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  1. #1
    In the lands of Calradia Wyvern's Avatar
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    Realm of the Wolf

    Realm of the Wolf
    A Mount & Blade Warband AAR
    - Chapter One –





    A cold wind sweeps across the courtyard on this blackest of nights as the seeds of destiny are sown the like of which will define a generation. The man who creeps through the shadows is dark of complexion; a waxed moustache carefully maintained masks a face that is yet to know the sorrow of time. His steps take him cautiously from shadow to shadow before slipping through an unlocked door. Little more than an hour later two figures emerge, the man and another, this second person is wrapped in a thick woollen robe with hood drawn close. An observant person may have heard a muffled sob, quickly stifled, but no observers are about on that cold harsh night. The man lifts his companion up onto a waiting horse before glancing swiftly around to be sure they are unobserved, and then together the two ride off, soon lost under the moonless night.

    The man is Kragen, a mercenary captain or bandit depending on who you speak to. The woman is called Bryn, the daughter of Jarl Olaf, Lord of Curin Castle, a bleak structure perched on the cliffs looking out across Sargoth Bay. Bryn does not look back at it for she has vowed to herself if to no one else never to return. If asked why she would say her loyalties now lie with her new lord, but the dark bruises upon her body attest to other reasons.

    When the two met, Kragen was but one of many men following the tourneys from one city to the next across the six kingdoms of Calradia. What made him different from the others was his speed with a sword and skill with a lance, skills that won him, a mere commoner, the tourney at the nearby city of Sargoth and then other cities after. More than that though he had dedicated that first victory to her. Even now riding swiftly through the night, thoughts of that magical moment stir her blood. In the private melancholy times that have been wont to afflict her she has wondered what it was that made him pick her out of all the many ladies attending the victory feast? She has treasured the moment and the look of anger it caused upon her father’s face despite what it cost her later, perhaps because of what it cost she would admit, for she has never been one to lie to herself.

    They saw each other infrequently after that, moments borrowed here and there when her father was away and Kragens company of mercenaries were travelling between the coastal cities of Sargoth and Tihr, and so allow a quick diversion to the castle of Curin to go unnoticed. Her nurse was the one person she could trust to aid in these clandestine trysts, yet this night not even she had Bryn dared trust.

    Kragen she knew was becoming quietly famous in the scheme of things, selling his sword arm and that of his men to the highest bidder across the lands of the Nords and the Vaegirs. Of the other Kingdoms he was won't not to tread. If asked he would say such travels would take him too far from his lady love, yet never would he publically put a name to her however hard pressed. Now though he had done a deed to shape the world and upset the delicate balance of power between the six Kingdoms. He had stolen the newly conquered Rhodokh city of Dhirim from under their noses and then consolidated his gain by declaring allegiance to the Vaegir king. By such deeds could commoners become lords yet many enemies had he made along the way, enemies such as Bryn's father who would now not rest until the bandit lord’s head stood upon a pike. That bandit lord had finally come to carry his fair lady off to his castle and make her his wife, and who knew where that could lead!


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  3. #3
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    Rise of the Wolf
    A Painful Parting
    - Chapter Two –



    Kragen draws the horse to a halt as they approach a copse of trees. "Wait here" he whispers before slipping from the saddle and handing the reigns to Bryn.

    Scanning the shadows that lurk like monsters beneath the trees she sees the outline of a man emerge. The spark of flint on tinder briefly illuminates his silhouette before the torch he carries catches fire. Looking to Kragen she sees a twisted grimace briefly cross his face, then she understands why. It is her father Jarl Olaf holding the brand.

    "So you thought to spirit my girl away, you mongrel cur!" She is used to that snarl in his voice, has learnt to live with it ever since her mother died. "As for you girl, I'll deal with you back at Curin!"

    It is remarkable actually how calm she feels for she knows where his rages lead. She has vowed never to go back though, and somehow to her surprise that simple fact born of a wounded heart changes things. She sees him watching her now, waiting perhaps to see the customary trace of fear, the slight trembling in her posture that she can never quite hide. She smiles at him then, surprised at her own defiance on this blackest of nights and slowly shakes her head. "No my Lord" she says "and I call you such for the last time, I will die before returning to that castle or anywhere else with you." Her voice remains steady for which she is thankful even as her heart beats loudly. She has the satisfaction of seeing her father blanch at her words and knows he will make her pay before the night is done. If he can. He has never been one to brook defiance.

    "Draw your sword dog" he shouts turning back to Kragen "or die where you stand". In one seamless motion he throws the brand at Kragen whilst pulling out his own blade. She stifles an involuntary cry as fire engulfs her love, the torch splashing oil over his armour, yet his own blade is already in hand batting away Jarl Olaf's first strike whilst his other seems to miraculously smother the flames with the aid of his cloak before the fire can take hold. She knows he has been caught off guard though as she watches him desperately fend off one strike then another, her father’s rage lending extra power to each swing with little thought seemingly given to defence.

    Kragen is the younger man though and in his prime, a champion with the blade that the older man cannot match, surely cannot match she prays. His rage has failed to give him the swift victory he craved and now it is Olaf who fends off the blade of his opponent which seems to dance with a mind of its own. A slight flick of the wrist and Olaf's sword is torn from his grasp. A mailed fist follows to his jaw and the older man is sent tumbling to the ground where he lies panting for some moments.

    He stares up a Kragen, his face a mask of blackest anger, "So you win with a blade yet it will save you not. My men surround this glade and will cut you down at a word."

    Kragen only shakes his head, a sad expression upon his lips, "I think not my lord. Your men are disarmed or unconscious by now, isn't that right Firentis?" he calls to an unseen figure and gets a short affirmative in response. "We scouted this spot out this morning; it was the obvious spot if you were going to intercept us". Bryn almost smiles at the implied insult. Almost. This is no night for amusement.

    "Now I have given you the honour of a dual as befits your station, and I hold my hand at the end, as you are still the father of my bride, but know this Jarl Olaf" he says, in a voice of ringing steel "I shall not do so a second time".

    A dozen or more figures now step out of the trees. One brings a fresh horse for Kragen whilst another picks up her father’s sword and returns it to the Jarl. She wonders if he will attack the man. She thinks he might, but the Jarl simply fastens the sword to his belt, his expression a mask to her. He calls over to Kragen now astride a black charger and her betrothed slowly manoeuvres his horse to Olaf's side. She cannot hear what they say. Perhaps she will ask Kragen later. No she decides. Better to leave his poisonous words unheard.

  4. #4
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    Rise of the Wolf
    What Cost Victory?
    - Chapter Three –




    The feast at Dhirim is a sight to behold and Bryn gazes out over the assembled crowd with a touch of pride. Is not a little pride allowed to a woman, one married to the bravest Lord in all of Vaegir and mistress of this great city? The lords and their ladies from the length and breadth of the realm are here to mark that fact as much as any other.

    She listens to the lord’s talk of the great victory just scored over the enemy forces. It will be peace soon they say and then where will King Yaroglek look? Six great cities he now rules, more than any other ruler in all of Calradia. There is talk he will go on and unite the continent, she does not believe it. A petty vindictive man he is, he has made too many enemies at home to ever rest easy.

    Friends and enemies alike are gathered here tonight, though Yaroglek sends his excuses. She asked of Kragen earlier why he invited them all, lords such as Boyar Harish and Druli, a viler pair of thieves she couldn’t name. It is politics he says. They are my equals in the Kingdom and fought like all others against the Khergit Khanate, to exclude them tonight would be seen as a grave insult. She does not trust them, thinks Kragen shouldn’t too, it changes little though tonight and she tries to put them from her mind, hard as it is. She knows a faction in court will always consider him a commoner. Men like Harish and Druli, but there are others too. The King even perhaps? She fears so in her darker moments. They appreciate the land he brings to the kingdom such as this fair city of Dhirim but they scowl at the price. They cry insult when he marries a Nord yet would faint in shock had he chosen to pursue one of their own fair ladies. Even the king she has heard was furious when her betrothal announced. It matters not; they will find a way to view any action he takes as an insult to their Vaegir pride.

    She spots Boyar Belgaru alone amongst the crowd; he does not look a happy man. Where is his lady wife Tejina, Bryn wonders? The lord is watching her husband a pensive expression upon on his face. Why does he not approach and join the group she wonders, they are on friendly terms after all. Did they not fight together in the recent war, comrades in arms?

    “Lord Bergaru”, she approaches and greets him, “my lord speaks well of you and has often said how grateful he was for your warning conserning those raiding parties last spring.”

    “Ah, Lady Bryn” he turns as though considering her for the first time, “you are most kind to mention it.” He pauses as though gathering himself and then seems to make a decision, “I was hoping actually for a quiet word with your husband but I can see he is deep in his cups and such will be impossible now before the dawn grows near.” He speaks quite coolly and then to her surprise leans over and whispers in her ear in a tone of urgency “do you have somewhere private we can speak my Lady?” He nods towards Kragen, “his life may depend on it tonight.”

    She studies him for a moment, wondering at this sudden turn of events. A lady going unescorted with a lord not her husband, what would the royal court say? He seems deadly serious though and a sliver of fear runs down her spine. Nodding towards the door behind them she makes a hard choice “wait 5 minutes and follow me” she replies in a quiet voice, hoping nobody hears, and with a pounding heart turns on her heels and exits the great hall.

    A soft knock on the door and Boyar Belgaru steps into her private receiving room, set off as it is from the main hall. “My Lady, all is not what it seems tonight.”

    “Explain” she demands sharply. If this is some private joke on the Boyar’s part she will see him pay.

    Belgaru steps further into the room closing the door firmly behind him. “I’ve come to warn your husband, you too I guess” he pauses, clearly wishing he was speaking to Kragen and not her.

    “Warn us? The war is over, or as good as is it not?”

    “Yes my lady, the Khergit Khanate is defeated and thanks in no small part to your husband are unlikely to retake any of the gains Vaegir has made.” Those gains are great she knows. The city of Ichamur and at least two other castles of note. “That’s why I feel honour bound to bring you this news” he continues, “it’s the king you see, he plans to move against Kragen tonight I think.”

    Bryn finds she can hardly breath. “But why?” she gasps. Is she not safe here? Finally? Safe from the violence of her father and a cruel world? Safety it seems is not something the gods deem fit to grant her. Not tonight, if ever.

    “Your husband has made powerful enemies my Lady, the more so because of his success in the war. Those closest to the King whisper that he grows too ambitious, that a commoner should not hold a great city and should definitely not profit from the war. But your husband took the castle of Rindyar without aid from King or fellow lord. By custom that means he should keep it and all its wealth, but as I say the King is fearful and the other Boyars grow jealous.”

    The lord pauses a moment, clearly unhappy, “I cannot be seen giving warning” he finally states, “my life and lands would be forfeit if the king found out. I must leave now; gods peace to you and your lord my Lady.” The Boyar then turns and slips back out the door, leaving her alone with her thoughts.

    Almost alone. The sound of a sigh comes from the deep-set chair set facing the fire, its occupant hidden from any who don’t come far into the room. “So it begins sooner than we thought.” It is a man’s voice, firm and strong. Alayen’s, the captain of her husbands warband.

    “We must warn Kragen” she gasps. She has known he was there, had made sure of it after leaving Belgaru in the great hall.

    “No!” His voice comes out a sharp hiss, he is trying not to shout, “First we must secure the city and then we can warn our lord. Right now we have a small window to act whilst our enemies think us unprepared, but give them a sniff that we are warned and who knows what they will do“. He stands up and approaches her then, “I know this is hard my lady”, and perhaps he does in his way, for he as much as any of her husband’s companions knows something of her background, “but we have to stay calm. Return to the feast and watch the Vaegir Lords, I doubt they will make their move inside our Lords own hall, but if you see any leave send a servant to me immediately and look to your lord then”. Cursing he snarls something unspeakable and gathers his thoughts, “I must go and secure the gates. Pray we aren’t too late and be thankful there is not enough room in the city to accommodate the warband’s of our guests. The one thing that may save us tonight is that they are all camped outside the city walls.”

    He leaves her then, stepping out the door. She wonders what she will do. Alayen has dismissed her as an irrelevance it is clear, of no further help to him this night. Watch for any lord who leaves the hall he says? She knows a sop when she hears one. Can she really stay in the hall and do nothing? But what more can she realistically do, for on one point Alayen is correct. To go now and warn Kragen would force their enemies hand if they saw, and bloodshed would surely follow.

    There is one thing she can do perhaps, it may be little in and of itself, but even little things can change a world and she refuses to do nothing this night. A quiet anger is stealing over her it seems and with a determined step she goes to gather one of her husband’s favoured tankards.

    The hall is still packed and yet is quieter than when she left. One of the local troubadours has taken the floor and is regaling an ancient saga. She catches Kragen’s eye and cannot help but smile despite her pounding heart for they have planned this together, a way to show Vaegir and all the six Kingdoms that their city and its Lord is as cultured as any other. More so perhaps for he has spared no expense this night. She approaches him then whilst her nerve still holds, handing him the tankard. “A present from Alayen” she whispers, “he says to drink only this tonight to honour his Vaegir gods.” He raises an eyebrow then and takes a sip of the cold clear water in the earthen tankard. He looks at her once more in surprise but says no more. One more reason why she loves him. She has done what she can, a small thing perhaps in the weave of the world. Now she will await the events of the night unfold with a steady heart, side by side with the balm of her heart.


  5. #5
    In the lands of Calradia Wyvern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardradi View Post
    Nicely written Wyvern, you appear to have a flair.
    Thanks for the kind words Hardradi.

    I hope people don't mind the story based format of my aar. I find it the most enjoyable type to write though it does take longer to create each update too and I know it's not to everyone's taste .

  6. #6
    Disciple of Peperna CatKnight's Avatar
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    Very impressive, Wyvern! I'm hooked!
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  7. #7
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    Very interesting - I'm in danger of needing 30 dollars to go and explore this game myself.

    Since Cat can post here (and I don't see a horsey by his icons), I'll try again to post something myself. Will do a more substantive reply if this actually works.

  8. #8
    In the lands of Calradia Wyvern's Avatar
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    Great to see you can post here - I was fearing only those registered could do so which would have been a great shame. Thank you all for the comments and I hope you continue to enjoy the AAR - next update coming soon!

    Stuyvesant - you should definately get the game, it's one of those treasured gems one so rarely finds.

  9. #9
    A bunny with a hat Moderator Nikolai II's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyvern View Post
    Great to see you can post here - I was fearing only those registered could do so which would have been a great shame. Thank you all for the comments and I hope you continue to enjoy the AAR - next update coming soon!
    I am afraid that posting rights might be limited to registered users in the future. Reading rights will remain open to all, however. (Or at least that is the plan as I understood it.)
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  10. #10
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    Realm of the Wolf
    Rebellion
    - Chapter Four –



    It is on the field near Tadsamesh that Kragen raises his flag against the king. A clear day at the start of spring he will see his fledgling forces stand or fall against Yaroglek's own warband.

    Byrn gazes down at the field of battle below, hidden from sight amongst the trees. It is madness she be there, so has stated Alayan in no uncertain terms. He has not quite forgiven her for the risk she took that fateful eve when the king first moved against them.

    She cannot bear to be cooped up at Dhirim or even nearby Rindyar, protected like a frail object that will shatter in the wind. She has suffered that fate these winter months past, lying awake at night wondering if they yet live whilst Kragen and Alayan ride out to fend off the kings raiders. She has nightmares still that only Kragen’s touch can ease. Of soldiers bursting into the great hall, the scraping of metal as steel blades are drawn, and then, the image she cannot erase, of blood pumping from a servants severed arm, held up but for a moment against a soldier forcing his way in.

    A life lost in the blink of an eye. An image forever imprinted on her soul. It is not a dream. Not now, not then. Kragen is on his feet sword in hand, an expression of thunder upon his face. His blade is at Boyar Harish's throat before the startled lord can gain his feet, and miraculously, like an answered prayer the invaders freeze, for yes there is not one but many and they all wear the Boyars device upon their shield. A pause is all Alayan's men had needed, there is fighting outside, the sounds of men dying. The invaders it seem are an isolated group, the few who have slipped past Alayan’s men and their fate is now sealed. "Tell your men to surrender!" Kragen growls in a voice of blackest anger whilst a pinprick of blood appears across the Boyars throat. Boyar Harish's face has taken on a pasty complexion, his plans gone awry and life quite possibly at an end. He has no choice but to comply.

    Kragen's anger is terrible, a side of him she has not seen before. Hopes not to see again. He approaches the soldier whose sword still drips red, the servant’s blood congealing at his feet. He runs him through without a word. A lady faints. A collective gasp ripples across the hall. "Know this" he shouts, his fury barely in check, "any who shed blood in my hall shall die, be they peasant or king". He turns back then to Boyar Harish, his sword held menacingly. "Get out of my sight and tell that to your king!"


    It is the end of winter now, the start of spring, and much has happened since that fateful eve. Battles have been fought, lives both lost and saved. A herald from Reyvadin arrives soon after to declare Kragen outlaw, his life and lands forfeit; and the raids then begin. Outlying villages laid waste, the bodies of men and women left frozen in the winter snow. It is the king’s policy it seems to starve the city out even if he must butcher his own subjects to do it.

    Kragen catches the raiders at Ushkuru, a small village near the Khergit border, none are allowed to live. It is there his men first call him the Wolf, his ability to sense danger they say is uncanny. His fury that of a savage beast. One of the dead from that raid is a noble. A cousin of Boyar Druli and the lord’s reaction to his death is swift.

    Together with Harish who has his own good reason for revenge the two lords place Rindyar castle under siege. Lying as it does on the road from Ichamur, Kragen must act swiftly or see Dhirim itself soon come under attack. His response is devastating, a dawn raid on the Boyar's camp that captures both leaders’ alive and minor injuries to his own men. The survivors are sent fleeing back to Reyvadin where the king is in a fury.

    Yaroglek has no choice but to act, and here with the town of Tadsamesh lying just over the hill he sets his date with destiny.

    Bryn will watch too and still the terror in her heart. The battle is under way, the kings men divided into two equal wedges, each larger than Kragen’s forces and each set to encircle his men. The numbers are too great and only the valour of the defenders sees Kragen’s line hold. He is everywhere it seems, darting in where the fighting is thickest, shoring up a breach as it occurs. Her heart goes out to him and she urges the world to see. He is worthy is he not? Worthy of her love, worthy of those he seeks to protect from this tyrant king.

    She is no expert on war but even she knows Kragen will be overwhelmed soon despite his heroics, the enemy numbers are too great and the far edge of his forces are beginning to buckle. She prays to the gods to see him safe, let this not be the end of their hopes, their dreams. She does not see the men creeping through the woods, silent as only those who live with the forest are. She almost screams as Boyar Belgaru’s hand shakes her shoulder. He has marched it seems from his castle at Darmug to play his own part this fateful day.

    “My lady, what are you doing here?” His astonishment is unfeigned. Without waiting for an answer he points to two men, “Alastair, Graff , protect the lady” and without another word the lord and his men stream down the hill, their unexpected charge hitting the king’s right flank like a hammer blow.

    A cry of hope rings across the field as the king’s men falter. Kragen rallies his own and leads a charge against the Kings left whilst Boyar Belgaru continues to hit the right. What should have been an easy victory for the king is suddenly a route. Yaroglek is knocked from his horse, his expression a daze as he staggers to his feet. A horseman reaches down and pulls him up behind and together they flee the field. At the desertion of their king the heart is gone from the remaining captains. Kragen harries them for several miles to be sure they don’t regroup but the day is his, a victory gained beyond hope. A victory that will change the world.



    - Lord Belgaru pledges his support -


  11. #11
    In the lands of Calradia Wyvern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolai II View Post
    I am afraid that posting rights might be limited to registered users in the future. Reading rights will remain open to all, however. (Or at least that is the plan as I understood it.)
    I think that's a terrible decision that cuts off the AAR forum from the AAR community. I know it's not your decision but it still needs to be said.

  12. #12
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    Excellent AAR! It is refreshing to see you start in the middle of a game, in contrary to the others around here (including mine). Also the narrative approach works pretty well . I'll eager await your next update.
    Me, Floris - A 'Mount & Blade: Warband' AAR: Floris IV of Holland enters Calradia, and tries to make the best of it. Winner of the AARland Choice AwAARds 2010 (Round 3) open category!

    Inkwell: If you want to learn more!

  13. #13
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Well, we'll just see how long it lasts and enjoy the ride. From the perspective of creating a thriving AAR community, it's not going to be helpful to cut off those without a game registration (I don't know how M&B compares to Diplomacy in overall popularity, but for the latter's AAR forum, not having non-owners able to comment was a kiss of death) . However, if the AAR forum is seen as a perk for the owners of the game, then I can understand the decision to limit it. Regardless: it's not my decision to make and I'll enjoy this story as long as I can.

    On to the story proper: nice to see Kragen at least hold his own against the King. He will not be defeated, that much is clear. But how is the overall balance of power now? Can Kragen take on the King, or does he have to gain a lot of strength before he can challenge him?

    EDIT: I mentioned this in my first attempt to post and forgot about it after that. It's a wee bit of criticism that my conscience simply will not let me go unspoken: that handlebar 'tache on Kragen is genuinely horrifying. Do you create your own character avatar, or was this a preset you had to put up with?

  14. #14
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    "I think that's a terrible decision that cuts off the AAR forum from the AAR community. I know it's not your decision but it still needs to be said."

    I would have to agree. Any limiting of this type of forum is counter productive to spreading the word that this might be a good game worth buying.

    I'm enjoying your AAR but that isn't surprising considering your gift for story telling.

    Care to give a brief reason why this game is worth playing. And whatever happens don't stop telling your story.

    Joe
    The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach.

    Desert Tides or how I learned to swim in quicksand Adventure
    A Tall Tale Told on a Cold Night Fantasy

  15. #15
    In the lands of Calradia Wyvern's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments everyone, they're much appreciated

    Monnikje - the narrative approach pretty much forces that on me if the story is not to become bloated. I find the telling of events has to be tightly rationed to maintain the style I've adopted and I ruthlessly have to cut long rambling sidetrackings of "I did this, then that" especially in that last update which suffered more rewrites than the first three chapters put together!

    Stuyvesant - when I broke with the king I controlled a single city plus the castle (the one that gave me the excuse to do so). Each city and castle also has a number of villages which are where your real income comes from barring trade and looting. The map extract at the start of chapter 4 shows a rough idea of the situation at the start of the rebellion.

    The biggest risk I had was that the king would form a vast host and send his Marshal against me. This is actually what the Rhodocks did when I first took Dhirim and was what forced me to declare vassalage to the Vaegirs. The Vaegirs were still at war with the Khergits though so I hoped I wouldn't get the kings full attention and thankfully didn't. Ofc they soon made peace but I'd bought enough time to pick off the closest lords armies and persuade a couple of lords to switch sides, before then catching the kings warband all alone .

    As for relative strength now, I will still be in trouble if he assembles his lords all together, as the Vaegirs are the strongest faction even with my rebellion.

    Regarding the tash, err well, that was of my choosing I'm afraid (yep you get to customise the look of your character from a wide range of options).

    Storey - thanks for the encouragement. Not sure I can adequately explain what it is that makes this game so good. Take total war, but with battles that are over in a few minutes an YOU get to ride a horse and scewer people on your lance! Take an RPG where you are doing quests to raise your standing and influence with people. Take multiple kingdoms each with their own lords, ladies and kings and to which any you can swear allegiance and help or hinder. And then to cap it all as a final challenge you can try and carve your own kingdom out in defiance of them all. Even then it's not like a regular campaign wargame as you are restricted to the character view point. So you can't just conquer and rule everything yourself but are forced to give away land to your vassals so they can defend it for you and also bring their men when you call a campaign against another kingdom. I'm still not far into the kingdom conquest side of things which is an area they spent a lot of effort improving in warband, so I'll have to see how it plays out as my holdings get larger!

  16. #16
    In the lands of Calradia Wyvern's Avatar
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    Realm of the Wolf
    The Coronation
    - Chapter Five –



    Kragen and Bryn are crowned king and queen in the Royal hall at Reyvadin to great pomp and ceremony. The city is newly fallen and Yaroglek's faction are in full retreat, he is holed up now in Ichamur they say, his strength and authority crumbling with each passing day. That the couple wait until the royal city falls says much. “I do this to protect all the downtrodden” Kragen says on the eve of his coronation. To Bryn he says “Any who declare for me be they desert nomad or Vaegir prince, I will give my protection”, though he is wise enough to keep such utterances private with the eyes of the Caldaria all focused on him now.

    "Is this what you dreamed of my love?" Kragen asks his Queen as he takes her hand on the dance floor. She has never looked as radiant.

    "I would love you my dearest be you beggar or king" and the newly crowned monarch smiles.

    He takes her in his arms then for all to see, a couple deeply in love. A display of unity for all of Calradia. A display meant not to go unnoticed. Guests from all the six kingdoms are here, for Kragen has a message to convey, a message of intent. There is a seventh amongst them now and he is here to stay.

    The next morning Kragen calls his inner circle to council. Alayan and Artimennar, the first to arrive, between them they are the key to Kragen’s victories. Alayan master of the sword and proven captain, Artimennar a genius with machines and the one out of many who can be said to have given Reyvadin into the hands of his liege through his ingenious siege engines. Next is Bergaru, lord of Darmug, his loyalty proven throughout the summers fighting and someone the new king looks to for advice on those Vaegir Boyars still loyal to Yaroglek, he has shown wise council and a steady hand through the months since he threw in his lot with Kragen. Finally with the others settled the king and queen make their entrance, arm in arm. It is as though the previous night’s glow still envelopes them, a young couple at one with the moment.

    Bergaru stands and pulls out a chair for the queen. The outsider of this group he is keen to show where his loyalties lie. The queen settles with a murmured thanks and the business of the morning begins.

    "I finally received word from Boyar Naldera this morning" Bergaru begins, "he is ready to throw his support behind you Sire."

    Kragen thumps his hand on the table in triumph "that is good news Bergaru. With Naldera and the city of Curaw declaring for us Yaroglek's position becomes precarious. Any word yet from Vuldrat?"

    Bergaru shakes his head. "The last word we had suggested he is still standing firm with Yaroglek. They were pages together you know whilst growing up, it will take much for him to abandon him now.”

    Kragen sighs clenching his fist in frustration, "I’ve great respect for Vuldrat and it pains me that we are at odds, why with him on our side we could end this war before year’s end! Surely there is something we can do to change his mind?”

    The queen leans forward with a comforting hand, "perhaps with Naldera joining us he will reconsider."

    "Perhaps my lady" Bergaru nods, "it is worth pursuing at least."

    "Now, on to other business.” The king nods at Alayan “what news from the north?"

    “Nothing good Sire, unless I miss the mark we should expect trouble from the Nords soon. We all know they consider Reyvadin part of their ancestral lands, it was King Ragnar's own father who ruled there for many years before the Vaegirs reconquered it less than a decade ago. Ragnar may well view our current war with Yaroglek as the perfect opportunity to reclaim what was lost."

    Kragen nods, "Very well, send more scouts nouth and west, if they do make a move we need to know about it. What of the other kingdoms, do we know how they view us yet?"

    "The Khergit and Rhodok's fight each other" Alayan replies, "we should be safe from them for now. Swadia are at peace for the moment since their victory over the Nords, but of all our neighbours they are the weakest and barely held Suno from the Nord and Rhodok during last year’s fighting.“ Alayan hesitates a moment, “We should not discount them as a threat though for I’m sure you all remember Dhirim was their city once, before it fell first to the Rhodok and then ourselves. They may view the situation now as their last chance to regain it. My spies say King Harlaus is a desperate man.”

    "And the Sarranids?" Kragen asks, "Any news on them?"

    Alayan pauses a moment, "The Sultan has been pursuing a policy of peace with his neighbours for many years. Let us hope he extends it to us." They all laugh, an easing of sorts.

    With matters of state concluded Kragen turns to Bryn, a smile on his lips, "shall we give them the good news my dear?" and with a beaming smile the queen confirms to her friends , one could call them her family now, that a new life stirs, a omen of futures grace.


    Last edited by Wyvern; 25-04-2010 at 10:29.

  17. #17
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Kragen is consolidating his hold on power - in many ways. He shows wisdom in the way he staged his proclamation to be a king and he seems to be picking up allies and vassals left and right.

    Is the pregnancy an in-game occurence (and if so, does it have any effects?), or merely a story embellishment?

  18. #18
    In the lands of Calradia Wyvern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Is the pregnancy an in-game occurence (and if so, does it have any effects?), or merely a story embellishment?
    No, that bit's just a story embellishment on my part.

  19. #19
    Black Hound of Han Enewald's Avatar
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    Oi, looks like I can read this and also comment?

    Exquisite narrative.

  20. #20
    Legendary Conqueror Ironking's Avatar
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    Very well written. I'm enjoying this one very much.

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