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Full Version: The Undercity of Mandira and Aasha - General Request
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Applicable BYOND Key - Trexmaster

Character Name - Jijnasu (This is just who the house was originally on and my first character, as this is less of a character-specific request)
Request Type - General
Request Details - 
Mandira (Mahn-Day), and subsequently Aasha, are both underground colonies situated in western Alstalsia, long since kept under wraps from the public eye as they silently observed the world, toiling away just to survive all the while. Horrible beasts and rigorously trained soldiers were amassed for a singular purpose: to keep the peace of the world if none other stood to do so.
At the behest of the entity known as Krodh-Dil, Mandira was established in the Year 220 by the mercenary group, The Band of the Stag, quietly situated itself in the forsaken wilderness of the Alstalsian forests, where it would rest silently. Acting only for self-preservation and the expansion of their forces. Expeditions spearheaded by the ancient Lich, Yamraj Dhil--known to most only as the Devourer or Father--to Egywn to gather 'recruits' through skirmishes with the native tribes or fighting off their captors--the Wild Elves.
Doubling their efforts to oil the Mandiran machine, Yamraj had arranged with numerous contacts to acquire Mechanations for 'indeterminate labor' once production of their kind had seen tangible results in the years leading up to their total perfection. Being a member of Albedo made the process far easier, since getting around Karaten machinations one way or another was nothing new for them. As the years went on these Mechanations would grow in number and be granted near total freedom as insights into their psyche necessitated proper frames and treatment to ensure a long, if not indefinite, life.
A society was cultivated beneath the earth of Alstalsia, corralled by a Mechanation of Yamraj's own making- Sasaka. Several other Mechanations made by his daughter, Rachika Dhil, acted to organize specific factions within Mandira: Jijnasu, who led the Plaguebearers; Dharma yuddha karane-vala, who led the Steel Order; Puralekhapala, who led the Black Cats of Hate's Refuge; Dhokhebaza, who led the Black Hand; and Shikari, who led Mercy's Message.
All of these factions served a specific purpose: Doctors and researchers; Enforcers and engineers; Scavengers and esoteric scholars; Subterfuge and record keeping; Reconnaissance and exploration. Mandira's citizens would divide themselves initially among these five groups to find their individual purpose toward the ultimate goal of peace for all...even if the means by which some found themselves at Mandira's service were less than peaceful.
The 'esoteric research' of the Black Cats also included the collaboration of Puralekhapala and Yamraj Dhi, on top of Puralekhapala's own research into the nature of the Grimalkin. It was Yamraj Dhil who, through experimentation into creating subservient beasts, gave birth to the first of many malformations: The Devourer, coined after his original moniker, and partially due to the rows of teeth that lined the chest of Yamraj's first gods-forsaken creation.
Yamraj was only able to make Devourers out of ordinary, human-like races through a magical parasite--his true first creation, if one wanted to be precise: the Sanguine Parasite. Engineered to disguise itself with Sylphid magic, then reshape its victim with Isesipian magic to better suit its endless hunger for Focus, often through blood--hence the name. Trials in Albedo had gotten the parasite far enough to begin live testing, a large reason why slaves were even necessary if Yamraj was to engineer his beasts.
These dark experiments took place in a laboratory deeper than the lowest portion that Mandira recognized, found down a tunnel dug deep into what would become the borderlands between Mandira and Aasha: The Depths. The laboratory would be later abandoned after many proof of concept trials had been performed, sealed off by Puralekhapala to prevent anything from escaping, and to forget the horrible things that transpired.
Of course, the question remained of what to do with beasts Yamraj had made. Intended to act as tools of his will, The Depths would act as a home for the plethora of creations at first, though knowing this would not suffice for long, work was made on the creation of what would come to be Aasha. The name meaning 'Sanctuary', an invention of Rachika to create a home for those the world did not desire. A home for Yamraj's creatures and Rachika's own.
The development of Aasha would be greatly assisted by a feud between Sasaka and Puralekhapala, demanding they control the Grimalkin population to curb the ever increasing need for rations due to rising birth rates. To address this, male Grimalkin were to be expelled to Aasha--though as far as most in Hate's Refuge knew, this was to their inevitable death. With the help of Rachika, the unwanted were safely relocated, along with a handful of females who had disguised themselves to remain with their loved ones. It would be these Grimalkin who would establish the small colony of Last Light.
Last Light would serve to harbor the 'normal' residents of Aasha, a sanctuary from the monstrosities meant to lurk nearby. Over time Aasha would harbor its own factions, legions led by powerful figures who came to appreciate Rachika's efforts to provide for those the world scorned: Lord Abraxis, who led The Annihilators; Lord Raksaka, who led The Death Knights; and Lady Valyerie Puralekhapala, who led The Sin Eaters. Far later in Aasha's lifespan would a fourth legion emerge, led by High Seer Arianne--The Sculptors.
Rather than any concise role given to each faction, all served their own purposes, yet acted in the best interest of their unified survival beneath Mandira and Sigrogana. Some sought justice, some sought chaos.
With the decline of Mandira acting within Egwyn's border and the rise of Aasha as an almost independent colony, a neutral embassy was established near the coast on Egwyn, known as Jigyaasa. Situated nearby an unpleasant forest and kept contact with natives to a bare minimum with security maintained by Mechanations and creatures of Aasha to limit the upkeep of those stationed there whilst discouraging attacks.
One very notable creature used in the defense of Jigyaasa is known only as the Wyvern Horror- the result of a Sanguine Parasite infesting a Wyvern, known to be among the greatest of Yamraj's tools and are often kept to roam Egwyn until they are needed.
To better support the interests of Aasha in Egwyn, the Egwyn Liberation Front was established by a Wyvern Horror of substantial intellect: Mizar. Still able to mostly conceal its form unlike most Wyvern Horrors. The ELF was to act as an open enemy to the Redrayders, and any other threats to the liberty of tribes within Egwyn in order to secure food and potential captives by countering attempted raiding.
Though recent times have proved these efforts to be in vain. A new approach would be necessary if the future were to be preserved indefinitely...
OOC Note: This is largely a summary of what Mandira and Aasha are, with a bit of new info in regards to the ELF. The documents I'll link further below detail everything I've wrote regarding people/things of interest within the two.
Writing all that down in one post would be a bit much, but hopefully this synopsis helps paint of picture of what Mandira and Aasha are.

Reason why you are making this request (if applicable) - First and foremost I want to make it clear this was brought up to GMs in private before recently, and a small portion of what I wrote generated concern and need for change--which I'm more than happy to adjust (in fact, I even adjusted a point of contention: the number of Mechanations Mandira would have). Nothing else to my knowledge was directly forwarded to me as a concern, beyond the logistics of remaining hidden with X number of people. I can't really give a de facto answer to that one without the GMs say, hence why I'm here.
Essentially, this request is to solidify the background I've created with Mandira and Aasha over the 6 years I've played this game, now that applications are a thing. Originally, I had planned to have this sorted out in private, but that wasn't working out. I feel it for the best to finally lay out what I'd been doing all these years.
I understand there's a lot to digest with this project and it may seem odd that I'm trying to get this all processed at once, but for context I've been in contact with the GMs several times and presented Mandira as early as Q1 2015, it was simply a time where approval was ambiguous and often times infeasible. Without being able to get the time of day, I simply wrote and repeated the cycle of requesting approval and informed as many GMs as I could whenever I updated what I had written--this went on for years.
So here I am today to finally ask the GMs again (and all the new ones) to review what has served as a backbone for many of my character's background, as we now have a public outlet to do so.
As a disclaimer: I never did anything absurd without making sure it did have GM approval, outside a few fringe events (that were run through GMs) all Mandira and Aasha have done is acted as a backdrop for where characters came from. I'll list the examples in the next section.
Roleplay & Lore supporting your request -
1. First off, here's the reference document which contains all the relevant documents I've written regarding the lore of Mandira and Aasha - here
It's a lot to read and I've done my best to organize it so as to make it less of a pain to find everything. Keep in mind this is a project that I've actively updated for 5+ years.
2. Here's my (approved) application that was formerly done in private with (former) GM Slydria - here
This character is tied directly to Hate's Refuge and the existence of Aasha. It wouldn't be impossible to rewrite to only include what's necessary for that character, but I find it strange this was never brought up before. I know it's infinitely easier to approve one character than it would be to approve and examine the entirety of Mandira but a good chunk of the GM team knew before I even made this app what I was doing with Mandira.
3. Events!
The very first interaction with Mandira, ever, was back when Bloeden got his butt kicked out of Law's End. A small contingent left with Reaper the Mech (yeah, that's where he vanished off to) - log here (It's worth noting for this event that Papillion de Nuit (Dyst) later wanted their character's involvement omitted.)
Paravir's Assassination. This was a big debacle way back when Paravir, a notable Hyattr wanted to make an expedition to Egwyn to attempt to find and eat whatever remained of Hyatt. Obviously, this ran directly against Mandira's goals should this actually grant a level of divinity, thus the plan was made to have her killed before she could even try. - log here
What the public didn't know was that the assassins disguised as the bad-guy-of-the-day Corpson Enterprises at the time were really hired by an associate of Yamraj. It served to throw blame at the then already reviled Corpson even should the attempt at Paravir's life have failed, which it didn't.
In hindsight I definitely could have run that one better, but at the time I was very concerned with keeping my operations on a need-to-know basis, so I had a friend relaying messages to Chaos on my behalf to keep him informed of what our plans were while the event for Paravir was being run.
You can even look way back in the SL2 public discord where I cleared up my involvement (around Feb 2016, search for Paravir).
The conclusion of Tzeek. It played a very minor role in the finale of this event chain hosted by former GM MakeshiftWalrus (before he was a GM if I recall), but had clearance from the GMs as at least one participated in the event personally. log here

If you don't want to read through the entire thing, skip to about halfway or CTRL + F 'Other Narrator'. That's me, and those narrations were an opportunistic attack on the parties' ship home by the Aasha forces stationed around Jigyaasa. I'd worked this part out with MakeshiftWalrus prior hence me being allowed to post as a narrator at the time. It was meant to present a dilemma to the party at the final moment of the event and a potential hook if what happened was ever looked into (spoiler: it wasn't). This played a major part in the victim of the boat attack's story, the PC owner of the ship, as they were eventually returned unharmed. Physically.
4. The tree. Not really an event, just a unique creature that was, to my knowledge, allowed to exist in the Law's End Graveyard (yes that graveyard). If you want more lore on it, dig through the doc I linked for 1. and go to the Aasha Legions doc then CTRL+F 'Hanged Man'. Unfortunately, the one time it did something is lost to the annals of history, but its existence can be verified by some of the GMs currently on the team still, it's been in Law's End for going on 5 years now.
Since this is a large and wide sweeping request, I'd like to make it clear my intentions for this. I want to make this project into something more publicly accessible. I have several plans depending on the reception of my request, but it hinges on Mandira and Aasha having existed in the first place. Otherwise, it'll be a lot of rewriting to tie together everything all over again.
As to what 'publicly accessible' means, without spoiling too much, it'll be a publicly operating group run by former agent(s) from Mandira. It'll be great, I swear. Blades 2.0, go. Seriously though, in regard to what I'll do with that group, the only Mandira/Aasha related things will be the people, but I can go over details in private for that need be, just because it's still a heavy WIP.
With that out of the way, I'll address what will likely be some of the first points of contention for those who wish to read through my documentation:
1. Secrecy - How does Mandira manage to maintain its secrecy with so many people operating out of it?
They wouldn't be a secret to everyone. Considering what little they do above ground and the pains they take to conceal themselves when they do it (docking at random locations, using very small, heavily armed ships for transportation) combined with pulling strings or performing favors to win over the presiding Houses if any issues arose, especially considering Mandira nor Aasha ever performed any negative actions on Alstalsian soil. Unless you want to count defending against hostile wildlife.
2. Population - How does Mandira (and Aasha for that matter) manage to retain so many people?
A combination of underground farming and goods delivered via what few ships they operate (3 tops). Trading with the Alstalsians is also not uncommon, but it is not made abundantly clear to the seller where the goods are going--not like every potato merchant is going to do a full background check, especially when it isn't done in bulk (which would obviously be avoided, even if it meant less efficient trips when being done on Alstalsian soil.)
3. Mechanations - How does Mandira have so many Mechanations? Wouldn't Karaten stop them?
This has been brought up before, and since we have no idea what kind of process Karaten has for registering and assigning Mechanations, it's safe to assume that those knowledgeable in Karaten's bureaucracy would know the limits and extent of how much you can get away with by the books. It's assumed the Mechanations living in Mandira, aside from certain ones, are registered to various affiliates of Yamraj and assigned to perform labor on their behalf in exchange for various forms of compensation--Murai, research assistance, whatever bits a morally grey alchemist might want, you name it. That's just how I imagine it though.
4. Spookies - How would all the awful things you created in Aasha even exist?
This heavily varies on a case-by-case basis, but I tried to justify all the assorted monsters I made up, largely through the write up on the Sanguine Parasite as a catch-all for a lot of them. Where the limit lies when it comes to abominations is vague. They're mostly just to add some variety to the spooks you might encounter if Aasha is relevant. 
5. Literally God - Krodh-Dil can't possibly be a god---what is he? How does he/it even exist?
It's debateable really, I intended for Krodh-Dil to be one of many lesser gods who abstained from Heaven's Contention, helping to provide the background by which Mandira was formed through his goal of preserving mankind. The moment I wrote him in I intended to come to a compromise on just what could have been Krodh-Dil to act as the founding figure that led Yamraj and Rachika to work on the founding of Mandira 200+ years after his dissapperance. This leads me to my last pre-emptive explantion:
6. Pre-Contention - Yamraj and Rachika can't be older than Heaven's Contention without an app!
You're right, this is effectively that app. If it comes down to this entire request collapsing, then I might end up submitting an app exclusively for those two once I've pain-stakingly rewrote everything into something that will, hopefully, not get rejected. Maybe.
I know this a huge undertaking heavily rooted in much older times, but after all these years all I'm asking for is a chance. There's so much I could do with all of this, but it all relies on what I've written being acceptable.
I just want to say thank you to all those who worked with my project in years past, even if I did a pretty crap job of holding the whole thing together in the end, and I want to apologize to anyone who might've been negatively impacted by the events I had a part in or how I handled the project internally.
Mandira/Aasha was never meant to be a meta-goon squad that beat up people I didn't like, the whole reason I laid out the specific criteria Mandira would act on is so that it would be clear any moves they made would be in good faith and ICly motivated. Some people may have gotten this impression as I only stepped out publicly once to clear that matter up, due in part to my prior efforts to keep the entire project an OOC mystery for those not involved or a GM. For all the 5+ years of their existence Mandira has only ever acted against one person. Paravir.
So with all that said, thank you to anyone who reads through all of this, and I hope you at the very least enjoy what I've written.