Knights: First on my list for faction groups is the Dannan Knights. They fled the central empire at the start of the real problems, choosing to leave rather than serve an Emperor who was acting against their beliefs. Some of their members still chafe at this. They would have preferred to fight the Emperor, and feel guilt about the plague, wondering if they could have prevented it had they not hidden in their citadel.
They are a chivalrous group, focused on the pursuit of honorable action. Some of the order crosses the line from fighters of honor into religious fighters, paladins of the Goddess that was the most-revered deity of the old Kingdom. There is on occasion some friction between these two branches, but generally they get along well.
The leader of this order is old, tired, and full of guilt for having fled instead of fighting. Many of the Knights wonder if it is time for new leadership.
The citadel itself is an incredible fortress, but it was never designed to take in the hundreds of refugees who have fled there for protection. The people have built a ramshackle town around the citadel, surrounded by a wooden palisade. More folk still trickle into the town, and so far no major attacks have come that far North. The Knights are focused on the protection of the folks fleeing to them for refuge. All their efforts so far have been to patrol the lands near the citadel, and defend the budding community built in the shadow of the great castle.
Necromancers: Though players won’t be able to start out in this faction, they WILL be able to join it – but only through ingame action. Certain roleplay, hanging out with the ‘wrong people’, and some specific actions might trigger a quest sequence that can end up with players joining this spurned and hated group. Once there, they might have a very, very hard time leaving, though…
The Necromancers respawn using a different power. Where players are chosen as Champions by the earth-power that people worship as their Goddess, Necromancers are actively working against that Power. They are the enemy of Life, and the reason that there are Champions being called in the first place. One death, they are instead restored to life through necromantic magics and soulbinding – not unlike the binding of life energy into the Undead forms from the plague, but in the Necromancers’ case they are returned to life instead of Undeath by burning the soul energy of a captured soul.
Necromancers can thus advance their cause by collecting the souls of the living, bringing them back to their places of power, where they are collected and used up for dark magics.
Even more important, the Necromancers are working actively to cause harm to the great earth-power, the Goddess Herself. Earth energy is exposed and spread from points of natural power scattered around the world. Revered as holy places by shamans and priests of the Goddess, these places are fonts of Life. The Necromancers can use their dark arts to damage or even destroy these places, increasing their own power and Unbinding the powers of Life from more of the world with each victory.
Other player factions will include the Hill People mentioned in the history; a noble related to the bloodline of the kings, hoping to restore the kingdom under his rule; and a band of vigilantes full of hate for the Necromancers and fury at the undead, the mysterious Raven’s Rangers.