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  2. Lo' there he stood, Sheriff Hob the Beast Slayer. A ballot resting in his hand as he held his Sheriff's hat in the other sighing gently, The good Slayer appeared conflicted with the whole predicament... Alas he softly nodded "Dis moigh' resul' in meh role as Sheriff bein' given ter some'un else, Bu' ef et resul's in peace o' uniteh among wee-folk oi'l make da' sacrifoice" with another soft breathe the Slayer crossed his vote upon the Ballot dropping it in the box with the others. The Ballot: ((MC Name:)) ThatDutchFellow Name: Hob the Beast Slayer Vote for Proposals: Proposal I (Hal’s Proposal) () Proposal II (Cyris’ Proposal) (x) Neither () [OOC] Much like Tori and Fae, i also carry some OOC concerns about this whole change in the Halfling Government system.... Alas i haven't been around long enough to be able and effectively judge the Mayor's office in its whole. Alas given stories i do sincerely hope it does not cause another mass OOC devide resulting in two different village for our already small community.
  3. The Befallen Stag As was once said, all good stories must come to an end. No matter how long, how short… How glorious, or how bittersweet. For all… human, elf, or dwed, it ends one way or another. For most in a land like this, they fall with a fight, an ‘ame known by many soon forced to follow a path behind his namesake. For after all, fate is a curse, and it truly binds all, like a cold, biting embrace. Standing out before the Vale, that ‘ame wore a grimace upon his countenance, eyes piercing and cold, glares shot across towards the creature within his sights. Before him, The Barrowlord of sickening design stood, continuing to approach him. That thing aging further with each tantalizing step. The elf’s thoughts were scrambled - Overwhelming exhaustion plaguing every ounce of his being, the man feeling as if he was to succumb to its call at any moment. “You are not to… step foot upon these grounds.” A hush was all that was able to be produced, the elf’s spear sent down before him, a weak clasp sent upon its form. Soon after, a thrust was attempted once the Lord was in range - Though it was futile, even the most desperate attempts ending in a sluggish failure. He was being made a fool of, this no way for a warrior of his blood to pass, that Lord soon speaking out in its cacophonous tones. “Make this easy on yourself…” Taking advantage of his weakened attack, they pulled the end of the shaft towards them, releasing the weapon from his grip. In a moment of weakness, that ‘ame would tumble to the floor upon his knees, collapsing flat upon the soggy soil. His head turned along the grass and stones, conscious waning with each moment, that groveling elf’s fleeting energy escaping with each breath. “Abelas Caerme’onn… We honor you.” Just above the Chieftain's head, his own spear was lifted into the air, the steel shining within the breaking sunlight, it pointed downwards upon the center of his chest like an arrow drawn before a target… There was no hope, for all had been lost. There was hardly any fight, only a beast satiating its lust for blood, and carnage. Though, even the most reviled of monsters have honor, for after those fated words were spoken, his own blade was sent down upon his flesh. It sundered his skin, and his heart, making its way through his body - The elf meeting hardly any suffering at the end of his fateful journey. A last breath pooled from his agape jaw, the final thing heard being footsteps of a foreign individual… A cry soon exclaimed out afterwards. A savior? No… Hardly. This was it - This WAS the end. And he knew it. If there was anything in this world he was certain on, this was all there was left within his decaying consciousness. There were no visions of his beloved, or any peaceful scenery… For all he felt was fear, and regret in these last cohesive thoughts.. Onyx black was all that was left, nothing soon to follow. This was a man known by many titles… A father, a husband…. A brother, a friend, a son… or even a leader. And now, all that’d be left was pain and suffering. For he was now nothing but a memory. •─────⋅☾ ☽⋅─────•
  4. Today
  5. The cursed woman woke in a sweat, the Ilzakarn churning through her head even as she made for a glass of water. A tongue rolling over her own bat touched teeth, an eye running over the markings on her hand. "That time of the season again..." She soon returned to her bed, making sure to sleep soundly once more.
  6. [!] A message is posted to the Honeyhill Noticeboard. You can also find a copy in your aviary if you closely follow halfling affairs. A Home for the Gnomes ~A meeting with the Gnome~ Attention all Honeyhill residents, there now be Gnomes living next to us, 'cross the hill and near the river where we have granted them the right to build themselves a homeland. Fear not, for they mean well! Their Queen, Tulip, will surely bring the Gnomes to greatness much as we shall bring ourselves to greatness too! Although they may be different from us halflings, view the Gnomes not as a threat, but as a gift from Knox. [!] A signature is attached in bold lettering: King Cyris
  7. A Highlander woman would read the missive as she looked upon it her face turning red with anger, her heart flourishing in dishonor and true knee bending feelings. "THIS.....TH'S KING.......NAY....ODIN YOU DAMN FOCKING COWARD NYAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!" As the scream ended a loud bash came from the inner rooms of the house of Eiriksgrad "Oi don' care if its in teh pas' yew slandered teh honor of kings.....and meh gran'fa'er too.."
  8. Yesterday
  9. Analiesa welcomes her old friend to the seven skies
  10. cappor


    how to get your roads camped and cities raided 101
  11. "Yub, yub! Whitewazhes nub hozh!" a certain Urguth'Raguk shakes his head. Then he continues to wander around the goi "Mi nub kare... but! Maybe mi get hozh reward for catching da whitewazh...- hmmm! But... the effort" the Uruk shook his head clearly having no interest of moving away from his fellow brothers.
  12. Beez LOUDLY blows his nose "ZO HAPPY FUR DEM!" He'd cry out
  13. A Falcone girl; Somewhere, some lowly evening by some water, thought to the past. To all of the moments shared between her Papa and herself and how no matter the circumstance, he always made her feel.. "Bellissima.." Carlotta hushed into the cold sky, allowing for it to swim elsewhere with the open breeze - and to wherever he may lead her next..
  14. Leilani Aureon read over the letter that somehow found its way within her grasp. A few long moments passed, as the Aureon Chieftess contemplated. But she ended up reacing for an empty piece of paper. To pen a reply.
  15. Laurelie de Pelear Vuiller planed to visit. Hopefully with at least one of her children.
  16. IGN: verosikka Skin #: 22 Bid: 160 Mina Previous Bidder: None
  17. A ghost from the republic of salvus walked by
  18. I have not read into detail for the particular regions too much, but I did focus on your central bulletpoints. One thing you address is dead space. Whilst I agree that dead space should be taken care of, we must be wary of how much dead space we cull. What nobody wants is another Athera, where everything is packed together tightly. The King's Road does not work (not speaking against the Ring Road, that is actually a good idea). Size is important, yes, too big is bad, but too small is even worse. What I'd strongly promote is to establish a distinct visual distance. Visual and perceived distance between notable locations such as cities, outposts, holds, event sites, etc. can go a long way before it becomes apparent that things are too close to eachother. And it should be noted that dead space is not always dead space, but can be interpreted as "canvas" to grow and develop in.
  19. "it would take more than a damn civil war to take down my hometown, Mardon, now known as Petra. Love live Petra, and I hope to be apart of it while it blossoms up like a flower." Emir of Endor stated as he glanced at the paper with a cheerful smile.
  20. Xurug'Gorkil has another uruk read the missive for him due to the fact that he had never been bothered to learn how to read "Hrmmm. Xurug wil votar dawnh brudda, Mi flat Kul'Raguk fworh dah zpiritz." Xurug'Gorkil then prepeared his weaponry "Wargoth gib Xurug rewahrdz fur Kul'Raguk tuzkz."
  21. THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE HOLY ORENIAN EMPIRE: Volume VII; Glory and Decay Written by Justinian Nafis, heir to the County of Susa and Adolphus Gloriana, Earl of Suffolk, Prince of Sutica Glory and Decay “If this kingdom of apostates insists upon bloodying the pages of mankind’s history once more, then we will meet them in battle. They will be recorded as a footnote, another in a long list of evil and impossible attempts to foil Providence. We will repel this invasion, as we have all others.” - The Imperial Response to the Tenth Nordling War, Emperor John VIII The reign of Emperor John VIII marked the apex of the Petrine ideology. While Joseph II was able to fully-realize the dream of defeudalization, extensive bureaucracy, and centralization that had begun with Peter III, he did not live to see the fruits of his toils. This reward, though also a task in itself, fell to his eldest son. Under John, he was able to maintain the systems of Pertine governance and demonstrate the might of a unified Empire during the 10th Nordling War. However, cracks began to break the peaceful stability that has come to define his reign. Towards the end of his life, government stagnation, an unpopular heir, and a lack of reforms threatened the future strength of the Empire. Despite this, he remains one of the more beloved personalities to sit atop the throne, and it is said that the common man of Oren did not live a better life than under Emperor John VIII. The ascension of John Charles, the Duke of Helena, to the Orenian throne was a long-awaited event. At the age of fifty six, he was among the oldest men in history to ascend to the throne, though the ascension of his brother, Philip Augustus, at the age of seventy-eight stands as the clear record. Unlike the latter, though, it was evident that John VIII was well-prepared for his position. Although he did not have the same extensive judicial and governmental experience as his father, he had served in the ISA since the Sutica War. Although he never rose past lieutenant, and did not see major combat, he had served well and ably in each Imperial conflict and had earned the respect of the citizenry and soldiery for it. Additionally, throughout his parent’s reign he had often sat in on council meetings, and by the end of his father’s reign he had served as regent. Immediately upon his ascension to the Imperial throne, the question of succession was the pressing issue of the day. As a young man, the future Emperor had been betrothed to Lady Irene Ruthern, the daughter of the Count of Metterden. However, on the eve of their wedding, Irene Ruthern vanished without warning, leaving the young John Charles without a bride (Irene Ruthern herself would later emerge and occupy a substantial position in Haeseni politics as Lady Speaker of the Duma. She would eventually marry Franz de Sarkozy in 1803 before being executed in 1814 after her attempted assassination of King Heinrik II of Haense). In the search for a suitable wife for the Duke of Helena, Wilhelmina Helvets, the daughter of the Duke of Cathalon and a prominent lady of the Imperial Court, was chosen. However, this marriage was infamous for its lovelessness, betrayal, and spitefulness. The pair could hardly be near each other, and Wilhelmina often threw herself headfirst into petty plots and schemes. They had no issue, though Wilhelmina had several by multiple men, and in 1814, on the eve of Emperor Joseph II’s death, the two were officially divorced. John VIII’s lack of a proper heir gave rise to slanderous rumors, even in his time. Although many originate from Wilhelmina Helvets and her allies in court, it was a commonly-held belief that the Emperor had greater fondness for men than women. As John Charles was often found with male courtiers during the late hours of the night, and never female courtiers, the rumors were only stoked. However, these accusations are simply lies. It is well-known that he fathered an illegitimate son in 1803 by the beautiful Theresa Mae Halcourt. Indeed, it seems that the reason John Charles never took readily to women is that he was so greatly attracted to the female sex that he refused to lay with a woman who met his great standards, unmatched by any other man before or since. Because he was so greatly attracted to women, his wife, Wilhelmina, simply could not meet these standards, and thus he refused to conduct his duties within the spousal bedroom. Regardless, the Emperor’s lack of a legitimate child, unwillingness to marry after his divorce, and advanced age, meant that his brother, Philip Augustus, the Duke of Crestfall, stood as his heir-presumptive. While it can be said that Philip Augustus held strongly to his faith in the Lord, few other compliments have been paid his way. Reviled by the Orenian populace, commoner and noble alike, and ill-prepared for the throne, many begged Emperor John to sire legitimate progeny or otherwise remove his younger brother from the succession, legally or otherwise. While the problems stemming from this ill-fated succession would not emerge until near the end of Emperor John’s reign, it hung over the Empire as a specter of a bleak future. Despite the attention given to his inability to sire an heir, succession was not the sole problem that arose during the start of Emperor John’s reign, nor was it the most dangerous. The first four years of his reign began well and peacefully, owing to the successes of his predecessor in stamping out the most prominent rebellious sentiments within the Empire. The new Archchancellor, Ledicourt d’Azor, and his Council of State, managed the realm ably and with little difficulty. Save for one issue in 1815, when Tiberius Hartcold, a traitor to the Empire who had fought with the Sedanites during their rebellion, was captured and executed by the Emperor via nailing a wig to his head, little disturbed the peace of the realm. It appeared to many that Emperor John’s reign would take the course of his father’s, though perhaps with even fewer disturbances. Little did the people of Oren know, the events of the coming years would make this hope short-lived. The prelude to the Tenth Nordling War began with the visit of an unnamed fatherist priest to Providence in 1816. A fatalistic and evangelist sort, the preacher took to the streets to proclaim that the end times were near and that the Empire would soon sink into a sea of fire. The populace of Providence, staunchly Canonist and righteously annoyed with the priest’s antics, savagely beat the man for his false-prophecies. By the time a few ISA soldiers arrived to apprehend him, he was on the verge of death. Later that night he would perish while confined to a cell within the Bastion. The second, more infamous, incident occurred several months later, and is subject to much scrutiny and controversy. The official narrative, propagated by the Kingdom of Norland and used as the defining casus belli for the coming war, states that brigands from a group called the Sons of Horen raided a few farmstead on the outskirts of Norland, slaughtering several cattle and injuring a farmhand. According to both Norland and the Sons of Horen themselves, the latter had ties to the Empire and the Canonist Church, and was said to be acting on their orders. The Empire and the Church disputed these accusations, alleging that the Sons of Horen, a group that had never been heard of before, was created by Norland to stage a false-flag attack against themselves to justify a war against Oren. A handful of later historians, utilizing census information found on a few supposed Sons of Horen, believe the attacks to have been staged by lingering elements of the Josephite Mafia (though the Josephite Party had officially been disbanded by this point). A Norlandic replication of their sacred burning bush. Said to be the most advanced work of art in Norlandic history, date unknown By 1817, the ruling King of Norland, Sven Edvardsson II, had what he needed to make his demands. On the 13th of Godfrey’s Triumph, 1817, he officially released a series of demands to the Empire, foremost among them being reparations for the slaying of the fatherist priest and the damages dealt by the Sons of Horen raid. Himself having ascended to the throne just a year earlier, the bellicose and warlike Sven desired to cement his rule by uniting the disparate clans and factions of Norland against the Empire. Additionally, since the expulsion of Haense from the Empire in 1786, the three powers of Norland, Haense, and Urguan had been consistently joined together in an alliance known as the Iron Accord. Sven II believed that upon declaring war on the Empire the rest of the Iron Accord would come to his support, but he was woefully wrong. Inexperienced and ill-trained in matters of war and politics, the King Sven would soon be dismayed to find out that Norland would fight the coming war alone. Knowing that war was soon to come, Emperor John made immediate preparations to mobilize the Empire. The ISA, though still strong, had been subject to untimely resignations and budget cuts in the aftermath of the Sedan Rebellion, as it seemed peace had been well-secured. The well-liked and esteemed General Peter d’Arkent, Duke of Sunholdt, had died in 1814 of old age. His replacement as General, William Darkwood, the Baron of Darkwood, was a loyal, hardworking, and experienced man; however, his time as an officer had been spent managing logistics, not soldiers and combat. Few of his subordinates liked or respected him as they had General DeNurem or General d’Arkent, and he was a below-average battlefield tactician and campaign strategist at best. Knowing the limitations of the current ISA leadership, the Emperor appointed Iskander Basrid, Count of Susa and hero of the Sedan Rebellion, as Field Marshal. A popular figure within the Empire, and the husband of the equally-beloved Princess Imperial, Elizabeth Anne, the Count of Susa was the perfect man to lead the war effort. Although he was only a major in the ISA, his appointment as Field Marshal gave Iskander effective control of the entirety of the Empire’s military resources. To supplement the current ISA forces and give his new Field Marshal an effective fighting force, the Emperor also tasked the retired Franz Sarkozy and Simon Pruvia, the Viscount of Provins, with finding mercenaries and allies. The official declaration of war came on the 13th of Godfrey’s Triumph, 1818. A day later, the garrison of Southbridge came under attack by a raiding party of nine-hundred Norlanders. Having been led to allied Urguan weeks in advance in preparation for the official declaration of war, the Norlandic force caught the garrison of Southbridge by surprise, driving them out despite possessing fewer numbers. However, the fighting was restricted to a few volleys of arrow fire, which resulted only in a few minor injuries. Led in person by Donovan Freysson, their tribal war leader, Norland had scored the first victory of the war. It would turn out to be a minor affair, though, as after ransacking Southbridge, the raiding party was forced to withdraw back into Urguan after receiving word of a large ISA force bearing down on them. Urguan’s role in the war, though expected to be large, turned out to be fairly minor. Caught unaware by King Sven’s sudden declaration of war, the Underking had not yet mobilized the clans of Urguan and made war preparations. Furthermore, several years of drought, crop failures, and economic instability had rendered Urguan unable to effectively field a large army for the time being. Although small bands of dwarves could be spotted joining their Norlandic allies, and Urguan officially announced that it would honor the terms of the Iron Accord and join Norland in the war against the Empire, the Underrealm did little more throughout the war than serve as a staging ground for various Norlandic raiding parties. A further blow to King Sven’s cause was dealt when Haense signed the Greyspine Convention with the Empire, a pact of neutrality officially mediated by High Pontiff Jude II. Fearing defeat were he to join Norland without Urguan’s support, and not wishing to join a pagan offensive against a Canonist nation, King Heinrik II of Haense agreed to refrain from joining the war in exchange for the promise that no Canonists would be harmed. It is said that when he received the news, the Norlandic King broke down into a nervous wreck. Without his two strongest allies, Norland would be forced to fight the war alone, though they did receive substantial support from the Ferrymen mercenaries. Emperor John, on the other hand, found himself enjoying a strong position. A week after his treaty with Haense was concluded, he received word from the Viscount of Pruvia that the Consul Olivier Renault de Savoie of the Free City of Luciensburg had agreed to lead his personal mercenary company, the Metinan Company, in support of the Empire in exchange for some monetary considerations. Although Luciensburg was a young city, founded by Savoyards exiled from the Empire in the aftermath of the Sedan Rebellion, the Metinan Company was professional, disciplined, and effective. For his part, Olivier Renault had little love for Norland and was sympathetic to the Empire, only joining the rebellion against it in the hopes of restoring it to its past glory. With this contract formed, Emperor John now had a strong core to augment the ISA regulars. The Empire’s strike back came on the 1st of Tobias’s Bounty, 1818, in the dead of winter. The Count of Susa, leading a small Imperial raiding party of a thousand men, rode through the Duchy of Elysium, the largest and most powerful of Norland’s vassals, putting the main city to the torch and capturing the Duke of Elysium himself without losing a man. When the Duke of Elysium was brought back to Providence, it was advised by Archchancellor d’Azor and Franz de Sarkozy that he be executed, but Prince Philip, the Duke of Crestfall, overruled the two. He made the Duke of Elysium sign a treaty officially withdrawing from the war before setting him free (the Duke of Elysium would later renege on the treaty, citing that his signature had been made while under duress). The next year, 1819, was marked by small-scale raids and skirmishes fought between the professional cores of the Imperial and Norlandic armies as both nations mobilized their full might. Both nations burnt farmsteads, villages, and mills as they sought to demoralize the populace of the opposition. Much of the Lower Petra and the Grenz of the Empire was left in ruin, though not irreparably so, while almost the whole of Norland was sacked at some point or another. On the 16th of Horen’s Calling, 1819, the Count of Susa led a force of one-thousand to raid Elysium again, but was ambushed by a force of over two-thousand led by the Duke of Elysium. Outnumbered and taken by surprise, the Count of Susa commanded a stout retreat, killing nearly a thousand Elysians while suffering only a few hundred casualties of his own, but was forced back into the Grenz. Donovan Freysson’s raid into Providence on the 13th of Godfrey's Triumph, the first anniversary of the start of the war, was far more successful. Storming a few undermanned, outlying forts protecting Providence, Donovan’s force of one-thousand two-hundred killed and wounded nearly one-thousand three-hundred ISA soldiers and came close to capturing the Archchancellor. It was only the intervention of the city garrison itself that forced the Norlanders to withdraw to Urguan. A few more minor skirmishes were fought throughout the year, but few were decisive. The next year, 1820, saw more of the same, though it was here that the war’s longest battle was fought. From the 7th to the 8th of Tobias’s Bounty, a force of around one-thousand two-hundred Norlandic-Ferrymen raiders led by Donovan Freysson fought bitterly with an army of three-thousand five-hundred ISA-Metinan soldiers commanded by Olivier de Savoie. Around the towns and farms lining the Southern Highway of the Lower Petra, the two forces did battle. While Donovan’s force performed admirably against the larger Imperial army, they were worn down over the course of the two days’ worth of fighting and were forced to retreat. Despite both sides having seen their fair share of successes, it was evident that the Imperial’s overwhelming advantage in manpower was the decisive factor. As King Sven gathered his army, Donovan’s own raiding parties grew smaller and smaller. By the spring of 1821, the war chief received word from his king that in a few months’ time the Norlandic host would be marching south to join forces with Urguan, which had managed to raise a small army of its own. Donovan protested this action, advising the king that it would be wiser to prepare Norland’s defenses for an imminent Imperial invasion, which would come with a larger army than they could muster. The king, desiring a quick blow to end the war, rejected these plans, and authorized one last raid into the Empire before the war chief was to join the main Norlandic host. This raid would come on the 17th of Horen’s Calling, 1821. Having already ridden north to take command of the main army, Donovan Freysson had allowed the Ferrymen one last raid into Providence, ostensibly to disrupt the mustering of the Imperial army. However, unbeknownst to the war chief, plans of the Norlandic march south had been intercepted by the Viscount of Provins and Anastasia O’Rourke, the Countess of Halstaig, who had relayed the information to the Count of Susa. Not wishing to squander the opportunity to smash the Norlandic host before they could unite with Urguan, the Count of Susa and Emperor John himself had departed with the main Orenian army mere days before the Ferrymen raiding force had arrived. When they did finally reach Providence, they were surrounded and slaughtered by the city garrison, led by Erik var Ruthern, the Count of Kositz. This would be the penultimate action of the war, and the last threat to Providence itself for over thirty years. The final battle would come on the 4th of Tobias’s Bounty, 1821, at the Battle of Outer Arentania. Unaware of the incoming Imperial force, the King of Norland had ordered his army, numbering about four-thousand two-hundred, to march through the outer edges of the Empire in order to reach Urguan faster. Although winter had set in further north, the first snows had yet to reach the center of Almaris, and the terrain was still suitable for marching. On the eve of the 3rd of Tobias’s Bounty, the Norlandic army had come to a stop in a valley surrounded by great hills on each side in order to camp for the night. King Sven, against the advice of his chief war leaders, had refused to send out any scouts or place pickets around his camp, believing his army to be completely safe. The Emperor and the Count of Susa had reached the area just hours after the Norlanders, and the two had wasted no time making preparations in the dead of night. Although Emperor John was in nominal command of the Imperial army, he lacked battlefield experience and had not seen action for years. True command was given to the Count of Susa, who, through consultation with his staff and the Emperor, devised a plan to bait the outnumbered Norlanders into a trap. Possessing an army numbering nine-thousand four-hundred, the Count of Susa ordered it to be split, with one-thousand six-hundred men of the Metinan Company taking positions on the hills to the south and the rest laying in wait near the more rugged cliffs to the east. The smaller force, to be led by Olivier de Savoie, would pose as an isolated raiding party and bait the Norlandic host into charging uphill, while the rest of the army, led by Iskander himself, would swing around and hit the Norlanders from the rear and flank. From the east, cannonade fire, directed by the Countess of Halstaig, would pin the Norlanders in place and keep them from fleeing. After the plan was confirmed by the Emperor, orders were distributed, and the men and women of the Imperial army went silently to their assigned places under the cover of night, not alerting the Norlanders. At dawn the following morning, the Norlandic host awoke to see a small force of Imperials, less than a third their own size, shouting and jeering at them from atop the southern hills. Fearing it was a trap, Donovan Freysson and some of the older clan chiefs advised King Sven to pull back atop one of the hills and take a defensive position. The Norlandic King merely laughed and accused them of cowardice. Instead, he took the advice of his younger, more impetuous vassals to heart. He gave the order to prepare the army to advance south and sweep past this meager force. Within two hours it was done, and the king gave the signal to advance. From the cliffs to the east, the Count of Susa grinned while his own men suppressed their cheers. The Norlandic foot had made it halfway up the hill to meet Olivier de Savoie’s force when suddenly horns, drums, and shouts from the east could be heard. Within minutes, over the rolling hills, the great second force of the Imperials, numbering seven-thousand eight-hundred, could be seen bearing down on the Norlandic host with Iskander Basird, dressed in brilliant gold-encrusted armor bearing the sigil of his house, at the head. It is said that upon seeing that he had been trapped, King Sven II took the fastest destrier he had and fled immediately, sparking confusion within his ranks. Not knowing whether to retreat with their king, brace for impact, or continue to advance, the Norlanders fell into a confused panic. Donovan Freysson attempted to rally the army to make a fighting withdrawal, but they were soon struck from the front by Olivier de Savoie and his portion of the army. Moments later, the advance elements of the main Imperial host had reached the rear and flank of the Norlandic army, pinning them against the Metinans. Well-placed cannon-fire from the Imperials struck the very center of the Norlanders ranks, turning the confused mess into a sheer panic. Overlooking the battle from the cliffs of the east, where the artillery had been placed, was Emperor John VIII. According to popular rumor, he had made a bet with the Count of Susa and General Darkwood as to how quick the battle would be. The Count of Susa had predicted under five minutes, General Darkwood had predicted within five to seven minutes, and the Emperor had predicted within seven to ten minutes. Keeping track of the time, the Emperor recorded the battle as having taken five minutes and seventeen seconds, giving rise to the popular moniker The Five Minute Battle, for the Battle of Outer Arentania. It is also said that after receiving his winnings from the Count of Susa and the Emperor, General Darkwood bought a month’s supply of wine for each of his men who had participated in the battle (perhaps the only time he enjoyed the popular support of the ISA). Emperor John VIII overlooking the Battle of Outer Arentania, 1821 Whether the account of Emperor John’s time-taking is truthful, it cannot be denied that the Battle of Outer Arentania was one of the quickest engagements in known history. Within minutes, the Norlandic host had been shattered: around four-thousand one-hundred of the men who had marched south with King Sven lay dead, missing, or captured in the aftermath. Among them was Donovan Freysson, who had been captured by Olivier de Savoie personally after a duel between the two of them. The losses by the Imperials were minimal, though most had been suffered by the Metinan Company, who fought primarily against the Ferrymen mercenaries, perhaps the stiffest resistance to be found in the Norlandic army that day. By the next day, the Imperials resumed their march towards the border of Norland, preparing to invade the kingdom. It would never come, as within days of the expected Imperial offensive into Norland, King Sven offered terms of peace. Norland would withdraw from the Iron Accord, cease all expansion to the south and the east, and pay forty-thousand minae to the Empire in reparations. The Emperor agreed to a ceasefire, and for the next two years the two sides would haggle and negotiate, but by the end the terms would remain the same, save for some minor additional territorial clauses. In this time, the Metinan Company, reeling from their losses, threatened mutiny against Olivier Renault, citing unpaid wages. The Savoyard was forced to disband the company and return home to quell internal tensions within Luciensburg, which had suffered adverse economic effects from the war. Despite this, the ISA remained strong, and additional recruits were drawn from the Grenz to supplement them. However, they were unneeded, as on the 9th of the Sun’s Smile, 1823, Emperor John officially announced that the peace talks had been concluded. The ISA, which had been stationed outside of the Norlandic border on-and-off for two years, was finally allowed to demobilize and return home. Two months later, on the 10th of Sigismund’s End, the Treaty of Providence was signed, officially ending the war. Despite the immediate challenge that he had faced upon ascending to the throne, Emperor John had acquitted himself well in the conflict. The whole of the Empire had rallied around the war effort, and Norland’s overwhelming defeat in the war had broken its power. Even today, the kingdom has not recovered from the loss of manpower, prestige, and honor from their failed invasion of the Empire. So thorough was Emperor John’s victory that an entire week was devoted to games, festivities, and feasts in honor of the victory. The strength of the Empire had been proven once again, and it seemed that a new age of glory would soon be upon Oren. The atmosphere was jubilant, the ISA was bristling with new recruits, the economy, boosted by Norland’s reparations, was booming, and the courts were consistently filled with the dazzling lords and ladies of the realm, all enjoying the fruits of triumph. However, famously, or infamously, the rest of Emperor John VIII’s reign would be characterized by the same quietness and stability that had been expected of it at the start. His reign is best-known for the Tenth Nordling War, but it only occupied five of his twenty-three years of rule. What, then, can be said of the remainder of his reign? In truth, it is little much, and it is these years that the harshest critics of his reign point to. While this period was a peaceful, prosperous one, it also was plagued by a decline in the ISA, the looming succession of the unpopular Duke of Crestfall, the stagnation of the government, and a plummeting interest and participation in the Imperial Diet, and the Rosemoor Movement. One understated issue to emerge came from within the Church. Tragically, the sensible and prudent High Pontiff Jude II had been assassinated by Norlandic agents in 1820, which made him a martyr to the Imperial cause and drove several members of the clergy to more openly support the Empire. However, this void was one that could not be filled, as with Jude II died the line of pragmatists that had governed the Church (save the interruption with Owyn III) starting with High Pontiff Pontian II in 1702. To follow would come a line of Haeseni Pontiffs, primarily from the House Barclay, who were far more interested in attempting to expand the Church’s social and political influence. Jude II’s successor, Tylos I, was an archconservative, former soldier and politician in Haense, and possessed little of the sense and diligence of his predecessor. For fifteen years he absently sat atop the Pontifical throne, doing little, harming the Church, and causing the faith’s influence to wane in the Empire. While Emperor John wished to continue the policy of his forebears by refraining from joining in political affairs, the deteriorating religious situation gave rise to political factions inspired by Tylos I’s cultural beliefs, but repulsed by his laziness. The Risorgimentists and Adrianites were both reactionary parties that attempted to form in the late 1820s. Conservative, despising liberal thought and institutions, and devout followers of the faith, they sought to take charge of the Empire’s moral and spiritual character where the Church had failed by radically altering society and returning it to its more feudal, decentralized roots. The Emperor, a staunch opponent of those who sought to alter the status quo, heavily suppressed the two parties and their associate organizations across the Empire. From the dissolution of the Josephite Party in 1815, the government had been dominated by Ledicort d’Azor’s National Party ever since. However, by the middle of Emperor John’s reign, a breakdown of interest in the Diet had become a noticeable issue. With opposition parties either being repressed by the government or struggling to win against the Nationals, few except the most staunch allies of Archchancellor d’Azor continued to take interest in politics. Election after election, voter turnout plummeted, incompetent candidates found seats in the House of Commons, and few bills were produced from the Diet, and fewer still sensible enough to be approved by the Emperor. Many began to regard the Diet as a useless institution, good for little else than rubber-stamping the agenda of the Azor Ministry, which was itself beginning to lose the ambition it had set out with, but events in the late 1820s turned this around. We speak, of course, about the Rosemoor Movement. The Rosemoor Movement had its roots in the activism of The Princess Imperial and Countess of Rosemoor, Elizabeth Anne. Elizabeth Anne, having herself served in the ISA and the House of Lords, and having seen her mother perform the duties of an Empress-regnant admirably, began to question why the laws of inheritance within Oren favored men. At that time, the Empire, along with most other nations of Almaris, followed a system of male-preference primogeniture. The titles and properties of a deceased lord or lady would be given to their eldest son, regardless of whether he had elder sisters or not. If the son had died, but not his son, then the titles would be given to him, and so on. Only if there were no male descendants to be found could the eldest daughter inherit. Elizabeth Anne, joined by many other prominent noblewomen in the Empire, among them Claude Elizabeth de Savoie, daughter of Olivier de Savoie, Alina Basrid, and Anastasia Victoria vas Ruthern, granddaughter of Count Erik of Kositz and the future Empress Anastasia, began a movement in support of the ‘Rosemoor Bill’, which was a bill authored by the Princess Imperial herself that would give women equal inheritance rights as men. This movement was bitterly contested by the more conservative elements of the nobility, chief among them the Duke of Cathalon. Others, such as the Viscount of Provins and the Archancellor (now sitting in the House of Lords as the Count of Azor) did not necessarily oppose the movement, but disagreed with the wording of the bill. The Emperor himself was partial to his older sister’s cause, but did not want to intervene entirely, and instead left the matter to the House of Lords. However, the Rosemoor Movement was growing, and weekly street demonstrations, rallies, and organized events made the issue of equal-sex succession the most prominent topic in the Empire. This worried the Duke of Crestfall in particular, who, as the head of the House of Lords, had significant sway over whether the bill would pass or not. During his brother’s reign, the power of the nobility had been reduced to its lowest point, and the nobility of the Empire was mostly constrained to the Augustine Palace, where they were kept docile and useless. Save a few prominent peers who joined the ISA and partook in politics, the majority of the aristocracy, until now, had been content with their soft lifestyle, exerting themselves only for the many balls and feasts hosted. If they could be mobilized so effectively here, then they could be mobilized against the Crown in an effort to champion other privileges they desired, so thought Philip Augustus. It was here that he resolved to end the Rosemoor Movement. During a session of the House of Lords in the waning winter months of 1830, the Princess Imperial officially brought the Rosemoor Bill to the floor of the legislative body. For hours it was debated over, and, just as a vote was to be taken, the Duke of Crestfall paused the proceedings. Using his powers as head of the House of Lords, he castigated his elder sister for taking to the streets with her political whims and attempting to weaponize public opinion in an effort to have the Rosemoor Bill passed. He immediately held a vote to censure Elizabeth Anne and prevent a vote from taking place on her bill. Supported by a number of conservative members of the House of Lords, the motion passed, and the Princess Imperial was barred from speaking for the rest of the session. This betrayal from her own brother struck grief into her heart and sparked outrage from nearly all the public. This only grew when, mere weeks later, the Princess Imperial was announced to have died. The Duke of Crestfall attempted to defend his actions, citing their legality, but public opinion against him had sunk. The Count of Susa, enraged, resigned from the ISA. The hero of the Sedan Rebellion and the Tenth Nordling War, having loved his wife dearly, would only be able to manage living another year without her. Even the Emperor was incensed at his brother’s actions, though he held his tongue in public. The censuring of Princess Imperial Elizabeth in the House of Lords, 1831 The resignation and death of the Count of Susa could not come at a worse time. Experienced, successful, and a hero of the Empire, Iskander Basrid had been the favorite to succeed the failing General Darkwood, whose mismanagement of the ISA had run it into near-ruin by 1830. Although it remained a popular and strong institution by the end of the Norland War, a series of resignations and discharges had decimated the ranks of the army. General Darkwood’s notorious temper and conduct with subordinates had led many loyal soldiers to abandon the force altogether and made prospective troops second-guess joining. The Emperor, again reluctant to intervene, was forced to watch as the once-proud ISA floundered during the years of peace. No help could be found from the nobility, who had grown fat and lazy within the halls of the Augustine Palace, and were ignorant of the severe lack of talent within the ISA. By 1832, only one man could possibly restore the decaying army: The Count of Kositz, who had fought for the Empire with distinction since the Inferi War and had been the Count of Susa’s right hand man. When the aged General Darkwood finally retired that summer, Erik var Ruthern was named the new General and tasked with repairing the ISA. This came just in time, as down south events were unfolding to the south that threatened to drag the Empire into war again. Ever since the betrayal of King Corwin I of Sutica, the city-state had floundered under misrule by the pagan servants of Iblees. Ruler after ruler had prayed to the gods of Hell to fill their homes with citizens, cause their crops to bloom, and fill their empty coffers with coins, but to no avail. Instead, the Lord our God looked favorably upon two individuals: George Barclay, a cousin of the Dukes of Reinmar, and Johanna Alstreim, a distant relation of King Corwin himself. Wishing to liberate her ancestor’s lands from the sin and villainy that gripped it, Johanna assembled an army of mercenaries. George, a man of martial aptitude, led this small force down to Sutica, stormed the city, and purged it of its sinful inhabitants in 1821. The two then crowned themselves King and Queen of Sutica and reigned as co-monarchs. However, since their glorious crusade, their co-reign had been tumultuous at best. King George I, a strong warrior to be sure, cared little for governance and administration. To make matters worse, he was unwilling to abide by his wife’s right to rule, and threatened violence against her were she to exercise her authority. With the far more brilliant mind of Queen Johanna suppressed by coercion, and a man who cared little for ruling at the helm of the nation, the newly-Canonist Sutica suffered. By 1832, however, King George died in a hunting accident, leaving his wife as the sole monarch. In 1834, Queen Johanna took Franz de Sarkozy, the former Imperial Archchancellor, as her consort, given his aptitude for statecraft and willingness to allow her to exercise her full rights as monarch. However, that same year, a small number of pagan vassals in the furthest corners of the Sutican desert, having long-chafed under Canonist rule, revolted in the hopes of toppling their Alstreim overlords. Immediately, the Canonist world was called to come to the defense of Sutica, and it was here that the flaws of the ISA were exposed. General Ruthern, deprived of a steady, experienced officer corps, struggled to find a suitable commander for an Orenian expeditionary force. Eventually, Erik Othaman, the Count of Valles, and Olivie de Savoie, having been a courtier in the Empire for several years after the fall of Luciensburg in 1827 to local bandits, were given command of the expedition. The Kingdom of Haense, on the other hand, was quick to send a small contingent of three-thousand soldiers to their Canonist brother in Sutica, joining with the Sutican army, which numbered seven-hundred. Before the ISA detachment could even arrive in the southern continent, the combined Sutican-Haeseni army had shattered the rebel forces in the Battle of the Rhein on the 12th of Tobias’s Bounty, 1834. By the time that the ISA contingent did arrive, the rebels had surrendered, and there was little else to do besides security operations. Although this appeared to be little more than a mild event in a war of no particular importance, the consequences of this conflict would soon come to plague the end of Emperor John’s reign, and the entirety of his brother’s. Olivier de Savoie, having garnered a reputation for his service in the Tenth Nordling War and the Sedan Rebellion, was offered lands, titles, and a place at the court of Queen Johanna of Sutica, which he readily accepted. When the queen died mere months later, on the 14th of Harren’s Folly, 1835, she bequeathed Sutica not to her sons, nor to any other family, but to Olivier Renault himself, believing that he could lead the newfound Canonist realm to heights that she had died too young to do herself. So it was, a year later, in 1836, that Olivier Renault de Savoie proclaimed the dissolution of the Kingdom of Sutica and the establishment of the Principality of Savoy, and named himself Prince Olivier I of Savoy. As soon as it was announced to the whole of Almaris that Savoy, an old, storied state that was thought to be lost to the annals of history, had now reformed, many flocked to the new capital of San Luciano. Although most of the influx came from Savoyards residing in the various Canonist realms of the world, there was also a substantial number of people who traveled to the principality in order to take advantage of the opportunity a young nation would provide. Although much of the exodus from the Empire would not come until the beginning of Philip II’s reign, many, including Emperor John himself, feared that the rise of a strong Savoyard state could challenge the might of Oren. 1836 also dealt another blow to the Imperial Crown. At the end of that year’s Social Season, an event renowned for its dramatics and controversies, the Prince Philip Amadeus, son of Prince Philip Aurelian, Count of Renzfeld, and grandson of the Duke of Crestfall, was wed to Lady Anastasia vas Ruthern, granddaughter of General Ruthern, the Count of Kositz. The spectacle was said to be one of the greatest in Imperial history, and the wedding attracted perhaps the largest crowd known to date. From Savoy to Haense, Elvenesse to Krugmar, the people of Almaris flocked in droves to see the union of these two popular figures. Although the Duke of Crestfall was quite despised by the Imperial populace, and Philip Aurelian was an obscure figure, Philip Amadeus was beloved by all. Only his peer, the Crown Prince of Haense, Sigismund Karl, could be said to match him in potential and popularity in the eyes of the world. Anastasia Ruthern herself was similarly held in high esteem, and it was predicted by many that she would prove to be one of the more shrewd and energetic consorts to reign when she and Philip’s time came. Comparisons were made between the Imperial pair and Anne Augusta and Joseph Clement, with others believing that they would come to surpass their predecessors. Emperor John, himself not one to miss out on a joyous occasion, conferred the Duchy of Furnestock onto Philip Amadeus and granted the pair a small fleet of ships so that they could tour Almaris. Prince Sigismund of Haense, himself also in attendance, is said to have spoken with the newlyweds, and all three of them excitedly discussed their plans to better the world of Canondom when their time came to sit the thrones of their respective realms. The wedding was a resounding success, and it appeared that, even with the mild difficulties of the past decade, the future of the Empire remained bright. However, only two months after the wedding, the Imperial couple were found to have disappeared from the Empire. A search was conducted, and it was soon discovered that they, along with a handful of retainers, had taken the ships gifted to them by the Emperor and sailed east in search of new lands. The reason behind the infamous flight of Philip and Anastasia is unknown. While the Duke of Furnestock himself, upon his eventual return to Almaris twelve years after, would later claim that he and his new wife did not wish to accept the burdens of the Crown, and instead desired to live a life of obscurity elsewhere, that has not stopped continued speculation. Some believe that the Duke of Furnestock harbored a grudge against his grandfather, the Duke of Crestfall, and had no desire to serve him. Others allege that the Duke and Duchess of Furnestock had been implicated in a plot to either overthrow Emperor John or the Duke of Crestfall, leading either to their preemptive flight or forced exile. Despite the unclear circumstances at the time, the effects of Philip and Anastasia’s departure were felt bitterly. Having accrued a large following throughout the Empire and being seen as the hope of the House of Novellen, their absence left a hole that could not be filled. As with Savoy, the ramifications would soon come to bite the Empire in the back, but not as long as Emperor John held the throne. Unfortunately, that time would not last for much longer. Now eighty years of age, it was clear that the Emperor’s time was soon to come to an end. While the Emperor’s personal involvement in day-to-day affairs had expectedly decreased as he aged, the Council of State had not adequately stepped forth to assume these necessary duties. Archchancellor d’Azor, although having begun his ministry with earnest and zeal that was characteristic of him, was now at the head of a lethargic, slow government. To make matters worse, his rumored involvement in the assassination of his daughter in 1827, and the sudden disappearence of his well-liked Vice Chancellor, Keaghen Armas, caused public opinion to sour on the Nationals. The instruments of state, once renowned for their efficiency, productivity, and ceaseless work, were now beginning to slow down. Seriously-needed reform and rejuvenation was put off for years. Still, the realm enjoyed its peace, and the government, while slow, was not failing. The last months of Emperor John’s reign were without strife or controversy, and his time came to a close, it is said that so too did the last quiet days of the Empire fade with him. On the 12th of Owyn’s Flame, 1837, Emperor John VIII, having battled an illness for the past three days, died quietly that evening. It is claimed by many that the death of his beloved sister, Elizabeth, the wedge driven between him and his brother, Philip, and the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Furnestock, deprived the Emperor of his will to live, and it may be that it is the case. For the last year of his life, the ever-jubilant, affable Emperor sunk into a dour reclusion. He took few guests, ate and drank little, and rarely left the confines of his room. While a broken heart was not the true cause of his death, his living conditions from 1836 to 1837 certainly did not prolong his life. When his death came, Emperor John VIII was widely-mourned by nearly all of the Empire. Although he made no great conquests nor radically altered the nature of his Empire, he had, as his father had advised him to do, reigned capably and securely for twenty-two years. The life of the average Imperial citizen had improved during his reign, and the economy had flourished. Even at the end, when conditions had degraded from their heights in the mid to late 1820s, the effects had yet to truly be felt. Had a man more capable than the Duke of Crestfall ascended the throne after Emperor John, it can be reasonably assumed that the problems that emerged would have been better-addressed. Furthermore, few scholars discuss the impact of the Tenth Nordling War, and how it definitively broke the power of one of the Empire’s more persistent enemies. While the Kingdom of Norland would continue to join coalitions against the Empire, it would do so as a minor partner, and its contributions to any given war effort would remain minimal at best. Even today, Norland remains a husk of the great power it once was. While few rate John VIII as among the greatest of the Emperors, none rank him low, and indeed it can be argued that if one were to live through any point in history, the 1820s stands as one of the better choices. However, this does not entirely exculpate Emperor John from the flaws of his reign, nor does it presume that only the sole actions of his successor cause the Empire to later teeter on the brink of ruin. While Emperor John’s inability to sire an heir has been previously discussed, and will have its consequences examined in full later, Emperor Philip II would have a number of problems to contend with upon his ascension to the throne. A decaying ISA, a lethargic government, a growing rival in Savoy, and the lack of interest in the city government of Providence and the Imperial Diet all began in the 1820s. However, in keeping with the liberal attitude of the Novellens, Emperor John rarely took matters into his own hands. It is here that the greatest failings of liberalized, democratized government begin to show. When power is too greatly delegated to those unfit for the responsibility of it, and possess neither the training nor the innate competence to wield it, the functions of the state wither. Had Emperor John not been so reluctant to sweep aside these supposedly sacred institutions and either reformed them or abolished them as needed, then perhaps the Imperial administrative apparatus would have remained healthy. Furthermore, although this was an unforeseen problem with the general dynastic aim of defeudalization and centralization taken up by the Novellens at large, and not solely a mistake of Emperor John, the growing decadence and uselessness of the aristocracy deprived the Empire of a critical source of talent and manpower. While nobles of before provided service to the Empire as politicians, councillors, and the leaders of armies, in the Petrine Empire they simply paid a small sum of taxes. With a strong ISA, bristling bureaucracy, and functional Diet, the drawbacks of this could be easily overcome, but as those institutions began to crumble, some of the flaws of the great Petrine project began to emerge. Still, it cannot be said that Emperor John VIII’s reign was poor by any measure. While his time is often overlooked in the modern day, given the more exciting events during the reigns of Peter III, Philip II, and Philip III, and he is rarely looked to as a guide by young, energetic monarchs, those who are old and wise frequently consult the deeds and mannerisms of Emperor John. Triumphant in war and peace alike, he accomplished something few monarchs in history, especially those upon Almaris, can claim to have obtained for their own realms. It is for this reason that, despite its problems, his reign ought not to be looked upon with a cynical, loathsome lens, but instead be appreciated as one of the last times the Empire enjoyed its unmatched supremacy in the world. Vale, John VIII ‘the Good’ 3rd of Horen’s Calling, 1757-12th of Owyn’s Flame, 1837 (r. 23rd of Sun’s Smile, 1814-12th of Owyn’s Flame, 1837) O Ágioi Kristoff, Jude kai Pius. Dóste mas gnósi ópos sas ékane o Theós. Poté min afísoume na doúme to skotádi, allá as doúme móno to fos tis sofías kai tis alítheias. O Theós na se evlogeí. The reign of Emperor Philip II and the Aster Revolution shall be covered in our next volume of The Decline and Fall of the Holy Orenian Empire.
  22. [x] EXAM PROBATUS APPROVAL OF EXAM AS ISSUED BY FR. CYRUS CARDINALIS ALBAROSA ( @MCVDK ) It pleases the Office of the Prelate, beneath the 47th Pontificate of Pontian IV, to hereby issue approval of the Canonical exam submitted by the Acolyte Iosef ( @Nolan_ ). By the issuance of this approval, the Office of the Prelate confirms the fulfillment of Canonical education and sees fit the Priest-candidate is ordained by a Bishop or thereup. This exam confirms knowledge of the subsequent topics: The Holy Scrolls and the mandate thereof Dogmatic principles of the Canonist Church Catechism of the Canonist Church Hierarchy of the Canonist Church Laws and ordinances of the Canonist Church It is therefore concluded, by the Office of the Prelate, that the Priest-candidate holds adequate knowledge of the Canon to sermonize and practice as a full-fledged member of the Canonical clergy. It asked that the Priest-candidate in question contacts a local Bishop or higher for the rite of ordination. This serves as evidence for the approval exam. His Eminence, Fr. Cyrus Cardinalis Albarosa Praelatus Ecclesiastici, Archiepiscopus de Albarosa et Episcopus de Buron (Common. Prelate of the Priesthood, Archbishop of Albarosa and Bishop of Buron)
  23. A NOBLE WEDDING The Marriage of the 1st Baron of Castelorena and Lady Elaria de Rosius de Valens, 1891. Letters fly in the beaks of birds through the lands of Almaris, each one bearing the red seal of the House Galbraith de Castelorena. These invitations, sealed in ornate white envelopes read: Dear Lords and Ladies of the Realm, Ave Imperium! The Empire lives within our hearts! -=- In order to celebrate the continuance of the Orenian legacy of the Houses Galbraith and de Rosius in the Kingdom of Balian, land of the exiled people of the Imperial Oren, both families have decided to hold a marriage to strengthen their ties. -=- You are cordially invited to witness the Wedding of Don Lucius Galbraith de Castelorena & Dona Elaria de Rosius de Valens Ceremony to be held within the Cathedral of Atrus in the Kingdom of Balian ((Sunday, October 2nd at 3pm EST)) Receptional feast in the Palati Monterosa to follow in celebration of the noble union. Special Invitations, hand-delivered by messengers of the House Galbraith de Castelorena are extended to the following: His Royal Majesty, King John I of the House Novellen de Balian, and his royal family. @Imperium His Royal Highness, Prince Alexandros Novellen de Balian, the Heir Apparent. @Shmeepicus Her Royal Highness, Princess Constantia Novellen de Balian, the Princess Imperia. @PrettyCuteAnna The Right Honorable, Count Rev Vuiller de Aquilae. @Harald The Right Honorable, Viscount Viktor Ruthern de Marsana. @Aehkaj The Right Honorable, Viscountess Catherine Huntshill de Anatis. @SapphirePool The Right Honorable, Viscount Drako Darkwood de Renduzzo. @HIGH_FIRE The Right Honorable, Baroness Chloe Giselle de Rosius de Valens. @EmiliainWonderland The Right Honorable, Baron Constantine Malenos de Malenos. @Da_Emperors The Right Honorable, Viscount Peter d’Arkent de Salia. @ErikAzog The Right Honorable, Baron Biornus Mösu de Ciavola. @MisterBlitzkrieg The Councilors of the Royal Chamber of the Kingdom of Balian and the Governess of the Palati Monterosa. @bee His Royal Majesty, King Karl III of the House Barbanov de Haense, and his royal family and peers. @GMRO His Serene Highness, Prince Joseph I of the House de Joannes de Sedan, and his royal family and peers. @Dogged Regular invitations for all the people of the Kingdom of Balian, the Kingdom of Haense and the Principality of Sedan are also extended and delivered by messengers of the House Galbraith de Castelorena. Signed, Her Ladyship, Elaria de Rosius de Valens His Lordship, Lucius Galbraith de Castelorena, Baron of Castelorena.
  24. One morning, Garedyn The Green carried a stack of freshly purchased books from the market to the Grand Library, for them to be stored and preserved so that the Lore Master Ogradhad could guard them for the future generations of dwarves. As he went his way to librarian's office, everything was eerily still and quiet. He simply thought the librarian was out for a meal, so he continued inside. As he entered it, the sight of the office caused him to drop the books from his hand with his jaw agape. The office was empty, all bookshelves, chests were devoid of tomes. The original publications of books had gone missing. The decades, if not millenia, of effort in restoring, gathering and protecting the original books in the name of the Brathmordkin Ogradhad had vanished in an instant. The hours and days he spent consulting the books for his studies of medicine and his faith remained, but their original, primary sources had disappeared. Those original works written by and for dwedmar were no longer within the protection of Ogradhad. A fury welled up in him, before the cool breeze in the empty library turned his fury into grief. He took some parchment and ink, and began to write. A Scholar's Lament -By Garedyn The Green (Written by VerminHunter) A drought, A drought from the stream that nourishes the dwed. A Land, A land once rich land upon which light can't be shed. The knowledge is gone, The black swans crow songs, The dawn wanes withdrawn The nights growing long. A plauge, A plauge from which the true is now unclear. A void, A void that is now filled with copied smears. The Lore Master weeps, The sown can't be reaped, The throas will ring deep, The wise fall asleep.
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