A roleplay is basically fan-fiction -- in this case a fan-fiction about The Aetherlight. There are several different kinds of them on these forums. Most (if not all) of them fall under two categories: Story Roleplays and Free Roleplays
A STORY ROLEPLAY is a roleplay with only one author. There may or may not be other Aehterlighters in the story, but the author is the only one writing them in. Most Story Roleplays as far as I know are backstories of the authors' Aetherlight characters, but it certainly doesn't have to be.
Here are some examples of Story Roleplays:
Xonos Darkgrate's Story Roleplay (at least one of them):
Ariella Newheart's Story Roleplay:
Kitty Ironcraft's Story Roleplay:
My Story Roleplay:
(The two other people in my roleplay are my doubles.)
A FREE ROLEPLAY is a roleplay with many contributors. Unlike a Story Roleplay, any Aetherlighter may join a Free Roleplay and add to the story. The leader of the roleplay might drive the story forward, but there are other people to join in to share their perspective.
Here are some examples of Free Roleplays:
Aislinn Mollisong's Free Roleplay:
Luna Fuzzyradish's Free Roleplay:
Levi Orangeburst's Free Roleplay:
Vytanni Throttlenight's Free Roleplay:
One more thing you need to know: For future reference, NARPs (Non-Aetherlight Roleplays) are not allowed on the forums. So no Star Wars roleplays, no LOTR roleplays. . . just Aetherlight.
If you want a guide on how to write a good roleplay, I'd suggest Xonos' article:
-wipes brow- Whew, I think that's it. I hope this helped! Let us know if you have any questions! Happy writing.