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newer players,

(Also posted on ooc, I figure I've got all the grounds covered :D)

First off, welcome to Shaman ^^

Things can get a little confusing here, so I've posted up a few bits and bobs for you to read. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me, a moderator or a more experienced member. The moderators are Merlin, Alora, Pixie, Innocent and Affy.

the plot
Nobody really knows how the world began. Fairies have a great understanding than humans, because many of the very first fairies who ever existed are still alive today.

As far as anyone knows, in the beginning the first fairies were formed of pure stardust. Pure stardust is the essence of magic, so these first fairies had the ultimate magical power: divinity. The first of these fairies was a female by the name of Aura; she and the twenty or so who followed her became known as the "Original" fairies.
Eventually, inevitably, the stardust began to wear thin. It became contaminated by other substances and formed new compounds. The fairies which formed later - the ordinary fairies which make up the vast majority of the race - did not have divinity, but they were able to inherit lesser powers such as telepathy, elemental control, and even more extreme powers like hypnosis and possession. These ordinary fairies had one advantage over the Originals; they could split their souls into two and cast one half out, which would then take on the physical form of an animal and become their "familiar." Over thousands of years, the Originals were able to substitute the trick, but they rarely had "true" familiars (usually just ordinary animals injected with telepathy and intelligence) and the bonds with their familiars were never as strong as the ones between ordinary fairies and their familiars.

For a time, people and fairies lived in peace. In those days fairies were more commonly known as "shamans", and their powers were usually associated with supernatural medical practice. However, humans soon began to label them with other names - like "witches." As witch fear reached its peak, fairies were in danger of being wiped out. The Council of Original Fairies, consisting of all twenty or so of the Originals and whose responsibility it is to oversee the lives of all ordinary fairies, had become corrupt and was unable to deal with its own internal conflicts and rivalries. One - Aura, the First - broke away from the others and created an island in a new world where humans could not go and fairies would be protected. In memory of the times when we lived in peace together, she named it "Shaman."

Designed as a safe haven which promotes fairness and equality, all fairies who enter Shaman instantly are wiped to level one and have no powers or familiars. They can earn their levels back by working for points, and their powers and familiars by attaining coins. Ambitious fairies who seek to rule their own empires can also strive for land points. The central government, the Core, is semi-democratic with a constitutional monarchy, and it creates the laws which all fairies in Shaman must abide by. No humans can ever enter Shaman. Original fairies enter very rarely.

a brief history of shaman
In its short history, Shaman has seen a great deal of things. Version one: the next generation was largely a time of peace. The Core was entirely democratic and, by and large, fairies were left to sort affairs out for themselves. Aura, the deity, acted mainly as a spiritual advisor and conscience guide, rather than a real leader.

In version two: the rise of Mallos, an Original fairy by the name of Mallos entered Shaman and sought the trust and love of Aura. Mallos had lost his divinity upon entering Shaman, so he tricked Aura out of hers. Aura's phoenix familiar, Anneliese, was cast into the legendary Crystal Hall, whereabouts of which are still unknown. During his tyrannical reign, Mallos introduced a constitutional monarchy to the Core and made himself the first Kaiser (King), produced 26 children ("the Mallos generation") by rape and created a rip between this world and the world of Hoof Prince which allowed characters from the two different RPGs to mingle. Twinge, the first Empress, formed a rebellion against Mallos and sought the assistance of the Hoof Prince deities to bring Mallos down. However, she failed to prevent Mallos from eventually finding and killing Aura, and with her death it seemed that Shaman's last hope was extinguished. When Aura died, Anneliese died with her, but as a phoenix she was reborn from her own ashes and she managed to find her way to the horses of Hoof Prince, who reversed the spell on her and trapped Mallos in the Crystal Hall.

What followed was the power vacuum, or version three: the empty cave, in which Shaman had no deity for the first time. During this time, Shaman united with Anneliese and Lauma (Mallos' familiar, who had previously been a fairy but had been turned into a lioness) to bring Aura back to life. In the process of reviving Aura, Anneliese died, but Aura managed to attain limited divinity to temporarily reinstate her status as a deity.

For the first time since version one, version four: sunrise was a period of relative peace for Shaman. With Aura back, life stabilised and the people prospered.

Now, Shaman is threatened once again. In version five: the seven curses, Mallos has found a way to weaken his prison walls and will unleash seven horrific curses on the land of Shaman before he can eventually break out. Aura's divinity is all used up, and the only person with full, controllable magic is Mallos' own familiar, Lauma. Will she stand with us and fight against him in the great war which is to come? Will there even be a war, if Mallos' curses destroy Shaman before he can break out? This is a struggle for our very survival.

how to advance
There are many ways to advance on this game.

Through levels. Check the rules to see how levels impact your character and the memberbase to see what level your character is. You can raise your level by gaining points.
Magically. You can get powers by trading coins for them.
Politically. Suck up to the electorate to try and get voted into power in the next election, or suck up to the Kaiser to try and gain a ministerial post. Politicians on Shaman have the ability to create laws for everyone to follow.
Within territories. If you don't want to be a leader, you can join another territory; most territories have some sort of ranking system. Work hard and climb the ranks.
By building an empire. Claim your own territory and get your own members, then claim colonies in a bid to get the largest empire on Shaman. If you get a big enough empire you could challenge the Core for its authority; if you win, you could become the Supreme Ruler of Shaman!
Educationally. Join the Lost Inlet Academy as a student to learn new skills, or as a teacher to pass on your knowledge to the next generation.

how to get points
By participating in and winning competitions.
By completing surveys.
By advertising and through the Adtracker (see OOC). 1 advert = 1 point.
By referring people to Shaman. 1 referral = 15 points.
By "showing talent", either by writing a great post, or making an amazing layout, or thinking up great plots.
By clicking daily on the topsites above.
By being active.
By being helpful and "good" in the community.
By breeding.
By challenging one another and fighting battles.
By winning "member of the month."

how to get coins
By winning "character of the year".
By winning competitions.
Through the Adtracker.

top tips
Check the News board daily. Sometimes points are given out there.
Check the Odd Jobs board (OOC) to see if there are plots to participate in.
Check the Core regularly for elections and law proposals.

If you would like to be paired with a more experienced player to help show you the ropes and to answer all your questions, reply here or email georgia@shamanrpg.net. All our mentors are kind and helpful. =]

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