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======Avatars Player Characters======

After a short narration and flythrough of the Diadem to acquaint you with the setting, you are given an opportunity to customize your PC's appearance and choose your Avatar or Augment. You awaken from your 'dream' to be addressed by friendly NPCs as if you had just waken up from a dream, and they whisk you off to the gleaming city of Tara Tassa, largest city on the shard of Tasavalta and the capital of the kingdom of Tasavar, where you can begin your adventures.

**New for Avatars 2.0:** a shadowy figure steps out into the Hall of Entry and offers you the chance to take a third path, if you take his hand. This allows you to become a Mage, but you will begin in a different Shard within the Far Lands, Asphodel, a place of Gothic mansions and gardens - and the abandoned monastery where the Grey Mages train neophytes like you.


Apart from the decision whether to take an Avatar or an Augment for their Guardian Spirit, player characters (PCs) can normally level their characters up as they see fit. They're not required to take certain skills; they can choose to focus on their Guardian Spirits or on their own abilities and skills.

PCs will have insignia on their collars, clothes, or as jewelry on their person. The number of insignia represents their "player level", but the shapes show what kind of training they have received.

__Blank Disc__ - the PC has reached a new level but has not yet trained anything.
__Sword__ - the PC has trained himself or his Guardian Spirit in fighting abilities.
__Book__ - the PC has trained magical abilities channeled through his Guardian Spirit.
__Hammer__ - the PC has trained crafting abilities such as Smithing, Alchemy or Rune Engraving.
__Star__ - the PC has trained innate magical abilities. These are new along with playable Mages and some players believe the Empire of Stars had something to do with all this.

Note that PCs do not need to, and usually will not, have only one type of insignia. It's more common to see a mix of Swords and Books on a player's collar than all Swords or all Books.

As PCs gain levels, the number of insignia they can have increases; thus PCs cannot throw themselves fanatically into training and become master swordsmen on day one. However, PCs may, in an OOC fashion, decide they would like to trade one type of training for another. They must still learn the new skill, but they will automatically forget the old one at the conclusion of the training.


As players advance, they will find guilds who are willing to admit them, provided they meet the entrance requirements. These guilds offer more specialized and advanced training - thus even though the number of insignia players can have at one time remains limited, they can be more effective at certain things while giving up proficiency in things less important to them.

Examples of guilds:

- __The Solarian Order__ - elite bodyguards and champions that serve the King directly. They were deeply divided in the Civil War.
- Solarian sword insignias appear longer, to indicate greater attack power at the expense of defense
- __The Golden Order__ - wandering do-gooder knights supported by donations. They have sworn a vow of poverty.
- Golden Order sword insignias appear with shields behind them, to indicate strong defenses.
- __The Order of Caer Valta__ - a faction of clergy that supported the victorious Northern King. They advocate purity in faith and eradicating darkness and evil.
- Caer Valta book insignias are closed to represent their emphasis on attack and defense spells.
- __The Temple of the Light__ - a faction of clergy based in Tara Tassa, in the Temple of the Light. They advocate sharing the Light with all and helping those in need as the first priority.
- Temple book insignias are open to represent their emphasis on healing and scrying spells.
- __Gray Mages__ - heretics who believe the Sun is simply a source of energy, akin to fire or wind or the gravity emanated by Levistones, ignoring that none of these would flourish without the Sun. Their goals are unknown.
- Gray Mage stars are plain silver.
- __The King's Explorers__ is made up of those dedicated to prising out every last secret from the game of Avatars. They have a 'whatever gets the job done' philosophy - sometimes you need weapons, sometimes magic.
- The King's Explorers made headlines around the Breakdown of 2065 when they organized a vigil in front of the Avatars LLC amusement park that was supposed to have opened at that time.
- King's Explorers concentrate on clever tricks and exploits. Sword insignias are crossed sword and dagger, book insignias have an eye on top of an open book.
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