[Forum Game] Agorath and the Maegi Prophecy

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Deaghaidh

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More "Exciting" "Adventures" of the Hagan brothers, Fistsilver and Talcbreaker

"What are you doing?!" Talcbreaker had rudely shoved his head into his brothers bedroom. Worse, he brought a bright green dwarrowlamp with him. Fistsilver groaned.

"I'm digging a tunnel to the center of the Earth. What does it look like I'm doing?" He snarled, and rolled face down into his bed of fragrant moss.

"How can you possibly be sleeping at a time like this?"

"Do you remember that work we've been doing, ten hours a day, for the past month or so?"

The brother masons had been plenty busy since arriving in Kogansunan. First they were fixing up their habitable, but neglected, apartment and workshop. Then they were deluged with orders for funerary slabs and memorial stelae for dwarves who died in the northern war. Appearantly the fashionable thinking was that masons from the surface must have a better idea what trees looked like, so they could carve appropriate decorations for kin who died in the forest. It was a pleasant surprise, as it meant the newly arrived and unknown junior master masons could charge the premium rate the guild allowed for special requests. They figured they could sleep when they were rich.

Then of course came the news from the city, and the immediate orders from the citadel. All other work was postponed, and every mason in the fortress was busy as beavers (an expression the Hagan brothers' new neighbors didn't understand. They hadn't yet discovered what the axiomatically busy animal was below ground), working at the highly discounted "public emergency" rate. Of course if anyone grumbled he was scowled out and reminded that it was his own safety he was working for. And all the while every third day three hours of militia training.

Fistsilver had come to the secret conclusion that the Mountainhomes were built underground not for defense, but so that the craftsdwarves wouldn't have the sun to remind them how long they had been at work.

"Why aren't you sleeping?" Fistsilver grumbled.

"Because I have more than rocks in my skull. Grandmaster Aldez invited us to dinner. A Grandmaster of the mason's guild asked us to eat at his own table, with his own family! You don't just tell him, 'Oh no thank you, I'm a bit sleepy.' He's been elected Stonemaster twice. He can make our life very good or very bad. I don't mean to spend the next six seasons chipping chamberpots out of obsidian because my brother slighted him." Talcbreaker was dashing around his brother's room, turning on lanterns and rummaging through his wardrobe. He hurled some dressy spidersilk clothes at his resting brother. "And besides, he has four unmarried daughters! Can you imagine, four daughters! And no sons either."

"Three." Fistsilver sat up, blinking stupidly at the clothes.

"What?"

"Grandmaster Aldez has three unmarried daughter. The eldest is married to a guard captain."

"Not any more, he died in Galadriel."

"What, are you sure."

"Fairly sure, since we both worked on his memorial. That's not something a wife usually buys for a living husband. Well, not a happy wife anyway. How can you not remember that? That's why we were invited, the Grandmaster said he was impressed. We impressed a Grandmaster, and now you want to snub him! Honestly, we need to get you a wife with some sense. Which is all the more reason for you to come to this dinner, pretend to be charming, and drink until you actually are."

"Fine." Fistsilver roused himself from the bed, pouring water into the washbasin.

"What is the matter with you lately?" Talcbreaker asked.

"Well, at the moment my little brother is standing here, pecking at me, and apparently wants to stay and watch me take a bath."

"Like anyone wants to do that. But seriously, you've been growling at everything. Even good news makes you angry. So out with it already."

Fistsilver scowled at his brother some more, but then his face softened. "It's Goldmantle" he said softly.

"Oh not this again." his brother moaned.

"Well why ask the question if you're going to complain about the answer? I love her, and I want her to be my wife, not any Grandmaster's daughter."

"You spoke to her for fifteen minutes at a festival. Unchaperoned, and without being properly introduced. You're lucky I'm the one who found you, not one of her brothers."

"Nothing sordid happened! Besides, I could snap her brother's necks with one hand."

"That's a certain way into a woman's heart if I ever heard one. Well, what of it? We're not lowly journeymen any more, we're respectable master masons with our own home and shop and a bit of coin laid by that we haven't had a chance to spend. Write her father a proper letter saying you'd like to court her. Get someone respectable- like say a Grandmaster who thinks highly enough of us to ask us to dinner- to write a bit to vouch for your circumstances and character. Tell him you'll take no dowry if he pays for their travel expenses. Don't sit here and mope yourself asleep."

"You don't think I've thought of that? There's war and worse coming. All the ravens are busy with official correspondence, and there are no caravans to take a letter over ground. And besides, with what we've heard about dragons and all, suppose-"

"Suppose, suppose, suppose. I'm too busy with my actual life to spend my nights supposing with my brother." Talcbreaker sighed and sat down beside Fistsilver, putting a comforting arm around him. "Look, if the worst should happen, and you want to spend the next hundred years moping about and sighing her name, well that's fine. I understand. Well not really, but I don't want to make it worse."

"Thank you." Fistsilver began to lay back down, but his brother pulled him up sharply by the beard.

"You still have to come to dinner. But you don't have to be charming. Be glum and surly if you want, it'll only make me look better by comparison. We're leaving in half an hour." Talc breaker rose and sidled out of his brother's room. "Try to wash some of the stupid off before we go."
 

BlackBishop

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Diplomacy of First Seed and Monsoon, 1001 AE




The Lost Home
Setting sail in mid First Seed, an expedition led by the finest sailors of Azeratti City, set out to re-discover the lost home of the Krestarii family. Through torrent waters, and violent storms, a single ship managed to find a large island south of Agorath. With an indigenous population that could be exploited for trade or other intents, word quickly spreads of the opportunities awarded to the Krestarii family.
Prestige Earned
10 Gold Earned!



Coamenel Trade Agreement
With relations between the former slave state of Azeratti now warmer, House Coamenel proposed a trade agreement between their house and House Krestarii. Trade caravans carrying exotic goods departed Coamenel City and by the rains of Monsoon, returned with a hefty profit, despite the lingering resentment between the two cultures.
No Prestige Earned!
25 Gold Earned!



Aiding the Lost
The campaign on behalf of House Wolfe to send word to the lost armies of the Golden City, Huaidren and Goi'Orka was met with dismal failure. Despite being unable to convince the lost armies of their rulers' misdeeds, House Wolfe was able to increase their own ranks by 500 men.
No Prestige Earned!
500 Troops Awarded!


Shah Asad also sent messengers to Goi'Orka and Berendriel, and as expected, the messengers were greeted with suspicion and hostility.
No Prestige Awarded!
No Gold Awarded!




New Berendriel
An ambitious mission was carried out by House Celestian to push a friendly noble house into power following the vacuum left by House Huaindren. With the emissaries of House Celestian backing the new lords of Berendriel, House Lei has come into power in the province and ended the period of anarchy that followed the desertion of Huaindren and those loyal to the family. Disturbing, however, was the knowledge of warriors and nobles that left the provinces to follow their former rulers.
Prestige Earned!
15 Gold Earned!



The Army of Zephfer
Following the call of their master, the Army of Zephfer broke away from Hroniden and marched north, crossing the high passes of Highathar and moving west, joined by loyal followers from Berendriel. The army raided and pillaged before disappearing in the Wilds.
5000 Troops gained!
20 Gold Earned!


His Word
The dangers of the Seeing Stone and the twisted Dark that can be encountered was fully warned by Therain Eylinn of Mindrilla. Lords of the land gave thanks to the Therain, some even in the form of tribute, but the warning did little to erase the suspicions held against the former follower of Qylan.
No Prestige Earned!
5 Gold Awarded!


The Dwarven Militia
A widespread effort among the Dwarves in the Golden City initiated by House Deagrin has seen a surplus of militia training and a thankful nobility. Though they are a long way from becoming a true fighting force, the Dwarven Militia are reinforcing an aurora of safety in a beleaguered city.
No Prestige Earned!
15 Gold Earned!


House Wolfe has constructed a Manor in the Golden City!

House Stronghelm has constructed a Manor in the Golden City!

House Deagrin improves fortifications!

House Krestarii builds an Embassy!

House Saxon builds a Manor!
 
Last edited:

BlackBishop

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The Battle of Faltering Light




Lord-General : Therain Eylinn of Mindrilla
44400 Troops


Divisions

House Coamenel
800 Troops
led by
Tuor Sáralondë

House Wolfe
6500 troops
led by
Karen Burnside

House Celestian
6500 Troops

House Frostverd
3300 Troops
led by
Jarl Alfodr of Frostverd

House Rostani
6300 Troops
led by
Kamal

House Światowida
5500 Troops

House Kalare
1000 Troops

House Mindrilla
6100 Troops
led by
Therain Eylinn

House Deagrin
2100 Troops
led by
Underking Wrothiron

House Krestarii
6300 Troops
led by
Lord-Commander Tretarian Ploshati


Dark Army
Lord-General - Qylan the Fallen
45 000 Troops


Organizing the armies of the Lords of Light proved to be no easy task. Many held misgivings on the decision to give command of the great army to the Therain of Green Chasm. However, her prowess on the battle field could not be debated, and by the end of the long march to the Light Basin in late Monsoon, all willingly followed the Lord-General.

Crossing through Hroniden, the missing armies of Zephfer and Ra'Gru sparked many questions and fears of the resistance that would be facing them at the Basin. As they passed through the Wilds and reached the Ashen Wastes, the sight of the Light Basin, all hope of an overpowering force of Light was sapped as a great Dark army of near equal strength was waiting for them at the ancient temple.

Calling her banners, Eylinn ordered a rotating volley of arrows and Light blasts from the mages within the army. Though the tactic allowed her forces to advance relatively unharmed, the arrows and weaker Light magic did little damage to the Dark Army.

As they formed ranks and prepared to charge, a Dark mist formed between the armies. Rolling with a cold wind, the mist permeated through the forces of Light. The mist seemed to be made of a million whispers, each malevolent voice hissed hidden fears into the ears of the soldiers. Hearing the pained cries of the dead, the taunts abusive parents, the confessions of infidelities of sworn lovers, among other deeply held fears were spoken through the mist. When it finally dissipated, the lines of the Light were faltered and broken, and a charge of Heavy Horse of fallen men crashed through the lines.

The bitter battle that ensued led the army of Light into route, blasts of Dark sent men flying through the air as an unsettling corpse light emitted from the fallen temple. From a ridge, watching the army reel from his defense with golden eyes, was Qylan, his piercing eyes peering through the battle to meet Eylinns, a mocking smile on his lips. With a sword up in the air, and a blast of Darklight shot into the sky, the dead soldiers of light began to walk and turn their weapons on their former comrades.

The bloody day ended in defeat for the Lords of Light. Though they made a valiant defense under the banners of their Houses, the strength of the Dark was too much, and the battle lost. The survivors made camp in the wilds to plan their next move.


Lord-General : Therain Eylinn of Mindrilla
40900 Troops


Divisions

House Coamenel
300 Troops
led by
Tuor Sáralondë

House Wolfe
6100 troops
led by
Karen Burnside

House Celestian
6000 Troops

House Frostverd
2900 Troops
led by
Jarl Alfodr of Frostverd

House Rostani
5600 Troops
led by
Kamal DEAD

House Światowida
5100 Troops

House Kalare
700 Troops

House Mindrilla
5800 Troops
led by
Therain Eylinn WOUNDED

House Deagrin
2100 Troops
led by
Underking Wrothiron

House Krestarii
6300 Troops
led by
Lord-Commander Tretarian Ploshati WOUNDED


Dark Army
Lord-General Qylan the Fallen
41300 Troops
 
Last edited:

BlackBishop

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((More updates to come, hopefully later tonight, or tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to post ICs of your part in the battle and the results of your diplo orders.))
 

Galren

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Shit, Kamal thought. Even with a low number of losses, the men were fleeing due to the overwhelming forces of the dark. Kamal approached a soldier.

"Where is Eylinn?"

"Eylinn? I think she's injured."

Crap. Without her, this mass rout is pure chaos. He could see the bolts of magic hit the poor souls. One of them looked like he had some intestinal problems. The worst part though, was their undead comrades. They came back to life, almost haunting you for the mistakes you made.

"Soldier, we need to protect our fleeing forces. Get some brave men to hold off the enemy."

"Are you sure about this?"

"Yes I'm sure. Someone's got to pick up the slack for these guys."



Kamal looked over a group of battle-hardened men, elves, and dwarves. They seemed to be willing to follow Kamal's orders, so he gave them a quick speech:

"Men, I'm not a man of words, so I'll make this short and quick. Our sacrifice here means that thousands of lives are saved. We may not like each other, neither know one another, but today, we are united under one cause. We fight for the light and for Agorath."

"FOR AGORATH!"

Kamal, along with his men, charge into the blob. Noticing, Qylan, Kamal rushes to him and attempts to attack him. Qylan, however, catches Kamal's sword behind his back, twists it out of his hand, and uses the pommel to strike at Kamal's head.

"Goodbye, Kamal," Qylan said in a raspy voice.

With that, his vision became hazy. As his last moments came, he could see a black eagle with blue eyes ...
 

Sneakyflaps

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A Spiritual Reunion

I woke up in the morning, my dream still fresh in my mind, i wondered if it was a vision rather than a dream. I saw the body of Anastanii in the three rivers, ravaged and slaughtered like a cattle for meat. And saw Asharian with a bloody dagger in his hand in front of a baby’s crib, Eylinn with a tear in her Eye and Snovit with a look of regret. I had dreamt this before, much to my dismay I feared it was a possible reality, Asharian had not acted against his daughter before, but this was my son. I was there when Qylan tried to kill him and i did not intervene, i wondered if he would hesitate in what decision he would make. While was full of fear for the destiny of my child I was also angry, if anyone laid a hand on my child i could cut it off without hesitation.

As i started to stand up I could see that girl again, blue eyes and blond hair. I wondered what she was doing here, when I had gotten up I started to walk over towards her. She was bowing her head down as was the custom when someone higher rank then you walked past you. As I walked past her I could see a tear falling from her creek, I was now truly wondering what was going on, but I didn’t ask her. I started to get my armor on, i called her over to help me and she then took the breastplate and connected it to the belt. She then put on the shoulder guards and connected it to the breastplate, the more armor pieces she put on the more she started to sob. At this point it was annoying to have her constantly sob while not knowing the reason, so i turned to her and she looked down into the ground. I took my finger on her chin and moved her head up looking her in the eye, i looked at her with a very confused looked and asked why she was sobbing, the response i received was very unexpected.

“I am sorry for the sobbing my lord but as is tradition my lord, i have been sent here as a sign of good faith, i am to abide by your command, make sure you have everything you need, and to fulfill every pleasure of yours. Then i am to be sacrificed to gain the favor of the Dark One to my people, chief Alrekr saw how you looked at me last time we were here. When we got back to the tribe he decided that it should be that would go here. Before this was done for the priest by the most beautiful member of our tribe, but now that you are here my lord it would be you whom i would server. It is a very high honor for any of our people to get this chance, but i don’t want to die my lord.”

As she said this i looked at her, somewhat in denial and in shock, i couldn’t believe what she said. Why would someone kill her for her beauty, it would be a waste of life. I looked upon her and smiled, i then told her that i would not kill her as i saw that as a waste of her beauty and i could use her for something more useful instead, if she truly wished to serve.

As i wiped the tear away from her cheek the doors were opened and Venethrax walked in, the girl looked at him and i could sense the fear at looking at him. She probably wasn’t used to looking at a lich, but then again, who really where. Venethrax was here early so something important must have happened, in his normal tone he said ”Ah my lord i see that you have found the gift, i hope she will please you well. Alrekr wouldn’t be happy if he found out that she displeased you”.

She looked sad and a tear went down her cheek to which Venethrax told her to act up, she was in the presence of a great lord and if she displeased me more than just a smack would be applied. I opened my mouth wanting to tell him that she hadn’t done anything but no words came from my mouth, i just looked at him and then closed my mouth. I looked at her and could see she was clearly upset, i was not sure what to do. I just looked at her and said that she should leave us and that i would summon her later. I went over to the chair and sat down, partial in my armor and partial in morning clothe, it looked a bit odd to say the least, but then again i was talking to a lich so i doubt he would care to much about presentation. I took up a cup a poured in some water and raised the cup up to my lips, when i started to drink he start to talk. I was honestly hoping that when i stopped drinking that he would stop talking, he was a very wise lich but also a very boring one. For a walking undead to be a boring thing, now that truly take skills, as he continued he said that there was much to do today. It was the first day of the court and multiple tribes would come here, unknown to me, the Dark One had a strong influence here and it could prove to be very useful in the months to come. But more importantly he told me that Aesar and Gakken together with the remaining 33 honor guards that survived had landed south of us during the night, and where moving here. They were expected to be here later today, i was very happy that i finally could see my friend again, it had been months since we last meet and we didn’t depart in a good mood, I coudnt wait to see what was wrong between him and Eylinn and that advisor of hers, hmm what was the name Albin? Alvin? Meh it didn’t matter.

I was happy that Aesar would finally arrive but Venethrax didn’t bother much with it, he quickly moved on much to my annoyance. Speaking about how we would have to raise an army and generals today, he wanted me to use his magic to raise an undead army. It wasn’t really something that i was looking forward to, raising the dead would be odd. Even for a Dark Lord this seemed sinister, but if it was needed then I was forced to do it. Venethrax kept going on and on for me about what he needed I would assume he spent atleast a few hours on it.
South of the citadel however was Aesar sitting with the others and writing in his journal.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“We are finally here, after a month of sailing north we reach this frozen hell. Why coudnt we have stayed on the continent, atleast the weather was better there” Aesar was not a big fan of the cold, he was originating from the forests of Galadriel.

“It had been a long journey and a few had died, i must admit that i wished that I had been dead a few times. The cold up here was unbearable, had he died atleast he would not have been freezing. I cant wait to see Ra’Gru again, it had been too long since we last spoke. I just hope he wront bring Eylinn up again, i hate speaking about her, my father never looked for me. He was too busy helping her to ever care about me, i just wish that she would die, if she died he would surely start looking for me again. I want to tell Ra’Gru this, he has been a brother for me for over 7 years, but i cant i just cant. To think that Ra’Gru did all of this to protect his child from the curse which had haunted his family for generations, while i was doing it simply to get revenge on Eylinn” Aesar had such a hatred that when a dark agent offered him the powers to kill her. He looked down into the ice and saw a reflection of himself, getting a tear in his eyes and thought to himself “How could i have turned out like this, Ra’Gru did it for someone he cared about and i simply did it out of pretty revenge”.

Aesar continued writing. “I wonder how our lives would have been had Ra’Grus father been different and mine not absent. Would the council still be alive, would Ra’Gru ever have been warchief, while these questions are meaningless, i still find it interesting to pounder on.”

Aesar wrote one last entry about Ra’Gru before Gakken came and told him to get ready to move.

“The child without a name grew up to be the hand
To watch you, to shield you or kill on demand
The choice he'd made, he could not comprehend
His blood a grim secret, they had to command
The curse of his powers tormented his life
Obeying the crown was a sinister price
His soul was tortured by love and by pain
He surely would flee but the oath made him stay
He's torn between his honor and the true love of his life
He prayed for both but was denied

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ra’Gru was sitting on his throne and had finally gotten into his armor and was starting to receive chiefs from different tribes.

This is boring, I was sitting and listening to one chief after the other. All wanting something and most of the time from the other chiefs, it was a mess and not an enjoyable one, if they could all die it would make it a lot easier. The lich was behind me, i could always feel when he was near me, he had this cold aura around him which always made the room cold enough to know when he was approaching.

It was when i looked to the side that i could see Aesar standing, I got a smile on my lips. It had truly been too long, the lich saw him as well, he seemed less overjoyed. When the chief had stopped talking i went into my private quarter with Aesar closely behind, when we got in he closed the door. He smiled at me and i smiled back, then we both started laughing, I asked how the journey had been and we sat down and took a cup of wine each. It had gone fine, a few deaths but other than that it seemed to have been doable. I then asked if his mood had become better than the time in the tent before he left, i quickly found out that it was a bad move to ask about that. His smile instantly went away and replaced with a sad look. Never before had he held things from me, so it somewhat surprised me when he said “I am sorry but i cant tell, not yet anyway, i wish i could but I simply cant. I will tell you eventually but i have to come to terms with it myself before I can explain.”

As he finished Venethrax came into the room naturally telling me what to do “My lord we must return to the chieftains, they are waiting for us and we will need their aid if we are to build the army that the Dark One desires.” I rose up from my chair and put down the cup, of course we must we cannot let them wait. As Venethrax turned around and walked out Ra’Gru rolled his eyes and Aesar got his smile back.

When they got out Venethrax began reminding me of how we must appoint a leader for our army, naturally all the chieftains demanded that it be them. For they were all claimed to be the best for the job, and their renown to be extensive as well. And of course i had never heard of any of them and neither had Venethrax, it was another mess. How would we ever be able to organize the tribes into an army for the Dark One when these peoples where the chieftains, it was amazing that they even became chiefs. Half of them where out of shape and not fit to wield a sword and the other half didn’t have the brain for tactics, and yet I needed to find someone to give the army to. It was here that i decided to stand up and raise my hand, at once all the lords stopped bickering and waited for response, all equally sure that they would get the honor. And all would look equally surprised and offended when i announced who would lead the armies.

I looked to the right of me, kneel Aesar. As he knelt I asked if he would accept the honor of becoming my first commander and to lead our army to glory. An outcry came from the hall but there was nothing they could do, they did not want to anger Ra’Gru nor the Dark One. They knew which powers he could have and did not wish to attempt fate, Venethrax whispered into my ear telling me to reconsider and pick one of the local tribe lords. But i refused, while he might be wise i will not let one of these baboons lead my armies, not one of them had the skill to lead an army and there was no need to prove it at our cost. When Aesar knelt to take the position i raised my hand towards him, he closed his eyes and i could see that it was painful for him. I was giving him the power to tap down into the Dark and it was no pleasant experience, when it was done he fell to the ground but lifted himself up again. I had prepared a special blade for him, a runic sword which took the essence of the person it kills and keeps them for good or evil depending on the wielders wishes. He accepted and went to get some rest, when the meeting was finally over i ordered him to come and get ready to ride out.

(Aesar but with smaller ears)​

Most of the chiefs had sworn fealty and was preparing to move towards the citadel, while it may not amount to much it was still some progress. They rode out together with Venethrax and Alrekr and a little entourage to a nearby graveyard which was hundreds of years old, a lot had been buried there and would be a good source for a new army. Venethrax had promised to get them back to life as an easy reliable manpower poll for the army, which was sorely needed out in this frozen waste. When we got there we saw the scale of the graveyard, the must be thousands of dead here, it was massive. A lot of the buildings where old and in an fashion I had never seen before, i started to wonder if an ancient civilization had once been here. My thoughts where quickly interrupted when Venethrax told us to come along. He moved in front of us and started to cast a spell, the earth removed from the graveyard in a quick wind, leaving only the chests left which he then proceeded to crack open.

He then turned to me and told me to repeat after him, he started speaking a language i did not know. It was not the same language as when I was being transported over the mountain, this was different. I do not know how it was different as many of the words sounded the same to a normal ear, it just didn’t fit together. As he cast it a small number of skeletons started rising from the ground, the smell was horrible and it was different, the other undead didn’t smell like this so something must be different. In my ignorance I didn’t realize that the other undead had been out in the open air for some time to get new scents while these where fresh from the ground. It made one of the servants pass out and Venethrax laughed at her, i looked at her but i didn’t pay any further attention. Two other came over the help and gave her something to drink and a piece of cloth to cover the bad smell. I must admit that i almost vomited as well, I guess being undead already has its advantages.

Venethrax then told me to do the same and said the words again, but slowly. While i practiced the spell he moved the corpses with his magic, i got somewhat worried thinking about what would happened if I failed this spell. As Venethrax had prepared the bodies i turned around to cast the spell, and as i said the last word something different happened instead of them raising a beam came from my hand. It had a mixture of green, blue and red, i tried to stop casting but it was hard and when i finally manage to stop the cast i had thrown myself off guard. I quickly looked over at it and then it exploded knocking us all back and even killing five in the entourage.

When I rose up i felt something was different, as i looked down i could see my lifeless body below me. I instantly panicked and thought i died, but when I looked at my arms I could see they were also different. As Venethrax and Aesar got up they also saw what had happened, Aesars jaws had dropped and didn’t know what to say or do. Venethrax said “i have never seen anything like it, that powerful magic was not common even among liches or other servants of the Dark One, he was in awe of what he had seen but also terrified. He had heard of this happening before, a spirit being separated from its body and then entering the Ethereal form. Granting it both new powers and new ability, it is said that such a spirit can turn into any being it wishes but the more power the being, the harder it will be. Due to it not being bound by normal bounds it is also often seen to cast extremely powerful magic. My lord you need to turn into a physical form again, while you can switch between whatever form you want, or even be in the ethereal realm, we cannot communicate with you without special objects if you are not in the physical world, while you might be able to communicate with us it is sadly not mutual.”

As i tried to turn back into the Physical world it was not easy, it took a lot of concentration and time to do so. After several minutes i turned into a human, the only thing that had stayed with me where my eyes, Blue and cold as ice.

(Ignore the angle wings and just think of the rest of the picture as Ra'Grus new form)​


I looked upon a servant girl and i accidently looked into her. I saw all of her memories, why she was afraid of her father, what had happened to her mother, her first romance. All of this within seconds before she collapsed. In disbelief I looked at Aesar and quickly saw a glimpse of his memories, i saw Alvon and Eylinn, i now understood why he hated her with such a passion. Venethrax quickly pushed Aesar away so he wouldn’t get weakened. He then said
“Well done my lord I didn’t expect you to learn it this quickly, normally this would take years. The powers that the Dark One has granted you must be extreme, i do not know why he has given such power but he must have great faith in you. How i envy you as i wish it was me who had been bestowed such a grand gift.
How does it feel not to be connected to a body, do you feel anything is missing?”

But i didn’t feel anything had changed, nothing at all, i could still feel my fingers, my neck, and the wind in my hair. I do not know what has changed and I feel nothing. Could it truly be that it’s the spirit that sense all of that, every experience you had, every thought, every feel. Could the body just be an empty shell for the purpose of hosting ones essence?

I felt a sudden change within me, a feel of getting away from and back home to rest, and that was it suddenly i was no longer at the graveyard, I was back at the citadel in my own bedchamber, i had gotten here in a blink of an eye. I couldn’t believe what was happening, it felt to unreal to be possible, i tried to do it again to get back to them but it didn’t work. This was clearly something I needed to work on if I want to control it even in the slightest.

My bedchamber was empty and i was exhausted so i laid down on the bed, I wanted to rest but i thought of what they were thinking out at the graveyard. i eventually feel asleep and slept for a few days without waking. On the five day i was woken up by Venethrax who wanted to talk with me.

“My lord you need to get up, you have been asleep for five days, i have received word from my informer that a battle will take place later today near the Lights Basin. Qylan is leading an army to defend while lady Eylinn is leader the army of the Assembly lords, you need to start practicing. You can get there if you truly wish, and we need you to get there to get a view of the battlefield, we need to know what we are fighting and what tactics they are using.”

Venethrax then dragged me out of bed and out into the great hall to start practicing, it took many hours and it wasn’t easy. I was near giving up at one point, it seemed like it would never work and that i was stuck here.
Then suddenly it happened, i was on in a mountain cave. I looked around and saw an exit behind me, in the background i could hear fighting and screaming, tremendous screaming. One scream in particular from what sounded like a young elven girl, most likely a fighter under lady Eylinn, the scream was so loud and so clear it gave me chills down the spine.

I saw Qylan standing with the army and fighting the lords of the Assembly, when a dark mist started to appear i knew how this would end, Jacob wasn’t here and unlike the last time with the necromancer he could not save them. As Qylan decided to press his advance I decided to take a closer look, i took the form of an eagle and flew down upon the battlefield. I saw Qylan make the soldiers of light fight each other, the screams of pain for men dying was unpleasant but Qylan seemed to cherish it in his position as Lord Commander. As i flew over i saw Eylinn being wounded and Kamal gathering supporters for one last stand. As Kamal got defeated by Qylan he looked up to the sky and i saw him into his eyes and very being wishing only he could have saved more. As the battle had been won i flew off into the distance.
 
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Courtship and Family Norms in Green Chasm

"Deep Elven society and family life deviates tremendously from the rest of Agorath in terms of gender roles and social norms. Men and women actively participate in trade and craftsmanship on equal terms and with equal opportunity, but due to the intricate devotion to fulfilment in every task they take upon themselves to do, women are not as well represented in the army, even though it isn’t stigmatized.

However, due to their low fertility after their first born, and the nature of Deep Elven pregnancy, courtship and family life is riddled with tradition and protocol. Deep Elves may never marry someone they do not love, or it would insult the Light and Dark. While this can be hard to arrange among the nobility, the betrothal is considered the trial period for such affections to appear, and in reality, even if no such affections Do occur, the couple is often considered affectionate after a year has passed.

For women, to enter a betrothal is to surrender herself to her suitor, and marriage is to surrender herself for eternity, way beyond life itself, and in both stages work as an agreement on submission to her man. In fact, most women are brought up in the romantic sense that it is a submission out of love, and will thus expect themselves to show great courtesy and humility to any stranger they encounter. In contrast, the man is taught to respect, honour and greatly treasure such a sacrifice of will by women and see themselves as chaperons of guidance and care. This in no way means the men are entitled to their bodies. Such feelings are expected to happen naturally, however, it is not uncommon that women obey in this regard as well, even if they themselves have no such urges at the moment of request.

During courtship in a betrothal, the man is expected to learn the mind of the woman he is wooing. Asking questions, learning her soul, and flatter as he deem fit. In return he will tell her about himself if the woman gives her blessing. Food is meant to always be shared between the two, but no intimacy may arise before marriage officially has begun. If such desires have already surfaced before the full year, the couple is ready to be married with the blessings of both Light and Dark.

This strict hierarchical family structure between the sexes is a very loose covenant, guided by the perception of femininity and masculinity, and in no way by law. However, it is more likely that a woman will bond through her Light with her husband than the other way around, in a deep sense of affection through dependency. Thus women that fall outside the pattern and social norms are usually stigmatized. Eloping cannot occur, as two people that love each other is never an affront, regardless of their parents’ objections.

As a consequence of this social model, women are likely to adapt the craft or trade their husbands employ, but it is neither unheard of nor frowned upon if they chose to pursue another independently. They are also fiercely devout mothers, defending their right to bring up their children with almost unparalleled jealousy. Thus, it is more likely that children inherit interest in their mother’s craft or trade, rather than from their fathers.

These stark contrasts between family customs and society as a whole may seem strange, but it has its explanations. Deep Elves go through a very destructive pregnancy, where the Light inside them are fused with the fetus. Decreasing metabolism and fever is common during late expectancy, and the women are dangerously exposed and vulnerable at this stage. This clash heavily with Deep Elven ideas of excellence and devotion to work and artistry, so when the women wished to continue practicing it even when with child, the men was there to stop it from happening in worry for the health and life of both mother and unborn infant. For a millennium, this phenomenon has become a revered aspect of their culture, and is held in as high regard as the idea of freedom and cleanliness."

Historian Brent von Neibsen, 956. A draft from his "Treatise on the Elven Cultures". Imperial Library section 4, aisle 28.
 
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The Master of Mirrorwater

Elron of Mirrorwater, claimant to Mirrorwater Hold had been seeking the aid of the Lords of Light in recognition of his claim to his home province, which had been hotly contested by Lady Larien of Coamenel, regent to the Thera of Coamenel. Aid came to the master in exile from one whom he least expected; Lady Snovit of Kalare.

In First Seed, as Mirrorwater's countryside planted its first crop of the season, Elron returned to his home and was made welcome in the Kalare-held capital of his province. As Elder Nidon of Unidon rode to Azeratii to accept his new lordship from Lady Larien, liberator of Mirrorwater, Elron and Lady Snovit met within the Hold.

Behind closed doors, and after many messages and ravens sent forth from the castle to Kalare, a deal was hatched out where the lordship of the hold was given over to Master Elron of Mirrorwater. In a brief celebration in the city, Snovit was declared 'The Flower of Beauty' of Mirrorwater and a friend of the Hold untill the end of the days. Lady Snovit and the Kalare garrison then left the city, leaving it in the hands of Master Elron, whom it was said, was quite taken by the Nordic Lady.




Writ of Lordship
Mirrorwater Hold


Elron of Mirrorwater, son of Luien, is hereby declared the rightful ruler of Mirrorwater by blood, and the sacred laws of Galadriel. Master Wylan and his sons, having perished in the siege of Mirrorwater, have left no direct-blood heir to the throne, therefore, by ancient writ, the throne is passed to Elron, nephew to Wylan.

All hail Master Elron! Lord of Mirrorwater!

Master Elron gives thanks to the forces of the Galadriel Alliance whom freed his home from the occupation of the Norseland forces. The late Theron Armas of Coamenel; may the Light keep him, Duke Justinus of Celestian, Jarl Alfodr of Frostverd, Underking Yarpen of Mahakam Clan, and Underking Wrothiron of Deagrin, and all their fighting men. May they be blessed.

Master Elron asks that the heroes of the alliance leave Mirrorwater in peace and let a new era of prosperity blossom in the land of tranquil lakes.

Light Bless You All​


House Kalare Earns Prestige!
30 Gold Chests Earned!

Elron of Mirrorwater now holds the capital of Mirrorwater!
 

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A letter to the Lords of Light.

The city of Mirrorwater has been illegally given to Elron the Housless in clear violation of the Northern War Peace treaty. The nords had no right to select the leader of Mirrorwater and by doing so they have directly interfered in Galadriel’s internal business. While I do not wish to see a return to war Elron’s hold of the city of Mirrorwater is declared illegitimate. He seeks to use our war against the Dark to further his own personal power. Master Nion is the true lord of Mirrorwater and his claim shall be upheld. I seek the support of the Lords of Light to join me in declaring Elron’s rule as illegitimate and pressure him to step down.

- Larien Coamenel, Regent of Coamenel

All trade into the city of Mirrorwater is hereby halted until Elron steps down, any citizens of the city shall be allowed to leave towards for the countryside where they will be cared for.
 

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Girl Talk​

Eylinn woke up, brisk and early, for breakfast. Fully rested and excited over what the day would bring. She spotted the fiery red hair of Nienna at the long-table, eating an assortment of fruits and fish to round the yesterday’s fatty meals.

“It was great...” Eylinn had snuck up on her from behind, whispering into her ear, and the girls giggled simultaneously as she sat down.
“I take it you got to the straightening out. Come on, you really need to tell me everything now. You snubbed me off most hideously yesterday!” Eylinn looked abash.

“Sorry... But I really did mean it. I was completely taken by surprise, and didn’t have time to think at all. But I slept on it, and by Light, I couldn’t think about anything else all of a sudden.” She looked over the table for any trace of meat, but settled with a fresh cracker which she immediately started to politely nibble on. “You have no idea the mess I can find my own mind in. But, it was sweet. Yes, a bit hard, he practically launched his face at me! Then it just felt nice...”
“Well...” Nienna gave Eylinn a push with her elbow. “...tell me!”

“Tel l you what?” Nienna’s eyes were peeled in excitement.
“Do you like him?” Was she supposed to be honest about this? Was it too soon to tell? The whole concept of gossiping was so alien to her. She practically had no friends to speak of other than the odd acquaintance, so she had little practice in this area of conversation. She smiled.

“I think it’s worth looking into.” Nienna winked her eyebrow and turned on a sly grin. “He’s cute.” She was blushing. “We betrothed. He can court me, and we’ll see where that leads.”
"Betrothed?!” Her voice was less than discreet. “He seems nice and everything but wow that is fast, don't you want to get to know him first?"

“It’s how we court in Green Chasm.” Eylinn sported a serene smile. “I wouldn’t know any other way to do this."
"That's... uncanny. In Coamenel you just find someone you like and spend time with them. There isn't any commitment like that. But that's your culture I guess." Nienna pulled the corners of her mouth. ”I guess a lady can't really do that." Why not? It made sense.

"It's a bit unfair isn't it?" She started to hesitate. Eylinn barely knew the boy, or anything about him. It was all most a haze, a collection of short flashes of memories and emotions, and she had nothing to compare it with. It was a leap of faith, a blind trust in words that might just as well be untrue. She frowned. "Do you think I made a mistake? It all just happened so fast, and his father said all these nice things about him. I just..." Nienna looked concerned.
"No, no, no, I'm not trying to tell you to break the betrothal or anything. I'm just talking. All I know is that if I got betrothed to the first boy that kissed me I wouldn't end up being happy." She started to pull the end of hair between her fingers, curling them in a nervous twitch. Eylinn didn’t pay attention. Instead, she turned her head away. She leaned her head against her palm and stared forward, deadpan.

"He wasn't my first." She sighed. "I just decided it would be so." She tried hard to smile again, but she only came half way. "Because this one made me happy." Nienna looked confused. She ought to. Yesterday Eylinn had told her a different tale.
"Oh... It’s all well then. Your first kiss should make you happy, anything else shouldn't count. I'm sorry you didn't like the ‘other one’ though." She started to push a fruit around on her plate before continuing. "Was it another lord?"

"Something like that." Eylinn didn’t understand why it always would come back to this. She had already decided to erase it from her memory, but she guessed things like this were meant to change slowly. She shook her head. "It matters not anymore. And it's not like I can just expect another boy to jump out of nowhere that actually likes me anyway. I mean, just look at you!" She drummed nervously at her cracker while looking at Nienna. "You have this beautiful red hair, a pretty face, excitement, joy. I have none of that." The cheeks of both girls were reddening.
"Thanks, but you are pretty too, and I really like your hair. I think anyone would be happy to court you, and not only because you’re beautiful. They’d get your title too!" She laughed at her own joke, provoking no reaction whatsoever. "And as far as being joyful and excited, in case you didn't notice, that's what you’ve been for the entire feast!" Eylinn stared her down, squinting her eyes.

"How the hell do you get the lashes so large? I need to know." Nienna laughed.
"These? I just use a curler to make them look like that. Surely you have one too?" Caught in her own excitement, she didn’t even allow Eylinn to respond. "By the Light, we should give each other makeover!" Eylinn had tried that once with her sister, and it hadn’t ended well. She giggled nonetheless.

"If I survive the battle, we must." In a bold move, spur of the moment, or just the plain need to do so, she laid her hand upon Nienna’s arm. "Thank you for doing this. I really needed to talk about something completely different." Clearly not satisfied, Nienna proceeded by giving her a full embrace.
"Of course, that's what friends are for. You can always talk to me. I hope everything goes well at the basin. It really is amazing to be entrusted leading such a huge army at your age."

"Swords always made more sense to me. Besides, I had a good mentor." She had caught Alvon in the corner of her eye, a walking shipwreck, but he covered it to the best of his abilities. He sat down next to Eylinn, reeking of spirits and something more indelicate. His bloodshot eyes were empty, and were watching nothing in particular. Nienna was the first to speak.
"Oh, hello master Alvon. How are you this morning?" He grunted in reply.

“Is that... perfume on you?” Eylinn asked, while Nienna tried to suppress a giggle under her hand.
"Seems so." He reached out his hand without a movement in his face, blindly looking for something edible.
"Was it the drummer?" Eylinn continued.
"Tambourine."

"Well, I'll see you later Eylinn, and let me know if you ever want to talk some more. Goodbye master Alvon." He grunted, leaving his ward in charge of dealing with any pleasantries.
"Good bye, Nienna." And with that she was off. Bemused, she couldn’t stop observing Alvon as he chased a grape between his fingers. Even now, there was no trace of any expression on his face.

“What was that about?” He forced himself to say.
“I got betrothed.” She shone.
“With her?” She shone no more, instead sending a venomous gaze in his direction. But she suspected he wasn’t in any condition to even feel a snake bite at this point. “Great feast.” He said.
“Great feast.” She replied.
 

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The War of the Shields

East and South of Kalare City, is an expanse of tundra that borders the Rill River. The soil is frozen all year round and stretches south to Stronghelm. The land, made of struggling vegetation, shallow streams, sparse forests, and windswept rocks, is mainly flat and barren. It is an inhospitable place that is simply known as the Shield. The Shield is divided in two Provinces; North Shield and South Shield. As the harsh winter snows slowly melted away, and farmers began their seasonal toil in the unforgiving fields, hostile eyes were cast on the tundra provinces and a new war was about to engulf Norseland.


North Shield


The Honey Hall​
You would not find any nobility here in Honey Hall, the mead hall that serves as the seat of power for the province's Arl. The worth of a man was not judged by his blood, but rather his deeds. The seat of the Arl was filled by a man or woman that was deemed worthy of leadership as demanded by the times they live in. During the early years of the Empire, it was farmers, not warriors or statesmen, that the Shield needed. As such, several generations of great farmers sat upon the throne at Honey Hall, overseeing great works of irrigation to feed the struggling crops of the frozen wastes. These, however, were turbulent times, after the fall of the Empire. A warrior holds the seat at Honey Hall these days.

It was a cold night in late First Seed as an icy wind gripped the mead hall and the surrounding village. Inside the ancient pine walls of Honey Hall, however, the braziers burned bright, the great fire was warm and the mood, cheerful. At the head of the hall, flanked by his spear-wives, was the Lord of Honey Hall, Arl Farkark One-Eye. A giant bear of a man, whose lust for battle was matched only by his thirst. A great pitcher of mead sloshed about in his hands as he gestured his thick arms to emphasise points in his tales of battle prowess.

The hall itself was full to bursting with the greatest warriors in the province, the 500 hundred Thanes of Honey Hall. Dogs fought in one corner over a haunch of mammoth meat. Another dog lazily stumbled up the aisles as drunk as drunkest man in the hall. Men sang and gave cheers, others boasted of their conquests, and many others had a wench in their lap or were unabashedly taking a woman on the tabletop.

The great doors to the hall creaked open, a violent cold breeze threatened the braziers and a head poked inside, hollering above the revelry, "They've passed the Ice Vein Stream!"

The mugs of the hall went up in the air in celebration. The battle was now only an hour away. The door closed shut.

"Farkark," said the eldest of the Spear-Wives, a broad woman with a wispy beard upon her face. "Enough mead. You must get the men ready, they will be here soon."

"Hush, woman!" Barked the Arl. "We fight better when we're good and drunk!" The hall roared an affirmation. One Nord farted his response to the rumble of laughter. "A song!" Hollered Falkark. "Give us a song to stir our hearts and bring us to battle!"

"What of the Bear and Maiden Fair?" Asked one of the Thanes.

"Pah!" Spat Falkark, his glass eye squinting at the one who suggested it. "Are we going to war or frolicking in a field after posies and tea?!"

"The Dragon Born Comes!" Called another.

"Wrong Prophecy!" Roared the Arl in laughter.

His youngest Spear-wife jumped upon a table, kicking over mugs of mead. Auria the Huntress. She had fiery red hair, her shoulders were wrapped in a bear pelt, and a quiver full of arrows at her back. Upon her fair face was a black inked bear claw. Her pale blue eyes peered all the brighter in contrast to the dark tattoo. Her lips parted and a stirring song erupted from her lips. All the hall grew quiet as she sang.

"The Mountains of Highathar
Was a dragon o' fire.
Gold, silver, and jewels
His hunger so vile.

The riches of Dwarves
Naught a taste he found finer.
Till ee stole a mug o' mead
From a poor Nordic Miner.

To Honey Hall, To Honey Hall
The Dragon did Soar.
For the taste o' honey-water
It could not ignore.

Lord o' this hall
a tribute please sire.
Or I burn down your land
I cast it in fire.

Please, O' please
With this dragon, I'll barter.
Drink all of your fill
From my great honey larder.

A full night o' drink
Brought the sweet honey dream.
So deep it was
He saw not the sword's gleam.

And so it was that the beast did fall.
By the sweetest of drinks
In the Shields' Honey Hall."

All the thanes and even the Arl himself set aside their mugs and fetched their swords. With steel in their hearts the warriors of Honey Hall marched out into the frigid cold, leaving the warm hearth and mead behind them.

Upon the frozen tundra before the great plateau that hoisted Honey Hall up in the air, the army of Kalare, led by the Jarl Kvothe himself, clashed with the army of the Shield. The night was cold, and the breath of the screaming soldiers made a mist rise up from the frozen ground. The frost-burnt golden grass began to turn red as the sun began to rise, its crimson fingers stretching across the sky.

With the morning sun in his eyes, Jarl Kvothe and his Swornswords found themselves set upon by the Spearwives of Kvothe Kalare. Fiercest of which was the oldest one, with her manly shoulders and bloodied beard. "I'll eat your cock!" She hollered as her mighty war ax swung through the air, taking the lives of many.

Another, with an unrecognizable tattoo under a smear of blood, limberly dodged past the insistent blows of Kalare Swornswords. Jarl Kvothe began to retreat as a gap was opened up in his defense. The Jarl buried his sword in the giantess Spear-wife, but looked up too late to see Arl Falkark barreling toward him. The Jarl was able to deflect the powerful flourish from One-Eye and knock him backward before the push of Shield soldiers sent them into route.

As his men urged him back toward safety, Jarl Kvothe looked up and saw Arl Falkark kneeling down over the body of his Spear-wife. Falkark looked up and met the Jarl's gaze. There was a quick swipe of the Shielders hand before a blade buried itself in Jarl Kvothe's right eye. Screaming, the lord of Kalare City was carried away.

Marching back to celebrate their victory, Arl Falkark One-Eye turned toward one of his Spear-Wives. "Send the good Jarl a cask of mead, and one of my glass eyes."

Defeat!
No Prestige Earned!
4800/5300 Kalare Troops Remain
Jarl Kvothe Kalare WOUNDED



The South Shield

In the Age of Heroes, during the kingdom of Highathar's height of power, powerful Dwarven armies conquered Galadriel and much of Norseland. While the influence of Highathar has faded since then, the South Shield is still held by a Dwarven noble family. Nords never forget, none more so then the warriors of Stronghelm. There was a reason the Dwarves had held the South Shield since the Age of Heroes and Jarl Arnulf of Stronghelm had learned just that as he marched his army from Mountainshadow.

Building traps along the banks of the rill, the army of Arnulf became waylaid by the impressive constructions that rose out of the ground to take the limbs of his soldiers. Navigating the liquid-fire mines, and spear-falls of the Dwarves was a slow, arduous process. It wasn't until late Monsoon that the Stronghelm army looked upon the capital of South Shield; Stonefall. Unlike most peoples of Agorath, who build their cities upward into the sky, the Dwarves of the Shield dug their city into the earth. Carving out a great pit, they built their city down deep to protect against the harsh winter winds of Norseland.


Stonefall

As a late snow came down upon the Shield, Arnulf led the siege of Stonefall. His army raised ladders and crawling forts against the walls of the city. The Dwarves answered back with throwing axes and liquid-fire. Sorties that rushed out to assault the Nords were thrown back again and again by the invading army. By late Monsoon, despite suffering heavy casualties, Arnulf held the outer city. Though the Deepcastle, the seat of the Dwarven Master, was still held by the Dwarves.

In the dead of night, as Arnulf planned his final push against the capital, a surprise attack drove the Nords out beyond the walls of the city. By the end of Monsoon, after many dead, Arnulf was back where he started at the beginning of the month; outside the walls of Stonefall.

DEFEAT!
No Prestige Earned!
No Gold Earned!
3300/4500 Troops Remain!

Slave Revolt Persists in Stronghelm!​



 
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Fingon888

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A Strange Night Indeed

Wilhelm and Gilbert sat eating at the feast. The drinks were flowing and they were enjoying themselves. Wilhelm looked at Gilbert who was staring at Wilhelm. Gilbert leaned in and whispered to him, “How about we go somewhere more private?”

Wilhelm nodded and got up. Gilbert followed him into the halls. Outside Wilhelm’s room Wilhelm stopped and turned around to face Gilbert. Suddenly Gilbert flung himself onto Wilhelm and kissed him for a few seconds.

“May I continue, my lord?” Gilbert whispered as he nipped at Wilhelm’s neck. “Permission granted.” Wilhelm said before Gilbert pushed him against a wall and began kissing him.

Meanwhile Eylinn was walking down the hall with Jutarian in the background. Jutarian entered a room as Eylinn rounded a corner. She saw two people against a wall and knew they were kissing. How many people are kissing in this fucking feast? It was after thinking this that Eylinn realized who was kissing. It was Count Wilhelm von Saxon and his champion Gilbert von Danzig. Eylinn was stunned. She immediately stopped, her arms fell to her side, and her mouth hung open.

“What… is going on?” Eylinn asked.

Gilbert quickly stepped away from Wilhelm and looked at Eylinn, grinning, his face red. Wilhelm was equally red and stared at Eylinn in surprise. “Umm… nothing.” Wilhelm simply stated. “Hey Eylinn, how is it going?” Gilbert said trying to change the subject.

Eylinn's face flushed as she spoke, “What the fuck is going on?! Is this how Humans converse? Kissing for all to see, without discrimination?! How about bloody asking first, or at least give a hint? Is that really so hard?”

Wilhelm grew redder, but Gilbert simply tried to suppress a laugh. Being somewhat unsuccessful he spoke up, “I certainly asked first.”

Eylinn looked around confused, “Wait,” her face turning pale, “W… Lord Wilhelm?” Eylinn then conducted a complicated curtsy. “Forgive me, my lord. I didn’t mean to…”

Wilhelm laughed and spoke to her, “It is no matter. I should have been more private with my taste in romance.”

“Your… Taste? My lord, aren’t you married?” Eylinn asked, struggling to understand what was happening.

“Taste is a bad word for it. I am indeed married, but Gilbert is my lover.” Wilhelm calmly answered. He had to admit; telling the truth to someone not involved was somehow nice. Like a weight getting lifted off his shoulder. Gilbert was whistling awkwardly in the background.

Eylinn blushed, “But… How would that even work? You have no… None of you do.”

Gilbert broke out laughing. He was so amused he almost fell on the floor. Wilhelm started to answer, “Well…” when after stopping for a moment Gilbert almost yelled, “Explain it to her!” At this Wilhelm blushed and stroked his blond hair with his right hand.

“I… I don’t want to intrude.” Eylinn offered to Wilhelm as a way to get out of the awkward situation.

“It’s fine. Do you really want to know?” Wilhelm asked. Gilbert continued laughing but stopped and offered a solution to everyone’s problem, “I guess she could watch…” Wilhelm looked horrified and responded to Gilbert, “NO she can’t!”

“I” Eylinn twitched and turned about. She was clearly uncomfortable, but she continued speaking. “I don’t understand. Don’t you love Lady Navaris?”

“She is a nice person and I enjoy her company. But love her, I do not.” Wilhelm answered.

“But the two of you do?” Eylinn asked, clearly taking things very slowly.

“Yeah he’s the bottom.” Gilbert said as if that was a perfectly normal thing to say.

Wilhelm blushed and hit Gilbert in the arm. “That is not appropriate.” Eylinn’s eyes narrowed as Gilbert got his signature stupid grin. “I just wanted to clear it up.” Wilhelm pulled Gilbert into a one-armed hug. “But yes, we love each other.”

“So you tricked her? You fooled her into thinking you would love her? Betrayed her in the next step?” Eylinn’s ears reddened, “Did you kiss her first too?”

Wilhelm looked completely shocked. Then he sighed and looked around. “Unless you count a wedding kiss as one than no. I never said I loved her, but if you think I am a bad person I understand.”

Gilbert spoke up, “He didn’t have a choice in marrying her.”

“What happened? Did you parents not allow for you to be married to him? I've never seen this kind of affection before.” Eylinn asked, her curiosity taking hold.

Wilhelm and Gilbert both looked sad. “It is Verboten. Or forbidden in the language we both speak.” Wilhelm explained.

Eylinn looked down. “I think I understand what you mean.” Wilhelm and Gilbert still looked slightly sad, but it appeared their moods were getting better.

Wilhelm looked at Eylinn and back at Gilbert. “We all suffer to love.” Gilbert then finished for him, “Each in their own way.”

Eylinn put her hand to her mouth and grasped her chin. She appeared deep in thought. A question came later. “When do you know you are in love? How does a Human… show it?”

“Well usually us Humans get very nervous and we try to either suppress or ignore those feelings.” Wilhelm answered.

“Then we often do something crazy. For example when I confessed my feelings to Wilhelm, he just kissed me.” Gilbert added.

Eylinn looked away for a few moments, as if conducting a mental battle. Then she turned to the two men and said, “I won’t tell a soul.”

“Oh thank Wotan! Thank you so much Eylinn!” Wilhelm ecstatically said.

“Oh and Eylinn if you ever need to talk about anything don’t hesitate to ask.” Gilbert added with a grin and a thumb’s up.

Eylinn clenched her arms and rubbed them up and down in an incredibly gentle motion. “I think I have had enough men and culture clashes for one evening. Good night milords.” Eylinn then began walking down the hallway.

Gilbert chuckled at Eylinn and Wilhelm merely shrugged. “Well good night Eylinn!” Gilbert called. He then turned to Wilhelm and commanded, “Now get on that bed, boy!”

Wilhelm ran into the room and lay on the bed while Gilbert closed the door. Wilhelm turned to look at Gilbert and didn’t see him anywhere. He crawled to the end of the bed to look for him, but when he got there his face was met with a pair of lips. Gilbert then climbed up unto the bed with Wilhelm while kissing him. Gilbert pulled away and Wilhelm pulled his lips up to Gilbert’s ears, “What are we doing to tonight?” Gilbert laughed and responded, “Whatever you want.” Gilbert then leaned in and nibbled on Wilhelm’s ear while Wilhelm mumbled something. “I think you know what I want.” Wilhelm finally answered. “Of course my lord.” Gilbert said as he began undoing his pants.
 

Sneakyflaps

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Inner Demons

As i was flying away from the battlefield i could sense something was wrong, my heart started to hurt and it kept getting worse and worse. After some time i fell from the sky and was transformed into my human body again, i fell a good distance down before slamming into the ground. I feel into a dream, i kept reliving what had happened that day in the assembly, killing them all over and over again. I was reliving it in fear terrified of what I had done, but i had no choice what else could i have done in the assembly. Night after night it kept haunting me, night after night i was in fear until I finally awoke. I was lying in a bed somewhere I did not know, when i got up i looked around to see where i was which was the first time that i spotted a young boy lying in another bed not far from me, he seemed like a normal boy but i wondered where his parents where. As i started to explore the house I saw no kitchen or bathroom which seemed odd, it was a big house and they clearly where a powerful family. I was curious where they had found me and why they had taken me in, as i looked for the parents i eventually found the bedroom. As i entered the bedroom i could see something was wrong, as i got closer i could see the man was an Orc with a sword sticking out of him, and the woman having slit her wrist with blood still fresh on the sheets.

I went back a few steps in fear of me having done this, and then i started to rush out of the bedroom, i went down the stairs and just before getting to the door i once again saw the child in the corner of my eye. He still lied on his back but something was different about him, as I went over i could see a sweet little human child with a smile on his lip. As i got closer his smile went away and turned into a frown, the closer i got the more horrified my look became. One side there was this sweet little boy and on the other side there was this horrid looking blackness, slowing corrupt the child and turning him over. My face turned pale with fear and i ran for the door, when i got out of the house i turned back into an eagle and tried to fly away as quickly as i could. No matter how quickly i flew i still could not get my mind off the child, i kept flying for hours until i was above the golden city.

I watched down and i saw all of the city, the harbor district, the market, the imperial hill and where the assembly used to be. I flew down and just before i touched the ground i transformed back into my human shape and landing on my knees. As i now was on my knees where the assembly used to stand, i felt the great sadness and fear i had felt ever since i awoke intensified. Falling on my knees, falling on my pride, I’m tripping over all the times I've lied, tears started to run down my cheeks, as i sat there where i had seen so many people i cared for being killed.

How did I end up in this entangled web of evil? I have asked myself that question over and over again. The only answer I can come up with is that it was my own choices. The Dark One saw right through me and saw that with a little bit of persuasion that it would be easy to penetrate my heart and bring me to the point that I am now. And now after I did the things I didn`t want to, I`ve also kept the secrets I have kept within me for years. I have to keep them with me for yet more time. I do not wish to do this anymore. Yet I am bound by another. Someone who saw something else in me. Something good. Someone who continued to ask too much of me yet I never seemed to be able to turn my back on her. The secrets I kept are tearing me up inside, and i just want to tell them to someone but i cant, i just can’t, i don’t want to do this anymore.

I closed my eyes and just sat there weeping, when i looked up i could see the spirits of those who died on this day. Armas, Javert, Gunther, Mathlion and all the others who died her. They slowly started to walk towards me, ridden with guilt and fear i said in a very low voice ultima and the earth set on fire. They ignored it and just kept walking towards me, as they saw me in the eyes i broke again saying we all want love we all want honor we all want acceptance. I am sorry for what i did, i truly am. Mathlion was the first among them with the rest standing behind him, as he raised his hand a sword appeared and he started swinging it.


Just before it hit i opened my eyes and awoke from my coma, it was however a different awakening than i expected. I was being dragged by elves that had the coat of arms of the Green Chasm, they were dragging me into a camp where i could see the banners of the many different lords of Agorath, it seemed to be a war camp with many different tents. They took me over to the prison cells, luckily due to my new form no one seemed to know who i was so let’s hope it stays that way and i might be able to get out of here without using magic.
 
Last edited:

BlackBishop

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The Lord of Death and Disease
In seclusion within his new home, Ra'Gru has gained awesome new powers and transcended his mortal body. Gifting His blessing upon Ra'Gru, the Dark One has named him the Lord of Death and Disease. After much meditation, Ra'Gru's power is growing but is still a shadow of what it could become. Nevertheless, many Dark Followers pay tribute to their new God.
10 Gold Earned!
5000 Undead Raised!
5000 Loyal Orcs Joined!



The Dark Elf Kingdom
Making the long journey with his loyal followers, Zephfer has settled a new Kingdom in the west, devoted to the cause of the Dark One.
5000 Loyal Followers Joined!
5000 Dark Elves Swear Fealty!



Rise of the Arldoms
In the Pale, Jarl Frostverd ordered greater power be put in the hands of the lesser lords to allow for greater funding of the cities of the Arldom's. This has caused an increase in influence among the Arl's of the Jarldom. While this is met with some disdain by the vassal Thanes of House Frostverd, an increase in sovereignty among the Arl's has seen a boom in trade and gold revenue.
No Prestige Earned!
25 Gold Earned!
Thrall Rebellion Crushed!



King Saladin's Hroniden
After a massively successful campaign, King Saladin has secured the allegiance of many lesser lords and desert tribes of Hroniden, many swearing fealty and paying tribute to the king of the desert sands. Reinforcing his garrison within the Wilds, Saladin has successfully built a strong line of defense between his kingdom and the Dark west. Meanwhile attempts to scout the southern shore of the Ashen Wastes were met with failure as violent storms of Monsoon sunk his scouting fleet.
Prestige Maintained!
15 Gold Tribute Earned!
Wild Ruin Held!


House Kalare has built a Fortified Embassy!

House Coamenel has cleansed their land of the tainted ents!

Western Plots to turn the armies of Zephfer and Ra'Gru have failed! House Celestian is known to be behind the plot!



 
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BlackBishop

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((Still have to update stats before the next turn. Players are free to IC their results while I get that done. New turn should beginning tonight or tomorrow.))
 

Galren

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Shah Asad rode into the camp. The soldiers looked up, but then returned to their duties. The camp had a number of tents, some with soldier's bunks and others for the wounded. Asad made his way to a tent where a body lays. This was the body of Kamal Jabir Ahmed, the man who dared to confront Qylan.

"My lord!" Bahman Terzi, his strategist, bowed down to him. Others saluted the Shah.

"So, we have his body here."

"Yes my lord. It was a miracle that we have found his body."

"Who has retrieved the body?"

No one could answer him. He was about to begin the rites for Kamal's funeral when a young man spoke up.

"I did." The young man was around his 20's, wore a T'Shiek around his head. His features were smooth, with the exception of a small scar at his cheek.

"Young man ... I'm shocked. How can you defeat a legion of undead in order to get Kamal's corpse?"

"I don't know ..."

Asad hesitates for a moment.
"What is your name?"

"My name? I'm Maraj Faram."

"Your courage and bravery has led to my decision to make you my champion. Do you accept this?" Silence.

"I accept."

Then swear this oath:

I swear to remain to be loyal to my lord.
I swear to be just, fair, and kind throughout the land.
I swear to protect my lord no matter what happens.
I swear to bring honor to my lord.​

After the oath is sworn, Asad hands Maraj a scimitar and a shield.

"Take these as your tools. The shield is to defend the people of Herasnia, and the sword is to slay any threats to it."

Maraj Faram is now Shah Asad's champion!
 

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Journey to the West​

Eylinn stood in front of the mirror, carefully tending to her looks. She had moved her knot higher to emphasize the large ponytail leaving it to fall to her shoulders, and the pink ends on her sides were aligned in a more orderly fashion. The bang was raised with pins made of bronze, but she left a small strand of hair down her forehead, unattended, and ended at the height of her eyebrows. The tiara rested between two trims on her right side, tilting slightly backwards while locked in place with two hidden clips, as the hair continued to cover her pointy ear, and pulled behind on the left hand side to expose it there. She crushed the blood amaranth in her palms, and carefully applied its colour over her cheeks, giving them a faint hint of pink. She applied nothing on her lips, rather, clenching them between her teeth to redden them. She would have to remember doing this regularly to keep up the saturation.

From her modest assortment of dresses, she had chosen the one she had never used before. A dark green maiden cut with slashes at the shoulders to expose the skin, decorated with stitches and leaf patterns in golden dye. She straightened and closed her collar with a silver needle, and tied a thin red ribbon around her neck, leaving the rosette to rest on her throat. In sequence she studied her different grimaces, practicing on surfacing a most pleasing smile. She felt dumb.

"How do I look?" Alvon was still recovering from his night-time excursion, using all his remaining strength in a tormented effort to look her way.
"No cleavage?" She looked down at her fully covered bosom, adjusting it slightly against the marked seam. She returned her hands to her collar, straightening it further in an involuntary move. She frowned.

"I just spent hours doing the hair, and that's the only thing you have to say?" Alvon's face turned more serious than ever, fixing his gaze to the wall with fierce determination.
"Men like breasts." She rolled her eyes in a disgruntled sigh.
"Forget I even asked."





She had prepared her horse with the side-saddle and were already seated when the Palemen road towards them outside Azeratii city. It was safe to say they had not been granted as peaceful awakening as Eylinn had. Alföðr's beard was tainted with breadcrumbs, and his son was riding a few feet behind him, only occasionally lifting his head to offer a short glowering her way. It felt odd.

"Milords..." She said while lowering her head in respect.
"Commander." Alföðr said, contradicting her choice of attire, while his son remained silent, whispering something she couldn't possibly overhear. He seemed sullen, not at all resembling the source of excitement he had been the day before. Eylinn's nerves were beginning to falter.

"I..." She composed herself, straightening her back further. "I invite you to ride with us in the front. Until we can properly share tables, you are invited to dine with us during the journey west."
"Very good then!" Alföðr exclaimed and rode up to her, with Freyr positioning himself nearly out of sight behind him. She looked back at Alvon with discomfort in her eyes, and the worry was starting to spread through her body. Deciding to ignore it for the time being, they took off, and she followed up with another open question for both to answer at their own leisure.

"Did you get a good night's sleep, milords?"
"Oh yes!" The old Nord said. She was still fixing her worried eyes towards the boy, but Alföðr redirected them towards his own. "Don't mind him. The mead has just left him. Sort of like with that one." He gave a nod towards Alvon who responded with a groan.

"I see..." She looked down the mane of her own horse. Maybe Nienna had been right. Freyr seemed to hesitate before she even had a chance to get to know him. She had gone to through all this effort to try and please him, but apparently, she had done something wrong. Or maybe, she was only desirable to the inebriated, nothing but a drunken conquest. She tried biting at her lips again. Alföðr seemed to take notice of her dwindling faith.
“You don’t have to worry. He’ll lighten up soon enough.” She felt cheap, foolish and embarrassed. All this work and all they could bring themselves to wear were the same armours and weapons they always seemed to carry around. She thought they’d at least wear something more casual when coming to what was supposed to be a familial meeting. “And being so beautiful this morning doesn’t make it easier for him.” Well at least the older one seemed to appreciate the effort. These Palemen were starting to get on her nerves. She had really brought her hopes up for no good reason at all. She tried to look at Freyr again, and she could see he was smiling, but when her eyes met his, he immediately turned his head down to avoid them. Her skin flushed from discomfort.

“I... I thought it’d make him happy if I wore something more...” Maybe it was as Alvon had said. But she didn’t even have any such dresses, and now it seemed too late to go back and fix it.
“Oh, I am most certain he is happy. You should have seen him when I told him about the betrothal last night.” He laughed. “He won’t ever admit it, but he was practically tearing from happiness.” She just wished he’d tell her what she’d done wrong. Avoiding her every glance, not even saying hello, was a weird display of joy.

“Are you sure it’s just sickness from the mead?” It was her turn to turn her head down. “I thought he now found me disappointing in a sober state.” It was as if Freyr had been asleep. His head flung up and he finally spoke.
“Oh, no! No, no! You would never be able to disappoint me!” She looked back at him, seeing a totally different person from before. He waved to his father as to replace him by her side. “My Therain, forgive me, the vision of you was as of the unflawed emerald of the forest, and I lost all courage and words. This I say from the bottom of my heart.” She couldn’t bare herself to say anything. Eylinn simply blushed, overcoming the fine pigment she had placed on her cheeks before. Her mouth slowly took the form of a smile.

“Milord, you startled me.” Feeling more confident, she bared to treat him with a sly smirk. “Again...”
“Oh... Yes... I’m sorry about that.” He chuckled nervously. “I hope I didn’t hurt you. If you were a shield maiden, you probably would have sunk an axe into my shoulder.” She maintained her expression.

“Had I not liked it, you wouldn’t have been alive here today to apologize for it.” Alföðr let out a hearty laugh.
"Our people may not be that different after all." Eylinn was still looking at Freyr, sending him a more inviting and seductive gaze.

"But I do beseech you, milord. Ride closer." He rode closer, only a foot from shoulder to shoulder. She looked deep into his eyes, and her smile became warmer, her eyelashes flickering slowly up and down. And just as time nearly stood still, she slapped him. He raised his hand to his pounding cheek, befuddled. Eylinn just giggled. “Now we’re even, and I accept your offer of betrothal.” The young boy wiped the disconcert from his face, now instead aiming for a more casual approach. Apparently, too casual. He leaned forward, and grabbed Eylinn by the back of her head, and pulled her in for a kiss. Had he learnt nothing? It was not her body she was surrendering. She stopped him just in time, pushing him away. “Milord, I may be yours now. But we’re not supposed to be intimate until we’re married. If the wrong people had seen that, I’d not be Therain much longer.” Freyr’s face turned into worry.
“I... I’m sorry.” Alföðr rode up and slammed his hand into his son’s back.
“Remember, if she’s to respect our customs, you need to respect hers.” Eylinn looked back, noticing the Nords were without the company of their thralls.

“I guess that can wait. I’d rather not explore our cultural differences before I actually get to know Fre...” She was being inappropriate. They were not at first-name basis just yet. “...my suitor better. I don’t wish for more clashes to sully the mood.” Alföðr nodded in agreement. "But as I’ve now insisted on one of our traditions, is there anything I need to know about Pale customs in courtship?" The boy and father looked at each other.
"We don't have laws on the matter if that is what you ask. Freyr's mother was a commoner. All it says in the stanza from our Hávamál is that you shall not mock a man for his love but respect him for it."

"So no traditions? No rule of courtship whatsoever?"
"The father might say no, but he won't get any support from the scriptures. Most tradition is between shield maidens and housecarls themselves, because of their short lives." Eylinn swallowed. She didn’t know what a shield maiden was, but she certainly wasn’t one. If that was their name for her, it was quite misgiving. She didn’t even own a shield.



"Can I borrow your son for a moment? I wish to speak with him in private." He nodded to the couple, and the son swallowed an enormous lump in his throat. They rode ahead and Eylinn adapted a more serious face. "Your father told me something yesterday. Something that convinced me to even go through with this." She could see he was almost sweating. It was making her uncomfortable to have to lead every conversation like this. Was he just not that interested in her? Deciding to set pride aside for a moment, she tried to smile as to soothe his nerves. Hoping it would make him more relaxed. “How long have you had feelings for me?”
"I-I..." Freyr’s face turned red, almost steaming as his words descended into a mumble. "From the first time I saw you, when you stood in front of our army, ready to defend your land." She felt relieved; a stone fell from her chest. "Why do you ask?" He asked, apparently noticing that she became less tense. "Did you expect another answer?"

"How much do you know about the customs of the Chasm? I will assume, not much."
"You would be correct... I tried to find at least something, but we don't get much elves travelling to The Pale."

"A betrothal is a highly revered moment for a woman. It's inviting a man to court her, for the mutual chance to wake emotions, and ensure that when they are to enter marriage, they are in love. A betrothal usually last for a year, and if you already had feelings for so long, it's a good place to start. A comfort for me as well, as when I agreed to your proposal, I submitted myself to you." He blushed and looked away.
"I never imagined you would even consider having emotions for me... Since me being Nord..." If he felt uncomfortable by her looking at him, she would not wish to torment him further, turning her own eyes away for the time being.

"I don't have any feelings for you yet, and race has nothing to do with it." She wasn’t entirely sure that was true, neither of it, but she wasn’t really ready to be too honest. She tried to seek his gaze again, seeing Freyr had sullen to her words. They had sounded so much better in her head. She sported another smile to try and comfort him. She had to at least give him something that was true. "But you made me happy. The whole yesterday evening, the whole night, and even this morning. That's more than anyone has been able to do for as long as I can remember." She tilted her head, running the cute card she had practiced in the mirror. “And I believe that's worth going for and see where that leads...” Colour was returning to the boy’s face. She was glad. “I... I hope I'm not coming off as selfish, for wanting it this way."
"I don't mind. Not in my wildest dreams did I even imagine us being like this..." He put his hand over his chest. "My heart is already pounding like it's going to break my ribs." Eylinn giggled. She began to see more of the adorable man she had talked to yesterday.

"I'll see to that Alvon hands you a book on our customs. But I don't want you to read anything else than about the courting. You can ask me anything you want, and I'll gladly listen to whatever you can tell me about you." Her face was persistent, wanting to emphasize the importance of her next line. "Let our customs rest for a while. Let it just be us. But my people’s traditions around love, that's..." She inhaled long and hard, trying to reason if she was just lying to herself, or just had such strong urges to experience something real. "That's a part of me. I cannot rid myself of that. If it pleases you, let it be on my terms." He nodded, and she returned to him a warm smile. "This seems to be off to a good start. See... I don't bite. Not often, anyway." Freyr laughed.
"My housecarls will bully me for this. I practice without fear with the shield maidens, but put me in front of you, and I...” He stopped midsentence. She appreciated the gesture, but she wasn’t ready to believe him yet.

"You flatter me, milord. I'm not that special." She relaxed her gaze into his, trying to soak it in. He shook his head, trying to convince her that her words weren’t true. But it was still a long journey west before she’d accept that willingly.
 
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Behold my wall of text!

A Guide to Business and Politics Among the Dwarves of Kogansunan,

Written by an unknown author somewhere around year 700 in the Imperial Age, this invaluable text is the most comprehensive known account of the inner workings of a traditional Dwarven Mountainhome. The unidentified author is writing for the benefit of a young human acquaintance setting out to do business with Kogansunan. The author is most likely a dwarf, considering the intimate knowledge of affairs unlikely to be witnessed by non-dwarves, most likely a merchant himself.


In response to your request, and in consideration of the great debt I owe to your father, I have attempted to answer your requests. Your desire to better understand the nature of those you seek to trade with is well placed. But you must consider that it is not possible for any hand, however skilled, to condense such information into, as you say, "a few brief words." Nonetheless I shall try to illuminate you as to the important facts of life among Dwarves.

It may be wise to state what should be obvious. The two great forces in any true Dwarf's life are his family and his trade. Family is not a concept that should require much explanation, except perhaps to dispel a pernicious notion, held by many humans, that Dwarves oppress, abuse, or otherwise devalue their women. In fact the opposite is true; the honor of any father or husband is grounded heavily in his ability to protect and provide for the happiness of the women in his household. It is this desire to protect that keeps the female Dwarf largely confined and out of sight. But this phenomena is most pronounced among Dwarves who dwell amid other races. In the old, well-protected Mountainhomes such as Kogansunan, Dwarf women travel the streets unescorted without approbation. Because outsiders are not generally permitted into the Delvings, and when they are they are always escorted and watched, the fathers and husbands do not feel the need to go to the extremes sometimes seen among city Dwarves.

It is true that Dwarf women generally do not take up trades, and that a Dwarven marriage, with its negotiations of dowry and wedding expenses, may seem like a commercial transaction. Certainly there are strict customs and rules regarding the socialization of unmarried dwarves of opposite sexes. But I would say that this system avoids much needless suffering and turmoil, and is on the whole a more honest and sincere approach to courtship than the "romantic love" that humans and elves sing of so sweetly. Also, should a Dwarven marriage prove utterly unbearable, either party may initiate a divorce with relative ease, by simply dwelling apart from their spouse for seven nights and announcing that intent. In such a case the bride is entitled to her dowry, and any other property she brought with her into the marriage, while the disposition of other goods and custody of the children tends to be a more involved and contentious process.

It should also be said that it is lawful, if uncommon, for female dwarves to become proprietors of businesses, especially as widows, who are entitled to take up their spouses shops or (more often) sell them to support their families. Most female Dwarves take to the running of a household and the maintenance of social ties as their vocation, as demanding and respectable as any their husbands or fathers might pursue. In rare cases, female Dwarves have made names for themselves in business. These women typically ply their craft behind the scenes, either as partners with or even instead of their husbands and brothers, doing business under their names. Some drop the pretense in time and demand admission into their respective craft guilds on the quality of their work.

That brings us to the other major force in Dwarven life, the guilds. The various guilds dominate the economic life of every dwarf community. Almost every vocation a dwarf may pursue is the exclusive realm of some guild. In fact, it may be simpler to enumerate the fields which are not, called among the Dwarves the Free Trades. These are warfare, scholarship (either history, runecraft, or The Law), and music. These are areas which all adult male dwarves will typically have some acquaintance with. Dwarves are required to serve in the militia, are typically taught literacy, math, lawful behavior and local history as children, and are by nature strongly inclined towards music. Dwarves who pursue such 'trades' are typically either aristocrats themselves or are supported by aristocratic patrons. Prodigious skill in these areas can carry a dwarf of modest birth to great heights of wealth and fame. More modest talents can still lead to a respectable, prosperous career as a noble's retainer or civil servant.

This may be a good time to explain another part of Dwarven society often misunderstood. Dwarves do not have a caste system, at least not as the term is usually understood. It is true that Dwarves almost always inherit their trade and social standing from their parents, for reasons to be discussed. And Dwarves certainly have a clearly defined sense of rank and precedence. But there is nothing in The Law that dictates that a dwarf born to porters must be a porter, nor to prevent a tradesdwarf of sufficient wealth from adopting the trappings and distinctions of nobility. Consider that as each of the original Seven Fathers was in time King of his own Mountainhome, there is no Dwarf that is not descended from royalty. Thus while there is certainly an imbalance of wealth and power in Dwarven society, there is no true peasant or serf class.

Whereas the nobility of humans and other races derive their place largely from productive lands, for obvious reasons this is not the case among Dwarves. The mushroom farms are in theory owned by the Master, and then leased to the Farmers' Guild in turn for payments in produce. But this is typically not a source of revenue, as the Masters resell produce to their citizens at as low a profit as can be supported, in the interest of keeping food prices stable. The mineral wealth of the Mountains is regarded as common property, in that no Dwarf created them, and so no dwarf can claim ownership. Ores, gems, and stone instead belong to whomever extracts it from the living rock, a monopoly of the Miners' Guild. So rather than derive their wealth and status from control of natural resources, the nobility are supported by twin pillars of public service and an arcane network of endowments and debts.

Having the time to pursue scholarship and arms, the Aristocracy naturally dominates the various public offices found in a Mountainhome. The obvious example is the Master (or in other times and places, Underking and High King), which is by law hereditary. This represents the historical fact of their being the legal heirs to the original leader of the first settlers. In a vague sense, this can be understood as the Master being the theoretical "owner" of the mountain, with all other Dwarves being employees and tenants. The Master then collects various fees from the Guilds in exchange for their monopolies. These fees are set in stone (usually in the highly literal sense of being preserved in a contract stele), paid periodically and reassessed every seven years according to long standing formulae, laid out in elaborate precision.

Most of this money immediately flows outward to support employees and clients. The fortresses full-time guards and the Master's Sworn Shields are an obvious expense, but so are the quiet army of scribes keeping accounts of business transactions and monitoring the state of critical stores. The Master is also obliged to employ judges and legal scholars to navigate the complexities of contracts and civil suits that inevitably arise, and to provide advocates for all parties in criminal cases. Longstanding contracts with Weaponcrafters' and Armorsmiths' Guilds commit the Master to subsidize the production of a set quantity of arms for use by the militia. The upkeep of the physical infrastructure of the fortress is also his responsibility, though the Guilds in turn are required to provide deeply discounted rates for such projects. Aristocratic families tend to dominate the middle and high levels of the bureaucratic and military elite, absorbing by marriage talented strivers from the lower ranks into their extended families.

Exceptional service (typically military, but sometimes otherwise) is often rewarded with endowments. These commit the Master's house to supply an annual amount to a dwarf, and six generations of his heirs, a set amount annually. Amounts vary, but it is typically enough for the distinguished Dwarf to live a comfortable aristocratic existence, but with subsequent generations having to split the endowment more and more they are required either to marry into other endowed families or support themselves with public offices.

The other principle source of passive income for the Dwarven Aristocracy is lending to the other classes. As a dwarf progresses through a career in one of the craft guilds, he is usually called upon to pay fees at various milestones. The most daunting of these is typically the first, the apprentice fee to get a young Dwarf into a guild in the first place. This fee is waived for children of members in good standing, meaning there is no financial barrier to being educated in the family trade. However a Dwarf who wishes to place a child in a different Guild, either because of the youngsters talent or as a way to take up a more profitable business, is faced with a potentially steep bill. Dwarves in this situation seek out an aristocratic patron willing to loan them money. In exchange the agree to pay a certain percentage of their child's future earnings to the lender. Depending on the amount, these agreements can stretch for up to three generations. There are legal limits to what lenders can charge, but it can still amount to a substantial burden. On the other hand, it is one of the only ways for members of comparatively low-earning Guilds to see their children advance in prosperity.

The Guilds themselves can be loosely divided into two groups. "Labor" Guilds extract or transport raw materials. They are among the most numerous and indispensable Dwarves. The worst off of these are the Porters, who perform the monotonous but vital function of moving goods through the city in handcarts. Miners and Farmers, by virtue of their monopoly on basic economic inputs, have a very strong position from which to negotiate. In Dwarven fashion, the price of their products is set not by individual negotiation but by collective negotiation with a "Craft" Guild. The Miners' Guild negotiates with the Smelters, Jewlers, and Masons to set prices for raw materials, usually for a seven year period. The buying guilds then in turn either set the prices for the end consumer or (in the case of "middlemen" guilds like Smelters) negotiate them with another consumer guild. But Guilds also function as pseudo-governments. Because practically all Dwarves live in neighborhoods (called Delvings) dominated by a single guild, that guild will typically manage civic improvements in their territory, such as street cleaning or beautifying public spaces.

In this capacity Guilds will also negotiate prices for basic consumer goods for their members. For example, Brewers will usually charge a lower per-barrel price in the Delvings of the Miners' district, and make up for it in volume. These arrangements are usually restricted to basic staple goods with consistent rates of consumption. They are typically delivered to Guildhalls and then distributed to their members. Furniture, metalwork, jewelry, and other more sporadic purchases are sold on an individual basis. Typically the Guild that produces the item in question will set a flat rate for a product. The consumer either buys directly from a Guild "Store," or places an order through the Guildhall. If the customer is not specific as to which craftsdwarf they want to do the job, it is simply made available to the Master Craftsdwarves of the guild, in order of seniority. If a customer does want a specific Dwarf's handiwork, they can pay a premium for it. Part of this premium goes to the craftsdwarf, and part to the Guild. This encourages guild members to compete with each other not by increasing output and lowering price, but by cultivating a reputation for high-quality work.

Guilds also set export prices for their members. This usually takes the form of a single elected guild representative bargaining with foreign traders on an individual basis, meaning that unlike the stable domestic market export profits can swing wildly.

The Hierarchy of a Guild, no matter the industry, is the same. At the bottom are the apprentices, adolescent Dwarves toiling under the instruction of a master. After a set period of years, they can apply to their Guild for recognition as Journeymen. This usually involves a series of tests to judge the quality of their work. Journeymen Dwarves are no longer bound to serve under a specific master. They either work as laborers for a master who has a large project, or they rent space in a master's workshop to make their own consumer products. Journeymen are also free to relocate to another community if they think they'll find better prospects there. To start accepting contracts or to own their own shop, a craftsdwarf has to be acknowledged as a Master. In theory this status reflects a judgment by a Guild Grandmaster that they have sufficient skill. In practice, most Guilds are extremely slow to promote Journeymen to Masters. In order to keep demand high, Guilds attempt to keep a tight control on the market by limiting the number of suppliers. In long-established, stable markets, a Journeymen may be forced to wait for an old Master to retire before competing with his fellows for his place. By contrast, if demand has consistently outstripped supply, journeymen might be dubbed Masters despite dubious credentials. This has served as a major spur for Journeymen to migrate to newly founded cities, or to Dwarven Quarters in human towns.

Every Master has a vote in the governance of their Guild. Grandmasters are the leaders of the Guild, their numbers varying with the size of the membership. They are typically respected elders, not necessarily the most skilled or wealthiest. Grandmasters hold their position as long as they are still active in the trade, loosing it only on retirement or death. The Grandmasters themselves choose one of their number to represent their Guild in council with the ruling Master of the City. These Dwarves serve two year terms, and are responsible for ensuring the Guild is able to perform its public duties, such as maintaining public buildings or providing goods for the army. These Dwarves are typically referred to by a ceremonial title, i.e the Stonemaster for the Masons, the Lardermaster for the Farmers, the Brewmaster for the Brewers, etc. Achieving such a rank is usually the capstone of a long career.
 

parabranko

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Name: Luk'av of Bravengrad
Age: 33
Trait: brilliant strategist
Race: Orc) Remember, races may only live in certain territories!
Location: The Ashen Wastes, Bravengrad
Heir:Ugor of Bravengrad
Daughter:
Vassals: (up to two vassals) Brom of Bravengrad
Grom of Bravengrad
Champion: Lukav of
Bio: Luk'av is descendant of legendery hero Braven the enlightened. Braven held of by himself an entire army of light for whole day and all night so that his tribe could escape their clutches, before he finally fell. In his honor tribe then took name Bravenkin. Long line of Bravens descendants ruled the tribe till this day. Luk'av inherited chiefdom from his father pretty young, at the age of 18. Many questioned his ability and skill, but he proved to be strong and cunning ruler. Luk'av kept his tribe safe and led it to many great battles against neighboring tribes.
 
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((Welcome to the game, I will make musical instruments from your bones!
Just an observation, but 'the enlightened' is a strange nickname for a servant of darkness.))