• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

blklizard

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Hi, this will be my first EU IV AAR. As you can see in my signature, I've been cooped out in EU 3 for quite awhile. I admit that I'm not a great writer but that hasn't stopped me from trying :p. Anyways, let's get to what this AAR is about.

Rules:
-I will be going from nation to nation. (That seems simple enough.)
-Time periods may vary. (Makes sense.)
-For each nation, I will be writing out a short story. (Alright, that explains the title.)
-For viewers, you may pm me a single character per nation who will be fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be a part of the AAR. Let me warn you that the only control you have over your character is his/her creation. Once they are in my story, they are mine to shape and manipulate. When I reveal the nation, I will be explaining what criteria I will be looking for in the characters. I must warn you that, with my writing abilities, your character might unintentionally become someone different from what you created and I wish to apologize beforehand.

That's it for now. I will be thinking about the first nation and I hope to see you there.
 

coates

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Sounds like quite a nice idea - I have Subscribed.
 

blklizard

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Sounds like quite a nice idea - I have Subscribed.
Thanks a lot! We will begin with our first nation here and you can pm me your character. :)

Nation 1 - Rome
Prologue




Rome! You were once the mighty empire that was feared by all. Your armies met no equal. Those who defied you were destroyed.

Rome, what have you become? Barbarians come and go as they pleased. Those who you once hunted has become the hunters. They are coming! They smell weakness and seek your blood. Your enemies have grown stronger while you, as though becoming an sick old man, grow weaker with each passing day. The Roman legions that once struck fear in the enemy has become nothing more than a group of cowards. They lost their conviction to fight and chose to flee instead. Has the world come to an end? Is Rome breathing her last breaths after centuries of dominance in the our world?

I see the great civilization crumble before my eyes. The Barbarians will bring further destruction. They only know violence. They seek the blood of their enemies. They are mere days away from our capital city. The defenders have abandoned the civilians to save their own pitiful skin. When the capital falls, the Roman Empire would fall.

I have lived long enough in this world. However, I fear for the children of Rome. They deserve a better fate than this. They won't be spared. It's merciful if they get a swift death. They are more likely to be sold as slaves. They will suffer for the incompetence of our leaders. These youths have done nothing wrong but God has abandoned them. They have no one to rely on but themselves. They cannot hope to win against overwhelming numbers. They can only flee. They must rely on their wits to survive while evading capture. Children, I wish you luck! There's not much I can do for you. I would pray but even God has turned his back on us.


Our first nation will be Rome. The starting date is August 30, 476. The Barbarians are mere days from the capital city, Roma. The defenders have abandoned their posts and Roma would no doubt fall quickly. You, as civilians, learned of the betrayal and must find a way to flee the city. You are unsure where to escape to or who to trust. All you know is that time is running out and survival is at stake.

If you wish to participate, please PM me a character with the following info:
-name
-age
-profession
-short background

As for the fate of your characters, you will have to wait and find out.
 

blklizard

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Rome

Chapter 1

[August 30, 476]

(Roma, Rome)

Turbatus walked down the street with six of his men. Everywhere, there were flurries of activities. Carts lined the side of the streets with people trying to pack as much valuable as they can before the Barbarians arrive. The Barbarians were rumored to arrive in a matter of days and the civilians were trying to flee. Turbatus looked at the carts and shakes him head. He couldn't understand how these people, while trying to flee an army, would pack enough possessions to slow them down. To Turbatus, possessions didn't mean much if one was captured by the Barbarians who would no doubt enslave their captives. Turbatus arrived a week before and he learned that only a quarter of the city's population has left since he arrived. Everybody else aimed to leave within the next two days which Turbatus perceived as too late. The Barbarian armies moved quickly across Northern Italy and they would have no trouble chasing down civilians that could only travel a relatively short distance each day with their carts. Turbatus' right hand man, Cossus Italicus, walked up beside him.

"When will we set out, Turbatus?" Cossus asked.

"I'm not sure. We might be part of the last group to leave Roma?" replied Turbatus.

"That might mean we will be facing the Barbarians."

"Alright, we will leave slightly earlier. Will tomorrow work for you?"

"You do know that you are the one calling the shots, right?"

"I'm just asking what you think."

"Would you listen?"

"I might."

"Forget it. You decide."

A little girl, sitting on a passing cart ,pointed at Turbatus while asking her mother, "Look at his big beard! Is he a Barbarian?"

"Hush, child!" the mother answered as she looked at Turbatus with an apologetic smile.

"Don't feel bad, Turbatus. It's not your fault people don't accept your appearance. The girl is young and she doesn't understand that people are different. Though, I must admit you are pushing the limits a little," commented Cossus once the mother was out of earshot.

"They won't be making fun of me once I become a hero," answered Turbatus who turned his attention to the road ahead of him. The other children sat on their cart knowing something terrible was going to happen. Normally, children would be playing in the streets living a carefree life. Turbatus was amazed how quickly that has changed since the civilians were abandoned to fare for themselves.

"I'm guessing you are going to escort a group of civilians to the port then? I don't know why I'm still here with you. I'm risking my life for your attempt at glory."

"You don't have to stay. I'm not forcing you."

"You're right, Turbatus. I stayed at my own will. I don't know how you will survive without me being there with you. You could barely cook."

Turbatus remained silence as he led his six men down the street. The party arrived at the marketplace where the majority of the stalls were already empty. The last few remaining stalls were almost cleared out and Turbatus was passing by one of them. Because Turbatus was too busy devising a plan for the next few days, he accidentally knocked a marble statue off a table. The statue hit the ground with a loud crash and Turbatus realized too late that he was responsible.

"Oh dear," muttered Turbatus as he feared the owner would be screaming at him. Turbatus didn't have too much ducats on him and he couldn't afford getting into a fight with a local.

The owner exited his stall upon hearing the noise outside and looked down at the broken statue.

"No worries, young man," the owner replied with a shake of his head. "Better the statue break now than the Barbarians get their hands on it. Not that I think they would appreciate such beauty. They would probably do the same if they could get their hands on it."

"I am still very sorry," said Turbatus.

"Don't be. I shouldn't even consider bringing the statue with me anyways. You actually did me a favor because, now, I'm pretty sure I won't be taking it with me. By the way, you aren't from here, are you? I have never seen you around here and I've met most of the people in the city. Please don't be offended but, if I have seen you, I would remember."

"No offense taken. I came from the province of Dalmatia."

"You are a long way from home. I'm curious why you left the safety of your home and came here. Roma is about to be captured by the Barbarians and people all want to flee here."

"I want to fight for my nation. I don't mind losing my life if I could save Rome from the Barbarians. I was thrilled when I got news that the emperor was gathering reinforcements for a final stand in Roma."

"I see. You must be deeply disappointed when you realized that he, members of the Senate and all the soldiers have abandoned the city."

"I was outraged. They betrayed the people that put their hopes on them. They are cowards and I won't feel anything if the Barbarians cut them down. Their betrayal has affected me as well. I brought five hundred men with me across the Adriatic Sea and I only have a handful with me now."

"If I were you, I would leave now. With your handful of men, you can still escape. Don't be slowed down by us civilians. With the Barbarians coming, it's everyone for themselves."

"I have no intention of doing that."

"Why? Are you foolish enough to seek the death of a hero? Don't be so naive. If you die today, nobody will remember you. You will be another man cut down by the Barbarians. All you will leave behind is blood that will help dye our land red."

"For me, living as a coward is no way of living. I would rather die fighting Barbarians than return to my home with disgrace. I cannot live on knowing I betrayed honor and everything else I stand for. If I must die soon, I will make sure I take a few Barbarians along with me."

"You have guts, child. You are equally foolish. I wish our soldiers were all like you. Then, the Barbarians may actually think twice before attacking us. Anyways, I must finish packing my possessions. If I am fortunate, we might meet again on the road."

The old man entered his stall without another word. Turbatus thought about what the old man was saying and Cossus stared at the broken statue on the ground.

"Rome look like this statue," said Cossus.

"What do you mean?" Turbatus asked.

"Rome was once a well refined nation. The Barbarians once feared us because we appeared superior to them. The tables have turned now that the Barbarians sensed weakness. They learned that Rome wasn't invincible and they want revenge. They are a mere step away from shattering our nation forever."

"Keep your philosophy to yourself. I just want to know how to get us and some civilians back home safely."

The party made its way past the marketplace to the local barrack. The barrack was abandoned when the soldiers left the city and Turbatus saw it as free housing. They entered the barrack to see everyone else staring back at them. Turbatus knew these men were loyal to him and would die for him. He was thankful to have befriended these men and prayed to God that they will all make it home in one piece.



Just putting an update out to give everyone an idea what this AAR is about. Still accepting characters.
 

coates

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Very good update! I'm glad to see Turbatus come to life.
 

blklizard

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Very good update! I'm glad to see Turbatus come to life.
Glad you liked it! :) Your character was an interesting one and I'm happy to put him in.

Rome

Chapter 2

[August 30, 476]

(Roma, Rome)

Turbatus headed to his room where he could have some solitude. He sat down on the bunk bed and pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket. He carefully unfolded the paper so he could reread the content.

Turbatus,

I still remember the first time we met on the streets. You were escorted by some soldiers to your manor and we saw each other. You stopped so suddenly that your men feared you had a heart attack. I found it funny when your men were trying to carry you when you refused to budge. I don't know what my reaction was but I snapped out of the trance before you. Seeing that I was a mere peasant and you were the governor, I didn't think anything was possible between us. I walked away and I thought I could forget about you. I was wrong.

Since that day, I constantly dreamed about you. You are so different from all the other men I met. Most people considered you as an odd looking man and they generally try to avoid you. Yet, you struck me as a handsome man and I could never forget about that beard of yours. It's so unique and I know you must have great courage if you refused to shave it. After a few days, I knew I have fallen in love with you. However, you must understand that I'm a shy woman. I didn't think you would even consider marrying me. How wrong was I as we were meant to meet once again at the marketplace.

That day was truly wonderful. I had the day off from chores and I decided to check out the marketplace. There were so many stalls and I could barely look at all the products. Suddenly, you bumped into me and, for the two of us, it appeared as though time has stopped. We stared at each other for almost forever until you grabbed my hand and led me through the crowds. I could hear men calling your name behind us but you never stopped. I felt such thrill running with you through the streets until we entered an alleyway. We were trying to get our breath back when, suddenly, you embraced me and gave me a long kiss. That was my first kiss and I would never forget about it.

After the kiss, you confessed that you wanted to be my husband. You said you were stunned when you saw an angel and failed to chase after me last time. You asked for forgiveness and I was just so confused about what you were trying to say. In the end, I said I would love to be your wife. Our time together would be brief when the city alarm was sounded. The barbarians were coming and you were needed at your post. I told you where I lived and we parted ways. Unknown to both of us, that would be our last day together. The last day we would ever see each other.

I'm afraid this letter will be my farewell to you. Our time together was too brief and I feel God has been too unfair to reunite us to only break up us once again. My father worries about our safety in Dalmatia and believes Byzantium would be a safer refuge for our family. He has already booked a trip on a boat for the Byzantium capital, Constantinople. He kept the evacuation a secret from all of us and I barely had time to write this letter. I want to have a proper farewell but I'm afraid I won't ever have a chance. I pray for your safety. I know you won't abandon your province without a fight and I pray that you may be victorious against the barbarians.

If we were born to this world a few decades earlier, we might just be together. We would be happily married and we can face the hardships together. I wished we could've met sooner though. Yet, fate has dealt us a cruel hand and we must separate. Forget about me! I know you can find someone else in your life. We will be living at two different parts of the world and, with the barbarian invasion, we cannot hope to get in touch. I bid you farewell. Live strong and leave no regrets. I will do the same and may we both find the happiness we seek in our lives. Goodbye!

Cantilia

Turbatus folded the letter and returned it back to his pocket. He laid down on his bed and wondered how Cantilia was doing at the moment. Suddenly, Cossus arrived outside his room.

"The barbarians are here!" yelled Cossus.

Turbatus immediately got to his feet and grabbed his weapons on the bed. He quickly equipped himself and followed Cossus out of the barracks.

"I thought they were still a few days away," said Turbatus.

"I'm afraid they sent a small patrol here. They realized that no defenders were on the walls and entered the city," replied Cossus.

"How did you know they were here?" asked Turbatus as the two of them meet up with the party.

"We heard screams from the direction of the gates. We have reason to believe that the enemy is already here," answered Cossus who joined in rank with the other men.

"Well, we knew this day will come. Prepare yourselves for battle!" stated Turbatus as he led his men onto the streets.

Turbatus followed the directions of the screams and ran quickly to meet his foes. Few minutes later, Turbatus saw the barbarians when he turned around the corner. There were a total of twenty barbarians in total. The barbarians were tall with eyes as blue as the sky. A few of the barbarians looked no older than ten years old but they had the same savagery in their eyes. They were each armed with a sword and a small shield. None of the barbarians had armors of any sort. They wore wolf hides as their clothes and two of them, whom Turbatus guessed would be the officers, had helmets made from wolf heads. The barbarians seemed to find joy killing the vulnerable as they cut down men, women and children alike. Looking at their ability to wield the sword, it became obvious to Turbatus that these barbarians were veterans in hand to hand combat. Normally, Turbatus would pick a favorable location to engage these barbarians. However, the bodies littered along the street made Turbatus' blood boil. Unable to control his rage, Turbatus charged into battle with a cry that froze the barbarians in their tracks temporarily. His men joined him and the barbarians, hearing the battle cry of Turbatus, chose to ignore the civilians and engage worthwhile targets to satisfy their bloodlust.

 

coates

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Another good update! I think Western Roman Empire is Best Roman Empire, personally.
 

blklizard

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Another good update! I think Western Roman Empire is Best Roman Empire, personally.
I personally feel the Byzantine Empire has a different identity compared to the Western Roman Empire. I cannot say which is the better of the two though.

Rome

Chapter 3

[August 30, 476]

(Roma, Rome)

With adrenaline in his system, Turbatus charged forward without any hesitation. There was only one goal in his head: kill the barbarians or die trying. The two sides charged at each other and Turbatus found himself facing one of the officers. The Roman soldiers were weighed down by their large shields and the barbarians took advantage by using their momentum as their advantage. The Romans, having discipline and training instilled in them, were able to brace just in time and use their shields to absorb the impact. Turbatus managed to bash his opponent before swinging his gladius down at the barbarian officer. The barbarian, slightly dazed from the bash, instinctively responded with his shield. However, Turbatus made a heavy swing which cut right through the shield and sliced the forearm off. Not waiting for the barbarian to recover, Turbatus stabbed his gladius right into the barbarian's abdomen. The barbarian grabbed the gladius and looked at Turbatus with absolute hatred in his eyes. Turbatus, determined to finish the barbarian off, pulled his gladius out before beheading the man. Turbatus looked around and realized that his men finished their duels as well. The barbarians were dead and, except for a few minor injuries, everybody was fine. Cossus walked over to Turbatus.

"Don't do that again," said Cossus as he placed his hand on his friend's shoulder.

"What did I do?" asked Turbatus while he looked at all the corpses.

"You know what I mean," answered Cossus who started walking back to the barrack.

Turbatus signaled his other men to follow Cossus while he stood in place awhile longer. He was pondering about the hate in the man's eyes. The man didn't hate him because he was killed. There was something else about the man's history. Hearing Cossus calling his name a block away, Turbatus snapped out of his thoughts and turned around to join his men. They got to their barrack quickly and packed all the essentials. These men knew that, with the scouting party here, the main barbarian army wasn't too far behind. A few minutes later, the men were ready to hit the road. They exited the barrack single file and made their ways to the gates. Like them, many of the local civilians realized that the barbarians were near and they were rushing to pack up their stuff on their carts. Turbatus decided that it wasn't worth the risk to wait for these civilians and continued leading his men to the gates. At the gates, Turbatus saw the old man he met earlier in the marketplace talking to someone he assumed was his wife. The old man turned around and, upon seeing Turbatus, went over to greet him.

"Hello, youngster," said the old man. "I'm afraid I didn't introduce myself last time we met. I am Kaeso."

Turbatus didn't want to be rude so he decided to speak with the old man. "My name is Turbatus."

"Turbatus, I'm hope you don't mind two elderly people tagging along."

"I have no problem with it."

"My wife and I decided to not bring anything except for ducats for the road and some clothes. I just don't understand what these people are thinking with their large carts."

"I agree. They are slowing themselves down. I am sure the barbarians don't mind."

"Shall we get moving then? I prefer to leave here as soon as possible."

"I concur."

The old man walked to where his wife was standing and the two of them spoke briefly before they began their journey away from Roma. Turbatus decided to have his small party merge into the large crowd until people began heading their separate ways. There were people of all ages and sizes traveling in a large blob with at least a cart for each family. An hour passed before things suddenly turned chaotic. There were people screaming that barbarians were arriving and the people panicked. Turbatus and his men stood where they were while people ran past them in every direction. Turbatus turned around and was surprised to see the elderly couple patiently waited behind them.

"Don't worry about us," said the old men. "We know better than to panic and get ourselves trampled."

"You two have guts," answered Turbatus. "We will wait here until things calmed down a bit."

Few minutes later, Turbatus' party and the elderly couple were the only ones standing on the road. Many carts were left behind as the people ran for their lives. Turbatus stepped on top of a cart and looked around. He doesn't see any dusts in the distance and concluded that it was just a false alarm. Getting off the cart, Turbatus continued to lead the way and the elderly couple were managing to keep up with their pace. Along the way, small families, seeing men in Turbatus' party had weapons, joined the party hoping to protection. At around noon, everyone had a small lunch before they continued their journey. Turbatus wanted his group to make it to Tyrrhenian Sea where his transport ship was waiting. Luckily, the party made good progress because fear pushed the people harder on their feet. Before the sun set, the party arrived at the small port where the transport ship was waiting. The soldiers guarding the dock were busy holding off the civilians trying to get onto the transport ship. Turbatus quickly ran towards the dock and helped restore order. He addressed the people.

"Hello, my name is Turbatus. This ship belongs to me. I am willing to take people to Dalmatia. However, I need all of you to keep calm. If you remain this chaotic, no one can get onto the ship and we all die. We will let the elderly, women and children on first. Anyone that refused to go with my procedure will be cut down. I will not tolerate anyone that put their own lives ahead of everyone else. Do I make myself clear? "

The civilians calmed down and the elderly, women and children began making their trip onto the transport ship. Turbatus scanned the crowd and, from his estimates, guessed that there was enough room for everyone here with some space to spare. As soon the elder, women and children got onto the ship, the males were walking towards the ship in a single file and no problem resulted. Turbatus then got onto the ship himself and was about to order the captain to leave when he heard a shout. He looked outwards and saw a family running towards them. Seeing that they still had room, Turbatus decided to wait for the family to get aboard before leaving. The family got onto the ship and the woman, who introduced herself as Caria, thanked both the captain and Turbatus. Caria was a stunning woman and Turbatus found his tongue tied up standing before someone so beautiful. To avoid embarrassment, Turbatus merely nodded to the woman's thanks because he didn't trust his tongue. As soon as Caria headed below deck, Turbatus recovered and spoke with the captain. It would be roughly three weeks before they can arrive in Dalmatia and, except for the occasional stops to resupply, Turbatus knew that they were safe from the barbarians. He feared most if anything happened in Dalmatia. A well organized barbarian attack could succeed in overwhelming the defenders. Turbatus wished his ship could be faster so he can return sooner to his home.

[September 13, 476]

Turbatus stood on the deck looking at the stars when he heard someone approaching him. He saw Caria and found himself losing his breath.

"Are you alright?" asked Caria.

"Yes, ... I'm just not feeling too well ... I have never done too well on the sea," responded Turbatus.

"Maybe this will make you feel better," said Caria as she leaned forward to kiss Turbatus on the lips.

Turbatus felt dizzy and wondered if Caria has just poisoned him. He made sure he stood on his feet despite his knees weakening. After a taking a few deep breaths, he got himself under control.

"Why did you do that, Caria?"

"Maybe I like you a little."

"A little?"

"Alright, maybe a bit more than a little. I just feel thankful that we met. You not only stayed behind to save others but you also rescued my family."

"It's still too early to say. We still haven't arrived at a safe place yet. To tell the truth, I don't know if any place is safe from the barbarians."

"We can only hope, right?"

"Right."

"I want you to have this." said Caria as she took out a gold pendant with the Roman Insignia on it. "My father was part of the Roman military and he died trying to halt the barbarians from advancing. Before he left, he gave this pendant to me and told me to give it to the man I love."

"No, Caria. You shouldn't. I don't even know if we can be together."

"Why not?"

"The barbarians are coming. I must fight them and I know I will die in battle."

"That doesn't explain anything!"

"Yes, it does. I don't want to leave behind a wife and a child."

"Then don't fight. Let's run to a safer location. We can have a peaceful life there."

"I cannot and will not cower when my home is threatened. You are a very beautiful woman, Caria. You will find your other half."

"Alright, I will stop bothering you under one condition."

"I'll try my best to fulfill that condition."

"You must carry this pendant with you. You are the first man I fell in love with. No matter what, I want you to carry this pendant until the day you die."

"Thank you, Caria," said Turbatus while Caria put the pendant around his neck.

Caria, with tears in her eyes, ran below deck. As much as he wanted to chase after her, Turbatus restrained himself from listening to his emotions and stood where he was. He eventually turned around and looked to the stars. A tear drop dripped down his face but he quickly wiped it away. He prayed to God to look over both Cantilla and Caria. He felt content that, in his lifetime, he could meet two wonderful women. Despite the fact that he wasn't meant to be with them, Turbatus felt as though he had no more regrets when he does fall in battle.

[September 20, 476]

The coast of Dalmatia was finally within the sight of the passengers aboard the ship. Turbatus scanned the coast and he was troubled by what he saw. It was clear that barbarians have ravaged the countryside and nothing was left except destruction. When the city of Salona was in view, Turbatus was bewildered that the city gates were already broken through and fires were started within the city. Turbatus assembled his small party above deck and gave them the choice of staying with the civilians or join him in a final fight against the barbarians. As expected, these men all chose to join Turbatus in the suicidal run. Turbatus met with the captain and ordered him to sail close to the beach so he and his men can get onto the shore. The captain reluctantly agreed and, before the party jumped off the ship, said his farewells. As soon as the party got onto the beach, the ship headed back out to sea leaving the men to their deaths. The party ran towards the city but they met the barbarians quickly. The barbarians, having spotted the ship, already sent a small force to investigate. Seeing Roman soldiers in small numbers facing off against them, the barbarians laughed and charged at the Romans.

The Romans formed a box with their shields ready to absorb the shock of the charges. The first wave of barbarians were stopped in their tracks and they were cut down with ease. The waves kept coming and the Romans continued to hold their ground. An hour later, one Roman fell and the box became smaller. Still, the men kept fight the waves of barbarians. The Romans fought valiantly but their numbers began to dwindle. Half a day has passed and the party lost half its numbers. The barbarians still charged forward because they didn't know how to give up. The corpses of the barbarians littered the beach but neither sides were giving up on the engagement. The barbarians were suffering huge casualties but they no longer cared. The path to Salona was too easy and the barbarians were finally satisfied that they found worthy opponents. For the barbarians, it was an honor to die fighting against worthy opponents. A single day passed and only eight Romans, including Turbatus, were standing. They were covered in the blood of their enemies and they were absolutely exhausted. If it weren't for their strong will to continue the fight, the eight Romans would have collapsed a long time ago.

The barbarians didn't let up on their charge at night either. They weren't willing to give the Romans any rest and the constant fighting eventually did have an impact on the Romans. On the following day when the sun just rose in the horizon, two Romans were left. Cossus and Tubatus were standing back to back. They have been sliced in a few areas but they no longer felt pain. They were so exhausted that they no longer think. Instead, they relied on their instincts to cut down their enemies. The barbarians still came in wave after wave and Cossus was the first to fall. Turbatus, as the lone Roman still standing, felt his energy spent and knew that his time was almost over. Four barbarians closed in on him as they sensed weakness. Turbatus swung his gladius at the barbarian in front of him and the man was sliced in half. Next, he used his shield to bash another barbarian before stabbing his gladius in the abdomen of that man. The remaining two barbarians used the opening to stab him with their swords. With his final strength, Turbatus swung his gladius around to behead both the barbarians before leaning onto his shield for support. The Roman warrior called out the names of the two women he loved before he, too, collapsed onto the ground. Just before his last breath, Turbatus moved one hand to his pocket with the letter and the another to the pendant. He said his final goodbyes before darkness overtook him forever.

 

coates

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NOOO! not my character!
Never mind, this is a very good AAR so far, and I am looking forward to your next update.
 

Stildawn

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While a good read, you might want to reduce the superman effect and up the realism a tad in my opinion.

Enjoyable though :)
 

blklizard

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NOOO! not my character!
Never mind, this is a very good AAR so far, and I am looking forward to your next update.
Sorry about your character. It was my fault when I didn't have the foresight regarding the location and time period of the first nation. You have a chance to submit a new character for the second nation. I will promise you that your next character will last longer than three chapters :p.

While a good read, you might want to reduce the superman effect and up the realism a tad in my opinion.

Enjoyable though :)
Welcome! I do admit I need to work on realism in my writing. Hope you can spare some time sending in a character for the next nation.

Nation 2 - Rashidun
Prologue 2




Our Caliph, Uthman, has been struck down by his enemies. His enemies only seek power for themselves. They have no loyalty towards the rulers of our lands. They don't think about the people living ordinary lives in the nation. Their hunger for power has dragged our nation into chaos. The mighty Rashidun nation suddenly found herself on the brink of destruction. The people, once unified under a single government, has been split up into two sides. The conflict can only be decided when one side defeats the other side. How many lives will be lost before we can accomplish that?

Our youngsters don't listen to us elders. They believe they are fighting to protect their nation from their enemies. Instead, they are speeding up the destruction. To make matters worse, the youngsters call those of us who promote peace as traitors. They see not what we hoped to accomplish but, rather, that we are trying to undermine their efforts to bring a better tomorrow. How blind can these young men be? Will they not see the truth until they lie in their own blood breathing their last breath? Will they need the aftermaths of battles to open up their eyes to the cruelty of war? Or will they continue to remain naive and allow other people manipulate their every decision?

I have fought in wars in the past. I have seen suffering among the innocent people. These people just wanted to live a simple life without hardship. Many of them had that kind of life before we took it away from them. First, we bring grief and sorrow by taking their fathers, sons and brothers away from them. Next, we force the people to accept our rule. Let's be honest here. We might claim that we are spreading Islam by peaceful means. A few people die and conflict quickly arise. After killing those that opposed us, we suppress the remaining population fearing they would oppose us as well. We are humans after all. That's why I want to promote peace. We are bringing about unnecessary suffering to everyone. If we don't end these wars soon, there will come a day where no one is left to fight the wars. I hope I don't live to see that day.



Our second nation will be Rashidun. The starting date is April 1, 661. The Caliph, Uthman, was killed by his enemies. His death brought about a civil war that threatened to rip the nation apart. The two sides quickly armed themselves as they prepared for a bloody war. In the war, the innocent people would be caught in the crossfire. Will the war bring prosperity or destruction for you? Will you, as ordinary civilians, have what it take to survive the chaos to see a better tomorrow?

If you wish to participate, please PM me a character with the following info:
-name
-age
-profession
-short background

As for the fate of your characters, you will have to wait and find out.
 

blklizard

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Rashidun

Chapter 4

[April 1, 661]

(Basrah, Rashidun)

"Over there! The traitor has ran that way." said a man pointing down the street.

"After him! Kill him! He will pay for their betrayal to his people." responded the leader of the group who led the chase.

A small group of men were chasing after a single man with their weapons drawn. The man ran for his life. He couldn't explain to his pursuer that they got the wrong man. To be honest, the man didn't even know why he was being chased. He saw the desire of those men to kill. They would cut him down before he could finish his sentence. The man's only chance of survival was to keep running. It didn't matter if his feet ached or his lungs were bursting. He had to keep running if he hoped to live to see another sunrise. Running through the familiar streets, the man couldn't shake off his pursuers. The pursuers were determined to catch their prey and they weren't willing to give up so easily. The man blamed his inability to outrun his pursuers on his age. He was 47 years old which made him an old man where he lived. He should be resting at home enjoying simple stuff in life. Not running away from men that wanted him dead. He had no time to think when a soldier suddenly cut him off ahead of him and pointed his sword towards him. The man, unable to stop in time, ran right through the sword. The man reached for the sword but he found himself lacking the strength. The soldier helped the man down to the ground with sorrow in his eyes.

"Ibnd, this is what you get for betraying your nation. You picked to side with the enemy and now you pay the ultimate price. We were once friends and I tried to convince you but you refused to listen to my warnings. Goodbye, friend. May we meet again in the afterlife."

Ibnd was too weak to speak anymore. He merely looked up at his friend whose tears were dripping down his face. Slowly, but surely, darkness began to cloud his sight. Eventually, he saw nothing. The soldier closed Ibnd's eyes as a final farewell and began talking away. The rain seemed to come down with such fury that the whole city was shaken. The water continued to pour down and soaked everything. Ibnd, while unable to see anything, still felt the water droplets soaking his clothes. He could tolerate the water at first but he eventually had enough.

It took another drop of water hitting his face before he opened his eyes. Ibnd wiped the water off his face as he sat on his bed. He wondered why he had that dream again. What was it telling him? Did it confirm that a civil war was taking place? Ibnd looked up and saw a small leak in the roof. Shaking his head, he got onto his feet and made his way to the window. The rain was falling steadily and Ibnd knew that he couldn't get any proper sleep if the roof wasn't fixed. He looked around until he found his coat on the ground. He picked it up and shook it a few times to rid most of the dirt and dust. Once he put on his coat, he grabbed the ladder leaning on the wall and headed outdoors. It didn't take long for him to get soaked to the bone but he was determined to fix the leak. Ibnd could have asked his neighbors to help but he couldn't swallow his pride. He felt that, despite being an old man, he could still take care of himself somewhat. He placed the ladder against his home and, before climbing up the ladder slowly, got a handful of mud in one of his hands. As soon as he reached the roof, he saw the hole that was leaking water in and climbed onto the roof. With some care, Ibnd placed the mud on the hole and used his hands to spread it evenly. Satisfied with his work, he began heading back to his ladder when he suddenly slid and fell off the roof to the ground. He swore and his neighbors came out to see him lying on the ground. His best friend, Naaji, ran back inside to call his son to help. The two men were able to carry Ibnd back into his home onto his bed while trying to avoid hurting the old man further.

"What do you think you're doing out in the rain, Ibnd?" asked Naaji while he signaled his son to head back home.

"Well, the roof was leaking. I needed it to be fixed or I couldn't get any sleep." answered Ibnd.

"You ask us to do it for you. You are no longer a young man that could handle a fall."

"How did you know I fell?"

"You swore loud enough to wake up the entire city."

"You're exaggerating, my friend."

"Alright, you were loud enough to wake up your neighbors. Anyways, how are you feeling right now?"

"My back hurts a lot. Other than that, I would say I'm fine."

"I would call a physician now but there aren't any that worked this late except for emergencies."

"Just let me sleep it off. I'll be fine."

"Behave yourself next time. Now I see why your wife left you."

"Leave my wife out of this conversation!"

"Or what? You aren't exactly in a position to make threats."

"You know you're becoming an old man when your best friend bullies you into submission. I told you that I can recover quickly. Just watch. I'll be peddling tomorrow just like nothing has happened."

"You should stay home tomorrow to rest. It's for your own good. I'll head back now. I will return tomorrow and you better be in bed. Otherwise, I'll be forced to tie you down to your bed."

"That won't be necessary, my friend. I know when I reached my limits."

Naaji was about to leave the hut when he stopped.

"Oh yes, don't forget to change your clothes. Otherwise, you'll catch a bad cold."

"Yes, mother."

Ibnd waited until his friend left and closed the door behind him before peeling off his wet clothes. He reached over to a basket where he kept his clean clothes. He grabbed what he needed and put them on with much difficulty. When the ordeal was over, Ibnd was sweating from the pain he suffered while changing clothes. He began to consider actually seeing a physician like his friend suggested. At the moment, he got himself into the most comfortable position he could be in before drifting back to sleep.

 

blklizard

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Rashidun

Chapter 5

[April 2, 661]

(Basrah, Rashidun)

The sound of the door opening woke Ibnd up. He opened his eyes slowly and looked at the entrance. Naaji looked at his friend with worry on his face.

Ibnd smiled slightly before he said, "My friend, you might have been right. I may just need a physician after all. My back pain isn't getting any better from a night of sleep."

"I was worried you might stay stubborn," responded Naaji.

"Yes, I admit I have been stubborn in the past. It does appear that old age has softened me up a bit."

"Should I go now?

"Please do. I want to get back onto the streets. I miss my work dearly."

"Do not worry, my friend. The people won't miss you if you were gone a few days."

"When you reach my age, you would learn that it's loneliness that makes you want to meet people. Please go now."

"Alright!" said Naaji and he walked out the doorway onto the street.

Ibnd waited on his bed and hate feeling so weak. He tried to sit up from his bed but the back pain was too much for him. A few tries later, Ibnd, with sweat soaking his shirt, decided that he was better off laying on his back. Shortly after, Naaji arrived with the physician. The physician got down before Ibnd and shook his head.

"Were you trying to move?" asked the physician.

"No, I would never do that," answered Ibnd.

"Tell me the truth."

"Alright, I may have tried to move around a little bit. My back was giving me plenty of problems."

"I thought so," said the physician who then called Naaji over to help him turn Ibnd over while limiting the pain he suffers.

Naaji and the physician tried their best turning Ibnd over but the old man still screamed a few times. By the time they got him on his stomach, he was swearing out loud.

"Are you two ... trying to ... kill me?" barked Ibnd.

"I know that was painful but it was necessary. You need some massage to lessen the worse of the pain," responded the physician patiently.

"I apologize. The pain was worse than anything I have experienced. Oh yes, Naaji. You should head to work now. You still have a family to feed. The physician is here so you don't need to worry about me."

Naaji looked at his friend and nodded. He headed out the door with a promise to check up on Ibnd when he could.

"How does it look, physician?" asked Ibnd.

"I would say you have injured yourself badly. Of course, it is partly due to your age. I wouldn't advise you falling off the roof next time. You were fortunate to not break anything from your fall."

"At least what breaks can heal eventually."

"At your age, it's very unlikely. Let's deal with your back now."

The physician positioned himself on top of Ibnd and began a few light pokes into Ibnd. Ibnd responded to each pokes with a scream or a swear word. The physicians used the reaction of Ibnd to determine the worst locations of his injuries. He then massaged lightly that still brought pain to Ibnd. Few minutes later, he applied more pressure and Ibnd, while being able to withstand the pain, had sweat dripping down his face. The massage took a while longer before the physician stood up.

"Try getting up slowly now. Don't use too much force," ordered the physician.

Ibnd slowly shifted his weight and, to his surprise, didn't feel the pain he felt earlier. He obeyed the physician and took his time sitting up.

"I don't know how to thank you, physician," said Ibnd.

"Well, there is a way you can help me. My wife loved the spices you sold her last time. If you can get some, I would be grateful."

"That's a deal."

"Here's a warning. You have gotten better but rest is still the best way to recovery. If I were you, I would rest up for this week."

"Maybe a shorter rest would suffice?"

"No, get too worked up and you may never recover. Imagine having that back pain for the rest of your life."

"Alright, I get the point. I will be careful."

"Good, I will leave now. Ask Naaji to call me in a few days if you aren't getting any better. Back pain for old people usually recover very slowly."

"I understand."

The physician said his goodbye and walked out the doorway before closing the door behind him. Ibnd, unwilling to risk further injury, decided to listen to the physician's warning and got back to a lying position where he felt the most comfortable. With the back pain no longer bothering him as much, Ibnd closed his eyes and quickly fell asleep. A few hours passed and, if it weren't for his growling stomach, Ibnd would have continued sleeping. Knowing that he could no longer sleep, Ibnd decided to get up and eat something. When he managed to sit up, he saw the door open and Naaji enter his home.

"I'm assuming you are hungry by now?" teased Naaji.

"How did you know? Just pass me the food. I'm starving, damn it," responded Ibnd.

"I knew you would feel that way. It's lunch time and I doubt you even ate breakfast."

"I didn't."

Naaji passed the food to Ibnd and the two men ate quietly. Ibnd finished first and looked around at his home.

"I really should clean up my home," said Ibnd.

"Let's save it for another day. You aren't in a position to clean anything," answered Ibnd who just finished his meal as well.

"Help me get up, friend."

"The physician said you needed rest."

"Yes, I will be careful. Just take me outside where I can get some sun as well. Being cooped up in here isn't fun."

"Alright, you better behave yourself though."

"I will. Don't worry so much!"

Naaji helped Ibnd get up slowly off the bed and led him across the room until they stepped out the doorway. The sun was shining brightly and the sunlight improved Ibnd's cranky mood slightly.

"Help me get to that rock there. I will sit on it and rest there. The sun will do me good," said Ibnd.

"If you say so."

Naaji helped Ibnd to the rock and the old man managed to sit on the rock experienced only a little pain.

"I'm fine now, my friend. You should get back to work. Your lunch break is probably over soon."

"Yes, but ..."

"No buts, my friend. Your family comes first. Don't waste time with an old man like me."

"You're not that old."

Naaji smiled a little and said goodbye to his friend. Ibnd watched Naaji walked away when a song being sung by a group of children caught his attention.

Come on ladies, Come on ladies
Come on ladies, Come on ladies

Have a, have a look, One Ducat Fish
Have a, have a look, One Ducat Fish
Very Very Good, One Ducat Fish
Very Very Cheap, One Ducat Fish


Ibnd couldn't help smiling from hearing the children singing the song. Ibnd used to sell fish at the harbor and he used the song, called "One Ducat Fish," to attract customers. Instead of selling more fish, Ibnd found his song becoming popular in the city. Even though he eventually quit selling fish due to poor business, Ibnd always felt proud that everyone in the city, including the children, knew the lyrics to the song he composed. He felt the song was one of his few accomplishments in life. Feeling his mood lighten up, Ibnd got up slowly and made his way back to his home. He hoped to recover quickly and return to his job soon.
 

coates

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Very good updates - I now have 'One Pound Fish' stuck in my head. :)
 

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Rashidun

Chapter 6

[April 9, 661]

(Basrah, Rashidun)

Ibnd got up from bed and rubbed his eyes. The agonizing week was over and his back has fully recovered from the injury. He headed outside to grab his bucket before making his way to the river. It was early morning but there were already many people at the river. Many people, like Ibnd, were getting water to wash up and for drinking. A few women were washing clothes by the river because it was cooler and less crowded at the hour. Ibnd walked to the riverbank where he knelt down to wash his face. Next, he drank his fill before filling his bucket with water. With the bucket full, Ibnd walked slowly back to his home. He remembered days when the bucket full of water weighed almost nothing. As an old man, he felt the bucket weighing him down and slowing his progress back home. Ibnd eventually got home and the bucket of water has drained him of all his strength. He put the bucket down and needed to sit down to rest. Naaji was exiting his home and saw Ibnd with the bucket. He walked over to his friend.

"Hello, old man. I take it that your journey to the river was an exhausting one?" asked Naaji.

"For once, I will agree with you. I'm no longer that young man without a worry in the world," replied Ibnd.

"Maybe you shouldn't be peddling today. Another day of rest should do you good."

"No, the people are waiting. They probably miss me already."

"No one will miss an old man. I wouldn't be surprised if they think you retired already."

"I will retire soon. Have the heard the news yesterday?"

"Yes, the two sides are gathering their forces. The civil war has officially begun."

"Many young men will die for nothing. Maybe my old age is a blessing."

"Maybe. My son wanted to join the war."

"Has he been listening to his friends?"

"Yes. He believes that our nation needs him.I can't seem to talk sense into him."

"If we were his age, we would probably do the same. After all, who wants to be left out."

"Indeed, I'm not blaming my son. I just hope he picks the right side."

"Who would you place your bets on?"

"Neither side. I just want it over with so we can return to our normal lives."

"Hearing that, I'm starting to wonder who is the old man here."

"I think it's your wisdom rubbing off me."

"I have no wisdom. I just like to babble a lot."

"Will you need some help?"

"I'll be fine. A short rest should do me good. You should head to work and try to avoid trouble."

"I will. You do that too."

Ibnd waited until his friend left before getting up. He made his way to the hut behind his home where his cart was stored. The week of inactivity has resulted in the cart covered in dust. Ibnd dusted the cart until it was presentable in public. He then pushed the cart to the marketplace where he would meet his friend, Uqbah. The journey to the marketplace was a smooth one as the streets weren't crowded with people and other carts yet. Walking through the familiar streets, Ibnd was greeted by many people with many of whom asked him about his back injury. Ibnd greeted them all back and stated that he has recovered. Couple of minutes later, Ibnd arrived before a large warehouse where Uqbah was giving orders to his workers. Uqbah, realizing that someone was staring at him, turned his attention to Ibnd and a smile formed on his face. He dismissed his workers and walked towards Ibnd.

"Ibnd! It's wonderful to see you! How's that back of yours?" said Uqbah.

"Good to see you, my friend. My back is good as new. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here." said Ibnd.

"We all know you can be so stubborn at times. You sure you are at a hundred percent?"

"I know I'm old but I don't need guys like you babysitting me. After all, you'll be my age in a few years."

"I'm definitely not looking forward to that."

"Neither was I. Still, we cannot turn back time so we can return to our prime."

"How may I help you?"

"I need you to load up my cart with my old goods. If there are any new goods, I wish to inspect them first."

"Your body has grown old but your mind is still sharp as ever. I'll do it personally for you, my friend."

Uqbah entered his warehouse and, moments later, exited with a cart of his own. The cart was filled with goods ranging from pots and pans to common spices. Both men worked quickly to transfer the goods to Ibnd's cart when a man suddenly collided with Ibnd. Ibnd and the stranger both went crashing onto the ground but the stranger got up immediately and continued running. Uqbah swore at the stranger when, suddenly, many soldiers passed them by chasing after the stranger. Uqbah quickly got beside Ibnd.

"Are you alright? How's your back?" asked Uqbah.

"I wish to say it's fine but that fall brought back some pain." answered Ibnd.

"You should rest. I'd say it's bad luck you have encountered him."

"It's definitely bad luck for me. Still, my customers will be disappointed."

"How about I sell your goods in front of my warehouse?"

"I cannot ask you to do that. You have your own business."

"Don't worry about me. You need to rest but you also need to eat. I promise I won't undersell your goods. Plus, my daughter is sharp enough to take over the business for me."

"I always knew she has more brains than her father. Just like her mother."

"I wish my wife still lives. She would be proud of her daughter. A mother of five and she still could handle a large business. Anyways, I'll get one of my workers escorting you home. Rest a few days just in case."

"Alright, I am in your debt."

"Don't say that. You have helped me in the past. Let's just call it repaying some debt. Goodbye, friend. I expect to see you in a few days."

"Goodbye, friend."

Uqbah ordered one of his workers to help Ibnd return home while he was busy organizing the goods on the cart for sale. Ibnd got home eventually and the worker was kind enough to help him onto the bed before leaving. Ibnd couldn't believe his bad luck but decided that accept it. As he was taking off his coat, he realized there was something in it. Earlier, the back pain was enough to distract him from the extra weight he was carrying. He reached into the pocket and pulled out a pendant. On the pendant, Ibnd sees a large bird he believed was an eagle with the inscription of "SPQR" underneath it.

 

blklizard

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Rashidun

Chapter 7

[April 9, 661]

(Basrah, Rashidun)

Ibnd carefully examined the pendant but he couldn't find anything special with it. Other than the inscription on the surface, there weren't any signs that suggested it could be opened or it contained anythings valuable. After a few more minutes, Ibnd gave up looking at the pendant when he suddenly heard someone knocking on the door. He quickly grabbed his coat and put the pendant back into the pocket. Once he put his coat down beside him on the bed, he laid down. Ibnd took a few deep breaths before he worked up some courage.

"Please come in," said Ibnd.

The door slowly opened and Naaji entered the room.

"What are you doing here, Naaji?" asked Ibnd.

"I heard you got injured. Just want to make sure you are alright," replied Naaji.

Naaji made his way to the bed where his friend was lying down. He was breathing heavily which suggested that he ran all the way from work. Ibnd signaled his friend to take a seat beside his bed so Naaji can catch his breath.

"I'm fine except for my back. I think I injured it again when that stranger collided with me."

Ibnd tried to turn to get comfortable but he instead screamed out from the pain. Naaji was going to help Ibnd but the old man signaled that he was fine.

"Will you need a physician?" asked Naaji with worry on his face.

The concern of his friend help lessen the pain for Ibnd. With more care, Ibnd managed to turn slightly so he could speak with his friend better.

"Some rest will do wonders. Just watch. I'll be up and walking before you know it."

"If you say so. So much for recovering from your injury."

"I'd say that was just some bad luck. Don't worry so much. You should head back to work."

"Don't worry! My boss know why I left work. I'll return when I'm sure you are fine."

"Now that you know I'm fine, you should head back."

"Before I go, you should tell me."

"Tell you what?"

"What is concerning you? You look troubled."

"Guess I cannot hide it from you. Do you know who collided with me? I saw soldiers chasing after him. He must be a dangerous criminal."

To his surprise, Ibnd saw Naaji stand up and walk over to the door. He took a careful look through the crack before returning.

"What's with the secrecy, Naaji?"

"He's a fugitive trying to escape the city. You just happened to bump into him."

"I'd say it was more than a simply bump. There must be more to him if the soldiers wanted him."

"Yes, I will agree with you there. "

"He looked like a foreigner to me."

"They say the man is from India. City officials call him a spy and warned everyone that he is extremely dangerous."

"He's very dangerous. Just look what he did to me."

"I'm serious. They say this guy isn't someone you want to mess with. Anyone with any connection with him can and will be imprisoned. That's why I don't want to speak about him. Some people may think we are discussing him and that we are his accomplices."

"They want his head because he has been spying in the city?"

"Are you listening to what I'm saying? It's dangerous talking about him."

"I know. However, this old man can get very curious."

"What are we going to do about you?"

"Don't worry. I don't have many years left. You won't have to tolerate me for too long."

"That's not what I mean."

Naaji shook his head and turned his back on his friends. After a few minutes of thinking, he turned around.

"If you must know, rumors say that he stole three pendants."

"Pendants?"

"Yes, the rumor that is spreading suggest the pendants contain valuable secrets."

"Powerful people seek the pendants then?"

"Yes, some even went as far to saying the civil war was started because there was a dispute over the pendants."

"They must have incredible secrets if people are willing to start a war over it."

"Imagine the secrets falling into the wrong hands. The outcome would be very bad."

"I concur. I would prefer something like the pendants to be kept under lock."

"The current government hasn't been doing so well with the fugitive taking three and escaping."

"He escaped?"

"Yes, he disappeared in the marketplace and the soldiers have no leads to his whereabouts."

"Do you think he works alone?"

"I highly doubt that. If I were to guess, there is a powerful organization behind him. They want the pendant as much of government officials."

"If this man was last seen here, I am almost certain more of his kind will come. With the civil war going on, they will have free rein over the city."

"I hope not but I understand what you mean. This is a sticky situation."

"You should head home and speak with your wife."

"How about you?"

"I just injured my back. I didn't almost kill myself. I'll be fine. Watch yourself out there. With a fugitive around, there might be people pointing fingers at others."

"I haven't lived this long without knowing that. I'll head home now. Call me if you need a hand."

"I will. Now go!"

Ibnd watched his friend leave and laid down thinking about the pendant. He had trouble believing that the pendant he had could be so valuable. He thought back to the collision and realized one thing. The pendant didn't accidentally into his pocket. Instead, the fugitive stuffed the pendant into him before continuing his escape. Another thought was also troubling Ibnd. His friend knew an awful lot about this fugitive. One can only learn so much from rumors.

"Naaji, what have you gotten yourself into? I hope you won't regret getting yourself in trouble over all this."

Feeling the back pain returning, Ibnd decided to stay in bed to rest. Until he fell asleep, he wondered about what he was going to do with the pendant at his disposal.

 
Last edited:

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Rashidun

Chapter 8

[April 9, 661]

(Basrah, Rashidun)

Ibnd suddenly woke up from his sleep. He opened his eyes and realized that it was dark outside. He reached into his pocket and was relieved that the pendant was still there. Just as he was about to go back to sleep, he suddenly realized that he wasn't alone in his home. It was too dark to see anything or anyone but he knew someone was watching him. Struggling to get up, he reached nearby for something he can use as a weapon. Searching around in the dark, he got his hands on his broom. A cool breeze blew into the room and Ibnd shivered while he wondered how he forgot to close the window before going to bed. He returned to his bed to grab his coat to only find it gone. He searched desperately but his coat was nowhere to be found. He walked slowly towards the window and, with the help of the moonlight, saw his coat outside. He opened the front door and retrieved his coat. As expected, the pendant was gone and whoever was in his home left. After Ibnd shook the dirt and dust off his coat, he went back into his home and, after closing the door and window, went to bed. Yet, Ibnd struggled to fall asleep with his mind wondering about the pendant all night. Past midnight, Ibnd finally managed to get some sleep.

[April 10, 661]

It was early morning and Ibnd was already wide awake. He got off his bed to sit on his chair when he noticed the things on his table. There were some ducats on the table that weren't there the day before. Ibnd knew that his friend, Naaji, wouldn't leave him any ducats without telling him. That only meant the ducats were from the intruder who took the pendant. Just as Ibnd tried to figure out why the ducats were left behind, he noticed something below the table that he missed earlier. Kneeling down while ignoring his back pain, Ibnd found himself staring at a small pouch. He took out the pouch and had a closer look before tears were streaming down his face. He thought back to a day twenty five years ago.


Ibnd joined the other men in fighting off their oppressive rulers. News have arrived that people of a new faith were coming to the region to liberate everyone. Ibnd, like all his friends, were eager to be a part of the change. They have taken arms and surrounded the mayor's compound hoping to capture him. A week later, all hell broke loose when the Persian army arrived. They weren't going to tolerate the rebellion and cut down all those who are involved along with their families. At twenty two years of age, Ibnd was married to a beautiful woman who was expecting to give birth soon. Despite the many pleas from his wife, Ibnd still joined the riots and he was labeled a rebel. Faced with an impossible task, Ibnd managed to get his wife to a boat sailing to India while, with his friends, tried to hold off the Persian soldiers. Before they parted, Ibnd gave his wife a small pouch he made the night before. He said the pouch would be given to their child as a remembrance of their father who threw everything away for pride. However, the boat, just when it was almost out of the port, was sunk by a projectile shot by Persian soldiers and no one was said to have survived. Meanwhile, Ibnd was captured and imprisoned in the prison with many of his friends. One by one, they were taken to the execution grounds where they were hanged. When it was Ibnd's turn, the soldiers never came. Instead, foreigners came to the prison and freed all the captives. Assuming that his wife was dead, Ibnd decided to live a simple life of a peddler as he wandered around aimlessly trying to find a new purpose in life.


Ibnd knew the pouch meant something. He wasn't sure if the pouch was left behind on purpose but he knew it wasn't a simple coincidence. He needed answers and he was determined to find them. Getting up slowly, he hid the pouch in his bed and made his way to the door. When he opened the door, he saw his friend standing right there.

"Morning! How are you, my friend?" greeted Ibnd.

"We need to talk," answered Naaji who forcibly guided Ibnd back onto his bed.

"Can't we talk about this another time?"

"No, it's rather urgent. You are in grave danger unless you are willing to tell the truth."

"What truth? You sound like an interrogator."

"I know I may sound like one. However, I do want to help you."

"Alright, you may keep this old man entertained. Tell me, what do you need to know?"

"First, how did you know about the Forgotten Immortals?"

"The what?"

"Don't play dumb. I'm trying to help you here."

"I have no idea what you are talking about."

"Ibnd, you should know me long enough to trust me."

"I do trust you but I don't know what you are talking about."

"How do you explain the fact that someone from the Immortals came to your home late last night?"

"There was an intruder. I don't know what the intruder wanted but I was left alone."

"You're telling me that you don't know the identity of this intruder?"

"No, I don't. Should I? Why are you asking me all this? I'm starting to wonder if I know you as well as I thought I did."

"I admit that I have hidden my past from you. Now is not the time to tell you."

"You have secrets hidden from me and you consider yourself a friend of mine? That's ridiculous!"

"I know it's hard to believe."

"To make matters worse, you come in early in the morning accusing me of being part of something called the Immortals."

"Look, I know I didn't transition into the situation well."

"What are you going to do now? Are you going to call the constable so he can arrest me?"

"That's what I'm trying to avoid."

"Am I still under surveillance?"

"Yes, it's for your own safety."

"Oh, I see. If your people have been tailing me all this time, they must know that I have no association with this Immortal group."

"It's not that simple."

"Why not?"

"Do you want to know?"

"Yes, tell me. Show me what a friend you can be."

"Alright, your son is part of the Immortals."

"My son? Naaji, who do you take me as? My wife died twenty five years ago and I never married again. Suddenly, you claim I have a son?"

"I know it's hard to believe."

"Believe? It's unthinkable! Stop treating me like a fool. I might be getting old but that's no reason for you to joke around with me."

"Your wife somehow survive and gave birth to a son. We have reason to believe you two are related because someone we sent inside the Immortals overheard that you two are related."

"You're serious, aren't you?"

"Yes."

Ibnd covered his face with his hands as he tried to absorb the information he just heard. Naaji decided to keep quiet and let his friend think it over. The silence lasted a few minutes until Ibnd broke it first.

"You're telling me that I have a son. Not only has he never met me but he also joined Immortals. How do you know the information is reliable about us two being related?"

"We have reason to believe it. After all, what man would be willing to lie that they are the son of a peddler."

"Tell me about the Immortals."

"The less you know, the better."

"Then you believe I am not involved in all this?"

"Yes, I was just worried that you were part of them. I was wrong, sorry."

"What are you going to do next? It's going to be hard to explain to those you work for that I have no association with the Immortals."

"It will be tough but I will still try. After all, you are my friend."

"If I were you, I would just get myself arrested."

"I cannot do that!"

"What about your wife and children? You have too much to lose."

"I can't sacrifice you."

"I'm an old man without nothing to live for. Even my own son haven't bothered to meet me."

"I know it's hard but we can find another solution."

"Don't waste time, friend. Otherwise, your family will suffer too. Better me than getting your family in trouble too."

"No, there is another way. I will find it. Stay right here!" said Naaji who left the room in a hurry.

 

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Rashidun

Chapter 9

[April 10, 661]

(Basrah, Rashidun)

An hour passed since Naaji left Ibnd's home and Ibnd wondered about the situation of his friend. Just when he decided to check on his friend, someone barged in through the door. The man was panting as he struggled to get his breath back. Ibnd realized with shock that the man was Naaji's son, Ramzi. Ramzi got his breath back first before he began talking with Ibnd.

"You must get out of here!" said Ramzi.

"Why?" asked Ibnd.

"My father has probably been taken by the soldiers."

"What? Why?"

"I fear they see him as a traitor."

"I knew I should have let the soldiers take me."

"No, my father wouldn't allow that. He would never forgive himself if he allowed that to happen."

"How did you find out your father was taken?"

"I didn't. He told me that, if he didn't return within an hour, something must have gone wrong. He told me that I must get you to safety."

"I cannot leave! Your family is already paying the price."

"We must get you out. If you leave, it might actually help our case."

"I know what you are doing. You are trying to convince me to leave without any guilt."

"Ibnd, my father is helping you willingly. The city officials see him as a traitor but they have no proof. If they have you, they will torture you until you give in their demands. Those demands may include admitting my family as co-conspirator. We mustn't let you be captured or none of us are truly safe."

"I see. Alright, I'll will go with you. Just give me a few minutes to pack up."

Ibnd quickly packed up whatever belongings he needed and the two men headed out the door. Ramzi worried that soldiers were already heading their way and decided to head for the marketplace where they can hide amongst the crowd. As expected, the marketplace was packed with people and the duo struggled to weave their way through everyone. The duo was making good progress when, suddenly, they heard shouting from nearby. The origin of the sound appeared to have came from soldiers that are patrolling the marketplace. Ramzi heard bits and pieces of their conversations with other patrons that convinced him that they were looking for Ibnd. Ramzi looked around quickly and found a small alleyway to his right. He gestured Ibnd to head towards the alleyway while he himself made his way towards the soldiers. Ibnd knew what the young man was attempting and, for the sake of them both, continued towards the alleyway where he hid in the shadows. One of the soldiers caught sight of Ramzi and shoved people aside so he can grab Ramzi. The other soldiers soon joined him and they tied Ramzi's hands together before making their way to the prison. Ibnd watched silently in the shadows and cursed himself for the trouble he brought to Naaji and his family. Just as he was about to get up and make his way through the alleyway, someone came up behind him with a hand covering his mouth. Ibnd struggled a bit but he knew he couldn't hope to overpower the man behind him. He decided to stay calm until the man made any demands.

"Hello, father," said the man.

Ibnd was shocked by the words and remained very still.

"I know it has been a long time. I have always wanted to meet you but mother forbid it until now," said the man as he released Ibnd.

"How is she?" asked Ibnd.

"She is fine. She misses you very much."

"I miss her too. I thought she died."

"She was given another chance at life. I was also given a chance to see this world."

"I haven't been a great father. I'm sorry!"

"No need to apologize. We never blamed you."

"I should have known you two were alive."

"There was no way of knowing."

"Still, I didn't do anything for you two. I was too selfish and wanted to satisfy my own dreams. I put you two in danger."

"No, mother loved you because you wanted to chase your own dreams. She said that, if she had another chance, she would marry you again."

Ibnd turned around to look at man who was his son, With tears dripping down his face, Ibnd was surprised to see how much his son resembled him. He reached up to touch his son who grabbed his hand with warmth in his eyes.

"When I came here, I wasn't sure what kind of man you become. Once I started asking around, I feel proud to be your son."

"I haven't done anything incredible, my son."

"No, you have chosen loneliness when you thought you lost me and my mother. You continued living your life to your fullest while working to help the people here. Many people are thankful for your aid to them over the years and they are willing to give back."

"I guess I won't need to fear about the soldiers."

"For that, I must apologize. I needed to get that pendant from you. It's too dangerous for you to hold on."

"I guess we part ways here?"

"No, we are going home together."

"Home? This is my home."

"Mother said you call home a place where your family is at."

"Are you saying that...."

"Yes, you and mother will be reunited."

"I'm so happy! I cannot believe this day has come. I could almost dance and sing in the streets."

"Let's have the celebrations when we leave here. Let's go!"

Ibnd followed his son down the alleyway as they made their way to the port. Ibnd longed for the day he and his wife were reunited.

 

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Nation 3 - Northumberland
Prologue 3




The cool ocean breeze blew past our faces. The seas have been kind to us because we haven't lost any boats. We are closing in on our raiding grounds. We don't know how strong our foe is or how many there are. We don't even know if our raiding grounds hold the wealth we seek. All we know is our Gods have sent us there. We cannot fail!

We are the warriors of the north. We fear no mortal! The elements cannot defeat us without a fight. How could the mortals in distant lands defeat us? They are weak and sheltered. They know no hardship. They have been living comfortable lives. They must be taught that only the strong will survive. We will teach them that we are the strong and they are the weak.

Anyone that stand in our way will be crushed. We haven't made a name yet. Despite our many achievements in our home, those in distant lands have never heard of us. This is the day we make history. This is the day our name will be feared by all! In the centuries to come, the locals will shake with fear when they see our boats. They have good reasons to. I will make sure of it.

Our time has come, brothers! Our raiding grounds are a day away. The inhabitants will tremble once we charge at them. They will know what is true fear when they see us. They will bow before us begging for mercy. When they do, we won't show any. We will kill them all and use their blood to strike fear in others. That is the way of the vikings!



Our third nation will be Northumberland. The starting date is June 7, 793. You have joined your people on a journey to the west where you were promised wealth and glory. You have belief that your fleet was spotted by fishing fleets but you feared no one. Where are you headed? Your leader stated that you are going to sail along the coast of distant lands in preparation of raids. Your people have been traveling on the open seas for awhile and you can finally see some action. Will you see glory at the end of the raid or will you suffer shame by returning home empty-handed?

If you wish to participate, please PM me a character with the following info:
-name
-age
-short background

As for the fate of your characters, you will have to wait and find out.