoshu counterparts, Spirits will typically bond with a close relative of their original partner when their Ognoshu passes away rather than returning to the wild.
Spirits often favor beauty and grace over strength, and plant-eating forms are the most common.
Shades, on the other hand, are typically dull in color, aggressive, and territorial, even when they have the form of a prey animal. Their color patterns are often shades of black, white, and/or grey, colorful Shades are very rare and usually have some mixed blood in their bloodline. They feed primarily on living things -- particularly other Astrofel -- but can also consume magic if prey is unavailable.
Shades are typically very reluctant to Bond, and will only do so under duress, or if they are ill, injured, or otherwise weakened. They greatly prefer Valka partners, in part because prey is typically more accessible in the Wilds where Valka Clans reside. Shades are very antagonistic towards Spirits,; similar to a high prey-drive animal, they may attack weaker Astrofel out of instinct.
Shades tend to be deeply invested in their individual Ognoshu; when their partner passes away, they are often deeply affected and experience profound, long-lasting grief. They often return to the wild for decades at a time after a loss, and some Astrofel may choose to bond only once in their entire lifespan.
Shades often favor strength and power and celebrate scars from battles past. Predatory forms are the most common.
Hesper are Astrofel with mixed blood; since Shades and Spirits are naturally antagonistic towards one another, these types of crossbreeds are exceedingly rare and often do not survive for long in the wild.
Hesper can bond with any race, but may prefer Amalgams due to their similar experiences. Hesper are often abandoned by their mother at birth/a young age, in part out of fear that they may devour their parent if their Shade instincts are strong, so they must find other ways to survive; this means they may more actively seek out opportunities to bond with Ognoshu than other Astrofel, and may even initiate a bond forcefully.
Hesper may have a blend of Shade and Spirit traits, both in personality and appearance. For example, they may be chimeras with fur that is a bright gem color on one side of their body and a dull black on the other, or they could be friendly and cheerful normally but unable to resist chasing "prey".
Unlike Shades and Spirits, Hesper cannot be created freely. To acquire a Hesper, you will need to purchase one from the Marketplace, or create one through the Breeding catalyst.