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Birdman

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  1. The Emperor and four of his men were traveling together in the wild country, and found their passage blocked by a thundering river. They could see a bridge that safely crossed over the frothing rapids, and moved to make their way across. However, when they came closer to the bridge, they found it blocked by the massive body of a slumbering bear. “If you would prove your worth to me, and to your Empire,” said the Emperor, “remove this obstacle from our path. The man who does so will be greatly honored.” The Renatian was the first to step up. Drawing his longsword, his steely features radiated confidence as he advanced upon the bear. The bear, noticing a threat, rose to its hind legs, unsheathed its claws, and let out a chilling roar. The Renatian did not flinch (for fear had long since been banished from his heart,) but saw instantly that the bear could easily beat him in battle, and must therefore be his superior. The only thing that the Renatian understood was the language of winning and losing, of domination and submission, of masters and slaves. He could see clearly that he was doomed to lose any fight with this bear, and with it, his only source of honor and esteem. “It cannot be done.” said the Renatian, backing down. “Allow me.” said the Savoyard, with a cunning smile. Seeing clearly that the bear could not be killed swiftly with a blade, he decided instead to attack it with temptation. Dangling a honeycomb just out of its reach, the Savoyard employed all of his deceptions and tricks, trying to tempt the bear away from its post. But the bear simply let out a snort, only seeming to find amusement in the Savoyard’s antics, and refused to budge. The Raevir was next. As is common amongst his people, the Raevir came from an enormous brood, and had a seemingly endless string of brothers, uncles, cousins, and family friends to call upon. Within an hour, he had assembled all of his kin and acquaintances who happened to live within a few miles of the bridge to come and fight beside him. The band of strelts advanced upon their enormous foe, teeth bared, locked shoulder to shoulder. But the bear was no more worried by the mob of Raevir than he had been by the single Renatian. Batting away their pitchforks with his paw, the bear held his ground, and the strelts scattered. At last, all eyes turned to the Haeseni. Though he was not the strongest man in the party, nor the cleverest, nor best liked or well connected, the Haeseni had a look of grim determination that had been absent from the faces of his predecessors. Without a word, he advanced on the bear, and hurled himself upon the great foe. Locking arms, the two were soon engaged in a fearful wrestling match. For three days, and three nights, man and beast struggled without resting. Many times the Haeseni seemed close to defeat, but when the hour was darkest, he muttered something to himself, and fought on. On the morning of the fourth day, just as sunbeams began to creep across the sky, the bear, mouth foaming and half-mad with fatigue, collapsed, exhausted, at the feet of the Haeseni. The northman drew his blade to dispatch his foe, but stayed himself, allowing the bear to retreat back into its forest home. With the path now clear, the Haeseni stepped aside and bent his knee, allowing the Emperor to cross before him. As the Emperor passed beside the victorious soldier, he stopped- a royal smile lighting up his face, and spoke: “Before we continue our travels, tell me, Haenseman,- what was the watchword that you kept repeating to yourself during the struggle?” The man replied with the words written on the heart of every man, woman, and child of Haense- living, dead, and unborn: “I would have perished had I not persisted.” -From the pen of John Walker
  2. HAENSE: THE FRONTIER STATE Can the character of an entire people be summed up in one sentence? At first glance, this task seems daunting- capturing the lives of thousands of men and women, each with their own unique hopes, fears, deeds and dreams, in mere written words feels absurd. But if one thinks about the problem a little further, it becomes plain that the task is not so troublesome as it appears. For if anything can be said to tie together all of these disparate individual lives, it must be an idea or characteristic so basic, so essential to their being, that it would be simple and clear enough to be understood by even a child. For example, ask yourself- what is a Kaedreni? The answer comes easily enough: a Kaedreni is a soldier. The Kaedreni people have served the Empire in countless ways, as warriors, stewards, statesmen, and even its leaders. But when one pictures the archetypal Kaedreni in his mind- a representative man for his entire people- one cannot help but picture a White Rose Orderman, built stronger and wound tighter than the loaded crossbow in his hands, ready to lay down his life to protect the good people of Oren. What is a Horen? A Horen is a ruler of men. Can one even picture a Horen as anyone other? Anywhere but the head of the table, anything but the center in the Tapestry of Man? It is perverse to even think of. Indeed, when one looks upon the many cadet branches of the great House strewn throughout the gentry and petty noble classes, one cannot help but feel that they are incomplete, like a familiar dish missing a key ingredient. They lack that essential trait of Horens- their regality- the quality that makes the Horens who they are. Without it, these lesser cousins will always feel feeble and out of place when placed beside their kingly kin. To carry this point further- can one imagine a Norlander that did not feel a patriotic ache for rebellion against his fellow men in his heart? It is scarcely possible (though one might hope that were.) With this preamble now behind us, we are prepared to tackle the question at the heart of this piece: What is Haense? What is that essential quality that makes the Haeseni who they are? When the sun sets in the West, it can warm the coldest heart you see And the Heartlanders have their fields and flowers, so beatiful, and gay But when I look out at those misty pines, I know there is nowhere I’d rather be For the North is my land, and it is so much more than clay The beauty of other regions is ephemeral, oh sadly so But not the glory of Haense, oh no -Alister Wailer, Warrior-Poet of Haense Just over two centuries ago, the hussar-lords of the Atheran North gathered in the Hiebenhall keep and bent the knee to Karl Barbanov, the first Duke of Haense. How was this achieved? It is easy for the modern Haeseni burgher in his comfortable townhouse to forget; the realm that would one day become Haense was won with steel. In the year 1497, Andrik Vydra threw down his gauntlet on the bridge, and so began a long campaign to unify the disparate Northern peoples into one state and bring them into the Canonist fold. Accompanying the professional soldiers deployed by the Orenian Crown was a motley collection of less-than-professional troops: loggers, fur traders, prospectors, Raevir stranniks, bohemian characters disenfranchised from mainland Oren, and countless second sons looking to carve off a piece of the map for themselves. These hardy men and women fought viciously in battle on the Kingdom’s behalf, then built their homesteads on newly conquered land to complete Oren’s victory. This early crop of settlers intermarried with those highlander clansmen that had adopted the Canon and migrated to Siegrad. From the ensuing mix came the first native Haeseni population, and the first notion of a distinctive Haeseni identity. Ask any man of Siegrad what his purpose for living, for breathing, for being was, and he would answer you confidently: “Settling the North, and making my own name.” What was meant by this? “The North” was the Orenian frontier of those days- untamed, dangerous- but laden with untapped wealth and opportunity. Haense served as the gateway to that wild borderland, and as a facilitator to its exploration. Adventurers and fortune-seekers left their homesteads and their past selves in the Orenian heartland behind, constructed new homes and new identities on brackish Northern soil, and called themselves Haensemen. Their new, rough-hewn existence, and self regard as pioneers, was tied inextricably to the backwoods state which was now their home: to Haense. This was the Haeseni identity: the relationship between the individual man, his ambition, and the wilderness that was his home. A Haenseman was an individual who struck out to places yet unexplored- the proverbial the edge of the map- to find his fame, to find his fortune, and to find himself. Haense’s identity as the Orenian marchland, as a “Frontier State,” is the only stable identity it has ever possessed. Indeed; the only times that Haense has ever been master of its own destiny, ever truly “mounted the world,” have been when it fully embraced this immutable fact of its existence. Peter Barbanov and his court understood this- they conquered and colonized the vast Northern reaches of Axios in a quest to earn their royal pedigree. King Stephen and Heinrik Bihar understood this- they rebuilt the Kingdom from a mound of ash, and made her a contender on the world stage. And of course, Karl Barbanov and his companion-founders understood this- for their works inspired all the rest. For Haense is more than a sum of titles. The core of its identity lies somewhere beyond the scope of its heritage- in something greater than the mere addition of its Hansetian and Ruskan ancestry, or the influence of any Heartland realm. It unfolds itself in the lives of the Haeseni people, and is sustained by the faithful work they do on behalf of their great nation. What is Haense? Haense is the Frontier State. It is the end of man’s reach, the last light before the darkness. It has always been so, and it will always be so. We only need to remember. -From the pen of John Walker
  3. I will always remember you for Thomas Gloop, that sci fi server we played on with yoppl and Malgonious, and all of our fun times in teamspeak back in the day. Even though we ended up on opposite sides of the line most of the time, I always cheered for you in my heart. I always respected you as one of the people who walked the walk. Take care my friend.
  4. IGN: birdnerdy Mc Name: “ “ Roleplay name: Bahram Shalimar Discord: birdman#9444 I am a scribe by trade, and have some experience with the craft already. I have recently established residency in New Reza; I live there with my wife. Please consider me for the position!
  5. Birdman

    Bye

    I agree with my friend bird here.
  6. I’ve always thought that posts such as these were frivolous, but I’m sentimental enough nowadays to make one anyways. Though I did log in every so often, it’s been about a year and a half since I actively played LOTC. In that interim, I’ve learned, grown, and changed enough to comfortably divorce myself from the side of myself that I used to present to our community. While I was involved in a lot of creative projects that I remain proud of, and made friends that I count among my closest (online or IRL,) I said a lot of things to a lot of people that I regret. While this list is hardly complete, and I’ve spoken to many of you individually, I still find it important to right any outstanding wrongs of mine before I return to the community full time. To @JoelTheGinger, I apologize sincerely for all of my past mistreatment of you. Though nobody deserves to be randomly slandered or slurred, I feel especially bad for being cruel to somebody that would go on to do a lot of work for the Haense community, without a doubt my biggest LOTC soft spot. I recall us being quite friendly when I was playing Karl Sigmar the regent, and you were playing Anna Sophia when she was affiliated with the Amadors- let’s return to those times! To any players that were in my “out group” when I last played- (playerbases that Oren or Haense have ever had friction with) -if I had said anything dumb about you in passing, take them as the words of a young screamer still finding his way. Lotc and the internet at large can make us awfully tribal, I’d like to be better at defeating that, and help others to do so as well. And to my fellow Barbanov Office employees (@NJBB, @Pureimp10, @HurferDurfer1, the whole gang,) I apologize for ever letting angst over LOTC politics get me to drive away some of the best people I ever met on here. Every one of you is smart, funny, kind, and sincere in your own way. I’d like to be your friend again, if you’ll have me. All that being said, I do love this place, warts and all, and I’m ready to engage with it in a healthier way going forward! Though it does seem that a lot has changed. To the people who knew me, what is something that happened in the last year that I would find shocking or funny? To anyone else reading this post- I’m really into the Beatles right now, so let me know your favorite Beatles track! Peace and love everybody P.S: Please spare me the indulgence of a new forum account. I seem to have lost the password to my recovery email, so I can only access my old account from my mobile phone. Shame- I had accrued a sizeable rep count on the old boy, but here’s to new beginnings.
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